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She’s smart and fearless. Find out what else you don’t know about Dena!

Official Title: Commercial Umbrella New Business Underwriter

Dena Driscoll is an Umbrella Underwriter who joined New Empire Group in 2012 as an Underwriting Associate. Prior to joining New Empire Group she worked at Clear Channel Communications as an Executive Assistant and Customer Service Representative for five years. During her employment at Clear Channel, Dena was recognized and awarded for her exemplary customer service with several awards fueled by compliments from satisfied customers. Her hard work and determination quickly paid off as she was promoted to the Umbrella Underwriter position within one year of joining New Empire Group.  In 2015, Dena was awarded “Employee of the Year” at New Empire Group for her outstanding service, dedication and contributions to the success of the organization.

Dena was raised in Lynbrook, NY. She is a graduate of Malverne HS and gained an Associate’s Degree in Office Technologies from Business Informatics Center. Dena is married and resides with her husband and two sons on Long Island. She enjoys getting together with family and friends as much as she can, and has even taken up bowling with her husband in their spare time.

What is your role at New Empire Group?
I am a New Business Umbrella Underwriter.

What have you gained from working at New Empire Group?
Insurance knowledge. I did not come from an insurance background before working for New Empire Group. The training and guidance I have received from New Empire Group has set me up for success.

What is your favorite part about working for New Empire Group?
Those who I work for and with. We have a superior management team and staff at New Empire Group, who make me look forward to coming to work every day.

What would be the title of your autobiography?
Memoirs of an Eternal Optimist.

What is the one thing you cannot resist?
Chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven!

For any questions regarding our Commercial Umbrella Program, or if you just want to say “Hi”, contact Dena at!

Friday the 13th is considered the unluckiest day of the year.  It is hard to pinpoint exactly when and where this fear originally began but we do know it has been around since the beginning of the 20th century.  Here are a few interesting facts about Friday the 13th!

  1. The fear of Friday the 13th is called, “friggatriskaidekaphobia” – “Frigga” was the name of the Norse goddess for whom ‘Friday’ is named and “triskaidekaphobia” meaning the fear of the number 13 (also known as “paraskavedekatriaphobia”).
  2. A theory, recently proclaimed as historical fact in the novel, The Da Vinci Code, is that on Friday, Oct. 13, 1307, officers of King Philip IV of France raided hundreds of homes of the Knights Templar, imprisoning them on charges of illegal activities. Though the charges weren’t proven, more than a hundred died from terrible torture.
  3. For a month to have a Friday the 13th, the month must begin on a Sunday.
  4. It was on October 13, 1989 (a Friday) that the US stock exchange suffered one of its most major crashes. The day has since then gone down in history as ‘Black Friday’.
  5. The Alfred Hitchcock Connection – This genius filmmaker has made some of the best suspense films in the history of Hollywood — And it just so happens he was born on August 13, 1899, which was a Friday!
  6. Every year has at least one and at most three Friday the 13ths.
  7. The longest period that can occur without a Friday the 13th is fourteen months.
  8. “Based on records of buildings with Otis brand elevators, as many as 85% of the high risers in the world do not have a 13th floor” – Dilip Rangnekar, Otis Elevator Company
  9. In Spanish-speaking countries, instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th, also called martes trece is considered a day of bad luck.
  10. In Italian pop-culture, Friday the 17th is considered a day of bad luck.
  11. Pagans actually find 13 a lucky number because it parallels the number of full moons in a year.
  12. According to findings from the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in North Carolina, it is estimated that 17 to 21 million people in the US are affected by the fear of Friday the 13th (making it the most feared day in history).
  13. According to the British Medical Journal there is a significant increase in traffic-related accidents when the date is Friday the 13th.

We hope you found these facts interesting!  Happy Friday!


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It’s time again to set your clocks back one hour. Unless you live in Hawaii or Arizona which do not observe Daylight Saving Time (that’s right, it’s not plural).

When is the time change?

On Sunday, 11/6/2016 at 2 a.m. we will change our clocks back one hour (“Spring Forward, Fall Back”)!

Why Change the Time at 2 a.m.?

The thinking behind changing the time at 2 a.m. is because it is considered to be the least disruptive time of day. Moving time forward or back an hour at that time avoids confusion because it doesn’t change the date, and most people are asleep.

Why do we practice Daylight Saving Time?

The idea was to save electricity and to make better use of the daylight because there are more hours of natural light. 

A Brief History of Daylight Saving Time…

It is popular belief that Benjamin Franklin first conceived the idea of Daylight Saving Time during a stay in Paris in 1784.  His published essay, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light” proposed to economize the use of candles by rising earlier to make the most use of the morning sunlight.

Recognition for the creation of DST was mainly credited to William Willett in 1905 when he proposed turning the clocks forward in the summer to take advantage of the daylight in the mornings and the lighter evenings.  This DST plan was introduced as a bill to the House of Commons by Robert Pearce in February 1908.  Thereafter the first Daylight Saving Bill was drafted in 1909 and presented to Parliament several times and scrutinized by a select committee.  The bill never made it into a law as it was opposed by many (especially farmers).

Daylight Saving Time was eventually adopted on April 30, 1916 to replace artificial lighting so they could save fuel for the war effort in Germany during World War I.  It was quickly followed by Britain and many other countries, including the United States.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted year-round DST in the United States, calling it “War Time” during World War II from February 9, 1942 to September 30th, 1945.  This law was enforced 40 days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.


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Check out the great Insurance Programs for Condominium InsuranceCooperative InsuranceApartment Insurance and Property Manager’s Insurance that New Empire Group, Ltd. offers!

kenneth-paganini_2949Meet New Empire Group’s newest addition to our Underwriting Team, Kenneth Paganini!

Ken joined New Empire Group in 2016 as a Commercial Umbrella Underwriter. He is a graduate of Marist College holding a Degree in Business/Finance. Kenneth brings over 12 years of Passenger Transportation and Property + Casualty Insurance experience to New Empire Group.  Kenneth was innovative in executing new strategies to bring profits to his previous organization and plans on bringing that same initiative to his new position at New Empire Group.  In his spare time, Kenneth enjoys participating in the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, going to the gym and meditating.

What do you like most about working at New Empire Group? I like the opportunity for growth that NEG offers. There are many incentives to further one’s career with full support of the management team here. This type of support and confidence is something I find rare not only in this profession but in today’s world. NEG truly wants you to succeed and in return for succeeding the whole team improves.  Allowing the opportunity for growth provides me with the confidence that is essential for success. I am able to focus on the job at hand knowing that my future is being taken care of as well. It’s a truly amazing feeling to go to work not just for a company but for yourself. In addition, having an office near the beach is a blessing.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most? What I enjoy most is the opportunity to work and learn from everyone in the company.  I would be lost without the support, direction and enthusiasm of my co-workers. I appreciate each and every sacrifice they are dealing with during my learning curve; it is humbling to say the least. They are great people, teachers and mentors.  As a new employee with the support, direction and enthusiasm of my co-workers I hope to learn my role so I can be an effective contributing teammate.

What is your Motto or Personal Mantra? Mind body soul.  I think it is important to consistently find a balance between one’s mind, body and soul.  Positive thinking evokes more energy, initiative and happiness. Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body but I believe it is also the basis of dynamic creative intellectual thinking. Furthermore, food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul. Put your heart mind and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the key to success.

What are your top 3 life highlights?

  • Being chosen as Godfather to my nephew – a privilege I aspire to live up to. 
  • Owning my own home for 8 years.
  • Lifting about 2.5 times my body weight in any exercise consistently for about a half hour.

August 23, 2016

Employee Spotlight – Rachela Martin!


Official Title: CondoPak Underwriter

Mini Bio:

Rachela brings over 15 years of administration and office operations experience to New Empire Group along with her high energy and enthusiasm. Rachela’s experience is invaluable. Rachela began her career with New Empire Group in 2009 as an underwriting associate. She has since gained over 7 years of insurance experience, gone to school and gotten her New York State Broker License and is currently studying for her ACSR designation.  Rachela is a devoted mother and wife and loves spending time with her family. Her hobbies also include arts & crafts and anything creative she can get herself into.

What have you gained from working at New Empire Group?
I have gained so much from working at New Empire Group! This company has given me a career that I love in an environment that promotes growth, learning and teamwork.

What is your proudest moment at New Empire Group?
I think two of my proudest moments were being awarded the ‘Achievement Award’ in 2012 and the ‘MVP of the Year’ Award in 2013.

How do you balance your career at New Empire Group and Family?
Mostly I balance by having my mind on my family when I am with them and my mind on work when I am at the office.  I try to give 100% of myself to each so I try to give each 100% of my attention to what I am doing at that time.

If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be?
I think I would interview Stephen King.  I’ve been an avid fan for so many years so I think it would be interesting to try to get into his mind.