Who We Are

It’s A Business About People

As our founder often reminds us “Insurance is a business about people.” That theme influences everything that we do at New Empire Group.

Our relationships are formed by our people creating the conditions for success in every interaction that we have with our agents and carrier partners. We believe that they are entitled to the very best that we can give; all day, every day. To that end we have partnered with many of the industry’s most trusted carriers to bring superior programs to our agents, including Chubb, Crum & Forster, AWAC, Hanover, HDI Global, Ohio Casualty, Admiral and MiddleOak.

In the end, it’s a business about people and we are fortunate to have some of the finest at New Empire Group.

Meet Our Professionals

Robert E. Mackoul, CLU

Chief Executive Officer

(516) 690-8140

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Biography

Robert E. Mackoul, CLU has over 35 years’ experience in insurance and risk management and is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of New Empire Group, Ltd., a New York based MGA that offers several programs for real estate to insurance brokers nationally. He is also the founder of Mackoul & Associates, Inc., a highly acclaimed retail insurance and financial services agency that specializes in the insurances for Cooperative and Condominium Associations in the New York Metropolitan area with branch offices in New Jersey & Florida. Mr. Mackoul has been a featured speaker at seminars, workshops, and symposia for many years including the NY City Bar Association and NYU School of Real Estate. He is frequently quoted in the New York Times, Rough Notes Magazine, The National Underwriter and other publications. He is a Chartered Life Underwriter, and member of the Society of Financial Services Professionals, and serves as President of Tri-County Independent Agents and Brokers Association of New York. Mr. Mackoul is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran who lives on Long Island. He has five children, three of which are his associates in New Empire Group and/or Mackoul & Associates.

Deborah K. Mackoul, CPIA

President and COO

(516) 690-8115

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Deborah K. Mackoul, Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) has over 23 years’ experience in property casualty insurance and risk management. As a founding partner of New Empire Group, Ltd in 2002, she has helped guide the company’s expansion from a TriState regional MGA to a nationally recognized organization, licensed and doing business in all fifty states.

She is a member of numerous industry associations including the Women’s Insurance Network of Long Island (WINLI), Independent Agents & Brokers (IIABA), Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), and National Association of Surplus Lines Agents.

Deborah was presented the 2014 “Insurance Professional of the Year” award by the Women’s Insurance Network of Long Island at their annual meeting for her contributions to the insurance industry. Additionally she was awarded the 2014 Long Beach Lion of the Year Award for her charitable contributions to the City of Long Beach.

She is active in local charities such as the United Way, The Long Beach Lions, Waterfront Warriors, Long Beach Soup Kitchen, and Community Mainstream Associates. She offers an annual scholarship in memory of her parents to a deserving Long Beach High School student, and in collaboration with the Long Beach High School Guidance Department offers mentoring to the local high school students through an internship program at New Empire Group. Deborah is married, with three grown children, resides in Long Beach, NY and is an avid golfer and skier.

Robert G. Mackoul, CIC

Executive VP Chief Underwriting Officer

(516) 690-8116

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Robert G. Mackoul, CIC is a partner of New Empire Group and the Executive Vice President of Underwriting. He began his insurance career as a personal lines underwriter for a retail agency, before moving to commercial underwriting. Rob spent time in all aspects of agency underwriting and management before joining New Empire Group in 2003 with the responsibility of heading the commercial umbrella program. Rob is a Certified Insurance Counselor who, with his 16 years of insurance experience, is currently responsible for the national growth and profitability of New Empire’s newest program: CondoPak. He attended Brooklyn College, and is a graduate of John Dewey High School in Brooklyn, NY. Rob is a gifted musician and the lead singer of his own rock band, “Revamped”, and has played all over the New York Metropolitan area. He is the father of two young sons, lives in New Jersey, and is an avid sports fan and golfer.

James O’Neill, CPCU

Executive VP Business Development

(516) 690-8126

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James O’Neill is the Executive Vice President of Business Development at New Empire Group. He is a summa cum laude graduate of CW Post/ Long Island University who began his insurance career in 1986. Jim has broad based experience in underwriting, claims and marketing working for Kemper, The Hartford, Harleysville Insurance and insurance agencies over the past quarter century.Jim joined New Empire Group in 2006 as the Director of Marketing and Business Development and has spearheaded the growth of New Empire from a regional Managing General Agent (MGA) to one with a national focus by building the New Empire producer base throughout the country. In 2009, O’Neill assumed the additional responsibility for the growth of the New Empire “Smart” professional liability programs until he assumed the helm of the wholesale division in August of 2012. Jim is a Board member for the Long Island Insurance Community (LIIC), a charitable organization that raises money for the United Way of Long Island, and actively supports multiple other charities. In his spare time Jim has competed in the Mossman triathlon, the New York City marathon, and other runs for charity. Jim is a talented cook who enjoys cooking for friends and family. Jim is married, with a son, and lives on Long Island.

Emma McKee

Agency Manager

(516) 690-8129

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Emma McKee is a graduate of Long Beach High School and full scholarship honors graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in finance. She rejoined New Empire Group after having spent a number of years in a major Fortune 100 firm as a member of their financial management program for young executives where she excelled. Wishing to be closer to home and wanting to make a difference in a smaller organization, Emma who worked for New Empire Group during both her high school and college years, came back to the firm in 2010 to establish her career in insurance.Emma is a licensed insurance broker and has broad based experience in New Empire spanning all departments during the last decade. Her dedication and drive while underwriting umbrellas, environmental, and habitational insurances led to her current position as the national program underwriter for the “Smart Pro” errors & omissions insurance program for property managers.A member of the Women’s Insurance Network of Long Island (WINLI), Emma has completed three parts of the eight necessary to obtain her Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) degree. She has been actively involved in “buildOn” an organization promoting local community service and literacy in developing countries, and in her spare time, is an avid beach volleyball player.

Marisa Vutrano

Umbrella Division Supervisor

(516) 690-8124

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Marisa Vutrano is the New Empire Group Commercial Umbrella underwriting supervisor. She joined New Empire in 2008 as a commercial lines assistant and through her hard work, and diligence progressed to a full commercial umbrella underwriter in less than a year. She has handled the more difficult and larger brokerage clients, and at one time had the responsibility of underwriting more than 9 million dollars in umbrella premiums annually. She was promoted to underwriting supervisor in 2012 and has the responsibility of managing the department which consists of 4 other underwriters and three assistants.Marisa is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor degree in Accounting and earned a Master’s degree in Finance from Suffolk University thereafter. Prior to joining New Empire Group, Marisa lived in Boston and worked for five years at State Street Corp. pricing mutual funds and reporting to NASDAQ. She is an avid outdoors woman and athlete, running in races to support many charities. Marisa is married and lives with her husband Stephan in Long Beach, New York.

Lina Gallego

Professional Liability Program Manager

(516) 690-8132

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Lina Gallego joined New Empire Group in 2009 and is currently the renewal underwriting associate for our Property Managers Professional Liability Program. Her role in the firm until 2011 was the assistant to the President where she gained experience in most phases of the company leading to her promotion to her current underwriting associate position. Prior to her employment in New Empire Group, Lina worked for five years as a mortgage underwriter at a regional mortgage lender, and then as a property manager and leasing agent for a major property management firm in the Los Angeles area. She was recognized consistently as one of the leading agents in new leases signed during her three years on the West Coast. Lina brings that drive and focus to her current associate underwriting position. As a member of the New Empire Group “Sunshine Committee” and the charitable organization “Project Challenge”. Lina gives back to the less fortunate in her local community by her involvement in these worthy endeavors.


Daniel Breen, ACSR

CondoPak Account Manager

(516) 690-8128

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Daniel Breen has over ten years’ experience in insurance and risk management. A graduate of York College of Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing, Dan worked for eight years at a National Managing General Agency (MGA) in Pennsylvania, beginning as an underwriting assistant, and rising to product coordinator and underwriting supervisor. His experience included underwriting risks for accident, health, property, casualty, packages, and commercial umbrellas. He joined New Empire Group in 2010 as commercial underwriter after moving back to New York. Dan currently is one of the lead underwriters in New Empire Group specializing in providing insurance brokers nationally with package solutions for their habitational risks, both standard and non-standard. A sports enthusiast, in his spare time he can be found on the golf course, in the gym, or doing other athletic activities to keep fit.

Dena Driscoll

Umbrella Division New Business Underwriter

(516) 690-8118

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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.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 was promoted to the Umbrella Underwriter position within one year of joining New Empire Group. Dena is married and resides with her husband and beloved dog, Lexi on Long Island. She spends her free time reading, scrapbooking and gardening.

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Michele Symes

Claims & Loss Control Manager

(516) 690-8125

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Michele Symes is a licensed NYS Property & Casualty Broker with eight years of broad based experience in New Empire Group. She was the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer from 2010 to 2013, where her experience in all facets of our business lead her to her new position, working in New Empire Group’s Loss Control/Claims Department. In her spare time Michele is an active volunteer in numerous activities. She enjoys biking, traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

Nicole Shiels

Agency Compliance

(516) 690-8121

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Nicole Shiels is a graduate of Farmingdale State University with a degree in Business Administration. Coming to New Empire Group with administrative experience at some of the most well-known companies, Nicole brings with her all of the unique skills required to manage the many compliance issues of a national program manager. Nicole handles a variety of different tasks at New Empire Group including Compliance, Social Media Marketing, maintaining our blog as well as updating our website content. While employed at New Empire Group, Nicole has become a licensed Notary. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, running, volunteering at the local animal shelter, hiking, camping, going to the beach, traveling and spending time with her friends and family.

Rachela Martin, ACSR

CondoPak Account Manager

(516) 690-8127

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Rachela Martin 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.

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Anne Marie Medaglia

Agency Accounting

(516) 690-8142

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Anne Marie joined the accounting department of New Empire Group in 2013, reporting to the controller, after managing the finances of a New York City restaurant. She is a graduate of Hunter College, receiving a Bachelor Degree in Media and Communications. She was also involved in the Hunter Theater Company. Anne Marie enjoys spending time with her family in upstate New York during her spare time.

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Nicole Muller, ACSR

Umbrella Division New Business Underwriter

(516) 690-8130

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Nicole Muller is a licensed NY Insurance Broker and has joined the New Empire Group underwriting team as an Underwriting Associate. Nicole brings 2+ years of underwriting experience in both personal and commercial insurance to New Empire Group. Nicole is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising Management. Nicole has an abundance of customer service and sales experience which she utilizes daily to increase sales and build good customer relationships.Nicole enjoys playing sports and listening to good music as well as spending time with her family, friends and most importantly, her Yorkie, Coco.

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Leah Stallone

Agency Accounting

(516) 690-8133

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Leah Stallone is a graduate of Nassau Community College. She was initially hired at New Empire Group as a receptionist. Leah has proven to be a quick study. In a short period of time, she has quickly grown into an Underwriting Associate position assisting our Underwriters with their books of business. Leah applies her hard work and determination along with her previous customer service experience to her daily workload. While not at work, Leah enjoys traveling and spending time with her dog, Niko.

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Lauren Marrone

Umbrella Division Account Manager

(516) 690-8136

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Jennifer Fitzpatrick

Umbrella Division Associate

(516) 690-8134

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Jennifer Fitzpatrick brings with her 15 years of extensive Insurance experience. In her previous positions, she has worked as an account executive handling various types of commercial line accounts where she marketed and re-marketed new and renewal business, analyzed underwriting data as well as handling other underwriting responsibilities. Jennifer became a licensed P&C broker in 2001. Jennifer enjoys reading, watching baseball, attending barbeques and spending time with her friends and family in her down time.

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Victoria Granovskaya, ACSR

Umbrella Division Account Manager

(516) 690-8138

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Victoria Granovskaya joined New Empire Group as an Underwriting Associate in our Commercial Umbrella Department in January 2014. Prior to joining New Empire Group, Victoria received her AAS from NYU and BBA from Baruch College. While attending college, Victoria received many scholarships, made Dean’s list and also was a member of the Golden Key Honor Society. Victoria has an extensive background in insurance, with more than 7 years’ experience working in both commercial and personal lines. She is a licensed insurance broker and has previously worked as a Claims Administrator at Three Star Brokerage as well as working as a Product Specialist at AON Risk Services. Victoria has proven herself to be a great ‘team player’ within our organization! In her spare time, Victoria enjoys arts and crafts, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

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Alberto Barros

Marketing Director

(516) 690-8141

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Alberto Barros graduated from Briarcliffe College with a degree in Graphic Design. While attending Briarcliffe, Alberto had many accomplishments including graduating with Honors. This dedication to his work later paid off, landing him the role as Art Director at Creative Media. While at Creative Media, he learned and gained over 7 years’ experience designing and developing many campaigns for a multitude of recognized organizations. This growth, creativity and vision was a welcomed addition to New Empire Group in January 2014. In his brief time at New Empire Group, Alberto has transformed the Marketing department and even received ‘kudos’ from nationally recognized magazines and publications. While not at work, Alberto resides in Carle Place with his wife and two children. He is an avid sports fan and enjoys playing hockey and golf.

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Frank Viola, ACSR

Umbrella Division Account Manager

(516) 690-8143

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Frank Viola is an Oceanside native who won the Golden Key award for playing 7 Varsity Sports in High School. Along with that accomplishment, Frank was an avid participant in the Italian Club in college. He is an Eagle Scout and also a member of the Knights of Columbus. Frank graduated with Honors from SUNY Albany with a Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science in 2011. He continued on to get his Master’s Degree at SUNY Albany in Math with a concentration in Statistics in 2012. Frank’s previous work experience includes being a purchasing manager at Electro Industries. Frank joined New Empire Group in April 2014 as an Underwriting Associate, providing support to his assigned Underwriter in our Commercial Umbrella Division. Frank is a great asset to our Underwriting team. In his free time, Frank enjoys watching and playing sports, watching movies and playing in a softball league.

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Samantha Bertram

Professional Liability Associate

(516) 690-8117

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Samantha Bertram had a very active high school career, running for the cross country team as well as spending time before and after school volunteering at the local YMCA as a teacher’s aide. After high school, Samantha went on to attend SUNY Brockport where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in History. Samantha’s prior work experience includes being a sales representative in the Defense Logistics Department at Harris RF Communications and then moved on to do administrative work for Schuler-Haas Electric Corp. Samantha applies the organizational skills and attention to detail she learned from these previous positions to her daily functions and tasks at New Empire Group. She joined New Empire Group in June of 2014 as an Underwriting Associate in our Commercial Umbrella Department. Samantha enjoys spending her free time with her two year old son, Jared. Her hobbies also include visiting art museums and going to see musicals.

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Tami Bainlardi

Agency Receptionist

(516) 690-8122

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Angela Mendez

Umbrella Division Jr. Account Manager

(516) 690-8120

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Lindsay Podesta

Umbrella Division Associate

(516) 690-8137

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JosephMcEnerney

Joseph McEnerney

CondoPak Associate

(516) 690-8119

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Joseph McEnerney