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, Zurich, Navigators, ACE , Chartis, CNA 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
Robert E. Mackoul, CLU
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 Vice 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.
- (516) 690-8140
Deborah K. Mackoul, CPIA
President, New Empire Group
Deborah K. Mackoul, CPIA
Deborah K. Mackoul has over 22 years’ experience in property casualty insurance and risk management. As a founding partner of New Empire Group, Ltd in 2002, she has since guided the company’s expansion from a TriState regional MGA to a nationally recognized organization, licensed and doing business in all fifty states.
She is pursuing her CPCU designation and is a member of numerous professional organizations, such as The National Association of Surplus Lines Brokers (NAPSLO), Excess Lines Association of NY (ELANY), WINLI (Women of Insurance of Long Island), Independent Agents & Brokers (IIABA) and Professional Insurance Agents (PIA).
Deborah is active in local charities such as the Long Beach Lions & Community Mainstream Associates. Deborah, in collaboration with the Long Beach High School Guidance Department offers mentoring to the local high school students through an internship program. She is married, resides in Long Beach, NY and is an avid golfer and skier.
- (516) 690-8115
Robert G. Mackoul, CIC, CISR
Senior Vice-President & Chief Underwriting Officer
Robert G. Mackoul
Rob is both a founding partner of New Empire Group and the Executive Vice President of Underwriting. With his 16 years of insurance experience Rob is responsible for New Empire Group’s underwriting results.
- (516) 690-8116
Executive Vice-President, New Empire Group Wholesale
James F. O’Neill is the President of the Wholesale division of 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.
- (516) 690-8126
Program Manager – Inland Marine
Inland Marine Specialist Donard Reilly joined New Empire Group as a Senior Vice President in February 2013 and heads the Inland Marine Department. Donard brings over 25 years of inland marine experience to New Empire Group. Most recently as owner of Mainland Specialty Insurance, an MGA using The Chubb Insurance Group as the underwriting carrier for his inland marine program.
Donard began his insurance career in1986 and has worked for numerous carriers honing his trade including Aetna, St. Paul, and the Royal Insurance Company, where he managed the Inland Marine Department. Donard built the department tenfold before leaving to open his own managing general agency Mainland Marine Specialty which he merged into New Empire Group. He has been a member of the Inland Marine Underwriters Association of New York (IMUA) where he also served on the Northeast Committee.
Donard is a 27 year member of the New York Mariners Club of New York, and has served as the Skipper in addition to duties on the Board of Directors. In addition Donard is a manager and coach of youth programs in his Long Island community where he lives with his wife and two children.
- (516) 690-8139
Jennifer Teague joined NEG in 2005 while working towards the completion of college. Jennifer then went on to become a licensed NYS insurance broker and has passed 3 of the 8 CPCU Courses. Jennifer has worked in multiple underwriting capacities in both the Commercial Umbrella and Property Managers Errors and Omissions Programs. She currently handles New Empire Group’s Agency Accounting.
Her personal interests include going for walks with her Fiancé Anthony and their dog. She also enjoys spending time with her three nieces, attending family gatherings, being outdoors and going to the beach.
- (516) 690-8123
Program Underwriter – Professional Liability
Emma Mahnken 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.
- (516) 690-8129
Commercial Umbrella Supervisor
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.
- (516) 690-8124
Commercial Umbrella Underwriter
Monica Bustamante is one of New Empire Groups leading commercial umbrella underwriters, having the responsibility of providing sales support to the field force of a national insurer. Monica’s enthusiasm, and positive attitude over the past three years, is credited for having tripled the written premium of the brokers who have her as their underwriter.
Monica attendedQueensboro College, of Queens, NY, and is a licensed insurance broker, who has completed 2 of the 8 parts for her Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU)degree. She is well liked and well respected by all the brokers she serves and her peers within New Empire Group. Prior to joining New Empire Group in 2010, Monica was the office administrator of a major New York realty and property management firm for a over a decade where she developed her organizational skills, and honed her interpersonal skills which are on display every day.
Monica brings the true spirit of helping others to her underwriting role. She is very active in a charity close to her heart, “the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society” and donates much of her time supporting the cause of the society helping the families and children stricken with Leukemia. Monica is married with two sons and lives on Long Island, and as she states, enjoys all the true pleasures of life, her family, and friends.
- (516) 690-8117
Commercial Umbrella Underwriter
Stephanie Corr has over 15 years’ experience in the property casualty industry beginning with her employment at State Farm while she attended college. A graduate of New Hyde Park High School, and a criminal justice major at St. Johns University, Stephanie was recruited by TransWorld Facilities, a major Managing General Agency/Wholesaler upon completion of her studies at St Johns. She worked at the MGA/Wholesaler for eight years and held two underwriting positions during this period; the first as an underwriter in the wholesale division of the agency, and then as a program underwriter for the hospitality and restaurant program, which she grew successfully and profitably. Before leaving to join New Empire Group, she was one of two underwriting supervisors. Stephanie brings that wealth of knowledge and experience to New Empire Group, where for the past three years she has been a lead commercial lines underwriter, currently in the umbrella department. A licensed insurance broker, Stephanie loves to cook and enjoy life with her family, friends, and puppy Suki.
- (516) 690-8120
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.
- (516) 690-8128
Professional Liability Underwriter
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.
- (516) 690-8132
Commercial Umbrella 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.
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.
- (516) 690-8118
Jeanine Thompson is a Commercial Umbrella underwriter who is also the Underwriter for the “Recover” Environmental program. She joined New Empire Group in 2011 bringing a broad array of experience in the financial services industry having worked for Empire Financial Group where she started as a receptionist & was quickly promoted to a sales assistant position. While at Empire Financial Group, Jeanine assisted a large number of brokers to maintain their books of business and process daily transactions for their clients. These procedures gave her the opportunity to help maintain the high quality relationships her brokers, as well as herself, had with their clients.
Jeanine is a licensed insurance broker with strong underwriting and organizational skills. Based upon her recommendations several procedural changes were adopted by New Empire Group which led to increased efficiency in the underwriting department.
Jeanine is an avid sports fan and enjoys water sports, skiing, and playing volleyball. She loves spending time with her family, cooking, and traveling.
- (516) 690-8119
Commercial Underwriter – Wholesale
Irene Kubler brings over 30 years of underwriting and management experience to New Empire Group’s Wholesale Division. Irene began her insurance career at Chubb & Son Insurance, in the underwriting department where she gained extensive experience underwriting property and casualty lines of insurance . Irene subsequently applied that experience in a management position at Calvert Insurance where she was responsible for managing the results of several lines of business, as well as having the responsibility for the training and growth of new members of the underwriting team.
Irene brought her wonderful personality and management skills to New Empire Group -Wholesale along with her track record of successful underwriting and a vast network of brokers developed over the course of her career.
While not at work, Irene enjoys frequent trips to her house in upstate New York as well as spending quality time with her friends and family.
- (516) 690-8131
Agency Compliance/Human Resources
Nicole 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, Human Resources, 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.
- (516) 690-8121
Michele comes to New Empire Group with 10+ years of sales and marketing experience. This experience has given her all of the necessary tools she needs to deal with the many demands of her position of Agency Administrator of New Empire Group and Executive Assistant to our CEO, Robert E. Mackoul. Michele brings five years of insurance experience to New Empire Group. During her previous employment, Michele obtained her Property & Casualty license and has become a licensed Notary. In Michele’s spare time she enjoys volunteering as a ‘Team Mother’ for her daughter’s softball team and participates in many charitable fundraising events. She enjoys biking, softball, traveling and spending time with friends and family.
- (516) 690-8125
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 in her handling of our technology and marketing needs as well as in her oversight of our account processing. Rachela began her career with New Empire Group in 2009 as an underwriting associate. She wears many hats at New Empire Group in her current position at New Empire Group.
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.
- (516) 690-8127