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Sullivan Group

In the midst of a pandemic, we are all experiencing unprecedented and unpredictable circumstances. The ability to adapt and excel results directly from our ability to execute on the fundamental principles and core values of the organization.

Sullivan Group operates under a Values Based Management Model. At the very core are the organization’s shared values – what our company stands for and believes in. Our shared values are the central beliefs and attitudes, including family values, independence, respect, commitment to excellence, honesty, integrity, and service to our community. The company Structure, Systems, Staffing, Style, Staff, Skills, and Strategy are all interdependent, and together these factors determine the way we operate. This model is embraced by our entire organization and is most relevant in a time of crisis and change, like now.

We have always had a disaster recovery plan in place, albeit informal. Following a burst water pipe in our Worcester office over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2018, we were fortunate to strategically evaluate the effectiveness of the plan, i.e. relocation, remote operation etc.. Our management team concluded our best option was to migrate to a laptop/cloud, portable information technology platform over time. Budgets were adjusted to convert all remaining desktop computers to laptops in phases and enhance our VPN to accommodate the entire firm working remotely.

We were four days away from converting the platform when, due to COVID-19, the decision was made to close the office and move to 100% remote. We informed our employees in advance that the office would be shutting down and made sure everyone understood how to login remotely and forward office phones to their home or cell phone. We purchased extra monitors and had each employee re-locate their desktops to home. Our staff was tremendous during this transition, and worked diligently to settle in as a remote organization.

Since the middle of March, conference calls and video calls have become the norm to discuss policy renewals, new business, registry (RMV) updates, insurance carrier changes, and the impact of COVID-19 to industries as a whole. We have a senior management virtual meeting every day, and an all-employee Zoom call every Friday morning to check in on how everyone is doing, which has been a boost in spirits to see each other (long hair and all!).

We are very thankful and fortunate our staff has adjusted to working remotely so well, and we have excelled in this environment. We miss the camaraderie of our peers on a daily basis, but we’re committed to doing what’s best for the safety of all our stakeholders - our customers, employees, their families, and the insurance carriers. Our focus and commitment remains on making sure our clients’ needs are served in a seamless and predictable fashion.

We have always been supportive of our employees and our community and will continue to work through the everyday challenges. Many of our employees have children in school or daycare and are now charged with homeschooling in addition to working from home. Others have family members on the front line, or have elderly parents and neighbors they have been caring for. Our company has provided assistance to the Worcester County Food Bank during this time as we realize so many people have been negatively impacted financially due to COVID-19.

We want to thank all of the frontline workers who have been working tirelessly for months as the community continues to battle the COVID-19 virus. Thank you to the Worcester Business Journal for letting us tell our story of how our company’s shared values have been the guiding light of leadership in this difficult time.

John T. Andreoli, MBA, CPCU, LIA
President & CEO