Management Team

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<h4>Marie Elena Blair</h4>

Marie Elena Blair

Assistant Operations Manager - Personal Lines

Phone: 413-447-7376

Marie has 30 years of experience in the insurance industry. Upon graduating from Pittsfield High School in 1981, Marie was employed by Berkshire Mutual Insurance Company in their Claim Department. Her responsibilities included claim check disbursement and handling of minor claim settlements. She joined the agency of McCormick Smith & Curry Insurance in 1988 as an account manager in the Personal Line Department, overseeing more than 800 accounts. McCormick Smith & Curry Insurance Agency was one of five agencies purchased by Berkshire Bank in October of 2006. In 2008 Marie was promoted to Personal Lines account manager supervisor for the East Street location. In March of 2010 the Berkshire Insurance Group Service Center was created at which time Marie assumed the role of Service Center Supervisor, overseeing the day-to-day operations of that department and manager of a dozen service center representatives.  In 2014 she was promoted to Assistant Operations Manager for Personal Lines managing seventeen employee’s across all BIG locations.

<h4>John Carney, CIC</h4>

John Carney, CIC

Senior Business Marketing Manager

Phone: 413-564-6279

John has worked for major insurance companies and agencies in a Marketing and Underwriting capacity for over 40 years. In his current position at Berkshire Insurance Group Inc., he is the Marketing Manager overseeing a team of insurance professionals who quote, underwrite and place business for Personal and Commercial clients. He holds licenses in Massachusetts and Connecticut. John is a graduate of Assumption College in Worcester Massachusetts. His outside interests are varied and include golf, photography and spending quality time with his wife Nancy and three grown children. Over the years, he has coached various youth sports teams and has participated in many charity events.

<h4>Steven W. Cronin, CIC</h4>

Steven W. Cronin, CIC

First Vice President

Phone: 413-236-3712

Steve originally began his career in the insurance business as a Mass Mutual Life Insurance Agent in 1985. He joined McCormick Smith & Curry Insurance in Pittsfield in 1986 and became a partner in 1992. McCormick Smith & Curry was one of five independent agencies that Berkshire Bank acquired in October of 2006. Steve is a former President of the Berkshire County Independent Agents Association and a former Board member of the Massachusetts Association of Independent Agents. Steve holds the Certified Insurance Counselor designation (CIC) and has been active in many company agent councils over the years.

<h4>Norma LaForest</h4>

Norma LaForest

Assistant Operations Manager - Commercial Lines

Phone: 413-564-6490

Norma is the Assistant Operations Manager for Berkshire Insurance Group. Her responsibilities include supervising the account managers in the Pioneer Valley region for the agency. She has over a decade of experience working in the insurance industry, both for a large regional insurance company and here at our agency. She has past experience working in the commercial lines rating and commercial lines underwriting department for the insurance company. She joined Berkshire Insurance Group in 2005 as a commercial lines account manager and is currently a licensed MA insurance broker. She earned her B.S. from Columbus State University in 1996. She is currently working toward her Certified Insurance Counselor designation.

<h4>Paul Lesukoski, CPCU</h4>

Paul Lesukoski, CPCU

Vice President/Business Development

After graduating from UMASS Amherst in 1978 Paul began his insurance career with USF&G Insurance Company in Springfield as an underwriter in the Commercial Lines Department. In 1982, Paul joined Keyes & Mattson Insurance Agency and after several years became a partner and officer in the agency. In 1987, he obtained his Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation. In 2001, Keyes and Mattson was sold to Woronoco Bank and Paul was elected president of the new entity (Woronoco Insurance Group). In 2005, Woronoco Bank/Insurance Group was acquired by Berkshire Bank. Paul is located in the Longmeadow office. He is a member of the East Longmeadow Rotary Club and has been active in their Summer Concert Series. He has also served on various boards and committees in East Longmeadow and for other organizations.

<h4>Dennis Murphy</h4>

Dennis Murphy

Vice President - Employee Benefits

Phone: 413-236-3526

Dennis began his sales career after graduating from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 1986, working for Roche Laboratories covering Central and Eastern Massachusetts.  He joined the insurance industry in June of 2001 as a licensed MassMutual Agent.  Dennis joined Berkshire Insurance Group in May of 2015, overseeing the Employee Benefits Department and managing a client base in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut and Vermont.  Dennis resides in Pittsfield and has three grown children and one grandson.

<h4>Julie Ryan</h4>

Julie Ryan

Vice President

Phone: 413-553-3402

Julie has over 25 years of experience working in the insurance industry, starting her career as a commercial lines account manager and then agency manager of The Colton Agency. Woronoco Savings Bank purchased that agency in 2004 and she was asked to continue to manage the day-to-day operations. Berkshire Bank purchased Woronoco Savings in 2005 and she continued as Operations Manager until being promoted in early 2013 to Assistant Vice President of Operations. Julie is located in the Pittsfield office, and in her current role she leads her team to strive for excellence. Julie is a member of the Board of Director of the Massachusetts Association of Independent Agents, is active with the Westfield Chamber of Commerce and has served on various committees for the City of Westfield.

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Insurance is offered through Berkshire Insurance Group, Inc. Berkshire Insurance Group, Inc. is a licensed insurance agency and non bank affiliate of Berkshire Bank and is not a chartered bank or trust company, or depository institution. Berkshire Insurance Group, Inc. is not authorized to accept deposits or trust accounts and is not licensed or regulated by any state or federal banking authority.

 

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