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ON THE MOVE AMES & GOUGH APPOINTS SANTINA RAGONESE AS SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER IN BOSTON Ames & Gough, a leading insurance broker and risk management consultant specializing in serving design professionals, law firms, associations/nonprofits and other professional service organizations, announced the appointment of Santina Ragonese as a senior account manager in the Boston office. Ragonese, who has more than 10 years of experience handling property/casualty insurance for design firms, joins a team of Ames & Gough professionals serving the risk management and insurance needs of architectural and engineering clients. Previously, she was an account manager for five years with Smith Brothers, an insurance broker in Glastonbury, Connecticut and earlier held the same position at Maloney & Company LLC in Guilford. “As design firms throughout NewEngland and the northeast expand their business

in the recovering economy, many look to Ames & Gough for specialized expertise in navigating increasingly complex risks, including heightened professional liability and cyber exposures,” said Brett Gough, chief operating officer, Ames & Gough and head of Boston operations. “Santina’s extensive experience working with AEC firms complements our capabilities and makes her an excellent addition to our team. We’re pleased to welcome Santina to our firm and look forward to her contributions to our clients and our business.” Prior to her roles in insurance, Ragonese worked for nearly a decade in mortgage banking with Royal Bank of Canada in Boca Raton, Florida. She earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from Southern Connecticut State University Ragonese has served as a volunteer for numerous children’s health organizations, including Yale Children’s Hospital, Connecticut Parent Advocacy

Center in Niantic, Connecticut, and as a Connecticut Legislative Advocate for Children with Disabilities and Complex Medical Needs. With more than 1,700 architects, engineering firms, and other construction professionalsofallsizesasclients,Ames& Gough is the leading specialty insurance brokerage and risk consulting firm serving the needs of these professionals. Ames & Gough also has established itself as a committed, superior resource for law firms and associations and nonprofit organizations in need of professional liability, management liability, and property/casualty insurance and risk management assistance. Established in 1992, Ames & Gough has offices in Boston, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Orlando, Florida; and Washington, D.C. Clients throughout the U.S. are served by a team of more than 40 professionals and staff located in the four offices.

immediately for 60 percent more than we paid. While we are not doing that, it does feel like we made a good decision. My point is this: If you really know your business, you can make money in any market, even one as crazy as this. While I thought that all the opportunities were gone and we would have to wait around for the next recession, I was wrong. Because we know the market around here so well after years of study, we saw opportunity where no one else had. It got me thinking that ALL businesses are like that. AEC firms are the same way. While undoubtedly many will only do well in a hot market, some can do well in up markets AND down ones. A big part of that continuous success is that their owners know their business. They knowwhat clients are worth working for, and who will pay a decent fee. They knowwho they want to hire next when they get a chance. They know their own people well, and who should be in what role and how to keep those people happy. They know the government officials and regulators they have to regularly deal with. They know their competitors and what they do well and not so well. They know the numbers of their business and how to make the adjustments necessary to keep the machine profitable. And they knowwhat is likely to happen in the future because of their commitment and experience. Know your business. Dedicate yourself to its success. Focus on it. Think about it. Work on it. Spend the time you need to spend to make it sustainably successful. When you do that, my experience tells me that you will keep getting lucky and see the opportunities that still exist all around you. Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

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But my wife decided to and she told me I needed to go see it. Several days later, we both checked it out and agreed we wanted the place. It literally brought tears to my eyes thinking about what a great family house it could be. The timing wasn’t great – we had just paid a huge tax bill and our existing house wasn’t sold yet – but we decided to make an offer anyway and ended up having that accepted. The house needed work but had such great potential. We were surprised no one else saw that and beat us to the punch, especially in this market filled with speculators all looking for an easy buck. We bought the place and then our own house went under contract and everything worked out. would have to wait around for the next recession, I was wrong. Because we know the market around here so well after years of study, we saw opportunity where no one else had.” The best part of the deal is that our new house – because it is on such a large site in a great location that we immediately cleared after 40 years of benign neglect – is worth far more than we paid for it. Because of the fact we have two extra completely buildable, conforming quarter acre lots facing a side street, our real estate agent told us he could sell it “While I thought that all the opportunities were gone and we

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