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BUSINESS NEWS AMES & GOUGH TO OFFER EMPLOYEE BENEFITS SERVICES FOR SMALL AND MID-SIZED EMPLOYERS; APPOINTS JUSTIN GOUGH TO LEAD NEW INITIATIVE Ames & Gough announced it will nowoffer employee benefits services in addition to its professional liability and property/casualty capabilities. The firm appointed Justin Gough as vice president to lead the new initiative. “Dating to theearlydaysofAmes&Gough, clients have asked us to assist them with their employee benefits in addition to the exceptional work we’ve performed with them on their professional liability and property/casualty lines,” said Matt Gough, president, Ames & Gough. “Given the unabated consolidation of U.S. insurance brokers and the increasing complexity of managing healthcare and related benefits, these requests have become more frequent and widespread. We’re pleased to respond to our clients’ needs with a robust benefits capability that will be implemented under Justin’s leadership with the same commitment to client service and satisfaction that

always has been paramount at Ames & Gough.” Through its newly established benefits operation, Ames & Gough will offer small and mid-sized employers throughout the U.S. a full range of employee benefits services, including: employee benefits consulting; managed HR services; compliance support; wellness programs, and cloud-based benefits technology and analytics services. The new services complement the specialty broker’s industry-leading capabilities for professional services organizations in professional liability and property and casualty insurance. “Our focus will be to provide an unparalleled client experience that involves simplifying their employee benefits choices through a proven, data-driven approach,” said Justin Gough. “We will deliver a people- focused, digitally powered solution that leverages the cost-savings advantages of new technology along with our extensive experience in helping clients navigate the dynamics of group health

insurance, risk management and compliance.” Based at the Ames & GoughWashington, D.C. office, Justin Gough has two decades of experience in all aspects of employee healthcare insurance and other benefits. During his career, he has served in sales leadership with several leading life and health insurers, most recently at Aetna, where he was senior sales executive for five years. Previously, Justin Gough was in group benefits sales at Cigna and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, working with employers on their group life and health insurance, disability income, FMLA, dental and vision coverages. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from University of South Carolina. Established in 1992, Ames & Gough has offices in Boston; Philadelphia; Orlando, Florida; and Washington, D.C. Clients throughout the U.S. are served by a team of 55 professionals and staff located in the four offices.

leadership skills, no matter their level of experience. They should connect employees of all disciplines, offices, and levels. And ultimately, committees should enhance an employee’s work experience. “True engagement comes when employees feel their contributions and ideas are meaningful, respected, and rewarded. It comes when employees feel that their voices are heard and that they can effect change.” Committees are just one way we’ve increased engagement at BL, and they remain a highly effective tool for creating engaged employees. More than 35 percent of employees currently serve on at least one committee, and the impact our committee members make is meaningful, tangible, and appreciated. Their ideas are respected, and their voices are heard. And most importantly, committee efforts are rewarding both personally and professionally. Overall, committees should be an enriching experience, and if you design your own committee program well, they will foster a culture of true engagement. Julia DeFrances is a marketing coordinator at BL Companies, Inc. She can be reached at

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revolving off committees. These rules make it easy for new employees to get involved and start making an impact. ■ ■ Committees need to matter. This is two-fold: Committees need to be appreciated and have a tangible impact on your firm, and they also need to have a tangible impact on your employees. Employees won’t be engaged if committees are just a mouthpiece for senior leadership, with no real influence. Likewise, employees won’t be engaged if their efforts are unappreciated or unrewarded. BL gives our committees a lot of freedom and we get better, more innovative ideas as a result. We make sure to document the impact of our committees, including an end-of-year report which details each committee’s goals, achievements, and members. But most importantly, we value and reward committee involvement. Development plans and performance reviews can include committee contributions, and our employees are paid for time dedicated to committee work. While not required of all employees, committees are treated as one of the ways an employee can go above and beyond at BL and involvement is appreciated by senior leadership for their role in completing important work that may not get accomplished otherwise. ■ ■ Committees should be a unique opportunity for growth. They should give employees the chance to try something new or out of their comfort zone. They should provide an opportunity for more junior employees to develop

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