April 2, 2024

PIA Connecticut honors four with Awards of Distinction

HARTFORD, Conn.—The Professional Insurance Agents of Connecticut Inc., honored four insurance professionals at its annual convention, held March 27-28, at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.

Professional Agent of the Year was awarded to Marissa Barbera, president of Charter Oak Insurance Agency in Westport, Conn. The Professional Agent of the Year award is given to a professional, independent agent who has demonstrated excellence and achievement in insurance marketing and service; has shown a personal commitment to professionalism; and has contributed to PIA and the community. Barbera has worked in all aspects of personal and commercial lines insurance along with claims for the past 45 years. She was an active member of PIACT’s board of directors for several years, serving on the Association Programs, Executive Budget & Finance and Legislative Business Issues committees.

Company Person of the Year was awarded to two insurance professionals from Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp. This award is given to individuals who foster a strong working relationship with agents and brokers, and who exemplify a commitment to professionalism and service. Heather Griffith and Michael DePalma are both senior business development representatives and they are long-time supporters of the independent agency system, as well as PIA.

Community Service Award was presented to Melissa Yuchniuk, operations assistant and brigade chair for Bouvier Insurance in W. Hartford, Conn. Among her many community contributions, Yuchniuk was instrumental in forming the Bouvier Brigade, an employee sponsored charitable works outreach division of Bouvier Insurance. This group is responsible for organizing service projects and raising awareness and much needed funds for qualified organizations in need locally.

“I consider all these award winners models for our industry,” said J. Kyle Dougherty, CIC, outgoing president of PIACT. “They personify professionalism and they are richly deserving of these honors. We are pleased to present these awards recognizing their dedication to our industry and to the community.”


PIA Connecticut is the premier professional association for independent insurance agents, working to advance the needs of its members and be a leading voice in the insurance industry. PIACT agents in the state of Connecticut—providing them with the very best education, information, advocacy, and business tools possible.