Executive Profiles

Lewis Bernstein, CIC

Lewis-BernsteinLewis is a managing principal at The Signature B&B Companies (TSBBC). He graduated from Hofstra University in 1983 with a B.B.A. in Accounting and joined the family insurance business under the guidance of his parents, Paul and Barbara Bernstein. In 1989, Lewis received his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation, and in 1995 entered into a partnership with his childhood friend Ronald Brunell.

Lewis prides himself on his relationships with clients and companies, and serves on various agency councils. As an avid golfer, he is a longstanding member of Engineers Country Club in Roslyn Harbor. Lewis resides in Rockville Centre with his wife and two daughters.

Ronald Brunell, CIC

Ron-BurnellRon is a managing principal at TSBBC. After receiving a B.A. from Plattsburgh State University College, he went on to do graduate work at Ithaca College. In 1989, he received his Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation.

He has served as President of both IIA Queens and Kings Counties and the Downstate Insurance Council. Ron has also served on, and continues to serve, on various agency councils. He resides in Woodmere with his wife and two children.

Peter Schapero

Peter-Shapero-5Peter Schapero brings over 25 years of experience to his position as managing principal at TSBBC. Peter has expertise in Risk Management, covering a breadth of industries including Real Estate, Construction, Health Care, Social Services, Professional Liability, Food and Beverage, Manufacturing and Wholesale Distribution.

Peter’s professional and educational credentials are as follows:

  • Executive Leadership Development Program- The Wharton School, Philadelphia, PA 2002
  • MBA-Fordham University, New York, NY, 1990 – Concentration in Finance and Marketing
  • BS- University Of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, 1984

Peter is on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Children’s Museum and holds the position of Vice Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Finance Committee. Peter also serves on the Board and is Co-President of The Long Island Real Estate Group.

Peter, his wife Ilene and their three children reside in Huntington, NY. Peter is proud of his personal and professional participation in charitable and community programs.

Phylis Buchwald

phylisPhylis brings 35 years of experience and dedication to her critical role as partner and Chief Administrative Officer. Phylis has been with the firm and its predecessor organizations since 1978. Prior to the organization of TSBBC, Phylis was partner and Treasurer of The Signature Group, LLC. and partner, Executive Vice President and Treasurer of Stiepleman Coverage Corp. Phylis is currently licensed as an insurance agent and/or broker in 13 states. She is also licensed as an Excess Lines Broker. Her noteworthy proficiency is in Property and Casualty insurance, finance and administration.

Phylis graduated from Hofstra University with a BBA in Business Administration.

Phylis and her husband Cantor Gary Buchwald reside in Oceanside, New York. They are the proud parents of four children and 3 granddaughters. Phylis is involved in several religious organizations and her hobbies include exercise, needlepoint and knitting.

Gary Castle

Gary-CastleGary brings over 35 years of insurance experience to his role as partner at TSBBC. He joined its predecessor firm, The Signature Group, LLC, in 2006. Prior to that date, Gary was President/Owner of Ratkin Brokerage Corp, an insurance firm with a history dating back to 1934.

In addition to his role as partner overseeing the Jewelry Industry Practice Group, Gary’s areas of expertise in Risk Management include Apparel Companies, Retail Industry, Restaurants, Real Estate Developers, Construction, Manufacturing and Distribution. He also works with high net worth individuals on their personal insurance programs as well as their financial service needs, including Life, Disability, and Long Term Care Insurance.

Gary holds a BA from Queens College. He and his wife Stacie reside in Jericho, NY. They are the proud parents of 2 children who live in Manhattan.

Interests include Golf, Exercise and Travel. Both Gary and Stacie are active in numerous charities and community organizations.

Louis E. Finkelstein

Lou-FinklesteinLou, a partner and the Executive Director of Sales & Marketing, joined TSBBC in 2009. He completed his undergraduate degree at Hunter College and began his insurance career in 1971. Prior to joining TSBBC, Lou was a principal of one of the top five insurance agencies in Westchester County. Through the years he has served and been chairman of numerous insurance company agents advisory councils.

Lou’s community involvements have included coaching Little League baseball and AYSO soccer teams. He has also been an active supporter of Coaches Against Cancer, as well as honoree and chairman of the American Cancer Society, Westchester County division, annual golf outing.

For more than three decades, Lou and his wife have resided in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. They are parents to three children and have four grandchildren.

Marc Graber

Marc brings over 40 years of insurance experience to his role as partner of TSBBC, which he joined in 2006. Prior to that date, Marc owned Kassole Co. Inc., an insurance firm located in Merrick, NY.

Marc specializes in providing all forms of insurance coverage, and risk management services to a wide range of public and private commercial clients in the Real Estate, Construction, and Manufacturing Industries.

Marc holds a BA from Queens College.

Marc and his wife Sherri reside in Woodbury, NY. They are the proud parents of two children and two grandchildren. Both Marc and Sherri are active in numerous children’s charities and community organizations.

James J. Oliveri

James-OlivieriJames is partner specializing in employee benefits at TSBBC.

He has been working in the employee benefits industry for over 20 years. James has remained an active member of the insurance community as a member partner with various insurance carriers. He excels in the construction of strategic benefit plans that are developed for a long term approach. His approach has continued to provide strategic initiatives to help control cost.

In 1992, James graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor of science degree. He is actively involved with many charitable organizations that benefit children.

Marcy Ruchman, CIC

Marcy-RuchmanMarcy is a partner at The Signature B&B Companies overseeing the Main Street Business Group. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a BA in Communications, she entered the management training program at Bloomingdales.   In 1990, she joined Ruchman Associates Inc., a family insurance agency which merged with B&B Coverage in 2009. Marcy holds the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation. She serves on producer panels for several insurance companies. She is involved in various charities & was one of the founders of The Tender Loving Care Foundation. Marcy lives in Woodbury, NY with her husband & twin sons.

Gerry Tobias, CIC
Gerry-TobiasGerry is a partner at TSBBC, and former managing partner of Lawley Richwood LLC. Lawley Richwood LLC merged with B&B of Westchester LLC in November, 2010.

Gerry has a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management from Syracuse University School of Management. In 1985 Gerry began his career in insurance, when he joined his family’s insurance brokerage, Richwood Brokerage Corp.

He resides in New City, N.Y., with his wife and two children.

THE SIGNATURE B&B COMPANIES

501 Franklin Avenue, Suite 218
Garden City, NY 11530

Phone:
(516) 764 - 1100
(516) 872 - 2300

Fax:
(516) 764 - 1019

THE SIGNATURE B&B COMPANIES

555 Taxter Road, Suite 125
Elmsford, NY 10523

Phone:
(914) 948 - 2628 

Fax:
(914) 948 - 2843