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GoLocal Worcester’s 2014 Company of the Year: Hanover Insurance

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

 

GoLocal Worcester's '2014 Company of the Year' is the Hanover Insurance Group. Hanover is one of the most recognized names in the city and it's because the company cares about the city of Worcester. Even when the Hanover Insurance Company is being fined by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, the Worcester business still cleans up its mess and makes the city of Worcester a better place by doing so.

Two years ago, the Mass DEP determined that the company failed to properly record and monitor air pollution control data from its emergency backup engines, register its waste oil status, and comply with numerous underground storage tank requirements. A notice of non-compliance was issued for those violations to Hanover in March 2013. However, one year later in December 2013, Mass DEP determined that the company continued to be in non-compliance with the citations previously listed and even ore violations were found.

Now it's December 2014, and Hanover has corrected the violations and agreed to maintain compliance and pay a penalty of $6,004. This money went to benefit the Boys and Girls Club at the City of Worcester's Great Brook Valley public housing complex. It will pay for an energy audit, energy-efficient lighting and installation of reflective window film. This money will also be used to teach members of the Club about the impact of these improvements on everyday use and the importance of energy efficiency.

"The company has taken steps to ensure its future compliance with environmental regulations. The SEP will result in improved energy efficiency for the Boys and Girls Club and great educational opportunities for youths from the city,"said Lee Dillard Adams, Director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in Worcester. 

Donations Made Throughout the City

Hanover is located on Lincoln Street in Worcester and this year became a member of the Lincoln Street Business Association. With roughly 2,000 employees at its Worcester headquarters, Hanover is very active in the Worcester community. Whether it be scholarships for high school students, donations to Toys for Tots,or its annual United Way Campaign that raised $1.5 million this year, Hanover Insurance Group understands the importance of giving back. 

This summer, Hanover donated $100,000 to the Worcester Public Library elementary school branches. At the Goddard School Branch, this donation gave the school 9,000 books, 25 iPads, five computers, and a SmartBoard.

According to John Monfredo, a GoLocal MindSetter, Hanover Insurance partnered with the Worcester Education Collaborative and started a project called 'Reading Together.' This project gets "books into the hands of children along with tools for their parents and caregivers to support proficient reading and sustained literacy." 

As reported by GoLocal Worcester this fall, the Hanover Insurance Group Foundation contributed a $700,000 challenge grant to raise funds towards the renovation to a vacant office building adjacent to the Hanover Theater for Performing Arts on Main Street.

The Business Side of Hanover

At the beginning of December, the Hanover Insurance Company announced its Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.41 per share on the issued and outstanding common stock of the company. This dividend was payable the day after Christmas to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 15.

Frederick H. Eppinger, President and CEO at Hanover said, "Consistent with our commitment of delivering value to our stockholders, we are pleased to announce an 11 percent increase in our regular quarterly dividend. Our business continues to generate strong earnings momentum, driven by revenue growth, improved underwriting performance and the overall strength of our franchise. With a strong balance sheet and strategic focus on providing outstanding and differentiated products and services to our agency partners and their customers, we will continue to prudently grow our business and to provide solid returns to our shareholders." 

According to a GoLocal report, Hanover Insurance was also named the Worcester Chamber of Commerce Richard B. Kennedy Business of the Year award last December. The award was presented to the company this April "for its outstanding commitment and dedication to the Chamber’s mission, vision, and values. Under President and CEO Fred Eppinger’s leadership, The Hanover has made substantial contributions to the continued economic vitality of the city through economic development, community investment and service."

 

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