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Merchants is pleased to announce our 2017 Agency of the Year is Scirocco Group of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey!

The Agent of the Year award recognizes one of Merchants’ more than 1,000 independent agencies for achieving success through outstanding customer service. In addition, award recipients must embrace Merchants’ core values of integrity, respect, loyalty, teamwork and the aspiration to improve.

“The Scirocco Group embodies many of the same qualities to which Merchants aspires – a commitment to providing proper insurance coverage for its clients, a challenging and engaging workplace for its employees, and actions to give back to the communities in which it operates.  For these and many other reasons, we are proud to have the Scirocco Group as Merchants’ 2017 Agent of the Year,” said Bob Zak, Merchants Insurance Group president and CEO.

Scirocco Group was founded in 1950 as Auf Der Heide Agency in West New York, New Jersey by John Scirocco, Sr. After a 1987 relocation to North Bergen, New Jersey, Scirocco Associates was formed. In 1980, John Scirocco, Jr. joined the firm, and the agency was renamed as Scirocco Group. Scirocco Group was named as a partner with Merchants on January 1, 1991.  Now employing 130 insurance professionals, the agency operates eight offices.

The agency is led by John Scirocco, Jr., agency principal/president and CEO; Rick Loschiavo, director of marketing; and Spiro Backos, chief financial officer.

“We are so proud to be chosen as the Merchants’ ‘Agent of the Year’,” said Mr. Loschiavo.  “We have been a Merchants agent for over 25 years.  Over that time we have developed such a deep and rewarding partnership. Moreover, the relationship with the Merchants staff is like no other.  Their commitment to their product and service has made us a better agency. Thank you to everyone.”

Scirocco Group is the only agency in New Jersey to be recognized as a Best Practices Benchmarking Agency, a TOP 100 Broker and Best Places to Work Agency.

Community service is a cornerstone of Scirocco Group, and they have been involved with many groups throughout their area. John Scirocco, Jr. is a Director for the ARC of Bergen and Passaic Counties.  The agency’s involvement with the community is primarily driven by the Scirocco staff.  They have an internal organization, “Spirit Team”, led by Danielle Duddy of the agency’s Commercial Lines Marketing staff. The Spirit Team meets monthly to identify worthwhile causes and plans how Scirocco can directly impact the organizations, championing these causes through direct volunteer work or through internal fundraising efforts.

Throughout 2017, the agency staff has either done volunteer work or directly contributed financial support to: Tomorrow’s Children, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen Walk for Breast Cancer, Make-a-Wish Foundation, March of Dimes (Skylands), Women’s Heart Association, Easter Seals of NJ, Family Resource Network for Epilepsy, St. Peter’s Orphanage, Valerie Fund, Special Olympics, Making Strides (Breast Cancer), Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center, North Shore Animal League and the Natural Disaster Relief Collection Drive.

Merchants Insurance Group is proud to be partnered with such a wonderful agency! For more information about Scirocco Group, please see their website,

Merchants Insurance Group

Merchants Insurance Group

Merchants Insurance Group sells its products through a network of more than 1,000 independent insurance agents in Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. We sell our products through independent insurance agents because we believe they provide value to policyholders through their broad range of products and their insurance expertise.