SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

September 25, 2013

Having Insight

SALEM — Many people know Danvers resident Mike Ward, 45, as the head baseball coach at Salem State University, but many in the benefits world know him as an entrepreneur who started his own company and has helped others grow.

Three years ago, he joined Dedham-based Insight Performance as its president. Insight is a 20-person human resources consulting firm for small to mid-sized businesses, founded by Nancy Mobley in 1995.

Ward has 18 years’ experience in employee benefits, brokerage and consulting, including starting his own company, Harbour Benefits of Salem, in 2001. He sold the business to Eastern Bank in 2004 and was a former leader of its benefits group before going to work for Insight three years ago.

Now he is branching out, starting Insight Insurance Agency, based at the Enterprise Center in Salem. The new business will allow Insight to offer one-stop shopping, offering small and medium-sized businesses both employee benefits and human resources know-how. Darren Ambler, 41, of Salem, a former co-worker and friend of Ward’s, will head up the new insurance agency. Ambler, a former senior vice president at Eastern Benefits Group, has 15 years of experience in the field.

He’ll be making a presentation on the Affordable Care Act to the North Shore Chamber of Commerce tomorrow at 8 a.m. in the chamber’s boardroom, 5 Cherry Hill Drive, Suite 100, Danvers.

How did your work with Insight come about?

Ward: “I left Eastern realizing I am really an entrepreneur, and it was a good stretch there, and it was time for me to look for a new venture. ... I’d always done a lot of business with Insight when I was on the benefits side, so Darren and I and our firm would do the employee brokerage benefits piece or the consulting piece, and if there was HR consulting needs ... we would bring in Insight, because they were an excellent firm. ... In 2010, I became the business partner (with Insight), and we have been growing ever since.”

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