Greg Ruggiero, 28

2 Posted by - October 13, 2016 - 2016, Tampa Bay 2016, Tampa-St. Petersburg

Sales executive, Bouchard Insurance

Greg Ruggiero relocated to Florida six years ago, and fell in love with St. Petersburg. His dream was to work in sports, so when he moved down, he networked his way to a position selling season tickets with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Five years ago, he decided to leave the sports industry and start working with Bouchard Insurance, going after “more of a career than a job.”

This month, he’s taking the next big leap in his career, relocating to Sarasota to help grow and manage the Sarasota area for the firm as a sales executive. “I was looking to move up … and this opportunity opened for me,” Ruggiero says.

Since moving to St. Petersburg, Ruggiero has become active with the community. He is leadership co-chair of St. Pete Young Professionals, leading roundtable Q&As with CEOS, politicians and other influential people. “I’m the moderator, so I get to feel like Jimmy Fallon for a bit,” Ruggiero says. He’s also participated in Leadership Pinellas.

Ruggiero has worked with a lot of nonprofit organizations to set up insurance programs, like setting up health insurance for PARC in St. Petersburg, which assists individuals with developmental disabilities.

When Ruggiero moves to Sarasota, he will take over for a Bouchard sales team, previously led by Keith Mercier, that has grown that region’s book of business to $6 million. 

Ruggiero’s goal is to get involved in the Sarasota community right away. Persistence is a key trait to success in sales, he says. “You’re going to be told, ‘no,’ one, two, three times in a row. It’s that fourth, fifth or sixth time that if you are persistent, it will eventually be the right time” for that client, he adds.

— Traci McMillan Beach

Q&A

Name: Greg Ruggiero

Age: 28

City of residence: St. Petersburg (for now), relocating to Sarasota for 10/1

Twitter handle: @GregRuggiero

Employer: Bouchard Insurance

Title: Sales Executive

Birthplace: Brooklyn/Staten Island, NY

Years on the Gulf Coast: 6

Marital status/children: Girlfriend/No Children

Alma mater: St. John’s University

Best place to network: Sports Leagues

Coolest business experience: Working in the Front Office for the Tampa Bay Rays

Messy desk or clean workspace: Clean workspace

Best business lesson ever learned: Persistence leads to timing and timing is everything

A website that makes your job easier: Salesforce.com

Community group you’re most involved with: St. Pete Young Professionals

Favorite off-hours activity: Concerts/Live Music/Music Festivals

Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Derek Jeter & Martin Scorsese & Mark Cuban

What you would be doing if you could pick another career: General Manager of the New York Yankees

Top item on your bucket list: South African Safari

Skill you’d like to learn: Learn to play Bass Guitar

Who would play you in a movie about your life: Vince Vaughn

If I had a magic wand I’d: I would make children’s education more practical to today’s world

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