About Us





Business Affiliations

Servicing Staff

Companies Represented

Middleton & Company was founded by the Middleton’s in 1937 as a small insurance agency serving Northern NJ and the local bordering states of PA and NY.

In 1969, Eli Gaynor joined the agency that provided the insurance coverage from his former business: Triple Lake Ranch, a resort hotel Dude Ranch, owned by Arthur & Edith Middleton. Eli led the transformation of Middleton & Company into a progressive, growth-oriented agency. Upon the retirement of the Middleton’s, Eli assumed the presidency and further expanded the company’s boundaries in both growth and scope via specialization.

In 1979 Richard Gaynor joined Middleton & Company Insurance Agency after graduating The College of New Jersey/Trenton State, creating and marketing a variety of specialized insurance programs. Richard joined the Boards of many industry Associations. He attended most meetings and acquired a keen understanding of the protection needs and issues that each association faced. The Middleton & Company team effectively became the insurance advisors that provided educational seminars, webinars, published articles and created cost-effective insurance protection programs. Middleton & Company continued to grow and expand by adding insurance specialists to the team. Eventually, the Company required larger quarters and in 1989, built its present location. Richard assumed the presidency of Middleton & Company in 1995, continuing the commitment to provide business solutions to clients while maintaining strong profitable growth.

Richard’s educational background includes a degree in Business Administration. Additionally, he received a designation from The Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) and was accredited as a Certified Risk Manager (CRM). Richard has extensive board participation experience, having served on over ten private and industry boards, and continues to be an active member of various industry leadership committees.

In 2008, Richard’s son, David graduated from Monmouth University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. David joined the agency followed by his brother Brandon in 2012, a Business Administration major from Montclair University. David and Brandon are 3rd generation at Middleton & Company. David and Brandon bring fresh young perspective, spirit and energy to our team.

Middleton & Company is a professional and trusted advisor providing innovative Insurance Protection Solutions. We take time to inform you, our clients, of the best coverage and cost effective options. Providing solutions, clear communication, frequently, so you can make informed decisions and feel confident that your concerns are thoroughly addressed. We use a three layered approach: Loss control, Risk Management/Risk Transfer and the ultimate backstop: the Insurance coverages; to protect your future financial stability.

We strive to afford confidence and security, for your peace of mind. Understanding the best solution is the one we would expect for ourselves. We keep you so satisfied, you NEVER even think about leaving us.

Our vision is to be the premier Insurance protection provider in the Tri-State area for small and medium size businesses including personal lines and Group Benefits, for those clients who appreciate a Trusted Advisor relationship.

  • We treat clients the way we want to be treated.
  • We are keenly aware that insurance costs are a significant expense for our clients. We use our knowledge and expertise to cost effectively maximizes insurance protection, just as we would with our own insurance purchases.
  • We are proud of our work and the value of the financial security that we bring to our clients. We appreciate the faith that our client invests in our professionalism.
  • We take RESPONSIBILITY for our clients' needs and work tirelessly to exceed their expectations.
  • We know that our clients pay our salaries and we devote our efforts to insuring our clients' financial stability.
  • We enjoy our career and take great satisfaction in working side by side with our staff, Teamwork!


Richard D. Gaynor


Eli A. Gaynor

Account Manager

Linda A. DiDonato Gary Foerster Laurette A. Merusi


Brandon Gaynor David Gaynor Anita Reynolds

Life & Health

Gary McLaughlin

Personal Accounts

Brandon Gaynor

Account Executive

David Gaynor

Life, Disability, Benefits

Michael Dranoff

Assistant / Accounts Receivable

Kathryn Winger


Dawn Hamilton

Richard D. Gaynor, CIC, CRM

Industry Experience: 1980 to present

973.383.5525 Ext: 220
Email Richard

  • Commercial Insurance Counselor (CIC)
  • Certified Risk Manager ( CRM)
  • New Jersey License: Property, Casualty, Life & Health
  • Member Board of Directors of The Independent Insurance Agents of Morris-Sussex Counties
  • Insurance Consultant
  • Member of the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors - since 1991
  • Insurance Counselor - Property Owners Association (POA) since 1979
  • Member of State Strategy team for the CNA Insurance Company
  • Professional insurance school & continuing insurance curriculum
  • Member of CNA Pacer Council
  • Chairperson of CNA Competition Committee
  • President Award Agency for Liberty/Peerless Insurance Company
  • Board of Trustees member of The Hilltop School, Development Chairman
  • Board of Directors member of New Jersey Land Improvement Contractors (NJLICA)
  • Board of Directors of Buildersand Remodelers Assoc of NJ (BRANNJ)

Eli A. Gaynor
Chairman of the Board

Industry Experience: 1969 to present

  • Agency Consultant
  • Former insurance consultant for American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)
  • Former member - CNA's Agent Advisory Panel
  • Past Board of Directors/Morris/Sussex Chapter Independent Insurance Agents Association
  • New York University - College of Mechanical Engineering

Linda A. DiDonato, CIC, CISR, CPIW
Office Manager

Industry Experience: 1977 to present

973.383.5525 Ext: 218
Email Linda

  • Daily Office Management
  • Account Manager - Management
  • New Jersey License: Property, Casualty, & Health
  • Professional insurance school & continuing insurance curriculum
  • Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
  • Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR)
  • Certified Professional Insurance Women (Designation-CPIW)
  • International Association of Insurance Professionals

Gary McLaughlin
Life, Health & Employee Benefits

Industry Experience: Over 25 years

Email Gary

  • Life, Health & Benefits Consultant
  • New Jersey License: Life & Health
  • Professional insurance school and continuing insurance curriculum
  • Member of National Association of Health Underwriters

Maryann B. Gramo, CIC
Personal Account Manager

Industry Experience: 1976 to present

973.383.5525 Ext: 214
Email Maryann

  • Account Servicing Manager - Personal Accounts
  • Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC)
  • New Jersey License: Property, Casualty, Life & Health
  • Member of Society of Certified Insurance Counselors - since 1999
  • Bachelors Degree - English

David Gaynor, AAI
Account Executive

Industry Experience: 2008 to present

973.383.5525 Ext: 229
Email David

  • Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI)
  • New Jersey License: Property & Casualty
  • New Business Underwriting
  • Associate in Information Technology
  • Board of Directors member of New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA)

Cindy Smith-Sebasto
Marketing Assistant

Industry Experience: 2006 to present

973.383.5525 Ext: 222
Email Cindy

  • Provide administrative support for president, human resources, sales team and marketing executives
  • Coordinate internal and external events such as trade shows, seminars, conferences
  • Project coordinator for direct mail marketing campaigns

Michael Dranoff
Life, Disability, Benefits, Estate Planning and Investments

Industry Experience: Over 30 years

Email Michael

  • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
  • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
  • Member of The Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU)
  • Qualifying and Life Member of the Million Dollar Round Table
  • Member of the Top of the Table
  • Board of the Life & Health Foundation for Education
  • Board of the Standard & Poors Agent Advisory Council
  • Board of the New Jersey Chapter of the Council of Growing Companies
  • Given Testimony to The United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Banking and Insurance
  • Past President of the New York State Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
  • Past President of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
  • Approved Sponsor of continuing education for certified public accountants under the New Jersey Board of Accountancy in Finance, Management Advisory Services, and Taxation
  • Appeared in Forbes, Fortune Magazine, Investors Daily, Life Insurance Selling, and Advisor Today
  • President and Chief Executive Officer of New Jersey Life and Casualty, Inc. (NJL&C)

Anita Reynolds
Assistant to Underwriters

Industry Experience: 1987 to present

973.383.5525 Ext: 217
Email Anita

  • Account Assistant
  • Customer Service/Billing
  • Assists with general office duties

Kathryn Winger
Agency Receptionist

973.383.5525 Ext: 210
Email Kathryn

  • Agency Receptionist
  • Customer Service/Billing
  • Assists with general office duties

Gary Foerster
Commercial Lines Account Manager

Industry Experience: 1988 to Present

973-383-5525 Ext. 221
Email Gary

  • Commercial Lines Account Manager
  • BS Engineering Management
  • New Jersey License: Property, Casualty & Health

Laurette A. Merusi
Commercial Lines Account Manager

Industry Experience: 1991 to present

973.383.5525 Ext: 225
Email Laurette

  • New Jersey License: Property, Casualty and Life & Health
  • Bachelor Degree – Education
  • Member Professional Insurance Agents (PIA)
  • Member Jewelers of America
  • Member Woman’s Jewelry Association
  • ISPS Jewelry Security and Risk Management Training

Michael Dranoff
Chartered Financial Consultant

Industry Experience: 1989 to present

973.383.5525 Ext: 220
Email Michael

  • Member of the Association Advanced Association for Life Underwriting (AALU)
  • 9-Time member of the Million Dollar Round Table's "Top of the Table"
  • Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)
  • Principal | Director of Estate and Business Planning of New Jersey Life & Casualty Associates

Dawn Hamilton

Industry Experience: 1993 to Present

973-383-5525 Ext. 222
Email Dawn

  • Bachelors Degree in Accounting
  • Bookkeeper
  • Account & Finance Management
  • Accounts Payable / Accounts Receivable

Brandon Gaynor
Personal Account Manager / Commercial Underwriting Assistant

Industry Experience: 2014 to present

973.383.5525 Ext: 214
Email Brandon

  • Account Servicing Manager - Personal Accounts
  • Assistant to Commercial Underwriters
  • Claims Manager
  • Assists with general office duties
  • New Jersey License: Property & Casualty
"How you make your money is your business. How you protect it is our business."