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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Inspired Marketing Inc. announced it has been certified as a woman-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and also announced several promotions and hires in the company.

“This designation is something I have longed to receive, and this year was thrilled to have accomplished the goal,” said Jill Monson-Bishop, chief inspiration officer. “I am even prouder of this certification because I have incredible women on my team who celebrate it with me.”

In addition, Heather Ruggeri, the company’s chief events officer, was recently promoted and adds vice president to her business card. She joined Inspired Marketing in 2015 and previously worked as the conference service manager and sales manager at the Springfield Sheraton for nine years. In addition, she was recently named to the board of the Connecticut River Valley Chapter of Meeting Professionals International and is one of only a few certified meeting professionals in the area and one of only about 13,000 worldwide.

Another team member, Kristin Carlson, was recently named senior marketing visionary partner. Kristin started with Inspired Marketing as an apprentice right out of college in 2014. She has continued to evolve into a valued team member, creating innovative, successful media campaigns for several clients with outstanding results.

Meanwhile, Lauren Mendoza, who was with Inspired Marketing in its infancy before leaving for tech startup Waterdog, has rejoined the team and is now the office manager. Her organization keeps the team on track and helps communication, meetings, and schedules to run smoothly.

Cara Cole recently joined Inspired Marketing as a marketing visionary partner, serving on the front line with client creative implementation. She came to Inspired Marketing from the Center for Human Development and previously from Square One.

Finally, Jenifer Esile joined Inspired Marketing as on-staff graphic designer after having been a freelance partner since the company’s inception. In addition to 20 years of diverse design experience, she brings copywriting and social-media skills to the team to provide greater value to clients.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Gray House, a nonprofit organization in the North End of Springfield, is kicking off its second annual Fill the Plate Challenge, an online fund-raising initiative running throughout September.

The organization has set a goal of $15,000 for the month of September and is asking the community to help it reach this goal. All proceeds will directly support its food-pantry operations, which serve an average of 80 to 120 households each week. In 2015, the Gray House served over 8,000 people in the community.

Participants are asked to make a donation through razoo.com/fill-the-plate-challenge, post a photo of themselves with an empty plate and a link to the donation page on social media, and tag the Gray House and any friends they want to encourage to donate. In addition to raising money, the goal of the fund-raiser is to raise awareness of the prevalence of food insecurity in the community.

“The empty plate represents all of those neighbors who would go hungry without groceries from our food pantry. We encourage donors to post photos on social media and share with their networks so that we can reach an even greater number of people,” said Teresa Spaziani, executive director of the Gray House. “Monetary donations to our food pantry go a long way in feeding our neighbors. As a member of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, we are able to purchase food for a significantly reduced price. For example, we can often purchase 90 pounds of meat for only $3.”

In 2015, the Gray House challenged the community to help it raise $10,000 in order to be eligible for a $10,000 matching grant through the United Way of Pioneer Valley. This goal was exceeded, with more than $12,600 raised in addition to the $10,000 matching grant.

Earlier that year, the Gray House entered into a partnership with Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry of Chicopee.

“The partnership enables us to share staffing and resources such as storage and delivery transportation, allowing us to operate as efficiently as possible while serving even more neighbors than ever before,” said Spaziani.

The food pantry remains a program of the Gray House, and, therefore, all donations stay at the Gray House.

Daily News

AGAWAM — To support its goal of accelerating international sales growth in Asia and Europe, OMG Roofing Products has established new warehouses in Rotterdam in the Netherlands as well as in Shanghai, China.

The two new warehouses are centrally located within their regions to enable OMG to rapidly supply products to roofing contractors and OEM partners in each of these critical markets. Both warehouses will stock a wide range of products sold locally, including OMG fasteners and plates, RhinoBond tools and plates, OMG telescopic tubes, OlyBond500 insulation adhesives, OlyFlow drains, and EverSeal roof repair tape.

“OMG Roofing Products has continued to grow and expand beyond U.S. borders,” said Web Shaffer, vice president of Marketing. “By adding these warehouses, we are building a stronger foundation on which to accelerate our international growth by improving our service and expanding our distribution into new countries throughout Europe and Asia.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Crevier & Ryan, LLP announced the addition of a new associate to the firm, attorney Richard “Kick” Sullivan III.

Sullivan works primarily for attorney Michael Ryan. Collectively, Ryan, Sullivan, and fellow associate Rebecca Moran have a practice devoted to residential real-estate transactions, commercial lending, commercial real-estate acquisitions and sale (including 1031 tax-free exchanges), corporate governance, buy and sell agreements for closely held businesses, contract analysis and negotiation, civil litigation, and pre-litigation disputes (including conflicts involving trusts and estates).

Sullivan graduated from Bates College in 2012, then enrolled in Western New England University School of Law, graduating earlier this year. During his legal education, he completed concentrations in estate planning, real estate, and business law. Eager to expand his education beyond the classroom, he completed the WNEU Law Small Business Clinic, Real Estate Practicum, and an estate-planning drafting course. These experiences have provided him with an advanced handle on transactional skills as well as a specialized knowledge in these practice areas. While most experienced in these legal fields, he aims to expand the practice and his expertise.

Sullivan was previously employed during law school for Westfield Bank, as a law clerk for Fitzgerald, Attorneys at Law in East Longmeadow, and as a legal intern for the city of Springfield Law Department, Code Enforcement. Active in the community, he serves on the Westfield Zoning Board of Appeals.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Leadership Holyoke — a comprehensive community-leadership and board-development program of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce — is back again.

Leadership Holyoke utilizes a combination of classes and practical experiences to help local business people develop their leadership skills, increase their knowledge of the community, and acquire the skills needed to serve as board members and community leaders. The series is made possible by PeoplesBank and the Republican.

The 2016-17 Leadership series begins on Sept. 23, consists of a weekly series of eight seven-hour sessions, and concludes on May 3 with a graduation ceremony at Holyoke Community College with a specialty luncheon prepared by the college’s culinary students. All sessions will be held on Fridays (except for the Boston State House trip) and take place at Holyoke Community College (HCC) and other locations throughout the city.

Each session will include a segment on organization and leadership skills, and a segment on community needs and resources. Faculty members from HCC will participate as instructors and facilitators, and community leaders will participate as speakers and discussion leaders in areas of their expertise.

Tuition is $600 per participant, due at the start of the course, and includes the fee for a continental breakfast each week, a bus trip to Boston, and the graduation luncheon. Sign up online at holyokechamber.com or call the chamber with any questions at (413) 534-3376.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Economic Development Business Breakfast of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7:30 a.m. at Wyckoff Country Club.

Attendees will learn about community-development updates and initiatives straight from local economic-development leaders, including Marcos Marrero, director of Holyoke Economic Development; Mike Sullivan, South Hadley town administrator; and Mike Vedovelli, Chicopee Director of Economic Development.

Chamber board chair Margaret Mantoni of Loomis Communities will kick off the breakfast with a welcome and then turn it over to emcee Spiros Hatiras, chamber board member and president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center. The chamber will roll out the welcome mat to new members Expert Staffing, the United Arc, Score, the Jamrog Group, Skoler, Abbott, & Presser, P.C., the Munich Haus, Neari School, ArteSana Inc., KnoxworX Multimedia, Golden Heart Home Healthcare, LLC; and Applebee’s.

Also recognized at the breakfast will be the new superintendent of the Soldier’s Home of Holyoke, Marine Lt. Col. Bennett Walsh; General Cleaners on its 90th anniversary; the United Way campaign kickoff; McDonald’s on its new business on Whiting Farms Road; Applebee’s on its new restaurant on Whiting Farms Road, and former state Sen. and state Rep. from Westfield, Michael Knapik, the new director of the Western Massachusetts Governor’s Office.

The breakfast is presented by PeoplesBank and sponsored by Holyoke Medical Center, Hadley Printing, and United Bank. Admission is $23 with advance registration for chamber members and $28 for all other guests. Register early at holyokechamber.com/events or by calling (413) 534-3376.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Aegis Energy Services Inc., a provider of co-generation technology, announced a strategic alliance with Yanmar, a 100-year-old Japanese diesel engine and equipment manufacturer and cogeneration provider.

The Aegis and Yanmar relationship will broaden the reach of combined heat and power (CHP) systems by offering a wider product line to serve facilities of all sizes — from hotels, hospitals, and residential buildings with large footprints to smaller facilities, including nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, apartment complexes, boutique hotels, restaurants, and more.

“For more than 30 years, Aegis has designed, manufactured, and installed combined heat and power systems equipped with world-class remote monitoring and service across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic,” said Aegis President Lee Vardakas. “The alliance with Yanmar not only increases our CHP product offerings, but our geographic reach. Together, we can provide modular systems for facilities of any size to generate sustainable, clean power options that reduce energy costs and emissions on a wider scale.”

According to the U.S. Energy Department, CHP captures energy that would normally be lost in power generation and uses it to provide heating and cooling, making CHP 75% to 80% percent efficient. While most central power plants create steam as a byproduct that is then expelled as wasted heat, a CHP system captures the thermal energy that would normally be lost in power generation and uses it to provide on-site heating and cooling to factories, multi-residential housing and hospitality facilities, breweries, athletic facilities, and other applications requiring thermal load. In 2012, legislation was enacted which set a national goal for increasing CHP capacity.

“Aegis has already demonstrated a commitment to Yanmar’s cogeneration product line by successfully completing our training courses designed for these systems,” said Arne Irwin, Energy Systems Business Unit manager at Yanmar America. “They will be able to provide a high level of service in their market for Yanmar’s CHP products.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Curator Alex MacKenzie will showcase artifacts from the Springfield Armory collection in three presentations through the fall and winter. The first is slated for Saturday, Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. These experiences will be an expansion of the special exhibit “National Park Service Centennial: A Century of Service,” which runs through February 2017. This series offers the public a glimpse behind the scenes of the collection and a chance to hear the stories about these interesting objects. Admission is free.

Selecting a few pieces from the collection, MacKenzie will explain the history and details of each in an opportunity for the public to learn more about the rich collections of Springfield Armory National Historic Site.

“I enjoy these opportunities to show the public some of the objects in collections storage,” he said. “There are hundreds of stories in the museum collections at Springfield Armory NHS, most of which tie to nearly all of American history. Some are well-known; others are more obscure. Join us as we read the objects and dive into the fascinating history of Springfield Armory.”

A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation, as well as an opportunity to see these featured items up close. The next two presentations will follow on Saturday, Nov. 19 and Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Johnson & Hill Staffing Services Inc. recently enhanced its service offerings to include a specialized Accounting & Finance Division. While Johnson & Hill has always placed accounting and finance professionals, this move signals an increased commitment to this area of expertise. The agency sees a growing demand for this skill set and an opportunity to assist clients more proactively.

Tiffany Appleton has been appointed director, Accounting & Finance Division. Boasting more than a decade of recruiting experience in accounting and finance, she will provide direct-hire, contract-to-hire, and contract staffing, assisting clients in filling critical accounting and finance needs within their organizations. Roles range from clerk level up to CFO with a concentration on middle-management positions, including senior accountant, accounting manager, controller, financial analyst, manager of FP&A, internal audit, and public audit and tax. Her staffing experience crosses many industry sectors, spanning manufacturing, technology, nonprofit, professional service, and life science, with companies ranging from startup to publicly traded.

Appleton will focus on developing and nurturing long-term relationships with both clients and job seekers, which are built on mutual trust, sincerity, and confidentiality. She is sought after by clients for her progressive ideas on acquiring talent and consistent ability to deliver quality candidates. Job seekers appreciate her willingness to provide career coaching, interview preparation, and résumé assistance.

Prior to Johnson & Hill, her professional career included serving as client relations director for a large, regional CPA firm and principal and talent advisor for a boutique staffing firm specializing in accounting and finance placement.

Johnson & Hill is an independent, regional, woman-owned staffing service offering temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct-hire employment opportunities, serving Western Mass. and Northern Conn. Johnson & Hill specializes in administrative, accounting, legal, and professional staffing services.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Eastern States Exposition President Gene Cassidy and Marketing Director Noreen Tassinari will welcome the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts to the centennial edition of The Big E on Wednesday, Sept. 21. This is a chance to see racing pigs, the Cowsills, the Budweiser Clydesdales, and the fair’s centennial exhibit — and you may even catch outgoing Ad Club President David Cecchi on the Tilt-A-Whirl.

Tickets for this networking event, available online at adclubwm.org, are $20 for Ad Club members and $25 for non-members. Advanced ticket purchase by Thursday, Sept. 15 is required to allow time for delivery of credentials.  The club’s season kickoff event will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Big E. The cost includes admission to the Big E, a parking pass for Gate 1, parade viewing from the Brooks Building Terrace (approximately 5:15 p.m.), cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres, and after the parade, attendees are free for the evening to explore the fair on their own.

The Ad Club and the Eastern States Exposition have a long shared history; the Exposition’s Betsi Sheehan Taylor served as president of the Ad Club in 1977-78, and the club presented Exposition founder Joshua Brooks and Exposition trustee Horace Moses with the Pynchon Award for community service in 1916. The club thanks Tassinari and the Eastern States Exposition for their help in reviving the long-standing tradition of hosting the Ad Club’s season kickoff meeting at the fair.