Home 2005 January

‘Craig Melin, who orchestrated a stunning turnaround at Cooley Dickinson Hospital more than a decade ago, and is currently leading the facility through a period of expansion and innovation, has been chosen as BusinessWest’s ‘Top Entrepreneur for 2004.’

Craig Melin says that if a hospital does what’s right, and not necessarily what’s expected, it can often get better outcomes — meaning both a healthier community and a healthier bottom line.

Take bill collection, for example.

The aggressive policies of some hospitals have become fodder for the network news magazine shows, and the exposure has created a public relations problem for some institutions, said Melin, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Hospital (CDH) in Northampton. But beyond the bad press, the stern tactics don’t often yield the best results.

"We do not put liens on people’s houses and we do not charge interest — with some of the work-out plans people get into with other hospitals, the interest on how much they owe is higher than the monthly payment they’re making," he told BusinessWest. "We work out plans with people based on what they can afford, and, interestingly, our collection rates are much better than anyone else’s.

"I think that comes from relating to all our of our community as patients, or people in need who wish to be taken care of; they go out of their way to work with us because we’re going out of our way to work with them," he continued. "Did we know it would be this way when we started? No, but we knew that supporting access for people regardless of their ability to pay was the right value for us."

There are many other examples of how doing what’s right has worked out for CDH and the community it serves, said Melin, who was chosen BusinessWest’s ’Top Entrepreneur for 2004’ by the magazine’s editorial board. It’s an honor that Melin understands — sort of — but one that he accepts grudgingly.

"It’s not one person," he said at least 10 times, referring to an entrepreneurial mind-set that pervades the hospital. "Here, ideas come from everywhere."

Perhaps, but Melin has created an environment in which ideas are allowed to flourish, said BusinessWest Publisher John Gormally, who noted that while a hospital administrator may seem an unusual pick for ’top entrepreneur,’ it is certainly warranted in this case.

"He has led the hospital back to sound fiscal health at a very difficult time for all health care providers," said Gormally, referring to CDH’s stunning turnaround — from a facility on the brink of fiscal collapse in the early ’90s to one of the few hospitals in the Commonwealth to record surpluses the past several years. "And while what he’s done is important, it’s how he’s done it that is most impressive; he has people thinking outside the box, and in the process, Cooley Dickinson is creating models for hospitals across the country."

Indeed, a few days after Tom Brokaw, in one of his final broadcasts, presented a piece on aggressive bill-collecting policies, CDH conducted a conference call, including more than 100 hospitals nationwide, to present details on its less-forceful, more successful tactics.

"When the American Hospital Assoc. saw that there were lawsuits across the nation stemming from these aggressive tactics, it wanted to help hospitals figure out what to do in response," said Melin. "It identified seven places, including Cooley Dickinson, as examples of how to do things differently — and effectively."

CDH is doing many things differently these days, in areas from nurse recruitment to food services; its bloodmobile to a unique program designed to keep people with congestive heart problems out of the hospital. The ideas have, indeed, come from everywhere, but Melin has set a distinctive entrepreneurial tone.

BusinessWest looks this month at how and why that philosophy has flourished, and what it means for the hospital and the community it serves.

Healthy Outlook

When BusinessWest initiated its ’Top Entrepreneur’ award in 1996, it did so to recognize individuals who embody the many aspects of that term. Entrepreneurs are generally defined as risk-takers, and the picture that most often comes to mind is that of someone who takes an idea or a new product and creates from it a thriving enterprise.

But BusinessWest believes entrepreneurs come in many forms. In 1999, for example, the magazine gave its award to now former Springfield Technical Community College President Andrew Scibelli for his leadership in the creation of the school’s technology park and enterprise center — and also for his ability to inspire an entrepreneurial spirit that enabled STCC to gain regional and national acclaim for its work in education in economic development.

This year’s pick is in a similar vein.

During his 16-year tenure at the hospital, Melin has displayed leadership that has helped guide CDH through turbulent financial waters and put it in the national spotlight. CDH had six years of increasing losses before and just after Melin arrived — $1.4 million in 1988 and $1 million in just the first quarter of 1989 — before he structured a turnaround plan that included wage and salary freezes, a hiring freeze, construction freeze, and reduction in staff and other measures.

Melin also orchestrated an affiliation with Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in 1993, a move that eventually led to formation of a multiple-hospital system known as the Dartmouth Hitchcock Alliance, an affiliation that has brought a number of benefits to the hospital.

In 1995, CDH was selected as a national Comeback Hospital of the Year by the American Hospital Association and Coopers & Lybrand, and in 2000, the facility was named one of the top 100 regional hospitals in the nation. And at a time when more than half of the state’s hospitals are recording annual operating losses, CDH has recorded surpluses during each of the past eight years.

Last summer, the hospital announced a $45 million expansion plan that will include new operating rooms, a new central sterile laboratory, more private patient rooms, and a parking garage.

Behind these accomplishments is a culture of innovation, said Melin, who told BusinessWest that departments, individual employees, and those handling the hospital’s marketing are encouraged to seek new, often non-traditional ways to achieve desired results and a healthier community.

There are many examples, including:

• An imaginative campaign to recruit new nurses and other health care professionals. The campaign goes well beyond traditional help-wanted ads, and invites prospective candidates to have dinner with hospital adminsitrators at a Northampton restaurant and talk about opportunities. ’We Need Med Surg Nurses — Let’s Talk about it Over Dinner,’ is the headline over one of the many print ads being used. The program also makes use of television to recruit nurses, partly in recognition of the fact that many nurses lead busy lives and don’t have time to ready the daily paper;

• Way Cooley Coffee. This is an ambitious program, in which CDH has teamed with Orange-based fair trade coffee roaster Deans Beans to create its own blend of coffee, which is served in patient rooms and in the coffee shop. Proceeds from the sale are used to support Hampshire Health Connect (HHC), a CDH-sponsored program that connects uninsured people in the community with health care and coverage. Through HHC, the hospital has seen a decrease in the amount of free care it administers, at a time when most facilities are experiencing increases.

• A Wood Chip Plant. CDH uses a wood-chip burning plant to heat and cool and its facilities. The plant not only saves the hospital about $1,000 a day (the difference between burning wood chips rather than oil or gas), it also helps the environment and enables the hospital to better connect with a more environmentally conscious region.

Care Package

In some way, each of the entrepreneurial ventures relates to a hospital-wide effort to move from what Melin calls "good care to really great care," and they often involve looking beyond what might be accepted, or expected, in the health care community — and they involve a measure of calculated risk.

As one example, Melin pointed to a program launched in 2002 that concerns individuals with congestive heart problems. In essence, the hospital is "spending money to lose money," as Melin put it.

A community case manager hired by the hospital at a cost of $100,000 follows up on patients that fit certain clinical criteria upon discharge from the hospital, he said. This group includes those with congestive heart failure, who require steady monitoring of their weight and other factors if they are to stay out of the hospital, its emergency room, or a nursing home.

"As we looked it, the program reduces the cost to Medicare by about $150,000 to $200,000 a year; we’re saving the system money by keeping people healthier," Melin said. "But it costs us money to do that.

"There are no economic incentives in this at all for us — we’re keeping people out of our own hospital," he continued. "We do it to provide better care for people; our view is that this is the right thing to do and that it will eventually pay back for us. It’s by a doing a series of things like this that we’re making Northampton a healthier community and that will benefit us in the long run."

Another somewhat non-traditional approach is the hospital’s ongoing efforts to "staff up," as Melin calls it, while most hospitals are doing the opposite due to growing budget pressures.

In both the nursing and nursing-support areas, CDH has invested several million dollars in new hiring that has yielded benefits such as improved overall care, improved morale, and sharp reductions in the use of expensive temporary, or agency personnel.

"Some of the best things we did was add tray-passers and transporters, so that our nurses could be nurses," he explained, adding that by adding more permanent staff, the hospital has eliminated most of its $1.5 million annual bill for temporary help, while gaining happier employees and thus facilitating recruitment efforts in the process. "While there was a risk to putting the money upfront, it was a risk well worth taking."

Still another example of entrepreneurial thinking is the hospital’s bloodmobile, which was put on the road last year. The investment was made in the wake of the ever-increasing price of blood and difficulties maintaining adequate supplies year-round, said Melin, noting that facility has addressed both concerns. And projections show that the vehicle will be paid for in less than a year.

The bloodmobile project was conceived by the staff at the hospital’s blood bank, said Melin, noting that this just one example of how the hospital gives departments and individuals the incentive and support to run with new ideas.

"We’ve definitely been giving people room to test ideas and initiate them," he explained. "A lot of times, the tendency is try to design something absolutely perfectly — and it takes a lot of do that. Instead, we want to test things out in increments, and if you get some good early returns you can keep improving and get to the best place faster that way.

"As long as we’re not putting anyone at risk, we’re finding it easier to test things early on and get them going, rather than leaving things in study for too long," he continued. "It’s much better to identify key components, understand what you’re going to measure, move ahead with it, and see what differences you’re making rather than to study something to death."

And by moving forward with many of its initiatives, CDH is increasingly becoming a model for other hospitals. The facility’s bill-collection policies are one example of this phenomenon, said Melin, who added that the bloodmobile initiative has drawn some inquiries, as has another program designed to ease a patient’s transition from the hospital to a nursing home.

In Good Condition

When asked how CDH has managed to record surpluses at a time when many hospitals are losing money, Melin says it comes down to a simple philosophy about patients and how to care for them.

"Central to the concept is the belief that patients in our community are patients of Cooley Dickinson Hospital and our medical staff, and not patients of the managed care companies," he explained, adding that rates paid by insurers to CDH are slightly higher than the cost of the care provided — an unusual situation in today’s health care environment — and that the payers can afford such a scenario because of the work the hospital does to keep people healthy, and, ironically, out of the hospital.

This broad approach to health care has won Cooley Dickinson some time in the national spotlight, and its president some praise and a few unique awards — including designation as a Top Entrepreneur.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]


Nan Langowitz says the latest study on women-led businesses in the Commonwealth shows that nearly half the 100 companies at the top of the revenue chart grew by more than 5% over the course of the past year, far exceeding the national expansion rate.

But it wasn’t just the numbers that stood out in the report, said Langowitz, director of the Center for Women’s Leadership at Babson College, one of the organizers of the study; it was also how they were attained.

Indeed, the study, conducted in conjunction with the Commonwealth Institute, a non-profit group founded in 1997 to help women entrepreneurs, CEOs, and corporate executives build successful businesses, revealed that many of the Top-100 companies have flat organizational structures with open and collaborative management styles that play a key role in their strong growth patterns.

What’s more, most of the businesses focus on creating favorable work environments that foster loyalty and productivity. Despite a still-sluggish economy, these companies offer employee incentives such as profit sharing, professional development, and flexible work schedules.

"What this study shows is that these strategies work," said Langowitz, noting quickly that while women-led businesses do not have a monopoly on such operating philosophies, they utilize them in greater numbers. "By taking steps to create a positive work environment, these businesses achieve a higher degree of loyalty and, in many cases, higher productivity, which leads to their success."

That has certainly been the case at Randall’s Farm Inc. in Ludlow, where Karen Randall, the second-generation owner of the family-run business, has expanded the former fruit and vegetable stand into a multi-faceted operation with $6 million in annual revenues, good enough to tie for the 73rd slot in the Top-100.

Randall told BusinessWest that diversity and flexibility have been the keys to the company’s success, but she also underscored the importance of a work environment that helps people balance their jobs and their many other responsibilities.

"I have a lot of high school and college students working here, and I tell them that school and their family are the most important things, and that work comes next," said Randall. "We have flexible schedules and work with people; we’re very accommodating, and that pays off — we don’t have much turnover."

Martha Borawski, president of Pioneer Valley Travel in Northampton, another Western Mass. company on the Top-100 list (No. 90), said similar strategies have helped her company weather a number of changes in the travel industry that have driven many companies out of business.

"We’re had to reinvent ourselves a few times," she said, "and I’d like to think we’ve created an environment where new ideas and creative thinking can flourish."

BusinessWest looks this month at the latest Babson-Commonwealth Institute study — this is the third in what will be an ongoing initiative — and also at what’s behind the numbers and how area businesses are reflective of the trends that are emerging.

Taking the Lead

Langowitz told BusinessWest that Babson initiated the study on women-led businesses in 2000 because Ö well, they had never really been studied before. And as their numbers have grown over the past few decades, it became clear that they should be studied.

"So many studies have focused on businesses that are male-dominated," she explained, adding that she and others involved in the study feel it is important to benchmark what women business leaders are doing. "We wanted to get another perspective and focus on this specific, growing segment of the economy."

As the name implies, the 2003 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts study focuses on businesses with women at the helm — both owners and CEOs/presidents. The 237 companies that responded were ranked according to total revenues, not by employment, said Langowitz, noting that she considers this a more scientific statistic concerning overall size, although there is no perfect barometer.

Topping the list were Cumberland Farms Inc. in Canton; Massachusetts Electric Company in Northborough; Western Massachusetts Electric Co. in West Springfield; Domain, a retail home furnishings business, in Norwood; and Granite City Electric Supply Co. in Quincy.

Western Mass. was well represented on the list, with 10 companies. In addition to WMECO, led by CEO Cheryl Grise, other area companies on the list are: Realty World Sawicki (No. 12), an Amherst-based realty company led by Ernestine Sawicki; Bassett Boat Company Inc. (23) in West Springfield, led by President Diane Bassett Zable; Bay State Moving Systems in Chicopee (38), led by President Elizabeth Schofield; The Center for Extended Care in Amherst (61), led by President Bette Skole Kravetz; United Personnel Services Inc. in Springfield (65), led by President Mary Ellen Scott; Randall’s Farm; NEPM in Wilbraham (75), a company specializing in custom imprinted promotional products and business gifts, led by President Kathryn Selvia; Pioneer Valley Travel; and Chicopee-based MicroTek Inc. (90), an electronics manufacturing company led by Anne Paradis.

Langowitz told BusinessWest that the Women’s Institute at Babson, created five years ago to focus on the advancement of women at all stages of professional development, and the Commonwealth Institute decided to conduct regular studies of women-led businesses to watch trends develop over time, rather than gain what she called a "snapshot."

Lois Silverman, founder of the Commonwealth Institute and one of the first women in Massachusetts to take a company public when she was CEO of CRA Managed Care, concurred. She said the 2003 study shows that women-led businesses are becoming an increasingly more powerful economic engine in the Commonwealth.

"Women have demonstrated their success in building companies for long-term growth," she said. "These firms, in business for an average of 19 years, have continued to achieve solid gains despite the ups and downs of numerous business cycles."

The latest findings from the study, which charted revenues from 2003, revealed several trends about women-led businesses. Among them:

• They have more women in top management positions than other businesses. While the percentage of women in senior positions declines in larger firms, it is still higher than in the general business population;

• The companies on the list continue to achieve success. Of the Top-100 companies listed in the 2002 report, 72 of them are on the 2003 list. Meanwhile, total revenues for the No. 100 company in 2002 were $3 million; for 2003, the number was $4.8 million.

• Nearly 80% of the women-led businesses are run by their founding entrepreneurs. The average tenure of these CEOs is 13 years, which is longer than that of businesses run by men;

• Ninety-two percent of businesses surveyed anticipate growth over the next two years, with 62% expecting growth to be greater than 5%. Their strategies to drive growth include new clients or customer accounts, new products, and strategic alliances. The largest companies also rely on acquisitions for expansion;

• While the women-led businesses in the study span a number of industries, the top four were professional services, high-tech, construction, and manufacturing.

Beyond the numbers are the operating strategies that have enabled women-led businesses to achieve solid growth, said Langowitz, referring to flat management structures, rather than a typical hierarchy, and employee-friendly policies.

"I believe there is certainly a connection between their success and the organizational styles and management philosophies being used," she said. "And there are lessons there for all companies."

Borawski, who took the helm at the family run business in 1980, said she has worked to create an atmosphere where employees can be entrepreneurial and where ideas are allowed to take root. Such a climate is needed in an industry where there is constant change — the Internet now allows individuals to do much of the work traditionally handled by travel agents — and companies have to find new business niches if they want to survive.

At Pioneer Valley Travel, for instance, the company has diversified and become more specialized. For example, it specializes in family reunions, world-wide golf vacations, and destination weddings. In addition, Borawski specializes in travel to Australia, and other staff members have become experts on other spots on the globe.

"We’re constantly recreating ourselves — we’re not airline ticket issuers," she said, noting that many companies that haven’t been able to adapt to the changing landscape have gone out of business. "We’ve made a commitment to being the customer’s advocate; that’s what companies like this one have to be in this age."

Borawski credits her staff members with helping Pioneer Travel make its needed transformation, and she works hard to keep them. She implemented a profit-sharing trust in 1985, and has initiated other programs, such as flex time, to help employees manage work and life. She also encourages staffers to travel, and offers additional paid time to those heading for new destinations.

"For a small company, we offer a lot in terms of flexibility and keeping people employed here," she said. "Good help really is hard to find, and we try to hang on to it."

But turnover is a fact of life at a business with many part-time employees and students, noted Randall, who said it is still important to maintain a sense of continuity and to foster a positive work environment.

She has done so with flexible schedules, a number of benefit programs, and a door to her office that is always open — figuratively if not literally.

"And people take advantage of that open door," she said. "I try to make myself accessible to people and I try to work with them; overall, I’m a good listener.

"People don’t make it a career to be in this size retail operation," she continued. "So it has to be satisfying in other ways."

Randall grew up working at the business, started by her father, which began by producing and selling eggs and produce grown at the family’s 80 acres of farmland. She majored in elementary education at UMass, but graduated in 1976 to a glut of teachers in the region. So she rejoined the company, whch eventually expanded with a greenhouse operation and a creamery, and never left.

She took the reins of the business in 1987 after her father passed away, and in 1997 undertook a major expansion that included a retail center, bakery, deli, and other components. "I was 40 at that time, and knew that I either had to get out or take things to the next level," she said, noting that while there were growing pains the first few years — "people liked what we did, but the books said otherwise" — the venture has enjoyed steady growth since.

The company now employees more than 100 people, including Randall’s two sisters, Anna and Tammy. They are part of a flat organizational structure in which most people wear a number of hats and contribute to continued efforts to diversify the company.

"We know that we can’t stand still — a business has to keep growing or it will die," she said, adding that recent additions include entertainment offerings such as hay rides and pumpkin picking. "We’re selling to the next generation of consumers, and that generation likes to be entertained."

The Bottom Line

Adjusting to the changing needs of consumers is just one of the keys to surviving in business today, said Langowitz, who told BusinessWest that the studies on women-led businesses have revealed a pattern of flexibility.

"That’s one of the many trends we’re seeing," she said, noting that the regular studies will continue, with the hope of garnering more quantitative and qualitative analysis of this growing segment of the economy. "There is a lot that the business community can learn for the organizational, financing, and growth strategies of these companies."

George O’Brien can be reached at[email protected]


A modern, environmentally friendly architectural trend is shaping the construction of new buildings across the region. These ’green buildings’ offer a contrast to the conservative, classic designs that dominate Western Mass. — and they provide comfortable work environments, as well.

It’s called green architecture: the practice of using energy conservation as the cornerstone of a building’s design.

It’s a concept that has been around for years, and for a while in the 1980s enjoyed some popularity nationwide more for its aesthetic appeal than its eco-friendly roots.

But now, some area architects are seeing a resurgence in awareness and interest in the green architecture school of thought, and, one building at a time, it is slowly changing the man-made landscape of Western Mass.

Designing a ’green’ building necessitates a limited use of plastics and other non-biodegradable materials, and also maximizes the use of building materials containing at least 50% recycled materials, while minimizing the creation of construction waste. Green buildings also often use copious windows for natural light, frequently employ alternative power sources such as solar panels and heat pumps, and utilize lighting and heating control systems that conserve energy.

Because of the materials and planning used, called sustainable design, buildings blueprinted with green architecture in mind typically take on a specific, modern appearance. They can be more angular, with sharper lines and wide-open interiors.

David Owen, a project manager with Mount Vernon Group Architects’ Chicopee office, said, it is still possible to maintain traditional design while at the same time being sensitive to environmental requirements. But most green buildings are still very different from the classic New England architecture commonly found in Western Mass.

"And because of the ecological benefits, many companies, municipalities, institutions and other organizations are considering green architecture for their next project," said Owen.

"This region has a tendency to be architecturally conservative," added Earl Pope, a partner with Juster Pope Frazier Architecture in Shelburne Falls. "But people are now considering more sophisticated designs, in addition to a renewed interest in green architecture. For a while it was popular because of how it looked, and it is important to enjoy the space you’re in. But people are just now realizing that we need to do this to address ongoing ecological problems."

Taking the LEED

Pope said his firm has applied green architecture concepts to many of its recent projects, including the recently constructed Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Springfield Visitors Center in downtown Springfield.

The museum, located in Amherst, was completed in 2002 with the cooperation of Eric Carle, the children’s illustrator and author. Pope explained that the museum was designed to fit well into the Western Mass. landscape, even modeling a portion of its silhouette after the Holyoke Mountain Range, which serves as the building’s backdrop.

The 43,000-square-foot museum also incorporates several sustainable design features, such as wide-open gallery spaces and natural light, accessed through large panel windows and skylights that augment the artwork inside.

Similarly, the Springfield Visitors Center was designed specifically to appeal to passersby on I-91 and to showcase local historical artifacts, such as a GeeBee plane, Cat in the Hat memorabilia, and Indian motocycles, but the design also incorporates the spcious interiors and recycled materials that are a hallmark of green design.

Several renovations and additions at area colleges have also been completed recently, Pope said, incorporating more modern buildings into a campus of older, more classic designs — and employing tenets of green architecture in the process.

Higher education institutions, as well as public and private schools, have been at the forefront of green architecture’s development, due in part to readiness to incorporate LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ‚ standards into new projects.

Owen explained that LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings that has been used in local project designs including Chicopee High School, which was recently completed, and Chicopee Comprehensive High School, which is on the drawing board.

"The concepts behind green architecture are growing in popularity because of programs like LEED," he said, "that raise awareness of what green architecture is and the role it can play in education."

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED standards were created to better define ’green building’ in relation to all projects, educational or otherwise, by establishing a common standard of measurement; promote integrated, whole-building design practices; recognize environmental leadership in the building industry; stimulate ’green competition’ among designers and contractors; raise consumer awareness of green building benefits, and to transform the overall building market in the United States.

Owen noted that the concepts demonstrated in LEED and green-building projects are being utilized in a significant portion of the architectural projects in Western Mass. as well as across the country, despite the fact that green building is generally more costly than other more conventional methods because of the use of specific materials and energy conserving operating systems such as heating, cooling, and water systems.

He added that the rise in green building is also occurring despite a slowdown in architectural projects in the region in 2004.

The lag in design projects has resulted from a number of factors, including general sluggishness in the regional and national economy, as well as the natural ebb and flow of building trends in the area. Institutions such as colleges and universities and health care facilities, for instance, tend to plan renovation and addition projects about every decade, according to Pope.

"We’re coming to the end of the latest building cycle," he said. "But business will probably pick up; I expect us to be reasonably busy in the coming year."

Owen echoed Pope’s sentiments on the health of the architecture industry, noting that cycles in architecture affect all aspects of construction. And, like others in the business, he expects slow, steady improvement as confidence in the economy builds and the state’s fiscal health improves, paving the way for more new schools and other public projects..

And with that rise in business, they said, will come a greater number of green building and LEED projects.

"LEED projects are, by necessity, the place to be for clients and architects today," said Owen, referring to the heightened attention that various organizations, and those that fund new building projects, are paying to ecological responsibility.

Trending Up

In addition, local architects must stay on top of new trends in design and building practices such as green architecture in part to compete with a wide array of competitors, and that variable is keeping green architecture very visible in Western Mass.

When the market is slow, for instance, firms of varying sizes, including several that migrate from the Boston area, compete against each other for a limited number of projects. Pope said when the market is brisk, competition statewide may lessen, but when the Boston firms pull back, regional architects are left to sell clients on their skills without falling into too specific niches and running the risk of losing jobs to a more diversified company.

Owen said green architecture factors specifically into the local architecture scene in that it crosses over a number of architectural specialties, including residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial design, and heralds a move toward refurbishing and revitalizing the area with state-of-the-art schools, businesses, housing, and other facilities.

And, it will also offer another attractive building and design option to potential developers as they assess the pros and cons of relocating to Western Mass.

"The Pioneer Valley is home to many amazing buildings being under utilized," Owen said, referring to a number of structures, including former manufacturing plants, schools, and churches, in Holyoke, Springfield, and other communities. "What is needed is someone to invest in the existing building infrastructure long-term in order to bring them up to their full potential," he said.

"New construction is one way to make an area attractive," he continued, " but by making full and best use of existing properties, the area will be more attractive in the long run, and it is the long run we must pay attention to."

Jaclyn Stevenson can be reached at[email protected]


The following building permits were issued during the month of December 2004.


E.V. Realty Trust
106 North Pleasant St.
$10,500 — Repair termite damage, repair roof


City of Chicopee
650 Front St.
$82,358 — Install 40-foot telecommunications pole

Colucst Group
620 Memorial Dr.
$310,000 — Build Starbucks Coffee Shop


Aditus Inc.
11 Glendale St.
$30,000 — Interior alterations


BPS Realty Corp
26 Hadley Mills Road
$16,800 — Construct accessible entrance, new toilets, interior renovations

Greek Orthodox Church
410 Main St.
$19,000 — Re-roof

Richard Cooper/Cooper Masonry
5 Canal St.
$20,000 — New shingles

St. Jermain Catholic Association
169 Hampden St.
$28,846 — Install steel fence


Atwood Drive LLC
23 Atwood Drive
$16,240 — Install new rafters, decking, re-roof and side on loading dock roof

The Coca Cola Company
45 Industrial Dr.
$6,500 — Erect guard house

Cooley Dickinson Hospital Inc.
30 Locust St.
$34,500 — Reconfigure rooms to create new office area

Cooley Dickinson Hospital Inc.
30 Locust St.
$27,324 — Renovate emergency radiology room

Danrich Realty Trust Co.
225 King St.
$2,500 — Construct walls

Danrich Realty Trust Co.
225 King St.
$8,000 — Remove walls, add windows and skylight

David Pelis & S. Szawlowski
Bridge Street
$3,400 — Replace panels, Webster’s Fish Hook

Edwards Church of Northampton
297 Main St.
$24,600 — Replace rubber section of roof

George Goodridge
574 Haydenville Road
$76,000 — New commercial building

Glandore LLC
766 North King St.
$60,000 — Build-out for medical suite

Lloyd Tarlin and Jacob Rabinov
238 King St.
$26,000 — Install roof

Lloyd Tarlin and Jacob Rabinov
238 King St.
$3,000 — Replace existing Stop & Shop sign

Northampton Co-op Bank
8 Main St.
$1,693,674 — Construct new retail building

Pookydink LLC
33 Main St.
$115,000 — Interior demolition and renovation for restaurant

293 Northampton Realty LLC
293 King St.
$2,893,579 — Construct car dealership (foundation only)


Ali Mousa
942 Worthington St.
$10,000 — Alterations to laundromat

Berkshire Auto & Truck
850 Berkshire Ave.
$22,400 — New insulation

Eastfield Mall
1655 Boston Road
$130,000 — New tenant improvements

Frank Newman
67 Liberty St.
$19,000 — Interior renovations to restaurant

John Salema
1228—1236 Main St.
$150,000 — Renovate existing building for Dunkin Donuts store

Mass Mutual
1500 Main St.
$54,000 — Install security doors

Picknelly Family LLC
1414 Main St.
$44,340 — Create offices

Springfield Industrial Center
665 Page Blvd.
$326,000 — Major rehab of building


Lower Pioneer Valley
Educational Corp.
174 Brush Hill Road
$562,823 — Erect addition


Angy’s Food Products
771 Servistar Way
$300,000 — Addition

General Dynamics
33 Ellis St.
$67,868 — Addition

Heather Real
East Main Street
$394,000 — Build KFC

Patrick Boland
385 Southampton Road
$165,000 — Remodel


INCORPORATIONS The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden and Hampshire counties between mid-November and mid-December, the latest available. They are listed by community.


Craftsbury Kids Inc., 310 Montague Road, Amherst 01002. Cecilia Leibovitz, same. Online retail of handmade products

Sharevision Inc., 800 Main St., Amherst 01002. Richard Baldwin, same. Therapy, counseling, coaching, training, and consulting services, etc.

Ultimate Hall of Fame & Center for Cultural Change through Sport Inc., 352 East Hadley Road, Amherst 01002. James D. Pitts, same. (Nonprofit) To celebrate the living history of ultimate, to promote the continuing growth of the ultimate sport (frisbee), etc.


Electronic Distribution Corp., 698 Chicopee St., Chicopee 01013. Michael Roth, 477 Main St., Hackensack, NJ 07601. C T Corporation System, 101 Federal St., Boston 02110, registered agent. (Foreign corp; DE) Data base typesetting.

Northeast Construction Roofing Services Inc., 140 Joy St., Chicopee 01013. Elliott Beals Jr., same. To deal in real estate, perform roofing services, etc.


Blue Moon Grocery Inc., 3 Chapman Ave., Easthampton 01027. Deborah Robinson, 41 Edwards Road, Westhampton 01027. To operate a natural food store.

Easthampton Tire Inc., 141 Northampton St., Easthampton 01027. George R. Dion, 205 Elm St., Northampton 01060. To sell and service all types of motor vehicles — trucks, autos, and vans.


ElderCare Initiatives Inc., 4 Mill Valley Road, Holyoke 01040. Constance A. Clancy, 73 School St., South Hadley 01075. (Nonprofit) To provide elderly and handicapped persons with appropriate housing and services, etc.

Iglesia de Cristo LA.vidverdadera, 326 Appleton St., Holyoke 01040. Noemi Torres, 137 Cobb St., Springfield 01119. (Nonprofit) To engage in all community services, improve the social status, etc.

Massachusetts Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Inc., 225 High St., Suite 410, Holyoke 01040. Hector Bauza, 101 Cabot St., Suite 601, Holyoke 01040. (Nonprofit) To promote the industrial, commercial, civic, and cultural welfare of the four counties of Western Mass., etc.

United Trading Corp., 110 Lyman St., Holyoke 01040. Shahzad Ahmad, 380 Hatfield St., Northampton 01060. Import, export (wholesale).


SKCS Inc., 537-539 Main St., Indian Orchard 01151. Karen Scott, 11 Maximillian Dr., Granby 01033. To own and operate one or more bars, taverns, restaurants, grilles, etc.

Smith & Son Jewelers II Inc., 568 Main St., Indian Orchard 01151. Andrew W. Smith, 11 Woodside Dr., Wilbraham 01095. To deal in watches, timepieces, jewelry, giftware, etc.


Baystate Bookkeeping Services Inc., 18 Keith Circle, Ludlow 01056. Lisa L. Roger, same. Bookkeeping and income tax preparation.

Poppi’s Pizzeria Inc., 351 West Ave., Ludlow 01056. Jorge Martins, 35 Mass. Ave., Ludlow 01056. To operate a restaurant.


Bailey Tebaldi Enterprises Inc., 348 King St., Northampton 01060. Adam A. Tebaldi, same. (Foreign corp; DE) (Foreign corp; GA) Auto parts sale.

Edible Atoms Inc., 38 Gleason Road, Northampton 01060. Paul Hathaway, same. To operate a restaurant.

Pioneer Valley Food Factory Inc., The, 320 Riverside Dr., Suite 10, Northampton 01060. Van Sullivan, 323 Prospect St., Northampton 01060. To conduct a catering service for on- and off-premises consumption.

R B & G Inc., 223 Pleasant St., Northampton 01060. Peter St. Martin, 7 Lyman St., Easthampton 01027. To operate a restaurant.

Urban Design Group Inc., The, 20 Strong Ave., Northampton 01060. Lynne Elizabeth Lande, 537 West Road, Ashfield 01330. Land development and construction.


Katie-Sue Inc., 166 Peterson Road, Palmer 01069. John W. Morrison, same. Real estate development.


Wall Tax & Financial Group Inc., 34 Bridge St., South Hadley 01075. Edward Wall, same. Tax preparation and financial services.


B Big Boys Social Club Inc., 827 1/2 State St., Springfield 01109. Tennison S. Clark, 255 College St., Springfield 01109. (Nonprofit) A fraternal organization to promote the development of its members, etc.

Better Homes Liberty Hill Inc., 5 Northampton Ave., Springfield 01109. Jeffrey Sullivan, 300 Florentine Gardens, Springfield 01108. To deal in real and personal property.

Iglesia Pentecostal Maranata Inc., 22 Ringgold St., Springfield 01107. Osvaldo Colon, same. (Nonprofit) To promote the teaching of the Gospel of God among members and non-members.

Liberty Grill Inc., 67 Liberty St., Springfield 01103. Frank L. Newman, 89 Hill St., West Springfield 01103. Restaurant.

Northstar Recycling of New Jersey Inc., 89 Guion St., Springfield 01104. Seth Goodman, same. Paper recycling.

O’Shea, Getz & Kosakowski, P.C., 1500 Main St., Suite 912, Springfield 01115. Patrick J. O’Shea, 61 Wilkin Dr., Longmeadow 01106. Professional legal services.

Pioneer Valley Diagnostic Center Inc., 7 Sorrento St., Springfield 01108. Dmitriy Shlemanov, same. To operate an ultrasound medical facility.

Potters House of Refuge Inc., 802 Alden St., Springfield 01109. Cynthia L. Curtis, same. (Nonprofit) To provide housing, personal, and educational services to needy veterans in Massachusetts, etc.

Springdale Education Center Inc., One Carando Dr., Springfield 01104. John A. Foley, Jr., 1308 Northampton St., Holyoke 01040. To provide highly structured programs for people with severe emotional disturbances, etc.


Foley Insurance Group Inc., 37 Elm St., West Springfield 01089. Brian T. Foley, 100 Jonquil Lane, Longmeadow 01106. Insurance agency.

Rental Remarketing Inc., 74-80 Baldwin St., West Springfield 01089. Michael M. Gentile, 8 Devonshire Dr., Wilbraham 01005. To deal in automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, etc., of all kinds.


CMS Transportation Inc., 46 Sheppard St., Westfield 01085. Joseph S. Cressotti, 33 Harold Ave., Westfield 01085. General freight — refrigerated and non-refrigerated, trucking and hauling.

SS and CJ Corp., 524 Pochassic Road, Westfield 01085. Guy E. Waldo, same. To operate a package store.

The Light House Fellowship Inc., 110 Union St., Westfield 01085. Pari Lirim Hoxha, 50 1/2 Jefferson St., Westfield 01085. To spread the Gospel through ministries, via media, evangelical services, etc.


Harrington Trace Corp., The, 198 Main St., Wilbraham 01095. John D.L. McBride, 196 Main St., Wilbraham 01095. (Foreign corp; DE) The importation of specialty foods and beverages.