Home 2011 January
Building Permits Departments

The following building permits were issued during the month of January 2011.


Coyote Realty
1340 Springfield St.
$425,000 — Construction of a new Wendy’s restaurant

Genesis Healthcare
55 Cooper St.
$290,000 — Upgrade of nurse’s station, patient, and dayrooms

Olympic Manufacturing Group
95 Bowles Road
$3,000 — Construct external deck


Salesmaster Associates Inc.
140 Padgette St.
$44,000 — Install 86.2 KW photovoltaic array


EL Village
34 Center Square
$25,000 — Tenant fit out

Roman Catholic Bishop
110 Maple St.
$15,000 — Replacement windows


Holyoke Gas & Electric
100 Gatehouse Road
$62,000 — Remove and replace roof


American Legion
417 Longmeadow St.
$8,900 — Re-roof

Bay Path College
21 Hopkins Place
$18,500 — Construct wheelchair ramp

GPT Longmeadow
686 Bliss Road
$32,000 — New office space

Wolf Swamp Middle School
62 Wolf Swamp Road
$25,000 — Convert classrooms to offices


Health South
14 Chestnut Place
$45,000 — New fire sprinkler system

John Goncalves & Sons
172 Munsing St.
$29,000 — New roof


Coderre Development
192 Lathrop St.
$10,000 — Basement construction and finishes

7 Gaylord St.
$966,000 — Renovations

Mt. Holyoke College
50 College St.
$19,000 — Alterations


City of Springfield
474 Armory St.
$361,000 — Library renovations at Montessori school


Allen Street Realty
80 Main Line Dr.
$41,000 — Install new bathroom

Westfield Masonic Associates
72 Broad St.
$10,000 — Replace roof over front portico

Westfield Coatings Corp.
221 Union St.
$26,000 — Alterations


Ashley Associates, LLC
95 Ashley St.
$25,000 — Fit out 2,684 square feet of office space

Salamon Realty Inc.
103 Myron St.
$40,000 — Remodel existing space to accommodate clinic

White Hut Inc.
280 Memorial Ave.
$5,000 — Interior renovations

Company Notebook Departments

Law Firm Named to ‘Top Tier’ List
SPRINGFIELD — Sullivan Hayes & Quinn was recently named a Top Tier Employment Management Firm by Best Lawyers and U.S. News and World Report. Managing partner Meghan Sullivan noted that the law firm was among 8,782 firms from across the country to be recognized. The local law firm specializes in employment-management issues, including labor relations, risk avoidance, workplace regulation, and employment litigation.

Appledore Engineering Joins Tighe & Bond
WESTFIELD — A New Hampshire civil-engineering firm has joined forces with Tighe & Bond, a engineering and environmental consulting service in the city. The move will enable Appledore Engineering to expand its service offerings and will also provide Tighe & Bond more opportunities for expansion into the New Hampshire and Maine markets. Appledore Engineering will remain at its Portsmouth location and do business as Appledore Engineering, a division of Tighe & Bond.

CHD, Cancer House of Hope Announce Merger
SPRINGFIELD — The Center for Human Development (CHD) and Cancer House of Hope recently announced a merger between the two nonprofit agencies. The CHD Board of Directors and Cancer House of Hope Board of Trustees both approved the merger late last year. It became effective Jan. 1. Cancer House of Hope operates two houses, one in Westfield and one in Springfield, that offer free support groups, workshops, and classes to adults with cancer and their family members and friends. Cancer House of Hope is now a program of CHD in its Community Resources division. Cancer House of Hope’s events, activities, and services will continue without interruption, and the agency’s two full-time and one part-time employee are now employees of CHD. Cheryl Gorski, executive director of Cancer House of Hope, noted in a statement that, “given the economy, it was getting more and more difficult to keep things running.” Gorski will continue to manage the program as its director. Gorski added that “merging with CHD will give us access to more resources for development, marketing, and support.” Founded in 1997, Cancer House of Hope has an annual operating budget of about $235,000, all of it coming from donations, grants, and fund-raising events, such as its upcoming, third annual Cheeseburger in Paradise Bar-B-Que at the Cedars in Springfield Feb. 19. Cancer House of Hope serves approximately 260 people a month at its two locations: 86 Court St., Westfield, and 946 Plumtree Road, Springfield. In addition to its three staff, Cancer House of Hope also contracts for services with 12 per-diem counselors and depends on about 50 volunteers, who help run the homes and activities. Gorski said she reached out to CHD President and CEO Jim Goodwin last August about the possibility of a merger. Gorski noted, “It made sense to help us get to the next level of what we can offer our members. I’m very enthusiastic about it. I think it’s a great thing for us.” Goodwin said that merging with a high-quality agency like Cancer House of Hope furthers CHD’s mission of offering community-oriented services in a way that helps protect people’s dignity. Goodwin noted that everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer. He added that the programs and services Cancer House of Hope offers “are just too important to risk losing.” Those programs and services include yoga, Reiki, wig fittings, and bereavement-support groups, among many others. While the two homes are open to anyone regardless of residency and need, they mostly serve people who live in Hampden County and Northern Conn. For a list of Cancer House of Hope programs and services, visit www.cancerhouseofhope.org. Founded in 1972, CHD is a family of more than 40 programs that deliver a wide range of social services in communities throughout Western Mass. and Northwestern Conn. in areas such as mental health, youth mentoring, family stabilization, foster care, early intervention, elder care, occupational therapy, intellectual and physical disabilities, homelessness prevention, substance abuse, and juvenile justice. CHD’s main office is located at 332 Birnie Ave., Springfield. For a list and description of programs and services, visit www.chd.org.

United Bank Supports United Way Campaigns
WEST SPRINGFIELD — United Bank recently announced its annual United Way employee campaign generated more than $52,000 in contributions to United Way organizations located in the bank’s service area. The bank ran campaigns at all 22 branches located throughout Western and Central Mass. The 2010-11 employee campaign surpassed last year’s level of participation and giving to the United Ways of Pioneer Valley, Hampshire County, and Central Massachusetts. In addition, the United Bank Foundation contributed $36,000 to the campaign for a combined gift of $88,118.

MassMutual Explains Roth Retirement Plan Conversions
SPRINGFIELD — As part of its commitment to educate participants, plan sponsors, and advisers, MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division has published a white paper titled “Roth Retirement Plan Conversions — Questions and Answers.” The document answers the most common questions around converting 401(k), 403(b), and, starting this year, 457(b) governmental plans into Roth accounts. Effective last fall, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 allows participants who are in a retirement plan that offers Roth accounts the ability to convert or roll over their non-Roth account balances into a Roth source under the same plan, provided the participant has a distributable event (i.e., termination of service or in-service withdrawal provision, excluding hardship). For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.

Agency Offers Mobile Marketing Services
AGAWAM — The Creative Strategy Agency has started offering mobile marketing services including mobile Web sites, short-message service, and tablet and mobile applications for businesses. Alfonso Santaniello, CEO and president, noted in a statement that he wanted to take the agency’s marketing services “to a new and innovative format.” Santaniello added that mobile applications have “grown significantly” in the past year, and that he expects that trend to “continue to grow in the years to come.” For more information, visit www.creativestrategyagency.com.

Big E Plans $2.2M
Equine Arena
WEST SPRINGFIELD — Wayne McCary, president and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition, recently announced that the organization will embark on a $2.2 million construction project to build a covered warm-up arena attached to its C-Barn, the main horse barn used by the ESE Horse Show conducted during the Big E as well as a number of year-round equine events. Exposition officials vowed to continue their commitment to agriculture and the horse show by further developing infrastructure to maintain ESE’s position as New England’s most-sought-after equine destination. McCary noted in a statement, “I am confident that this project will further solidify the exposition’s position as the premier horse show facility in the Northeast. Our commitment to agriculture and our horse show, which began here in 1916, is ongoing.” The Exposition is also home to 12 year-round horse shows as well as a major equine-related trade show, Equine Affaire, held each November. The new arena will match the height of the existing building, and the 66’ x 170’ clear span outdoor roof will be bordered by a four-foot brick perimeter wall with pre-cast concrete upright posts. The exterior of the structure will mirror the north wall of the existing barn, and its walls will consist of a permeable vinyl designed to protect riders and horses from the elements while providing air circulation and ventilation. Each end of the covered arena will feature 20-foot ornamental iron sliding gates. Riders will be cooled by 16’, low-speed, high-volume fans. New lighting will be installed, and the riding arena will have spray irrigation and underground drainage. An existing angled doorway will be enlarged to 12’ x 14’ so riders may enter and exit the ring on horseback, and the immediate exterior area will also be covered. The project is the result of an extensive study of ESE facilities, conducted in 2010 to assess the needs of existing tenants and look toward future year-round growth. The research included a major engineering study of the Coliseum by Populous of Knoxville, Tenn., and a marketing analysis by AECOM of Washington, D.C. The Exposition will assume financial responsibility of the project and will receive no funding from the state. In addition, its 2011 capital budget of more than $1.1 million will include the installation of a new roof and other major improvements to the Coliseum. F-Barn, an auxiliary barn with 100 horse stalls located in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds, will also receive a new, upgraded metal roof. McCary noted, “we are investing in our future to maintain our roots and stay viable in an ever-changing marketplace.” The design architects for the project are Charlie Smith and David Forkner of Populous, in Knoxville. Neffinger Architects, of West Springfield, will serve as the architect of record. This winter, contractors will be selected, and construction will begin at the end of March. The project will be completed in time for the 2011 Big E, planned for Sept. 16 through Oct. 2.

Briefcase Departments

Denver Stepping Down as Chamber President
SPRINGFIELD — After 14 years as president of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, Russell F. Denver recently announced he is leaving that post in the coming weeks to pursue other professional opportunities. Denver, an attorney, noted that he feels now is the opportune time to step down and bring in someone else with a fresh perspective. Citing his accomplishments, Denver noted in particular the Urban Land Institute’s work that has been done in the city. Before leaving his post, Denver plans to complete work on zoning revisions for the city, as well as the new “Make It Happen” marketing campaign for Springfield. Jeffrey S. Ciuffreda, vice president of government affairs for the Affiliated Chambers, will serve as interim president. Currently, the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce have approximately 1,200 members and an annual budget of $300,000. The Affiliated Chambers include the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the West of the River Chamber of Commerce, the East of the River Chamber of Commerce, and the Professional Women’s Chamber of Commerce.

Springfield Leadership Institute Registration Underway
SPRINGFIELD — Registration is underway for this year’s Springfield Leadership Institute (SLI), which represents a 37-plus-year collaboration between the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield and the Western New England College School of Business. Institute alumni represent many accomplished and distinguished leaders in business, education, government, and nonprofit communities. The 2011 Springfield Leadership Institute, which begins on Feb. 17, will challenge participants to think in new ways and to analyze their own strengths and organizational challenges within a dynamic economy. SLI is taught by Western New England College faculty, who will introduce participants to emerging leadership theory and best practices. A segment on ‘Leadership Presence’ is being added this year along with the institute’s continued emphasis on problem-solving at the executive level. Case studies have also been updated for the 2011 program. The program meets every Thursday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main St. Participants in SLI learn how to be more effective leaders and how to have the power to make an important difference both in the workplace and in the community. Contact Lynn Johnson at (413) 755-1310 or at [email protected] for more information.

2011 Woman of the Year Nominations Sought
SPRINGFIELD — The Professional Women’s Chamber of Commerce, a division of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, is seeking nominations for the 2011 Woman of the Year Award. The award has been presented annually since 1954 to a woman in the Western Mass. area who exemplifies outstanding leadership, professional accomplishment, and service to the community. The nominee’s achievements can be representative of a lifetime’s work or for more recent successes. Any woman in the Pioneer Valley is eligible for nomination, and a chamber affiliation is not required. To obtain a nomination form, visit www.professionalwomenschamber.com or e-mail committee chair Michelle Cayo at [email protected] The deadline for nominations is Feb. 11.

Call for ADDY Award Submissions
SPRINGFIELD — The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts (ACWM) welcomes submissions for its 2011 ADDY Awards from individuals and organizations throughout Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties. The annual competition recognizes creative excellence in all media, including print, broadcast, interactive, out-of-home, and public-service advertising. The ADDY Awards competition is a three-tier (local, regional, and national) competition conducted annually by the American Advertising Federation (AAF). ACWM is the only AAF-member club in the New England district. A panel of advertising experts will select winners in Springfield on Feb. 11. All entries must be registered online. For information on submission guidelines and a direct link to commence the submission process, visit www.submitandrepresent.com. The deadline for mail submission is Jan. 31. In-person submissions will be accepted on Feb. 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Berkshire Bank community room, 1259 East Columbus Ave., Springfield. For more information, call the Ad Club at (413) 736-2582.

Unemployment Hits 20.7% in Construction Sector
WASHINGTON — Despite a slight drop in the nation’s unemployment rate, the construction industry ended 2010 with a jobless rate of 20.7%, according to the Jan. 7 report by the U.S. Labor Department. The construction industry lost 16,000 jobs last month and 93,000 jobs, or 1.6%, compared to December 2009. While the unemployment rate was up from 18.8% last November, it is down from 22.7% in December 2009. The average annual unemployment rate for the construction industry in 2010 was 20.6%, compared to 19.0% in 2009 and 10.6% in 2008. The non-residential building construction sector lost 400 jobs in December, but was up by 5,700 jobs, or 0.8%, from the same time one year ago — the first year-over-year growth since August 2008. Employment in that sector was 688,300 in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. Employment in heavy and civil engineering construction decreased for the second straight month, down 12,700 in December. However, employment in that sector was up by 18,100 jobs, or 2.3%, from December 2009. Specialty trade contractors gained 3,300 jobs last month, but the segment is down 79,000 jobs, or 2.2%, from the same time last year. The residential-building construction sector shed 5,900 jobs for the month and 37,000, or 6.2%, for the year. The nation gained 103,000 jobs in all industries in December, with the bulk of job growth in leisure and hospitality, up 47,000 jobs; education and health services, up 44,000 jobs; and trade, transportation, and utilities, up 31,000 jobs. Year-over-year, the nation has gained 1,124,000 jobs, or 0.9%. The nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.4% in December from 9.8% the previous month. “The nation’s construction industry should be glad to see 2010 in the rearview mirror, as the sector ended the year on a dismal note,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu in a prepared statement. “It is noteworthy that heavy and civil engineering has lost jobs for two consecutive months, which may be a reflection of the steadily slowing impact of federal stimulus spending. For much of the past year, that segment had been adding jobs. The expectation is that the nation will continue to add jobs. However, the construction sector is poised to underperform in the year ahead due to a number of factors, including dwindling direct impact from stimulus spending and the ongoing malaise in commercial real estate. With a national unemployment rate now at 9.4% — the lowest rate since May 2009 — this is an indication that the labor market is improving reasonably quickly. However, this does not seem to be the case with the construction industry, as today’s numbers may be a reflection of numerous factors in the economy, including still-subdued confidence among business owners and decision-makers.”

Uptick in Car Sales Sends Optimistic Sign
DETROIT — U.S. automakers will take a victory lap at the Detroit auto show this month after a measurable recovery from years of losses, a shrinking of market share to Asian rivals, and the bankruptcy troubles of Chrysler and General Motors (GM), according to Edmunds.com. GM posted a $2 billion third-quarter profit and then launched a public stock offering in November, while Chrysler increased its market share in 2010 and will introduce two new models this month at the auto show. Also, Ford was able to regain the number-two spot in the U.S. market from Toyota in 2010 when it saw its share grow for the second consecutive year. Overall, U.S. auto sales rose 11% last year to 11.6 million vehicles. Sales forecasts predict sales of 12.5 to 13.5 million units in 2011, and Toyota hopes its prospects are good for big gains despite its recent recalls. “If [the Detroit Three] can make money at depression-level sales, it tells you something dramatic has changed,” said David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Mich., in a prepared statement. “If we get back to 13, 14, 15 million units, this is going to be an astonishingly profitable business.” In the coming months, automakers are also expected to revamp their lineups with ‘green’ cars that will meet new emissions standards. Toyota will be expanding its Prius hybrid with the introduction of a new wagon, Tesla will be showing a luxury electric sedan, and GM launches its subcompact, the Chevy Sonic, as well as a compact Buick and the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt. However, “the risk to the marketplace is that consumers aren’t asking for these,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with IHS Automotive. Hybrid auto sales fell last year to 2.4% of the U.S. market from 2.8% in 2009, according to Autodata. The North American International Auto Show is open to the public Jan. 15-23.

Link to Libraries Receives Grant
EAST LONGMEADOW — The Service League of Springfield (Philanthropic Management–Bank of America) has made a $1,000 grant to Link to Libraries Inc. The organization will use the grant to offer Senior Connections, a Link to Libraries read-aloud program for children in the Holyoke and Springfield areas who are enrolled in preschool programs. The program is conducted in collaboration with Loomis Communities and Reeds Landing residents. The residents will team up with Link to Libraries educators and volunteers to offer preschool-age children reading programs locally during the spring and fall. Susan Jaye-Kaplan, co-founder of Link to Libraries, noted in a statement, “this collaboration is yet another partnership with local residents and agencies to enhance the reading skills of children of all ages and to make a connection with talented adults who reside in our community and want to remain active.” The Link to Libraries Senior Connection will be managed by Roberta Hillenberg-Gang of Longmeadow, who serves on the organization’s advisory committee. For more information, visit www.linktolibraries.org or call (413) 224-1031.

Chamber Corners Departments

Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield
(413) 787-1555

• Jan. 19: Professional Women’s Chamber 13th Annual Business Expo, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Max’s Tavern, MassMutual Room. Cost, Table Top: members $60, non-members  $90 (includes one lunch ticket). Cost, lunch only: members $25, non-members $35. For reservations, contact Lynn Johnson PWC liaison, at (413) 755-1310 or [email protected]

• Jan. 22: West of the River Chamber of Commerce Night at the Falcons, 7:30 p.m., MassMutual Center. Cost: $10. For reservations, call Chris Thompson at (413) 739-3344 ext. 109. 
Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield

• Jan. 20: Third Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m., Panana’s Restaurant, Agawam. Cost: free for members, non-members $10. Includes food and cash bar.
Chicopee Chamber of Commerce
(413) 594-2101
• Jan. 19: Salute Breakfast, 7:15 to 9 a.m., MassMutual Learning & Conference Center, 350 Memorial Dr., Chicopee. Cost: members $18, non-members $25. For tickets, call the chamber at (413) 594-2101 or purchase online at www.chicopeechamber.org
Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce
(413) 527-9414

• Jan. 27: Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary Dinner, 5 p.m., the Delaney House, 500 Country Club Road, Holyoke. Cranberry chicken and halibut combo luncheon. Cost: members $29.95, non-members $32.95. 
Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce
(413) 534-3376

• Jan. 19: Chamber After Hours, 5 to 7 p.m., hosted and sponsored by Homewood Suites, 375 Whitney Ave., Holyoke. Cost: members $5, non-members $10 cash. 
n Jan. 25: Computer Security Seminar, 8 to 11 a.m., Mass Mutual Conference Center, Chicopee
Northampton Area Young Professional Society
(413) 584-1900

• Jan. 30: Bowl with a Purpose, 12 to 2 p.m., Spare Time, 525 Pleasant St., Northampton. Charity fund-raiser. Teams of four to six players. Registrants can register as a team or be placed on a team. Cost: $20 pre-registered, $25 at the door. Includes unlimited bowling during the event, shoe rental, pizza, and soda. For registration information, visit www.thenayp.com
South Hadley/Granby Chamber of Commerce
(413) 532-6451

• Jan. 25: President’s Dinner, cocktails at 5:30 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p. m., Willitts-Hallowell Center, Mount Holyoke College. Sponsors: premier members. Special guest speakers: TBD. Annual business meeting. Cost: $37. Check must be received by Jan. 21.

Insurance Exec Has Modesty Element Fully Covered

Sam Hanmer President of FieldEddy Insurance Network

Sam Hanmer President of FieldEddy Insurance Network

Sam Hanmer could play football for Bill Bellichick.
Well … he could handle the pre- and post-game interviews with the media, anyway.
He sure sounds like one of the Patriots when he talks about his career, his life, and the things that define it. He’d much rather talk about the team than himself, and there’s an unassuming, ‘just-doing-my-job,’ ‘it’s-really-no-big-deal’ tone, or attitude, to much, if not almost all, of what he says. However, there’s a little more dry humor than most of the Patriots display.
Consider this comment when asked how he was able to exponentially grow what is now known as the FieldEddy Insurance Network in the 14 or so years after he took the reins as CEO soon after his father retired from the agency known as Field, Eddy and Bulkley:
“I think the thing I’ve done best is put together a really good team of people,” he started. “I want people to be smarter than me when they come here — which isn’t saying much, believe me; that’s not exactly a lofty goal. Together, this team gets it done, and they’ve enabled me to achieve a good work-life balance.”
There was similar modesty when he was talking about his athletic ability and proficiency in various sports.
Indeed, when asked if he was in an over-40 hockey league (he’s 48 and loves the game), he said, “no, but I’m certainly ready for one. I’m still in an over-30 league, and those guys are too fast for me. I’ve got to move on.”
On skiing: “I wouldn’t say I’m good at it … I’d leave it up to the people I ski with to say how good I am.” And on his exploits in triathlon competitions: “I just do the sprints, which is a half-mile swimming, 15 miles on the bike, and a three- or four-mile run,” he said, noting that these events progress markedly, distance-wise, with the so-called Olympic, half, and full, or ‘ironman,’ triathlons. “Each year I think I’m going to do an Olympic or a half, but haven’t gotten there yet; primarily, it’s the swimming that’s holding me back.”
Despite the understated tone to all these comments — and Hanmer’s insistence that his partner, FieldEddy President Timm Marini, who did spend some time playing for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins; his son, in training to be a marine biologist; or virtually anyone else would be a better profile subject for BusinessWest — there is an intriguing story here. Actually, several of them.
The first involves business, of course, and the expansion of FieldEddy well beyond its roots in downtown Springfield, an initiative that Hanmer orchestrated, and that continues today, although current market conditions have brought a temporary halt to the spate of acquisitions.
There’s also a strong track record of community involvement, especially with the YMCA of Greater Springfield, where Hanmer is in his fourth year as board chair and in the middle of his second search for an executive director with the recent departure of James O’S Morton for the Hartford YMCA.
Overall, there seems to be an attractive work-life balance that many business executives are still searching for. Indeed, thanks to that team he mentioned earlier, Hanmer was able to take Fridays off last summer and fall and spend more time at a home he purchased a few years ago in West Yarmouth. And with ski season now in full force, he’s thinking strongly about continuing that schedule into the spring.
The house on the Cape hasn’t helped Hanmer’s golf handicap — weekends there mean less time to play and practice — but he still gets out regularly enough, and there are those other sports, and even a fascination for ’60s and ’70s muscle cars, especially the Pontiac GTO.
“I’ve owned three of them — I’m a car nut,” he said, listing a ’65 tri-power, a ’65 four-barrel convertible, and ’67 hardtop, with a tinge of lament in his voice as he uses the past tense. “I’ll get another one … someday.”
For this, the latest installment of its Profiles in Business series, BusinessWest talks with a man who doesn’t like to talk about himself, but managed to do so just long enough to paint an interesting self-portrait.

Policy Statement
Hanmer was talking about the swimming leg of one of those sprint triathlons he’s taken part in, this one in Ludlow — but if you didn’t know any better, you’d swear he was expounding on the ultra-competitive world of insurance.
“The pack never really separates,” he explained, noting that there are dozens of people in a small stretch of water, kicking and clawing to gain some ground. “You get kicked in the face, punched in the face, and elbowed, and of course the anxiety level picks up; it gets a little crazy out there, a little wild.”
To some extent, though, FieldEddy has managed to gain some degree of separation. It now boasts more than 70 employees after acquiring several smaller agencies over more than a decade of aggressive expansion efforts, a crital mass that brings many competitive advantages. Still, this is a changing, ultra-challenging business sector, impacted most recently in the auto realm by a number of national online companies, such as Geico and Progressive, jockeying for position in a state that recently changed the rules to stimulate greater competition.
“It’s great for the consumers — they’ve seen up to a 20% reduction in their rates,” he explained. “The business has changed for us; it’s not necessarily good or bad, it’s just different. We’ve seen our share of the direct writers get a foothold here, but we’re starting to see that come back because they’re taking some rate increases.
“Geico has done a very soft launch in Massachusetts,” he continued, noting that that the company has been in the Bay State for more than a year, but has yet to make a lot of noise beyond its heavy marketing. “I’m just worried about what happens when they really want to pull the trigger.”
How Hanmer arrived at this position to reflect on, and react to, all these changes is an intriguing story. His father was the majority owner of a firm known then as Field, Eddy, and Bulkley, but Hanmer didn’t go to work for him upon graduation from UMass Amherst in 1984.
“I was interviewing at UMass for jobs, and went with the one that offered the most money,” he explained. “And that was with Liberty Mutual in Boston.”
Ironically, his girlfriend and future wife, Jenny, was working for the agency (she started part-time while they were both at UMass) when he ventured off to the Hub.
While Hanmer enjoyed his time in Boston — he said he spent many an afternoon and evening in the bleachers at Fenway — he soon returned to Springfield to get married and join Field, Eddy, and Bulkley.
He started in sales, but soon moved to the financial side of the business when the then-treasurer suffered a heart attack and had to leave the company for some time. He eventually gravitated back to sales and, in 1995 when his father retired, stepped into a leadership role.
And it wasn’t long before he started to capitalize on a trend within the industry — small, often mom-and-pop operations struggling to adjust to changes and technology began looking in earnest for exit strategies — to grow by acquisition.

Pedal to the Metal
Over the next dozen years or so, the firm acquired a number of agencies, some with familiar names known across the region and others with names known across the city or town in question. That list includes the Curtis and Hodskins agencies in Monson, Aliengena in Palmer, LDS in Three Rivers, Meadows in East Longmeadow, BPI in Springfield, Remillard in South Hadley, Buckley Bridge in Windsor Locks, and, most recently, Lawson, Marino & Bertera, another Springfield-based agency specializing in employee benefits.
When asked to evaluate his body of work with regard to growing the company, Hanmer was his usual modest self, almost Tom Brady-like.
“In the aggregate, it’s working,” he explained. “I’m not going to say all of those agencies are what I thought they were or that everything’s worked out exactly as I’d hoped, but for the most part, it’s worked, or it’s working; we’ve done well.”
Looking ahead, Hanmer said he continues to scan the horizon in search of new acquisition opportunities, but he’s not expecting additional expansion in the near term.
“There’s been a couple that have come across my desk,” he said, “but things are still pretty uncertain out there right now, especially in health care. And in personal lines, well … it’s really hard to put your finger on what might happen there. It’s a very competitive marketplace.”
In the meantime, he says his day-to-day job description at the moment involves working more on the business than in it — something else most area executives are striving to do. “But that’s difficult when you’ve been working in the business as long as I have,” he said.
Equally hard is achieving that desired balance between work, life, and community involvement, but Hanmer seems to found something approaching the right formula.
In addition to his lengthy stint as chair of the Y board — prolonged because successors due to succeed him have been unable to do so — Hanmer has donated time and energy to other agencies and causes. These include Bay Path College and the Springfield Museums, both of which he serves as a trustee, and Mason-Wright Retirement Community, where he’s a corporator.
He’s also a long-time member of an organization known as YPO, the Young Presidents’ Organization, a global network of young chief executives that currently boasts about 17,000 members in more than 100 countries. The local group acts as a de-facto board of directors for smaller companies that don’t have one, he explained, adding that roundtable discussions among members have helped him grow as a business leader and tackle some of the hard decisions he’s had to make over the years.
Hanmer also saves plenty of time for his family, especially his three children — Jessica, 25; John, 24; and Margo, 21 — and his two bulldogs, Bentley and Nola.
As for sports, as he said, he’s still in the over-30 league, playing left wing primarily, “but I go wherever they need me.” He’s also an avid skier and snowboarder — he sold his place at Mount Sugarbush and now rotates between Stratton, Okemo, Mount Snow, and, occasionally, Killington — and a triathlon veteran looking to get better in the water.
“I always thought I was a pretty good swimmer until I did one of these things; I found out in a hurry I wasn’t as good as I thought as I was,” he told BusinessWest, noting that the quality and quantity of competition usually leaves him playing catch-up when he gets out of the water and onto the bike.
“The good news with the swimming,” he continued, “is that it’s so short that being behind the pack means only about 20 seconds or half-minute, which you can make up on the bike, which is my best strength.”

Business Cycles
Time will tell if Hanmer graduates to an Olympic or half-marathon this year. He’s optimistic that will happen, but not exceedingly so.
He’s also not sure about the year ahead in insurance, where the economy continues to be a factor, and a green lizard and a woman named Flo are making things even more interesting in a business known for intense competition.
What is certain is that he will continue on in his understated way, giving credit to the team and essentially directing attention away from himself.
“That’s how I am — we just keep looking for ways to do things better and get ahead,” he said, sounding, again, like a certain hooded-sweatshirt-wearing football coach.

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

Departments People on the Move

People on the Move

van Schouwen Associates, LLC, of Longmeadow announced the following:

Shannon Filipelli

Shannon Filipelli

• Shannon Filippelli has been promoted to Director of Strategic Communications; and
Staasi Heropoulos

Staasi Heropoulos

• Staasi Heropoulos has been hired as Manager of Strategic Communications.
The expanded staffing and organizational changes come as the firm inks several contracts for new business with a regional bank, national retailer, international component R&D test firm, health care services organization, and other companies.
Dr. Michael Coppola has been elected President of the Washington, D.C.-based American Sleep Apnea Assoc. for 2011. Coppola, who specializes in pulmonary and sleep medicine, has served on the association’s Board of Directors since 2004. He is President and CEO of Springfield Medical Associates. He also serves as an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.
Jeffrey Corrigan has been named Vice President of Human Resources at the Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro, Vt. Corrigan has close to 30 years of experience in leading human resources in health care settings.
Marta Nichols has been appointed CitiStat Director for the City of Springfield. Nichols will be responsible for managing the development and implementation of CitiStat, Performance Management and ACE/LEAN, including the development of all policies, processes, and communication programs. Nichols will also serve as a member of the steering committees that drive Continuous Improvement Springfield, as well as identify, analyze, prioritize, and make recommendations to the committee. Additionally, she will advise Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Chief Administrative and Financial Officer Lee C. Erdmann on department activities, problems, and performance.
Christina M. Sousa

Christina M. Sousa

TD Bank has named Christina M. Sousa the Store Manager of the Ludlow Center store at 549 Center St. An Assistant Vice President, she is responsible for new-business development, consumer and business lending, and managing personnel and day-to-day operations at the store.
Attorney Rosemary J. Nevins has been named Senior Counsel at Royal LLP, 270 Pleasant St., Northampton. Nevins has more than 25 years of experience in labor and employment law.
John Kennedy has been named Vice Chancellor for University Relations at UMass Amherst. He will direct the campus’ marketing, branding, and communication efforts. He will also oversee units responsible for communications and marketing, news and media relations, and external relations and university events.
The Central Massachusetts South Chamber of Commerce in Sturbridge announced the following:
• Michael Detarando, of Incom, has been named to the Board of Directors;
• Jonathan Kelley, of Savers Bank, has been named to the Board of Directors;
• James Leaming, of Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, has been named to the Board of Directors; and
• Thea Marcoux, of SCHOTT North America, has been named to the Board of Directors.
Denise McCarthy

Denise McCarthy

Denise McCarthy has joined Marcotte Ford in Holyoke as Business Development Manager. She is responsible for generating new business for the dealership by cultivating Internet inquiries as well as communicating with existing prospects and customers. She also promotes the dealership through participation in the Holyoke and Chicopee Chambers of Commerce and off-site marketing and community events.
Alfredo Batista has joined Keller Williams Realty in its Longmeadow office.
David Barclay has been appointed as Director of Development at Historic Deerfield.
Psychologist L. Saxon Elliott has joined James Levine Associates in Westfield and South Hadley.
Jeremy M. Leblond, a Certified Public Accountant, has joined the firm of Aaron Smith, Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants, of East Longmeadow, as a Manager.
Attorney Carol Cioe Klyman, of the firm Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, of Springfield and Northampton, has been elected as a Fellow of the Board of Regents of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Bradley Newell has joined Consolidated Health Plans in Springfield as Chief Financial Officer.
Northampton Planning Director Wayne Feiden has been nominated as an honorary member of the American Institute for Architects. His nomination states that Northampton has received the highest score in Massachusetts for sustainability in five of the past six years.
Tom O’Regan has been hired at UMass Amherst as the Manager who oversees emergency preparedness planning and response activities for the campus.
Frank DeCaro was recently honored as one of PepsiCo’s top performers worldwide with induction into the inaugural group of Chairman’s Circle of Champion winners. He was among 216 Associates from PepsiCo’s more than 250,000-person global operations team to win the honor.
Henry J. Drapalski Jr. has been named the Center for Human Development’s Vice President of Business Planning & Analysis. He will be responsible for analyzing business operations and fiscal performance and planning future growth for the $58 million, nonprofit agency.

Agenda Departments

Smart Growth Zoning
Jan. 24: Proposed locations for Chapter 40R Smart Growth districts will be presented to Ludlow residents at 6 p.m. at Ludlow Town Hall. Chapter 40R Smart Growth zoning districts encourage a higher concentration of housing and mixed-use developments in areas with existing infrastructure to create a range of housing options and spur community revitalization. Communities that adopt Smart Growth zoning districts are eligible to receive special state funds. The presentation will be facilitated by the town’s Smart Growth Zoning Advisory Committee and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

Clio Awards
Jan. 26: The Ad Club of Western Mass. will showcase the 2010 television/cinema winners from the 2010 Clio Awards, one of the most recognized international advertising, design, and communication competitions, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Rivers Memorial, Western New England College, Springfield. Reservations must be made by Jan. 19 by calling (413) 736-2582. The cost is $25 for Ad Club members, $35 for non-members, and $15 for students. For more information, visit www.adclubwm.org.

Visionaries Forum
Jan. 28: The University of Hartford’s Construction Institute will host its second annual Visionaries Forum, part of the A/E/C Issues series, “A Visionary Approach to Design and Construction,” from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell in Cromwell, Conn. Program registration, continental breakfast, and networking will begin at 7:45 a.m. For more information or to register, visit www.construction.org.

Rick’s Place Benefit
Feb. 5: The third annual Heart to Heart fund-raiser for Rick’s Place is planned from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Ludlow Country Club. Established in memory of Rick Thorpe, who died in Tower Two of the World Trade Center on 9/11, Rick’s Place was created to provide a supportive, secure environment where families can remember their loved ones and avoid the sense of isolation that a loss can produce. For ticket information, call Shelly Bathe Lenn at (413) 348-3120 or visit www.ricksplacema.org.

Business Open House
Feb. 9: The Scibelli Enterprise Center at the STCC Technology Park in Springfield will host an open house titled “Growing Successful Small Businesses” from noon to 1 p.m. The event is offered to explain how the Enterprise Center is the regional hub for entrepreneurship for Western Mass. Small-business owners and service providers are encouraged to attend the open house. For more information, call (413) 755-6109 or visit

National College Fair
March 6-7: The Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield is the setting for the Springfield National College Fair, slated from 1 to 4 p.m. on March 6 and from 9 a.m. to noon on March 7. Sponsored by the National Assoc. for College Admission Counseling and hosted by the New England Association for College Admission Counseling, the event is free and open to the public. The fair allows students and parents to meet one-on-one with admission representatives from a wide range of national and international, public and private, two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Participants will learn about admission requirements, financial aid, course offerings, and campus environment, as well as other information pertinent to the college-selection process. Students can register at www.gotomyncf.com prior to attending the event to receive a printed bar-coded confirmation to use on-site at the fair as an electronic ID.

Summer Business Summit
June 27-28: The Resort and Conference Center of Hyannis will be the setting for the Summer Business Summit, hosted by the Mass. Chamber of Business and Industry of Boston. Nominations are being accepted for the Massachusetts Chamber, Business of the Year, and Employer of Choice awards. The two-day conference will feature educational speakers, presentations by lawmakers, VIP receptions, and more. For more information, visit www.masscbi.com.

Court Dockets Departments

The following is a compilation of recent lawsuits involving area businesses and organizations. These are strictly allegations that have yet to be proven in a court of law. Readers are advised to contact the parties listed, or the court, for more information concerning the individual claims.

Paula Parsons, as executrix of the estate of Catherine Wellinger v. The Arbors at Greenfield
Allegation: Negligence and failure to provide adequate staffing and supervision, leading to wrongful death: $25,000+
Filed: 11/15/10

Alton E. Gleason Co. v. Cardaropoli Realty
Allegation: Breach of contract: $49,150
Filed: 11/12/10

Baystate Contracting Services Inc. v. Weston Sampson CMR Inc.
Alle gation: Failure to pay under the terms of a construction agreement: $122,031.70
Filed: 11/11/10

Bradco Supply v. Multi-State Roofing Inc.
Allegation: Non-payment of goods sold and delivered: $34,916.38
Filed: 11/3/10

Central Mutual Insurance v. All Hose Inc.
Allegation: Negligence causing fire damage to a property leased to defendant: $263,326.89
Filed: 11/5/10

Michelle Ruby v. Cyalume Technologies Inc.
Allegation: Unfair and deceptive business practices: $268,000
Filed: 11/9/10

Western Mass. Electric Co. v. Springfield Technology Corp.
Allegation: Non-payment of utility services rendered: $158,542.50
Filed: 11/3/10

EMAP Limited v. The October Co. d/b/a/ Chemetal
Allegation: Breach of contract and unjust enrichment: $18,251.95
Filed: 12/13/10

Accutech Insulation & Contracting v. Springfield Group Inc.
Allegation: Non-payment of materials, equipment, and services on a construction project: $16,677.46
Filed: 11/22/10

Performance Food Group v. Elita 7, LLC d/b/a/ Donna Kay Rest Home
Allegation: Non-payment of goods provided on credit account: $34,935.88
Filed: 11/23/10

Performance Food Group v. Samco and Jason J. Boucher
Allegation: Non-payment of goods provided on credit account: $47,220.82
Filed: 11/23/10

Performance Food Group v. Worcester Light d/b/a Anna Maria Rest Home
Allegation: Non-payment of goods provided on credit account: $35,072.77
Filed: 11/23/10

United Rentals v. Converted Organics Inc.
Allegation: Non-payment of materials, equipment, and services on a construction project: $19,068.62
Filed: 11/19/10

United Rentals v. Maxton Technology Inc.
Allegation: Non-payment of materials, equipment, and services provided on a construction project: $27,506.31
Filed: 11/22/10

Pioneer Valley Winnelson Co. v. Statewide Mechanical Contracting Inc.
Allegation: Non-payment of goods sold and delivered: $22,440.99
Filed: 12/8/10

DBA Certificates Departments

The following Business Certificates and Trade Names were issued or renewed during the month of January 2011.


AM Gutter Guys
23 Marlene Dr.
Andrey Mozolevskiy

Brother’s Painting
47 James Ave.
Erol Kumas

Hope Community Church AG
152 South Westfield St.
Eric Welch

Photographic Journals
360 North Westfield St.
Sean Fitzgerald

Thousand Cranes Studio
505 Springfield St.
Stanislas Coly

Uberfast Ski Service
73 Poplar St.
Michael Dechristopher


A+ Roofing & Home Improvement
26 Harding St.
Nathan Warren

Chicopee Street Auto Sales
363 Chicopee St.
Wayne L. Pare Sr.

Contemporary Conservatory Company
165 Front St.
Robert Langston

D.G.S. Auto Technologies
552 Chicopee St.
David Stearns

Euro Glass & Frame Automotive
164 Chicopee St.
Kenelma Rivera

Mike’s Clock Shop
118 Ann St.
Michael W. Harry

40 Haynes Cir.
Main Oxy/Chicopee LLC


S6 Glassworks
34 Pierce St.
Susan Griswold

Charmed Nails
41 Bank Row
Carrie Kuzmeskus


Autumn’s Bookkeeping
90 County Road
Lynn Schroder

Budget Inn
579 Northampton St.
Mita Patez

Elle Jewelry
50 Holyoke St.
Nolmar Hannoush

F & M Motor Sales
414 South St.
Michael Gruszka

254 Maple St.
Oneida G. Rivera

JGL Truck Sales
27 Jackson St.
Javier Gonzalez

JP’s Restaurant
200 Whiting Farms Road
Frances Lavelle

Mainstreet Shell Chow Hands
636 Main St.
Taha Kidwai

Majeya’s Avon
254 Maple St.
Ana D. Torres

Maria Gift Shop
252 Maple St.
Maria M. Rondon

Salazar Jewelry & Accessories
254 Maple St.
Pedro Salazar

Sam’s Quality Motors
170 Main St.
Samuel Rosa


JP’s Auto Service
346 Wilbraham St.
Jean P. Carbonneau

Vic’s Organ Service
295 Burlingame St.
Victor Granger


American Red Cross
506 Cottage St.
Richard A. Lee

Arctic Rental and Leasing
1601 Page Blvd.
Carl A. Jasmin

Art’s Gardens
27 Savoy Ave.
Arthur Martin

BNI Business Endeavors
191 Chesnut St.
Alice Kempf

Colon’s Touch of Elegance
154 ½ Main St.
Lisandra Colon

Experience Wellness Center
80 Congress St.
Omar Faruk

Falls Fruit
1003 St. James Ave.
Masudur Rahman

Four Seasons Cyber LLC
296 Cooley St.
Jennifer D. Burritt

Garcia’s Painting
878 Liberty St.
Luis A. Garcia

Great Walls
1004 Berkshire Ave.
Jason A. Lemire

Happy and Sweet LLC
807 Worthington St.
Caterina Cardenuto

Housing Alternatives
175 State St.
Donna L. Beaumier

Laugh For No Reason
1127 Worthington St.
Trevor H. Smith

Nusean’s Old Fashion Cleaning
17 Woodside Terrace
Nusean Denise

P. J. R. Enterprise Inc.
1 Federal St.
Pablo J. Rios

Pearson Professional Center
1 Monarch Place
Debra Risch


60 Arnold St.
Brian R. Hoose

Brills Auto Sales
388 Southampton Road
David Albert

Litl’Ant Productions
285 Birch Bluff Dr.
Michael A. Wertelet

NEVSKIY Construction
81 South Maple St.
Sergey Shcherbakov

Patmos Construction
216 Shaker Road
Stanislav I. Petrik


AT&T Mobility
1018 Riverdale St.
New Cingular Wireless

Cool Runnings LLC Training Salon & Spa
311 Elm St.
Michael G. Price

Dirk Kidwell Electrician
100 Front St.
Dirk Kidwell

Exclusive Painting
79 Pierce St.
Ryan T. Roberts

Lucky Sevens Carpet
1752 Riverdale St.
Gabriel Khatchadouran

Pat’s Auto Sales Inc.
179 Bosworth St.
Philip Catanzarite