Home 2012 February
Building Permits Departments

The following building permits were issued during the month of January 2012.


Amereda Hess Corporation
468 West St.
$5,700 — Replace existing coffee island with new one

FL Roberts & Company Inc.
373 Northampton Road
$5,000 — Minor alterations to existing building for Liberty Tax Service

Snell Street, LLC
11 Moody Field Road
$34,000 — Install roof grid tied solar panels


Main Street Property
340 McKinstry Ave.
$4,185 — Install duct distribution for HVAC unit

Mass Mutual
350 Memorial Dr.
$106,000 — Build garage

Triad LLC
34 Simone Road
$30,000 — Renovations

Standex International
939 Chicopee St.
$55,000 — Strip and re-roof


31 Ames Street, LLC
31 Ames St.
$17,000 — New roof

Amy McMahan
10 Fiske Ave.
$4,000 — New ductwork

Baystate Franklin Medical Center
164 High St.
$239,000 — CT installation and renovations

Greenfield Acres, LLC
10 Congress St.
$85,000 — Replace existing fire alarm system

Peter Bagley
207 Silver St.
$35,000 — New refrigeration system


CBR Realty Corporation
8 River Dr.
$5,000 — Renovations

Floranine, LLC
285 Russell St.
$50,000 — Construct metal-frame greenhouse

Pyramid Mall of Hadley Newco, LLC
4 Clinton Sq.
$1,158,000 — Interior remodel


Holyoke Mall Company, L.P.
50 Holyoke St.
$177,000 — Remodel existing Wet Seal store


Big Y Foods Inc.
433 Center St.
$24,500 — Alterations

JB Meats
137 Center St.
$18,250 — Re-shingle

Miracle Method
541 Center St.
$8,000 — Alterations


Mount Holyoke College
9 Woodbridge St.
$3,600 — New roof

Mount Holyoke College
73 College St.
$7,400 — New roof

Mount Holyoke College
14 Silver St.
$11,000 — New roof


Baystate Medical Center
759 Chestnut St.
$45,000 — Create new entrance into family waiting room

City of Springfield
36 Court St.
$120,000 — Interior renovations

Colvest/Springfield 1, LLC
793B Boston Road
$29,000 — Renovations for new tenant space

Monarch Enterprises
627 Cottage St.
$5,000 — Pre-built unit

Pearson-Cooley Development
305 Bicentennial Highway
$38,700 — Interior renovations for lounge

The Association for Community Living
220 Brookdale St.
$77,000 — New roof


Lucier Development, LLC
139 Union St.
$210,000 — Renovations to commercial building

Martin Malinowski
501 Southampton Road
$596,000 — Construct new office showroom facility

National Industrial Portfolio
111 Southampton Road
$25,000 — Add handicap ramp

Peter Picknelly
27 Washington St.
$100,000 — Interior demo for new apartments

Sergio Bonivita
79 Mainline Dr.
$2,000 — Interior renovations


Baystate Health
361 Whitney Ave.
$12,000 — Interior remodel of existing office space

DDR Corporation
935 Riverdale St.
$39,000 — Renovate retail space for hearing aid store

H & P Realty, LLC
38 Brushwood Road
$80,000 — Strip and re-roof

Konover Corporation
380 Union St.

Chamber Corners Departments

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

• March 6: Springfield Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors’ meeting, noon to 1 p.m., TD Bank Conference Center, Springfield.
• March 7: ACCGS Business @ Breakfast, Springfield Marriott. Doors open at 7:15 a.m. Cost is $20 for members, $30 for non-members.
• March 8: ACCGS Board of Directors meeting, 8- 9 a.m., TD Bank Conference Center, Springfield.
• March 9: ACCGS Legislative Steering Committee, 8-9 a.m., TD Bank Conference Center, Springfield.
• March 14: ACCGS After 5, 5-7 p.m.
• March 14: Professional Women’s Chamber Up the Ladder: The Healthcare Business, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., MassMutual Room at the Basketball Hall of Fame, Springfield. Guest Speaker will be Susan Toner, vice president of Development, Baystate Health. Cost is $25 for members, $35 for non-members. Hosted by Max’s Tavern.
• March 21: ERC Board of Directors meeting, 8-9 a.m.,  the Gardens of Wilbraham Community Room, 2 Lodge Lane, Wilbraham.

Amherst Area
Chamber of Commerce

• March 14: Chamber Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., at the the Courtyard by Marriott. Craig Melin, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Hospital, will will be the featured speaker. Sponsored by Cooley Dickinson Hospital and VNA & Hospice of Northampton. Cost is $5 for members, $10 for non-members.
• March 28: Margarita Madness, 5-7 p.m., at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The public is invited to this margarita-tasting event; guests can sample 12 margaritas and vote for their favorites. The cost is $25 per person, $40 per couple. Chamber members, $20 per person. Sponsored by MassLive.com, the Valley Advocate, Greenfield Savings Bank, Applewood at Amherst, Copycat Amherst, Encharter Insurance LLC, Hope & Feathers Framing, Johnny’s Tavern, Judie’s Restaurant, 30 Boltwood, Lit, the Pub, UMass Fine Arts Center, Your Promotional Consultant/NEPM, and more.

Chicopee Chamber of Commerce
(413) 594-2101

• March 2: Shining Stars Banquet, 6:30-10 p.m., Castle of Knights, 1599 Memorial Dr., in Chicopee. Recognizing the Business of the Year — MicroTek Inc.; Citizen of the Year — Vern Campbell of Chicopee Visiting Nurse Assoc.; and Chamber Volunteer of the Year — Ron Proulx of Dave’s Truck Repair Inc. Tickets are $60 each. Sign up online at www.chicopeechamber.org
• March 21: March Salute Breakfast,  7:15-9 a.m. at the MassMutual Learning & Conference Center, 350 Memorial Dr., Chicopee. Tickets are $19 for members and $26 for non-members. Sign up online at www.chicopeechamber.org
• March 21: Table Top Expo & Business Networking Event, 4:30-7 p.m. at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, 500 Easthampton Road in Holyoke. Presented by the Chicopee, Greater Holyoke, Greater Easthampton, and Greater Northampton chambers of commerce. More than 175 exhibitors and 600 visitors are expected. Tickets are $5 pre-registered, $10 at the door. Sign up online at www.chicopeechamber.org

Franklin County
Chamber of Commerce
(413) 773-5463

• March 23: Monthly Chamber Breakfast Series, 7:30-9 a.m., Greenfield Grille, Federal St., Greenfield. Theme: “Art and Business in Partnership: Fostering Our Local Economy.” The keynote speaker will be Peter Kageyama, authority on community development. Presenters: Meri Jenkins, Mass. Cultural Council; Matthew Glassman, Double Edge Theater; Dee Schneidman, New England Foundation for the Arts; and Erica Wheeler, Soulful Landscape Program. Tickets: $12 for members, $15 for non-members. Sponsored by Greenfield Savings Bank. This is followed by the Creative Economy Summit 3 in downtown Greenfield, March 23 and 24. Theme is “Art and Business in Partnership.” Admission is $35. Features practical workshops for two days, and many noted speakers and presenters; www.creativeeconomysummit.com

Greater Easthampton
Chamber of Commerce
(413) 527-9414

• March 8: Networking by Business Card Exchange, 5-7 p.m., at Harley-Davidson of Southampton, 17 College Highway, Southampton. Sponsored by Puffer Printing and Copy Center. Door prizes, hors d’ouevres, host beer and wine. Tickets: $5 for members, $15 for future members.
• March 16: St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon, noon-2 p.m., at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, One Atwood Dr., Northampton. Honored guest: Molly Bialecki, Distinguished Young Woman of Greater Easthampton. Sponsored by Easthampton Learning Foundation and Finck & Perras Insurance Agency. Tickets are $21.95 for members, $23.95 for non-members.
• March 21: 18th annual Table Top Exposition & Business Networking Event, 4:30-7 p.m, at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, 500 Easthampton Road, Holyoke. Presented by the Greater Easthampton, Chicopee, Greater Holyoke, and Greater Northampton chambers of commerce. Exhibitor table fee: $100 (must be a member). Contact participating chambers for more info. Attendee-only tickets: $5 in advance, $10 at the door.

Greater Holyoke
Chamber of Commerce
(413) 534-3376

• March 1: Leadership Holyoke opening session, 8 a.m. Hosted by Holyoke Community College.
• March 15: St. Patrick’s Salute Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. Cost: $20.
• March 19: Checkpoint Legislative Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. Presented by Chicopee, Greater Holyoke, and Greater Westfield chambers of Commerce. Keynote speaker will be U.S. Sen. Scott Brown. Sponsored by Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services Co.; Associated Industries of Massachusetts; Sullivan, Hayes & Quinn, LLC; Columbia Gas of Massachusetts; Mestek Inc.; GZA Proactive by Design; and Westfield Bank. Cost: $35 for members of presenting chambers, $45 for non-members.
• March 21: Table Top Expo, 4:30-7 p.m. (March 28 snow date), at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. Presented by the Greater Holyoke, Chicopee, Greater Easthampton, and Greater Northampton chambers of commerce. Annual event with up to 180 exhibitors and 700 attendees. Tables (members of presenting chambers only) are $100. Attendee cost: $5 in advance, $10 at the door. For a list of sponsors, check the BusinessWest ad.

Greater Northampton
Chamber of Commerce
(413) 584-1900

• March 7: March Arrive @5, 5-7p.m., at the Montessori School of Northampton, 51 Bates St,, Northampton; $10 for members. Casual mix and mingle with colleagues and friends. Sponsored by King Auto Body.
• March 9: Annual Meeting, noon-2 p.m., at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 1 Atwood Dr., Northampton.
• March 21: 18th Annual Table Top Exposition & Business Networking Event, 4:30-7 p.m., at the the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House, 500 Easthampton Road, Holyoke. Tickets are $5 in advance, $10 at the door.

Northampton Area
Young Professional Society
(413) 584-1900

• March 8: NAYP Monthly Networking Event, 5-8 p.m., at Spare Time Family Fun Center, 525 Pleasant St., Northampton. Free for members, $5 for guests.

Greater Westfield
Chamber of Commerce
(413) 568-1618

• March 5: Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m. Meet Mayor Dan Knapik and learn about what’s happening in Westfield. Open to the public. Hosted by Tighe & Bond, 53 Southampton Road, Westfield. To register, contact Carrie Dearing at (413) 568-1618 or [email protected]
• March 16: Annual St. Patrick Day’s Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m. at Westfield State University, 577 Western Ave., Westfield. Guest speaker will be George O’Brien, editor of BusinessWest Magazine. Entertainment by some of the Dan Kane Singers. Cost: $25 for chamber members, $30 for non-members. To reserve tickets, contact Carrie Dearing at (413) 568-1618 or [email protected]
• March 19: CheckPoint 2012 Annual Legislative Luncheon at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, 500 Easthampton Road, Holyoke. Keynote speaker is U.S. Sen. Scott Brown. A collaboration between the Greater Westfield, Chicopee, and Greater Holyoke chambers of commerce. Cost: $35 for chamber members, $45 for non-members. To reserve tickets, contact Carrie Dearing at (413) 568-1618 or [email protected]
• March 28: WestNet Plus One!, 5- 7 p.m. Come and network with fellow chamber members and meet new members and businesses in the area. Guest speaker will be Patrick Berry, president of the Westfield News. Hosted by PeoplesBank, 281 East Main St., Westfield.  Cost: $10 for chamber members, $15 cash for non-members. Don’t forget your business cards! To register, contact Carrie Dearing at (413) 568-1618 or [email protected]
• March 31: 2012 Spring Southwick Economic Development Commission (EDC) Home & Business Show, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Southwick Town Hall, 454 College Highway. This tabletop exhibit of Southwick businesses is free to the public, and the EDC will be collecting non-perishable food items for the local food pantry. Several free seminars will be held. Visit www.southwickma.info for more information.

Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield

• March 10: 2nd Annual “Young Professionals Cup” Dodgeball Tournament, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.,  Springfield College. The YPS is partnering up with Springfield College to bring the Pioneer Valley the most epic dodge ball tournament of this decade. The battle for the Young Professionals Cup will consist of 48 coed, eight-person teams. The tournament will be a points-based, round-robin format, with each team playing a minimum of three games.
• March 15: March Third Thursday Networking/Social Event, 5-7 p.m.,
the Still Bar & Grill,  858 Suffield St., Agawam. This event is, as always, free for YPS members and $10 for non-members, and will include food and a cash bar.

Agenda Departments

‘Music for the Eyes’ Exhibition, Reception
Through April 7: The artwork of Preston Trombly, host of Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s nationally broadcast Symphony Hall channel, titled “Music for the Eyes,” will be exhibited through April 7 at the Arno Maris Gallery in Ely Hall on the Westfield State University campus. An artist reception at the gallery is planned for Feb. 29 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. On March 7 at 9:30 a.m., Trombly will present a lecture on his work at the gallery titled “Confluence of Creativity: Similarities Between Composing Music and Making Visual Art.” Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 2 to 5 p.m., Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call (413) 572-4400 or visit www.westfield.ma.edu/galleries.

Manufacturing Seminar
Feb. 29: Presentations by the Economic Development Council of Western Mass., MassDevelopment, Massachusetts Offices of International Trade and Investment, and Associated Industries of Massachusetts will highlight a seminar titled “Promoting Manufacturing in Massachusetts,” from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Springfield Country Club, 1375 Elm St., West Springfield. A networking reception is also planned. For more information or to register, contact Gloria Fischer at [email protected]

Zonta Club to Fete Gobi
March 12: State Rep. Anne M. Gobi has been chosen by the Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley to receive its Founders Day Award. Gobi will be honored at the club’s dinner meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the Ludlow Country Club, 1 Tony Lema Dr., Ludlow. Gobi was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 2001, and represents the 11 towns of the 5th Worcester District. She previously taught in the public school system, and opened her own law practice in 1996. She has worked with Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Mass. to provide free legal services to victims of domestic violence. She is currently a member of the Women’s Caucus, and has co-sponsored bills to update 209A restraining orders to give victims greater protections and enhance the ability of law enforcement to act on the orders. The Founders Day Award is given annually to a woman in the greater Quaboag area who exemplifies the ideals of Zonta International, a service organization of business and professional women. The event is open to the public and tickets must be reserved by March 1. Tickets are $18 payable by March 1, or $20 payable at the door. For more information, contact Marge Cavanaugh at (413) 283-6448 or via e-mail to [email protected], or visit www.zontaqv.org.

Women in Philanthropy Conference
March 13: Women in Philanthropy of Western Mass. will host a conference titled “Growing Philanthropy, New Visions, New Voices,” from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. The event features nationally known leaders in the field of fund development, and is appropriate for women and men who are seasoned professionals or newcomers to the field. Workshops will be led by Penelope Burk, author of Donor-Centered Fundraising; Phil Cubeta, chair in Philanthropy of the American College; and Karen Osborne, president of the Osborne Group. The keynote address, titled “New Leadership for a New Nonprofit Sector,” will be presented by Rosetta Thurman. In addition, sessions will be led by Diana McLain Smith, chief transformation officer of New Profit Inc.; Kristin Leutz and Katie Allan Zobel of the Community Foundation of Western Mass.; Phyllis Williams-Thompson of the Prematurity Campaign of the March of Dimes; Deborah Koch, director of grants at Springfield Technical Community College; Dennis Bidwell of Bidwell Advisors; and Joe Waters and Joanna MacDonald, co-authors of Cause Marketing for Dummies. For more conference details, visit www.wipwm.com. The cost of the conference, with an early discount, is $140. For more information, contact Carol Constant at (413) 222-1761 or [email protected]

Financing Your Business
March 16: The Mass. Small Business Development Center Network will host a lecture titled “Financing Your Business” from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal St., Springfield. Speakers will include Ray Milano of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Gary Besser of First Niagara Bank, and Christopher Sikes, director of Common Capital Inc. Topics include what lenders are looking for, SBA loan programs, new SBA programs, and venture capital and grants. For more information, call (413) 737-6712 or visit www.msbdc.org/wmass. The cost is $40.

Pioneer Valley USO Gala
March 16: The Log Cabin on Easthampton Road in Holyoke will be the setting for the second annual dinner-dance gala of the Pioneer Valley USO. The featured speaker will be American Captain Richard Phillips, who offered himself as a hostage to save his crew from Somali pirates and was freed in a high-seas rescue by U.S. Navy SEALS. The gala theme will be “Proud to be an American.” A cocktail hour at 6 p.m. will be followed by the dinner program at 7. Heroes from each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces and top Pioneer Valley USO supporters will be honored. The Western Massachusetts All Stars Band, led by Joe Pereira, will provide the evening’s entertainment. Tickets are $45 per person and are available online at www.pioneervalleyuso.org or by calling (413) 557-3290. Tickets are limited. The mission of the Pioneer Valley USO is to “lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families.”

Difference Makers
March 22: BusinessWest will stage its Fourth Annual Difference Makers Celebration at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The program recognizes area individuals and organizations that are truly making a difference in this region. This year’s honorees are:
• Donald and Charlie D’Amour, chairman/CEO and president/COO, respectively, of Big Y Foods;
• William Messner, president of Holyoke Community College;
• Majors Tom and Linda-Jo Perks, officers with the Springfield Corps of the Salvation Army;
• Bob Schwarz, executive vice president of Peter Pan Bus Lines; and
• The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.
The awards ceremony will feature entertainment, butlered hors d’ oeuvres, and introductions of the winners. Tickets are $55 per person, with tables of 10 available. For more information or to order tickets, call (413) 781-8600, e-mail [email protected], or visit www.businesswest.com.

Women’s Leadership Conference
March 23: Keynote speakers Sister Helen Prejean, Marjora Carter, and Ashley Judd will share personal stories, as well as insightful advice and perspectives, during Bay Path College’s annual event at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield. The theme for the 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. event is “Lead with Compassion.” Prejean is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille and an anti-death penalty activist, while Carter, an eco-entrepreneur, is president of the Majora Carter Group, and Judd is a film and stage actor and human-rights activist. For more information on the conference or to register, visit www.baypathconference.com or call Briana Sitler, director of special programs, at (413) 565-1066.

Author Lecture
March 28: Internationally acclaimed author Tom Perrotta will read from his upcoming novel, The Leftovers, at 10:10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. in Scibelli Hall Theater, as part of the Ovations series at Springfield Technical Community College. The talks are free and open to the public. Two of Perrotta’s books, Election and Little Children, have been made into movies, and five novels have been national bestsellers. For more information, call (413) 755-4233.

Not Just Business as Usual
April 5: Former NBA player and businessman Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman will be the guest speaker at the Springfield Technical Community College Foundation’s third annual Not Just Business as Usual event at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. A cocktail and networking reception is planned from 5:30 to 7 p.m., followed by the dinner program from 7 to 9 p.m. Bridgeman spent most of his 12-year NBA career with the Milwaukee Bucks, but also played for the Los Angeles Lakers. He is the current franchise owner of more than 160 Wendy’s and 120 Chili’s restaurants. The event encourages local businesses to come together for an evening to network, learn from one another, and support student success. Funds from the event will provide students access to opportunities through scholarships, technology, and career direction to be successful future employees and citizens. “It’s a time to celebrate innovations, change, and our region’s success,” said STCC Foundation Interim Director Robert LePage. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available, and individual tickets are $175 each. For more information, contact LePage at (413) 755-4477 or [email protected]

Constitution Café
April 10: Author and philosopher Christopher Phillips’ latest book, Constitution Café, draws on the nation’s rebellious past to incite meaningful change today. He proposes that Americans revise the Constitution every so often, not just to reflect the changing times, but to revive and perpetuate the original revolutionary spirit. He will present a free lecture at 8 p.m. in the dining hall at Blake Student Commons, on the Bay Path College campus, 588 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow. The lecture is part of the annual Kaleidoscope series. For more information, call (413) 565-1000 or visit www.baypath.edu.

Marketing Basics Seminar
April 11: The Mass. Small Business Development Center Network will host a lecture titled “Marketing Basics” from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Dianne Doherty of the MSBDC Network will present the workshop that will focus on the basic disciplines of marketing, beginning with research (primary, secondary, qualitative, and quantitative). For more information, call (413) 737-6712 or visit www.msbdc.org/wmass. The cost is $40.

Slam Poet Lecture
April 13: Taylor Mali, a former high-school teacher who has emerged from the slam-poetry movement as one of its leaders, will discuss his performances at 10:10 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. in Scibelli Hall Theater, as part of the Ovations series at Springfield Technical Community College. The talks are free and open to the public. For more information, call (413) 755-4233.

Comedy Night to
Benefit Charities
April 21: Smith & Wesson Corp. will host a benefit comedy show to support two local children’s charities, the Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Ronald McDonald House, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Cedars Banquet Hall, 419 Island Pond Road, Springfield. Tickets are $30 per person, and include the show, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres prior to the show, a cash bar, raffles, fund-raising, games, and music. Teddie Barrett of Teddie B. Comedy will emcee the event, featuring professional comedians Bill Campbell, Dan Crohn, and Stacy Yannetty Pema. For tickets or more information, contact Phyllis Settembro, Smith & Wesson, (413) 747-3597; Karen Motyka, Shriners Hospital, (413) 787-2032; or Jennifer Putnam, Ronald McDonald House, (413) 794-5683.

Walk of Champions
May 6: The Goodnough Dike area of the Quabbin Reservoir will be the setting for the seventh annual Walk of Champions in Ware. Participants walk in honor or in memory of loved ones affected by cancer, with the determination to make a difference in those affected by the disease. The event offers a five-mile or two-mile walk, with entertainment and refreshments along the route. For more information, visit www.baystatehealth.org/woc or e-mail Michelle Graci, manager of fund-raising events at Baystate Health at [email protected]

40 Under Forty
June 21: BusinessWest will present its sixth class of regional rising stars at its annual 40 Under Forty gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. Nominations are currently being scored by a panel of five judges. The 40 highest scorers will be feted at the June 21 gala, which will feature music, lavish food stations, and introductions of the winners. Tickets are $60 per person, with tables of 10 available. Early registration is advised, as seating is limited. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or visit www.businesswest.com.

Western Mass.
Business Expo
Oct. 11: BusinessWest will again present the Western Mass. Business Expo. The event, which made its debut last fall at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, will feature more than 180 exhibitors, seminars, special presentations, breakfast and lunch programs, and the year’s most extensive networking opportunity. Comcast Business Class will again be the presenting sponsor of the event. Details, including breakfast and lunch agendas, seminar topics, and featured speakers, will be printed in the pages of BusinessWest over the coming months. For more information or to purchase a booth, call (413) 781-8600, or e-mail [email protected], or visit www.wmbexpo.com.

Briefcase Departments

Construction Backlog Falls 3.2% in 4th Quarter
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) recently released its Construction Backlog Indicator (CBI) for the fourth quarter of 2011, which declined 3.2% from the previous quarter, from 8.1 months to 7.8 months, but is still up 10.9% compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. CBI is a forward-looking economic indicator that measures the amount of non-residential construction work under contract to be completed in the future. “Overall, the latest CBI numbers indicate a degree of stalling in the recovery of the nation’s non-residential construction industry, likely due to a combination of the soft patch that developed in the broader economy early last year, a number of seasonal factors, and the winding down of federal stimulus projects,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “But the good news is that, given the recent acceleration in economic and employment growth, CBI is positioned to rebound more forcefully during the quarters ahead. In addition, the most recent data reflect the ongoing expansion in privately funded construction activity as opposed to the contraction of publicly funded construction. Basu noted that the nation’s smaller construction firms are gaining an advantage from this shift, in contrast to the decreased construction activity among the larger firms that had benefited from earlier federal stimulus projects and military-base-realignment-related construction.” Regionally, the construction backlog expanded in the Northeast from the third quarter to the fourth quarter, but declined in the South and West, and was essentially unchanged in the middle states. Also, the construction backlog is higher in every region of the nation compared to one year ago. Companies in the south, some of which are located in high-growth states such as Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, reported the lengthiest backlog at 8.9 months, up 14.7% from the fourth quarter of 2010. “The disparity between regional construction activity is on the rise,” said Basu. “One year ago, the difference in backlog between the South region, with the lengthiest backlog, and the West region, with the shortest backlog, was 1.98 months. During the fourth quarter of 2011, this gap rose to 2.81 months, with the South reporting a backlog of 8.92 months and the West at 6.11 months. The South appears to be the region most positively impacted by rebounding non-residential construction, largely due to its central importance to the nation’s energy industry.” Basu added that the West “continues to deal with many issues, including the impact of weak residential real-estate markets and stressed state fiscal conditions, both of which impact the vitality of broader regional economies.”

MMWEC, Utilities Receive Energy-efficiency Grant
LUDLOW — A first-time grant of $200,000 from the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) will enable three municipal utilities and the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. (MMWEC) to expand energy-efficiency programs for their commercial and industrial customers. Using the MMWEC energy-efficiency program model, the MMWEC member utilities in Westfield, Chicopee, and Ipswich received grants totaling $142,500, primarily to bolster customer-rebate programs that offset the cost of making energy-efficient improvements. MMWEC received a grant of $7,500 to promote its energy-efficiency program and assist municipal utilities with delivery of related customer services. “This grant is certainly a welcomed contribution to expanding the energy-efficiency services provided by these municipal utilities,” said MMWEC CEO Ronald C. DeCurzio. “We are hoping the allocation of these funds can be expanded in the future to benefit additional municipal utilities and their customers.” MMWEC coordinated the competitive grant-application process for its member utilities in Westfield, Chicopee, and Ipswich, while the Reading municipal utility also received funding for an energy-saving water-heating program. The MMWEC members will use the grants to increase rebates and energy-audit funding for commercial and industrial customers. Generally, the efficiency measures covered include improvements in heating and cooling, windows, boilers and furnaces, lighting, energy-monitoring systems, and insulation. The grants are funded through proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a regional cap-and-trade, emissions-reduction program that has generated more than $150 million for Massachusetts through the sale of emission allowances. “Westfield is delighted to be among the first municipal utilities in Massachusetts to receive a grant from the DOER,” said Westfield Gas & Electric General Manager Daniel J. Howard. “We have worked hard at initiating a program for our commercial and industrial customers that promotes conservation and energy efficiency while expanding existing programs to our residential customers.” Chicopee Electric Light Manager Jeffrey R. Cady echoed those sentiments. “The DOER grant will enable Chicopee to move forward with expanding programs to better serve our customers and help meet our system needs with energy efficiency and conservation initiatives,” said Cady. “Using energy efficiently is essential in delivering a reliable and economic supply of electricity to Chicopee consumers. This grant will keep us moving in that direction.” MMWEC is a nonprofit, public corporation and political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that provides a variety of power-supply, financial, risk-management, and other services to the state’s consumer-owned municipal utilities.

A Conversation with the ‘Casino Czar’

Stephen Crosby says the Gaming Commission will be a regulator

Stephen Crosby says the Gaming Commission will be a regulator, but it may also collaborate with the casino industry to maximize the public good.

Stephen Crosby, the recently named chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, says the top priority for his panel is to conduct a process that will be above reproach. But in many ways, that test could become a mere baseline for the commission, he told BusinessWest in a wide-ranging interview, adding that the five-member body could go well beyond the role of regulator and become what he called a “proactive participant” in the process of optimizing the advent of casino gambling for the public good.
That’s a word Stephen Crosby used very early and quite often as he talked about the process for determining how casino licenses will be awarded in the Bay State. Named chairman of the state’s Gaming Commission roughly three months ago by Gov. Deval Patrick, Crosby doesn’t know everything about how that process will shake out — actually, he doesn’t know many things, right down to where his office will be — but what he does know is that it will be a very public, highly transparent procedure.
In short, there shouldn’t be any doubts about whether the selection process was conducted fairly, honestly, and free of politics, said Crosby, who sat down with BusinessWest recently at the Newton Marriott to discuss what he knows and what he believes about this critical juncture in the state’s history, during which all eyes will be on him and the four other commission members, due to be chosen by the end of next month.
“Nothing will be as public as this,” said Crosby, who will step down at least temporarily from his role as dean of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Public Studies at UMass Boston to take on his new role. “The governor wants this to be a clean process, and we do have to figure out how to maximize transparency, which goes to the issue of having the public and participants think this was on the level.””
But while he wants the process to be above reproach — something a similar process in Pennsylvania certainly wasn’t (more on that later) — Crosby himself wants much more from it. Indeed, he told BusinessWest that he believes the Gaming Commission may be able to partner with developers to “optimize” (another word he used often) the coming of casinos to the Bay State.
“There’s another metric for success beyond that baseline,” he said, referring to a process that passes the fairness test. “And that is to figure out a way that, when this is over and people look back at the process, they say, ‘wow, these people really thought outside of the box; they thought of a way to take the leverage of expanded gaming in Massachusetts and turn it into a really creative public good.’”
And while the commission will ultimately be tasked with answering some huge questions about where casinos will go and how they will be regulated, it will get there by asking some, said Crosby, adding that the queries about what should drive the panel’s decisions will likely be put to many different constituencies.
“We’re going to want to know what smart, interesting people think,” he said, adding quickly that specifics of the process are far from being settled. “I think we’d want to ask everyone we could think of asking — all the affected constituences, people with experience in this, people from the affected communities, religious leaders, and the parties [developers] themselves; I think we’d want to ask them to help us think creatively and determine why it’s good to do this or bad to do that.”
Crosby acknowledged that there is no manual, or road map, for this assignment, and that this is both part of the challenge and opportunity awaiting the commission — a body that almost always appears in print with the adjective ‘powerful’ preceding it — and something that appealed to him when asked by the governor to take the job.
“Given that the issue of whether we’re going to have expanded gaming or not has been decided, the matter of who is going to be responsible for trying to see that it’s done in whatever is the appropriate way … that’s an interesting challenging that appealed to me,” he said. “This is so de-novo — there’s a piece of legislation, and that’s it, nothing else. There’s no office space, no rules or regs, and, other than what’s in the law, there’s no standards.
“What I found so interesting about this,” he continued, “was the chance to take something from absolute ground zero to, hopefully, the end of the process, where the public and participants thought the process was on the level.”

Background — Check
Crosby, 66, said that, for the record, he’s “never been much of an enthusiast of gaming as a way to raise revenues,” but has been pragmatic in his outlook.
In a 2003 Boston Globe op-ed piece, he wrote during the casino debate that the state could hardly do worse with gaming than it did with the lottery system, which he said shortchanged communities to the point of “promoting gambling for the sake of gambling.”
He went on to write that casinos would likely funnel more gambling proceeds to cities and towns than the lottery and might actually reduce the overall amount of gambling, and “that’s probably a public-policy good.”
At this moment, though, his views on casino gambling are entirely moot. Casinos are now the law, he said, and it’s essentially his commission’s assignment to carry out the law — or at least those portions that pertain to the licensing and operating of facilities.
And he will bring to his role as chairman of that body vast experience in business — he’s started or managed several different companies — as well as public service, education, and law (he earned a J.D. at Boston University after earning a bachelor’s degree at Harvard).
His business background includes a number of ventures, ranging from a contract-publishing outfit called the Crosby Vandenburgh Group, which counted ESPN and AMC among its clients, to something called Interactive Radio Corp., which devised a unique method of delivering low-cost, two-way, GPS-informed data to in-vehicle radios and telematics units.
His public-sector experience includes stints as chief of staff for Gov. Jane Swift in 2002, and secretary of the state Executive Office of Administration and Finance under Gov. Paul Cellucci. And in recent years, he’s been called upon to lead or serve on a number of review panels; in 2009, Patrick chose him to head a panel studying compensation of top managers at the state’s quasi-public agencies, and in 2010, Crosby was chosen by the Supreme Judicial Court to serve on a task force assigned to review hiring practices in the patronage-plagued probation department.
He’s also been a frequent guest commentator in the media, with appearances, or op-eds, in forums ranging from CNN to the Boston Business Journal to the New York Times.
Called even-handed and a good listener by many colleagues and observers in press accounts since his appointment by the governor, Crosby said he believes the sum of his various experiences will benefit him during this high-profile, high-stakes assignment.
“I’ve been deeply involved in every aspect of public-policy making and public-institution building and evaluating,” he said of his résumé. “I’ve been an entrepreneur, I’ve had experience with the press, I know a lot about public and private finance, and I’m a lawyer.”
He’s already had to exercise some of these skills, especially working with the press. Indeed, he’s done a number of interviews like this one, in which he’s discussed the commission’s task and how it will likely be carried out, but he’s also had to answer questions about whether some of the decisions regarding casinos have already been made — literally, if not figuratively.
He was asked recently by the Boston Globe, for example, to comment on some analysts’ conjecture that the reason so few casino proposals have been developed for the eastern region of the state (one of three created by the gaming legislation) was because potential bidders believed a license for those who want to build at Suffolk Downs in East Boston was a fait accompli, due to support from legislative leaders.
“Any suggestion that this process is somehow wired is absolutely and totally false,” Crosby told the Globe. “I would hope no prospective operator would elect not to participate in Eastern Mass. due to a [misrepresentation], because it is absolutely not predetermined.”
What Crosby says he doesn’t have is extensive knowledge about the casino industry; thus, he intends to go about learning, a process that is already well-underway. He said he’s absorbing background in the form of studies on the industry regarding everything from return on investment to compulsive gambling, to “the key pressure points for income and expense.”
Meanwhile, he’s looking at best practices in other states, and also into what went wrong in Pennsylvania, where the process became mired in controversy and, eventually, lawsuits. Crosby is still learning about that experience, but has read some of the grand-jury reports.
“The commissioners felt tremendously under the gun to get moving — the state was in need of the revenue,” he said. “And I think the governing environment put pressure on them to move quickly.
“They either didn’t want to do or didn’t have time to do proper vetting of the parties involved,” he continued. “It was, at best, a poor process, and something I think we can learn from.”

Dicey Situation
When asked about the factors that will eventually determine which parties are awarded licenses — the $64,000 question on everyone’s mind — Crosby said there will be many considerations, some perhaps still to be determined.
He summed it up this way when talking about the requests for proposals (RFPs) that will eventually be issued and then evaluated — and the wording that may be included:
“Eliciting from the prospective providers what we really care about — after we’ve figured out what we’ll really care about — will be its own art form.”
Elaborating, he said many of the factors to be weighed are known (they’re in the law), and it all starts with what he called the ‘cleanliness’ of the proposition, meaning that the party behind the proposal is above reproach. Other matters that will play into the decisions, he continued, include everything from economic development, with the matter of quality jobs being one of the priorities laid out in the legislation, to the impact on host communities, surrounding communities, and entertainment venues in a given region.
And one of the issues for the commission to decide, he went on, is just how subjective or objective the decision-making process will be.
“We’ll have to decide to what extent we want to try to objectify the ratings,” he explained, adding that doing so “is good from a standpoint of transparency and clarity of analysis, as opposed to subjectifying the analysis, which gives us more flexibility to think broadly and outside the box about how these values are manifest.
“There are benefits to both approaches,” he continued, “and that’s something the commission will have to figure out.”
And while doing so, the commission will also have to determine the level to which it wants to proactively engage the casino industry and impacted constituencies in that process of optimizing expanded gaming.
“We know we’re going to get some jobs, and we know we’re going to get some revenue to the state,” he explained, “but all of these people that have a financial interest in being part of this are A, smart and creative; B, they’re resourceful; and C, we would like to think about how we get their intelligence, creativity, and resources to not only advance their financial good, but also a broader public good.
“Is there a way to optimize the greater good beyond just not doing this badly?” he continued, noting that this is a compelling question that the commission will have to answer. “And whether we are able to articulate any such aspirations remains to be seen, but these are aspirations that I think will be interesting and provocative to talk about, and that we’ll be asking everyone around to help us with.”
Summing things up — and speaking for himself and not the committee, obviously — Crosby said he hopes the panel will ultimately think proactively and decide, with the help of the various constituencies and interest groups involved, whether it can go beyond being a mere regulator and also step into the role of partner with the casino industry.
“Do we want to collaborate with the industry in maximizing the public good?” he asked. “Should we be proactive in suggesting ideas, locations, and business strategies? Should we try to learn about and contribute to the discussion about potential competition with other states?
“I don’t know the answers to these questions,” he went on. “We are absolutely going to be a regulator, there’s no question about that, and an exceedingly rigorous regulator at that. But should we also be a proactive participant? That’s a question that needs to be talked about.”

The Bottom Line
When asked if the process that lies ahead is in some ways intimidating, Crosby said that’s too strong a word.
“We’re going to try to extrapolate from the multiple experiences that have been had across the country, and couple that with our own probably considerable experience, as well as a commitment to be as collaborative as humanly possible,” he explained, “to do well something that has been done many times before.
“Is this intimidating? No, but it will certainly be challenging,” he continued, adding that there are many things the public and casino developers can bet on from this commission — including that concept of transparency.

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

Education Sections
Sport-management Graduates Are Covering Their Bases

Lisa Masteralexis

Lisa Masteralexis says sport management is a growing industry, but also a competitive one.

Sport management is a broad term, Lisa Masteralexis said, but one way to narrow it down is to focus on the games people watch, not just play.
“Our students can go work anywhere in the industry, combining business and sports, but what they don’t do is recreation, health, fitness, those types of sports,” said Masteralexis, head of the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at UMass Amherst.
“We focus on spectator sports — imagine anything someone goes to see, then all of the support industries around that,” she added. “Think of the teams, the leagues, facilities, media, college athletics, Olympic sports, even high-school sports … really, anything a fan might go see, then all the sports businesses that go along with that.”
Sport-management students at Springfield College are taught the ins and outs of the industry through four lenses, said Matthew Pantera, professor and chair of the school’s Sport Management & Recreation Department. “There are four major areas: administration and management; event management and planning; maintenance, upkeep, and design of facilities; and problem solving. Those are highly transferable to quite a few degrees.”
In other words, he said, these are typically students with an interest in sports, but especially in what goes on behind the scenes; they are the individuals the fans aren’t watching when they click on the TV or file into the bleachers.
“We have kids working for ESPN, the Red Sox, the Miami Dolphins, doing sports marketing for the Basketball Hall of Fame, these types of organizations,” said Mei-Lin Yeh-Lane, professor of Sport Management at American International College. “Some are kids who like to work in the college or university arena.”
With a sport-management degree, “they can work as a sports agent; they can do event management, organizing a basketball, golf, or tennis tournament; they can join a marketing team to promote services or products; those types of things.”
In fact, the list is much longer, and while dreams of becoming the next Theo Epstein or Scott Boras might fall short, the spectator-sport industry in the U.S. — and internationally — has proven to be diverse, fast-growing, and relatively hardy even during recessions.
At the same time, however, college programs that teach students the business and behind-the-scenes aspects of sports have proliferated as well.
Adam Perri, pictured with Cookie Rojas.

Adam Perri, a 2011 graduate of Springfield College, now works as a marketing and sales representative with the Pawtucket Red Sox; he’s pictured with Cookie Rojas, general manager of sales for the Pawsox.

“There has been a lot of growth in the field, an incredible number of programs that have been developed over the past 20 years, and to be frank, I don’t think there are enough jobs out there for the number of students coming out of these programs,” Masteralexis told BusinessWest. “I feel like we’re in a position of luxury, having 40 years of alumni going out and making their way in the field; it’s more challenging for newer programs.”
The reason, she said, is all about connections.

Record Books
In those four decades the UMass program, part of the Isenberg School of Management, has been in existence, the school has cultivated an extensive alumni network, which is a great benefit to students seeking internships and eventual employment.
“As you can imagine, these positions are very competitive, and you have to connect with someone inside to get in; these teams and other organizations get thousands of unsolicited résumés,” said Masteralexis, meaning that it helps to tap into the influence of an alumnus or professor.
“We have alumni who really support our program by supporting internships, special projects, experiential learning … they really support our students in a mentoring capacity,” she explained. “We have an internship director and an internship database, hundreds of organizations where we place students, and some find internships on their own. In a nutshell, there are more internships than we have students to fill them.”
The same isn’t necessarily true for paying jobs upon graduation, which is why those internships are so crucial. In fact, many students are persuaded to take on multiple internships, both during the school year and over the summer, to set themselves apart from their competition and also broaden those networking opportunities that have become so valuable.
“With the growth in the industry, there are so many more internship opportunities, and I think the industry is recognizing the value of interns,” Masteralexis said. “However, one of the challenges is that many of these organizations do not pay students. It can be a difficult venture for a student who doesn’t come from means to live in New York City for the summer unpaid. How many of us could do that? So that’s very challenging.”
Pantera also recognizes the value of networking while in school, adding that Springfield College, which has operated its sport-management program for 30 years, has long cultivated invaluable relationships.
“We’re one of the few schools that visit every single one of these sites,” he told BusinessWest. “The fact that we go visit the Celtics and the Red Sox and the Indianapolis Colts with a professor helps us stay differentiated because not many schools are nurturing those contacts by visiting.”
Those efforts pay off when job openings arise, he added. “We just had a woman, in the middle of her master’s degree, get recruited by the Celtics in corporate luxury-box sales.”
In all, Springfield College is affiliated with approximately 900 organizations, large and small, throughout the U.S. and abroad, and around their junior year, students take on an internship, putting in 480 hours over a 12- to 15-week period. “Faculty members actually do visit them and see how they’re doing,” Pantera said. “It also gives us an opportunity to keep current with what’s going on, to stay on the cutting edge.”
As at UMass, the AIC program is part of the School of Business Administration, peppered with courses in sports marketing, finances and economics, communications, and the international aspects of the industry, in addition to those ubiquitous internships and experiential-learning opportunities
“As we know, sports are an important part of our lives,” Yeh-Lane said, noting that AIC’s program is relatively new compared to other disciplines, but growing, taking in about 25 freshmen per year.
“Sport management is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and it’s definitely more than professional sports teams. There’s event organizing, handling players’ contracts, budgeting and resource allocating. From a management perspective, there’s a really wide range of options, depending on what a student wants to do.”

Hire Ground
Although it’s been around since 1982, Pantera said, the Springfield College program has remained small, recruiting about 40 sport-management students and another 20 recreation-management students per year, as opposed to, say, UMass, which boasts between 400 and 450 undergraduates and 30 to 35 graduate students at any given time. One reason is to maximize opportunities, both on campus and in the field, for each student.
“Sixty is not that big a number, and we’re looking for leaders,” he told BusinessWest. “They’re getting face-to-face work with our professors. We don’t have graduate students teaching courses; we’re the ones in the classroom, and on the front lines with the students, and that’s an advantage of a Springfield degree.”
The sport-management industry, in all its diversity and vibrancy, “is a lot of fun, and a lot of work,” he added. “And it’s fun for us to work with the students and see them set goals for themselves. And it’s neat when they say, ‘I just graduated, and I got hired.’”
Getting there isn’t easy, Masteralexis reiterated, but “if you make a commitment to this industry, you can move up. We have alumni at the highest level — presidents, CEOs, and general managers, Division I conference directors, heads of Olympic programs, and some of the heads of ESPN and other organizations have come through the program. It’s a challenging road, often with long hours and low pay at the beginning, but once you get on track, you can advance.”
The types of students attracted to sport management tend to be personable and team-oriented, as much of the industry is very collaborative. “They’re people who want to be part of a team. And it’s constantly exciting.
“Our students have a passion for the business side of sports,” Masteralexis added. “I had a former student tell me, ‘the alarm goes off in the morning, and I want to go to work because it’s so much fun.’ I think that plays a role in the attraction. It’s like working in music or entertainment — it’s not the same thing every single day. Every day, there’s a new plan or new product to sell. One day, you might have a hidden gem like Jeremy Lin or Tim Tebow, and another day, you may have some disaster to deal with, but every day is a unique opportunity and a unique challenge.”
One thing it’s not (unless you’re Epstein or Boras, anyway) is a chance to be in the spotlight — that’s reserved for the players on the field — or to relax and cheer, like the spectators in the stands. “We tell students, ‘when everyone else is having fun, you’re working, creating fun for them.’”
For those who succeed in this competitive, fast-moving field, that’s reward enough.

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Departments People on the Move

Carole Desroches

Carole Desroches

Carole Desroches has been appointed Assistant Vice President/Investment Officer at Westfield Bank. She has 16 years of experience in the banking industry, and will work primarily out of the corporate office. She will work with Westfield Bank’s investment portfolio to develop new strategies and provide ongoing analysis.
EBTEC of Agawam recently recognized nine employees, each with more than 25 years of service, representing 255 years of combined employment at the high-energy-beam-manufacturing facility. Those honored were:
• Christopher English;
• Daniel Hebert;
• Cathy Anderson;
• Mark Modzeleski;
• Mathew Girouard;
• Vincent Mammano;
• Paul Krassler;
• David Maheu, and
• Brian Havens.
Carla J. Potts has been named Coordinator of Media Relations in the Marketing and Communications Department at Springfield Technical Community College.
Chicopee Savings Bank announced the following:
• Irene Alves has been promoted to Assistant Vice President of Retail Lending Operations;
• Gloria Faria has been promoted to Assistant Vice President of Retail Banking and also manages the bank’s Ludlow office;
• Clare Ladue has been promoted to Assistant Vice President of Retail Banking and is also managing the main office in Chicopee;
• Becky Elias has been promoted to Portfolio Manager; and
• Sarah Medeiros has been promoted to Credit Officer.
Dan Carstens, publisher of the Airport News & Bradley International Cargo Guide, will serve as Marketing Consultant to the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA). His role includes identifying new routes and enhancements for Bradley International Airport and the state’s general-aviation airports. The CAA was established last July to develop, improve, and operate Bradley International and the state’s five general airports (Danielson, Groton/New London, Hartford Brainard, Waterbury-Oxford, and Windham).
Shaun Dwyer has been named First Vice President and Commercial Team Leader for Berkshire Bank in the Pioneer Valley.
MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division in Springfield announced the following:
• John Budd has been appointed National Practice Leader covering the division’s institutional retirement products. In this newly created role, Budd is responsible for leading MassMutual’s distribution strategy for its stable-value investment-only and defined-benefit businesses, working with the division’s managing directors and their key advisor relationships; and
• Brian Mezey has joined the division as Managing Director of Institutional Sales. In this role, Mezey is responsible for working with retirement-plan advisors in mid-sized and large markets, and is partnered with Andy Hanlon covering the Eastern New England region.
Market Mentors in West Springfield announced the following:
• Jessica Lemieux has joined the firm as an Account Executive. She is responsible for managing accounts and client expectations, as well as outreach for new business;
• Karin O’Keefe has joined the firm as Account Coordinator and Manager of Digital Advertising. She will coordinate various accounts and oversee all social networking and digital advertising; and
• Laura Stopa has joined the firm and will assist the Art Director with Web coding and design.
Charles Frago

Charles Frago

Charles Frago has joined Wolf & Co., P.C. of Boston as a Principal on the tax-service team of Wolf’s Financial Institutions group. Frago will focus on tax planning, compliance, mergers and acquisitions, stock-based compensation, and preparing clients for tax examinations.
John P. O’Rourke has been named Director of Electricity for the Hampshire Council of Governments. He will lead the Hampshire Electricity Program, and work to expand the customer base by providing lower-cost electricity to government entities, school districts, nonprofits, and businesses throughout Western Mass.
Syeda Maham Al Rafai has joined Hatch Mott MacDonald in Holyoke as an Engineer. She is experienced in AutoCAD and Risa2D beam-column design, and will enroll in the engineer-in-training program for the state of Massachusetts.
Michael Natale was recently named Vice President of Sales for Leonard E. Belcher Inc. He will oversee all sales operations of the multi-branded, multi-state distributor.
Thomas W. Barney, Certified Financial Planner, has joined Heaphy Trust Group and Heaphy Investments, which offer investment-management, financial-planning, and fiduciary services to individuals, nonprofits, and retirement plans.
Susan Barbiasz has been promoted to Manager of the Chicopee Savings Bank Ware branch. She will manage the day-to-day operations of the branch office located at Gibbs Crossing on Palmer Road.
Michele A. Rooke has been named a Shareholder with the law firm of Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy. Rooke joined the firm in 2002 after serving as an Assistant District Attorney for Hampden County. She represents plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of civil-litigation matters. Her practice also includes criminal defense.

Company Notebook Departments

PeoplesBank Passes $1M Giving Threshold
HOLYOKE — PeoplesBank recently announced a historic milestone for the 127-year-old institution: for the first time in its history, the bank contributed more than $1 million to local charitable and civic causes. “We are focused on the possible,” said President and CEO Douglas A. Bowen in making the announcement. “We feel it is possible to create a better community through our charitable giving and volunteer efforts. It is something that we are very passionate about, and it is this passion that makes us who we are.” In a year marked by the widespread devastation caused by the June tornadoes, the bulk of the bank’s charitable giving went toward human services. PeoplesBank committed $200,000 for tornado-relief efforts in the aftermath of the storm. Keeping to its track record of supporting environmentally friendly initiatives, $80,000 of that commitment was spent on regreening five of the impacted communities, including $40,000 for Springfield to help it return to its former status of ‘Tree City USA.’ The bank also made substantial contributions to education, including a greenhouse for students of the Leverett Elementary School. “We had been looking around for different ways to try and raise enough money to build a greenhouse, which is a fairly large expenditure,” said Suzie Chang, a volunteer and parent at the school. “So we were especially excited and thrilled that PeoplesBank decided to make a leadership gift of this size, because it enabled us to just go ahead and do the entire project.” According to Bowen, direct financial contributions are not the only way the bank is making a difference in Western Mass. “Writing a check is not the whole story. At PeoplesBank, we are actively encouraging and facilitating volunteerism. Our employees want to have a direct hand in helping the community. In fact, they were ranked third in the state for most-generous employees, and fourth for volunteer hours donated.”

Hampden Bancorp Reports 19% Increase in Net Income
SPRINGFIELD — Hampden Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Hampden Bank, recently announced net income for the three months ended Dec. 31, 2011 of $694,000 or $0.12 per fully diluted share, as compared to $491,000, or $0.18 per fully diluted share, for the same period in 2010. The company had an increase in net-interest income of $197,000 for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared to the same period in 2010. There was a decrease in interest and dividend income, including fees, of $362,000, or 5.6%, for the three months ended Dec. 31 compared to the three months ended Dec. 31, 2010. This decrease in interest income was mainly due to a decrease in loan income of $257,000 and a decrease in debt-securities income of $100,000. For the three-month period ended Dec. 31, interest expense decreased by $559,000, or 28.7%, compared to the three-month period ended Dec. 31, 2010. The company had net income for the six months ended Dec. 31, 2011 of $1.2 million, or $0.20 per fully diluted share, as compared to $1.0 million, or $0.16 per fully diluted share, for the same period in 2010. The organization’s total assets decreased $5.1 million, or 0.9%, from $573.3 million at June 30, 2011 to $568.2 million at Dec. 31, 2011. Net loans, including loans held for sale, increased $1.7 million, or 0.4%, to $399.8 million at Dec. 31, 2011. Securities decreased $5.8 million, or 5.2%, to $106.1 million as of Dec. 31, 2011 compared to June 30, 2011, and cash and cash equivalents decreased $6.2 million, or 19.9%, to $24.9 million at Dec. 31, 2011. The board of directors declared and increased the quarterly cash dividend to $0.04 per common share, payable on Feb. 28 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 14.

Dressbarn Plans Donation Drive
WESTFIELD — Dressbarn is teaming up with the nonprofit organization Dress for Success to gather more than 60,000 articles of clothing as part of its S.O.S. ­— Send One Suit — weekend donation drive on March 1-4. This year’s clothing drive marks the 10th consecutive year Dressbarn and Dress for Success have partnered to help women in need receive professional business attire. All 825 Dressbarn stores across the country, including the shop in Westfield, will serve as dropoff sites for new or gently used professional attire including suits, dress shirts, blazers, pants, dresses, and shoes that will be used to benefit women seeking to transition into the workforce. All of the collected professional items will be given to Dress for Success, which will then distribute the articles to women looking to gain a job or trying to re-enter the workforce.

Baystate Medical Center Plans Healing Garden
SPRINGFIELD — Patients, visitors, and staff at Baystate Medical Center will benefit from the therapeutic qualities provided by a new healing garden that will serve as the centerpiece of its Hospital of the Future, which opens its doors on March 2. Recognizing the importance of a holistic approach to medicine and the health benefits that gardens provide, Charles and Elizabeth D’Amour and Big Y have provided funding for the new healing garden, whose fountain, labyrinth, numerous plants, benches, and more will serve as a respite for those visiting Baystate. In recognition of the D’Amour family’s longstanding commitment to Baystate Medical Center and to create a healthy community, Mark R. Tolosky, president and CEO of Baystate Health, announced the official name of the garden as the D’Amour Family Healing Garden. “We are humbled and privileged to be able to honor our entire Big Y family of employees and customers by contributing to Baystate Health’s Hospital of the Future,” said Charles L. D’Amour, Big Y president and CEO. “Elizabeth and I are particularly proud to lend our efforts to support Baystate’s mission to improve the health of our neighbors, friends, and people in our communities, and we hope that this healing garden will provide comfort, support, and healing for all.” Tolosky noted that the hospital is grateful for the ongoing support of the D’Amour family over the years. “Their philanthropic support has been instrumental in helping us to carry out our mission of providing quality patient care and clinical excellence in a setting close to home, where residents throughout Western Mass. can benefit from the latest technology and specialized care,” he said. Tolosky added that studies have shown that access to an outdoor garden where patients and their families can relax in a beautiful, natural environment can have a positive effect on their physical and mental well-being. “The D’Amours’ latest gift to the hospital now makes this possible, not only for our patients and visitors, but for our health care staff who also need a place to get away and enjoy a moment for themselves,” he added. Located off the hospital’s main lobby, the garden is easily accessible to patients, staff, and anyone visiting the hospital.

MassMutual Retirement Services Records Third Year of Record Sales
SPRINGFIELD — MassMutual Retirement Services’ 2011 sales results mark the highest in the division’s 65-year history, surpassing its record-breaking sales performance of 2010. Written sales for 2011 exceeded $6 billion, representing a 13% increase over 2010. Assets under management in retirement plans administered by MassMutual also reached a new record of $55 billion at year end 2011, a 7% increase over the same period last year. The division also enjoyed record net cash flow in 2011, surpassing $3.5 billion for the first time in division history. “MassMutual’s strong sponsor retention rate of 95%, along with the sustained sales momentum in the company’s retirement plan business, have directly contributed to our 2011 record results,” said Elaine Sarsynski, executive vice president of MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division and chairman and CEO of MassMutual International LLC. “In addition to growing our core retirement-plan business in the corporate segment, MassMutual’s success in the nonprofit market was exceptional, with a 29% increase in sales vs. 2010.” Sarsynski added that MassMutual’s stable value/investment only and professional employer organization markets also enjoyed strong growth. “Our broad capabilities make MassMutual a provider of choice in the industry — one that delivers high-value, high-touch service,” she added.

Maybury Material Handling Receives Industry Award
EAST LONGMEADOW — Maybury Material Handling has been awarded MVP (Most Valuable Partner) status for 2011 in a new program from the industry’s trade association, the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Assoc. To earn the award, the company demonstrated a commitment to business excellence, professionalism, and good stewardship. MVP status requires a company to provide evidence of their commitment to their partners in business, including their customers, employees, and suppliers. Companies must satisfy criteria in industry relations, customer relations, peer-to-peer networking, training for employees, and business best practices. Brian Boals, UNARCO’s director of distributor sales, recommended Maybury for the honor, noting that “Maybury’s partnership with UNARCO is exemplary of the model to which we would like all dealer partners to aspire.” John Maybury, president of Maybury Material Handling, noted, that “our business success is dependent on forming partnerships with top-rated industrial suppliers like UNARCO and in hiring and developing associates that consistently display our values of integrity, teamwork, ongoing improvement, and customer-service excellence. They deserve every bit of this recognition.”

Berkshire Bank Receives National Recognition for Community Commitment
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank has received national recognition for its contributions to the community from the American Bankers Assoc. (ABA) through the organization’s Community Bank Award Program. Berkshire Bank was one of more than 200 entrants to be awarded a certificate of recognition for its ‘outstanding work’ in the community through the efforts of its Employee Volunteer Program. “We are extremely honored to receive this recognition from the ABA, and take great pride in the contributions that we make to the community through our Employee Volunteer Program, as well as through the financial support we are able to provide to nonprofit organizations doing important work,” said Sean Gray, executive vice president of retail banking. “At Berkshire Bank, community involvement is ingrained in our culture. Our team members are always eager to give back in a variety of ways, including company-wide projects and individual initiatives such as board service.” In 2011, Berkshire Bank employees donated 26,620 hours of community service through both individual employee efforts and company-sponsored projects. Through the bank’s corporate employee-volunteer program, employees completed 67 projects last year in which more than 50% of the bank’s 800 employees participated. These projects included a company-wide food drive to support local food pantries, a care-package drive for soldiers serving overseas, assistance with tornado-relief efforts, mentoring efforts in local schools, winter coat collection, and various work projects throughout the bank’s service area. Gray noted that, of the 7,363 federally insured banks currently operating in the U.S., fewer than 1% were honored in 2011 with the ABA award for work in the community.

Synergy Physical Therapy Opens in Northampton
NORTHAMPTON — Physical therapists Jim Lyons and Bill Hogan recently opened a clinic, Synergy Physical Therapy, behind the Northampton Athletic Club on Carlon Drive. Lyons noted that the goal of the clinic is to “create the best physical-therapy clinic in the region and merge it with the health and fitness goals that Northampton Athletic Club has achieved, giving patients the best continuum of care on their wellness journey.” Hogan added that their commitment to patients is to “help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disability.” Lyons is a graduate of Springfield College and American International College and is currently pursuing his doctorate in Physical Therapy with a concentration in manual therapy from the University of St. Augustine. He has experience working with a variety of orthopedic and neurologic conditions in all age groups, as well as pre- and post-surgical patients. Hogan started his career as an athletic trainer working with high-school, college, professional, and recreational athletes and broadened his scope of practice by acquiring a master’s degree in Physical Therapy. He has worked with geriatric and spinal rehabilitations, and his specialties are sports medicine, orthopedics, and manual therapy.

Monson Savings Involves Community in Giving
MONSON — For the second year, Monson Savings Bank asked the community to help plan the bank’s giving activities by inviting area residents to vote for the organizations they would like the bank to support during 2012. Hundreds of people weighed in and voted for more than 65 organizations doing community service work in Monson, Hampden, and Wilbraham, according to Steven Lowell, bank president. “Charitable giving is absolutely part of the fabric of this bank,” he said. “In 2011, we made more than $134,000 in contributions to local and regional causes, which were in part guided by the input we received through this process last year. We feel it is important to engage our communities like this and are pleased that so many people responded to our request for input.” The top vote getters are Greene Room Productions, Link to Libraries, Monson Bellman Antique Fire Apparatus Club/Museum, Opacum Land Trust, Monson Tornado Volunteers, Quaboag Highlanders Pipes and Drums, Trees Bring Hope, Monson Free Library, Wilbraham Soccer Club, and the Replanting Monson Tree Committee. Four of the 10 organizations were new to the top 10 list this year. “The fact that the list changes somewhat from year to year demonstrates the value of our reaching out to ask people for their input,” said Lowell, adding that “we are very pleased to be part of a community that is so committed to helping people, to volunteerism, and to great causes.”

Departments Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.


The Explore Disc Golf Foundation Inc., 28 South Mount Holyoke Dr., Amherst, MA 01002. Brian Giggey, same. Aiding disc golf growth and course development.


JSD Equipment Sales and Repair Inc., 145 Stonehill Road, East Longmeadow, MA 01028. John Dickson, same. Sales, repair, and leasing of equipment.

Snickers and Friends Cat Rescue Inc., 16 Knollwood Dr., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Lisa St. Denis, same. Rescue and care for abandoned cats.


Strong and Healthy Smiles Inc., 40 Main St., Suite 204, Florence, MA 01062. Suzanne Keller, same. General dentistry.


Neonet Technologies Inc., 210 Main St., second floor, Great Barrington, MA 01230. Frank Scharenorth, same. Computer services.

N.E.W. Productions Inc., 80 Castle Hill Ave., Great Barrington, MA 01230. Nicki Wilson, same. Producing agency.


Run Holyoke Inc., 143 Maple St., Holyoke, MA 01040. John Kane, 33 Clarence St., Bellingham, MA 02019. Manages athletic events, music concerts, and festivals in Western Mass.


Tanvi Inc., 265 Pasco Road, Indian Orchard, MA 01151. Mohammad Nasim Galani, 21 Montford St., Springfield, MA 01109. Video store and convenience store.


Northern Berkshire Pregnancy Support Center Inc., 61 Main St., Suite 202, North Adams, MA 01247. Paula Labonte, 125 Musterfield Heights, Clarksburg, MA 01247. Assists women in dealing with the physical, emotional, economic, and social problems associated with pregnancy.

Taconic Construction Corp., 192 Union St., North Adams, MA 01247. Ari Grosman, 242 East Broadway, No 7, Long Beach, NY 11561. Construction and demolition contractor.

Tax Solutions of the Berkshires Inc., 1000 Massachusetts Ave., North Adams, MA 01247. Jacqueline Demarsico, same. Tax preparation services and bookkeeping services.


Men’s College Squash Association Inc., 50 Union St., Unit 2, Northampton, MA 01060. Bob Callahan, 130 Central Ave., Lewiston, ME 04240. Promotion, development, and administration of men’s intercollegiate squash.

T&C Auto Corp., 48 Damon Road, Northampton, MA 01060. Carla Cosenzi, 64 Redfern Dr., Longmeadow, MA 01106. Automobile dealer.

Wiredwest Communications Cooperative Corp., 99 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060. Monica Webb, 185 Beartown Mountain Road, Monterey, MA 01245. Provides high-quality Internet, phone, television, and ancillary services.


Lloyd Professional Services Inc., 1029 Wilson St., Palmer, MA 01069. Norman Lloyd, same. Sales.

The Yellow House Inc., 1479 North Main St., Palmer, MA 01069. Bonny Rathbone, 20 Brown St., Palmer, MA 01069. Provides volunteer directed, non-credit educational programs for Western Mass. residents.


Kidzone Child Care/Educational Center Inc., 10 Lyman St., Pittsfield, MA 01201. Susan Robert, same. Childcare and educational center.


Strategy Wins Inc., 3 Spring Meadows, South Hadley, MA 01075. Jill Hambley, same. Marketing consulting and business and brand strategy.


Stand-Up Community Development Corp., 181 Chestnut St., Suite B, Springfield, MA 01103. Ricardo Viruet, 2201 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA 01129. Provides youth oriented athletic, educational, and health programs.

Yummy Cuisine Inc., 453 Belmont Ave., Springfield, MA 01108. Xiaoqing Liu, same. Food service.


Summit Lock Services Inc., 86 Summit Lock Road, Westfield, MA 01085. Nancy Twohig, 157 Norwood Terrace, Holyoke, MA 01040. Trucking and landscaping.

Westfield Transport Inc., 24 Bates St., Westfield, MA 01085. Dartanyan Gasanov, same. Transportation services.


Khush Family Inc., 82 Pierce St., West Springfield, MA 01089. Khushal Gogri, same. Newsstand in mall.

Kocel Inc., 9 Norman St., West Springfield, MA 01089. Huseyin Elevulu, 311 Plaza Dr., Middletown, CT 06457. Pizza restaurant.

MTZ Tours Inc., 900 Riverdale St., West Springfield, MA 01089. Alfred Burney Sr., 40 Grant Place, Irvington, NJ 07111. Passenger transportation.

Sand Springs Recreational Center Inc., 61 School St., Williamstown, MA 01267. Janette Dudley, same. Provides a place for outdoor recreation and fitness to promote education and health.