Home 2013 January
Bankruptcies Departments

The following bankruptcy petitions were recently filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Readers should confirm all information with the court.


Allen, Robert Charles

8C Maplecrest Circle

Holyoke, MA 01040

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/27/12


Allen, Sara Louise

a/k/a Borden, Sara

8C Maplecrest Circle

Holyoke, MA 01040

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/27/12


Barratt, William E.

9 Swamp Road

Montague, MA 01351

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/18/12


Bishop-Cook, Rachel D.

18 O’Connor Ave.

Holyoke, MA 01040

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/18/12


Blanchard, Bruce Gary

39 Andersen Road

Chicopee, MA 01022

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/21/12


Brooker, Mary

25 Coles Meadow Road

Northampton, MA 01060

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/26/12


Cass, Richard Todd

Cass, Claudia V.

22 Alpine Trail

Pittsfield, MA 01201

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/29/12


Chabot, Troy A.

85 Twin Oaks Road

Feeding Hills, MA 01030

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/26/12


Chichester, Richard J.

Chichester, Lee Z.

212 Captain Whitney Road

Becket, MA 01223

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/23/12


Cook, Kenneth J.

Cook, Susan J.

49 Phyllis Lane

Greenfield, MA 01301

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/18/12


Drobot, Jason J.

Drobot, Melanie Jane

a/k/a Grey, Melanie J.

PO Box 451

Chicopee, MA 01021

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/28/12


Fabrycki, Alexander W.

Fabrycki, Maryann

207 Munn Road

Monson, MA 01057

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/29/12


Fandreyer Electric

Fandreyer, Gerhard R.

210 Royalston Road

Phillipston, MA 01331

Chapter: 13

Filing Date: 12/26/12


Godbolt, Josephine

65 Pendelton Ave.

Springfield, MA 01109

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/19/12


Gonzalez, Ismael

a/k/a Ramos, Ismael Gonza

12 Montclair St.

Springfield, MA 01104

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/21/12


Gooden, Alwin A.

Gooden, Veronica C.

119 South Branch Pkwy.

Springfield, MA 01118

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/27/12


Gregoire, Lauretta

26 Gilman St.

Holyoke, MA 01040

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/26/12


Harwood, Arthur Holden

Harwood, Melissa Robin

7 Osgood St., Apt. 3

Greenfield, MA 01301

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/17/12


Hermanson, Melinda Morgan

219 Elm St.

Northampton, MA 01060

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/19/12


Howard, Jeffrey S.

Howard, Michelle M.

447 Barre Road

Oakham, MA 01068

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/19/12


Jones, Icie B.

a/k/a McMullen-Jones, Icie B.

211 Crane Hill Road

Wilbraham, MA 01095

Chapter: 13

Filing Date: 12/29/12


Ladouceur, Joseph F.

Ladouceur, Tina L.

43 Montgomery Ave.

Pittsfield, MA 01201

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/21/12


LaRose, Richard Albert

459 Fairview Ave

Athol, MA 01331

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/20/12


LaShier, Gary R.

LaShier, Sheila C.

214 Silver St.

Greenfield, MA 01301

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/21/12


Latorre, Juan F.

Colon-LaTorre, Myrna

216 Ellsworth Ave.

Springfield, MA 01118

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/20/12


Lungarini, Rita E.

54 Ionia St.

Springfield, MA 01109

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/28/12


Narvaez, Rosa M.

12 Montclair St.

Springfield, MA 01104

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/21/12


Orvis, Julie M.

a/k/a Marcinkiewicz, Julie O.

PO Box 189

Deerfield, MA 01342

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/29/12


Privedenyuk, Vadim P.

116 Berkshire St.

Indian Orchard, MA 01151

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/21/12


Rock, Richard Ernest

7 Howe St.

Belchertown, MA 01007

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/21/12


Savage, Joseph R.

14 Monument Court

Charlestown, MA 02129

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/17/12


Scibelli, Jamie J.

Scibelli, Jeanann M.

140 Prentiss St.

Orange, MA 01364

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/18/12


Sheppard, Christina Anne

56 K St. #2

Turners Falls, MA 01376

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/19/12


Smith, Daniel James

597 Westhampton Road

Florence, MA 01062

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/28/12


Statewide Mechanical Contractors

Dickson, Daniel D.

11 Greenwich Road

East Longmeadow, MA 01028

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/17/12


Szymonik, Edmund S.

Szymonik, Frances A.

41 Chestnut St., Apt 6

Holyoke, MA 01040

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/18/12


Torres, Elizabeth Maria

197 Westford Ave.

Springfield, MA 01109

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/28/12


Washington, Lyle D.

Washington, Kerri M.

178 County Road

Southampton, MA 01073

Chapter: 13

Filing Date: 12/28/12


Williams, David R.

51 Monson Turnpike Road

Lot #1069

Ware, MA 01082

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/26/12


Wolowicz, Donna Jean

39 Norris St.

Feeding Hills, MA 01030

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 12/19/12


Briefcase Departments

Mohegan Sun Taps Partner for Casino Project

PALMER — Mohegan Sun has announced a strategic partnership with Brigade Capital Management on its project to build a destination resort casino in Palmer. The agreement with Brigade — a $12 billion New York-based investment advisor — coincides with Mohegan Sun’s formal application for a casino license to the Mass. Gaming Commission.
“This is an important day for Mohegan Sun, for Western Mass., and the entire Commonwealth. Today, we take the next critical step in fulfilling our commitment to bringing new jobs and economic growth to the region,” said Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council. “It’s our intent to be the first casino to open its doors in Massachusetts.”
Added Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority CEO Mitchell Etess, “Brigade Capital Management will be a great partner and important asset to this project. They are experienced as institutional investment partners on gaming projects in several states across the U.S., and understand the business that Mohegan Sun has been successful in for 16 years.” Through this agreement, Brigade will invest capital into the corporate entity that is being established to develop Mohegan Sun’s project in Western Mass. “Mohegan Sun is one of the most recognized casino gaming brands in the U.S., and they embody the proven model of success for gaming in New England,” said Don Morgan, managing member of Brigade. “This project will be built at the best location for a casino in Massachusetts, by a team with combined experience in multiple licensing jurisdictions, and managed by one of the premier gaming operators in the U.S. We are excited to be a partner in this endeavor and to have a role in establishing the Massachusetts casino gaming industry.”
Mohegan Sun is planning a world-class destination casino resort in Palmer that promises to create thousands of jobs and bring economic growth to Western Mass. Mohegan Sun established a storefront office in Palmer more than three years ago, and has conducted outreach to thousands of area residents through its Community Conversations series, appearances at other community meetings, a Mohegan Sun in Palmer newsletter and social-media outreach. Mohegan Sun is also far along in discussions with Palmer officials on a host community agreement, which is required under the Massachusetts casino-gaming legislation.
“Our project has distinct and unique advantages with regard to location, access, and infrastructure. Its rural setting on 150 acres — adjacent to other large parcels that present ancillary development possibilities — is ideal for creating the type of gaming facility that New England patrons are familiar with and have made successful over the past two decades,” Etess said. “Moreover, our host community of Palmer has been welcoming, motivated, and supportive. The community is excited about the jobs and economic development that Mohegan Sun will bring to the entire region.”


MGHPCC Awards $500,000

in Grants for Research

HOLYOKE — The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) has announced $500,000 in seed grants to six multi-university teams to support cross-institutional research among MGHPCC members.
The MGHPCC, which opened in November, is intended to promote research collaboration among the participating universities — Boston University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, and UMass — through high-performance computing, a pillar of major scientific research today. The seed grant program is intended to accelerate the MGHPCC’s mission of computational collaboration. This is the second round of seed grants awarded by the MGHPCC Consortium, and it brings the total amount of awards to $1.1 million. The six winners were chosen from a field of 26 applications by a committee of researchers from the participating universities. The funded projects are: “The CaterPillar Project: Exploring the Dark Matter Substructure of Milky Way Galaxies”; “Designing Cloud and Big Data Platforms for Scientific and HPC Applications”; “Strength and Fracture Mechanisms of Hierarchical Biological Materials”; “Computational Identification of Outcome-Associated DNA Alterations in Neuroblastoma”; “Genome-Scale Characterization of Chromosonal Aberrations Using Parallelizable Compression Algorithms”; and “Automated Segmentation of Vessel Network Structures in Large Image Stack Sets.” The grant amounts ranged from $52,000 to $131,000. The request for proposals sought “novel collaborative researchactivities addressing significant and challenging problems at the forefront of high-performance technical computing.” Proposals also had to include a strategy for followup research that would attract external funding.
“This year’s awards span basic astrophysics research, computer-systems innovation, and real-time clinical application, and highlight the richness of the region as a world leading center of gravity for academic discovery,” said Chris Hill, an MIT researcher who served on the committee.


MassDOT Releases

Transportation Plan

BOSTON — The Board of the Mass. Department of Transportation (MassDOT) and Transportation Secretary and CEO Richard Davey have announced a plan for the next generation of transportation investment in the Commonwealth. The plan includes passenger-rail service connect Boston and Springfield, commonly known as the “Inland Route,” and the rehabilitation of infrastructure to support rail service between Pittsfield and New York City. A $362.4 million investment to fund the Inland Route will cover rehabilitation along the route, creating a second track, widening bridges, upgrading signals purchasing train equipment, and constructing or rehabilitating stations. This will also support future high-speed rail connection to New York City via Springfield. Another $113.8 million in funding for rail service between the Berkshires and New York City will include rehabilitation of track, signals, and structures between Pittsfield and the Massachusetts-Connecticut state line to support future rail service between Pittsfield and New York City. The current line is served by freight carriers and is not up to standards necessary for commuter service. The plan also includes a $32.2 million increase to the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority in fiscal year 2014, a $3.2 million increase to the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA), and a $1 million increase to the Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA). The PVTA is receiving the largest increase of all regional transit authorities in the state. Additional Western Mass. investments in the plan, including funding for the 1-91 Viaduct in Springfield, reconstruction of Route 2 in Erving Center, and investments in the Mohawk bike and pedestrian trail in North Adams and the Skyline Trail in Hinsdale, promise to further ensure regional transportation equity, create jobs, and expand economic opportunity.  “We have parts of this Commonwealth whose opportunities are constrained by substandard service and lack of access. Our plan outlines increased investments in passenger rail in Western Mass. and regional transit authorities to unlock opportunities across the board,” said Gov. Deval Patrick. “Improving our transportation system is key to meeting our economic potential, for Western Mass. and every region of the Commonwealth.”


Hospitals Request Response to Community Health Survey

PIONEER VALLEY — The Coalition of Western Massachusetts Hospitals is conducting a community-health-needs assessment to identify and address the most pressing public health needs in the Pioneer Valley. Community members are encouraged to participate in this process by taking the Community Health Survey. The link to the survey can be found on the participating hospitals’ websites and at www.surveymonkey.com/s/masschna.
The coalition is a partnership between eight area tax-exempt hospitals: Baystate Medical Center, Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Holyoke Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield, and Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers. The survey is currently available online in English and Spanish and will soon be available in Russian and Vietnamese (paper copy only).
The coalition began meeting to plan the process for this community-health-needs assessment in August, and is scheduled to have reports finalized by this spring. Its goal is to identify the health and safety assets of area communities and also to determine the potential concerns they face. They will do so by asking residents for their opinions about these issues, services presently available, their satisfaction with these services, and identification of others programs that may be needed. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and will be available through Feb. 15. Survey respondents will be identifiable only by ZIP code, and all individual responses will be kept confidential.
All survey respondents will have the option to enter a drawing for an iPad Mini and several gift cards. Personal contact information entered for drawing registration will be kept confidential and used solely for the purpose of this drawing and not for any marketing purposes.


Chamber Seeks Input for

2013 Woman of the Year

SPRINGFIELD — The Professional Women’s Chamber, a division of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, is seeking nominations for the 2013 Woman of the Year Award. This 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. A Woman of the Year nomination form may be obtained online at www.professionalwomenschamber.com or by emailing Nancy Mirkin, committee chair, at [email protected] Nomination documents are due by Feb. 15.


Consortium Plans Program

to Train Casino Workers

SPRINGFIELD — In an effort to prepare local residents for future casino jobs, a consortium of community colleges from across the state, led by Springfield Technical Community College and Holyoke Community College (HCC), recently signed worker-training agreements with four prospective casino developers. The group, called the Community College Casino Careers Training Institute, gives casino developers a single point of contact to help develop their workforce. William Messner, president of HCC, said the consortium hopes to have a training program up and running sometime in 2015, about one year before any of the proposed casinos would open.


MassINC Program Aims to

Stimulate Gateway Cities

The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute, an entity run by MassINC, is proposing a $1.7 billion public investment in Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities, which include Springfield, Holyoke, Pittsfield, and Westfield. The Gateway Cities Innovation Institute focuses on the 24 cities designated by the Massachusetts Legislature as Gateway Cities — midsize urban cities, typically former manufacturing centers — that anchor their regional economies but have had trouble attracting new growth and investment. MassINC predicts that its $1.7 million investment would stimulate at least seven projects totaling $3.4 billion of new development or reuse, which could in turn leverage nearly $7 billion in investments and create about 80,000 jobs. The money would be split between public funding and loan guarantees, tax incentives, regulatory reform, and technical assistance.

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.



Donna M. Billings v. Rick Greenfield, UC c/o Arin Realty Inc. and Walgreen Eastern Co. Inc.

Allegation: Negligence in property maintenance causing injury: $21,323.89

Filed: 11/26/12


Faye Ainsworth and Charles Chandler v. Vermont Mutual Insurance Co. Inc., Servpro Industries Inc., et al

Allegation: Unfair insurance-claims practices, unfair business practices, theft of property, and damages to home: $1,440,000

Filed: 12/5/12



Matthew Boron v. Burt’s Bees Inc., the Clorox Co., and Target Stores Inc.

Allegation: Plaintiff purchased Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Crème and sustained injury after using the product, which contained glass shards: $8,443.02

Filed: 11/20/12



Acme Site Work Inc. v. Geeleher Enterprises Inc.

Allegation: Non-payment for services, labor, and materials provided: $112,239

Filed: 12/14/12



Christine Greco v. Microtest Laboratories Inc.

Allegation: Plaintiff seeking damages for back pay: $27,592.80

Filed: 12/12/12


Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., as subrogee of Springfield Library and Museums Assoc. Inc. v. Western Mass Electric Co.

Allegation: Defendant negligently failed to maintain, inspect, and update the distribution lines to the Elijah Blake House, resulting in a fire: $353,534.19

Filed: 12/17/12



Donna Jacobs v. the Stop & Shop Supermarket Co., LLC, and the TJX Companies Inc., d/b/a AJ Wright Stores

Allegation: Negligent maintenance of property causing injury: $7,105.94

Filed: 12/21/12



Midland Funding, LLC, as assignee of GE Money Bank/Toro Consumer v. Mario Landscaping

Allegation: Unpaid balance for monies loaned: $13,527.19

Filed: 12/17/12

Agenda Departments

HP Vendor Showcase

Feb. 5: Entre Computer and vendor partner Hewlett Packard (HP) will exhibit the latest technologies and products for 2013 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. The event, hosted by Hewlett Packard and strategic partners, will introduce new information from Entre, Intel, and Microsoft, who will all be present to discuss the latest innovations from their companies, including the new HP Business Tablet featuring Windows 8 and Intel technology, HP point-of-sale products, and digital signage. The event will highlight HP’s innovation in personal computers and printing. Some of the educational topics covered will include mobile computing, Microsoft Windows 8, and a host of leading-edge solutions, followed by dinner and a partner technology exposition. Entre Computer invites all qualifying customers, businesses, healthcare providers, manufacturers, banks, and retailers to the exhibit, and all are welcome to a complimentary, self-guided tour of the Hall of Fame at the conclusion of the program. Attendance and seating are limited, and pre-registration is required by visiting hpbroadband.com. For additional information, contact Entre Computer at (413) 736-2112 or e-mail [email protected]


Essence Editor to Speak

Feb. 5: Susan Taylor of Essence magazine will speak at Springfield Technical Community College at 11 a.m. in the Scibelli Hall gym as part of the STCC Diversity Council Event Series. The presentation, which coincides with Black History Month, is free and open to the public. Taylor’s name is synonymous with Essence magazine, the brand she built as the magazine’s fashion and beauty editor, editor in chief, and editorial director. For nearly three decades, Taylor has been the driving force behind one of the most celebrated black-owned businesses of our time and a legend in the magazine-publishing world. For 27 years, Taylor authored one of the magazine’s most popular columns, “In the Spirit.” She is the only African-American woman to be recognized by the Magazine Publishers of America with the Henry Johnson Fisher Award, the industry’s highest honor, and the first to be inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. Taylor also is the recipient of the NAACP President’s Award for visionary leadership and has honorary degrees from more than a dozen colleges and universities.
A fourth-generation entrepreneur and the author of four books, she supports a host of organizations dedicated to moving the black community forward, but her passion and focus today is with the National Cares Mentoring Movement, a call to action which she founded in 2006 as Essence Cares. The National Cares Mentoring Movement (www.caresmentoring.org) is a massive campaign to recruit 1 million able adults to help secure children who are in peril and losing ground. Taylor’s presentation is sponsored by PeoplesBank, Hampden Bank, the STCC Diversity Council, the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services, Baystate Health, Health New England, MassMutual, and the United Way of Pioneer Valley.


Business-law Basics

Feb. 5, March 12, April 16: Get the business-law basics that every small-business owner and entrepreneur needs to know from the legal experts at the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Western New England University. This series of free information sessions is focused on key topics to help plan and grow a small business. All sessions will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at Western New England University School of Law, in the Blake Law Center. All events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. The topics and presenters are: Feb. 5, “Legal Issues in Finance,” with attorneys Scott Foster of Bulkley Richardson and Michael Sweet of Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy; March 12, “Intellectual Property Law Basics,” with attorneys Peter Irvine of Peter Irvine Law Offices, Leah Kunkel of the Law Offices of Leah Kunkel, and Michelle Bugbee of Solutia Inc.; April 16: “Bankruptcy,” with attorneys George Roumeliotis of Roumeliotis  Law Group, Justin Dion of Bacon Wilson, and Kara Rescia of Eaton & Rescia. To learn more about upcoming events hosted by the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, visit www.wne.edu/cie.


40 Under Forty Reunion

Feb. 7: BusinessWest will stage a reunion featuring the first six classes of its 40 Under Forty program at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The event, open only to 40 Under Forty winners, event judges, and sponsors, will begin at 5:30 p.m. and feature a talk from Peter Straley, president of Health New England, about leadership and community involvement. For more information on the event, call (413) 781-8600 or e-mail [email protected]



Dress Down for Animals

Feb. 15: Employers, are you looking for a fun way to engage your staff while helping local shelter animals? By participating in Dress Down for Animals Day, your business can help provide life-saving care to dogs, cats, and other small animals at the Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center in Springfield. Through this program, employees will make a minimum donation of $5, $10, or whatever level the employer sets for the privilege of wearing whatever they wish to work on Feb. 15, with proceeds donated to the shelter. Prizes will be awarded based on donation total and number of employees participating. Businesses can compete for a $590 advertising package from Reminder Publications, a chair yoga session for up to 50 employees, a catered dessert party, a chance to introduce a business to 7,000 people on the Thomas J. O’Connor Facebook page, and more. To request a form to fill out and return with donations, call (413) 533-4817 or e-mail [email protected] For more information about the adoption center, visit www.tjofoundation.org.


Difference Makers 2013

March 21: The annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House starting at 5 p.m. Details on the event will be published in upcoming issues of the magazine. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Several dozen nominations for the award were received this year, and the winners have been chosen. They will be announced in the magazine’s Feb. 11 issue. For more information, call (413) 781-8600.

Building Permits Departments

The following building permits were issued during the month of January 2013.




Ellen Dave, LLC

151 Springfield St.

$116,000 — Convert space to sports facility


Keith and Kevin King

168 Elm St.

$105,000 — Construct loading dock and ramp




Doverbrook Estates

1140 Pendleton Ave.

$24,000 — Replace vinyl siding




31 Ames Street, LLC

31 Ames St.

$3,500 — Repair ceilings, walls, and floors on the first floor


FBBT/US Properties, LLC

137 Federal St.

$67,000 — Interior renovations


Franklin County Community Development Corporation

324 Wells St.

$107,000 — Replace insulation and siding




Holyoke Gas & Electric

30 Water St.

$20,000 — Install new flooring and replace cabinets and backboard


Holyoke Mall Company, L.P.

50 Holyoke St.

$43,000 — Install new ‘cash wrap counter’ and lighting for Gap store


Holyoke Mall Company, L.P.

50 Holyoke St.

$15,000 — Install new store signs for Hobby Lobby


SBA Communications

88 Southampton Road

$20,000 — Remove and replace electrical equipment cabinet and backboard



171 Pine St.

$31,000 — Cosmetic update




Interlock Industries

17 Lyman Ter.

$50,000 — New roof




Eight Iron, LLC

145 Armory St.

$5,000 — New roof


Joseph Bonavita

1504 Allen St.

$49,500 — New roof



1 Armory Square

$17,000 — Renovation of 675 square feet in Building 6




Cellular Sales

495 East Main St.

$249,000 — Interior renovations for a store




Tween Brands

935 Riverdale St.

$239,000 — Renovation of tenant space

Commercial Real Estate Sections
New Property Owners Can No Longer Opt out of These Programs

Michael Fenton

Michael Fenton

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are special districts in which owners of real property vote to initiate, manage, and finance supplemental services in addition to those services already provided by their municipal governments.

In the past, owners of real property located within a BID were allowed to convey their property interest without saddling the new owner with an absolute obligation to pay annual BID fees. These new owners were allowed to ‘opt out’ of their respective BIDs; however, this opt-out power was recently extinguished by state law and replaced with a mandatory BID-renewal procedure. The new law significantly impacts the rights of property owners in BIDs across the state and deserves the attention of any entity or individual with a current or future interest in such property.

On Aug. 7, 2012, Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law an “Act Relative to Economic Development and Reorganization,” which substantially amended Mass. General Laws (M.G.L.) chapter 40O, dealing with BIDs. Under the new law, purchasers of real property located within a BID no longer have 30 days to opt out. Instead of the opt-out power, all participating owners of real estate located within a BID are able to take part in a renewal vote on the BID every five years.

The renewal meetings are to be called by the BID board of directors or its designated agent on or before the fifth anniversary of a newly created BID and then again on or before each fifth anniversary of the date of the most recent renewal vote. If a majority of the eligible participating property owners present at the renewal meeting, in person or by proxy, vote to renew the BID, then the BID will continue for an additional five-year term.

If, on the other hand, said eligible participating property owners vote not to continue the BID, the BID will proceed to conclude its business in accordance with M.G.L. chapter 40O. This renewal procedure is a simple proposition for BIDs created after the effective date of the new legislation on Aug. 7, 2012, but it presents serious complications for property owners in BIDs created prior to said effective date.

BIDs formed prior to Aug. 7, 2012 are also required to have renewal meetings every five years. As specifically provided in M.G.L. c. 40O, the initial renewal vote for BIDs in existence prior to Aug. 7, 2012 may be held at any time on or before Jan. 1, 2018. Accordingly, an existing BID may hold its first renewal meeting at any time on or before Jan. 1, 2018, subject to the giving of notice to the BID’s participating property owners at least 30 days prior to the meeting.

Property owners who opted out of participation in a BID prior to Aug. 7, 2012 will remain non-participating owners until the date of the first approved renewal vote, at which point such property owners automatically become participating property owners. However, since property owners who previously opted out of the BID are non-participating owners at the time of the first renewal vote, they are not entitled to notice of the initial renewal meeting, and are not permitted to participate in the initial renewal vote.


What Does This Mean?

As a result, it is likely that existing BIDs will be motivated to call for the first renewal vote far in advance of 2018 in the interest of collecting revenues from previously non-participating owners in the near future. This could prove to be frustrating for property owners who opted out of participation in the BID when they acquired their property interest.

After the initial renewal meeting of an existing BID, if the participating property owners vote to continue the BID, the BID will no longer have any non-participating property owners, and, accordingly, all property owners in the district (including owners who had previously opted out) will be entitled to notice of, and have the right to participate in, future renewal meetings.

With Western Mass. serving as home to four BIDs that were in existence prior to Aug. 7, 2012 (Springfield, Amherst, Westfield, and Northampton), the impacts of this legislation hit close to home. Property owners who previously opted out of participating in a BID can be forced into participating without notice at any point between Aug. 7, 2012 and Jan. 1, 2018. If renewal votes are passed by participating property owners, then an owner who previously opted out of the BID will have to wait up to five years before being able to vote on the renewal of the BID.


Attorney Michael Fenton is an associate with the Springfield-based firm Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. He concentrates his practice in the areas of business law, real-estate development, and estate planning. He has served on the Springfield City Council since 2010; (413) 737-1131;


Chamber Corners Departments



(413) 787-1555


• Feb. 6: [email protected], 7:30-9 a.m., at the Springfield Marriott. The monthly [email protected] series pays tribute to individuals, businesses, and organizations for major contributions to civic and economic growth and for actions that reflect honor on the region. The [email protected] gives your company exposure to business owners, upper management, and salespeople. For reservations, contact Cecile Larose at (413) 755-1313.

• Feb. 13: Murder Mystery! After Hours, 5-7 p.m. at City Place Inn and Suites, 711 Dwight St., Springfield. For reservations, contact Cecile Larose at (413) 755-1313.





(413) 253-0700


• Feb. 13: Amherst Area Chamber Breakfast, 7:15-9:05 a.m., at the Hampshire College Red Barn. Features a Hampshire County Regional Tourist Council update. Cost is $17 for members, $20 for non-members. RSVP to [email protected] or register online at www.amherstarea.com.

• Feb. 27: Chamber After 5, 5-7 p.m. at the Hampshire Athletic Club, 90 Gatehouse Road, Amherst. Admission is $10 for members, $15 for non-members. For more information, visit www.amherstarea.com.




(413) 594-2101


• Feb. 20: February Annual Meeting/Salute Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., at the Castle of Knights. Tickets are $20 for members, $26 for non-members.

• Feb. 27: February Business After Hours, 5-7 p.m., at NUVO Bank & Trust Co. Admission is $5 for members, $15 for non-members.





(413) 534-3376


• Jan. 28: Basics of Marketing Seminar, 8:30-10 a.m., chamber office. Learn some free and low-cost ideas on marketing your business. Cost is $10 for members and $20 for non-members. A continental breakfast is included in the price. Call the chamber at (413) 534-3376 to register or visit holyokechamber.com to sign up.




(413) 584-1900


• Feb. 6: Arrive @5, 5-7 p.m., at Easthampton Savings Bank, 241 Northampton St., Easthampton. Arrive when you can, stay as long as you can; a casual mix and mingle with colleagues and friends. Admission is $10 for members, $15 for non-members.





(413) 426-3880


• Feb. 6: Wicked Wednesday, 5-7 p.m., at Chez Josef, 176 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam. Free for chamber members, $10 for non-members. Wicked Wednesdays are monthly social events, hosted by various businesses and restaurants, that bring members and non-members together to network in a laid-back atmosphere. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880, or e-mail [email protected]

• Feb.  28: Legislative Breakfast, 7-9 a.m., at Springfield Country Club, 1375 Elm St., West Springfield. Panel of elected officials will include state Reps. Nicholas Boldyga and Michael Finn, Agawam Mayor Richard Cohen, West Springfield Mayor Greg Neffinger, and state Sen. Michael Knapik. Tickets are $25 for members, $30 for non-members. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880, or e-mail [email protected]





(413) 568-1618


• Feb. 4: Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m., at Miss Sweets, 4 Russell Road, Westfield. The mayor will share information about what’s happening in the city. For more information or to register, contact Pam Bussell at the chamber office at (413) 568-1618.

• Feb. 13: February WestNet, 5-7 p.m., at Shaker Farms Country Club, 866 Shaker Road, Westfield. Meet chamber members and bring your business cards. Sponsored by Ashton Services. Admission is $10 for chamber members, $15 for non-members. Payment can be made in advance or at the door with cash or check. Walk-ins are welcomed. Call the chamber at (413) 568-1618 or e-mail Pam Bussell at [email protected] Your first WestNet is always free.





• Feb. 21: February Third Thursday Networking Event, 5-7 p.m., at Samuel’s Tavern, 1000 West Columbus Ave, Springfield. The event is free for members, $10 for non-members. For more information, visit www.springfieldyps.com/events.

Company Notebook Departments

Paragus IT Makes Inc. 5,000 Ranking

HADLEY — Inc. magazine recently named Paragus IT to its annual ranking of the 5,000 fastest-growing businesses. With a 232% growth rate between 2008 and 2011, Paragus is the second-fastest-growing outsourced IT firm in New England. Since CEO Delcie Bean founded the company at the age of 13, Paragus has grown from a one-man operation to a regional leader in business computer service, consulting, and information-technology support. And, despite a sluggish economy, Paragus IT continues to thrive and expand. The company now employs a staff of 24 and has recently added a satellite office in the backyard of its Russell Street headquarters to accommodate the growth.


United Bank Again Named Top SBA Lender to Women

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Richard Collins, president and CEO of United Bank, announced that the bank was named the state’s “#1 Lender to Women” by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This is the second consecutive year United has earned this honor. Of all participating SBA lenders, United once again approved the highest percentage of total loans to women in fiscal year 2012. “We are always eager to help women in business achieve their goals,” said Collins. “Their success is always significant to the growth of the economy, and their contributions are more vital than ever in today’s economic environment.” Barbara-Jean DeLoria, senior vice president of commercial and retail lending, said there is a reason for the bank’s success. “We have a team in place that is personally committed to making United Bank the number-one choice for local residents and businesses. We promise, and we deliver, the most responsive and attentive service, competitive rates, and fast answers.” United Bank has 16 branch offices and two express drive-up branches in the Springfield region of Western Mass.; six branches in the Worcester region of Central Mass., with a seventh branch to open in Northborough this month; and 15 branches in Connecticut’s Hartford, Tolland, New Haven, and Litchfield counties. The bank also operates loan-production offices in Beverly, Mass. and Glastonbury, Conn.


DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology Honored

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — Modern Salon Media has named the 2012 class of Excellence in Education honorees in its annual program recognizing leadership and best practices among cosmetology schools. DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology in West Springfield was chosen to represent excellence in the category of ‘school culture.’ This category recognizes unique programs offered to enhance the cosmetology-school experience and to foster the personal development and growth of students. Modern Salon Publisher Steve Reiss announced the honorees during the 2012 AACS (American Assoc. of Cosmetology Schools) annual convention in Orlando last fall. Hundreds of entries were submitted from cosmetology schools across North America, in eight categories ranging from marketing to placement to school culture. Honorees were determined based on school size and number of locations, with one overall honoree chosen from a list of finalists within each category. “We are absolutely dedicated to providing our students with education at the highest level,” said Paul DiGrigoli, president and CEO of DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology. “Beyond the standard cosmetology curriculum, we offer ‘Life Skills’ personal-development classes and feature guest educators at the top of their respective fields within the beauty industry. We also offer business classes, such as ‘How to Own and Operate Your Own Salon,’ and much more. I am so proud of my dedicated team of instructors and administrators, who devote their very best to our students.”


AirFlyte Inc. Acquired by Rectrix Commercial Aviation Services

BEDFORD — Rectrix Commercial Aviation Services recently announced the acquisition of AirFlyte Inc. of Westfield, a full-service executive-terminal fixed-base operator with state-of-the-art maintenance and hangar facilities. “We’re pleased to welcome AirFlyte’s employees into the Rectrix family,” said Thomas Russell, executive chairman of Rectrix Commercial Aviation Services (RECAS). “The substantial reputation enjoyed by AirFlyte is consistent with our company’s mission of offering high-quality services to all aviation segments in which we operate. Further, this acquisition represents a strategic link in the East Coast expansion of RECAS.” Terms of the acquisition were for an undisclosed sum of cash. AirFlyte founder Gary Potts will remain as president of AirFlyte. The company maintains a respected FAA Part 145 certified repair station. AirFlyte’s capabilities include maintenance of most corporate jet aircraft within its 43,000-square-foot facility at Westfield’s Barnes Regional Airport. AirFlyte can fulfill other needs, such as professional photo shoots and interior restorations. AirFlyte’s premier FBO provides business suites, concierge services, crew lounge, quiet rooms, refueling services, aircraft de-icing, and the availability of a conference center. “AirFlyte has been providing premier service to the executive traveler since 1988. By becoming a part of the Rectrix family of companies, we have the opportunity to grow further and do even more for our loyal clients,” said Potts. “We are extremely excited about our future with Rectrix.”

Hard Rock Submits a Casino Proposal of Note

Hard Rock International’s plans for a resort casino on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition

Hard Rock International’s plans for a resort casino on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition

Eugene Cassidy had been on the job as president and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition (ESE) for less than a week when officials at the Bronson Companies initiated discussions that eventually led to serious talk about the possibility of locating a casino on the Big E grounds.

And it was very soon thereafter that he started canvassing members of his board for their thoughts on that subject. What he found was that, as with the general public in most respects, there was little, if any, middle ground on the matter; some were quite supportive, while others, he said, used direct and sometimes profane language to make it clear that they were not.

“One of them said to me, ‘are you out of your … mind — you’ve only been CEO for a matter of days; do you want to get yourself … fired?” he recalled, deleting the expletives, but adding pauses for effect.

But he said he was able to change such attitudes with what he considers some powerful arguments, presented at subsequent, and very intense, board meetings. The first is that a casino paying a sizable lease to the Big E for the property that would be needed for parking and the assorted facilities would ensure the survival of the century-old institution for the foreseeable future.

The second is that he considers the Big E to be the best steward to operate a casino in the western region of the state.

“The Legislature has said that gaming is now legal in Massachusetts, so now it’s a question of who’s going to be the most responsible party to be involved with this,” he told BusinessWest. “And I could make an argument all day long that this organization is precisely the most responsible host; there’s no one more well-equipped than the Eastern States Exposition, and the town of West Springfield, to handle this.”

It is these arguments, and especially the latter, that Cassidy, who took the reins at the Big E in June, hopes will bring town and area residents, not to mention the Mass. Gaming Commission, around to the idea of embracing Hard Rock Entertainment’s plans to build a $700 million to $800 million resort casino on land at the Big E currently used for parking.

He knows there are questions, and many of them, about parking, traffic, how to juxtapose an immensely for-profit venture with the exposition’s nonprofit status, and many other concerns, and he expects that they will all be effectively answered in the weeks and months to come. For now, though, he’s ecstatic to simply be in a position to have to answer such questions and, as he put it, “have a seat at the table” in the great casino contest.

So is Jim Allen, Hard Rock’s chairman.

For more than a year now, the company has been actively engaged in nailing down a site for a Western Mass. casino, after concluding, as others have, that this area presents the best odds for gaining a foothold in the Bay State. Hard Rock looked at perhaps seven or eight sites in Western Mass., including one in Holyoke and several in downtown Springfield, he said.

It was only after the Bronson Companies, serving as a consultant to several casino entities, engaged Cassidy in those aforementioned discussions that Hard Rock eventually narrowed its search to a 38-acre tract in the southeast corner of the Big E property.

Allen acknowledged that the site has its obvious challenges, especially traffic, but he said all the Western Mass. proposals have challenges, and, in some respects, the Big E site presents fewer than the downtown Springfield locations, while also offering more flexibility with its size.

Ultimately, he believes the plan that emerges, coupled with Hard Rock’s brand and strong track record in both gaming and entertainment — the company has facilities in 58 countries — will enable the project to win over both voters in West Springfield and members of the Gaming Commission.

For this, the latest in a series of stories about the contest for the Western Mass. casino license, BusinessWest talked with Cassidy and Allen about what has become the fourth entry in the pitched battle for the Western Mass. casino license, and why they believe they can, and will, triumph in that contest.


Working in Concert

Eugene Cassidy

Eugene Cassidy says a casino on the Big E grounds would ensure the long-term survival of the nearly century-old fair.

Cassidy said he knows the ‘casino-at-the-state-fair’ model works — because he’s seen it up close.

He told BusinessWest that he pays an annual visit to the Delaware State Fair, which became the site for a casino in the late ’90s, and has made fairly regular trips to the Erie County (New York) State Fair, which added one several years ago. He’s also been to the famous Calgary Stampede, which has long had a gaming facility on its grounds.

In each instance, he said, the revenue gained from leasing land to the casino has become a game changer for the facility in question.

“What the casino does in all those cases is provide the kind of economic support that only an operation of that size and scope can provide,” he explained. “The economic wherewithal of a casino is such that they can afford to really play an active role in the infrastructure of the facility.

“I’ve seen Delaware improve dramatically in just the few short years they’ve had it,” he continued. “And in New York, they’ve done dramatic things to the fairgrounds.”

The Hard Rock proposal has the same potential for the Big E, said Cassidy, noting that the revenue gained from leasing land to the casino operator could be put toward renovating many of the older facilities at the ESE, including the 97-year-old Coliseum.

“We’re trying to struggle along and preserve a 100-year-old facility that has 44 buildings, 31 of which were built before World War II,” he explained. “It’s an incredibly capital-intensive plant; I have an engineering study in my drawer completed in 2008 that shows that to rehabilitate the Coliseum — the gem of the fairgrounds, the jewel in the crown of West Springfield, the place where the American Hockey League was founded — would cost more than $52 million.

“We just had the biggest fair in our history, and we’re going to probably earn, after depreciation, $1.3 million, $2.8 million before depreciation,” he continued. “There’s no possible way that you can capitalize a $52 million rehabilitation, which today is probably $62 million, on $2.8 million before depreciation.”

But generating revenue for capital improvements is merely one of the benefits to be derived from having a casino on the grounds, he went on, putting simple survival at the top of that list.

Indeed, he listed a number of state fairs, including those in Virginia and Michigan, that have gone out of business in recent years due to a combination of declining state support and increased competition for the entertainment dollar from, among other things, casinos.

He said that such a fate is not inconceivable for the Big E, despite its continued success at the gate, and that, at the very least, a casino located across the river in Springfield — and two are proposed for the City of Homes — would negatively impact the ESE in matters ranging from its book of business on conventions, meetings, and traveling shows to its ability to book musical talent, something that’s already impacted by the two casinos in Connecticut.

These were some of the many points he made at an elaborate red-carpet rollout of Hard Rock’s plans at Storrowton Tavern earlier this month. Bret Michaels, from the rock band Poison, was in the house, doing two sets, which included an acoustic version of “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” Hard Rock also brought along a few of the tens of thousands of pieces of music memorabilia in its vast collection, including a bass guitar used in concert by Gene Simmons of KISS and Michael Jackson’s red leather “Beat It” jacket.

Amid all the hype, music, and visuals was some plain talk, especially from Cassidy, who called the Hard Rock proposal “a once-in-a-lifetime economic-development opportunity.”

How it came into focus is an intriguing example of what some might call trial and error or a process of elimination, but which Allen described as a scientific search for a location that offered accessibility, flexibility, and, in broad terms, the best chance for success in the competition for the casino license.

Like MGM, Penn National, and Ameristar (before it dropped out of the race), Hard Rock was attracted to Springfield because of its location, accessibility, and demographics, said Allen, adding that the company simply wasn’t able to piece together a site that worked in the city.

“We felt that, in downtown Springfield, there were some great opportunities, but we just couldn’t come to grips with land assembly that would give us the appropriate acreage to design something that becomes more than a casino or a slots-in-a-box facility,” he said. “When you’re dealing with a downtown city grid and the restrictions that go with that, we just didn’t feel we could design something that would be beneficial to our brand and beneficial to the citizens who live in that area.

“And, frankly, when the opportunity came about to be involved with the Big E, this was truly a marriage made in heaven,” he continued. “With 175 acres, all that history, and the Big E’s focus on entertainment, we thought this was something that would be very positive.”


Ready to Rock

Allen said his company’s proposal, named Hard Rock New England, would feature a 200,000-square-foot casino with 100 to 125 table games and 2,500 to 3,000 slot machines, a 400-room hotel, a spa, a restaurant, shops, a pool area, a concert and show venue, and a permanent music-memorabilia collection.

He told BusinessWest that the proposal reinforces Hard Rock’s reputation for building not just gaming facilities — or “machines in a box,” as he called them — but entertainment complexes.

And this specific model, he believes, will dovetail nicely with the Big E and its brand of family entertainment — complementing it, but not competing with it.

There are obviously concerns about traffic, he noted, adding that he believes a downtown Springfield casino, such as those they considered, would present even more challenges in that realm. “How do you find 3,000, 4,000, or 5,000 parking spaces in downtown Springfield and get the people in and out of there, along with the people going to the central business district?”

In West Springfield, he said the company is looking to work with the community, consulting engineers, and the state to create a comprehensive access plan that addresses both historical traffic problems that have characterized the fair throughout its existence and additional volume from a casino complex.

“We want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” he said, acknowledging that his ability to back up those words will go a long way toward determining how the residents of West Springfield may vote on gaming referendum — one of the many hurdles this project will have to clear to become reality.

“This will be a ground-zero, door-to-door approach,” he said. “It starts with the community’s concerns and addressing them in our design thought processes. If one looks at gaming on a national basis, the majority of people now look at it as a form of entertainment that creates a tremendous amount of jobs.

“If we use that as the foundation block,” he continued, “the key for us is to design something that will be an additional attraction to the community and not something that is going to create additional stress on the infrastructure, the police, or the fire department.”

Hard Rock’s plans put the Big E in a much different situation than it was in just a few months ago, said Cassidy, acknowledging that this position — one where the institution is a competitor to other casino operators, rather than an observer or potential collaborator — comes complete with great opportunity, but also sizable risk.

But it’s a position he felt he needed to be in, primarily because he believes he wasn’t getting anywhere in his efforts to gain the attention of casino developers, and was putting his operation in jeopardy by merely taking the role of bystander.

“I was, and I still am, extraordinarily concerned about the ability of this organization to function in the future, because no one is looking out for the Eastern States Exposition,” he explained. “In fact, to the contrary, there are those who feel we don’t do enough or we don’t provide enough, when, in fact, we are the biggest economic cultural event that takes place east of the Mississippi, generating a quarter of a billion in revenues brought into Hampden County in just 17 days.

“Now, the town of West Springfield, rather than bordering a community that’s been incredibly parochial in its discussions about a casino, has a seat at the table,” he continued, adding that it wasn’t until very recently that he believes he heard a Springfield official use the word ‘regional’ when discussing a casino.

“Up until then, it had been all about Springfield,” he went on. “I don’t want to make this a war between Springfield and West Side, but now, the town of West Springfield and the Big E have that seat at the table, and I’m going to be able to provide a means by which this organization can carry on.”

Cassidy told BusinessWest that, in many ways, he regrets the way casinos have almost completely dominated his first six months at the helm. He said that it was his intention upon taking over — something that was planned and scheduled nearly a year earlier — to reaffirm the need for philanthropy to the organization, and to be what he called the “reincarnation” of Joshua Brooks, who founded the fair in 1917.

But in many respects, pursuing a casino is the kind of ambitious, entrepreneurial venture that Brooks would have embraced, he went on.

“Mr. Brooks was an incredibly dynamic thinker and a very progressive man,” said Cassidy. “It’s my goal to see to it that he’s not lost to the history books; as a young man, he was incredibly successful because he was a forward thinker who embraced change. And I have every confidence that Mr. Brooks himself would embrace this change.”


The Big Finale

Cassidy told BusinessWest that, if he had his druthers, he would have had the state Legislature pass a gaming measure similar to the one approved in Indiana.

There, he explained, there is a provision that roughly 6% of the receipts from casino operations sent to the state are routed to the state fair — a windfall he puts at $6 million to $8 million per year.

“If we had that here, we wouldn’t be going through this,” he said with a laugh, referring to the multi-stage “beauty pageant” involving the Western Mass. casino license and the Big E’s presence as one of the contenders.

But the reality is that there is no such provision, so Cassidy is left to work in concert with a casino operator, which eventually became Hard Rock, to secure such revenue in a far different way.

Whether things go as Cassidy and Allen hope remains to be seen, obviously, but it is clear that they intend to make the most of their seats at the casino table.


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

Departments People on the Move

Jeffrey McCormick

Jeffrey McCormick

Jeffrey McCormick, a Partner at Robinson Donovan, P.C. in Springfield, who concentrates his practice in the area of civil litigation, has been named the 2013 President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Formed in 1958, ABOTA is dedicated to the preservation of the Seventh-Amendment right to civil trial by jury, to the promotion of the legal profession and civility among the trial bar, and to the support of an independent judiciary and the rule of law. Applicants must have tried at least 20 civil cases to verdict and must practice with the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct. Massachusetts was the first colony in America to guarantee a right to a civil jury trial with the adoption of the Bodie of Liberties in 1641. McCormick, a past president of the Mass. Bar Assoc., is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has taken more than 100 trials to conclusion and has settled, mediated, and arbitrated hundreds of other cases. Among other appointments and honors, he has served on the Mass. Judicial Nominating Commission, the Mass. Board of Bar Overseers, and the Supreme Judicial Court Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct. He has consistently been listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and in the past has been named a Best Lawyer of the Year in the area of personal-injury litigation in Springfield. He has also been named a Massachusetts and New England Super Lawyer and has received the Super Lawyer designation of one of the top 100 lawyers in Massachusetts. He has been inducted as a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America.


Bacon Wilson, P.C., with law offices in Springfield and Northampton, recently announced that Mark Tanner, Esq. has been named a Partner. Tanner, a trial lawyer, works predominantly out of the Northampton office and represents clients in court cases involving business disputes, serious personal injury, land use and zoning, will and estate disputes, and criminal defense. He is currently the president of the Northampton Soccer Club and serves on the Board of Directors of the People’s Institute Inc., the Franklin County Community Development Corp., and the Hampshire County Bar Assoc. A former president of the Hampshire County Bar Assoc. and recipient of the SuperLawyers Rising Stars award for five years, Tanner is also an author of numerous local articles and a member of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty class of 2007. Tanner earned his J.D. with honors from the University of Wyoming, his M.B.A. from University of Colorado, his B.S. cum laude from UMass, and his A.A. from New Mexico Military Institute, where he was commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserves.


Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly, CPC, was recently honored as the 2012 Corporate Consultant of the Year by Management Search Inc. (MSI), one of the largest privately held executive-search firms in New England. As Managing Partner, Kelly specializes in placing professional positions within manufacturing and service companies in the Northeast and has been instrumental in the company’s growth. She joined MSI in March of 1987, swiftly developing her client base in the manufacturing and service industry throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut.


David Cameron has joined the Northampton office of engineering and design firm Stantec. An environmental scientist with more than 20 years of experience, Cameron has particular expertise in evaluating and permitting the natural-resources impacts of land development related to electric generation and transmission projects. Cameron will serve as a Senior Project Manager on environmental permitting projects across New England and help support Stantec’s power projects across the country. Stantec employs more than 120 employees across Massachusetts.


Jessica Ridley

Jessica Ridley

TransFluenci Interpreting and Translations Services recently promoted Jessica Ridley to Partner. Ridley was formerly the Operations Manager and has been instrumental in the company’s growth and expansion over the past six years. She previously worked at Meadowbrook as Director of Admissions and Director of Marketing. Ridley will continue to add new customers, provide more languages, and oversee the selection of high-quality interpreters and translators who provide service to state agencies, hospitals, community clinics, school districts, and legal services.


The UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI), the public service, outreach, and economic-development unit of the UMass President’s Office, recently named Daniel Hodge as the new Director of Economic and Public Policy Research. An applied economist and lifelong resident of Massachusetts, Hodge brings to his position more than 18 years of experience assessing local, regional, state, and multi-state economies in terms of economic impacts, competitiveness, target industries, strategic plans, and infrastructure investments. Most recently, he was the principal and owner of Hodge Economic Consulting, and he has held prior positions at HDR Decision Economics, Cambridge Systematics, and Regional Economic Models Inc. His unique background combines rigorous, data-driven, quantitative economic analysis with significant experience developing strategic plans and policy initiatives, and his work has impacted major projects in Massachusetts, New England, and nationally. He was the project manager for the widely praised Innovation-based Economic Development Strategy for Holyoke and the Pioneer Valley, as well as a study for the Boston Redevelopment Authority on the Economic and Sustainability Benefits of Boston’s ARRA Investments. Most recently, he served as the on-call economist for the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Florida Department of Transportation. Hodge earned his master’s degree in Applied Economics and master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and holds a B.A. in Economics and Business from Lafayette College.