Home 2013 March
Building Permits Departments

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

 

AGAWAM

 

Tom Jendrysik

367 North Westfield St.

$58,500 — Build partition walls on first floor

 

CHICOPEE

 

Chicopee Housing Authority

100 Debra Dr.

$630,000 — Replace section of roof and gutters

 

G&D Property Management

518 Chicopee St.

$75,000 — Renovations

 

Roman Catholic Bishop

566 Front St.

$29,000 – 4,400-square-foot roof replacement

 

Shawinigan Drive LLC

645 Shawinigan Dr.

$15,000 — Replace antennas

 

GREENFIELD

 

Country Club of Greenfield

244 Country Club Road

$20,000 — Install windows and doors

 

Franklin Medical Center

48 Sanderson St.

$383,000 — Renovate existing building, converting storage spaces to new would care center

 

Town of Greenfield

Glenbrook Dr.

$10,000 — Exterior renovations

 

Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield

133 Main St.

$190,000 — Basement renovations

 

HOLYOKE

 

Holyoke Hospital Inc.

6 Isabella St.

$9,000 — Interior renovations

 

Mass Housing Finance

346-350 Maple St.

$9,500 — Replace 15 windows

 

SOUTH HADLEY

 

Jan Woodworks

92 Alvord St.

$6,600 — Renovation

 

SPRINGFIELD

 

3640 Main Street, LLP

3640 Main St.

$189,000 — 1600-square-foot medical office build-out

 

DCR Properties LLC

545 St. James Ave.

$84,000 — New roof system

 

JB Auto Sales

48 Winter St.

$43,000 — Repairs due to gas explosion

 

Reeds Landing

807 Wilbraham Road

$357,500 — New dining food service area

 

The Republican

1860 Main St.

$130,000 — Install press-pad footing

 

WESTFIELD

 

Baystate Dental

29 Broad St.

$180,000 — Interior renovation for dental office

 

WEST SPRINGFIELD

 

Ashok Patel

55 Main St.

$20,000 — Exterior renovations

 

Costco Wholesale

119 Daggett Dr.

$35,000 — Renovate optical department

 

Willie J. Thomas

37 Oxford Place

$200,000 — Window replacement in buildings 1 and 4

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.

 

CHICOPEE DISTRICT COURT

Slack Chemical Co. Inc. v. Mountainview Products Inc. d/b/a Village Grain and Hardware

Allegation: Breach of contract and non-payment for chemical products sold and delivered: $12,199.91

Filed: 2/14/13

 

FRANKLIN SUPERIOR COURT

Craig and Cathy Barrows v. Rodney Hunt Co. Inc.

Allegation: Negligent failure to maintain a safe work environment resulting in severe and permanent injuries: $25,000+

Filed: 1/31/13

 

Orange and Realty Trust, as assignee of Quabbin Inc. v. Certain Underwriters of Lloyd’s of London

Allegation: Breach of commercial property and general liability insurance policy: $25,000+

Filed: 1/17/13

 

HAMPDEN SUPERIOR COURT

Lutvija Katica v. Webster Bank, N.A.

Allegation: Employee discrimination: $25,000+

Filed: 2/19/13

 

Paige B. Scyocurka v. CFA Financial Corp. d/b/a CAN Insurance Cos. a/k/a Continental Co.

Allegation: Failure to settle a claim when liability and damages were reasonably clear: $5 million+

Filed: 1/31/13

 

TBF Financial, LLC v. Alternative Health Inc.

Allegation: Breach of promissory note: $80,632.96

Filed: 2/5/13

 

PALMER DISTRICT COURT

Carl Diluzio v. Commerce Insurance Co.

Allegation: Failure to pay property claim: $3,607

Filed: 3/1/13

 

SPRINGFIELD DISTRICT COURT

Celeste Asikainen v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc.

Allegation: Plaintiff suffered injury to her mouth when she bit into a mushroom containing a rock: $9,806

Filed: 2/25/13

 

Comcast Spotlight Inc. v. Fred Forgione d/b/a Revere Waterproofing and Restoration

Allegation: Non-payment of advertising services: $19,808.12

Filed: 2/14/13

 

R&B Services Inc. d/b/a/ Coverall of Southern New England v. Stockbridge Court, L.P.

Allegation: Non-payment of cleaning services: $2,777.82

Filed: 1/31/13

 

Trina Davis v. The Ratner Cos. d/b/a The Hair Cuttery

Allegation: Negligence causing hair loss: $25,000

Filed: 2/13/13

Departments People on the Move

American International College announced the following:

Heather Cahill

Heather Cahill

• Heather Cahill has been promoted to Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Serving as the Executive Director for Institutional Advancement for the past three years, Cahill brought much-needed organization to the fund-raising and alumni operations of the department. Cahill’s accomplishments during her tenure with AIC include the Inaugural AIC Run for Education; a $2.38 million HRSA grant, the largest grant in the college’s history; a grant from the Alden Foundation in support of a trading-room-style classroom; multiple federal grants in support of scholarships and equipment; an increase in professional training for current staff and phone-a-thon student employees, resulting in a strengthened commitment to the professional development of the staff; and the inaugural Cornerstone Society Brunch. Cahill also expanded the college’s communication to alumni through larger social-media presence and an increase in both circulation and production of Lucent magazine. Cahill received her BA and MBA from Boston University; and

Ellen Noonan

Ellen Noonan

• Ellen Noonan has been named Vice President for Graduate and Adult Education at American International College. Noonan had been serving as Associate Vice President for Educational Enterprise for Extended Campus Programs at AIC. In addition to her current supervision of Extended Campus Programs and Continuing Education, Noonan will oversee all master’s-degree programs in Education, Psychology, and Business. She will also be responsible for the doctoral programs in Education and Psychology, as well as the master’s program in Cairo, Egypt. Noonan received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from AIC.

•••••

The Center for Human Development (CHD) announced that Kirk Woodring, LICSW, has been named Vice President of Clinical Services. With 29 years of experience in human services and mental-health programs, Woodring will oversee CHD’s outpatient behavioral-health clinics, the Institute of Dynamic Living, early intervention, in-home therapy, and other program clinical services. Woodring most recently served as the Senior Director of Access, Evaluation, and Ambulatory Services for the Brattleboro Retreat in Vermont. Additionally, he served as the Director of the CHD Training Institute for three years and the Senior Program Manager of Behavioral Health Network for six years. Recognized as a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists, Woodring holds an MSW from the Smith College School for Social Work and a BS in Public Administration from Western Michigan University. He teaches courses in group theory and advanced group practice at Smith College as an adjunct associate professor. In 2011, he co-authored and published the book Assessing the Risk: Suicidal Behavior in the Hospital Environment of Care.

•••••

R. Kirk Mackey

R. Kirk Mackey

The Dowd Agencies announced the appointment of R. Kirk Mackey as President of Dowd Financial Services LLC (DFS) and its Employee Benefits Division. DFS is a full-service financial division of the Dowd Agencies. Mackey, who has been in the financial-services industry since 1979 and with Dowd since 2005, was formerly a representative of New England Financial Group, LLC. He now specializes in corporate employee-benefit planning, including group health, life, and disability-insurance plans in addition to qualified retirement plans and selective executive-compensation arrangements. He received a BA in Business Administration from UMass in 1978, and a MBA with a concentration in Accounting from Western New England College in1987.

•••••

David Fedor, President of the West Springfield-based Fedor Financial Group, LLC, and an independent financial advisor affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network, was named to Commonwealth’s Winners Circle. The distinction recognizes only 10% of Commonwealth’s more than 1,400 financial advisors nationwide. Fedor will join his peers at the Winners Circle conference in April at the El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.

•••••

Jean Deliso was recently named Agent of the Year in the Connecticut Valley General office of New York Life Insurance Co. Deliso received the award in recognition of outstanding sales achievement and exemplary client service and professionalism. A New York Life agent for 18 years, Deliso is a member of New York Life’s Chairman’s Council and is a consistent qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table, recognized throughout the industry as the standard of excellence in life-insurance sales performance, and is currently a 2013 Court of the Table member. Members of the elite Chairman’s Council rank in the top 3% of New York Life’s elite sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents.

•••••

Jack Hibbard

Jack Hibbard

Monson Savings Bank announced the promotion of Jack Hibbard to Assistant Vice President and Controller and the election of four new corporators. Hibbard began his career in banking in operations and then as a branch manager more than 25 years ago. He joined the financial department of Monson Savings Bank in 2004 and was promoted to Controller in 2011. Hibbard left banking while he earned his BBA in Accounting from UMass and then worked for a Big Six accounting firm before returning to community banking. New Corporators are Lisa Fallon of Lisa Fallon CPA, PC; Art Ferrara, Co-owner of Landmark Realty; Kara Rescia, Attorney with Eaton & Rescia, LLP; and Elaine Korhonen, Certified Public Accountant.

•••••

Amherst-based New England Environmental Inc. (NEE) of Amherst recently promoted Jack Jemsek, to Vice President of NEE’s Hydrogeology and Remediation Group. Jemsek is a Massachusetts Licensed Site Professional (LSP), a Connecticut Licensed Environmental Professional (LEP), a Professional Geologist in New Hampshire, and a Certified Geologist in Maine. He has B.S. in Earth Science from the University of Notre Dame, and a Ph.D. in Marine Geology and Geophysics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography.

Chamber Corners Departments

ACCGS

www.myonlinechamber.com

(413) 787-1555

 

• March 28: Lunch ‘n’ Learn, 11:45 a.m to 1 p.m., at the TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main St., Springfield. The topic will be “Implementation of the Healthcare Cost Containment Law: What Does It All Mean?” The guest speaker will be David Seltz, executive director of the Health Policy Commission. He will discuss the role of the Health Policy Commission and how the commission will develop policies to reduce overall cost growth while improving access to quality, ensuring accountable healthcare, and reforming the way healthcare is delivered and paid for in the Commonwealth. Tickets are $20, which includes a boxed lunch. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact [email protected]

 

• April 10: April After 5, 5-7 p.m., at Twin Hills Country Club, 700 Wolf Swamp Road, Longmeadow. The event will feature the ERC5 Feast in the East. Join us for a culinary event sure to please your palate as dozens of local restaurants present their signature dishes. Proceeds benefit the ERC5 Scholarship Fund. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact [email protected]

 

• April 3: ACCGS [email protected], 7:15-9 a.m., at the Springfield Marriott, 2 Boland Way, Springfield. Guest Speakers will be Carol Leary, president of Bay Path College, and Ira Rubenzahl, president of Springfield Technical Community College. They will speak on the subject “The Importance of Public and Private Higher Educational Institutions in Workforce Development.” Chief greeter: Sarah Tsitso, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club Family Center. Salute: the Horace Smith Fund, for its 115th anniversary. For more information and to purchase tickets, contact [email protected]

 

AMHERST AREA

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.amherstarea.com

(413) 253-0700

 

• April 10: Amherst Area Chamber Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., at Applewood at Amherst, 1 Spencer Dr., Amherst. Tickets: $17 for members, $20 for non-members. RSVP to [email protected] or register online at www.amherstarea.com.

 

CHICOPEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.chicopeechamber.org

(413) 594-2101

 

• April 17: April Salute Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., at the Kittredge Center, Holyoke Community College. Tickets are $20 for members, $26 for non-members. Sign up online at www.chicopeechamber.org.

• April 8: Meet Your Legislators, 5-8 p.m., at the Castle of Knights, 1599 Memorial Dr. in Chicopee. Meet the legislators who represent you and your business, and start a relationship and a partnership with the Commonwealth’s leadership. Your chamber membership affords you a valuable voice on issues that impact your bottom line. Sponsored by Mohegan Sun. Sign up online at www.chicopeechamber.org.

 

FRANKLIN COUNTY

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.franklincc.org

(413) 773-5463

 

• April 1: Medicare & Social Security Workshop, 4:30-6 p.m., at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. Learn how to prepare for healthcare expenses. If you are concerned about healthcare expenses in retirement, now is the time to start planning. This begins with an overview of Medicare to help you understand the way healthcare works in retirement and what decisions you need to make now. Next, learn how to maximize your Social Security retirement income. Find out what you need to make the most of your benefits. You will learn important rules and strategies for collecting your retirement benefits, maximizing your spousal benefits, and coordinating Social Security with other sources of retirement income. To register, call the chamber office at (413) 773-5463 or e-mail [email protected]

 

• April 19: Chamber Breakfast, 7:30-9 a.m., at the Franklin County Fairgrounds. Program to be announced. Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, contact the chamber at (413) 773-5463.

 

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.easthamptonchamber.org

(413) 527-9414

 

• April 13: REACH Fest Day, starting at 10 a.m. REACH invites local and national artists to show in a multi-city exhibition of contemporary practitioners working in a variety of non-traditional formats. REACH promotes visibility, aims to bridge the arts and spaces in neighboring cities, encourages collaborative experimentation, and invites community members to participate in experiencing an array of contemporary art practices that are exhibited in a variety of traditional, non-traditional, and underutilized spaces throughout participating cities and towns. With more than 25 artist installations and exhibitions, a series of events are scheduled for REACH Fest Day. There will be performances in Easthampton and Holyoke by contemporary movement and sound artists and the One-Minute Vidfest, a film festival at Popcorn Noir in Easthampton featuring one-minute short films submitted by more than 80 artists from Easthampton to Serbia. All exhibitions will be open for visitation in Holyoke from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and in Easthampton from 4 to 9 p.m., in conjunction with the monthly Art Walk Easthampton. For more information visit www.reachfest.com

 

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.explorenorthampton.com

(413) 584-1900

 

• April 3: [email protected], from 5 to 7 p.m. at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School, 80 Locust St., Northampton. Sponsored by King And Cushman Inc. and ACME Auto Body & Collision Center. Arrive when you can, stay as long as you can for a casual mix and mingle with your colleagues and friends. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for non-members. To register, call the chamber office at (413) 584-1900 or visit www.explorenorthampton.com.

 

GREATER WESTFIELD

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org

(413) 568-1618

 

• April 10: WestNet, 5-7 p.m., at Betts Plumbing, 14 Coleman St., Westfield. Come an enjoy a night of networking. Meet chamber members and bring your business cards for a great networking opportunity. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 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.

 

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD

www.springfieldyps.com

 

• April 18: Third Thursday, 5-7 p.m., at Adolfo’s Restaurant, 254 Worthington St., Springfield. Join YPS at Adolfo’s, an Italian restaurant and bar situated across from historic Stearns Square in the heart of Springfield’s Entertainment District. The menu features a selection of traditional Italian dishes along with creative house specialties and a wide choice of wines to match.

Commercial Real Estate Sections

BID Strives to Improve, Promote Downtown Attractions

 

By KATHLEEN MITCHELL

 

Don Courtemanche lives in downtown Springfield. He walks to work and takes advantage of the cultural events, eateries, and other offerings readily available to him in the area.

“I think of downtown as a neighborhood. It’s a place where I want to live, stay, and raise my family,” said the executive director of the Springfield Business Improvement District, or BID, adding that he can walk to 40 restaurants from his home on Maple Street, which is not technically within the boundaries of the BID, but certainly impacted by the organization’s efforts.

BID board member Evan Plotkin says the ultimate goal of the organization is to make the downtown vibrant and culturally important to the region so it will attract new residents and businesses. “We want to see a return of the middle class and others who have left or abandoned the city,” said the president of NAI Plotkin on Taylor Street in Springfield, in the heart of the BID. “If you create a vibe that improves the perception of what downtown is, you will start to attract new retail businesses, restaurants, and a segment of the population that could move into apartments there.”

The boundaries of the 26-block BID stretch from the Connecticut River to Chestnut Street, and from Bliss Street to the railroad tracks. Union Station, which is undergoing renovation, is the northern bookend of the district. And although some people shy away from downtown because they think it’s unsafe, Cortemanche says that’s a false perception.

“People who are not familiar with the area tend to be skeptical in terms of its public safety,” he told BusinessWest.  “But if you look at the statistics, the BID is the safest neighborhood in the entire city in terms of crime.”

The problem, he went on, is that, “since downtown is the face of the city, whenever anything bad happens, people associate it with Main Street.” For example, when the tornado hit, people watched it cross the southern part of the downtown area on their TV screens because that is where the weather cameras are situated. “As a result, business in the BID plummeted, not because the buildings there were destroyed, but because people assumed the streets were impassable since the media reported the news from the downtown area. The general consumer doesn’t know where the BID begins and ends.”

Plotkin agrees. “A lot happens downtown that is blown out of proportion,” he said.

Still, in spite of economic woes that have hurt urban centers across the country, the BID has held its own in recent years. Its focus now is to continue to collaborate with groups that stage cultural events, bring more people downtown, and, most importantly, take measures to make people feel safe when they visit the district.

This is going to become easier thanks to a recent change in the state’s BID statute, which was passed in July by the Legislature as part of a jobs bill. It no longer allows commercial properties to opt out of membership or paying a fee to an established BID, which they were able to do in the past, even though they benefited from services.

Those services range from keeping the area clean to upgrading streetscapes; from undertaking capital improvements to assigning representatives to act as ambassadors during conventions to help direct tourists and serve as extra security on the street, along with helping to beautify the area and promoting attractions and events.

 

Ongoing Maintenance

Courtemanche said Springfield’s BID, like others across the state, suffered when property owners opted out of the organization. “It became incumbent on us to do more and more with less and less,” he explained.

But, thanks to the new law, there will be more revenue with which to work. “The statute allowed property owners to reaffirm their faith in the BID,” Courtemanche said, adding that it has a 98% approval rating from its members. “We have had meetings with our members who had opted out to see what they want, and their number-one priority is clean and safe streets.”

To that end, the BID has purchased new cleaning equipment, which includes an additional street sweeper, and has also established two new lighting initiatives. One is the installation of LED lights in existing fixtures owned by Western Mass Electric Co., which will double the amount of illumination and reduce energy use by 25%.

The second is a pilot program that began in January on Worthington Street that allows property owners to install new light fixtures on their buildings, with the BID picking up 75% of the cost. “It contributes to the perception of public safety and will have a huge effect because it will light up the beautiful architecture we have downtown after dark,” Courtemanche said.

Keith Weppler, who co-owns Theodore’s Booze Blues & BBQ on Worthington Street with Keith Makarowski, said they chose to have the energy-efficient lights installed. “They really light up the whole building,” said Weppler, who is another BID board member.

He cited other benefits the organization provides. “I see how dirty the streets are early in the morning after a weekend and what a difference it makes after the BID’s cleaning crew comes by. I really appreciate it, and although belonging to the BID doesn’t directly affect my business, it helps the city. Their communication with the police department as well as their work with other businesses is part of the synergy that creates a positive downtown.”

He has also taken advantage of the BID’s affiliation with city officials. “They know who to call if you have a problem,” he said, citing an instance when he had an issue with outdated parking signage outside his establishment and the BID helped get the matter resolved.

The BID has 30 security cameras linked with the Police Department and Department of Public Works, which can spot someone illegally dumping trash or relay the news that a traffic light is out and creating a backup at an intersection, Courtemanche said. It also stages events, including the Stearns Square Concert Series, which brings 5,000 to 8,000 people downtown every week in the summer.

“It started with 10 concerts and has grown to 12, and the spinoff is huge for the parking facilities, businesses, and restaurants in the district,” Courtemanche added. In addition, the organization supports a multitude of events, ranging from those held at the Springfield Museums on the Quadrangle to the World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast, the annual Spirit of Springfield’s Big Balloon Parade, productions at CityStage, and basketball games at the MassMutual Center.

 

New Promotions

Recently, the BID launched a number of new promotions designed to bring people downtown.

These include giving away tickets to Falcons and Armor games via a weekly drawing for people who register on the BID Facebook page.

“While that might not seem like a huge move, these people park, go out to eat, may visit a bar after the game, have a great time, and become comfortable downtown,” said Courtemanche.

The BID also employs social media to keep people abreast of ongoing news, such as whether restaurants were open after a gas explosion in November that destroyed a downtown bar and sent glass and bricks flying down Worthington Street.

It also recently finished a promotion that began in December in which people who took photos of themselves in front of restaurants such as Nadim’s and Subway on Main Street, where sidewalk construction is underway, were entered into a drawing for restaurant gift certificates.

“It was hugely popular,” Courtemanche said. “And right now, we are gearing up for spring, which is arguably our busiest or second-busiest season.”

In addition to power-washing the sidewalks, BID employees also fill about 300 planters and 300 hanging baskets scattered throughout the zone with flowers. “We also want to generate a buzz about real -state property here,” he said.

The agency’s plan is to hold open houses in approximately a dozen empty storefronts over the next few months. The first will be in a 3,000-square-foot space beneath the Chestnut Park apartment complex that has sat empty for years. “We will have food and entertainment, and hopefully it will result in a new tenant,” Courtemanche told BusinessWest.

Although real-estate brokers are welcome, the hope is that people who live and/or work downtown will attend the events and convey information about these sites to people they know who may want to open or expand a business. “The downtown consumers have a built-in bias as to what type of retailer they would like to see,” he said.

However, BID officials admit that a lot needs to be done before the area becomes a thriving neighborhood. But they are steadily working toward that goal.

“We still have a lot of vacant space, but we are on the road to the day when we become an urban theme park, which is what successful cities do to attract entrepreneurs,” Plotkin said.

Courtemanche agrees, and says small things add up. “A rising tide floats all ships, and casino or not, the fact that the BID continues to make huge leaps during one of the worst economic climates in decades is telling,” he said. “Businesses are continuing to open, and the area continues to grow.”

 

Future Outlook

Courtemanche said the BID is doing well. “There is certainly room for improvement, but we are holding our own and seeing growth in terms of more employees and more foot traffic. The biggest elephant in the room is where the casino will go, but once it lands, there is a lot of pent-up development that will take place,” he said. “The BID really is a special place.”

Plotkin agrees. “Every downtown has problems from time to time,” he said, “but if we can populate our area with an eclectic mix of diverse people and promote the restaurants and businesses, we will be able to bring about a renaissance here.”

Agenda Departments

Understanding Financial Reports

March 29: The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network’s Western Regional Office will present “Understanding Financial Reports” from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at PeoplesBank, second-floor conference center, 330 Whitney Ave., Holyoke. The workshop will be presented by Robb Morton of Boisselle, Morton & Associates, LLP. If you are in business, financial statements are an essential tool. Knowing how to read your financial statements can help you understand what happened last year in your business and what is likely to happen this year. The cost is $40. To register, call (413) 737-6712 or visit www.msbdc.org/wmass/training.html.

 

Not Just Business as Usual

April 4: The Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) Foundation will host its fourth annual Not Just Business as Usual event at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. A cocktail and networking reception will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m., followed by the dinner program and keynote speaker from 7 to 9 p.m.
This year, in celebration of 40 years of excellence in nursing at STCC, speakers include ‘The Three Doctors’ — Drs. George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt, and Sampson Davis — who are well-known for their work delivering messages of hope and inspiration. As teenagers growing up on the inner-city streets of Newark, N.J., the three friends made a pact to stick together, go to college, graduate, and achieve their dreams of becoming medical doctors. They have been lauded by Oprah Winfrey as being “bigger than rock stars” and have been featured as medical experts on the Tom Joyner Morning Radio Show and CNN. The Three Doctors received the Essence Award in 2000 for their accomplishments and leadership, and a BET Honors Award in 2009. Over the past two years alone, the Not Just Business as Usual event has provided the STCC Foundation with more than $100,000 to support college and student needs. Funds help to provide STCC students with access to opportunities — through scholarships, technology, and career direction — to be successful future employees and citizens. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available. Individual tickets cost $175 each. If your business is interested in purchasing a table, contact Robert LePage at (413) 755-4477 or [email protected]

 

Live Comedy Night

April 6: Smith & Wesson will host a live comedy night to benefit to support two local children’s charities, the Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Ronald McDonald House. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Cedars Banquet Hall, 419 Island Pond Road, Springfield, and includes a cash bar, raffles, games, music, and hot and cold hors d’oeuvres prior to the show. The laughs begin at 7:15 p.m. with Teddie Barrett of Teddie B Comedy emceeing the show and introducing comedians Mark Scalia, Chance Langton, and Mike Whitman. Scalia began his stand-up career in Boston in the early 1990s and is now an international headliner. Langton is a nationally known comedian, musician, actor, writer, and basketball player who has been entertaining in comedy clubs for more than 20 years. Whitman was voted Boston’s Best New Comedian in 2008. Tickets cost $30 and may be purchased in advance by contacting Elaine Stellato at Smith & Wesson, (413) 747-3371; Karen Motyka at Shriners Hospital, (413) 787-2032; or Jennifer Putnam at Ronald McDonald House, (413) 794-5683.

 

HRU Fund-raising Event

April 11: Human Resources Unlimited (HRU) will stage its annual recognition and fund-raiser event at Springfield Country Club in West Springfield from 7:30 to 9 a.m. This breakfast event is by invitation only and is limited to the first 200 registrants. HRU will recognize local employers that have distinguished themselves this past year through their commitment to hire individuals with a disability. In addition, the organization annually honors a special volunteer who has given of their time and talent to help advance HRU in achieving its mission. Two employers will be honored: the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Westfield is receiving the agency’s Employer of the Year Award, and the Sturbridge Host Hotel is being recognized with the Rookie Employer Award. Jeff Lander of Appilistic will receive the Armand Tourangeau Volunteer of the Year Award for his efforts on behalf of HRU’s Westfield Service Forum House. Gold Sponsors for the event include FieldEddy Insurance and Meredith Management. The media sponsor is BusinessWest. Sponsorships for this event are still available and welcome. Annually, Human Resources Unlimited assists more than 1,200 individuals living with developmental disabilities, mental illness, or other disadvantages to increase their skills, return to work or school, and become productive, contributing members of the community. Sponsorships and donations assist HRU in advancing its mission. For further information or to make a reservation, contact Lynda at (413) 781-5359 or [email protected] The suggested minimum donation is $100.

 

DevelopSpringfield Gala

April 12: DevelopSpringfield will be hosting its 2nd annual gala in celebration of Springfield, the many accomplishments the community has achieved over the past year, and the exciting new initiatives underway. The gala will take place at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Festivities will include a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner, dancing, and more. All proceeds will support DevelopSpringfield’s redevelopment initiatives, projects, and programs. An anticipated 400 attendees — including federal, state, and city officials; leaders from the business and nonprofit communities; and local residents — will come together in support of ongoing efforts to advance development and redevelopment projects, stimulate and support economic growth, and expedite the revitalization process in the city. Sponsorship packages as well as individual ticket opportunities are available. For more information, visit www.developspringfield.com, or contact Diane Swanson at (413) 209-8808 or [email protected]

 

Bankruptcy Seminar

April 16: As part of its series of free information sessions on business-law basics, the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Western New England University will present a session on bankruptcy, featuring attorneys George Roumeliotis of Roumeliotis Law Group, Justin Dion of Bacon Wilson, and Kara Rescia of Eaton & Rescia. The event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at the WNEU School of Law, in the Blake Law Center. It is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be provided. To learn more about upcoming events hosted by the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, visit www.wne.edu/cie.

 

EANE Management Conference

April 25: The Employers Association of the NorthEast will hold its ninth annual management conference, “Leadership and Mentorship in Action,” at the Holiday Inn in Enfield, Conn. The conference will address the direct impact of mentoring and leadership development on the growth and success of organizations. Keynote speaker Doug Dvorak, a contributing author to the bestselling book The Masters of Success, will present his popular program “The Magic of Mentoring.” Additional presenters include Ravi Kulkarni and Lynn Turner of ClearVision Alliance. A panel of representatives from area companies will discuss next-generation mentoring. Conference breakout sessions include “Leadership Behavior and Employee Engagement,” “Building Effective Teams,” and “DiSC Work of Leaders.” For more information about the conference, contact Karen Cronenberger at (877) 662-6444 or [email protected] To register, call (877) 662-6444 or visit www.eane.org.

 

EASTEC 2013

May 14-16: EASTEC, the premier manufacturing exposition in the Northeast will be held at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield on May 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on May 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will offer a variety of exhibitors, educational offerings, tours of nearby facilities, and much more. For more information and to register to attend, visit www.easteconline.com.

 

40 Under Forty

June 20: BusinessWest will present its seventh class of regional rising stars at the annual 40 Under Forty gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The event will feature music, lavish food stations, and introductions of the winners. Look for event details in upcoming issues of BusinessWest — including the must-read April 22 issue in which the class of 2013 will be profiled — or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 for more information.

Company Notebook Departments

UMass Innovation Institute Forges Links Between Research, Industry

AMHERST — The UMass Innovation Institute (UMII) is accelerating connections between private business and advanced science and technology available in campus laboratories at UMass Amherst. Its most recent initiative is a five-year strategic partnership with BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, to develop new advanced materials for the automotive, building, construction, and energy industries. The new agreement was announced this week in Cambridge. The agreement between BASF and the UMII, along with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is called the North American Center for Research on Advanced Materials, and is expected to create 20 new postdoctoral positions at the three universities. In addition to the new agreement with BASF, the Innovation Institute, in its first year, hit an all-time high in generating $14.3 million in industry-research awards. The UMII, established in June 2011, expects to grow industrial supported research to about $30 million annually in five years and to become financially self-sustaining during this period. Additional income is anticipated from licensing and startups through the Office of Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property. James Capistran, executive director at UMII, says his organization is well on its way to meeting the initial goals. “Our key task is to quickly and efficiently move the new technologies and scientific capabilities developed in our laboratories at UMass Amherst into the real-world economy,” he said. “We have streamlined the process so that all parties to our agreements can realize the maximum benefit in a time frame that is responsive to the markets and business cycles.” Capistran also noted that, in addition to linking the top-notch researchers and scientists at UMass Amherst to the many high-technology businesses in Massachusetts and the New England region, UMII also plays a key role in boosting the overall reputation of UMass Amherst. “A lot of people in business know we do good work, but now they know we can move rapidly when developing new ideas and products.”

 

Arbors Kids to Open

New Childcare Center

EAST LONGMEADOW — The Arbors Kids will open an additional location at 126 Industrial Dr. in East Longmeadow, across from the Post Office. This will be the company’s largest childcare center, with a host of indoor and outdoor facilities. The new complex provides a full range of programs and activities, all under one roof. The center will house classrooms with interactive smart boards, indoor basketball courts, a turf field, an arcade, a music room, a dance studio, a cafeteria, a lounge, and more. The expansive space outdoors includes an inground pool and waterslides, a basketball court, soccer fields, a baseball field, and play areas. The new childcare center and summer camp will be opening this fall, and enrollment dates will be announced soon. The Arbors Kids provides childcare services for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in a safe and nurturing environment, with a caring and professional staff. In addition, it offers summer camps and before- and after-school programs at locations throughout Greater Springfield. For more information, visit www.arborskids.com.

 

Asnuntuck, Bay Path Sign

Joint-admissions Pact

Asnuntuck Community College and Bay Path College announced that a joint-admissions agreement has been approved by the two institutions. The agreement is designed to provide barrier-free movement from the associate’s degree to the baccalaureate and graduate degrees for students enrolled at ACC. The presidents of the two schools signed the agreement at the Asnuntuck campus on March 5. Multiple opportunities will be afforded to ACC students choosing to take advantage of the agreement. Students participating in the process will receive consideration for various merit-based scholarships, they will be able to obtain jointly supported advisement, and students will be afforded early and conditional acceptance into graduate-school programs.

Commercial Real Estate Sections
Understanding the Fine Print Can Save Your Company Money

Paul Kinney

Paul Kinney

Office tenants are at risk of wasteful and inflated overcharges on their rents.

This business warning was issued by the National Retail Tenants Assoc. (NRTA) as the organization unveiled a new education program for office-property administration professionals, including many in the Western Mass. area.

The program included a presentation made to the organization by Rick Burke, a leading lease-administration professional and NRTA member. He noted that many office tenants in the Greater St. Louis region and beyond oversee their real-estate portfolios very informally without a designated lease-administration department or a trained person to review landlord billings. In fact, they often just pay what is billed by the landlord without any review, basically throwing money away.

So often we hear office tenants ask, “should I be asking my landlord for all the invoices to verify our operating cost?” or “we want to start a lease administration department; who do we hire, and how do we train them? ”

For the past 17 years, the NRTA has provided education programs designed to help retail real-estate professionals improve their lease-administration skills. Now, the NRTA has expanded its reach to office tenants seeking lease-administration training in order to answer these types of questions.

The NRTA advises office tenants to seek out lease-administration training in order to answer these types of questions. One such resource is an annual conference hosted by the NRTA. This three-day event typically attracts upwards of 500 professionals representing the leading retail and office tenants from across the nation. NRTA classes focus on lease-administration best practices and cost-recovery skills relating to common-area maintenance expenses and overall occupancy cost.

Today’s business environment mandates that an office tenant with multiple office locations must put a process into place to safeguard critical lease information and review all landlord billings for overcharges. It is essential for larger portfolio tenants to have a lease-administration software system, so information such as rent amounts, option notices, and operating-expense exclusions is readily available. A single mistake in any one of these areas can prove very costly to the tenant, often without them ever knowing it.

For example, during a recent audit for an office tenant, auditors found the landlord was overbilling for parking-garage expenses that were not included per the lease. The tenant was paying on a per-space basis outside of the lease as well as paying for all the cost of the parking garage through the operating expenses. The dollar-for-dollar savings to the tenant was $150,000.

Another recent audit compared base-year expenses with the current-year expenses. It identified many accounts that were not in the base year that were being billed in the current year. The landlord included management and other salary accounts not in the base year, thus overstating the current-year expenses in comparison to the base year. This allowed the tenant to reduce the current-year operating expense as well as recover amounts for the three prior years of operating expenses totaling $220,000.

A common expense that is frequently an overcharge to the tenant is real-estate taxes. Much like the review of taxes in retail audits, office and industrial tenants find themselves paying for real-estate tax parcels that are not defined as part of the building or property. The parcel could include a building or land that the landlord owns next to the office building, or perhaps it could be for undeveloped land that the landlord has slated to build on in the future, or an abated assessed value that did not get passed through to the tenant. These types of overcharges are not uncommon and, if identified, will reduce the tenant current and future operating cost.

Large overcharges to tenants can occur when calculating the ‘gross-up’ lease clause. The gross-up is the method of increasing operating expenses for a non-fully occupied building to represent a fully occupied building. How the gross-up is applied to fixed and variable expense accounts and how it is applied to the base year could result in a significant overcharge to the tenant.

Other areas where landlord overcharges loom are in management fees, overtime HVAC, pro-rata-share allocation, and capital expenses. Unless the reviewer is trained to understand these issues, the overbilled amounts can continue undetected.

This year’s NRTA annual conference is at the Renaissance Hotel at Sea World in Orlando. Its education program features 52 lease-administration classes and 17 small-group discussions in which practitioners are able to meet with people having similar challenges.

Classroom presentations are organized into six tracks: lease administration, occupancy cost, office leases, real estate, legal, and professional development.

Office-tenant courses cover topics such as “Understanding Operating Expenses,” “Reviewing and Auditing Operating Expenses,” “Negotiating an Office Lease,” “Understanding Mixed Use Cost,” and “Global Issues in Lease Administration.” Office tenants explore best practices designed to safeguard lease information, help them be more efficient, and save their company money. Companies such as Lease Administration Solutions, Cresa Partners, Cassidy Turley, and Fresenius Medical Care are among the presenters for the office classes.

For more information on the conference and membership, visit the conference page on NRTA’s website, www.retailtenants.org.

 

Paul Kinney is executive director of the National Retail Tenants Assoc.; (413) 525-4565; [email protected]

Bankruptcies Departments

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

 

Allen, Scott P.

10 Cheney St.

Three Rivers, MA 01080

Chapter: 13

Filing Date: 02/25/13

 

Allen-LaRhette, Michael D.

Allen-LaRhette, LeahJean

42 Cottage St.

Orange, MA 01364

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Arroyo, Braulio P.

Fernandez, Candida R.

57 Bevier St.

Springfield, MA 01107

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/22/13

 

Avant, Marise G.

161 South St., # 3

Athol, MA 01331

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/27/13

 

Ayala, Denise

199 El Paso St.

Springfield, MA 01104

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/21/13

 

Bell, Deborah A.

137 Mill Valley Road

Belchertown, MA 01007

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/15/13

 

Blair-Kinnas, Charlene N.

39 Stratford Ave.

Pittsfield, MA 01201

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/25/13

 

Boucher, Michael R.

Boucher, Leni-Sarah

794 Homestead Ave.

Holyoke, MA 01040

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/26/13

 

Boucher, Terrance

20 Kateley Lane

North Adams, MA 01247

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/22/13

 

Brantley, Catherine Y.

119 Groton St.

Springfield, MA 01129

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/21/13

 

Burris, Beryl M.

107 Valier Ave.

Chicopee, MA 01020

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Burt, Margo M.

177 Flint St.

Springfield, MA 01129

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/26/13

 

Byrd, Judson

Byrd, Lisa

991 Granville Road

Westfield, MA 01085

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Byrne, Joanne Patricia

a/k/a Flannery, Joanne P.

P.O. Box 150

East Longmeadow, MA 01028

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/26/13

 

Clark, Douglas K.

Clark, Linda J.

519 East River St.

Orange, MA 01364

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Cook, Tammy J.

a/k/a Lyles, Tammy J.

a/k/a Dean, Tammy J.

1067 Worcester St.

Indian Orchard, MA 01151

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/27/13

 

Corigliano, Sarah M.

103 Clough St.

Springfield, MA 01118

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/20/13

 

De La Cruz, Walter

91 Crossbrook Road

Amherst, MA 01002

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/26/13

 

Diaz, Elizabeth

199 El Paso St.

Springfield, MA 01104

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/26/13

 

Faulha, Maria G.

280 Munsing St.

Ludlow, MA 01056

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/26/13

 

Fisher, Touraine L.

106 Lionel Benoit Road

Springfield, MA 01109

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/14/13

 

Forfa, Brian K.

76 Bay State Road

Pittsfield, MA 01201

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/25/13

 

Fryer, Matthew A.

Davidson-Fryer, Treasure R.

627 North Westfield St.

Feeding Hills, MA 01030

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/20/13

 

Gaouette, Diana F.

27 Saybrook Circle

South Hadley, MA 01075

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/26/13

 

Goodreau, Tricia J.

5 Lozier Ave.

Westfield, MA 01085

Chapter: 13

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Goodrich, Quentin T.

51 Monson Turnpike Road

Lot 1010

Ware, MA 01082

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Hardy, Michael D.

Hardy, Maria A.

20 Brien St.

Agawam, MA 01001

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/14/13

 

Hernandez, Sylvia C.

847 Main Road

Granville, MA 01034

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/25/13

 

Jamros, Katrina R.

65 Highview Dr., Apt. A

Pittsfield, MA 01201

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/27/13

 

Kennedy, Michael P.

Rooney-Kennedy, Roxanne G.

13 Adams St., 1st Fl.

Orange, MA 01364

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/27/13

 

Kenney, Richard F.

Kenney, Julie A.

65 Strong St.

Springfield, MA 01104

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/16/13

 

Macey, Joseph

131 Podunk Road

Sturbridge, MA 01566

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/24/13

 

Mackinnon, Jennifer M.

174 Birnie Ave.

West Springfield, MA 01089

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/25/13

 

Marr, Matthew J.

Marr, Alicia A.

a/k/a Laterreur, Alicia A.

100 Valier Ave.

Chicopee, MA 01020

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Monczka, Robert W.

Monczka, Faye L.

1545 East Mountain Road

Westfield, MA 01085

Chapter: 13

Filing Date: 02/20/13

 

North Hadley Motor Garage

Lesko, John Leon

24 Golden Court

Hadley, MA 01035

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/27/13

 

Pelletier, Karen R.

93 Grochmal Ave., Lot 7

Indian Orchard, MA 01151

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/14/13

 

Pollack, Jay

10 Greenfield Road

Turners Falls, MA 01376

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/15/13

 

Raffa, Lorenzo R.

Raffa, Eyross J.

10 Miller St.

Pittsfield, MA 01201

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/21/13

 

Rafferty, David B.

139 New Ludlow Road

Granby, MA 01033

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/15/13

 

Rivera, Jose A.

29 Wentworth St.

Springfield, MA 01104

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Robertson, Andrew K.

Robertson, Lauren N.

a/k/a Dodge, Lauren N.

4 North Plain Road

Sunderland, MA 01375

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/20/13

 

Rodick, Carol A.

75 Commercial St.

Adams, MA 01220

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/22/13

 

Rodriguez, Briseida

397 Page Blvd., 2nd Fl.

Springfield, MA 01104

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/15/13

 

Salamon, Michael Gerard

Salamon, Christine Marie

112 Clairmont Ave.

Chicopee, MA 01013

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/27/13

 

Santa, Maria

428 Berkshire Ave.

Springfield, MA 01109

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/14/13

 

Schmidt, Carl R.

365 Main St., Unit 12

Sturbridge, MA 01566

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Scully, Sean

Scully, Cynthia

55 Pleasant St.

Granby, MA 01033

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/15/13

 

Severns, Angie P.

160 Dennison Lane

Southbridge, MA 01550

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Sfakios, Amy V.

a/k/a Leventry-Sfakios, Amy V.

236 Vininghill Road

Southwick, MA 01077

Chapter: 13

Filing Date: 02/28/13

 

Starcun, Jeffrey

242 College Highway

Southampton, MA 01073

Chapter: 13

Filing Date: 02/26/13

 

Sumner, Rodney

60 Riverview Homes, Apt. 12

Pittsfield, MA 01201

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/21/13

 

Taylor, Gayle L.

a/k/a Crochiere, Gayle L.

20 Lamb St., 2nd Floor

South Hadley, MA 01075

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/27/13

 

Thomas, Tarnesha L.

26 Hamburg St.

Springfield, MA 01107

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/26/13

 

Ware-Charles, Angelica B.

31 Bonnyview St.

Springfield, MA 01109

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/14/13

 

Whitman, Derek L.

80 Damon Road, #6102

Northampton, MA 01060

Chapter: 7

Filing Date: 02/20/13

 

Ziemba, David L.

16 Hartford St.

South Hadley, MA 01075

Chapter: 13

Filing Date: 02/26/13