Daily News

HOLYOKE — Ross Webber and Grinnell Insurance and Webber and Grinnell Employee Benefits are moving their offices down the street from 150 Lower Westfield Road to 98 Lower Westfield Road, Holyoke. The third-floor office suite located above Pier One has recently been remodeled to accommodate the transition.

“Our team is very excited about our new space,” said Bill Grinnell, president of the agency. “It has wonderful natural light and a very contemporary feel. It also gives us enough space to continue to grow the agency, and, being at the crossroads of I-91 and I-90, it’s an easily accessible location for our clients. We’ll continue our office hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.”

Webber and Grinnell purchased Ross Insurance in May 2018 and moved its employee-benefits company to the Holyoke location last November.

Daily News

WESTFIELD — The Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 60th anniversary on Thursday, June 13 at the Ranch Golf Club in Southwick.

The chamber, which was incorporated in 1959, will begin the celebration at 5:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour, then enjoy specialty food and carving stations. After dinner, a program will include a quick journey down memory lane, as well as a look at where the chamber is now and what the future holds. The chief greeter will be Barbara Braem-Jensen, who holds a lifetime, honorary membership with the chamber. She will be greeting all guests with a special commemorative gift.

While the office has many old records and scrapbooks, if anyone has the infamous Spark Plug jacket or any other chamber memorabilia and/or photos, they are asked to call the office at (413) 568-1618. To preserve history, a keepsake program booklet is being published to give businesses an opportunity to showcase their companies with an ad. Call (413) 568-1618 to place an ad.

The sponsors for the event include diamond event sponsor Mestek Inc.; gold sponsors Berkshire Bank and United Bank; bronze sponsors Arrha Credit Union and Rehab Resolutions; dessert sponsor G.I.L.T.E. Bakery Service; and pin sponsors Adform Interiors and Andrew Grant Diamond Center.

For sponsorships and tickets, visit www.westfieldbiz.org or call the chamber at (413) 568-1618. The chamber is giving a $100 gift certificate to Andrew Grant Diamond Center for every two tickets purchased.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) takes pride in celebrating leaders in the LGBTQ movement. Whether revered for their artistic talents, athletic prowess, political activism and public service, medicine, the sciences, education, or other fields of endeavor, they have all contributed to championing equal rights for the LGBTQ community.

Beginning June 1, AIC will recognize many of the pioneers, activists, and role models who have advanced the LGBTQ movement each day on the college’s official Facebook and Twitter pages. 

The month of June has long been associated with LGBTQ pride celebrations in the U.S. and other parts of the world. In 2009, President Obama issued a proclamation establishing June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and promote equal justice for all. A decade earlier, President Clinton recognized the 30th anniversary of this social uprising.

“A hallmark of American International College is the value we place on diversity. It is one of our greatest strengths,” said President Vince Maniaci. “While a college education includes academic and intellectual growth, it must also foster the development of personal and emotional intelligence. Being culturally diverse leads to deeper discussions and increased awareness. The college is proud of our LGBTQ students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners and commend them for making AIC an integral part of the ever-evolving educational fabric of higher education.”

Visit AIC online at www.aic.edu, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americaninternationalcollege, or on Twitter @aiconcampus throughout the month of June to celebrate those who have helped to shape the world.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Dress for Success Western Massachusetts will host a clothing tag sale this weekend at the Eastfield Mall to raise funds and awareness of its mission of helping women achieve their goal of creating a better life. Women may choose from an extensive array of work-suitable clothing, shoes, accessories, and more.

These new and gently used items include selections from name-brand fashion houses such as Anne Klein, Evan Picone, Ellen Tracy, and many more. Customers can fill a shopping bag for only $25.

There is an abundance of clothing, so items in the tag sale will be restocked throughout the three days. The dates and times are: Friday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event will be held near the food court in the Eastfield Mall at 1655 Boston Road, Springfield, where Dress for Success maintains a boutique managed by Sally Rueli. All proceeds will benefit Dress for Success Western Massachusetts. Volunteers are needed for the event. If you are interested, e-mail [email protected].

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — In the spring of 2017, BusinessWest and its sister publication, HCN, created a new and exciting recognition program called Healthcare Heroes.

It was launched with the theory that there are heroes working all across this region’s wide, deep, and all-important healthcare sector, and that there was no shortage of fascinating stories to tell and individuals and groups to honor. Two years later, that theory has been validated, and stories that needed to be told have been told.

But there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of heroes who stories we still need to tell. And that’s where you come in.

Nominations for the class of 2019 are due July 12, and we encourage you to get involved and help recognize someone you consider to be a hero in the community we call Western Mass. in one (or more) of these seven categories: Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider, Health/Wellness Administrator/Administration, Emerging Leader, Community Health, Innovation in Health/Wellness, Collaboration in Health/Wellness, and Lifetime Achievement.

Event sponsors include presenting sponsor American International College, partnering sponsors Development Associates and Comcast Business, and supporting sponsor Elms College. To nominate a Healthcare Hero, click here.

Daily News

GREENFIELD — Michael Tucker, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank (GCB), announced that the board of directors has approved the promotions of Brandon Lively to executive vice president, Information Systems, and Anthony Worden to executive vice president and senior commercial loan officer.

Lively has more than 22 years of banking experience and joined GCB in 1999. He is responsible for the bank’s electronic banking department, information systems, and online security, as well as managing the staff that handle these areas. He received his associate degree in information systems from Greenfield Community College and is a graduate of numerous systems-related programs and certificates. He has been active with the United Way allocations panels and several other groups.

Worden has more than 20 years of experience in commercial lending and has been with GCB since 2008. His focus is managing the bank’s commercial lending arm. GCB provides financing for equipment, working capital, and commercial mortgages for small to mid-sized businesses primarily in Franklin and Hampshire counties. Worden earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his MBA from UMass Amherst, and also graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. He is active with the town of Greenfield Cable Advisory Committee and the Turners Falls Downtown Working Group.

Daily News

EAST LONGMEADOW — For many professionals, retirement is the golden carrot that looms at the end of a long career. But what happens next? On Monday, June 3, Bay Path University will host “Your Third Act: What’s Next?”

This three-hour interactive session, presented by Carla Oleska of Carla Oleska & Co., and Laurie Cirillo, executive director of Career Services at Bay Path University, will focus on how to share your experience, wisdom, and joy as you craft your next purposeful life adventure.

This session, presented by Strategic Alliances at Bay Path University and Johnson & Hill Staffing, in partnership with the Bay Path University Advisory Council, begins at 6 p.m. at Bay Path University’s Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center, 1 Denslow Road, East Longmeadow.

Tickets to this session include dinner and are available now. To sign up for this session or to learn more, visit baypath.edu/careertransitionseries.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Bulkley Richardson announced a new series consisting of events, written alerts, and related resources from professionals for professionals within Massachusetts’ cannabis industry.

The launch event will be held on Tuesday, June 18 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Bulkley Richardson’s offices located at 1500 Main St., Springfield. The firm will welcome Tina Sbrega, president and CEO of GFA Federal Credit Union, the first financial institution in the state to serve recreational marijuana companies. She will cover the regulatory hurdles to banking in the cannabis industry, what services are available, how to apply for an account, and how to be a compliant ‘bank customer.’

Restricted by federal laws from opening bank accounts in federally insured financial institutions, legal cannabis businesses are forced to conduct all transactions in cash. Recognizing the risks a cash-based business poses for public safety, Sbrega and the GFA Federal Credit Union board created a subsidiary to bring a turnkey banking service to the Massachusetts and New Hampshire cannabis industry.

“We envision a forum where stakeholders in the cannabis industry, including lawyers, accountants, bankers, investors, insurance agents, consultants, and other professionals, can discuss the evolving cannabis landscape, share information, and work in unison to assist business growth,” said Kathy Bernardo, partner at Bulkley Richardson.

Added Scott Foster, another partner at Bulkley Richardson, “our cannabis team continued to see the need for a resource like this, where professionals within the industry can get accurate information, share lessons learned, and collaborate. Having significant clients in the cannabis space, we are on top of the legal considerations of doing business in Massachusetts, and it made good sense to bring in other business professionals to share their expertise. Tina Sbrega is the perfect example. She is helping to blaze a trail for cannabis companies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and I expect her perspective from the banking industry to be quite insightful.”

Lunch will be served. Registration is required. To sign up, e-mail [email protected].

Daily News

HOLYOKE — During her lifetime, Elaine Marieb donated more than $1.5 million to Holyoke Community College (HCC) in large and small amounts she once described as “tokens of gratitude” to the institution where she earned her nursing degree and taught biology for 24 years.

Even after her death in December, Marieb’s generosity continues. HCC is the beneficiary of a $1 million legacy gift Marieb set up as part of her estate plan, money earmarked for HCC programs that support non-traditional-age students.

The gift was officially announced on May 28 at HCC’s monthly board of trustees meeting, followed by the presentation of a $1 million ceremonial check.

“This is incredible. We are so thrilled and grateful,” said Amanda Sbriscia, HCC vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the HCC Foundation, the college’s nonprofit fundraising corporation, which will invest and administer the funds. “This gift will significantly enhance our efforts to support adult students and adult women at HCC.”

This was Marieb’s second $1 million donation to HCC. The first came in 2014 to support construction of the college’s Center for Health Education and Center for Life Sciences. Over the years, her other donations helped establish scholarships, science labs, an endowed faculty chair, and the Elaine Marieb New Pathways Center, a computer room and study area for students in New Directions and Pathways, two support programs that were particularly meaningful to Marieb that will benefit from this new $1 million gift.

“This is very exciting for us, and it’s wonderful going into the next academic year knowing we’ve got new dollars to support some of the initiatives we’ve highlighted as growth opportunities in our strategic plan,” said HCC President Christina Royal.

Marieb was herself a non-traditional college student. A native of Northampton, Marieb earned a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State College in 1964 when she was 28 years old. After that, she received a master’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and a Ph.D. in zoology from UMass. She was hired as a professor of biology at HCC in 1969.

She started writing textbooks on anatomy and physiology to address complaints from her nursing students that the materials then available were ineffective. She enrolled in HCC’s Nursing program to inform her writing, graduating with her associate degree in 1980. She retired in 1983 to devote herself to writing, becoming the author or co-author of more than 10 best-selling textbooks and laboratory manuals in anatomy and physiology.

Though she moved to Sarasota, Fla., she made annual trips to HCC and always visited the Marieb Center to talk to students.

“I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be part of something like this,” said Irma Medina, coordinator of HCC’s Pathways Program, which helps non-traditional students prepare for and transfer to selective four-year colleges. “For her to bestow that kind of generosity … I just hope we can reach more and do more.”

Daily News

AMHERST — UMass Amherst alumnus Paul Manning and his wife, Diane Manning, have committed $1 million through their family foundation to establish the Manning Innovation Program, which provides three years of support in advancing a robust and sustainable pipeline of applied and translational research projects from UMass Amherst. It will allow the university’s College of Natural Sciences (CNS) to support bold, promising researchers, providing resources for them to innovate in new directions and to develop real-world applications for their discoveries.

The initiative will provide assistance to researchers and business students across campus through the critical early stages on the path to commercialization, such as ideation, proof of concept, and business development. Faculty will receive seed funding and engage in business training and mentorship from a number of campus units, including the Institute for Applied Life Sciences, the College of Natural Sciences, the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Isenberg School of Management. 

“UMass Amherst researchers are working on some of the most important issues of our day,” said Paul Manning, who earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology in 1977. “I couldn’t think of a better place to invest in a cutting-edge model — bringing science and business together — that can bring solutions to more people, faster.”

Added CNS Dean Tricia Serio, “we are deeply grateful to the Mannings for their generous support of our mission to move the great science accomplished at UMass Amherst into the real world. By cultivating and mentoring high-achieving scientists and pairing them with business-minded collaborators, this program has the potential to change industries — and lives.”

The first grant to be awarded from the Manning Innovation Program will support research on a topic that hits close to home for the Manning family, Stargardt disease. Both of the Mannings’ sons, Bradford and Bryan, have the disease, which causes loss of central vision. Currently, there is no treatment to delay or cure the disease. The two Manning brothers now run a clothing line called Two Blind Brothers, and they donate all of its proceeds directly to blindness research.

Abigail Jensen, associate professor of Biology, will use a $40,000 grant to support her research on Stargardt disease and possible therapies using zebrafish. Her research seeks to identify how the disease works on a molecular level. Development of zebrafish with therapeutic mutations subverting Stargardt disease at the genetic level provides the first opportunity to discover the molecular mechanism of cone-photoreceptor degeneration and potential pathways for translation of research to therapeutic applications.

In keeping with the university’s core values, the Manning Innovation Program will stimulate, recognize, and reward innovation. It will foster a culture of entrepreneurship in the college and enhance the spirit of collaboration among Isenberg School of Management advisors, science and technology researchers, and industry experts. Further, the Manning Foundation’s gift provides vital investment to support UMass as a partner of choice in advancing and applying knowledge and innovation for the betterment of society.

“The Manning Innovation Program provides much-needed support to enable the development of groundbreaking research from UMass towards product candidates, prototypes, and translational technology,” said Peter Reinhart, founding director of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences. “It will allow CNS to provide a revolutionary educational opportunity for the next generation of scientists and business leaders to experience the power of interdisciplinary applied research.”

Tom Moliterno, interim dean of Isenberg School of Management, added that the program “creates a new way of harnessing great ideas and cultivating them into applicable solutions. By bringing together the greatest minds in science and business, we will be able to tackle larger challenges. I’m excited to see what this new program yields — and I’m hopeful for the patents, products, and solutions that will be born out of it.”

The next wave in the application process for the Manning Innovation Program will result in a new round of applications being submitted by July 15. The review committee will notify recipients at the end of August, and the next round of projects could begin in September.

Paul Manning, an entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in the healthcare industry, most recently founded PBM Capital Group in 2010. PBM Capital is a healthcare-focused private investment group that looks for opportunities to use its entrepreneurial and operational experience to make high-growth pharmaceutical, molecular-diagnostic, gene-therapy, life-science, health/wellness, and consumer product investments. He was the anchor investor in Maroon Venture Partners, the first venture-capital fund at UMass Amherst. Created in 2017, the fund is a $6 million, for-profit investment vehicle created to support alumni, faculty, and student businesses in their early stages. 

Daily News

HOLYOKE — They call leadership succession “the final act of greatness.” That’s because it’s not easy.

Whether you’re in the middle of transition or it’s a few years away, a Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley workshop on Friday, May 31 will help you clarify the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing, whether you’re passing or receiving the baton.

Being laser-focused and a fast decision maker are traits shared by many good business leaders. When going through a major transition, however, these strengths can become problematic. In this interactive workshop, Jim Young, a/k/a the Centered Coach, will share keys to success he’s discovered from major transitions throughout 20-plus years in business. And since business is just one slice of the lives that we’re constantly balancing, he’ll also open up the portal into how major transitions are felt in our personal lives. 

Attendees will walk away with improved tools for change management and more confidence in how to lead their organization (and themselves) through the next big transition.

The workshop, slated for 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Holyoke Public Library, is free for Family Business Center members and strategic partners, and $30 for other business and community leaders. To register, click here.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Lisa Mahon, HCC professor of English and recipient of the 2019 Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence, will lead the procession of graduates and give the keynote address to the class of 2019 at the 72nd commencement of Holyoke Community College on Saturday, June 1 beginning at 10 a.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

Armanis Fuente and Tiffany Cavanagaugh have been selected as student orators, while alumnus and U.S. Army Private Jonathan Mendez will sing “The Star Spangled Banner” and “I Was Here.” Student Senate Treasurer Natilie Besner will present the class gift. The college will confer a Distinguished Service Award to Lucy Perez, a member of the HCC board of trustees and one of the founders of the college’s academic English as a Second Language program.

Mahon teaches English and writing and is also coordinator of the college’s Service Learning Program. The Marieb Award, endowed by the late HCC professor emeritus Elaine Marieb, recognizes a full-time member of the faculty for outstanding classroom teaching. Award recipients serve for one year and receive a small stipend for professional development, lead the procession at commencement, and also give the keynote graduation speech.

HCC will stream the commencement ceremony live over the Internet. The live stream will be available through a link on the main page of the college website, www.hcc.edu. Associate degrees and certificates will be conferred to approximately 900 graduates. The event will be American Sign Language interpreted.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Employees of Valley Health Systems, which includes Holyoke Medical Center, Holyoke Medical Group, Holyoke VNA Hospice Life Care, and River Valley Counseling Center, generously donated clothing to benefit Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts on May 16.

A Holyoke Medical Center van was filled with women’s professional clothing, shoes, and accessories and delivered to the Dress for Success Boutique, located at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield.

“With over 1,700 employees throughout the Valley Health Systems family, we knew we could help make an impact by providing our team an opportunity to donate toward Dress for Success and improve the lives of women, and their families, in the Pioneer Valley,” said Rosemarie Ansel, executive director of River Valley Counseling Center.

Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts collects new or gently used, freshly dry-cleaned or laundered suits, scrubs, business-appropriate apparel, shoes, and accessories for women. 

“Doing a clothing drive was very generous of River Valley Counseling Center and Valley Health Systems,” said Margaret Tantillo, executive director of Dress for Success Western Massachusetts. “The clothing ultimately helps a woman secure employment and helps her become financially independent.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy, P.C. has elected Garth Janes as managing partner. He joined the firm in 1988 and concentrates his practice in general business law, succession planning, and mergers and acquisitions.

Janes is past chairman and a current member of the board of tribunes of WGBY-TV, Springfield’s public television station, as well as a past member of the board of directors of the WGBH Education Foundation. He is also past chairman of the board of advisors of the Springfield Enterprise Center at Springfield Technical Community College and past chairman of the Richard Salter Storrs Library in Longmeadow. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, a juris doctor from Cornell Law School, and a master of public administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Do you remember John Perry? He was the guy in the vest who welcomed patrons to the Student Prince & the Fort restaurant for more than 20 years. Perry is back as assistant general manager, and he brings some nostalgia to the new management team, co-partnered by owners Andy Yee and Peter Picknelly.

“I’m the bridge between the old and new. I connect Rudi Scherff’s past with Peter and Andy’s future,” Perry said. “People know Rudi, and they remember his father, Rupprecht Scherff. They also know me. I was part of that regime. I am now the liaison between customers who’ve been coming here for 20 years and new customers who are just getting started.”

As assistant general manager, Perry will oversee day-to-day operations and do a little bit of everything, including interacting with customers. He returned briefly for three years from 2014 through 2017, but he left again to pursue other interests. During his leave, Perry said the Student Prince & the Fort stayed on his mind and in his heart, and he wanted to return.

“This restaurant is something I strongly believe in,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be part of something bigger than myself, and this is it. Anywhere I go, I run into people who know me from the Student Prince. I was in the water in South Carolina catching waves when a man looked at me and said ‘the Student Prince.’ I was at the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, and a guy recognized me there. We got into a big conversation about the Student Prince. It happens all the time.”

Yee is happy to have Perry back at the restaurant. “John Perry was an important fixture at the Student Prince for many years, and his name still comes up all the time. We think of John as family, and we’re excited he is joining us as we move into the future with this beautiful, historic restaurant. Welcome home, John.”

Added Perry, “I’ve always tried not to let the Student Prince define me, but it does. Yes, I’m a father, a husband, and a friend to many, but the Student Prince has become that other part of my life. I’m here to witness the birth of the next generation as parents share their Student Prince experience with their children.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox will present a special 2018 championship ring to the city of Holyoke today, May 28, at 12:30 p.m. in the mayor’s office at Holyoke City Hall.

Accepting the ring on behalf of the city will be Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. Blue Sox Manager John Raiola and the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) Championship Cup will also be in attendance for the presentation.

“I want to congratulate the players, the coaches, and the staff of the Valley Blue Sox for winning the League Championship — again,” Morse said. “I know I speak for the people of Holyoke when I say that you have made us proud, and we are looking forward to kicking off the new season to defend that title. Go Blue Sox!”

The 2018 Blue Sox were named Summer Team of the Year by Perfect Game following a season in which they finished with a league-best 30-12 record. They won four straight games during an undefeated postseason en route to a second consecutive NECBL championship.

This year’s Blue Sox team will kick off the season on Saturday, June 8 at 6:35 p.m. as the 2018 NECBL championship banner will be raised. The first 500 fans through the gates will receive a limited-edition 2018 NECBL championship pennant. The gates will open at 5:35 p.m., and fans are encouraged to arrive early for pregame ceremonies.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Registration is open for Springfield Technical Community College’s free STEM Starter Academy Summer Bridge program, which runs from July 1 to Aug. 9, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Anyone interested must register by the June 14 deadline and be a Massachusetts high-school graduate in the class of 2017, 2018, or 2019; be a Massachusetts resident; submit an STCC admissions application for the fall 2019 semester; have a grade point average of 2.0 or above; have parent or guardian permission if under 18 years old; and submit a STEM Starter Academy application.

The program, which is ideal for those who are interested in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) careers, offers participants free college credits, books, guest speakers, activities, lunch, field trips, and tutoring. Students will earn a $400 stipend upon successful completion. 

For additional information and to apply, visit stcc.edu/apply/stem. Contact Reena Randhir, director of STEM Starter Academy, with questions at [email protected] or (413) 755-4576.

Cover Story

Community Spotlight

There’s a stunning new aerial photo of downtown Springfield gracing the wall outside Kevin Kennedy’s office in the municipal complex on Tapley Street.

The panoramic image captures the view from above the Connecticut River looking east, with the new MGM Springfield casino prominent in the foreground. Kennedy, the city’s chief Development officer, is quite proud of the photo and all that it shows, but regrets that it was taken in the very early stages of the elaborate work to renovate Riverfront Park, and thus doesn’t include that important addition to the landscape.

He joked about Photoshopping something in to make the image more current, but then acknowledged that, at the rate things are changing, he would be doing a lot of Photoshopping — or swapping out that photo for a new one on a very regular basis.

Those sentiments speak volumes about the pace of development in the city over the past decade or so, and especially the past five or six years, as Springfield has rebounded dramatically from the fiscal malaise — and near-bankruptcy — that enveloped it only 10 years ago.

Indeed, Kennedy said he doesn’t have to ‘sell’ Springfield to potential developers anywhere near as much as he did when he assumed this office in 2011 after working for many years as U.S. Rep. Richard Neal’s aide. Nor does he have to tell the city’s story as much — people seem to know it by the time they’ve entered the room. And many are certainly entering the room.

“Development in an urban area like this isn’t really development — it’s redevelopment, and that, by its very nature, is usually very complicated.”

“We don’t have to explain ourselves — when people walk through the door, they know what’s happened over the past five or seven years,” he explained, adding that, overall, he doesn’t have to convince people that the city is a good investment — most are already convinced, which, again, is a marked change from attitudes that prevailed at the start of this century and even at the start of this decade.

As he talked with BusinessWest, Kennedy equated Springfield’s progress over the past several years to a large jigsaw puzzle, with many of its pieces falling into place. These include everything from the casino to a renovated Union Station; from a restaurant district now taking shape to restored and expanded parks, such as Steans Square, Riverfront Park, Pynchon Plaza, and Duryea Way.

And still more pieces are coming into place — everything from a CVS on Main Street to a Cumberland Farms at the site of the old RMV facility on Liberty Street; from market-rate housing at the old Willys-Overland property on Chestnut Street to a new home for Way Finders at the site of the former Peter Pan bus station in the North End; from new schools to improved traffic patterns.

Kevin Kennedy

Kevin Kennedy stands next to the new panoramic photo of Springfield outside his office, the one he’d like to Photoshop to keep up with recent changes to the landscape.

But there are a number of pieces still missing, Kennedy acknowledged, adding that they’re missing for a reason — these are the hardest ones to fall into place because of their complexity.

Among the items on this list are a replacement for the decrepit Civic Center Parking Garage, which is literally crumbling as you read this; 31 Elm St., an all-important component to the downtown’s recovery because of its location and historical importance; the Paramount Theater project, equally important for all the same reasons; CityStage, now dormant for close to a year; and redevelopment of what has become known as the ‘blast zone,’ the area directly impacted by the natural-gas explosion in late 2012.

To explain their complexity, Kennedy started by making a simple yet poignant observation about development in a city like Springfield.

“Development in an urban area like this isn’t really development — it’s redevelopment, and that, by its very nature, is usually very complicated,” he explained, adding quickly that there are signs of progress with each of those initiatives, and some may be moved over the goal line in the months to come.

Mayor Domenic Sarno agreed, noting that, among those missing pieces, the top priority at this point is probably a new parking garage, primarily because it is essential to realizing many of the other items on the to-do list, such as a deeper restaurant district, more new businesses, and, overall, greater vibrancy downtown.

“The garage is a mainstay for our business community, and the MassMutual Center is a state facility — the garage is an integral part for the programming that goes on there, whether it’s MGM, the Thunderbirds, or college commencements,” said Sarno, adding that he’s already had discussions with both state and federal leaders about potential funding sources for such a facility. “We’re looking to move on this ASAP.”

For this, the latest installment its Community Spotlight series, BusinessWest looks at the jigsaw puzzle that is Springfield — meaning the pieces that have fallen into place and those that are still missing.

Rising Tide

‘The New Wave.’

That’s the name those in the Planning office and the Springfield Regional Chamber gave to what has become an annual presentation detailing planned and proposed projects in the City of Homes.

And ‘wave’ fits, said Kennedy, because new developments have been coming in waves, one after another, and there is a new one making its way to shore.

“One thing that people know is that my team will do business with them. I might not be able to give you 10 out 10 things you might be looking for, but maybe I can give you six or seven or eight. They also know that we know how to connect the dots.”

It follows previous waves that brought MGM Springfield, CRRC, a revitalized Union Station, and a repaired I-91 viaduct, projects that were of the nine-figure variety (MGM was almost 10) or very close — the final price tags for CRRC and Union Station were just under $100 million.

The newest wave has just one initiative of that size, and it’s a municipal project — a new pumping station to be built on part of the land once occupied by the York Street Jail. But while many of the projects are smaller, eight- and seven-figure endeavors, they are equally important, said Kennedy, adding that they represent a mix of expansion efforts by existing companies, or ‘legacy businesses,’ as he called them, and relative newcomers.

Together, the projects touch many different sectors of the economy, include both new construction and renovation of existing structures, and total several hundred million dollars in new development. The lengthy list includes:

• MassMutual expansion. The financial-services giant is relocating 1,500 workers to Springfield, increasing the workforce in the city to 4,500. A $50 million project to renovate and expand facilities in Springfield is slated to be completed by 2021;

• Big Y, with a 232,000-square-foot expansion of the current distribution center in Springfield, bringing the total to 425,000 square feet. The $46 million project is due to be completed later this year;

• Way Finders, which is constructing a new, $16.8 million headquarters building at the location of the Peter Pan bus terminal. The 23,338-square-foot structure, to house roughly 160 employees, is slated to open in the spring of 2020;

• Willys-Overland development, a planned 60-unit, market-rate housing project in the one-time auto showroom. Construction is slated to start soon on the $13.8 million project;

• Innovation Center. Grand-opening ceremonies for the $7 million facility on Bridge Street were staged in February. Work continues on the façade, and a new restaurant is planned for the ground floor;

• CVS. Work is set to commence shortly on a new CVS to be constructed at the corner of Main and Union streets. The $2 million facility, to feature what developers are calling an ‘urban design,’ is slated to open this fall;

• Redevelopment of the former RMV site. The location on Liberty Street will be converted into a Cumberland Farms. The $3 million project will benefit a neighborhood that city officials say is underserved when it comes to convenience and gas;

• The Springfield Performing Arts Academy, specifically a $14 million project to relocate the academy in the former Masonic Temple on State Street;

• Tower Square. The office/retail center is the site of several new developments, including renovations to the hotel (which will be rebranded back to Marriott), a new White Lion brewery, and relocation of the YMCA of Greater Springfield into several locations within Tower Square; and

• Educare. A $14 million, 27,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art early-education facility is currently under construction in the Old Hill neighborhood. The project, a joint partnership between Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start, the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, and Springfield College, will serve 141 children and is slated to open this fall.

An architect’s rendering of a proposed new parking garage

An architect’s rendering of a proposed new parking garage on what’s known as parcel 3, the parking lot behind the TD Bank tower. City officials say a new garage is a must for Springfield.

That’s quite a list, said Kennedy, adding that it’s come about largely because of renewed confidence in the city and its future, an attitude far removed from the one that existed even a decade ago, when there were far fewer businesses willing to bet on the City of Homes.

Getting Down to Business

Indeed, today, as evidenced by all the projects in progress or on the drawing board, there is renewed interest in Springfield across many sectors of the economy — from tourism and hospitality to startups looking for a place to launch, to those looking to be part of the burgeoning cannabis industry in the Bay State.

The city has a message for all these constituencies — that it’s open for business and willing to work with those who would make Springfield their home.

“One thing that people know is that my team will do business with them,” said the mayor. “I might not be able to give you 10 out 10 things you might be looking for, but maybe I can give you six or seven or eight.

“They also know that we know how to connect the dots,” he went on. “We know how to work with all the players — federal, state, and on the local level, all the way down. And they know that we’re willing to put skin in the game, too, and that’s been very advantageous.”

Kennedy agreed, and said that, overall, the city has become what he called a “reliable, predictable partner,” something every business is looking for as it considers locating or relocating in a specific community.

“They don’t need showhorses, they don’t need a lot of glitz,” he told BusinessWest. “They simply want to do their business and know they have a good partner, and I think that’s what we’ve done from the start, and when we sit down to negotiate with people, I think they understand that, and they feel comfortable.”

Kennedy traces this growing sense of comfort to the lengthy and involved process of bringing a casino to the area.

“I think the thing that showed people we were serious was the whole casino process — not necessarily MGM, but the whole process,” he explained. “How we did it, and how upfront with everyone we were. People talk about being transparent, and that’s a jargony-type of a word, but we see it that way … and I think that, by virtue of having a billion-dollar investment come your way, a lot of other companies externally took a look at it, and internally said, ‘look what’s happened.’”

That was a reference to those legacy companies he mentioned, including MassMutual, Big Y, Balise Motor Sales, which is planning another major project in the city’s South End, and many others.

This ability to connect the dots, and be a reliable partner, is creating some progress with some of those aforementioned missing pieces to the puzzle, and will hopefully generate momentum with other initiatives in that category, said Kennedy, who started by referencing two important projects downtown — Elm Street and the Paramount project.

The former, the six-story block at 13-31 Elm St., has been mostly vacant for the past three decades. Plans to convert it into market-rate housing received a significant boost earlier this year when MGM Springfield announced it would was willing to invest in the project as part of its commitment to the city and state to provide at least 54 units of market-rate housing in the area near the casino.

“We’re hoping that we have a development deal struck in a matter of weeks,” said Kennedy. “We’re waiting for the last one or two pieces to fall into place. It’s a tough project, but it’s a necessary project.”

Meanwhile, the $41 million Paramount project — renovation of the historic theater and the adjoining Massasoit Hotel — is moving forward, with preservation work on the roof and façade slated to begin later this year.

Mayor Domenic Sarno

Mayor Domenic Sarno has a healthy collection of ceremonial shovels in his office, one visible sign of the progress the city has made over the past several years.

Another large missing piece is activity in the so-called blast zone, he said, referring to the area from Lyman to Pearl streets and from Dwight to Spring streets. He said the Willys-Overland development, in the heart of this zone, may be a catalyst to more development there.

“Once that project gets going, I’m hoping it will give some push to further development in the blast area, which is probably the next horizon for Springfield,” he noted. “Some property owners have done things — there’s been some clearing and demolition — but others are just waiting and being patient. That’s why this [Willys-Overland] development is important; you have to get that first one in the ground and hope things happen from there.”

Still another missing piece is aggressive marketing of the city and its many assets, said Sarno, adding that may not be missing much longer. Indeed, the city, working in conjunction with the Western Mass. Economic Development Council and a number of area media outlets, is getting closer to launching a marketing campaign for Springfield and the region.

It will focus on a number of audiences, he said, including residents of this region, many of whom need to know about the many good things happening locally, and businesses owners far outside it, who also need to know.

“We have a lot to offer in Springfield — and in Franklin County, Berkshire County, and across Hampden County, and we have to do a better job of telling our story,” the mayor said “When you’re making a sauce, you put in the ingredients; we have all the ingredients here — we just need make a push and send out a clarion call. We need a push locally — sometimes we’re our own worst enemy — but then we need to make a regional push.”

But perhaps the biggest missing piece isn’t actually missing — though it will be soon — and that’s a working parking garage downtown.

Spot of Trouble

Which brings us to a downtown property known as ‘parcel 3.’

That was the name affixed to a number of assembled parcels of land that eventually became the surface parking lot behind the TD Bank office tower on Main Street, an initiative that was part of the Court Square Urban Renewal Plan, drafted nearly 40 years ago and amended several times since.

And that name has stuck — well, at least with city development leaders. To the rest of the world, it’s ‘the parking lot behind the TD Bank building.’ But ‘parcel 3’ is becoming part of the lexicon again as discussions concerning the Civic Center Parking Garage and the glaring need to replace it heat up — out of necessity.

Parcel 3 — better known as the parking lot behind the TD Bank building

Parcel 3 — better known as the parking lot behind the TD Bank building — could give rise to a modern parking garage — and open up a development opportunity on the site of the current, deficient garage across the street.

“The garage is on borrowed time,” said Chris Moskal, executive director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority (SRA), quickly adding that this sentiment certainly represents an understatement. The garage probably has only a few years of useful life left, he went on, noting that there are areas on several floors that are currently unusable for parking, thus heightening the need for action.

The SRA, which owns parcel 3, currently leases it to an entity called New Marlboro Corp., which owns the TD Bank facility, a.k.a. 1441 Main St.

That lease, originally 30 years in duration when signed in the early ’80s, was extended several years ago to 2028. And this lease and the fine print within it will obviously become the focal point of discussion in the coming months, said Moskal, as the city tries to move forward with plans to replace the Civic Center Parking Garage with a 1,400-spot facility on the most obvious site for such a facility — parcel 3.

Kennedy agreed, and noted that this is a complex project, in terms of both financing — the projected pricetag is $45 million, and several funding sources would likely be involved, from the Springfield Parking Authority (SPA), which owns the current, failing garage, to the state and the federal government — and the number of players involved, from the SRA to the SPA to TD Bank.

“But just because it’s complicated, we can’t walk away from it,” he said. “A new garage is necessary for downtown; that parking facility at the Civic Center is the main commercial-district parking facility.”

And a new parking garage downtown not only secures a replacement for a long-deficient facility, said Kennedy, but it creates a new and intriguing development opportunity in the central business district — the current garage site.

“You have not only MGM here, but a rehabbed Pynchon Plaza, a burgeoning museum district, especially with the new Dr. Seuss Museum, and other things happening downtown,” he said. “I think we could have a nice mixed-use residential complex there with some indoor parking.”

The mayor agreed. “That’s a very valuable piece of property,” he told BusinessWest, adding that, while it while it might become a surface parking lot for the short term, there are a number of more intriguing possibilities for the long term.

While the city continues to reshape and revitalize the downtown, progress is taking place outside it in the many neighborhoods that define the community, said both Sarno and Kennedy.

Springfield at a glance

Year Incorporated: 1852
Population: 154,758
Area: 33.1 square miles
County: Hampden
Residential tax rate: $19.68
Commercial tax rate: $39.30
Median Household Income: $35,236
Median Family Income: $51,110
Type of government: Mayor, City Council
Largest Employers: Baystate Health, MassMutual Financial Group, Big Y Foods, MGM Springfield, Mercy Medical Center, CHD, Smith & Wesson Inc.
* Latest information available

They noted a number of projects, including the planned new Brightwood/Lincoln School, a $70.2 million facility that would replace both the Brightwood and Lincoln elementary schools, and be located adjacent to the existing Chestnut Middle School on Plainfield Street; the new branch of the Springfield Library in East Forest Park, due to be completed this fall; expansion of the residential complex in the former Indian Motocycle manufacturing complex in Mason Square (60 new affordable units are planned); a new Pride store at the corner of State Street and Wilbraham Road; several park projects; a redesign of the troublesome ‘X’ traffic pattern; reconfiguration of the Six Corners intersection; and renewed efforts to reinvent the Eastfield Mall into a community with a mix of housing, retail, and other components.

“We’re making a lot of progress in our neighborhoods,” the mayor said. “People are focused on downtown, but our neighborhoods are important, and we’re making great strides there, too.”

The Big Picture

Getting back to that picture on the wall outside his office, Kennedy acknowledged that, as beautiful as it is, it doesn’t tell the full story of all that’s happened in Springfield over the past several years.

And it will only become less accurate, if that’s the proper word, in the months and years to come.

But that, as they say, is a good problem to have. A very good problem.

For years, Springfield was the picture of stagnancy. Now, it’s the picture of motion and continued progress.

There are still some missing pieces, to be sure, but the puzzle is coming together nicely.

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

Features

A Different Time

Jessica Roncariti-Howe, here displaying one of her own paintings

Jessica Roncariti-Howe, here displaying one of her own paintings, says efforts to shine a spotlight on the arts and culture is just one of the ways the Greater Chicopee Chamber is working to build a stronger community.

Years ago, joining the local chamber of commerce was a knee-jerk reaction for a new business or a venture moving to a new community. Today, it’s far less a given, especially with the budgetary and time constraints facing all business members. To attract and properly serve members — and their communities — chambers must focus on creativity and collaboration, as we learned from several chamber leaders relatively new to their roles.

They call it ‘Run the Runway.’

Because that’s what you do.

Indeed, participants in this reincarnated version of the Greater Chicopee Chamber’s fundraising 5K road race actually run down the runway at Westover Air Reserve Base on part of the course. They traverse roughly three-quarters of the main runway’s length, turn off along one of the aprons, pass under the wing of one of the giant C-5s, and then back again.

The second edition of the event will be staged June 8, and while the inaugural run was hugely successful, this year’s version will raise the bar much higher — and probably raise considerably more money. That’s because organizers have added a large ampersand to the event logo, as well as the words ‘Festival’ and ‘Car Show.’

“This used to be a minor fundraiser, but now it’s probably our biggest,” said Jessica Roncariti-Howe, president of the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce. “And having our major fundraiser be an event that is signature to Chicopee and highlights some things are very unique to our city is really heartening to us; it’s very exciting.”

“We try very hard to stay away from the ‘mingle around the bar with a glass of wine’ model; our goal is to bring some fun to everything we do.”

Thus, Run the Runway is in many ways a solid example of changing times for area chambers of commerce and the need to adapt to these changes. In this climate, chambers are being more creative, finding ways to bring more value to members and the communities they serve, and doing far more partnering and collaborating — with other chambers, different business- and economic-development-related agencies, and civic groups.

In the case of Run the Runway, these partnerships are with Westover itself, Westover Metropolitan Airport, and the Galaxy Community Council, said Roncariti-Howe, who is one of several area chamber leaders relatively new to their assignment — she’s been at the helm for roughly two years.

For this issue, BusinessWest talked to several of the region’s new chamber leaders about their work, how it is changing in many ways, and what chambers must do to remain relevant and maintain strong membership at a time when joining such an organization is far from the given it was a generation ago.

Claudia Pazmany is another of these new chamber leaders. She took the helm at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce roughly a year ago, at a critical time in the history of the agency.

Indeed, the Amherst chamber had gone through several directors over the previous decade and had become a volunteer organization for a short time before the board handed the reins to Pazmany, a veteran development strategist and consultant — she’s worked for agencies ranging from Providence Ministries for the Needy to CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County — with the goal of putting the chamber on far more solid footing.

She told BusinessWest her basic strategy has been to raise the chamber’s profile, inject some energy, and establish the chamber as a valuable resource for members, and she believes she’s achieving results. Those efforts are summed up nicely in the name she chose for the newsletter she distributes weekly: “In Your Corner.”

Claudia Pazmany

Claudia Pazmany says signing on with a chamber is the easy part for a business. Leveraging membership and getting the most of it takes some work.

“I’ve been reintroducing the chamber to people and sending a consistent message — we’ve really upped our game with our e-contacts and e-newsletter,” she said, describing these efforts as ‘Marketing 101,’ but something that wasn’t being done at the chamber.

She added quickly that there are many challenges facing chambers today, and, more than ever, these agencies must be focused on those three letters so well-known to everyone who sells a product or service: ROI.

Diana Szynal, executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce (FCCC) since late last fall, agreed.

Szynal was looking for a challenge — and a job, really — after coming up short in her bid to succeed the late Peter Kocut, the state representative she served for many years as district representative.

She said the chamber job is in many ways a natural for her because she can easily find a number of similarities between serving constituents and serving business owners — and the communities of Franklin County.

“This was a natural progression, to trade constituents for businesses. In both cases, there’s a lot of listening and responding to what you hear,” said Szynal, adding that the FCCC will be celebrating its centennial this year, a milestone that will be marked in a number of ways.

As it looks toward the next hundred years — or even the next few years — the goal will be to continuously find new and different ways to make membership not a cost, but an investment — a challenge shared by all the area chambers.

Mission Statements

As Roncariti-Howe talked with BusinessWest in the Greater Chicopee Chamber’s conference room, the office was noticeably quiet.

She was the only one in that moment — and in a few weeks, she noted, that would be the situation for some time to come.

Her two staff members are both leaving the agency (one is going to work in the mayor’s office), leaving Roncariti-Howe alone — and also with a chance to take a hard look at the organization and perhaps do some restructuring and reorganizing.

Again.

Indeed, she went through this same scenario roughly a year ago, she noted, adding quickly that finding, retaining, and ultimately replacing talent is just one of the challenges she’s taken on since coming to the chamber after several years spent in nonprofit management, most recently with the AIDS Foundation. And she acknowledged that she’s certainly not alone.

“I tell people I’m in their corner. I want people to know that we’re reliable, we’re consistent, and our marketing is here to support them; we’re here to highlight our members.”

Other challenges include membership — numbers are way down from years ago, when chambers were able to include health insurance to members as part of their package, and maintaining current levels is always a struggle — as well as finding new and creative ways to engage members and bring value to their participation.

Roncariti-Howe explained her work this way: “Working for a nonprofit, I always served one mission. This job gave me the opportunity to serve 300 — to figure out what helped the local business community, what made all these individual organizations tick, and how to build relationships among them and bring them together.”

To explain how she goes about all that, she summoned two words that provide some alliteration — ‘creativity’ and ‘collaboration’ — and offered a quick explanation.

“Creativity manifests in the form of creating events that are either in unique or attractive venues or have some sort of draw that’s different than what other people would typically get,” she said. “We try very hard to stay away from the ‘mingle around the bar with a glass of wine’ model; our goal is to bring some fun to everything we do.”

Diana Szynal

Diana Szynal, who recently took the helm at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, says collaboration is the key to getting things done in that rural region.

A few decades ago, chamber leaders didn’t have to worry much about providing fun — or about membership in general. Pazmany, like the others we spoke with, noted that, in the past, chamber membership was in many ways a knee-jerk reaction for new business ventures or those moving into a community. Today, it is anything but, especially with the time and budget constraints facing small-business owners today.

So the chamber has to make membership worth the time and expense, said those we spoke with, adding that this is being done in a number of ways, from offering resources to providing valuable content in newsletters, and creating networking opportunities that, as Roncariti-Howe noted, go well beyond a glass of wine at the bar.

“I tell people I’m in their corner,” said Pazmany, adding that her chamber lives up to the name on its publication. “I want people to know that we’re reliable, we’re consistent, and our marketing is here to support them; we’re here to highlight our members.”

Working with graduate research students at UMass Amherst, the Amherst Area Chamber, which also represents Hadley, Pelham, and other communities, has worked to fill holes on its website and update Google Analytics to provide optimal exposure for members on that website.

“Some people’s member listings are coming up higher than their own,” said Pazmany, with a large dose of pride in her voice, adding that this is one of the ways the chamber is providing value and ROI. “We want to remind people that a chamber membership can be part of their marketing plan, and if they do it well — meaning they’re networking, they’re showing up at events, they’re sponsoring an event or speaking at an event — they can really benefit.

“But they need to take full advantage of it — it’s a partnership,” she said of chamber membership. “Signing on is the easy part; it’s how you show up. You get out what you put in.”

Concepts That Are Taking Off

That’s especially true with the FCCC, which, as that acronym denotes, represents not a city or a few communities but an entire county, one populated by small and very small communities, some with fewer than 100 residents.

“We try to focus on things that can help county-wide,” said Szynal. “We focus on supporting businesses and social-service agencies — we have many of them in this region — but we also focus on tourism and especially outdoor recreation, and in doing that, we’re able to help communities across the entire county. We’re unique — most chambers are much more focused in terms of the number of communities they serve — and we have our hands full, but we’re doing it.”

And doing it largely through a focus on collaborative efforts with other agencies — because that’s how things get done in such a rural setting, she went on.

“I’ve learned there’s a huge amount of collaboration up here, more so than I’ve ever witnessed anywhere,” she explained. “Businesses and organizations really want to work together to grow the economy in Franklin County and make this a place that’s great to live and work in, and it’s very encouraging to see that; by working together, we can do so much more than we could by ourselves.”

Those sentiments bring us back to Run the Runway.

Only a few years ago, the chamber was hosting a 5K run as one of many annual fundraisers, said Roncariti-Howe, adding that, by collaborating with the Galaxy Council and other entities, it has become a much larger community event.

As noted earlier, the run is a particularly poignant example of what all chambers must do today to effectively carry out their missions — collaborate, be creative, and focus on ways to not only serve members, but strengthen the communities they serve.

The Greater Chicopee Chamber is doing that in a number of ways, said Roncariti-Howe, who had only to gesture around the conference room to get that point across.

“They need to take full advantage of it — it’s a partnership. Signing on is the easy part; it’s how you show up. You get out what you put in.”

Indeed, that room — and the outside rooms as well — were crowded with works of art as part of the Lights on Art and Culture program, which, as the name suggests, puts a spotlight on the arts by engaging local businesses, and the chamber, in displaying the works of local artists, a constituency that now includes Roncariti-Howe, who showed off one of her paintings.

“We do this quarterly, and we do something different each time,” she said, adding that the most recent offering featured live music, tours of new living units in redeveloped mills, food trucks, and more. “It’s a collaboration among the chamber, Cultural Council, city, and downtown businesses, and it’s one of the ways we support our local businesses and our community, which is an important part of our mission.”

Szynal agreed, noting again that, with the FCCC, ‘community’ means one city (Greenfield) and 25 small towns with a total population of roughly 70,000 people.

“There are differences among the communities and what their focus points are,” she said. “But they’re all unique, and they all contribute to the rich fabric here in Franklin County in their own special way, and we work to support each one of them.”

Bottom Line

Pazmany told BusinessWest that some of her members had remarked that there weren’t enough pictures of her in “In Your Corner.”

“I told them that it’s not about me, it’s about them,” she said with a laugh. “It’s all about our members.”

It always has been, but today, that mantra is even more important than at any time in the past. And as these chamber leaders noted, it’s not about getting members, it’s about providing value to them, retaining them, and working with them to improve their community.

That’s why you can now run the runway — and many people are.

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

Law

Passion for Practice

Last week, Western New England University School of Law graduated its latest class, all of them surely thinking about the road ahead — specifically, the bar exam and the planned first stops on their career paths. But they’re also reflecting on long-term goals and the experiences and mindsets that have shaped those ambitions, in a field of law as broad and diverse as it is challenging. BusinessWest spoke with four of them to put a face — several, actually — on the WNEU Law class of 2019.

Stand Up and Represent

Sometimes, a work experience is more than that, because it sparks a passion. For Kate Malone, she found that passion interning for the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), a public-defense organization, in Northampton.

“I really admired the attorneys I worked with and the people who put such effort and compassion into what they do every day, regardless of the client,” she said. “I really like being in that role — even when the facts are against me, I like being able to stand up and represent somebody.”

An interest in work that serves the public interest wasn’t new for Malone, but she had been searching for the right role.

“I initially wanted to find some way to use my degree working in the community, and I started doing work in the immigration clinics,” she said, noting that, during her first summer away from WNEU, she traveled to Guatemala to learn Spanish in an immersion program, then came back and split time between school and the public-defense work.

“I’ve always found a way to relate to people I serve and trying to find ways to give them not only a great defense, but the best opportunities going forward.”

There was a time when Malone had envisioned herself across the aisle, in a prosecutor’s role, especially during her undergraduate years at Smith College, when she interned in the Victim/Witness Unit of the Northwestern District Attorney’s office. “I knew that I wanted to be a trial lawyer after spending my summer in court with the victim witness advocates,” she said, adding, however, that her work with CPCS led her in a different direction. She did credit the DA’s office, however, with lending her the sensitivity she finds necessary for her work as a public defender.

“I developed a passion for public defense after observing the challenges people accused of crime often face that I did not fully appreciate before,” she went on. “The issues that my clients experience — namely, poverty, substance-use issues, and mental-health disorders — often contribute to them cycling in and out of court.”

As for her immediate plans, Malone will continue working for CPCS — and helping to fill what she sees as a desperate need for public defenders. “I’m happy to be joining CPCS to help fill that gap, and also helping serve the people in the community I grew up in,” she noted.

Kate Malone — pictured, at center

Kate Malone — pictured, at center, with fellow grads Veronice Santana and Claribel Morales — says an internship sparked a passion for public defense, specifically standing up for often-marginalized people.

“I’ve always found a way to relate to people I serve and trying to find ways to give them not only a great defense, but the best opportunities going forward,” she went on. “The way their cases get resolved matters — it has an impact I’d never even considered before law school.”

Taxing — but Fascinating

Emily Eash entered law school with an interest following in the footsteps of her aunt, who operates an estate-planning practice. But she soon stumbled across a different passion — although ‘passion’ might not be the first word most people would use to desribe it.

That field is tax law.

“When I took my first tax course — it wasn’t required, but I was curious — I was hooked, and I wanted to take all the tax courses they had to offer,” Eash said.

She found out she was good at it, too, placing second in the Young Lawyers Tax Challenge, a national annual competition, held in New Orleans this past January. “I was already interested in tax law, and that cemented that I was fairly decent at what I do.”

“Tax is always a puzzle; there are moving parts and different ways you can create a plan or figure out the puzzle to best suit a client’s needs and wants.”

It helps that she considers the wonkier aspects of the discipline, well, kind of fun.

“Tax is always a puzzle; there are moving parts and different ways you can create a plan or figure out the puzzle to best suit a client’s needs and wants. To get the best outcomes, it takes a lot of moving pieces and interacting with the client to help them achieve their goals.”

Eash isn’t sure where her first landing spot will be — she’s still interviewing for jobs, and would like to land in a small to medium-sized firm to start out — but she’s been impressed by the sheer range of opportunities, both in the tax-law discipline and across the legal realm in general.

“Some of my friends knew exactly what they wanted to do and stayed on that track,” she said. “Others, like me, were thinking they’d do something else and found a different branch off the main tree.”

One thing many young lawyers have in common is a desire to help people, and they don’t wait until they’re out of school to do it.

“I’ve done a clinic with the Housing Court in Springfield, and that’s been very gratifying, helping people access the system. Well, it’s not so much helping them, but giving them the tools they need to access the system and have a fair outcome,” Eash said. “That’s been really nice — I’ve been in the Housing Court for seven months, and it’s been a very fulfilling experience, with a lot of courtroom time and client triage.”

Emily Eash

Emily Eash was surprised at how much she enjoyed her first tax-law course — then turned it into a potential career.

From that perspective, the entire field of law may be seen as a series of puzzles to solve — not just intellectual exercises, but challenges with real stakes, and an opportunity to make a difference.

Broad Outlook

Zac Broughton is a bit of Renaissance man when it comes to the law. At least, he’d like to be.

“I think my favorite part about law is that I don’t have to stay with one thing for the rest of my life,” he said. “As law continues to evolve over time — with new technology, new situations, new philosophical debates to participate in — my desire is to be part of that conversation in whatever area of the law I’m working in.”

Broughton, who will be clerking at Connecticut Appellate Court later this year, honed his multi-faceted approach as editor in chief of the Western New England Law Review.

“I loved working through different areas of the law, but also helping other people find their voice to help advance one area of the law or another — and inspiring my staff and reminding them that we’re stewards of the law, and they should help advance it any way they can. What’s the next legal challenge we can help the legal world solve with the piece we were publishing?”

Broughton has dreams of running for public office someday — or at least being involved in the political scene — but he also wants to work in the public sector with underprivileged populations, particularly individuals with disabilities. That’s a passion that started in his undergraduate years at UMass Amherst — specifically, in the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, which runs an organization called the Ability Experience, whose purpose is to raise money for people with disabilities.

Zac Broughton

Zac Broughton says he’s excited to explore myriad areas of the law — and perhaps run for political office — during his career.

That’s a lot of goals, but there’s nothing wrong with exploring myriad paths in the law, he said. “To say I’ve settled on one area of the law right now is not true. But that means every day, I go to work excited and interested in what comes next.”

Broughton understands that a law degree doesn’t have to mean working in what people might consider traditional legal settings. For instance, at UMass, he earned a master’s degree in higher education administration, and can envision himself someday working in the higher-ed field.

“Today, there’s a host of outside things impacting how higher education operates in law, such as funding Title IX; it’s an incredible time to be working on a college campus and seeing how that intersects with the law.”

In short, it’s good to have options.

“I still want to run for office; I want to work in government,” he said. “It’s all interesting to me.”

A Passion on Hold

Sara Idris was on the cusp of middle school when 9/11 changed the complexion of the country, in many ways for the worse.

“Soon after that, the Patriot Act came out, and I was hearing about these people imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay without cause,” she recalled. I wrote a lot of research papers on that, and it became my passion to go to law school and get justice for people who can’t get justice for themselves.”

As a student of Pakistani descent, she was sometimes harassed in school in the coming years, but the perpetrators were never disciplined, which further solidified her resolve to be an advocate for victims of persecution — or worse.

“I knew the injustice done to me wasn’t on the level done to people all over the world, and I saw a future for myself in human-rights law.”

She’s not sure when that future will arrive, however. As she works to finish her education — she has one class left to finish and will take the bar exam in February — she continues to work as a form filing specialist at a local intellectual-property law firm.

Sara Idris

Sara Idris says it can be difficult to match one’s passions to financial realities coming out of law school, but she intends to reach her goal of advocating for victims of social injustice.

“I really enjoy this, and I can see myself working here long-term,” she said. “I have a passion for public interest, but given the amount of loans I have, I don’t know if I can risk working in public interest for the next 10 years at a salary that’s probably lower than I’m making now.”

But Idris and her fiancé have a career plan that involves methodically paying off those loans and perhaps navigating her law career toward the issues she’s most passionate about.

She also realizes that a juris doctor degree doesn’t necessarily mean taking the title of lawyer at all. In fact, many law-school students enroll in order to use the JD to move up in the worlds of education, business, finance, nonprofit management, journalism — the possibilities are endless.

“I spoke with my supervisor here, and she talked to me about how other people have moved up in different departments not working as lawyers, but utilizing the skills they’ve learned in other ways.”

That’s one value of the degree, she went on. “While I want to practice law, I don’t necessarily have to.”

Still, it’s not hard to imagine Idris, down the road, standing up, as she put it, for people struggling to defend themselves against all manner of injustice, and could use a passionate advocate.

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Education

Taking Center Stage

Frank DeMarinis stands in the balcony

Frank DeMarinis stands in the balcony overlooking the stage of the massive auditorium in what will soon be the new Springfield Conservatory of the Arts.

Frank DeMarinis understands that people frequently used the phrase ‘white elephant’ in association with the massive former Masonic temple on State Street.

What he could never understand is why.

Indeed, while many saw a property that was too big and too difficult to redevelop into something for the 21st century, he saw only potential.

“This is a piece of history — it is what you make of it,” said DeMarinis, owner of a number of businesses, with the lead being Westfield-based Sage Engineering & Contracting, adding that, when the property first came onto his radar screen and then into his possession (he acquired it for the bargain price of $100,000 from the church looking to unload it), he envisioned a boutique hotel to coincide with the arrival of MGM Springfield.

Those plans never materialized, but something different and with certainly greater implications for Springfield and its School Department did — conversion of the property into the new home of the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts, a magnet middle school and high school that, as the name suggests, offers an arts-infused curriculum and enables students to focus on their interest in the arts, whether they’re dancers, painters, musicians, or playwrights.

“The idea was to have a place for the kids who have an inclination for the performing arts to go to school,” said Conservatory of the Arts Principal Ryan Kelly, who arrived three years ago. “There’s now a place where singers and dancers and musicians can go to perform.”

At present, though, that ‘place’ — both schools are operating out of former Catholic schools, one in Indian Orchard (the middle school) and the other off Liberty Street — is limiting, and in all kinds of ways.

The middle-school students perform in the basement of a church, said Kelly, while the high-school students perform in an old gym that doubles as a music room.

“Everyone’s really excited to have a 21st-century arts building; this will be a tremendous showcase for the city.”

Things will change in a … well, dramatic way come September, when both schools move into what will be a state-of-the-art facility created out of the cavernous spaces within the old Masonic temple, including the huge, nearly 1,000-seat theater on its fifth floor, previously known as the ‘sanctuary,’ now undergoing a significant facelift.

“It’s an awesome facility — it’s going to be a great performance venue,” said Kelly, adding that the theater is just one of the facilities that represent a tremendous leap forward for the school and its students. Others include a black-box theater for drama classes, a large, modern dance studio on the same floor as the theater, a recording studio, a media center, a tech lab, state-of-the-art classrooms, and more.

Actually, there will be two of many of these facilities, one each for middle school and high school, said Kelly, adding that the former will be located on the first and second floors, and the latter on the third and fourth.

The much-anticipated opening this fall will put a bright spotlight not only on the Conservatory of the Arts, which has enjoyed steady enrollment but should get a significant boost with this new facility, but also on one of Springfield’s forgotten architectural gems.

The Masonic temple has been vacant and unused for years now, said DeMarinis, adding that it had fallen into a significant state of deterioration by the time he acquired it. The exterior has been preserved, but the interior has been largely gutted and significantly altered — entire floors have been added — to repurpose the landmark for its new use.

The Masonic temple on State Street

The Masonic temple on State Street has been mostly vacant and unused for many years, but it will now play a leading role in Springfield’s future.

For this issue and its focus on education, BusinessWest toured the work in progress that is the new Conservatory for the Arts to get a feel for how a big piece of the city’s past will play a large and intriguing role — that’s another arts-industry term — in the future of the community and the students who come through the facility’s doors.

Development of Note

As his tour stopped in what will be the teacher’s lounge, located on one of the upper floors of the new Conservatory of the Arts, DeMarinis pointed out the recently added windows on the west wall and, more specifically, the view they provide.

“You can see all of downtown Springfield,” he said, pointing out several of the landmarks, including the MGM casino.

With that, he noted that his original idea for the Masonic temple, a boutique hotel targeted toward high rollers, would have been an intriguing addition to the business landscape and, in his view, an almost-certain success story. He said he had some regret that those plans never materialized, but not much, because of what has emerged instead.

Flashing back roughly five years, DeMarinis said he was looking for his “next project” when the Masonic temple caught his attention, primarily because of its proximity to downtown Springfield and the announced site of the MGM casino.

There were already several ventures in his portfolio, including everything from the various Roots facilities in Westfield — an aquatic and fitness center and indoor and outdoor soccer fields among them — to an independent-living facility in Suffield to several distribution centers, including one for Utz potato chips. The temple offered the promise of further diversification.

“I toured the facilities, and it was in absolute shambles,” he recalled. “That’s why I picked it up really cheap.”

More than $1 million in cleanup later, including remediation of an asbestos-laden boiler room, DeMarinis was ready to look at potential opportunities.

One came his way with a request for proposals from Springfield school officials who acknowledged that a new home was needed for the school for the arts. They desired a location downtown, in or close to the “theater district,” as DeMarinis called it, a facility that would have state-of-the-art facilities and ample room for the school to grow.

DeMarinis said he had all that in the Masonic temple, and he also had a pricetag that others couldn’t approach because of the bargain price he paid for the property.

“It was a change of plans, but you adjust accordingly,” he said of his vision of the property. “I felt it was a much safer investment to work with the city.”

But getting the 88,000-square-foot, century-old temple ready for prime time has been a two-year process laden with challenges, from creating parking where there was none — a three-story garage was built behind the facility with room for 50 cars — to gutting and rebuilding the massive auditorium at the top of the building, to adding more than 100 windows to let natural light in.

The new facilities represent a quantum leap forward for the arts school, said Kelly, adding that he expects the new home to spark a rise in enrollment — the middle school is at or near capacity, but the high school is not — and also create much better learning and performance opportunities.

Ryan Kelly, principal of the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts

Ryan Kelly, principal of the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts, says the new facility will provide state-of-the-art learning experiences for students.

“It’s a real step forward,” he told BusinessWest. “The students will have real performance space, and we’re going to have full science labs, the auditorium for shows, a sound and recording room, a room with a greenscreen so we can make videos and newscasts … the facilities allow the teachers and the students to be more creative and express themselves more.

“We’re very much limited where we are,” he went on. “And now, the limitations will mostly be gone, so I’m really excited to see what the students can do with all this.”

To showcase the new school and reach full capacity (420 students, with current enrollment at roughly 350), Kelly said he’s forging plans to have fifth-graders, and perhaps parents as well, attend performances starting in the fall.

He believes the new building, and the learning experiences it creates, will inspire arts-oriented students to think about careers in that broad field and give themselves the best opportunity to pursue them.

“We figure that, if we bring them into the school, put on a show, and let them see the place, that should increase enrollment,” he said. “Everyone’s really excited to have a 21st-century arts building; this will be a tremendous showcase for the city.”

Show of Force

Referencing the current performance venues — the church basement and old gym — Kelly said they are woefully inadequate for what the school for the arts is trying to do with and for its students.

And that’s why the new facility is so important.

“It will enable them to be completely creative and just be released, and we’re really looking forward to that,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the Masonic temple is also being released. For decades now, it has been relegated to being a part of the city’s past, and, yes a white elephant.

Now, it has a starring role in the future of this intriguing school.

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

Women in Businesss

Women Supporting Women

Meghan Rothschild

Meghan Rothschild

When Meghan Rothschild launched Chikmedia as a two-woman operation five years ago, she was determined to build a successful marketing firm that focused heavily, if not exclusively, on women and brought a fierce attitude and a sense of fun into the work. Five years later, as the head of a small team with an ever-growing clientele, she says those philosophies haven’t changed — nor has the need for a company that reminds women of the power they wield when they lift each other up.

Marketing has come a long way in the 21st century, Meghan Rothschild says, in ways many companies struggle to understand.

Take social media.

“When we first started, social media wasn’t what it is today — it was something that businesses absolutely used, but it wasn’t this intricate skill set you have to educate yourself about in order to be up to date on the latest trends. That’s been one of the biggest advances,” said Rothschild, whose marketing firm, Chikmedia, recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.

“We’ve learned how to use social media from a business perspective in a really successful way,” she went on. “Our social-media management is much more comprehensive, and includes graphic design and creating custom content, and using the live features and story features on all the platforms. That’s evolved quite a bit. But other things about this business are the same, like writing press releases and helping people have grand openings at their businesses.”

“You have all these places that have ample budgets, or have a staff person dedicated to marketing. We like to work with the companies that don’t have that. Marketing is such an important part of business ownership that people forget about.”

Chikmedia is unique in other ways, though. For one, Rothschild — who gives herself the title “chief badass” — says she started the business to put an emphasis on female-run organizations and women business owners with an “edgy, fierce, and authentic” approach.

At its inception, Chikmedia focused mostly on social media, graphic design, and public relations. However, the firm has expanded its services outward, with branded events (more on that later) and a series of educational workshops that aid businesses with social media, personal branding, PR 101, and crisis management, to name a few topics.

While not all clients are female-run companies, the average client, Rothschild explained, is a woman who owns a small to medium-sized business who isn’t sitting on a six-figure marketing budget and, therefore, needs to be creative with her efforts.

“We sort of thrive in that space, finding unique and creative ways to engage audiences that aren’t going to cost you $100,000,” she said. “You have all these places that have ample budgets, or have a staff person dedicated to marketing. We like to work with the companies that don’t have that. Marketing is such an important part of business ownership that people forget about.”

Among its newer clients are the region’s new Futures Collegiate Baseball League team, the Westfield Starfires. Chikmedia also worked with Square One, a Springfield nonprofit that provides a range of early-education and support services, in launching a new service line that expands childcare to all hours of the day. The company has also partnered with Dunkin’ Donuts in sponsoring several events.

In short, it’s a varied clientele, which means a lot of education going both ways.

It all feeds into a “fierce” attitude she further describes as “bold, empowering, having confidence, and positioning clients in a way that they are the experts on their subject matter.”

In fact, Rothschild said, empowering women is at the core of everything she does, having been harassed and encountered inappropriate treatment many times in the corporate world — and not only by men.

Educational workshops

Educational workshops have become a staple of Chikmedia’s services — and a way to put more autonomy in clients’ hands.

“It’s one thing to walk into an environment and not be supported by your male peers, but to encounter that from your female peers is really something. It’s frustrating,” she said. “I said, ‘this is going to stop with me. I’m going to start a company whose mission and sole purpose is women lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down.’

“As a culture,” she went on, “it’s really easy for us to give each other a hard time and drag each other down and be super competitive, but we want to be the complete opposite of that — women supporting women.”

Choosing a Path

Rothschild had been in marketing for eight years — with stints as marketing and promotions manager at Six Flags, development and marketing manager at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and director of marketing and communications at Wilbraham and Monson Academy — when she teamed up in 2014 with Emily Gaylord, who brought a strong design skillset to the partnership they called Chikmedia.

With about two dozen clients coming aboard in the first few months, including Bueno y Sano, UMass Dining, Papa John’s, ArchitectureEL, Energia Fitness, SkinCatering, and Lioness magazine, they were, frankly, overwhelmed with the early response and realized they had something that was more than a “side hustle,” as Rothschild put it.

Gaylord eventually left the company to pour more of her time and passion into the Center for EcoTechnology, where she works as Communications and Engagement director. Meanwhile, Rothschild was balancing ownership of Chikmedia with a full-time gig at IMPACT Melanoma. A survivor of the disease who had built a national platform for skin-safety advocacy, she was working for IMPACT as Marketing and Public Relations manager when he realized she had to make a choice.

“I spent about four years at IMPACT, and last year, the success of Chikmedia was getting to the point where it wasn’t sustainable — I couldn’t do both. And I felt like Chikmedia was the right path.” Today, she still serves as a spokesperson for IMPACT, which is among Chikmedia’s clients.

As the company has grown its client base, Rothschild said, so has its emphasis on education and training, both one on one with clients and in the community.

“We’ll do a training for anyone. We did one-hour training for a client on Constant Contact; she was new to the software, so she brought me in, and I walked her through,” she recalled. “If you have someone in your office that’s supposed to be managing Instagram and they don’t know how to use it, instead of giving them a month or two months to learn all the intricacies of it, bring us in for an hour, and we’ll educate them on what to do. That way, we’re putting the power back into corporate hands. A lot of people would love for us to manage their social media, but it’s not the most cost-efficient thing as opposed to us coming in and training your staff how to do it.”

“I’m going to start a company whose mission and sole purpose is women lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down.”

She also teaches personal branding and social media at Springfield College, calling education a “side passion” alongside marketing and helping firms grow. Often, she takes what she’s done in those classes and packages the material into condensed workshops for clients and other audiences, like a three-part series she recently conducted on navigating one’s personal brand — what it is and why it’s important.

“It’s super relevant,” she said. “Think about social media. Even though universities are starting to adapt, starting to insert it into the curriculum, it’s definitely not a standard part of the curriculum. So I’m helping to fill that void until everyone catches up.”

While teaching, though, she’s often learning — specifically, about each client and industry she takes on.

“Our specialty is learning the industry, and we’re working with everything from financial investment firms to UMass Dining, Dunkin’ Donuts, local spas like SkinCatering and Beauty Batlles, nonprofit organizations, event-planning companies … we’re sort of a mix. I always say to clients, if we don’t know something about this subject matter, we’re going to learn it.”

She tries to be honest with each potential client, too. “I’ve had people come to me and say, ‘this is what I need,’ and I’ve said, ‘I don’t think we’re the right fit for you; I think you should go to XYZ.’ Or, ‘I don’t think you’re ready for marketing yet; I think you should see a business advisor first.’ We’re not going to put a square peg in a round hole. We want the right fit.”

Fun with a Purpose

In all those efforts, she’s also passionate about keeping the emphasis on making marketing and branding fun. When BusinessWest sat down with Rothschild and Gaylord five years ago, after the launch of Chikmedia, they said if they’re another stressor in a client’s day, they’re not doing their job right. Today, as the sole business owner, Rothschild has not abandoned that philosophy.

“I can be hard to stay true to that because, as an entrepreneur, you’re trying to stay afloat and get all the work done. But I made a promise to myself when I made this a full-time job I was going to continue that path and have fun in everything I do. You spend the majority of your waking hours at work; you’d better enjoy what you do and be passionate about it.”

Ashley Kohl, owner of Ohana School of Performing Arts

Ashley Kohl, owner of Ohana School of Performing Arts, was one of many women business owners show-cased at Chiks’ Night Out.

Part of that sense of fun comes out during the firm’s branded events, such as Chiks’ Night Out event, which took place in Springfield in March to promote the spring line of Addy Elizabeth, a chic clothing boutique.

“All the focus is on women entrepreneurs, so all the models and sponsors are women entrepreneurs. We’re not calling them models, but women business owners. When they walk on runway, we describe their outfit — and their business. So women are learning what women on the runway have to offer them in terms of services.”

Then there’s a bus tour called Chiks’ Day Out, a sort of shopping trip where every stop is a female business.

“That’s how our events are positioned,” Rothschild said. “We want leave them tingling, saying, ‘oh my God, there’s such a need for this — for women to connect in a fun way.’ It creates a sense of community.”

Chikmedia promotes connections through its strong social-media presence as well, on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as well as its own blog — not to mention its line of branded merchandise, like T-shirts emblazoned with phrases like ‘Boss Chik.’

“I see women wearing our T-shirts, hats, and sunglasses, and I’m not sure if there’s another local firm that has that kind of presence,” she told BusinessWest. “I really am proud of that, how we’ve been able to leverage our own brand to help our clients.”

Besides its core team of four in Western Mass., Rothschild has an intern in Providence, a part-time accountant, and contractors spread out over its service areas, which extend beyond this region into Boston, Cape Cod, Rhode Island, and Charlotte, N.C. In today’s high-tech world, she said, there’s plenty a company can do remotely for clients, although she needs to be in front of them for certain tasks, like running events and producing video content for social media.

And there’s plenty of room for the firm to grow, she noted, adding that its success in its first five years has been a gratifying challenge — in every sense of both words.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t I say I enjoy being my own boss,” she said. “Of course, as an entrepreneur, you say, ‘I’m going to manage my own schedule and take vacations,’ and the reality is you never take vacations. Even when you go on vacation, you’re on the phone. When you’re a business owner, you’re the business. It’s my burden to bear; its not someone else’s. It’s not someone telling me to do something; it’s me being accountable to myself.”

Still, she added, “I love marketing and PR, I love social media, I love writing. Having control of my own company makes me happy, and my team makes me happy — they’re smart, awesome people. I genuinely love what I do.”

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Education

Building a Pipeline

Joe Marcelino with some of the 90 devices on the machining floor of the center’s 2017 expansion

Joe Marcelino with some of the 90 devices on the machining floor of the center’s 2017 expansion.

With much of the manufacturing workforce starting to age out and a dearth of young people entering the field, companies have been struggling for some time to find the skilled employees they need to grow. One successful model changing the equation is the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center at Asnuntuck Community College, which is placing students with a one-year certificate to work in good-paying careers — while meeting area companies’ critical talent needs. It is, in short, a true win-win.

When Joe Marcelino spoke to a group of Hartford Public High School students recently, he came armed with some numbers — and a common-sense pitch.

Among the numbers was the starting salary for students who earn a one-year certificate at Asnuntuck Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center (AMTC): typically, in the $45,000 to $50,000 range, and sometimes higher.

The pitch involved the country’s student debt crisis.

“I stressed to them that the opportunity coming through our program is priceless because a lot of the manufacturers actually pay for their continued education,” said Marcelino, an instructor at the center. “So not only do you come out of our program with a decent income, but you have the opportunity to go to school at night without debt — and student debt really follows you.”

The main pitch, of course, is the job itself, and how the center has partnered with manufacturers — in both Connecticut and Massachusetts — to create work opportunities for both young people and career changers, and address what has been a persistent lack of qualified employees these companies need to grow.

“We can almost promise you a job coming out of our program,” Marcelino said, “while if you get a four-year degree in, say, English, you might not have a job coming out — but you’ll have all that debt.”

The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center at ACC has been around for 20 years, but it received a major overhaul two years ago with the opening of a 27,000-square-foot addition, more than doubling its space. It includes an 11,000-square-foot machining lab with 90 computerized numeric control (CNC) and manual machines, an additive-manufacturing lab equipped for both plastic and metal 3D printing, a metrology lab featuring computerized measuring machines, and state-of-the-art computer labs — and a whole lot more.

“I stressed to them that the opportunity coming through our program is priceless because a lot of the manufacturers actually pay for their continued education.”

But the center’s most impressive offering may be those partnerships with area manufacturers, who have guided ACC in crafting the certificate program as a way to get skilled workers in their doors.

“With manufacturing booming in Connecticut again and all over the world, demand for skilled labor right now is really high,” Marcelino said during a recent tour of the facility with BusinessWest. “When I was in high school 25 years ago, a lot of the counselors and teachers were deterring us from getting into the trades. That’s partly why there’s such a shortage now in the industry.

“A lot of contracts are being signed by some of our largest manufacturers, like Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, and Electric Boat,” he went on, “but because of what was happening 25 years ago, there’s a shortage now because a lot of people are leaving the industry and there’s nobody qualified to fill these positions.”

Normally, advanced manufacturers are looking for people with three to five years of experience. But ACC students are interning during their second semester and being hired for jobs immediately after, at good salaries. The reason is that the curriculum is customized according to industry needs.

Mary Bidwell

Mary Bidwell said the national conversation is changing around student debt and careers — like many in manufacturing — that don’t require massive loads of it.

And that foundation, he explained, is something companies can build on, hiring certificate holders, further training them up, and often providing additional education opportunities along with that full-time paycheck.

“A lot of the companies we partner with pay tuition reimbursement, so it’s a real win-win,” said Mary Bidwell, interim dean of the AMTC. “You can get a certificate, start working, and chip away at a degree.”

That makes sense at a time when exploding college debt has become a worrisome economic drain, and a national story.

“The conversations are changing,” she said. “You don’t need all that debt. You can do this and still get that engineering degree later; a great engineer still needs the hands-on training in how a part is made and what the machines can do. In fact, engineers come here to take classes.”

And that certificate doesn’t even need to result in a job on a manufacturing floor, she added, noting that some have used the training, and continued education, as a springboard into manufacturing sales, teaching, and management, to name a few pathways. “We give them a good, rounded foundation where they can get a career and then grow from there.”

A Different Floor

While perceptions are changing about today’s manufacturing floor, Bidwell said, there’s still some work to be done to get young people — and their parents, who grew up with different ideas — interested.

“A lot of parents, when they think of manufacturing, think of a dark, dingy, dirty environment, so when they hear their kids want to go into that, they say, ‘no, don’t do that.’ They haven’t seen manufacturing as it is today. It’s very clean and technology-driven. And from where you start to where you can advance is unbelievable.”

That’s the message ACC is sharing not only with parents, but with guidance counselors and teachers, some of whom are invited in during the summer to see the facility and learn about career opportunities. “It’s about educating the people who educate the students,” she explained.

Those efforts are working. While student ages can range from 18 to 65, the average age at the center during the Great Recession, when many more people were looking to switch careers, was around 45. Today, it’s 28.

The center’s mechatronics lab

The center’s mechatronics lab gives students experience in the growing world of robotics.

“We give them a great foundation to build upon,” Bidwell said, “and the pathway is there to do whatever they like.”

That foundation begins with a hands-on approach to learning the machinery and techniques — from 3D printers, lathes, and surface grinders to welding and robotics labs, Marcelino said. And it’s a healthy mix of manual and CNC machines.

“The companies tell us the students still need to know the old-school skills; they need that foundation in order to make the transition into the CNC world, which are machines you write a program for in a computer, and then set up the machine to run the part for you. You need to know both ways.

“There’s no such thing as close enough in this industry,” he added. “The parts have to be made right. Precision is precision. I like to call this a work-ready program because our job is to get them the skills to get them a job.”

Those skills include — actually, the center emphasizes — ‘soft skills,’ especially punctuality.

“We’re really high on attendance and punctuality because that’s what the employers say is the biggest issue they have,” he said. “The other big issue we’ve been encountering is cell phones. Cell phones are a big distraction. We don’t allow them in class or in the shop. Some employees don’t even want them in the building, so we implement that here.”

Those second-semester internship opportunities — two days a week, with the other three days spent back at Asnuntuck — are based partly on grades, but mostly on attendance.

“The employer gets to feel out the student, and the student gets to feel out the company, and they’re getting a real training in what they’ll be doing,” Marcelino said. “Ninety percent of the time, that ends in a job offer. So we’re doing a lot of the training for the companies, and that’s what the companies are looking for. When they hire off the streets, the employees don’t always get it.”

Even in a healthy economy, the AMTC still attracts a good number of mid-life career changers who see opportunities they don’t have in their current jobs. Meanwhile, high-school students can take classes at ACC to gain manufacturing credits before they enroll, and a second-chance program gives incarcerated individuals hands-on experience to secure employment once they’re eligible for parole.

It all adds up to a manufacturing resource — and, thus, an economic driver — that has attracted plenty of public funding from the state and from Aerospace Components Manufacturers, a regional nonprofit network of aerospace companies that has long supported the center’s mission, most recently with a $170,632 donation on May 15. The investment arrives, Marcelino said, because the results of the program are evident.

“Students aren’t going to learn everything, but they’re going to have that foundation they need to make an impact right away in the industry,” he explained. “They’re getting the basic skills. There are programs out there that specialize in this or specialize in that. But in our program, we’re giving them a little bit of everything.”

Demand Continues

From what he hears from companies that partner with ACC’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, Marcelino doesn’t expect any dip in opportunity for students — young and old — who want to explore the modern manufacturing world.

“We can’t keep up with the demand employers have, which is a good problem to have,” he told BusinessWest. “We just need to keep getting the word out about the opportunities in manufacturing. People think, ‘manufacturing, oh, it’s dirty, oily, stinky,’ but times have changed. Technology has changed. And as technology changes, more doors open. The medical industry for machining is booming right now.”

That said, it’s not an easy job, although, for the right candidate, it is a rewarding one.

“They have to want to be here. It’s not for everybody, and you’ll get out of it what you put in,” he said. “I’m a firm believer that the program works, but you have to want it. But the ones that do, they take off. It’s phenomenal what they do.”

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Features

Getting Creative

Kristin Leutz

Kristin Leutz says the inaugural Innovation Fest will provide a solid foundation on which to build.

HUBweek in Boston. Denver Startup Week. The Tom Tom Summit & Festival in Charlottesville, Va. South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.

These are just a few of the many highly successful and very well-attended entrepreneurship and innovation events now taking place across the country.

Some of them go on for a few days, others for a whole week, as their names make clear, said Kristen Leutz, executive director of Springfield-based Valley Venture Mentors (VVM), who has been to Startup Week and will likely attend some of those other gatherings in the months and years to come as she seeks to learn more about entrepreneurship ecosystems, how they work, and how they can be developed and expanded.

For right now, though, she’s busy putting together the latest addition to that list of summits. It will be called the Springfield Innovation Fest, or SIF for short, although its probably too early for an acronym to take hold.

Indeed, Leutz and her team at VVM are essentially starting from scratch and scrambling to pull things together for the June 12 event, to be staged at the Innovation Center on Bridge Street in Springfield. As she tells the story, those at VVM had been thinking about and talking about a summit — an event that would showcase this region’s burgeoning entrepreneurship ecosystem (and the many other things that are happening in and around Springfield) and take VVM’s Accelerator Awards banquet to a new and much higher plane. But they were initially focused on 2020, a round-number year with all kinds of meaning — until they decided not to wait that long to get the ball rolling.

“We decided to do this on a very short time frame,” she said. “Once we came up with the vision, we were all excited; we didn’t want to wait a another year. We said, ‘let’s lean into it and see what we can pull off.’”

Leutz told BusinessWest that the Springfield Innovation Fest certainly has a long way to go before it can be mentioned in the same sentence as those events in Boston, Denver, Central Texas, and Northern Virginia, but one has to start somewhere, create some buzz, and continually build on the foundation that’s been laid, and that is the very informal business plan for the festival.

“We decided to do this on a very short time frame. Once we came up with the vision, we were all excited; we didn’t want to wait a another year. We said, ‘let’s lean into it and see what we can pull off.’”

“Startup Week certainly wasn’t built in a day — or a week,” she said. “We want to see if we can gain some excitement and momentum for next year.”

The inaugural event, still very much in the planning stages, as noted, will feature a number of speakers, ample amounts of networking, and opportunities to get a taste of Springfield — figuratively and quite literally, with tours of the Springfield Museums and Fresh Paint mural art, as well as a visit to What’s on Tap Wednesday.

There are many goals for this year, said Leutz, listing everything from celebrating this region’s history of innovation and ‘firsts’ to recognizing the winners (and all the companies) in this year’s VVM Accelerator class, to moving the needle when it comes to putting Springfield and this region on the map as a startup and innovation hub.

“In the vein of these other festivals that showcase the startup and innovation economies, I thought that, given all that’s happening in Springfield, it was time for our own startup event,” she explained. “I want visibility for the work of entrepreneurship and innovation and how it affects our economy and how it affects traditional businesses as well as startups.

“The idea of being innovative goes beyond a startup company — it infiltrates everything that we do,” she went on. “Springfield is a city of firsts, and we really believe in that heritage and history, and we want people to see that it still is a city of innovation.”

For this issue and focus on business innovation, BusinessWest talked with Leutz about the launch of the SIF, what to expect this year, and where this summit can go in the years to come.

Summit Meeting

“How to Bootstrap the Bejeezus out of Your Startup.” “Think Like a Placemaker Transforming Neighborhoods.” “Future Forward: Live Better with Innovation in Healthcare.” “How to Help Female Founders Succeed (and Every Other Founder, Too).”

These are titles for just some of the presentations scheduled for the SIF, said Leutz, noting that they will cover two tracks — a startup track and an innovator track — and feature speakers that include both young entrepreneurs and leaders of several of the groups within that aforementioned entrepreneurship ecosystem.

And these presentations represent just one aspect of the festival, she went on, adding that there will be, as mentioned, several breaks for networking and collision-making, a showcase and lunch at which attendees can meet the VVM Accelerator and Summer Collegiate Accelerator startups as they showcase their businesses and compete for ‘VVM bucks,’ and also a pitch competition featuring the top five in the Accelerator and the awarding of prizes.

The full lineup is still very much a work in progress, even at this late date (remember, they started late), and the general ideas are to both call attention to the growing startup community and innovative energy in the region, and also give attendees something to take back home — whether that’s across the state or maybe cross-country (although that’s more likely to happen down the road).

This is the formula that those festivals mentioned at the top have followed, said Leutz, noting that many of them are works in progress as well.

That’s certainly the case with HUBweek, which was launched just three years ago, but now brings together attendees from 59 countries, 46 states, and 38 industries, according to the event’s website. Marketed as a gathering “where art, science, and technology collide,” HUBweek was founded by the Boston Globe, Harvard, MIT, and Massachusetts General Hospital, and its website describes it as “a giant petri dish welcoming impact-oriented artists, entrepreneurs, researchers, executives, makers, and up-and-comers. HUBweek brings together the curious, those building our future.”

Startup Week in Denver is in many ways similar, said Leutz, adding that she attended last fall’s festival and came away inspired to bring something with the same vibe, and energy, to the City of Homes.

“It was incredible,” she said, using that adjective to describe the scope of the show, the depth of the speakers, and the amount of planning and marketing that went into the event. “They had 1,000 applications for talks.”

While something to aspire to, these shows more importantly represent a model that can be replicated on a considerably smaller scale, she said, adding that, like the Boston show, she wants an event where worlds can collide, and, like Denver, she wants a “community-created event,” where people submit ideas for talks.

For this first show, organizers have put together a schedule of talks targeted toward entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs, and ‘innovators,’ a broad constituency to be sure, said Leutz. Speakers, many of them still to be confirmed, include Christian Lagier, executive director of TechSpring; Mo Reed-McNally of the MassMutual Foundation, and Laura Masulis, transformative development fellow with MassDevelopment (they’re handling the talk on transforming neighborhoods); Bill Cole, leader of Living Local, and Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, director of SPARK EforAll Holyoke, who will lead a discussion titled “How to Revive Main Street”; and Daquan Oliver, president of WeThrive, the first-prize winner in last year’s VVM Accelerator Awards.

As for this year’s Accelerator class, it is smaller — by design (16 companies) — in order to provide more in-depth, customized support to the startups, said Leutz, adding that a smaller group enabled VVM to have a higher ratio of entrepreneurs in residence to startups.

Meanwhile, some of the cash traditionally handed out at the annual banquet as prizes has been awarded already in order to help the startups advance their ventures, said Leutz, adding that there is still plenty at stake at the June 12 showcase and final pitch.

All-day passes to the SIF are $50 each ($45 each for blocks of three or more), and potential attendees can buy an extra ticket so an entrepreneur can attend for free, said Leutz, adding that the admission charge is essentially to cover the cost of the event. Sponsorship opportunities are available, starting at $1,000. For more information, visit www.valleyventurementors.org.

Getting Started

Like the companies taking part in the VVM Accelerator, the SIF is essentially a startup venture, Leutz acknowledged, and one with considerable promise to grow well beyond its current size and scope.

It will likely never be on the same level as HUBweek or Denver Startup Week, but like those other events, it provides an opportunity to bring several worlds together and spark more innovation.

SIF is not part of the local lexicon yet, but Leutz and her team believe it soon will be.

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

Law

Paid Family and Medical Leave

By John S. Gannon, Esq. and Amelia J. Holstrom, Esq.

John S. Gannon

John S. Gannon

Amelia J. Holstrom, Esq.

Amelia J. Holstrom

Businesses have had almost a year to prepare for the implementation of Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) in Massachusetts. Still, many questions remain, and the first critical date — July 1 — is right around the corner.

Here are five things that should be at the top of your to-do list as employers in the Commonwealth prepare for PFML.

Decide How to Handle Tax Contributions

PFML is funded through mandatory payroll contributions that begin on July 1. Currently, the contribution is set at 0.63% of an employee’s eligible wages. Because PFML covers two types of leave — medical leave and family leave — the state Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) has attributed a portion of the contribution (82.5%) to medical leave and the remainder (17.5%) to family leave. As if that wasn’t confusing enough, employers are permitted to deduct up to 100% of the family-leave contribution and up to 40% of the medical-leave contribution from an employee’s pay. Employers with 25 or more employees are required to pay the rest.

Although employers can pass on a lot of the contribution to the employee, businesses should consider whether to pay a portion, or even all, of the employee’s portion. When doing so, employers should consider the impact on morale, whether an employee is more or less likely to use the leave if they are paying for it, and whether the employer can afford to do more.

Provide the Required Notices

Employers are required to provide notice to employees about PFML on or before June 30. Two separate notices are required — a workplace poster and a written notice distributed to each employee and, in some cases, independent contractors. The mandatory workplace poster must be posted in English and each language that is the primary language of at least five individuals in your workforce if the DFML has published a translation of the notice in that language. Posters are available on the DFML website.

“It goes without saying that employees will have less incentive to return to work once PFML goes live. This undoubtedly will increase the amount of time employees are out of work.”

The written notice must be distributed to each employee in the primary language of the employee and must provide, among other things, employee and employer contribution amounts and obligations and instructions on how to file a claim for benefits. Employees must be given the opportunity, even if provided electronically, to acknowledge or decline receipt of the notice. The DFML has issued a model notice for employers to use.

Employers must get these notices out by June 30, but also within 30 days of an employee’s hire. Failure to do so subjects an employer to penalties.

Consider Private-plan Options

Employers who provide paid leave plans that are greater than or equal to the benefits required by the PFML law may apply for an exemption from making contributions by applying to the DFML. Employers can apply for an exemption to family-leave or medical-leave contributions, or both. Private-plan approvals are good for one year, and, generally, will be effective the first full quarter after the approval.

However, the DFML has made a one-time exception for the first quarter — July 1 through Sept. 30. Employers have until Sept. 20 to apply for an exemption, and any approval will be retroactive to July 1. Employers should consider whether this is a viable option for them before employees can begin taking leave on January 1, 2021.

There are benefits to doing so, but employers should consider the potential cost. If an employer chooses to self-insure its private plan, it must post a surety bond with a value of $51,000 for medical leave and $19,000 for family leave for every 25 employees. Employers may also have the option to purchase a private insurance plan that meets the requirements of the law through a Massachusetts-licensed insurance company.

Review Current Time-off and Attendance Policies

The principal regulator of frequent leaves of absence is the fact that employees are not getting paid for this time away from work, absent company provided paid time off like sick or vacation time. Once those company-provided benefits are used up, the employee is not getting a paycheck.

Naturally, this gives employees motivation to get back to work and on the payroll. Unfortunately, when Jan. 1, 2021 comes around, businesses will lose this regulator as PFML will be paid time off, up to a cap of $850 per week (and up to a whopping 26 weeks of paid time off per year).

It goes without saying that employees will have less incentive to return to work once PFML goes live. This undoubtedly will increase the amount of time employees are out of work. Therefore, businesses should be reviewing their current time-off and attendance policies to determine whether changes should be made in light of this forthcoming law. Are you providing too much paid time off already? Should you develop stricter requirements surrounding absenteeism and employee call-out procedures?

The time is now for discussing these changes as modifications to leave and attendance policies take time to think through and implement.

Plan for Increased Staffing Challenges

Many businesses and organizations throughout the region are currently dealing with significant staffing difficulties due to historically low unemployment rates. This challenge is only going to increase when the leave protections of PFML kick in on Jan. 1, 2021.

We recommend that employers try to get out in front of this by having meetings and possibly forming committees tasked with planning for expected workforce shortages. Consider increasing per-diem staff as regular staffers are likely to have more time off and call-outs from work. Consult with staffing agencies to explore whether temporary staffing will be an option if (and when) employees take extended PFML. Whatever you do, don’t wait until late next year to address potential staffing problems.

Bottom Line

PFML is certainly going to be a challenge for employers to deal with, particularly smaller employers who are not already familiar with leave laws like the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Although it may seem as though the sky is falling on employers, with proper and careful planning and guidance from experts, transitioning into the world of PFML should be reasonably manageable.

John S. Gannon and Amelia J. Holstrom are attorneys with Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., one of the largest law firms in New England exclusively representing management in labor and employment law. Gannon specializes in employment litigation and personnel policies and practices, wage-and-hour compliance, and non-compete and trade-secrets litigation. Holstrom devotes much of her practice to defending employers in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. She also regularly assists her clients with day-to-day employment issues, including disciplinary matters, leave management, compliance, and union-related matters; (413) 737-4753; [email protected]; [email protected]

Law

Navigating Short-term Rentals

By Ryan K. O’Hara, Esq.

Ryan K. O’Hara

Ryan K. O’Hara

Maybe you’ve spent a lazy July week with your family in a cottage overlooking Cape Cod Bay.

Maybe you’re letting Janice from work use Grandma’s cabin in Otis for a long fall weekend – you weren’t going to use it then anyway, and who would say no to an extra $200?

Maybe you’ve temporarily filled your empty nest with an Angolan physicist and a Chilean biologist attending a two-week academic conference put on by the Five Colleges.

Whatever the specifics, without actively realizing it, many Massachusetts residents have been party to a short-term rental (that is, a temporary rental of a living space that isn’t in a hotel, motel, lodging house, or bed and breakfast).

While short-term rentals are nothing new, they have become much more prevalent with the rise of entities like Airbnb. Short-term rentals can be an exciting source of income, and powerful online tools have made participation in the market easier than ever. Together with that increased participation, however, comes increased regulation.

Airbnb, Vrbo, and other companies like them act as third-party platforms where property owners can list premises for rent, and prospective renters can find a place that meets their needs. Both renters and property owners can now enter the market and operate with relative ease and informality. The market has also expanded to include a wide range of rental offerings — not only traditional houses and apartments, but also cottages, cabins, “micro” homes, campers, and even letting out vacant rooms in owner-occupied homes.

“While the notion of creating an online account and letting the rental income flow is very appealing, property owners should be aware that there is much more responsibility involved than a first glance at a website might suggest.”

While the notion of creating an online account and letting the rental income flow is very appealing, property owners should be aware that there is much more responsibility involved than a first glance at a website might suggest. Particularly in areas where the rental property is in close proximity to non-renting neighbors, conflicts and complications can arise.

Neighbors worry about vetting the renters, frequent turnover, and increased noise, traffic, and litter from transient visitors who don’t have the same investment in the neighborhood as those who live there. State and local governments are concerned with the number and density of rentals, the loss of tax revenue through unreported rental income, and the movement of customers away from traditional lodging options like hotels (and the excise-tax revenue that comes with them).

In response to these concerns, in December 2018, Massachusetts enacted “An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-Term Rentals” (Mass. Acts 2018, c. 337). This law defines short-term rentals, establishes and imposes obligations on both owners and renters, and empowers local governments to regulate short-term rentals on a town-by-town basis. The act goes into effect on July 1, making it critical that anyone interested in the short-term rental industry familiarize themselves with this new law.

The first thing to understand is whether your property is covered by the act. The act applies to any property that is not a hotel, motel, lodging house, or bed-and-breakfast establishment, and where at least one room or unit is rented, and all rentals are reserved in advance. The next question is whether a specific rental is in fact a short-term rental. Owners beware: if the space is rented for more than 31 calendar days to a given renter, it is no longer a short-term rental, but a residential tenancy, which carries vastly different obligations and duties.

If your property constitutes a short-term rental within the act’s definitions, you are considered an ‘operator,’ and are obligated to register with the Department of Revenue, file special tax returns showing rental income, and pay a 5% state excise tax on rents received. Cities and towns can also choose to impose an additional excise tax of up to 6% (or 6.5% for Boston properties). For Cape and island towns and cities, an additional 2.75% excise tax may be added.

The act also authorizes cities and towns to pass ordinances or bylaws regulating operators. These regulations may, among other things, limit the existence, location, and/or number of operators and the duration of rentals; require local licensing and registration; require health and safety inspections; or even prohibit future rentals where violations are found. Operators must consult with town authorities before operating any short-term rental, to ensure compliance with local regulations.

Per the act, operators must maintain liability insurance of $1 million or greater to cover bodily injury and property damage relative to each short-term rental, unless the rental is offered through a platform such as Airbnb or Vrbo that has equal or greater coverage. Operators must also notify their own property insurer that they will be operating a short-term rental at their premises.

Finally, the act makes clear that Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination statute applies to short-term rental operators. Any unlawful discrimination could expose operators to significant liability. For this reason, it may be advisable for operators to obtain training and legal advice on housing and rental discrimination.

Operating a short-term rental business can be a profitable endeavor that carries less expense and exposure than operating traditional, long-term residential rentals. However, it is vital that any operator understand and abide by the laws and regulations that govern this growing industry. Those who arm themselves with knowledge — whether by reviewing the law on their own or consulting legal counsel familiar with the industry — give themselves a fantastic chance at profitability and success with minimal complications.

Ryan K. O’Hara is an associate with Bacon Wilson, P.C. and a member of the firm’s litigation team. His legal practice is focused on contract and business matters, landlord-tenant issues, land-use and real-estate litigation, and accidents and injuries; (413) 781-0560; [email protected]

Women in Businesss

Exchange of Ideas

President Carol Leary (right) and other Bay Path leaders

President Carol Leary (right) and other Bay Path leaders with the group of visitors from Jissen Women’s University in Tokyo.

Bay Path University has a long history of forging paths for women to work together, and this year that involved helping students cross oceans and continents to learn from one another.

Six students from Jissen Women’s University in Tokyo, Japan recently ventured to Bay Path to partake in a week of learning, adventure, and cultural interchange as a part of a new hybrid exchange program between the two universities. Bay Path was selected as one of only two U.S. institutions to take part as part of the TEamUP project pairing U.S. and Japanese institutions together to develop a dual hybrid exchange program and Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) course.

During their weeklong stay, students from Jissen were able to visit the Bay Path campus, where they met with students, took in a student theater production, and had tea with Bay Path President Carol Leary. They also visited New York City, Boston, Northampton, the Springfield Museums, LEGO, and Yankee Candle, and ended their trip at the Bay Path Women’s Leadership Conference and a farewell dinner at Red Rose Pizzeria. Next month, students from the American Women’s College (TAWC) at Bay Path will visit Japan.

The program, made possible by support from the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, goes beyond international travel and includes student collaboration in an online course that the Japanese and American students will take together, with curriculum to be jointly developed by the partners. This aspect of the program gives these students, in particular the adult non-traditional students of TAWC who may have work commitments or children at home, a chance to experience another culture firsthand.

“This innovative model for international exchange will offer women, who might not otherwise have the opportunity, the ability to participate in a culturally rich and diverse learning experience,” said Veatrice Carabine, deputy chief for Partnership Development at the American Women’s College. “We are grateful for the generous support of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission in supporting this exciting opportunity for our students.”

Advancing the Mission

Advancing the higher education of women and preparing them for leadership roles in their professions and communities is central to the respective missions of TAWC and Jissen Women’s University, and the education this collaboration hopes to provide will extend far beyond their trips. Students will examine values related to women’s moral and ethical leadership in Japan and the U.S., including issues of social justice, diversity, and service to others. Through an experiential learning lab, students will assess leadership styles in these cultural contexts and think critically and creatively about the necessity of vision, trust, and cultural awareness to gain strategic competitive advantages for action in a global world.

“Students will have impactful opportunities to share and exchange global perspectives, compare and contrast women’s roles and leadership, and use technology tools to complete projects across time and space — not to mention develop relationships with Japanese friends.”

“I’m thrilled to partner with the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and Jissen Women’s University to share collaborative, cross-cultural learning experiences to students at the American Women’s College, both through the course content and learning activities, as well as through the travel and hosting opportunities,” said Maura Devlin, deputy chief learning officer at the American Women’s College. “Students will have impactful opportunities to share and exchange global perspectives, compare and contrast women’s roles and leadership, and use technology tools to complete projects across time and space — not to mention develop relationships with Japanese friends.”

In a time of increasing globalization, bringing together women of different ages, backgrounds, and nationalities to learn from one other and equipping them with a greater sense of confidence, leadership, cultural awareness, and connectedness to a global world can be a powerful strategy for empowering women to address the world’s most challenging issues, and that has always been at the heart of Bay Path’s mission, she added. For the students involved, this experience will broaden their understanding of how women’s leadership can be applied to influence organizational change in differing global contexts, as students’ own leadership skills, cultural awareness, and confidence in engaging with others globally are developed.

This article first appeared on the Bay Path University blog; www.baypath.edu/news/bay-path-university-blogs

Opinion

Editorial

We’ll probably never know how far the talks went between Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts concerning the acquisition of the $2 billion casino in Everett supposedly ready to open any time now.

We’ll just say that we’re glad — and the state should be glad, and the city of Springfield should be glad, and Everett should be glad — that those talks are over, and that MGM will stand pat (yes, that’s an industry term) and not pursue that property.

Had those talks continued and a sale been forged … well, let’s just say we don’t want to go there. And, again, we’re glad the state doesn’t have to. The status quo is working quite well in Springfield, thank you, and if there’s one thing the state and its Gaming Commission don’t need to bring to the picture right now, is question marks — or more question marks, to be more precise.

In case you missed it — and it was hard to miss — word leaked that Wynn Resorts, which is now licensed to operate a casino in Everett under the Encore brand, was in what were called “very preliminary discussions” about a sale of that property to MGM.

Media outlets across the Commonwealth then printed stories laden with conjecture about whether the sale should take place and what might happen if it did. Most of those quoted blasted the concept and projected that it would create something approaching chaos at a time when the state needed just the opposite from its still-fledgling casino industry.

“This isn’t a Monopoly game,” former state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, a key author of the state’s gaming law, told the Boston Globe as news of the talks broke, adding that a sale of the Boston property, which would force MGM to divest itself of the Springfield facility, was far from a slam dunk. Carlo DeMaria, mayor of Everett, went further, saying, “it’s not going to happen.”

Turns out he was right, because amid that wave of negative commentary and gloom-and-doom conjecture, MGM announced that it was playing the hand it was dealt.

Whether that’s the best move for company, we can’t say. But we can say it’s the best move for the state and this region.

MGM is a known commodity, but whichever entity would buy the Springfield casino is not, and while there are plenty of good casino operators out there, we don’t need an unknown commodity at this point.

Especially in Greater Springfield. Communities, businesses, nonprofits, and other constituencies have forged solid working relationships and partnerships with MGM. They haven’t forged them with a casino on Main Street, but instead with a company, one that has come to be a trusted stakeholder in this region.

So we’re glad MGM is not seeking potentially greener pastures in Boston.

But while this threat has passed, we have to wonder about how it materialized in the first place. The fact that Wynn Resorts fought a long, hard, very expensive battle to open a casino in Everett and then explored a sale just as it was set to cross the finish line is a head scratcher, to be sure.

But there is a lot we don’t know about this industry, and maybe a sale makes sense on some levels, especially if Wynn, which desperately wanted into the Massachusetts market, is now intent on getting out.

Just not a sale to MGM.

Now that MGM has backed away, it’s time for the Gaming Commission to determine whether Wynn is still the best fit for the Boston market, and if it isn’t, the state should find another player.

It’s also time to move forward with the next big order of business — sports gambling. As it did with gaming itself, the state is dragging its feet on sports gambling, losing revenue to neighboring Rhode Island with each day that passes.

Thankfully, the state, and Springfield, won’t have to deal with a change of ownership at the casino in Springfield’s South End.

Opinion

Opinion

By John Regan

As the Roman philosopher Seneca observed, “omni fine initium novum,” or, “every new beginning comes from the end of another.” 

As the Associated Industries of Massachusetts prepares to write a new and exciting chapter in its distinguished history, I am reminded at every moment of the wisdom, generosity, and quiet determination with which my predecessor, Rick Lord, has paved the road before me.

Rick never lost sight of where he came from, and he never forgot that trust and respect are the ultimate currency of public policy and service.

To the members of AIM and especially to the board of directors, I gratefully accept your commission to lead this organization, supporting the dreams and aspirations of Massachusetts employers. We must keep as our guiding principle the fact that economic growth remains the only effective method of achieving the social equity that makes our Commonwealth a great place to live and work.

There has never been a more pressing need for businesses to work together with the sort of common purpose that drove 28 visionary companies to create Associated Industries of Massachusetts 104 years ago. AIM welcomes all employers and dedicates itself to serving the needs of the full range of Massachusetts companies working to provide the hope of a better life to our friends and neighbors.

We remain committed to the principals of diversity, equity, and inclusion — on our board, on our staff, and throughout our membership. We assert unequivocally that AIM will be an association in the truest sense of the word, providing an opportunity for everyone — especially those who have historically been ignored — a full voice.

Everything we do at AIM is done to help businesses unlock their full potential. We fiercely advocate for positive public policy that helps to create a strong economy.

We empower businesses with the information, tools, and resources needed to successfully navigate a fast-paced, complex business world. We foster connections, networks, and the flow of ideas between people and businesses.

We believe that business can be a positive force for change in helping to create a better, more prosperous society. And the best part is, we’re just getting started.

This article is adapted from John Regan’s recent address at the Associated Industries of Massachusetts annual meeting, at which Regan stepped into the role of president and CEO.

Picture This

A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts / May 2019

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

Meeting the Class of 2019

Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, one of the sponsors of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty program for 2019, recently staged a cocktail party for the class of 2019 and their guests, providing an opportunity for the soon-to-be members of an exclusive club to meet and get to know one another. Here, honorees gather for a class photo. They’ll be together again on June 20 for the 40 Under Forty Gala at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.



Trees into Cartons, Cartons into Trees

Fourth- and fifth-graders from the Ludlow Community Center/Randall Boys and Girls Club recently gathered to learn about the environmental benefits of trees, paper, and recycling from staff members of the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC), a national trade association, headquartered in Springfield, for the manufacturers of paperboard boxes. The presentation was part of PPC’s educational outreach program, TICCIT (Trees into Cartons, Cartons into Trees), which teaches students that trees are a sustainable crop, highlights the many uses for trees and paper, and underscores the importance of recycling. The students also planted tree saplings in paperboard cartons to take home. The carton, when planted directly in the ground, provides protection and a natural water funnel for the new tree. As the tree grows, the carton will break down and complete the TICCIT cycle. PPC also donated a young weeping cherry tree that was planted near the front entrance of the community center.



Investment in the Future

Aerospace Components Manufacturers (ACM), a nonprofit regional network of independent aerospace companies, recently announced a four-year, $180,632 pledge to Asnuntuck Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center. The center’s CNC machine-technology lab was also named in honor of ACM. “By ensuring that more students gain access to careers in this exciting industry, these funds will aid in both the realization of individual educational and career goals as well as helping to satisfy a dramatically increasing demand for a technologically skilled workforce,” said Asnuntuck President Frank Lombella, pictured at right with ACM President Pedro Soto (left) and ACM Executive Director Paul Murphy. See story on page 21 for an broader look at the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center.



Marking a Milestone

The Edward P. Boland VA Medical Center in Leeds is marking its 95th anniversary this year. It is marking this milestone in a number of ways, including a ceremony, complete with a large birthday cake, at the facility on May 15.

CEO John Collins, FACHE, addresses those gathered, offering both a look back and a glance to the future

CEO John Collins, FACHE, addresses those gathered, offering both a look back and a glance to the future

Audience members listened to a number of different speakers

Audience members listened to a number of different speakers

Gordon Tatro, a retired employee (Engineering) and the VA’s unofficial historian, references an old photo of the facility to highlight changes that have taken place in recent years

Gordon Tatro, a retired employee (Engineering) and the VA’s unofficial historian, references an old photo of the facility to highlight changes that have taken place in recent years

Collins joins recently hired employees to cut the cake

Collins joins recently hired employees to cut the cake

Court Dockets

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.

FRANKLIN SUPERIOR COURT

Jonathan Bones v. Stokes and Lipski Construction Inc.

Allegation: Failure to pay prevailing rate of wages

Filed: 3/5/19

HAMPDEN DISTRICT COURT

Perkins Paper, LLC v. One Importers and Distributors, LLC d/b/a Terra Nossa Center Bakery and Joao Cardoso Araujo a/k/a Joao C. Dearaujo a/k/a Joao Araujo a/k/a John Damota

Allegation: Money owed for goods sold and delivered: $24,199.93+

Filed: 4/10/19

Perkins Paper, LLC v. Diesel Inc. and Robert Passaretta

Allegation: Breach of contract, money owed for goods sold and delivered: $7,408.81

Filed: 4/5/19

HAMPDEN SUPERIOR COURT

Frances Mohsin v. Gandara Mental Health Center Inc., Jerry Mercardo, and Madeline Martinez

Allegation: Employment discrimination: $25,000+

Filed: 4/1/19

Tammy L. Newsome v. Baystate Medical Center Inc.

Allegation: Employment discrimination: $25,000+

Filed: 4/3/19

Janis Creeger v. Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $84,352.68

Filed: 4/4/19

Ingram Micro Inc. v. Daniel Mugure d/b/a Ivory Onyx Inc.

Allegation: Money owed for goods sold and delivered: $108,712.49

Filed: 4/5/19

Autumn Padilla v. Mont Marie Operator, LLC

Allegation: Employment discrimination: $25,000+

Filed: 4/8/19

Joan Marie G. Turgeon as personal representative of the estate of Raymond P. Turgeon v. Berkshire Health Care Systems Inc. d/b/a East Longmeadow Skilled Nursing, et al

Allegation: Medical malpractice, wrongful death: $925,000

Filed: 4/8/19

Seth Luciano v. Aldi Inc. and Aldi Inc. (New York)

Allegation: Negligence: slip and fall causing personal injury: $100,000

Filed: 4/10/19

Glenn Mackintosh v. Ludlow Housing Authority and Robin Carvide

Allegation: Whistleblowing violation, breach of contract, tortious interference with contractual relation, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing: $34,174.40

Filed: 4/11/19

Northern Tree Service Inc. v. Newport Construction Corp.

Allegation: Breach of contract: $67,075

Filed: 4/11/19

Ruddy Santana v. Positronic Farms Inc., Morriss Partee, Matthew Moriarty, and David Caputo

Allegation: Violation of overtime law, violation of minimum-wage law, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing: $25,000+

Filed: 4/12/19

HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT COURT

Loretta Stober and Gregory Fournier v. Vivint Solar Developer, LLC and DC Generals, LLC

Allegation: Breach of express warranties, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligence: $20,203.25+

Filed: 4/11/19

HAMPSHIRE SUPERIOR COURT

Novum Structures, LLC v. Barr & Barr Inc., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., and trustees of Amherst College

Allegation: Breach of contract, money owed for labor and materials: $526,019

Filed: 4/4/19

Catherine Darcy v. Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $25,000

Filed: 4/23/19

WESTFIELD DISTRICT COURT

Bobby Pinkney v. Rocky’s Hardware Inc. and Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.

Allegation: Negligence causing personal injury: $7,215

Filed: 4/4/19

Agenda

JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair

May 28: Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM), now celebrating its centennial anniversary, will host the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair from 8 a.m. to noon at the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. The JA Inspire program provides students with the opportunity to learn about careers from industry representatives in time to begin planning for high-school coursework and better prepare themselves for life after graduation. The program consists of four in-class lessons, plus the career exploration fair, all designed to engage students and help them explore education and career pathways, showcase careers in Western Mass. with a focus on high-wage and high-demand industries, and connect students with industry representatives who can share career advice and offer interactive exhibits during the career fair. Exhibitor space is still available at no charge. Exhibitors will present interactive and engaging career stations, while providing volunteer mentors to staff the career stations throughout the event. To reserve a career station, contact Connolly at (413) 747-7670 or [email protected] To learn more about the event, visit jawm.org/events or call (413) 747-7670.

Bay Path Graduate Spring Open House

May 29: Ready to take your career to the next level? A professional headshot and a graduate degree can help take you there. Attendees of Bay Path University’s spring graduate open house can meet with programs directors, faculty, admissions team members, and financial-aid representatives, and learn about the graduate-school admissions process, ways to finance an education, and more than 30 graduate degrees and certificates available at Bay Path University online or on campus, while enjoying light refreshments and entering to win raffle prizes. A professional photographer will also be at the event taking free headshots, perfect for use on a LinkedIn profile or résumé. The spring graduate open house is slated for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Bay Path’s Longmeadow campus at 588 Longmeadow St. For more information or to register, visit baypath.edu/visit or e-mail [email protected].

Girls on the Run 5K

June 2: Girls on the Run of Western MA will host its 5K celebration at 10:30 a.m at Springfield College. The mission of Girls on the Run is to inspire girls to be healthy, joyful, and confident using an experiential-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Girls on the Run is a physical-activity-based, positive youth-development program that uses fun running games and dynamic discussions to teach life skills to girls in third through eighth grade. During the 10-week program, girls participate in lessons that foster confidence, build peer connections, and encourage community service while they prepare for an end-of-season, celebratory 5K event. Participation in the 5K event on June 2 is open to the public. About 950 girls from 68 school sites around Western Mass., as well as 280 volunteer coaches, have participated in the program this season. Around 2,500 participants are expected at the event. The pre-registration cost is $25 for adults and $10 for children and includes a Girls on the Run 5K event shirt. After a group warm-up, the event will begin on the outdoor track on Alden Street and will continue through the campus. Registration is open at www.girlsontherunwesternma.org, and will also be available the day of the event beginning at 9 a.m. For more information about the event, how to register, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.girlsontherunwesternma.org.

Family Business Center Leadership Summit

June 4: The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley is gathering leaders of Western Mass. companies, agencies, and organizations to explore together the upcoming trends and forces all will need to respond to. About 100 local leaders will participate in a World Café-style session at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, led by strategic leadership coach Ingrid Bredenberg, that will result in an improved perspective on paths forward into the inevitable future. Tickets are $35 (there are also discount packages, sponsor opportunities, and roles as scribes and table hosts), and includes a networking-style dinner and a relevant, practical, stimulating exploration. The FBC is doing this to mark its 25th anniversary and first-ever leadership transition with an event that will creates wins and takeaways for all. For more information and to register, e-mail fambizpv.com/leadershipsummit.

Community Action Awards

June 13: Springfield Partners for Community Action will present a night of celebrating those in action within the community. The Community Action Awards will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Springfield Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. It will be a night of speakers, awards, handing out scholarships to Community Scholarship winners, and a silent auction for guests to participate in. Ticket purchase is available at communityactionevent.eventbrite.com. Springfield Partners for Community Action is the federally designated community action agency of Springfield whose mission is to provide resources that assist those in need to obtain economic stability and ultimately create a better way of life. For more information on the event, contact Natalia Arocho at (413) 263-6500, ext. 6516, or [email protected].

Paid Family and Medical Leave Seminar

June 20: Over the past few months, Massachusetts-based employers have been inundated with information about the upcoming Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave requirements. Unfortunately, this deluge of information has done little to answer employers’ pressing questions. The draft regulations are just that: a draft, and subject to change prior to the issuance of final regulations. But we do know some things for sure, and there is still some time before employer obligations go into effect. Royal, P.C. will host a discussion of the steps employers can begin to take to prepare for the implementation of Paid Family and Medical Leave. The event will be held from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at 270 Pleasant St., Northampton. The price is $30 per person, and registration is limited. For more information or to register, contact Heather Loges at (413) 586-2288 or [email protected].

40 Under Forty Gala

June 20: BusinessWest will present its 13th annual 40 Under Forty Gala, a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2019, which is profiled in the April 29 issue of BusinessWest and at BusinessWest.com. Also, the fifth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Limited standing-room-only tickets are still available for $75 per person. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected]. PeoplesBank is the presenting sponsor, Health New England is the Continued Excellence Award sponsor, and WWLP-22 News is the media sponsor. Other sponsors include Baystate Health, the Isenberg School of Management, MP CPAs, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Live Nation, MGM Springfield, Comcast Business, and YPS of Greater Springfield (partner).

‘Thrive After 55’ Wellness Fair

June 21: State Sen. Eric Lesser announced that he will host the third annual “Thrive After 55” Wellness Fair in partnership with Health New England, Springfield College, and the Center for Human Development (CHD). This year’s fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Field House on the campus of Springfield College, 263 Alden St., Springfield. The fair is free and open to the public. With more than 70 local organizations ranging from health and fitness to nutrition and elder law, the annual fair will connect residents of the Greater Springfield area with information and resources to help them thrive. The event will feature several educational seminars which will highlight areas of interest for attendees, including estate planning and elder law, scam avoidance, and diet and nutrition. Heart Song Yoga Center of East Longmeadow will return for a third year with an interactive demonstration of chair yoga and movement. The free program includes a boxed lunch, hundreds of raffle prizes, and access to information and experts. To RSVP, call Lesser’s office at (413) 526-6501 or visit senatorlesser.com/thrive.

Filmmaking Workshops

June 24-28, July 8-12: The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative (BFMC) will host two summer filmmaking workshops: one for 15- to 19-year-olds from Monday, June 24 to Friday, June 28, and one for 11- to 14-year-olds from Monday July 8 to Friday, July 12. These week-long workshops will meet daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Berkshire Community College’s South County Campus, 343 Main St., Great Barrington. Early dropoff (9 a.m.) and late pickup (5 p.m.) is available by request. The purpose of the workshops are twofold: for kids to experience what it’s like to work on a real movie crew from creation of an idea to the final edit of the project, and for the group to produce a high-quality short film championed in every aspect by everyone in the group. The kids will work collaboratively — performing as actors on camera; running the lights, camera, and sound; editing; and marketing the film’s premiere to the community. On the final night, parents, friends, and the public will be invited to attend, and the young filmmakers will participate in a question-and-answer session with the audience. Each participant will walk away with a copy of the film and the experience of creating a professional-quality film together. Specific topics covered will include story structure, screenwriting, character development, cinematography, sound recording and mixing, lighting, editing, sound design, and marketing. The course is being taught by writer, director, actor, and educator Patrick Toole. All equipment will be provided. The cost for the week-long workshop is $325. Students will need to bring lunch. Class size is limited. To register online, visit shop.berkshirecc.edu or call (413) 236-2127.

Chamber Corners

1BERKSHIRE

www.1berkshire.com

(413) 499-1600

• June 25: Chamber Nite, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Kittredge House, 444 Main St., Dalton. This event is a free networking opportunity for members of 1Berkshire.

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.amherstarea.com

(413) 253-0700

• May 29: Economic Development Panel, 4-6 p.m., hosted by the Old Chapel at UMass. A presentation of the state of economic development in Amherst and a panel discussion of the community’s strategic advantage as well as a vision for the future of economic development in the Amherst area. A reception to continue the conversation, with bites from the award-winning UMass Dining, will follow. Visit www.amherstarea.com/events to register.

• June 12: New Members Reception, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Powerhouse at Amherst College. Recognizing our newest members with an evening of live music, a signature summer cocktail, food tastings, and networking. Visit www.amherstarea.com/events to register.

• June 13-15: Taste of Amherst, Thursday, 5-9 p.m.; Friday, 5-10 p.m., Saturday, noon to 10 p.m. The Amherst Area Chamber and the Amherst Business Improvement District present Taste of Amherst, bringing together local restaurants and food vendors, live music, carnival activities, and more on the Amherst Town Common. Visit www.amherstarea.com/events to register.

GREATER CHICOPEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.chicopeechamber.org

(413) 594-2101

• May 31: Chicopee Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament, 10 a.m. shotgun start, hosted by Chicopee Country Club. Presented by Polish National Credit Union. Sponsored by First American Insurance Agency Inc., Westfield Bank, Holyoke Medical Center, Poly-Plating Inc., Hampton Inn, Residence Inn of Chicopee, Tru by Hilton, ICNE, Roca Inc., and Health New England. Cost: $125 per golfer, $500 per team of four, and/or $20 golfer package that includes 25 raffle tickets and one mulligan. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

• June 4: CEO Luncheon,11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Tru by Hilton, 440 Memorial Dr., Chicopee. A quarterly luncheon series where CEOs tell of how they rose to their positions. June’s luncheon will feature Christine Judd of Roca Inc. Series sponsored by Polish National Credit Union. Cost: $30 for members, $35 for non-members. Sign up online at www.chicopeechamber.org/events or call (413) 594-2101.

• June 8: Run the Runway 5K, 10 a.m., hosted by Westover Metropolitan Airport. Sponsored by Westfield Bank, Holyoke Medical Center, Polish National Credit Union, PeoplesBank, First American Insurance Agency Inc., Williams Distributing, Insurance Center of New England, and Northern Tree Service Inc. This a collaborative event with the Galaxy Community Council and Westover Metropolitan Airport, featuring a car show and festival immediately following the race. Race registration and vendor space still available. Visit www.chicopeechamber.org/run-the-runway for more information.

• June 13: Business After Hours: Interstate Towing Inc. 20th anniversary celebration, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Series sponsored by Polish National Credit Union. Marketing tables available for $75. Free to attend, but RSVP required. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

• June 19: Salute Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by Elms College Campus Center. Sponsored by Westfield Bank, Holyoke Medical Center, Polish National Credit Union, N. Riley Construction Inc., USI Insurance Services, Spherion Staffing Services, and PeoplesBank. Chief Greeter: Jessica Dupont, Health New England and Dress for Success. Keynote speaker: Meghan Rothschild, Chikmedia. Cost: $23 for members, $28 for non-members. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.easthamptonchamber.org

(413) 527-9414

• June 11: “In the Know” Panel Series and Networking, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Fort Hill Brewery, 30 Fort Hill Road, Easthampton. The Chamber offers the second in the “In The Know” panel series, where a panel made up of Gen Brough, president, Finck & Perras Insurance; Dave Griffin Jr., vice president, Dowd Agencies; and Matt Waugh, president, Waugh Agency Insurance will discuss insurance needs. Get the insight you need to consider to protect yourself and your business. Refreshments will be served courtesy of Nini’s. Cost: $15 for members, $30 for non-members. Pre-registration is a must. No tickets will be sold at the door. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• June 26: Speaker Breakfast: Cyber Breach Symposium, 7:30-9 a.m., hosted by Williston Northampton School, 19 Payson Ave., Easthampton. Featuring Mat Reardon, Beazley Group. Learn what steps you can take to minimize your risk. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

GREATER HOLYOKE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.holyokechamber.com

(413) 534-3376

• June 5: Business Connections Expo and Business After Hours, 1-7 p.m., hosted by the Delaney House, 3 Country Club Road, Holyoke. A chance for the public and business people can mingle and connect with colleagues and chamber members over light hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. The expo will end at 4 p.m., and vendors will have the opportunity to break down their tables and head back inside Delaney’s Grand Ballroom to make the connections they were unable to make during the course of the expo. The public will be able to come back at 4:30 p.m. for hot and elegant hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and an open patio with a roaring fire for a regular Business After Hours. Space is limited.

 n June 19: Business Person of the Year and Annual Meeting Dinner Reception, 5-8 p.m., hosted by the Wherehouse?, 109 Lyman St., Holyoke. Join us for an elegant evening of recognition as we honor Barry Farrell of Farrell Funeral Home as our Business Person of the Year and Maria D. Ferrer, M.D. Beauty Salon as the Henry Fifield recipient. There will be plenty of food, drink, and connections. Past Business Person of the Year Mike Hamel will serve as master of ceremonies.

 

• June 26: Business After Hours and ribbon-cutting ceremony, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Pulp, 80 Race St., Holyoke. Join us as we celebrate the grand opening of one of Holyoke’s newest businesses. Pulp is a unique gallery right on the canals featuring the work of artists and makers. There will be light hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine, live music, art, and connections.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.northamptonchamber.com

(413) 584-1900

• May 28: Workshop: “Upgrading to Office 365,” 9-11 a.m., hosted by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Presented by Pioneer Training. Cost: $35 for members, $45 for non-members.

• June 13: Torch: Our Time to Shine, 6-10 p.m., hosted by the Academy of Music, Northampton. Sponsors: Cooley Dickinson, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Florence Bank, PeoplesBank, BusinessWest, Leadership Pioneer Valley, Keiter Builders, and Aladco Linen Services. The opening red-carpet reception will feature community-facilitated illustration to envision the future of Northampton, a program with musical entertainment from the Downtown Sounds Co-Op House Band, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts’ Spectrum A Cappella, and the Green Street Brew. The program will honor leadership transitions within the community, including the organization’s own Suzanne Beck and her successor. The evening continues with a party under the stars, food, and festivities behind the Academy of Music. Cost: $150, community investor; $100, chamber supporter; $50, entrepreneur. Register at aomtheatre.ticketfly.com.

• July 10: July [email protected], 5-7 p.m., hosted by Miss Florence Diner, 99 Main St., Florence. A networking event sponsored by Delap Real Estate, Northampton Cooperative Bank, and the Hub. Cost: $10 for members.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org

(413) 568-1618

• June 3: Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m., hosted by Hampden Village Community Center, 1 Village Green, Westfield. Join us for coffee with Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan. This event is free and open to the public. To register, visit www.westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618 so we may give our host a proper head count.

• June 13: Chamber’s 60th Diamond Celebration, 5-8:30 p.m., hosted by the Ranch Golf Club, 65 Sunnyside Road, Southwick. Sponsored by Diamond, Mestek Inc., Berkshire Bank, United Bank, Arrha Credit Union, Rehab Resolutions, G.I.L.T.E. Bakery Service, and Adform Interiors. Join us for dinner as the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce celebrates 60 years of service to our business community. Join us for a walk down memory lane, and learn what is happening now and what the future will bring for the chamber. During the cocktail hour, network with some old friends, and hopefully make new ones. For every two tickets sold, you will receive a $100 gift card from the chamber to Andrew Grant Diamond Center. Guests will also receive a commemorative pin. Cost: $60 per person. Register online at www.westfieldbiz.org/events. For sponsorships or more information, call the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

• June 17: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Westfield Bank, 462 College Highway, Southwick. Refreshments will be served. A 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Cost: free for chamber members, $15 for non-members (cash or credit paid at the door). Sign up online at www.westfieldbiz.org/events. For more information, call the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• June 5: “Live from Springfield! It’s Wednesday Night Live,” annual meeting and celebration and Leadership Institute graduation, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Sheraton Springfield. Cost: $75 for members in advance, $85 for general admission. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

• June 19: “Powering Your Exports,” a program for manufacturing and tech companies, 8:30-10:30 a.m., hosted by TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main St., Springfield. Presented by the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network and the Massachusetts Export Center. Registration is free at www.msbdc.org.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ourwrc.com

(413) 426-3880

• June 5: Wicked Wednesday, 5-7 p.m., hosted By Trinity Pub/Irish Cultural Center, West Springfield. 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. Cost: free for members, $10 for non-members. For more information, call the chamber office at (413) 426-3880, or register at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

• June 13: Annual Breakfast and Morning of Comedy, 7-9 a.m., hosted by Chez Josef, Agawam. The event will kick off with the welcoming of new chairman Ryan McLane and the incoming WRC board of directors. Then join us for a few laughs with comedian Tom Hayes from North Shore Comedy in Boston. Cost: $35 for members, $45 for non-members. Sponsorships and program advertising available. For more information and tickets to this event, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880 or [email protected]

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD

springfieldyps.com

• June 13: Networking Night, 5-7 p.m., hosted by 350 Grill. Join us for our signature networking night and enjoy appetizers. Cost: free for members, $10 for non-members.

• June 25: Leadership Luncheon, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Valley Venture Mentors, 276 Bridge St., Springfield. Enjoy an informal lunch and networking while hearing from Kristin Leutz, CEO of Valley Venture Mentors. Cost: free for members, $15 for non-members.

Uncategorized
Cassandra Morrey

Cassandra Morrey

Karen Cartier

Karen Cartier

Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike

Misty Lyons

Misty Lyons

Greenfield Savings Bank (GSB) announced that Cassandra Morrey has been promoted to vice president and Residential Lending officer; Karen Cartier has been promored to vice president, Compliance, Fraud Prevention, and Community Reinvestment officer; Christopher Pike has been promoted to assistant vice president and Special Assets officer; and Misty Lyons has been appointed mortgage officer. Morrey will be responsible for daily oversight of the Residential Lending department, including origination, process, closing, quality control, and compliance. She joined Greenfield Savings Bank in 2010 after working in the banking industry for 17 years. She is an active volunteer in the community, serving as a board member and treasurer of Highland Ambulance EMS Inc., and as a fourth- to sixth-grade girls basketball coach. She graduated with honors from the New England School for Financial Studies. Cartier manages the Bank Secrecy & Anti-Money Laundering department, the bank’s compliance-management system, and identity-theft and fraud-prevention programs. Her department monitors transactions and identifies suspicious activity. She joined GSB in 2013 has been working in working in banking and fraud prevention for 28 years. She is a 2008 graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies at the Babson Executive School and has earned additional professional designations including Certified Bank Secrecy & Anti-Money Laundering Professional (CBAP) and Certified Community Bank Compliance Officer (CBCCO). She donates some of her personal time volunteering in the community, including serving as a committee member of the annual benefit for Toys for Tots, as a board member of All Out Adventures, and a member of the GSB Relay for Life team. Pike is responsible for loan operations and special-assets management at the bank. Before joining the bank in 2014, he was an associate director and bank consultant at RMPI Consulting. He volunteers his time for a number of local community organizations, including helping at the Stone Soup Kitchen, working at the Franklin County Fair Rotary food booth, and fundraising for the YMCA. He received his MBA from Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Lyons is responsible for loan origination, underwriting, and approval of residential mortgages and will work directly with loan applicants, assisting them through the application process. She will serve customers throughout Franklin and Hampshire counties. She began her career in the banking industry in 1988 and previously worked in the GSB Loan department from 2003 to 2006. She is returning to her career in banking after a three-year medical leave while recovering from a severe case of Lyme disease. She has been a member of the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley for more than 20 years and has served on the committees and boards of a wide range of organizations, including the the Franklin County Rotary Club, the Greenfield Community College Foundation board of directors, the golf committee for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department fundraiser for Warm the Children, and the YMCA sustaining fundraising campaign. She was also an elected member of the Gill-Montague Regional School Committee from 2012 to 2015.

•••••

Meri Clark

Meri Clark

Meri Clark was named the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at Western New England University (WNEU). Winners of the prestigious award are nominated by students, faculty, and administrators for outstanding contributions as educators and advisors. Clark is a professor of History and coordinator of the Global Scholars program for the College of Arts and Sciences. She has taught Latin American and world history at the university since 2005. Her research specializes in the history of 19th-century Latin America, with particular attention to the themes of education, nationalism, gender, race, and ethnicity in Colombia. After earning her bachelor’s degree in history from Reed College (Phi Beta Kappa), Clark researched in Colombia under a Fulbright scholarship. She then earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in history from Princeton University.

•••••

Colleen Bugbee

Colleen Bugbee

Mary Rawls

Mary Rawls

Jane Trombi

Jane Trombi

Michael Tucker, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank, announced that the board of directors has approved the promotions of Colleen Bugbee, Mary Rawls, and Jane Trombi. Bugbee was elected senior vice president and treasurer. She is responsible for the bank’s treasury functions, including managing the bank’s investments, asset/liability process, and annual budgeting. She has 40 years of experience in the financial-services industry, having started with the former Monarch Capital. She has been with the bank since 2006. Bugbee received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and her master’s degree in accounting from Western New England University. She is a volunteer at Horizon for Homeless Children and is chairman of the finance committee at Trinity United Methodist Church. Rawls was elected senior vice president – Compliance, and co-CRA officer for the bank. She has more than 25 years of experience in banking, joining GCB in 1994. She is responsible for ensuring bank compliance with the numerous banking and consumer laws and regulations. She also coordinates various regulatory and compliance examinations for the bank. Rawls is a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies at Babson College and has held a variety of roles in the branch and operations areas as well throughout her career. She is a long-time volunteer and active with American Cancer Society and 4-H Club. She is also on the board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Franklin County. Trombi was elected senior vice president – Residential Lending and co-CRA Officer. She joined GCB in 1999 and has more than 21 years of experience in banking and residential lending. She is based in Greenfield and is responsible for the management of the residential and consumer lending department of the bank. Trombi is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire and the New England School for Financial Studies at Babson College. She is active in several community causes, including the United Way board, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Women’s Way.

•••••

Michael Ostrowski, president and CEO of Arrha Credit Union, congratulated Lucas Manzi, Accounting Department and Finance manager at Arrha, for receiving a 2019 Credit Union Difference Maker’s Award presented by the Cooperative Credit Union Assoc. at the 2019 Credit Union Marketplace Experience. The show highlighted new technology and featured breakout sessions in many topics, including cybersecurity, the latest trends in digital banking, and ways to enhance the member experience, as well as a salute to employees that have great attitudes, positively impact others, and make a difference at their credit union, in the community, and beyond.

•••••

Harry Dumay

Harry Dumay

Elms College President Harry Dumay has been appointed treasurer of the executive committee for the Assoc. of Colleges of Sisters of St. Joseph. Dumay became the 11th president of Elms College in 2017. He has served in higher-education finance and administration at senior and executive levels for 19 years. Prior to assuming the presidency of Elms College, Dumay was senior vice president for finance and chief financial officer for Saint Anselm College from 2012 to 2017. He formerly served as chief financial officer and associate dean at Harvard University’s Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (2006-12), associate dean at Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work (2002-06), and director of Finance for Boston University’s School of Engineering (1998-2002). In addition, he served as an adjunct faculty member at Boston College for nine years. Dumay currently serves as a commissioner, treasurer, member of the executive committee, and member of the Annual Report on Finance and Enrollment for the New England Commission for Higher Education, a member of the board of directors for the Assoc. of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, a member of the student aid policy committee for the National Assoc. of Independent Colleges and Universities, a board member for Pope Francis Preparatory School and the Boston Foundation’s Haiti Development Institute, and a former member of the board of directors and a current member of the investment committee of the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, N.H.

•••••

Brad Bedard

Brad Bedard

As part of the continued effort to position the company for stronger growth, Brad Bedard has been promoted to vice president of Supply Chain Management for OMG Inc. As vice president, Bedard is responsible for overall management of the company’s global supply-chain and distribution logistics. In this new role, he will work with his organization to develop and implement short- and long-term strategies that maximize operational efficiencies, improve supply-chain and distribution performance, and manage costs. Bedard has been with OMG since 2007, most recently as director of Supply Chain Management. Earlier, he had been the company’s director of Distribution and Sales Inventory Operations Planning, where he was instrumental in developing and implementing the company’s forecasting and operations planning process. Prior to joining OMG, he held various distribution and logistics roles for Bose Corp. and Timex Corp. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University.

•••••

Jeremy Melton

Jeremy Melton

Robert Raynor

Robert Raynor

Florence Bank promoted Jeremy Melton to the position of senior vice president, director of Operations and Risk Management, and hired Robert Raynor to serve as vice president, Compliance and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) officer. Melton joined Florence Bank in 2012. Prior to his recent promotion, he served as first vice president, Risk Management, Compliance, and CRA officer. He is the board chair and a member of the finance/audit committee at Tapestry. Raynor joined Florence Bank in April 2019 with nine years of banking experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Springfield College. He is a board member and treasurer of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke.

•••••

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) named professors of Physics and Nursing as its 2019 endowed chair award recipients. The college selected Barbara Washburn, department chair and professor of Physics, as the 2019 Anthony M. Scibelli Endowed Chair, and Deborah Jacques, professor of Nursing, as the 2019 Joseph J. Deliso Sr. Endowed Chair. Each year, STCC faculty are nominated by their colleagues and then invited to apply. An award-selection committee, made up of faculty and staff, reviews applications, and the STCC Foundation executive committee selects winners. The pair received monetary awards — $3,000 each — and wooden chairs with plaques inscribed with their names. They can apply $1,500 to professional development and $1,500 to their academic department. Jacques earned a doctor of nursing practice degree from UMass, and a master’s degree in nursing education and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Russell Sage College. She worked as a staff nurse at Baystate Medical Center before joining STCC as a professor in 2007. Washburn holds a master of education degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in electrical engineering, laser optic engineering, from Tufts University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Western New England University. She joined STCC as a professor in 1996.

•••••

Cheryl Hoey

Cheryl Hoey

Community-based financial advising firm PV Financial Group recently welcomed the newest member of its senior leadership team, Cheryl Hoey, CPA. Hoey will serve as PV’s chief financial officer, providing high-level support for the firm, overseeing company finances, creating and managing budgets, as well as forecasting trends. With more than 28 years of experience working within various accounting positions for businesses across Massachusetts, Hoey will help PV’s financial advisors better serve clients with her expertise in tax preparation and auditing. Having worked at several private companies, as well as large firms including Merrill Lynch and the Unum Group, Hoey has honed her skills in the areas of investments, tax preparation, international accounting, and financial risk.

•••••

Michael Koziol

Michael Koziol

Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) Chief Financial Officer Michael Koziol has been named a 2019 recipient of the Healthcare Financial Management Assoc. (HFMA) Founders Medal of Honor for his contribution and support to the HFMA and the healthcare-finance profession. The Founders Medal of Honor is a prestigious award recognizing individuals who have reached the highest level of involvement and volunteer service to the HFMA. Koziol was nominated for the Medal of Honor for his involvement in the organization, which included more than six years on the annual conference planning committee and many years on the physician practice subcommittee. He has been a member of the HFMA since 1982. Koziol joined Holyoke Medical Center in April 2017. His previous experience included executive-level finance positions with Southcoast Physicians Group in Fairhaven; MaineGeneral Health in Augusta, Maine; South County Hospital Healthcare Systems in Wakefield, R.I.; Massachusetts Eye & Ear Associates in Boston; Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I.; and Memorial Hospital of South Bend, Ind. He received his bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and completed his MBA at the University of Illinois.

•••••

John Regan, a Boston native who has directed government-affairs advocacy at Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) for the past 12 years, was selected as the next president and CEO of the commonwealth’s largest business association. Regan succeeds AIM President and CEO Richard Lord, who is retiring after two decades leading the organization. At AIM, Regan’s focus has been administrative and legislative advocacy, regulatory affairs, litigation, and ballot initiatives. He has negotiated favorable outcomes for employers on major issues such as healthcare reform, paid family and medical leave, use of non-compete agreements, pay equity, unemployment-insurance rate freezes, and the 2018 compromise that avoided costly and contentious ballot questions concerning the minimum wage, sales tax, and paid leave. Prior to his tenure at AIM, he served as chief operations officer for MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, overseeing real-estate development and community-revitalization projects including the transformation of the former Fort Devens. Before MassDevelopment, he was executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Business Development, leading the commonwealth’s business-retention and recruitment efforts. Regan, a graduate of Boston Latin School, earned his bachelor’s degree from St. John’s Seminary College in Boston and a certificate in organizational management from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

•••••

Vince Jackson

Vince Jackson

As the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce looks forward to its 100th-anniversary celebration in June, the board of directors announced the selection of the chamber’s new executive director, Vincent (Vince) Jackson. He is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Marketing Moves in Hadley, a company he founded. He will begin his role at the chamber on Monday, June 3, succeeding Suzanne Beck, who is retiring at the end of May. In passing the torch to Jackson, Beck hands him the opportunity to lead the chamber and through its new strategic plan. The visionary plan, to be launched over the coming months, reimagines what a 21st-century chamber should be. Prior to founding Marketing Moves in 2000, Jackson worked in Texas for PepsiCo Inc., growing through roles in brand and product management, innovation, and acquisitions. Marketing Moves is a consultancy that specializes in strategy development, brand management, and marketing and communications, working with a diverse national client base of large corporations, small businesses, and government and nonprofit organizations. Jackson has lectured in the Department of Marketing at the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management. He has served on several nonprofit boards, including time as president of the Lee B. Revels Scholarship and Mentoring Foundation and the Beta Sigma Boulé Foundation in Springfield. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Grambling State University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Jackson’s first public appearance will be at the chamber’s centennial event, “Torch: Our Time to Shine,” on Thursday, June 13 at the Academy of Music in Northampton.

Company Notebook

MGM Springfield Receives LEED Platinum Certification

SPRINGFIELD — MGM Resorts International announced that MGM Springfield has received the world’s first U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) New Construction Platinum level certification for a gaming resort. MGM Springfield, which opened in August 2018, is the company’s most recent development. Working closely with state and city officials, as well as the local community, MGM Resorts committed to designing and building a property that exemplifies the company’s values in support of environmental sustainability and positive social impact while honoring local history and architecture. A significant enabler of the LEED Platinum rating is the property’s new solar array, which will supply renewable electricity to the facility. In partnership with GE Solar, a subsidiary of General Electric based in Massachusetts, MGM Springfield will install a 1.13-megawatt solar canopy on the eighth floor, on top of the MGM Springfield garage. This array is expected to generate more than 1,600 megawatt hours of electricity, helping reduce the property’s annual carbon footprint by approximately 410 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Among its sustainable design and development elements, MGM Springfield redeveloped and revitalized a tornado-impacted site in the South End; integrated smart energy infrastructure and submeters through the facility to help monitor and control the property’s electrical and mechanical systems to support year-round energy efficiency; designed for significant on-site electricity generation; installed 50 electric vehicle-charging stations and 140 low-emitting fuel-efficient vehicle parking spaces in some of the most preferable locations of the guest and employee garages, to encourage the use of more environmentally preferable modes of transportation; diverted more than 95% of construction and demolition waste by weight from landfills during construction; selected products from manufacturers that disclose information about the ingredients in their products; used interior finishes such as paints, sealants, coatings, adhesives, carpeting, and composite wood products with low or no volatile organic chemicals and free of urea-formaldehyde, helping to create healthier spaces for guests and employees; and created a rainwater-harvesting system and underground cistern to capture, store, and treat rainwater onsite, allowing 100% of water for landscaping to come from this source. Working with community partners, the MGM Springfield development project includes multiple buildings within the city of Springfield, including a daycare facility, entertainment venues, and more. All aspects of this project have already achieved or are seeking a minimum of LEED Gold certification.

Bulkley Richardson Launches Craft Brew and Distillery Practice

SPRINGFIELD — With a growing number of clients in the space, Bulkley Richardson announced the launch of its Craft Brew and Distillery practice. The firm advises local craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries in all stages of development, from startups to established businesses. The firm’s attorneys possess a depth of expertise in the relevant areas of law to assist with startup and entity formation; state, federal, and local licensing; financing; distribution agreements; intellectual-property matters; real-estate matters and commercial leases; construction and expansion; mergers and acquisitions; business succession planning; and litigation. The Craft Brew and Distillery practice is led by attorneys Ryan Barry, Scott Foster, Michael Roundy, and Sarah Willey. To help launch this new practice, Bulkley Richardson has signed on as lead sponsor, alongside Berkshire Bank, of What’s on Tap Wednesday, the new, weekly outdoor beer garden featuring local breweries. The events are held on Wednesdays after work beginning June 5 through September 18, and will rotate locations among 1350 Main St., Duryea Way, MGM Springfield, Tower Square Park, and the Shops at Marketplace. Each week will feature live music, local food, and guest brewers. The firm will also sponsor the second annual Whip City Brewfest on Saturday, June 1 in Westfield to support the Amelia Park Children’s Museum. Roundy has been on the festival’s planning committee from the inception and is heavily involved in the planning of the event.

Tighe & Bond Climbs in National Design Rankings

WESTFIELD — Tighe & Bond, one of the leading full-service engineering and environmental consulting firms in the Northeast, climbed 19 spots this year to number 222 on Engineering News Record’s (ENR) 2019 Top 500 Design Firms ranking. In the past two years, Tighe & Bond climbed 38 spots as the firm continues to grow its regional market. ENR ranks its list of top 500 design firms nationally based on design-specific revenue from the previous year. “We are very excited to climb 19 spots in this national ranking, which we believe is the result of continuing to execute on our strategies of expanding in our regional markets along with attracting and retaining outstanding staff across the organization,” said Bob Belitz, president and CEO of Tighe & Bond. “Of course, we could not achieve these accomplishments without the trust our clients have in us to work on their behalf and deliver superb project outcomes.”

Wellfleet Relocating to Tower Square in August

SPRINGFIELD — Wellfleet, a Berkshire Hathaway company providing accident and health-insurance products, will relocate its national corporate headquarters to Springfield’s Tower Square in August. A press conference will be held on Friday, June 7 at 11 a.m. at the Tower Square ground-floor atrium. Wellfleet has outgrown its current office space on Roosevelt Avenue in Springfield. The new offices at Tower Square will give Wellfleet employees up to 80,000 square feet of class A office space and provide ample room for Wellfleet’s new and growing Workplace Benefits division. Formerly known as Consolidated Health Plans, the company rebranded as Wellfleet in January, uniting its insurance carriers and claims-administration organizations under one marketing name. Wellfleet has approximately 175 employees, 150 of whom work in Springfield; others work remotely or from satellite offices in Florence, S.C. and San Rafael, Calif.

GCC Awarded Grant to Improve Post-incarceration Workforce Outcomes

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College (GCC) has been awarded $17,000 from the Commonwealth Corp. as part of an Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development initiative to improve workforce outcomes among individuals returning to their communities after incarceration. The Program Design Capacity Building Grant is part of the Commonwealth Corp. Re-Entry Workforce Development Demonstration Program. The goal of the grant is to design a manufacturing workforce pipeline in Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties that helps meet unmet manufacturing labor needs. The project aims to prepare returning citizens for careers in manufacturing by addressing systemic barriers to gainful employment for individuals post-incarceration. In order to achieve this goal, GCC will partner with manufacturing businesses, state and community agencies, and Holyoke Community College. Grant partners include four manufacturing businesses; Peerless Precision Inc., Sisson Engineering Corp., Deerfield Packaging Service Inc., and Sanderson McLeod Inc. Partner agencies include the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office and House of Corrections, the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, MassHire Franklin Hampshire Career Center, MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board, MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, Community Action Pioneer Valley, and Holyoke Community College.

GCC Foundation Awards $190,000 in Scholarships

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Community College (GCC) Foundation awarded 127 scholarships to GCC students at its 57th annual GCC Foundation scholarship awards ceremony. The awards totaled over $190,000, with an additional $100,000 to be distributed in the fall, all made possible by donor support of endowed and direct-funded named scholarships. The occasion is a time for members of the entire GCC community to come together to celebrate students’ academic achievements. Scholarship donors include private individuals, local businesses, corporations, faculty and staff, and alumni, and many were on hand to present their awards to the recipients. For a complete listing of the scholarships awarded, visit www.gcc.mass.edu/2019scholarships. Scholarships range in size and eligibility requirements, and include awards to students enrolled in credit-bearing certificate and degree programs, as well as participants in the college’s non-credit workforce-development programs. The Charlotte Waynelovich Scholarship is one example. Funded by Baystate Health and Baystate Franklin Medical Center in honor of her retirement, it was presented by Wanelovich to a GCC student in the associate degree in nursing program who lives in Franklin County. The GCC Foundation was founded in 1968. Since then, it has worked with those who wish to invest in the dreams of students who work, students who cannot afford tuition, and students who cannot travel to other educational institutions.

Florence Bank Pitches in on Community Center Upgrade

SPRINGFIELD — Florence Bank and the city of Springfield are working together to upgrade the basketball court at Greenleaf Community Center in time for summer, school vacation, and neighborhood pickup games. Work to repave and paint the court began earlier in May and is expected to be complete before school ends in June. Two new hoops and backboards will also be installed. Nearly two years ago, Florence Bank opened its first branch in Hampden County at 1010 Union St. in West Springfield, and last fall, a second branch opened at 1444 Allen St. Florence Bank and the city each contributed $15,000 to the project. A celebratory event will be held on Tuesday, June 18 from 6 to 8 p.m., with a rain date of June 19.

Briefcase

Employer Confidence Strengthens in April

BOSTON — The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Business Confidence Index rose 2.4 points to 60.3 last month. Confidence remains well within optimistic territory, though still 3.9 points below its strong reading of April 2018. The April 2019 increase reflected growing employer optimism about economic prospects for the next six months and about the future of their own companies. All of the constituent indicators that make up the Index rose during April with one notable exception. The Employment Index fell 1.5 points to 54.4, suggesting that employer sentiment continues to be tempered by a persistent shortage of qualified workers. “The Business Confidence Index continues to show a conflict between short-term economic optimism and long-term concern about the prospect of finding enough appropriately skilled workers to run Massachusetts businesses,” said Raymond Torto, chair of AIM’s Board of Economic Advisors (BEA) and lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Design. “The immediate news for employers is positive as economic growth in Massachusetts surged to an annual rate of 4.6% during the first quarter of 2019, and U.S. growth came in at 3.2%.” The constituent indicators showed a broad-based strengthening of confidence during April. The Massachusetts Index assessing business conditions within the Commonwealth rose 1.5 points to 63.2, while the U.S. Index gained 2.8 points to 58.3. The Massachusetts reading has declined 0.9 points during the past 12 months, and the U.S. reading has dropped 5.6 points during the same period. The Future Index, measuring expectations for six months out, surged 3.1 points to 60.5. The Current Index, which assesses overall business conditions at the time of the survey, rose 1.7 points to 60.0, still 5.1 points lower than a year ago. The decline in the Employment Index left that measure 5.4 points lower than in April 2018. One good sign for job seekers is that the Sales Index, a key predictor of future business activity, rose 3.9 points during the month.

Leadership Pioneer Valley Partners with Tech Foundry on Program for Students

SPRINGFIELD — Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) and Tech Foundry partnered together for a leadership-development curriculum for the students participating in the 14-week IT-training program. At no cost to the students, Tech Foundry prepares a cross-section of the population to step into a sustainable career in the information-technology sector. The program provides a comprehensive computer-science curriculum that gives students the fundamental knowledge needed to work with a variety of programming languages, computer hardware, networking solutions, and more. Partnering with Leadership Pioneer Valley, Tech Foundry was able to offer leadership development and skills to the students. “I can definitely say that, as a result of working with LPV, our students’ skill sets and confidence increased by leaps and bounds. Lora was thoughtful and responsive from our first planning meetings designing the curriculum to establishing the schedule, to securing trainers and delivering the workshops to meet our unique program needs,” said Dara Nussbaum-Vazquez, executive director of Tech Foundry. “Interactive and engaging LPV sessions with Tech Foundry ranged from students creating an elevator pitch on video to team exercises building towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows, to a creativity and problem-solving session rooted in improv-comedy techniques. We would highly recommend LPV to other nonprofits and companies, and look forward to a longstanding partnership.” LPV is also currently seeking applications for its LEAP Class of 2020. Emerging leaders, mid-career professionals with leadership potential, and those looking to better the Pioneer Valley are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is Monday, July 1. Applications and further information can be found at www.leadershippv.org.

Scholarships Available for STEM Studies at HCC

HOLYOKE — Students enrolled full-time in chemistry, engineering, mathematics, physics, or other STEM fields at Holyoke Community College (HCC) may qualify for a National Science Foundation (NSF) scholarship of up to $10,000 a year toward tuition and fees. Recipients of the scholarship become members of HCC’s STEM Scholars program and participate in field trips and benefit from other exclusive STEM-related events and activities each semester. The NSF STEM scholarship continues each semester students maintain good academic standing. Incoming and current HCC students are encouraged to apply. The application deadline for the 2019-20 academic year is Monday, July 15. Eligibility guidelines for the National Science Foundation STEM scholarship can be viewed at www.hcc.edu/scholarships, where there is also a link to the online application under ‘National Science Foundation Scholarships in STEM.’ Applicants must be enrolled full time in a STEM program, demonstrate academic ability or potential, and demonstrate financial need, according to the guidelines. STEM disciplines include biological sciences, physical sciences, math, computer and information services, geosciences, and engineering.

Incorporations

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

CHICOPEE

Nail Bliss Q Inc., 1483 Memorial Dr., Chicopee, MA 01020. Won Gab Seo, 116 Barry St., Feeding Hills, MA 01030. Nail salon.

DALTON

Maintenance Man Associates Inc., 619 East St., Dalton, MA 01226. Robert J. Lebeau, same. Pavement maintenance services.

EAST LONGMEADOW

Next Step Dance Studio Inc., 3 Palm St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Mishel Mitus, same. Dance instruction and performance.

GREAT BARRINGTON

Nataloo Inc., 142 Castle St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. Louis Juska, same. Online branding.

LEE

Matty B’s Plumbing and Heating Inc., 1135 Cape St., Lee, MA 01238. Melvin A. Vieira, 31 Michigan Ave., Boston, MA 02121. Plumbing and heating.

LONGMEADOW

MCG Consulting Inc., 785 Williams St., Longmeadow, MA 01106. David L. McGlynn, 26 Red Gap Road, Wilbraham, MA 01095. Product design and strategy consulting.

NORTH ADAMS

Massachusetts Art of the Motorcycle Museum Inc., 115 State Street Building #1, North Adams, MA 01247. Thomas Krens, 25 Fort Hoosac Place, Williamstown, MA 01267. Provide for the promotion and appreciation of art, culture, and historic artifacts related or ancillary to the history and evolution of the motorcycle.

Massachusetts Museum of Time Inc., 115 State St. Building #1, North Adams, MA 01247. Thomas Krens, 25 Fort Hoosac Place, Williamstown, MA 01267. Provide for the promotion and appreciation of art, culture, and historic artifacts related or ancillary to the history and commodification of time and timekeeping for the educational and aesthetic advancement of the public at large.

NORTHMAPTON

Marc A. Bleicher M.D., P.C., 9 Center Court, Northampton, MA 01060. Marc A. Bleicher, same. Psychiatry practice.

PITTSFIELD

Linnai Inc., 82 Wendell Ave. Ste. 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Paul Cruickshank, same. Business management consulting services.

MC Mechanical Inc., 15 County Court, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Michael R. Cummings, same. Plumbing and heating.

RICHMOND

Lumin Road Productions Inc., 95 Dean Hill Road, Richmond, MA 01254. Lilian Haidar, same. Film production and photography services.

DBA Certificates

The following business certificates and trade names were issued or renewed during the month of May 2019.

AMHERST

GranAuto
611 Southeast St.
Maria Caizan

Rivica Solomon
145 University Dr., #3582
Rebecca Edelson

Sebastian Management
48 Fairfield St.
David Sebastian

Sovereign Cit Pressure Washing
434 North Pleasant St.
George Vazquez

Thrive Works Counseling
21 Pray St.
Greg Handel

Urban Empire Productions
33 Kellogg Ave.
Rhonda Soto

BELCHERTOWN

AMETG
9 Sarah Lane
Andrea Bordenca

Angle Cuts Etc.
3 Cold Spring St.
Anne Leger

Cold Spring Self Storage
159 Bay Road
Trista Fedor

Delisle Family Farm
95 Railroad St.
Keri Delisle, Douglas Delisle

Desco
9 Sarah Lane
Andrea Bordenca

Eileen Klockars Graphic Design & Bard Brook Press
27 Wilson Road
Eileen Klockars

KD Plumbing & Heating
538 North Washington St.
Kevin Douville, Karen Mercier

Lanzi, Elisa M.
47 Two Ponds Road
Elisa Lanzi

Liberty Nails
Binh Hue Truong
40 Daniel Shays Highway

CHICOPEE

C2C Home Improvement Inc.
15 Pembroke Place
Steven Buzzell

Cordero Epoxy Overlays
91 Providence St.
Felix Cordero

Go Pro Lawn & Tree
15 Pembroke Place
Steven Buzzell

Law Office of Attorney Bob Opsitnick
63 Whittlesey Ave.
Robert Opsitnick Jr.

SRN Trans
280 James St.
Hiddadura Mendis

DEERFIELD

Cuts by Tatsiana
5B Elm St.
Tatsiana Smolava

Massachusetts Artists Foods
75 Stillwater Road
Christopher Haskell

EASTHAMPTON

Orion’s General Labor
12 Ely Ave.
Travis Dean

Slingshot Advertising
180 Pleasant St., Suite 320
Joanna Surowiec

Tonal Eclipse
25 Lazy D Dr.
Jessey Ina-Lee, Brittany Shoup

Wonderland
56 Cottage St.
Beth McElhiney

EAST LONGMEADOW

Ann’s Hair Salon
741 Parker St.
Ann Roberts

Diane & Co.
376 Prospect St.
Diane Gomes

Glossy Design
60 Shaker Road
Latina Duncanson

Mass Gun Shop
50 Shaker Road
Kendall Knapik

Smoke N Pipe Outlet
668 North Main St.
Abid Akhtar

Sub-Surface, LLC
143C Shaker Road, #206
Beth Provencher

GREENFIELD

FireSky Skin Essentials, LLC
259 Federal St.
Cassandra Paronich

Gerry Insurance & Financial Service
486 Main St., Suite 6B
Melissa Emerson Gerry

Greenfield Nail Bar
255 Mohawk Trail
Cuong Luu

Peter’s Barber Shop
207 Main St.
Petr Kourizhhykh

Pretty Nails
209 Main St.
Trang Nguyen, Martha Gutierrez

Resurrection Revival Ministries
52 Union St.
Marcelene Murdoch

Salon at Wilson’s
258 Main St.
Mariette Poginy

Silvanus
58 Solar Way
Ibrahim Dahlstrom-Hakkix

Starpoli Sounds
671 Lampblack Road
Jeremy Starpoli

Suebeedoo Designs
13 Cedar St.
Susan Brulotte

HOLYOKE

Blue Collar Entrepreneur Magazine
582 Pleasant St, Apt. 1M
David Hannah

El Sabor Caribeno
351 High St.
Norma Martinez

Forward Change Experiences, LLC
226 Sargeant St.
Antonia Santiago

Gold N Diamonds Holyoke
50 Holyoke St.
Lavinia Oprea

Jazzed About Jobs
92 Race St.
Donald Prisby

Keller & Macri
480 Hampden St.
Timothy Macri

Legendary Who’s Next Barber Shop
323 Main St.
Omar Peralta

Lenscrafters #198
50 Holyoke St.
Luxiottica Retail North America Inc.

Lin’s Relax Station
50 Holyoke St.
Lin Lin

MoonLight Launch
62 Main St.
Jonael Ruiz

PARPE
55 Laura Lane
Patti Cutler

Round 1 Bowling & Amusement
50 Holyoke St.
Tamiya Sakamoto, Kiyofumi Kuroda, Shintaro Kaji

Sunglass Hut #4198
50 Holyoke St.
Sunglass Hut Luxottica of America Inc.

Sunglass Hut at Macy’s #7242
400 Whitney Ave.
Sunglass Hut Luxottica of America Inc.

Today’s Nails
50 Holyoke St.
Charles Tran, Hong Nguyen

Vin’s Car Wash
185 South St.
Paul Mazzariello

LUDLOW

A & P Machine Co.
1189 East St.
Paul Guay, Anne Guay

Bay State Painting Co.
512 Miller St.
Donald Wojcik Jr.

Kings Painting
27 Maple St.
Alan Kelliher

Linda’s Hairstyling
322 West Ave.
Linda Bianco

Ludlow Spring
89 Prospect St.
Kurt Oelmann Jr.

NORTHAMPTON

Golf Tournament Solutions
73 Barrett St., #5161
Steven Duffany

The Kitchen Pitch
13 Grove Ave.
Marc Freedman

Mark LaValley & Sons Trucking, Excavating
541 Ryan Road
Mark LaValley

Radiant Point Acupuncture
22 Merrick Lane
Kathryn Cadwagon

Resources for Reading
155 Industrial Dr.
Matt Dufresne, Michele Dufresne, Robert Dufresne

Valley Trust
37 Main St.
Jagdish Singh

Walgreens #11602
70 Main St.
Todd Heckman

Whole Body Healing, Acupuncture and Wellness, LLC
30 North King St.
Elizabeth Girard

SOUTHWICK

Deragon and Sons, LLC
44 Hillside Road
Thomas Deragon

Smokey Water Rib Co., LLC
81 Point Grove Road
Tony Pitts

SPRINGFIELD

A Plus B Food Mart
1390 Allen St.
Rizwan Kabir

ACC
1755 Boston Road
American Leaf MA, LLC

Accountemps
1 Monarch Place
Evelyn Crane-Oliver

American Outdoor Brands Corp.
2100 Roosevelt Ave.
Smith & Wesson Corp.

Aro Realty Inc.
41 Cedar St.
Antonio Aro

B & S Trucking Co.
214 Pasco Road
Benito Santiago

Bob Hogan Productions
21 Lawn St.
Robert Hogan Jr.

CP Property Group, LLC
672 Chestnut St.
Robert Couture

Cashman Legal
69 Longhill St.
Michael Patrick

Cricket
1334 Liberty St.
Summit JV, LLC

Cricket
2547 Main St.
Summit JV, LLC

Cricket
950 State St.
Summit JV, LLC

Dino’s Auto Repair
136 Nursery St.
Misael Colon

ER Tools, LLC
98 Corey Road
Elvin Ramos

En Motion Dance Theater
531 Belmont Ave.
Shire Brown

Great Walls
1004 Berkshire Ave.
Jason Lemire

Hit Harder Fitness
77 Warehouse St.
Kimberly Ewing

Ironsides Property Group
672 Chestnut St.
Robert Couture

Jackie’s Cakes
48 Ivanhoe St.
Jacqueline Burgos

Josue David Cortes
25 Watling St.
Josue David Cortes

Luxury Lashes by Viky
516 Main St.
Viktoriya Patiera

MRG Building Solutions
837 State St.
Robert Garcia

Marcel Transit
31 Westford Ave.
Marcel Smith

Old San Juan Restaurant Express
1655 Boston Road
Eliziel Matos

Pikoretas Frappe & More
570 Dickinson St.
Iris Marrero

School Street Convenience
108 School St.
Frank Cincotta

Stone Creek Foods
180 Avocado St.
Severn Peanut Co.

Urban Financial Services
1924 Wilbraham Road
Michael Perez

Ut Vo ATM
51 Biddle St.
Ut Van Vo

VCA Boston Road Animal Hospital
1235 Boston Road
VCA Animal Hospitals

WESTFIELD

2 Bay Machine & Metal Works
23A Orange St.
2 Bay Machine & Metal Works

DG Woodworks
88 Notre Dame St.
Daniy Gavrilyuk

Elm Motel
50 Russell Road
Om Tat Sat Inc.

Flourish Beauty MA
38 Elm St., Suite 8
Gilmarys Marrero

FNL Painting
868 Southampton Road
FNL Painting

Green Palace Massage Therapy
51 Southwick Road
Guomei Wang

Janik’s Pierogi Café
3840 Main St.
Janik’s Pierogi Café

Longcap Lamson Products, LLC
79 Mainline Dr.
Longcap Lamson Products, LLC

LT Properties
13 Mechanic St.
Lisa Buckman

Salon Thairapy
338 Springdale Road
Jennifer Zabielski

Weege & the Wonder Twins
32 White St.
Weege & the Wonder Twins

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Advanced New England Construction
203 Circuit Ave.
Kirill Katalinikov

Audiology Services Co. USA, LLC
459 Riverdale St.
Michael Damelio

B & H Auto Repair
21 Summer St.
Hashim Adwan

Master’s Concrete
41 Bacon Ave.
Gregory Mercure

Mindfulness Meditation Workshop
380 Union St.
Douglas Williams

Mr. Whippey Soft Swirl
934 Morgan Road
Karen Maratea

R-E Pools
31 Field St.
Eric Dziewit

Therese K. Sarnelli, M.Ed. LMHC
117 Park Ave.
Therese Sarnelli

WILBRAHAM

I & J Home Improvement
25 Brainard Road
Anatolie Balaur

Quabbin Advisors, LLC
22 Carla Lane
Megan Donnelly

S.H.A.P.E.S.
348 Stony Hill Road
Brian Tracy

SnapVending
38 Manchonis Road
Raymond Gore

Stony Hill Farm, LLC
899 Stony Hill Road
Alice Colman, Brian Cunningham

Theme Cakes by Joelene
2341 Boston Road, #2
Joelene Guzzo

Bankruptcies

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

Aeschback, Robert A.
69 Main St., Apt. 201
North Adams, MA 01247
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/29/19

Bennett, Constance J.
46 Simpson Circle
Agawam, MA 01001
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 04/24/19

Bigelow, Juana M.
250 West St., Apt. 23
Ware, MA 01082
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/25/19

Bigwood, Sherry Anne
251 North Orange Road
Athol, MA 01331
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/19/19

Bishop, Judith
72 Pheasant Hill Dr., A
Feeding Hills, MA 01030
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/18/19

Brubaker, Wilma L.
77 Hall Road, #C101
Sturbridge, MA 01566
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/17/19

Burns, Jennifer J.
a/k/a Beliveau, Jennifer J.
a/k/a Lee, Jennifer J.
143 Gilbert Ave.
Springfield, MA 01119
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/26/19

Cavitt, Bessie
14 Osgood St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/23/19

Clavette, Bonita M.
316 Main St., Apt. B
Monson, MA 01057
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/26/19

Connolly, Christopher J.
Connolly, Jayme M.
5 Magnolia St.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/26/19

Connors, Carl J.
Connors, Barbara
a/k/a Renaud, Barbara M.
790 Homestead Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 04/26/19

Cruz, Reynaldo
Cruz, Olga
a/k/a Bastardo, Olga
1373 Dwight St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/25/19

Diaz, Adys N.
a/k/a Dias, Adys
a/k/a Barbosa, Adys Nuemiz
a/k/a Nuemiz, Adys
158 Prospect St
Chicopee, MA 01013
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/24/19

Gordon, Todd E.
33 Carew Terrace
Springfield, MA 01104
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 04/22/19

Guzman, Gloria
86 Debra Dr. Apt. 3C
Chicopee, MA 01020
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/27/19

Hardenbrook, Peter S.
13 Brookway Dr.
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/16/19

Hellyer, Edward
9 Lombard Ave.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/23/19

Hellyer, Heather
118 Pilgrim Road
Springfield, MA 01108
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/23/19

Hylton, Amanda G.
6 Carew St., Apt. 2R
South Hadley, MA 01075
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/26/19

Jarvis, Derek C.
Jarvis, Nancy J.
122 Northwood St.
Feeding Hills, MA 01030
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/16/19

Jenkins, Mason F.
283 Long Plain Road
South Deerfield, MA 01373
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/26/19

Jessup, Mark K.
4 Waters Edge
Ludlow, MA 01056
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/17/19

King, Gregory Alan
200 Breckenridge St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/26/19

Kos, John E.
136 Flynt St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/26/19

Laizer, Eric F.
Laizer, Andri V.
126 High Meadow Dr.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/16/19

Lapete, Maureen P
147 West Main St.
Ware, MA 01082
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/26/19

Lepine, Amanda Louise
129 Holyoke St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/25/19

Marchetti, James A.
67 Spring St.
Florence, MA 01062
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/25/19

Matarazzo, Bryan C.
Matarazzo, Melissa A.
36 Congress St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/29/19

Maurer, Terry K.
28 Circle Dr.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/23/19

Miles, Travis J.
Miles, Joanna R.
35 Losito Lane
Agawam, MA 01001
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/24/19

Niemann, Robert G.
45 Loudville Rd
Westhampton, MA 01027
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/25/19

Page, Clarence Eugene
a/k/a Page, Tony
Roberge, Lisa Anne
a/k/a McGough, Lisa Anne
46 Evergreen Road #110
Leeds, MA 01053
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/25/19

Pastrana, Nilda Concepcion
212 Nottingham St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/29/19

Pellin, Jonathan M.
325 Walnut St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/18/19

Pierce, Wanda
150 Cloran St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 04/29/19

Porter, Deborrah Louise
50 Wood St.
Athol, MA 01331
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/19/19

Scottoni, Janis E.
70 Pine St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/16/19

Serenity Within Reiki Healing
Baldassarri, Theresa A.
121 Church St.
Ware, MA 01082
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/24/19

Soderberg, Stephanie L.
24 Stafford Road
Wales, MA 01081
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/22/19

Solomon, Maxine E.
36 Earl St., 2nd Fl.
Springfield, MA 01108
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 04/25/19

Stockwell, Charles T.
363 Amherst Road
Pelham, MA 01002
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/16/19

Szklasz, Tammy L.
63 Yarmouth St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/29/19

Troiano Realty, LLC,
109 Creeper Hill Road
North Grafton, MA 01536
Chapter: 11
Filing Date: 04/23/19

Troiano Trucking, Inc.
Eco-Feed Tech
109 Creeper Hill Road
North Grafton, MA 01536
Chapter: 11
Filing Date: 04/23/19

Warger, Joseph Roland
Warger, Teresa Eileen
439 Wilder Hill Road
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 04/18/19

Winn, Thomas J.
14 Grove St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 04/19/19