Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — 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.

“Vince’s experience, qualifications, and expertise were an exact fit with the characteristics that the board wanted to see in the new executive director. It was clear that Vince is the right person to lead the chamber,” said David DeSwert, chamber board president and chair of the search committee, and associate vice president for Finance at Smith College. 

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, explores and boldly reimagines what a 21st-century chamber should be. 

“I’m excited to welcome a new community leader to drive our new vision for the chamber that strengthens our cause to build a thriving economy and a thriving community,” Beck said.

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 degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“It’s an honor for me to join the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce at this pivotal time in its history,” Jackson said. “With deep respect for the chamber’s legacy and leadership, I look forward to working with the board, partner organizations, community leaders, and volunteers to chart the new path forward.”

Jackson’s first public appearance will be at the chamber’s centennial event on Thursday, June 13 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. “Torch: Our Time to Shine” will recognize Beck and Jackson, along with other business and organization leaders who have passed the torch to new generations of leadership, along with those who have confidently accepted it.

Daily News

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.

“As a growing company with deep roots here in Springfield, we’re excited to become Tower Square’s anchor tenant in beautiful new office space that will accommodate our growing number of employees,” said Drew DiGiorgio, Wellfleet’s president and CEO.

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.

“Our team looks forward to the new space, and to enjoying the ever-increasing amenities available at Tower Square, including the Springfield YMCA’s childcare facility and wellness center,” said DiGiorgio. “The renaissance of downtown Springfield is in full swing, and we’re proud to contribute to its revitalization.”

Vid Mitta, managing partner of Tower Square, added that “we are delighted to welcome Wellfleet to Tower Square. This location will offer a state-of-the-art build-out for Wellfleet’s thriving business while providing staff with the cutting-edge amenities that Tower Square possesses.”

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.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — 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.

To date, most of this information has been speculative or otherwise subject to change before implementation. In fact, the most helpful information thus far, the new Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave’s draft regulations, has only given an idea of what the program will probably look like. These draft regulations are just that: a draft. They are subject to change prior to the issuance of final regulations.

The good news is there are some things we do know 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 on Thursday, June 20 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].

Daily News

CHICOPEE — It’s that time of year: time to spruce up your spring and summer wardrobe. Harmony House of Western Massachusetts can help with that.

In conjunction with Little Black Dress of Enfield, Conn., a spring fashion show will be held on Sunday, June 2 at 1 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall #69, 460 Granby Road, Chicopee. The show will support Harmony House in its mission to provide a comfortable home with loving support for the terminally ill.

Styles for all from Little Black Dress will be presented by the owner, Yvonne Turgeon, and modeled by volunteers and friends of Harmony House. For a donation of $25 in advance or $30 at the door, attendees will be entertained with fashions for ladies of all sizes, enjoy lunch and pleasant company, and join in raffles. The clothing modeled will be available to purchase, in all sizes, at the event. Turgeon will donate a portion of her proceeds to Harmony House.

For tickets, call Judy Trudell, event chairperson, at (413) 534-3911 or Harmony House at (413) 331-5252 and leave a message; calls will be returned quickly. Tickets are also available online at www.harmonyhousewma.org.

Harmony House is a local, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a loving home providing compassionate care for the terminally ill who have limited or no resources for special care in their final stages of life. Harmony House is staffed by trained volunteers, including licensed nurses, caregivers, companions, and others. Volunteers are always welcome; call for more information.