V-One Founder Wins Entrepreneurship Award
HADLEY — Valley Vodka Inc., a Western Mass.-based company, announced that Paul Kozub, owner and founder of V-One Vodka, was one of three winners of the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the 2013 Nightclub & Bar show in Las Vegas. Nightclub & Bar Media Group announced the winner of the first annual Nightclub & Bar show in late March. The national awards program celebrates emerging small businesses producing innovative products for the nightlife industry. Nightclub & Bar set out to find the next big company to take off in 2013. The Entrepreneurs Program is a unique opportunity for new companies to be recognized for their outstanding innovation and awarded with a complimentary booth at the 2013 Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show, which took place in Las Vegas March 19-21. Companies that qualified submitted their brand, company, product, or new innovation to a panel of industry judges for review. “This is our first event outside of the New England market, so I was thrilled to be recognized on a national level,” said Kozub. “The Nightclub & Bar Show is the largest of its kind, with over 900 exhibitors. We are very humbled to be chosen out of this elite group of companies. The three winners are shining examples of originality and innovation in today’s tough marketplace.” The winners will be profiled on nightclub.com and highlighted in the BarIQ e-newsletter. V-One Vodka was started by Paul Kozub in 2005 as a way to honor his recently deceased Polish grandfather and his entrepreneurial father, who passed away a few months after Paul graduated from college. The V-One recipe was developed in the basement of his Hadley, home. V-One is now produced exclusively by Polmos Lublin in Poland. It is the only vodka made solely from 100% organic spelt wheat, the rarest and most expensive grain in the world. Today, a small amount of this wheat is grown in Hadley, while the majority is grown in Poland. BusinessWest named Kozub a 40 Under Forty honoree in 2007.
Greenough Packaging Certified as Minority and
WEST SPRINGFIELD — Greenough Packaging & Maintenance, a leading regional distributor of shipping, safety, break-room, janitorial, cleaning, and facility-maintenance supplies, was recently certified as a Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprise by the Mass. Supplier Diversity Office of the Commonwealth’s Operational Services Division. The OSD’s standard of certification is a rigorous process that includes an in-depth review of the business as well as a site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm that the business is at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by a minority or woman. Greenough became a woman-owned business when controlling interest in the company was acquired by Sandy Cassanelli in 2003. As the majority shareholder and CEO of Greenough, Cassanelli provides strategic direction to the organization and oversees operations and accounting. “I am delighted that Greenough has been certified as a woman-owned business enterprise,” she said. “The certification will enable us to both expand our business and create new jobs as well as to better serve our customers by helping them meet their supplier-diversity initiatives.” By including woman-owned businesses among their vendors, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier/vendor diversity programs. The Mass. Operational Services Division (OSD) is the Commonwealth’s central procurement and contracting office. In 2010, Gov. Deval Patrick signed Executive Order 523, establishing a Small Business Purchasing Program (SBPP) in Massachusetts. The mission of the SBPP is to support the existence and growth of small businesses by directing state spending for non-construction goods and services to SBPP-participating vendors. The OSD is responsible for SBPP development and implementation, including policies, training, capacity building, and annual benchmarks. Greenough serves customers from a broad range of markets throughout the U.S., including manufacturing, education, property management, retail, medical, food processing, fulfillment, commercial cleaning, and distribution. In addition, it provides custom-packaging and food-packaging solutions.
People’s United Awards $5,000 to Gray House
SPRINGFIELD — The People’s United Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of People’s United Bank, announced that it has awarded $5,000 to the Gray House in Springfield. The Gray House, a human-services agency, encourages neighbors in transition to achieve a more stable, safe, and productive life through education and community service. The grant from People’s United Community Foundation will support the Kids’ Club after-school and summer programs, which provide a safe, caring environment where children are served nutritious meals and participate in educational and creative activities. “The Gray House is honored to receive this grant from People’s United Community Foundation and continue our partnership,” said Dena Calvanese, executive director of the Gray House. “People’s United Community Foundation’s support helps us provide children opportunities to learn, engage in constructive activities, and have fun.” Timothy Crimmins Jr., officer of People’s United Community Foundation and president of the Massachusetts Division of People’s United Bank, said the Gray House is a valuable resource in the community. “We are proud to contribute to their success,” he continued. “By working together, we can truly build a better tomorrow for kids. The Gray House enhances the early-educational experience for many local children and supports the efforts of parents and caregivers in the community.” Established in 2007, People’s United Community Foundation was formed to help support programs and activities that enhance quality of life for citizens in the communities that People’s United Bank serves. It places special emphasis on programs designed to promote economic self-sufficiency, education, and improved conditions for low-income families and neighborhoods. The funding priorities of the foundation include community development, youth development, and affordable housing.
NAACP Backs Casino Plan
of MGM International
SPRINGFIELD — The general membership of the Greater Springfield NAACP voted recently to ratify the recommendation of its executive committee concerning a proposed casino in Western Mass. “Given the recent statements by city officials that they intend to only put one applicant on the ballot and intend to name that applicant in the coming weeks, this is the appropriate time to release our recommendation,” the organization stated in a release. While the branch did not vote to support gaming, it did take a position that the plan advanced by MGM International provides the best opportunities for African-Americans and other communities of color to be included in construction work, professional-services contracts, and employee hiring should it be selected to build a facility in the region.