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Company Notebook

FieldEddy Launches New Operating System
EAST LONGMEADOW — FieldEddy Insurance recently launched its new computer operating system, Applied Epic. The change in systems has been a 10-month, hands-on training process instituted as a way to better serve clients and optimize the day-to-day operations, said Timm Marini, president of FieldEddy Insurance, adding that Applied Epic is the insurance industry’s fastest-growing agency-management system, chosen by agencies to enhance business for growth and to build stronger client relationships. “About three years of planning comes to an end with the launch of the new Epic software,” said Marini. “The two systems that were used prior were becoming more outmoded and couldn’t seem to keep up with the level of growth and productivity that the agency is seeing. We knew it was time to research and institute a new system that would be a better fit and one that would generate high-performance results. We are happy and confident that Epic is the best and right choice for us.” All 79 employees have been expected to participate in detailed training sessions in order to be well-prepared and knowledgeable about the interface prior to the launch. The system will allow agents to streamline workflows and operational tasks, manage policies in a consistent manner to minimize risk, reduce operating expenses, and drive sustainable growth and profitability. Along with these benefits, employees in all four offices will now be using the same computer program. Prior to this, there were two different programs being used, both of which will now not be used with the implementation of Applied Epic. “It has been a significant financial investment, and I can’t wait to see the results,” Marini said. “Our focus has always been the customer, and this new program will certainly provide exceptional customer service.”

Valley Vodka Experiences Eighth Year of Growth with Record Sales
HADLEY — Valley Vodka Inc., a Western Mass.-based company founded by Paul Kozub, has experienced its eighth consecutive year of sales growth with record sales in 2013. The company’s sales increased more than 10% from 2012, said Kozub, adding that Valley Vodka also realized a 60% increase in net income for that period as it took back full distribution of all of its products. Previously, United Liquors in Braintree had distributed V-One Vodka. Valley Vodka is the parent company of the V-One Vodka brand, which was launched in 2005 with an initial shipment of 1,000 cases. Kozub started Valley Vodka with a $6,000 inheritance from his Polish grandfather. He began this journey at age 28 after leaving a successful career with TD Bank, where he was vice president of Small Business Loans. In 2010, V-One Vodka won the prestigious Double Gold medal at the World Spirit Competition in San Francisco, beating out some 256 other vodkas and adding the vodka to a list of other international honors. V-One has also won four other medals at the World Spirit Competition since 2007 and was awarded a prestigious 95 points by Wine Enthusiast magazine.

DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology Honored
WEST SPRINGFIELD — Modern Salon has named the 2013 class of Excellence in Education honorees in its annual program recognizing leadership and best practices among cosmetology schools. DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology, based in West Springfield, was chosen to represent excellence in the categories of school culture (unique programs offered to enhance the cosmetology-school experience and to foster the personal development and growth of students) and community involvement (participation in local and regional philanthropic activities that elevate a school’s position as a positive, professional contributor to the community). Hundreds of entries were submitted from cosmetology schools across North America, in eight categories ranging from marketing to placement to school culture. Honorees were determined based on school size or number of locations, with one overall honoree from all applicants named for each category. Modern Salon Publisher Steve Reiss announced the honorees during the American Assoc. of Cosmetology Schools 2013 convention in Las Vegas. Paul DiGrigoli, owner and CEO of DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology, said, “I’m extremely proud of all of our instructors and students, who contributed toward us receiving these prestigious awards. We pride ourselves on having a culture of excellence for many reasons, but I believe that one of the most important of them is that our people not only get along, they look out for each other. We always share with our students how important it is to volunteer and to contribute to our community. They have done that so well within this past year. People often ask me what makes DiGrigoli different, and I always give the same answer: expectations. When our students’ learning ability and their expectations are consistent, it allows them to absorb information and to gain knowledge at the highest level.”

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