Company Notebook Departments

Company Notebook

United Personnel Among Top Women-led Businesses
SPRINGFIELD — Mary Ellen Scott, founder of United Personnel, has been recognized again by the Boston Business Journal and the Commonwealth Institute with a Top 100 Women-Led Business Award for 2010. United Personnel is in its 26th year of operation, offering regional companies staffing support with temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct-hire placements. Scott noted that the past two years have been “very challenging” for most small and large businesses. She added that these 100 women have demonstrated they can navigate “difficult waters” with the economy and still create jobs and maintain their commitments to family, philanthropy, and community activities that benefit all of society. Since 1997, the Commonwealth Institute has assisted more than 1,000 women in growing their businesses. The awards ceremony, planned for Dec. 8 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, will celebrate and honor the region’s top women-led businesses. United Personnel has two offices, at 1331 Main St. in Springfield and 250 Northampton St. in Easthampton.

Royal & Klimzcuk Moves to New Location
NORTHAMPTON — The law firm Royal & Klimczuk is relocating its offices to 270 Pleasant St. in Northampton. The firm will be in its new facilities on Nov. 29. Amy Royal, a principal with the firm, said the company needed space to grow, and the new location provides it. The firm, which has seven lawyers working in two locations, represents businesses exclusively in all aspects of labor and employment law, including wage-and-hour matters, discrimination and harassment, disability and leave, labor relations, affirmative action, and many others. The firm’s phone number, (413) 586-2288, will not change.

MMWEC Wins National Communications Award
LUDLOW — The 2009 annual report of the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) has earned an award for excellence in communications from the American Public Power Assoc. (APPA), the national organization of consumer-owned utilities. Each year the APPA recognizes “high-quality annual reports that exhibit excellence in writing, design, photography, organization, and creativity” while communicating a utility’s unique message. MMWEC is among 11 utilities nationwide receiving annual-report awards this year from APPA, which serves more than 2,000 public power utilities in the U.S. The theme of MMWEC’s 2009 Annual Report, “Old Fashioned … But Not,” highlights the organization’s commitment to traditional public-power values and its pursuit of innovative solutions to the challenges posed by greener energy policies, wholesale power-market reforms, and increased financial risks. MMWEC is a nonprofit, public corporation and political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that provides a variety of power-supply, financial, risk-management, and other services to the state’s consumer-owned, municipal utilities.

DiGrigoli Salon Honored on Veterans Day
WEST SPRINGFIELD — Professional stylists from the DiGrigoli Salon provided free haircuts to all veterans who attended a veterans’ outreach event in October at the War Memorial building in Holyoke. As a thank-you to the stylists and students, each received certificates of appreciation on Veterans’ Day at the DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology on Riverdale Street from Laurence White, a member of Vietnam Veterans of America, which co-sponsored the outreach event. Six times per year, DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology provides free haircuts to veterans, all under the supervision of licensed instructors. For more information, visit

Comcast Launches Local Wireless Data Service
SPRINGFIELD — Comcast recently launched its wireless data service in Western Mass., continuing its nationwide rollout of XFINITY Internet 2go. In its initial offering, Comcast’s XFINITY Internet 2go provides nationwide wireless Internet service via a wireless data card, and is being bundled with one or more services including XFINITY TV or XFINITY Voice products. By the end of the year, Comcast will also offer XFINITY Internet 2go as a fourth-generation (or 4G) wireless, high-speed data service via the Clearwire network in Western Mass. Comcast is selling wireless data services following its investment in Clearwire in November 2008. For more information, visit

Colebrook Brokers HCPA Lease Expansion
SPRINGFIELD — Colebrook Realty Services Inc. recently brokered the lease expansion of tenant Hampden County Physician Associates, LLC (HCPA) at 354 Birnie Ave. HCPA extended occupancy from 4,400 square feet to more than 15,000 square feet for a term of five years. Colebrook principal Mitch Bolotin represented property owner Klondike Investment Group Inc. The building remains at full occupancy. HCPA, an independent, multi-specialty network of health care professionals, has housed its administrative headquarters at 354 Birnie Ave. since August 2000. The need for a larger space is related to management-team growth and anticipated expansion in directions HCPA believes “will better serve the community,” according to Al Ogoley, director of facilities for HCPA. Ogoley noted that the Birnie Avenue site is “ideally located” to service its 16 locations throughout Western Mass. and beyond. In addition to HCPA, the property’s other occupant is Baystate Medical Center Inc.

Big Y Continues Growth
SPRINGFIELD — Big Y Foods Inc. recently opened the first two of several supermarkets that were acquired from A&P on Nov. 1. The first two Connecticut locations to open are in West Hartford at 772 North Main St. and in Branford at 1060 Main St. All of the former A&P pharmacies have remained open throughout this transition period. The West Hartford and Mystic pharmacies have been converted to Big Y pharmacies, and A&P’s Naugatuck pharmacy has been relocated into the Big Y World Class Market in Naugatuck. Its Middletown pharmacy has been sold to Walgreens there.

Oregon Company Acquired by APT
SPRINGFIELD — Energy Conservation Training Company (ECONTC), a Portland, Ore., startup firm specializing in training contractors and unemployed workers to become home-energy analysts, has been acquired by Applied Proactive Technologies Inc. (APT). Jeff Catlin, ECONTC’s founder and president, will join APT as director of education services. Educating utility customers on how to make their homes more energy-efficient has been a focus of APT’s work from the start, according to Dave Leishman, president of APT. Leishman noted that homeowners are “very motivated” to save money on utility bills, and utility companies are looking for ways to get deeper energy savings through services like duct sealing, insulating, and improving the performance of heating and cooling equipment. Leishman added that acquiring ECONTC and expanding services in the area of whole home performance “was a logical next step.” Leishman predicts that demand for ECONTC’s training services will grow as more consumers and businesses seek to reduce their energy use and realize cost savings.

Springfield Police Select M&P Pistol
SPRINGFIELD — Smith & Wesson Corp. recently announced that the Springfield Police Department has chosen to equip all of its officers with primary-duty sidearms from the Military & Police (M&P) Pistol Series. The M&P40 will be issued to each officer to replace pistols that had previously been in service at the department. The Springfield Police Department has received 580 M&P40 pistols, and is currently in the process of transitioning officers over to the new firearms. The department said that the M&P pistol was well-suited to meet the needs of its diverse officer makeup, noting such features as the firearm’s interchangeable grip sizes and ambidextrous controls. During testing of the new sidearm, the M&P pistol was further recognized for its ease of maintenance, accuracy, and flexibility to adapt to a wide variety of applications in the field. Each pistol will be laser-engraved with ‘Springfield Police Department’ on the side along with a special control number across the top. In addition to the new sidearm, Springfield police are currently using M&P15 tactical rifles as the department’s issued patrol rifles. Throughout their history, Smith & Wesson and the Springfield Police Department have enjoyed a long-standing partnership, according to Leland Nichols, vice president of sales for Smith & Wesson.

MassMutual Adds Lyman Products to Roster
SPRINGFIELD — MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division has been selected by Lyman Products as the new provider for the company’s $6.3 million 401(k) plan. Lyman Products, based in Middletown, Conn., is a manufacturer of products for the shooting and reloading industry with more than 100 employees. Denis LeBlanc, controller at Lyman Products, noted that his firm sought a “financially stable” retirement plan provider that offered high-touch service and strong educational resources for employees. LeBlanc added that MassMutual’s “demonstrated strengths” in these areas were important in its selection as the new retirement plan provider. Smith Brothers Insurance of Glastonbury, Conn. assisted with the search process.

CHD Opens New OT Center
SPRINGFIELD — The Center for Human Development recently opened its new occupational therapy center, the Institute for Dynamic Living, at 342 Birnie Ave. The facility is fully licensed as both an occupational-therapy clinic and behavioral-health clinic, offering a wide range of services for children, adolescents, and adults. Services include individual and group therapy assessments, consultations, educational trainings, and workshops. Tina Champagne is the program director. She holds a doctorate in occupational therapy and is also a registered and licensed occupational therapist. Programs offered include sensory processing, neurofeedback and independent-living skills, free monthly informational sessions for parents, and professional workshops in areas such as clinical aromatherapy, sensory processing, and weighted-blanket training. For more information on the facility, visit

Fran Johnson’s Adds Golf Simulators
WEST SPRINGFIELD — Fran Johnson’s Golf & Racquet Headquarters has launched a new division of its business called Tee2Green2. It features 3-D, high-definition golf simulators that will enable people to play such classic courses as Pebble Beach, the Blue Monster at Doral, and Casa De Campo without getting on an airplane. The simulators offer a playing experience that includes perfect weather, no lost golf balls, and no slow play. Fran Johnson’s acquired two of the simulators, and is now booking tee times. Golfers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy the simulators, and can book times by calling (413) 734-4444. The average time for a foursome to play 18 holes is 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

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