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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 84: Oct. 18, 2021

George Interviews Peter Picknelly, chairman and CEO of Peter Pan Bus Lines

Peter Picknelly says fuel prices affect more than the transportation sector he works in

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively, wide-ranging discussion with Peter Picknelly, chairman and CEO of Peter Pan Bus Lines. The two talk about everything from the ongoing workforce crisis to people getting back on the roads — finally; from the many challenges facing those in the restaurant business, to the loss of his good friend, business partner, and restaurant industry icon Andy Yee. It’s a compelling discussion and must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 83: Oct. 11, 2021

George Interviews John Garvey, president of Garvey Communication Associates

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively, wide-ranging discussion with John Garvey, president of Garvey Communication Associates. The two talk about Facebook’s long, difficult week, the testimony of a whistleblower, comparisons of social media to Big Tobacco, and cries that something should be done to control this industry. It’s a compelling discussion and must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 82: Oct. 4, 2021

George Interviews Lenny Underwood, owner of Underwood Photography and Upscale Socks

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively, wide-ranging discussion with Lenny Underwood, owner of Underwood Photography and Upscale Socks. The two talk about both of those intriguing businesses — especially his ever-expanding sock line — and also about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, especially in the middle of a global pandemic. It’s must listening so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

 

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Class of 2021 Special Coverage

Presenting Sponsor

Sponsors

Alumni Achievement Award

When BusinessWest launched its 40 Under Forty program in 2007, it did so to identify rising stars across our region – individuals who were excelling in business and through involvement within the community –and celebrate their accomplishments. In 2015, BusinessWest announced a new award, one that builds on the foundation upon which 40 Under Forty was created. It’s called the Alumni Achievement Award (formerly the Continued Excellence Award). as the name suggests, will be presented to the 40 Under Forty honoree who, in the eyes of an independent panel of judges, has most impressively continued and built upon their track record of accomplishment.

This year’s nominations are CLOSED. Nominate next year’s Alumni Achievement Award recipient HERE.

2021 Alumni Achievement Award Presenting Sponsor

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 81: Sept. 27, 2021

George Interviews Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council

Rick Sullivan

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively, wide-ranging discussion with Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council. The two discuss everything from the ongoing workforce crisis, to the proposed data center project in Westfield, to the region’s prospects for gaining population — and business opportunities — as a result of the pandemic and the accompanying changes in how people work. It’s must listening so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

 

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Healthcare Heroes

Collaboration In Health/Wellness

Collaborators in DASHH include Revitalize CDC, Baystate Health, Health New England, the BeHealthy Partnership, Holyoke Medical Center, the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, and the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative.

This Coalition Keeps People Healthy in Ways Its Partners Couldn’t Achieve Alone

If there’s anyone who understands the impact of asthma in Greater Springfield, it’s Sarita Hudson.

Specifically, as director of programs and development for the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts and manager of the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, she understands the connections between one’s physical environment and health — and the factors that have consistently placed Springfield high on lists of riskiest places to live with asthma. But even the Asthma Coalition has its limits.

“We had been doing asthma interventions, working with community health workers, working with clients, doing education, helping them identify triggers,” she said. “But it’s not enough if we can’t actually fix anything in the home.”

Meanwhile, as vice president of Public Health for Baystate Health, Frank Robinson understands the many ways the system’s community health programs and providers promote preventive health and wellness.

“We had been doing asthma interventions, working with community health workers, working with clients, doing education, helping them identify triggers. But it’s not enough if we can’t actually fix anything in the home.”

Still, “Baystate would never be going out and creating healthy homes by doing environmental changes and mitigations,” he explained. “That is not the work of the healthcare system. To be aligned with someone who does that work and gets the health implications and health impacts is perfect, though — it makes a perfect marriage.”

That organization would be Revitalize Community Development Corp. (CDC), which does have a long history of making critical repairs, modifications, and rehabilitation on the homes of low-income families with children, military veterans, the elderly, and people with disabilities.

When these three organizations started talking — about asthma and other issues — they were intrigued by what they might accomplish by working together, said Revitalize CDC President and CEO Colleen Loveless.

“We’d been doing some of this work — mold remediation, pest control — but hadn’t formalized the process in collaboration with insurance companies and the healthcare system,” she told BusinessWest.

Now, thanks to a collaboration called Doorway to an Accessible, Safe and Healthy Home (DASHH), these three organizations are not only identifying families in need of intervention for environmental health issues, and not just educating them on lifestyle changes, but actually making the necessary physical changes to their homes.

“We started talking, and we applied for a technical-assistance grant from the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative in Baltimore. They’ve been doing this work for decades,” Loveless explained. “We were one of five sites awarded that technical-assistance grant.”

Baystate followed with a capacity-building grant, other state grants followed, and DASHH was in business. Since its beginning in 2015, the program has served 130 households with asthma remediation and education, as well as 101 households for age-in-place modifications. Last year, it launched a COVID-19 response project (more on that later), impacting more than 1,550 households and approximately 6,881 individuals.

“It’s a business model that shows that, by intervening and creating healthy homes through environmental remediation, removing asthma triggers, and improving the physical environment, we could reduce asthma incidence in high-risk populations,” Robinson said.

Families referred by Baystate for environmental interventions receive three to five visits to conduct testing, at the start and end of the process, and provide education on how to keep the home clean and safe. If needed, Revitalize CDC brings in services ranging from air-duct cleaning to mold remediation; from pest control to floor covering and replacement, and also provides air purifiers, HEPA vacuums, and cleaning supplies.

By partnering with health-centric organizations, Colleen Loveless (center) and Revitalize CDC was able to infuse its home-rehab efforts with a focus on wellness.

By partnering with health-centric organizations, Colleen Loveless (center) and Revitalize CDC were able to infuse home-rehab efforts with a focus on wellness.

“The goal is to keep people from having to access primary care or the emergency room, and not miss school or work,” Loveless said. “Asthma has such a ripple effect.”

 

Better Together

The initial goal of DASHH was to help older people by improving their housing conditions related to asthma and falls, most notably by providing home assessments and home repairs to help them stay healthy and age in place. Breaking down this enterprise that has earned the title of Healthcare Hero for 2021 in the Collaboration category, the individual honorees are:

• Revitalize CDC; which performs assessments and interventions for adults and children with asthma and COPD and makes safety modifications and aging-in-place improvements so seniors may safely remain in their home;

• The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, which provides support on asthma issues; measurement evaluation; support and coordination for referrals, education, and outreach; coordination and support for asthma home-visiting services; and technical assistance and support, as well as providing materials and services in Spanish;

• Baystate Health and the BeHealthy Partnership (a MassHealth accountable-care partnership plan option made up of the Baystate Health Care Alliance and Health New England), which provide referrals to DASHH through five health centers: Baystate General Pediatrics at High Street, Brightwood Health Center, Caring Health Center, High Street Health Center Adult Medicine, and Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center; and

• The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, a national network that provides technical assistance on planning, database services, and access to best-practice strategies. The organization worked with the other partners on feasibility studies to come up with ways to fund interventions in the home and determine how those efforts might impact healthcare costs and decrease healthcare utilizations regionally.

After its initial success with Baystate, Revitalize CDC expanded its service area in 2019 to begin collaborating with Holyoke Medical Center and its team of community health workers and navigators. To boost such efforts, the city of Holyoke recently awarded Revitalize CDC’s Healthy Homes Program $100,000 from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

DASHH serves low-income families in Hampden County, which ranks last among the Commonwealth’s 14 counties for health outcomes and health factors for racial/ethnic groups. Springfield had been the asthma capital of the U.S., according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, until 2019, and now ranks 12th — still not the most desirable ranking, but an improvement, to be sure.

“You talk to the families, and you see that this is the kind of impact that changes their health,” Hudson said of DASHH’s efforts. “It means they can breathe easier and get the supplies they need.”

For instance, in some cases, “the ventilation ducts have never been cleaned, and every time the heat comes on, they have an asthma attack. Now they’re clean, and it doesn’t happen,” she went on. “Some of these are small, simple repairs.”

This issue has been important to Hudson for a long time, through the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, which was formed 15 years ago to address childhood asthma by improving medical and self-management of the condition, as well as by reducing environmental triggers.

The coalition focuses on outdoor air pollution and indoor air quality and has successfully advocated for new policies, including statewide regulations to prohibit tobacco sales to those under 21; green cleaning policies and procedures adopted by Holyoke Public Schools; an ordinance against burning construction and demolition debris; and asthma protocols and an idle-free vehicle policy adopted by Springfield Public Schools, among many other successes.

It’s work — not just the physical interventions, but education of homeowners, landlords, and primary-care physicians — that should be happening on a wider scale, Hudson said, not just in homes, but in schools and other older buildings where people gather.

“We really see a lot of our housing stock as old, with deferred maintenance, including so much of our rental housing. That’s why we are pleased to see more funding around whole-house renovations.”

 

Quick Pivot

Last year, the DASHH coalition began supporting patients at risk of contracting COVID-19 by providing them with essential supplies and access to nutritious food at home. It made contactless deliveries that also included COVID-prevention supplies, including disinfectants, microfiber cleaning cloths, cleaning gloves, dish detergent, food-storage containers, hand soap, disinfectant wipes, paper towels, and food from local pantries.

“These are people who were quarantining, and we were providing them with cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and facemasks — and we found many were food-insecure, so they were provided food from local food pantries,” Loveless said. “The whole DASHH program just expanded from asthma to COVID, and we’re still seeing it now.”

Meanwhile, she’s excited about seeing the coalition continue its broader work — and those regional asthma statistics improve further.

“It’s been a really, really great partnership. It’s a win-win situation — the healthcare system saves money, we’re serving more low-income families in need, and patients are healthier. So it’s really a win-win-win.”

Robinson agrees. “I think the role of Revitalize and other housing providers that understand these issues have made a difference — and make healthcare providers’ jobs much easier,” he said. “They have been instrumental partners in creating safe and healthy houses for older adults as well as creating healthy homes for folks with respiratory diseases, asthma in particular.”

The work is both deeply collaborative and, dare we say, heroic.

“I’m so appreciative,” Loveless said. “Together, we’re able to serve more people in need.”

 

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Healthcare Heroes

Innovation In Health/Wellness

Director of LGBTQ Services, Cooley Dickinson Hospital

J. Aleah Nesteby

J. Aleah Nesteby

She Pioneered Appropriate Care for a Population That Sometimes Lacks It

By Mark Morris

Healthcare was Aleah Nesteby’s second career goal.

“My first career goal was to be a standup comic, but I eventually realized I didn’t have the stomach for all the rejection that involved,” she said.

As it turned out, comedy’s loss was healthcare’s gain. For the past several years, she has been a family nurse practitioner and director of LGBTQ Health Services at Cooley Dickinson Health Care — and is now beginning a new career at Transhealth Northampton.

In doing so, she will continue her pioneering work providing culturally sensitive healthcare for often-marginalized populations — work that many health organizations have since adopted, long after Nesteby became an early pioneer in this region — and a true Healthcare Hero.

“I thought, if my friends can’t access good care in San Francisco, is there anywhere they can? I also thought, well, I could do that.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, members of the LGBTQ community face an increased risk of health threats due to discrimination and stigma. In her role with Cooley Dickinson, Nesteby has worked to bring more equity and compassion to healthcare for the LGBTQ community. As a practitioner, she has maintained a patient panel of about 500 people, many of whom are transgender.

It’s a passion that predates her medical career, to be sure. Since college, Nesteby has had an interest in healthcare among marginalized populations, but at the time, care focused specifically on LGBTQ people didn’t exist. In the early 2000s, while in San Francisco, she learned that some of her LGBTQ friends were not able to access healthcare.

“I thought, if my friends can’t access good care in San Francisco, is there anywhere they can?” she said. “I also thought, well, I could do that.”

So she did. And for her years of cutting-edge advocacy for this broad and sometimes misunderstood population, Nesteby certainly merits recognition in the category of Innovation in Healthcare.

 

Training Ground

In addition to treating patients, Nesteby’s responsibilities include training providers and staff on how to make medical facilities more welcoming and inclusive.

Much of the training I would call LGBTQ 101,” she said. “It’s a discussion on how to treat people respectfully and how to engage them in language they would like you to use.”

After years of pioneering work at Cooley Dickinson, Aleah Nesteby is taking her passion and talents to Transhealth Northampton.

After years of pioneering work at Cooley Dickinson, Aleah Nesteby is taking her passion and talents to Transhealth Northampton.

One common question — she’s heard it countless times — challenges why LGBTQ patients should be treated differently than anyone else. She explains that everyone has unconscious biases that play into their decisions about treatment for people.

“I try to help providers understand that, even though they think they are treating everyone the same, some of what they are saying isn’t being received by the patient in the way it might have been intended.”

For instance, microaggressions are a common issue — those backhanded compliments and minor comments that might not be insults, per se, but add up in a negative way to the person who hears them. A gay or lesbian person might be told, “I couldn’t tell whether you were gay or straight,” and a transgender person might be asked what their old name was.

“It’s these low-level, unpleasant interactions that many medical folks aren’t even aware they are doing,” Nesteby said, emphasizing that training should include all employees in the medical setting, not just direct care providers. For example, a visitor to the doctor’s office typically first speaks with someone on the front desk, then a medical assistant or nurse, and, finally, with the physician or nurse practitioner.

“Even when all the providers are trained and great to be around, if the staff aren’t trained, it can still be a negative experience for some,” she explained.

Nesteby also helps providers with more detailed training that addresses health issues specific to the LGBTQ community, such as hormone therapy for transgender adults and working with transgender children.

“I’ve also trained doctors on PrEP, a pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV,” she said. “It’s a medication people can take before being exposed to HIV to help prevent transmission.”

In some ways, Nesteby has always been an LGBTQ trainer. She was studying to be a nurse practitioner back when the transgender health movement — commonly called trans health — was just beginning. Because it wasn’t included in the curriculum, she invited a lecturer to speak to her class about trans health.

“In the beginning, there were lots of things to learn and new ground to break,” she recalled.

Nesteby is now in demand as a speaker at conferences around the country, though her appearances during the pandemic have been virtual. She also participates in TransLine, an internet-based consultation service. “People can e-mail their questions about trans health to volunteers like me, and we answer them as they come in.”

As she became established and word got out that her practice included trans health, patients would travel from hundreds of miles away just to be seen by Nesteby. However, “as trans health has become a more accessible field and more providers have become comfortable with it, there’s less need for people to travel long distances.”

 

Continuing the Conversation

Reflecting on her work with Cooley Dickinson gives Nesteby a great deal of satisfaction. From training medical staff to policies to make the hospital more inclusive, she appreciates all the progress that’s been made so far.

“While there is still work to be done, there has been a cultural shift in Massachusetts on how we view our LGBTQ patients,” she noted.

Jeff Harness, director of Community Health and Government Relations for Cooley Dickinson, called Nesteby’s work critically important to the LGBTQ community.

“It is rare to find a primary-care provider who understands the unique health and social needs of LGBTQ patients,” Harness said. “It’s exceedingly rare to fine one who is so skilled, passionate, and caring.”

This month, Nesteby is leaving Cooley Dickinson to join Transhealth Northampton, a clinic that provides primary care for children and adults. Her role will be similar to her current one in providing primary care and hormone management for her patients. In her new position, she will continue to educate clinicians and will also focus on educating the general public about working with the LGBTQ community.

“I’m an advocate of asking people how they want to be addressed and what pronouns they use,” she said. adding that people often get nervous they might offend if they ask, but the conversation has to start somewhere. “If you are respectful and polite, people will usually respond in kind. They only get upset when someone is rude or asking for information that is gratuitous or not needed.”

In general, Nesteby would like to see a more welcoming and affirming atmosphere in medicine.

“Ideally, I’d like all providers to have some degree of knowledge about how to work with LGBTQ patients because within that there is more opportunity for people to specialize in that care.”

Harness credited Nesteby with making positive changes in the system while always providing excellent care to the person in front of her. “Aleah has improved her patients’ sense of well-being by showing them their medical provider cares about, understands, and welcomes them,” he said.

In her eyes, though, showing compassion is similar some ways to the old adage about a rising tide lifting all boats.

“If we are more open and understanding to folks in one group,” she said, “we tend to be more open and understanding to everyone — and that helps all of us.”

Healthcare Heroes

Health/Wellness Administrator

Medical Director, Holyoke VNA Hospice Life Care

Alicia Ross

Alicia Ross

This Administrator Has Been a Pioneer, a Mentor, and an Inspiration

By Mark Morris

Growing up in the Philippines, Alicia Ross always hoped to become a doctor. Her father, a dentist, had other plans and wanted his daughter to take over his practice.

“I didn’t want to go into dentistry, so I went into medicine,” Ross recalled. Shortly after graduating from Manila Central University and passing her medical boards, she emigrated to the U.S.

In 1971, Ross joined the staff of Holyoke Medical Center, specializing in hematology and oncology. At the time, she worked with cancer patients, with the single goal of healing them. But for patients with advanced cancers, doctors can often reach a point where there are no more treatment options. Ross understood those patients needed something else.

“It’s huge for the patient to be reassured they’ve done all they can do to fight their illness. It’s also just as important for family members because they will remember this for the rest of their lives.”

“We had to refocus our goal,” she said. “For those cases, instead of a cure, we would instead work toward comfort measures for the end of life and do our best to ease their pain.”

So began what could be called a new career for Ross, or at least a new, exhilarating, and rewarding chapter in a remarkable — and ongoing — career. In 1991, she would become the founding medical director of Holyoke VNA Hospice Life Care.

Over the past 30 years, she has changed countless lives, and not just those who come under her care. Indeed, as an administrator, she has been a leader, a mentor, and an inspiration to those she has worked with, primarily by challenging them to continuously find ways to bring comfort and, yes, quality of life to those in hospice care.

“Someone referred to Dr. Ross as a ‘pioneer,’ and I think that is a very apt term for her,” said Maureen Groden, director of Hospice and Palliative Care, adding that Ross has changed the way many think when they hear that word ‘hospice,’ and she has spent her career educating and innovating.

Alicia Ross says many people recoil at the idea of hospice without realizing what a benefit it can be.

Alicia Ross says many people recoil at the idea of hospice without realizing what a benefit it can be.

Jennifer Martin, director of Operations and IT for Holyoke VNA Hospice Life Care, agreed.

“As medical director, Dr. Ross has always been our go-to; she is the backbone of the hospice program,” she said. “In our weekly team meetings, she goes above and beyond to make sure we provide the absolute best care for every patient and every situation.”

Those sentiments certainly help explain why Ross has been named a Healthcare Hero for 2021 in the always-competitive Administration category. Over the years, that honor has gone to those who don’t simply manage, but lead; those who not only care for those in need, but inspire others to reach higher and find ways to continually improve that care.

Ross certainly continues that tradition.

 

Life-changing Decisions

Getting back to that word ‘pioneer,’ it is used to describe those who break new ground and blaze a trail for those who would follow.

As Groden said, that term suits Ross because of the way she studied hospice care and adopted best practices, but also because she sought to keep raising the bar in all aspects of this field of healthcare.

Turning back the clock to the late ’80s, Ross said she traveled to England to study under Dr. Cicely Saunders, considered the founder of the modern hospice movement.

“Before we started our hospice services in Holyoke, I went to England to better understand how they did it,” she told BusinessWest. While she worked primarily with the doctor’s staff, Ross also met with and learned from Saunders herself.

Ross turned her knowledge into action in 1990, joining others in creating Holyoke VNA Hospice Life Care. They did so, she said, with a simple philosophy: that “dying is a part of living.”

With hospice care, it’s possible to bring dignity and acceptance to patients and families when they are making difficult decisions about end-of-life care. But it is never an easy conversation.

“We still see patients who have a strong negative reaction to the word ‘hospice,’” Ross said, adding that this is unfortunate because people who could benefit from hospice care are not always referred early enough to enable them to gain some benefit from it.

“In addition to nurses who provide pain relief, hospice also offers other services to make a person’s last days more comfortable,” she noted. “Home health aides, chaplains, social workers, even volunteers can all bring comfort to the patient.”

No matter what faith a person follows, she added, the chaplain’s role is part of providing comfort and pain relief. “During this time, many patients have emotional and spiritual pain. When the chaplain can reduce some of that emotional pain, it also eases some of the physical pain.”

Volunteers also play an important role. While COVID restrictions have curtailed in-person visits to patients, volunteers also make an important contribution in providing comfort.

“We try to match volunteers to the patient,” Ross said. “For example, if the patient is a veteran, our volunteer is a veteran.” By aligning interests, the volunteer becomes a welcome face and often develops a friendship with the patient.

Administering medicine is an important part of hospice, but there are often non-medical ways to ease a patient’s pain. Ross gave an example of how a patient with lung disease will regularly experience shortness of breath.

“While morphine is a good treatment, oxygen is too, so a fan blowing in the room can be very effective,” she said, adding that anxiety also contributes to difficulty in breathing. “Many patients feel they are burdening their family, so we work on lessening their stress and anxiety to help them understand they are not a burden on their family.”

According to Groden, family members often struggle and wonder if they’ve done the right thing in referring a loved one to hospice. She said Ross approaches that conversation by reassuring the family that, at this point in time, additional treatments would actually cause more harm than good, and that hospice is the most compassionate approach.

“It’s huge for the patient to be reassured they’ve done all they can do to fight their illness,” Groden said. “It’s also just as important for family members because they will remember this for the rest of their lives.”

While modern medicine can extend people’s lives, many still need hospice in their later years. Ross also pointed out that hospice is not just for the elderly. “We have a lot of illnesses that can affect relatively younger people, like Lou Gehrig’s disease, early-onset dementia, and, of course, cancer, which affects people at all ages.”

No matter the age, she noted, the goal of Hospice Life Care remains the same. “Our main purpose is to give patients comfort through the end of life, to make them as comfortable as possible, and treat their symptoms so they don’t suffer.”

After 50 years at Holyoke Medical Center, 30 of which were at Hospice Life Care, Ross has certainly seen many changes in healthcare. She listed electronic medical records and advancements in medication as two of the most significant.

While many physicians choose to retire rather than confront new technology, she took time to learn electronic medical records and embraced the advances in both technology and medicine. Her colleagues say she never misses a beat, one of the reasons she’s an effective leader and healthcare provider.

At the urging of her husband, Ross had planned to retire by 2015. But when he became ill in 2014 and passed away quickly, she decided to continue her work.

“I thought if I retired, I would only sit around the house and mourn, so a better choice was to keep working,” she said, adding that, with each life she impacts, she embraces that decision.

 

A True Leader

Martin observed that Holyoke VNA Hospice Life Care admits approximately 275 patients to hospice each year.

“When you multiply that number times 30 years, it gives you an idea of just how many lives Dr. Ross has touched,” she said, adding that her lasting impact is measured not in numbers, but in words, especially those used by family members of patients to describe the compassionate care they received.

Those words convey many things, including just how much of a pioneer she has been throughout her career, and how she has convinced so many that dying really is a part of living.

Mostly, though, they convey that she is a true Healthcare Hero.

 

Healthcare Heroes

Emerging Leader

Hospital Epidemiologist, Baystate Medical Center; Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Department of Medicine, Baystate Health

Dr. Sarah Haessler

Dr. Sarah Haessler

She ‘Stands on a Wall Between the Community and Infectious Diseases’

Dr. Sarah Haessler has already been honored as a Healthcare Hero. Actually, a ‘Healthcare Superhero,’ to be more precise.

That was the unofficial title bestowed upon 76 fully vaccinated healthcare workers from across New England who attended the Super Bowl last February as guests of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. The group flew down on the Patriots’ team plane and got to see Tom Brady win his seventh Super Bowl — and promote vaccination while they were at it.

Haessler, hospital epidemiologist at Baystate Medical Center and vice chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine at Baystate Health, was one of three from this region to be so honored; she was joined by Baystate colleague Stephen Boyle Sr., senior director of Hospitality; and Cherie Rodriguez, a respiratory therapist at Mercy Medical Center.

Haessler has many memories from that day, with only some of them involving the action on the field.

“It was the quintessential American experience,” she recalled, noting that healthcare workers from across the country were recognized at the game. “It was big. Everything about it was big. The music was loud, there were fireworks for everything, there were military flyovers, the jumbo screens had the president on them … America doesn’t do anything small. This was very big and very American.”

“Her role is to stand watch on the wall between our patients, our team members, our community, and the infectious agents that threaten their health. And she has successfully done this for more than a decade, not only in the face of a global pandemic the likes of which we have not experienced for more than 100 years, but every day of the year. Because in healthcare, those threats never cease.”

Haessler said pairs of tickets to the game were made available to various hospitals, and she was chosen by officials at Baystate to attend; she’s not sure how or why.

Matters are a little more clear when it comes to her being chosen as the winner in the intensely competitive Emerging Leader category for BusinessWest’s Healthcare Heroes awards. She has been chosen in large part for her many efforts to prepare those at Baystate for what was coming in early 2020 and for her ongoing work throughout the pandemic to plan, educate, and help carry out all the operations of a hospital during extraordinary circumstances. But there is certainly more to the story. Indeed, COVID-19 wasn’t her first experience with a highly infectious disease, and she acknowledged, with some resignation born from experience in her voice, that it won’t be her last.

Meanwhile, she has taken on more leadership roles over the years, serving as interim chief medical officer at Baystate Noble Hospital and currently sitting on the board of the Society of Healthcare Epidemiologists of America.

Her work in her chosen field, and her status as an emerging leader in Western Mass. and beyond, is best summed up by Dr. Andrew Artenstein, chief physician executive and chief academic officer, incident commander, COVID-19 Response, at Baystate Health, who nominated her for this honor.

“Her role is to stand watch on the wall between our patients, our team members, our community, and the infectious agents that threaten their health,” he wrote. “And she has successfully done this for more than a decade, not only in the face of a global pandemic the likes of which we have not experienced for more than 100 years, but every day of the year. Because in healthcare, those threats never cease.”

In a candid interview, Haessler talked about that harsh reality, her work at Baystate, her chosen career in epidemiology, and the many kinds of rewards that come with it.

 

At the Top of Her Game

When asked how she chose epidemiology as a specialty, Haessler started by saying that, during her residency at Dartmouth, she was interested — make that fascinated — by all aspects of medicine. It soon became clear to her that she needed to pick something broad that would cross all other specialties.

“When I sat down to pick one, I ultimately decided that the specialty where the cases that kept me up late or got me up early in the morning to learn more and read more and try to figure out what was wrong with this person — these puzzles — were the cases that were most interesting to me, and the most satisfying and challenging. And that was infectious disease,” she told BusinessWest.

Dr. Sarah Haessler was one of many ‘Healthcare Superheroes’

Dr. Sarah Haessler was one of many ‘Healthcare Superheroes’ in attendance at last February’s Super Bowl in Tampa.

“I’ve never looked back — I’ve always loved it,” she went on, adding that, in this field, she does get to interact with specialists of all kinds. “It’s been an interesting career — I’ve never been bored. And the other thing about it is that it just keeps moving. I’m a high-energy person — I keep moving — so it suits me very well.”

Things were certainly moving in the latter days of 2019, said Haessler, noting that the information coming to her from hospital epidemiologists in China, and later the state of Washington, made it clear that something ominous was on the horizon.

“We saw the pandemic potential for it because it was so swift and had created a huge influx of patients in those hospitals in Wuhan,” she recalled. “It essentially overwhelmed those hospitals immediately, and the fact that China’s approach was to put the area in lockdown … that is the kind of organism, like SARS, that causes a pandemic.”

She said Baystate was ready, in large part because it had gone through this before with other infectious diseases and had learned many valuable lessons. And she was at the forefront of these efforts.

“We had been through H1N1, and then we had been through the Ebola epidemic,” she explained. “And this really created an impetus, and a framework, across the United States for preparedness for the world’s most contagious diseases.”

Because of Ebola, Baystate had created a Special Pathogens Unit to manage extremely contagious patients, said Haessler, who manages this unit and the team that operates it. And as part of that team’s work, it created protocols and procedures for how it would manage patients, took steps to ensure that there would be adequate supplies of PPE, put in place scenarios for how patients would be cared for and where, determined if, when, and under what circumstances elective surgeries would be halted, and much more.

In short, as Artenstein noted in his nomination, Haessler was the point person for preparing the medical center for what everyone could see was coming.

“Her work provided great comfort to all, knowing that we had such an expert in such a key role,” he wrote. “Her team’s magnificent work in collaboration with employee health services led to the earliest possible recognition of infectious contacts and allowed us to limit the risks for patients and staff during a time of great uncertainty and fear.”

While the past tense is being used for most of these comments, the work battling COVID is obviously ongoing, said Haessler, adding that the Delta variant brings a new and very dangerous thread to this story.

When asked about what the past 18 months has been like, personally and professionally, she said, in essence, that it’s been the culmination of all her training and hard work.

“It’s been one of biggest events that I’ve had to participate in, and while it’s been challenging, it’s also been very gratifying, because Baystate has been an incredible organization, rising to the occasion in this. I’m so proud of Baystate; I’ve never been more proud to work at this organization and to be part of the leadership team.

“The responsiveness, the focus on what was important and what remains important, has been incredible,” she went on. “It’s been a laser focus on the safety of the healthcare workers, and protecting our patients and our healthcare workers from getting and passing this disease, getting the resources we needed to enable safe management of these patients, and staying really, really focused on what’s important here has been a phenomenal experience and an opportunity for tremendous personal and professional growth.”

 

Passing Thoughts

Returning to Raymond James Stadium and Super Bowl LV, Haessler said she had the opportunity to meet with healthcare workers from across the country who had been, at that time, battling with COVID for roughly a year.

“It was an opportunity to meet with other people, commiserate, and just be among kindred spirits — people had been through so much,” she said, adding that, seven months later, the fight continues, and in some ways, it has escalated.

In the future, there will be other fights against infectious diseases, she said, adding that the best hospitals and healthcare systems can do is try to be prepared, because, as Artenstein noted, these threats never cease.

That, in a nutshell, is what her career has been all about. Her ability to exceed in that role and many others has made her a Healthcare Hero — and a ‘superhero’ — as well as an emerging leader in Western Mass. and her chosen field.

 

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

Healthcare Heroes

Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider

Doctor and Owner, DeCaro Total Foot Care Center

Dr. Louis J. DeCaro

Dr. Louis J. DeCaro

This Specialist Has Helped Patients of All Ages Take Huge Strides

Dr. Louis J. DeCaro is firm of the opinion that no one actually has good feet.

Rather, experience tells him that everyone has one of 24 variations of bad feet.

“That includes high arches, low arches, no arches … people come in and they think flat feet are the only bad feet,” said DeCaro, owner of Hatfield-based DeCaro Total Foot Care Center, referencing a chart of what he calls the ‘24 Foot Structures.’ “But you can have an arch that causes not foot pain, but back pain. So often, high-arch people have back pain, but they don’t realize it’s coming from their feet.”

This chart, and DeCaro’s extensive use of it to explain problems people are having now — or might have later — is just one of many reasons why he was named the Healthcare Hero for 2021 in the always-competitive Provider category. Indeed, he has made pediatric podiatry his specific specialty, and throughout his career he has helped people of all ages, but especially children, make great strides, both figuratively and quite literally.

“To get a hug from a parent who tells me that their child is finally walking or is able to run or keep up with their friends … that’s really priceless.”

He has done this through everything from education to complex surgical procedures, to the development of new orthotic products, such as littleSTEPS, orthoses created specifically for young people and designed to improve coordination, balance, pain, posture, and strength, while aiding in the development of a more stable and functional gait.

He even makes an impact through his photography. DeCaro, who travels often with his family and through his work, photographs animals wherever he goes and winds up selling prints of some of his best shots, with the proceeds going to help families in need offset the cost of orthotics.

Thus, his work can be — and often is — described as life-changing, and that’s why he finds all facets of it, but especially his work with children, so rewarding.

Dr. Louis DeCaro, seen here with his children, Eliza and Lucas, and wife Jamie, says foot issues impact people of all ages, starting with the very young.

Dr. Louis DeCaro, seen here with his children, Eliza and Lucas, and wife Jamie, says foot issues impact people of all ages, starting with the very young.

“People often ask me why I do pediatrics,” he said. “And I tell them that one of the wonderful things I get to experience is when a child follows up who couldn’t walk, and I helped them walk; that’s got to be one of the most rewarding things in the world. To get a hug from a parent who tells me that their child is finally walking or is able to run or keep up with their friends … that’s really priceless.”

Over the years, DeCaro has received many hugs like that, and that just begins to explain why he is one of the Healthcare Heroes for 2021.

 

Positive Steps

Like many in healthcare, DeCaro said that, while he ultimately chose his specialty, in many ways, it chose him.

Relating the story of how he ventured into podiatry, he said he had just finished his junior year at Stony Brook University on Long Island and was on a path to a career in allopathic medicine when he got a letter from someone at Barry University, a podiatry school in Florida.

“I didn’t know anything about podiatry at all,” he recalled, adding that the school was impressed with his MCAT scores and offered to fly him down for a visit. He took them up on their offer and came away impressed with the school, the specialty, and the opportunities it presented.

“Podiatry seemed like a wonderful profession because I could specialize in whatever I wanted — I could do surgery if I wanted to, I could treat kids if I wanted,” he said, adding that he wound up skipping his final year at Stonybrook and getting on an airplane to attend Barry.

“It was the best decision I’ve ever made; getting into this specialty has been wonderful, “he went on. “It was an opportunity-knocks moment — and I opened the door to see what was behind it.”

Dr. Louis DeCaro photographed this bear while visiting Alaska. The image is one of many he has sold to help families pay for needed orthotics for their children.

Dr. Louis DeCaro photographed this bear while visiting Alaska. The image is one of many he has sold to help families pay for needed orthotics for their children.

To say that DeCaro has made the most of his opportunity and had a profound impact on patients and their families during his career in his chosen field would be a huge understatement. Indeed, as noted, he has been changing and improving lives in many ways — through education, treatment, and the development of new orthotic solutions, such as littleSTEPS.

DeCaro Total Foot Care Center now counts 30,000 active patients, with some of them coming from other states and the four corners of Massachusetts.

“Besides Boston Children’s, which is two hours away, there’s really no other pediatric specialist in this state for foot care,” he explained. “So we get patients all the time who travel two or three hours to see me, just because of the lack of pediatric specialists.”

He said podiatry is regarded by many as a specialty focused on the elderly and the diabetic, and while many of the practice’s patients are in those categories, foot issues impact people of all ages. And many problems of the foot develop when people are young.

DeCaro said he treats many children on the autism spectrum with sensory-processing disorders, others with neuromuscular diseases like cerebral palsy, children who are late walkers or delayed walkers with low muscle tone, athletes with injuries that start with their foot structure, kids with growing pains, and those with other ailments.

“Often, orthopedic issues, especially in the pediatric population, are caused by poor mechanics in the foot,” he explained. “And it starts with the minute we walk.”

He said he sees roughly 20 patients a day, fewer than many specialists, because he enjoys spending time not only with his younger patients, but their parents as well, because they often must be educated about their child’s condition.

Similarly, when he sees a child, he will often then examine the parents as well because, by looking at their respective foot structures, he can often gain some perspective on where that child might be headed when it comes to overall foot health. “Like hair color and eye color, foot structure is genetic,” he explained.

As noted earlier, treatment of his patients is just one of the reasons why DeCaro has become a standout in his field — he has been listed among the 150 Most Influential Podiatrists in America by Podiatry Management magazine — and why he will join seven others as Healthcare Heroes on Oct. 21 at the Log Cabin. He’s also an educator who lectures often; pens articles such as one called “Assessing the Role of Gait Analysis in Pediatric Patients with Flatfoot,” which appeared in Podiatry Today magazine; and teaches the ‘24 Foot Structures’ to many of his colleagues.

Within the 24 different foot structures there are six distinct foot types or categories — A to F — and given each names, like ‘John Wayne.’ “You actually turn your legs out and walk like a gunslinger,” he explained, adding that there are fun names for each category, and they are designed to help patients understand their feet and the treatment being given them.

He’s also an entrepreneur; in addition to littleSTEPS, he and business partner Roberta Nole have also developed the RX24 Quadrastep System, a state-of-the-art alternative to traditional custom orthotic management.

There’s also his photography — and philanthropy, by which he uses his hobby to help children and families in need.

The walls of the rooms in his office are covered with photos — his favorite is one of a puma he “met” in the rain forest of Costa Rica, although he’s also fond of a bear he photographed in Alaska — primarily his feet (paws), which are prominently on display.

When asked how he gets so close to his subjects, he quipped, “big lenses.”

 

Toeing the Line

In many ways, DeCaro has spent his career  helping patients, and especially the younger ones, understand the proverbial big picture when it comes to their feet and how they are never to be overlooked when it comes to one’s health, well-being, and quality of life.

Suffice it to say that he has made the most of that opportunity-knocks moment when he got on a plane bound for Florida and podiatry school. He found a profession that has been rewarding in every way imaginable.

But the real winners from that decision he made are his patients, who have benefited from his compassion, his desire to educate, and even his ingenuity and prowess as an entrepreneur.

His ability to change their lives has made him a Healthcare Hero.

 

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

Healthcare Heroes

Community Health

Counseling and Testing Prevention and Education Program Director,
New North Citizens Council Inc.

Richard Johnson

Richard Johnson

He Has Made a Career of Being There for People Who Need Help, Direction

Richard Johnson has a simple and laudable philosophy when it comes to those seeking help. And it goes a long way to explaining why he’s a Healthcare Hero for 2021 in the always-competitive Community Health category.

“When people who are in need find the fortitude to step out of themselves and ask for assistance, there should be somebody to respond,” he told BusinessWest. “That’s because it takes a lot sometimes for many people to ask for help. And so, I like to make sure that, if I’m able, I can be that person to respond.”

For more than two decades now, during a lengthy career in public health, most recently as Counseling and Testing Prevention and Education Program director for the New North Citizens Council Inc., Johnson has been able — and ready — to respond and provide that help, in the many forms it can take.

His title is a mouthful, and there is a lot that goes into it.

Indeed, from his office at the Deborah Hunt Prevention and Education Drop-in Center, Johnson helps those in the Mason Square area of Springfield and beyond cope with issues ranging from HIV and sexually transmitted diseases to opioid and other addictions; from sickle-cell anemia awareness to treatment for mental-health issues.

And with the arrival of COVID-19, that list has only grown, with new responsibilities including everything from securing PPE for those in need to educating residents about the importance of vaccination. In short, he and his team have been helping people live with everything else going on in their lives and COVID.

“When people who are in need find the fortitude to step out of themselves and ask for assistance, there should be somebody to respond. That’s because it takes a lot sometimes for many people to ask for help. And so, I like to make sure that, if I’m able, I can be that person to respond.”

“We wanted to provide an education for these individuals so they could limit or at least mitigate some of their risk factors for contracting COVID and other things,” he explained. “So 2020 became COVID-intense. Our focus changed; our priority was educating people on how communicable this disease was, and saying to them, ‘yes, I understand that you have addiction challenges and housing challenges, but you really need to pay attention to how to prevent contracting COVID, and then we can work on some of the other things.’”

A day in the life for Johnson takes him to the drop-in center, but also to the neighborhoods beyond for off-site presentations and testing at various facilities on subjects ranging from substance abuse to prevention of communicable diseases to overdose prevention and Narcan distribution. These sites include the Friends of the Homeless facility, Carlson Detox Center, Opportunity House, Bowen Center, and Valor Recovery Center.

Richard Johnson, center, with many of the team members staffing the Deborah Hunt Prevention and Education Drop-in Center

Richard Johnson, center, with many of the team members staffing the Deborah Hunt Prevention and Education Drop-in Center in Mason Square.

COVID has reduced the numbers of such visits, but the work goes on, he said, adding that it is highly rewarding in many respects, because through it, he is helping not only individuals but neighborhoods and the larger community become more resilient.

This has become his life’s work, and his devotion to that work, that mission, has made him a Healthcare Hero for 2021.

 

Source of Strength

As he talked with BusinessWest in the tiny lab set up in the drop-in center, near the Rebecca Johnson School, Johnson said the facility lives up to every word over the door.

It is, indeed, a drop-in center, where one can find testing, counseling, education, and help with prevention. There is a team of individuals working there, but Johnson is the leader, in every aspect of that word. Meaning, he sets a tone for the work there, one born from experience working with this constituency and trying to meet its many and diverse needs.

He first became involved in community health in 2002, when he volunteered for an agency called Northern Educational Services, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

“There were a number of folks I knew who were impacted by substance use and HIV,” he explained. “So this provided an opportunity for me to be directly involved in trying to navigate them to some sort of care.”

After this stint as a volunteer, he joined Northern Educational Services as a relapse counselor, and from there, he went from relapse prevention to HIV case management, starting first as an assistant and then working his way up to senior case manager. Ultimately, he became the director of Counseling and Testing Prevention and Education Services.

“Much of my work as a case manager centered on really just helping people to adjust to a new reality with regard to being diagnosed with HIV and confronting some of the stigmas associated with that,” he told BusinessWest. “I helped them understand that there are treatments that were effective, and helping them to communicate with their physican or medical provider as to what their concerns were and how their lives worked in terms of some of the stigmas associated with it and being able to talk to loved ones about their new status.

“That was really challenging for some,” he went on. “And so, case management at that time was a very hands-on thing; we made a great difference in the lives of those who were living with HIV, but equally so those who were unaware of how it was transmitted, and what prevention methods could be deployed by them, and that it was OK to have dinner with someone who was living with HIV, as opposed to some of the rumors, stories, or myths that they’d heard.”

Elaborating, he said that, for many, substance use and HIV went hand-in-hand, and efforts focused on helping people find recovery through detox and treatment facilities and helping these individuals understand that it was OK to live substance-free and face and confront some of their challenges involved with having a diagnosis that was highly stigmatized.

In 2010, he assumed that same title — director of Counseling and Testing Prevention and Education Services — with the New North Citizens Council, and has been continuing that challenging but needed work to counsel those in need and help with the medical and social aspects of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, and substance abuse, while connecting people with healthcare providers.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have built relationships with medical providers that lend themselves to understanding that when we have an individual, that service, that treatment, needs to be provided, and they’re willing to provide it,” he said, listing Baystate Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, and the Caring Health Center among the providers he and his team work with.

Over the years, Johnson has become involved with a number of community groups, boards, and commissions, including the Mason Square C-3 Initiative, the Massachusetts Integrated Planning Prevention Committee, Baystate Health’s Mason Square Neighborhood Health Center Community Advisory Board, the Baystate Health Community Benefits Advisory Council, and the Springfield Food Policy Committee.

As noted earlier, COVID has added new layers to the work and the mission for Johnson and his team. While helping individuals and families cope with what would be considered everyday matters, there is also a once-in-a-century pandemic to contend with.

Work to distribute PPE and other needed items, from masks to hand sanitizer, socks to toothpaste, goes on, said Johnson. “We still go about daily and provide PPE to people who are on the margins and often don’t have ready access to such items.”

Critical work on vaccination goes on as well, and comes in many forms, from education to dispel myths and misinformation to getting shots in arms. He mentioned a clinic at the drop-in center the day before he talked with BusinessWest, at which nine people received their second shot and two more got their first.

“Vaccination has been a challenge because there is a lot of information out there, and not all of it is accurate,” he explained. “There’s a significant amount of resistance based on information that individuals have received, so it’s really about re-educating people and helping them achieve a level of comfort receiving new information. As great and wonderful as the internet and social media are, sometimes it doesn’t provide both sides of a story.”

 

Bottom Line

Helping individuals and families achieve a needed level of comfort with many aspects of their lives — from living with HIV to battling substance abuse — has long been the best way to describe Johnson’s work and his commitment to the community.

As we noted that at the top, he fully understands just how hard it is to seek help. And that’s why it’s been his mission to be there for those who find the strength and fortitude to take that step.

His unwavering commitment to that mission has made him a Healthcare Hero.

 

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

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 79: Sept. 13, 2021

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien interviews David Godaire, president and CEO of HassHire Holyoke

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively discussion with David Godaire, president and CEO of HassHire Holyoke. The two discuss the ongoing labor shortage impacting virtually all businesses in the region, the many different forces behind it, and the outlook for the short term as federal unemployment benefits, specifically the $300 weekly bonuses expire.  It’s must listening so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

 

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Company Notebook

Basketball Hall of Fame Taps White Lion for Enshrinement Release

SPRINGFIELD — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and White Lion Brewing Co. announced the two will collaborate and release a special ale with a commemorative collector’s label designed to capture the imagery of the Hall of Fame’s annual enshrinement program. The collector’s label melds the Hall of Fame’s iconic dome with the city of Springfield skyline into White Lion’s award-winning brand. “White Lion is extremely honored to partner with the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame for an annual release affectionately dubbed Enshrinement Legend Series, which pays homage to the birthplace of basketball, the Basketball Hall of Fame, and class honorees,” said Ray Berry, White Lion president. “The city of Springfield is the home of this global sport, and we are excited to play a role in the annual enshrinement-ceremony experience.” The Basketball Hall of Fame will present the class of 2021 Saturday, Sept. 11 at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield.

Keiter Corp. Donates $10,000 for Northampton Gift-card Promotion

FLORENCE — Keiter Corp. has donated $10,000 to the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce for a promotion that will allow consumers to purchase a $25 Northampton gift card and receive $50 in actual spending power. This investment by Keiter, aimed at helping to continue to boost the local economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be supplemented by a $2,500 contribution from the chamber’s Community Revitalization Fund, allowing for 250 of the double-valued, $25 Northampton gift cards to be sold. Billed as a “Kickstart the Community with a Keiter Card” campaign, the promotion launched on Aug. 12, with the cards sold exclusively at the chamber offices at 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Based in Florence, Keiter has provided general-contracting and construction-management services in the Valley since 2010 for its commercial and residential projects. Scott Keiter is a member of the chamber’s board of directors and its finance committee, so he is personally aware of the financial hit that local merchants took during the pandemic. Knowing the gift-card program has been successful, he thought an investment focused on it would be a win-win-win for his business, the chamber, and shoppers around the region who have also been hard-hit. The Northampton Gift Card is currently accepted at 65 restaurants, shops, and other establishments.

Asnuntuck, Enfield Partner on Early-childhood Initiative

ENFIELD, Conn. — The town of Enfield’s Family Resource Center, a division of the Enfield Department of Social Services, partnered with Asnuntuck Community College’s Early Childhood Education program last month on a creative collaborative program. The two partners provided an educational experience at the Enfield Public Schools’ Stowe Early Learning Center to preschool-aged children who are entering preschool and kindergarten in the fall, and who have had a limited preschool experience due to the pandemic. The summer program was three weeks long, with three classes of 16 children each going to kindergarten and two classes of 10 children each going to preschool. Funding for the program came from the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood, and it was partially staffed by teaching assistants who are Asnuntuck students or recent graduates.

Businesses Pull Together to Help YMCA’s Camp Weber

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The YMCA of Greater Springfield reached out to several local business for their help with upgrades at its Camp Weber in West Springfield this past year. Over the course of a few months this spring, various projects were completed to upgrade Camp Weber, including paving, new roofs, painting, landscaping, consulting, new equipment, and more. The YMCA was also fortunate to receive donations and grant awards to help with other expenses on the project. In addition, some community friends came together and helped raise enough money to send nearly 300 kids to one-week sessions of camp. Among those who helped the YMCA make improvements at Camp Weber are Adam Quennville Roofing & Siding, anonymous donors, the Agnes M. Lindsay Trust, Big E Trust – Town of West Springfield, Construction Dynamics, Eastman Chemical Co., Excel Dryer, Graybar Electric Supply, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Kelly Building Group, Kittredge Foodservice Equipment & Supply, Noonan Energy, Nora Roberts Foundation, Ondrick Materials & Recycling, Szlachetka Dubay, P.C., West Springfield Rotary Club, and West Springfield Rotary District 7890.

WNEU School of Law Co-Hosts Workshop to Support Asian-American Women

SPRINGFIELD — More than 100 current and aspiring law professors participated in the inaugural Workshop for Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Women in the Legal Academy on Aug. 5-6. The event included workshops focused on professional development, scholarship, wellness, and Asian-American history. The AAPI workshop was co-hosted by Sudha Setty, dean and professor of Law at Western New England University (WNEU) School of Law, along with Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, associate dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar; clinical professor of Law; and director of the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Penn State Law in University Park. In addition to providing inspiration, the workshop offered tangible support to individuals from populations that are historically underrepresented in the legal field. Given the workshop’s success in its inaugural year, Wadhia said organizers hope it will be an annual event hosted by a rotating group of law schools across the country. Institutional support, she added, is key to making progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion within the legal academy.

Dam Upgrades, Repairs to Begin at Springfield Armory Site

SPRINGFIELD — The city of Springfield recently announced it is beginning the $3.6 million project to repair and upgrade the Watershops Pond Dam at the historic former Springfield Armory manufacturing site. GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., a multi-disciplinary firm providing ecological, geotechnical, environmental, water, and construction-management services, designed and provided permitting support for this major infrastructure project. Watershops Pond, which is created by the dam, is surrounded by several historic industrial buildings that were part of the Springfield Armory, the first federal armory and the primary manufacturing center for U.S. military firearms from 1794 until its closing in 1968. Gardner Construction & Industrial Services Inc. of Chicopee was awarded the general contract to construct the improvements at this high-hazard-potential dam. One of the key elements of the dam-improvement project includes replacing the 65-year-old crest gate. The three-foot-tall, 105-foot-long, flap-like structure can be lowered in advance of major storms and hurricanes to release water and reduce the level of the pond to mitigate potential flooding and protect the safety of the dam and downstream areas.
Several other measures will be implemented to bring the dam in compliance with Massachusetts dam-safety regulations and improve access to the gate-control house for city of Springfield personnel. The project is being funded through a $17 million grant the city was awarded in 2017 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Program. In advance of construction, GZA has facilitated and overseen a controlled draw-down of the 200-acre pond for inspection of the dam and pre-construction activities.

Home City Development Secures Permit for Affordable-housing Development in Pelham

PELHAM — Home City Development Inc., a Springfield-based affordable-housing developer, has received a comprehensive permit from the Pelham Zoning Board of Appeals for the construction of 34 mixed-income rental units. On Aug. 10, the Zoning Board approved the comprehensive permit for the property to be known as Amethyst Brook Apartments. This is the first affordable-housing development approved in the town of Pelham and the first time the Zoning Board of Appeals has awarded this type of permit. Two new buildings will be constructed at 20-22 Amherst Road; 22 Amherst Road will be designed to ‘passive house’ standards, which includes energy-efficiency specifications that drastically reduce the building’s ecological footprint. Notable additions to the site construction include a stormwater-management system and electric-vehicle charging stations. Next, Home City Development will finalize project financing, and construction is expected to be completed within 12 to 14 months after the start date, to be announced. The design team is led by Architecture Environment Life of East Longmeadow. Berkshire Design Group of Northampton will conduct civil engineering and landscape design.

SERVPRO of Hampshire County Celebrates 25 Years in Community

BELCHERTOWN — SERVPRO of Hampshire County, a cleanup and restoration company, is recognizing its 25th anniversary in the local business community. The company will celebrate its milestone with an open house on Thursday, Sept. 16 at its offices at 50 Depot St. in Belchertown. Fall has been in business since Aug. 16, 1996. SERVPRO clients include insurance companies seeking restoration services, as well as commercial and residential property owners who require routine cleaning services. With more than 50 years of experience, the SERVPRO system’s time-tested techniques and proprietary cleaning products have earned its franchises a spot as a leader in the restoration and cleaning industry. SERVPRO of Hampshire County is capable of cleaning and restoring a fire-, mold-, or water-damaged building and its contents, including wall, ceiling, and floor surfaces; furniture; fabric; fixtures; and more. Many franchisees also offer cleaning and restoration of special items, such as HVAC duct systems; building exteriors; electronic equipment, including computers; and documents that have sustained water damage.

New Community Center, Housing Coming to Carriage Grove

BELCHERTOWN — MassDevelopment and the Belchertown Economic Development and Industrial Corp. (BEDIC) announced the selection of Brisa Ventures, LLC to develop a 12-acre parcel of land at Carriage Grove into a new mixed-income residential community featuring approximately 100 units of housing. Brisa Ventures will also preserve and redevelop the existing former Belchertown State School administration building into a community center, museum, cultural space, meeting space, and either a restaurant, brewery, or distillery. Construction of the development is projected to begin by the end of 2022 and is expected to be complete within 18 to 24 months. The sale of this BEDIC-owned parcel and building to Brisa Ventures will represent the first phase of a multi-phased, mixed-use project under negotiation with the company intended to include additional commercial, residential, and community-oriented investments. The new rental housing units will be designed as a mix of two- and three-story apartment- and townhome-style residences and built to ultra-low energy-use standards; they are planned to use solar energy to meet net-zero energy use. The development will also include extensive common green areas with play areas, community gathering spaces, and pathways that connect the housing units to each other and to the neighboring trail network.

Bankruptcies

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

Brown, Malo L.
888 State St., Apt. 44
Springfield, MA 01109
Chapter: 13
Date: 08/10/2021

Bushey, Christy M.
76 1/2 Maple St.
Florence, MA 01062
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/03/2021

Carrano, Francesco A.
Forte, Pasqualina
15 Dale St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/05/2021

Drohan, Margo A.
85 Pixley Road
Great Barrington, MA 01230-8512
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/09/2021

Eckstein, Theresa
a/k/a Sanbula, Theresa
34 Eloise St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/03/2021

Fusco, Nicholas
245 Cheshire Road, #33
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/05/2021

Grandchamp, Kathleen
Global, Monat
28 Adams St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Chapter: 7
Date: 07/31/2021

Greeley Scamby, Mairi J.
10 Lincoln Road
Ashland, MA 01721
Chapter: 13
Date: 08/13/2021

Hardy, Joshua L.
46 Gold St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/03/2021

Hornsby, Mario
69 State Street Ter.
Springfield, MA 01109
Chapter: 13
Date: 08/09/2021

Jennie’s Farm
Stevens, Timothy M.
Stevens, Tammy M.
190 Prospect Hill Road
Phillipston, MA 01331
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/13/2021

Kazalis, Michael G.
Kazalis, Inna
200 Lambert Ter., Unit 22
Chicopee, MA 01020
Chapter: 7
Date: 07/30/2021

Kuruca, Sefa
Hebert-Kuruca, Angela M.
11 Brookfield St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/03/2021

McCarthy, John M.
McCarthy, Catherine M.
PO Box 72
Cheshire, MA 01225
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/11/2021

Mentzen, Eric
Mentzen, Cheryl F.
163 Crane Hill Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/07/2021

Montemagni, Gina Maria
130 Lawndale St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/04/2021

Opalenik, Diane R.
5 Bach Lane
South Hadley, MA 01075
Chapter: 13
Date: 08/05/2021

Petrucelli, Andrew
17 Beveridge Blvd.
Westfield, MA 01085
Chapter: 7
Date: 07/31/2021

Prendergast, Daniel J.
Prendergast, Megan E.
a/k/a Bergman, Megan E.
21 Sonia St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/05/2021

Shea, Jeffrey S.
Shea, Melissa D.
474 East State St.
Granby, MA 01033
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/04/2021

Shea, Kelsey D.
474 East State St.
Granby, MA 01033
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/03/2021

Sullivan, Jeffrey M.
164 Druid Hill Road
Springfield, MA 01129
Chapter: 13
Date: 08/02/2021

Vautrin, Elyse A.
a/k/a Rivers, Elyse A.
39 Belvidere Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/09/2021

Williams, Lula L.
52 Savoy Ave.
Springfield, MA 01104
Chapter: 7
Date: 07/30/2021

Wordbound Media, LLC
Mayer, John Jakob
833 Colrain Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/11/2021

Real Estate

The following real estate transactions (latest available) were compiled by Banker & Tradesman and are published as they were received. Only transactions exceeding $115,000 are listed. Buyer and seller fields contain only the first name listed on the deed.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

BERNARDSTON

32 Turners Falls Road
Bernardston, MA 01337
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Amy C. Shattuck
Seller: Virginia M. Waterman
Date: 07/30/21

BUCKLAND

38 Williams St.
Buckland, MA 01338
Amount: $228,000
Buyer: Todd A. Boutwell
Seller: Boutwell, Cecelia B., (Estate)
Date: 07/28/21

3 Union St.
Buckland, MA 01370
Amount: $189,000
Buyer: Jonathan Magee
Seller: Richard Purtle
Date: 08/05/21

CHARLEMONT

1205 Route 2 East
Charlemont, MA 01339
Amount: $201,000
Buyer: William C. Brunner
Seller: Peter J. Daly
Date: 07/30/21

COLRAIN

229 Thompson Road
Colrain, MA 01340
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Steven G. Danowitz
Seller: Ruth B. McDowell
Date: 07/26/21

CONWAY

1497 Main Poland Road
Conway, MA 01341
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Erin Phillips
Seller: Detra C. Sarris
Date: 07/30/21

28 Main St.
Conway, MA 01341
Amount: $299,900
Buyer: Mikayla A. Reine
Seller: Jeffery A. Greenwood
Date: 07/26/21

DEERFIELD

20 Elm St.
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Philip K. Peake
Seller: Robert Stockwell
Date: 08/04/21

236 North Main St.
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $223,075
Buyer: Hsien F. Chang
Seller: Jayne L. Stetson
Date: 07/30/21

82 Whately Road
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $337,000
Buyer: Samuel A. Urkiel
Seller: Zukowski, Henry J., (Estate)
Date: 08/06/21

GREENFIELD

6-8 Beech St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Colleen A. Champ
Seller: Moon Morgan
Date: 08/06/21

633 Bernardston Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $251,100
Buyer: FHLM
Seller: Janet G. Peers
Date: 08/03/21

255 Chapman St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $267,050
Buyer: Harriet F. Peterson
Seller: Thatcher RET
Date: 07/30/21

260 Chapman St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Jon S. Nelson
Seller: Norbert A. Belliveau
Date: 08/04/21

26 Eliza Lane
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Jenifer M. Ollis
Seller: Min L. Lu
Date: 07/30/21

16 Grinnell St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $455,000
Buyer: Michael C. Pfitzer
Seller: Rodolfo Florencio
Date: 07/30/21

21-23 Harrison Ave.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $298,000
Buyer: David E. Bruffee
Seller: Donald F. Weld
Date: 07/30/21

180 Laurel St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $365,000
Buyer: Greenerside Holdings LLC
Seller: Town Of Greenfield
Date: 07/27/21

36 Linden Ave.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $256,000
Buyer: Nicholas Hathaway
Seller: Jeremy R. Mailloux
Date: 07/30/21

99 Log Plain Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $489,442
Buyer: Jason A. Constantine
Seller: Robert P. Lafleur
Date: 07/27/21

17 Mackin Ave.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $422,001
Buyer: Jeremy Lessard
Seller: Roland P. Currier
Date: 07/30/21

38 Overland Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $327,500
Buyer: Mark A. Collins
Seller: Leeanne P. Hadsel
Date: 07/30/21

20 Prentice Ave.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $118,200
Buyer: Ruby Realty LLC
Seller: Jessie L. Graham
Date: 08/05/21

18 Solon St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $249,000
Buyer: Claudia Black
Seller: James Frost
Date: 07/30/21

28 Vernon St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Mladen Baudrand
Seller: Paul D. Viens
Date: 07/30/21

3 Vernon St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $272,500
Buyer: Terrance H. Kennedy
Seller: Lindsey M. Doolen
Date: 07/30/21

37-39 Walnut St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Valeriu Vizitiu
Seller: Pavel Tutunzhiu
Date: 07/27/21

HEATH

44 Long Hill Road
Heath, MA 01346
Amount: $372,000
Buyer: Gale E. Hubley
Seller: Maureen Barclay
Date: 08/04/21

62 Papoose Lake Dr.
Heath, MA 01346
Amount: $262,500
Buyer: Todd C. Gross
Seller: John H. Traynor
Date: 07/26/21

66 Papoose Lake Dr.
Heath, MA 01346
Amount: $262,500
Buyer: Todd C. Gross
Seller: John H. Traynor
Date: 07/26/21

LEVERETT

335 Long Plain Road
Leverett, MA 01054
Amount: $355,000
Buyer: Tod R. Loebel
Seller: Lorraine Re
Date: 08/04/21

Route 63
Leverett, MA 01054
Amount: $115,000
Buyer: Matthew W. Corcoran
Seller: Sondra K. Corcoran
Date: 07/28/21

LEYDEN

266 Alexander Road
Leyden, MA 01337
Amount: $312,000
Buyer: Katelyn McVety
Seller: Daniel P. Viens
Date: 07/30/21

135 George Lamb Road
Leyden, MA 01337
Amount: $525,000
Buyer: Jared Garfield
Seller: Ricki Newman-Benzie
Date: 08/03/21

Wilson Road
Leyden, MA 01301
Amount: $349,000
Buyer: Peter Siegel
Seller: John F. Tinker
Date: 07/30/21

MONTAGUE

25 Central St.
Montague, MA 01349
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Natan M. Cohen
Seller: Michael E. John
Date: 07/29/21

11 Coolidge Ave.
Montague, MA 01376
Amount: $273,000
Buyer: Jesse Sevoian
Seller: Christopher J. Bailey
Date: 08/06/21

390 Millers Falls Road
Montague, MA 01349
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Daniel R. White
Seller: Viencek III, Maryon F., (Estate)
Date: 08/04/21

8 Unity St.
Montague, MA 01376
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: Robert W. Wasielewski
Seller: Steven P. Levin
Date: 07/30/21

NEW SALEM

2 Old County Road
New Salem, MA 01355
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Nicholas A. Irving
Seller: Amanda K. Piper
Date: 07/28/21

NORTHFIELD

39 Highland Ave.
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Sarah R. Kerns
Seller: Van Brothers Co. LLC
Date: 08/06/21

181 Main St.
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: David Kelly
Seller: Lesley A. Safer TR
Date: 07/30/21

76 Main St.
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $299,900
Buyer: Jody P. James
Seller: Megan A. Barnes
Date: 07/26/21

ORANGE

18-20 East Main St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $190,000
Buyer: Waipong Woo
Seller: Blaise Berthiaume
Date: 08/02/21

20 Fieldstone Dr.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Kevin W. Colo
Seller: James L. Basford
Date: 08/06/21

245 Hayden St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Jay M. Guilmette
Seller: Gerald C. Stone
Date: 07/28/21

179 Holtshire Road
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Divina Dias-Prata
Seller: Gerald Stone
Date: 08/04/21

46-48 Kelton St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $215,400
Buyer: Jefferson J. Lett
Seller: Philip J. Harris
Date: 08/06/21

11 Perry Road
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $432,511
Buyer: Robert Fichtel
Seller: Saverio F. Kaczmarczyk
Date: 07/27/21

9 Rogers Ave.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: David C. Simpson
Seller: Kimberly J. Valliere
Date: 07/30/21

416 South Main St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Deborah A. Ericson
Seller: Thavath Sayarath
Date: 07/27/21

41 Stone Valley Road East
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $365,000
Buyer: Nathaniel Herzig
Seller: Gregory M. Leblanc
Date: 08/06/21

30 Terrace St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Kyle Kilhart
Seller: Nancy M. Holston
Date: 07/30/21

18 West River St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Jameson P. Reardon
Seller: Gregory S. Bryant
Date: 07/30/21

SHUTESBURY

64 Cushman Road
Shutesbury, MA 01002
Amount: $615,000
Buyer: Nathan J. Heard
Seller: Gail M. Carroll RET
Date: 07/30/21

481-483 Montague Road
Shutesbury, MA 01072
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Chiheng Lee
Seller: Andrew J. Baird
Date: 07/27/21

176 West Pelham Road
Shutesbury, MA 01072
Amount: $267,000
Buyer: Jeremy R. Mailloux
Seller: Lisa D. Sanders
Date: 07/30/21

527 West Pelham Road
Shutesbury, MA 01072
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Leah C. Jack
Seller: Skyway Properties LLC
Date: 07/30/21

WHATELY

199 River Road
Whately, MA 01373
Amount: $440,900
Buyer: Kurt M. Brazeau
Seller: Donald L. Webster
Date: 07/28/21

Route 10
Whately, MA 01093
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: Sovereign Builders Inc.
Seller: Sharyn A. Holich
Date: 08/04/21

Route 5
Whately, MA 01093
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: Sovereign Builders Inc.
Seller: Sharyn A. Holich
Date: 08/04/21

HAMPDEN COUNTY

AGAWAM

29 Briarcliff Dr.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Bridget A. Dionne
Seller: Thomas M. Roberts
Date: 08/04/21

104 Broz Ter.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $400,000
Buyer: Daniel C. Eutiquio
Seller: Walter C. Kos
Date: 08/06/21

35 Candlewood Dr.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $519,000
Buyer: Mert E. Basarir
Seller: Marshia G. Regnier
Date: 08/02/21

70 Carr Ave.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $268,000
Buyer: Douglas Vye
Seller: Mark E. Cole
Date: 08/02/21

71 Columbia Dr.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Madeline A. Joyal
Seller: Calabrese Construction LLC
Date: 07/30/21

70 Independence Road
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $450,000
Buyer: Cindy Houle
Seller: Lawrence A. Mayo
Date: 07/30/21

37 Maynard St.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $237,500
Buyer: Tammy L. Martin
Seller: Richard A. Sisk
Date: 08/06/21

73 Meadow St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Rebecca A. Leithoff
Seller: Cindy A. Houle
Date: 08/06/21

56 North West St.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Luis Lizardi
Seller: Brandon M. Tessier
Date: 08/02/21

22 Oriole Dr.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Cara Raschilla
Seller: Raymond A. Nadeau
Date: 07/26/21

76 Pheasant Run Circle
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $332,000
Buyer: Eric Rooney
Seller: Joseph A. Bergeron
Date: 08/05/21

71 Riverview Ave.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $340,000
Buyer: Eric Seibert
Seller: William P. O’Hare
Date: 07/30/21

618-620 Springfield St.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $238,000
Buyer: Nicholas Blais
Seller: Nancy A. Baker
Date: 08/06/21

BRIMFIELD

20 Agard Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $465,000
Buyer: Brian Sheridan
Seller: Linda A. Vecchione
Date: 07/28/21

226 East Hill Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $475,000
Buyer: John D. Dalton
Seller: Donna S. Shalvoy
Date: 07/28/21

153 Haynes Hill Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $216,500
Buyer: Jewel Real Estate Inc.
Seller: Margery J. Wilburn
Date: 08/05/21

23 Prospect Hill Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $450,000
Buyer: Jerome J. Ryan
Seller: Heather E. Larson
Date: 07/29/21

68 Saint Clair Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $475,000
Buyer: Kirsten M. Desjardins
Seller: George S. Demos
Date: 07/30/21

44 Warren Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $385,000
Buyer: Emily J. Eshleman
Seller: Brian D. Delnegro
Date: 08/06/21

CHESTER

5 School St.
Chester, MA 01011
Amount: $177,000
Buyer: Mary M. Judson
Seller: Robert C. Mazeika
Date: 07/30/21

CHICOPEE

32 Bemis St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $208,625
Buyer: Tito Demond-Lewis
Seller: Michael A. Judkins
Date: 08/06/21

47 Bourbeau St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Samuel C. Bernash
Seller: Tougas, Phyllis M., (Estate)
Date: 07/29/21

23 Chapin St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $400,000
Buyer: College Of Our Lady
Seller: Judith M. Corridan-Danek
Date: 07/30/21

22 Cherryvale St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $241,000
Buyer: David J. Cote
Seller: Cecelia A. Velasquez
Date: 07/30/21

6 Connecticut Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Janery M. Negron
Seller: Jo A. Hastings-Bineault
Date: 08/03/21

167 Crestwood St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Bethany T. Sullivan
Seller: Eleanor T. Appleton
Date: 08/05/21

244 East Main St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Victor Alonso
Seller: Keith Rattell
Date: 08/06/21

22 East Street Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $236,000
Buyer: Rosemary Soto
Seller: Igor Revniuk
Date: 07/30/21

18 Fanwood Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Stephen Badura
Seller: Wesley Gumlaw
Date: 08/05/21

210 Grattan St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Edwin E. Cabrera
Seller: Tammi J. Adair
Date: 07/29/21

73 Hilton St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Maryangelie Jimenez
Seller: Stephen J. Badura
Date: 08/05/21

71 Kaveney St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Rafael Nouel
Seller: Dominic A. Iannuzzi
Date: 07/28/21

79 Madison St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: 79-81 Madison St. Realty LLC
Seller: Christopher Petropoulos
Date: 07/30/21

35 Marten St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $262,500
Buyer: Marissa Swentinckus
Seller: Nancy S. McKay
Date: 07/28/21

30 Mary St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Amanda J. Weinberg
Seller: Michael Parnell
Date: 08/05/21

68 Nonotuck Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Alex Franco
Seller: Amanda Bonci
Date: 08/02/21

235 Nonotuck Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Kate M. Kuzmeskus
Seller: Sherri M. Duffy-Denaut
Date: 07/30/21

62 Ohio Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Patricia Robicheau
Seller: Nancy F. Papalardo
Date: 07/28/21

820 Pendleton Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $288,000
Buyer: Luz E. Sanchez
Seller: Mathieu A. Toczek
Date: 08/06/21

7 Ralph Circle
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Luz E. Marcano
Seller: Sodi Inc.
Date: 08/02/21

221 Rolf Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Madaline Colon
Seller: David E. Macneil
Date: 07/30/21

46 Saint Jacques Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Sylvia Conant-Peterson
Seller: Carole J. Hubbard
Date: 07/30/21

75 Springfield St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: Becken Realty LLC
Seller: Leclerc Holdings LLC
Date: 08/06/21

79 Springfield St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: Becken Realty LLC
Seller: Leclerc Holdings LLC
Date: 08/06/21

28 Woodcrest Court
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Robert A. Boucher
Seller: Robert A. Boucher
Date: 07/27/21

68 Yvette St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Sandra Y. Torres
Seller: Linda M. Pulaski
Date: 07/30/21

EAST LONGMEADOW

167 Fernwood Dr.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $385,000
Buyer: Justin Fernandes
Seller: Jean A. Towle
Date: 08/06/21

22 Granby St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $289,900
Buyer: Timothy A. Bates
Seller: Jeffrey A. Deliefde
Date: 08/02/21

346 Kibbe Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Karisa M. Calderon
Seller: John Bacevicius
Date: 07/26/21

9 Linden Ave.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $399,700
Buyer: Nicholas Lanci
Seller: Mei N. Li
Date: 08/06/21

5 Mereline Ave.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $248,000
Buyer: Robert Hunter
Seller: Tia M. Lawrence
Date: 07/27/21

149 Porter Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Alicia N. Chakrabarti
Seller: Gail B. Gwozdz
Date: 08/02/21

538 Prospect St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Brian M. Lech
Seller: Johannes G. Devries
Date: 07/29/21

566 Prospect St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $1,250,000
Buyer: Kingdom Home LT
Seller: Tyde R. Richards
Date: 08/04/21

53 Ridge Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $510,000
Buyer: Kathrina Hardy
Seller: Joseph A. Ford
Date: 08/06/21

73 Rural Lane
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $435,000
Buyer: Corey J. Robinson
Seller: Michael G. Robie
Date: 07/29/21

54 Schuyler Dr.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $372,000
Buyer: Ilsa Y. Cintron-Madera
Seller: Ronald A. Griffith
Date: 08/04/21

95 Shaker Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $725,000
Buyer: 21 Shillingford RT
Seller: 95 Shaker LLC
Date: 07/27/21

184 Somers Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Cameron M. Champigny
Seller: Baxter, Donna L., (Estate)
Date: 08/03/21

33 Taylor St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $320,000
Buyer: Fabian Gusovsky
Seller: Allan B. Sonoda
Date: 08/06/21

256 Westwood Ave.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $295,000
Buyer: Joshua Montes-Rodriguez
Seller: Marie L. Chaban
Date: 08/06/21

GRANVILLE

597 Main Road
Granville, MA 01034
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Keith Curbow
Seller: James R. Shimp-Jylkka
Date: 07/30/21

50 McCarthy Road
Granville, MA 01034
Amount: $153,660
Buyer: William Dolan
Seller: US Bank
Date: 07/30/21

HAMPDEN

153 Chapin Road
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Robert M. Dennis
Seller: William D. Dubois
Date: 08/04/21

417 Chapin Road
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Joshua R. Sterling
Seller: Matthew Chapin-Sterling
Date: 07/27/21

39 Kelly Lane
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $355,000
Buyer: Daryl M. Johnson
Seller: Alexander M. Lagunowich
Date: 07/28/21

14 Meadow Brook Lane
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Caitlyn J. Bates
Seller: Christopher W. Bates
Date: 07/29/21

159 North Monson Road
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $402,000
Buyer: James K. Bor-Woo
Seller: Felicia A. Leclerc
Date: 07/26/21

60 Old Orchard Road
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $276,000
Buyer: Christina N. Brodeur
Seller: Skowron, Richard F., (Estate)
Date: 08/05/21

HOLLAND

3 Old County Way
Holland, MA 01521
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Hannah R. Guertin
Seller: Elizabeth A. Sigaty
Date: 08/03/21

171 Sturbridge Road
Holland, MA 01521
Amount: $376,500
Buyer: Frederick Gehring
Seller: Leah M. Palmer
Date: 08/02/21

179 Sturbridge Road
Holland, MA 01521
Amount: $525,000
Buyer: Leah M. Palmer
Seller: Rachel E. Palmer
Date: 08/05/21

HOLYOKE

14 Alderman St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Stephen F. Field
Seller: Ovila J. Gadbois
Date: 08/04/21

21-23 Brown Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Johnny Calderon
Seller: Erika N. Reyes
Date: 08/06/21

9 Charles St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: KNC Home Renovations LLC
Seller: Finn, Martin J. Jr., (Estate)
Date: 08/06/21

26 Concord Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Dency C. Sargent
Seller: Aldenis Garcia
Date: 07/30/21

17 Highland Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $194,755
Buyer: Abraxas RT
Seller: Krista J. Alberti
Date: 07/29/21

41 North Summer St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: Manuel E. Rivera
Seller: Juan Pedrosa
Date: 08/03/21

1635 Northampton St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $800,000
Buyer: DIB Realty LLC
Seller: Robert J. Orsucci
Date: 08/02/21

1-3 Orchard St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $258,800
Buyer: Christopher N. Jarrett
Seller: Brian D. Moynihan
Date: 07/28/21

216 Pine St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $205,000
Buyer: Ricky Jones
Seller: Yellowbrick Property LLC
Date: 07/27/21

71 Pine St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $167,000
Buyer: Jayne Marshall
Seller: Shanice Brown
Date: 07/30/21

417-419 South Elm St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $313,000
Buyer: Vincent M. Ortiz
Seller: Domingos Verissimo
Date: 08/02/21

LONGMEADOW

73 Allen Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $370,000
Buyer: Jennifer L. Atkin
Seller: John Perenick
Date: 08/05/21

77 Fairhill Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $600,000
Buyer: Christopher McKillop
Seller: Brian J. Grayboff
Date: 08/03/21

335 Inverness Lane
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $705,000
Buyer: Thomas F. Donnelly
Seller: Jared R. Tivnan
Date: 07/30/21

52 Laurel Lane
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $455,000
Buyer: Edward M. Sluis
Seller: 52 Laurel Lane LLC
Date: 07/30/21

196 Laurel St.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $405,000
Buyer: John T. Wittbold
Seller: Terfera, Raymond O., (Estate)
Date: 07/29/21

68 Massachusetts Ave.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Delores J. Thayer
Seller: Daniel T. Beauregard
Date: 07/30/21

88 Meadowlark Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $332,100
Buyer: Mathieu A. Toczek
Seller: Gary B. Mantolesky
Date: 08/06/21

50 Oak Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Quercus Properties LLC
Seller: Joel A. Pava
Date: 08/02/21

123 Wild Grove Lane
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $635,000
Buyer: Tracie L. Dagostino
Seller: Romona S. Dromgold
Date: 07/30/21

43 Wildwood Glen
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $500,000
Buyer: Harrison J. Liebman
Seller: Tammy R. Rex
Date: 07/29/21

LUDLOW

31 Acorn Lane
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $320,000
Buyer: Emily Dewolf
Seller: Ryan C. O’Neil
Date: 08/04/21

16 Brimfield St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Israel Rivera
Seller: Peter A. Gaudreau
Date: 07/29/21

592 Center St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $412,500
Buyer: P&B Properties LLC
Seller: CJM Properties Inc.
Date: 07/29/21

826 Center St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Christopher J. Goncalves
Seller: Christopher E. Moore
Date: 07/30/21

351 Chapin St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Timothy J. Goodchild
Seller: Jack C. Mendes
Date: 08/02/21

354 Chapin St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $339,500
Buyer: Hoyt Forbes
Seller: Jeffrey A. Lambert
Date: 08/06/21

35 Funston Ave.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Michelle M. Liaszenik
Seller: Michael Mole
Date: 08/05/21

84 Grimard St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $263,000
Buyer: Marie Finnerty
Seller: Jane E. Costa
Date: 07/29/21

31 Harlan St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $311,000
Buyer: Kathleen M. Nevins
Seller: Marsha Cote
Date: 08/05/21

Keefe St. #24
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $450,000
Buyer: West Street Village LLC
Seller: Bonnie L. Kennedy
Date: 07/26/21

24 Lehigh St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Nicholas T. Moutinho
Seller: Betty B. Moutinho
Date: 08/05/21

64 Oak Knoll Circle
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Shauna Leblanc
Seller: Robert C. Table
Date: 07/26/21

55 Ray St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $195,000
Buyer: Colin F. Cook
Seller: Antonio A. Sosa
Date: 07/30/21

156 Swan Ave.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $288,500
Buyer: Justine P. Anderson
Seller: Daniel S. Honorio
Date: 07/27/21

59 Tower Road
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $272,500
Buyer: Home Rehabit LLC
Seller: Ann L. Irvine
Date: 08/06/21

390 West St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Jackson Cali LLC
Seller: David G. Belanger
Date: 07/27/21

West St. #24
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $450,000
Buyer: West Street Village LLC
Seller: Bonnie L. Kennedy
Date: 07/26/21

391 Westerly Circle
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Michael A. Buoniconti
Seller: Michael A. Buoniconti
Date: 07/26/21

MONSON

225 Bumstead Road
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $614,000
Buyer: Pamela J. Ellis
Seller: Arlo K. Skowyra
Date: 07/26/21

78 Butler Road
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Vincent Nuzzolilli
Seller: Nicholas Turnberg
Date: 07/27/21

19 Harrison Ave.
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $277,000
Buyer: Aaron K. Rittlinger
Seller: Peter C. Beaupre
Date: 07/30/21

57 Lakeshore Dr.
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $343,500
Buyer: Lyndsay M. Vickers
Seller: Charles L. Secrease
Date: 08/06/21

125 Lower Hampden Road
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $546,000
Buyer: Anthony Patalano
Seller: Douglas Delisle
Date: 07/29/21

33 Thompson St.
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $238,000
Buyer: Phillip Arnold
Seller: Keith D. Beaulieu
Date: 08/02/21

PALMER

5-7 Beech St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Timothy Romeo
Seller: Whitney Kusy
Date: 08/02/21

28 Beech St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $380,000
Buyer: Katherine H. Balcom
Seller: William D. Harris
Date: 07/29/21

11 Christine St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $131,200
Buyer: US Bank
Seller: Randall E. Paxton
Date: 08/03/21

1 Juniper Dr.
Palmer, MA 01095
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Jaroslaw Lebida
Seller: Leszek Lebida
Date: 08/02/21

2004-2008 Main St.
Palmer, MA 01080
Amount: $159,900
Buyer: Sawkat Wally
Seller: OM 3 Rivers LLC
Date: 07/29/21

2358 Main St.
Palmer, MA 01080
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Jacqueline Rygiel
Seller: Fumi Realty Inc.
Date: 07/30/21

3117-3119 Main St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $293,500
Buyer: Jazmin Rubet
Seller: Marek Dybacki
Date: 08/06/21

3165-3171 Main St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: John Sullivan
Seller: Constance M. Kos
Date: 08/02/21

3001 Maple St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: John Sullivan
Seller: Constance M. Kos
Date: 08/02/21

1 Meadow Lane
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Paul O. Garcia
Seller: Scott L. Poulin
Date: 07/29/21

1469 North Main St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: 1469 North Main Street RT
Seller: Karnavati Express Inc.
Date: 08/05/21

1500 North Main St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Joao A. Dias
Seller: 413 RSCS2 LLC
Date: 08/06/21

6 Norbell St.
Palmer, MA 01080
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Samantha K. Cardin
Seller: Charles W. Smith
Date: 08/02/21

RUSSELL

21 Main St.
Russell, MA 01008
Amount: $159,900
Buyer: David Serotkin
Seller: FHLM
Date: 07/28/21

78 Patriots Path
Russell, MA 01071
Amount: $289,000
Buyer: Yehor Kovaliuk
Seller: Tia M. Doherty
Date: 08/04/21

SOUTHWICK

109 Bungalow St.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Tara Gorenc
Seller: Martin Gorenc
Date: 08/02/21

139 College Hwy.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $530,000
Buyer: Christopher J. Collins
Seller: Wesley D. Kupchunos
Date: 08/03/21

14 Davis Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Michael F. Sullivan
Seller: Peter M. Coppa
Date: 08/06/21

32 Davis Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $331,000
Buyer: Michael Monti
Seller: David A. Wall
Date: 08/02/21

27 Eagle St.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $737,000
Buyer: John Haftmann
Seller: Brian B. Beger
Date: 07/27/21

102 Sheep Pasture Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Joseph B. Axenroth
Seller: Mary K. Reagan
Date: 07/30/21

35 South Longyard Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Brooke L. Matranga
Seller: Jesse Rizzo
Date: 08/05/21

233 South Loomis St.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $750,000
Buyer: 233 South Loomis LLC
Seller: Sodom Mountain Campground Inc.
Date: 08/02/21

98 Vining Hill Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $612,500
Buyer: Tyler Hutchison
Seller: Charles P. Lippert
Date: 07/30/21

15 White St.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $655,000
Buyer: Mark Merrow
Seller: Tracey L. Davis
Date: 07/27/21

SPRINGFIELD

124 Abbe Ave.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Jennifer Cordero
Seller: Samuel Vazquez
Date: 08/05/21

73 Acushnet Ave.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Denis Ryzhikov
Seller: FP Realty LLC
Date: 08/04/21

132 Alderman St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $298,000
Buyer: Guy Meyitang
Seller: Sapana Sinchury
Date: 08/06/21

1644 Allen St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Kenneth S. Constanza
Seller: C. P. Bulathsinghala
Date: 07/27/21

140 Ambrose St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $345,000
Buyer: Andrew Robinson
Seller: Jennifer Y. Perlera
Date: 07/29/21

114 Arnold Ave.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Derrick E. Murphy
Seller: Janet Curbelo
Date: 07/30/21

47-49 Ashley St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Nicholas A. Webley
Seller: Edwin Ortiz-Gonzalez
Date: 08/06/21

38 Barrington Dr.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $390,000
Buyer: Biji G. Joseph
Seller: Marlo McCants
Date: 08/06/21

189 Bay St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: JJJ17 LLC
Seller: Diane Jubrey
Date: 07/29/21

41-43 Beaudry St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Om Sai Property Investment LLC
Seller: Carlos M. Alves
Date: 08/05/21

177 Belvidere St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Ghasaq Al-Kowami
Seller: Anthony S. Wright
Date: 07/28/21

1340 Berkshire Ave.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Jonathan Gomez
Seller: Deanna M. Autry
Date: 08/03/21

62-64 Bither St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Christopher P. Ferreira
Seller: Caleb J. Gomez
Date: 08/06/21

133 Brandon Ave.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: Jesus Alicea
Seller: USA HUD
Date: 08/06/21

135 Breckwood Blvd.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Jose R. Llanos
Seller: Jalissa I. Masarone
Date: 07/30/21

73 Bridle Path Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Katherine A. Carman
Seller: Pamela L. Hill
Date: 07/30/21

97 Bristol St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Duane Victory
Seller: Karl S. Exantus
Date: 08/06/21

124 Buckingham St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: JJJ17 LLC
Seller: Diane Jubrey
Date: 07/29/21

1542-1548 Carew St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $285,000
Buyer: Fahad LLC
Seller: Wahid Uddin
Date: 08/05/21

158 Chapin Ter.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $140,000
Buyer: Fallah Razzak
Seller: Richard Negrin
Date: 08/03/21

37 Cherrelyn St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Manal Alluhaibi
Seller: Bassam Mawla
Date: 08/02/21

24 Chilson St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $271,000
Buyer: Quadnesa N. Kelly
Seller: Kimberly A. Kirkland
Date: 07/27/21

40 Church St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $176,500
Buyer: Joannie Suarez
Seller: Jose Suarez
Date: 07/30/21

297 Commonwealth Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Damaris Resto-Colon
Seller: Roman Zdorovets
Date: 07/29/21

272 Connecticut Ave.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Damaris L. Morales
Seller: Celany Z. Valdez
Date: 07/28/21

59 Corona St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $232,000
Buyer: Angelica Colon
Seller: Meghann L. Whittemore
Date: 07/28/21

39 Crow Lane
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Dawn E. Taylor
Seller: Brian J. Sears
Date: 07/30/21

134 Devens St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: Catalino Maldonado
Seller: Manuel D. Silva
Date: 08/04/21

558 Dickinson St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $211,000
Buyer: Deirdre Alton
Seller: Daniel Lozada
Date: 08/04/21

251 Dorset St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Vanessa Portalatin
Seller: Robert J. Schroeter
Date: 07/30/21

313-315 Dorset St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $182,500
Buyer: Michael P. Rodgers
Seller: Verba S. Fanolis
Date: 08/06/21

Dwight St. (WS)
Springfield, MA 01101
Amount: $620,000
Buyer: 401 Liberty Street LLC
Seller: D&K Realty Inc.
Date: 07/27/21

223 East St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Xavier D. Machuca
Seller: Diana Rios-Sheldon
Date: 07/29/21

70-72 East Alvord St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Edgar O. Nieves
Seller: Alpha Homes LLC
Date: 08/02/21

49 Eastern Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Moises R. Velasquez-Perez
Seller: Eliezer Soto
Date: 07/30/21

340-342 Eastern Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Amanda Torres
Seller: Rafael A. Reyes
Date: 08/06/21

9-11 Ellsworth Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $249,000
Buyer: Holly L. Fredericks
Seller: MPower Capital LLC
Date: 08/02/21

37 Endicott St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Amy Bedore
Seller: Turgeon, Roland H. Jr., (Estate)
Date: 07/27/21

47 Felicia St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: Hedge Hog Industries Corp
Seller: Chmura, Jane V., (Estate)
Date: 07/27/21

396-398 Fernbank Road
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Michael Huang
Seller: Michael R. Heaton
Date: 07/30/21

59-61 Forest Park Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $142,000
Buyer: Emtay Inc.
Seller: Wilmington Svgs Fund Soc
Date: 07/29/21

139 Fox Hill Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $271,000
Buyer: Aubri N. Bailly
Seller: Grundstrom, Dena L., (Estate)
Date: 07/26/21

306 Gilbert Ave.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $435,000
Buyer: Mickelia A. Pearson
Seller: Bretta Construction LLC
Date: 07/30/21

519 Gifford St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $371,000
Buyer: Andre M. Walker
Seller: Minh Lam
Date: 08/05/21

185 Hancock St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Kimberly Dupuis
Seller: Dannys Solis
Date: 07/30/21

16 Harkness Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: George C. Carter
Seller: Katie E. Byrne
Date: 08/02/21

30 Herbert Ave.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Rebecca Lesnett
Seller: RAW Land Ltd
Date: 07/26/21

59 Hillside Dr.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $221,000
Buyer: Uriel Burgos
Seller: Deanne D. Duclos
Date: 07/29/21

33 Hunt St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $149,000
Buyer: Y&M Home Solutions LLC
Seller: Deutsche Bank
Date: 08/03/21

87 Ingersoll Grove
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $355,000
Buyer: Stephen Cyr
Seller: Paul A. Nuckols
Date: 07/30/21

38-40 Jenness St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Robert A. Arnett
Seller: John F. Kearns
Date: 07/28/21

90 Jenness St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Tamara Barbee
Seller: Micheline A. Martin
Date: 08/05/21

20-24 Kelly Place
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $268,000
Buyer: Nilsa Laboy
Seller: Fernando J. DosSantos
Date: 07/30/21

214 King St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $116,000
Buyer: Darwin Gomez
Seller: 11 RRE LLC
Date: 07/29/21

36-38 Lakeside St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Richard M. Johnson
Seller: Riccardo R. Carroll
Date: 08/06/21

62 Laurel St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $190,000
Buyer: Stephane Figueroa-Vidal
Seller: Daisy Rivera
Date: 07/29/21

135 Lloyd Ave.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Mercedes I. Pineiro
Seller: Norma A. Dywer
Date: 07/30/21

25 Lloyd Ave.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: Blythewood Property Management LLC
Seller: Harris Properties LLC
Date: 07/30/21

40 Mallowhill Road
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Amarilis Torres
Seller: Alison Fernandes
Date: 07/28/21

84-86 Manhattan St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $251,000
Buyer: John E. Torres-Astacio
Seller: John D. Caldwell
Date: 07/28/21

128 Marion St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Springfield Ventures RT
Seller: Martyn Berliner
Date: 08/02/21

70 Martone Place
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $450,000
Buyer: Saint James Place Property
Seller: WBGLA Of Westfield MA LLC
Date: 07/26/21

27 Mattoon St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $244,000
Buyer: Eric D. Boccio
Seller: Robert S. McCarroll
Date: 07/30/21

39 Montmorenci St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $205,000
Buyer: Jacqueline Rios
Seller: Daniel E. Grandon
Date: 07/30/21

365 Newbury St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $227,000
Buyer: Salgari Ramirez
Seller: Chad Lynch
Date: 07/30/21

507-509 Newbury St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Nathaniel J. Jones
Seller: Blythewood Property Management LLC
Date: 07/30/21

66 Northway Dr.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $135,000
Buyer: Veteran Stan LLC
Seller: Allen B. Hayden
Date: 07/27/21

143-145 Oak Grove Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $307,000
Buyer: Jony Hidalgo
Seller: Round 2 LLC
Date: 08/06/21

152 Oakland St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Dominga Dominguez-Diaz
Seller: Jerry A. Gonzalez
Date: 08/03/21

3 Oakwood Ter.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Norman J. Major
Seller: Eich Estates Inc.
Date: 07/27/21

322-324 Page Blvd.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Carlos E. Martinez
Seller: William Delgado
Date: 07/29/21

31 Palmer Ave.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $226,000
Buyer: Randolph Wills
Seller: Tatcepsy 1 LLC
Date: 07/29/21

110 Parker St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $228,000
Buyer: Watson James
Seller: Francisco Alarcon
Date: 07/26/21

41 Parkside St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Anthony Flores
Seller: Gail Catjakis
Date: 07/28/21

53 Parkside St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Anastasia M. Clements
Seller: Jessica Cordero
Date: 07/27/21

23 Parkwood St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $143,000
Buyer: Round 2 LLC
Seller: John Tran LLC
Date: 07/28/21

115 Pasadena St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: Lamont Clemons
Seller: Rene A. Bernier
Date: 08/06/21

144 Pasco Road
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $249,900
Buyer: Alex N. Wright
Seller: McNally, John M., (Estate)
Date: 08/05/21

72 Pheland St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $167,500
Buyer: Marco Scibeli
Seller: Albert R. Breton
Date: 08/06/21

67 Plumtree Circle
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Thomas St.Amand
Seller: Charles L. Binsbacher
Date: 07/27/21

30 Prince St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Cristalee Velazquez
Seller: Jose Goncalves
Date: 07/30/21

51 Quincy St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Sridhar Tipirneni
Seller: Denise Rivera
Date: 07/29/21

61 Ramblewood Dr.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $218,000
Buyer: Delilah M. Figueroa
Seller: Mary C. McBride
Date: 07/29/21

16 Riverview St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Luis Ibarra
Seller: Alan R. Towne
Date: 07/26/21

31 Rockland St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Bobbie Jo Murray
Seller: Patrick J. McCarthy
Date: 07/30/21

89 Roosevelt Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $273,000
Buyer: Kyle J. Ahearn
Seller: Daniel W. Shannon
Date: 08/02/21

620 Roosevelt Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $145,010
Buyer: Veteran Stan LLC
Seller: Shirely Lu
Date: 08/05/21

837 Saint James Ave.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Jorge L. Pagan
Seller: Courtney J. Axenroth
Date: 07/30/21

233 Savoy Ave.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Alexander Munera-Garcia
Seller: Kimberley Strother
Date: 07/30/21

35 Shefford St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $415,000
Buyer: A. Brickhouse-Fitzemeyer
Seller: Andreas Aigner
Date: 08/04/21

78 Sherbrooke St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Llajaira Maldonado
Seller: Tascon Homes LLC
Date: 08/02/21

170 Springfield St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Matthew Martinez
Seller: Jose E. Martinez
Date: 08/04/21

43 Sullivan St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $388,000
Buyer: 43 Sullivan Street Inc.
Seller: Hann Realty Berkshire LLC
Date: 07/29/21

407 Sumner Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: James Schmidt
Seller: Karl A. Haywood
Date: 08/05/21

52 Sunrise Ter.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: David G. Boucher
Seller: Wiers Ralph N., (Estate)
Date: 07/30/21

289 Tremont St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $140,000
Buyer: Joejoe Properties LLC
Seller: Elliott F. Rainville
Date: 07/30/21

39 Venture Dr.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Daine D. Hamilton
Seller: Richard Dionne
Date: 07/26/21

32 Wellfleet Dr.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $144,000
Buyer: Jessica E. Majkowski
Seller: Stephen R. Perry
Date: 08/02/21

80 Wellington St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Rohan Heron
Seller: Jennifer Carter
Date: 07/26/21

28 West Alvord St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Rodman Capital Group LLC
Seller: Dawn E. Taylor
Date: 07/30/21

38 Westford Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: David D. Mixon
Seller: Joshua M. Glicksman
Date: 08/02/21

83 Wilton St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Cindy M. Corchado
Seller: Victor M. Aguirre
Date: 07/30/21

27 Woodcliff St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $221,000
Buyer: Adam Curtis
Seller: Jenna L. Hayden
Date: 08/04/21

19 Woodrow St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $355,000
Buyer: Alexander Perez
Seller: Parker Point Property LLC
Date: 08/02/21

1166 Worthington St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $435,000
Buyer: S. W. Proctor TR
Seller: Deirdre Alton
Date: 07/30/21

557 Worthington St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Rose Entertainment LLC
Seller: Damascus Holdings LLC
Date: 07/27/21

WALES

10 Woodland Heights
Wales, MA 01081
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Margaret Powers
Seller: Ronald W. Gresty
Date: 07/30/21

WEST SPRINGFIELD

91 Amherst St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $360,000
Buyer: Ryan N. Tellier
Seller: Tomasz Kisiel
Date: 07/28/21

36 Bliss St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Marc Mamoun-Dulaimy
Seller: Debra Whiting
Date: 08/03/21

25 Chestnut St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Katharina Neumann
Seller: Richard A. Silvano
Date: 08/02/21

73 Elmdale St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Choubert St.Florant
Seller: Kenneth A. Whiting
Date: 08/04/21

182 Ely Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Deborah A. O’Neill
Seller: Jeremy M. Rankin
Date: 07/30/21

17 George St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Mahmoud Jnaed
Seller: Alexander Frazier
Date: 07/26/21

45 Heritage Lane
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $450,000
Buyer: Kathryn Gelonese
Seller: Kathleen A. Weiss
Date: 08/05/21

42 Houston Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $155,000
Buyer: Larkspur LLC
Seller: Armstrong, Samuel D., (Estate)
Date: 08/02/21

193 Laurel Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $380,000
Buyer: Bhim K. Bhattarai
Seller: Robert S. Lawless
Date: 07/27/21

155 Loomis Ridge
West Springfield, MA 01085
Amount: $630,000
Buyer: Phillip E. Parker
Seller: Scott W. Hodges
Date: 07/29/21

1393 Piper Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Jonathan M. Minney
Seller: Roman Lavrov
Date: 08/06/21

29 Robinson Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $287,500
Buyer: Nancy H. Weld
Seller: Nico Paolucci
Date: 08/02/21

WESTFIELD

35 Carpenter St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Nicholas A. Ventura
Seller: Douglas J. Fuller
Date: 08/02/21

28 Colony Circle
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Robert L. Gramolini
Seller: Kristen Cimini
Date: 07/29/21

51 Court St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Ryan M. Johnson
Seller: Christopher R. Judson
Date: 07/27/21

102 Court St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $243,000
Buyer: Timothy A. Delhagen
Seller: Concetta Lane
Date: 07/30/21

26 Crescent Ridge Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $565,000
Buyer: Nicholas J. Mears
Seller: Paul R. Swenson
Date: 07/30/21

41 Dickens Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Amber R. Plante
Seller: Tonya L. Plante
Date: 08/03/21

 

70 Forest Glen Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $349,900
Buyer: Evan C. Marshall
Seller: Tracey L. Tristany
Date: 07/30/21

982 Granville Road
Westfield, MA 01089
Amount: $340,000
Buyer: Michael Navarro
Seller: Jeffrey J. Daly
Date: 07/27/21

14 Harrison Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Robinson Miranda
Seller: Raymond J. Wright
Date: 07/30/21

99 Holyoke Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Margaret Ferraro
Seller: Roberta J. Belanger
Date: 08/03/21

182 Joseph Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $190,000
Buyer: Doug Fuller
Seller: Noret, Eleanor A., (Estate)
Date: 07/27/21

11 King Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $380,000
Buyer: Phillip M. Gildersleeve
Seller: Double D. Investments LLC
Date: 08/06/21

25 Leonard Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $395,000
Buyer: TM Properties Inc.
Seller: Michael D. Jones
Date: 07/29/21

35 Llewellyn Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $299,000
Buyer: Michelle R. Leblanc
Seller: Susan S. Emery
Date: 07/29/21

452 Loomis St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $490,000
Buyer: Steven MacMaster-Jones
Seller: David C. Colton
Date: 07/27/21

666 Montgomery Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $320,000
Buyer: Ryan Karolides
Seller: Douglas L. Puza
Date: 08/05/21

52 Ridge Trail Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $320,000
Buyer: Michael J. Falcetti
Seller: Jeffrey A. Neece
Date: 08/06/21

11 Saint Dennis St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Karina Pratt
Seller: Eric J. Dewey
Date: 07/26/21

55 Salvator Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $475,000
Buyer: Joseph F. Pescitelli
Seller: Larry T. Lenston
Date: 07/30/21

159 Sunset Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $348,000
Buyer: Lori Assad
Seller: Robert Pitts
Date: 08/04/21

31 William St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $190,000
Buyer: Eugeniu Corja
Seller: Phillip H. Sousa
Date: 07/30/21

19 Zephyr Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Michael Parnell
Seller: Mitchell S. Chambers
Date: 08/05/21

WILBRAHAM

238 3 Rivers Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $287,000
Buyer: Francis A. Hall
Seller: Michael R. Peckham
Date: 07/26/21

3 Burt Lane
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Karly Cordova
Seller: Nicole Gray
Date: 08/04/21

33 Delmor Ave.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $258,800
Buyer: Matthew Enzor
Seller: Anthony L. Renzulli
Date: 07/28/21

436 Dipping Hole Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $307,500
Buyer: Hilary P. Diebold TR
Seller: Jason S. Balut
Date: 07/28/21

21 Grassy Meadow Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $524,900
Buyer: Mathew F. Nelson
Seller: John F. McBride
Date: 07/30/21

4 Highland Ave.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Emily E. Casella
Seller: Ryan, Joseph J., (Estate)
Date: 07/27/21

3 Horseshoe Lane
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Ryan Dufour
Seller: ZF 2021 1 LLC
Date: 08/04/21

8 Karen Dr.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $320,000
Buyer: Corey A. Diaz
Seller: Elisa M. Baird-O’Brien
Date: 08/06/21

3 Kensington Dr.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $605,000
Buyer: Krzysztof Checiek
Seller: Dennis P. Lopata
Date: 07/30/21

9 Laurel Lane
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $560,000
Buyer: Marc J. Reidy
Seller: Janice F. Kozub
Date: 07/27/21

26 Merrill Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $345,000
Buyer: Lisandra Figueroa
Seller: Jessika Arcouette
Date: 08/06/21

12 Oaks Farm Lane
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $424,900
Buyer: Alexandria L. Biela
Seller: AC Homebuilding LLC
Date: 08/06/21

9 Porter Dr.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $480,000
Buyer: Cleide C. DosSantos
Seller: William E. Manseau
Date: 07/28/21

16 Primrose Lane
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $410,000
Buyer: Shannon Gumlaw
Seller: Felipe O. Goncalves
Date: 08/05/21

29-31 Stony Hill Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Hazel Zebian
Seller: Michael J. Pluta
Date: 08/06/21

776 Stony Hill Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $311,000
Buyer: Joshua J. Szumski
Seller: Megan E. Danio
Date: 07/30/21

799 Stony Hill Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $420,000
Buyer: Tyler S. Anderson
Seller: John Lewis
Date: 08/06/21

44 Weston St.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $145,000
Buyer: Campagnari Construction LLC
Seller: Carla M. Verducci
Date: 08/02/21

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY

AMHERST

10 Allen St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $480,000
Buyer: John W. Kinchla
Seller: 10 Allen Street LLC
Date: 07/27/21

38 Fearing St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $540,000
Buyer: Jennifer E. Larsen
Seller: David A. Ettelman
Date: 07/30/21

31 Foxglove Lane
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $620,000
Buyer: Pavel Machala
Seller: John E. Ritter
Date: 07/30/21

15 Grove St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $490,000
Buyer: Historie Reno & Rental Property
Seller: Green Tree Family LP
Date: 07/29/21

738 Main St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $456,000
Buyer: Historie Reno&Rental Prop
Seller: Green Tree Family LP
Date: 07/29/21

44 Potwine Lane
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $293,000
Buyer: Jaime T. Knox
Seller: Lynne Chase
Date: 08/06/21

85 South East St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Jessica Jay
Seller: 85 South East St. LLC
Date: 08/06/21

BELCHERTOWN

171 Boardman St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $267,000
Buyer: Kelsey Basak
Seller: Property Group Inc.
Date: 08/03/21

9 Brenda Lane
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $351,000
Buyer: Peter VanBuren
Seller: John E. Hawley
Date: 08/02/21

881 Federal St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Esteban Sanabria
Seller: Henry J. Walas
Date: 07/28/21

107 Howard St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Joshua M. Smith
Seller: Lynn M. Hurst
Date: 07/27/21

32 Howard St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: David Melanson
Seller: Rothwell, Renee C., (Estate)
Date: 07/29/21

30 Metacomet St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Michael Dailing
Seller: David T. Hindman
Date: 07/30/21

122 Old Bay Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $266,000
Buyer: Nikolas Goulas
Seller: MTGLQ Investors LP
Date: 07/28/21

170 Old Enfield Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $354,300
Buyer: Anna E. Jacke
Seller: Janet M. Jourdain
Date: 08/03/21

2 Rainbow Dr.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $403,200
Buyer: Robert E. Williams
Seller: Michael A. Fuller
Date: 07/30/21

16 Shea Ave.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $655,000
Buyer: Brian Hurst
Seller: Jared Moriarty
Date: 07/27/21

31 Summit St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Scott Bonafini
Seller: Maureen A. Moynihan
Date: 07/28/21

73 Turkey Hill Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $278,000
Buyer: Christopher M. Gordon
Seller: Morgan H. Lavalle
Date: 08/02/21

205 Ware Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $238,350
Buyer: Linh Tran
Seller: Daniel W. Shelton
Date: 07/30/21

632 Warren Wright Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Tyler A. Miller
Seller: Michael Burstein
Date: 08/04/21

CHESTERFIELD

109 East St.
Chesterfield, MA 01012
Amount: $354,500
Buyer: Ronald P. Altimari
Seller: Alex L. Kassell
Date: 08/06/21

371 Ireland St.
Chesterfield, MA 01084
Amount: $1,200,000
Buyer: Conan R. Deady
Seller: Spencer L. Timm
Date: 08/02/21

105 South St.
Chesterfield, MA 01012
Amount: $569,000
Buyer: Jon T. Garcia
Seller: David A. Hewes
Date: 08/02/21

CUMMINGTON

323 Berkshire Trail
Cummington, MA 01026
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Frederick Whitin
Seller: Mary J. Sullivan
Date: 07/28/21

EASTHAMPTON

62 Campbell Dr.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Lusmari Roman-Martinez
Seller: Michael J. Falcetti
Date: 08/06/21

22 Drury Lane
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $376,500
Buyer: Gershon Rosen
Seller: Carl S. Growhoski
Date: 08/06/21

13 Florence Road
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $313,000
Buyer: Lyann A. Sanchez
Seller: Diane L. Gorenstien
Date: 07/29/21

145 Holyoke St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $192,500
Buyer: Blythewood Property Management LLC
Seller: Plata O. Plomo Inc.
Date: 08/02/21

12 Maxine Circle
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: John Piskor
Seller: Alaina Carpenter
Date: 07/30/21

185 Park St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: James A. Mills
Seller: Mills, Jean K., (Estate)
Date: 08/06/21

33 Treehouse Circle
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $467,500
Buyer: Richard Connell
Seller: Phebe B. Sessions
Date: 08/03/21

GRANBY

131 Burnett St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Daniel P. O’Neil
Seller: Timothy R. Mikkola
Date: 07/30/21

23 Carver St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: James Roy
Seller: Alan Shaw
Date: 08/03/21

160 Carver St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $690,000
Buyer: Jared R. Moriarty
Seller: James Edwards-Banas
Date: 07/27/21

162 Carver St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $690,000
Buyer: Jared R. Moriarty
Seller: James Edwards-Banas
Date: 07/27/21

29 Easton St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $483,316
Buyer: Alexander L. Miller
Seller: Chocorua Investments LLC
Date: 07/29/21

284 East State St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $329,000
Buyer: Frank Santos
Seller: MBL Management LLC
Date: 08/02/21

12 Greenmeadow Lane
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $353,000
Buyer: Tenzin Jamyang
Seller: Refined Design Homes Inc.
Date: 08/02/21

149 Harris St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $320,000
Buyer: Robert M. Jurkowski
Seller: Heather R. Labonte
Date: 08/06/21

80 Pleasant St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $259,900
Buyer: Jorge L. Perez
Seller: Fabio Alves-Cardoso
Date: 08/03/21

144 School St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Bennett O. Fields
Seller: Lisa A. Courchesne
Date: 08/02/21

555-A State St.
Granby, MA 01007
Amount: $435,000
Buyer: John J. Murray
Seller: Ronald H. Archambault
Date: 07/27/21

HADLEY

14 Arrowhead Dr.
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $447,500
Buyer: Cheryl J. Noble
Seller: Robert J. Tessier
Date: 07/30/21

230 River Dr.
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $279,000
Buyer: John T. Boisvert
Seller: Green Tree Family LP
Date: 07/30/21

HATFIELD

155 Pantry Road
Hatfield, MA 01088
Amount: $850,000
Buyer: Robert M. McKittrick
Seller: Barry Moser
Date: 08/02/21

NORTHAMPTON

25 Baker Hill Road
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $749,900
Buyer: Kathryn Kothe
Seller: Nu Way Homes Inc.
Date: 08/02/21

48 Blackberry Lane
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $565,000
Buyer: Jessica M. Westermann
Seller: J. Riley Caldwell-O’Keefe
Date: 07/30/21

63 Bradford St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Heather F. Diaz
Seller: Chris Figge
Date: 08/06/21

212 Damon Road
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $277,000
Buyer: Teddy Pacheco
Seller: Olufemi Aina
Date: 08/02/21

25 Diamond Court
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $675,000
Buyer: Chadbourne Gillette
Seller: Nadine L. Salem
Date: 07/26/21

47 Golden Dr.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $520,000
Buyer: Matthew W. Litalien
Seller: Steven D. Goodwin
Date: 07/30/21

43 Ice Pond Dr.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $685,000
Buyer: Steven Archibald
Seller: Samantha A. McVay
Date: 08/06/21

5 Kingsley Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $600,000
Buyer: Amy C. Haedt
Seller: Avital Nathman
Date: 08/02/21

30 Ladyslipper Lane
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $600,000
Buyer: Arthur B. Moser
Seller: Meehan FT
Date: 08/03/21

12 Munroe St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $564,000
Buyer: Lauren E. Bullis
Seller: J. F. & Kathleen B. O’Neil FT
Date: 08/02/21

480 North King St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $380,000
Buyer: Kenneth F. Courge
Seller: Jeri K. Casca
Date: 07/29/21

117 Olander Dr. #21
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $517,465
Buyer: Marc Gurvitch
Seller: Sunwood Development Corp.
Date: 07/30/21

7 Rust Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $422,500
Buyer: Janet L. Kelly
Seller: Ecovisual LLC
Date: 08/06/21

44 Sheffield Lane
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $705,700
Buyer: J. Riley Caldwell-O’Keefe
Seller: David P. Wicinas
Date: 07/30/21

67 Water St.
Northampton, MA 01053
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Rondina Acquisitions Corp.
Seller: Anna M. Dolan
Date: 08/02/21

46 Woodbine Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $471,000
Buyer: Scott D. Edmands
Seller: Munska FT
Date: 08/02/21

PELHAM

312 Amherst Road
Pelham, MA 01002
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Julianna R. Stevens
Seller: Kristen L. Rhodes
Date: 08/04/21

8-B Harkness Road
Pelham, MA 01002
Amount: $405,000
Buyer: Alan E. Smetzer
Seller: Jeremy A. Spool
Date: 07/30/21

PLAINFIELD

116 South Central St.
Plainfield, MA 01070
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Ronald M. Benedict
Seller: Nicole L. Meehan
Date: 08/02/21

SOUTH HADLEY

97 Bardwell St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $410,000
Buyer: Stephen J. Wyzga
Seller: Nicholas Vaselacopoulos
Date: 08/02/21

9 Brook St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $299,500
Buyer: Thomas L. Giampietro
Seller: Kevin P. Whalen
Date: 07/28/21

101 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: PSJS LLC
Seller: 101 College LLC
Date: 08/06/21

15 Fulton St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $236,900
Buyer: David Laliberte
Seller: PCI Construction Inc.
Date: 08/04/21

6 Industrial Dr.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $900,000
Buyer: 6 Industrial Drive LLC
Seller: Adrian G. MaGrath TT
Date: 08/03/21

5 Linden Dr.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $348,000
Buyer: James Woolley
Seller: Elissa K. Dingman
Date: 08/06/21

10 Lloyd St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Athena M. Fleury
Seller: Janice F. Beaulieu
Date: 08/02/21

131 Lyman St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $303,000
Buyer: John Roberts
Seller: Kimberly A. Davine
Date: 07/27/21

208 Mosier St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $471,000
Buyer: Suzanne E. Corwin
Seller: Simon J. Neame
Date: 07/30/21

7 Overlook Road
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Dina M. Bevivino
Seller: Samuel I. McArthur
Date: 08/03/21

96 Pittroff Ave.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Kaittlyn Gilliam
Seller: Patrick Grafton-Cardwell
Date: 07/30/21

42 Stanton Ave.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: Anne R. Browning
Seller: Natasha Z. Matos
Date: 08/06/21

11 Virginia Dr.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Margaret Scecina
Seller: Gary P. Johnson
Date: 07/26/21

52 Westbrook Road
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Tessa Miller
Seller: Thorton, Ronald M., (Estate)
Date: 07/27/21

65 Westbrook Road
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Joseph D. Whalen
Seller: Gary E. Werbiskis
Date: 08/03/21

SOUTHAMPTON

120 Brickyard Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $314,000
Buyer: Peter J. Mularski
Seller: Miguel A. Gonzalez
Date: 07/29/21

27 Gilbert Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $569,500
Buyer: Lisa M. Bartlett
Seller: Pawel Misniakiewicz
Date: 08/06/21

2 Glendale Woods Dr.
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $440,000
Buyer: Alexandra F. Mooney
Seller: James L. Ulm
Date: 07/29/21

WARE

69 Babcock Tavern Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: David Miner
Seller: Harold R. Swift
Date: 08/06/21

4 Coldbrook Dr.
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $390,000
Buyer: Adam M. Leecock
Seller: Scott C. Romani
Date: 07/28/21

276 Old Gilbertville Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $430,000
Buyer: Yu M. Li
Seller: Frederick C. Disley
Date: 07/27/21

344 Palmer Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Andrew Lombard
Seller: Flak Brook Farm TR
Date: 07/30/21

76 South St.
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $213,000
Buyer: Vicente E. Acevedo
Seller: Ross K. Kiely
Date: 07/29/21

17 Willow St.
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Sadie R. Turner
Seller: Paul G. Deslongchamp
Date: 08/06/21

WILLIAMSBURG

59 Chesterfield Road
Williamsburg, MA 01096
Amount: $364,000
Buyer: Eli Ahrensdorf
Seller: Matthew D. Zacks
Date: 07/29/21

5 Pondview Dr.
Williamsburg, MA 01039
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Thomas J. Shea
Seller: Jason T. Novak
Date: 07/28/21

WORTHINGTON

Ireland St.
Worthington, MA 01098
Amount: $1,200,000
Buyer: Conan R. Deady
Seller: Spencer L. Timm
Date: 08/02/21

302 Old Post Road
Worthington, MA 01098
Amount: $635,000
Buyer: Pamela W. Wicinas
Seller: E. Douglas Karmer
Date: 07/30/21

Building Permits

The following building permits were issued during the month of July 2021. (Filings are limited due to closures or reduced staffing hours at municipal offices due to COVID-19 restrictions).

CHICOPEE

EJL Realty, LLC
1625 Memorial Dr.
$40,800 — Roofing

J & E Real Estate, LLC
1973 Memorial Dr.
$15,500 — Roofing

Archie Moe
1260 Memorial Dr.
$9,985 — Roofing

RT Commercials, LLC
185 Grove St.
$70,000 — Add addition for storage and entrance

Timdee Rainey Investments, LLC
788 Sheridan St.
$41,000 — Roofing

GREENFIELD

Greenfield Glass Co.
52 River St.
$26,000 — Roofing

Kostanski Funeral Home
220 Federal St.
$11,000 — Replace rotting pipe columns with concrete piers and pressure-treated posts that support existing front porch

Rise Above Bakery
282 Main St.
$15,000 — Install type-2 hood system and fan

Stoneleigh-Burnham School
574 Bernardston Road
$9,000 — Install NFPA 13-compliant sprinkler system for gym expansion

Washington Street Head Start
86 Washington St.
$49,521.89 — Replace 45 windows

HADLEY

E&A/I&G Campus Plaza, LP
454 Russell St.
Electrical equipment for vehicle-charging equipment

Gordon Smith
100 Mill Valley Road
Add walk-in cooler to new addition

Town of Hadley
21 River Dr.
Construct classroom dividers at Hadley Elementary School

LENOX

Lenox Housing Authority
6 Main St.
$20,000 — Tenant buildout to construct non-load-bearing partition dividing single office into two offices with vestibule from Main Street entrance

NORTHAMPTON

Matt & Nick, LLC
199 Pine St.
$17,600 — Roofing

Brian McLaughlin
388 King St.
$17,000 — Move sign due to roadwork at D’Angelo’s

Pella Products Inc.
129 Water St.
$6,400 — Install five replacement windows

ServiceNet Inc.
30 Straw Ave.
$7,600 — Roofing

Smith College
22 Elm St.
$9,000 — Modify alcove for millwork

Smith College
3 Green St.
$25,000 — Install ramp at Hubbard House

PALMER

Iberia Foods
21A Wilbraham St.
$1,151,875 — Roof coating

NE Recreation & Health, LLC
1235 Thorndike St.
$21,780 — Demolish two-story building

Sam Paixao
2052 Main St.
$1,500 — Reface existing sign

PITTSFIELD

AM Management, LLC
253 East St.
$15,000 — Install new fire-alarm system

Claudia Coplan
262 Appleton Ave.
$16,000 — Rebuild two multi-flue brick chimneys

CTB Inc.
323 Dalton Ave.
$13,809 — Replace RTU on single-story building

El Gato Grande, LP
455 Dalton Ave.
$26,950 — Modify overhead fire-sprinkler system and install new in-rack sprinklers to accommodate storage of plastics at the new Big Lots store

Hibrid, LLC
1315 East St.
$5,000 — Deconstruct and remove steel building

Carol Keeler
56 Churchill Crest
$2,550 — Window replacement

Pat Mickle
489 Dalton Ave.
$30,000 — Roofing and siding

 

Premium Waters Inc.
22 Central Berkshire Blvd.
$713,634 — Construct tanker-truck loadout facility

Three Seventy Six Tyler Street, LLC
558 East St.
$2,200 — Drop ceiling in main area

WDM Properties, LLC
28 First St.
$10,890 — Install new fire-warning system

WJK Realty, LLC
850 Crane Ave.
$140,136 — Interior framing and finishes

SPRINGFIELD

3 Chestnut, LLC
122 Chestnut St.
$12,700 — Remove and replace steel beam on fourth level of Chestnut Parking Garage

A1 Sumner Plaza, LLC
876 Sumner Ave.
$2,000 — Demolish and reframe walls for bathroom and office in salon

Walter Kroll
109 Mill St.
$30,000 — Add insulation to attic of the Offices at Mill Park

MGM Springfield Redevelopment, LLC
12 MGM Way
$5,000 — Install new railings in two locations along perimeter walkway of casino floor

Northgate Center, LLC
1985 Main St.
$65,000 — Remodel interior of former H&R Block into physical-therapy office for Boston Orthopedics

David Ratner
105 Avocado St.
$2,000 — Install fire-alarm system at Johnson Supply

Rising, LLC
133 Maple St.
$9,200 — Roofing

Haq Zahoor Ul
3111 Main St.
$420,300 — Alter interior of convenience store for KFC tenant space with drive-up window

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 77: August 30, 2021

George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Dr. Robert Roose, chief medical officer for Mercy Medical Center

Dr. Robert Roose

On the next installment of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Dr. Robert Roose, chief medical officer for Mercy Medical Center. The two discuss the changing scene with COVID-19, the emergence of the Delta variant, the outlook for the fall — and beyond, and the many factors that will determine the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

 

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 76: August 23, 2021

George O’Brien interviews Peter Rosskothen

Peter Rosskothen

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Peter Rosskothen, owner of the Log Cabin Banquet & meeting House, the Delaney House restaurant, and other hospitality-related businesses. The two talk about the changing numbers when it comes to the pandemic, the emergence of the Delta variant, and what all this could mean for businesses already facing a number of challenges as they seek a return to something approaching normal. It’s must listening so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Cover Story

Fair Amount of Intrigue

Eugene Cassidy, president and CEO of the Big E

Eugene Cassidy, president and CEO of the Big E

As the calendar turns to late summer, all eyes in the region turn to the Big E in West Springfield and the much-anticipated 2021 edition of the fair. The show did not go on in 2020 due to COVID-19, a decision that impacted businesses across a number of sectors. There will be a fair this year, and the goal is to make it as normal — there’s that word again — as possible. But it will be different in some respects. Meanwhile, as COVID cases surge in other parts of the country and uncertainty about the fall grows with each passing day, the anticipation for the fair comes with a healthy dose of anxiety.

 

In a normal year — and this isn’t one, to be sure — what keeps Gene Cassidy up most at night is the weather.

Cassidy, president and CEO of the Big E, has been quoted many, many times over the years saying that just a few days of steady rain — especially if they come on weekends — can turn a great fair, attendance- and revenue-wise, into an average one, or worse, just like that. So even though there’s nothing he can do about the weather, he frets about it. A lot.

This year … while ‘afterthought’ might be too strong a word when it comes to the weather, it might not be, either.

Indeed, Cassidy has other matters to keep him up at night, including a pandemic that is entering a dangerous and unpredictable stage, a workforce crisis that has already forced the cancellation of a giant Ferris wheel that was scheduled for this year’s fair and may pose a real challenge for vendors and other participating businesses during the fair’s 17 days, and even concerns about whether one of the organizers of his massive car show can get into this country (he’s been given the AstraZeneca vaccine, which isn’t recognized in the U.S.).

“I have a fear … that the long arm of the government can suddenly change our lives — we lived through that in 2020, to be sure,” he noted. “And the Eastern States Exposition is surviving on a very thin thread; we cannot withstand being shuttered for another fair because the vacuum that would occur in our economy is nearly three quarters of a billion dollars, and there’s no way that anyone is going to able to replace that.”

“I have a fear … that the long arm of the government can suddenly change our lives — we lived through that in 2020, to be sure. And the Eastern States Exposition is surviving on a very thin thread; we cannot withstand being shuttered for another fair.”

As the Big E enters the final countdown before it kicks off on Sept. 17, there are equal amounts of anticipation and anxiety. The former is natural given the fact that the region hasn’t gone without a fair, as it did in 2020, since World War II; Cassidy noted that advance ticket sales are “off the charts,” and running 80% higher than in 2019, which was a record-setting year for the Big E.

The fair will offer a welcome escape for all those who have spent much of the past 18 months cooped up and not doing the things they would traditionally be doing. And it will provide a much-needed boost for businesses in several sectors, from hotels and restaurants to tent-renting enterprises, for those homeowners in the area who turn their backyards into parking lots, and for countless vendors who had a big hole in their schedule (actually, lots of holes) last year.

People like Sharon Berthiaume.

The Chicopee resident has been coming to the Big E with her booth, A Shopper’s Dream — which features animal-themed merchandise (mugs, ornaments, floormats, metal signs, etc.) — for 30 years now. She said the Big E is by far the biggest show on her annual slate, and one she and others sorely missed last year.

“It was a major loss, a huge disappointment last year,” she said. “We’ve been coming back for so many years, and we have a lot of regulars who come back year after year looking to see if we have anything new. I’m looking forward to being back.”

But the anxiety comes naturally as well. Indeed, the tents, ticket booths, and other facilities are going up — more slowly, in some cases, because of a lack of workers — as COVID-19 cases are spiking and as states and individual communities are pondering mask mandates, vaccination passports, and other steps.

While there are dozens, if not hundreds, of other area events and gatherings that might be impacted in some way by the changing tide of the pandemic, from weddings to the Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies early next month, none will be watched more closely than the Big E.

Gene Cassidy says there is pent-up demand for the Big E

Gene Cassidy says there is pent-up demand for the Big E, but because of the pandemic and fears among some people about being in crowds, he’s not expecting to set any attendance records this year.
Photo courtesy of The Big E

Cassidy told BusinessWest he watches and reads the news every day. He’s concerned by the trends regarding the virus, but buoyed by the fact that fairs of this type have been going off, mostly without hitches, across the country. And the turnouts have certainly verified a high level of pent-up demand for such events.

Overall, the sentiment within the region, and the business community, concerning the Big E and the fate of this year’s fair was perhaps best summed up Stacey Gravanis, general manager of the Sheraton Springfield.

“It’s huge … and it’s not just the business side, it’s the emotional side as well,” she said of the Big E and losing it for 2020, “because it’s been around for so many years. It’s something we’ve looked forward to every year for as long as I can remember. So we’re super happy to have it back this year, and we all have our fingers crossed right now.”

And their toes as well. That’s how important the Big E is to the region and its business community.

 

The Ride Stuff

As he talked with BusinessWest about the upcoming fair and ongoing planning for it, Cassidy joked about how much he and his staff had to tap their memory banks after their forced and certainly unwanted hiatus.

“It’s been two years since we’ve produced a fair, and even though you’ve done this 30 times before, it’s surprising how much you forget,” he said, noting quickly that institutional memory has certainly kicked in for the staff of 26, down from 31 — a nod to one of the many ways the pandemic has impacted the Big E.

It’s been two years since we’ve produced a fair, and even though you’ve done this 30 times before, it’s surprising how much you forget.”

And while getting the show ready for primetime, Cassidy, who also chairs the International Assoc. of Fairs and Expositions, a worldwide trade association, has been on the phone and in Zoom meetings with others from his industry. Such conversations have gone on with those in this time zone and others with institutions on the other side of the world. And the reports cover a broad spectrum.

“Australia has shut itself down again — after only nine deaths from this Delta variant,” he said. “And that’s a scary development; I think there are 24 million people in Australia, and to have that country impacted like that … it’s been devastating to their economy, and people are quite anxious there.”

Closer to home, and as noted earlier, the news has been much better.

It’s been a very long 18 months for the vendors who work the Big E

It’s been a very long 18 months for the vendors who work the Big E, and they are among the many people happy to have the 17-day fair back on the slate.
Photo courtesy of The Big E

“At the fairs that have been produced, the crowds have not been diminished,” he said, listing successful events in Indiana, Wisconsin, and California as evidence. “At those fairs that have run, people have really returned — and in a large way; there have been a lot of attendance records set.”

At home, those off-the-charts advance ticket sales tell Cassidy that some people are interested in eliminating some contact points and avoiding the crowds at the ticket booths. But mostly, they tell him there is certainly pent-up demand for the fair.

“People are ready to get back to normal,” he said, adding, again, that the overriding goal for the staff was, and is, to make the fair as normal — as much like previous years — as possible.

But more important than normal is the safety of attendees and employees, said Cassidy, noting that a wide range of cleaning and sanitizing protocols are being put in place, and steps are being taken to try to thin crowding in some areas.

“We’ve have intentionally thinned out the grounds a little bit,” he explained. “There’s going to be roughly 10% more space on the fairgrounds as we have tried to space things out a little bit.”

Elaborating, he said there has been some attrition when it comes to food and other types of vendors, and some of the “lower performers,” as he called them, have been eliminated.

“We thought that space was more important than that commercial activity,” he explained, adding quickly, though, that the science is inexact regarding whether creating more space reduces lines and points of contact.

Gene Cassidy says his overriding goal is to make the 2021 Big E as ‘normal’ as possible.

Gene Cassidy says his overriding goal is to make the 2021 Big E as ‘normal’ as possible.
Photo courtesy of The Big E

When asked about what he expects for attendance this year, Cassidy said he believes last year’s record of 1.62 million is, in all likelihood, not in danger of being broken, because there are some — how many, he just doesn’t know — who will not want to be part of large crowds of people this year. He’d like to see 1.4 million, and notes that he needs 1.2 million to pay for the fair.

“My goal is simply to provide a great, healthy, family experience for the fairgoing public,” he said, adding that several factors will determine overall turnout. “Our demographic is a little bit older than in other parts of the country, and I think some people are going to be hesitant about large crowds, and I think that will have an impact on us. At the same time, if you look at some of the other events, their popularity has been very high. So I suppose it can go either way, but I think we will see some scaling back of attendance, and that’s OK.”

While crowd control is an issue, there are other concerns as well, as Cassidy, especially workforce, which will be more of a challenge for vendors than for the Big E itself, which has seen most of the regular workforce it hires come back again this year.

Indeed, he noted that work on several of the larger tents that dot the fairgrounds started earlier this year because vendors had fewer people to handle that work. This trend, coupled with cancellation of the Ferris wheel, which demands large operating crews, obviously leaves reason for concern.

However, Cassidy believes the clock, or the calendar, to be more precise, may be working in the favor of employees.

“We open on Sept. 17, and the unemployment bonus checks will cease in the first week of September,” he said. “So, hopefully, people will be wanting to get back to work.”

 

Impact Statement

While there is anticipation and some anxiety within the confines of the Big E, there’s plenty of both outside the gates as well.

As was noted earlier and in countless stories on these pages over the years, the Big E impacts the local economy, and many individual businesses, in a profound way. Gravanis tried to quantify and qualify it.

“It’s thousands of dollars in room and beverage revenue,” she said. “It’s keeping our people employed on a full-time basis. It’s seeing these people, these vendors, that we’ve worked with over the past 20 to 30 years — we missed them last year. It has both financial and impact for our staff and our local businesses.”

The Avenue of States will be open for business at the Big E

The Avenue of States will be open for business at the Big E, which is seeing record numbers of advance ticket sales for the 2021 fair.
Photo courtesy of The Big E

Elaborating, she said the hotel, like all others, suffered a seemingly endless string of hits last year as events were canceled, tourism came to a screeching halt, and airlines (who book crews into the hotel on a nightly basis) all but shut down. But the Big E, because of its duration and scope, was perhaps the biggest single hit of all.

Which is why having it back is so important, and also why those fingers are crossed.

“We get hundreds, if not thousands, of room nights, as well as the incremental spending in our restaurants — it’s extensive,” said Gravanis. “We sell out every weekend of the year with a combination of vendors and attendees; right now, there are very few rooms left.”

Berthiaume certainly has her fingers crossed. She told BusinessWest that the return of fairs, and especially the Big E, could not have come soon enough for vendors like her. She said the Charleston (R.I.) Seafood Festival, staged earlier this month, was the first event she’d worked in roughly 18 months, and it has been a long, rough ride since gatherings started getting canceled in March 2020.

“It was crazy last year because you couldn’t plan — life was in limbo,” she said, adding that events were postponed early in the year and there was general uncertainty about when or if they would be held. This year, there was less uncertainty, but also nothing in the calendar, for most, until very recently.

She said a good number of vendors have been forced to pack it in or take their businesses online. “I know a lot of people who have gone out of business because of this. Many had been in business, like us, for 30 years or more, and they figured, ‘what the heck, I’m not going to do this anymore — it’s too hard.’”

Like Cassidy, she senses a strong urge on the part of many people to get back to doing the things they’ve missed for the past year and half, and she cited the seafood festival as solid evidence.

“They had people waiting for two hours to get off the highway to get in — the traffic was so backed up,” Berthiaume recalled. “We hadn’t seen people like that in maybe five years.

“Everyone is ready to get out there,” she went on, with some enthusiasm in her voice. “People are just so happy to be out in public. So the Big E, based on what I’ve seen with their tickets for the concerts … everyone is ready to roll; everyone is waiting for the Big E.”

 

Fair Weathered Friends

Getting back to the weather … yes, Cassidy is still concerned about it on some levels. And why not? There has been record rainfall this summer and extreme conditions in other parts of the country and across the globe.

He’s hoping all that is in the past tense, with the same going for the very worst that this pandemic can dish out.

The weather can never be an afterthought at the Big E, but this year it is well down the big list of things that keep organizers up at night.

Indeed, this is a time of anticipation and anxiety — and for keeping those fingers crossed.

 

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

Guide to Senior Planning Special Coverage Special Publications

 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2000, the number of adults age 65 and older was 35 million, or 12% of the total population. In 2020, the number of seniors had risen to 56.1 million or 17% of the population. By 2030, the bureau estimates, more than 21% of U.S. residents, about 73.1 million, will have passed their 65th birthdays.

What does all this mean?

It means it’s time to prepare — the sooner, the better.

Americans are living longer than ever. But what that life will entail, post-65, can wildly vary depending on lifestyle preferences, health status, finances, and more. Achieving your goals — and your desires for your loved ones — requires careful thought, and that’s where our annual Senior Planning Guide comes in, offering advice on everything from choosing a care facility to living safely at home; from estate planning to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The questions are myriad, and no single guide can answer all the questions. But hopefully, this special section will sort through some of the confusion and get those conversations started.

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 75: August 16, 2021

George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Mary Flahive Dickson

Mary Flahive-Dixon

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Mary Flahive Dickson, chief development officer and chief medical officer for Golden Years Homecare Services. The two talk about what has become a very serious workforce crisis in healthcare, the reasons behind it, the impact on area healthcare providers, and the outlook for the future. It’s must listening so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

 

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 74: August 9, 2021

George O’Brien talks with Tara Brewster, Vice President of Business Development for Greenfield Savings Bank

Tara Brewster

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Tara Brewster, Vice President of Business Development for Greenfield Savings Bank and one of five finalists for BusinessWest’s coveted 40 Under Forty Alumni Achievement Award. The two talk about her work, but especially her involvement in the community, her latest assignment as radio talk host, and her life as a self-described “recovering entrepreneur.” It’s must listening so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

 

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Cover Story

The Road Ahead

In late May, after 15 months of living through a global pandemic, the state entered into a phrase the governor called “a new normal.” A few months later, most businesspeople would say this ‘normal’ isn’t everything they expected or wanted. Indeed, while business has picked up in many sectors, from hospitality to healthcare, there are myriad challenges facing the business community, from what can only be called a workforce crisis to shortages of goods and rising prices; from a new and very potent strain of the coronavirus to issues with when and how to bring employees back to the office. To get a sense of where things are and, especially, where we may be headed, BusinessWest convened a panel of area business leaders — Deborah Bitsoli, president of Mercy Medical Center; Harry Dumay, president of Elms College; Patrick Leary, a partner with MP CPAs; Elizabeth Paquette, president of Rock Valley Tool in Easthampton; Tom Senecal, president and CEO of PeoplesBank; and Edison Yee, a principal of the Bean Restaurant Group. Their answers to a series of questions on the economy and the forces shaping it are certainly eye-opening.

 

BusinessWest: How is the process of returning to ‘normal’ proceeding at your business?

 

Bitsoli: “It does appear that patients are coming back; our Emergency Department is really returning back to the volumes it had before the pandemic. On the surgical side, the same thing is occurring. I do think there is a lot of caution about the fall, but for the time being, patients are seeking the appropriate level of care, including a lot of the screenings they put off. That’s the good news in terms of a public-health policy standpoint. At the hospital, we’re still wearing masks, and we’re still relying heavily on Webex; we have some meetings face to face, but we still have masks on. As for returning to normal, we continue to have a focus on patient safety, and we have an expansion planned in our Emergency Department. Overall, we are trying to return to normal, but everyone is looking to the fall, and there is caution there. The one big difficulty is hiring staff.”

 

Dumay: “At the college, ‘normal’ for us would mean getting back to the high-touch, nurturing, vibrant, in-person environment for teaching and learning. Returning to normal means having everyone on campus in the same mode we had pre-pandemic. The process for preparing for that is the same as we had last year, with the ElmsSafe Plan for making sure that employees and students are safe. That begins with a level of vaccination that we need to accomplish. That’s why we came out very early and required vaccinations for our students and employees. The challenges are to ensure that we’re getting to that level of vaccination that the state considers optimal for campuses, which is roughly 90%. We are gearing up for the fall, to have full in-person learning and all of our faculty and staff on campus. We have a task force that is meeting on a regular basis to come up with all the elements of the ElmsSafe plan so that we can make sure our campus is safe and as back to ‘normal’ as possible.”

 

Harry Dumay

Harry Dumay

“For the traditional undergraduate, first-time freshman, we had a record deposit year, and we are looking at potentially a record enrollment year for first-time freshmen, so that has come back better than it was before.”

 

Leary: “We have found that our biggest challenge to returning to normal is a big investment in software. When we all went remote in March of 2020, we found the flaws in our system, we found out where we were falling down and where our system couldn’t handle the stress of people working remotely, etc. So we had a big investment in software across the board — we’ve replaced really all of our systems, so we met the challenge of not only keeping up with workload, but having people keep up with workload while also learning new software. The other challenge involves getting back to the office; being a CPA, we can work from just about anywhere — I can be in my office, or I can be sitting in the Caribbean, which, unfortunately, is not what I’m doing now. This presents us with a lot of challenges. We have a very young workforce — half our staff is 30 or younger — so they’re very much tuned into the social aspects of being in the office and like being in the office, which is great. Our greatest challenge is going to be how we incorporate our client-service work with the protocols of each of our clients; each one presents its own unique circumstances — our staff can’t be stagnant and say ‘this is how we’re going to do things.’

 

Paquette: “We’re a machine shop that manufactures parts for aerospace, defense, sports, and leisure, blow-mold and extrusion. When everything hit in the spring of 2020, we were getting letters from larger customers saying ‘you can’t shut down — you have to stay working.” So we were very busy, but at the same time, we had seven of our 43 employees leave for one reason or another due to COVID, so we had this intense workload, and we had to scrounge and fill the gaps in our workforce. And then, in mid-June, our largest aerospace customer said, ‘we don’t have anything to send anymore,’ and by the end of the summer, we had laid off a total of 13. Now, with things a little more normalized, we’ve been able to bring back some of those we had to lay off. So when we talk about returning to normal, we’re just trying to work our way through this crisis and keep people’s mental health in mind and … just keep working.”

 

Senecal: “Overall, I don’t know if ‘normal’ is the right word at this point — it certainly is a new normal. We’re going back to a hybrid method for our workforce — we’re going to allow people to work from home as well as work in our building. I’m a firm believer in culture, and I’m a firm believer in some sort of work in the office. The challenges with that hybrid workforce include dealing with office space — that’s going to affect a lot of our customers — and technology needs; how do we adapt to technology, and how do we use technology? One of the biggest ones is communicating expectations when you go to a hybrid model — how do you communicate with people expectations of what is expected of them, for meetings, for hours worked, for a lot of things? How do you evaluate good performance from a remote-workforce perspective? Those are all a challenge. Also, getting people comfortable with and without facemasks — we’re going back to work in this new normal, and people aren’t sure of the expectations when it comes to facemasks. It’s challenging getting people comfortable in those settings.

 

Tom Senecal

Tom Senecal

“I think we’re all going in the right direction, and there’s nothing but good news ahead as long as inflation stays in check.”

 

Yee: “For restaurants, it’s a new normal as well. Outdoor dining is very much prevalent, but customers are starting to return to the dining rooms. And while they are beginning to feel more comfortable doing so, not everyone has made that transition — although a lot of them have. Our late-night business has not come back yet, but we feel that might change as time progresses. But to be frank, it was a messy way to get into COVID, and coming out of it has been messy as well, with lots of disruption in supply chain, with labor shortages, and other issues. We’re adjusting, as we always do, in the restaurant business, with much more takeout business as part of our overall sales, and with using technology to help us smooth out the rough edges from not having enough frontline workers.”

 

BusinessWest: How has this year been business-wise, and what is your forecast for the rest of this year?

 

Bitsoli: “Business is almost back to normal, but it will very interesting to see what happens in the fall when we hit flu season and everyone goes back into the office. And we still have a large number of people who haven’t been vaccinated. Directionally, we’re moving back to normal, but everyone is looking to see what happens when we migrate back inside. Internally, while the volumes of business have returned, people are tired because of the duration of this and the expectation of what’s going to happen in the fall. So we’re investing a lot of resources right now in things like a Zen room, spot yoga, massage chairs … so that is a new normal for us in terms of something we’re going to need to continue on with until we come to the end of this pandemic.”

 

Dumay: “For the traditional undergraduate, first-time freshman, we had a record deposit year, and we are looking at potentially a record enrollment year for first-time freshmen, so that has come back better than it was before. For continuing-education students, those who come to us from community colleges, that’s a population that often doesn’t enroll until the last minute, so we’re still watching that, but it looks a little softer than it had been previously. And graduate-school enrollment is very much looking to be a record year in terms of enrollment. One area where students and families may still be hesitating is a return to residential living.”

 

Yee: “For restaurants, we like to compare numbers to 2019, our last ‘normal’ year. And for quarter one, it was lower, when you’re looking at year-over-year numbers. It wasn’t until the vaccinations reached the general population that things started improving; in the second quarter, the sales have bounced back to a much higher level, better than 2019. We anticipate that this trend will continue.

 

Edison Yee

Edison Yee

“We’re very optimistic about the last two quarters of the year and going into 2022. We’ve seen a lot of positive results during this summer, which is traditionally our slower time of year. It’s been a very strong summer to date and much higher than 2019 levels.”

 

Paquette: “While we had lost work in aerospace, we’ve started to see some of it comes back. For us, workload is good and steady, and we project that this will continue through the rest of the year. The workload is good for the number of people we have.”

 

Senecal: “In the past 18 months, our deposits are through the roof. We are up more than 35% in a little over a year. And the balances are not going down. As we talk about demand and this influx of demand and a surge in spending, I’m not seeing it from people’s deposit accounts — those numbers are not going down. We’re up over a little more than $1 billion over the past 18 months in deposits. That’s a function of a lot of things — PPP money, stimulus money, people not going out and spending. We have an enormous amount of money in the system, and the government continues to put money into the economy. That adjusts to inflation, and that’s showing up everywhere in our economy — food, transportation, supplies, inventory, computer chips … it’s showing up everywhere, and I think it’s going to have an impact. We see good times ahead as long as inflation can be kept in check and interest rates stay relatively low.”

 

Leary: “The need for our services greatly increased in 2020 because of the PPP program and other initiatives and trying to help clients understand the rules, what qualifies for forgiveness, and so on. There was great demand for our services, and it’s continued into this year. As for our customers … most of them are doing OK post-pandemic, but I’m concerned that the federal money that these businesses have received is masking how they are doing financially. And as demand starts to grow, will these businesses be able to find the staffing to supply the products and provide the services?

 

BusinessWest: That’s a good segue to the next question. Attracting and retaining workers has become the dominant challenge for 2021. How has your business been impacted?

 

Yee: “There is virtually no one applying for jobs, and the people we do have working are tired from working extended hours, so we’re trying to give them breaks by closing an extra day during the week or sometimes two, which we’ve never done in the past. But we’ve found that’s one of the only ways we can deal with this labor shortage — giving people some extra time for that work-life balance.

 

Senecal: “I received a résumé the other day from a headhunter for a position we were looking to fill … the person was very well-qualified and has all the right skill sets. But in big, bold letters on the résumé, it said this person is only interested in working remotely. I don’t think I’ve ever seen on that on a résumé before, but it’s an indication of the world to come.”

 

Patrick Leary

Patrick Leary

“I’m optimistic about the rest of 2021 and 2022, at least the first half. It will be interesting when the government programs start to dry up and slow down and we see how people react to that when it comes to their spending habits.”

 

Leary: “We’re seeing the same thing many of our customers are seeing. As tax laws change and accounting rules change, we have a great demand for people, and it’s not for entry-level people, but more experienced people. And it’s very challenging to find them. But what we’ve found is that, because of the ability to work remotely, instead of searching for someone and saying, ‘we want you to work in our Springfield office or our Connecticut office,’ we can say, ‘you can work anywhere in the country — we have the ability to let you work wherever you want.’”

 

Dumay: “I haven’t looked at the comparisons closely, but it certainly seems, anecdotally, that we have more open positions than we normally have. For some, we’re seeing good pools of candidates, and for others, the pools are not as strong as we would like. So in many ways, we’re like everyone else. There is a higher level of vacancy at the college, and for many positions, the pool of applicants is simply not as robust.”

 

Bitsoli: “From a business standpoint, the thing that’s very different for us and most all businesses is the staffing. It really is different. There are people who retired early, people who decided to change career paths … so we’re dealing with quite a few staffing challenges, like everyone else. One of the things I’ve heard anecdotally is that, because of the incentives being offered by the state, for people at a lower level, like dietary, housekeeping, nurse aides, and other positions, it’s almost better for them financially to stay at home than it is to work. I’ve also heard anecdotally that there’s a group of people that are gathering resilience over the summer, and they plan on coming back after Labor Day.”

 

BusinessWest: What are the forces — workforce, inflation, inventory, COVID, and more — that will determine where the local economy goes?

 

Senecal: “I think we’re all going in the right direction, and there’s nothing but good news ahead as long as inflation stays in check. Businesses are opening and growing, and with the levels of demand we’re seeing, that’s a good problem to have. And I think things will start to open up from a supply-chain perspective. We talked a little about unemployment benefits ending in September; let’s see if that pushes people back to work and brings the labor situation closer to normal. Overall, as long as COVID stays under control and we don’t go back to shutdowns — such shutdowns are devastating for the economy — I feel very positive about the fourth quarter and going into 2022.”

 

Dumay: “I second that optimism and emphasize the ‘as long as’ comment regarding COVID. The only thing that is sobering or bringing caution to my optimism is the slowdown in the rate of vaccination across the country, especially in areas of the country where it’s very low. Also, with the CDC looking at potential mask mandates and people getting alarmed about another surge … that could slow down what is looking to be an optimistic time and an opportunity to really get back to normal.”

 

Yee: “We’re very optimistic about the last two quarters of the year and going into 2022. We’ve seen a lot of positive results during this summer, which is traditionally our slower time of year. It’s been a very strong summer to date and much higher than 2019 levels. We’re really positive about what’s to come, but there are many challenges that could slow things down moving forward, like labor shortages, inflation, and supply-chain disruptions … those are all major concerns. We’re eager for everyone to get to normal so we can see a higher level of business than we have and, we hope the pent-up demand generates business across the area.”

 

Bitsoli: “People are looking for optimism, and I think as long as the economy holds out, and if we can get more people vaccinated, things should continue to improve. With the new variants out there are certainly concerns, and there are questions about whether the vaccines are going to continue to keep people healthy even when they’re exposed to the variants and keep them out of the hospitals and from getting severe complications.”

 

Deborah Bitsoli

Deborah Bitsoli

“As a leader, what I’ve learned is the importance of that human connection. We’ve all talked about the fact that Webex is great from a technology standpoint, but that relationship building and that ability to look someone in the eye … I really realize that there’s something to that, and it’s quite big.”

 

Paquette: “It’s really business as usual for us now. Our biggest concern is trying to hire people who are skilled — which means we’re like everyone else. But we’re seeing a lot of people who are interested in growing their skill set, and that, to me, is a positive; I’ve never had as many people enrolled in school and training programs as we do now. We’re rebuilding, we’re in a good space, and we’re growing. It feels much different than a year ago.”

 

Elizabeth Paquette

Elizabeth Paquette

“I had to spend a chunk of my time with a remote first-grader, so I had that stress at home while trying to be at work. So I found that employees function better if we’re able to meet them where they’re at.”

 

Leary: “I’m optimistic about the rest of 2021 and 2022, at least the first half. It will be interesting when the government programs start to dry up and slow down and we see how people react to that when it comes to their spending habits. But as we heard, deposits are way up, which means people have money to spend; they have disposable income. So I think people will start to spend as they get out and feel more comfortable going to restaurants or getting on an airplane. I see that continuing for the next year or so, but who knows after that what will happen? We need to have supplies free up, and we need to push for everyone to get vaccinated.”

 

BusinessWest: Finally, what have you learned during this pandemic, and how has this made you a different and perhaps better leader?

 

Bitsoili: “As a leader, what I’ve learned is the importance of that human connection. We’ve all talked about t the fact that Webex is great from a technology standpoint, but that relationship building and that ability to look someone in the eye … I really realize that there’s something to that, and it’s quite big. Also, I knew this before, but now I really know it: you really have to lead from the heart because employees want to feel the empathy and the caring from leadership. Lastly, it’s visibility and the ability to connect with people on their turf and really be able to listen to issues and immediately follow up with resolution. These are all things I knew, but this pandemic has caused me to reflect and overemphasize the need to do those things.”

 

Dumay: “I realized the importance of connecting with the people with whom I work, the faculty and staff at Elms College, and be present and pay attention to what people are experiencing and have that be relevant to my decision making. Also, I’ve learned the importance of giving people some answers, even if they don’t have the complete answer. There was a lot of uncertainty during the past year, and people were looking for the leaders of organizations to provide some answers. For someone who likes to completely process things and share them when they’re finalized, I had to learn to provide answers that are sometimes incomplete and need to be finalized. That was important to me.”

 

Leary: “One thing that I learned is that each person is very unique with regard to what their circumstances are — they might be a single parent with high-school children, or they may have a newborn … there are so many factors, and we can’t have a one-size-fits-all policy. We have to be flexible when it comes to work-life balance.”

 

Paquette: “I had to spend a chunk of my time with a remote first-grader, so I had that stress at home while trying to be at work. So I found that employees function better if we’re able to meet them we’re they’re at. Everything was remote to me outside the shop, but in the shop, it just seemed important that people had someone that they could look to make them feel better. We definitely improved our transparency with employees to let them know where we were at. It was probably so scary to see so many people laid off, some by choice, but some by our choice. I held meetings with people just so they would know what was going on and that they had as much information as I had in that moment. And the response was pretty good. Most people stayed, and they kept at it at a time when it was hard to keep at it.”

 

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

Technology

Life on the Cutting Edge

An on-the-go society demands on-the-go technology, and today’s array of high-tech devices — available at all price points — offer users new ways to make their home lives more efficient, manage their work, boost their health, and, well, just have fun in more eye-popping, ear-tickling ways than ever. In its annual look at some of the hottest tech items available, BusinessWest dives into what the tech press is saying about some of 2021’s buzziest items.

 

When compared to many of the other cool tech gadgets on this list, the Amazon Smart Plug ($25) “might seem underwhelming, but you might be impressed with how much you like this smart-home accessory once you start using it,” according to spy.com. “Head out on vacation and can’t remember if you left a fan or window AC unit running? If it’s plugged into this, you can simply open up your Alexa app and cut off the power. Have a lamp that you love, but it doesn’t work with a smart bulb? Use one of these to make a dumb lamp very, very smart. On top of all that, Alexa has some impressive power-monitoring tools, so that if you have more than one of these around your home, you can figure out which appliances and electronics around the house are costing you the most money, and you can adjust your usage behavior accordingly.”

 

Meanwhile, the same site says the Anker Nebula Solar Portable Projector ($520) won’t replace a fancy, 65-inch, 4K HDR TV, “but for those moments when you’re really craving that movie-theater experience at home … you’ll understand why this made our list of cool tech gadgets.” The projector boasts easy setup, too. “Barely bigger than a book, you can point it at a wall and have it projecting a 120-inch, 1080p version of your favorite Netflix movie without needing to configure the picture settings or find a power outlet.”

 

Speaking of projectors, the BenQ X1300i 4LED Gaming Projector ($1,299) is being marketed as the first true gaming projector that’s optimized for the PS5 or Xbox Series X. “The 3,000-lumen projector will play 1080p content — so not true 4K content — at extremely low latency, which is needed for competitive gamers,” according to gearpatrol.com. “Additionally, it has built-in speakers and an Android TV operating system, so it functions as any traditional smart TV — but it can create up to a 150-inch screen.”

 

Taking tech outdoors is the DJI Mavic Air 2 Drone ($799), which menshealth.com touts for its massive optical sensor, means “the 48-megapixel photos pop and the hyperlap video is 8K — smart futureproofing for when your TV plays catchup. The next-gen obstacle-avoidance sensors, combined with the 34-minutes-long flight time, mean you spend more time shooting killer video and less time dodging trees and buildings.”

 

Smart wallets offer a convenient way to store and transport cash and credit cards while protecting against loss or theft. The Ekster Parliament Smart Wallet ($89) is a smart bifold wallet with RFID coating (to protect against identity theft) and a patented mechanism that ejects cards from its aluminum storage pocket with the press of a button. It has space for at least 10 cards, as well as a strap for carrying cash and receipts, according to bestproducts.com. “Ekster has crafted the wallet from high-quality leather that comes in a multitude of colors. An optional Bluetooth tracker for the wallet is also available. This ultra-thin gadget has a maximum range of 200 feet, and it is powered by light, so it never needs a battery.”

 

In the smartwatch category, the Fossil Gen 5 LTE ($349) is the company’s first product in the cellular wearables market, crn.com notes. “The Fossil Gen 5 LTE Touchscreen leverages LTE connectivity from Verizon, the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform, and Google’s Wear OS to let users make calls and do texting without a mobile phone.” Fossil also makes what bestproducts.com calls the best hybrid smartwatch, the Fossil Latitude HR Hybrid Smartwatch ($195), “a feature-packed hybrid smartwatch with a built-in, always-on display and a heart-rate sensor. We like that, instead of looking like a tech product, it resembles a classic chronograph timepiece with mechanical hands and a three-button layout. The Latitude HR can effortlessly deliver notifications from your phone and keep tabs on your activities.”

 

“We don’t know who will be more excited about the Furbo Dog Camera ($169), you or your pet,” popsugar.com notes. “You can monitor them through your phone, send them treats when you’re away, and so much more.” The 1080p, full-HD camera and night vision allows users to livestream video to monitor their pet on their phone with a 160-degree wide-angle view, day and night. A sensor also sends push notifications to a smartphone when it detects barking. Users can even toss treats to their dog via the free Furbo iOS/Android app. Set-up is easy — just plug it in to a power outlet using its USB cord, download the Furbo app, and connect to home WiFi.

 

“As one of the first companies to make artificial intelligence and voice-recognition technology available to the average person, spy.com notes, “Google is still the top dog when it comes to voice assistants and smart-home platforms. And perhaps its most radical move was the Google Nest Mini ($35), a small and cheap speaker that is fully imbued with the powers to command your smart home. Once you get used to the particular ways of interacting with a voice assistant, it’s rare when you have to raise your voice or repeat yourself to get the Nest Mini to understand you, even when you’re on the other side of the room, half-asleep at 1 a.m., telling it to turn off the lights, shut off the TV, and lock the doors.”

 

Tired of housework? “If you’re a fan of the iRobot vacuum, then you’ll want to give the iRobot Braava Jet 240 Robot Mop ($180) a try,” popsugar.com asserts. “It will clean your floors when you’re not around, so you have nothing to worry about later.” The device claims to offer precision jet spray and a vibrating cleaning to tackle dirt and stains, and gets into hard-to-reach places, including under and around toilets, into corners, below cabinets, and under and around furniture and other objects, using an efficient, systematic cleaning pattern. It also mops and sweeps finished hard floors, including hardwood, tile, and stone, and it’s ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.

 

Smart glasses are a thing these days, too. Jlab Audio recently introduced its new Jlab JBuds Frames ($49), a device that discretely attaches to a user’s glasses to provide wireless stereo audio on the go. “The JBuds Frames consist of two independently operating Bluetooth wireless audio devices, which include 16mm drivers that produce sound that can only be heard by the wearer, not by others,” according to crn.com. “In addition, the device can easily be detached and mounted on other frames when needed.”

 

For a next-level experience in eyewear, “virtual reality might be taking its time to have its ‘iPhone moment,’ but it is still very much the next big thing when it comes to the coolest tech gadgets,” spy.com notes, “and there is not a single VR device that flashes that promise more than the Oculus Quest 2 ($349).” Without the need for a powerful computer or special equipment, users can simply strap the Quest 2 to their head, pick up the controllers, and move freely in VR space thanks to its inside-out technology, which uses cameras on the outside of the headset to track movement. “In a time where we don’t have many places to escape to, the Oculus Quest 2 offers up an infinite number of destinations … even if they’re only virtual.”

 

Another way to escape into another world — albeit one requiring more effort — is the Peloton Bike+ (from $2,495). “Peloton’s updated bike boasts a lustrous, 24-inch-wide screen and a game-changing multi-grip handlebar that lets you always find comfortable position,” menshealth.com notes. “And the best feature just may be auto-follow, which automatically shifts the resistance when the instructor calls for it. Translation: no escape from tough workouts.”

 

Speaking of devices with health benefits, the Polar Verity Sense optical heart monitor ($90) can be worn on the arm or temple (for swimming). “It’s designed for people who don’t necessarily wear a wrist-bound fitness tracker or smartwatch, or are doing an exercise that isn’t very friendly to wrist jewelry, like martial arts, swimming, dancing or boxing,” gearpatrol.com notes. “It’s a nifty accessory for people who use Polar Flow, Polar’s free fitness and training app, or wear one of the company’s smartwatches.”

 

Meanwhile, gearpatrol.com is also high on the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 ($250), the next-generation version of its well-reviewed video doorbell — and it adds two big upgrades. “First, it adds a new radar sensor that enables new 3D motion detection and bird’s-eye-view features; this allows it to better detect and even create a top-down map of the movement taking place in front of your door. And, secondly, the camera has an improved field of view so that it can capture the delivery person’s entire body — head to toe — when they drop off a package.”

 

Finally, are you looking for great sound for home entertainment? With Sonos Arc ($799), users can “get immersive audio that can fill an entire house in one slim, sleek, ultra-versatile package,” menshealth.com notes. “A whopping 11 drivers power Sonos’ newest soundbar, fueling a surround-sound experience that delivers in all situations, whether you’re playing Halo or watching Avengers: Endgame.”

 

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 73: August 2, 2021

George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Meghan Rothschild, president and owner of Chikmedia and one of five finalists for BusinessWest’s coveted 40 Under Forty Alumni Achievement Award

Meghan Rothschild

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Meghan Rothschild, president and owner of Chikmedia and one of five finalists for BusinessWest’s coveted 40 Under Forty Alumni Achievement Award. The two talk about her business, but especially her efforts to mentor and coach women in business and also her work within the community and to support many of the region’s nonprofits. It’s must listening so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

Sponsored by:

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 72: July 26, 2021

George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, another of the finalists for BusinessWest’s coveted Alumni Achievement Award

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, another of the finalists for BusinessWest’s coveted Alumni Achievement Award. The two talk about a number of the D.A.’s recent programs and initiatives, from work on cold cases, to the Emerging Adult Court of Hope, to efforts to curb everything from drug addiction to human trafficking to elder abuse. It’s must listening so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

 

Also Available On

Agenda

Fly LUGU Flight Training Open House

Aug. 7: Fly LUGU Flight Training will host an open house from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Westfield-Barnes Municipal Airport, located at 110 Airport Road in Westfield. The flight school will celebrate its reopening after the pandemic, and the public is welcome to attend a meet-and-greet with instructors, learn about discounted discovery flights, and enjoy food and music. Interested individuals can call (833) 359-5848 for more information on flight training.

 

Three County Fair

Sept. 3-6: The Three County Fair is back, returning on Labor Day weekend. Last year, the COVID-19 health crisis forced the fair to be closed to the public while hosting only limited arts, baking, crafts, and livestock competitions to comply with capacity restrictions. This year, the 204th consecutive fair returns to normal operations and capacities with discounted general admission and four-day passes on sale exclusively at 3countyfair.com. The fair’s attractions include carnival-style rides and games; adult and youth livestock, agricultural, and arts and crafts competitions; live music concerts; area food trucks; comedy variety shows; plus the ever-popular demolition derbies each day. General admission to the fair is $15 for ages 12 and up and free for ages 11 and under, with discounts for seniors and veterans. Further discounts are available by purchasing tickets online and in advance on the fair’s website. For example, the four-day pass, sold online only for $30, is 50% off the gate price for a general-admission adult ticket for four days.

 

RVCC Golf Tournament

Sept. 10: River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC), a multi-faceted mental-health agency, will hold its sixth annual golf tournament fundraiser at East Mountain Country Club in Westfield. The event is presented by Action Ambulance Service Inc. Funds raised will support the programs RVCC provides to children and teens in the community, in schools, and through local partnerships. The cost per golfer is $100 and includes greens fees, a golf cart, a gift bag, lunch, and dinner. Golfers will also be able to participate in course contests and a raffle. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. with a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit rvccinc.org/golf for more information and to register or sponsor online.

 

Free Concerts at the Big E

Sept. 17 to Oct. 3: The lineup for the Big E’s Court of Honor Stage has been announced. The tented venue, located in front of the iconic Coliseum at the heart of the fairgrounds, hosts more than 85 shows over the 17-day run of the Big E. All events on the Court of Honor Stage are free with admission to the fair. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Concerts include Modern English (Sept. 17-19, 3 p.m.), Jesse McCartney (Sept. 17, 8 p.m.), Tom Franek (Sept. 17-26, 11 a.m, 1 and 6 p.m.), Foghat (Sept. 19, 8 p.m.), Rainere Martin in the Donna Summer Experience (Sept. 20-21, 3 p.m.), the Yardbirds (Sept. 20-21, 8 p.m.), Exile (Sept. 22-23, 3 p.m.), Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Sept. 22, 8 p.m.), 10,000 Maniacs (Sept. 23, 8 p.m.), the Bar-Kays: Soul 2 Soul Revue (Sept. 24-26, 3 p.m.), Ying Yang Twins (Sept. 25, 8 p.m.), Don McLean (Sept. 26, 8 p.m.), the Outlaws (Sept. 27-28, 8 p.m.), the Everly Set (Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, 11 a.m., 1 and 6 p.m.), Big Brother and the Holding Company (Sept. 29-30, 3 p.m.), Lisa Lisa (Sept. 29, 8 p.m.), Tribute to the King featuring Taylor Rodriguez (Oct. 1-3, 3 p.m.), Hoobastank (Oct. 2, 8 p.m.), and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run-DMC (Oct. 3, 8 p.m.). Look for more concert announcements at thebige.com.

 

40 Under Forty Gala

Sept. 23: BusinessWest’s 15th annual 40 Under Forty gala will take place at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The class of 2021 was introduced to the region in the magazine’s May 12 issue, and the profiles may be read online at businesswest.com. Tickets cost $80 per person. This is expected to be a sellout event, and tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a spot, call (413) 781-8600, or e-mail [email protected].

 

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 71: July 19, 2021

George Interviews Massachusetts State Sen. Eric Lesser

Eric Lesser

George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Massachusetts State Sen. Eric Lesser, one of five finalists for BusinessWest’s coveted 40 Under Forty Alumni Achievement Award. The two tackle a wide range of topics, including high-speed rail, the new Future of Work Commission Lesser now sits on, and redistricting and what it might mean for Springfield and the rest of Western Mass. It’s must listening so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 70: July 12, 2021

George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Ray Berry, founder and owner of White Lion Brewing

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively discussion with Ray Berry, founder and owner of White Lion Brewing, author of one of the region’s more intriguing, and thirst-quenching, stories of entrepreneurship. The two talk about everything from the recent opening of the company’s tap room and restaurant in Tower Square, to the many challenges this business has overcome over the years, to the immense, and still growing, level of competition within the craft beer world. It’s must listening so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

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Agenda

Healthcare Heroes Nominations

Through June 24: In the spring of 2017, the Healthcare News and its sister publication, BusinessWest, 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. That theory has certainly been validated. But there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of heroes whose stories we still need to tell, especially in these times, when the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many types of heroes to the forefront. Nominations will be accepted in seven different 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. The Healthcare Heroes event is presented by Elms College. Nominations can be submitted at businesswest.com/healthcare-heroes/nominations. For more information, call (413) 781-8600.

 

Blue Sox Youth Baseball Clinics

June 28 to July 1; July 5-8; July 12-15: The Valley Blue Sox of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, in coordination with presenting sponsor Holyoke Medical Group, announced three youth baseball clinic dates. At these clinics, to be held in three different locations around Western Mass., participants will hone their hitting, pitching, and fielding skills with instruction from Blue Sox players and coaches. The dates and locations are as follows: June 28 to July 1, 9 a.m. to noon, Hadley Elementary School fields (rain date July 2); July 5-8, 9 a.m. to noon, Mackenzie Stadium, Holyoke (rain date July 9); and July 12-15, 9 a.m. to noon, Spec Pond Recreation Area, Wilbraham (rain date July 16). The registration cost for each clinic is $120. The clinics are open to children ages 6-13. Every child who participates in the youth clinic will receive two tickets to the Blue Sox Clinic Night on Wednesday, July 21. This night is a way to commemorate the work put in during the clinics, and every child will have the opportunity to take the field with the Blue Sox during the pregame ceremonies. To register for these youth clinics, click www.bluesoxcamps.com for the Hadley or Holyoke clinic, or www.wilbrahamrec.com for the Wilbraham clinic. For more information, visit www.valleybluesox.com and select ‘Youth Clinics’ from the drop-down menu.

 

Golf Tournament to Benefit Surrendered Farm Animals

July 17: The Whip City Animal Sanctuary will be hosting its inaugural golf tournament on Saturday, July 17 at East Mountain Country Club in Westfield. Whip City Animal Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides a stable, forever home for rescued and surrendered farm animals, many of whom have been neglected or abused. The tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Play is a four-person, best-ball scramble. The entry fee is $100 per person and includes cart, green fees, and dinner following the tournament at 5:30 p.m. There will be prizes for closest to the hole and closest to the line, along with a raffle. Various levels of corporate sponsorship are still available for those who would like to contribute. For more information about player registration and sponsorship opportunities, contact Sonia Henderson at (413) 627-6192 or [email protected].

 

RVCC Golf Tournament

Sept. 10: River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC), a multi-faceted mental-health agency, will hold its sixth annual golf tournament fundraiser at East Mountain Country Club in Westfield. The event is presented by Action Ambulance Service Inc. Funds raised will support the programs RVCC provides to children and teens in the community, in schools, and through local partnerships. The cost per golfer is $100 and includes greens fees, a golf cart, a gift bag, lunch, and dinner. Golfers will also be able to participate in course contests and a raffle. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. with a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit rvccinc.org/golf for more information and to register or sponsor online.

 

40 Under Forty Gala

Sept. 23: BusinessWest’s 15th annual 40 Under Forty gala will take place at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The class of 2021 was introduced to the region in the magazine’s May 12 issue, and the profiles may be read online at businesswest.com. Tickets cost $80 per person. This is expected to be a sellout event, and tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a spot, call (413) 781-8600, or e-mail [email protected].

 

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 69: June 21, 2021

George O’Brien talks with Charlie Christianson, president of East Longmeadow-based CMD Technology Group

BusinessWest editor George O’Brien talks with Charlie Christianson, president of East Longmeadow-based CMD Technology Group. The two discuss the recent spate of high-profile cyber attacks and how they have served to drive home the point that small businesses — and large businesses as well — need to do all they can to be prevent such breaches and properly respond when and if they do happen. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 68: June 14, 2021

George O’Brien talks with Claudia Pazmany, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce

BusinessWest editor George O’Brien talks with Claudia Pazmany, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. The two discuss the broad impact of the pandemic on a region heavily dependent on  college students and tourism, and how the same region is bracing for the ‘new normal’ and the many challenges and opportunities that will come will with it. It’s must listening,  so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

 

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 67: Monday, June 7, 2021

George O’Brien talks with John Doleva, president and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame

BusinessWest editor George O’Brien talks with John Doleva, president and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame. The two discuss the state’s New Normal stage of reopening, new exhibits at the Hall, and how 2021 is shaping up as a strong, memorable  year for the shrine. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

 

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, BusinessTalk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachuetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times.

Episode 66: June 1, 2021

George Interviews Chris Howland, director of procurement, logistics, and special projects for Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst

BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien continues his series of discussions with members of the magazine’s 40 Under Forty class of 2021. This week, his guest is Chris Howland, director of procurement, logistics, and special projects for Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst. The two discuss all that goes into his job, but mostly they talk about the award-winning UMass Dining program and all that goes into keeping it at the top of the heap among programs across the country. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

 

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Special Coverage Travel and Tourism

Fun in the Sun

Last year may not have been a total washout when it came to outdoor recreation and events, but many well-loved attractions and destinations had to dramatically scale back operations — if they opened at all. This year, with May 29 marking the end of most gathering restrictions in Massachusetts, there’s once again plenty to look forward to. You can read about some of them on the following pages: two local collegiate baseball teams back in action, the return of a beloved music and craft festival in Greenfield, and — as a shoutout to the governor — a baker’s dozen other options. There’s much, much more to look forward to, so get online and check out what else is happening near you, during a summer that promises to be a long-awaited breath of fresh air.

Berkshires Arts Festival

380 State Road, Great Barrington

www.berkshiresartsfestival.com

Admission: $7-$14; free for children under 10

Aug. 13-15: Ski Butternut plays host to the Berkshires Arts Festival, a regional tradition now in its 20th year. When Gov. Charlie Baker announced the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions as of Aug. 1 (since revised to May 29), event organizers moved the dates of this year’s festival to mid-August. Thousands of art lovers and collectors are expected to stop by to check out and purchase the creations of more than 175 artists and designers from across the country, in both outdoor and air-conditioned indoor exhibition spaces. “With its relaxed atmosphere, great food, exceptional art, and fine crafts, puppet shows, and live music,” the Berkshires Visitors Bureau notes, “it’s a great weekend for the entire family.”

 

The Big E

1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield

www.easternstatesexposition.com

Admission: $8 and up; free for children under 5; 17-day pass $20-$40

Sept. 17 to Oct. 3: Yes, it’s happening. And as regional fairs go, it’s still the big one, with something for everyone, whether it’s the copious fair food or the livestock shows, the Avenue of States houses and parades, the local vendors and crafters, or the live music. Musical highlights this year include Machine Gun Kelly in concert on Sept. 17, and Brad Paisley performing in the arena on Sept. 24, marking the 20th anniversary of the first time Paisley played the Big E.

 

Crab Apple Whitewater Rafting

2056 Mohawk Trail, Charlemont

www.crabapplewhitewater.com

Admission: Varies by activity

All summer: Wanna get wet? Crab Apple is a third-generation, multi-state family business that operates locally on the Deerfield River in the northern Berkshire Mountains of Western Mass. Its rafting excursions range from mild to wild, full- or half-day runs, in rafts and inflatable kayaks. In short, Crab Apple offers something for everyone, from beginners to more experienced rafters. Starting May 29, the company will accept reservations for all group sizes. Meanwhile, waivers will be sent in advance to guests for e-signing to ensure a touch-free check-in process, hand-washing stations have been added at all building entrances, and transportation to and from the river will be offered in vans and buses.

 

Drive-in Concerts at the Wick

The Wick, Legion Road, Southwick

www.westfieldlivemusic.com/southwick

Admission: $25 to $45

June 11, July 9, Aug. TBA: The national touring and recording artists Beatlemania Again will headline a summer series of live drive-in concerts on to benefit the Southwick Civic Fund, which creates and produces events that provide a sense of community spirit, celebration, and civic pride. The concert will be held at the Southwick MotoX Track (the Wick) on Legion Road in Southwick on June 11 at 7:30 p.m., and will follow all current CDC and local health department guidelines. Each vehicle will have a space next to it for the occupants to set up lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy the show. A modest PA and lighting will provide a real concert feel. Upcoming concerts in the series include Foreigners Journey (July 9) and an August show to be announced.

 

FreshGrass Festival

1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams

www.freshgrass.com

Admission: $50-$150 for three-day pass; free for children under 6

Sept. 24-26: The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is known for its musical events, and the FreshGrass festival is among the highlights, showcasing dozens of bluegrass artists and bands over three days. This year, the lineup includes Dispatch, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Béla Fleck My Bluegrass Heart (featuring Michael Cleveland, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Mark Schatz, and Bryan Sutton), Watchouse, Sarah Jarosz, and many more. FreshGrass features bluegrass traditionalists and innovators on four stages and platforms throughout the museum’s 16-acre campus. Festival programming also includes FreshScores, a silent film with original live music; FreshGrass commissions and world premieres; instrument and industry workshops; pop-up performances and retail; and local Berkshire food and spirits vendors.

 

Fresh Paint Springfield

Downtown Springfield

www.freshpaintspringfield.com

Admission: Free

June 5-13: Fresh Paint Springfield, the mural festival that began in 2019 in downtown Springfield and transformed large exterior walls into art, will return with 10 new murals downtown and in Mason Square. This year’s festival will involve members of the community in the design and painting of all 10 murals, which will result in opportunities for more than 1,000 Springfield residents to actively participate in the beautification of the city. The murals will use a technique that employs giant paint-by-numbers canvases on special polytab mural fabric for members of the community to paint at COVID-safe outdoor paint parties during the festival. New this year, the Community Mural Apprentice program will pair 10 local artists with established muralists to learn how to independently engage with the community in designing and painting large, professional murals.

 

Historic Deerfield

84B Old Main St., Deerfield, MA

www.historic-deerfield.org

Admission: $5-$18; free for children under 6

All summer: This outdoor museum interprets the history and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley. Visitors can tour 12 carefully preserved antique houses dating from 1730 to 1850 and explore world-class collections of regional furniture, silver, textiles, and other decorative arts. Summer activities include educational lectures, cooking demonstrations, and exhibitions of period items and art. Due to COVID-19, access to the historic house museums is still restricted, but at least one historic house will open for touring each day, with wider access possible later on. Visitors should inquire on the day of their visit which house is open for touring that day.

 

Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival

358 George Carter Road, Becket

www.jacobspillow.org

Admission: Prices vary

June 30 to Aug. 29: Jacob’s Pillow has become one of the country’s premier showcases for dance, and this year’s festival returns with live, in-person events, but much more as well. “We will share the restorative and uplifting power of dance in person at our campus in the Berkshire Hills, on the road in our communities, as well as through live and on-demand events online to reach audiences across the world,” its directors say. “Our offerings will include commissions, premieres, Pillow debuts, talks, and workshops that take into account COVID-compliant protocols to ensure the health and safety of our community. The festival will put artists back to work after the devastation of the pandemic and remind us all of the power of dance to positively impact communities.”

 

Mattoon Street Arts Festival

Mattoon Street, Springfield

www.mattoonfestival.org

Admission: Free

Sept. 11-12: Now in its 48th year, the Mattoon Street Arts Festival is the longest-running arts festival in the Pioneer Valley, featuring about 100 exhibitors, including artists that work in ceramics, fibers, glass, jewelry, painting and printmaking, photography, wood, metal, and mixed media. Food vendors and strolling musicians help to make the event a true late-summer destination. Admission is free, as is parking at the TD Bank lot. Located just three blocks from I-91, this family-friendly event is ideal for holiday shopping, seeing new craft ideas, or just walking on a beautiful Victorian street.

Pedal ‘n’ Party

Brunelle’s Marina, 1 Alvord St., South Hadley

www.pedalnparty.com

Admission: $30 for 60 minutes, $15 for 30 minutes

All summer: Want to have some fun out on the water? Rent an individual hydrobike, which can be use to explore the Connecticut River and the streams that feed into it. This eco-friendly, pedal-powered vessel moves at a comfortable 4-6 mph with easy effort. From its stability to its high visibility on the water, the hydrobike is engineered for a safe, reliable ride. Its pontoons were scientifically developed by a professional canoe designer for optimum buoyancy, speed, and maneuverability, ensuring a smooth ride even in very choppy water. Stable enough to dive from, the hydrobike can also handle rough water conditions, including five-foot swells. Rent it for a beautiful day on the water, a workout, or a fun group activity.

 

Pioneer Valley Ballet

Park Hill Orchard, 82 Park Hill Road, Easthampton

www.pioneervalleyballet.org

Admission: $20, $10 for children and seniors

June 4-5: It’s been a year and a half since Pioneer Valley Ballet (PVB) last performed for a live audience, but that will change in June as the company welcomes spring with an outdoor, site-specific performance of one of Shakespeare’s most popular and treasured works, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. After having to cancel all of its 2020 performances, PVB is once again taking to the stage — only this time the ‘stage’ is Easthampton’s Park Hill Orchard, where for two afternoons small groups will wind through the fields, discovering scenes from the Midsummer story at sites throughout the picturesque orchard. A new audience will enter every 30 minutes. The first performance of each day will be a non-roaming, single-location performance for anyone with mobility concerns.

 

Six Flags New England

1623 Main St., Agawam

www.sixflags.com/newengland

Admission: $29.99 and up; season passes $49.99

All summer: Continuing an annual tradition of adding a new major attraction each spring, Six Flags New England recently unveiled Supergirl Skyflyer, a spinning, high-speed thrill ride. The main park is now open, and the Hurricane Harbor waterpark opens Memorial Day weekend. “We are beyond thrilled that we can reopen our theme park with a full complement of our more than 100 rides, attractions, and unique experiences,” park President Pete Carmichael said recently. “Now more than ever, families need an escape that is safe, accessible and fun.”

 

The Zoo in Forest Park

293 Sumner Ave., Springfield, MA

www.forestparkzoo.org

Admission: $5-$10; free for children under 1

Through Oct. 14: The Zoo in Forest Park, located inside Springfield’s Forest Park, is home to a wide variety of species found throughout the world and North America. Meanwhile, the zoo maintains a focus on conservation, wildlife education, and rehabilitations. The Zoo is open seven days a week, weather permitting, but all guests, including members, currently need a timed ticket to visit. Recently, state Sen. Eric Lesser and other local lawmakers announced $125,000 in pandemic recovery funding for the zoo to continue its mission of education, conservation, and rehabilitation.