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Wanda Gispert, regional vice president of Talent & Workforce Development for MGM Resorts International.

Wanda Gispert, regional vice president of Talent & Workforce Development for MGM Resorts International.

The final countdown has begun at MGM Springfield; the $950 million casino will be open for business in just over a year. That means roughly 3,000 people must be hired between now and then, a massive task that falls to a team that has already been hard at work for months.


That’s the number of applications that Wanda Gispert is expecting for the 3,000 or so positions that MGM Springfield must fill between now and opening night roughly a year from now — actually, well before opening night.

Doing the quick math, Gispert, who takes the title of regional vice president of Talent and Workforce Development for MGM Resorts International, acknowledges that this number equates to just over 40 applicants per job.

That might be the average, but the number of applicants will vary wildly with the position, she told BusinessWest, adding that, for top-level positions, like vice president of table games, there might be hundreds of candidates.

And then, for some positions, 40 applicants for each posting would be a blessing, but certainly not a reality.

“Being a butcher is a lost art — a lot of people don’t have that specific skill,” she said, adding that the casino will need a handful of such individuals. The same is true of pastry chefs and security personnel specifically trained to work with canines.

Filling the hundreds of different kinds of positions needed to operate MGM’s $959 million casino in Springfield’s South End is now Gispert’s responsibility. Actually, she leads a team of people that will handle this assignment, one she is still building.

As she goes about her work, she will draw on years of experience with meeting the considerable workforce challenges of major corporations within the broad hospitality sector.

Her specialty is opening new properties, and her résumé includes considerable work within the hotel industry, specifically with Marriott Hilton, opening more than 200 properties within the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, while serving on what is known as the ‘new-opening team.’

She later went to work for MGM Resorts International, and took the lead role in assembling the team of roughly 4,000 for the company’s National Harbor casino, which opened earlier this year.

She will also draw on a host of resources, everything from the area’s community colleges and workforce-related agencies to websites that can tell her which companies are downsizing across the country and, therefore, what types of talented individuals might be looking for work.

Overall, she said assembling a workforce for MGM Springfield will pose some challenges, but nothing out of the ordinary for such assignments.

The region boasts a large, qualified workforce, she noted, and it has the resources in place to train those who will need specific training, such as dealers. Meanwhile, MGM’s name and reputation within the gaming industry will bring a number of experienced workers into this market, giving the new casino ample talent to draw from as its fills out its team.

“With every market that we service, we see challenges in certain areas,” she explained, noting that this region would certainly not boast many experienced casino workers because legalized gaming only came to this state a year ago. “What’s encouraging about this area is that there are professions that easily transfer over to what we need; the banking industry is huge here, for example. From a cage-operations standpoint and how you run a casino behind the scenes — meaning accounting, finance, human resources, and other areas — we have a lot of positions there, but we know skills will transfer over.”

For this issue and its focus on employment, BusinessWest talked at length with Gispert about the hiring process for MGM Springfield and how things will unfold over the next year.

Surveying the Situation

As she assessed the challenge of staffing up at MGM Springfield, Gispert made a number of observations.

Among them is the fact this is a good time to be in a culinary-arts program, and for fairly obvious reasons made clear by her reference to pastry chefs and how hard it will be to find them. It’s also a good time to be a math teacher or a retired math teacher, for less-obvious reasons she would explain. And it’s a good time to be a bank teller, especially one who might be downsized in this time when there is need for fewer of those professionals.

As for math teachers and those who have retired from that profession, Gispert said they are the perfect sorts for the behind-the-scenes positions in surveillance.

“Those jobs are very different from security positions,” she explained. “Everyone in surveillance is given a math test; they have to understand all the games — poker, blackjack, craps, everything that we offer — and they need to be able to do math in their head very well, because if I’m watching a play, how do I know if an odd is being paid out properly?

“They catch mistakes; they catch possible cheating,” she went on. “They’re the eyes and ears of the casino. They must be really sharp, and their facial-recognition skills must be really strong.”

Loss-prevention specialists for major retailers would obviously be good candidates for such positions, she continued, but those math teachers and former math teachers are also ideal.

And teachers, in general, are good candidates for jobs through the casino, and for many reasons.

“They’re off every night, they’re off every weekend, they’re off for Christmas,” she said while listing some. “We love school teachers; many of our employers teach school because they have the perfect schedule.”

As noted, Gispert can talk about filling such positions from experience — lots of it.

A graduate of Georgia State’s respected hospitality program (the school is located in Atlanta, a popular site for conventions), she said she started her career on the front desk of a Holiday Inn at age 18 and has worked in a host of different positions within the hotel sector.

“I think that’s what’s given me my edge,” she told BusinessWest. “I’ve worked all of those jobs — I’ve washed dishes, I’ve made beds, I’ve worked in sales. You’re a jack of all trades at that point, and when you’re recruiting for those positions or training for them, you know what to look for, and you know how to train better because you’ve been in that position.”

Jason Randall

Jason Randall says the process of onboarding MGM employees is well underway.

As noted, she’s taken all that experience in hotels and added casino staffing to her résumé, assignments that are similar to hotels but have some additional wrinkles, such as host-community agreements, which stipulate commitments that the casino will make to hiring people from the specific host community and region surrounding it.

With MGM Springfield, that commitment is to have more than one-third (35%) of the workforce be comprised of people living in Springfield or from Springfield.

That last consideration is a very important one, said Gispert, adding that one of the things Springfield officials hoped to do by luring a casino here was to bring back some of those young people (with ‘young’ being a relative term) who decided they needed to go elsewhere to find fulfillment of their career aspirations.

That commitment to designate a third of the jobs to those with Springfield roots, as well as other commitments (to hire veterans, for example) is essentially a starting point for this assignment, said Gispert.

“That’s how I start crafting how I will approach my workforce-development game plan for the area,” she explained, adding that 90% of the workforce must come from this region, which is defined loosely as Greater Springfield.

Counting Down

Running down some of the numbers involved with her assignment (there are always lots of numbers to consider when talking about a casino), Gispert said the largest specific team, or department, will be dealers; roughly 600 of them will be needed for blackjack, poker, and other games. A large security force will also be needed, she went on, noting that roughly 200 individuals will be required for such work.

There will be a number of restaurants and catering operations, so about 150 culinary artists will be required, she said, adding that there are subsets within that broad realm (pastry chef, for example), and there will be about 80 cashier, or ‘cage,’ positions, as they’re called; these are people who will be handling money.

There are also a number of positions for which the casino will need just a few talented individuals, or perhaps even one. Butcher falls in that category, as does locksmith, security people that can work with dogs, and ‘master tailor’ (there will likely be just one of those).

When asked about the schedule moving forward when it comes to the process of putting a team in place, Gispert said the hiring has already begun in many areas, especially within the higher levels of management, meaning those who will lead the teams that will be assembled.

The matter of when specific positions will be filled will be determined by several factors, she went on, but especially how much training is involved and, obviously, when the employees in question will be needed.

As an example, she noted security personnel. This will be a large force, as noted, and one that will need extensive training. Also, in many cases, individuals will be needed long before the doors to the casino actually open.

“January is the month when a lot of positions will come on board,” she explained. “Because security and surveillance come in first; they take the longest to train, and you need them on the premises earlier than anyone else.

“Once equipment starts to be delivered, surveillance has to be there from that point on,” she went on. “Once slot machines and other equipment start to arrive, it cannot be left unsupervised; it’s 24 hours a day once they’re on the premises.”

And bringing someone onboard, if you will, is a lengthy process, said Jason Randall, who just went through it himself while being hired as director of Talent Acquisition & Development.

A veteran of the tourism industry in the human resources realm — he was a member of BusinessWest’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2014 as director of Human Resources for Peter Pan Bus Lines — he joined MGM in May. He said one of his primary responsibilities is taking new hires “from A to Z,” as he put it.

“Soon, we’ll start building out our human-resources team to start managing that on a volume scale,” he explained. “We’ll have a team that will take over halfway through the process to help initiate drug and background checks, complete offer letters, assisting with gaming-license processing, and eventually queueing everyone up for the big orientation dates.”

Those will be coming after some large hiring events late next spring and into the summer, he went on, leaving ample time for training before the casino opens.

As jobs need to be filled, the positions are posted on LinkedIn and job boards, said Gispert, adding that the response has thus far been solid, and it points toward overall numbers similar to what was experienced with National Harbor — thus that projection for 126,000 applications.

People can apply for as many as three jobs, and many do, she explained, which will be a factor in how many applications MGM receives, but overall, she’s expecting a very strong response, and from people of all ages.

“We reach out to AARP,” Gispert explained, “because a lot of people thought they wanted to be retired, then they retired and they decided, ‘no, I really want something back in the workforce.’”

Odds Are

As she talked about the process of creating a workforce for MGM Springfield, Gispert noted one challenge that might not be apparent to all.

“Not everyone will want to work for us,” she said with laugh, “because if you work for us, you can’t gamble here. Some people would rather be a customer than an employee.”

Perhaps, but she’s quite confident that this obstacle can be overcome as she goes about hiring dealers, security personnel, and even butchers and pastry chefs.

A year from now, roughly 3,000 people will be wearing ‘MGM Springfield’ nametags as part of the work attire. Getting to that point will be a challenge, but the casino and its workforce will be ready, she said.

You can bet on it.

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

40 Under 40 Features

Editor’s Note: Again this year, five individuals have been chosen to score the nominations submitted for the 40 Under Forty competition. In keeping with past practice, BusinessWest has chosen two former winners to be part of this panel (and a third owns a 40 Under Forty plaque from the Worcester Business Journal). As always, BusinessWest has sought out individuals with experience in business and entrepreneurship.

Ken Albano

Ken Albano

Ken Albano

Attorney Kenneth J. Albano is the managing partner of Bacon Wilson, P.C., and a member of the firm’s corporate, commercial, and municipal practice groups.

In addition to his legal practice, he is very active in the local community. He is chair of the board of the March of Dimes Western Mass Division, and serves on the Board of the New England Chapter of the March of Dimes. Albano is also a board member with Behavioral Health Network, where he has served for more than 20 years. He also works with the American Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish, and the ALS Association.

In June of 2015, Albano was honored with the Mass. Bar Association’s Community Service Award in recognition of his exceptional volunteer work.


Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services. She focuses on financial preparation for retirement as well as times of transition such as divorce or widowhood.

Deliso has been working in the financial field for 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry. She has been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying Member of the Million Dollar Round Table for the past 18 years.

She currently serves as chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation, and is immediate past chairman of the Community Music School of Springfield. She is also past chairman of the board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield, past board member of Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse, as well as past trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Mass. and the Bay Path College advisory board. She is a supporting member of the National Assoc. of Life Underwriters and the Hampden County Estate Planning Council.

Samalid Hogan

Samalid Hogan

Samalid Hogan

A 40 Under Forty winner in 2013, Samalid Hogan is director of the western regional office of the Mass. Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network. She has more than 12 years of economic-development and project-management experience.

In 2015, she was the consulting project manager for the Holyoke Innovation District on behalf of the MassTech Collaborative and Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. Previously, she was the senior project manager and brownfields coordinator at the City of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development. Hogan also served as a senior economic-development and policy analyst at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and founded CoWork Springfield, a networking organization and co-working space.

In 2016, Hogan was awarded a Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Spirit Award and recognized by the Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce as a Woman Trailblazer and Trendsetter.

Patrick Leary, CPA

Patrick Leary

Patrick Leary

A member of BusinessWest’s inaugural 40 Under Forty class in 2007, Patrick Leary is a partner at Moriarty and Primack, an accounting firm with offices in Springfield and Lincoln, Mass., and Bloomfield, Conn., and directs accounting, auditing, and business-advisory services. His concentration is on closely held and family-owned businesses, as well as providing business-advisory services for a wide variety of industries.

He serves as the first vice chairperson of the Greater Springfield YMCA, chair of the board of directors of Human Resources Unlimited, a member of the of the board of directors and executive committee of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, treasurer of United Way of Pioneer Valley, and treasurer of the Colony Club.

Leary is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is licensed to practice public accounting in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

Matt Sosik

Matt Sosik

Matt Sosik

Matt Sosik began his career in banking with the FDIC in Holyoke. In 1997, he became the CEO of Hometown Bank in Webster, Mass. After serving in that capacity for nearly 17 years and growing Hometown Bank almost 1,000%, he accepted the role as CEO and president at bankESB in 2013.

Since his arrival, he has overseen two mergers and has more than doubled the size of the parent holding company to more than $2 billion.

Sosik is a member or former member of numerous nonprofit boards, including United Way chapters, the Rotary, and hospital boards. He was a 40 Under 40 honoree in 2001 with the Worcester Business Journal.

Departments People on the Move
Maureen Sullivan

Maureen Sullivan

The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce announced that Maureen Sullivan has been named its Director of Marketing and communications, effective Dec. 1. Sullivan will be responsible for the strategic direction, development, management, and implementation of all aspects of marketing, public relations, social media, media relations, and communications efforts. She replaces Nancy Creed, who assumed the role of chamber president in August. Sullivan comes to the chamber with extensive marketing and communications experience, most recently as president of the Maureen Sullivan Media Group, an advertising and marketing firm focused on developing branding, marketing strategies, advertising, and event marketing. Prior to her founding her own business in 2013, she served as the marketing director for the Republican, where she directed corporate and internal communications, community engagement, loyalty programs, and sponsorships. Before being promoted in 1999 to marketing director, Sullivan served as the newspaper’s promotional manager, responsible for all internal communications, advertising sales, and event marketing. Sullivan is the founder of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” a successful, award-winning event series for women. She produced and managed the series of events attended by more than 2,100 women, launched its profitable merchandise line, and launched its digital and print publication with a reach of 376,000. Sullivan also produced an award-winning television commercial and has been named one of the Top 10 Women in Business by the Women Business Owner’s Alliance. Before joining the Republican, Sullivan served in similar capacities with the Hartford Courant and the Transcript-Telegram in Holyoke. She is a board member of Unify Against Bullying, a nonprofit that raises money to fund anti-bullying projects in schools; a former member of the Holyoke Cultural Council appointed by Mayor Alex Morse; and a former board member with the Newspaper Assoc. of America and the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts. She is a graduate of UMass with a degree in journalism and communications.



Andrew Steiner

Andrew Steiner

Andrew Steiner has been named Executive Director of JGS Lifecare’s Leavitt Family Jewish Home (JNH). He brings more than 20 years of diverse experience improving the quality of care and quality of life of seniors. He will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Joint Commission-accredited, 200-bed, long-term-care nursing home located in Longmeadow. Before joining JGS Lifecare, Steiner served as president of Sycamore Health Care Consultants, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in senior housing and health care, policy and compliance, reimbursement programming, healthcare technology integration, operations and turnaround management, marketing, and real-estate investment. In addition, Steiner has served as the executive director of the 205-bed Abbott Terrace Health Center in Waterbury, Conn. In this role, he implemented and managed programs for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, pulmonary rehabilitation, and cardiac care management. He also developed and implemented partnerships with regional hospital networks and delivered significant improvements in patient care and customer-service outcomes. Prior to this, Steiner served as director of Strategic Planning for National Health Care Associates in Wethersfield, Conn., coordinating business planning and strategies for more than 40 skilled-nursing facilities in six states with more than 4,000 beds under management. “Andrew clearly brings to JNH a wealth of administrative experience in clinical, long-term, and sub-acute settings, as well as a diverse programming background,” said Martin Baicker, president and CEO of JGS. “His wide-ranging skills and expertise will be a critical asset to JNH as we introduce the patient-centered ‘green house’ model of care in our nursing home over the next few years. We feel confident that, under his leadership, this new range of service will continue to grow our legacy of more than a century of proud caretaking, and fulfill our mission to provide quality eldercare services to the people of our community.” Steiner teaches health systems management at the University of Connecticut School of Business. He is also active on many local boards and organizations, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and Hartford Hospital, and has served the Florida Health Care Assoc., the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, and Dominican University. Steiner holds a master of public health degree in community health sciences and gerontology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, emphasis in marketing, from the Kogod School of Business Administration, American University, Washington, D.C. He is licensed as a nursing-home administrator in Connecticut and Massachusetts.


Western New England University President Anthony Caprio announced the appointment of two new faculty members in the University’s School of Law:

Mark Worthington

Mark Worthington

Mark Worthington is serving as the Director of Elder Law and Estate Planning Program in his new position in the Western New England University School of Law. Worthington has been in private practice exclusively in special-needs law, elder law, and estate planning for the past 24 years. He has been a member of the LLM faculty as an adjunct since the program’s inception. He is widely recognized as a national leader the field of elder law, having lectured and written for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Worthington is a graduate of the University of Rochester, Northeastern University School of Law, and Boston University School of Law. As adjunct faculty, he has been teaching courses in Medicaid Planning and Planning with Grantor Trusts.

Henry Boroff

Henry Boroff

Henry Boroff has been a visiting professor and jurist in residence at Western New England University School of Law since July 2016, and previously an adjunct professor at the law school since 1996. From 1993 until his retirement in 2016, he served as a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the District of Massachusetts, handling cases throughout Massachusetts, as well as in New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Boroff was chief judge of the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court from 2006 until 2010, and served from 1996 through 2016 an appellate judge on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit. He is a graduate of Boston University and Boston University Law School, and teaches courses in Bankruptcy and Secured Transactions.


Anne Stout

Anne Stout

Anne Stout has recently been appointed Director, Business Development, for Webber & Grinnell Insurance. In this role, she will build market position by locating, developing, defining, and acquiring new clients. Having previously worked at Toole Insurance and Pitney Bowes Inc., Stout has more than 20 years of success in marketing and consistently strives to maximize the reach, efficiency, and business impact of strategic relationships. In keeping with the agency’s mission, she is committed to the community. She has held roles as vice president, Membership for Berkshire Business and Professional Women and served on the United Way resource development committee.


David Griffin Sr

David Griffin Sr

The Dowd Insurance Agencies announced that David Griffin Sr. was selected as Treasurer for the new Pope Francis High School board of directors. Pope Francis High School is a faith-based, college-preparatory school serving grades 9-12, formed through the merger of Cathedral and Holyoke Catholic high schools, and currently operating out of the former Holyoke Catholic building. A new, state-of-the-art facility is under construction on Wendover Road in Springfield and is slated to open for the 2018-19 academic year. “I have strong ties with both legacy schools — I’m an alumnus of Holyoke Catholic, and three of my children were educated at Cathedral,” Griffin said. “Participating on the new Pope Francis High School board is one way I can help ensure that Catholic secondary education remains a viable option here in the Pioneer Valley.” Griffin is a principal and the executive vice president and treasurer of the Dowd Insurance Agencies. He has more than 35 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is a licensed insurance advisor as well as a certified insurance counselor. Griffin is also very active in the community. He has served as president of the West Springfield Chamber of Commerce, West Springfield Rotary, Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, Springfield Country Club, Hampden County Insurance Agents, and chair of Mont Marie Health Care Center.


Richard Sawicki Jr.

Richard Sawicki Jr.

Richard Sawicki Jr. has been elected President of the 1,700-member Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. The election took place at the association’s annual membership meeting held earlier this month at the Delaney House in Holyoke. Sawicki is office manager and real estate sales agent with Sawicki Real Estate in Amherst. As president, he will oversee the association’s activities and
operations, including meetings of the board of directors, and act as a
liaison to the association’s various committees. He is the official spokesperson of the association on issues related to the real-estate industry and the local housing market. The other 2017 officers and directors are Edward Alford, President-elect; Kelly Bowman, Treasurer; Susan Drumm, Secretary; and Lou Mayo, Immediate Past President. The directors include Elias Acuna, Suzi Buzzee, Shawn Bowman, Peter Davies, Janise Fitzpatrick, Ray Hoess-Brooks, Susan Rheaume, and Russell Sabadosa.


Stacey Price has been hired as director of development and marketing at Dakin Humane Society, according to Executive Director Carmine DiCenso. Price will oversee development and marketing efforts for the organization, which has two adoption centers in Leverett and Springfield, as well as a community spay/neuter clinic at the latter location. She will focus on donor and community relations and pursue strategic partnerships that will enable Dakin to continue to innovate while serving the needs of animals and the people who care for them in Western Mass. and beyond. Price was formerly the interim executive director and development director at Gifford Cat Shelter in Brighton, where she served as a funding strategist. Prior to that, she was the capital campaign manager for the EcoTarium in Worcester, and animal welfare director at Kitsap Humane Society in Silverdale, Wash. Price is a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and was part of the Spay Worcester Task Force. She received a Who’s Who 40 Under 40 award in 2010 from Kitsap County, Wash., and earned an MBA from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Stacey Price has been hired as director of development and marketing at Dakin Humane Society, according to Executive Director Carmine DiCenso.

Price will oversee development and marketing efforts for the organization, which has two adoption centers in Leverett and Springfield, as well as a community spay/neuter clinic at the latter location. She will focus on donor and community relations and pursue strategic partnerships that will enable Dakin to continue to innovate while serving the needs of animals and the people who care for them in Western Mass. and beyond. The organization is 100% self-sustaining.

Price was formerly the interim executive director and development director at Gifford Cat Shelter in Brighton, where she served as a funding strategist. Prior to that, she was the capital campaign manager for the EcoTarium in Worcester, and animal welfare director at Kitsap Humane Society in Silverdale, Wash.

Price is a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and was part of the Spay Worcester Task Force. She received a Who’s Who 40 Under 40 award in 2010 from Kitsap County, Wash., and earned an MBA from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Professional Women’s Chamber (PWC) has announced that Arlene Rodriguez, vice president of academic affairs for Springfield Technical Community College has been named the PWC 2016 Woman of the Year.

The Woman of the Year is presented to a woman in the Western Mass. area who exemplifies outstanding leadership, professional accomplishment, and service to the community.

This award has been given annually since 1954 and is publically recognized as one of the most prestigious honors given to any citizen for distinguished service and selfless giving.

“We’re thrilled with this year’s honoree — a truly inspiring and accomplished woman like Dr. Rodriguez,” said PWC Board President Janet Casey. “She is a trailblazer amongst women and a staunch advocate for education, empowerment and advancement and her passion to help young people succeed is unparalleled.”

A celebration in her honor will be held on May 24, at 5:30 p.m. at the Carriage House, Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield.  Reservations are $55 and may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by contacting Kara Cavanaugh at [email protected]. At STCC, Rodriguez oversees all faculty in the academic schools at the college, and formerly was the school’s dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. She has also served as the Honors College coordinator and professor at the college, and is the first Latina vice president of academic affairs at the College.

Rodríguez grew up in New York City, spending each of her summers in Aibonito, Puerto Rico, a rural mountain town where her parents’ roots grow deep. Life in New York taught her an appreciation for an expansive, fast-paced city life with all peoples, cultures, and languages, while Aibonito showed her the importance of family, neighbors, and their stories.

Born in The Bronx to parents who never finished high school, Rodriguez, the youngest of four, learned to read by reading articles aloud from the newspaper to her mother as she cooked breakfast every morning. At a young age she developed a love for the written word devouring everything from newspapers to magazines and classic literature.

Rodríguez speaks English and Spanish, and longs to add Italian to that list. Her love of literature led her to earn three degrees in English, including her undergraduate one from Fordham University, a master’s from Lehigh University, and her doctorate from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Rodríguez has been a journalist and a short-fiction writer. For more than 10 years, she taught English at Springfield Technical Community College. She has served as the college’s dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences from 2005-2015, when she was then promoted to vice president of academic affairs, the first Latina to serve in that position.

She was recently honored with the Springfield Women’s Commission Unsung Heroine Award, was named a 2007 BusinessWest 40 Under 40, and was honored with the STCC Anthony Scibelli Endowed Chair in 2005.

She is a member of the YWCA Board of Directors, and serves on Springfield’s Rosa Parks Organizing Committee, Springfield Ward 7 Democratic City Committee, Springfield Armory Council and the WGBY Board of Tribunes and Latino Advisory Board.


40under40threeinches-LOGO2013Editor’s Note: Again this year, five individuals have been chosen to score the nominations submitted for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2016. In keeping with past practice, BusinessWest has chosen two former winners to be part of this panel — in this case, members of the classes of 2012 and 2015. In addition, BusinessWest has sought out individuals with experience in business and entrepreneurship. This year’s judges are:

Elizabeth Barajas-Román

Elizabeth Barajas-Román

Elizabeth Barajas-Román

Elizabeth Barajas-Román is currently CEO of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, a public foundation that funds gender-based programs and operates a leadership program that trains women to run for public office. She has been a leader in progressive movements including advocating at the national level for the health and rights of immigrant women and their families.

Most recently, she was a manager at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she directed a portfolio of partners that campaigned for state and federal policy change to improve government performance. Previously, as the Director of Policy at National Latina Institute, she directed the organization’s Washington, D.C.-based office, where she was instrumental in expanding the visibility of the organization on the national stage. She was frequently invited to be a voice in national policy discussions in the media, at the White House, on Capitol Hill, and in target states.

In addition, her leadership has been recognized nationally with a Center for Progressive Leadership Executive Fellowship, an appointment to the American Public Health Assoc. Committee on Women’s Rights, and as a current member of the Assoc. of Public Television Stations Leadership Council. Locally, she is on the WGBY Public Television Board of Tribunes, a member of the steering committee for New England Women’s Policy Initiative, and a member of the External Advisory Board for the University of Massachusetts-Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy. She also serves on the Massachusetts Economic Empowerment Trust Fund Board and the statewide Committee on Wage Equality.

Barajas Román was honored as a member of BusinessWest’s 40 under 40 class of 2015. She is a certified project manager professional, a graduate of Oberlin College, and received her master’s degree in international policy from Harvard University.

Ben Craft

Ben Craft

Ben Craft

Ben Craft is the director of Public Affairs for Baystate Health. He grew up in East Longmeadow and graduated from UMass Amherst in 1996. He spent his early career in New York, where he worked as an editor at the Wall Street Journal and two years at the United Nations, specializing in environmental issues in human development. He joined Baystate Health in 2008.

At Baystate, Craft leads a team of seven in maintaining informative and constructive dialogue with the media and the community, sharing the stories of Baystate’s caregivers and the fulfillment of its mission, and building community relationships to improve health.

He is a graduate of the Springfield Leadership Institute, a member of BusinessWest’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2012, and vice president of the board of the Longmeadow Historical Society. He also coaches youth soccer and basketball and is the father of Emma, 8, and Teddy, 3.

Daniel Flynn

Daniel Flynn

Daniel Flynn

Daniel Flynn is executive vice president and COO of the Wholesale Banking Division at United Bank. In that capacity, he has oversight of the bank’s Greater Springfield commercial-banking operations, development of the bank’s business-loan center, cash-management enhancements, implementation of a new commercial-loan operating system, and incentive planning and administration.

Overall, Flynn has more than 33 years of commercial-banking experience. Prior to his arrival at United Bank, he held a number of positions at People’s United Bank (formerly Bank of Western Mass.) and, prior to that, worked at the First National Bank of Boston and Nations Bank.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business at Rollins College and his MBA at the E. Crummer Graduate School of Business. He is heavily involved in the community, serving on the board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and as a member of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. Previously, he served on the board of the Ronald McDonald House of Springfield, the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, and the South End Community Center.

An avid runner — Flynn has completed four marathons — he is married to Patricia Flynn, and has three children, Kathryn, Robert, and Elisabeth.

Michael Matty, CFA, CFP

Michael Matty

Michael Matty

A leading investment manager with decades of responsibilities for billions of dollars in equity investments, Michael Matty, president of St. Germain Investment Management, has more than 20 years of investment and wealth-management experience.

Before coming to St. Germain, he was vice president of Investments at Phoenix Investment Counsel, a subsidiary of Phoenix Home Life, as well as a principal at Capital Reflections Inc., an independent firm supplying investment research and stock recommendations to institutional investors and mutual-fund managers.

In his current tenure at St. Germain, Matty has served as executive vice president and chief investment officer, and still oversees investment policy and stock selection for well over $950 million in assets under management. In addition to his responsibilities at the trading desk, he plays a lead role in regulatory and compliance initiatives as directed by the SEC and FINRA.

Matty is a graduate of Penn State with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics, and holds the NASD Series 7 designation. He is also a dedicated mountaineer and enjoys the challenge of high-altitude climbing. In fact, he has succeeded in climbing the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents, the so called Seven Summits: Mt. Kilimanjaro, March 2007; Mt. Elbrus, August 2007; Mt. Vinson, December 2007; Denali, June 2008; Mt. Aconcagua, February 2010; Mt. Kosciuszko, October 2010; and Mt. Everest, May 2011. Only 275 individuals have successfully completed the Seven Summits.

Lora Wondolowski

Lora Wondolowski

Lora Wondolowski

Lora Wondolowski is executive director of Leadership Pioneer Valley. She joined that organization as its founding director in 2011 after serving as the founding executive director of the Mass. League of Environmental Voters (MLEV). Prior to her work with MLEV, she worked for the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and the National Audubon Society in Washington, D.C.

While at LCVEF and Audubon, she launched and organized several successful programs and training programs. She has nearly 20 years of experience with grassroots organizing and community outreach.

Wondolowski holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a master’s degree from Bard College. She was one of the founders of the Friends of the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turner’s Falls, was a volunteer and board member of Pride Zone Youth Center in Northampton, and was the founder of the Progressive Christian Voice at First Churches of Northampton.

She serves on the boards of the Connecticut River Watershed Council, Partners for a Healthier Community, and United Way of Pioneer Valley. She is the recipient of the Community Connector Award from the United Way of Pioneer Valley. She lives in Greenfield with her spouse and two young daughters. n

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University’s 12th Annual Innovative Thinking and Entrepreneurship Lecture will feature Delcie Bean, Founder and CEO of Paragus Strategic IT.

Bean, a serial tech entrepreneur, will speak to the lens of innovation and also discuss the role it has played in his successes and failures during his presentation, “Innovation: The Great Differentiator,” on Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 a.m. on the university’s Longmeadow campus.

Having started his first company at age 8 and a nonprofit at the age of 13, Bean is a born entrepreneur who thrives on coming up with ideas, building businesses, and having fun in the process. His mission is to use business and technological innovation as a positive force to impact the lives of clients, employees, colleagues, and the community as a whole. A frequent speaker at local and regional events on technology and entrepreneurship, Bean was named BusinessWest’s Top Entrepreneur for 2014, and received the Continued Excellence Award at BusinessWest’s 2015 40 Under 40 Gala.

Inc. magazine has acknowledged Paragus as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in America four years in a row. In 2013, CRN Global ranked Paragus the 30th-fastest-growing IT company in the U.S. In 2014, the company was awarded the coveted Employer’s Choice Award by the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast and the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.

“Innovation: The Great Differentiator” is sponsored by the Bay Path University Advisory Council and the School of Science and Management. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is strongly recommended. To register, visit www.baypath.edu.

Cover Story

By Any Measure

Bill Bither, co-founder of MachineMetrics

Bill Bither, co-founder of Machine Metrics, on the shop floor at Valley Steel Stamp in Greenfield.

Western Massachusetts has a rich history of entrepreneurship that dates back more than 300 years. Springfield, but also the entire region surrounding it, has been home to a number of innovations — and also companies that manufactured those products. Now, a new and very strong wave of entrepreneurial energy is sweeping across the region, and it is taking many forms, especially a slew of startups and next-stage companies trying to develop the proverbial next big thing. Over the next several months, BusinessWest will profile some of these emerging companies to provide its readership with deep insight into some of many positive developments taking shape here. We start with a Northampton-based venture that has brought to the market a software system that measures manufacturing productivity. The president of a Greenfield-based company now using it was direct in his assessment: “It’s a game-changer.”

They call it “being in the green.”

And that short, simple phrase has become a huge part of the lexicon at Valley Steel Stamp (VSS) in Greenfield — and with good reason.

To explain why, Rico Traversa, the company’s operating manager and a manufacturing engineer, took BusinessWest to the so-called war room, what those at this rapidly growing precision manufacturer of parts for the aerospace industry, major arms makers, and other customer groups call the operations center, located just off the shop floor.

There, on one wall, are two large, digital display boards, or dashboards, as they’re called, an integral part of a performance-monitoring system created and installed by Northampton-based MachineMetrics. One dashboard shows 11 circular graphs, or rings, that essentially chart the execution of each machine tied into the system and each production shift — in real time.

It is 2:05 p.m., so the second shift has just started, and therefore all but one of the rings are green, meaning the machines are operating at or above the desired performance levels. One is orange, which means it is operating slightly below that level. If one should happen to turn red, it means what that color usually means — trouble.

But because of the dashboards and other elements of this system, that trouble can be identified, and dealt with, much sooner and more effectively than previously possible, said Steve Capshaw, president of VSS, who spoke about Machine Metrics with an enthusiasm that was clearly evident.

“This is an absolute game changer for us,” he said, adding quickly that it could also be considered one for the precision-manufacturing industry as well, a sector that has for years been starving not only for big data, but, more importantly, a way to effectively digest it.

Capshaw said the MachineMetrics system has yielded a roughly 20% increase in efficiency since it was implemented about a year ago, a huge number in this industry. When asked to qualify and quantify what that meant, he said this improvement will not only accelerate the company’s already-ambitious growth projections — Capshaw said VSS has tripled in size, from $3 million to $10 million over the past five years, and expects to reach $20 million in another five years — but enable it to navigate this industry’s most pressing, and perplexing, problem, a deep talent shortage, far more effectively.

“If you can put out 20% more parts per year, that directly lands on your bottom line,” he explained. “MachineMetrics will allow us to negate roughly $2 million in capital expenditures in the next five years as we double the size of the business. If you’re less efficient, you have to buy more machines.”

This simple arithmetic means that Bill Bither, Eric Fogg, and others involved with MachineMetrics seemingly have the right product at absolutely the right time.

Eric Fogg

Eric Fogg says the MachineMetrics system analyzes performance in real time and sends alerts to clients when production falls behind.

A trio of partners — Bither, Fogg, and Jacob Lauzier — came together on the concept roughly two years ago in an effort to capitalize on emerging technology that has essentially created a language that allows shop operators to read how their machines are functioning. And they have brought that concept to a critical stage in its development.

Indeed, with successful stories being scripted at VSS and a handful of other clients, the company is poised to greatly expand its customer base and geographic reach. Fogg, whose business card declares that he is vice president and “chief evangelist” of this venture, was readying for a trip to Colorado when he spoke with BusinessWest, and was expecting to advance and perhaps close a significant deal.

Bither said the company recently closed on a round of venture-capital funding that exceeded $1 million. That infusion will be used to help scale up the venture and “prove out the sales model,” thus broadening the company’s customer portfolio to manufacturers of all sizes.

“Right now, it’s about product development and making sure we have the capability of selling this to many types of manufacturers that have different types of needs,” he said, adding that, while the company has shown it can serve a relatively small shop like VSS, it must shape the model to accommodate corporations with billions in sales and thousands of machines.

Parts of the Whole

As he talked about the MachineMetrics product, Capshaw noted that the precision-machining industry generally runs at least five years behind other sectors when it comes to advances in IT and, especially, the interpretation of big data.

That’s primarily because the equipment being used on shop floors today is quite complex, and IT is generally applied to those machines long after they are up and running.

“We can generate and consolidate vast sums of data,” he explained. “That’s great, unless you can’t do anything with it, which is where this industry was until only a few years ago.”

What was needed, he went on, was a standard language by which the controls of machine tools could export common information for which applications could be written.

The machine-tool industry eventually came together to create that language, called MTConnect, said Capshaw, adding that what has followed could best be described as attempts to harness that language. Overall, advances have come slowly and marginally — until MachineMetrics.

“Five years ago, we went to the International Machine Tool Show in Chicago, a huge show that comes every two years, and looked at machine-monitoring software,” he explained. “There was basically one company there that did it; they didn’t use the MTConnect standard, and the system was clunky. It’s like, if you were looking for a computer today, you knew what you wanted, you went to a store, and all they had was a Commodore 64 or Apple IIe.

“So we decided to wait a few years,” he said, adding that the next Machine Tool Show featured perhaps 20 vendors with monitoring software, with most of the products still lacking in one or more ways.

Machine Metrics wasn’t one of those companies, because it hadn’t yet been incorporated, but the seeds were being sown for a system that could potentially change the landscape.

The principals would bring to the table experience in entrepreneurship, software development, problem solving, and precision machining. Indeed, by that time, both Bither and Fogg could already be considered serial entrepreneurs.

Bither, a member of BusinessWest’s first 40 Under 40 class in 2007, founded the enterprise software company Atalasoft, which he later sold to Kofax, now Lexmark. Prior to that entrepreneurial episode, he worked in aerospace engineering — he was a design engineer at Hamilton Sundstrand for several years — and knew Capshaw from his work in that field.

Fogg, meanwhile, began his career in a machine shop in his hometown of Brattleboro, Vt. He started out packing boxes and washing parts, and eventually worked his way up to programmer.

He later started his own machine shop, Greentech Engineering, in Holyoke, which, as that name suggests, specialized in the engineering and prototyping of green-technology products, including mounts for solar panels and prototype wind turbines.

To make ends meet, he took on some aerospace work at night, he said, adding that the recession that started in 2008 put a rather large dent in both aspects of his business, prompting a shift into consulting work that focused on his strengths in precision manufacturing and ‘green’ product development.

Fogg said he met Bither at a Valley Venture Mentors meeting soon after he sold Altalasoft, and the two began looking at challenges they could undertake together. Their knowledge of the precision-machining field made them keenly aware that there would be a huge opportunity awaiting those who could develop software that could effectively monitor and record the performance of machines and people, and they set out to create it.

Rico Traversa, operating manager at Valley Steel Stamp (left), and MachineMetrics co-founder Bill Bither

Rico Traversa, operating manager at Valley Steel Stamp (left), and MachineMetrics co-founder Bill Bither stand near one of the dashboards on the VSS shop floor.

Soon after founding MachineMetrics, they brought on a third partner, Jacob Lauzier, the company’s chief technology officer, who brings to that post a background as a user-interface designer and web-application developer.

Together, they brought MachineMetrics to the market using VSS as a pilot company — one that has seen results far exceed expectations.

Form and Function

As he discussed what the MachineMetrics product means to manufacturers, Fogg related what sounded like a not-so-hypothetical situation involving that machine shop he worked for years ago.

“My boss would come down and say, ‘I need to ship 300 of these parts, and we’re already a week late,’” he recalled. “I would say, ‘well, there’s only 60 of them complete.’ He would get angry and say, ‘what went wrong?’

“The thing about manufacturing, and probably a lot of other industries, is that I could have given him the top 10 reasons why that job was behind, and it wouldn’t have constituted 5% about why it was actually behind,” Fogg went on. “There’s so much stuff that can happen, so many discrete things that can go on, that there’s really no way you can sit down with your boss and explain why a job is behind. So I would come up with some cop-out answers like ‘we’re having some trouble with second shift’ or ‘maybe there’s trouble with materials,’ and he would nod his head and go upstairs to call a soon-to-be-angry customer and eat crow.”

Machine Metrics was designed to make such discussions a thing of the past, said Fogg, adding that the software can not only pinpoint what what wrong, when, and where, but it can alert supervisors to potential problems before they happen and keep shop owners from having to make phone calls like the one mentioned above.

“There are thousands of pieces of data that can be pulled from any discrete machine tool every minute, and all that data has value,” Fogg explained. “That data can tell you about loads on tools or about problems with any part of the manufacturing process.”

Effective retrieval and analysis of that data has enabled VSS to improve what’s known as OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) from around 70% to roughly 90%.

While visiting the war room at VSS, Bither explained just how the software works.

“Each ring represents a shift,” he explained while motioning toward the dashboard. “As the ring fills in, that’s indicative of how many parts are created; when the ring is completely closed, the goal is met for the shift. There’s a white dot that moves around the ring, and it’s essentially a rabbit that you’re chasing. If you’re ahead of the white dot or on it, it’s green; if you’re behind, then it’s orange or red.”

The system tracks performance in real time, said Traversa, adding that this represents a vast improvement over the conditions that existed before the software was installed.

The MachineMetrics system

The MachineMetrics system has made the phrase ‘being in the green’ — as most all of the machines at the company are at this moment in time — part of the lexicon at VSS.

“You get text alerts and e-mail alerts as soon as a machine starts falling behind,” he explained. “In real time, we know that production is going down and we can try to solve it; we’re not waiting until 6 a.m. the next day to find out that a machine shut down at 8 the night before. You see it, you get alerted, and there’s no operator input — you’re not waiting for them to call you or e-mail you; it does it on its own.”

Making Progress

Capshaw, who spoke with BusinessWest by phone while vacationing on the Cape, said the system allows him to see what’s happening at the shop on a host of devices. He noted that productivity at VSS has increased 10% not from really doing anything with the data specifically, but simply from having it and making sure employees know they have it.

Employees simply have to look up at the dashboards on the shop floor to track how the machines they’re assigned to are performing, he went on, adding that no one wants to see the color red appear, and everyone wants to stay firmly in the green.

Roughly another 10% improvement has come from going back over data, identifying issues, streamlining production, and improving maintenance, he went on.

“We look at how efficient we are shift by shift and product by product, and see where we need to improve,” he explained. “The result is that we can more finely tune our training programs for employees, which is typically the reason for downtime, or improve our maintenance system so we have more uptime on our machines.”

Thus, benefits come in a number of forms, he said, listing everything from enhanced productivity to improved morale, especially among third-shifters, who seemingly toiled in anonymity.

“We had employees come up to us after we put up the boards,” said Capshaw. “They worked third shift, and they said to us that, if they did a great job, they never got a pat on the back. But they said having this is like getting a pat on the back — they work to get back in the green, and we see that, and we e-mail them and congratulate them.”

Perhaps the biggest benefit, though, is some reduction in stress when it comes to the nagging issue of finding enough talent as a result of that improved efficiency.

“Instead of having to recruit and hire 40 employees, we’ll have to hire 30,” he said. “We’ll still have to hire a lot of people, but it will relieve that bottleneck, which allows us to expand quicker.”

Moving forward, the obvious goal for the principals at MachineMetrics is to scale up their venture, and the recent infusion of capital will be used for the many aspects of that assignment.

Fogg said one of the company’s major challenges, not unlike the one confronting its customers, is finding talent.

“We have a lot of customers who are interested in this product, but one of the difficulties is integrating it into the machines,” he explained. “That’s something I know how to do, but it’s very difficult to find people who know machine integration; we’re actively trying to hire people like that, but we can’t even find them, let alone give them offers for jobs.”

Overall, the potential for growth is immense, said Bither, adding that the market for performance-monitoring software in the precision-manufacturing sector will reach into the billions of dollars.

Just how big that number will get, he doesn’t know, but he does know Machine Metrics should be well-positioned to seize considerable market share.

“There are a few competitors, but this is fairly new technology, so there isn’t one company that’s out there dominating,” he explained, adding that a company in Germany and another based in Silicon Valley are gaining some traction in the industry, while others are struggling in their attempts to do so.

“Production-monitoring technology is still in its early stage,” he went on. “But there is a lot of opportunity, because these companies are recognizing that measuring data is critical to staying competitive; they have to be efficient to win these deals.”

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Throughout business history, company owners have made it their mission to both keep out of the red and be in the black. For precision manufacturers, there is now a third mantra — ‘being in the green.’

As mentioned earlier, this is now an informal mission statement and both a spoken and unspoken rallying cry at Valley Steel Stamp.

Just how prevalent that phraseology becomes in this industry remains to be seen, but from all accounts, MachineMetrics seems poised to turn out some solid growth patterns of its own.

And it also appears destined to be part of the wave of entrepreneurial energy sweeping over the region.

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

Departments People on the Move

Delcie Bean IV

Delcie Bean IV

Serial entrepreneur Delcie Bean IV took home BusinessWest’s inaugural Continued Excellence Award at the ninth annual 40 Under Forty gala on June 18. It was yet another honor for the owner of Paragus Strategic IT, who was named BusinessWest’s Top Entrepreneur for 2014. For the Continued Excellence Award, which will be awarded annually to a former 40 Under Forty honoree who has continued to expand his or her business accomplishments and community impact, Bean was among about 40 individuals nominated by their peers and judged by an independent panel. “Nothing I have done has not been without the help of at least 100 other people,” Bean said to more than 650 attendees of the 40 Under Forty event at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. He cited, as one example, the 24 high-school students who graduated this week from Tech Foundry, a nonprofit he started to provide IT workforce training and job skills to young people. A member of the 40 Under Forty Class of 2008 when he was just 21, Bean has since seen Paragus grow 450% and earn status as one of Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing companies on several occasions, and recently earn the Top Employer of Choice Award from the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast. He’s also started a second business venture, Waterdog Technologies, a technology-distribution company. Meanwhile, within the community, he has been active with Valley Venture Mentors, River Valley Investors, and DevelopSpringfield; is a board member for Up Academy Springfield; and serves as a board member for the Mass. Department of Elementary & Secondary Education’s Digital Literacy and Computer Science Standards Panel. In his short acceptance speech last night, Bean put the focus not on himself, but on the promise of the Pioneer Valley. “I’m just one of many people who helped me get to where I am,” he said. “I’m so incredibly grateful to be here, to be part of the Valley. And you know what? I think there’s so much more we can do. I really, really think this Valley has a huge story ahead of it. I’m excited to be a part of that, and I hope you guys will join me. And, with that challenge, let’s see what’s next.” The other four finalists for the Continued Excellence Award were Kamari Collins (40 Under Forty class of 2009), dean of Academic Advising and Student Success at Springfield Technical Community College; Jeff Fialky (class of 2008), partner at Bacon Wilson, P.C.; Cinda Jones (class of 2007), president of Cowls Lumber Co.; and Kristin Leutz (class of 2010), vice president of Philanthropic Services for the Community Foundation of Western Mass. The judges for the inaugural award were Carol Campbell, president of Chicopee Industrial Contractors; Eric Gouvin, dean of the Western New England School of Law; and Kirk Smith, former director of the YMCA of Greater Springfield.


Sue Drumm

Sue Drumm

Sue Drumm, a real-estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Longmeadow, has been named the 2015 Realtor of the Year by the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV). The announcement was made during the association’s annual awards banquet on June 11. As the highest honor given to a member, the Realtor of the Year award is bestowed upon the one person who has shown outstanding service and devotion to the 1,650-member organization during the past 17 months in the areas of Realtor activity, community service, and business activity. A Realtor since 2009, Drumm serves on the association’s board of directors, grievance committee, community service committee, and centennial president’s advisory group. She is a co-presenter at the bi-monthly new-member orientation promoting involvement and explaining the benefits of membership. In 2014 she was a member of the strategic planning committee and affiliate of the year committee. She is a longtime member of the association’s community service committee and an active participant in numerous projects, including a book and blanket drive for Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield, and shopping, wrapping, and delivering gifts to area homeless shelters during the holidays. She is involved in the association’s charitable fund-raising efforts as a member of the Benefit Golf Tournament subcommittee, Comedy Night subcommittee, and Fantasy Auction subcommittee. Drumm has been a Girl Scout troop leader in Agawam for six years and assists with its annual food drives.
Springfield College Sport Management and Recreation Department Chair Kevin McAllister was recently elected president of the board of directors for U.S.A. Nordic Sport (USANS). The appointment to president follows McAllister’s role in leading a transition committee that assisted with the merging of the U.S.A. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined. Under McAllister’s leadership, a new set of bylaws was transcribed for USANS, and a new mission statement was drafted. The mission of USANS is to encourage, promote, and develop the Nordic disciplines of ski jumping and Nordic combined in the U.S.; assist U.S. athletes in achieving sustained competitive excellence in Olympic, World Championship, and other international competitions in the disciplines; and to promote the highest standards of sportsmanship, fair play, and goodwill between individuals of all nations through competition in the discipline sports. “This opportunity to serve as president of the board of directors for USANS is a great honor, and I am excited to have the opportunity to work with so many talented people both with U.S.A. Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined,” said McAllister, who has been a Springfield College faculty member since 2003. In his role with USANS, McAllister has the opportunity to work with Springfield College alumna Signe Jordet, U.S.A. Ski Jumping director of Sport Development since 2012. Jordet earned a master’s degree in sport management and recreation from the college in 2010, and she was instrumental in recruiting McAllister’s leadership for U.S.A. Ski Jumping and Nordic Sport. “We are always willing to assist and work with graduates from our Sport Management program at Springfield College,” said McAllister. “We are very proud of Signe and the work she has done in her role with U.S.A. Ski Jumping. There was an opportunity for me to get involved and assist in some leadership areas, and I am looking forward to the challenge. This experience will also provide some great examples in the classroom when teaching our current sport-management students.”
Two Baystate Medical Center physicians were honored recently by the Massachusetts College of Emergency Physicians (MACEP) for advancing excellence in emergency care. Dr. Sunny Mani Shukla received the Emergency Medicine Fellow of the Year award, and Dr. Lauren Westafer received the Emergency Medicine Resident of the Year award, during MACEP’s recent annual meeting. The Emergency Medicine Resident and Fellow of the Year awards recognize an outstanding emergency-medicine resident and emergency-medicine fellow in Massachusetts, whose combination of clinical promise, leadership, ability to think outside the box, and commitment to patients and emergency medicine separate them from others. Westafer earned her doctor of osteopathic medicine and master of public health degrees from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Blogging on emergency medicine even before her residency, today she co-hosts an educational podcast and frequently tweets and blogs about important and interesting articles, keeping her colleagues up to date on the latest in emergency medicine. Westafer regularly takes on additional tasks as part of her residency, including providing statistical mini-lectures to colleagues. An adjunct assistant professor at Western New England University College of Pharmacy, she lectures pharmacy students preparing to enter the field of medicine. She has also been recognized as a Knowledge to Action Fellow by the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Assoc. (EMRA) and the New York Academy of Medicine. “Dr. Westafer is an incredibly talented physician with the potential to contribute greatly to academic emergency medicine. Her ability to review the current literature and distill it into an easily digestible format is incredibly valuable and will make her a strong contributor in the future,” said Dr. Niels Rathlev, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Baystate. Shukla, who received his medical degree from Manipal University in Karnataka, India, completed a residency in emergency medicine at Baystate. He participated in MACEP’s Leadership & Advocacy Fellowship Program in 2014, and recently designed the Baystate Emergency Department’s Administrative Fellowship. He was also selected by the EMRA as one of 10 residents nationwide to receive an EDDA scholarship, which provides financial assistance to resident leaders to attend the Emergency Department Directors Academy, designed to help them develop leadership skills that will advance their careers, their local emergency departments, and the specialty of emergency medicine. Shukla, who provides emergency care at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield, was also the second-place winner in the Emergency Medicine Physicians’ emp.com third annual Video Challenge, allowing residents to show off their residency program in a creative way. As secretary/newsletter editor for the American College of Emergency Physicians’ Emergency Medicine Practice Management and Health Policy Section, he also uses his talents to mentor residents in writing scholarly articles. “Dr. Shukla has tremendous potential as a future leader in healthcare,” Rathlev said. “He has a particular interest in administrative matters and is currently obtaining his MBA at UMass Amherst. He is an active contributor to important patient-care and safety initiatives at Baystate Health.”
Candace Pereira

Candace Pereira

Susan Mastroianni

Susan Mastroianni

At its recent board meeting, the Gray House elected two new officers to a one year term: Candace Pereira, treasurer, and Susan Mastroianni, secretary. Pereira has more than 10 years of banking experience. She is a commercial-portfolio loan officer for Farmington Bank in West Springfield.
Mastroianni has more than 25 years of experience in the advertising field. She is director of Media Services and partner in FitzGerald & Mastroianni Advertising Inc. in Springfield. Michael Walsh and David Chase remain as president and vice president, respectively. Walsh is an adjunct instructor in Political Science at Westfield State University and a consultant and legal advisor at MIRA Associates. Chase has more than 20 years of banking experience and is vice president of Member Business Services at Freedom Credit Union in Springfield. The Gray House is a small, neighborhood human-service agency located at 22 Sheldon St. in the North End of Springfield. Its mission is to help neighbors facing hardships to meet their immediate and transitional needs by providing food, clothing, and educational services in a safe, positive environment.
Dr. Paul Donovan, a long-time practicing physician in North Adams, has written and published the first of a three-part series on the history of North Adams Regional Hospital (NARH). The hospital closed in March 2014 after filing for bankruptcy. Part one of the series covers the years 1882 to 1910. In 1882, a catastrophic train accident galvanized a small group of North Adams residents to initiate the concept of a hospital, which was built with private donations and opened in March 1885. Part one concludes with a major reorganization in 1909-10 due to financial difficulties. Part two will cover the years 1910 to 1955, and part three will cover 1955 to 2014. They are expected to be published in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Donovan is an emergency-medicine and sports-medicine specialist practicing in North Adams and Bennington, Vt. He was a member of the NARH medical staff for 25 years and served as medical staff president from 2008 to 2010, and as director of the NARH Emergency Department. The book can be purchased on www.blurb.com and will be available at local bookstores starting in July.
Citizens Bank announced the appointment of Quincy Miller, president of Citizens’ business-banking division, as its new Massachusetts state president. He succeeds Jerry Sargent, who will focus full-time on leading Citizens’ middle-market commercial business after serving as state president for five years. Sargent’s responsibilities will continue to include overall leadership for state presidents across the Citizens footprint. As state president, Miller will lead Citizens’ engagement with civic, business, and community leaders across the state. He will retain responsibility for Citizens’ company-wide business-banking efforts, which serve companies with annual revenue of up to $25 million. A member of Citizens Bank’s executive leadership group, Miller serves as a member of the Citizens Bank Charitable Foundation board of directors. He also currently serves as board chair for the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. Miller is a graduate of Lafayette College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business. Prior to joining Citizens in 2006, he spent nine years at M&T Bank in New York City and in Harrisburg, Pa. He has received 40 Under 40 recognition from the Boston Business Journal, Crain’s Cleveland Business, and the Central Penn Business Journal.

Daily News

BOSTON — Citizens Bank announced the appointment of Quincy Miller, president of Citizens’ business-banking division, as its new Massachusetts state president.

He succeeds Jerry Sargent, who will focus full-time on leading Citizens’ middle-market commercial business after serving as state president for five years. Sargent’s responsibilities will continue to include overall leadership for state presidents across the Citizens footprint.

As state president, Miller will lead Citizens’ engagement with civic, business, and community leaders across the state. He will retain responsibility for Citizens’ company-wide business-banking efforts, which serve companies with annual revenue of up to $25 million.

“We are very pleased to name Quincy Miller as our new state president in Massachusetts,” said Bruce Van Saun, chairman and CEO. “Jerry has provided very strong leadership for our Massachusetts colleagues, and as he focuses on a broader role in commercial banking, we are fortunate to have a leader of Quincy’s caliber who can help us continue to build on our strength in this key market.”

Added Miller, “I am very excited by this opportunity to serve as state president in Massachusetts. Citizens has a strong presence in Massachusetts, and I am honored by this opportunity to support the community and to help the local team provide the best possible banking experience for our Massachusetts customers.”

A member of Citizens Bank’s executive leadership group, Miller serves as a member of the Citizens Bank Charitable Foundation board of directors. He also currently serves as board chair for the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.

Miller is a graduate of Lafayette College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business. Prior to joining Citizens in 2006, he spent nine years at M&T Bank in New York City and in Harrisburg, Pa., where he was vice president and retail regional manager. Over the course of his career, he has received 40 Under 40 recognition from the Boston Business Journal, Crain’s Cleveland Business, and the Central Penn Business Journal.