Home Posts tagged Business (Page 2)
Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

 


 

Special Deliveries

With campus closed, Holyoke Community College donated its perishable food supplies to three area nonprofits: Martin Luther King Jr. Family Center in Springfield, the YWCA Transitional Living Program in Holyoke, and Easthampton Community Center. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts helped coordinate the donations.

load a cargo van with surplus produce and other food

Sarah Schmidt, director of programming for HCC’s Center for Excellence, and Stacy Graves, coordinator of the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, load a cargo van with surplus produce and other food

ready to deliver a load of food

Mark Pronovost, director of Aramark/HCC Dining Services, gets ready to deliver a load of food to the Easthampton Community Center.

 


Needed Supplies

UMass Amherst recently donated 300 face shields — developed by UMass researchers, engineers, nurses, and other healthcare professionals — to the Skilled Nursing Center at Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing. UMass contributed more than $30,000 toward the initial production of face shields and hundreds of volunteer hours designing, testing, revising, and manufacturing them.

a box of shields designed and donated by UMass Amherst

Tomara Meegan (left), assistant director of Nursing and infection preventionist at Loomis Lakeside, and Patty Coughlin, director of Nursing at Loomis Lakeside, carry a box of shields designed and donated by UMass Amherst.

 

 


Gear for the Front Lines

Lenco Armored Vehicles recently donated nearly $300,000 worth of personal protective equipment to regional first responders working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, including sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and spray, respirators, masks, eyewear, gloves, protective clothing, and power air respirator supplies — about 35,000 pieces of equipment in all. Recipients include Dalton, Lanesborough, Pittsfield, and Richmond fire departments; Dalton, Lanesborough, and Pittsfield police departments; County Ambulance and Action Ambulance in Pittsfield; and the emergency room at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield.

Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.

AMHERST

Barking Stoat Inc., 870 South East St., Amherst, MA 01002. Catherine Bell, same. Agriculture and related business.

BRIMFIELD

Daniel Beaulieu Custom Carpentry Inc., 1010 Dunhamtown Road, Brimfield, MA 01010. Daniel Beaulieu, same. Custom carpentry.

CHICOPEE

Capital Auto Finance Inc., 55 Taylor St., Chicopee, MA 01105. Zachary Mourad, 54 Woodcrest Dr., Chicopee, MA 01020. Exports of automobiles.

DALTON

Always Grow Green Inc., 890 Main St., Dalton, MA 01226. Diana Noble, same. Applying for license with cannabis control.

Crustpz Corp., 95 Main St., Dalton, MA 01226. James Cervone, same. Pizza restaurant.

EAST LONGMEADOW

Am Medical P.C., 741 Parker St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. May A. Awkal, 135 Anvil St., Feeding Hills, MA 01030. Primary care medical services.

HADLEY

Born-Digital Inc., 84 Russell St., Hadley, MA 01035. Noah W. Smith, 25 Main St., Montague, MA 01351. Digitalization of media.

HOLYOKE

Arman Tours Inc., 18 Canby St., Holyoke, MA 01040. Yasser Arman, 145 Lawndale St., Chicopee, MA 01013. Tourism.

Car&Truck Max Inc., 395 Maple St., Holyoke, MA 01040. Mazen Awkal, 24 Hickory St., Agawam, MA 01030. Purchase, resale, reconditioning of automobiles.

LENOX

American BCG Laboratory Inc., 10 Birchwood Lane, Lenox, MA 01240. Tsungda Hsu, same. Developing, manufacturing, and marketing of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) for use as BCG immunotherapeutic agents to treat patients with early-stage bladder cancer.

LONGMEADOW

4run3 Inc., 680 Bliss Road, Longmeadow, MA 01106. Timothy Murphy, 117 Longwood Ave., Longmeadow, MA 01106. Retail sales of shoes, clothing, and apparel.

PITTSFIELD

A+ Integrative Brain Restoration Program, A Nursing Corporation, 82 Wendell Ave., Ste. 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Dennis Redubla, same. Nursing services.

C&C Luxury Coach Inc., 11 Glenwood Ave., Pittsfield, MA 01201. Anthony Baptiste, same. Bus operation.

Desert Insurance Solutions Inc., 82 Wendell Ave., Suite 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Carrie Babij, same. Property and casualty coverage for customers with admitted and non-admitted authorized multi-line carriers.

Dorsey Consortium Inc., 82 Wendell Ave., Suite 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Andrew Dorsey, same. Animal husbandry.

SPRINGFIELD

Dr. Dental of Massachusetts P.C., 1101 Boston Road, Springfield, MA 01119. Julia O. Faigel, 20 Boulder Road, Newton, MA 02459. Dental practice.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

All American Carpeting and Flooring Corp., 204 New Bridge St., West Springfield, MA 01089. Imran Manzoor, 697 Elm St., West Springfield, MA 01089. Residential & commercial construction & renovation.

America Go Tours Inc., 203 Circuit Ave., Suite 124, West Springfield, MA 01089. Xiu Hua Wang, 33 Arizona Ave., Syosset, NY 11791. Bus tour services.

Central New England AG Service Inc., 39 Timber Ridge Road, West Springfield, MA 01089. Donald R. Chase, same. Services with respect to farming, fertilizing, lime and appropriate chemicals to agricultural pastures.

WESTFIELD

C&M Finishes Inc., 63 Russellvillage Road, Westfield, MA 01085. Milan P. Peich, same. Painting services.

Day Way Express Inc., 73 Cranston St., Westfield, MA 01085. Samer Khaleel, same. Transportation.

DBA Certificates

The following business certificates and trade names were issued or renewed during the month of April 2020.

DEERFIELD

Andrea Mizula
110 North Hillside Road
Andrea Mizula

Coldwell Banker Community Realtors
4 Elm St.
Christine Aubrey

Laura Pontani, LMHC
110 North Hillside Road, #17
Laura Pontani

BELCHERTOWN

Hutchinson Logging
49 Sabin St.
Robert Hutchinson

M & K Cattle Co.
270 West St.
Michael Austin. Katherine Austin

WESTFIELD

Bhatnagar Enterprises
19 Winding Ridge Lane
Nitin Bhatnagar

Direct Home Improvement
71 Wyben Road
Mark Sychev

Forever Dream Boutique
20 Goose Hollow Road
Holly Janisieski

Little River Agency
88 Knollwood Dr.
David Bubois

M.D. Siebert Renovations
51 Barbara St.
Mark Siebert

Phenomenails
17 Jeanne Marie Dr.
Elizabeth Potts

Rick’s Home Improvement
63 Country Club Dr.
Richard Doiron

Rosanna Wagner
37 Broadway St.
Rosanna Wagner

Sergey Express
44 Mill St.
Sergey Lisitsin

Wilmary Martinez
549 Russell Road, 6C
Wilmary Martinez

Company Notebook

Community Foundation Grants $700,000 Through COVID-19 Response Fund

SPRINGFIELD — The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) announced the release of its first grants, totaling $700,000, to community organizations and nonprofits from its recently-established COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley. The fund has raised $2,480,000 from local philanthropic and business organizations and over 50 individuals. The first round of funding to support local response to the crisis includes $190,000 to distribute food through the region’s system of food pantries; $120,000 to address the needs of vulnerable elders, including home-delivered meals; $120,000 to provide critical health services and outreach through the Valley’s federally designated Community Health Centers; $150,000 to provide shelter for those without homes and those impacted by domestic violence; and $120,000 to provide flexible supports to the region’s lowest-income families and individuals. Organizations receiving funding include Caring Health Center, Catholic Charities Agency – Diocese of Springfield, Center for Human Development, Community Action Pioneer Valley, Community Health Center of Franklin County, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Friends of the Homeless (Clinical & Support Options), Greater Springfield Senior Services, Highland Valley Elder Services, Hilltown Community Health Center, Holyoke Health Center, LifePath, New England Learning Center for Women in Transition, Safe Passage, ServiceNet, Springfield Partners for Community Action, Springfield Rescue Mission, Valley Opportunity Council, WestMass ElderCare, Womanshelter Companeras, and YWCA of Western Massachusetts. More grants are expected to be announced and released to respond to emerging needs. In subsequent phases, grants will be made to address needs of nonprofit organizations that have been financially impacted by the crisis. The Community Foundation welcomes additional donations to the COVID-19 Response Fund for the Pioneer Valley. Donate online at communityfoundation.org/coronavirus-donations.

Fire Investigation Transfer Program Launched at STCC

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) has a hot new program. Starting this fall, the college will offer a new option in the Fire Protection and Safety Technology department: fire investigation transfer. Students who choose this option will study fire behavior, fire operations, prevention, investigations, and criminal law through courses in fire science and criminal justice. Fire investigators often work for local, state, and federal agencies, but also pursue opportunities in the private sector. The program is offered in the evening only, which will give students who work more flexibility. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for fire inspectors and investigators are expected to grow by 8% between 2018 and 2028. The median pay in 2018 was $60,200. Students who successfully complete the two-year program will receive an associate of science degree in fire protection and safety technology. To learn more about the program and to apply for the fall, visit stcc.edu/explore/programs/fitr.as. Individuals with questions may contact Tenczar at [email protected] or call (413) 755-4596.

HCC President Pledges $10,000 to ‘Together HCC’ Campaign

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) President Christina Royal has issued a personal $10,000 challenge gift toward a new HCC campaign that is as much about building moral support in a time of great uncertainty as it is about raising money for students experiencing financial distress. As part of the HCC Foundation’s “Together HCC — A Campaign for Caring,” students, staff, faculty, alumni, relatives, and friends are being asked to use the hashtag #TogetherHCC to share stories and images on social media that show the strength of the college community in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Royal’s $10,000 challenge is not just a financial one. Instead, the goal is to gather 1,000 contributions of any kind toward the #TogetherHCC campaign. That includes monetary donations as well as social-media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as e-mail submissions that describe an inspirational tale or messages of encouragement relating to the ongoing pandemic. Besides scholarships, the HCC Foundation manages several funds that directly support students facing financial emergencies as well as those experiencing food and housing insecurity. These include the President’s Student Emergency Fund, which was established by Royal, and another that supports HCC’s Thrive Student Resource Center, which manages the HCC Food Pantry.

Northampton Survival Center Updates Public on Services

NORTHAMPTON — While concern for staff, client, and volunteer health during the COVID-19 pandemic recently forced Northampton Survival Center to temporarily stop client visits to pick up food, the center anticipates resuming modified operations as soon as possible. Even though the building is closed, however, new community partnerships and initiatives have sprung into action. The center has teamed up with Community Action Pioneer Valley to begin distributing food out of Jackson Street School, a nearby location with ample, circular parking and cafeteria and refrigeration capabilities. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, food will be delivered by the Survival Center to the school, where a team of trained personnel will be able to create pre-bagged packages of nutritious food while maintaining safe distancing and other health precautions. On those same afternoons, bags will be carted outdoors under a tent, for quick drive-up intake and food transfer to clients safely in their cars. Another initiative between the Northampton Survival Center and Grow Food Northampton delivers fresh produce and groceries every Tuesday to high-need sites including Hampshire Heights, Florence Heights, Meadowbrook, and the Lumber Yard on Pleasant Street. Food distribution at all four sites will work in tandem with the Northampton public-school system and Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School’s new meal-delivery program for children, in order to amplify each other’s efforts to keep children and their entire families fed. Shelf-stable groceries will be paired with fresh produce purchased directly from local farms, as well as produce and other goods purchased from distributors via River Valley Co-op. To serve clients in the hilltowns, food is being brought from the Hilltown Pantry and Northampton Survival Center to the various Councils on Aging that serve the region. COAs in Chesterfield, Worthington, and Goshen have already begun distributing this food from their sites, and further outreach is being coordinated with the Hilltown Community Health Center and the Hilltown Community Development Corp. The center is exploring using a school classroom in Worthington as a mini-pantry, and fresh produce has been shared with the Maples senior housing in Worthington. Eggs from Northampton Survival Center have been shared with the MANNA hot meal program, and fresh produce and retail donations of bread and other items usually reserved for the center are now being shared with other food pantries in the area, via the center’s partners at the Food Bank.

Monson Savings Bank Donates $25,000 to Baystate Health’s Greatest Needs Fund

MONSON — Baystate Health has just completed construction of a rapid-response triage area outside of the Baystate Medical Center Emergency Department, allowing the hospital to better protect patients and medical staff from exposure to the virus as patients are being screened and tested. This new triage area is just one of the many large, unplanned expenses this health emergency has created. Additionally, the exploding demand for personal protection equipment for staff and myriad other needs to fight this outbreak are stretching resources and finances to the limit. Monson Savings Bank has donated $25,000 to Baystate’s Greatest Needs Fund. This gift will directly support resources needed at Baystate Health as it continues to address and prepare for the care the community needs during this worldwide pandemic.

UMassFive College Credit Union Offers Financial Resources, Support

HADLEY — As a local nonprofit financial cooperative, UMassFive College Federal Credit Union (UMassFive) is known for playing an active role in supporting and educating members and local communities. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UMassFive has launched a number of initiatives to continue supporting its membership and people in the local community. For example, UMassFive has joined forces with Log Rolling Catering to donate 350 meals to individuals and families in need, as well as those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. The Amherst Survival Center received 150 prepared meals for distribution to those in need, and another 200 meals went to the ER staff at both Mercy Medical Center in Springfield and UMass Medical Center in Worcester. In addition, UMassFive has pledged $1,000 to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and donated another $1,000 to the local farming nonprofit Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, which will use the funds as part of its campaign to raise $50,000 for emergency loans to local farms. Credit-union members can also participate by making charitable donations in support of their local community through the UMassFive Buzz Points program, including options benefiting the Food Bank and the Amherst Survival Center. UMassFive is committed to answering questions and providing financial guidance to its members throughout this ongoing time of economic uncertainty. Members are encouraged to reach out for one-on-one phone consultations with credit union staff to better understand what options are available to them at this time. For instance, UMassFive is offering loan-payment deferral for up to three months on all qualified consumer loans. Members can visit www.umassfive.coop/emergency-relief to learn which loans qualify and to submit their emergency-relief payment-deferral requests through an easy-to-fill-out web form. As a way to make things a little easier for qualified borrowers who decide to take on some short-term debt to address their current needs, UMassFive has temporarily lowered the rate of all new personal loans to 5.99% APR for amounts of $2,000 or less. New and existing members can apply for this loan online at www.umassfive.coop/personalloan. After signing up (for new users) or logging in, applicants should select ‘fixed-term loan,’ then ‘loan special,’ and continue filling out the form until fully submitted. The credit union strongly encourages seeking alternative options before taking on additional debt.

Country Bank Donates $250,000 to Four Hospitals

WARE — Country Bank announced it has donated $250,000 to four local hospitals to help assist with the work they are doing for patients as they fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The hospitals receiving donations include Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, and Saint Vincent Hospital in Worcester. Paul Scully, president and CEO at Country Bank, noted that “these are challenging and ever-evolving times as we face uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. As a community partner, we care deeply about our communities, and we wanted to support our local hospitals to help ease their financial burden as they continue to offer exceptional care to our friends and neighbors in the region.”

Providence Ministries Services Continue Through Pandemic

HOLYOKE — Providence Ministries will continue to offer essential support services to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, Executive Director Shannon Rudder shared precautions being made to ensure continuity of services while protecting program participants. Effective immediately, the following program shifts will occur: Kate’s Community Kitchen will provide warm, nutritious takeout meals; dining-room services will be suspended until further notice. Margaret’s Pantry will continue to welcome those in need of supplemental groceries to enjoy its community services. This includes both monthly guests along with anyone impacted by loss of work or simply realizing greater need at this time. Make an appointment by calling Brenda at (413) 536-9109, ext. 119. St. Jude’s Clothing Center will be closed until further notice to contain exposure, while the foodWorks culinary-training program will suspend current classes until further notice; the April 1 graduation will be rescheduled. Providence is taking every precaution to ensure its single-room-occupancy recovery housing spaces maintain cleanliness and overall health. It is difficult to ensure a true quarantine due to shared spaces, such as bathrooms and kitchens. At Loreto House, residents will suspend weekend passes and all planned workshops, no general public will be allowed entrance, a daily temperature check has been instituted, and any resident presenting symptoms and fever will be sent to the hospital or their primary-care provider. At both Broderick House and McCleary Manor, no outside visitors or overnight guests are permitted. No new residents will be admitted to any of these houses during this time. Each home has adequate cleaning products and hand soaps. Volunteers are asked to exercise caution and use their best judgement to continue in their service.

Girls Inc. Receives Grants from Baystate Health, Women Empowered

HOLYOKE — Girls Inc. of the Valley received a community-benefits discretionary grant of $5,000 from Baystate Health to Girls Inc. of the Valley’s “Informed and In Charge” program, which is designed to teach healthy sexuality. Through “Informed and In Charge,” girls acquire the knowledge and skills for taking charge of and making informed decisions about their sexual health. Exploring values, practicing responses in different situations, and thinking about their futures helps girls identify ways and reasons to avoid early pregnancy and prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. Meanwhile, Women Empowered, a group that strives to promote body positivity and acceptance for both adult women and future generations of girls, has donated $2,500 in proceeds of its Women Empowered calendar sales to Girls Inc. of the Valley. The receipt of this gift will support Girls Inc. of the Valley’s current research-based program offerings designed to empower girls, and will provide a boost in its annual fundraising efforts. The Women Empowered calendar features a diverse group of everyday women who have embraced their uniqueness, have overcome physical and mental obstacles, celebrate their bodies, and want to share their story to inspire others. This calendar provides the chance to send a message of body positivity and acceptance in order to teach other women and future generations to embrace the totality of who they are, and use their gifts, their beauty, and their stories to change the world. Everyone involved with the production of the calendar and all sponsors are women-owned businesses.

Amherst Area Tip Jar Launched

AMHERST — The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) have launched the Amherst Area Tip Jar. Many locals would regularly be patronizing their favorite restaurants, bars, salons, coffeehouses, and other businesses that have been ordered closed or have shifted to take-out only, depending on the type of business, due to the COVID-19 crisis and related health and safety restrictions. The Tip Jar, first established in Pittsburgh, allows people to support local service industry staff and businesses. It allows them to send a ‘tip’ to their favorite business, which will share it with their staff — bartenders, servers, kitchen staff, stylists, aestheticians, mechanics, etc. The Amherst Area Tip Jar offers an option for these businesses and individuals to post their Venmo or PayPal information so that customers, family members, neighbors, and community members, near and far, can continue to support them using this open-source concept — a way to maximize social distancing while supporting these workers and small businesses. E-mail Claudia Pazmany, the chamber’s executive director, at [email protected] or Gould at [email protected]m with any inquiries.

Big Y Announces Support for Five Food Banks

SPRINGFIELD — On March 16, Big Y World Class Markets donated $125,000 to three Massachusetts food banks and two in Connecticut in order to help them respond to the challenges they face in helping to feed others during these challenging times. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Worcester County Food Bank, Foodshare, and the Connecticut Food Bank will each receive an immediate donation of $25,000. All Big Y stores also now have collection boxes to allow customers to make food donations for local pantries and shelters. As part of its recent 10th annual Sack Hunger/Care to Share program, Big Y also provided more than $11.5 million in food to area food banks, which amounts to a total of 5.7 million meals to help those in need throughout the region. In addition to Sack Hunger, it donates healthy food to these food banks six days a week throughout the year. Two-thirds of those 5.7 million meals include donations of meat and fresh produce, while bakery, non-perishable grocery items, frozen food, and dairy products account for the rest. In fact, these almost-daily donations have become a routine part of Big Y’s operations. These food banks depend upon this steady flow of food to feed those in need. Big Y also encourages support in any amount for area food banks right now. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts estimates that every dollar donated will provide four meals for those in need. Visit foodbankwma.org for more information. Additionally, Big Y donated $50,000 to the COVID-19 Response Fund hosted by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. The fund will provide flexible resources to Pioneer Valley nonprofit organizations serving populations most impacted by the crisis, such as the elderly, those without stable housing, families needing food, and those with particular health vulnerabilities.

Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.

AMHERST

Common Wealth Mural Collaborative Inc., 315 Lincoln Ave., Amherst, MA 01002. Brigitte Ruhe, same. Promote public art and provide opportunities for education, events, and installation of public art.

BARRE

Attached Track Club Inc., 292 Farrington Road, Barre, MA 01005. Greg Bourque, same. Track club is established to unite, organize, motivate, and support competitors of all ages in track and field. The club is open to people interested in the sport of track and field and running

BRIMFIELD

Brimfield Rugs Inc., 1 Warren Road, Brimfield, MA 01010. Mark Zofcin, same. Buying and selling rugs.

CHICOPEE

Church of God Matthew 11:28, 16 Bolduc Lane, Chicopee, MA 01013. Rosa A. Lopez, 247 Sargeant St., Holyoke, MA 01040. Religious services.

HOLYOKE

Champion Atheltics Global Inc., 15 Mclellan Dr., Holyoke, MA 01040. Blaine T. Scott, same. To share the message of love, grace, and salvation brought through Jesus Christ.

NORTHAMPTON

Climb for The Kids Inc., 175 North Elm St., Northampton, MA 01060. Kyle O’Connell, same. Providing logistical services for worldwide climbing and trekking trips to benefit educational scholarships.

PITTSFIELD

Bellas Mentoring Inc., 82 Wendell Ave., Suite 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Sabra Davison, P. O. Box 1083, Jericho, VT 05465. A mountain bike organization, whose goal is to help young women reach their fullest potential.

SPRINGFIELD

CMJ Paving & Landscaping Inc., 117 Quincy St., Springfield, MA 01109. Clinton Mitchell, same. Paving and landscaping.

Cool Beans Production Inc., 451 Eastern Ave., Springfield, MA 01109. Janice Brown, same. Real estate.

Axia Group Insurance Services Inc., 933 East Columbus Ave., Springfield, MA 01105. Michael R. Long, 1 Geer Hill Rd., Williamsburg, MA 01096. Building company.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Calyx & Pistils Inc., 283 Forest Glen Rd., West Springfield, MA 01089. William John Fontaine, same. Operating agricultural facility.

WEST STOCKBRIDGE

Bau-Da Design Lab Inc., 126 E. Alford Rd., West Stockbridge, MA 01266. Paul R. Brown, same. Graphic design, editing, photography.

WESTFIELD

Bourwine Inc., 1029 North Rd., Unit IA Hampton Ponds Plaza, Westfield, MA 01085. Robert J. Guiel, 115 Lincoln Ave., South Hadley, MA 01075. Integrative health & fitness.

WILLIAMSTOWN

Berkshire Innovations Inc., 63 Spring St. #402, Williamstown, MA 01267. Michael W. Taylor, same. Development, sales and servicing of electronic products.

Opinion

Editorial

Those in this region who have been in business a long time — and even those who have had their name over the door since the start of this century — have seen and endured quite a bit.

Indeed, over just the past 20 years or so, there’s a been the bursting of the dotcom bubble and the resulting downturn in the economy, followed by 9/11, soon after which the phrase heard most often in businesses across every sector was ‘the phones just stopped ringing.’ Later, of course, there was the Great Recession, when the phones again stopped ringing, as well as — all within a few months — a tornado, a hurricane, that snowstorm on Halloween, and the resulting power outages. There’s also been a workforce crisis, a skills gap, the arrival of the Millennials (who get blamed for everything), family medical leave, and who knows what else.

Like we said, businesses have been through a lot.

But nothing quite like coronavirus. This is something new. This is, in most all ways, uncharted territory.

Look at what’s happening. Colleges are telling students not to come back from spring break while they figure out how to handle all classes remotely. Communities and organizations are canceling events like the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day parade and postponing others to future dates, hoping matters will improve. States are declaring emergencies, and people are being advised to avoid large gatherings. The stock market is in ‘bear’ territory.

Communities haven’t taken steps like this World War II, if they even took them then. Or since 1919, when the Spanish Influenza pandemic raced around the globe, killing millions.

The worst thing about all this, as we said, is that people can’t rely on experience, because there is simply none to fall back on. This isn’t like a recession or a tornado or a terrorist attack in New York.

“… businesses have been through a lot. But nothing quite like coronavirus. This is something new. This is, in most all ways, uncharted territory.”

They still ran the St. Patrick’s Day Parade during the Great Recession. The region’s colleges stayed open after 9/11. No one cancelled meetings and conventions following the tornado in 2011.

This is different. Very, very different.

So what do we do when we can’t call on experience?

We rely on common sense, our strengths, and our ability to innovate. In short, this is what has seen us through all of those downturns and natural disasters mentioned above.

And by innovation, we mean our capacity to look at what we do and how we do it, and find new and perhaps better ways. And if we can do that, we’re not simply hunkering down, waiting things out, or trying to survive; we’re making ourselves stronger and more resilient.

Looking back on 2008 and 2009, as companies coped with the worst downturn in 80 years, many found ways to better maximize resources, and especially people, while also creating new avenues for revenue and growth. Those challenging days provided a stern test, and the businesses that passed it certainly reaped the benefits of their perseverance and resourcefulness by becoming more resilient overall.

In short, they learned something, and they benefited from what they learned.

Coronavirus will likely present another stern test, and it will require a similar response — creativity and innovation.

And it will require something else as well — a firm understanding that small businesses (and large ones as well) are being severely impacted by this and need any form of support you can give them. From pizza shops, coffee shops, restaurants, and taverns losing the business of college students who won’t be returning, to banquet facilities losing scores of events scheduled for the coming weeks; from Holyoke shops that won’t get that huge parade bounce to travel-related businesses seeing cruises and flights canceled — businesses are hurting. And they’ll need help to get through this.

That’s what we mean by uncharted territory.

Agenda

Bowl for Kids’ Sake

March 27-28: Bowl for Kids’ Sake, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County’s biggest fundraiser of the year, will take place on March 27 at Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley and March 28 at French King Bowling Center in Erving. This year’s theme, “Slide Back to the 60’s,” will feature a life-size plinko game, 60’s dance instruction, a newlywed-themed photo booth, era-themed music, costume contests, bowling, and much more. There is no cost to attend the event, but fundraising is strongly encouraged. Big Brothers Big Sisters programs are provided at no cost to the children or children’s families, nor to the volunteer mentors. It is a 100% donor-supported nonprofit that has been serving the youth of Franklin County for 53 years. For more information about the event or to register to attend, visit www.bbbs-fc.org or call (413) 772-0915.

Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series

March 27, April 10, May 8, June 19: Women leaders of prominent area institutions will be the featured presenters at the spring 2020 Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series hosted by Holyoke Community College and the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. During the four-part, monthly “Leadership in Your Future 2020” series, each of four presenters will sit at a different table each week and speak on a subject of their choosing. Over the course of the four-session series, they will rotate among the tables so guests have the opportunity to hear all the presentations. The four presenters are Theresa Cooper-Gordon, commissioner, Holyoke Housing Authority (“Self-Determination”); Priscilla Kane Hellweg, executive/artistic director, Enchanted Circle Theater (“In it for the Long Haul”); Jody Kasper, chief of Police, city of Northampton (“Rising to the Top”); and Christina Royal, president, Holyoke Community College (“Leading Through Change”). The luncheons run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race St. Lunch will be prepared and served by students in the HCC Culinary Arts program. The series will provide an opportunity to learn from women leaders of area institutions and a chance for participants to network with their peers and gain insights on building their own careers. The cost is $150 for all four sessions. Seating is limited. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Valentyna Semyrog at (413) 552-2123 or [email protected]

Unify Against Bullying Cut-a-Thon

April 4: Hair-salon owners and their teams are being asked to make a difference in the fight against bullying. Unify Against Bullying is looking for local and regional salons to participate in a one-day Cut-a-Thon, donating proceeds from haircuts, blowouts, and styling to the anti-bullying organization. Some salons will also offer temporary pink hair color — the signature color of Unify Against Bullying. In addition, each salon will add its own fun activities and promotions for the event. Although the main event is being held on April 4, some salon owners can choose the option to hold the fundraiser for the whole month to make it easier on their team. This year, Basia Belz, a Unify Against Bullying board member and owner of Vivid Hair Salon, located at 99 Elm St., Westfield, will chair the event. Salon owners who wish to participate can contact Belz at (413) 564-0062 or [email protected]

Disability Film Festival

April 5: Whole Children, a program of Pathlight, will partner with Five College Realtors to present the fifth annual Focus on Disability Film Festival at 4 p.m. at the Northampton Center for the Arts, 33 Hawley St., Northampton. The festival will feature seven films, including six short films from SproutFlix, which exclusively distributes films featuring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and will conclude with the premiere of This Is Me, a Pathlight-made original documentary. All the films highlight the importance of the performing and visual arts in the lives of people with disabilities. This Is Me is about Whole Children’s performing-arts program, now in its ninth year, and was filmed during the creation of last year’s original production. It discusses the history of the program and what is means to the actors, who are local children and adults with disabilities, and their families. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Amherst author Cammie McGovern and featuring young adults with disabilities who express themselves through performing arts. A reception will follow the panel. All proceeds from the film festival support Whole Children’s inclusive programming for children and teens. Whole Children, a program of Pathlight, offers a wide range of after-school, weekend, and vacation enrichment programs for children of all ages and abilities, particularly those with special needs. Classes include gymnastics, art, martial arts, dance, music, social skills, yoga, sports, and theater.

Elms College Executive Leadership Breakfast

April 9: Elms College will host its third annual Executive Leadership Breakfast for the region’s business executives, state and local legislators, and community leaders. The keynote speaker for the event is U.S. Rep. Richard Neal. His talk, “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” will examine how our congressional delegation is providing leadership on issues that could impact the economy of the Western Mass. region. Neal was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988. He currently serves as chair of the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. This annual event features talks by the region’s leaders on topics of relevance that impact all sectors of business and the economy in Western Mass. Corporate sponsorships are available for this event, and an invitation is required to attend. For more information on the various sponsorship opportunities or to request an invitation, call the Elms College Office of Institutional Advancement at (413) 265-2448.

Bay Path President’s Gala

April 18: Bay Path University’s fourth annual President’s Gala will take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. While the event will continue its tradition of raising funds for student scholarships, it will also celebrate the legacy of Carol Leary, who will retire in June after 25 years as Bay Path president. The gala will feature a tribute to Leary and her husband Noel, silent and live auctions, dinner, and dancing with live entertainment. Last year’s event netted more than $360,000 in support of student scholarships. The President’s Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by a seated dinner at 7:30 p.m. The tribute will start at 8:30 p.m., and at 9 p.m., guests will be invited to dance the night away. To learn more about the gala, including sponsorships, purchasing tickets, and donating to or participating in the auction, visit www.baypath.edu/gala or contact Meg Morrill at (413) 565-1396 or [email protected]

Knights of Columbus Golf Tournament

May 22: The Greenfield Knights of Columbus, Council #133, will host its seventh annual charity golf tournament at the Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston. This year, the Greenfield Council #133 recognizes the United Arc as its tournament partner. The event will be an 18-hole, four-person scramble with tee advantages for senior golfers. The entry fee of $125 per person includes greens fees, carts, lunch and dinner, and prizes for the winners. Those less inclined to tee off and who would rather enjoy the views of the 18th green while supporting a good cause can take in a meal at Zeke’s Grill. Dinner-only tickets are available for $30. Raffles and a silent auction will feature lottery tickets, gift cards, a three-day Cape Cod vacation, Crumpin-Fox and Hopyard golf certificates, a mystery box, and more. There will also be a hole-in-one contest for a chance to win a new car. In addition to the United Arc — which supports people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in achieving the universal goals of inclusion, choice, and independence — proceeds from the event will be used to fund a number of Council #133’s worthy causes in Greenfield and Franklin County, including the Pan Mass Challenge, Baystate Hospital Wheeling for Healing, Farren Hospital Gift of Light, the Greenfield Homeless Shelter, monthly community meals, honoring veterans by placing flags on graves for Memorial Day and Wreaths Across America wreaths placed on graves at Christmas, several youth sports programs, and more. To sign up or to get more information, call Lou Grader at (413) 774-2848, Dan Arsenault at (413) 774-5258, Bob Wanczyk at (413) 774-2465, Paul Doran at (413) 774-2801, or Joe Ruscio at (413) 768-9876.

Hooplandia

June 26-28: Hooplandia, the largest 3-on-3 basketball competition and celebration on the East Coast, will take place on June 26-28, 2020, hosted by Eastern States Exposition and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The event will feature hundreds of games for thousands of players of all ages and playing abilities, with divisions for young girls, boys, women, men, high-school elite, college elite, pro-am, ‘over the hill,’ wheelchair, wounded warrior, Special Olympians, veterans, first responders, and more. More than 100 outdoor blacktop courts will be placed throughout the roadway and parking-lot network of the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds in West Springfield. Slam-dunk, 3-point, free-throw, dribble-course, vertical-jump, and full-court-shot skills competitions will be spotlighted. Themed state courts will be mobilized along the Exposition’s famed Avenue of States. Featured ‘showcase games’ will be held on new court surfaces in the historic Eastern States Coliseum and on the Court of Dreams, the center court of the Basketball Hall of Fame. To register or for more information, visit www.hooplandia.com.

Difference Makers

Sept. 10: Due to coronavirus concerns, BusinessWest has decided to postpone its 12th annual Difference Makers event that was scheduled to take place on Thursday, March 19. The event will now take place on Thursday, Sept. 10 at the Log Cabin. With the growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, and under the CDC’s recommendations, BusinessWest felt this was the most appropriate and responsible action to take. Event sponsors include Burkhart Pizzanelli, Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health Of New England, Royal, P.C., and TommyCar Auto Group, while the Tom Cosenzi Driving for the Cure Charity Golf Tournament, MHA, and United Way of Pioneer Valley are partners. For more info visit www.businesswest.com or call (413) 781-8600.

Company Notebook

Bacon Wilson to Donate $25,000 for Firm’s 125th Anniversary

SPRINGFIELD — Bacon Wilson announced that, in honor of its 125th anniversary year, the firm will donate $25,000 to various community organizations throughout the Pioneer Valley. Bacon Wilson will make five contributions of $1,250 for each quarter of 2020. After gathering suggestions from members of the firm, first-quarter contributions of $1,250 were awarded to:

• Michael J. Dias Foundation, which provides aid and education for individuals and families on substance abuse, and help for those battling the disease of addiction;

• All Out Adventures, which promotes health, community, and independence for people with disabilities, seniors, veterans, and their families and friends through outdoor recreation;

• Amherst Survival Center, which connects people to food, clothing, healthcare, wellness, and community, primarily through volunteer efforts;

• Our Community Table: Westfield Soup Kitchen, a 100% volunteer organization dependent upon donations to provide a clean and safe environment to serve those in need; and

• Treehouse Foundation, an intergenerational community neighborhood where adoptive families and their children, older youth, and elders invest in one another’s health, dreams, and futures.

Bacon Wilson will announce recipients for the firm’s remaining quarterly giving in June, September, and December.

Eversource Energy to Purchase Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

BOSTON — Eversource Energy announced it has reached an agreement to purchase the Massachusetts natural-gas assets of Columbia Gas for $1.1 billion from NiSource. The acquisition will bring Columbia Gas operations in Massachusetts under local ownership by the largest energy company in New England. Columbia Gas currently serves 330,000 natural-gas customers in more than 60 communities in Massachusetts. Eversource has 300,000 natural-gas customers and 1.5 million electric customers in 51 communities across the Commonwealth. Many communities that Columbia Gas serves with natural gas already receive electric service from Eversource. Under the asset-purchase agreement, liabilities related to the September 2018 gas distribution incidents in the Merrimack Valley will remain the responsibility of Columbia Gas’s current parent company, NiSource. Eversource plans to finance the transaction with a balance of new equity and debt that maintains its credit profile. The parties expect to close the transaction by the end of the third quarter 2020.

Isenberg Again Ranks First for MBA Online Education

AMHERST — For the fourth year in a row, the online MBA offered by the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst topped the rankings of U.S. programs — and came out number three in the world — in the Financial Times survey. Isenberg has offered an AACSB-accredited MBA degree program entirely online since 2001, making it one of the most well-established and robust online degrees in the country. Currently, more than 1,100 students are enrolled in the program. In addition to its overall position in the 2020 Financial Times ranking, the Isenberg online MBA also stood out in a number of data areas, based on information collected by the publication from members of the 2016 graduating class. It ranked first in the world for salary increase, with alumni reporting that they earn 46% more now than they did when they graduated from the Isenberg MBA program; second in the U.S. for average current salary ($168,046); and first in the U.S. for value.

American International College Named To Military Friendly Schools List

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) has again been named a Military Friendly School. VIQTORY, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business that connects the military community to civilian employment and educational and entrepreneurial opportunities, has released the 2020-21 Military Friendly​​ Schools list, providing a comprehensive guide for veterans and their families using data sources from federal agencies, veteran students, and proprietary survey information from participating organizations in order to help them select the best college, university, or trade school to receive the education and training needed to pursue a civilian career. Institutions earning the Military Friendly​ School designation are evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey completed by the school. This year, fewer than 800 schools nationwide earned this prestigious designation. Methodology and criteria were determined by VIQTORY with input from the Military Friendly​ ​Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher-education and military-recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the individual institution’s survey scores with the assessment of its ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer), and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

Girls Inc. of the Valley Receives $500,000 Grant

HOLYOKE — Girls Inc. of the Valley announced plans for major expansion and the launch of its new campaign. The organization is in the early stages of an ambitious, comprehensive campaign, “Her Future, Our Future,” with three primary goals: to develop a permanent Girls Inc. home in downtown Holyoke; to expand school-based programming in Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield; and to extend the Eureka! STEM education program. To that end, it has received $500,000 in support from the Kendeda Fund, a private grantmaker based in Atlanta. This transformative gift will support the expansion of Girls Inc. of the Valley’s programs and create a stronger network that encourages girls to achieve. Girls Inc. of the Valley is launching this campaign to offer more girls fundamental support and research-based programming. These programs are designed to empower girls and present them with opportunities to navigate barriers they face in school and beyond.

Women’s Fund to Award $45,000 to Groups Addressing Sexual Violence

SPRINGFIELD — The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) announced a spring grant cycle to fund organizations that are working to fight sexual violence in the Western Mass. region. Funding for this grant cycle is made possible by a grant the WFWM received from the Fund for the Me Too Movement and Allies (the Me Too Fund), housed at the New York Women’s Foundation. Joining the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, the Women’s Foundation of California, and the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota in this work, WFWM will carry out the Me Too Fund’s goal of ensuring ongoing philanthropic investments toward transforming the oppressive systems that produce structural inequalities of power that result in harassment and violence by making grants from this fund in and for the local community. Applications will be accepted from women- and girl-serving organizations in all four counties of Western Mass. through March 31. Projects funded by this grant from WFWM must focus on prevention and/or intervention of sexual violence and harassment. Visit mywomensfund.org for additional information or to apply.

GCAi Launches Videos for Peter Pan’s App Marketing and Perks Rewards Program

SPRINGFIELD — Riders on any Peter Pan bus right now will not only view a new app-marketing video but also a new Perks Rewards program video. In between the two marketing videos is a brief welcome message by company Chairman and CEO Peter Picknelly. Garvey Communication Associates Inc. (GCAi) produced the three videos, which are already being shown on all routes in the Northeast Corridor. Each of them was produced by award-winning video producer Darcy Young, one of the only female video producers in the market. The concepts and scripts were developed by GCAi founder John Garvey. The app and rewards videos will be disseminated through digital marketing campaigns in specific markets on the East Coast in the near future. These videos are the third in a series of passenger videos produced by GCAi that began when Peter Pan Bus Lines separated from Greyhound Bus Lines in 2017. The videos can be viewed at gcaionline.com/video.

Webber & Grinnell Acquires Roger Menard Insurance Agency

NORTHAMPTON — Webber & Grinnell Insurance announced the acquisition of Roger Menard Insurance Agency at 241 King St., Northampton. “Roger and I have been talking about this for a long time, and we are fortunate to be able to continue his legacy of great customer service to his clients,” said Webber and Grinnell President Bill Grinnell. “Our office is only a quarter-mile down the street, so it will be an easy adjustment for his clients. We also represent the same insurance carriers as Roger Menard Insurance, which will make the transition go very smoothly. Menard added that “Webber and Grinnell is the premier insurance agency in Northampton, and I know my clients will be treated very well. I’ve truly enjoyed this business and the relationships I have developed along the way. But after 36 years, it’s time to do something different. I will still be available to answer any questions during the transition.”

DAISA Enterprises to Facilitate Healthy Children and Families Event

SOUTH HADLEY — DAISA Enterprises, a food-systems and community health strategy firm based in South Hadley, was selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to design and facilitate a convening of Healthy Children and Families grantees for 2020. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), based in Princeton, N.J., is the largest philanthropic foundation in the U.S. focused solely on health, striving to advance policy, system, and environmental changes that create the conditions to foster families’ opportunities to promote healthy child development. The Healthy Children and Families convening will be a forum for sharing lessons and leveraging insights among grantees, partners, stakeholders, and RWJF staff around strategies to achieve this goal and prioritize health equity. More than 100 health leaders are expected to attend this event this spring or summer.

Health New England a Finalist in Healthiest Employers Program

SPRINGFIELD — Health New England has been recognized as one of the 2019 finalists of the Healthiest Employers of Massachusetts, a nationally recognized awards program powered by the Springbuk Health Intelligence Platform. Applicants to the Healthiest Employers awards program were evaluated across six key categories, representing a holistic view of employee well-being: culture and leadership commitment, foundational components, strategic planning, communication and marketing, programming and interventions, and reporting and analytics. All companies that applied to the awards program were ranked according to the proprietary Healthiest Employers Index, a 1-100 rubric for employee well-being programming. Ranked second in the 100- to 499-employee size category in Massachusetts, Health New England was honored for its commitment to employee health and corporate health programming. As an award finalist, Health New England has demonstrated a strong commitment to the health and well-being of its team members.

Bay Path Earns ‘A’ Grade for Early Reading Courses

LONGMEADOW — The National Council on Teacher Quality released its scores for the 2020 Teacher Prep Review, ranking Bay Path University’s Early Reading course content in undergraduate, traditional, elementary-education programs with an ‘A’ designation. Reading ability is a key predictor of future educational gains and life success, and more than one-third of American children are not able to read by the fourth grade, with black and Hispanic children being disproportionately affected. Successful reading instruction is essential to achieving educational equity, yet only seven programs in Massachusetts received an ‘A’ ranking. After reviewing course syllabi and required textbooks, programs were ranked based on the following criteria: the availability of explicit instruction on each of the five components of reading instruction — phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension strategies; support for instruction with high-quality textbooks that accurately detail established principles of scientifically based reading practices; and evidence that teacher candidates must demonstrate mastery through in-class assignments, tests, and field work.

Scout Curated Wears Supports Dress for Success

SPRINGFIELD — Scout Curated Wears started out as a local business and quickly turned into a nationwide sensation with its signature item, which converts from a wrap bracelet to a necklace. But the company is equally proud of its commitment to give back 10% of its net proceeds to support women’s organizations. Dress for Success Western Massachusetts is one of the nonprofits that benefits from the generosity of Scout Curated Wears and owner Lora Fischer-DeWitt. Women in the Greater Springfield community benefit from both a network of support and programs developed by Dress for Success. These programs, which are designed to be responsive to both women and employers, include the Foot in the Door workforce-readiness program; the Boutique, which provides women with professional attire for interviews and employment; the Margaret Fitzgerald One-on-One mentor program; and the Professional Women’s Group, designed to promote employment retention and career advancement. Fischer-DeWitt changes the lives of women who come through these programs by providing an annual contribution and by sponsoring Common Threads, an annual event celebrating of the accomplishments of women who have come through Dress for Success Western Massachusetts programs. This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, April 16 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Springfield Sheraton.

Elms School of Nursing Ranks in Top 10 in State

CHICOPEE — The School of Nursing at Elms College ranks in the top 10 of “Best Nursing Schools in Massachusetts,” according to a recent ranking by registerednursing.org. To determine this year’s rankings, registerednursing.org researched the 40 nursing programs across the state and analyzed their students’ performance on the NCLEX-RN exam over the past five years. In 2019, Elms College nurses achieved a 97% pass rate on the exam, while the national pass rate was 91%. This is the third top-10 ranking for Elms College’s School of Nursing over the past year. It has been ranked in the top 10 of nursing schools in Massachusetts according to both nurse.org and niche.com.

Features

Blast from the Past

Todd Crossett and Sonya Yetter

It’s a small business, but it might just be a big part of a significant movement. Granny’s Baking Table, which opened just a few months ago, speaks to a different age in Springfield’s history, when small, locally owned businesses dominated Main Street and the roads around it. And in many ways, it operates in a way consistent with that age — there’s no wi-fi and, instead, a focus on conversation. It’s a blast from the past, but those behind it hope they represent the future.

Todd Crossett remembers how it all started — and especially how his chapter in this story began.

Then a faculty member at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, he was making beignets, a French pastry featuring dough and powdered sugar, as a hobby more than anything else. His son told him they were so good that he could sell them from a bicycle.

So he did. In downtown Springfield.

“There were a lot of motivations for that, starting with the fact that downtown Springfield was kind of boring at that time, and I complained about it a lot,” he told BusinessWest, noting that he’s lived in the Mason Square area for more than 25 years. “But then I thought, ‘what am I going to do about it?’ So I thought, ‘this is my contribution, a funky bicycle and beignets that people swoon over; that will be my part.’

“But it didn’t end that way, did it?” he went on, with a hearty laugh, gesturing to his current business partner.

That would be Sonya Yetter, who, While Crossett was selling his beignets on his bike, was in business for herself with a soup and sandwich shop in the Forest Park section of the city.

After years spent cocktail waitressing, bartending, and other assorted jobs, she decided to attend culinary school in Europe. Upon returning to the States, she lived and worked in Maryland and Florida before returning to her hometown of Springfield.

“There were a lot of motivations for that, starting with the fact that downtown Springfield was kind of boring at that time, and I complained about it a lot. But then I thought, ‘what am I going to do about it?’ So I thought, ‘this is my contribution, a funky bicycle and beignets that people swoon over; that will be my part.’”

Through a series of circumstances that will be detailed later, the two have come together in a new venture called Granny’s Baking Table, a name that reflects what goes on there, but doesn’t come close to telling the whole story.

Granny’s is a blast from the past, and in all kinds of ways, as we’ll see. It’s a nod to a day when the streets of downtown Springfield were teeming with small, locally owned businesses like this one. And it’s a nod to the small bakery, with this one combining the baking traditions of the American South and Northern Europe.

It’s all summed up — sort of — in this line from the eatery’s website: “It is our mission to create a space and products that harken to simpler times, when baking was from scratch and the table was for gathering and conversation.”

The menu, like many other aspects of Granny’s Baking Table, is simple, direct, and a nod to the past.

That table — and there is, for the most part, just one large one that sits in the middle of the room — is indeed just for those purposes. There is no wi-fi, so one could do some work, theoretically, but if they wanted to read the morning paper, they would likely have to do it the old-fashioned way and crack open the print edition.

Speaking of old-fashioned, there’s more of that on display at this venue, from the simple menu displayed on a chalkboard — items include the ‘Oh Lawdy’ to the ‘Goodness Gracious’ to the ‘Not Too Fancy,’ a phrase that describes pretty much everything in the place — to the pictures on the wall; some are of family members, others of random individuals that reflect the diversity of the city and its downtown being celebrated at this establishment, to the holiday cookie exchange staged in mid-December (more on that later)

Overall, Granny’s is a nod to the past, and so far, to one degree or another, it seems to be working. The partners acknowledge that, three months after opening, they’re seeing both newcomers and repeat customers, and a good supply of both. But they acknowledged that it’s difficult going up against national chain coffee shops and other forms of competition. And they also acknowledged that times have indeed changed, and operating a business based on small-batch baking is far from easy.

The scope of the challenge they’re facing is reflected in the skepticism they encountered as they went about securing a site, putting a business plan in place, and getting the doors open. It came from family, friends, and even the broker that showed them the property.

“People didn’t like our concepts; they didn’t like the one table, they didn’t like the no wi-fi — there was so much that people were averse to,” Crossett explained. “But we believed in what we were doing, and we still believe in it.”

For this issue, BusinessWest takes an in-depth look at this unique new venture and how its principals are undertaking a noble but nonetheless daunting assignment — bringing the past into the present and making it work.

To-Dough List

Returning to the story of how these two came together — a story they share often because they’re asked often — that chapter really began when Crossett was serving as food-vending recruiter for the Springfield Jazz Festival, and knocked on the door to Yetter’s business in Forest Park.

He successfully recruited her for the event, and they kept in touch. “And here we are,” she said while bypassing several subsequent chapters as the two talked with BusinessWest at that large table in the middle of the room — actually, it’s several smaller tables pushed together.

Filling in the gaps, Crossett said he was looking for a space in downtown Springfield — specifically some square footage in the Innovation Center taking shape on Bridge Street — a from which to sell beignets and other items. Unbeknownst to him, Yetter, a UMass graduate who grew up Springfield, had signed a lease for the property almost across the street — one that had most recently been home to the Honey Bunny’s clothing store but had seen a number of uses over the decades — as a second location for her business.

The Innovation Center plans essentially fizzled as the development of that property changed course, Crosset recalled, adding that he left the last discussions on those plans quite dejected. He was on a cross-country tour with his son when he started thinking about how he and Yetter would not be in competition with one another, so maybe they should become partners.

Some of the pastries available at Granny’s Baking Table.

“He texted me and said, ‘we should talk,’” Yetter recalled, again zooming through subsequent steps for another ‘and here we are.’

That text was sent roughly a year ago; the months that followed were spent converting the space into a bakery — ceilings had to be raised, and a kitchen had to be built — as well as overcoming the skepticism of others around them and getting the venture off the ground.

They were fueled by the desire to make downtown less boring and to be a part of ongoing efforts to restore the vitality that Yetter remembers from her childhood.

“I grew up here, so I remember what downtown once was,” she told BusinessWest, adding that she was in one of the last classes to graduate from Classical High School, which closed in 1986. “I spent a lot of time in Johnson’s Bookstore and Steiger’s — it was a booming, booming town.”

By the time she returned to the city, it was no longer booming, she said, adding that she believes the large shopping malls, now struggling mightily themselves, sucked much of the life out of the central business district. The best hope for the future is small businesses moving into the downtown, she said, adding that Granny’s is part of that movement.

“My hope, and my belief, is that there are more people who are interested in becoming small-business owners now and perfect a craft they might have,” she said. “It’s my hope that this will revitalize the downtown area.”

The communal table, designed to stimulate conversation among patrons.

Today, Yetter splits her time between the Super Sweet Sandwich Shop in Forest Park and Granny’s, with more time at the latter because it’s just getting off the ground. Both she and Crossett said they are off to a solid start and they expect to gain momentum as more people find out about them and perhaps change some eating habits — specifically getting away from fast food, not only at lunch but breakfast as well.

Granny’s features an array of pastries — each day the lineup is different — that include danish, scones, sticky buns, muffins, beignets, and more. The lunch menu, as noted, is rather simple and focused on the basics; for example, the Not Too Fancy is pulled pork with homemade barbecue sauce, the Oh Lawdy is sweet-tea-brined fried chicken with pimento cheese and spicy peach jam served on a biscuit, and the Goodness Gracious is a mustard-infused, buttery croissant with black forest ham and smoked cheese.

Thus far, there’s been a lot of grab and go, especially with the businesspeople working downtown, said Crossett, but there have been many who have sat down to eat as well.

“It is our mission to create a space and products that harken to simpler times, when baking was from scratch and the table was for gathering and conversation.”

Which means that most have had to adjust some other habits as well, the partners acknowledged, noting again that there is no wi-fi here, and there is that ‘communal table.’

“We have a space where we want people to come in and talk and have a conversation,” Yetter explained, “and hopefully get to know anyone else who’s at the table with them — that’s our goal.”

It’s a goal that’s being met in many respects.

“Sometimes you’ll see a full table, and other times you’ll see a few people there,” said Yetter. “What we’ve noticed is that they talk to each other now, which is what we wanted — getting people to talk that normally wouldn’t.”

What’s Cooking

When asked about the success formula to date, Crosset said there are some interesting ingredients.

“We got into the space together, we both have a good sense of humor, we’re both patient, and we’re both really, really finicky about our product,” he explained. “And those things hold us together.”

Yetter agreed, and said another big factor was successfully creating “the feel and the vibe” they were looking for — which together speak to another age, another time, as reflected in that mission statement on the website and the reference to simpler times and baking from scratch.

Time will tell if the skeptics were right or if these somewhat unlikely partners can actually turn back the hands of time. But for now, they seem to be taking some of the boring out of downtown and giving people something new to talk about — whether it’s at that communal table or back in their office.

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

Agenda

Real-estate Licensing Course

Feb. 19 to March 19: The Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley will sponsor a 40-hour, 14-class sales licensing course to help individuals prepare for the Massachusetts real-estate salesperson license exam. The course will be completed on March 19. Tuition is $400 and includes the book and materials. For an application, call the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley at (413) 785-1328 or visit www.rapv.com.

Legal Interpreting Certificate Program

Starting Feb. 25: Interested in working as a legal interpreter? Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will a training course that runs through April, with classes meeting Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Offered as a certificate program through the Workforce Development Center at STCC, this class is open to Spanish-, Portuguese-, Arabic-, and Russian-speaking students who would like to expand their interpreting skills in legal settings. Interpreting is a high-demand field, with jobs expected to grow by 19% through 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the U.S. will drive growth, the bureau reports. The course will cover the most in-demand types of hearings, such as due-process hearings, unemployment hearings, and depositions. Students will learn legal terminology and procedural protocols needed to interpret for these various types of hearings. In addition, students will have the opportunity for intense practice through mock hearings, which will give them the experience and comfort level needed to apply for work in the field. Trained legal interpreters are in demand throughout Massachusetts and nationwide in law offices, schools, state agencies, and contracting agencies. For more information and to enroll online, visit stcc.edu/wdc/descriptions/legal-interpreting. To contact the Workforce Development Center office, call (413) 755-4225.

Springfield Rotary Club Luncheon

Feb. 28: Paul Aquila, registered principal with Raymond James Financial Services and founder of Longview Investments, LLC, a diversified financial-services firm offering wealth management in Connecticut and Massachusetts, will address the Springfield Rotary Club’s luncheon meeting on Friday, Feb. 28. He will discuss donor-advised funds — what they are, how to use them, and how they can help clients integrate their values into their investments. The Springfield Rotary Club meets every Friday at 12:15 p.m. in the MassMutual Room at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, and is a member of Rotary International. The Rotary luncheon with Aquila costs $18 per person and is open to the public.

Difference Makers Gala

March 19: The 11th annual Difference Makers gala will take place at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. BusinessWest launched its Difference Makers program in 2009 to celebrate individuals, groups, organizations, and families that are positively impacting the Pioneer Valley and are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. The class of 2020 is profiled in the Feb. 3 issue of BusinessWest. Tickets cost $75. To reserve a spot, e-mail [email protected] or visit businesswest.com. Difference Makers is sponsored by Burkhart Pizzanelli, Royal, P.C., Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health of New England, and TommyCar Auto Group, and the Tom Cosenzi Driving for the Cure Charity Golf Tournement, MHA, and United Way of Pioneer Valley are partners. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

Women’s Leadership Conference

March 27: Bay Path University’s division of Strategic Alliances announced that producer, author, entrepreneur, educator, and, of course, top model Tyra Banks will bring her bold attitude, unique style, and well-honed business acumen to Springfield as the keynote speaker at the 25th annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC). This year’s theme, “Own Your Now,” will encourage conference guests to examine the forces that have shaped their careers, relationships, and aspirations; recognize what drives them and what holds them back; and empower them to confidently move forward. Suzy Batiz, who will deliver the morning address to open the conference, earned a place on Forbes’ list of most successful self-made women — and an estimated net worth of $260 million — by creating of a suite of eco-minded household products, including Poo-Pourri, a toilet spray she developed to combat bathroom odors. Patrice Banks (no relation to Tyra) will address the audience at lunchtime. She is the owner of the Girls Auto Clinic and Clutch Beauty Bar, an auto mechanic shop and beauty bar staffed by women. She is also the founder of the SheCANics movement, which looks to demystify car repair and engage more women in the automotive industry. Breakout sessions — focused on navigating the complicated relationships, personalities, and dynamics of the workplace and the impact those have on our careers and opportunities — will be led by bestselling authors and researchers including Laura Huang, Harvard Business School professor and author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage; Emily Esfahani Smith, author of The Power of Meaning; Dr. Ramani Durvasula, licensed clinical psychologist and author of Don’t You Know Who I Am: How to Stay Sane in the Era of Narcissism, Entitlement and Incivility; and Jennifer Romolini, author of Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits. For further information on the conference and to register, visit www.baypathconference.com.

Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series

March 27, April 10, May 8, June 19: Women leaders of prominent area institutions will be the featured presenters at the spring 2020 Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series hosted by Holyoke Community College and the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. At the four-part, monthly “Leadership in Your Future 2020” series, each of four presenters will sit at a different table each week and speak on a subject of their choosing. Over the course of the four-session series, they will rotate among the tables so guests have the opportunity to hear all the presentations. The four presenters are Theresa Cooper-Gordon, commissioner, Holyoke Housing Authority (“Self-Determination”); Priscilla Kane Hellweg, executive/artistic director, Enchanted Circle Theater (“In it for the Long Haul”); Jody Kasper, chief of Police, city of Northampton (“Rising to the Top”); and Christina Royal, president, Holyoke Community College (“Leading Through Change”). The luncheons run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race St. Lunch will be prepared and served by students in the HCC Culinary Arts program. The series will provide an opportunity to learn from women leaders of area institutions and a chance for participants to network with their peers and gain insights on building their own careers. The cost is $150 for all four sessions. Seating is limited. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Valentyna Semyrog at (413) 552-2123 or [email protected].

Unify Against Bullying Cut-a-Thon

April 4: Hair-salon owners and their teams are being asked to make a difference in the fight against bullying. Unify Against Bullying is looking for local and regional salons to participate in a one-day Cut-a-Thon, donating proceeds from haircuts, blowouts, and styling to the anti-bullying organization. Some salons will also offer temporary pink hair color — the signature color of Unify Against Bullying. In addition, each salon will add its own fun activities and promotions for the event. Although the main event is being held on April 4, some salon owners can choose the option to hold the fundraiser for the whole month to make it easier on their team. This year, Basia Belz, a Unify Against Bullying board member and owner of Vivid Hair Salon, located at 99 Elm St., Westfield, will chair the event. Salon owners who wish to participate can contact Belz at (413) 564-0062 or [email protected].

Elms College Executive

Leadership Breakfast

April 9: Elms College will host its third annual Executive Leadership Breakfast for the region’s business executives, state and local legislators, and community leaders. The keynote speaker for the event is U.S. Rep. Richard Neal. His talk, “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” will examine how our congressional delegation is providing leadership on issues that could impact the economy of the Western Mass. region. Neal was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988. He currently serves as chair of the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. This annual event features talks by the region’s leaders on topics of relevance that impact all sectors of business and the economy in Western Mass. Corporate sponsorships are available for this event, and an invitation is required to attend. For more information on the various sponsorship opportunities or to request an invitation, call the Elms College Office of Institutional Advancement at (413) 265-2448.

Hooplandia

June 26-28: Hooplandia, the largest 3-on-3 basketball competition and celebration on the East Coast, will take place on June 26-28, 2020, hosted by Eastern States Exposition and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The event will feature hundreds of games for thousands of players of all ages and playing abilities, with divisions for young girls, boys, women, men, high-school elite, college elite, pro-am, ‘over the hill,’ wheelchair, wounded warrior, Special Olympians, veterans, first responders, and more. More than 100 outdoor blacktop courts will be placed throughout the roadway and parking-lot network of the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds in West Springfield. Slam-dunk, 3-point, free-throw, dribble-course, vertical-jump, and full-court-shot skills competitions will be spotlighted. Themed state courts will be mobilized along the Exposition’s famed Avenue of States. Featured ‘showcase games’ will be held on new court surfaces in the historic Eastern States Coliseum and on the Court of Dreams, the center court of the Basketball Hall of Fame. A year-long community outreach effort will begin immediately. Registration will open on March 1, 2020. Information and engagement is available now through www.hooplandia.com or on Instagram: @hooplandia.

People on the Move

Narayan Sampath

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Narayan Sampath as its vice president of Administration and Finance. He will serve as the college’s chief fiscal officer, managing the college budget and supervising the Business Office, Human Resources, Campus Police, Facilities, and Dining Services. He started Jan. 2. Among his previous roles, Sampath was administrative director of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) at UMass Amherst, where he managed all day-to-day operations, including administrative, human resource, and fiscal affairs. He was also responsible for the execution of the $95 million capital grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center that led to the creation of IALS, now home to three centers with more than 250 college faculty members. From 2013 to 2015, he managed the Center for Emergent Behavior of Integrated Cellular Systems at MIT, funded by the National Science Foundation, and before that served as MIT’s financial administrator. From 2009 to 2011, he worked as grants administrator at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Originally from India, Sampath holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. He earned an MBA from the International Business School at Brandeis University in Waltham. He has lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Nigeria, and Kenya.

•••••

Katherine Wilson

Steven Winn

Katherine Wilson, longtime president and CEO of Behavioral Health Network (BHN), announced she will retire on June 30. George Marion, BHN board chair, said the organization has named Steven Winn, BHN’s current chief operating officer, as Wilson’s successor. Wilson was instrumental in the formation of Behavioral Health Network in 1992 when four nonprofit mental-health organizations — the Child Guidance Clinic, the Agawam Counseling Center, Community Care Mental Health Center, and the Hampden District Mental Health Clinic — formed the new entity and appointed Wilson CEO. Since BHN’s founding, Wilson has built the organization from a $1 million annual enterprise into a leading behavioral-health agency in the region. Under her leadership, BHN has grown dramatically and now serves more than 40,000 individuals in the four Western Mass. counties, employs over 2,300 people, and has an annual budget of more than $115 million. Most recently, she was named a Healthcare Hero for Lifetime Achievement by HCN and BusinessWest and was celebrated in the book Power of Women published by the Republican. Under Wilson’s direction, BHN transformed an abandoned factory complex on Liberty Street in Springfield into a sprawling campus that includes BHN’s corporate headquarters, the innovative Living Room drop-in center, Cole’s Place recovery program for men, the 24/7 Crisis Center, an adult outpatient clinic, and its care coordination and outreach services. She also implemented the acquisitions of the Carson Center in Westfield and its affiliate, Valley Human Services in Ware. Winn joined BHN in 1995 as vice president and director of the Child Guidance Clinic. He was later promoted to senior vice president and since 2017 has served BHN as chief operating officer. He has extensive experience in the behavioral-health field and received a master’s degree in developmental psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology, both from UMass Amherst. He went on to complete his fellowship at Yale University’s Child Study Center. After Yale, he became a staff psychologist at the University of New Mexico Children’s Psychiatric Hospital, where he also taught in the Department of Psychiatry as an assistant professor of Psychiatry. He is a licensed clinical psychologist in Massachusetts.

•••••

John Heaps Jr

Florence Bank announced that President and CEO John Heaps Jr. will retire on May 1, 25 years to the day after he took the top job, making him the bank’s longest-serving CEO. Heaps has grown the bank in terms of staff, the number of branches, the geographic regions it serves, and capital and assets. Florence Bank is a top-performing bank in the industry in the state, with record results over the past five years, according to both the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Depositors Insurance Fund. Heaps will be succeeded from within as president and CEO by Kevin Day, Florence Bank’s executive vice president. Day joined the bank 11 years ago as its chief financial officer. During Heaps’ tenure, Florence Bank’s capital has grown from $24 million to $161 million, and assets have grown from $283 million to $1.4 billion. The bank grew from four branches in 1995 to 11 now — and soon to be 12. The staff has doubled from 112 full-time employees to 221 now. Heaps grew up in Springfield and began his banking career in 1971 in marketing at Valley Bank, later Bay Bank, in Springfield. In 1987, he was first named a bank president for Bank of Boston, also in Springfield. In addition to serving on many nonprofit boards, he has also sat on many boards in the banking industry, including the Connecticut On-Line Computer Center Inc. (COCC), which provides core data processing to banks, including Florence Bank.

•••••

Christina Royal

Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal has been selected for a national fellowship for first-time college presidents administered by Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute. The Aspen New Presidents Fellowship is a new initiative designed to support community-college presidents in the early years of their tenure to accelerate transformational change on behalf of students. Royal and Luis Pedraja, president of Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, were the only two community-college presidents chosen from Massachusetts. They are part of the inaugural group of 25 Aspen fellows selected from more than 100 applicants nationwide. The leaders, all of whom are in their first five years as a college president, will engage in a seven-month fellowship beginning in June 2020. The fellows were selected for their commitment to student success and equity, willingness to take risks to improve outcomes, understanding of the importance of community partnerships, and ability to lead change. JPMorgan Chase is funding the Aspen New Presidents Fellowship as part of New Skills at Work, a five-year, $350 million investment to support community colleges and other pathways to careers and economic mobility.

•••••

Jamina Scippio-McFadden, a senior program manager at UMass Center at Springfield, has been named director of the center by UMass Amherst. She has served as interim director for the past year. Scippio-McFadden’s wide-ranging community involvement includes serving on the executive committee of the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts board of directors and the board of directors for the Hampden County Community Impact Foundation and Community Enrichment Inc. She is a member of the Springfield Museums African Hall Subcommittee and an organizing and charter member of the Western Mass. chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. She joined the UMass Center in 2014 as the director of Marketing and Community Relations, Student Services, and Academic Support. She was appointed program manager for business and community development in the center’s Office of Economic Development in August 2018. She was named interim director of the center in January 2019. Previously, Scippio-McFadden taught communications at American International College and served as a college administrator and faculty member at institutions in Florida and Georgia. She has 20 years of experience in the media industry, including television news, radio, newspapers, and public relations. She received her bachelor’s degree in communications from Bethune-Cookman College, where she graduated magna cum laude. She earned a master’s degree in communications from the University of Florida and is currently a doctoral candidate in education at UMass Amherst.

•••••

Bay Path University announced three new members of its faculty across the undergraduate and graduate divisions. Xiaoxia Liu, director, Applied Data Science, is a seasoned data scientist with years of experience across different industries, including healthcare, business solutions, and insurance. She has extensive experience in handling various data problems through teaching, statistical collaboration research, and advanced analytic/predictive modeling. Liu has authored more than 35 peer-reviewed journal articles, which have appeared in JAMA, Pain, Circulation, and other leading medical journals. She holds a master’s degree in mathematics and statistics from Georgia State University and a master’s degree in communication from SUNY Albany. Joshua Hamilton, program director and professor, is a fellow of the American Assoc. of Nurse Practitioners and is in private practice in Las Vegas, Nev. He has held a variety of faculty and administrative positions in the U.S. and abroad, and is an internationally recognized speaker at conferences and professional meetings. He holds a doctor of nursing practice degree from Rush University and is in the process of completing his juris doctor through Northwestern California University. Nisé Guzmán Nekheba, coordinator and associate professor, Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies, comes to Bay Path with more than 30 years of experience in both professional and academic settings. As a published author and a seasoned presenter, Nekheba is highly experienced in the areas of real property, family law, race and the law, immigration, Native Americans and the law, and law and religion. She is an award-winning academic professional and a member of the American Bar Assoc., the Assoc. of American Law Schools, and the Assoc. for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora. Nekheba simultaneously completed her juris doctor and master of divinity degrees at Harvard University, where she was the recipient of the Harvard University Baccalaureate Speaker Award.

•••••

Andrea Momnie O’Connor, a principal with the law firm Hendel, Collins & O’Connor, P.C., has been appointed to the panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for the District of Connecticut by the U.S. Trustee Program. O’Connor previously clerked for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. She graduated magna cum laude from Western New England University Law School, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Western New England Law Review, and cum laude from the University of Connecticut. She is an adjunct professor at Elms College, where she teaches legal research and writing. She was named a 2019 Rising Star in the area of bankruptcy law by Super Lawyers. Her practice focuses on bankruptcy, insolvency, and financial restructuring for business and consumer clients.

•••••

As part of its planned expansion of commercial banking talent and resources across the Northeast, KeyBank announced that Matthew Hummel has joined the bank in the newly created position of Commercial Banking team leader, reporting to market president James Barger. In his new role, Hummel will lead and expand the team of commercial bankers serving middle-market clients in Connecticut and Western Mass. and help drive KeyBank’s commercial business growth throughout the market. Hummel brings more than 30 years of commercial-banking experience to KeyBank, primarily from Bank of America’s Global Commercial Banking group, where he strategically aligned banking resources to the needs of middle-market companies requiring complex debt, capital markets, currency, treasury, and other financial solutions. He holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Hartford, and a bachelor’s degree from Colby College. He has strong ties to the local community and has volunteered at a number of nonprofit organizations, including Smilow Cancer Center’s Closer to Free bike tour, Literacy Volunteers of America, and Habitat for Humanity. He has served as a Glastonbury Basketball Assoc. board member and boys travel basketball commissioner since 2005.

•••••

Christopher Smith

Comcast announced the appointment of Christopher Smith as vice president of Human Resources for the company’s Western New England region, which includes more than 300 communities in Connecticut, Western Mass., Western New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. In this role, Smith and his team will support more than 1,600 employees and oversee all of the region’s human-resources functions, including talent management, recruiting, payroll, benefits, and training through Comcast University, the company’s internal training and leadership-development program. Prior to joining Comcast, Smith served for the past decade as HR vice president of NiSource, an 8,000-employee utility company based in Indiana that provides natural-gas and electric power to 4 million customers in seven states. Before that, he spent four years with the Pepsi Bottling Group, first as HR manager in Las Vegas and later as HR director in Newport News, Va., where he was responsible for 1,500 employees in 13 locations. In addition, he held various human-resources roles over the course of four years for Mead Johnson Nutritionals, a former division of the pharmaceutical manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business, where he recently served as an adjunct professor of Strategic Human Resources.

•••••

Dodie Carpentier

Dodie Carpentier, vice president of Human Resources at Monson Savings Bank, was recently elected president-elect of River East School to Career (RESTC). Carpentier joined RESTC as a board member in 2014, has previously held positions as clerk and treasurer, and is a member of the scholarship committee for this local nonprofit organization. Working under the umbrella of MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, RESTC promotes K-16 career education and assists in preparing youth for the demands of the 21st-century workplace. In addition to volunteering for RESTC, Carpentier also serves as chairperson for the Monson Substance Abuse Community Partnership, is a member of the steering committee for Rays of Hope, is a read-aloud volunteer for Link to Libraries, and is a guitarist and vocalist for the Folk Group at St. Thomas Church in Palmer. She has worked at Monson Savings Bank since 2006 and has earned certificates in human resources management and supervision from the Center for Financial Training.

•••••

Allison Vorderstrasse, a faculty member and Ph.D. program director at New York University, has been named the dean of the College of Nursing at UMass Amherst. She will begin her appointment on July 1. Vorderstrasse currently serves as a faculty member and director of the Florence S. Downs Ph.D. Program in Nursing Research and Theory Development at New York University (NYU) Rory Meyers College of Nursing. An adult nurse practitioner with clinical experience, Vorderstrasse received her doctorate and master’s degrees in nursing at the Yale University School of Nursing, with specialties in chronic illness self-management research and diabetes. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, she was an associate professor of Nursing and faculty lead for Precision Health Research at the Duke University School of Nursing. She taught at Duke University School of Nursing from 2009 to 2014. In 2014, she received the Duke University School of Nursing Distinguished Teaching Award. She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2015, and in 2017 received the International Society of Nurses in Genetics Founders Award for Excellence in Genomic Nursing Research.

•••••

Kiyota Garcia

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) announced the appointment of Kiyota Garcia as coordinator of the Academic Advising and Transfer Center, effective Jan. 27. In 2010, Garcia started working in the Academic Advising and Transfer Center, which provides continuous support to strengthen, nurture, empower, and educate students in making informed decisions that will guide their educational experience. Garcia holds a doctorate of education in educational psychology from American International College, a master’s degree in clinical psychology from American International College, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bay Path University. She will continue to work on advising initiatives that support the success of STCC students with a focus on retention and completion.

•••••

Angel Coriano

Homework House announced the hire of Angel Coriano as its new director of Programs. He will be responsible for the supervision of day-to-day program operations, including the tutoring and learning process, and will also work closely with local schools, student assessment and evaluation, along with curriculum development. Coriano is a lifelong resident of Holyoke and a graduate of Holyoke Public Schools. An alumnus of the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, he has spent the last 10-plus years in the field of education.

DBA Certificates

The following business certificates and trade names were issued or renewed during the month of January 2020.

AMHERST

goPuff
160 Old Farm Road
goBrands Inc.

Potwine Neighborhood Farm
216 Potwine Lane
Jesse Selman

Red Cardinal
328 College St.
Salvatore Carabetta

Sunset Grille Pizza
150 Fearing St.
Rebecca Casagrande, Jason Casagrande

Sutton Court Property Management
1193 South East St.
Elaine Fronhofer

Xenocs Inc.
7 Pomeroy Lane
Karsten Joensen

CHICOPEE

Blue Hair & Beauty Studio
401 Broadway St.
Nildalys Santos

C & D Carpentry
75 Sanford St.
Donald Lemelin

Crochets by Trista
665 Burnett Road
Trista Burke

Geraldine’s
116 School St.
Richard Harty

Jasin Advertising
64 Hendrick St.
Francine Jasinski Hayward

Lush Hair Studio
44 Walnut St.
Rebecca Lussier

S & E Vending
103 Holiday Circle
Elias Gomes

Skylight Daycare
101 Angela Dr.
Velma Johnson

Slope Films
86 Madison St.
Leonard Yakir

Tru by Hilton
440 Memorial Dr.
Hershal Patel

DEERFIELD

Neal Leno Co.
45 Sawmill Plain Road
Neal Leno

Tranquil Transformations Massage Therapy
235 Greenfield Road
Gretchen Melnik

EAST LONGMEADOW

Albert Tranghese
61 Lomard Ave.
Albert Tranghese

Brush
44 Harkness Ave.
Tammy Chamberlain, Jaclyn Lopes

Burgess, Schultz & Robb
200 North Main St.
N. Andrew Robb

Crow River Farm, LLC
171 Porter Road
Kerisa Fitzgerald

Forty’s Carburetor & Auto Repair
345 Shaker Road
Gerald Ducharme

Gasperini & Sons Construction
45 Longview Dr.
Michael Gasperini

Material Management, LLC
100 Canterbury Circle
Karen Gamer

HADLEY

Aegis Chiropractic
241 Russell St.
Lisa Sanderson

Creative Space
226 Russell St.
Tim Markowski

Elements Massage
379 Russell St.
Marmich, LLC

Johnny’s Roadside Diner
458 Russell St.
Edison Yee

Longview Farm
14 Barstow Lane
Steven Barstow

Meadow Street Styles
31 Meadow St.
Heather Salvator

Starbucks Coffee #22118
344 Russell St.
Starbucks Corp.

Texas Roadhouse
280 Russell St.
Tonya Robinson

Valley Wine & Craft
103 Russell St.
Bottle & Brew Inc.

HOLYOKE

American Eagle Outfitters #0711
50 Holyoke St.
AE Outfitters Retail Co.

Holyoke Deli and Butcher Inc.
502 Westfield Road
Matthew Frazier

Pearl Bridal Boutique
1 Open Square Way
Ryan Mainville

Second Chance Farm
50 Mountain Road
Adam Mulcahy

Yucky Studios
2 Brightwood Ave.
Christopher Daniele

LUDLOW

Mainely Drafts Horse and Carriage
1361 Lyons St.
Keith Ouellette

Santos Family Hair Center
350 East St.
Joseph and Maria Santos

Tony’s Premier Painting Service
16 Watt Ave.
Anthony Egea

NORTHAMPTON

Beryl
40 Main St.
Maya MacLachlan

The Blush Center for Healing
6 Trumbull Road
Mark Summa

CAMP
202 State St.
Just Healthy, LLC

Cosmic Cab Co.
160 Main St., Suite 8
Jeffrey Miller

Elise G. Young Writing and Editorial Consultation
21 Western Ave.
Elise Young

Ernie’s Garage
72 King St.
Michael Woodard Jr., Brian DeJordy

FutureWorks
16 Massasoit St.
John Hoops

phpBB Services
20 Bridge Road, Unit 4
Mark Hamill

Sledge
106 Cardinal Way
Alex Sledzieski

Tim’s Used Books Inc.
183 Main St.
Timothy Barry

VBH Consulting
28 Park St.
Vicki Baum-Hommes

Viola Aesthetics and Day Spa
140 Main St.
Wioleta Guberow

SPRINGFIELD

A to Z Convenience Store
376 Boston Road
Samirkumar Patel

Before K Publishing
166 Bowdoin St.
Jennifer Kirby

Black Bougie & Vegan
47 Castle St.
Kedian Dixon

Black Rock Services
220 Russell St.
Maribel Acevedo

Blushtan
673 White St.
Maria Serra

GH Document Services
99 Gilman St.
Rosalie Garcia

Green Global Transporting
15 Chester St.
Tashawn Pettaway

Hair 2000
459 Main St.
Carol Qmarnelakis

Ideal Shoe Repair
923 Belmont Ave.
Joaquim Silva

Jim’s Cleaning Two
66 Cortland St.
Lakya Wyche

Just a Thought Boutique
529½ Main St.
Kathleen Howell

Kaiberri Soap
17 Thorndyke St.
Terri Wood-Tansil

L & W Construction
44 Clark St.
Luis DeJesus

Leena’s Bartending & Catering
660 Boston Road
Jessica Morehouse

Level 5 Restaurant
888 State St.
Rasan Jacobs

Likkle Jamaican Cuisine
664 Page Blvd.
Dawn Summervile-Simon

Little Eagle Cleaning Services
35 Upland St.
Carmen Tavayes

Los Bandoleros Barber Shop
616 Belmont Ave.
Leury Ortega

Nilsa’s Tax Services
906 Carew St.
Nilsa Enid Laboy

North Atlantic Trucking Inc.
100 Progress Ave.
James Craven

Old School Pizzeria
770 Boston Road
Asif Sikander

Pacific Residential Mortgage
933 East Columbus Ave.
Pacific Residential

Paparazzi of Springfield
19 Florida St.
Kevin Creswell

Safeway Transportation
54 Fairfield St.
Charlie Lee

Shane Suban Studio Inc.
163 Middlesex St.
Shane Suban

Sixteen Acres Healthcare
215 Bicentennial Highway
John Wynne Jr. 

Small Repair PC Buy-Sell
24 Meredith St.
Fred Maskowitz

Stinger Style Productions
75 Greene St.
James Earl Andrews

U Break It We Fix It
143 Main St.
Jouseph Rodriguez

Up & Coming Artist Network
63 Atwater Road
Devin O’Connor

Venus Rock & Panel Installation
22 Central St.
Roy Miller

Walgreens #17787
381 Cooley St.
Walgreen Eastern Co.

Western Mass Home Health
155 Maple St.
James Ngugi

X & W Cleaning Services
13 Ruskin St.
Xavier Cuadra

WESTFIELD

Ben’s and Viktor’s Tile Work
124 Bayberry Lane
Jacob Shokov

Kat Kattler Photography
48 Elm St., Suite 2
Katherine Kattler Miklasiewicz

Lee’s Paper Heart Studio
44 Beckwith Ave.
Katrina Webber

New England EDM Service
22 Mainline Dr.
Theodore Macutkiewicz

Valison Construction
12 Bush St.
Dmitriy Ivanov

Whip City Fiber
100 Elm St.
Westfield Gas & Electric Light

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Agri-Mark Inc.
958 Riverdale St.
David Graham

Bradley Auto Wash
1039 Memorial Ave.
Paul Eusebio

DA Services
207 Morgan Road
Brynn Demas

Ezee Mart
83 River St.
Sawkat Wally

Hampden Gas Mart Inc.
562 Westfield St.
Nipun Salvja

Jimbob Aviation
122 Doty Circle
James Balise Jr.

Katerina’s Beauty Salon
446 Main St.
Katerina Belyshev

WILBRAHAM

Frankie Bakes
43 Monson Road
Francesca Dias

Gomes, DaCruz & Tracy, P.C.
2442 Boston Road, Unit 5
Mark Germain

Inner Glow Skin Studio
8 Fernwood Dr.
Mary Matthews

Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]


 

Coats of Arms

Employees at Smith & Wesson collected gently used coats during a recent on-site coat drive, and will distribute them to people in need Western Mass., with the help of the United Way of Pioneer Valley. “Our employees are continually looking for ways to give back to our community,” said Lane Tobiassen, president of Firearms at Smith & Wesson. “Knowing these new and gently used coats will be distributed locally makes this event even more special.”


Another Term Begins

Domenic Sarno, the 54th and longest-serving mayor of Springfield, was inaugurated for the fifth time on Jan. 6 at Springfield Symphony Hall. Denise Jordan, executive director of the Springfield Housing Authority, served as the mistress of ceremonies.


The Youngest Fans

Mercy Medical Center and the Springfield Thunderbirds announced a partnership to gift babies born at Mercy’s Family Life Center with a Mercy/Thunderbirds branded onesie. Every year, the Family Life Center welcomes more than 1,000 babies into the world. In their admission packets, parents will be given the onesie, along with instructions on how to enter a monthly drawing. A winner will be chosen each month to win a Boomer’s Kids Club membership, a plush Boomer, and four tickets to a Thunderbirds game. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide each newborn a special gift to welcome them to this world along with Mercy,” said Nathan Costa, president of the T-birds. “It’s never too early to start loving hockey.”


Workplace Pledge

Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, announced that the bank recently donated $61,000 to the United Way of Hampshire County. The bank directly pledged $25,000, while the bank’s employees contributed another $36,000 of their own funds in support of the United Way’s workplace campaign.  That campaign provides employees with the opportunity to donate and direct funds, volunteer time, and advocate for causes that are most important to them.


Toast to the Season

The Hampden County Bar Assoc. (HCBA) recently held its annual Toast to the Season at the Sheraton in Springfield. Members were asked to bring a toy for Toys for Tots.

HCBA President-elect Thomas Wilson, Esq.; HCBA Executive Director Noreen Nardi, Esq.; and HCBA President Kathleen Cavanaugh, Esq.

 

Judge Barbara Hyland, Hampden County Probate & Family Court; and Judge William Hadley, Holyoke District Court.

 

Assistant Clerk Magistrate Michael Wallace, Holyoke District Court; Clerk Magistrate Nathan Byrnes, Westfield District Court; and Charles Casartello Jr., Esq.

 

 

 


 

Agenda

40 Under Forty Nominations

Through Feb. 14: BusinessWest is currently accepting nominations for the 40 Under Forty class of 2020. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 14. Launched in 2007, the program recognizes rising stars in the four counties of Western Mass. Nominations, which should be detailed in nature, should list an individual’s accomplishments within their profession as well as their work within the community. Nominations can be completed online at businesswest.com/40-under-forty-nomination-form. Nominations will be weighed by a panel of judges. The selected individuals will be profiled in the April 27 issue of BusinessWest and honored at the 40 Under Forty Gala on June 25 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The event’s presenting sponsor is PeoplesBank, media sponsor WWLP22 News, and partner YPS of Greater Springfield. Other sponsorship opportunities are available.

Howdy Award Nominations

Through March 1: Through March 1, the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) is providing an opportunity to thank individuals who provide great service by nominating them for a Howdy Award for Hospitality Excellence. To nominate someone, visit explorewesternmass.com and click on the Howdy logo. For 25 years, the Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence program has recognized outstanding restaurant servers, attraction attendants, bartenders, hotel personnel, retail clerks, and others across Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. Official categories include accommodations, attractions, banquets and meetings, beverage, food casual, food tableside, public service, retail, transportation, and people’s choice (a category voted on by the public via social media). Since the program’s inception, she noted, dozens of winners have taken home a trophy from the annual awards dinner. This year’s dinner is Monday, May 18 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Howdy sponsors for 2020 include Yankee Candle Village, Eastern States Exposition, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, MGM Springfield, MassMutual Center, Aladco Linen Service, Freedom Credit Union, New Belgium Fat Tire, Baystate Health, People’s United Bank, iHeartMedia, WWLP, the Republican, and MassLive.

Valley District Dental Society Winter Membership Meeting

Jan. 22: The Valley District Dental Society will hold its winter membership meeting at Hotel Northampton, 36 King St., Northampton. The event will begin with cocktails at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and a business meeting from 6 to 7 p.m., and a seminar, “Transitioning: Planning Your Future,” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Practice owners and doctor associates will learn about how owners prepare for transition and how associates evaluate a practice for associateship or purchase. Doctors will hear from the professionals who position private practices for transition and advise associates on how to choose a practice that will help them grow and thrive. Presenters include Carolyn Carpenter, CPA, Rosen & Associates; Stefan Green, Bank of America Practice Solutions; Matt Kolcum, CARR Health Care Realty; Maria Melone, MORR Dental Transitions; and Patricia Sweitzer, Sweitzer Construction (facilitator). The cost to attend is $55. To register and select a meal option, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4475373.

Chefs for Jimmy

Jan. 24: From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., the Student Prince & the Fort Restaurant will join nearly 30 other restaurants to participate in the 30th annual Chefs for Jimmy at Chez Josef in Agawam. Chefs for Jimmy is an annual fundraising event that, since 1990, has raised more than $1.8 million for adult and pediatric cancer care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Boston. Chefs for Jimmy offers a delicious way to raise funds because it features dishes created by more than 30 chefs from 30 different local restaurants. It’s a fun culinary tasting tour, and the event also includes an ‘opportunity drawing’ and a silent auction. The theme for 2020 to be reflected in the décor and the food presentation is “one night of peace, love, and food.” Participating restaurants will include 350 Grill, Burgundy Brook Café, Cerrato’s Pastry Shop, the Chandler Steakhouse, Chez Josef, Dana’s Main Street Tavern, Delaney’s Grill & the Mick, Elegant Affairs, Fazio’s Ristorante, Johnny’s Tavern, Leone’s Restaurant, Longmeadow Country Club, Max’s Tavern, Murphy’s Pub, Nadim’s Downtown, Nina’s Cookies, Nosh Restaurant & Café, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, Pierce Brothers Coffee Roasters, Pintu’s Indian Restaurant, Rondeau’s Dairy Bar, Shortstop Bar & Grill, the Starting Gate at GreatHorse, Steaming Tender, Storrowton Tavern Restaurant & Carriage House, the Student Prince & the Fort, Tekoa Country Club, Tokyo Asian Cuisine, and Tucker’s Restaurant.

Workshop on Wage and Hour Laws

Jan. 28: MassHire Holyoke Career Center will present a free workshop on the laws enforced by the Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division, including the payment of wages, minimum wage, overtime, and earned sick time. At the event — slated for 8 to 10 a.m. at 850 High St., Holyoke — guest speaker Barbara Dillon DeSouza will also discuss the broad powers of the Fair Labor Division to investigate and enforce violations of these laws and explain the various ways a company can become the subject of an investigation. Finally, she will note some resources available to companies to keep informed of the laws. DeSouza is an assistant attorney general in the Fair Labor Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. She focuses on enforcing Massachusetts wage and hour laws, including prevailing-wage laws. She has been with the office since March 2010. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided. Seating is limited, so attendees are encouraged to reserve a seat early. Register by contacting Yolanda Rodriguez at (413) 322-7186 or [email protected].

All Ideas Pitch Contest

Feb. 5: Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County is holding an All Ideas Pitch Contest from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Green at 85 Main St., Suite 105, North Adams. EforAll’s first Pitch Contest at the Berkshire Museum in October created a lot of community buzz, with more than 100 attendees and 11 companies competing. The big winner that night was Kaitlyn Pierce of Binka Bear. Described as “Shark Tank without the teeth,” EforAll’s friendly, free event features a business showcase and then pitches from six pre-selected contestants and two more that are added the night of the event. Each participant is given two and a half minutes to pitch a business or nonprofit idea to a panel of judges and the audience. At the end of it, EforAll gives away seed money to help launch these ideas. The first-place finisher wins $1,000, second place gets $750, third place wins $500, and the audience favorite also wins $500. Applications and audience registration are both available online at www.eforall.org/berkshire-county.

Black History Month Event at Bay Path

Feb. 5: Vocalist, strategist, and speaker Traciana Graves believes people have the ability to change the world with the power of their voice, and she’ll bring that inspirational message to Bay Path University as the keynote speaker for its Black History Month celebration. Having presented to more than 300 Fortune 500 companies and colleges, including Forbes, JPMorgan, American Express, and the WNBA, Graves strives to make the potentially uncomfortable conversation about diversity and inclusion safe, engaging, and effective. Voted one of America’s Most Fearless Women by the Huffington Post, Graves’ will bring her unique perspective to Bay Path with a discussion focusing on hopes, dreams, and social justice. The talk will begin at 7 p.m., with a reception to follow. This free event is open to the community and will be held on the Bay Path Longmeadow campus at Mills Theatre in Carr Hall, 588 Longmeadow St. For more information and to register, visit tracianagraves.eventbrite.com.

Difference Makers Gala

March 19: The 11th annual Difference Makers gala will take place at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. BusinessWest launched its Difference Makers program in 2009 to celebrate individuals, groups, organizations, and families that are positively impacting the Pioneer Valley and are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. The class of 2020 will be revealed in the Feb. 3 issue of BusinessWest. Tickets cost $75. To reserve spot, e-mail [email protected] or visit HERE. Event sponsorship opportunities are available. Sponsored by Royal, P.C.

Women’s Leadership Conference

March 27: Bay Path University’s division of Strategic Alliances announced that producer, author, entrepreneur, educator, and, of course, top model Tyra Banks will bring her bold attitude, unique style, and well-honed business acumen to Springfield as the keynote speaker at the 25th annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC). This year’s theme, “Own Your Now,” will encourage conference guests to examine the forces that have shaped their careers, relationships, and aspirations; recognize what drives them and what holds them back; and empower them to confidently move forward. Suzy Batiz, who will deliver the morning address to open the conference, earned a place on Forbes’ list of most successful self-made women — and an estimated net worth of $260 million — by creating of a suite of eco-minded household products, including Poo-Pourri, a toilet spray she developed to combat bathroom odors. Patrice Banks (no relation to Tyra) will address the audience at lunchtime. She is the owner of the Girls Auto Clinic and Clutch Beauty Bar, an auto mechanic shop and beauty bar staffed by women, and the founder of the SheCANics movement, which looks to demystify car repair and engage more women in the automotive industry. Breakout sessions — focused on navigating the complicated relationships, personalities, and dynamics of the workplace and the impact those have on our careers and opportunities — will be led by bestselling authors and researchers including Laura Huang, Harvard Business School professor and author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage; Emily Esfahani Smith, author of The Power of Meaning; Dr. Ramani Durvasula, licensed clinical psychologist and author of Don’t You Know Who I Am: How to Stay Sane in the Era of Narcissism, Entitlement and Incivility; and Jennifer Romolini, author of Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits. For further information on the conference and to register, visit www.baypathconference.com.

Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

 


 

Care Where It’s Needed

Baystate Health recently received a $1 million grant from TD Bank to further the health system’s commitment to the communities it serves by funding an innovative new mobile health clinic called the TD Bank – Baystate Health Bus, which will deliver preventive care to people in urban and rural communities who are not receiving services due to financial and transportation barriers, including a shortage of providers in their neighborhoods. As a mobile medical unit, the bus will be staffed by a multi-disciplinary healthcare team to bring health screenings, early detection, and referrals for needed treatment or other services directly to at-risk individuals.

At the announcement, from left: Mark Keroack, president and CEO, Baystate Health; Rebecca Blanchard, senior director of Education, Baystate Health; Steve Webb, regional vice president, TD Bank; Dr. Kevin Hinchey, chief education officer, Baystate Health; Christina Cronin, philanthropy officer, Baystate Foundation; and Scott Berg, executive director, Baystate Health Foundation

Keroack talks about the importance of the health bus

 


Going Above and Beyond

Polish National Credit Union (PNCU) has made a $10,000 donation to the Chicopee Police Department, to be used to purchase an aerial drone for public safety. Drones have become a critical tool for first responders, allowing for additional capabilities for search and rescue, surveillance, crash reconstruction, and other tasks.

Pictured, from left: PNCU board members John Murphy and Stephen Burkott with Chicopee Police Chief William Jebb.

 


 

STEM Center at STCC

On Dec. 11, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) officially opened its STEM Center, featuring resources and services to assist students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students who visit the facility can use a computer lab and study lounge and take advantage of other services, including exam proctoring, career exploration, and class support. In addition, the center features collaborative spaces for group study, tutoring, supplemental instruction, and group meetings.

Pictured: faculty and staff join STCC President John Cook, right, at the grand opening of the STEM Center at STCC. Barbara Washburn, interim dean of the School of STEM, second from right, cuts the ribbon with Vice President of Academic Affairs Geraldine de Berly.


 

Helping Students Thrive

A reception on Dec. 10 acknowledged a $50,000 donation from PeoplesBank to Holyoke Community College’s (HCC) Thrive Center, which assists students as they negotiate the complex bureaucracies associated with myriad issues, such as health insurance, food, housing and utility assistance, and credit repair. The money will be used to establish a dedicated fund for Thrive managed by the HCC Foundation, the college’s nonprofit fundraising corporation.

Pictured, from left: Thomas Senecal, president and CEO, PeoplesBank; HCC President Christina Royal; HCC student Christopher Royster; and Amanda Sbriscia, executive director, HCC Foundation.

 


 

Third Party Lender of the Year

Florence Bank was recently recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as the Western Massachusetts Third Party Lender of the Year for loans the bank administers to small businesses in the area. Third-party loans, called SBA 504 loans, are offered by the bank in collaboration with certified development corporations such as Granite State Development Corp., Bay Colony Development Corp., and BDC Capital/CDC New England.

Pictured, from left:  Peter Kontakos, office deputy district director, SBA Massachusetts; Erin Couture and Michael Davey, Florence Bank vice presidents in Commercial Lending; Robert Nelson, office district director, SBA Massachusetts; and Ili Spahiu, assistant district director for Lender Relations, SBA Massachusetts.

 

 

 

Company Notebook

Westmass Moves Corporate Offices to Downtown Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — Westmass Area Development Corp. announced the opening of its new corporate offices in downtown Springfield. Located at One Monarch Place, Suite 1350, the new offices will host all corporate functions of Westmass with capacity to continue regional awareness and growth. The new office location will enable Westmass to continue to brand itself as a regional development company focusing on opportunities in real estate and economic development in Western Mass. “An opportunity to move into downtown Springfield is great for Westmass,” said Jeff Daley, president and CEO. “We look to expand our market throughout Western Mass. for real-estate development opportunities as well as working with municipalities and private developers providing consulting services to assist with the technical details of real estate and economic-development projects in Western Mass.” He noted that Westmass also maintains offices at Ludlow Mills. “As a nationally recognized brownfield-redevelopment site and the marquee project in our portfolio, with hundreds of residents and employees living and working at the Mills, it is important to not only have our facilities management office there, but to house our expanding leasing and marketing departments as well.”

Florence Bank Unveils Renovated Easthampton Branch

EASTHAMPTON — Florence Bank has completed a renovation of the interior and drive-through at its existing Easthampton branch at 5 Main St. The renovation is part of Florence Bank’s ongoing effort to align its physical branch locations with modern banking offerings and customer needs. The Easthampton renovation included interior updates and modernizations, along with two new ATMs. Florence Bank is a full-service, mutually owned bank based in Florence and has served the Easthampton community for 20 years. It first merged with Easthampton Cooperative Bank and expanded and remodeled its present location on Main Street in 1999. The Easthampton location serves more than 6,400 customers annually. The renovations were intended to maintain the branch’s charm while also embracing the innovative design of Florence Bank’s newly constructed locations. The bank partnered with the following local contractors on the project: HAI Architecture in Northampton, Pioneer Contractors in Easthampton, Broadway Office Interiors in Springfield, Fine Woodworks Millwork in South Hadley, Mercier Carpets in West Springfield, and Grimaldi Painting in East Longmeadow. Inside, the lobby, teller line, and customer-service area were renovated and updated, making the interior brighter and more contemporary. A new digital screen has also been installed to keep customers up to date on bank-wide enhancements and notifications. Outside, two new ATMs are now available, and the drive-up teller equipment was enhanced to provide two-way audio/video communication. Florence Bank opened a branch on Allen Street in Springfield in late 2018. In 2020, the bank will open its newest Hampden County location in Chicopee, expanding its network to 12 locations.

Behavioral Health Network Receives $10,000 Grant from PeoplesBank

SPRINGFIELD — Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from PeoplesBank to be used for BHN’s Money School program, a financial-independence initiative for survivors of domestic or sexual violence who are also recovering from addiction. PeoplesBank’s grant to BHN will support the operation of the Elizabeth Freeman Center’s Money School program. Money School is an award-winning, trauma-informed, financial-independence initiative designed to create long-term safety and economic security for survivors. Participants are given individually tailored financial and career mentoring as well as intensive advocacy and support for their substance-use recovery and healing in the aftermath of domestic or sexual violence. The program helps survivors achieve and maintain safety, economic independence, and family well-being for themselves and their children. Kathy Wilson, president and CEO of BHN, noted that “much of our work at BHN has to do with supporting and engaging with people as they overcome obstacles and plan a better future for themselves. The Money School program has been particularly effective in helping women to take control of their finances, one of the most difficult challenges for anyone when navigating the long-term impact of domestic violence. We deeply appreciate the resources being provided by PeoplesBank in this vital program that is changing the lives of the women served.” The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that one in four women report experiencing domestic violence. In addition to physical abuse, domestic-violence survivors often experience financial duress, and almost half of domestic-violence victims struggle with substance-use disorders.

Tighe & Bond Opens Office in Portland, Maine

WESTFIELD — Tighe & Bond Inc. a northeastern leader in engineering and environmental consulting, opened a new office in Portland, Maine this month. The 4,400-square-foot office, located just minutes from Portland City Hall and the Old Port, will allow the firm to better serve its growing base of clients throughout Maine and the region while providing an opportunity to employ professionals native to the area. Senior Project Manager Dan Bisson will provide leadership for Tighe & Bond’s newest office. Bisson has more than 25 years of experience with management, permitting, planning, design, and construction of water infrastructure projects for municipalities, utilities, and private clients. Tighe & Bond’s strategic plan calls for geographic growth to further reinforce its position as a Northeast regional leader in engineering and environmental services. The company is experiencing office expansions and staffing growth in multiple locations throughout the Northeast, adding four offices in the past five years and expanding its Worcester office earlier this year.

Davis Educational Foundation Awards $100,000 to CCGS Joint Purchasing Initiative

LONGMEADOW — The Davis Educational Foundation has awarded the CCGS Joint Purchasing Initiative a $100,000 grant to be distributed over two years. This is the third grant by the Davis Educational Foundation to underwrite this collaborative project. The Joint Purchasing Initiative (JPI) consists of the five private member institutions of the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield (CCGS), including American International College, Bay Path University, Elms College, Springfield College, and Western New England University. The goal of the JPI, which will continue to be administered by Bay Path University, is to identify and implement strategic opportunities for collaboration where shared purchasing and shared services in high-cost and high-impact areas will result in significant institutional cost savings across the JPI’s partner institutions, ultimately containing the cost of higher education for students. Since its founding in 2017, the efforts of the JPI have resulted in collective cost savings of nearly $900,000, with varying degrees of savings by institution. During this time, the JPI reduced costs by negotiating better deals on contracted services with vendors, such as student transportation for athletics and van leasing, rental-car agreements, contract management, corporate payment systems, IRB software, employee and student background checks, electricity and solar sources of energy, interpretive and captioning services, medical-waste-disposal services, and computer purchases. With the funding from the latest grant from the Davis Educational Foundation, the next step in the evolution of the JPI is to explore and develop potential plans for shared services, implement best practices, reduce duplication of efforts, and drive efficiency gains with the expertise already existing within the institutions.

HCC Marks 20th Year of Giving Tree Campaign

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) celebrated the 20th anniversary of its annual Giving Tree campaign Thursday, fulfilling the holiday wishes of 375 consumers from four nonprofits that aid and support some of the area’s most at-risk residents. During the campaign’s closing ceremony, HCC students, faculty, and staff gathered with representatives from WestMass Elder Care, Homework House, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), and the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home to share food, stories, and gifts. Eleven HCC departments participated in this year’s Fall Food Fest in November, raising $833 for the Giving Tree campaign. The money was used to fulfill 26 gift tags for MSPCC and create gift boxes that included baby wipes, diapers, clothing, books, and toys. Each year during the annual campaign, Giving Trees are set up in designated areas around the HCC campus. Participants choose colored-coded tags from one of the nonprofit agencies based on the age of the recipient and their wish for a gift. The wrapped gifts are then sorted and piled on tables for the closing celebration.

Family Business Center Awards Grand-funded Memberships to Three Women Business Owners

HOLYOKE — At the Family Business Center’s (FBC) December Log Cabin Dinner Forum, Lakisha Coppedge of Coppedge Consulting, Kimberley Betts of Betts Plumbing & Heating Supply, and Sherryla Diola of Mundo Artisan Foods were awarded grant-funded memberships for the 2020 year. This inaugural grant, aimed at supporting women business leaders in Western Mass., was funded by Encharter Insurance. “My goal is to grow our trusted business learning community intentionally, and to increase diversity and inclusion,” said Jessi Kirley, FBC executive director, who collaborated with the women leaders of local partner organizations, including the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, Leadership Pioneer Valley, EforAll, and Valley CDC, for nominations and selection of the award recipients. Added Tracey Benison, president of Encharter Insurance, “women-owned businesses are critical to the success of small business in the Pioneer Valley. As a women-led insurance agency, Encharter looks for meaningful ways to support women-owned businesses. The recipients of the scholarships are standouts in their professions. We are excited to support their continued journey of learning.”

Agenda

Starting Gate at GreatHorse Holiday Party

Dec. 14: The Starting Gate at GreatHorse will host a holiday party — including decorations, music, and menu — for any company or group that wants to take part. Attendees can enjoy dinner and dance the night away with staff, co-workers, family, and friends — an ideal option for small businesses. The Clark Eno Orchestra will be playing today’s hits and rock and pop songs from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and beyond, plus big band, swing, and Motown. The event is open to the public for $95 per person. A cash bar will be available. For reservations, call (413) 566-5158.

Micro-emerging Markets: Cannabis Certificate Program

Jan. 13 to May 5: American International College (AIC) is announcing a new undergraduate initiative in the School of Business, Arts and Sciences titled Micro-Emerging Markets: Cannabis Certificate Program. Three business courses are offered in rotation beginning with the spring 2020 semester. The first course of the series will run on Wednesdays, 3:50 p.m. to 6:20 p.m., starting Jan. 13, 2020 and continuing through May 5, 2020. There are no prerequisites to enroll other than a high-school diploma or GED equivalency. Non-matriculated students can enter the program at any time in the sequence. The first course, “Cannabis Entrepreneurship,” will examine customer groups, products, and services in the recreational market. The effect of price, quality, and competitors will be explored relative to competing effectively. This will involve key components of the industry, including legal aspects, business models, financing, and marketing. In “Cannabis Business Operations,” students will analyze the evolving cannabis marketplace and investigate the complexities and challenges of this sector. This course will conduct an in-depth look at the key components of different business types, how the sector is evolving, starting and operating a cannabis business, in addition to financial constraints, investments, and strategic marketing in the industry. The final course, “The Law and Ethics of Cannabis,” will examine the legalization of cannabis. Discussion around the legal and ethical implications of cannabis use, its legalization, criminal activity, and marketing will be explored in addition to perspectives of law enforcement, business owners, and recreational uses. For more information about the Micro-Emerging Market: Cannabis Certificate Program, visit aic.edu/mem.

Women’s Leadership Conference

March 27: Bay Path University’s division of Strategic Alliances announced that producer, author, entrepreneur, educator, and, of course, top model Tyra Banks will bring her bold attitude, unique style, and well-honed business acumen to Springfield as the keynote speaker at the 25th annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC). This year’s theme, “Own Your Now,” will encourage conference guests to examine the forces that have shaped their careers, relationships, and aspirations; recognize what drives them and what holds them back; and empower them to confidently move forward. Banks is the creator of America’s Next Top Model, the reality show and modeling competition that has been replicated in 47 international markets and viewed in 150 countries. A graduate of Harvard’s Executive Education program, she has taught graduate courses at Stanford University and is opening Modelland, an interactive attraction based in Los Angeles that will allow visitors to experience a fantasy version of the modeling world. This year’s conference also will feature breakout sessions focused on navigating the complicated relationships, personalities, and dynamics of the workplace and the impact those have on our careers and opportunities. Sessions will be led by bestselling authors and researchers including Laura Huang, Harvard Business School professor and author of Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage; Emily Esfahani Smith, author of The Power of Meaning; Dr. Ramani Durvasula, licensed clinical psychologist and author of Don’t You Know Who I Am: How to Stay Sane in the Era of Narcissism, Entitlement and Incivility; and Jennifer Romolini, author of Weird in a World That’s Not: A Career Guide for Misfits. For further information on the conference and to register, visit www.baypathconference.com.

Hooplandia

June 26-28: Hooplandia, the largest 3-on-3 basketball competition and celebration on the East Coast, will take place on June 26-28, 2020, hosted by Eastern States Exposition and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The event will feature hundreds of games for thousands of players of all ages and playing abilities, with divisions for young girls, boys, women, men, high-school elite, college elite, pro-am, ‘over the hill,’ wheelchair, wounded warrior, Special Olympians, veterans, first responders, and more. More than 100 outdoor blacktop courts will be placed throughout the roadway and parking-lot network of the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds in West Springfield. Slam-dunk, 3-point, free-throw, dribble-course, vertical-jump, and full-court-shot skills competitions will be spotlighted. Themed state courts will be mobilized along the Exposition’s famed Avenue of States. Featured ‘showcase games’ will be held on new court surfaces in the historic Eastern States Coliseum and on the Court of Dreams, the center court of the Basketball Hall of Fame. A year-long community outreach effort will begin immediately. Registration will open on March 1, 2020. Information and engagement is available now through www.hooplandia.com or on Instagram: @hooplandia.

Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.

AGAWAM

Jai Umiya Ma Inc., 36 Yarmouth Dr., Agawam, MA 01001. Dinesh B. Patel, same. Convenience store and gas service station.

AMHERST

M & N Construction Ltd., 29 Mt. View Circle, Amherst, MA 01002. Ngawang Sherpa, same. Construction services.

CHICOPEE

Melissa St. Germain Realtor Inc., 585 Sheridan St., Unit 33, Chicopee, MA 01020. Melissa M. St. Germain Martel, same. Marketing and sale of real estate.

EAST LONGMEADOW

Logan’s Colors Unlimited Inc., 26 Ridge Road, East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Timothy M. Logan, same. Painting and renovations of buildings.

EASTHAMPTON

Montgomery Labor Inc., 222 Park St., Easthampton, MA 01027. Molly Montgomery, same. Residential painting.

FLORENCE

Mark Lavalley & Sons Trucking Inc., 207 Sylvester Road, Florence, MA 01062. Mark J. Lavalley, same. Trucking.

Oxbow Tattoo Inc., 286 Spring St., Florence, MA 01062. Steven Sanderson, same. Tattoo services.

GILBERTVILLE

On the Track Inc., 264 Upper Church St., Gilbertville, MA 01031. Regina Sanderson, same. Provide education, therapeutic programming and assessment services in the community to create awareness regarding women’s issues and substance abuse needs.

HATFIELD

Lavallee Brothers Property Inc., 153 Pantry Road, Hatfield, MA 01038. Jeffrey Lavallee, same. Real estate.

HOLYOKE

Invisiblast Inc., 15 Mount Tom Ave., Holyoke, MA 01040. Karen Blanchard, same. Cleaning services using dry ice, under pressure, in a nonabrasive manner.

LONGMEADOW

Luigi’s Fine Food Inc., 249 Lynnwood Dr., Longmeadow, MA 01106. Louis J. Santos, same. Restaurant with dine and take out services.

SPRINGFIELD

Igl. De Dios No Es Lo Que Fuimos Sino Lo Que Somos En Cristo Jesus Inc., 192 Pine St., Springfield, MA 01105. Jesus David Santos, same. To open a church and preach the full gospel of our lord and to perform marriages ceremonies.

KMC App Inc., 90 Park Dr., Springfield, MA 01106. Jason B. Fenlason, same. Real estate appraisals.

Medina’s Supermarket Inc., 2705 Main St., Springfield, MA 01107. Jose Medina, 6 Cedar Ridge Road, South Hadley, MA 01075. To carry on the business of a food market/grocery.

Nuaz Inc., 17 Locust St., Springfield, MA 01108. Muhammad Tahla, same. Retail store.

DBA Certificates

The following business certificates and trade names were issued or renewed during the month of November 2019.

AMHERST

Access Special Education
10 Stanley St.
Phyllis Keenan

Learn to Wrench
1040 North Pleasant St., Apt. 39
Benjamin Lincoln Schroeder

BELCHERTOWN

Best Dressed Cup
62 Dana Hill
Lori Chaffee

Bill G Mechanical Design
90 Shaw St.
William Gagnon

Exit Real Estate Executives
1 Main St.
Ron Gresty, Rhiannon Gresty, Michelle Terry

CHICOPEE

Committee to Elect James K. Tillotson
34 Harvey St.
James Tillotson, Joan Tillotson

Hold Fast Welding
825 Grattan St.
Brad Desmarais

Walgreens #07063
583 James St.
Walgreen Eastern Co. Inc.

DEERFIELD

Greg’s Wastewater Removal
239 Greenfield Road
Gregory Gardner

Sugarloaf Pool Store
239 Greenfield Road
Gregory Gardner

WoodWick Candle
16 Yankee Candle Way
Yankee Candle Co.

EASTHAMPTON

Clear Intentions Acne and Facial Skin Care
123 Union St., Suite 14
Abby Arnould

Golden China Pan
98 Union St.
Dan Ju Pan

Redline Motors
420 Main St.
Steven Fickert

Taylor Real Estate
87 Main St.
Charles Conner

EAST LONGMEADOW

Arnold’s Meats at the Barn
359 Shaker Road
Susan Katz, Lawrence Katz

Blanchard Drywall Services
70 Somers Road
James Blanchard

The Cashmere Sale
23 North Main St.
Janice Lattell

Community Education Centers of North America
6 North Main St.
Mark Danalis

Edward Jones & Co.
296 North Main St.
Edward Jones & Co.

Ernst Financial Group
180 Denslow Road
John Ernst

Fabrizia Calabrese Cleaning Services
254 Kibbe Road
Fabrizia Calabrese

Unity First Direct Inc.
189 Braeburn Road
Janine Fondon, Tom Fondon

GREENFIELD

Aliber’s Bridal
18 Federal St.
Cristen Rosinski

Family Chiropractic and Nutritional Health
19 Birch St.
Ronald Gordon

Pioneer Petagogy
342 Log Plain Road
Kristin Neal

Tasgal Music
39 Gold St.
Faith Kaufmann

Tito’s Taqueria, LLC
145 Federal St.
Carlos Garza

HOLYOKE

Barbieri Express
12 Crescent St.
Kevin Barbieri

Latinos Cuisine
50 Holyoke St., D351
Eduardo Castillo

The Vitamin Shoppe
239 Whiting Farms Road
Vitamin Shoppe Inc.

LONGMEADOW

Baseball Musings
28 Hawthorn St.
David Pinto

JKA, LLC
45 Mayfair Dr.
John Kim

Longmeadow Package Store
400 Longmeadow St.
Hai Cheng

McKee Fitness Education, LLC
791 Frank Smith Road
Lindsey McKee

Zen’s Toyland
44 Tania Dr.
Harshal Patel

LUDLOW

Christina Bode at Hair West Designs
322 West Ave.
Christina Bode

Robert A. Provost Cleaning Service
34 Aldo Dr.
Robert Provost

NORTHAMPTON

Academy of Music Theatre
274 Main St.
Debra J’Anthony

Clinic Alternative Medicines
98 Main St.
Jennifer Nery

ecoATM, LLC
180 North King St.
Hunter Bjorkman

Happy Hen House Designs
134 Cross Path Road
Kimberly Bastien

Northampton Lashes
16 Center St., Suite 511
Hannah Crowl

OK Industries
77 Hillcrest Dr.
Andrew Kesin

O’Rourke’s Auto School, LLC
122 Federal St.
Kurt Hoernig

SOUTHWICK

Country Cottage Construction
61 Granville Road
James Ayotte Jr.

Total Collision Center
445 College Highway
Wendy Gaunt

SPRINGFIELD

44 Records Co.
137 Undine Circle
Alex Nieves

All Service
519 Parker St.
Christopher Perreault

Construction Co-op
2201 Wilbraham Road
Ricardo Viruet

Cost Cutters #62457
370 Cooley St.
Regis Corp.

D & F Enterprises
30 Craig St.
Francis Santamaria

Executive Real Estate Group
1333 Boston Road
Amy Rio

Franchise Barbershop
388 Dickinson St.
Francisco Perez

Kelly Property Management
45 Jamestown Dr.
James Kelly

Legacy Vending Co.
205 Belmont Ave.
Legacy Vending Co.

Living Local
276 Bridge St.
WMLBS Inc.

Paint Tango
83 Manor Court
Erik Tumasyan

A Queen’s Narrative
52 Lebanon St.
Samantha Simone

Reeds Painting & Home Improvement
126 Harvard St.
Earl Reed

Sol Karibe Restaurant
1236 Main St.
Jacqueline Sanchez

Sunshine Floors Cleaning
80 Brookside Circle
Curtis Lewis

Taino Heritage, LLC
94 Edgewood St.
Anaida Ortiz

Tani’s Sweet & Tasty
24 Powell Ave.
Yanitza Saavedra

Travel Plus Save
89 Fernbank Road
Mary Worthy

Wingz and Wafflez
74 Island Pond Road
Phardah Smalls

Worthy Brew
89 Fernbank Road
Mary Worthy

WARE

Carol Works for You
156 Pleasant St., Unit 2
Carol Ann Zins

Ware Coin Laundry
142 West St.
Sean Madigan

WESTFIELD

Bill Sitler Recording Service
165 City View Road
William Sitler

Coggin Creek Stables
1008 Granville Road
Brenda Coggin

Crimson Lion
12 Joyce Dr.
Gregory Corcoran

Daddy Green Jeans Apparel
13 Dubois St.
Brandon Crochiere

Elliott Fire Sprinkler Systems, LLC
435 Southwick Road
Chris Elliott

Gadbois Repair
220 Paper Mill Road
Christopher Gadbois

Lucky Mart
286 Southampton Road
Abdulmannan Butt

North Star
19 Rachael Terrace
Andrew Knights

Royal Transportation
111 Hawks Circle
Irene Chetambe

Terra Americana
382 Southampton Road
Terra Americana

Tres Lounge
77 Mill St., #8
Jessica Shular

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Arrow Executive Car Services
203 Circuit Ave.
Syed Shah

Balise Kia
603 Riverdale St.
James Balise Jr.

Crayata, LLC
70 Windsor St.
Tammy Pierson

Joy Bowl Poke
935 Riverdale St.
Rujing Zhao

Olympia Ice Center
125 Capital Dr.
Barry Tabb

Pavel Water Filtration
70 Windsor St.
John Crean

WILBRAHAM

All Tech Solutions
2341 Boston Road, Unit D110
Allen White

CJ Procuring & Consulting
6 Pearl Dr.
Collin Robinson

Collin C. Robinson Drywall
6 Pearl Dr.
Collin Robinson

Elaine’s Nail Spa
2133 Boston Road, Unit 4
Loan Nquyen

N Neal Home Improvement
8 Highmoor Dr.
Michael O’Neal

Wilbraham Nails Spa
2133 Boston Road
Anderson Tai

Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

 


Toys for the Kids

Springfield Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood and Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin, along with Springfield police officers and state troopers, recently went shopping at Walmart on Boston Road on Tuesday morning with a special delivery in mind. Afterward, they made a large donation of toys to Baystate Children’s Hospital.

 


Honoring a Supporter

At the launch of the college’s first major gifts campaign in more than a decade, Springfield Technical Community College President John Cook announced the naming of the Tuohey Family Welcome Center at the Student Learning Commons. Brian Tuohey (pictured), a generous supporter of STCC, beamed with delight after hearing the news. His family, including his five children and 12 grandchildren, made a surprise appearance at the kickoff event on Oct. 22.

 


Celebrating 100 Years

Balise Auto Group recently held its 100th-anniversary employee-recognition event at the Basketball Hall of Fame.

President Jeb Balise

A shot of all Balise associates who have been with the company for 10 years or more

 


Food Fest West

The West of the River Chamber of Commerce (WRC) held its annual Food Fest West on Nov. 7  at Springfield Country Club in West Springfield. The event featured the foods of area restaurants, including Carrabba’s Italian Grill, bNapoli, 110 Grill, Hamel’s Creative Catering, Courtyard by Marriott, Pintu’s Indian Cuisine, Partners Restaurant, Springfield Country Club, Storrowton Tavern, Tekoa Country Club, and more. Storrowton Tavern in West Springfield won the People’s Choice Award.

Guests Kelli Lemelin and Ron Lemelin enjoy food from Springfield Country Club

 

A chef from bNapoli serves WRC Chairman Ryan McL

 


Where Health Matters

Health New England recently awarded five $50,000 Where Health Matters grants to organizations that have a positive impact among vulnerable population groups in Western and Central Mass. The honorees included Men of Color Health Awareness, or MOCHA (represented by Lamont Scott, pictured below); Square One (represented by Joan Kagan and Kristine Allard, pictured at bottom); 18 Degrees, a division of Berkshire Children and Families Inc.; Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services; and the Center for Youth Engagement at UMass Amherst.

Lamont Scott

Joan Kagan and Kristine Allard

 


Instilling a Love of Books

The start of the 2019-20 school year marked several significant milestones for Link to Libraries. First, thanks to the generosity of local businesses and families, including Monson Savings Bank (MSB), which now sponsors a record five schools, every public elementary school in the city of Springfield is now a part of Link to Libraries’ Community Book Link sponsorship program. During the 2018-19 academic year, Link to Libraries donated 23,000 new books to sponsored libraries throughout the region. In addition, a record 200-plus Link to Libraries volunteer readers began reading in classrooms in underserved elementary schools in Hampden, Hampshire, Berkshire, and Hartford counties.

Principal Terry Powe and students from Elias Brookings Elementary School welcome their new sponsor, MSB President Steve Lowell, and Link to Libraries President and CEO Laurie Flynn

 

William Johnson, vice president of St. Germain Investments, reads to students at Lincoln Elementary School

Longtime volunteer Francie Cornwell reads to students at Homer Elementary School

 


A Challenge from the Commissioner

Carlos Santiago, commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, spoke to a crowd at Holyoke Community College on Nov. 5. He emphasized the importance of reconceptualizing the work that educators have been doing for the past 20 to 30 years, examining the students that are coming into the system, and changing the perception of the students themselves.

Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.

AGAWAM

Gopinathji Inc., 36 Yarmouth Dr., Agawam, MA 01001. Dinesh B. Patel, same. Convenience store and gas service station.

BELCHERTOWN

Happy Valley Senior Consulting Inc., 121 Barton Ave., Belchertown, MA 01007. Eric Aasheim, same. Senor care services.

CHICOPEE

G and N Corp., 687 James St., Chicopee, MA 01020. Kosta Ndreu, 11 Landy Ave., Florence, MA 01062. Restaurant.

HOLYOKE

Hedron Corporation, 54 Winter St., Holyoke, MA 01040. Wolfgang Schloesser, 34 Ellington Road, Florence, MA 01062. Manufacturing and distribution of industrial vacuum cleaners and related equipment.

LENOX

Idle Smart Inc., 36 Schermerhorn Park, Lenox, MA 01240. Jeffrey Lynch, same. Software and hardware solutions for transportation industry.

LONGMEADOW

Heat Softball Team Inc., 28 Eastham Lane, Longmeadow, MA 01106. Dominic L Blue, same. To foster the amateur sport of girls softball in a manner that promotes teamwork, leadership, self-confidence, exercise and competition and any other charitable purpose designated by the board of directors.

PITTSFIELD

Heimann Wealth Management Inc., 46 Northumberland Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Shaun W. Heimann, same. Investment, advisory and brokerage services.

RICHMOND

Hackin’ Shack Inc., 186 Lenox Road, Richmond, MA 01254. Christopher Begley, same. Promote, encourage, and facilitate educational opportunities in science and technology, and to engage in all lawful activities related thereto.

SOUTHWICK

Fathers & Sons Tooling Inc., 38 Beach St., Southwick, MA 01077. Daniel R. Thompson, same. Tooling.

SPRINGFIELD

Frosted Studio 73 Inc., 48 Edgewood St., Springfield, MA 01109. Jana Allen, same. Custom cakes and sweets.

Hendel, Collins & O’Connor, P.C., 101 State St., Springfield, MA 01103. Andrea M. O’Connor, same. Legal services.

WARREN

Evergreen Design Build Inc., 750 Main St., PO Box 850, Warren, MA 01080. Daniel R. Sheldon, 223 East St., Springfield, MA 01104. Purchase real estate; design, build, and sell homes.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

GGNP Inc., 3 Central St., West Springfield, MA 01089. Hasmukh Gogri, 61 Appaloosa Lane, West Springfield, MA 01089. Liquor store.

Ice Systems Inc., 65 River St., West Springfield, MA 01089. Genadiy Vashchuk, same. Equipment services.

WESTFIELD

Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter Barnes Barnstormers Inc., 111 Airport Rd Hanger 3, Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport Westfield, MA01085. David M. Miller, 59 Columbia St., South Hadley, MA 01075. To promote and encourage education of the general public about the mission, vision, goals and objectives of the experimental aircraft association incorporated through various chapter programs and services.

Veterans in Business

Soldier Stories

As the nation honors those who have served on Veterans Day, BusinessWest does the same with a special section on veterans in business. It includes an in-depth look at why some companies make the hiring of veterans a priority, and why others should follow suit. But we’ll start with several profiles of individuals who have made the transition from military service to business management, and how they’re taking lessons from their years of service into the workplace.


 

Corey Murphy, President, First American Insurance

Retired Marine Corps Major Stresses Teamwork, Accountability

 

 


 

Dorothy Ostrowski, President, Adams & Ruxton Construction

Her Afghanistan Tour Brought Many Lessons for Life, Business

 

 


 

Andrew Anderlonis, President, Rediker Software

His Time in the Navy Provided an Education on Many Levels

 

 


 

Veterans in Business

Retired Marine Corps Major Stresses Teamwork, Accountability

Corey Murphy, third from left, with several First American Insurance employees during a Toys for Tots campaign the company helped launch.

Corey Murphy knew he was no longer on active duty with the Marine Corps when he walked into his first staff meeting at his family’s business — Chicopee-based First American Insurance — with the accent on when he walked in.

Indeed, that meeting was scheduled for 8 a.m., and from his years as a Marine officer, Murphy translated this to mean that he should arrive no later than 10 minutes before the hour.

“You never, ever walk into a meeting if the boss is already there; you just don’t do that,” he told BusinessWest, referring to life in the Marine Corps. “So I show up at 10 of 8, because … if you’re on time, you’re late. I’m looking at my watch, and I’m the only one sitting there. I look at my watch again at 8, and I’m still the only one sitting there, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘what’s going on here?’ I couldn’t comprehend the idea of having an 8 o’clock meeting and have it not start by 8 o’clock.”

This wasn’t a serious wake-up call, but simply a reminder that life in the business world is not exactly like life in the Corps. He would get other lessons to this effect, he went on, adding that he once asked someone to get him something by the ‘close of business.’

“Two of the biggest similarities between the military and the business world are teamwork and accountability.”

“The military interpretation of that is that is ‘when you’re done, then you can close your business day,’” he explained. “As opposed to ‘it’s 5 o’clock, and I’m going home.’ They didn’t get it done by 5 and went home, and I said, ‘wait, I said close of business.’”

So there was certainly a period of what Murphy called “transition and adjustment” from life in the military to work at the office on Front Street. But, overall, many of the tenets, if you will, of life in the service do carry over to the workplace, often creating a more focused, more efficient, more sustainable workplace, he said, listing everything from an emphasis on teamwork to the need to keep up with — and take full advantage of — ever-improving technology, to stepping up when the need arises.

But there are other, perhaps even more important takeaways (if that’s the right term) from the military, he said, citing both the company’s philosophy of continuous education and training, and its commitment to the community.

There is a heavy emphasis on the former in the military and especially the Marine Corps, he noted, adding that there is now a similar degree of importance attached to it at First American.

“This is something I have tried to instill with everyone; training is very critical,” he said, adding that an even heavier emphasis on community involvement — one existed already at this company— stems from his experiences with the Marines is such places as Okinawa, the Philippines, and Korea.

“Coming home, I realized we have resources that we can use to try to make a difference, and so we try to help where we can,” he said, mentioning, as just one example, the company’s visit to a nearby elementary school on Halloween to distribute candy to the students.

Overall, Murphy spent 20 years with the Marines, on active duty and with the reserves, and retired as a major. He said joining the Corps was something he “always wanted to do,” although he couldn’t pinpoint a reason for this. He said his uncle served in the Marines during Vietnam and took part in the prolonged siege of Khe Sanh, but doubts whether that was a motivating factor in his decision.

Murphy went into the Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Va. while attending Virginia Military Academy, and, after gaining his commission, was stationed in Hawaii and, later, Korea and Okinawa.

In the fall of 1998, he finished his four-year tour of duty and joined the family business. He would eventually buy it from his father in 2014.

After only six months of being home, he joined the Reserves, and would continue to serve — he did take a break at one point to earn his MBA — for another 16 years, before retiring in 2016. The last five years were spent with Marine Forces Pacific, leaving First American for stretches lasting several weeks on average to take part in exercises across that vast theater.

To be able to take part in such assignments, Murphy said he knew he needed a capable team behind him, one he knew he could trust to carry on without him — although, with technology, he was able to keep in touch.

And this is one of the many aspects of military service that has carried over to the workplace, he said, noting that teamwork and doing what’s necessary are some of the guiding philosophies at First American.

“Two of the biggest similarities between the military and the business world are teamwork and accountability,” he said, adding that they are necessary in both settings, and he has worked to instill these attributes in his team of nearly 20 employees. “If someone’s out sick or if we’re down a person or things get busy, there’s an expectation that people are going to pitch in and do whatever they need to do.”

Overall, Murphy said what he’s brought back from the Marine Corps is a philosophy of “adapt and overcome,” which is a big reason for the success the company has enjoyed.

“You adapt to the situation, and you overcome,” he explained, adding that this what happens in the Marines. “You go in with aplan, but the enemy has a plan, too. So you have to adapt to the situation you’re presented with and come up with a new plan.”

Murphy said he’s adjusted well to the business world and how it differs from the military, right down to what time people are expected at meetings and what ‘close of day’ means in this setting.

But the two worlds are actually more similar than they are different, he added, and those basic tenets of teamwork and accountability are the cornerstones on which success is built.

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

Veterans in Business

Her Afghanistan Tour Brought Many Lessons for Life, Business

Dorothy Ostrowski is seen here during her tour of duty in Afghanistan with Gen. Karl Eikenberry (center) and fellow military police officers (from left) Ryan Stone, Dominic Cirillo, and Jeffrey Botcher.

Dorothy Ostrowski was only 17 when she joined the Army National Guard.

She needed her parents’ consent to do so at that age, and she got it, because they knew — and, more importantly, she knew — that this was something she needed at that critical junction in her life.

“I didn’t have probably the best circle of friends at that time,” she told BusinessWest, turning back the clock more than 23 years. “I was looking to get some direction in my life.”

To say she found some through her seven years in a military police company, serving in locations ranging from Italy to Panama to Afganistan, where she became a chase driver for Gen. Karl Eikenberry, would be a huge understatement.

Indeed, she said, during that time of service, she gained invaluable lessons in teamwork, trusting those you’re working beside, being ready for essentially anything, taking nothing for granted, and taking good care of team members.

And they have served her well since, in positions ranging from emergency-room nurse to president of the company that she and her husband, Mike, purchased at the start of this year, West Springfield-based Adams & Ruxton Construction.

“There are many ways in which what you learn in the military impacts what you do in life and in business,” she noted. “There’s the teamwork dynamic, the attention to detail, and the mindset of taking care of the troops — your troops eat first. It’s about taking care of the people around you, because they’re the ones who are going to pull you through things. And that directly impacts where I am now.”

“There would be times when you were out on convoys and there would be explosions, or you’d be out on a mission … and you’re not really thinking that you might not come back at the end of the day.”

Afghanistan was essentially the final stop in a lengthy stint with the National Guard that, as noted, took Ostrowski to several other countries and working situations. She told BusinessWest that her first ambition was to be a police officer. But, as she said, she needed to bring direction to her life, and so, while still enrolled at Chicopee Comprehensive High School, she made the decision to join the Guard with the stated goal of becoming a military police officer. Boot camp was the summer after her junior year.

Looking back on her time in Afghanistan, Ostrowski said it wasn’t until that tour of duty was over and she was back in this country that she could really put those experiences into their proper perspective.

“When you’re there, you’re just doing your job,” she told BusinessWest. “There would be times when you were out on convoys and there would be explosions, or you’d be out on a mission … and you’re not really thinking that you might not come back at the end of the day.”

Her Guard unit was there to be part of the efforts to train the Afghan national army, she explained, adding that her specific role with the Military Police was to protect Gen. Eikenberry, an assignment that often put her at the wheel of the chase car that rode close behind his Chevy Suburban.

“We would ensure that no one tried to drive into him or drive him off the road,” she noted. “Our mission for those several months was to get him where he needed to go safely, whether that meant chase-driving him or accompanying him in Blackhawks or Chinooks to different villages in Afghanistan.”

When that tour of duty ended, Ostrowski enrolled at Holyoke Community College, with the goal of joining the law-enforcement field, but instead took a different career path — into healthcare. She eventually became an emergency-room nurse after gaining her degree at Springfield Technical Community College, and later, while seeking work that would allow her to spend her time with her family, joined Sound Physicians, a medical process-improvement company. Along the way, she earned a dual master’s degree in nursing and business administration at Elms College to better position herself for new opportunities and, ultimately, a leadership position.

Dorothy Ostrowski says she won’t hesitate to do anything she asks her team members to do.

She created one for herself by acquiring Adams & Ruxton, a move she categorized as part of a lifelong pattern of continually seeking out new challenges and raising the bar when it comes it comes to her career ambitions — something else she took home from her time in the military.

Today, she leads a team of 25 people and boasts a broad job description, everything from meeting with clients to coordinating the subcontractors to handling the financials. And she brings her experience in the military to the workplace seemingly every day, especially those lessons in teamwork and working as a unit to achieve a mission, whatever it may be.

To get her points across, she referenced a cartoon a friend sent her that effectively illustrates — literally and figuratively — the difference between a manager and a true leader.

“In one panel, there’s a picture of a boss sitting up on a rock with all his employees pulling him,” she recalled. “And then, in the other, there’s a picture of a leader, the one at the front of that rope helping all his people pull that big rock; that’s the kind of leader I am, and I think a lot of it comes from my time with the Guard.

“It’s about not being afraid to do anything that you ask the people you’re surrounded by to do,” she went on. “But I think it’s also about recognizing the qualities of the people around you and being humble enough to say, ‘hey, I don’t know how to do this,’ and allowing those that know how to do it to teach you to do it.”

“In the military, you rely on each other,” she said in conclusion, adding that this mindset has helped enable her to be a driving force in business, long after she was a driving force in Afghanistan.

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

Company Notebook

HCC, C3RN Launch Cannabis Education Center

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) and the Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN) recently announced the creation of the Cannabis Education Center to provide education and training opportunities and other business resources to individuals in the region who want to work in the state’s newly legalized cannabis industry. HCC and C3RN are designated training partners through the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Social Equity Vendor Training program. The program was designed to provide priority access, training, and technical assistance to those negatively impacted by the drug war. The Cannabis Education Center will be managed out of HCC’s Kittredge Center and provide academic advising and workforce training, public education events that highlight entrepreneurship and workforce development, entrepreneurship events for those interested in joining the cannabis industry as a startup company, and social-equity training for applicants qualified through the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Social Equity Training program. More information about these programs will be posted soon on the Cannabis Education Center’s website, cannabiseducationcenter.org. The Cannabis Education Center will also be running four previously announced certificate programs for specific jobs in the cannabis industry: cannabis culinary assistant, cannabis retail/patient advocate, cannabis cultivation assistant, and cannabis extraction technician assistant. The first of those programs, cannabis culinary assistant, will begin on Jan. 11, 2020, at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. Each certificate program will consist of 96 hours of instruction, half of which will be held on the HCC campus with the other half conducted through C3RN’s internship program with participating dispensaries, cultivators, manufacturers, and ancillary businesses. C3RN and HCC will also be running five courses for the entrepreneurship track in the Social Equity Program starting Saturday, Nov. 23 at HCC’s Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center, 206 Maple St., Holyoke. The first two-session class, set for Nov. 23-24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., will focus on business-plan creation and development.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County Receives Mentoring Matching Grant

GREENFIELD — Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP), the only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding quality youth mentoring in Massachusetts, is awarding $869,000 in mentoring matching grants to mentoring and youth-serving organizations across the state. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County is one of only 44 organizations chosen to receive a grant. These funds were approved by the state Legislature in the FY 2020 budget and are the only state funding dedicated to the mentoring field. MMP worked closely with legislative and community partners in advocating for the money, which represents a 110% increase over the last two years. The Mass Mentoring Partnership matching grant is used to make and support one-to-one mentoring matches that help ignite the power and promise of Franklin County youth. The mentoring matching grants are managed by MMP, with oversight from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and are intended to improve students’ attitudes towards school. Research has shown that young people who are in mentoring relationships show improved academic performance, better school attendance, and a greater chance of going on to higher education. Despite this compelling evidence, there remains a shortage of mentors, with research suggesting that one in three young people will grow up without one. This year’s grants are expected to create and support more than 3,200 high-quality mentor and mentee matches in schools and youth-serving programs statewide.

Eversource Partners with United Way on Programs

SPRINGFIELD — As part of its commitment to the health of all Bay State communities and economic development across the state, Eversource presented Massachusetts United Way agencies with contributions totaling more than $930,000 this year that support programs and services for hundreds of thousands of residents around the state. In total, Eversource and thousands of the company’s employees across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut contributed more than $2.2 million to the United Way in 2019 to support after-school programs, health clinics, workforce-development programs, weatherization for low-income homeowners, and more. Eversource’s contributions to agencies throughout the state include a corporate gift of more than $515,000 as well as $410,000 in personal contributions made by Massachusetts employees during the company’s annual giving campaign for the United Way. Additionally, Eversource employees across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut have volunteered more than 1,300 hours in partnership with the United Way to serve hundreds of nonprofits throughout New England.

Westfield Bank to Open Bloomfield, Conn. Location

WESTFIELD — James Hagan, president and CEO of Westfield Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Western New England Bancorp Inc., announced that the bank will open a new branch office in Bloomfield, Conn. in mid-2020. The bank will open a full-service branch in the Copaco Center shopping plaza on Cottage Grove Road. The office will include lobby and safe-deposit services, an image-technology ATM, and multiple drive-through teller lanes. The bank looks forward to breaking ground as soon as it secures the necessary permits and approvals, with construction being facilitated by AmCap Inc., the property owner and manager, and Borghesi Building and Engineering Co. Inc. of Torrington. Plans are subject to regulatory approval. The Bloomfield location will follow a new Financial Services Center, which is expected to open in West Hartford Center earlier in 2020. In addition to a full-service branch, the West Hartford Financial Services Center will include a suite of offices for residential lending, commercial lending, and business and government deposit services. Representatives of these departments currently occupy temporary space at 977 Farmington Ave. to assist with their community-outreach activities.

Levellers Press Named a Manufacturers of the Year

AMHERST — Levellers Press in Amherst received a Manufacturer of the Year Award at the fourth annual Manufacturing Award Ceremony at the State House on Oct. 22. Collective Copies, a collectively managed and worker-owned printing company, celebrated the 10th anniversary of its publishing wing, Levellers Press, on Sept. 18. Levellers’ beginning was marked by the launch of its first title, Robert H. Romer’s Slavery in the Connecticut Valley of Massachusetts, still one of its bestsellers. One hundred titles later, it has expanded its book-printing and distribution capabilities with Off the Common Books to help self-publishing authors get their books out in a more collaborative way than is possible through the big vendors. Levellers offers a wide selection of printing papers and welcomes input from authors throughout the layout and design process. Levellers Press is a member of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers and was nominated by state Rep. Mindy Domb. The award ceremony was sponsored by the Legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus. Along with Levellers Press, 76 manufacturers were recognized for truly ‘making it’ in Massachusetts.

‘Best Law Firms’ Ranks 11 Bulkley Richardson Practice Areas in Top Tier

SPRINGFIELD — Best Lawyers, in partnership with U.S. News and World Report, has included Bulkley Richardson in its 2020 list of “Best Law Firms,” ranking the firm in the top tier for the most practice areas of any Springfield law firm. The 2020 “Best Law Firms” list ranks Bulkley Richardson in the following 11 practice areas: bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law, bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, corporate law, criminal defense: general practice, criminal defense: white-collar, litigation – labor and employment, medical malpractice law – defendants, personal injury litigation – defendants, tax law, and trusts and estates law. To be eligible for a ranking, a law firm must have at least one lawyer included in Best Lawyers. Bulkley Richardson has 12 of its lawyers included on the 2020 Best Lawyers list, the most from any Springfield law firm. Three of the firm’s partners were also named 2020 Springfield Lawyer of the Year: Michael Burke, David Parke, and John Pucci. The rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer reviews from leading attorneys in their field.

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union Honored with Award

BOSTON — During the recent Empower U conference in Boston, Credit Union Student Choice presented its third annual Honor Roll Award to UMassFive College Federal Credit Union. The award recognizes excellence in higher-education financing and is given to the winning financial institution in conjunction with a $5,000 Chip Filson Scholarship, which may be awarded by the credit union to an outstanding student-member of its choice. The scholarship was given to UMassFive College Federal Credit Union in honor of Chip Filson, a credit-union industry icon and former Student Choice board member, who played an influential role in the founding and ongoing development of Credit Union Student Choice.

Mellon Foundation Awards Five Colleges $800,000 for Online Museum Collections

AMHERST — The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the Five College Consortium $800,000 to reimagine the way museum collaborations can share their online collections with each other and the world. The current shared collections database at Five Colleges was developed more than 20 years ago, and this commitment to a consortial database has enriched collaboration across the Five Colleges and opened up discovery and access to museum collections for students, faculty, staff, and the public. It remains one of the few collections databases in the country that is shared among several museums, but with advancements in technology and new accessibility needs on the part of the user, this database has revealed its age and limitations. These facts, combined with Five Colleges’ long history of collaboration, was what originally led the Mellon Foundation to request a grant proposal from the consortium. The museums that are a part of the current collections database are the Hampshire College Art Gallery, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, the Smith College Museum of Art, the University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMass Amherst, and Historic Deerfield, an independent museum that works closely with the campuses. The award from the Mellon Foundation’s Arts and Cultural Heritage program is a 30-month planning grant that will be used to assess the museums’ collections-management needs.

Melanson Heath Joins BDO Alliance USA

NASHUA, N.H. — Melanson Heath has joined the BDO Alliance USA, a nationwide association of independently owned local and regional accounting, consulting, and service firms with similar client service goals. As an independent member of the BDO Alliance USA, Melanson Heath can expand the services offered to clients by drawing on the resources of BDO USA, LLP, one of the nation’s leading professional-services firms, and other Alliance members. The firm serves clients through more than 60 offices and 550 independent Alliance firm locations nationwide. As an independent member firm of BDO International Ltd., BDO serves multi-national clients through a global network of more than 73,000 people working out of 1,500 offices in more than 162 countries. The BDO Alliance USA enhances member-firm capabilities through the availability of supplementary professional services, comprehensive management-consulting services, focused industry knowledge, customized state-of-the-art computer systems, and internal training programs.

Way Finders Breaks Ground on Library Commons Apartments

HOLYOKE — Way Finders held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Library Commons development, which will include 38 affordable apartments, support services, and retail and cultural spaces, on Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. at Holyoke Public Library. The development will feature 23 two-bedroom apartments and 15 three-bedroom apartments. The complex also features on-site laundry facilities, two wheelchair-accessible apartments, and 54 off-street parking spaces, and is a short walk to child-care centers, transportation, and schools. Way Finders has also developed a partnership with the Care Center on Roqué House, a first-of-its-kind facility in the Commonwealth that will provide 10 two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments for families headed by young parents who are full-time students. Library Commons is comprised of two rehabilitated historical buildings and one newly constructed building. Way Finders’ services will be made available on-site. There will also be meeting space, classrooms, and an art studio/gallery available to all Library Commons residents. The architect for the project is Dietz & Co. Architects Inc., and the contractor is NL Construction Inc.

Girls on the Run Completes Successful Autumn Auction

NORTHAMPTON — Girls on the Run of Western Massachusetts reported a successful Autumn Auction on Oct. 19. The event raised enough money to fund five more teams in Western Mass. Mill 180 Park in Easthampton donated the space and all the food for the event, while 70 items were donated by local business, and a cake was donated by Small Oven. Girls on the Run is a youth-development program that uses fun running games and dynamic discussions to teach life skills to girls in grades 3-8. Participants develop and improve competence, feel confidence in who they are, develop strength of character, respond to others and themselves with care, create positive connections with peers and adults, and make a meaningful contribution to community and society. The next event is the GOTR 5K at Smith College on Saturday, Nov. 23 starting at 10:30 a.m. This event is open to the public.

Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.

AGAWAM

Divine Vision Inc., 36 Yarmouth Dr., Agawam, MA 01001. Dinesh B. Patel, same. Convenience store and gas service station.

AMHERST

CHN Northern J & J Corp., 380 Riverglade Dr., Amherst, MA 01002. Jiarui Liu, same. Full-service restaurant.

BELCHERTOWN

C & H Auto Sales Inc., 40 Emily Lane, Belchertown, MA 01007. Bruno Calouro, same. Auto sales.

CHICOPEE

DC & S Services Corp., 109 Holiday Circle, Chicopee, MA 01020. Daniel Nogueira Nogueira Sardinha, same. Janitorial services.

EAST LONGMEADOW

Dr. E. H. Eskander And Associates, P.C., Emad H. Eskander, M.D., 14 Dartmouth Lane, East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Emad H. Eskander, 181 Park Ave., Suite 13, West Springfield, MA 01089. Private psychiatric practice.

FLORENCE

Casenotes Inc., 339 Bridge Road, Florence, MA 01062. Lauren Burke, same. Create case management software programs.
PHILLIPSTON

Castle Group Properties Inc., 110 Baldwin Hill Road, Phillipston, MA 01331. Reginald Haughton, same. Real estate investment and management.

LONGMEADOW

Costas 3D Imaging Inc., 55 Benedict Terrace, Longmeadow, MA 01106. Barbara J. Costas, same. 3D diagnostic imaging for non-medical purposes.

PITTSFIELD

Casa De Adoracion Profetica Inc., 82 Wendell Ave., Ste 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Walter Vazquez, same. Build the kingdom of god through the liaison of ministers and Christian ministries.

SOUTH DEERFIELD

Cornerstones: Early Childhood Development Center Inc., 29 Sunderland Road, South Deerfield, MA 01373. Doria Kate Rhodes, 447 South Washington St., Belchertown, MA 01007. Provide quality, early educational experiences for infants and children up to the age of 5.

SOUTHWICK

Corporate Z.A.J. Inc., 39 Deer Run, Southwick, MA 01077. Jeff King, same. Computer software development.

SPRINGFIELD

Camile Hannoush Inc., 1655 Boston Road, Unit B-7, Springfield, MA 01129. Camile A. Hannoush, 4 Cherry Brook Lane, Suffield, CT 06078. Jewelry wholesale, retail sales, repairs, and gifts.

Edmisado Investments Corporation, 12 Pasadena St., Springfield, MA 01108. Edwin Miguel Sanchez, 12 Pasadena St., Springfield, MA 01108. Real estate investments.

WILBRAHAM

Deep Roots Landscape Co., 2555 Boston Road, Wilbraham, MA 01095. Richard E. Ewing, same. Landscaping and other services.

Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

Empowering Women

Girls Inc. of the Valley hosted Joyce Roché, businesswoman and author of The Empress Has No Clothes: Conquering Self-Doubt to Embrace Success on Oct. 10 at the Delaney House. She was interviewed by Girls Inc. teens Maya and Janira and shared her story from humble beginnings to becoming the first African-American woman vice president of Avon.

Joyce Roché autographs copies of her book after the event

Maya, Girls Inc. Executive Director Suzanne Parker, Roché, and Janira.

 


Discussing Brexit

On Oct. 3, American International College hosted Stavros Lambrinidis, European Union ambassador to the U.S., and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal to discuss the history of the EU as well as the organization’s role in international trade. Lambrinidis told Neal and a packed audience that there is a “divorce” happening in the EU, referring to Brexit, the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU, and discussed the importance of a continued relationship with the U.S.

 


 

Smoothing Career Pathways

Under a new agreement with Springfield Technical Community College, students at Springfield High School of Commerce will be able to take courses at STCC and earn up to 20 college credits at no cost to them. The Early College initiative allows high-school students to explore high-need career pathways, avoid student-loan debt, and ultimately complete a college degree more quickly.

Pictured, from left: Matthew Brunell and Colleen Beaudoin, co-executive directors, Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership; John Cook, STCC president; Chris Gabrieli, chair, Massachusetts Board of Higher Education; Daniel Warwick, Springfield Public Schools superintendent; and Paul Neal, executive principal, Springfield High School of Commerce.

 


 

Earning an A+

The Parmar family of Pioneer Valley Hotel Group received the 2019 Legacy Award at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual A+ Awards Dinner at Hadley Farms Meeting House on Oct. 3.

From left: state Rep. Mindy Domb, Elena Cohen of state Sen. Jo Comerford’s office, Laxman Parmar, Kishore Parmar, Shardool Parmar, and chamber Executive Director Claudia Pazmany.

Lisa Solowiej and Jocelyn Potter, A+ awardees for Community Service, are joined by their children and Pazmany to receive a citation from Domb for their leadership creating and coordinating the Amherst Survival Center Neighborhood Food Project.

 


 

Illusionist Performs for a Cause

Illusionist Jason Bishop and his dog, Gizmo, greet Treehouse Foundation youth Destiny and Sheyenne after his performances at the Armory at MGM on Oct. 13. The magician made Gizmo disappear and reappear, turned one-dollar bills into one hundred-dollar bills, and wowed the audience with his illusions and humor. Bishop performed two shows to benefit the Treehouse Foundation, an Easthampton nonprofit that supports children and youth who have experienced foster care.

 


 

Responding to the Call

Polish National Credit Union (PNCU) recently made a $10,000 donation to the Chicopee Fire Department. The donation will be used to purchase an industrial-sized washer extractor, an innovative machine that reduces the amount of carcinogens in turnout gear without damaging the equipment.

Chicopee firefighters with Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos, PNCU President and CEO James Kelly, Chicopee Fire Chief Daniel Stamborski, and Chicopee Fire Fighters Local 1710 IAFF President Glen Olbrych (fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh from left, respectively).

 


 

Mercedes-Benz of Springfield Turns Two

On Oct. 16, family and friends of dealership owners Michelle and Peter Wirth joined to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the dealership’s opening in 2017. Since launching the Chicopee location, the dealership has sold more than 2,000 cars. The celebration included cake, cupcakes, and balloon décor provided by Rise Event Production.

 

 

 

 

Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.

AGAWAM

BBB Auto Inc., 266 Walnut St., Agawam, MA 01001. Larisa Mironova, same. Auto repairs.

BRIMFIELD

Brimfield Community Partnership Inc., 367 Brookfield Road, Brimfield, MA 01010. Ryan Evan Olszta, same. To bring our community together as one. We are dedicated to holding events and giving back to the people in our community. We will bring the community together through community-based events.

CHICOPEE

500 Century Inc., 400 East Main St., Chicopee, MA 01020. Saima Amir, 10 Oakley Dr., South Hadley, MA 01075. To operate convenience store and smoke shop.

HOLYOKE

Angie-Del Inc., 30 Leary Dr., Holyoke, MA 01040. Angelo Deleon Olguin, same. Grocery retailer.

BBF Wellness Inc., 37 Commercial St., Holyoke, MA 01040. Frank Dailey, 109 Pennsylvania Ave., Springfield, MA 01118. Medical consultation not requiring licensing.

Boston Bud Factory Inc., 37 Commercial St., Holyoke, MA 01040. Frank Dailey, 109 Pennsylvania Ave., Springfield, MA 01118. Retail sales of cannabis.

LUDLOW

Bumble Inc., 140 Posner Circle, Ludlow, MA 01056. Kimberley Grandfield, same. Automotive, transportation. Transport goods.

NORWOOD

America Santos Painting Inc., 1200 Washington St., #3, Norwood, MA 01062. Ildeu Aparecido Dos Santos, same. General construction, painting, and cleaning.

PELHAM

Ad-Avis Inc., 338 Daniel Shays Highway, Pelham, MA 01002. Joseph R. Davis, same. Internet marketing.

PITTSFIELD

Assembly of God El Shamah Ministry, 563 East St., Pittsfield, MA 01201. Leonardo Marques, 166 West Housatonic St., Pittsfield, MA 01201. To establish and maintain a church and to provide a place of public worship for the same.

SPRINGFIELD

4 Seasons Painting Inc., 33 Derryfield Ave., Springfield, MA 01118. Douglas E. Guyette, same. Painting.

Anyeliz Market Corp., 546 Worthington St., Springfield, MA 01108. Antonina Sabala Rodriguez, 544 Worthington, Springfield, MA 01105. Grocery sales and restaurant.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Bienia Powerwashing Inc., 635 Rogers Ave., West Springfield, MA 01089. Kevin Bienia, same. Provide power washing services to residential and commercial properties.

WILBRAHAM

Be Bronze Inc., 31 Glenn Dr., Wilbraham, MA 01095. Maria J. Serra, same. Sunless tanning salon and sell tanning treatments.

The Western Mass Real Estate Investors group is excited to announce that we are hosting our first annual Real Estate Investors Summit here in the Greater Springfield area on Saturday October 19th, 2019. Join other North East Real Estate Investors at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield, MA for the REI event of the fall. Whether you are a seasoned investor or just starting out, this event will bring the value and change that you may be looking for to succeed in real estate and your business.

This is a fully educational and networking type event and will not be a pitch fest of services. For more info and to grab a ticket, head over to our site we recently launched at https://nereisummit.com/. Hope to see many of you there!

Buy Tickets here!: https://nereisummit.com/register/
Ticket Prices : $75

Agenda: https://nereisummit.com/agenda/
Travel/Parking: https://nereisummit.com/travel/

Banking and Financial Services

Going for the Green

One of the more challenging aspects of running a cannabis business is the inability to access banking services because banks are federally regulated, and cannabis is illegal on the federal level. However, change could be coming after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass legislation that would legalize cannabis banking. If the Senate agrees, proponents of the effort say, cannabis operations will become easier, less costly, more transparent, and accessible to a wider range of investors.

Want to start a cannabis business? You’d better have a lot of cash on hand.

However, that equation could be changing after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass legislation that would allow the cannabis industry to access banking and financial services, even as the substance remains illegal under federal law.

The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act passed the House by a vote of 321 to 103, with nearly half of Republicans joining all Democrats but one in voting in favor of the bill.

Now the bill will move to the U.S. Senate and, eventually, to the president’s desk. Proponents are confident in their chances of passage.

“It would be great for the cannabis industry and great for the banking industry,” said Peter Gallagher, chief financial officer at INSA, a cannabis dispensary in Easthampton. “A lot of banks we’ve talked to are very interested in getting into it, but don’t want the risks associated with it, so they’ve steered clear of it.”

Banks providing services to state-approved cannabis businesses could, in theory, face criminal and civil liability under federal statutes. In fact, only two financial institutions in Massachusetts have taken on the risk, both of them located in the eastern part of the state. So most cannabis companies operate as cash-only businesses.

“The implications of having to handle a lot of cash are pretty profound,” Gallagher told BusinessWest. “A lot of effort goes into counting and transporting it. To the extent that we can move some of this to credit, it would make our operations a lot easier.”

Momentum to legalize cannabis has made the banking issue impossible to ignore at the federal level. Currently, 33 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico have all legalized the use of marijuana to some degree. Yet the possession, distribution, or sale of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, which means any contact with money that can be traced back to state marijuana operations could be considered money laundering and expose a bank to significant legal, operational, and regulatory risk, notes the American Banking Assoc. (ABA).

“The rift between federal and state law has left banks trapped between their mission to serve the financial needs of their local communities and the threat of federal enforcement action,” the association wrote recently. “ABA believes the time has come for Congress and the regulatory agencies to provide greater legal clarity to banks operating in states where marijuana has been legalized for medical or adult use. Those banks, including institutions that have no interest in directly banking marijuana-related businesses, face rising legal and regulatory risks as the marijuana industry grows.”

Gallagher said legalizing cannabis banking across the board makes sense on many levels.

“From a business perspective, it would make banking more accessible and less costly, and it would eliminate the risk of enforcement and regulatory action that banks are worried about, which is what’s leading them to abandon the market.”

Most think they would gladly jump in — making the cannabis industry more accessible to a wider range of entrepreneurs, while bringing down costs — if the SAFE Banking Act becomes law. And that’s what the Senate will have to consider as it begins its review.

Dollars and Sense

Scott Foster, a partner with the law firm Bulkley Richardson who helped establish its cannabis practice, said the law, if passed, would open up the ability of cannabis businesses to use local branches of local banks essentially overnight — if the banks decide to get involved, which seems likely, given the ABA’s advocacy on the issue.

“This is driven not by the cannabis industry, but by the banking industry,” Foster said. “We need clarity in this issue, considering all the non-cannabis businesses affected by this.”

“A lot of banks we’ve talked to are very interested in getting into it, but don’t want the risks associated with it, so they’ve steered clear of it.”

Indeed, in addition to growers and retailers, there are plenty of vendors and suppliers, landlords, and employees indirectly tied to the cannabis industry, thus posing legal risks for banks serving those individuals.

Rob Nichols, ABA president, recently wrote about two such examples: a bank in Ohio was forced to turn down a loan to a fencing company hired to build a fence around a marijuana growing facility, and a bank in Washington had to close an account when a law firm took on a marijuana business as a client.

“If either of these banks looked the other way, they risked violating federal law and facing criminal prosecution,” Nichols said, noting that these examples are far from isolated. An ABA survey found that 75% of banks have had to close an account, terminate a client relationship, or turn away a customer because there was some connection to cannabis.

“What we’re seeing is employees of cannabis companies being turned down for mortgages, and checking accounts closed down because they’re being paid by cannabis companies. That’s the biggest impact that’s actually driving the law,” Foster told BusinessWest. “Senators in states where it’s legal are saying, ‘time out.’ This isn’t about cannabis companies, it’s about the people selling stuff to them, landlords, even W.B. Mason delivering supplies. They’re getting caught up because they’re being paid by cannabis companies, and banks are saying they can’t accept the money. It’s an unintended ripple effect that’s causing a shift in thinking in Congress.”

Furthermore, reconciling the legal divide between state and federal laws would bring benefits to the communities banks serve, Nichols argues.

“The estimated $24 billion in cannabis sales by 2025 in states where marijuana has been legalized could be deposited safely with federally regulated financial institutions, enhancing transparency, public safety, and tax revenue,” he said.

And it’s not just banks asking for lawmakers to take action, he noted. A bipartisan group of 19 state attorneys general last year wrote a letter to lawmakers, arguing that bringing cannabis businesses into the banking system would improve accountability and increase public safety.

“This isn’t about cannabis companies, it’s about the people selling stuff to them, landlords, even W.B. Mason delivering supplies. They’re getting caught up because they’re being paid by cannabis companies, and banks are saying they can’t accept the money. It’s an unintended ripple effect that’s causing a shift in thinking in Congress.”

“Without relief from Congress, even banks that have decided not to serve cannabis businesses will find themselves caught in the financial web created by this booming industry,” Nichols said. “The money from cannabis businesses often goes to vendors, landlords, and employees, while the federal criminal association follows that cash.”

Gallagher agreed, and said it shouldn’t be difficult to build consensus around the need to bring clarity to cannabis finances through the well-regulated banking system.

“If, at the end of the day, what we’re worried about is diversion, or being able to track all that money, it’s easier to do that with electronic payments rather than having people carry large cash balances,” he said. “It’s easier for regulators and everyone else to make sure the industry is healthy and operating compliantly.”

Indeed, that very argument became part of the House debate. Colorado state Rep. Ed Perlmutter argued that keeping cannabis banking illegal is “an invitation to theft, it’s an invitation to money-laundering, it’s an invitation to tax evasion, and it stifles the opportunities of this business.”

Joint Resolutions

Foster said the immediate impact of the SAFE Banking Act would be significant on current cannabis businesses, which would now be able to access local branches of local banks, instead of running a ponderous all-cash operation — and requiring the security that entails — or seeking services from an institution across the state.

“We can’t apply for loans — working capital, construction loans, any lending right now,” Gallagher noted, adding that the handful of banks nationwide that are currently risking the cannabis business are passing on exorbitant costs to customers to do so.

“You’ve had some companies that have been willing to shoulder the risk associated with servicing an operation that’s federally illegal,” he told BusinessWest. “They’ve been able to charge excessive rates for that. As [legalization] happens in this industry, the fees will come down and start to normalize.”

Nichols expects that competition to emerge quickly, saying banks typically respect the decisions made by voters in the states where they operate. “Those voters had weighed the societal and cultural issues that come with legalization, and they made their decision. Instead, the industry is focused on the impact of the gap between state and federal laws on banks and their ability to serve those in their communities.”

The other major impact of a change in the law, Foster said, has to do with the concept of social equity. Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission launched what it calls its Social Equity Program to expedite business applications and provide technical assistance, mentoring, and other resources for individuals from communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition — typically poverty-stricken areas.

“Even though Massachusetts law has a social-equity component to it, giving expedited processing to social-equity candidates, the practical reality is, most of the investors are still wealthy, white gentlemen who have disposable income invested in cannabis,” he noted.

By allowing entrepreneurs to finance these operations instead of needing all the money up front, Foster explained, “you’ll have more players at the table, and be able to leverage smaller sums into larger companies. I haven’t heard a lot of talk about the social-equity piece, but to me, that’s a big piece, to help more people be able to engage in this business and apply for a loan if they qualify. That, to me, is a potential game changer.”

A companion bill in the U.S. Senate has yet to be voted on by the Senate Banking Committee, which held a hearing in late July on the issue. While that debate is coming, some lawmakers believe it’s only the start. For instance, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he doesn’t believe the SAFE Banking Act goes far enough.

“This must be a first step toward the decriminalization of marijuana, which has led to the prosecution and incarceration of far too many of our fellow Americans for possession,” he argued.

For now, people like Gallagher are happy the banking issue may finally be resolved.

“We’ve been following this, so it’s not a surprise,” he said. “It’s something that makes a lot of sense from an operations and compliance perspective. We weren’t sure of the timing of it in terms of the evolution of the industry, but it’s something we expected to happen.”

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Banking and Financial Services

The Business of Selling a Business

By Brendan Mitchell

For business owners looking to sell soon, there is still plenty to be optimistic about.

Capital for purchasing businesses continues to flow thanks to low interest rates from banks and investment portfolios lingering near high-water marks.

Meanwhile, the Massachusetts economy has pushed to new highs from Boston to Springfield. Most recent reports show unemployment rates at historic lows, with both sides of the state making improvements. MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor have attracted out-of-state plates. Private equity and public companies, both flush with cash, continue to show confidence in the state through investments in their workforce and current business as well as construction and new business acquisitions. We’ve seen national tax reform increase cash flows to businesses across the country.

These factors have helped to keep buyers engaged as retiring Baby Boomers head for the exits. The timing has been great for some business owners cashing out recently, but buyers have become more selective in some industries. While some businesses are snagged as soon as they go to market, many are aging on the shelf with buyers and sellers unwilling to bridge pricing gaps.

When figuring the value of their business, owners can fall into the trap of including sentimental value in their estimation. Some are relying on what a similar business sold for in a different market or, worse, have a target number they drew up without any real anchor to reality.

For business owners who have dedicated their lives to a business, it can be hard to take a step back and objectively consider what their business is worth. Business owners who are willing to take an objective look at the value of their business can be proactive now instead of reactive when they are ready to retire and list their business for the first time.

The value of a business is dynamic. While there is no way to get a buyer to price sentimental value into a purchase price, there is a potential to make changes to the business that will increase the value over time.

There are three approaches to valuing a business — asset, income, and market approaches. For most privately held companies, valuators rely on either the income approach, market approach, or a combination of the two. The basic formulas for these calculations are widely available online, but what owners can do with this information may be less obvious.

First, it’s important to know that the years leading up to the valuation or sale are the most important. A long history of profits can show stability for a small business; however, only the most recent three to five years are going to be considered in a calculation. Small-business owners with eyes on an exit have a tendency to disconnect from the business during this most important period when they should be pushing in the opposite direction.

Flat revenues or increases in expenses during this period have the potential to erase even decades of growth and profitability. Owners should resist the temptation to ‘pull the parachute’ as they get closer to the finish line. Continue to push for revenue growth and pay close attention to expense control. This is the time to let the numbers showcase the full potential of the business.

Nobody knows the ins and outs of a small business like the owner. Buyers and valuators weigh heavily on the impact the seller’s exit will have on the future of the business. Owners should focus on replacing themselves in the areas in which they are most intertwined in the business to lessen the impact. To identify these high-dependency areas, owners can interview managers and employees, noting issues that cannot be resolved without them.

Key areas of focus generally depend on the industry or business model but usually include sales generation, relationship management, product development, strategic decision making, or day-to-day business management. If continuity can be achieved through process improvement or process documentation, it should be a key focus. Some results can be found through training current employees and empowering them. Consider restructuring tasks and delegating the current owner’s duties to rising managers.

Revisit labor costs. Business owners with family members at above-market wages face a double expense. While they may overpay weekly on purpose, it will cost them a multiple of that annual salary when it’s time to cash out. For hourly workers, be ready to field questions about how the rising minimum wages will impact more labor-intensive businesses.

Finally, clean up the financial statements. For various reasons, including tax motivations, small-business owners have a tendency to let their personal and business lives collide on their company financial statements. Documentation is important for any personal expenses being charged to the business. Owners should be ready to prove which expenses were not necessary for the business so that buyers and valuators exclude the expenses to calculate the value — buyers will not report findings to the IRS.

Performing a financial analysis can also help owners understand how their business compares to the rest of the industry, making them ready to articulate strengths and defend or improve weaknesses.

Overall, the current market remains friendly to someone looking to sell their business. It’s also a great time to be proactive in managing an exit strategy, whether it lies around the corner or several years out. Getting realistic about the value of their business enables owners to take steps to improve it and make informed decisions.

Brandon Mitchell is a certified valuation analyst and supervisor in auditing and consulting for Blumshapiro, the largest regional accounting, tax, and business-advisory firm based in New England, and winner of the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Reader Rankings for Best Appraisal Service and Best Accounting Firm.

Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]


 

They Shoot, They Score

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Lexington Group hosted an Aeron Chair Hockey Tournament on Oct. 2. Lexington Group invited players and administrative staff from American International College and UMass Amherst to battle it out in a friendly competition (pictured at top left). AIC won and advanced to a match against the Springfield Thunderbirds, with the AHL squad prevailing. The event, which raised $18,000 for the Foundation of TJO Animals, was incorporated into an After-5 networking event co-hosted by BusinessWest, the West of the River Chamber of Commerce, and the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce. West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt served as referee, Pat Kelley of Lazer 99.3 emceed and provided entertainment, and complimentary refreshments were provided by Log Rolling.

Two squads with Boomer, the Thunderbirds mascot

Lexington Group owner Mark Proshan (far left), Reichelt, and some of the players present the $18,000 check to the Foundation for TJO Animals

The cake created by Cerrato’s Bakery to commemorate Lexington’s 30th anniversary

 


 

 

Square One Tea Party

Square One held its 14th annual Tea Party on Oct. 4 at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden. Proceeds will benefit the children and families served by Square One.  (Michael Epaul photography)

event sponsors Jenny Mackay and Maureen Gaudreau of USI Insurance

Keynote speaker Tasheena Davis, attorney and Springfield city clerk

Dawn DiStefano of Square One with event sponsors Peter Miniati and Jeff Ligori of Napatree Capital

 


 

New Home for Williamstown Police

Caolo & Bieniek Associates Inc., the Chicopee-based architectural firm, has completed construction at the new Williamstown Police Station. Built at the Turner House, formerly a center for veterans, the new station provides improved accessibility and safety, as well as the most current technologies in law enforcement.

Pictured, from left: Chris Kluchman, Housing Choice Program director, Department of Housing and Community Development; Jim Kolesar, assistant to the president for Community and Government Affairs, Williams College; Williamstown Selectwoman Anne O’Connor; state Sen. Adam Hinds; Williamstown Selectman Andrew Hogeland; Williamstown Town Manager Jason Hoch; Williamstown Police Chief Kyle Johnson; state Rep. John Barrett III; and James Hanifan, architect, Caolo & Bieniek Associates.

 

 


 

Grand Opening

The Sisters of Providence celebrated the grand opening of Hillside Residence, 36 units of elder affordable housing, on Sept. 27. The $9,250,000 housing development is located on the Hillside at Providence campus, formerly known as Brightside, at 100 Hillside Circle, West Springfield. This innovative facility’s objectives will demonstrate a nonprofit model of affordable elder housing and be integrated with Mercy LIFE, a Program for All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) offering health and care management services, with both organizations co-located on the same 27-acre campus devoted to elder programs.

 


 

Cooking Up Support

bankESB recently donated $10,000 to the Holyoke Community College Foundation to support students preparing for careers in the culinary-arts and hospitality industries.

Pictured, from left: Amanda Sbriscia, HCC vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the HCC Foundation; Harry Montalvo, Community Development specialist at bankESB; Tiffany Raines, assistant vice president of the bank’s Holyoke branch; HCC president Christina Royal; and John Driscoll, board chair of the HCC Foundation, hold a ceremonial check for $10,000 at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute.

 


 

Bridging the Gap

On Sept. 24, Elms College launched the Center for Equity in Urban Education (CEUE). The CEUE will help bridge the 800-teacher annual gap across K-12 schools in the area, especially in specific roles such as special education, English-language learners, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs. The center was made possible through the foundational support of the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation of Springfield and Cynthia and William Lyons III of Wilbraham. The launch ceremony included the signing of memorandums of understanding with leaders from schools in Chicopee, Holyoke, and Springfield.

Pictured, from left: John Davis, senior director, Davis Foundation; Modesto Montero, head of school, Libertas Academy Charter School in Springfield; Cynthia Lyons, chair, Elms College board of trustees; Elms College President Harry Dumay; William Lyons III; Daniel Baillargeon, superintendent, Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Springfield; Stephen Zrike Jr., receiver/superintendent, Holyoke Public Schools; Daniel Warwick, superintendent, Springfield Public Schools; Rachel Romano, executive director, Veritas Preparatory Charter School in Springfield; and Paul Stelzer, vice chair, Elms College board of trustees.

 


 

Supporting Veteran Families

Revitalize Community Development Corp. and its JoinedForces initiative announced they were awarded a $730,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue their mission to support military veteran families. This statewide grant will be used to modify and rehabilitate the homes of more than 51 military veterans. The funds will be used to remedy safety hazards in the home; install energy-efficient features such as insulation, heating system repairs, and Energy Star appliances; and make age-in-place modifications, including the installation of grab bars and ramps. The announcement took place at the home of Lonnie Chappell, a U.S. Marine veteran who served in Vietnam, and his wife, Mary (pictured with U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno).

 

 

 

Chamber Corners

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.amherstarea.com
(413) 253-0700

• Oct. 18: Launching Women Luncheon, Session 2, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., hosted by Courtyard by Marriott.

• Oct. 24: Legislative Breakfast, 8-10 a.m., hosted by the Inn on Boltwood.

• Oct. 30: Supplier Diversity Programs Community Day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., hosted by the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

• Nov. 5: 50th Anniversary Celebration, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Amherst Insurance Agency.

• Nov. 7: “Marijuana: Opportunities & Challenges,” 4-6 p.m., hosted by Jones Library.

• Nov. 13: Working Across Generations Workshop, 5-6:30 p.m., hosted by Look Park Garden House.

• Nov. 15: Launching Women Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., hosted by Courtyard by Marriott.

• Nov. 18: Talk on Housing and Employment, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Amherst Survival Center.

• Nov. 21: Diversity and Inclusion Workshop, 8 a.m. to noon, hosted by Hadley Farms Meeting House.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.easthamptonchamber.org
(413) 527-9414

• Oct. 23: Cybersecurity Chamber Breakfast, 8:30-10 a.m., hosted by the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce, 33 Union St., Easthampton. Suite 3 President Dave DelVecchio will guide attendees through a security-awareness training review in three easy steps: identify the cybersecurity problem, create a security framework, and define what you as a user can do to help. This session is loaded with content and many actionable takeaways to improve the security awareness level within the attendee’s organization. Cost: $15, which includes a light breakfast. Pre-registration is required, and no tickets will be sold at the door. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.northamptonchamber.com
(413) 584-1900

• Oct. 22: “Sync Up with the Chamber and the Downtown Northampton Assoc. – A Conversation with Health, Wellness, and Beauty Businesses,” 8-9:30 a.m., 33 Hawley St., Northampton. Join us for a conversation among professionals and business owners within the health, wellness, and beauty sector. This event is part of the Greater Northampton Chamber 2019 Connect Campaign Event Series. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 22: “Social Media in the Workplace” with Daniel Carr of Royal, P.C., 8:30-9:30 a.m., hosted by Greater Northampton Chamber, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Join us for a workshop in the Greater Northampton Chamber 2019 Connect Campaign Event Series. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 24: “Marketing and Advertising: What Works and What Doesn’t?” 8-9 a.m., hosted by Greater Northampton Chamber, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Join Joe O’Rourke of Northampton Radio Group for an informative talk on what works and what doesn’t in marketing and advertising. This event is part of the Greater Northampton Chamber 2019 Connect Campaign Event Series. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 28: “Nonprofit Resource Roundtable with Jenny Ladd: Fundraising as Program, Program as Fundraising,” noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by the Garden House at Look Memorial Park. How can our fundraising be a form of our programming, and how can programming be part of fundraising? All too often, the person, people, or department doing fundraising are off in a corner separate from the programmatic workings of a nonprofit. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 29: “Health Connector for Small Business,” noon to 1 p.m., hosted by Greater Northampton Chamber, 33 Hawley St., Northampton. Join us for an informative session with Rich Cahillane of American Benefits Group and Chaitra Sanders, account manager for the Health Connector for Business Distribution Channel. This event is part of the Greater Northampton Chamber 2019 Connect Campaign Event Series. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.westfieldbiz.org
(413) 568-1618

• Oct. 17: Lunch & Learn: Hemp CBD Educational Seminar, 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Western Massachusetts Hospital, 91 East Mountain Road, Westfield. Presented by Kathleen Angco-Vieweg of Rehab Resolutions. This workshop is for everyone interested in learning basic information regarding CBD oil, the difference between hemp and marijuana, benefits of CBD oil, and what CBD oil can help with. Lunch provided by Peppermill Catering. Cost: free for members, $40 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Oct. 21: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by East Mountain Country Club, 1458 East Mountain Road, Westfield. The event will include a cash bar, refreshments, and a 50/50 raffle to benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Cost: free for members. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S CHAMBER
www.springfieldregionalchamber.com
(413) 787-1555

• Oct. 17: Renaissance of Springfield Leadership Forum, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Springfield Museums. Panelists will include female leaders in Springfield who will share their visions and contributions to the current Springfield renaissance. Kay Simpson, president of Springfield Museums, will moderate the panel. Cost: $35 for members, $40 for non-members. To register, e-mail [email protected]

SOUTH HADLEY & GRANBY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.shgchamber.com
(413) 532-6451

• Oct. 17: Business After 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by TD Bank, Newton Street, South Hadley. Network with area businesses and business people. The event will include cider tastings, a cash bar, and light refreshments. Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Register online at shgchamber.com.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER
www.springfieldregionalchamber.com
(413) 787-1555

• Oct. 25: Super 60, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Chez Josef, 176 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam. Cost: $60 for members, $75 general admission. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.ourwrc.com
(413) 426-3880

• Oct. 23: Mingle with the Mayors VIP Luncheon, noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, West Springfield. Join us for an update from the mayors of Agawam and West Springfield over lunch, and mingle with the mayors afterward during this private, VIP event. Seating is limited. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880 or [email protected]

• Nov. 7: Food Fest West, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Springfield Country Club, West Springfield. Local restaurants and eateries show off their cuisine at this well-attended event. Vote for your favorite restaurant. A DJ, raffle, and entertainment will round out this event. Proceeds raised by Food Fest West will go toward the Partnership for Education and the WRC Educational Fund, which provides grants to businesses for on-the-job training and continuing-education needs. Tickets may be purchased online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880 or [email protected]

People on the Move

Jeff Daley

Westmass Area Development Corp. named Jeff Daley CEO of the private, nonprofit development entity. Daley, who was chosen as the result of a search process conducted by the Westmass board, has more than 15 years of experience in the real-estate development arena. Daley is the former executive director of the Westfield Redevelopment Authority and most recently served as the principal of CJC Development Advisors LLC, which he founded in 2016. Daley’s portfolio includes overseeing $60 million in commercial and industrial development and managing $34 million in public development projects. As CEO, Daley will be responsible for management of Westmass, including negotiating corporate acquisitions, land sales, leases, and incentive proposals; grant applications; and marketing resources and development services to organizations and businesses considering investment in the region. Daley will also enhance Westmass offerings regarding development services to communities throughout the region to assist with economic development and real-estate development opportunities. Daley will also evaluate opportunities for new industrial-park development and land acquisition and coordinate federal, state, and local economic-development grants and resources. Daley replaces interim CEO Bryan Nicholas, who served after the sudden passing of former CEO Eric Nelson, who was appointed in 2016.

•••••

Sheila Stamm

Sheila Stamm has joined American International College (AIC) as dean of the School of Education. Stamm is the president of S. Wright & Associates, providing consulting support to academic leaders and faculty in higher education and community sectors. She has an extensive background in higher education, including serving as dean of the School of Education for Cambridge College and Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. Stamm previously served as commissioner of Higher Education for the state of Minnesota. Prior to transitioning to administrative roles in higher education, Stamm was a tenured professor at Hamline University and an associate professor at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Throughout her career, Stamm has been dedicated to community service, with affiliations including the Ramsey County Blue Ribbon Commission on Economic Disparities, the Minnesota Chicano Latino Affairs Council Committee on Educational Disparities, the education workgroup of the African American Leadership Forum, the West Suburban College of Nursing board of trustees, the leadership council of Chicago-Area Deans, and the Urban Teacher Education Program, among numerous other affiliations. Stamm has served on dozens of committees at the colleges where she was a member of the administration or faculty and has extensive publications and presentations to her credit, with a focus on higher education, diversity, inclusion, hiring, teaching, innovation, leadership, and learning.

•••••

Patrick Fortunato

Azaya Inc. named Patrick Fortunato its Business Development manager. In this role, he will lead the sales of IT managed-services support, digital and VoIP business telephone systems, and future security surveillance technologies to serve businesses, the government sector, as well as educational institutions within the state of Massachusetts. Fortunato has more than 20 years of executive management leadership experience, while developing strategic business units in financial services and digital-imaging solutions, for mid-size to large enterprise companies and organizations. He served as national Sales manager for Sharp USA and vice president of Sales while working at Konica Minolta, with U.S. national responsibilities and oversight. Fortunato most recently served as managing director for Global Financial NetworX, LLC with the task of increasing customer acquisition for the company’s lending, insurance, annuities, and investment portfolios.

•••••

Rebecca Mercieri Rivaux

Bacon Wilson announced that attorney Rebecca Mercieri Rivaux has joined the firm. Mercieri Rivaux is an associate and a member of Bacon Wilson’s bankruptcy and business/corporate practice groups. Prior to joining Bacon Wilson, Mercieri Rivaux attended Western New England University School of Law, graduating magna cum laude in 2019. She also obtained her bachelor’s degree from Western New England University, graduating summa cum laude in 2015.

•••••

In the wake of a record number of new homes being built, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) recently welcomed new staff to assist with furthering the agency’s mission. Jason Montgomery joins GSHFH as its Donor Relations manager. He comes to GSHFH with more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit/human-services work and has strong ties in the local community. He has previously served with Habitat for Humanity in Hartford and locally with Way Finders. Also joining the team, Sarah Tanner is now on board for a short term as interim executive director. Tanner is a principal with Financial Development Agency and brings more than 20 years of local nonprofit experience to the affiliate. GSHFH also announced internal promotions and realignments to maximize the agency’s resources. In response to a capacity grant received by Habitat for Humanity International, Jeff Lomma has been named Marketing & Communications manager, with an emphasis on promoting the value of Habitat programming throughout the community. Meanwhile, Mary Olmsted has transitioned from serving as an Americorps volunteer to full-time staff as Volunteer Services coordinator.

•••••

Adrienne Smith

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Adrienne Smith as interim dean of its division of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Smith brings 13 years of community-college experience to HCC, most recently as the dean of the School of Engineering, Technologies, and Mathematics at Springfield Technical Community College. Prior to that, she served as associate professor and coordinator of Electronics Technology at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester. Her professional accomplishments span many areas of academic program development and enhancement, enrollment management and retention, diversity responsiveness, and regional and community partnership coordination. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in science, engineering, and math from Western New England University, where she was the first African-American woman to graduate with a degree in engineering, and she earned a doctorate in education from UMass Amherst with competencies in community-college leadership, educational polices, and administration. A graduate of Springfield Technical High School, Smith started her professional life as an electrical engineer (and the first female engineer) at Digital Equipment Corp. in Springfield.

•••••

Alyssa Arnell

Alyssa Arnell, chair of the History Department at Greenfield Community College (GCC), was awarded the African American Female Professor Award by the African American Female Professor Award Assoc. (AAFPAA) in a ceremony at Bay Path University on Sept. 26. Formerly a history teacher at Dillard University and educational-outreach coordinator and historical interpreter for the National Park Service, Arnell joined the faculty at GCC in 2017. In just two years, she has modernized GCC’s history curriculum, infusing it with a social-justice focus and adding courses such as “The Legal History of American Civil Rights” and “North American Indigenous History.” For many of Arnell’s classes, she has integrated a public history component that brings her classes out of the classroom and to the lobby of the main building, where her students give presentations on their projects throughout the day — a way to let other faculty, staff, and students see the kinds of work her students are engaged in, and see the kinds of research that can happen in a history course. In addition to teaching, Arnell has created programming that reaches beyond the classroom with talks on the removal of confederate statues, a lecture on the life Frederick Douglass, a panel discussion with students about the movie Black Panther, and a conversation on immigrant rights. She also adapted a format of Facilitated Dialogues used by the National Park Service to launch a series of conversations about race and ethnicity at GCC. Arnell is also a core member of Greenfield Community College’s Racial Equity and Justice Institute Team, a part of the Leading for Change Higher Education Diversity Consortium. As part of the Racial Equity and Justice Team, she has worked to learn best practices to support students of color, helped the college identify specific areas where achievement gaps exist, and will continue in the coming year to work to identify specific action steps to try to address those achievement gaps.

•••••

Amy Royal

Amy Royal, owner of Royal, P.C., has been selected as a Super Lawyer for 2019. Providing legal representation in Massachusetts for a variety of different issues, Royal was also selected to Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. Royal represents employers with employment and labor issues. Additional legal issues represented include employment litigation: defense, cannabis law, and alternative dispute resolution.

Company Notebook

Big E Breaks Attendance Record with 1.63 Million Guests

WEST SPRINGFIELD — A record number of visitors attended the 2019 Big E, breaking the Fair’s all-time high attendance figure, with a final tally of 1,629,527. The previous record, of 1,543,470, was set in 2018. During the fair’s run, the all-time ingle-day attendance record was also broken when 176,544 visitors attended on Saturday, Sept. 21. Five additional daily attendance records were set: Sept. 19, 85,698; Sept. 21, 176,544; Sept. 25, 89,124; Sept. 27, 112,988 and Sept. 28, 173,112. “As our event continues to grow, I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we receive, and I want to thank everyone in this region who supports us by attending the Big E,” said Eugene Cassidy, president and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition. “Your support allows our mission of agriculture and education to thrive, to grow, and to have a national impact.”

Bay Path Receives $5M Bequest, Largest in University’s History

LONGMEADOW — Allison Gearing-Kalill, vice president for Development and Planned Giving at Bay Path University, announced that an anonymous donor has made a transformational gift of $5 million through planned giving. The bequest is the largest individual contribution to Bay Path in its history, and honors the donor’s unwavering commitment to the education and advancement of women. Under the terms of the bequest, a fund will be established to support scholarships, endowed faculty chairs, science and technology equipment, and development programs. “I speak on behalf of the entire Bay Path community that we are grateful for this generous bequest given in support of our mission,” said President Carol Leary. “Our benefactor has a strong belief in higher education and is an inspiration for all. Over the years, this person has also contributed to our annual One America trip for students, underwritten Labster — the online virtual laboratory program integrated within the science curriculum at the American Women’s College — and has supported many other initiatives. Our patron has been a champion for women.” A passionate advocate for women’s education, the donor believes strongly that education is the key to creating opportunities and providing career pathways for women at all ages and stages of their lives, and is particularly supportive of the American Women’s College, the first all-women online bachelor’s degree program in the country, Leary added.

Eversource Donates $2,500 to Fund MHA Support Groups for Veterans, LGBTQ Community

SPRINGFIELD — Eversource, New England’s largest energy-delivery company, presented a check for $2,500 to the Mental Health Assoc. (MHA) to fund access for military veterans and members of the LGBTQ community to support groups at MHA’s BestLife Emotional Health & Wellness Center. According to Sara Kendall, vice president of Clinical Operations for MHA, community members and friends can help individuals in a number of ways, but the support provided by a group of people who have had similar experiences is even more powerful. “Through shared experience, a veteran support group helps its members build a healthy, positive lifestyle through participating and understanding,” she said. “Being part of a clinician-facilitated group can help veterans work to overcome obstacles, build working relationships, and support individuals as they learn to self-navigate in the community. The benefits of support groups for individuals who identify as LGBTQ include feeling less lonely, isolated, or judged; gaining a sense of empowerment and control; improving coping skills and sense of adjustment; talking openly and honestly about their feelings; and reducing distress, depression, or anxiety.” For more information on these new support groups, call (844) MHA-WELL.

STCC Awarded $500,000 to Enhance Two Programs

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will apply $500,000 in state funding to enhance programs in health science and electrical engineering technology and better prepare students who are planning careers in these growing industries. Called the Skills Capital Grant, the funding allows STCC to acquire the newest technologies to educate students and expand career education opportunities. STCC will use the grant to boost the two programs by acquiring new medical patient-simulation training equipment, which allows a larger number of students to enroll in the health science program; and robotic arms for the electrical engineering technology program, which will provide hands-on experience on equipment students will encounter in advanced manufacturing facilities. STCC President John Cook said the investment in the programs will help fill a regional demand for trained workers in the fields of healthcare and electrical engineering technology. Christopher Scott, dean of the School of Health & Patient Simulation, noted that the grant will be used for equipment that directly helps students prepare for careers in the healthcare field. Rick Jagodowski, chair of the electrical engineering technology program at STCC, added that the grant will allow his department to provide students experience and training with robots commonly found in the fields of advanced and automated manufacturing.

PeoplesBank Named a ‘Top Corporate Charitable Contributor’

HOLYOKE — The Boston Business Journal has announced the region’s Top Corporate Charitable Contributors, and, for the 12th year in a row, PeoplesBank is among the companies included. Also this month, the bank has been named Best Local Bank for the seventh year and Best Mortgage Lender for the eighth year in the annual Reader Raves survey conducted by the Republican and MassLive. Through the bank’s Community Care Program, it has contributed millions of dollars to local nonprofit organizations that provide services to the residents of Hampden and Hampshire counties. In addition, associates devote an average of 10,000 hours to volunteer work each year to help local schools, teach financial-education classes, clean up parks, plant trees, and help revitalize neighborhoods. The Boston Business Journal’s Top Corporate Charitable Contributors list is composed of companies that gave at least $100,000 to Massachusetts-based charities and social-service nonprofits last year. PeoplesBank will be honored at the annual Reader Raves banquet presented by the Republican and MassLive at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

CDC Designates UMass Amherst a Flu Forecasting Center Of Excellence

AMHERST — A UMass Amherst biostatistician will receive up to $3 million in funding over the next five years from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to operate a UMass-based CDC Influenza Forecasting Center of Excellence, one of two in the nation. Nicholas Reich, associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, whose flu-forecasting collaborative has produced some of the world’s most accurate models in recent years, leads a team that will work closely with the CDC, identifying new methods and data sources to sharpen the accuracy and improve communication of seasonal and pandemic flu forecasts. “We know there are a lot of groups that have done trailblazing work in this field, so it’s really a great honor to be selected,” Reich said. A research group from Carnegie Mellon University, led by Roni Rosenfeld, was chosen as the other CDC Influenza Forecasting Center of Excellence. Rosenfeld’s group has collaborated closely with the Reich Lab at UMass Amherst as part of the FluSight Network, a multi-disciplinary consortium of flu-forecasting teams. Improving the precision of infectious disease forecasting is life-saving work. These new predictive tools could more effectively target the public-health response to a potential flu outbreak, helping to determine the timing for flu-vaccine campaigns, potential school closures, and travel restrictions, as well as the allocation of medical supplies and antiviral medications. They could also help hospitals make the most efficient staffing decisions. Reich is aiming to communicate more accessible and user-friendly information to the public, perhaps via a smartphone app. The UMass Amherst Center of Excellence includes collaborators Evan Ray, assistant professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Mount Holyoke College, who completed postdoctoral research at the Reich Lab; Caitlin Rivers, senior associate at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security; Anna Thorner, an infectious-disease specialist and the leader of the biosurveillance research team at UpToDate, an online clinical decision support resource; and BioFire and Quidel, two industry companies that run diagnostic tests for respiratory viruses. The companies serve as data providers for the UMass Center of Excellence, sharing anonymized test results from across the nation. In recent years, flu forecasters have been spreading a wide net for their models, using Google search trends, HealthTweets, and other non-traditional sources of information. Reich’s group uses ensemble methodology, incorporating 21 models in an open platform that shares data and coding to maximize forecasting capabilities. “Pooling the strength of many models together, collaboratively with multiple teams, results in a more consistent and more accurate forecast,” he explained.

Palm Beach Capital Invests in J. Polep Distribution Services

CHICOPEE — Palm Beach Capital Fund III, LP, through one of its investment entities, announced it has made an investment in Consumer Products Distributors, LLC (d/b/a J. Polep Distribution Services) and Rachael’s Food, LLC, collectively one of the nation’s largest full-line wholesale distributors to the convenience- and grocery-store industry. Financial terms were not disclosed. J. Polep has been in the distribution business for more than 120 year, and over the past several years, the company has expanded product lines to include fresh sandwiches, salads, and grocery items and has added programs and value-added services to better service the convenience-store retailer. The success of the company can be attributed to product diversification, dedicated employees, a loyal customer base, and a commitment to superior customer service, said Eric Polep, president and CEO. Mike Schmickle, partner at Palm Beach Capital, noted that his company’s strategy is to invest in solid management teams and assist them in their long-term strategic growth plans.

DBA Certificates

The following business certificates and trade names were issued or renewed during the month of September 2019.

AMHERST

All Around Handyman, LLC
278 Strong St.
Yosef Nimni

Debcor Homecare Inc.
19 Forestedge Road
Deborah Patulak

Made: Cozy
146 Shays St.
Haviland Justice, Oliver Reams

Touchpoints
409 Main St., #256
Katarina Hallonblad

BELCHERTOWN

New England Veterans’ Chamber of Commerce
219 Federal St.
Lisa Ann Ducharme

Relentless Towing & Recovery, LLC
111 Sargent St.
Travis Watts

Station 5 Salon Inc.
5 Jabish St.
Deborah Lowe

Tabs
69 Gold St.
Timothy Banks

TMD Automotive
147 Bay Road
Todd Diederich

CHICOPEE

Dance Party Productions
109 Jean Circle
David Klinkowski

Eric B. LaChapelle
94 Marion St.
Eric LaChapelle

Grid North Outdoors
54 Helen St.
Stephen Gallant

N.J. Sweeney Co.
340B Dale St.
Richard Sweeney

Sazón Latino
129 Broadway
Leonarda Mosquea

EASTHAMPTON

Attack Bear Press
107 Ferry St.
Jason Montgomery, Alexandra Woolner

EmbodyMind Therapeutics
89 Northampton St.
Danielle Martineau

EAST LONGMEADOW

Letourneau and Sons
57 Edmund St.
James Letourneau

O’Neil Baseball
10 Lessard Circle
Matthew O’Neil

PeoplesBank
201 North Main St.
PeoplesBank

White’s
41 Maple St.
Lewis White

GREENFIELD

Adhikara Yoga School
16 Federal St.
Molly Kitchen

Baystate Medical Practices Inc.
48 Sanderson St.
Kristin Delaney

D & D Ventures
161 High St.
Donna Mowry

Franklin Chiropractic Center
77 Mohawk Trail
Jeffrey Denny

JL Martial Arts, LLC
531 Country Club Road
Jeffrey Chaisson

Lawn Service, Etc.
24 Plantation Circle
Michael Terounzo

My Mary Way
44 Chapman St.
Mary Murphy

Smoke Heaven
239 Main St.
SS Dudes, LLC

Sojee Raymond
28 Federal St., Suite 3
Sojeong Raymond

Wicked Good Cleaning
10 Euclid Ave.
Fawn Kuzontkoski

HOLYOKE

Amedeo’s Pizza & Restaurant
8 North Bridge St.
Antonio DiBenedetto

MoBeauty Supply
50 Holyoke St.
Maureen Washington

Subway
330 Main St.
Daisy Florek

Walgreens #04967
1588 Northampton St.
Walgreen Eastern Co. Inc.

LONGMEADOW

Abracadabra Painting
189 Englewood Road
Bryan Kennedy

Armata’s
901 Shaker Road
Good Food People Inc.

Dandelion Counseling, PLLC
734 Longmeadow St.
Bonnie Connell

Gianna Brassill
945 Shaker Road
Gianna Brassill

LUDLOW

Lavoie Family Chiropractic
733 Chapin St., Suite 200C
Christopher Lavoie

Marta Law Offices
77 Winsor St.
Paulo Marta, Lori Marta

NORTHAMPTON

ARK Dental, LLC
41 Locust St.
Ali Kasemkhani

Bang Bang Body Arts
7 Armory St.
Tiffany Matrone

H2H
260 Main St.
Thomas Rozene

The Hempest
2 Conz St.
Northampton Enterprises Inc.

Hiffman National, LLC
766 North King St.
Hiffman Asset Management, LLC

Life Law Publishing
92 Laurel Park
Matthew Herschler

Lilly’s Restoration, LLC
11 Cedar St.
Dri Klibansky

New England Community for Emotionally Focused Therapy
53 Center St.
Nancy Knudsen

NGK Designs
206 South St.
Nanut Kaye

Symbols & Cymbals
415 Prospect St.
Nerissa Nields-Duffy

PALMER

Palmer Pro Bike Corp.
1438 North Main St.
Jeffrey Soja

Reflexology Inc.
1026 Central St.
Zhanhua Wu

Thorndike Mills and Martin Importing
25 Ware St.
Mitchell Garabedian, Edward Garabedian, Anna Garabedian

SOUTHWICK

ACO Masonry, Heating & Air Conditioning
14 Hillside Road
Adam Quimette

Alison Marie Photography
208 College Highway, Suite H
Alison Alger

William Russell Photography
105 Coes Hill Road
William Gorman Jr.

SPRINGFIELD

Bossibella
112 Victoria St.
Anita Sorrell

Bravo’s Painting & Power Washing
38 Brookline Ave., Apt. 2
Osman Gabino Bravo

Bumpy’s Natural and Organic Foods
908-914 Allen St.
Derryl Gibbs

Cantina Curbside Grill
1242 Main St., Suite 211
Rashad Ali

Casino Island Bar
One MGM Way
Blue Tarp Redevelopment, LLC

Dewdney Enterprises
36 Kimberly Ave.
Anthony Dewdney

Erica’s Tax Services
26 Weymouth St.
Erica Floyd

Four Seasons Buffet
1714 Boston Road
Liyu Qui

Franklin Market
412 Franklin St.
Zahoor Haq

Good Karma Eco-Cleaning
93 West Canton Circle
Holly Paquette

The Greenhouse
170 Lucerne Road
Shavonne Lewis

J & D Polishing & Deburring
33 Mohawk Dr.
Dennis Nelson

Legend TV Co.
34 Front St.
James Cummings

Likkle Jamaican Cuisine
664 Page Blvd.
Caroll Cohen

Liranzo Mini Market
544 Worthington St.
Andrea Liranzo

The Markens Group Inc.
1350 Main St.
Bennett Markens

OneDigital Health and Benefits
1500 Main St.
Digital Insurance, LLC

Plaza Bar
One MGM Way
Blue Tarp Redevelopment, LLC

Raven’s Loft
115 Sumner Ave.
Stephanie Erbe

Savmore Auto Repair
351 East Columbis Ave.
Vladimir Krokhmalyuk

Springfield Diocesan Cemeteries
421 Tinkham Road
Joseph Kostek

WESTFIELD

B-Ton Construction Inc.
120 Mullen Ave.
Olessya Kondrotyev

CBD413
13 Dubois St.
Andrew Carmel

Chris’ Lawncare & More
54 Rosedell Dr.
Christopher Fay

J. Cruz Consulting
137 Whitaker Road
Jose Cruz

J. Goss Construction
12 Glenwood Dr.
Jarrod Goss

L.J. Avionics
1430 Russell Road, Apt. 14
Pablo Marquez

State of Art HVAC
20 Pauline Lane
Dustin Cupak

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Metro by T-Mobile
935 Riverdale St.
Brian Conway

Rite Aid #10061
99 Westfield St.
Michelle Mazzenga

Royal Nails
935 Riverdale St.
Hoang Vo

Speedway #2496
341 Memorial Ave.
Speedway, LLC

Verizon Wireless
1123 Riverdale St.
Karen Shipman

WILBRAHAM

Murray Financial Group
2341 Boston Road, Unit A120A
Kevin Murray

The Scented Garden Gift Shop
2341 Boston Road, Unit A110
Sandra Polom

Agenda

White Lion Harvest Nights

Through Oct. 30: White Lion Brewing’s summer beer garden officially ended on Aug. 31. During the summer months, the downtown beer garden, which occupies a private park in downtown Springfield, offered an eclectic lineup of events and community collaborations, hosting local musicians, food trucks, restaurants, special events, and nonprofit and private companies. Because of continuing demand for such events, White Lion will present Harvest Nights at 1477 Main St. each Wednesday and Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. through Oct. 30. Events will include White Lion Wednesdays, street food Fridays, local musicians and DJs, special evening hookah nights, and a Hop Headz home-brewer collaboration. Follow White Lion Brewing on all social-media platforms for ongoing updates.

Author Talk with Lesléa Newman

Sept. 19: Jewish Family Services will host a presentation by author Lesléa Newman on Thursday, Sept. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. Newman will talk about her journey to become a children’s book writer and present and discuss some of her Jewish children’s books, including Gittel’s Journey: An Ellis Island Story. She will also show a short film titled We Are a Country of Immigrants in which she interviews Phyllis Rubin, her godmother and daughter of the real Gittel. The program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served, and books by the author will be available for purchase. Jewish Family Services’ Community Room is located at 1160 Dickinson St., Springfield (the parking lot is on the Converse Street side).

AAFPAA Awards

Sept. 26: The African American Female Professors Award Assoc. (AAFPAA) will host its third annual awards ceremony at 5:30 p.m. at Bay Path University, 588 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow. The association will salute three professors, as well as present an Alumnae Award and Legacy Award. The keynote speaker is Yves Salomon-Fernandez, president of Greenfield Community College and a staunch advocate for reinventing higher education in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She has been recognized as a thought leader, writing and speaking on issues related to rural innovation, workforce development, and women’s leadership. With her passion for access and equity, she was named one of the “Top 25 Women in Higher Education” by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education in March 2018. Tickets are $20 per person, with half the proceeds going toward the AAFPAA Scholarship Fund.

Source to Sea Cleanup

Sept. 27-28: Registration is now open for the Connecticut River Conservancy’s (CRC) Source to Sea Cleanup. This annual event, now in its 23rd year, has grown into one of the largest river cleanups in the country. There are three ways for volunteers to get involved in the Source to Sea Cleanup this year: report a trash site in need of cleaning, find a nearby cleanup group to join, or organize and register a local cleanup group. For more information or to register, visit www.ctriver.org/cleanup. If your group wants to get involved but needs a cleanup site, if you have questions, or if you know of a trash site in need of cleaning, e-mail Lennard at [email protected] Learn more about the event at www.ctriver.org/cleanup.

Run for the Bar

Sept. 29: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. will hold its sixth annual 5K Run/Walk Race Judicata – A Run for the Bar at Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke. Registration begins at 9 a.m., followed by the start of the event at 11 a.m. Proceeds raised from this year’s event will benefit the Children’s Law Project and the Colonel Archer B. Battista Veterans Scholarship fund. For more information, call the Hampden County Bar Assoc. at (413) 732-4660.

Aeron Chair Hockey Tournament

Oct. 2: In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Lexington Group will host an Aeron chair hockey tournament from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at its showroom located at 380 Union St., West Springfield. For this first-of-its-kind event in New England, Lexington Group has invited players, and their administrative staff, from elite area hockey teams — American International College and UMass Amherst — to battle it out in a friendly competition on the ‘ice.’ The winning team from the first round will play against members of the Springfield Thunderbirds. The tournament will be incorporated into an After 5 networking event, with about 300 business and community professionals expected to attend. The event will help raise funds and awareness for the Foundation for TJO Animals. Admission to the event is complimentary, but registration is required and can be made at lexington-aeronhockey.eventbrite.com. Donations to the Foundation for TJO Animals are appreciated and can be made in advance directly through the foundation’s website, www.tjofoundation.org, or may be made at the event. Sponsors include MP CPAs, St. Germain Investments, Sitterly Movers, and Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel (cup sponsors); bankESB, Behavioral Health Network, Complete Payroll Solutions, Dietz & Co. Architects, Fire Service Group, HUB International New England, Massachusetts Fire Technologies, Mercier Carpet, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, and New England Promotional Marketing (chair sponsors); AIS, Baystate Ob/Gyn, Contract Sources, Excel Dryer, KI, Lexington Group, Paragus IT, People’s United Bank, the Republican, and Westfield Bank (rink sponsors); Go Graphix and Herman Miller (goods sponsors); BusinessWest, ERC5, and West of the River Chamber of Commerce (event partners).

Jazz Brunch

Oct. 6: Tickets are now on sale for the 2019 Northampton Jazz Festival Brunch, a fundraiser to benefit the Jazz Artists in the Schools Program at John F. Kennedy Middle School, which exposes Northampton’s student musicians to the valuable mentorship of professional jazz artists. The DeChamplain Quartet, based out of Hartford, Conn., will perform their gypsy-style music from noon to 2 p.m. with Atla DeChamplain on vocals, Matt DeChamplain on piano, Chris Morrison on guitar, and Matt Dwonszyk on bass. Thanks to donations from the Davis Financial Group of Hadley, the program has been able to offer unique workshops with professional jazz artists to the jazz-band students at JFK and Northampton High School. The jazz brunch will be held at the Delaney House, 3 Country Club Road in Holyoke, starting at 11 a.m. Tickets to the brunch cost $40, and $10 from each purchase will benefit the Davis Financial Group Jazz Artists in the Schools Program at JFK Middle School for the 2019-20 school year. The brunch will wrap up the 2019 Northampton Jazz Festival, set for Friday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 6. The event features three days of live music at various venues in downtown Northampton, including the main-stage act, the Kurt Elling Quintet, which will perform on Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Music. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to donate to the Jazz Artists in the Schools Program, visit northamptonjazzfest.org.

Healthcare Heroes Gala

Oct. 17: The third annual class of Healthcare Heroes will be honored at the Sheraton Springfield from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Healthcare Heroes, a recognition program involving the Western Mass. healthcare sector, was launched in 2017 by HCN and BusinessWest. The program was created to shed a bright light on the outstanding work being done across the broad spectrum of health and wellness services, and the institutions and people providing that care. The class of 2019 was profiled in the Sept. 2 issue of BusinessWest and on businesswest.com. Tickets cost $90 or $900 for a table of 10. To reserve a spot, visit www.businesswest.com/healthcare-heroes-2 or e-mail [email protected] Healthcare Heroes is sponsored by American International College and Baystate Health/Health New England (presenting sponsors), Behavioral Health Network, Comcast Business, and Development Associates (partner sponsors), and Bulkley Richardson, Design to Finish, Elms College, and Keiter Builders (supporting sponsors).

Women of Impact Luncheon

Dec. 4: The keynote speaker for the 2019 Women of Impact luncheon will be Lisa Tanzer, president of Life Is Good. Tanzer has more than 25 years of consumer brand experience. Prior to becoming president, she served as the company’s head of Marketing after spending more than 20 years on the board of directors of the Life is Good Kids Foundation. She’s held executive positions in the entertainment, e-commerce, and education sectors. Earlier in her career, she held marketing and strategy roles at Hasbro, Staples, Gillette, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The 2019 Women of Impact honorees will be announced in the Oct. 14 issue of BusinessWest and feted at a celebration on Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at Sheraton Springfield. Tickets cost $65 per person, or $650 for a table of 10. To purchase tickets, visit www.businesswest.com/women-of-impact or e-mail [email protected] The Women of Impact program is sponsored by Country Bank and TommyCar Auto Group (presenting sponsors), Comcast Business (supporting sponsor), New Valley Bank & Trust (speaker sponsor), and WWLP 22 News/CW Springfield (media sponsor).

Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.

AMHERST

New England RV Rentals Inc., 463 Bay Road, Amherst, MA 01002. Julie Printy, same. RV rental.

CHICOPEE

New England Express Logistics Inc., 172 Prospect St., Chicopee, MA 01013. Lyudmila Kudrya, same. Transportation.

EAST LONGMEADOW

Meadows Health Center, P.C., 40 Crane Ave., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Muhammad Gul, 53 Williamsburg Dr., Longmeadow, MA 01028. Medical office.

HADLEY

New England West Skating Club Inc., 7 Frallo Dr., Hadley, MA 01035. Linda Taylor, 860 Cape St., Ashfield, MA 01330. Providing education, training, and competitive figure-skating opportunities at all levels in order to foster and develop the sport and art of figure skating.

INDIAN ORCHARD

Mass.Scalp Inc., 202 Essex St., Indian Orchard, MA 01151. Lordi Smith, same. Micropigmentation.

LEE

Nejaime’s Enterprises Inc., 245 East Center St., Lee, MA 01238. Fadi Nejaime, same. Food services.

PITTSFIELD

Meadowview Consulting Inc., 216 Eleanor Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Kathleen Phillips, same. Community-based consulting.

SHEFFIELD

Meridian Learning Corp., 674 Rannapo Road, Sheffield, MA 01257. Matt Mervis, same. Education, training, and learning design.

SHELBURNE FALLS

Mohawk Athletic Assoc. Inc., 24 Ashfield Road, c/o Mohawk Trail Regional High School, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370. Brandon Boucias, 51 Upper St., Buckland, MA 01338. Provide financial support for student athletic programs in the Mohawk Regional school district.

SOUTH DEERFIELD

Medicaid Crossing Inc., 158 North Main St., P.O. Box 143, South Deerfield, MA 01373. Patricia Friedman, same. Health-insurance application assistance.

SPRINGFIELD

LOX Foundation Inc., 180 King St., Springfield, MA 01109. Tyra Downie, 195 Hickory St., Springfield, MA 01109. Empowering and engaging youth and community through charity, scholarship, and mentorship.

Master Wireless – JM Inc., 1228 Main St., Springfield, MA 01103. David Kim, 3900 City Ave., Unit A522, Phildelphia, PA 19131. Wireless phones.

Migs Youth Development Inc., 97 Wachusett St., Springfield, MA 01108. Jose Feliciano, same. Help improve quality of life for the youth of Springfield by fostering individual and social health and responsibility, character development, and athletic and academic achievement.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

MN Home Renovation Inc., 101 River St., Apt. 5, West Springfield, MA 01089. Dumitru Moroianu, same. Construction.

WILBRAHAM

Mercieri Inc., 220 Monson Road, Wilbraham, MA 01095. Leonard Mercieri, same. Aerospace quality management system auditor.

DBA Certificates

The following business certificates and trade names were issued or renewed during the month of August 2019.

AMHERST

Amherst Lockworks
145 University Dr., #2455
Derek Lauder

The Cottage Garden
135 Cottage St.
Celia Riahi

Gen10 Associates
1193 South East St.
Michael Wright

Wheelhouse Farm, LLC
383 Main St.
William Van Heuvelen, Jake Mazar

BELCHERTOWN

Another Pair of Eyes
340 Warren Wright Road
Erin Martineau

Arcpoint Brewing Co.
207 Warner St.
Christopher Peterson, Christopher Eldridge

Belchertown Kidz Club, LLC
4 Stadler St.
Daryl Anne Peck

Dragonfly Services
410 Amherst Road
Margaret Adamson-Gour

Gray Craig Farm
11 Jeffrey Lane
Barbara Hastings, Thomas Hastings

CHICOPEE

Elara Caring
450 Memorial Dr.
Medical Resources Home Health Corp.

Fiona’s Spa
1888 Memorial Dr.
Meijuan Zhou, Xinli Quaw

G.G. Grace Delivery
21 Woodland Ave.
Gnobo Gnopo, Ahou Kouakou Gnopo

Kalele Daycare
15 Edgewood Ave.
Nelitza Martinez

OrnANDmeants
80 Billings St.
Amber Deshaies

DEERFIELD

Harvest Health & Recreation
198 Mill Village Road
Suns Mass II, LLC

EASTHAMPTON

Forever Poe
15 Cottage St.
Jeffrey Dahlberg

Z Worker Bees, LLC
14 Russell Lane
Michelle Zimora

EAST LONGMEADOW

Agility Equine Massage
35 Rockingham Circle
Laura Peteros

Dr. Robert Caprile, Chiropractor
181 Maple St.
Robert Caprile

Fashion Warehouz, LLC
95 Somers Road
Olevia Wilson

Hampden County Property Services, LLC
674 North Main St.
Steven Rovithis

Red Falcon Realty Management, LLC
674 North Main St.
Steven Rovithis

Rovithis Realty, LLC
674 North Main St.
Steven Rovithis

Seven Roads Media
674 North Main St.
Steven Rovithis

SR Commercial Realty
674 North Main St.
Steven Rovithis

GREENFIELD

Abramson’s Renovations
111 Beacon St.
Brian Abramson

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar
141 Mohawk Trail
Apple New England, LLC

Auto Trim and Sign
24 Place Terrace
Fred Wheeler

BC Redesign, LLC
59 Meridian St.
Rebecca Crapo

Cohn & Co. Real Estate
117 Main St.
Robert Cohn

Cook Restoration & Construction
908 Bernardston Road
Benton Cook

D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches
68 Mohawk Trail
Landd Corp.

Dollar General Store #14956
369 Federal St.
DG Retail, LLC

Franklin First Federal Credit Union
57 Newton St.
Michelle Dwyer

Greenfield Bicycles Unlimited Inc.
322 High St.
Mary Ellen Perry

Home Body
231 Main St.
Haley Morgan, Eric Hnatow

Marina Pyro
100 Elm St.
Marina Pirozhkov

Sarah M. Frye Mind and Bodywork
246 Davis St., Apt. 2
Sarah Frye

Western Mass. Organic Supply
12 Kenwood St.
Josh Lagreze

HOLYOKE

DeRoy-Olivero, LICSW
37 Myrtle Ave.
Kristi Olivero

Finn’s Ice Cream
2 Fini Road
Dianne Sutherland Fini

My Car
177 High St.
Miguel Carrasco

Quick Stop Food Mart
171 Sargeant St.
Fouzia Nahid Raheel

LUDLOW

Fatima Afonso-Mendes
116 Sewall St.
Fatima Afonso-Mendes

Hub International New England, LLC
564 Center St.
Timothy Marini

NORTHAMPTON

Couple and Family Institute of New England
53 Center St.
Nancy Knudsen

Hampshire Theater Co.
8 Nonotuck St.
Stan Freeman

Institute of Healing Journeys
2 Strong Ave.
Peter Corbett

Kidstuff
90 Maple St.
Stacy Buhl

L & T Respess Books
136 West St.
Linwood Respess

My Virtual Bankruptcy Paralegal
244 Damon Road
Candace Clarke

NewsForKids.net
45 Jackson St.
William Adams

POE Light US
88 King St.
Rob Chambers

Washut & Ware Inc.
17 King St.
Christopher Ware, Alexander Washut

PALMER

Benoit’s Auto
346 Boston Road
Josh Benoit

Enisde Salt Therapy, LLC
1372 Main St.
Denise Pelletier

Finesse Garage
21 Wilbraham St.
Jason Methe

SOUTHWICK

KeenKut Landscaping
146 Vining Hill Road
Lailonnie Keene

Really Cool Electronics
117 Sheep Pasture Road
Jacob Howe

Salon Amici
515 College Highway
Susan D’Amours

Yellow Bear
642 College Highway
Vicki Benford

SPRINGFIELD

AC Consulting and Media
7 Schley St.
Ayanna Crawford

Alicsia O the Salon Inc.
1199 Sumner Ave.
Alicsia O’Connor

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar
1359 Boston Road
Apple New England, LLC

B’s Towing & Recovery
11 Front St.
Branden Stanek

Chuchazo
233 Seymour Ave.
Jose Brito

Court of Bliss
47 Michigan St.
Courtney Sanders

CozyBzzz
2000 Parker St.
Stephanie Burgess

Cummings Remodeling & Floor Covering
34 Front St.
James Cummings

GRP Funding
1350 Main St.
GRP Funding Holdings

Hair Comes the Bride
116 Champlain Ave.
Rachel Newton

Halloween City
356 Cooley St.
Party City

Hiffman International, LLC
55 St. George St.
Hiffman Asset

Human to Human
37 Chestnut St.
Episcopal Diocese of Western Mass.

Luxury Tax Solutions
118 Commonwealth Ave.
Kyara Wiggins

Man Buns
1 MGM Way
Blue Tarp Redevelopment, LLC

Mass Home Remodeling Service
185 Dwight St.
Javier Rosario

NeatCREW Home Services
27 Ames St.
Paul Dyricacz

No Stigma
46 Melha Ave.
Johanna Maldonado

A Touch of Class Barbershop
8 Kendell St.
David Diaz

York Street
1 Federal St.
Michael Mastriani

WESTFIELD

A & Z Auto Repair
23A Orange St.
Farzaan Mufeed

ATG Westfield
910 Southampton Road
ATG Patriot, LLC

Bruce H. Bonsall, LLC
12 Salvatore Dr.
Bruce Bonsall

Eastern Touch Bodywork
83B Main St.
Liyin Zhen

FinishWorks
21 Union St.
RPM Wood Finishes Group Inc.

Gorilla Vapes
121 North Elm St.
Ape Vape Inc.

Island of Flowers
127 Springdale Road
Marina Kostenko

Karen’s Hair Salon
338 Springdale Road
Karen Croteau

MedExpress Urgent Care – Westfield
311 East Main St.
MedExpress Urgent Care, P.C.

Roberts Construction
31 Valley View Dr.
Jeffrey Roberts

Skyline Beer Co.
98 Southwick Road
Skyline Beer Co., LLC

Timothy M. Nalepinski
74 Plantation Circle
Timothy Nalepinski

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Anderson Cleaning Inc.
103 Wayside Ave.
Gomes Anderson

Baystate Family Chiropractic
346 Main St.
Roy Rojas Correa

Debrons Salon
242 Westfield St.
Deborah Scharmann

Manchester Home Improvement
209 Rogers Ave.
Barry Manchester

WILBRAHAM

3D Biomedical
8 Addison Road
Paul Pelletier Jr.

Artsong, LLC
21 Merrill Road
Amy Porchelli

JFI Tile
2 Mohawk St.
John Ingalls