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Incorporations

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

BRIMFIELD

Agile Rhythms Inc., 1497 Dunhamtown Brimfield Road, Brimfield, MA 01010. Eric Jaeger, same. Leadership training, process improvements.

FEEDING HILLS

76 Liquors Inc., 228 Coyote Circle, Feeding Hills, MA 01089. Diana Elizabeth Eisenbeiser, same. Retail liquor store.

HUNTINGTON

Animal Control of New England Inc., 266 Goss Hill Road, Huntington, MA 01050. Paul Hewes, same. Animal control.

LONGMEADOW

Alex Freeman Company, 24 Ridge Road, Longmeadow, MA 01106. Alexander G. Freedman, same. Business consulting.

MONTGOMERY

Baystate Concrete Pumping Inc., 37 Main Road, Montgomery, MA 01085. Victor Sinigur, same. Sinigur concrete pumping service.

PITTSFIELD

Berkshire Roots Inc., 100 North St. Suite 405, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Albert S. Wojtkowski, same. Marijuana establishment.

SPRINGFIELD

ACMS Corp., 85 Wait St., Springfield, MA 01104. Robert E. Sullivan, same. General contracting and construction.

Boston Eye Group P.C., One Monarch Place, Suite 310, Springfield, MA 01144. Sam Goldberger, 223 Grant Ave., Newton, MA 02459. Render medical services.

STOCKBRIDGE

Aviva Romm Enterprises Corp., 27 West Alford Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266. Aviva Romm, 630 Main Road, Monterey, MA 01245. Operating a medically oriented writing, speaking and publishing business.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

420 AU Inc., 4 Wilder Terrace, West Springfield, MA 01089. Michael Anthony Skowron, same. Jewelry, retail, advertising, marketing, and communications.

WESTFIELD

5 Star Logistics Inc., 342 Southwick Road, Apt. 135, Westfield, MA 01085. Islam Agayev, same. Long haul trucking.

WILBRAHAM

Brookline Hair Inc., 31 Glenn Dr., Wilbraham, MA 01095. Maria J. Serra, same. Hair salon, day spa, buy and sell body treatments.

Community Spotlight

Community Spotlight

By Joseph Bednar

Mayor Linda Tyer

Mayor Linda Tyer says Pittsfield’s leaders remain focused on the needs of its individual neighborhoods in order to generate economic development.

As part of her annual state-of-the-city address recently, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer praised the arrival of Wayfair — the fastest-growing e-commerce home-décor company in the world — on a number of levels.

Perhaps most importantly, by opening a sales and service center, the company has created 300 new jobs in Pittsfield. Wayfair is also a locally grown success story, founded by Pittsfield High School graduate Niraj Shah. And, Tyer said, Wayfair’s presence signals to other major employers that they can be successful in this city of about 45,000 people in the heart of Berkshire County.

But Wayfair’s arrival speaks to a broader success story as well — that of a city-wide development strategy that’s bearing fruit.

“Wayfair choosing Pittsfield wasn’t happenstance,” she said. “Rather, the foundation was set with the alignment of the city’s economic-development strategy. The city joined forces with the Pittsfield Economic Development Authority and the Pittsfield Economic Revitalization Corporation. Together, we created the ‘red-carpet team,’ the Mayor’s Economic Development Council, and a new position of Business Development manager.”

In their discussions with companies looking to set up shop in Pittsfield, Tyer noted, those entities are touting not only the economic benefits of doing business here, but quality of life. And people are listening.

“We prepared our presentation assuming that Wayfair will want to know what incentives we might be able to offer them,” she explained. “As the first session got underway, Wayfair’s representatives said they’re not yet interested in the financial incentives. They’d rather learn about Pittsfield’s lifestyle, our schools, our neighborhoods. They wanted to make sure that our community culture aligned with Wayfair’s culture.”

Pittsfield at a Glance

Year Incorporated: 1761
Population: 44,737
Area: 42.5 square miles
County: Berkshire
Residential Tax Rate: $19.42
Commercial Tax Rate: $39.94
Median Household Income: $35,655
Median family Income: $46,228
Type of Government: Mayor, City Council
Largest Employers: Berkshire Health Systems; General Dynamics; Petricca Industries Inc.; SABIC Innovative Plastics; Berkshire Bank
* Latest information available

The city’s red-carpet team, made up of city and state officials whose purpose is to develop strategies and explore incentives to support business expansion or startups, has been deployed in myriad cases to help companies move and expand in Pittsfield. Another resource Tyer is excited about is the Berkshire Innovation Center, which broke ground in September at the William Stanley Business Park.

This 20,000-square-foot facility that will support and advance the work of small and medium companies in the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and technology, featuring cutting-edge equipment available to advanced manufacturers for research and development of new products. In partnership with Berkshire Community College, the center will be a place of teaching and learning, creating a pipeline of trained employees that area companies desperately need.

Neighborhoods on the Rise

Meanwhile, Tyer touted a downtown district generating energy through its mix of eateries, boutiques, and urban apartments, not mention a renovation of the historic Beacon Cinema on North Street by new owner Phoenix Theatres, which refreshed the interior, enhanced the seats, and added more showtimes.

“Downtown is Pittsfield’s front porch,” Tyer said. “We must remain watchful, always, to ensure a spirited, vibrant experience for all who live in and visit our city.”

She added that it’s time for the city to build on the successes of the North Street revitalization and focus more attention on the historic Tyler Street artery.

“My grandmother, who just turned 95, grew up on Tyler Street,” the mayor said. “She has fond memories of sitting on the front porch, getting an ice cream, and walking to North Street with her sisters to buy fabric at Newbury’s. Tyler Street can be that again, but with a modern twist.”

Anchored by Berkshire Medical Center, General Dynamics, and the William Stanley Business Park, the neighborhood is ripe for a renaissance, she argued. One development toward that goal is the conversion of the former St. Mary the Morningstar Church to 29 units of market-rate housing, a project that drew on $125,000 in state finding for infrastructure improvements around the building.

In addition, the Baker-Polito administration awarded a $30,000 grant last May to support small businesses in the neighborhood. The funding, Tyer explained, will be applied to Pittsfield’s Storefront Enhancement Program. “This is vital financial assistance for businesses to make façade improvements to boost visibility, attractiveness, and ensure accessibility.”

Work also began last summer on the Tyler Street Streetscape Design Project, which aims to create a curated throughway that addresses the needs of pedestrians and bicycles, improves lighting and landscaping, identifies dedicated bus stops, preserves on-street parking, and elevates public spaces. The completed design work is expected to be unveiled early this year.

Going forward, the city will continue to seek ways to take advantage of private investment in North Street and Tyler Street, both designated as Opportunity Zones, Tyer said. “Alliances with local and state representatives, financial institutions, and developers will spur capital investment and job creation.”

On the public-safety front, the mayor focused on several incidents in the Westside area of town, citing a meeting with neighborhood residents who expressed their fears and shared their ideas on ways to enhance the work of the police department, while they in turn tried to understand police protocols.

One idea — to establish a Police Department community outreach office in Westside — is becoming a reality, she added, thanks to space being offered by Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity in its building on Columbus Avenue.

Meanwhile, a series of high-visibility patrol operations were conducted in November and December. The operation, led by the Police Department’s uniformed patrol and anti-crime unit, brought in reinforcements from the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office, Massachusetts State Police, and the state Alcohol Beverages Control Commission, which, in total, netted 32 arrests, including the seizure of approximately 340 grams of cocaine with an estimated value of $34,000 and a variety of illicit pills.

“While we tackle the complex issue of crime, our Police Department has established a strong philosophy of community policing,” Tyer added, noting that officers have hosted free movie events, back-to-school meet and greets, and other community activities. “All of these interactions create trusting relationships that will endure with our kids, their families, and our police officers.”

Collaborative Efforts

Still, making the community a more desirable one — again, a factor in attracting new business — doesn’t end with public safety. To that end, an LED street-light conversion will be complete by the spring, replacing some 5,300 streetlights in all, with the dual goal of brighter streets and lower utility bills. Meanwhile, the Westside Riverway Park, a new outdoor space along the west branch of the Housatonic River, extends from Wahconah Park to Clapp Park.

“Paying attention to what’s happening within our neighborhoods continues to be a primary focus. And our efforts are paying dividends,” Tyer said, noting that a surging housing market has increased home values in the city. Still, she added, vigilance against blight and decay in neighborhoods remains a priority for her administration.

“We have cataloged about 100 problem properties,” she noted. “The city’s code-enforcement team tries to identify and exercise all viable options. Our objective is always to preserve as much as possible. Sometimes, demolition is the only option. We continuously balance the cost of demotion against the very real gains that come with keeping our city appealing.”

Finally, 2018 was the first year of Community Preservation projects, the mayor noted. Drawing from a 1% surcharge on property values, the endeavor resulted in a $580,000 appropriation of funds for investing in historic resources, open space, and recreation. Eleven projects were funded, including the preservation of the Melville Art and Artifacts collection in the Berkshire Athenaeum, the Arrowhead stone wall, restoration of the Springside House, siting and design for pickleball courts, the turf field at Berkshire Community College, and infield restoration at the Pellerin baseball field.

Meanwhile, she said, local partners continue to support improvements in public spaces. This past year, the pavilion at Durant Park went up thanks to a gift from Greylock Federal Credit Union. A Berkshire Bank contribution facilitated the renovation of the basketball court at Lakewood Park, while the Buddy Pellerin Foundation and the Rotary Club are making significant investments in Clapp Park.

The progress Pittsfield has made on these fronts and others are, of course, a collective effort by myriad agencies, businesses, and individuals, Tyer noted. But she wants her administration to set the tone for growth.

“We cultivate an organizational culture that encompasses shared responsibility, proactive long-term planning, dynamic communication and professional development,” she said. “My philosophy around this is simple: when we make decisions that affect the people that we serve, these principles must be in the forefront of our minds.”

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Opinion

Editorial

Just over a decade ago, BusinessWest launched a new recognition program, Difference Makers. And in many ways, the past 10 years have been a celebration of the many different ways groups and individuals can make a difference in their community, and this region as a whole.

Indeed, those making their way to the podium at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke have included a sheriff of Hampden County, a police chief in Holyoke, the president of UMass Amherst, the founder of Rays of Hope, the director of Junior Achievement, the co-founder of Link to Libraries, the creators of Valley Venture Mentors … the list goes on.

And this year’s additions to that list  provide still more evidence that there are countless ways to make a difference, and they all need to be celebrated:

• Let’s start with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. This Hatfield-based agency, launched in the early ’80s, is a Difference Maker on many levels, from the 11.6 million pounds of food and 9.6 million meals it provides to area shelters and soup kitchens, to its Coalition to End Hunger, which is raising awareness of the problem, attacking the stigma attached to it, and advocating for those in need. For almost 40 years, the Food Bank has been answering the call.

• The same is true of Joe Peters, a businessman who has always had an influence that has extended far beyond the walls of Universal Plastics. It has extended across Chicopee, the city he grew up and still lives in today, with initiatives such as the so-called ‘sandwich ministry,’ a program he helped start to feed the homeless in that city. And it has extended all the way to Guayape, Honduras, where he helped bring a new ambulance to that hurricane-ravaged village. He has always looked for new ways to step in and change lives for the better.

• As has Peter Gagliardi, the long-time president and CEO of Way Finders. He has spent the past 45 years working in the broad realm of housing and the past quarter-century at Way Finders, where he has greatly expanded the mission and, while doing so, has changed lives and helped change the course of entire neighborhoods through the power of collaboration.

• Frederick and Marjorie Hurst have always been catalysts for positive change within their community, especially through the newsmagazine they created called An African American Point of View, a name that speaks volumes about its mission and importance to the community. It blends community news with often-unsparing commentary, and speaks with a powerful voice, just like its founders.

• The Springfield Museums, as a cultural institution, is a different kind of Difference Maker. For more than 160 years, it has helped bring art, science, history, and memories to visitors from across this region and far outside it, a mission that entered a new dimension with the opening of the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in 2017. Collectively, the Museums have helped put Springfield on the map and make it far more of a destination.

• Meanwhile, Carla Cosenzi, co-president of the TommyCar Auto Group, has found her own ways to make a difference. First, as a successful business owner and, therefore, role model and mentor to many young women. But also has a warrior in the battle against cancer, the disease that claimed the life of her father, through the Tommy Cosenzi Driving for the Cure Golf Tournament.

As we said, there are no limits on the ways that an individual or group can make a difference here in Western Massachusetts, or in Guayape, Honduras for that matter. That’s what we’ve been celebrating for the past decade, and the celebration continues with the class of 2019.

Picture This

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

Black Tie Gala

The Assoc. of Black Business and Professionals (ABBP) hosted its third annual Black Tie Gala on Jan. 19 at the Aria Ballroom at the MGM hotel in Springfield. During the gala, the association recognized 10 businesses and professionals were that have contributed significantly to the growth and development of the local black business community. The keynote speaker was Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to the U.S.

Attorney Alesia Days serves as master of ceremonies

Adjei-Barwuah addresses the crowd

Adjei-Barwuah addresses the crowd

Adjei-Barwuah (left) with Jasmine Green, ABBP executive board member

Adjei-Barwuah (left) with Jasmine Green, ABBP executive board member

From left, Jimmy and Toni Hendrix of Smokey Joe’s Cigar Lounge, Lamont Clemens of S-Cel-O Painting, Stefan Davis of I Found Light Against All Odds, Rosemary Tracy Woods of Art for the Soul Gallery, Justin Haynes of Jus10h, Vanessa Hall of Beaute Within, Clarence Thomas of Final Touch Barbershop, and Mychal Connoly of Stinky Cakes

From left, Clemons, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, mayoral aide and ABBP executive board member Darryl Moss, and Lordi Smith of Micro Scalp Clinic.

Open for Business

Florence Bank recently cut the ribbon on its second Hampden County branch, at 1444 Allen St. in Springfield. Bank staff, board members, and corporators were on hand at the ceremony, along with civic leaders.

In the front row, are, from left, Springfield City Councilor Michael Fenton, State Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Florence Bank President and CEO John Heaps, Vice President and Branch Manager Nikki Gleason, board member Mansour Ghalibaf, Area Manager/Vice President Elissa Langevin, corporator Tania Barber, Vice President/Director of Facilities Mark Cavanaugh, and Joanne Gould of the Outerbelt Service Assoc

The branch’s staff: from left, Carolyn Ware, community relations director; Candice Somar, assistant branch manager; Mario Nascimento, customer service representative/senior teller; Nikki Gleason, vice president/branch manager; Magdalis (Maggie) Sierra, customer service representative/senior teller; and Bianca Hyde, customer service representative/teller operations manager

 Sarno (left) greeting Heaps and welcoming Florence Bank into the city.

Sarno (left) greeting Heaps and welcoming Florence Bank into the city.

Model Congress at AIC

The 79th annual Model Congress at American International College, the longest-running continuous model congress of its type in the nation and one of the college’s oldest campus traditions, convened at AIC during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Eleven high schools throughout the Northeast came to campus to write, debate, and pass legislation in a weekend-long simulated congress.

The Best Delegation award was presented to (pictured, from left) Alexandria Barnard-Davignon, Rose McCaffrey, Bridget Bushy, and Michael Scoville from SABIS International Charter School. The Best Bill award was given to Chinaly Chanvong and Jada Ficarra, also from SABIS. McCaffrey was named this year’s top delegate, and will receive the Kathryn Mauke Scholarship, a full four-year tuition scholarship to AIC. Second- and third-place delegates were Althea Brennan and Pamela Mountain, respectively, from Chatham High School in New York, who receive a $10,000 and a $5,000 four-year scholarship to AIC.

Agenda

Nomination Deadline for 40 Under Forty

Through Feb. 15: BusinessWest is currently accepting nominations for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2019. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 15. 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 by visiting www.businesswest.com, clicking on ‘Our Events,’ and then ‘40 Under Forty.’ Nominations will be weighed by a panel of judges. The selected individuals will be profiled in the April 29 issue of BusinessWest and honored at the 40 Under Forty Gala on June 20 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. PeoplesBank will be presenting sponsor of this year’s 40 Under Forty program, and YPS of Greater Springfield is a partner. Additional sponsorships are available.

Application Deadline for Local Farmer Awards

Jan. 31: Farmers in Western Massachusetts are invited to apply for Local Farmer Awards up to $2,500 toward equipment and infrastructure projects to help them complete in the marketplace. The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF), in partnership with Big Y and with the support of other funders, is entering the fifth year of the awards program, which has helped more than 125 farmers carry out a total of 188 projects. The deadline for applying is Jan. 31. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.farmerawards.org for more information. “Big Y has been partnering with and supporting local farmers since we began over 80 years ago,” said Big Y president and CEO Charles D’Amour. “Our partnership with the Grinspoon Foundation provides one more way we help the local growers to thrive in our community.” Some examples of how the awards have been used include a high-efficiency vegetable washer, a walk-in cooler aging room, an egg washer, high tunnel irrigation, electric fencing, and a milkplan bulk tank. “Farmers don’t typically ask for help,” said philanthropist and project founder Harold Grinspoon. “They are genuinely appreciative of these awards and use the money in creative ways for projects to help their businesses.” To be eligible, farms must have gross sales of $10,000 or above and either be a member of Berkshire Grown or Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) or reside in one the four counties of Western Mass. Berkshire Grown and CISA share their passion for local farms by providing ongoing guidance and help with promotion of the Local Farmer Awards.

Free Legal Help Hotline

Feb. 7: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. will hold a Legal Help Hotline in conjunction with Western New England University School of Law from 4 to 7 p.m. at Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. The volunteers will provide legal advice on a variety of topics, including divorce and family law, bankruptcy, business law, landlord/tenant issues, and real estate. Spanish-speaking attorneys will be available. Individuals needing advice should call (413) 796-2057 to speak to a volunteer.

‘DiSC for Sales’ Workshop

Feb. 28: Elms College will host a workshop to help salespeople and business leaders maximize their effectiveness with customers from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Room in the Dooley College Center. The three-hour “DiSC for Sales” workshop, sponsored by the college’s MBA program and the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), will be led by Nancy Davis, Business Development specialist at CEL. DiSC for Sales is a model that supports people in sales roles and helps them to recognize and understand their own unique strengths and style, while also helping them build relationships with clients by learning to read each client and adapt to connect with them better. The model offers a concrete method and practical tools to help businesspeople engage with all personality styles. During the interactive workshop, Davis, a certified DiSC facilitator, will offer educational content, examples, activities, and opportunities for sales-oriented people to recognize customer priorities, what to emphasize to customers, and strategies that work with different personality styles. Prior to the event, participants will take an online assessment and receive a full report. The cost to attend is $199 per person, which includes the workshop and dinner. Space is limited. Register by Friday, Feb. 15 by e-mailing [email protected] For more information, e-mail Davis at [email protected]

Springfield Leadership Institute

Feb. 28 to June 6: The 2019 Springfield Leadership Institute will focus on core management and leadership skills for increasing personal and organizational effectiveness. The practical and applied program will equip participants with the knowledge and skills to take their leadership to the next level. The Institute takes place on Thursdays from 1 to 4:30 p.m., and is directed by Robert Kleine III, dean of the Western New England University College of Business, and Associate Professor Stacie Chappell, who has a strong background in leadership development and consulting to a variety of organizations. The program is supported by the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation. All sessions will be held at the TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main St., Springfield. Sessions will focus on managerial leadership, emotional intelligence and self-awareness, powerful communication, building high-performance teams, and leveraging conflict. Participants will actively explore best practices of leaders; analyze their own leadership, learning, and problem-solving styles; and experience the synergies that result from high-performing teams. The emphasis will be on experiential activities that provide opportunities to identify, develop, and refine skill sets for effective leadership. Participants will have the opportunity to apply and extend their learning through a practice-based team project. The program is designed for aspiring managers, new managers, and professionals interested in increasing their effectiveness and/or expanding their impact within or beyond their current role. Upon successful completion of Leadership 2019, participants will be eligible to enroll in a free graduate course offered through the College of Business at Western New England University (subject to certain requirements). Applications must be received by Thursday, Feb. 14. Tuition is $885 per participant and includes a day trip to Beacon Hill and a graduation dinner. For questions about the program or the application process, e-mail Grace Szydziak at [email protected]

Elms Instant Accept Day at GCC

March 6: The School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Elms College will host an Instant Accept Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the cafeteria at Berkshire Community College, 1350 West St., Pittsfield. Interested students should bring their official transcripts to be considered for admission to bachelor’s degree completion programs in social work or early care and education. Elms College representatives will be on hand to discuss program options, review students’ educational histories, and offer instant acceptance to qualified applicants. In this degree-completion program, classes are held Saturdays on the Berkshire Community College campus, taught by Elms faculty. By completing coursework in 10 eight-week sessions over a 20-month period, students can save thousands of dollars in completing a bachelor’s degree.

‘Building a Company People Crave to Work For’

March 12: The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley is looking for business owners or key managers who would contribute to a presentation called “Building a Company People Crave to Work For.” Several years ago, Jack Stack, father of the Great Game of Business and open-book management, said, “build a great company — because a great company can’t help but make great products.” But what does it take to make a company great? The presentation will be made up of people from businesses with strong policies, attractive cultures, and impressive numbers of high potential employees rising through the ranks. Attendees will hear how they did it, and learn how to adopt anything that would work for their own companies. Get in touch at fambizpv.com.

Difference Makers

March 28: 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 2019 will be announced and profiled in the Feb. 4 issue and feted at the Difference Makers Gala on March 28 at 5 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Tickets are on sale now for $75. To reserve a spot, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected] Event sponsors include presenting sponsor Baystate Health/Health New England, Royal, P.C., Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C., Development Associates, and Viability.

Springfield Art Stop

April 26: The Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP) announced the return of Art Stop, a pop-up gallery/street festival hybrid, from 5 to 8 p.m. The SCP is partnering with venues downtown to open galleries in unexpected spaces simultaneously. Additionally, several existing Springfield art galleries along this year’s route will also participate as stops along the Art Stop. Between the galleries, which will have the typical artist talks and receptions, there will be street performances. Art Stop was designed to activate underutilized community spaces with colorful art, create economic opportunity for artists, and bring communities together. Galleries will all be located in downtown Springfield. Each individual gallery opening will have an reception with the artist on site to both sell and talk about their work. This year, the SCP has also partnered with several downtown restaurants that will offer a discount on food to Art Stop attendees who present their Art Stop ‘passport’ on April 26. The SCP, along with organizing the curation of art in the pop-up spaces, is hiring unique buskers to encourage attendees to walk from place to place. Guides will be strategically placed to guide attendees along the Art Stop route. The performers will showcase an array of dance, music, and entertainment. All locations are within a walkable area.

Picture This

Building New Lives

More than two dozen students were recently recognized for completing a five-month ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) program for Puerto Rican evacuees at Holyoke Community College. The Puerto Rican New Arrivals Program started July 23 and concluded Dec. 20 with a recognition ceremony and feast at HCC’s Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center (PAFEC) in downtown Holyoke. The HCC division of Business and Community Services offered the free ESOL program specifically for residents of Puerto Rico who left the island after Hurricane Maria and relocated to Western Mass.

Maria Crespo Santos and Yamilette Gonzalez Caceres share a moment at the ceremony

Students, faculty, and staff from HCC’s Puerto Rican New Arrivals Program celebrate the completion of the program

Investing in Students

An “Introduction to Fire Science” elective class offered at Ware High School and taught by Ware Fire Department Deputy Chief Edward Wloch — one example of project-based learning at the high school — led to an opportunity to take an EMT-B class at the Holyoke Community College satellite located at the Education to Employment (E2E) site in Ware. Students who finished the high-school elective are now exploring careers in fire science and emergency medicine. Area business partners included Baystate Wing Hospital Corp., which provided a matching grant of $640 that covered half the tuition and textbooks for the EMT course. From left: Michael Moran, president of Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospital; students Valentina Towne, Morgan Orszulak, and Joe Gagnon; Wloch; students Seth Bourdeau, Felicity Dineen, and Jordan Trzpit; and Ware Superintendent of Schools Marlene DiLeo.

From left: Michael Moran, president of Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospital; students Valentina Towne, Morgan Orszulak, and Joe Gagnon; Wloch; students Seth Bourdeau, Felicity Dineen, and Jordan Trzpit; and Ware Superintendent of Schools Marlene DiLeo.

From left: Michael Moran, president of Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospital; students Valentina Towne, Morgan Orszulak, and Joe Gagnon; Wloch; students Seth Bourdeau, Felicity Dineen, and Jordan Trzpit; and Ware Superintendent of Schools Marlene DiLeo.

Another Act of Advocacy


The Advocacy Network, a local organization with a mission to promote and protect the health, human rights, and safety of people with developmental disabilities, recently donated $17,000 to Whole Children. The donation was one of the last acts of the group, which announced it is dissolving after more than 60 years of work. “We’re very pleased to support the programs and staff of Whole Children. We know we found the right place,” said Advocacy Network board member Ed Orzechowski. Whole Children was started in 2004 by a group of parents looking for after-school programs for their children with intellectual disabilities or autism. It joined with Springfield-based Pathlight in 2010 and has expanded to serve some 600 adults, teens, and children each year in a variety of recreation, performing-arts, and enrichment programs.

Launching a New Brand


Consolidated Health Plans (CHP), a Springfield-based accident- and health-insurance Berkshire Hathaway company, recently announced the launch of a new brand name and brand identity for three organizations: Consolidated Health Plans, Commercial Casualty Insurance Co., and Atlanta International Insurance Co. The organizations will be branded under the marketing name of Wellfleet, and the company names are changing to Wellfleet Group, Wellfleet Insurance Co., and Wellfleet New York Insurance Co., respectively.
Consolidated Health Plans President and CEO, Drew DiGiorgio, right, with company founder Kevin Saremi at CHP’s recent 25th anniversary celebration at the Basketball Hall of Fame. At left: from left, CHP employees Maureen Brunelle, Karen O’Connor, Susan Daley, and Amanda Noel.

Consolidated Health Plans President and CEO, Drew DiGiorgio, right, with company founder Kevin Saremi at CHP’s recent 25th anniversary celebration at the Basketball Hall of Fame. At left: from left, CHP employees Maureen Brunelle, Karen O’Connor, Susan Daley, and Amanda Noel.

Agenda

40 Under Forty Nominations

Through Feb. 15: BusinessWest is currently accepting nominations for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2019. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 15. 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 by visiting www.businesswest.com, clicking on ‘Our Events,’ and then ‘40 Under Forty.’ Nominations will be weighed by a panel of judges. The selected individuals will be profiled in the April 29 issue of BusinessWest and honored at the 40 Under Forty Gala on June 20 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.

‘A Case Study of a Successful Development Project’

Jan. 17: MGM Springfield is a multi-use entertainment, retail, dining, and resort complex that is transforming downtown Springfield. An upcoming seminar presented by the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. will take a case-study approach to examine some of the critical issues that were successfully handled during development and construction. The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at MGM Springfield. The topics to be discussed include land acquisition, consolidation of parcels, and zoning; local and state permitting, including the interplay between the two; the use of G.L. c. 121A, Urban Redevelopment Corporations; coordination with the city of Springfield regarding logistics — access, transportation, and utilities; the nature and structure of contracts to build the complex; and the finished product, including an insider’s tour at the conclusion of the program. A reception will follow this program. Panelists will include attorneys Paul Lane. (program co-chair), Lane McNamara, LLP; Daniel Finnegan (program co-chair), Bulkley, Richardson & Gelinas, LLP; John Drost, Fitzgerald Attorneys at Law, P.C.; Seth Stratton, vice president and legal counsel, MGM Springfield; Jane Mantolesky, Fitzgerald Attorneys at Law, P.C.; and Edward Pikula, city of Springfield Law Department; as well as Brian Packer, vice president of Development, MGM Springfield. For more information and registration fees, visit bit.ly/2Ekx0yK.

Western Mass. Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Banquet

Jan. 31: Justine Siegal, the first female coach in the history of Major League Baseball, will be the keynote speaker for the sixth annual Western Massachusetts Baseball Hall of Fame induction banquet. She will also be inducted as part of the class of 2019, along with Dana LeVangie, Karl Oliveira, Mike Laga, Jim Jachym, Mark Belanger, Candy Cummings, and the 2018 Pittsfield Little League team. The ceremony, hosted by the Valley Blue Sox, will take place at 7 p.m. at La Quinta Inn and Suites, 100 Congress St., Springfield. Siegal is the president and founder of Baseball for All, a nonprofit organization that empowers women to play, coach, and lead in baseball. She earned her doctorate in sport and exercise psychology from Springfield College, where she served as an assistant coach for the baseball team from 2008 to 2010. She also coached youth baseball. In 2009, Siegal became the first female coach of a professional men’s team when she worked as the first-base coach of the Brockton Rox in the independent Canadian American Assoc. of Professional Baseball. In 2011, she became the first woman to throw batting practice to a big league team, the Cleveland Indians. She also has served as a batting-practice pitcher for the Oakland Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, and New York Mets. In October 2015, Oakland invited her to serve a two-week stint as guest instructor in the instructional league in Arizona, making her the first female to coach in the major leagues. Siegal will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2019. This year’s class is the sixth since the inaugural banquet in 2014. Since its inception, 35 individuals and four teams who have represented and served the baseball community of Western Mass. have been honored. Tickets for the banquet are $50, or $450 for a table of 10. Dinner is included, and every guest will receive a pair of tickets to a 2019 Blue Sox home game. To purchase tickets, call (413) 533-1100 or visit valley-blue-sox.ticketleap.com/2019-hof.

‘Building a Company People Crave to Work For’

March 12: The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley is looking for business owners or key managers who would contribute to a presentation called “Building a Company People Crave to Work For.” Several years ago, Jack Stack, father of the Great Game of Business and open-book management, said, “build a great company — because a great company can’t help but make great products.” But what does it take to make a company great? The presentation will be made up of people from businesses with strong policies, attractive cultures, and impressive numbers of high potential employees rising through the ranks. Attendees will hear how they did it, and learn how to adopt anything that would work for their own companies. Get in touch at fambizpv.com.

Incorporations

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

EAST LONGMEADOW

Jenna M. Serra Inc., 36 Frasier Dr., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Jenna M. Serra, same. Applied behavior analysis.

LBH Insurance Inc., 200 North Main St. Suite 7, East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Leon Blake, 21 Oak Grove Ave., Springfield, MA 01109. Insurance sales, services and consulting.

LUDLOW

John A Portelada Electrical Contractor Inc., 168 Lockland Ave., Ludlow, MA 01056. John A. Portelada, same. Electrical contracting.

PITTSFIELD

Marsall Smart Cleaning Inc., 124 E Housatonic St., Apt Back, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Osmar Sales, same. Cleaning and maintenance.

Medialytics Inc. 82 Wendell Ave., Suite 10, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Andrew Waplinger, same. Online software.

SPRINGFIELD

JC Rehab Solutions Inc., 28 Wood End Road, Springfield, MA 01118. Juan Cabrera, same. Asset management.

Laporte Auto Transport Inc., 65 Belmont Ave., Springfield, MA 01108. Carl Laporte, same. Transportation.

Love Nails Inc., 1349 Allen St., Springfield, MA 01118. Chunri Zhao, same. Nail and day spa services.

LT Construction Inc., 18 Fremont St., Apt 1, Springfield, MA 01105. Luis Bano Tixe, same. Construction company.

M & B Tour Inc., 85A Mill St., Springfield, MA 01108. Jian-Hui Li, same. Charter bus.

WESTFIELD

McClellan Construction Inc., 98 Berkshire Dr., Westfield, MA 01085. Donald J. McClellan, same. Commercial construction services.

WILBRAHAM

Law Offices of John F. Soja P.C., 2022 Boston Road, Wilbraham, MA 01095. John F. Soja, same. Law practice.

Briefcase

Opioid-related Overdose Deaths Decrease in Massachusetts

BOSTON — Opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts decreased in the first nine months of 2018 compared to the first nine months of 2017, according to the latest quarterly opioid-related deaths report released recently by the Mass. Department of Public Health (DPH). In the first nine months of 2018, there were a total of 1,518 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths, as compared with 1,538 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths in the first nine months of 2017. This estimated decrease follows a 4% decline between 2016 and 2017. “The opioid epidemic, fueled by an all-time high level of fentanyl, remains a tragic public-health crisis responsible for taking too many lives in Massachusetts,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “While there is much work left for all of us to do, we are encouraged that overdose deaths and opioid prescriptions continue to decline as searches on the Commonwealth’s Prescription Monitoring Program increase.” The latest report also indicates that the powerful synthetic drug fentanyl present in the toxicology of opioid-related overdose deaths continues to rise and reached an all-time high at 90% in the second quarter of 2018. Meanwhile, the rate of heroin or likely heroin present in those deaths continued to plummet. In 2014, heroin or likely heroin was present in 71% of opioid-related deaths; by the second quarter of this year, that number had fallen to 37%. Last month, the Baker administration filed legislation seeking $5 million to support a regional, multi-agency approach to fentanyl interdiction and crime displacement by Massachusetts municipal police departments. The funding will supplement surveillance work and overtime costs for units engaged, and officers in the field will also work to get buyers into treatment. In addition, last April, Baker signed legislation that included a long-overdue ‘fentanyl fix’ to allow law enforcement to pursue fentanyl traffickers.

Five Colleges, PVTA, Towns Agree to Increase Bus Payments

SPRINGFIELD — A proposal by the Five College Consortium to increase its annual payment to the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority by a total of $250,000 over the next four years has been accepted by PVTA and area municipalities. PVTA’s costs are covered with a combination of federal and state subsidies, payments from towns and cities, and passenger fares. Since 1979, Five Colleges has agreed to pay PVTA the town portion of the cost of bus routes that include its campuses. This has been with the understanding that, to encourage bus use, Five College students do not have to pay fares. In recent years, however, the cost of operating buses along Five College routes has expanded beyond what PVTA was charging. When the campuses became aware of the gap last year, the consortium developed a schedule for increasing payments that would provide greater support to PVTA without creating an undue burden for its campuses. Building on the most current charge of $500,000, the agreement has the campuses paying an additional $50,000 each year until total annual payments reach $750,000. The first payment was made in the last fiscal year, and additional payments will be made in each of the coming four years.

Travelers Aid Begins Service at Bradley International Airport

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) and Travelers Aid announced that Travelers Aid International has begun serving the passengers of Bradley International Airport as the operator of the guest-service volunteer program at the airport. Travelers Aid now operates the Information Center in Terminal A on the lower level, which is the baggage-claim level. There are currently 45 volunteers, and Travelers Aid will be recruiting additional volunteers in order to better serve the airport’s passengers. The center’s current hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Mary Kate Doherty, an experienced volunteer manager, has been retained by Travelers Aid to manage and expand the program. Bradley International Airport will be the 18th airport in the Travelers Aid Transportation Network, which also includes four North American railroad stations and a cruise terminal. In the coming months, Travelers Aid will be reaching out to the residents of the region seeking additional volunteers. Doherty said Travelers Aid will be seeking anyone, both students and adults, interested in assisting a traveler with their questions. Anyone interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities should contact Doherty at (860) 500-8582 or [email protected].

ValleyBike Share Touts Inaugural Season Success

SPRINGFIELD — ValleyBike Share recently extended thanks to all users, sponsors, and supporters during its inaugural season. While the system experienced some expected (and unexpected) issues during this year’s startup, users successfully traveled over 88,000 miles together and made the bike-share system a success. People have been using the system instead of their cars for commuting to work and school, running errands, and even just for exercise and fresh air. “We are excited by the enthusiastic response in this first season of bike share, which has exceeded our original ridership projections,” said Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz. “We look forward to Easthampton joining the program next spring and also filling in the gaps in the system to continue expanding this important transportation alternative in the region.” Tim Brennan, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, noted that, since ValleyBike has been in existence, residents and visitors of the five founding communities and UMass Amherst have traveled the equivalent of three and half times around the Earth — “something truly worth celebrating as its inaugural season comes to a close.” As originally programmed, the system shut down completely on Nov. 30 and will be re-opened on April 1 (weather permitting). During the time ValleyBike Share bikes are over-wintering, ValleyBike will be working to fix the issues noted in the startup season to provide the public with new and improved riding opportunities next season.

Monson Savings Bank Seeks Input on Charitable Giving

MONSON — For the ninth year in a row, Monson Savings Bank is asking the community to help plan the bank’s community giving activities by inviting people to vote for the organizations they would like the bank to support during 2019. “Every year, we donate over $125,000 to organizations doing important work in the communities we serve,” said Steve Lowell, president of Monson Savings Bank. “For several years now, we’ve been asking the community for input on which groups they’d like us to support. We’ve been so pleased by how many people inquire each year as to when the voting will begin again and how many people actually participate.” To cast their vote, people can go to www.monsonsavings.bank/about-us/vote-community-giving. On that page, they can see a list of organizations the bank has already supported in 2018 and provide up to three names of groups they’d like the bank to donate to in 2019. The only requirement is that the organizations be nonprofit and providing services in Hampden, Monson, Wilbraham, or Ware. The voting ends at 3 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 31. The bank pledges to support the top 10 vote getters and will announce who they are by the middle of January.

Incorporations

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

BARRE

Ishana Inc., 578 Summer St., Barre, MA 01005. Monil Patel, 4 Ralph Ave., Worcester, MA 01604. Liquor store.

J. D. Poulin Electric Inc., 351 Old Petersham Road, Barre, MA 01005. Jason D. Poulin, same. Electrical contractor.

BELCHERTOWN

Imperial Auto Movers Inc., 6 Fox Run Dr., Belchertown, MA 01007. Dmitry Kuzmenok, same. Trucking.

CHESHIRE

J. Richardson Contracting Inc., 135 Stafford Hill, Cheshire, MA 01225. Jason Richardson, same. General contracting.

EASTHAMPTON

Glenn Building Inc., 18 Ashley Circle, Easthampton, MA 01027. Norman F. Glenn, same. Building construction and renovation.

FEEDING HILLS

HD Painting Pros Inc., 960 Springfield St., Unit 12, Feeding Hills, MA 01030. Jesse James Hester, same. Painting.

LUDLOW

JBP Construction Inc., 157 Carmelinas Circle, Ludlow, MA 01056. Jamie R. Pio, 343 Woodland Circle, Ludlow, MA 01056. Construction services.

STOCKBRIDGE

Here for the Dogs Inc., 6 Shamrock St., Stockbridge, MA 01262. Nicole Jean Bessey, same. Raise awareness to the potential danger of dog collar use and the safe use of dog harnesses.

WARREN

Hardwick Memorial Handbell Choir Inc., 13 Jones St., Warren, MA 01083. Shawna R. Andrews, 1930 Gilbertville Road, New Braintree, MA 01531. Performing and encouraging the Handbell arts in the greater Hardwick community with performances both public and ecumenical.

WESTFIELD

Hearts to Pawz Project Inc., 24 Camelot Lane, Westfield, MA 01085. Terri Kutayli, same. Support local animal shelters.

WILBRAHAM

Gray Hawk Corp., 13 Cottage Ave., Wilbraham, MA 01095. Radu Moraru, same. Construction.