Home Posts tagged Difference Makers Class of 2010
Difference Makers

Event-78-EditMore than 300 people turned out at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke on March 20 for a celebration of the Difference Makers for 2014. The photos on the next several pages capture the essence of the event, which featured entertainment from the Children’s Chorus of Springfield and the Taylor Street Jazz Band, as well as fine food and some poignant comments from the honorees. This year’s class, chosen by the editors and publishers of BusinessWest from dozens of nominations, and seen in a group photo above, are, from left: Paula Moore, founder of the Youth Social Educational Training (YSET) Academy; the Melha Shriners, represented by Potentate William Faust; the Gray House, represented by Executive Director Dena Calvanese; Colleen Loveless, executive director of the Springfield office of Rebuilding Together; and Michael Moriarty, attorney and president of Olde Holyoke Development Corp., chosen for his work with youth literacy.

For more photos go to here

Sponsored By:
DifferenceMakers2014sponsors

Baystate Medical PracticesFirst American Insurance • Health New England • Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.Northwestern Mutual • Royal LLP • Sarat Ford Lincoln • 6 Pt. Creative Works

For reprints contact: Denise Smith Photography / www.denisesmithphotography.com / [email protected]

Difference Maker Colleen Loveless, center, stands with her parents, Jim and Pat Shanley, left, her husband, Donald Loveless, and her daughter, Taylor Loveless, prior to the ceremonies.

Difference Maker Colleen Loveless, center, stands with her parents, Jim and Pat Shanley, left, her husband, Donald Loveless, and her daughter, Taylor Loveless, prior to the ceremonies.

From left, Srs. Jane Morrissey and Cathy Homrok, members of the Sisters of St. Joseph and two of the founders of the Gray House, one of this year’s honorees, with Dena Calvanese, executive director of the Gray House, Leyla Kayi, director of Donor Relations, and Glenn Yarnell, director of Adult Education.

From left, Srs. Jane Morrissey and Cathy Homrok, members of the Sisters of St. Joseph and two of the founders of the Gray House, one of this year’s honorees, with Dena Calvanese, executive director of the Gray House, Leyla Kayi, director of Donor Relations, and Glenn Yarnell, director of Adult Education.

Lynn Ostrowski, director of Brand and Corporate Relations for Health New England, one of the event’s sponsors, with Brian Kivel, right, sales executive for Health New England, and Patrick Ireland, president and founder of Neutral Corner Inc.

Lynn Ostrowski, director of Brand and Corporate Relations for Health New England, one of the event’s sponsors, with Brian Kivel, right, sales executive for Health New England, and Patrick Ireland, president and founder of Neutral Corner Inc.

Carol Katz, member of the Difference Makers Class of 2010, talks with  2014 Diffference Maker Michael Moriarty, director of Olde Holyoke Development Corp., during the event’s VIP hour.

Carol Katz, member of the Difference Makers Class of 2010, talks with 2014 Diffference Maker Michael Moriarty, director of Olde Holyoke Development Corp., during the event’s VIP hour.

Jim Vinick, senior vice president of investments at Moors & Cabot Inc. and member of the Difference Makers Class of 2013, poses with speech pathologist Marjorie Koft, left, and Jane Albert, vice president of development at Baystate Health, another of the event’s sponsors.

Jim Vinick, senior vice president of investments at Moors & Cabot Inc. and member of the Difference Makers Class of 2013, poses with speech pathologist Marjorie Koft, left, and Jane Albert, vice president of development at Baystate Health, another of the event’s sponsors.


Corey Murphy, far right, president of First American Insurance, one of the event sponsors, with, from left, team members Dennis Murphy, document processor, and Edward Murphy, chairman, network with Adam Quenneville, president of Adam Quenneville Roofing and Siding (second from right).

Corey Murphy, far right, president of First American Insurance, one of the event sponsors, with, from left, team members Dennis Murphy, document processor, and Edward Murphy, chairman, network with Adam Quenneville, president of Adam Quenneville Roofing and Siding (second from right).

Kate Kane, left, managing director of the Springfield office of Northwestern Mutual (an event sponsor) and member of the Difference Makers Class of 2009, talks with Cathy Crosky, senior leadership consultant for Charter Oak Consulting Group, and Jeremy Casey, assistant vice president of Commercial Services at Westfield Bank, and president of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, Difference Makers Class of 2009.

Kate Kane, left, managing director of the Springfield office of Northwestern Mutual (an event sponsor) and member of the Difference Makers Class of 2009, talks with Cathy Crosky, senior leadership consultant for Charter Oak Consulting Group, and Jeremy Casey, assistant vice president of Commercial Services at Westfield Bank, and president of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, Difference Makers Class of 2009.

Karina Schrengohst, left, an attorney with Northampton-based Royal LLP, an event sponsor, talks with Crystal Boetang, an intern with the firm.

Karina Schrengohst, left, an attorney with Northampton-based Royal LLP, an event sponsor, talks with Crystal Boetang, an intern with the firm.

Paula Moore, founder of the Youth Social Educational Training (YSET) Academy and 2014 Difference Maker, networks with Robert Perry, a retired partner of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (an event sponsor) and member of the Difference Makers Class of 2011.

Paula Moore, founder of the Youth Social Educational Training (YSET) Academy and 2014 Difference Maker, networks with Robert Perry, a retired partner of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (an event sponsor) and member of the Difference Makers Class of 2011.

Team members of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., an event sponsor, gather prior to the ceremonies to show their support at the event. Front row, from left: John Veit, marketing and recruiting coordinator; Cheryl Fitzgerald, senior manager of Taxation; Brenda Olesuk, director of Operations and Development; and Robert Perry, past honoree and retired partner. Back row, from left: James Barrett, managing partner; Kelly Dawson, manager of Audit and Accounting; Kevin Hines, partner; and James Krupienski, senior manager of Audit and Accounting.

Team members of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., an event sponsor, gather prior to the ceremonies to show their support at the event. Front row, from left: John Veit, marketing and recruiting coordinator; Cheryl Fitzgerald, senior manager of Taxation; Brenda Olesuk, director of Operations and Development; and Robert Perry, past honoree and retired partner. Back row, from left: James Barrett, managing partner; Kelly Dawson, manager of Audit and Accounting; Kevin Hines, partner; and James Krupienski, senior manager of Audit and Accounting.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse takes a few minutes at the podium to welcome the audience to his city and commend Difference Maker Michael Moriarty for his work in the realm of youth literacy in the Paper City.

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse takes a few minutes at the podium to welcome the audience to his city and commend Difference Maker Michael Moriarty for his work in the realm of youth literacy in the Paper City.

Difference Maker Paula Moore, recognized this year for her outstanding work with Springfield’s youth, offers words of inspiration after receiving her award.

Difference Maker Paula Moore, recognized this year for her outstanding work with Springfield’s youth, offers words of inspiration after receiving her award.

Continuing a Difference Makers tradition, the Children’s Chorus of Springfield kicked off the festivities. Led by Wayne Abercrombie, artistic director, the chorus performed three inspiring songs.

Continuing a Difference Makers tradition, the Children’s Chorus of Springfield kicked off the festivities. Led by Wayne Abercrombie, artistic director, the chorus performed three inspiring songs.

Gwen Burke, senior advertising consultant at BusinessWest, talks with Jeff Sarat, general sales manager at Sarat Ford, one of the event’s sponsors.

Gwen Burke, senior advertising consultant at BusinessWest, talks with Jeff Sarat, general sales manager at Sarat Ford, one of the event’s sponsors.

Difference Maker Colleen Loveless, executive director of the Springfield chapter of Rebuilding Together, was recognized this year for her work to help low-income families stay in their homes. Here, she introduces Oscar and Carol Granado, a couple whose home was renovated thanks to the organization.

Difference Maker Colleen Loveless, executive director of the Springfield chapter of Rebuilding Together, was recognized this year for her work to help low-income families stay in their homes. Here, she introduces Oscar and Carol Granado, a couple whose home was renovated thanks to the organization.

The Melha Shriners were recognized as Difference Makers for their commitment to bettering children’s lives, especially through their support of Shriners Hospitals for Children. Here, Potentate William Faust shares some thoughts with the audience after receiving the award on behalf of the organization.

The Melha Shriners were recognized as Difference Makers for their commitment to bettering children’s lives, especially through their support of Shriners Hospitals for Children. Here, Potentate William Faust shares some thoughts with the audience after receiving the award on behalf of the organization.

Michael Moriarty, honored as a Difference Maker for his work in youth literacy, shares his thoughts on that subject after receiving his award.

Michael Moriarty, honored as a Difference Maker for his work in youth literacy, shares his thoughts on that subject after receiving his award.

Meghan Lynch, right, president of Six-Point Creative Works, an event sponsor, networks with, from left, Gwen Burke, senior advertising consultant at BusinessWest; Jeremy Casey, assistant vice president of Commercial Services at Westfield Bank; and Peter Ellis, creative director at DIF Design.

Meghan Lynch, right, president of Six-Point Creative Works, an event sponsor, networks with, from left, Gwen Burke, senior advertising consultant at BusinessWest; Jeremy Casey, assistant vice president of Commercial Services at Westfield Bank; and Peter Ellis, creative director at DIF Design.

Uncategorized
The Difference Makers Class of 2010 Will Be Honored on March 25

The stage is set — sort of.

Details are falling into place for what should be a very special night, when BusinessWest honors its Difference Makers class of 2010. The date? March 25. The place? The Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The time? Things start at 5 and will go till whenever people are done celebrating.

The occasion? Recognizing the talents and many accomplishments of this year’s Difference Makers. They are:

  • The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, to be represented by its executive director, Mary Walachy;
  • Ellen Freyman, shareholder with the Springfield-based law firm Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C.;
  • James Goodwin, president and CEO of the Center for Human Development;
  • Carol Katz, CEO of the Loomis Communities; and
  • UMass Amherst, represented by its chancellor, Robert Holub.
  • To read the stories of these Difference Makers, visit the BusinessWest Web site, www.businessswest.com.

    More than 400 people are expected to turn out for the event, which will feature a networking hour, introductions of the winners, a short speech from each one, some live entertainment, butlered hors d’oeuvres and food stations, and an update on Project Literacy, an endeavor launched by the first class of Difference Makers in 2009, and one that will be continued by the 2010 winners and all future classes.

    This effort, said Kate Campiti, BusinessWest’s associate publisher and advertising manager, was designed to focus attention on the broad issue of literacy and to direct energy and imagination to specific projects to address this critical issue. In 2009, the Difference Makers, working with staff at BusinessWest, collected hundreds of books for the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative through the United Way of the Pioneer Valley.

    In addition, said Campiti, the group drafted a long-range strategic plan for maintaining the focus on this subject and fulfilling a new stated mission: “Creating a Culture of Literacy — One Book at a Time.”

    “It’s really going to be a fun, exciting evening,” Campiti said of the March 25 festivities. “There will be some great networking opportunities, and, of course, we have some wonderful stories to tell.”

    Thus, this is an event with a purpose, said Campiti, adding that the event has been crafted to not only introduce the winners, but to use their stories to inspire others and hopefully create more momentum for the region moving forward.

    This momentum is summed up in what will be an ongoing theme for the Difference Makers event, the so-called Butterfly Effect, said Campiti, referring to the concept that small events (such as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings) can have large, widespread consequences.

    Five area companies have signed on as sponsors for the Difference Makers event: Catugno Reporting/Sten-Tel, Comcast Business Class, Peritus Security Partners, the law firm Royal & Klimczuk, and Sarat Ford/Lincoln Mercury.

    Tickets for the event are $50 each, and tables of 10 are available. For more information or to order tickets, call Melissa Hallock, BusinessWest’s sales and marketing coordinator, at (413) 781-8600 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (413) 781-8600      end_of_the_skype_highlighting, ext. 10; or e-mail[email protected].

    Class of 2010 Difference Makers

    President and CEO of the Center for Human Development

    Jim-Goodwin-StandingJim Goodwin says that too many people, especially some in the business community, look upon human services work as a “drain.”
    As he uttered that word, he paused for a second, as if to convey that maybe it was too strong a term, but then forged ahead, convinced that it wasn’t.

    “They understand that it’s a service, and they see some value in it,” he explained. “But they look at it as an expense, and not as a benefit, not as an investment. They’ll say, ‘I’m glad someone’s doing it, but I wish we didn’t have to pay for it.’ They don’t realize that, in many ways, this is something that benefits their employees, and, therefore, it benefits them as business owners.”

    In many respects, Goodwin’s work as president and CEO of the Springfield-based Center for Human Development (CHD) boils down to changing those perceptions he described. And it is because of his success in convincing others that programs in areas ranging from disability resources to the mentoring of young people; from homelessness prevention to post-incarceration services, are, in fact, investments in the community, Goodwin — and, ostensibly, the 1,300-member team he manages — is a member of the Difference Makers Class of 2010.

    And Goodwin, who has been with CHD for 30 years, or almost from its beginnings in 1972, repeatedly stressed this element of teamwork as he talked about his organization’s work with children, adults, the elderly, the mentally retarded, the mentally ill, and the chemically addicted — or what he called “probably the most downtrodden people out there.”

    Together, members of this team carry out programs that fall into several categories, including:

    • Children & Families, which includes such initiatives as Big Brothers Big Sisters, CASA (court-appointed special advocates), an emergency adolescent shelter, foster care, and many others;

    • Community Resources and Services, including a disability-resource program, an HIV/AIDS law consortium, and occupational-therapy initiatives;

    • Homelessness Prevention, which encompasses a number of programs;

    • Mental Health and Addiction Services, which includes child and adolescent mental-health services, outpatient and behavioral-health services, therapy and counseling, and many other programs; and

    • Social Enterprises, which are entrepreneurial programs, such as A New Leaf flower shop and Riverbend Furniture, that offer real jobs to people with mental illness, developmental disabilities, or histories of trauma, abuse, or addiction that often keep them from working in traditional settings.

    Summing up all of this work within CHD, the largest nonprofit, multi-program human services agency in New England, in a few moments or a few sentences is quite difficult, so Goodwin talked generally about the sum of the dozens of specific programs within the organization.

    He said that, collectively, they help to make people with various physical and mental disabilities productive members of society, and not drains, as they are often perceived. “When you help people to the point where they’re employable, where they can work and get things done, and where they no longer look upon themselves as a burden, everyone’s a winner.”

    This is accomplished — again, in broad terms — by creating what Goodwin described as “hybrid services” a term he would use repeatedly as he talked with BusinessWest, because it is the cornerstone of CDH’s basic operating philosophy.

    And by hybrid, he means a combination of clinical and social services.

    “Today, a successful human-services agency has to be able to operate a continuum that deals with the social issues that people are confronted with, along with the medical issues,” he explained. “If you’re providing counseling, psychiatry, and nursing services to people who don’t have a roof over their heads and don’t have enough to eat, you’re not going to get anywhere.”

    Goodwin, who brings to his work master’s degrees in both psychology and business — a mix he says has proven quite effective — has a number of accomplishments attached to his name and title of CEO at CHD:

    • Fiscally, he’s maintained and improved the financial health of the organization over the past several years, leading the agency to 21% growth and a total surplus of $540,000;

    • He’s overseen the development of a sophisticated database that measures treatment and programmatic outcomes and that serves as a reporting tool to funding sources and stakeholders;

    • He’s developed an electronic quality-assurance system that allows programs and corporate administrative services to provide performance feedback to each other on a monthly basis;

    • He developed supported-housing models in the early 1980s that were duplicated nationally and led to major expansion and distinction for CHD; and

    • Overall, he’s developed an extensive system of creative client businesses that produce high-quality products, teach vocational skills, and provide jobs to hundreds of clients in a rehabilitative atmosphere.

    But he told BusinessWest that what he considers his greatest accomplishments are building CHD into one of the region’s largest, and best, employers — one with a 95% retention rate among management-position holders, a remarkable number in the human-services industry — and ongoing work to take that word ‘drain’ out of the lexicon when it comes to work his team does.

    And the workplace element is vitally important to the equation, he explained, returning, again, to that notion of teamwork.

    “You need a highly motivated workforce,” he explained. “You must create a situation where people are excited about the work, and where they understand how it fits in with improving the society that they live in and the city where they live.”

    As an example of the work CHD does, how it does it, and why this work is so challenging — and frustrating from a funding perspective — Goodwin pointed to an initiative called PACT, or the Program for Assertive Community Treatment. Unfortunately, this is a program for which the state recently cut funding.

    “That’s a program that basically serves people in Springfield and Holyoke who are severely mentally ill and have had tremendous difficulties,” he said. “They’ve been hospitalized many times, incarcerated, that sort of thing, and have been a real strain on the community.

    “This program was set up with a team of workers, including a psychiatrist, nursing staff, a vocational specialist, a housing specialist, peer specialists … and these people take the service into the community,” he continued. “They have kept these people functional and outside the institutions — the hospitals and the jails — at an incredible rate. To keep someone in this program for 365 days a year costs $15,000; without it, these people would have four or five major hospitalizations a year, at a cost of $600 to $800 a day. Anyone can do the math, and that’s how it works with all of our programs.”

    Recognizing the need to become visible within the community and to allow people to more easily answer the question ‘what does CHD do?’ the agency recently hired a marketing firm to create a new profile-raising brand. It includes the tag line, ‘CHD — good people, good work.’

    That’s another way of saying that that this organization — and its long-time CEO — are true Difference Makers.

    —George O’Brien

    Class of 2010 Difference Makers
    Diffrence Makers

    Introducing the Class of 2010Their contributions to the community vary, from work to transform elder care to donations of time, energy, and imagination to a host of nonprofit agencies; from philanthropy that far exceeds grant awards to work to improve the lives of some of the most downtrodden constituencies in our society; from multi-faceted efforts to spur economic development in the region to simply inspiring others to find ways to make an impact. They are the Difference Makers Class of 2010. Their stories are powerful — and compelling.

    The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation
    Ellen Freyman
    Shareholder with Shatz,Schwartz and Fentin, P.C.
    James Goodwin
    President and CEO of the Center for Human Development
    Carol Katz
    Chief Executive Officer of Loomis Communities
    Robert Holub
    UMass Amherst and Chancellor
    Class of 2010 Difference Makers

    Ellen Freyman
    Ellen FreymanShareholder with Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C.

    Ellen Freyman was talking about her family’s work mentoring and tutoring members of a Somali family now residing in Springfield through the help of Jewish Family Services. She spoke proudly of the time and effort that she, her husband, Richard, and sons Neal and Stephen were putting into this initiative, and said she firmly believed they were improving the quality of life for this family of five.

    But she also conveyed a strong sense of frustration and concern that speaks loudly about how she approaches her voluminous work within the community and explains why she’s a member of the Difference Makers Class of 2010.

    The Somalis, who were raised in a refugee camp in Kenya, speak in a patchwork of languages and dialects, and have serious trouble reading and writing in any language, including what amounts to their own, said Freyman. “This makes it even more difficult for people to try and teach English to these kids, because they don’t know what word to use to correlate to what they know,” Freyman explained. “If you say ‘tape recorder,’ they don’t know which word to pull out of what language to say ‘tape recorder’ in Somali, or Kenyan, or whatever.”

    Freyman first met with Springfield teachers and principals, and later with Superintendent Alan Ingram, to discuss the problems facing not only ‘her’ Somali family, but others, as well as young people speaking other languages who are seemingly thrust into classes in the city’s high schools where other students are reading Hamlet and Of Mice and Men. As a result, a task force has been created to assess the problem and recommend possible solutions.

    But that group’s work probably won’t happen soon enough to help of the oldest of the children in the family the Freymans are working with. He’s now 19 (at least that’s the best guess), and he will need literacy skills if he is to get a job.

    Unfortunately, the waiting lists for adult-literacy programs in the area are so long that some people don’t even bother trying to apply. So Freyman, in addition to her one hour a week of mentoring and involvement with that aforementioned task force, is working to find a solution to the literacy-class problem.

    “I’m trying to bring a coalition of people together to work on this, to bring some attention to the problem of adult literacy and to get more classes,” she said, acknowledging that there won’t be any easy answers to this one. “We have resources in the community; people just have to be creative. Things don’t always fit in a box — sometimes you have to figure out how to work outside the box.”

    Being creative and thinking outside the box is how Freyman, a principal with the Springfield-based law firm Shatz Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., goes about her work with a long list of organizations, ranging from the Dunbar Community Center to the Community Music School; from the Springfield Jewish Federation to the Springfield Technical Community College Foundation.

    Her bio on the law firm’s Web site lists more than a dozen nonprofits and initiatives to which Freyman has lent her name and time. But that’s just part of the story. The energy, imagination, and outside-the-box thinking that she takes to not only these assignments, but projects she’s initiated, are other big parts.

    For example, there’s her work to create a group called On Board Inc., which works with area boards to help them achieve not only diversity, but also cultural sensitivity.

    It all started in the early ’90s, or not long after Freyman began her work within the Greater Springfield community with such groups as Jewish Family Services, the Springfield Library & Museums, StageWest, and others.

    “I was able to get on a lot of nonprofit boards, but I came to realize that, with the chambers and business boards and economic councils, many of them weren’t open to women,” she explained. “And it wasn’t because they were keeping women out, it was because they didn’t know women who were qualified to be on these boards.”

    So she collaborated with a few other women to create a name bank of sorts with such qualified women, and then approached banks, hospitals, and other organizations to use that resource when filling seats.

    “We met with various board representatives and nominating committees, and said, ‘we know you want your board to be more diversified, but you just don’t know how to do it, and you don’t know who’s out there.’ We met with college presidents, hospital CEOs, and banks, and within a year we had great success; we had a lot of women on these boards.

    “And very soon after we started, it was our mission to get not just women on these boards, but all non-represented groups,” she continued. “I saw that it wasn’t just women that were absent, but also people of color; boards didn’t look like our community, and they needed to.”

    The work with On Board Inc. exemplifies the approach Freyman says she takes with her work in the community — to look beyond her own basic assignment (attending a meeting or two a month) and to look for ways to, well, make a real difference.

    Returning to her work with the Somalis, for example, she said she’s working together with others to create a soccer team that will compete against other clubs in the region; she’s agreed to be its manager. With an assist from Go FIT founder (and 2009 Difference Maker) Susan Jaye-Kaplan, with whom she runs most mornings, Freyman was able to secure 36 new pairs of cleats from Boston-based Good Sports Inc. She’s also received donations of soccer balls, but she’s looking for help with arranging contests and getting the Somalis to games and practices, either through rides or donations of bicycles.

    In other words, she’s looking for more people willing to think — and work — outside the box.

    That’s part of being a Difference Maker. —George O’Brien

    Class of 2010 Difference Makers

    UMass Amherst and Chancellor
    Robert Holub

    Robert Holub says that, as what’s known as a land-grant institution — one of several dozen colleges and universities created on federally owned land — UMass Amherst has certain responsibilities to meet with regard to this region and its residents.

    Originally, they centered on the teaching of agriculture, science, and engineering, Holub, who became chancellor of the university in the summer of 2008, explained, adding that, over the past century and a half or so, these duties have evolved and now extend beyond the realm of pure academia and into the broad area of economic development.

    In recent years, and particularly since he arrived, the university has been increasingly focused on going beyond what’s been legislated, he continued, and more toward what might be expected (and more) from a school that has 25,000 students and is one of the leading research institutions in the state.

    “We consider ourselves a citizen of Western Mass., and with that, we have special obligations to this region, and we’ve been trying to act on those responsibilities,” he continued, adding that such efforts involve the entire region, but especially the city of Springfield, the unofficial capital of Western Mass. and a municipality that, like many former manufacturing centers, is trying to reinvent itself.

    Efforts to assist Springfield and the region come in a number of forms, and together — coupled with the hope and expectation for more in the future — they have placed the university in the Difference Makers Class of 2010. These initiatives include:

    * The Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute, or PVLSI, a collaborative effort with Baystate Health to fuel growth in a fledgling biosciences sector;
    * A recently announced project to move the university’s Design Center into one of the buildings in Springfield’s Court Square, a relocation expected to help create more vibrancy in the city’s central business district, help existing service businesses, and spur new ones;
    * A planned high-performance computing center in Holyoke, a much-heralded undertaking involving a partnership that includes several other colleges and universities, including MIT and Boston University, as well as private industry. The UMass system as a whole is a lead partner in the project, said Holub, but many of those laying the groundwork for the center are based on the Amherst campus;
    * The Precision Manufacturing Regional Alliance Project being undertaken with the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County and the local chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Assoc. to transfer technology from two departments at the university (Polymer Science and Mechanical and Industrial Engineering) to area precision manufacturers; and
    * Work with the Springfield school system to attract talented students to UMass Amherst with the hope that they will stay in the region and contribute to its growth and prosperity.

    “Instead of giving them fish, we want to give them the fishing pole,” Holub said of the initiative involving Springfield schools, one based on a pilot program now being developed with the city of Chelsea. “We would like to be able to attract the best and brightest students from Springfield to come to UMass Amherst, get an education here, and then go back to their community and assist with development.

    “We are, primarily, an educational institution; that’s what we do best,” he continued. “And we think that establishing a greater pipeline with the city of Springfield will enable us to help that community more than any one single program.”

    Since his arrival, a few months after Domenic Sarno was elected mayor in Springfield, there has been more communication between the university and the city, or what Holub called a true dialogue. And from those discussions came the agreement to create a presence in downtown and, specifically, Court Square.

    “The mayor has engaged us in conversations since I arrived here about the revitalization of Court Square, and we see that as something that’s necessary for the city,” he said. “And we’ve tried to fit in any way we can given the budget constraints we’re facing.”

    The school is already looking at ways to expand and enhance its presence within the city, he added, noting that administrators are looking to possibly move some backroom operations from Amherst and Hadley — where office lease rates are comparatively higher than in most area communities — to Springfield in moves that would help the city while also saving the university some money.

    The importance of efforts to assist Springfield has been underscored by Holub’s move to appoint to John Mullin, dean of UMass Amherst’s graduate school and a regional planner, as ‘point person’ for the broad initiative. His role will be to keep the lines of communication open, make needed connections within the city, and continue the current dialogue.

    “He knows what needs to be done in terms of urban development,” said Holub, adding that Mullin now dedicates a certain amount of time to the Springfield partnership, and his work has helped to move specific projects, ones that provide win-win scenarios, from the drawing board to reality.

    “We’re not a granting agency — we don’t have $2 million that we can just give to Springfield,” he explained. “We have to look for areas in which there’s mutual benefit, and we’ve been able to find quite a few of those.”

    And while Holub is encouraged, and excited, about current efforts taking place in the realm of economic development, region-wide and especially in Springfield, he fully expects the university to expand and diversify such initiatives when the economy improves sufficiently for it to do so.

    “If we didn’t have this severe economic downturn, I certainly believe that we could be doing more than we are,” he explained. “But we are doing things, and they reflect those responsibilities we feel we have to this region.

    “The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as they say,” he continued, “and we’ve tried to do things that are going to bring palpable results for the western part of the state and make some modest investments where we can to back up the talk.

    “And those investments are often less in terms of actual dollars — although, with something like PVLSI, it does take an actual cut out of our budget,” he continued, “and more in terms of people and ideas, and with our own ability to lobby industries and individual companies to come here, and assist with those efforts.”

    Those are the things that might be expected from such a prominent citizen of Western Massachusetts.

    —George O’Brien

    Features

    Those thinking about nominating a group or individual for BusinessWest’s Difference Makers Class of 2010 need to think — and move — quickly.

    The deadline for nominations is Thursday, Dec. 31.

    BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien said a number of nominations have been received to date, involving a number of individuals and organizations who are, in myriad ways, making a difference in the community.

    “We already have many excellent candidates to consider,” said O’Brien. “But there are many more people doing some incredible things who haven’t been nominated, and should be.”

    O’Brien said the nomination form on page 15 is self-explanatory and simple to use, and he encourages readers to use their imagination to identify and then nominate people worthy of the Difference Makers award.

    The inaugural class of Difference Makers included four individuals — Doug Bowen, president and CEO of PeoplesBank; Kate Kane, managing director of the Springfield office of the Northwestern Mutual Financial Group; Susan Jaye-Kaplan, founder of GoFIT and co-founder of Link to Libraries; and Bill Ward, executive director of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County — and one group, the Young Professionals Society of Greater Springfield.

    Together, these honorees represent an excellent cross-section of the types of groups and individuals the program was created to celebrate, said BusinessWest Associate Publisher Kate Campiti, who also urged readers to play an active role in shaping the Class of 2010.

    While nominations continue to come in, details are falling into place for the awards ceremony honoring the next class, she said. The event will be staged at the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House in Holyoke on March 25, beginning at 5 p.m. The celebration will feature live entertainment, heavy hors d’ouevres, and introductions of this year’s winners.

    It will also include an update on an ambitious program called “Creating a Culture of Literacy — One Book at a Time.” It was created last summer at the urging of Ward and others at the Regional Employment Board to focus additional attention on the issue of literacy and its importance to the overall health and well-being of the region.

    The initiative helped collect hundreds of books for the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative, and will be an ongoing concern for future classes of Difference Makers.

    Additional details on the March 25 celebration will be published in upcoming issues of BusinessWest as they become available.

    buy ivermectin for humans buy ivermectin online buy generic cialis buy cialis