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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 214: May 20, 2024

Editor Joe Bednar talks with Ashley Muspratt and Emily Gaylord

Since its inception in 1976, the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) has been on the cutting edge of big issues like energy efficiency, waste reduction, and, more recently, decarbonization. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks with Ashley Muspratt, president and CEO of the Florence-based Center for EcoTechnology, and Emily Gaylord, the organization’s director of Communications & Relationship Development, about CET’s evolving mission and broad impact, why the organization expects to grow dramatically in the coming years, and how individuals and businesses can take steps to move toward a greener, healthier future. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest.

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Business Talk Podcast

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 213: May 13, 2024

Joe Bednar talks with  Jillian Duclos, executive director of the Northampton Downtown Assoc.

Downtown Northampton has long been a neighborhood in flux — from its renaissance in the 1990s to its reputation as a trendsetter and tourism draw; from its resilience during the pandemic to the construction and road redesign beginning next year. As executive director of the Northampton Downtown Assoc., Jillian Duclos leads a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the cultural and economic vitality of downtown, through a mix of beautification, events, marketing, and advocacy. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, she talks withBusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about the challenges of this important role, and why she’s so passionate about meeting them. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest.

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 212: May 6, 2024

Joe Interviews Kara Bombard, president of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield

If she could redo her 20s, Kara Bombard says she would have become involved with the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield much earlier than she did, because the relationships she has built at YPS — which she currently serves as president — have proven valuable. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks with Bombard about her work at YPS and why the organization is so important 17 years after it was first launched. They also talk about her intriguing role as marketing manager at Performance Foodservice, which helps area restaurants run their businesses more successfully — and her recent selection as one of this year’s 40 Under Forty. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest.

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 211: April 29, 2024

BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks with FCCDC Executive Director John Waite and Communications Director Kate Lawless

Franklin County Community Development Corp. (FCCDC) boasts a long history of stimulating the region’s economy in myriad ways, in particular providing business-development education, access to capital, and commercial office and manufacturing space, and it has done so through a robust array of programs. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks with FCCDC Executive Director John Waite and Communications Director Kate Lawless about how the organization’s mission has evolved with community needs, but the vision of a more vibrant Franklin County economy has not. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest.

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 210: April 22, 2024

George O’Brien Interviews Angela Park, president of Springfield Performing Arts Ventures Inc.

It’s called 52 Sumner. That’s a street address in Springfield, but it’s also an intriguing new addition to the arts landscape in Western Mass. — an event space created in the former Faith United Church, one that opened its doors in January and is off to a very fast start. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, George O’Brien, contributing writer at BusinessWest, talks with Angela Park, president of Springfield Performing Arts Ventures Inc., the nonprofit that manages the venue, about how this stunning transformation of the church came about and how it will not only host different kinds of performances, but also immerse people — and especially young people — in the arts. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 209: April 15, 2024

Joe speaks with Tara Brewster, vice president of Business Development and director of Philanthropy at Greenfield Savings Bank

Tara Brewster has come a long way from her years in the world of men’s clothing. Over the past several years as vice president of Business Development and director of Philanthropy at Greenfield Savings Bank — a role in which no two days are the same, she says — Brewster has only grown her heart for the business community (which she also expresses as host of the Western Mass Business Show on WHMP) while continuing to find impactful ways to serve local nonprofits and community organizations. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, she talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about all of this and more — and how she manages to find balance in a very busy and meaningful life. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 208: April 8, 2024

Joe Bednar talks with Chris Freeman, executive director of Parlor Room Collective

In 1979, the Iron Horse Music Hall opened inside a nondescript storefront on Center Street in Northampton — and launched four decades of music and memories. After it was shuttered a few years ago, the nonprofit Parlor Room Collective decided to not only reopen it, but fix what needed fixing while keeping its intimate model intact. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Parlor Room Collective Executive Director Chris Freeman talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about the challenge of this project, an ongoing campaign to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to complete it, and why live music — and the Iron Horse — are so critical to the cultural life of this city and region. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest.

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Business Talk Podcast

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 207: April 1, 2024

Joe Bednar talks with Delcie Bean, owner of Paragus Strategic I.T.

When BusinessWest celebrates its Difference Makers class of 2024 on April 10, one of the honorees will be Delcie Bean, who has been a fixture in the region’s IT space for the past two decades — and has begun to grow the footprint and reach of his company, Paragus Strategic I.T., well outside it. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks with Bean about that growth plan, how to build and retain an IT workforce, why he transitioned Paragus to a 100% employee-owned model, and the excititing changes ahead in the high-tech world, from VR and automation to AI, and how that will impact businesses of all kinds. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 206: March 25, 2024

BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks with Mary Kay Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau

Mary Kay Wydra

Tourism is critical to the economic energy of Western Mass. — it’s often the first experience people have with the region, and can be a strong factor in whether they want to move or work here. And the annual economic impact of visitors — at tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels, conventions, and events — soars into the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks with Mary Kay Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, about what goes into energizing, promoting, and sustaining this critical sector — as well as the many events and attractions that promise to make 2024 a year to remember. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 205: March 18, 2024

Editor Joe Bednar talks with Sarah Tsitso, executive director of the Forest Park Zoo

Today’s zoos — the best ones, anyway — have come a long way from what they used to be, and the Zoo in Forest Park and Education Center is a prime example, honing over the years its focus on education, conservation, and rehabilitation, and bringing much of that education into the community through its programs. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks with Sarah Tsitso, executive director of the Forest Park Zoo, about her passion for animal welfare, the challenges of funding a year-round operation that’s open to the public for only five months, and how the organization is helping to cultivate the next generation of animal-care professionals — not to mention the next generation of families making new memories together. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 204: March 11, 2024

Joe Interviews Hannah Rechtschaffen, director of the Greenfield Business Association

Hannah Rechtschaffen

Hannah Rechtschaffen has long been passionate about the intersection between the arts, economic growth, and community building, and she’s found a place for all that and much more as director of the Greenfield Business Assoc., which promotes the city and region and works to elevate the local business community. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Hannah talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about the previous career stops that have shaped her work, the challenges of doing business in Massachusetts’ most rural county, but also about the opportunity this region — pocketed by cultural treasures, stunning outdoor recreation, and a vibrant, resilient business community — poses for employers, residents, and visitors alike. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

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Business Talk Podcast

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 203: March 4, 2024

Joe Bednar talks with Curio and Frank Nataloni, owners of Kitchens by Curio

Curio and Frank Nataloni

Fifty years ago, Curio Nataloni was laid off from a construction job and started doing solo kitchen projects. Ten years after he launched that business, his brother, Frank, joined him full-time, and just this past month, Kitchens by Curio celebrated 50 years in business. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Curio and Frank talk with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about surviving and thriving through various economic shifts and the many changes in home renovation over the years, from high-tech advances to the way people shop to evolving tastes in kitchen and bath styles — and also about Curio’s son, Michael, who plans to eventually be the company’s second-generation leader. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 202: February 26, 2024

Joe Interviews HBRAWM Executive Director Andrew Crane

For seven decades, the Home & Garden Show presented by the Home Builders & Remodelers Assoc. of Western Massachusetts (HBRAWM) has been a much-anticipated annual event, where people come to check out what’s new in home improvement, maybe book a project or two, and have fun with friends and family. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, HBRAWM Executive Director Andrew Crane talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about why, even in an online world, people still love to see, touch, and talk about what they want to install in their homes, and why vendors value the show for the way it makes connections … and its impact on their bottom line. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.
 

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

Episode 201: February 19, 2024

Joe talks to Bill Collins, owner of Center Square Grill restaurant

Bill Collins had worked at all levels of the restaurant business, amassing a wealth of experience, when he decided to open Center Square Grill 10 years ago. The decision proved to be a good one, as the East Longmeadow eatery, specializing in creative American cuisine, was an immediate success — but has still faced plenty of challenges along the way, especially during the pandemic. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Bill talks withBusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about what he’s learned over the decades, how to retain a large workforce at a time when many restaurants struggle with that, and what continues to drive his passion. It’smust listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented byBusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 200: February 12, 2024

Joe talks with Mill Town Capital CEO Tim Burke

Tim Burke
Real-estate investment with a purpose can be rewarding in more ways than just the bottom line. Just ask the team at Mill Town Capital in Pittsfield, which has invested in a wide array of projects aimed at rejuvenating local businesses, enhancing recreational amenities, and revitalizing key infrastructure. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Mill Town Capital CEO Tim Burke talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about his passion for his corner of the Berkshires and how the firm’s purposeful work is generating new life and new opportunities for businesses and residents alike. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.
 

Sponsored by:

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Business Talk Podcast

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 199: February 5, 2024

George Interviews Hayley Dunn, 2024 president of the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Road Race

Hayley Dunn

The Holyoke St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Road Race are traditions in the Paper City and across the 413. They are events, but they are much more than that. They bring families and communities together, and they are economic engines — for Holyoke, but also the entire region. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, contributing writer George O’Brien talks with Hayley Dunn, 2024 president of the parade and road race, about all this and much more. They discuss everything from who’s in charge of the weather — the grand marshal — to having the parade on St. Patrick’s Day itself. But mostly, they talk about all that goes into putting these events on, and how the suspense builds in the weeks and days leading up to March 17. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 198: January 29, 2024

Joe Interviews MiraVista Behavioral Health Center’s Shelley Zimmerman, hospital administrator, and Kimberley Lee, chief of Creative Strategy and Development

Shelley Zimmerman and Kimberley Lee

Mental-health awareness is on the rise — partly because more people are willing to talk about it, and that’s a healthy development. But it’s also because the needs in society are greater too, even as we move further away from an isolating pandemic. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks to MiraVista Behavioral Health Center’s Shelley Zimmerman, hospital administrator, and Kimberley Lee, chief of Creative Strategy and Development, about what the Holyoke facility is doing these days to meet those needs, from reopening its renovated adolescent unit to supporting families in crisis and, yes, continuing to fight the stigma too-often associated with mental health. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 197: January 22, 2024

BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks to Elms College President Harry Dumay

Colleges and universities have had to deal with a host of challenges in recent years, from demographic pressures on enrollment numbers to recovery from a pandemic that challenged the main role of colleges: delivering access to quality education. Elms College has emerged from those years on a mission: to reshape its strategic plan, launch a capital campaign to help implement it, and better prepare students for a changing work world. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks to Elms College President Harry Dumay about these developments, as well as an intriguing regional higher-ed partnership with Springfield Public Schools to improve literacy in area kids. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 196: January 15, 2024

Joe Bednar Talks with president and CEO of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, Rick Sullivan

Rick Sullivan

These are unusual economic times for businesses, with some healthy indicators but also hurdles like persistent inflation, high interest rates, and workforce challenges. As president and CEO of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, Rick Sullivan recognizes those issues but also sees plenty of potential for the region to attract new business, grow promising industries, and continue to build on its strengths in education, innovation, and collaboration. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Rick talks to BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about the current economic tides, what’s happening in the development community, and why there’s plenty of optimism out there, even amid the uncertainty. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 194: January 2024

Joe Interviews Meg Sanders, CEO of Canna Provisions

Meg Sanders

The initial ‘green rush’ is over, and the cannabis industry in Massachusetts faces a host of new challenges, as heightened competition has suppressed prices, driven some shops out of business, and made it difficult for others to survive, let alone thrive. In the meantime, a continued disconnect between federal and state law continues to burden cannabis proprietors with onerous hurdles in the realms of banking, taxation, transportation, and more. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Canna Provisions CEO Meg Sanders talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about where the market in the Bay State is headed, and also about her involvement in a lawsuit against the U.S. government, seeking to block federal enforcement of cannabis prohibition against state-legal activity. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 193: December 26, 2023

George O’Brien Interviews with Garett DiStefano, director of Dining Services at UMass Amherst

Garret DiStefano likes to say that he’s the CFO — that’s chief food officer — at UMass Dining, which has been named the best program in the country eight years running by the Princeton Review. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, contributing writer George O’Brien talks with DiStefano about the many ingredients that go into not just a successful program, but the best program in the country. And also about what it takes to not simply reach the top — something that’s hard enough given the high level of competition from schools across the country — but what it takes to stay there year after year. It’s all must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 192: December 18, 2023

Joe Interviews Vitek Kruta and Lori Divine-Hudson, owners of Gateway City Arts

Since opening Gateway City Arts 12 years ago, Vitek Kruta and Lori Divine-Hudson have seen it blossom into a robust center for the arts, live music, and community, and a true destination in downtown Holyoke. They’ve also seen struggles, especially since the pandemic disrupted the model, with ripple effects continuing today. And now, the Race Street property is for sale. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Vitek and Lori talk with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about their experiences at Gateway City Arts, the emotional decision they’ve made, and why they hope the future owner recognizes and continues their vision. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.
 

Sponsored by:

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 191: December 11, 2023

George O’Brien Interviews John DeVoie, co-founder of the Hot Table chain of panini restaurants

John DeVoie is best known in this region as co-founder of the hugely successful Hot Table chain of panini restaurants. But he is also a driving force in another impactful venture. DeVoie and long-time friend and fellow veteran Jeff St. Jean launched Easy Company Brewing, which pays homage to the famed Band of Brothers made famous by the Stephen Ambrose book and HBO miniseries, while also donating all profits to selected agencies that assist veterans. On the next installment of BusinessTalk, contributing writer George O’Brien talks with DeVoie about this inspiring and powerful story that blends history, entrepreneurship, philanthropy … and beer. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 190: December 4, 2023

Joe Bednar Interviews Ashley Batlle, owner of Beauty Batlles Lounge in Chicopee

Ashley Batlle wasn’t sure where she wanted to take her cosmetology degree 20 years ago, but she’s certainly found her place today as owner of Beauty Batlles Lounge in Chicopee, a cutting-edge spa that aims to build clients’ self-confidence by making them look and feel their best. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Ashley talks withBusinessWestEditor Joe Bednar about the growth of Beauty Batlles since its 2018 opening; its recent move to a larger space, allowing her to expand into more wellness services, including cryotherapy; and the many ways in which she uses her platform to support and uplift her community. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 189: November 27, 2023

Joe Bednar Talks to Local Entrepreneur Myke Connolly

Myke Connolly says he learned marketing at age 9, reselling candy to classmates in the Bahamas. As an adult, his entrepreneurial spirit and belief in the value of hard work have led him into many ventures, from Stinky Cakes — which turned diapers into gifts for new parents — to a business training and networking entity called Marketing and Cupcakes, to a rolling electronic billboard called Stand Out Truck. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Myke talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about what’s next for his enterprises, how he’s been impacted by mentors and strives to do the same for other aspiring entrepreneurs, and much more. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 188: November 20, 2023

Joe Bednar Interviews the owner of Ohana School of Performing Arts, Ashley Kohl

It’s no wonder Ashley Kohl has adopted a philosophy of author Gabby Bernstein: “obstacles are detours in the right direction.” Because Ashley, the owner of Ohana School of Performing Arts, has encountered more than her fair share of obstacles. But by turning them into triumph, she’s created a growing space for people of all ages and abilities to discover dance — and themselves — in a safe, uplifting environment. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Ashley talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about her career journey, the importance of creating positive experiences through dance, and where Ohana is headed next. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 187: November 13, 2023

Joe Interviews Tech Foundry CEO Tricia Canavan

Since its launch almost a decade ago, Tech Foundry has trained hundreds of students and partnered with scores of employers across Western Mass. to get people trained for good IT careers and help businesses grow with local talent. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Tech Foundry CEO Tricia Canavan talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about how the organization continues to play a key role in the region’s high-tech ecosystem — and how its new partnership with Holyoke Community College, called Tech Hub, promises to help even more people navigate the digital world and improve their job prospects. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

 

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 186: November 6, 2023

Joe Bednar talks with Meg Talbert, Dakin Humane Society executive director

During the first eight months of 2022, Dakin Humane Society cared for 1,830 animals. During the same eight months of 2023, the number was 3,007. In short, demand for Dakin’s services — which include spay/neuter and parvo clinics, pet food aid, a ‘kitten street team,’ pet-loss support groups, and much more — have, quite simply, exploded. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Dakin’s executive director, Meg Talbert, talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about how the Springfield-based nonprofit is meeting these needs with the help of a dedicated team, hundreds of volunteers, and individual and corporate generosity. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

 

Sponsored by:

Also Available On

Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 185: October 30, 2023

Joe Bednar interviews Maria Rivera, executive director at Hospice of  the Fisher Home

Hospice care has been a great source of comfort to individuals and families facing a difficult time of life, yet not everyone knows exactly what services are available and how they can access them. Maria Rivera has spent more than a decade guiding people through this process at Hospice of the Fisher Home, including the past three years as its executive director. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, she talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about the importance of hospice care at a time when the population is aging, why this work is so personally gratifying to her, and why she’s excited about a capital campaign to raise funds to meet some critical needs. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented byBusinessWestand sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 184: October 23, 2023

Joe talks with Jody Hagemann, senior director of Sales Engineering for Comcast Business

Everyone has heard of cybersecurity, but not every business knows exactly what it takes to keep them protected. The most effective defenses not only incorporate the latest technology, but emphasize employee education, training, and plain old common sense to reduce the chances of human error — which is a factor in far too many breaches. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Jody Hagemann, senior director of Sales Engineering for Comcast Business, talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about the multi-pronged strategy Comcast relates to its clients, why more companies are taking data threats seriously — and why they should. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

 

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 183: October 16, 2023

George O’Brien talks with Keith Fairey, president and CEO of Way Finders

The housing crisis gripping Western Massachusetts and most of the Bay State has deep roots and a broad impact, affecting everything from homelessness in area communities to the region’s ability to effectively compete with other states and regions for talent and jobs. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Keith Fairey, president and CEO of Way Finders, talks with writer George O’Brien about how we got here, how the crisis has impacted area communities, and how the region recovers from decades of underinvestment in new housing in nearly all categories. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 182: October 9, 2023

Joe Bednar Interviews Carl Mercieri, vice president of Marois Construction

Carl Mercieri

The 50th anniversary of any business is a notable milestone, and Marois Construction not only celebrated that achievement last year, but recorded one of its strongest years in memory. The firm’s work — in a variety of sectors, both public and private — continues steadily in 2023, despite ongoing industry challenges ranging from inflation to supply uncertainty; from workforce shortages to a lot of wet weather in Western Mass. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Carl Mercieri, vice president of the South Hadley-based company, talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about how Marois has navigated these challenges while continuing to make its mark on the region in its second half-century. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 181: October 2, 2023

George Interviews Dr. Mark Kenton, chief of Emergency Medicine at Mercy Medical Center

Dr. Mark Kenton has seen it all during a long career in emergency medicine, from the fast pace and constant challenge of daily cases to a pandemic that sorely tested emergency departments in unprecedented ways. Through all of it, he says effective care, especially of individuals often facing the worst days of their lives, begins with listening and forging personal connections with patients and their families. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Kenton, chief of Emergency Medicine at Mercy Medical Center, talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about his important work — both inside the ER and often far outside it as an outspoken advocate — for which he has been honored as one of BusinessWest‘s Healthcare Heroes for 2023. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 180: September 25, 2023

Joe Interviews Diana Szynal president and CEO of the Springfield Regional Chamber

After several years leading the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, Diana Szynal took the reins as president and CEO of the Springfield Regional Chamber last summer, and in the year-plus since, she has listened to — and learned from — hundreds of business, government, and economic-development leaders in an effort to ensure the chamber is playing an effective role in the growth and vibrancy of the Greater Springfield economy. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Szynal talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about all this and much more, including some exciting upcoming events, including a reimagined Super 60 that has expanded its categories to recognize a wider variety of businesses and nonprofits. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

 

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 179: September 18, 2023

Joe Interviews Dave Wisseman, the tenth-generation leader of this venerable family farm

What started out as an artistic inspiration more than 20 years ago has become one of the region’s most anticipated fall attractions: Mike’s Maze, a massive, visually striking (at least from above) corn maze at Warner Farm in Sunderland. (This year’s edition is a thoughtful reflection on the growing role of artificial intelligence in society.) The maze has become a significant revenue driver for the farm, a welcome benefit in a year when farmers have faced unusually harsh challenges. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Dave Wisseman, the tenth-generation leader of this venerable family farm, talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about the farm’s rich history, how the mazes are created, how the annual attraction has evolved, and much more. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

 

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 178: September 11, 2023

BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks with Gene Cassidy, president and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition

Staging a 17-day fair on the scale of the Big E is a year-round job, one marked not only by hard work and meticulous planning, but a dose of luck (what’s the weather forecast?). This is an event with plenty of momentum, even after more than a century of bringing food, music, and activities to the masses and raising the profile of the region’s agricultural sector. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Gene Cassidy, president and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition, sits down with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar to talk about last year’s success — five record-setting days! — what’s in store for this year’s edition, which opens Sept. 15; the massive regional economic impact of the Big E; and how to keep things fresh year after year.It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.
 

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 177: September 4, 2023

Joe Bednar talks with Joel Doolin, MiraVista’s executive vice president

At a time when behavioral-health issues, substance misuse, and family and workplace stressors are all on people’s minds, the need for responsive services is higher than ever. MiraVista Behavioral Health Center in Holyoke has been meeting those needs since 2021 with an array of inpatient psychiatric services, outpatient substance recovery programs, and community outreach to educate people about mental wellness and the resources available to achieve it. On the next BusinessTalk episode, BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar talks with Joel Doolin, MiraVista’s executive vice president, about these services, his passion for behavioral health, and why there’s still progress to be made when it comes to talking openly about mental health and overcoming the stigma too often associated with it. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 176: August 28, 2023

BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar sits down with Chris Kelley, MGM Springfield’s president and COO

Many people vividly remember their excitement when MGM Springfield opened its doors five years ago — as well as the early returns, which didn’t meet the lofty expectations casino proponents had laid out, followed by the pandemic shutdown and, later, a halting return to activity. What people might not realize is that the casino’s last three quarters have been its best, while legal sports betting and an impressive recent slate of music and comedy shows bode well for an even stronger future. On the next installment of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar sits down with Chris Kelley, MGM Springfield’s president and COO, about rising expectations, how to continually improve the customer experience, the challenge of maintaining a large workforce, and much more. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 176: August 21, 2023

Joe interviews Amy Chillane, Greenfield’s new Community and Economic Development director

For the past decade, Amy Cahillane has been a key figure in the Northampton community, most notably as the first executive director of the Downtown Northampton Assoc., where she led initiatives to strengthen the vibrancy of the city’s economy and culture. These days, she’s bringing her considerable talents to Greenfield, as that city’s new Community and Economic Development director — and she’s doing so at a time of considerable momentum, challenge, and exciting projects happening downtown. On the next episode of BusinessTalk, Amy talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about her passion for communities, why Greenfield is an attractive place to live and work, and more. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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Business Talk Podcast Special Coverage

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

Go HERE to view all episodes

Episode 175: August 14, 2023

Joe Interviews Dr. Andrew Lam, retinal surgeon with New England Retina Consultants

Dr. Andrew Lam has forged an intriguing dual career. The first is in medicine, as a retinal surgeon with New England Retina Consultants, an attending surgeon at Baystate Medical Center, and an assistant professor of Ophthalmology at UMass Medical School. But he’s also turned his lifelong passion for history into four acclaimed books: two in the realm of historical fiction, and two nonfiction works about the often-surprising lives behind modern medical advances. On the next installment of BusinessTalk, Dr. Lam talks with BusinessWest Editor Joe Bednar about his latest work, The Masters of Medicine, and how he goes about bringing history to life on the page — when he’s not helping patients salvage and improve their sight, that is. It’s must listening, so tune in to BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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