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‘Hospital Hill’ Starts a New Life With a New Name
The coach house

The coach house on the Northampton State Hospital campus.

It’s a site with an intriguing and, in some ways, unfortunate past. But developers have reached a turning point at the former Northampton State Hospital, at which work can begin to create a new future for the sprawling campus — one centered on community and commercial growth.

Hospital Hill, the name given to development on the site of the former Northampton State Hospital on Route 66 in Northampton, can still send shivers up the spine.

It harkens back to a time when the sprawling campus served as a state-run, residential facility for the mentally ill, in its early years referred to as the lunatic asylum.

Hospital Hill’ also lends some intrigue to the original buildings that still stand on the site, resplendent in brick, but strangled by vines and overgrowth.

But now, the property’s developers want to do away with that reputation with a new name that illustrates a vision for the future, not a vestige of the past.

“It’s a new day on the site,” said Richard Henderson, executive vice president for Real Estate with Mass-Development, the state’s finance and development authority, charged with developing most of the state hospital project. “We respect its history, but we certainly don’t want people shuddering.”

The transfer of ownership of the campus and buildings from the state Division of Capital Asset Management to Hospital Hill Development, a partnership of Mass-Development and The Community Builders, was finalized in 2002. The 126-acre site is in now the midst of a multi-tiered redevelopment project that includes 207 residential units, many of them affordable, including 26 single-family homes and 33 units at the newly built Hilltop Apartments, which are fully leased. 476,000 square feet of commercial space is also being developed for retail, light manufacturing, and office use.

But while the development arm of the project bears the common, locally recognized moniker of Hospital Hill, Henderson said otherwise the term is being consciously phased out. “Hospital Hill is not formal. We’ve settled on ‘Village Hill,’ because we’re trying to create a real village feel that is very much a part of Northampton.”

Tear Down the Walls

Part of that rebirth on the site has included the removal of many of its existing buildings, including the largest and most famous landmark, the primary hospital building on the north campus known as ‘Old Main.’

“This is a complex site that was encumbered by a lot of old buildings that were not suitable for new uses,” said Henderson. “We have saved some of them, but most had to come down at great expense, and that certainly is a unique aspect to this project as opposed to many others.”

In fact, he said, demolition of the original buildings was the biggest challenge developers have had to overcome to date.

“The age made them challenging,” he said. “The oldest parts were in poor condition and had started to collapse, and there were asbestos issues in some areas.”

The original buildings that still stand on the site could also pose problems at a later date, he said, but at this time four are slated to remain, including a building that once housed employees, and the south campus portion of the hospital, which, with its wide hallways and small, cell-like rooms, won’t lend itself easily to modern use.

“Certainly, people are attached to the old buildings,” said Henderson. “Some folks in the community wanted to see Old Main stay, and anyone who walks on the campus now sees these beautiful old buildings and would like to believe they could be saved.

“What people need to understand, though, is that they’re extremely difficult to reuse, if at all. Any reuse will depend on market demands, and the ultimate cost of renovations.”

Empty Spaces

Henderson said now, in the wake of several costly demolition projects, it’s not so much what still stands on the site, but rather what isn’t there, that is most notable.

The removal of Old Main, for instance, opened up one of the largest areas on the campus to redevelopment.

“Development on the north campus is the next thing that will be happening,” said Henderson. “And on the south campus, structures have been taken down to construct a road and commercial space.”

He added that the entire site is at a key turning point, at which reuse of the property can begin. It’s an exciting time, he said, but not one without its challenges.

“It’s a complex plan, trying to create a true village where people both live and work,” he said. “Therefore, it’s unlike most developments that are usually residential or commercial. We’re trying to mix the two — some in newly built buildings, and some in old buildings. That said, the site has numerous infrastructure needs on the campus and on the roads surrounding it. But the work that must be done is finally becoming a reality.”

He said the development partners are currently waiting for subdivision approval on the north campus, which is expected later this summer. Once approved, construction will begin on a new road to serve the site’s residential parcels, both those currently completed and those still on the drawing board. Nearby Earle Street will also be rehabbed as part of the project.

As for the residential construction, Henderson said building will be focused first on market-rate housing, including apartments, single-family homes, and townhouses, and as the projects continue to move forward, a mix of market-rate and affordable housing will follow.

To develop a new look and feel on the site, Henderson noted that examples of several architectural styles seen throughout Northampton have been collected, and will be incorporated in varying degrees at Village Hill.

“There are four predominant styles — Colonial, Greek Revival, Victorian, and Craftsman,” he said. “Those styles will be updated for today, but we’re definitely cueing off of and learning from them, and we think incorporating the looks of the town in the project will further strengthen its ties to the community.”

Another Brick

In another effort to strengthen those bonds with the town, Henderson said MassDevelopment and The Community Builders are working closely with Northampton officials and residents to accommodate growth of existing businesses at Village Hill, and also to attract new businesses.

“There is appropriate space for light manufacturing uses on Earle Street,” he said, “and we’d also like to see a variety of commercial uses, including a small amount of retail.”

Teri Anderson, economic development coordinator for Northampton, expounded on the town’s hopes for commercial development at Village Hill, citing a number of industry clusters it will target, including medical devices and instrumentation, technology manufacturing, printing and publishing, and software development.

“Up to 5% of the square footage can be general professional office or retail space,” she said. “This is intended to encourage offices and retail uses that will support the residential and industrial development on the site, rather than compete with other commercial centers in Northampton.”

Further, Anderson said those sectors represent salary ranges and career path benchmarks that are appropriate for the region and its projected growth, and will create an anticipated 400 to 800 new jobs.

The commercial portion of the project is slated to begin this year and, like the residential side of the venture, will continue for several years.

“The anticipated final build-out is about 337,000 square feet of commercial and industrial space,” Anderson said. “The redevelopment of the former state hospital is the largest economic development project in the city at this time. It’s expected to generate almost $500,000 per year in tax revenues for the city annually.”

Henderson added that, despite the long construction schedule, the newly cleared open space and more concrete plans for specific projects have paved the way for a more quickly moving construction phase.

“We’re really poised for the next move,” he said. “We’re waiting for a few things to fall into place on the south campus, but otherwise, this is it — we’re ready to go, and we’re excited.”

The Show Must Go On

In the coming years, some of the challenges developers must face will center on infrastructure concerns, such as roadway construction — six are planned — and the installation of new utilities.

“Marketing is another challenge,” said Henderson, returning to some of the old perceptions of the site and the work underway to change them.

“We’re gearing up now for a marketing and branding strategy for the site that speaks to some of the more exciting aspects of the project. This is a great conceptual plan on a beautiful site — it has breathtaking views, it’s well-located, within walking distance of downtown — and it’s part of a great community.”

And years from now, perhaps, people will say that’s how Village Hill was born.

Jaclyn Stevenson can be reached at[email protected]

Departments

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

AGAWAM

Chris Auto South Inc., 207 Main St., Agawam 01001. Mary Ellen Biscaldi, 115 Granville Road, Southwick 01077. Purchase, sale, and repair of used motor vehicles.

Gavel Homes Sales Inc., 13 Southbridge Dr., Agawam 01001. Michael Werman, 152 Whitaker Road, Westfield 01085. Real estate investment and sales.

AMHERST

Amherst Auto Express Inc., 118 South East St., Amherst 01002. Amir Mikhchi, 18 Foxglove Lane, Amherst 01002. To operate a motor vehicle repair business.

BRIMFIELD

Sharp Trucking Co. Inc., 52 East Hill Road, Brimfield 01010. Shane Michael Bravetti, same. Trucking company local freight delivery.

CHICOPEE

Sal’s Quality Stores Inc., 73 Oakwood St., Chicopee 01020. Shirley Lussier, same. E-commerce retail of general merchandise.

EAST LONGMEADOW

Cook Builders Supply Co. Inc., 6 Old Pasture Dr., East Longmeadow 01028. Michael J. Kane, same. Sales and leasing of building and landscaping supplies, materials, tools, etc.

FLORENCE

Therese Connor Nursing Education Inc., 7 Main St., 1st Floor Left, Florence 01062. Steven James Connor, 93 Allen St., Greenfield 01301. (Nonprofit) To provide scholarships to students pursuing a nursing career and/or to already licensed nurses furthering their education, etc.

GRANVILLE

Home Improvement R Us Inc., 27 Blandford Road, Granville 01034. Scott A. Vogus, same. Home improvement, remodeling and construction.

HADLEY

Haber Brothers Inc., 47 Lawn St., Hadley 01075. James A. Haber, same. Road, bridge, site work, construction, etc.

HOLLAND

Cyber Forensics Security Investigation Inc., 293 Stafford Road, Holland 01521. Thomas Crouse, same. To provide security, forensic, and investigative services for internet users, etc.

 

HOLYOKE

Sanctuary Animal Clinic Inc., 210 Linden St., Holyoke 01040. John Perdrizet, same. Veterinarian services.

HUBBARDSTON

Unique Materials Solutions Inc., 59 Brigham St., Hubbardston 01452. Thomas Colyer, same. Marketing representative for refractory materials.

LUDLOW

JOI Ride Limousine Service Inc., 58 Cady St., Ludlow 01056. Zorana L. Owens-Imbody, same. Limousine service.

MONTGOMERY

D & N Cormier Inc., 78 Pine Ridge Road, Montgomery 01085. Donald C. Cormier, same. Food service and real estate management.

NORTHAMPTON

Living City Properties Inc., 150 Main St., Suite 310, Northampton 01060. T. Wilson Flanders, 7 School St., Shelburne Falls 01370. Real estate ownership and management.

SPRINGFIELD

John B. Stewart, P.C., 126 Dwight Road, Springfield 01108. John B. Stewart, same. The general practice of law.

Top Notch Painters Plus Inc., 84 Commonwealth Ave., Apt. 1R, Springfield 01108. Kevin A. Stringer, same. Professional painting services, interior or exterior.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Bertera Nissan Inc., 499 Riverdale St., West Springfield 01089. Aldo M. Bertera, 162 Forest Ridge Road, West Springfield 01089. The retail sale and service of new or used automobiles, trucks, etc.

Billy’s Malawi Project Inc., 152 Piper Road, West Springfield 01099. Timothy C. Allen, 141 Newton Road, Springfield 01118, (Nonprofit) To provide funds in support of the community of the Village of Cape Maclear (Chembe Village), Malawi, Africa, etc.

WILBRAHAM

Western Mass. Chapter of The Clinical Laboratory Management Association Inc., 111 Bartlett Ave., Wilbraham 01095. Beverly Miller, same. (Nonprofit) To empower laboratory professionals through forward-thinking education, networking and advocacy opportunities, etc.

Sections Supplements
Noted Photojournalist Diana Mara Henry’s B&B Offers a Snapshot of Springfield
Diana Mara Henry

Diana Mara Henry stands at the entrance to her bed and breakfast in the Forest Park section of Springfield.

A bloodhound named Holly recently stole Diana Mara Henry’s heart.

The dog arrived at Henry’s bed and breakfast, Lathrop House in the Forest Park section of Springfield, on a clear summer day with her trainer and a British film crew, which was following Holly on her trek from West Virginia to Massachusetts, where she would make an attempt at becoming a K-9 with the State Police.

“It was our first celebrity canine,” said Henry, an acclaimed photojournalist by trade, whose photos are housed in both the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.

As a photographer, Henry said her eye is trained to find beauty in unexpected places, just as she did in Holly’s droopy, forlorn face.

She also found it in a large home on Sumner Avenue with peeling paint, and within the beleaguered city in which it stands.

Henry said her daughter was readying to attend Miss Hall’s boarding school in Pittsfield, and she wanted to be close enough to see her on weekends and holidays. She was also drawn to Springfield’s vibrant Jewish community and the close proximity to Boston and New York, which would simplify business trips for her ongoing photography business.

“Springfield is a nicer, more cosmopolitan, open-minded city than any other in which I’ve lived, and I speak with some knowledge of other places,” said Henry.

Indeed, she has traveled to countless locales and has called California, Texas, and New York City home during different times in her life.

“When I first came to the area, I thought I might like to live here, and I asked where the bed and breakfasts were in Forest Park,” she added. “I was astounded to find out that there weren’t any. There are so many beautiful houses, and the idea that others might want to visit the area, as I did, spurred the renovations and the move to open a B&B.”

She said the business augments her photography practice, but more importantly allows her to thrive in Springfield, the city of her choosing.

New Beginnings

Henry easily recalls the date she moved into the Lathrop House: Sept. 10, 2001. She said she spent the bulk of that first year making gradual improvements, fixing an antiquated heating system, stripping windows, and refurbishing radiators, one task at a time.

In 2002, Henry moved on to the exterior of the landmark, replacing its roof and repainting in the original ‘painted lady’ shades of rose and cream. In the garden, new plantings were added and a seating area constructed where an above-ground pool once stood.

Work inside continued, including a full sanding and refinishing of the original hardwood floors, re-hanging of stained glass panels, and retiling of the fireplace, among many other tasks.

In December 2003, Henry welcomed her first guest to the newly established B&B, a father traveling from Virginia to Boston with his son, touring colleges. It was only when he was preparing to leave that he revealed he was actually U.S. Rep. Robert Goodlatte of Virginia, by quietly handing Henry his card. She has preserved it on page 1 of her now nearly filled guest book.

“I’m not one who’s prone to fainting,” she joked, “but when I realized who he was, I came close. What a great way to start.”

Since then, business has grown steadily at the Lathrop House. Henry said she’s seen about a 30% increase in bookings each year since she opened, and welcomes guests ranging from business travelers to visiting families to foreign tourists.

“I have a few antique dealers who stay during the Brimfield antique show,” she said, “and a few people who come for the Big E. I think many of our guests are indicative of aspects of Springfield’s economy — parents visiting college students, professors, people changing careers and looking for a fresh start. Some people rent the whole house for a group, attending reunions or graduations.”

Her guests are people (and sometimes pooches) looking for an alternative to more traditional hotel experiences.

“We have a more relaxed atmosphere,” Henry said. “People can come to breakfast in their PJs or stretch out on the couch with a movie and some popcorn … all things you wouldn’t do in a hotel. That’s especially nice for those people who travel a lot —hotels are hard on them. They can make life feel artificial.”

There are modern amenities available at Lathrop House, including wireless Internet access, fax and copy services, in-room refrigerators stocked with soft drinks and snacks, and cable television, but it’s the homespun touches that make it unique.

The Little Things …

Breakfast is served family-style at a rectangular table in the salon. Fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, juice, tea, and coffee dominate the menu. Guests are welcome to invite friends, family, or business associates to the B&B to enjoy breakfast with them at no cost, and also to take advantage of the garden and backyard for small gatherings.

Two short-haired cats, Bobbie and Toesey, serve as concierges, leading guests to their rooms (if they are so inclined). Robes are given as gifts to visitors, and children and pets are welcome (the latter with a few restrictions). The B&B is also kosher.

Each of the rooms is decorated differently, featuring antiques and eclectic pieces, including a number of one-of-a-kind pieces of art from Henry’s collection.

Several of her own photographs — Bella Abzug on the wall, Andy Warhol on the bookcase — grace the common rooms and bedrooms, and French impressionistic originals hang along with flea market finds, gifts from friends and colleagues, and family heirlooms — including a portrait of Henry’s mother that hangs stoically over a twin bed.

“Many bed and breakfasts are taking the posh route, becoming more like boutique hotels,” she said. “This is truly a homestyle B&B with interesting art and Victorian surroundings, but not pretentious. Guests can feel free to order a pizza.”

The house itself also has an intriguing history. Built in 1899, its original owner was real estate developer F.W. Lathrop, who oversaw its construction. The design resembles Southern Colonial most closely, including a double veranda and four two-story-high columns that frame the home’s oak vestibule.

The vestibule opens into the house’s main room, revealing twin staircases that lead to the second and third floors.

Throughout the 20th century, the Lathrop House served as the first home of Temple Sinai, now located on Dickinson Street in Longmeadow, and later as the Lubbavitch Yeshiva Academy.

An art school operated from the house for a time as well, and that artistic feel was maintained when Patrick and Frances Griffin, its immediate past owners, bought the house and lent their own talents to the décor of the home.

Patrick painted murals on the ceiling of a front room called the morning room — big, bulbous clouds on a pale blue sky — and a water and forest scene in the downstairs washroom, and Frances stenciled the kitchen, hallway, and an upstairs billiard room. Those decorations remain today, often serving as conversation pieces among overnight guests.

As the establishment becomes more well-known, Henry said she’d like to increase ‘day use,’ welcoming corporate meetings or retreats and cultural events, such as poetry readings. She’ll continue to blend some modern touches into the house, setting her sights next on installing some flat-screen televisions, but said she will remain true to the home’s unique look, in part by cultivating the spreading garden and sitting area outside.

It’s a good blending of tradition with technology; Henry is able to market her B&B as a slice of history, while still taking advantage of the hospitality industry’s many Web-based tools for exposure. Her Web site,www.dianamarahenry.com/lathrop, includes a directory of things to do in Western Mass. sponsored by the Mass. Office of Travel and Tourism, and many restaurants and attractions have placed reciprocal links on their sites.

In addition, guests can now book directly through travel sitesexpedia.comandhotels.com.

“Relaxation is a part of the draw, but when they’re booking, people still want it done quickly,” Henry said of the developments.

The Big Picture

Guests like Holly, the big, lumbering bloodhound, who trotted quickly to Lathrop House’s front door and settled in easily once she’d checked into her room.

She, too, turned her visit to Springfield into a new life, passing the State Police exam and joining its ranks. There are others in Henry’s guestbook who have done the same, finding new careers and choosing to stay in the area.

Once, the B&B was a sprawling estate with an overgrown backyard. But today, it’s a home away from home.

And for Henry, it’s just home.

Jaclyn Stevenson can be reached at[email protected]

Departments

Friendly Sale Brings Showdown to an End

WILBRAHAM — The board of directors for Friendly Ice Cream Corp. has unanimously approved a sale of the chain to a division of the private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc., a move that will head off a proxy battle showdown and end a bitter lawsuit filed by the company’s cofounder that accused the current chairman of mismanagement. The $337 million deal was struck on June 17 and it is expected to close this year. The all-cash deal calls for payment of $15.50 per share, an 8.2% premium over the closing price of the company’s stock on the Friday before the sale was announced. The deal requires the resignation of all board members, except George Condos, who recently took over as president and CEO. While the long-term ramifications of selling Friendly’s to Sun Capital Partners, which has turned around such brands as Bruegger’s Bagels and Fazoli’s, a casual Italian restaurant chain, are not known, short-term, the move some relative peace to the company. In addition to the lawsuit filed by cofounder S. Prestley Blake against chairman Donald Smith, the company was also staring a potentially ugly proxy fight involving its largest shareholder, Sardar Biglari, who was offered a seat on the board, but demanded two.

Goyette Admits to Extortion

SPRINGFIELD — Former Chicopee Mayor Richard R. Goyette pled guilty to extortion in a public courtroom June 13 after watching two videotapes showing him taking bribes from Charles M. Swider, a local towing company owner, and Donald Szczebak, a real estate developer in Chicopee, another FBI informant. Goyette is charged with two counts of extorting $5,000 from contractors doing business with the city. Goyette faces up to 51 months in federal prison, and is expected to be sentenced on Oct. 3. He is the first Chicopee mayor to be indicted.

Mixed-use Project Planned for Palmer Parcel

PALMER — A mountainous 150-acre parcel off Route 32 is being considered for a mixed-use project that could include office and retail space as well as housing. The parcel, owned by Northeast Realty Associates of East Longmeadow, is adjacent to a Massachusetts Turnpike exit, which makes the site even more desirable for developers, according to company officials. The project is still in its infancy, but the first phase of the front 10 acres has already received Planning Board approval. Northeast recently received a one-year extension of its special permit for that phase that includes a fast-food eatery, a gas station-convenience store and bank, and two family-style restaurants. Northeast officials note that future plans could include a hotel, a residential component, and a casino if casino gambling becomes legal in the state.

Developer Pulls Out Of Westfield Hotel Project

WESTFIELD — Local businessman John E. Reed has walked away from a proposed downtown hotel and transit center venture with the city after considerable personal regret. At one time Reed considered the proposed 48-room hotel a legacy project of his; however, at this time he feels the project would be a losing proposition financially. Reed noted that considerable delays on the public side of the project, as well as a recent announcement of a new 86-room Holiday Inn Express near the Massachusetts Turnpike Interchange, led to his decision. Community Development Director James M. Boardman noted that the city will continue plans for the transit center portion of the project and will search for a new developer to create the hotel concept.

FDR Museum Selects Chicopee for New Home

CHICOPEE — The original historic Chicopee Public Library in Market Square will be transformed over the coming months to accommodate the Franklin D. Roosevelt American Heritage Center Museum (FDR Center Museum), which recently vacated Worcester’s Union Station. Dr. Joseph J. Plaud, president and founder of the museum, said the new space is significantly larger than the Worcester location, with greater potential for further development in the future. The FDR Center Museum will also become an active partner with Elms College in the establishment of a Roosevelt Public Policy Institute to teach students about the New Deal legacy, provide students with internships and other learning opportunities, and formulate and promote public policies based upon the principles of the New Deal. In addition, Plaud sees the museum as a centerpiece for downtown Chicopee cultural offerings to children, college students, area residents, and tourists interested in the history and culture of the generation that fought the Great Depression and World War II.

Survey: Orientation Programs Can Be Effective

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Although businesses want new staff to hit the ground running, some firms may be hindering employees by not offering enough resources during their first days on the job. According to a recent survey, one-third of workers said their employers offered no formal orientation program when they joined the company. This could be a missed opportunity — a large majority of respondents (87%) who received this type of training said it helped prepare them for success with the organization. To be effective, the orientation process must be an ongoing one, according to Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. He added that managers should consider assigning new staff a mentor who can provide guidance and answer questions. The survey was developed by Robert Half International, and includes responses from 492 full- or part-time workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

Pet Services Directory Available

NORTHAMPTON — A directory listing local pet care providers is now available thanks to the efforts of local businesswomen Elise Gouge and Alyssa B. Ward. The directory includes veterinarians, trainers, groomers, doggie day cares, kennels, pet sitters, and dog walkers. All providers have been evaluated to ensure they offer progressive, high-quality services for pet owners, according to Ward. The free directory is available at the offices of listed providers, and can also be viewed at www.petbehaviorsconsulting.com or at www.friendlypettraining.com.

SBA Launches Patriot Express Loan Initiative

BOSTON — The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced the launch of a comprehensive initiative that focuses on the agency’s full range of financial, procurement, and technical assistance programs for the military community. The capstone of this initiative is a streamlined loan product based on the SBA Express loan program. The Patriot Express Initiative includes new and enhanced programs and services for veterans and members of the military community wanting to establish or expand small businesses. For more information, visit www.sba.gov.

New Center Seeks To Assist Low-Income Workers

SPRINGFIELD — A new worker center in the South End hopes to prevent the exploitation of hourly wage earners through its grassroots efforts. Formerly known as the Anti-Displacement Center, the Alliance to Develop Power Worker Center/Casa Obrera is an affiliate member of the Pioneer Valley Central Labor Council and member of the AFL-CIO. Members associated with the Anti-Displacement Center worked alongside unionized members on their own time to give the two-story building a major facelift. Supplies were subsidized through grants awarded by the Community Foundation of Western Mass. The center will focus its efforts on protecting the wages of workers in the region, and to expose contractors who violate the state’s prevailing wage laws.

Boomers Expected to Put Off Retirement

WASHINGTON — Baby Boomers are now easing into their 60s, and many expect to delay retirement longer than their parents and grandparents, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. Studies note that aging Boomers are better-educated with higher incomes and longer life expectancies than previous generations. Boomers also tend to have fewer children and are less likely to be married, leaving them with fewer options for assistance as they age. Researchers predict that, due to higher rates of divorce and separation, this trend could result in greater financial hardship for aging Baby Boomers. Researchers note that some Boomers will have to continue working because they can’t afford to retire, and some will continue working by choice. Presently, there are about 78 million Baby Boomers, those born from 1946 to 1964. The oldest will turn 62 next year, the age at which they become eligible for Social Security benefits.

CFO Survey: Integrity Most Desired Leadership Quality

MENLO PARK, Calif. — The mark of a good leader may lie in his or her ability to be honest and upstanding, a new survey suggests. Nearly one-third (31%) of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled said the most important quality for a business leader to possess is integrity. Experience and communication skills followed, each receiving 27% of the response. The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.

Departments

The following Business Certificates and Trade Names were issued or renewed during the month of June 2007.

AGAWAM

Agawam Bowl
359-363 Walnut St. Ext.
Frank Montagna

C. Fullam Electric
218 Adams St.
Chad Fullam

J.B. Home Improvement
161 Adams St.
Joe Bucalo

Main St. Deli
713 Main St.
Frank R. Locke

Odyssey II
339 North Westfield St.
Laurel Curran

Western Mass Business Women Monthly
27 Emerson Road
Denice L. Emery-Ferrero

AMHERST

Amherst Hairstylist
40 Main St.
Susan Carson

Amherst Hairstylist
40 Main St.
Heather McCory

Amherst Hairstylist
40 Main St.
David Yando

David Companic Construction
27 Southpoint Dr.
David M. Artiga

Salon Divine
15 Pray St.
Sara Overgaard

CHICOPEE

ENSERV
84 Bonner St.
Todd Edward Szydziak

Handy Info 4 Life
847 McKinstry Ave.
Michelle E. Blair

IMAG Investigations
28 Andover Road
Robert G. Spear

J&G Landskaping
17 Dwight St.
Jose M. Gonzalez

Neighborhood Pizza
159 Grove St.
Kenneth Omerhi

The Glass Miser
18 McKinley Ave.
Francis J. Czepiel

Versatile Networks Consulting
3 Carriage Road
Joseph Andrew Lorenzatti

EASTHAMPTON

Between Breath and Bone
14 High St.
Faith Jackson

Facteau Tree Farms
74 Lovefield St.
Richard Facteau

Wave Books
116 Pleasant St.
Lori Shine

EAST LONGMEADOW

Blanchard Drywall Services
70 Somers Road
James Donald Blanchard

Cabelo
51 Prospect St.
Lillian Buettner

Cabelo
51 Prospect St.
Collette Iampietro

Cabelo
51 Prospect St.
Donna L. Brayton

Centro Linguistico Italiano
444A North Main St.
Rocco A. Mesiti

Triad Therapeutic Massage
4 Crane Ave.
Beth Morin

GREENFIELD

Green River Yoga
158 Main St.
Jean Erlbaum

Interiors By Design
250 High St.
Elizabeth Feeley

Magical Child
134 Main St.
Mary Walsh-Martel

Palazzo’s Pizza
228 Federal St.
Joanne & Michale Marchand

Pretty Nails
209 Main St.
Thang Son

The Beancake Company, LLC
324 Wells St.
Francis Mozea Jr.

HADLEY

Country Nissan
151 Steepleview Dr.
Carla Cosenzi

HOLYOKE

Golden China
455 South St.
Chow Man Cheng

Kim Lee Nails
322 Appleton St.
Luy Thanh Nguyen

Ortiz Repair Towing
75 Clemente St.
Jose Ortiz

Pier One Imports
98 Lower Westfield Road
Marvin J. Girouard

Pool Tech
238 Linden St.
Richard J. Dupuis

LONGMEADOW

Consulting For Businesses
6 Elizabeth Circle
Tanya Garibian

Staged to Sell
86 Lincoln Road
Robert F. Chalero

LUDLOW

JL Massa Collision Inc.
287 Miller St.
John Massa

Michael Janeczek Photography
77 Rood St.
Michael Janeczek

Rutabaga Gallery
5 Sewall St.
Elizabethann Koscher

Subway of Ludlow
477 Center St.
Mark J. Devoto

Thompson & Bell
358 Sewall St.
James V. Thompson

West End Lock & Key
137 West Ave.
James Coxon

NORTHAMPTON

Affordable Used Cars
14 East St.
Raymond Learned

Cozy Home Performance
74 Lyman Road
Mark M. Lante

Life Grows On
3 Olive St.
Greg Sandler

Pajama’s
2 Conz St.
Christopher Halla

Paradise City Painting
173 State St.
Joshua John Perry

Rick’s Auto Repair & Sales
442 Elm St.
Richard Mott

Sam’s
235 Main St.
Samuel Harbey

 

The Collared Scholar
537 Easthampton Road
Debra Wysocki

Unit 7
16 Fort Hill Terrace
Erik Olsson

PALMER

Breckenridge Realty
111 Breckenridge St.
William G. Cutter

Burns Family Enterprise
3012 Grass St.
Hugh Burns, Jr.

Country Memorials
1303 Calkins Road
Judith A. Kane Zelek

Country Rose Florist
1182 Park St.
Patricia M. Kinner

Cutting Corner
1312 Main St.
Carol J. R. Henrigues

Deer Run Engineering
2146 Rear Main
Mark M. Bogacz

Diane & Company
1581 North Main St.
Diane St. Amand

Don’s Auto Detailing
6 Beech St.
Donald Ely

DW’s Fiberoptics
21 Wilbraham St.
Donald Smith

Aries Repair and Radiator
1281 South Main St.
Eric Gilbert

Fancy Nails
1035 Thorndike St.
Mot Nguyen

GAF Home Improvement
14-16 Harding St.
George Anthony Flagg

SOUTH HADLEY

Amanda Rodriguez Productions
12 Ranger St.
Amanda Rodriguez

G&P S&D Express
77 Riverboat Village Road
Patricia Fanska

Gentry Design
10 North Main St.
Mark Sherman

SOUTHWICK

Campbell Contractors
631 College Highway
Robin Campbell

Preferred Real Estate Services LLC
610 College Highway
Bobbie Jo Thibault

Virtual Assistant Solutions
130 Vining Hill Road
Judith Stevens Bernath

SPRINGFIELD

D & F Transportation
172 Lebanon St.
David Falley

A M Construction
23 East Hooker St.
Angel Maldonado

Academy of Mixed Martial Arts
1490 Allen St.
Walter J. Lysak Jr.

Ara Convenience
560 State St.
Mohammad R. Shaikh

Bob’s Pro Saltwater Pools
550 Alden St.
Robert C. Maurice

C.J.S.
66 Flint St.
Joel Cruz Sr.

Cathy’s Food Consulting Services
807 Worthington St.
Caterina Cardenuto

CLJ Electrical Services
16 Monson Ave.
Charley Lee Jackson

Clothing-Ect.com
59 Maryland St.
Barbara Stone

CQ
351 Bridge St.
Leonard Weitz

Dash Time
123 Kent Road
Nadhir Adbul-Wadud

Express Auto Detail
8 Harding St.
Eli Diaz

Family D. Stores
257 Edendale St.
Robert Joseph

Frachard Photography
53 Everett St.
Richard Santiago

J.R’s General Construction
185 Hampden St.
Jose M. Rodriguez

JK Subways, LLC
550 Sumner Ave.
Maryann Russo

Justin Mundell Construction
15 Phoenix St.
Justin Mundell

JVC Construction Services
9 Radner St.
Patricia Carbone

Kofi Fuah
45 Cambridge St.
Kofi Fuah

Lazy Valley Winery
34-40 Front St.
Scott D. Santaniello

Lopez Painting & Wood Flooring
873 Worthington St.
Eugenio Lopez

Los Cangri Barber Shop
737 Liberty St.
Basilio Castro

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Balise Collision Repair Center
1800 Riverdale St.
Balise Motor Sales Co.

Balise Honda
1371 Riverdale St.
Balise Motor Sales Company

Bob Johnson Enterprises
1967 Westfield St.
Robert J. Johnson

Dedicated Drywall
174 Main St.
David Joseph Whitlock

Point Staffing Services
425 Union St.
Paul Marc Associates

Reliable Home Improvement
10 Butternut Hollow
Vladimir Melnichuk

WESTFIELD

ABC Antiques & Crafts
658 Montgomery Road
Eloise Adair

Gifted Thoughts-N-Things
12 Glenwood Dr.
Deborah Niles

New England Property Maintenance
2071 East Mountain Road
Edmund L. Maloney

RTL Pet Supply
35 Schumann Dr.
Richard Simmons

Sullivan Flooring
39 Alquat St.
Michael Sullivan

Transcon Technologies Inc.
53 Mainline Dr.
Pablo Nyarady

VMD Construction
756 North Road
Viktor Davidenko

Departments

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

AGAWAM

ADYS Mortgage Inc., 67 Hunt St., Agawam 01001. Adam J. Dubilo, 7 East Circle, East Longmeadow 01028. Mortgage broker.

TW Home Improvement Inc., 24 Dwight St., Agawam 01001. Timothy S. Wyckoff, same. Home improvement.

AMHERST

Financial Development Agency Inc., 49 South Pleasant St., Amherst 01002. Matthew Blumenfeld, 335 Middle St., Amherst 01002. To serve not-for-profit organizations with cost-effective grant writing, capital campaign and marketing services.

La Piazza Ristorante Inc., 30 Boltwood Walk, Amherst 01002. Mauro Aniello, 12 Lady Slipper Lane, Hadley 01035. Restaurant.

CHICOPEE

American Team Cleaning Services Inc., 94 Woodbridge Road, Chicopee 01022. Maggie O. van Zandt, same. Commercial cleaning service.

Cote’s Family Restaurant Inc., 582 Chicopee St., Chicopee 01013. Michael Cote, 31 Rowley St., Agawam 01001. Full-service family restaurant.

EASTHAMPTON

Mantis Graphics Inc., 1 Adams St., Easthampton 01027. Bradley J. Robbins, same. Graphic art production.

Stop and Wash Inc., 13 Matthew Dr., Easthampton 01018. Timothy McLane, same. To operate a laundromat.

EAST LONGMEADOW

Olympic Inc., 611 North Main St., East Longmeadow 01028. Chong T. Lee, 34 Tanglewood Dr., Longmeadow 01106. To instruct Tae-Twon-Do martial art, promote sportsmanship, etc.

Pattenaude Enterprises Inc., 191 Chestnut St., East Longmeadow 01028. Scott Pattenaude, same. Rent inflatables — sell spices wholesale and retail.

GRANBY

Digisoft Inc., 56 Morgan St., Granby 01033. Wayne P. Masse, same. To develop, manufacture, and sell computer software, operating systems, etc.

GREENFIELD

Cunill America Inc., 21 Mohawk Plaza, Suite 4, Greenfield 01301. Xavier Cunill, same. (Foreign corp; DE) Wholesale distribution of silver goods.

HADLEY

Mass Frenzy Inc., 2 Frallo Dr., Hadley 01035. Ralph W. Loos, same. (Nonprofit) To foster girls national amateur basketball competition, etc.

Valley Technology Outreach Inc., 84 Russell St., Hadley 01035. Delchie Bean, same. (Nonprofit) To collect technology equipment from schools, businesses, etc., to be refurbished and donated or sold to nonprofit organizations.

HAMPDEN

Hampden House Catering Inc., 128 Wilbraham Road, Hampden 01036. Dana R. Gahres, 131 Stony Hill Road, Hampden 01036. Catering business.

HOLYOKE

Angel Rivera Inc., 360 High St., #2, Holyoke 01040. Saiid Rivera, same. Retail.

Baystate Technology Solutions Inc., 199 Hillside Ave., Holyoke 01040. William P. Glover, same. Computer solutions.

HOLLAND

JJL Biomed Services Inc., 58 East Otter Dr., Holland 01034. Jeffrey J. Lafleur, same. To test biomedical patient related equipment in nursing and other health care facilities.

 

NORTHAMPTON

3 J Massad Inc., 54 Easthampton Road, Northampton 01060. Linda W. Massad, 63 Florence Road, Easthampton 01027. Gas station.

Main Street Motion Media Inc., 52 Olive St., Northampton 01060. Kathleen Evelyn Kamping, same. (Nonprofit) To educate and expand our community’s relationship to each other and the world through film and media arts, etc.

PALMER

Mangoes Inc., 233 Wilbraham Road, Palmer 01065. Felipe El Karim, 37 Brookfield Road, Brimfield 01010. Restaurant.

SOUTH HADLEY

Marlin Inc., 89 Amherst Road, South Hadley 01075. David Marlin, same. Computer software sales.

SOUTHWICK

Canterbury Lane Homeowners Assocation Inc., 106 Coes Hill Road, Southwick 01077. David W. Berry, same. (Nonprofit) To hold title to and maintain common areas in the Centerbury Lane, Westfield subdivision, etc.

SPRINGFIELD

44 Record Company Inc., 137 Undine Circle, Springfield 01109. Alex A. Nieves, same. Music recordings and promoter.

Andrew S. Jusko, M.D., P.C., 299 Carew St., Springfield 01104. Andrew S. Jusko, 1134 Longmeadow St., Longmeadow 01106. The practice of ophthalmology.

Angel Touch Cleaning Services Inc., 1655 Main St., Springfield 01103. Iris Enid Garcia Morales, 19 Arthur Picard Cir., Indian Orchard 01151. Cleaning and construction.

Brican Inc., 155 State St., Springfield 01103. Brian Gibbons, 80 Champlain Ave., Springfield 01151. General contractor; commercial construction.

Children Living with Aids Network-Kenya Inc., 1341 Sumner Ave., Springfield 01118. George Kasiligwa Kahi, 76 Ambrose St., Springfield 01109. (Nonprofit) To assist in caring for the orphans of the HIV/AIDES pandemic and affected children, etc.

Community Empowerment Services Corp., 736 State St., Springfield 01109. Linda Wellington, 20 Matthew St. Springfield 01128. Job placement, vocational evaluation, skill training.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Bancroft Chrysler Jeep Inc., 499 Riverdale St., West Springfield 01089. Aldo M. Bertera, 162 Forest Ridge Road, West Springfield 01089. The retail sale and service of new or used automobiles, trucks, etc.

Racers Edge Performance Inc., 196 Baldwin St., West Springfield 01089. Anthony Stack, 618 Allen St., Springfield 01108. Sales/repairs.

WESTFIELD

G&F Custom Built Homes Inc., 419 Springdale Road, Westfield 01085. Shaun C. Giberson, 76 Wolcott Ave., West Springfield 01089. Real estate development and management business.

Morse Hospitality Concepts Inc., 19 Lockhouse Road, Apt. 9-1, Westfield 01085. Joshua Morse, 492 Federal St., Montague 01351. Hospitality.

WILBRAHAM

Madden Insurance Agency Inc., 132 River Road, Wilbraham 01095. Karen L. Madden, same. An insurance producer.

Departments


Karen Buell

PeoplesBank in Holyoke recently announced the appointment of Karen Buell as a Mortgage Consultant. She will focus on Internet-based lending for residential mortgage and home equity products in addition to managing and assisting customers.

•••••

Karen P. Cardoza, owner of Karen Cardoza Handcrafted Jewelry of East Longmeadow, has been named the 2007 Business Woman of the Year by the Women Business Owners Alliance. She designs and creates a wide range of jewelry using gems, freshwater pearls, and 14-carat gold and silver fill.

•••••

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company in Springfield has announced it has elected Thomas C. Barry as the newest member of its Board of Directors. Barry is CEO and founder of Zephyr Management, L.P., a New York City-based specialized investment firm.

•••••

Alan Schneyer, Ph.D., has joined the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute in Springfield as a distinguished scientist. Schneyer’s research concerns the reproductive and metabolic roles of follistatin and follistatin like-3 proteins. Also, he recently received a research grant from the National Institutes of Health to support this work.

•••••

Angela M. Moorhouse has been promoted to Vice President of Direct Banking at TD Banknorth. She is in charge of the call centers in Springfield and in Lewiston, Me.

•••••

United Bank in West Springfield has hired Victoria Graffam as Security and Bank Secrecy Act Officer.

•••••

Berkshire Bank in Pittsfield has announced that Maura Kelly has been named Vice President of Cash Management. She is a certified treasury professional.

•••••

Century 21 Pioneer Valley Associates announced the following:
• Bruce Dearborn and Naomi Gendron have joined their firm, and
• Arthur Haskins III, Terry Bartus, and Erica Burns have completed the CREATE 21 New Agent Training Program.

•••••

Concetta Calitri has joined Ayre Real Estate in Agawam as an Associate.

•••••

American Rug in Holyoke has hired Diana L. Fitzpatrick as a Design Consultant.

•••••


Donna L. O’Shea

Health New England announced the following promotions:
• Dr. Donna L. O’Shea has been named Medical Director;

 

 

 


Julie Bodde

• Julie Bodde has been named Director of Finance;

 

 

 


Joanne Walton

• Joanne Walton-Bicknell has been named Reporting and Analysis Manager, and

 

 

 

 


Patrick O’Shea

• Patrick O’Shea has been appointed Statutory, Budget, and Tax Manager.

•••••

 

 

Peter Vecchiarelli, with Nutmeg Isuzu Trucks of West Springfield, has joined the Professional Landcare Network.

•••••

The board of directors of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce has appointed Patty Brandts as Executive Director of the Chamber.

•••••

Meyers Brothers Kalicka has hired Jamie L. Barber as a Senior Associate in the Holyoke office.

•••••

The Mass. Community Development Finance Corp. has named Charlene Golonka as its Lending Representative for Western Mass. Golonka will be responsible for Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties.

•••••

Robert S. Wheten has been named Commercial Credit Officer at Easthampton Savings Bank.

•••••


Russell Fleury

Tighe & Bond of Westfield announced the following:
• Michael McManus has joined the firm as a Registered Professional Engineer;
• Michael Petrin has joined the firm as a Registered Professional Engineer, and
• Russell Fleury has relocated to the firm’s Worcester office. Fleury is an Environmental Scientist who provides regulatory compliance and permitting support to the firm’s client base.

•••••

The Springfield Business Improvement District has promoted Christopher J. Castellano to Operations Manager.

•••••

The members of the Mass. Alliance for Economic Development recently elected Directors for 2007. They include:
• William Hines, President and Chief Executive Officer of Interprint Inc.;
• Joe O’Leary, Senior Vice President and Regional Executive of Sovereign Bank;
• Rob Reilly, Vice President of Fidelity Real Estate Co., and
• Glenn Steiger, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co.
Re-elected Directors are:
• Carol Adey, Executive Director of CoreNet Global New England;
• Robert Brustlin, Chief Executive Officer and President of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin;
• Peter Corbett, Director of Foulston & Storrs, and
• Girard Sargent, Senior Vice President and Division Executive for middle-market commercial banking at Citizens Bank.
Directors elected as Officers include Michael DiGiano as Chairman, Girard Sargent as Vice Chairman, Tim Horan as Treasurer, and Robert Brustlin as Clerk.

•••••

The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce announced the following during its recent annual meeting:
• James M. Lavelle, General Manager of the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department, has been elected Chairman of the Board;
• Stephen Corrigan of Mountainview Landscape was awarded the Henry A. Fifield Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service to the Chamber;
Officers elected included:
• Israel Schepps of Mastex Industries, First Vice Chairman;
• Stephen Corrigan of Mountainview Landscape, Second Vice Chairman;
• Deborah Buckley of Goss & McLain Insurance Agency, Treasurer;
• Carol Katz of Loomis Communities, Assistant Treasurer;
• Atty. John Driscoll of Resnic, Beauregard, Waite & Driscoll, Clerk, and
• Atty. John Ferriter of Ferriter & Ferriter, Past Chairman.
Elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors were:
• Daniel O’Neill of Westfield Bank;
• Sheryl Quinn of Holyoke Geriatric Authority;
• James Sagalyn of Holyoke Machine Co., and
• Jeffrey Sullivan of United Bank.
Re-elected to three-year terms were:
• Douglas Bowen of PeoplesBank;
• Kathleen Buckley of Holyoke Medical Center, and
• Jorge Gomez of McDonald’s Restaurants.
Elected to two-year terms were:
• Wolfgang Schloesser of Ruwac Inc., and
• Joshua Vassallo of Country Inn & Suites.

•••••

Chicopee Savings Bank announced the following:
• Darlene M. Libiszewski will serve as Vice President of Information Technology;
• Jill D. Fox will serve as Vice President of Sales and Branch Administration, and
• Tammy L. Howe will serve as Assistant Vice President of Cash Management.

•••••

Veritech Corp. announced the following new members to its leadership team:
• David Sweeney has been named Vice President of Business Development & Operations. He will oversee all revenue growth, relationship building, and Veritech’s overall marketing and positioning;
• Carl Fortin, Chief Financial Officer, will oversee financial forecasting and the establishment of accounting policies and procedures, and
• Kimberly Mawaka-St. Marie, Comptroller, will oversee the day-to-day financial and accounting operations, financial reporting, and the company’s financial affairs.

•••••

Sherri L. Gagne has been named Media Director for the Momentum Group in East Longmeadow. Handling a wide variety of broadcast, print, and online media, Gagne will be responsible for research, planning, negotiation, implementation, and monitoring.

•••••

The Berkshire Chamber of Commerce recently announced its newly appointed board of directors members. They are:
• Vicki S. Donahue, Partner at Cain Hibbard Myers & Cook, P.C., where her practice focuses on corporate and real estate law;
• Joan Bancroft, President of Berkshire Life Insurance Co. of America, and
• Laura Cece, Director of Finance and Chief Procurement Officer for the City of North Adams.

•••••

Dr. Louis J. DeCaro, a South Deerfield podiatrist, has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts Podiatric Medical Society, an affiliate of the American Podiatric Medical Association. He is a staff member at Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

•••••

Janelle Soucia has joined Country Bank as a Retail Mortgage Originator serving the Wilbraham area.

•••••

George R. Ditomassi, a Holyoke native and 1957 graduate of the UMass Amherst, has been elected to the college’s Foundation Board of Directors. In addition to earning his bachelor’s degree in Business from the college in 1957, Ditomassi served in the U.S. Army as a finance officer and was honored as a distinguished military graduate. In 1980 he graduated from the advance placement program at Harvard College.

Features
Springfield Chamber Leader Promotes Action, Not Talk
Victor Woolridge

Victor Woolridge has seen some inspiring turn-around stories in his travels, and he believes Springfield can be added to that list.

Victor Woolridge was busy gathering up the material he wanted to read on his flight to Buffalo, which was scheduled to leave in a few hours.

“I’ve had a lot of practice at this,” he told BusinessWest, noting that his job as managing director of the Real Estate Finance Group at Babson Capital Management LLC forces him to travel frequently. Name a city and he’s probably been there — often.

And in the course of all that travel, amassed through 27 years of work with MassMutual and its subsidiary, Babson, Woolridge has seen some inspiring turn-around stories.

“I’ve been to a lot of places that people had pretty much given up on,” said the Springfield native, listing sections of New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and other, smaller cities. “Years ago, people had nothing good to say or think about Harlem, but now it is the place to be. It’s the same with the inner harbor in Baltimore and on 13th and 14th streets in Washington. Not long ago, you wouldn’t walk down those streets; now, there’s a real renaissance going on there.”

Exposure to such success stories is one of the reasons why Woolridge, the recently elected chairman of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, is optimistic about the prospect of adding the City of Homes to that list he offered. But he admits that there is much work to be done in a community that is recovering from near-bankruptcy, political scandal, and lots of bad press, and is just starting to see some momentum.

And as he assesses the challenges ahead for Springfield, Woolridge started by telling BusinessWest that he can see some direct parallels between what he does for a living — assessing high-yield investment opportunities for Babson — and his work with the Chamber and other groups trying to achieve progress in Springfield.

“In both cases, it’s about moving the ball forward,” he said, adding that, roughly translated, this means moving beyond the talk and actually getting things done.

“There is such a thing as analysis paralysis,” he said, referring to both the investment opportunities he and other members of the Real Estate Finance Group must weigh — and the many recommended plans of action for Springfield. “If you sit there and analyze all day long, you’re never going to get the deal. You have to get in there and put something on the table and advance the ball.”

And Woolridge says he’s seeing signs of that happening in Springfield.

Indeed, he told BusinessWest that, in recent months, he’s observed a change within both the Chamber and City Hall — a movement from talk to action that he intends to continue and accelerate.

Woolridge referred often to the recently completed Urban Land Institute (ULI) study of the City of Homes. The report lists a number of priorities, including downtown and the Court Square area, the South End neighborhood of the city, and the soon-to-be-vacant federal building on Main Street. As he begins his two-year stint as chairman of the Springfield chamber, Woolridge said one of his priorities is to help ensure that the ULI report becomes much more than good reading.

“Oftentimes, these reports sit on a shelf and gather dust,” he said. “We can’t let that happen in this case; there’s too much at stake for Springfield.”

In a wide-ranging interview, Woolridge talked about the Chamber, Springfield, some of those turn-around stories he’s witnessed, and what it will take to write one in his hometown.

Progress Report

Woolridge recalled one of his first meetings as an officer with the Springfield Chamber, and some comments he made then.

“I said, ‘everyone has obvious sympathy for the leper, but no one is willing to touch him,’” he remembers. “But every physician knows that for the sick patient to get better, someone has to touch him.”

Springfield was in many ways a sick patient at that time, he continued, noting that there was perhaps too much watching on the part of the Chamber and other groups in the city in the past, and not enough direct involvement, or touching. But this is a pattern he’s seen change.

“I’ve seen much more energy when it comes to the matters facing the city — not just talking about it, but strategizing, and saying ‘what do we do about it?’ and becoming a more active force in seeing these things happen,” he said. “On top of that, we’ve been discussing — we’re not there yet — how we can be better stewards or watchdogs over not just implementation of these things, but standards for how things get done so we don’t slide back into the kinds of problems we’re experienced over the past several years.”

Woolridge told BusinessWest that this greater willingness to touch the patient in recent years, an attitudinal change encouraged by his immediate predecessors on the Chamber, Mary Ellen Scott and Carol Baribeau; Mayor Charles Ryan; Economic Development Director David Panagore; and others, bodes well for the city.

That’s because direct action, not talk, is the only way to achieve progress with the many issues facing Springfield, including poverty, homelessness, public safety, economic development, workforce development, zoning, and creating a more business-friendly City Hall.

“We decided it was important to take a look at our zoning and procedures to make sure that they were competitive, streamlined, and that people understood them,” he said, adding that he helped initiate discussions with developers who compared and contrasted Springfield’s model with others to create a qualitative database for action. “Hopefully, at the end of the day, we’ll have a comprehensive set of zoning procedures so that people can track from A to Z how to get a transaction done in the city of Springfield.

“Our process was deemed to be not as friendly as other neighboring communities as well as other cities,” he continued, adding that he and others visited other cities to see how they handled things. “It just makes sense to try to fix the system, because if you save people time and money and make it a pleasant experience, then that gives you an opportunity for more business.”

Streamlining zoning codes and the overall development process is just one example of how city and civic leaders are progressing from talking about the patient to touching him, said Woolridge, adding that the ULI is certainly another.

The process of preparing the report gave people an opportunity to listen, exchange ideas, and, in many cases, vent, he said, adding that with the report in hand, the city and its leaders must do something with it, or else risk losing some of the momentum that’s been achieved.

“Some of the recommendations in that report need to be pursued,” he said, returning to his warnings on overanalysis that can stifle action. “This is an outline, a framework, that provides a direction; the best way to move is to take a step forward, do something, and do your analysis on the way to building a new city.

“You can’t analyze ad nauseum,” he continued. “You have to work the problem and figure it out along the way.”

Agenda Items

Woolridge told BusinessWest that he’s thankful for having two years as chairman at the Chamber; one is simply not enough time to finish some of the work started by others, let alone start and advance new initiatives.

Assessing priorities for the city and the Chamber, he said there are specific and general goals for both. With the Chamber, he wants to increase membership, improve visibility, and make the organization more directly involved with key issues. Also, he wants to continue working with the state Legislature on business-related measures, and with the Finance Control Board on its ongoing efforts to bring fiscal stability to the community.

As for the city, priorities include everything from poverty and homelessness to devising ways to make the community’s great ethnic diversity more of a cultural and economic asset.

“That diversity should be fully embraced and seen as a clear positive for the city,” he said. “Right now, it isn’t.”

Another issue to be addressed, he said, is the preponderance of affordable and subsidized housing in the city, at the expense of market-rate units that could attract more professionals to many neighborhoods and breathe life into the city’s downtown. There has been some quality single-family home construction in outlying areas of the city, he noted, adding that the next step is to continue this trend into the core of the community.

“We have to stabilize our economy by bringing in higher-quality real estate that attracts higher-income people to help lift the entire economic boat of the city,” he said. “If you continue to build poor-quality housing, then ultimately you end up with a city that’s full of poor-quality housing. And how then do you attract people of better means, if you will, into a community like that?

“It’s a domino effect,” he continued. “The tax base gets impaired because you don’t have a good balance between affordable and market rate, and when the tax base gets impaired the infrastructure is impaired, and your school buildings and other municipal facilities can’t get repaired; it’s a spiral downhill because you can’t generate enough tax base.”

Achieving a balance between affordable and market-rate housing is easier said than done, he acknowledged, adding quickly that he’s seen it done — in cities like Boston, New York, Chicago, and also smaller communities like Greenville, S.C. In those cities, developers have created 80/20 mixes that attract professionals (the market-rate component is the ‘80’) but without, in his words, “casting aside” lower-income constituencies.

Housing is one of those areas where there has been mostly talk in Springfield, said Woolridge, adding this isn’t getting the job done.

As with other issues, the city needs to move on the housing dilemma or, as he said many times, move the ball forward.

“We’re never going to know all the answers, and no matter how hard you search, the target keeps moving,” he said. “You have to move with it, and you have to get things done; you learn along the way, you make mistakes along the way, but that’s all part of the process.”

Plane Speaking

As he prepared to shuffle off to Buffalo, Woolridge took a minute to show BusinessWest one of his group’s latest investment gambits — a high-rise office tower in what might be his favorite destination: Chicago.

“It’s a wonderful city, and it’s transformed itself into a European-style city,” he said, adding that by this he meant an attractive mix of arts, green space, and architecture. “What I like most about Chicago is that there’s an overall vision for the city and its neighborhoods.”

And by advancing the ball, that city is turning vision into reality, he said, adding that the same can happen in Springfield if talk can be turned into action.

“There are some who maybe have given up on Springfield,” he continued. “But you never know … this could someday be the place people want to be.”

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

Sections Supplements
The Arbors Moves Well Beyond Old-school Thinking
The Arbors, Chicopee

The Arbors, Chicopee

The Arbors recently opened its fifth assisted-living facility in Greenfield, giving the company a wide-ranging presence across Western Mass. at a time when the need for assisted-living services is on the rise. But the Arbors’ most striking success story might be in Chicopee, where seniors sometimes get to hang out with the little kids next door.

Say you’ve got a prime slice of real estate on Memorial Drive in Chicopee, you’re building an assisted-living facility, and you’ve got several acres left over. What do you do?

In some cases, it depends on your kids.

A few years ago, siblings Carol Veratti and Ernie Gralia III faced that very question upon purchasing the land on which they would build their third Arbors assisted-living center, following facilities in Amherst and Taunton.

With 12 acres in reserve, the partners decided to provide a chance for Veratti’s son, Gary, and her son-in-law, Shad Hanrahan, to run a very different business on the property — but one equally focused on caring for others. And that’s how Arbors Kids was born.

“I went to school for early childhood education, and so did my brother-in-law, so we said, ‘let’s build a child-care center,’” said Hanrahan, now director of Arbors Kids.

Today, it stands along Route 33 as a testament to seizing opportunities — and providing unique interactive experiences for children and seniors alike. And it makes the Arbors one of the few companies providing on-site services to clients ranging in age from a few weeks old to 101.

Getting On with Life

That 101-year-old at the Arbors in Chicopee speaks to the fact that not all senior citizens need regular nursing care these days, said Noreen Geraghty, wellness coordinator.

Indeed, when Veratti and Gralia made their transition from construction into business management, it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. In the years following that decision, the average age of Massachusetts residents would continue to rise; meanwhile, not only are senior citizens living longer, but they’re often active and relatively healthy. Those trends — which aren’t likely to reverse course in the coming years — increased the need for assisted-living services.

“We were actually contractors; my dad was a contractor, too,” Veratti said. “We had built housing for the elderly and several nursing homes. We became friendly with some of the owners of the nursing homes, and that led to our transition into assisted living.”

After successfully launching the Arbors at Amherst, Veratti and Gralia went about expanding their business, gradually opening sites in Taunton, Chicopee, and Westfield; the Arbors at Greenfield, which opened on June 1, brings the tally to five centers. Each site includes an Alzheimer’s unit called Reflections, which provides a higher level of care.

The basic assisted-living model at the Arbors offers residents 45 minutes of personal care per day, from bathing, dressing, and light housecleaning to help removing a hearing aid or an escort walking to the dining room.

“I know our staff goes in there more than 45 minutes a day, too — sometimes just to visit,” said Sondra Jones, marketing coordinator.

Medication reminders are an important factor as well, she said. “Sometimes families come to us because mom is forgetting to take her medications, and they’re busy going to work and taking care of their own kids. Here, they don’t have to worry about it.”

However, Jones said, there’s a fine line in assisted living defining what the nurses’ aides on staff can and cannot do for residents. For example, while the nursing staff can remind seniors to take their medications, they cannot crush pills, and residents must be able to swallow them on their own. An aide might help guide the hand of a resident putting in eyedrops, but cannot actually squeeze the dropper.

In many cases, the reminder is the important thing — and is often a key reason why the resident has been placed in assisted living, Geraghty said.

“We have plenty of situations where a daughter comes in and administers medications,” Jones said. “There’s no medicine cart here; residents keep medications in the privacy of their own apartments.”

Senior Circuit

As Geraghty explained, assisted living isn’t meant to be nursing care; that’s why nursing homes exist, for those who need help with daily living that goes beyond a few minutes a day. Meanwhile, the Arbors hosts monthly clinics for blood pressure, vision, hearing, and foot care.

“What’s nice is that this model keeps them independent,” she said. “The goal is for them to stay as independent as they can. And to that end, the building doesn’t have a medical-center feel to it. The apartments feel like home, and we don’t wear uniforms beyond khakis and white shirts.”

“We’re not walking around in scrubs like a nursing-home or hospital environment,” Jones agreed.

She said the Arbors keeps residents occupied with a steady menu of games, activities, and outings, but she noted that they organize many such efforts themselves. This active lifestyle, she suggested, is one reason why assisted living is becoming more popular among seniors who don’t need the round-the-clock care of a nursing home.

“People have told me, ‘my mom fell and broke her hip; she was in rehab, but now I want to get her out of there,’” Jones said. “Sometimes people in nursing homes are so overmedicated that they can’t talk. But here, it’s the socialization that keeps them going — the activities we have, and everyone getting out and doing things together. It’s like an older high school. They can even be gossipy and have certain cliques.”

That said, residents know they’re not teenagers anymore, and they look out for each other, Geraghty said. “At meal times, they’ll knock on each other’s doors,” she said. “They know who’s more forgetful and who missed lunch or who hasn’t eaten for awhile.”

If an aide feels like a resident needs the attention of a doctor, family will be notified, while an ambulance will be called immediately for emergency situations. “Of course, many of them do get sick,” Geraghty said. “We send them out to the hospital, they recuperate, and they come back.”

Many go far beyond merely recuperating. One resident swims three times a week at Elms College — one of many at the Arbors who seem a long time away from nursing-home life.

The Kids Next Door

If the need for assisted-living services is on the rise, Hanrahan learned quickly that education-focused child care is in demand as well; he has seen Arbors Kids gradually become one of the area’s larger centers, with plenty of parents waiting for an opening.

“We started with just a basic infant program, a preschool program, and a small summer camp,” he said, a model that has since grown to include 154 children at the Chicopee site, three off-site after-school programs, a before-school program, and a much larger summer camp — “and a lengthy waiting list.”

He said he and his brother-in-law aimed to build an educational program geared toward getting children ready for kindergarten, but also one built around fun, with a curriculum of creative arts, movement, and music in addition to the expected language skills, motor skills, and number and letter recognition. Those aspects of child care wouldn’t be out of place at any accredited facility. However, the intergenerational program is a different story.

“We’ll have classroom visits, with the residents next door doing projects with the older children on a weekly basis,” Hanrahan said. “The kids also have tea parties with the residents. And they’re working on a garden for the first time, and the residents are helping the children manage the garden.”

Meanwhile, the younger children interact with the seniors as well through seasonal activities such as Easter egg hunts, pumpkin picking days, and Halloween trick-or-treating in the Arbors corridors.

“Believe me, the older people enjoy those things more than the children do,” Hanrahan said, “especially the ones who don’t have grandchildren in the area.”

Since opening the child-care arm of the business, the Arbors has also taken over management of the Mason-Wright Retirement Community in Springfield, as well as the child-care center at that property, which had been a Springfield Day Nursery site.

Hanrahan said he would like to see expansion of the after-school programs the Arbors offers, but chuckled when asked whether another full-service child-care facility is on the horizon. Running one center — keeping up with accreditations; juggling curricula, programs, and food service; and maintaining low turnover on the staff — has been a successful venture, he said, but an all-consuming one.

Still, at the end of the day, it’s the one-on-one interaction he enjoys the most.

“I like greeting the parents every day,” Hanrahan said. “We’re a family business that takes pride in taking care of your family.”

No matter how young, or how old.

Joseph Bednar can be reached at[email protected]

Departments

The following Business Certificates and Trade Names were issued or renewed during the months of May and June 2007.

AGAWAM

Affordable Cleaning
7 William St.
Yegeniy Kiforishin

Center Stage at Chez Josef
176 Shoemaker Lane
Chez Josef, Inc.

Chic Collections
337 Walnut St. Extension
Mary Ann Zicolella

Circle Cleaners
9 South End Bridge Circle
Brenton Blair

Ferrentino’s
7 South End Bridge Circle
Giovanni Ferrentino

Goodfellaz Grill & Brew
360 North Westfield St.
Richard J. Girard, Jr.

K.A.S. Courier Service
83 Kanawha Ave.
Kevin T. Barry

Mahe Lumber & Millwork
257 Garden St.
Claude Ward Horner

Maynard Builders
15 Agnoli Place
Paul Maynard

MD Photography Service
332 South St.
Michael F. Dialessi

National Home Inspection Company, LLC
27E Castle Hills Road
Gary Desellior

Nuts 4 Nuts LLC
8G Castle Hills Road
Joanne Attardi

Tahir Transport
181 Elm St.
Brenton Blair

Tattletails
111 Clover Hill Dr.
Joan Guernsey

The New England Relocation Group
723 Main St.
Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate LLC

The UPS Store
417 Springfield St.
Richard J. Tessier

RAH Roofing
79 Poinsettia St.
Robert Humes

Tolli’s Pizzeria
349 North Westfield St.
George P. Dulchinos

Waterfresh
53 Ramah Circle South
David Centracchio

Wow That Looks Good Landscaping
85 Peros Dr.
Christopher G. Bellerose

Y & V Products
7 Willliams St.
Yevgeniy Kiforishin

AMHERST

Birdsong Bed & Breakfast
815 South East St.
Carol Gray

Briggs Framing & Construction
7 Willow Lane
Brett Briggs

Greene Framing & Construction
170 East Hadley Road
Benjamin Greene

Haffey Center for Attention & Memory
433 West St.
Mark & Nancy Haffey

Kelli Salon Divine
15 Pray St.
Kelli Richardson

CHICOPEE

Berthold Enterprises
52 Falmouth Road
David C. Berthold

Carlson, Landry, Lyons, Stearns and Yerrall, GMAC Real Estate
1847 Memorial Dr.
Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate, LLC

Carlson GMAC Real Estate
1847 Memorial Dr.
Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate, LLC

GMAC Real Estate
1847 Memorial Dr.
Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate, LLC

New England Swirl, LLC
340 McKinstry Ave.
Eugene R. Lapierre

Repairs Plus
38 Northwood St.
Kelly Nadeau

The New England Relocation Group
1847 Memorial Dr.
Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate, LLC

EASTHAMPTON

ABC Dresses
116 Pleasant St.
Karen Andrade

Easthampton Concrete
40 Division St.
Steve Kolodziej

Henry Polissack Books
116 Pleasant St.
Henry Polissack

Little Monkey Studios
116 Pleasant St.
Edward Hougen

EAST LONGMEADOW

Blanchard Drywall Service
70 Somers Road
James Donald Blanchard

M & M Landscaping
275 Maple St.
Matthew Petlock

GREENFIELD

All About You
275 Main St.
Mark A. Eaton

Bill Sheckels Furniture
71 Madison Circle
William Sheckels

BioPlay Sports
2 Village Green
Frederick Bourassa

Don’s Clothes Washer/Dryer Service
31 Colrain St.
Patricia Spinelli

J & M Futon
108 Federal St.
Jeffrey Wayne

Mirling’s Bakery
100 Federal St.
Elizabeth Johnson

Nancy’s Nails
84 Norwood St.
Nancy Edwards

New Fortune Restaurant
249 Mohawk Trail
Lillian Do

PerfumeOnMe.com
55 Orchard St.
Andrey Agapov

HADLEY

Butterfly
48 Russell St.
Kam Chow Lau

J & N Realty
4 Sunrise Dr.
John & Nancy Mieczkowski

Off The Wall Games
41 Russell St.
Kevin Wall

HOLYOKE

Beeline’s Therapeutic Massage
1057 Main St.
Jacqueline E. Clayton

Evert Auto Repair
56 Jackson St.
Adalberto Bernal

Il Familia Ristorante and Pizzeria
420 High St.
Christian Nieves

La Plazita Market
341 Appleton St.
Ana D. Tavarez

Mazzu Landscaping & Painting
210 South St.
John Mazzu

Salida del Sol Paso
24 Jones Ferry Road
Jose F. Rubero

The Paper Route
50 Holyoke St.
Barbara Gallo

Thee Unctuarium
236 Lyman St.
Sheyda Liz Rodriguez

 

LONGMEADOW

Arnold Construction Services
196 Wimbleton Dr.
Bruce Arnold

A.F. Carosella Electrical Services
56 Cobblestone Road
Alexander F. Carosella

LUDLOW

Hairstyles by Helena
7 Sewall St.
Helena Ferreira

Hick-or-Rock Farm
312 Miller St.
Paul Cocchi

M & A Fresh Produce
4 White St.
Nil Atmaca

Princess Nails
6 Chestnut St.
Henry Hoang

NORTHAMPTON

Angela’s Cleaning Service
115 Williams St.
Angela Cash

Drong-Ba Western Tibit
106 Sandy Hill Road
Susan A. Kornacili

Ghippie Music
1 Bratton Court
Cinamon Blair

Hair Phanatix
241 Main St.
Regina Figueroa

Jerry Suejkovsky
241 Main St.
Jerry Suejkovsky

Kevin’s Haircuts
128 King St.
Kevin Ovitt

PALMER

Pereira Custom Golf Carts
17 Hobbs St.
John D. Perry

Rick’s Parkside Drive In
1189 Park St.
Frederick Giuliani

SOUTH HADLEY

Bluebird Airport Shuttle
19C Hadley Village
Richard A. Hunter

Hedgeway Herbals
10 Waite Ave.
Anthony Kelly-Niziolek

SOUTHWICK

EZ Tech Group Inc.
221 Klaus Anderson Road
Jason P. Gates

SPRINGFIELD

Jav Enterprises
1106 Carew St.
John A. Vaquez

JT Builders
278 Denver St.
Jack Tardy

Lopez Painting & Wood Flooring
873 Worthington St.
Eugenio Lopez

Lu’s Yaks
130 Fenwick St.
Linda M. Sheehan

Main St. Gulf
679 Main St.
Raney Shabaneh

Maple Mart
155 Maple St.
Shamim Qureshe

Mark Daniels
139 Acrebrook Road
Mark Robert Daniels

Mezzanotte
220 Worthington St.
Joyce Breault

New England Lab Systems
32 Van Buren Ave.
Fritz Bosquet

Patient Care Of Massachusetts
182 Sumner Ave.
Mavis Henry

Physician Hose Calls
96 Firglade Ave.
Gregg Wolff

R.L.M. Productions
141 Waldorf St.
Rich A. Morganstern

Rovirus Boutique
135 Boston Road
Iris Ward

Royal Seasons Restaurant
339 Boston Road
Fatima V. Tavares

Rudy Express
58 Chester St.
Rudy Bowden

Saigon Restaurant
398 Dickinson St.
May Cun

Saint James Mini Mart
328 St. James Ave.
Domingo Castillo

Sai Mai Video & Gift Shop
285 Belmont Ave.
Hanh Nguyen

Tom’s Copy Centre World
47 Kulig St.
Thomas Francais

Trash Removal
50 Silver St.
Angel Perez

Treadwell Enterprise
115 Garfield St.
James Roberts

Triskelion, Inc.
684 Belmont Ave.
Tony Navarro

Universal Landscaping
17 Governor St.
Brenda Vazquez

Unlimited Cuts
12 Orange St.
Roberto A. Melendez

Vazquez Auto
638 Worthington St.
Samuel Vaquez

Vine Motors
712-722 Boston Road
John Francis Vigneri

William Lee Electrician
41 Kipling St.
William Lee

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Direct Power Sports, LLC
409 Main St.
Gilbert Perez

Elm Market & Package Store
246 Elm St.
Walter A. Rickus

Hassan Enterprize, LLC
168 Birch Park Circle
Hamza Jan

Harbor Freight Tools
1150 Union St.
Steven Michael Segi

The Nail Nook
11 Pleasant St.
Cory Lynn Theobold

Wolf Brothers
32 Park Ave.
Yana Kolomoets

WESTFIELD

Arrow Gas
28 Arch Road
Bob Kowalchik

Asian Food Market
284 Southampton Road
Hyun Soo Kim

B & B Auto & Truck Repair
28 Mechanic St.
Benjamin J. Aspinall

D & A Services
1 Milton Ave.
Brian M. Demas

Debbie Reynolds Dance Academy
132 Elm St.
Debbie Reynolds

R & W Auto Body
946 Southampton Road
Walter Babbin

Zar Mart
121 North Elm St.
Sadia Gul

Departments

Designs on a Career

Christopher Zarlengo, vice president of Marketing for STCU Credit Union, and Amy McNeil, an intern from Springfield Technical Community College’s Graphic Arts Technology program, check proofs of the credit union’s annual report. McNeil, who recently graduated from STCC in the Commercial Arts program, was responsible for the design of the credit union’s annual report.



Open for Business

Owners of the newly opened Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Route 9 in Hadley recently staged a get-together for staff, contractors who built the facility, and friends of those involved with the venture. Above are many of the principals in the Hampshire Hospitality Group, which made the Marriott the latest addition to its roster of area hotels and inns: from left, Grazyna Vincunas, Ken Vincunas, Lynn Travers, Curt Shumway, COO of the Hampshire Hospitality Group, Bob Shumway and Ed O’Leary.

At right, from left, Ed Newalu, director of Food and Beverage for the Hampshire Hospitality Group; Sherri Willey, special projects coordinator for HHG; Sean Welch, general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott; and Michelle Boudreau, director of Sales and Marketing for HHG.


Groundbreaking Developments

A groundbreaking ceremony was on May 29 to signal the beginning of construction at Rivers Landing, a combination health club, entertainment, and dining venue that will be located at the site of the former Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The complex will feature L.A. Fitness, and is being developed by Springfield natives Peter Pappas, a real estate developer, and Dr. Michael Spagnoli, a chiropractor. From left to right are: Rivers Landing project consultant James Langone; State Rep. Rosemarie Sandlin (D-Agawam); Clerk of Courts Brian Lees; U.S. Rep. Richard Neal; Bill Horner, senior vice president of L.A. Fitness; Springfield Economic Development Director David Panagore; Pappas; Springfield Mayor Charles Ryan; Spagnoli; John Doleva, president and CEO of the Basketball Hall of Fame; Gary Magnuson, an officer with Citizens Bank, which is financing the project; and Paul McDonald, chairman of the Springfield Riverfront Development Corp.

Ware-based FamilyFirst Bank recently broke ground for a new office on Route 9 in East Brookfield. The branch will offer a full range of banking products and services to families and businesses in Western Worcester County. On hand for the groundbreaking ceremony were members of the bank’s board of directors and executives. From left are, Michael Audette, president; Gail A. Piatek, chairman of the board; Charlie Miller, project manager of NES Group; Claire Bothwell and Louis Masse, directors of FamilyFirst Bank.

Departments

The following Business Certificates and Trade Names were issued or renewed during the month of April 2007.

AGAWAM

Beyond Housewares Outlet
301 Springfield St.
Paula Knapp

C & B Redemption
1226 Springfield St.
Russell Scalis

Carlson GMAC Real Estate
723 Main St.
Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate, LLC

Casual Male Hairstyling
472 Silver St.
Nancy M. West

Dion Construction Plus
791 Barry St.
Benoit L. Dion

G. Vignone Electrical Service
45 Christopher Lane
Gary G. Vignone

Grooming Dales of Feeding Hills
557 Springfield St.
Gary F. Roberts

GMAC Real Estate
723 Main St.
David Applegate

Hair Impressions
525 Springfield St.
Evelyn Pelley

Henna Tattoos and Trendsetters
1623 Main St.
Randee Fisher

Home Plates Sports Bar
827 Springfield St.
Alan Boucher

J & M Roofing
25 Hayes Ave.
Michael Grusko

Marty’s Auto
325 Main St.
Martin M. Radewick

Prime Road Trips
48 Reed St.
Fred Muzzy

New England Relocation Group
723 Main St.
David Applegate

Scentsational Gift Baskets
350 Meadow St.
David J. Girard

The Cutting Edge
28 Southwick St.
Denise LaPointe

Yogishwar Subway, LLC
291 Springfield St.
Navin Patel

AMHERST

DS Property Management
49 Fairfield St.
David Snedecor

Ecos del Valle
893 West St.
Kryzia Salgado

FactFinder Research
33 Oakwood Circle
Judith A. Karren

Gasmari Glass
211 Grantwood St.
Cristian H. Gazimari

CHICOPEE

Amy’s Landscaping
295 Chicopee St.
Clark Wojtowicz

Binis Nails
196 East St.
Karen Ho

Go Voice For Choice
42 Anderson Road
Mark Hugo Nasjleti

N. Riley Construction
64 Honeysuckle Dr.
Nicholas Riley

Richard Home Services
126 Lukasek St.
Richard Bleau

Sassafras Lane Boutique
283 Fuller Road
Rose Hooper

EASTHAMPTON

Agency Automation Consulting
3 Picard Circle
Sylvia Lucas

Frost Graphics
116 Pleasant St.
Jonathan D’ Frost

JM Precision Home Improvements
13 Richardson Court
Jusuf Mutevelic

Pok Trucking
36 Hampton Ter.
Veasna Pok

EAST LONGMEADOW

RB Landscaping
P.O. Box 117
Robert Black

GREENFIELD

Bart’s Homemade Franchising Inc.
80 School St.
Gary Shaefor

Bartis Café
286 Main St.
Alan C. Sax

Copy Cat Print Shop
180 Main St.
Reya Shafii

Carousel Corner
4 Woodard Road
S. Jonathan Howe

Greenfield High Alumni
169 Barton Road
Steven Lepore

Sherwin Williams
6 Arch St.
Michael Noyes

Tae Kwon Do Center Inc.
102 Federal St.
David Johnson

HADLEY

Catherine Rose Financial Services
4 Bay Road
Mary Catherine Clayton-Jones

Courtyard by Marriott
423 Russell Road
Kenneth P. Vincunas

Rivers Edge Landscaping & Maintenance
201 River Drive
Peter Andrew Black

Sundance Realty Corporation
195 Russell St.
Herbert Michelson

HOLYOKE

Arcangel Auto Repair
775 High St.
Arcangel Mattei Quinonez

Artisans Café
1 Open Square Way
Luis Agudelo

City Laundromat
148 High St.
Angel Luis Rivera

Gil’s Auto Repair & Performance
21 Hadley Mill Road
Gilberto Rivas

Mr. Smoothie
50 Holyoke St.
Hasmukh Gogri

Old Navy LLC
50 Holyoke St.
Michael Zientek

Safe Auto Repair & Detailing
65 Commercial St.
Carlos Cruz

Totally Pagoda
50 Holyoke St.
Mary Curington

Zales Jewelers
50 Holyoke St.
Mary Curington

LONGMEADOW

University Meal Deal of Springfield
45 Belle Claire Ave.
Jesse James Liska

LUDLOW

Baystate Painting Company
512 Miller St.
Donald Wojcik

Demone Electrical
39 Saw Mill Road
Gregory Demone

 

Deputy Dogs
22 Norwich St.
Kenneth Alves

Mikey’s Pizza & Restaurant
325 East St.
Mohammad Tajerhan

MJL Consulting
308 Howard St.
Michael Liebro

NORTHAMPTON

Alias Salon
58 Pleasant St.
Lisa Fusco

James Guggina Ceramics
908 Ryan St.
James Guggina

Marche for Hair
99 Market St.
Kristine Mallor

Salon Debbie Droy
99 Market St.
Deborah Stutz

The Canine Counselor
166 Grove St.
Susan M. Miller

Walgreens
70 Main St.
Gary M. Marlin

PALMER

Majestic Masonry
11 Pearl St.
Jacob Richard Gelhausen

Metamorphosis Massage & Body Work
1223 Thorndike St.
Kristie L. Nathanson

P & D Landscaping
3080 Pine St.
Paul M. Holcomb

SOUTH HADLEY

G&P S&D Express
77 Riverboat Village
Patricia Fanska

Gentry Design
10 North Main St.
Mark Sherman

SOUTHWICK

Flynn Farm
49 Mort Vining Road
Diana Flynn

REH, LLC
56 Sam West Road
Ronald E. Humason, Jr.

SPRINGFIELD

Accountemps
1 Monarch Place
Evelyn Crane Oliver

Action Maintenance
1106 Carew St.
John Vazquez

Amani Wear
973 Worcester St.
Baraka Y Baraka

Antonio’s Catering
195 Arnold Ave.
Antonio Polk

Aquarius Cleaning
59 Sylvester St.
David Rodney

Bee’s Express
114 Myrtle St.
Raheim Rumell

Braintree Multimedia Design
26 Vale Circle
Christopher C.

Clean All
66 Sycamore St.
Gloria Wilson

Computer Wizards
81 Fern St.
Theodore A.

Con Air Construction Company
20 Sterling St.
Gilberto Ortiz

Curb Quisine
33 Euclid Ave.
Benjamin Franklin

El Bincon Restaurant
1295 Worcester St.
Felipe Almonte

En’V Entertainment
96 Palmer Ave.
Vanessa Montero

Enoch Construction
118 Cornell St.
Clive Lester Ryan

Executive Construction
111 Bowles St.
Jesus Alberto

Flow Music
494 Central St.
Will Quarterman

Gallant #1
61 Cherry St.
Kenneth C. Gallant

H & L Construction Service
313 Eastern Ave.
Henry Washington

J & S Painting
101 Knollwood Ave.
Erel Blinn

J. Brown Real Estate
99 Balfour Dr.
Joseph E. Brown

St. Luke Drawing
307 Chestnut St.
Brother Joseph Andrew

St. Mark Poet
307 Chestnut St.
Brother Joseph Laterza

St. Corner Entertainment
340 Cooley St.
Calvin V. Cooper

Sunshine Studios
1060 Wilbraham Road
Jeffrey R. Armitage

Taylor & Taylor Inc.
487 St. James Ave.
Taylor Newton

The Dream Barbers
472 Bridge St.
Shirley Albizu

The Modern Maid Service
143 Cedar St.
Sable Brown

Tip Top Nails
818 Boston Road
Duyen Nguyen

WESTFIELD

Arbonne International
375 Springdale Road
Jennifer Wilkie

At The Waters Edge Inc.
1029 North Road
Frank C. Woodard

Myriad Realms
2 Provin Ter.
Robert VanWagner

PriceRite of Westfield
301C East Main St.
PRRC, Inc.

Tim’s Concrete Service
17 Maple St.
Timofey Pchelka

Wizard Cycle Supply
8 Schumann Dr.
Paul E. Jaeger

WEST SPRINGFIELD

5 Star Nails and Spa
935 Riverdale St.
Hoang M. Vo

A & A Furniture Repair
32 Partridge Lane
Alan Archambault

Chili’s Grill & Bar
1175 Riverdale St.
John Thomas McGlone

Debbie Wong Restaurant
874 Memorial Ave
Wong & Sons, Inc.

Express Repairs
10 Butternut Hollow
Vladimir Melnichuk

West Side Barber Shop
11 Pleasant St.
Edwin Martinez

Departments

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

AGAWAM

Kaan Inc., 332 Walnut St. Ext., Agawam 01001. Emine Cicek, 209 Ventura St., Ludlow 01056. Pizza restaurant.

AMHERST

Amherst First Inc., 375 College St., #405, Amherst 01002. Reynolds B. Winslow, same. (Foreign corp; DE) Internet marketing product brokerage.

Medallion Apparel Corp., 336 East Hadley Road, Amherst 01002. Bruce Lu, same. Jeanswear, businesswear, general apparel and accessories.

The Freshman Inc., 453 Old Montague Road, Amherst 01002. Eric Nadeau Nazar, same. Publishing.

BELCHERTOWN

Saporito’s Pizza of Belchertown Inc., 112 Federal St., Belchertown 01007. Timothy E. Fitzemeyer, same. Take out pizza restaurant.

CHICOPEE

Tumbleweed Realty Inc., 1981 Memorial Dr., Suite 216, Chicopee 01020. Mark E. Ethier, 38 Day Ave., Westfield 01085. To deal in real estate.

EASTHAMPTON

Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School Educational Foundation Inc., 188 Pleasant St., Easthampton 01027. Kathleen Wang, 11 Dickinson St., Amherst 01002. (Nonprofit) To offer financial and technical support and encouragement to the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, etc.

GRANVILLE

N.S. Foods Inc., 43 Dickinson Dr., Granville 01034. Thomas Houston, 210-10 Willowbrook Ct., Wilder KY 41071. David A. Shrair, 1380 Main St., Springfield 01106, clerk. To own and operate food services businesses, etc.

HOLYOKE

Dhayana Inc., 50 Holyoke St., Holyoke 01040. Rakeshkumar Patel, 1922 Wilbraham Road, Springfield 01129. To operate a convenience store with lottery and Keno.

Harmony House Inc., 34 Jarvis Ave., Holyoke 01040. Rev. Edwin J. Larson, 982 Florence Road, Florence 01062. (Nonprofit) To provide a residence for the compassionate care of terminally ill persons.

INDIAN ORCHARD

Silvermjs Inc., 66 Holly St., Indian Orchard 01151. Maria J. Serra, same. To own and operate one or more beauty salons and day spas, etc.

LONGMEADOW

Specs Perry Inc., 809 Williams St., Longmeadow 01106. Gregory N. Andros, same. To own and operate an optical store.

LUDLOW

Amboy Realty Inc., 592 Center St., P.O. Box 452, Ludlow 01056. John Manganaro, III, same. To deal in deal estate.

Cabinet Solutions Inc., 597 Chapin St., Ludlow 01056. John E. Ryan, Jr., same. Mobile cabinet furniture repair and interior finishing.

CRS Systems Inc., 39 Sawmill Road, Ludlow 01056. Stanley Green, 54 Hampden St., Indian Orchard 01151. To install, service and repair security/alarms systems.

L & M Detailing Inc., 473 Holyoke St., Ludlow 01056. Katherine M. Malke, 17 Chadbourne Circle, Ludlow 010456. To provide automobile detailing, washing, vacuuming, etc.

 

MONTAGUE

B Wireless Inc., 51 Randall Road, Montague 01351. Michael R. Chudzik, 32 Walnut St., Gill 01354. Retail – wireless communications and accessories.

NORTHAMP-TON

Community Leadership of Western Massachusetts Inc., 99 Pleasant St., Northampton 01060. Suzanne Beck, 51 Henshaw Ave., Northampton 01060. (Nonprofit) To develop community and regional leaders in business, education, government, etc.

Fly Swatter Inc., 153 Main St., Northampton 01060. Eva R. Trager, same. Retail clothing.

SOUTHAMPTON

Gary’s Construction Co. Inc., 22 Freyer Road, Southampton 1073. Gary J. Pasquini, same. Construction and related activities.

SPRINGFIELD

Carvajal & Nielsen, P.C., 501 Belmont St., Springfield 01108. Sergio E. Carvajal, same. To render the practice of law.

Chiala Inc., 340 Main St., Springfield 01108. Chiala Marvici, same. Professional salon services and products.

Denosub Inc., 4 Allen St., Springfield 01108. Nancy A. Geurrandeno, 154 Berkshire Ave., Springfield 01108. To acquire, own, sell a subway franchise selling fast foods, subs, pizza, etc.

H & S Pizza Inc., 139 Dwight St., Springfield 01103. Sezgin Turan, 245 East St., Apt. A, Ludlow 01056. Restaurant.

Lee Mortgage Company Inc., 32 Manhattan St., Springfield 01109. Kisha Mock, same. Mortgage services/mortgage broker.

Memory Centers of America Inc., 2 Mattoon St., Springfield 01105. Emily F. Garndey, same. To own and operate businesses that provide services to individuals with memory impairments.

Ming Enterprises Inc., 34 Vermont St., Springfield 01108. Joscelyn A. Ming, same. Trucking and transport.

Towing Services of Springfield Inc., 1130 Bay St., Springfield 01109. Andrea Roy, 489 Trafton Road, Springfield 01108. Automobile and truck towing, storage and sale of used vehicles.

WESTFIELD

G & F Custom Built Homes Inc., 419 Springdale Road, Westfield 01085. Shaun C. Giberson, 76 Wolcott Ave., West Springfield 01089. Real estate development and management business.

Nicholas Estates Homeowners Association Inc., 166 Elm St., Westfield 01085. Curtis S. Gezotis, 43 Gary Dr., Westfield 01085. (Nonprofit) To preserve and maintain the common open space area and subdivision of the subdivision known as “Nicholas Estates”, etc.

WILBRAHAM

JJB Builders Corp., 10 Beechwood Dr. Wilbraham 01095. Judy Bergdoll, same. Ownership and development of real estate.

40 Under 40 Class of 2007
Age 39. President, Cowls Lumber Co.

Today, Cinda Jones heads up the oldest family business in Western Mass. — but she didn’t exactly begin at the top.

“I started in the family business at age 10, cutting plastic yellow triangles for foresters to use as boundary markers,” said the ninth-generation president of Cowls Lumber Co. in North Amherst. Not surprisingly, that wasn’t enough experience for Jones, who went on to hold natural resource non-profit management positions in Maine and Washington, D.C. for a decade after college, before returning home to take the reins at Cowls. “The family insisted I get useful before coming back,” she said.

Now, as president, Jones oversees natural resource management on the company’s timberland in 31 towns in Hampshire and Franklin counties. She also manages the company’s real estate division, as well as its sawmill and planing mill that manufacture up to 3 million board feet of pine, oak, and hemlock annually.

In addition, this often blunt-spoken libertarian — well-known these days for her efforts to protect private timberland from federal government regulation — is helping other business owners by trying to make Amherst a more, well, useful resource for businesses. As the current president of the board of directors of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, she’s working to help local companies be more competitive with Internet and big-box competition, and to jump-start a “buy local” campaign. 

“It’s really not a hard sell,” she said, “because local folks are really dedicated to protecting our local flavor. They know if big boxes put their downtowns out of business, they won’t like the look or feel of what’s left.”

Her favorite cause, however, is promoting the availability of “workforce-attainable housing” in the Pioneer Valley, noting that “it’s unbelievable to me that people who protect and teach our families can’t afford to live here.”

Jones herself won’t be chased away, not even by the lightning strike and fire that burned Cowls’ old sawmill in 2002. She and her brother and business partner, Evan, have since built a new mill, turning what she calls “my most awful experience since returning home” into a positive. Features in the new mill include interpretive panels about sustainable forestry and lumber manufacturing, and an observation deck from which visitors can watch logs turn into lumber.

As for Jones, she’s come a long way from turning sheets of plastic into triangles.

Joseph Bednar

Departments


Ken Furst

The World Affairs Councils of America recently appointed Ken Furst, long-time member and president of the World Affairs Council of Western Mass., to the national board of directors.

 

•••••

Indrani K. Gallagher recently joined the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission in West Springfield as Office Manager/Executive Assistant.

•••••

The Pioneer Valley chapter of BNI (Business Network International) recently elected a new slate of officers to its Leadership Team. Officers are:
• Ken Gotha, president, of Custom Furniture Design and Restoration of Agawam;
• Elaine Labbe, vice president, of Distinctive Marketing in Chicopee, and
• Eric Lubarsky, secretary/treasurer, of E & G Automotive of West Springfield.

•••••

Keller Williams Realty in Longmeadow announced the following:
• Donna L. Duval is working in the Longmeadow Market Center, specializing in estate properties, pre-foreclosure, and residential sales, and
• Kevin F. Moore is also working in the Longmeadow Market Center, where he is specializing in residential sales.

•••••

 

Greenfield Savings Bank announced the following:
• Shane P. Hammond has been elected Trustee;
• Regina Curtis has been named a Corporator;
• Bruce Lessels has been named a Corporator, and
• Jack Vadnais has been promoted to Assistant Vice President and Infinex Representative. His expertise lies in financial planning, investment, and risk management.

•••••

Michelle McAdaragh has been named Director of Real Estate Development for HAP Inc. in Springfield. She will work to increase production of affordable housing in Hampden and Hampshire counties and expand urban neighborhood revitalization efforts.

•••••

Savage Range Systems in Westfield has appointed Barry Witt to the newly created position of National Sales Manager.

•••••

Myra Marcellin recently received the 2007 Pride of First Pioneer Outstanding Citizenship Award from First Pioneer Farm Credit. She is a loan officer in First Pioneer’s Enfield office.

•••••

FamilyFirst Bank of Ware has promoted Dawn M. Swistak to Vice President and Treasurer. She formerly served as Assistant Treasurer.

••••

 

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Hartford campus recently announced the appointment of five full-time faculty members. They are:
• Darius Jal Sabavala, Ph.D., Professor, and Anupam Saraph, Ph.D., Professor, both in the Lally School of Management and Technology; and
• Brice N. Cassenti, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Engineering; Eugene Eberbach, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Computer Science; and Renaud Pawlak, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Computer Science, all in the Department of Engineering and Science.

•••••

ERA Laplante Real Estate has added Heather Law to its sales staff.

•••••


Teresa C. Utt

Teresa C. Utt has joined the executive sales staff of Andrew Associates in Enfield, Conn.

•••••

Polish National Credit Union has promoted the following individuals:
• Christine M. Janik, Senior Vice President of Human Resources;
• Anthony F. Ogonis, Senior Vice President of Operations;
• Joanne M. Page, Vice President of Lending;
• Celia Wolanin, Vice President of Retail Administration;
• Cynthia Mahoney, Compliance Officer;
• Ela Vickers, Branch Manager at the main office;
• Deborah Rivera, Assistant Manager at the main office, and
• Cynthia Houle, Assistant Manager at the Westfield office.

•••••

James A. Sandagato has been promoted to Commercial Lending and Services Officer for the Commercial Division of Southbridge Savings Bank. He previously served as a branch manager.

•••••

Springfield-based A. G. Edwards & Sons Inc. has promoted Mark W. Teed to Associate Vice President. He is Branch Manager and a Financial Consultant in the firm’s Springfield office.

•••••

Jonathan Pine has been named Vice President of Medical Specialty Services at Baystate Health. In his new role, Pine will oversee Diabetes and Endocrine Services, Neurosciences Services, Behavioral Health, Rehabilitation Services, Renal and Transplant Services, Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine Administrative Services, and several Baystate community health centers.

•••••

Kenneth R. Carter, Associate Director for Research at the UMass-Amherst Materials Research Science and Engineering Center on Polymers, won the Percy L. Julian Award for significant contributions in pure and applied research in chemistry. The award honors black chemist Percy L. Julian, who is known for work that led to the discovery of cortisone.

•••••

Dr. John F. Cardella has been appointed Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

Departments

The following Business Certificates and Trade Names were issued or renewed during the month of March 2007.

Agawam

C. J. L. Consulting
74 Glendale Road
Carla J. Lee

Clip Shop I Bargains Etc.
667 Springfield St.
Nancy Gentile

Frankie’s One Stop
91 Ramah Circle
Gianfranco Sciroccoo

Mass-Conn Inspections
99 Hendom Dr.
Sean Provost

Westfield Bank
655 Main St.
Westfield Savings Bank

Amherst

A Taste of Brooklyn
233 North Pleasant St.
Edna Richardson

Bresnahan Insurance Agency
231 Triangle St.
Terence Bresnahan

Chicopee

Custom Embroidery and Digitizing
1092 James St.
Nancy J. Perman

Dand L Home Improvement
16 Ducharme Ave.
Ralph E. Lussier

Monro Muffler Brake
461 Memorial Dr.
Mark Avery

Seibold Homes
75 Marble Ave.
Brian Seibold

Easthampton

Authentic Polish Pottery
68 Holyoke St.
Nora Bernier

Extreme Cleaning
27 Maple St.
Doug Beyer

Mt. Tom Soaps
5 Arthur St.
Cynthia Chamberland

Waxwing Design
59 Knipfer Ave.
Amy Bowes

Wheelchair & Senior Taxi
44 West St.
Bruce Cousineau

East Longmeadow

Money Management Associates
44 Harkness Ave.
Armand Arce

Villa Calabrese Inc.
162 Shaker Road
Antonio Fazio

Greenfield

Blue Blade Music
8 Prospect Ave.
Jeffrey Foucault

Flair for Hair
30 Chapman St.
Judith Ann Carter

Julia Grace Photography
60 Devens St.
Julia Grace Johns

Movie Gallery
68 Mohawk Trail
Lisa Carcione

Renfrew Real Estate
68 Mohawk Trail
Susan Renfrew

Second Chance
27 Chapman St.
Charlette Morin

The Arbors @ Greenfield
15 Meridian St.
Greenfield Assisted Living Limited Partnership

Hadley

Benjamin Zahradnik Systems
245 Russell St.
Benjamin Zahradnik

RCI Electric
1 Laurana Lane
Paul R. Miller

Secure Transportation
215 Russell St.
Norman Labonte

Holyoke

Techiemon
160 Suffolk St.
John Hanson

Theo Fadel Studio
95 St. James Ave.
Theodora Fadel

TNT Pizza
548 South St.
Anthony Favata

Who’s Next
273 Main St.
Eric Nieves

Longmeadow

Rick Forgay Leadership Institute
P.O. Box 60561
Richard E. Forgay II

RJB Real Estate
140 Hilltop Road
Richard J. Bellicchi

Tatyana Zak Apparel Group Inc.
226 Franklin Road
Tatyana Glukhovsky

Ludlow

East St. Variety
248 East St.
Lack Shah

Pioneer Realty
733 Chapin St.
Paul Miele

Turkish Soccer Club
305 East St.
Ahmet Citlak

Northampton

Custom Designs & Renovations
296 Turkey Hill Road
Tracy Sanyo

 

Exceptional Arts
213 Main St.
Bashir Ahamed

Pine St. Publishing
10 Pine St.
Fred Contrada

Sweeties Fine Chocolate
68 Main St.
Charles Burke

The Power Years
549 North Farm Road
Athleen Zimmerman

Palmer

The Concierge
90 Ware St.
Peter Gauthier

South Hadley

Dan Daniels & Your No Good Buddies
525 Hadley St.
Daniel Daniels

JZ Hair
491 Granby Road
Julie Zacharewicz

JustRight Masonry
582 Amherst Road
Gary Brissette

Solidarity for Families & Children’s Rights
7 Kendrick St.
Seth Diamond

Western Mass Cleaning Services
37 Lawn St.
Debra A. Kelly

Southwick

Clipshop Bargains Etc.
6 Judy Lane
Nancy Gentile

Sharon’s Errands
26 Granville Road
Sharon Tetreault

Springfield

B & A Produce Company
930 Bay St.
Loretta A Arillotta

Banks Carpet Cleaning
1129 St. James Ave.
Michael Sebastian

Cristianos Production
Wrentham Road
Emilio Pomales

Designs By Debi
77 Johnson St.
Debra A. Cappucci

Ed Pallets
44 Verge St.
Edwin Quinones

Ellary Associates
935 Main St.
Gary M. Heller

Gonzalez General Contract
100 Benton St.
Luis Gonzalez

Helpful Hands
35 Talmadge Dr.
Donna M. Waters

I Am Productions
18 Forest Park Ave.
Shariff Raheem Butler

Jack Casey’s Painting
5 Manor Court
Jack Casey

Journeys 1280
1655 Boston Road, SP 149
Michael Canterbury

K D Trucking
32 Clantoy St.
Kelvinson Ramon Duran

LaVallee Floors
221 Laurelton St.
Keith A. LaVallee

Mulberry Real Estate Group
40 Audubon St.
Jason Scott Donaldson

Sr. Productions
195 Worthington St.
Sergio Reodriguez

The Image Makers II
614 Carew St.
Malaquias Cortorreal

Tropical Food Mart
343 Wilbraham Road
Antonio Jimenez

West Springfield

ATC Systems
150 Grandview Ave.
Joseph Conti Jr.

Inter-Technologies, INC
451 Dewey St.
Yury Pshenichny

SGM Entertainment
74 Bosworth St.
Joseph Ross Jr.

The Super Washing Well Laundry
1126 Union St.
David Cortis

Westfield

Dena’s Petlane Products
64 Kane Brothers Circle
Dena Cavallon

Four Seasons Home Improvement
9 Spring St.
Michael J. Soto

Kirby of Western Massachusetts/DBA Saunders Distribution
108 Elm St.
Cynthia Saunders

North American Paper, Co.
61 Union St.
Robert Snyder

Stop & Go
35 Mill St.
Umair S. Farooqui

Swayger Plumbing and Heating
18 Llewellyn Dr.
Michael Swayger

Ticket Express
163 Barbara St.
Alan Metcalf

Departments

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

AGAWAM

JL Construction Corp., 18B Mansion Woods Dr., Agawam 01001. Jason J. Larochelle, same. To provide development, excavation, construction and road work services.

Marasi Transportation Corp., 11 Horsham St., Agawam 01030. Steven Marasi, same. Motor transportation of all commodities.

R & A Schoolcraft Inc., 79 Corey St., Agawam 01001. Richard A. Schoolcraft, same. To operate a convenience/package store.

AMHERST

Personalized Pharmaceutical Systems Inc., 356 Middle St., Amherst 01002. Todd A. Hoover, MD, 822 Montomery Ave., #306, Narbeth, PA 19072. Paul Herscu, 356 Middle St., Amherst 01002, treasurer. Consulting.

CHICOPEE

Design Professionals Inc., 554 Grattan St., Chicopee 01020. Peter R. Demallie, 425 Sullivan Ave., So. Windsor, CT 06074. Robert J. Lefebre, Esq., 554 Grattan Ave., Chicopee 01020, registered agent. Civil engineering, urban planning, surveying.

Waris Inc., 241 Chicopee St., Chicopee 01013. Mian Zahoor, same. Fast food.

EAST LONGMEADOW

M. Scott Investment Services Inc., 51 Prospect St., East Longmeadow 01028. Michael Scott Poggi, 112 Nottingham Dr., East Longmeadow 01028. Consulting.

FEEDING HILLS

FMLB Inc., 801 Springfield St., Feeding Hills 01030. Frank Bruno, Jr., 953 Westfield St., Feeding Hills 01030. Restaurant/bar.

FLORENCE

Content Here Inc., 17 Fairfield Ave., Florence 01062. Seth G. Gottlieb, same. Strategic technology consulting and advising.

GREENFIELD

Addam Inc., 409 Chapman St., Greenfield 01301. Maytte Dusseau, same. (Nonprofit) To serve as a network of admissions marketing and business development professionals in child and adolescent residential services, etc.

HADLEY

Lawn Jockey Inc., 49 River Dr., Hadley 01035. Tory J. Chlanda, same. Landscaping design, construction and maintenance.

HOLYOKE

372 Source of New York City Inc., 372 High St., Holyoke 01040. Hoi Soon Kim, same, president and registered agent. To operate a retail apparel and accessory company.

JKZ Inc., 409 Homestead Ave., Holyoke 01040. John D. Zantouliadis, same. Restaurant.

INDIAN ORCHARD

DeVallis Realty Trust Inc., 797 Berkshire Ave., Indian Orchard 01151. Ruth Rodrigues, same. To acquire, develop and deal in real property, etc.

 

LONGMEADOW

NRG Real Estate Services Inc., 13 Williams St., Suite 211, Longmeadow 01106. Nikita R. Gelfand, 50 Bellevue Ave., Longmeadow 01106. IT technical consulting.

LUDLOW

Ever After Inc., 541 Winsor St., Ludlow 01056. Angelina F. Fragoso, 101 Pine St., Belchertown 01007. Event planning, sale and rental of bridal attire, etc.

MONTGOMERY

Alex Electrical Inc., 115 Carrington Road, Montgomery 01050. Aleksandr I. Dudukal, same. General electrical service.

SOUTH HADLEY

Millenium Investments Inc., 29 Upper River Road, South Hadley 01075. Daniel Muldoon, same. Real estate investments.

VP-Line Inc., 4 Eagle Dr., South Hadley 01075. Vladislay Pehlka, same. Logistics.

SOUTHWICK

Chasamy Inc., 236 Vining Hill Road, Southwick 01077. Amy V. Sfakios, same. Restaurant business.

SPRINGFIELD

Joy of Our Bodies Spa Inc., 20 Arnold St., Springfield 01119. Joy Danita Allen, 63 Edgewood St., Springfield 01109. To provide hair, nail and spa services.

Logic Realty Group Inc., 111 Wollaston St., Springfield 01119. Wilfredo Lopez, Jr., same. Real estate ventures and investment.

TURNERS FALLS

New England Koi and Pond Supply Inc., 81 Oakman St., Turners Falls 01376. Richard L. Walsh, same. Sale of Koi and related products.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Inter-Technologies Inc., 451 Dewey St., West Springfield 01089. Yury Pshenichnyy, same. Computer store, retail, printing service.

Michael J. Gousy, O.D. Inc., 7 Westfield St., West Springfield 01089. Dr. Michael J. Gousy, same. Optometry.

SSR Construction Inc., 84 Maple Terrace, West Springfield 01089. Peter Slivka, same. Construction and remodeling.

WESTFIELD

Geoffrion Inc., 380 Union St., Suite 312, Westfield 01085. Jeffrey P. Gavioli, 17 South Maple St., Westfield 01085. Disaster restoration and carpet cleaning.

WILBRAHAM

Sundance Leather International Inc., 10 Willoughby Lane, Wilbraham 01069. Patricia W. Degon, same. Manufacturing.

Departments

Twenty-three business professionals recently graduated from the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield’s Leadership Institute 2007. The program, sponsored by the MassMutual Financial Group, is presented in partnership with Western New England College to prepare participants to be effective leaders in service to the community and their workplaces. Participants are now encouraged to bring their expanded knowledge and skill base back to their place of employment, as well as to the non-profit sector through a variety of volunteer opportunities. The Leadership Institute Class of 2007 includes:

• Brent Bean, Westfield State College;
• Paul Beturne, Verizon;
• Carole Bolduc, the Bank of Western Massachusetts;
• Kellie J. Brown, Westfield Boys & Girls Club;
• Elizabeth Cardona, Springfield Public Schools;
• Janice Carmichael, Westfield State College;
• Elaine Charest, Shriners Hospital;
• Lori Ann Chaves, Holyoke/Chicopee/ Springfield Head Start;
• Danielle Cochran, United Bank;
• Edda Daniele-Johnson, Regional Employment Board;
• Nancy Fagan, Baystate Health;
• Jeffrey Fialky, Bacon & Wilson, PC;
• Christopher Gingras, Baystate Health;
• Meghan Hibner, Westfield Bank;
• Michelle Lindenmuth, the Bank of Western Massachusetts;
• Karen Martin, Greater Springfield Senior Services;
• Terry Powe, Springfield Public Schools;
• Todd Ratner, Bacon & Wilson, P.C.;
• Janet Ryan-Roman, Holyoke/ Chicopee/Springfield Head Start;
• David Stawasz, Western New England College;
• Angela Vatter, Hampden Bank;
• Cynthia Wage, J.M. O’Brien Company, and
• Tricia Walker, MassMutual Financial Group.

•••••

The Springfield Falcons recently announced that left wing Mitch Fritz has been named the team’s winner of the American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year award for his contributions to the Springfield community during the 2006-07 season. Fritz helped organize the Falcons Family program and hosted his second annual blood drive, which tripled the quantity of blood the Red Cross normally collects on a regular day. Fritz was also an active participant in the Falcons visits to local hospitals, local youth hockey practices, and sled hockey appearances. Fritz is now one of 27 finalists for the AHL’s 2006-07 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall American Specialty/AHL Man of the Year.

•••••


John M. Lilly

John M. Lilly has been elected by the alumni of Springfield Technical Community College to the college’s Board of Trustees. He will serve a five-year term. Lilly recently retired from Westbank Corporation in West Springfield, where he held the positions of executive vice president, treasurer, and chief financial officer. He is active in community service, serving as the chairman of the St. Thomas Church finance committee, and as trustee and past president of the West Springfield Boys and Girls Club, director for the Sisters of Saint Joseph, and committee member for the NCAA Division II national basketball championship. He also volunteers for the American Cancer Society, United Way, and area youth sport organizations.

•••••

Matthew Kullberg has joined Century 21 Pioneer Valley Associates in Northampton. He will concentrate on the Amherst, Belchertown, and Granby areas.

•••••

Kevin McNamara has been named Senior Director for Organization and Management Development at Friendly Ice Cream Corp. in Wilbraham. He will be responsible for management assessment and development, performance measurement, career development, human resource planning and management succession, and human resource-related services for franchisees.

•••••

 

John Klimas

John Klimas has been named Vice President of Lending for the STCU Credit Union in Springfield.

•••••

Heatbath/Park Metallurgical in Springfield has appointed Bob Barach as its Regional Sales Manager, covering Michigan, Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, Western Virginia, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida.

•••••

Steven Richter, founder, president, and CEO of Microtest Laboratories Inc. of Agawam, was recently named to serve on the Robert H. Goddard Council on STEM Education, a 27-member council which will advise the Mass. Board of Higher Education on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Pipeline Fund workforce development programs.

•••••

United Personnel Services has announced the following:
• Carole Parlengas has been promoted to Vice President and Chief Financial Officer;
• Helio M. Duarte has been named Administrative Coordinator, and
• Tammy H. Chimi has been named Staffing Consultant.

•••••

Park Square Realty in Westfield has announced that Jodi L. Nylund and Marie T. Budreau have joined the Feeding Hills office as Sales Associates.

•••••

Allison DeLong is the latest Newsletter Director of the Board of the International Association of Business Communicators, Connecticut chapter.

•••••

Carlson GMAC Real Estate has announced the following:
• Marianne Dubois and Doreen Cunningham have joined the Wilbraham office;
• Craig M. Spooner has joined the Westfield office, and
• Suzanne Bleakley, Leslie O. Rodriguez, and Yaroslav Burkovsky have joined the Chicopee office.

•••••

Beth Brogle and Marcia Petri of Carlson GMAC Real Estate’s Holyoke office have received the GMAC Home Services’ Premier Service Diamond Award.

•••••

Bryan Fortier, an Associate in the Health Care Services Division of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. in Holyoke, recently met with Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and Sen. Bernard Sanders in Washington, D.C., on the importance of Upward Bound, a federal program that helps students from low- to moderate-income families prepare for and succeed at becoming the first generation in their families to get a college education. Fortier, who benefited from Upward Bound while growing up in Montpelier, Vt., joined an effort to persuade lawmakers to leave the program unaltered.

•••••

Margaret “Maggie” Rauh, CPA, of Moriarty & Primack, Certified Public Accountants, of Springfield, recently appeared as one of six witnesses to describe the personal effect of the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) on her family. Prior to the hearing in Washington, D.C., Rauh and Managing Partner Jay Primack, CPA, met with Congressman Richard E. Neal on Capitol Hill to discuss the issues related to this tax. The primary focus of the public hearing before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue, chaired by Neal, focuses on the growing impact of the AMT on middle-class taxpayers.

Sections Supplements

John Galiher was trying to do the math in his head.

The question was simple — ‘just how much ice cream can be stored in what is essentially an 8.2-million-cubic-foot freezer on Campinelli Drive in Westfield?’ — but the answer came in several ways, and as only Galiher, who started Preferred Freezer Services Inc. nearly 20 years ago, could do it.

“It’s about 40 million pounds,” he said, noting that weight is how this industry usually processes such information, “which corresponds to 1,000 tractor trailer loads, probably 3 million cases, or about 20 million half gallons — plus or minus a few.”

Those containers, shipped to every major supermarket chain in the country, bear some of the best-known names in the ice cream business, including Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Sealtest, Good Humor, and Klondike, said Galiher, adding that the cold storage industry is primarily about such large numbers. The two he is most preoccupied with are the company’s number of facilities — currently 18 — and total sales (roughly $130 million), which have been rising steadily since he started Preferred in 1989. And the upward trend will certainly continue in 2007, with several more plants, comprising more than 30 million cubic feet of freezer space, due to come online.

But this business is also about geography, said Galiher, which is what brought his company to Westfield. The city has direct access to the Mass. Turnpike and is close to I-91, he explained, and it has something most communities in the Northeast don’t — large tracts of permitted land, including one big enough for the company’s 150,000-square-foot freezer, which maximizes that footprint by climbing to 60 feet in height.

“So it’s really like a 300,000-square-foot building,” said Galiher, noting that there may soon be another facility built adjacent to it, as the company looks to take full advantage of the city’s location and infrastructure.

As it does so, it writes another chapter in the company’s history, and provides more evidence of a changing business landscape in Westfield. The former manufacturing center, once home to companies that made everything from buggy whips to paper to bicycles, is transforming itself into a distribution hub, with several giant warehouses or distribution centers (DCs) now doing business there.

CNS Wholesale Grocers has a giant, 15-million-cubic-foot freezer facility just a few hundred yards from Preferred’s plant, while plans are on the drawing board for a huge Target DC, also to be located on the city’s north side.

In this issue, BusinessWest looks at Preferred’s explosive growth, the reasons for it, and how the company is part of that changing scene in the Whip City.

Frozen Assets

There’s another number Galiher likes to toss around: –24, as in degrees Fahrenheit, the constant temperature kept within the Westfield facility.

That’s lower than most freezer warehouses, he said, conditions that are tough for employees (who are clothed to withstand that cold) but ideal for premium and super-premium ice cream, which have a higher fat content than regular offerings, and need it well below zero to preserve flavor and freshness. Minus 24 is actually colder than what’s required, Galiher explained, but trucks cannot maintain such low temperatures, so the added chill provides a needed head start for the products.

“If the product can start colder than it should be, it has a better chance of showing up at the distributor and the store with the quality and the hardness that the manufacturer wants to see,” he explained. “That’s the secret of that building — how consistently cold it runs.”

Such attention to customer needs has helped Preferred rise among the ranks of the nation’s, and world’s, largest public refrigerated warehouse companies, said Galiher, a former refrigeration engineer who, after working for one of the world’s largest industrial refrigeration companies, based in Malden, Mass., segued into the business of designing and building cold-storage warehouses.

He eventually started building them for himself.

Mixing his own capital with support from several silent partners, he formed Preferred Freezer Services. He started small — or at least with how small is defined in this business — with 23 employees, roughly $3.5 million in sales, and 1.3 million cubic feet of freezer space in a facility in Perth Amboy, N.J. The company now employs close to 1,000 people, has roughly 100 million cubic feet in its portfolio, and expects to more than double that number by the end of 2008.

As Galiher said, there are a lot of numbers in this business.

He started compiling them — as well as a track record for exceptional customer service — in the company’s first plant. That success formula led to continued growth and plants in several states, including New Jersey, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, as well as Massachusetts, which now hosts three facilities.

Many of the plants are in close proximity to major ports, including Boston, New York, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles, said Galiher, noting that these strategic locations allow easy access to major highways, and thus decrease transit time considerably.

How Westfield came onto the company’s radar screen is a mix of need and geography, he explained. In 2003, Preferred opened a 5.3-million-cubic-foot freezer warehouse in Raynam, Mass. that was utilized for frozen foods and other commodities, with another plant in nearby Sharon, opened years earlier, converted into an ice cream warehouse. As additional customers were added, that plant, with roughly 4 million cubic feet of space, was quickly outgrown.

After looking at several options, the company focused its attention on Westfield, which seemed to have the requisite ingredients in place — starting with location, available real estate (specifically a 35-acre parcel in the Campinelli Business Park), and a solid workforce from which to draw people for the challenging work in the plant.

The community is a little more than an hour west of several customers’ manufacturing facilities, including a Breyers-Sealtest plant in Natick, and maybe 90 minutes south of Ben & Jerry’s headquarters in St. Alban’s, Vt., Galiher explained. Those compass points, combined with available, permitted land, comparatively low energy costs — freezer warehouses consume huge amounts of electricity — via a municipal utility, easy access to major highways, and the existence of a major customer, CNS, right next door, made Westfield a logical choice.

High commercial tax rates, which exceeded those found even in California, were a drawback, he continued, but a tax incentive financing (TIF) plan made the deal doable.

The Westfield plant opened its doors in the fall of 2006, making it part of that ongoing expansion of the Preferred portfolio. The company has 18 plants operating, another seven under construction, and another nine in development, meaning the land has been purchased and plans for construction are proceeding.

Several plants are slated to open over the next few months, including ones in Philadelphia, with 7.5 million cubic feet; Atlanta, 6.6 million; Jacksonville, Fla., 7 million; Chesapeake, Va., 7 million; and Houston, 6.4 million.

Plans for a second plant in Westfield have not yet moved to the drawing board, but the question marking its construction is when, not if.

“We have some additional land there for such a purpose,” he said. “We prefer to build multiple independent facilities in a market, rather than simply adding on.”

By the end of 2008, the company should be able to move from its current fifth-place spot in terms of the largest refrigerated warehouse companies in the country up to second.

Degrees of Progress

That’s the number that Galiher seems least concerned about at this point.

Actually, he told BusinessWest that if the company remains focused on all those other numbers — as well as the all-important factor of customer service, and keeping those building temperatures lower than they have to be — then the national ranking should take care of itself.

And those are the cold, hard facts.

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

Sections Supplements
Learning Our Lessons from the Rich and Famously Departed

However unpleasant it may be to contemplate and prepare for our inevitable departure, we must. That’s because none of us want to leave a mess for our heirs after we are gone.

Nevertheless, despite many good intentions, we hear news about repetitive estate planning fiascos involving celebrities and common folk alike.

Anyone who has opened a newspaper or has watched television recently has observed the posthumous misfortunes of the likes of James Brown, Ted Williams, Jimi Hendrix, and, most recently, Anna Nicole Smith.

In 2001, Smith executed a will leaving all of her estate to her son, Daniel, to be held in trust with her friend, Howard K. Stern, as trustee. Tragically, Daniel died in 2006 at the age of 20. Just a few days prior to Daniel’s death, Smith gave birth to a daughter, Dannielynn. Shortly thereafter, Smith and Howard K. Stern had a commitment ceremony in the waters off Nassau, Bahamas.

Despite the significant changes to Smith’s circumstances, she did not revise her estate plan to leave any portion of her estate to Dannielynn or to her new domestic partner, Stern. Actually, Smith included provisions in her will preempting state laws that would have presumed that she wanted to include children born subsequent to the execution of the will. In addition, Smith did not revise her will to provide for a guardian of Dannielynn.

Similarly, James Brown did not appropriately update his estate plan prior to his death. His will names six children and calls for many of his personal possessions to be divided among them. However, 10 months after the execution of his will, Brown became a father again. He also remarried approximately one year later, and of course, the will made mention of neither the new spouse nor the new child.

Both Anna Nicole Smith and James Brown died with wills that were several years old and outdated. The probate court will now have to decide which guardian is in the best interest of Smith’s child, which may significantly differ from her intent.

A loved one dying without an updated will often results in an extended, expensive, and time-consuming trip to the appropriate state’s probate court. Although the Commonwealth of Massachusetts does have laws that provide guidelines for matters such as omitted spouses and children in a will, the testator may have intended a very different distribution of assets.

Do not make the same mistake. Review your estate planning documents periodically and upon any significant change in your life. Allow your estate plan to be flexible enough to anticipate things that may occur before you can change it. For example, in Massachusetts, if you anticipate the possibility of having another child, language can be inserted within your will allowing for the distribution of assets and a named guardian for any child born after your will’s execution.

If you anticipate problems, you may consider using a ‘no contest’ clause in your estate plan. In Massachusetts, such a clause disinherits anyone who challenges your estate. In order to make such a clause effective, you may consider leaving something to those at risk of being disinherited so that they have something to lose by challenging your stated wishes.

Jimi Hendrix’s case also illustrates the complexities of dying prior to executing a will. His untimely death at the age of 27 commenced a three-decade-long legal battle over the rights to his songs. According to a Hendrix biographer, due to the fact that Hendrix died without a formal estate plan, those who had been closest to him during his life, particularly relatives on his mother’s side, did not receive any financial benefit from his music.

There is no doubt that a minimal amount of estate planning would have avoided much of the controversy relative to his estate.

Communication about your affairs prior to your death is vital and can prevent disputes down the road when you can no longer arbitrate disputes and explain your reasoning. This is even more problematic when the events involved are highly unusual.

Consider the unpleasant dispute among Ted Williams’ children regarding his remains.

The family feud over Williams’ body commenced when his will showed that he wanted to be cremated, but the executor of his estate said that the former Boston Red Sox star later decided to be cryogenically frozen. The will read in part that he wanted his ashes “sprinkled at sea off the coast of Florida where the water is very deep.” However, the executor filed a petition asking the judge that Williams’ body remain in a cryonics lab in Arizona per Williams’ wishes. The only publicly known documentation that suggests Williams wanted to be cryogenically preserved is a piece of scrap paper stained with motor oil, executed while Williams was hospitalized.

The fact is, although Williams’ will states that he wished to be cremated, nobody really knows what he wanted. Williams did have a will, but, as is often the case, it was written more than fives years prior to his death. Many cryonics services were not even available then. The lesson learned is that it pays to review your will and funeral wishes on a regular basis.

Your estate plan should be reviewed at regular intervals and whenever there is a significant change in your personal or family situation, including the birth or death of a family member, marriage or divorce, and significant increase or decrease in your assets. Make sure that your plan does what you want and is taking advantage of recent law changes.

The celebrities cited above are not the only ones who experience long, expensive court battles over their estates; local probate courts are filled with cases of similar matters. Do not make the same mistake.

Todd C. Ratner is an estate planning, business, and real estate attorney with the law firm of Bacon & Wilson, P.C., who specializes in asset protection; (413) 781-0560;[email protected]

Sections Supplements
Chapdelaine & Sons Continues to Build on Its Tradition
David and Roger Chapdelaine Jr.

David, left, and Roger Chapdelaine Jr. say diversity is one of the keys to the longevity of their third-generation family business.

The look pretty much said it all.

When asked for his take on the annual Western Mass. Home Show, which recently concluded its annual run at the Big E, Roger Chapdelaine Jr., or RJ, as he’s called by friends and colleagues, smiled, gazed skyward, and shook his head slightly. This was more than enough body language to convey, as he would say later, that the show is work, and lots of it.

“It’s a long show,” he said, emphasizing long, and referring to the four days on the exhibit room floor, the extensive booth-preparation work — including the dismantling and re-assembly of some displays within the company’s showroom — and other prep work required to generate real results. “It requires a lot of time and effort.”

But in the end, it’s well worth it, he said, noting that it gives his third-generation family business, Joseph Chapdelaine & Sons Inc., with a second division called Kitchens by Chapdelaine, some important exposure — and much more. The show provides opportunities for this firm, which specializes in both new home construction and additions, as well as kitchens and baths, to renew some old acquaintances, make some new ones, add a few jobs for later in the year, and get a general sense for what’s happening with the economy and the consumers watching it.

Indeed, while there are many ways to gauge where specific business markets are heading, from quarterly statistics to trends emerging through the nature and frequency of recent phone calls to the company, the home show has proven to be a fairly accurate barometer of what area residents are thinking — and planning.

“The show gives us a pretty good sense of what’s happening in the market,” said David Chapdelaine, Roger’s brother and co-principal of this East Longmeadow-based venture that recently celebrated its 80th year in business. “Some people will bring plans for a new home, others will be looking to remodel; there’s a pretty good mix, and how that mix is weighted is a pretty good indicator of what the year is going to bring.”

But such knowledge is just the first part of the business equation, he continued. Being positioned to provide what consumers want and need — be it new kitchen cabinets, a lot on which to build, or a custom-built dream house — is the second, far more important part.

Handling both aspects of the assignment has been what this company has done since it was created by the partners’ grandfather in 1925, and took the name Joseph Chapdelaine Builders.

The elder Chapdelaine left his native Canada for Western Mass. and embarked on a career as a carpenter and then a home-builder. He was followed in that work by four sons, Gerard, Roland, Roger Sr., and Robert, requiring a modest name change (the & Sons). Succeeding generations have continued the tradition and expanded upon it. Roger Sr. is still active today, said David, noting that, at 72, he’s “down” to 40 hours a week.

“He’s our best employee,” he continued, adding that since he and Roger bought the company from their father, the last surviving second-generation member, in 2001, they have been committed to developing new business opportunities while remaining loyal to their grandfather’s vision and service-oriented method of doing business. It is this model that separates the company from operations that amount to an individual with a pick-up truck and a cell phone.

“It sounds a little corny,” said RJ, “but it all boils down to taking care of people, and that’s what we’ve done through all those years.”

Cabinet Appointments

Roger Chapdelaine said the kitchen has always been the center of the house, a gathering place where food preparation represents only a small part of a big role.
But it’s only been fairly recently that homeowners have started to give the kitchen the attention and appointments worthy of such of such an important role — in essence, adding form to the function.

And that form is being expressed in new and different ways.

“The kitchen is the gathering place for the family; it’s the center of the home,” he explained. “Kitchens are larger and much more efficient than ever, and people are outfitting them with high-end appliances, butlers’ pantries, televisions, breakfast bars, you name it. In general, people are making the components of their kitchen look like real furniture.”

Meanwhile, countertop materials are changing, and homeowners have more choices than could have imagined decades ago. “Granite is still the hottest, along with limestone and marble, but there are a number of new quartz products that are becoming increasingly popular,” he said.

Helping homeowners embrace the emerging trends in kitchen designs and materials is just one of many factors that have contributed to the continued growth and longevity of the Chapdelaine company.

This is how it’s been since Joseph Chapdelaine built his first home on Wilbraham Road in Springfield at the height of the Roaring ’20s. The company’s patriarch focused on custom homes, mostly built on what are called “scattered lots,” before later branching into subdivisions, said David, adding that his grandfather worked in several communities, including Springfield, Longmeadow, East Long-meadow, West Springfield, and others.

While building these homes and subdivisions, said Roger, Joe Chapdelaine noticed that their eventual owners were purchasing boxed kitchen cabinets instead of building the cabinets in place. He saw an opportunity to add another dimension to his business and, in collaboration with son Robert, created the Kitchens by Chapdelaine component.

“It gave him the opportunity to control the types of kitchens that were going into his homes,” Roger explained. “That’s how the kitchen and remodeling business got its start, and done it has done very well ever since.”

That operation is a somewhat separate entity, David explained, adding that there are distinct staffs but one set of books. But there has always been a crossover effect, with the kitchens and baths, or individual components for each, becoming part of the mostly high-end homes that the Chapdelaine company has built on individual lots or subdivisions in communities across the Pioneer Valley.

The volume of business recorded by each division fluctuates with the economy, said Roger, noting, however, that the kitchen component remains fairly steady from year to year, with perceptible upticks when the real estate market is slow or slower — as it is now.

During such times, some homeowners make a conscious decision to invest in their current home rather than look toward their next home.

“Those are the times when people will look to redo their kitchen, redo their bath, add onto to their home, or put in a new family area, and that’s what we’re seeing now,” he said, before doing some quick calculating with his brother to estimate that roughly 60% of the company’s revenues are derived from new home construction and 40% from remodeling, while a few years ago, those numbers were more like 70-30, and a few decades ago, 80-20.

Range of Options

The brothers Chapdelaine have been watching the company adjust to economic cycles and gradually increase its remodeling component for more than 30 years, and they both have lasting memories of toiling for their grandfather, father, and uncles at early ages.

David recalls cleaning rooms and mowing lawns at some of the spec houses the company built in various communities, and working assorted jobs around the office. Later, he went on to work for more than a dozen years at the Taylor Rental store located next door to the showroom on Shaker Road that was owned by one of his uncles.

RJ remembers helping to frame houses with one of the company’s subcontractors starting when he was 12.

“I was making $2 an hour and getting paid under the table,” he recalled, adding that the $80 he took home made him comfortable for that age. “I was the richest kid in town,” he joked. “There are labor laws now and issues with cash, but back then, I didn’t think anything of it.”

Today, the two brothers split the duties that come with managing both divisions of the company. These range from taking shifts at the Home Show — they were scheduled in for duty at Booth 411 just as other employees were — to taking customers through each of the steps involved in creating a custom home, from finding a site to design to construction.

An engineer by trade, David computerized the company in the 1980s, and currently does most of the estimating work on projects. Roger, meanwhile, focuses on design of everything from new homes to additions to kitchen remodeling.

There is ample business across the board, said the two partners, noting that while home sales have indeed slowed somewhat across the region (although the market is still stronger than that in Eastern Mass.), there is always a market for new construction.

The home-building component takes many different forms, including individual lots and subdivisions, said David, adding that some clients have their own blueprints while others will hire the company to craft designs. Overall volume fluctuates, but the company generally builds between 10 to 15 homes a year in communities ranging from Longmeadow (there are still a few lots there) to Belchertown, which is becoming an attractive option for both Western Mass. natives and Boston-area residents looking to get more house for their dollar than they would in most communities east of Worcester.

Meanwhile, the kitchen and bath business has seen that predictable surge that accompanies slower times for the real estate market. But there are other factors contributing to its steady growth.

Part of it is the ongoing evolution of the kitchen, said Roger, noting that these rooms are now bigger and better-appointed than ever. Designers at the company use computers to help clients piece together their dream kitchen, from the material for the counter top, to increasingly elaborate islands that add a third dimension, to scrollwork on cabinets.

But the kitchen and bath component of the business has also been helped somewhat by the home improvement channels now flooding cable television. Such programming serves to fuel the imagination by showing people new trends and products, said Roger, and it creates a better-informed pool of customers — people who are more knowledgeable about their options.

And while these programs, coupled with commercials from Home Depot and other big-box home-improvement chains, have encouraged some to become do-it-yourselfers, the Chapdelaine brothers inject some words of caution for those with such ambitions.

“We have a saying around here — you do what you do best, whatever it may be, and pay us to do what we do best.”

A Hard Finish

In general, what this company does best is provide customer service — be it with an explanation of the newest granite countertops, or taking the home from blueprint to reality.

The Pioneer Valley landscape has changed considerably since Joseph Chapdelaine starting building houses in Springfield — and there are far fewer places left on which to construct homes — but the company he started really hasn’t.

Through three generations it is still primarily in the business of building relationships, not structures and cabinets, and providing everything and the kitchen sink.

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

Sections Supplements
Second-generation Members Become Part of Bacon & Wilson’s Growth Pattern
Mike and Todd Ratner, and Gary and Jeffrey Fialky

There are now two father-son teams at Bacon & Wilson: Mike and Todd Ratner, at left, and Gary and Jeffrey Fialky.

Jeff Fialky didn’t plan to work a few doors down from his father when he set out on a career in law a dozen years ago.

Neither did Todd Ratner when he started work in the marketing field, starting at Anheuser Busch, before later shifting gears and entering law school.

But through a blend of fate and geography — specifically a mutual desire to return to the Pioneer Valley — they are practicing law at the Springfield offices of Bacon & Wilson, where their fathers, Mike Ratner and Gary Fialky, have logged more 50 years between them.

Both members of the second generation applied for openings at the company — there have been several due to an aggressive expansion effort — and prevailed in a hiring process that, by all accounts, granted them no favors because of their last names.

The younger Fialky, who joined the firm last year, is now a member of the firm’s Commercial/Business, Municipal, and Real Estate Groups, handling a wide array of work, while the younger Ratner, who came on in 2003, is now a member of the firm’s Estate Planning & Elder, Real Estate and Business & Corporate departments, spending much of his time in the burgeoning specialty of estate planning.

Their fathers say they neither encouraged their sons to enter law, nor to seek employment at the firm where they’ve been partners for many years, but welcomed the developments as they unfolded.

“They’re both great additions to the firm,” said the elder Fialky, noting, especially in his son’s case, that the timing of the recent openings coincided nicely with the experience he had gained working for large telecommunications companies. “There was a good fit between our needs and his career intentions.”

Said the elder Ratner, “the firm has been in a real growth pattern; the volume of work has increased steadily, and so has the number of attorneys working here. It just so happens that talented people named Fialky and Ratner wanted to be a part of that growth.”

The two members of the second generation, who grew up together in Longmeadow, said essentially the same thing when asked about how they arrived at the same work address as their fathers. They said they chose Bacon & Wilson because the assignments they took made good career sense, and they like the quality of life available here.

Overall, the two new associates’ stories speak to the growth of the firm, but also offer some evidence of a trend that area economic development leaders would like to see more of — young people who leave this region to start their careers but later return for the quality of life in the Pioneer Valley and, while doing so, givie back to the community.

Jeff Fialky, who described his path to Bacon & Wilson — and his focus on corporate law — as a circuitous route, majored in English Literature at the University of New Hampshire but always knew that he would make law his eventual career.

He graduated from Western New England College in 1994 (he clerked at Bacon & Wilson while attending school), and, several months later, became an assistant in the Hampden County District Attorney’s office. After two years there, he shifted gears and started what would be a 10-year stretch with the cable television industry at several Boston-area firms. He worked first at AT&T Broadband, where he eventually became senior operations counsel, before moving on to AT&T Corp. and a position as senior attorney, focusing on regulatory matters and litigation.

In 2004, he went to work for Andover-based Adelphia Communications as senior operations counsel, thus handling most commercial legal matters for the cable television provider.

The work was rewarding on several levels, but the younger Fialky desired a shift into private practice, a stated goal that coincided with a posting in Mass Lawyers Weekly for a position at Bacon & Wilson, one to which he thought he could easily transfer the skills he had acquired in regulatory work and business transactions.

“When I decided to leave the telecommunications industry, I was looking for an opportunity to be in private practice, and started talking to a number of Boston firms,” he said. “But when talking to them and meeting with various personalities and looking at the quality of life that type of situation would afford, and comparing it to this firm and the quality of people and the quality of life here, it was essentially no contest.

“My return to the firm, and my return to the Pioneer Valley, has been much more than I expected,” he continued, adding that he eventually had two solid offers, one in Boston and the other with Bacon & Wilson, and chose the latter. “It’s met, actually, it’s exceeded, every expectation.”

Ratner’s arrival at Bacon & Wilson has some different story lines, but many similarities, especially the part about wanting to return the Springfield area.

He took a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Studies at Babson College and went to work for Anheuser Busch, first as part of something called the Contemporary Marketing Team, which coordinated creative brand promotions of both new and existing projects. He then served as marketing supervisor, working in Chicago, and later as market manager (the company’s youngest) in Bloomington, Ind.

The work was intriguing and rewarding, but Ratner soon had concerns about many aspects of the ladder-climbing nature of the corporate world he was now part of.

“When I spoke with senior vice presidents and talked about their family life and children, they had mentioned that their 15-year-old sons and daughters had been in four or five different school systems,” he explained, adding that he had already moved four times in six years. “And I realized that, while I loved the company, this wasn’t the way in which I wanted to raise a family.”

After earning an MBA at Boston University, he enrolled at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law and eventually transferred to the University of Connecticut School of Law. While in law school, and after graduation, he clerked at Bacon & Wilson, and while in that role he gained an appreciation for the company and its team of lawyers.

He was weighing a possible return to corporate marketing work when a position became available at Bacon & Wilson, he said, adding that he believes his years of experience as a clerk there helped him in his quest to join as an associate.

Both of the new associates say their return to Bacon & Wilson affords opportunities to develop friendships and become involved in the community in ways that likely would not have been possible in either Boston or Hartford.

“My wife is a transplant; she came here from Newton,” said the younger Fialky, who recently joined the board of directors of the American Red Cross. “She’s already feels a sense of attachment to the community that is something which she didn’t experience to the same extent while growing up in Boston. And I feel that same sense of attachment.

“One of the things I really like about being in this area is that you have the ability to immediately effectuate change to the extent that you can become part of the community, join groups, and do things,” he continued. “That’s because organizations in this area are looking for people to raise their hands and get involved. That was really attractive to me.”

The younger Ratner concurred, noting that he and his wife are actively involved with Baystate Childrens Hospital, the American Cancer Society, and other institutions. “I’m just proud to continue the tradition of giving back that was started by those who came before me.”

Cover Story
Keller Williams Realty and Its Unique Business Model Find a Home in Western Mass.
April 2, 2007 Cover

April 2, 2007 Cover

When Texas-based Keller Williams Realty launched a franchise in Western Mass., some competitors openly conjectured that the venture wouldn’t last 90 days. Four years later, the KW franchise is moving up in the rankings and is within sight of a very ambitious goal — becoming the number one broker in the area. This explosive growth results from many factors, but especially a unique operating model that places the agents, not the broker, at the center of the home-selling universe.

Laura Stevens says she went, but with the thought that the meeting would be little more than an intelligence-gathering mission on what would inevitably become a new, potentially troublesome competitor.

That’s how she recalls the invite she accepted in March 2003 from officials with Austin, Texas-based Keller Williams Realty to discuss the possibility of a franchise in Western Mass., with her playing a lead role in that venture. Stevens, then an agent with Coldwell Banker, had met representatives of KW, as it’s called, at the annual convention of the National Assoc. of Realtors in New Orleans five months earlier, and told them that when they were ready to make their move into the Greater Springfield market they should give her a call.

They did, and she agreed to talk.

“I basically was only going because I figured, ‘if they’re coming into the market, I need to know everything I can about them,’” she admitted. “I went in essentially to spy; my goal was to find out who they were and what they had to offer the client so that if I had to sell against them I would know what I was up against. But they had me in about five minutes.”

That’s how long it took to explain and sell Stevens on what was then — and is still now — a fairly radical concept in the world of residential real estate: an operating structure in which the agent, not the broker, runs the store.

“I thought, ‘this is the best thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” she told BusinessWest. “They flip the industry upside-down; in the traditional model, it’s the broker as boss, broker as king, the ‘if you’re going to live in my house, you’re going to live by my rules’ way of thinking.

“At Keller Williams, the broker is a subservient leader, and the agents are the boss, and as an agent that appealed to me,” she continued. “I think that agents are in the best position to know what’s best for their business; the people from Keller Williams were essentially reading my mind.”

What took much longer to sell Stevens on, however, was the concept of her becoming the operating principal in Western Mass, or, in essence, the franchisee. She liked the Keller Williams model, but at first, and for some time after being introduced to it, she envisioned herself experiencing it from the agent side of the equation.

But when no one came forward to take the operating principal, or broker role — one that requires a sizable investment — Keller Williams officials pressed Stevens to consider assuming that risk, and opportunity, herself.

She did, and she’s never looked back.

She took the equity she had in two properties she owned, as well as most of her life savings, and, with some financial backing from several partners, took a somewhat daring entrepreneurial gamble, one that is thus far paying off handsomely and surprising many competitors who didn’t share the view that this was a good risk.

Along the way, she’s had to suffer many slings and arrows. In fact, KW’s business model was and is so foreign — and the Keller Williams corporate value statement, ‘God, Family, then Business,’ is so different and religion-oriented — that some competitors have taken to referring to the company as a cult, said Stevens.

“One area manager told people that we pray at our meetings,” she explained, adding quickly that there are no prayers and no Kool-aid. But there is that unique agent-centered view of the home-selling universe that is still difficult to explain and often hard to sell to agents.

But it is gaining results — across the country and especially in the local market. Nationally, the firm is well ahead of goals to have 70,000 agents by then end of this year, and has re-calibrated that number to 90,000. Regionally, the most recent statistics supplied by the Greater Springfield Board of Realtors show that Keller-Williams is growing steadily and gaining ground on the top firms in the market. The Longmeadow office was slotted second (up from third a year earlier) in terms of total sales and dollar volume for the first three months of the year, behind the Longmeadow office of Coldwell Banker, while the Agawam office was eighth, up from 17th a year ago.

There are several other yardsticks for measuring success, including the number of agents now with the local franchise — 130 (it started with 12) — as well as the opening of a second office in Agawam last year, and a third in Northampton last month. Meanwhile, the Longmeadow office will be moving soon to quarters on Dwight Road that are nearly double the current space on Shaker Road.

In this issue, BusinessWest looks at what Keller Williams has been able to accomplish in only four years in this market, and, more importantly, how it has made such a prominent mark.

Going Through the Roof

Stevens used many words and phrases to describe the agent-centered focus at Keller Williams, including some that were rather direct and reflected her many years of experience and frustration in her chosen field.

“They treat agents like intelligent people with ideas, not like idiots,” she said of KW, adding that she views the traditional plight of agents as the real estate business equivalent of taxation without representation. “I can remember once saying, ‘I have a good idea,’ and my broker replying with, ‘why don’t you let us do the thinking, and you just go do the selling.’ That was the attitude; here, the attitude is, ‘if you have a good idea, we’ll hear it; maybe it will help all of us.”

But perhaps her most effective effort to get her point across came when she gave a quick tour of the Longmeadow headquarters facility, starting with her office — such as it is. Small, oddly shaped, and tucked toward the back of what was once a suite of physicians’ offices, it has no windows. It does, however, have a second door — the one people go through to get to the Dumpster.

“I have the smallest and worst office here,” she said without any hint of regret, embarrassment, or indication that this was in any way improper. “And that’s the way it should be — the agents run the show here; our philosophy is that people do business with people, not companies.”

This was the model on which Gary Keller and Joe Williams started the company that bears their last names in 1984, and it has carried them to meteoric growth and a presence in all 50 states since they started franchising in 1993.

Stevens knew only a little about Keller Williams when she ventured to the NAR conference in late 2002. But it was enough to intrigue her and prompt a visit to the KW booth. And what she heard at that initial meeting on a planned Western Mass. franchise piqued her curiosity and eventually triggered her entrepreneurial tendencies.

Stevens, who first started considering a career as a Realtor while still in high school, had spent 15 years in the business and nearly 20 years in sales by then. She started with George & Green Real Estate in 1987, and spent seven years there before moving on to Coldwell Banker. She wasn’t really looking for a new opportunity when she sat down with KW officials, but she was certainly willing to listen.

And so, eventually, were several other agents she worked with at Coldwell Banker. They, too, liked the business model, enough to become agents and partners. Stevens was joined by Denise Vaudrin, Linda Santinello, Bino Wrona, Kathy Neilson, and Donna Taylor. They invested some money to help get the venture off the ground, and considerable effort in making it a force within the market.

But Stevens assumed the lion’s share of the risk, moving, by her estimates, from an annual salary approaching $200,000 to “zero.”
“It was more than a little scary,” she said of the transition from agent to entrepreneur, adding that she was helped in a way by the fact that agents are, by the nature of their work, independent contractors. “Agents are, in essence, entrepreneurs, but this was going a step further; it was a big risk for all of us, but one we felt good about.”

Stevens said area competitors didn’t give her and her team of partners solid odds for survival. “Many people said we wouldn’t last 90 days,” she said. “And when we did, they said we wouldn’t make it through the winter.”

The unique operating model is the primary reason why, she said, summing it up rather concisely: “Our agents are fully empowered to do whatever it takes to sell real estate — within the confines of the law.”

Seller Dwellers

Elaborating, she said the agents have the right to set policy — on everything from the hours of operation at a given office to the commission rates paid to co-brokers.

All this is done through a body known as the Agent Leadership Council, comprised of an office’s top performers, who, says Stevens, have the best business sense. “So they should have the right to run the company.

“At the beginning of each year, the council sits down, and together we figure out how much it’s going to cost to run the company each month,” she continued. “They submit a budget to me, which I then approve, and I hand over the money to them; they can do whatever they want with it. If they don’t pay the bills, we’re going to go out of business.”

While what the Agent Leadership Council does is noteworthy, why this group is in power is what competitors and area agents should come to understand, said Stevens, adding that it comes down to basic common sense. And for agents, it’s also a matter of basic mathematics.

Indeed, to show why agents are better off with the Keller Williams system than the traditional way of doing business, Stevens used her last year with Coldwell Banker as a working example, and said the KW MO would have put roughly an additional $50,000 in her pocket. She arrived at that estimate though a complicated compilation of numbers, including the amounts paid by agents to brokers, the parent company, and others. But the bottom line is, quite literally, the bottom line.

And that’s roughly the same number arrived at by Carol Roy Bright, an agent who joined KW nearly a year ago after working for Coldwell Banker and, before that, owning her own company, Real Estate Solutions. She told BusinessWest she joined Keller Williams because she could add, but there was more to it than that — specifically the fact that KW does more to help agents succeed than companies using more traditional methods.

It offers ongoing education, for example, she said, noting that classes amount to what she called a Ph.D. in home selling. Also, the company takes an approach that brands specific agents, not the company, which is logical because clients essentially do business with an agent, not with a company, she said.

“The Keller Williams model highlights the agent and puts the company in the background, which is as it should be,” she explained. “That’s because it’s the agent who gets hired, not the company. And in realty, it’s the top producers that clients are hiring, and not the firm, so if they stay with a traditional company, they’re not being properly compensated for what they bring to the table.”

Roy Bright says the KW model provides her with something else as well — a voice in how the company is run.

“We have open-book management, so everyone can see what everybody makes, and we can see what the owner is taking; we decide on equipment … we decide on everything,” she said. “I didn’t have a voice like that when I was with a traditional company.”

Yard Sale

Looking back on the franchise’s first year in business, Stevens said sales goals were exceeded by some 50%, a number that reflects some rather conservative projections.

“We didn’t know how to think big back then,” she recalled. “We’ve learned how since.”

Indeed, Stevens and her team have their sights set firmly on becoming number one in this market, and to Stevens’ way of thinking, it’s not a question of if, but when that will happen — a question she won’t answer because she doesn’t want to throw a date out there for the competition to see.

But she expects that it won’t be too long.

“We’re ahead of schedule; we’re currently No. 3 in this market in terms of gross sales, and we’re competing against some major players that have offices that have been established for 15 or 20 years,” she said. “We’re confident about moving up to number one.”

Thinking big at Keller Williams relates mostly to numbers related to unit sales, total sales volume, number of agents, and revenue-sharing payouts, said Stevens, but not necessarily to the number of offices across the region.

The company generally rejects the ‘office on every corner’ mentality that still prevails in some corners of this industry, in part because technology, primarily the cell phone, enables agents to do the bulk of their work from almost anywhere, but also because a large volume of offices creates redundancies that a cost-efficient operation will seek to minimize.

However, most consumers still want and need that office setting, Stevens continued, adding that this phenomenon explains the expansion in Agawam — an office that can help the company better serve Western Hampden County and Northern Conn. — and the most recent push into Northampton, which provides a more visible presence in Hampshire County and the hot spots in that region, including Amherst.

With the territorial expansion comes more work to sell the KW operating model, said Stevens, who admitted that it has been a harder sell in Northampton than she anticipated.

“To some, it sounds like it’s almost too good to be true,” she explained, adding that some individuals need convincing that what they’re hearing is the real deal.

Agents working for traditional brokers are way overpaying for the services that they’re getting from their brokers. Our model is so different that some people have a hard time believing it.

But ultimately, she believes top producers in the Northampton area will do the same math, and come to the same conclusion, that Roy Bright and 130 or so other individuals have.

“People have come to us from as far away as Brimfield and West Hartford,” she explained. “That’s because they recognize that it’s the right business model and they’re willing to travel for it.”

Window of Opportunity

Stevens said she does not yet know specifics on the layout of the Longmeadow office’s future home — to be part of a new office building going up on Dwight Road.

What she does know is that she will still have the smallest, worst office in the place, because while the facility’s mailing address will change, it’s unique approach to doing business will not.

That’s because successful companies don’t attempt to fix what isn’t broken, and KW’s track record for success is hard to argue with.

But maybe Stevens won’t have to contend with a door to the Dumpster.

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

Departments

The following Business Certificates and Trade Names were issued or renewed during the month of March 2007.

Agawam

Anthony Malone Investigator
324 Silver St.
Anthony Malone

O’Dyssey II
339 North Westfield St.
Deborah Carney

Online Computers Inc.
638 Springfield St.
Catherine Byrne

Overlook Home Improvement LLC
67 Hunt St.
Mark Simons

Studio 108
156 Suffield St. #109
Jennifer Cohen

Amherst

Fancy Fingers Nail & Skincare Salon
835 Main St.
Sandra Goss

Chicopee

A & H Service
376 Broadway
Joseph Rzeszutek

All American Drywall
94 Forest St.
Clifton D. Hall

European Goods Company
165 Front St.
Eugeniusz Wargulewski

EZ Mart
345A Chicopee St.
Zahoor Mian

Luz O Enterprise
62 Rivers Ave.
Luz M. Ortega

Easthampton

Continental Cleaning
41 Ridgewood Ter.
Raul Lopez

D.J. Thonsey
116 Pleasant St.
Thonsey Keopanya

Everything Retail
8 Beechwood Ave.
Joseph Rich

Jordin Chatterton Handcrafted Basketry
75I Parsons St.
Joyce Luciano

That’s a Wrap
2 Oliver St.
Mike Kerr

East Longmeadow

M. Scott Investments Inc.
51 Prospect St.
Michael S. Poggi

Shaker Road Animal Hospital
108 Shaker Road
Ryan Johnsen

Greenfield

Betty at Elizabeth Allison’s
54A School St.
Elizabeth A. Bellows

Doria’s at Wilson’s
258 Main St.
Doria Cotter

Gates Healing and Cooling
15 Sunset Square
John Michael Gates

Kim’s Upholstery
162 Federal St.
Kimberley Bonaiuto

[email protected]’s
258 Main St.
Mariette Poginy

Styles by [email protected]’s
258 Main St.
Beverly Suchanek

ThatsOnMe.com
55 Orchard St.
Andrey Agapov

Hadley

Alabaster Financial Planning
4 Bay Road
Susan Wennemyr

Class Action
245 Russell St.
Felice Yestel

Long Radio
30 Russell Road
Keith & Matthew Imbriglio

Maple Farms Foods
10 South Maple St.
Steve Ozcelik

Holyoke

5-7-9
50 Holyoke St.
Fashion Gallery Inc.

Bluemoon Coffee Roasters
50 Holyoke St.
Daniel Higgins

Capital Motors
829 Main St.
Rolando O. Farrill

Safe Towing & Auto Sales
9 Avon Place
Myrna Cruz

Longmeadow

Caldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Real Estate School
136 Dwight Road
NRT New England Inc.

Curves For Women
791 Maple Road
Dinah Merchant

Home Styling Solutions
133 Elmwood Ave.
Carrie Burke

Travel Associates of Longmeadow
80 Ridge Road
Allen H. Grosnick

Ludlow

Advantage Tire
State St. Bldg. 120
Mark Bongiorni

D&C Gravel & Marble
100 State St.
Luis Serrazina

 

Genesis Massage Therapy
123 Center St.
Christine Pietrowski

Northampton

Big Buss Graphics
23 Ryan Road
Brad Edwin Bussler

Green Meadow Farms
131 Fair St. Ext.
William Karparis

Kristy’s Nails
137C Damon Road
Chi Kim Do

Personal Touch Pilates
33 Hawley St.
Nadya Kostek

Palmer

Mangos
233 Wilbraham Road
Cheryl Whitcomb

South Hadley

Crooked Rails
14B Main St.
Susan Smith

Cycle Stop
459 Granby Road
Ray Smith

Daniels Painting and Wallpaper
525 Hadley St.
Daniel Daniels

TSP Painting
54 Bridge St.
Todd St. Pierre

Southwick

Fox Vision Realty
135 Berkshire Ave.
Nicholas Boldyga

Springfield

Coast to Coast Janitorial
45 Collins St.
Clyde Ratcliff

Connections Transportation
687B State St.
Ayyub Abdul-Alim

D B Publishing
315 Bridge St.
Dennis Brown

Dillomart
118 Victoria St.
Keiko Ardolino

Downtown Convenience Store
160 Worthington St.
Nafees A. Chaudhary

George’s Auto Clinic
403 Walnut St.
Juan J. Gonzalez

Go Go Towing and Auto Repair
462 Central St.
Oscar Rodriguez

Helen Hairum
1500 Main St.
Helen D. Johnson

Junior Auto Repair and Towing
151 Pine St.
Catalino Maldonado

L G Gift Stop
69 Upland St.
Lois Gordon

LC3 Enterprises LLC
154 Kimberly Ave.
Leon Cosby III

MarcusMadeMeFit
59 Sterling St.
Marcus Austin

Patriot Fence
91 Pondview Dr.
Tonya Marie Simmons

R & R Construction
191 Lexington St.
Lazaro R. Riera

R.J.S. Enterprise
93 Grochmal Ave. Lot 13
Ronald H. Stager

That’s Hot Gift Shop
7 Noel St.
Leeshona Barr

Tony Russo Marketing
11 Howes St.
Thomas Angelo Raschi

Westfield

B. K. House Cleaning Services
20 Old Holyoke Road
Brad Kriekamp

Colo Consulting
51 Oakcrest Dr.
Peter Colo

Complete Home Inspections
330 Buck Pond Road
John R. Borges

General Dynamics Aviation Services
3 Elise St.
Gulfstream Aerospace Services

R & C Countertops & Installation
9 Bartlett St.
Randy Arkoette

Thingreen Computing
42 Dickens Dr.
Briand LaForest

V.P. Heating and Cooling, LLC
61 Prospect St.
Tomas Petrowick

West Springfield

Lynch Flooring
115 Frederick St.
Peter Lynch

R Page Electrical Service
67 Kings Highway
Robert Page

R.A. Foresi Associates
680 Westfield St.
Robert Foresi

The Olde Barn Property Services
20 Laurel Road
Robert Gallant

Departments

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

AGAWAM

Chase Enterprises Corp., 590 Meadow St., Agawam 01101. Donald R. Chase, 39 Timber Ridge, West Springfield 01089. Real estate holding.

Easterntronics Inc., 312 Springfield St., Agawam 01001. Dang Huynh, 166 Hancock St., Springfield 01009. Electronics repair and sales.

V&R Photography Designs Inc., 55 Rosie Lane, Agawam 01001. Vanessa Rossini, same. Wedding, special event, and portrait photography.

XLSpan Inc., 318 Leonard St., Agawam 01001. Benjamin N. Koenig, 32 West Main St., Westborough 01581. To offer telecommunications services to the commercial and residential markets.

CHICOPEE

BF Inc., 1271 Memorial Dr., Chicopee 01020. Frank Brooks, 282 Narragansett Blvd., Chicopee 01013. To sell a full line of shipping and packaging services.

Gary’s Auto Sales Inc., 125 Broadway, Chicopee 01020. Gary A. Lopuk, same. Purchase and sale of automobiles.

FLORENCE

O-Live Foundation Inc., 680 North Farms Road, Florence 01062. Steve Frank, same. (Nonprofit) To fund research leading to the prevention and cure of genetic cancers, etc.

GRANVILLE

Stopa Roofing Inc., 99 Reagan Road, Granville 01034. Travis Stopa, same. Roofing construction on homes.

GREENFIELD

Friends of the New England Peace Pagoda Inc., 98 Conway St., Suite 1, Greenfield 01301. Robert Lowry, 8 North Leverett Road, Leverett 01054. (Nonprofit) To help strengthen former community relationships and create new relationships toward building knowledge, understanding and support of Nipponzan Mychaji, Buddhist Religious Society-New England Sangha and the Peace Pagoda in Leverett, etc.

Tallk Inc., 23 Woodland Dr., P.O. Box 90, Greenfield 01302. Lisa M. Kovalski, same. To conduct a restaurant business.

HOLYOKE

JRE Masonry & Restoration Inc., 87 Pearl St., Holyoke 01040. Jerome Robert Ezold, same. Construction.

HAMPDEN

E-Scrap Removal and Recycling Inc., 42 North Monson Road, Hampden 01036. Chris Lomascolo, same. Recycling electric components.

HOLYOKE

Igl.Casa de Restauracion Levantando Al Caido (House of RestorationLifting TheFalling Inc. Luis A. Cortes, 70 David St., Holyoke 01040. (Nonprofit) To provide civic, social, and educational welfare for people in need of supportive services, etc.

HOLLAND

The Wicket Grounds Inc., 1043 Burt Hill Road, Holland 01034. Joseph Clark, III, same. To promote recreational and historical activities and property management, The Wicket Grounds Croquet Club and Rifle Range, airsoft military simulation games, and military reenactments.

HUNTINGTON

Word Alive Christian Fellowship Inc., 75 Worthington Road, Huntington 01050. Reverend Jeffrey Dean Adkins, same. (Nonprofit) To foster acts of charity, fellowship and other religious, educational, social and recreational activities as would enrich the lives of its members, etc.

 

LONGMEADOW

Character for Kids — Team Kids Inc., 96 Redfern Dr., Longmeadow 01106. Deborah S. Han, same. (Nonprofit) To promote, supervise the interest of the public in martial arts, etc.

LUDLOW

DeMone Electrical Inc., 39 Sawmill Road, Ludlow 01056. Gregory G. DeMone, same. To perform electrical installation, repairs services, etc.

MONTGOMERY

Sinigur Concrete Pumping Inc., 37 Main Road, Montgomery 01085. Victor Sinigur, same. To pump concrete.

MONSON

Viewsource Technogies Inc., 139 McBride Road, Monson 01057. Steven Curtis Howland, same. Internet services.

ORANGE

Athol-Orange Lodge #1837, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America Inc., 92 New Athol Road, Orange 01364. Clyde Woodbury, 581 Barre Road, Templeton 01468. (Nonprofit) To inculcate the principles of Charity, Justice, Brotherly Love, and Fidelity, enhance the welfare of its members, etc.

SOUTH HADLEY

Legrandice Audio Inc., 8 Roundelay Road, South Hadley 01075. James Carl Legrand, same. On location/studio audio recording.

SOUTHWICK

Bill’T Well MFG Inc., 23 Hudson Dr., Southwick 01077. William H. Vredenburg, same. Machine shop.

Gogri Family Inc., 3 Robin Road, Southwick 01077. Hasmukh Gogri, same. To sell food and fuel at retail.

SPRINGFIELD

Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services Co., 1500 Main St., Suite 1200, Springfield 01115. Peter S. Novak, 168 Colony Road, Longmeadow 01106. Insurance producer.

Everyday Electronics Inc., 75 Pilgrim Road, Springfield 01118. Kathryn Elizabeth Chianciola, same. Electronic sales.

Financial Answers Inc., 119 Maplewood Terrace, Springfield 01108. Charmaine White, same. Real estate investment, management and financial consulting.

Leahy & Brown Insurance & Realty Inc., 535 Allen St., Suite 1, Springfield 01118. Joseph P. Leahy, Jr., 83 Barrett St., Northampton 01060. Insurance agency and real estate broker.

New England Labsystems and Mobility Inc., 38 Van Buren Ave., Springfield 01104. Fritz Bosquet, same. Medical supplies and service.

SUNDERLAND

That’s My Carpenter Inc., 52 Kulessa Crossroad, Sunderland. Bruce Rondeau, same. Carpentry and construction.

WARE

Heat Pro Inc., 133 Greenwich Road, Ware 01082. Peter D. Harper, same. To provide heating and cooling services to the general public, etc.

WILBRAHAM

J & V Company Inc., 420 Monson Road, Wilbraham 01095. Metyu Chen, same. Restaurant and retailing business.

Sections Supplements
The Local Commercial Real Estate Market is Defined by Stability

“How’s the market?”

That’s a question that area commercial real estate brokers are asked on an almost daily basis, sometimes several times a day. It’s a simple query, designed to gain insight into both the regional and national scenes — and often the answer comes in two parts, because sometimes, but not always, what’s happening on the larger stage doesn’t reflect what’s going on locally.

As for the Western Mass. market, my response is almost always, “good … stable … steady.” That’s because that’s what this market is like, with rare exceptions, and for reasons to be outlined here.

The ‘market’ is an amalgam of subsets that tend to function somewhat independently of one another. While they share very much in common, various factors impact some market segments differently than they do others. For example, the investment sales market is in lock step with interest rates, which in turn have little immediate effect on the office-leasing market.

When considered in the aggregate, the Western Mass. commercial market has a fairly solid history of stability. Over the past 15 years, since the disastrous market crash of the late ’80s and early ’90s (commercial real estate’s Ice Age), it has behaved somewhat like a missing link somewhere between a bear and a bull.

When the markets are hot in the New England region, conditions are pretty good here. And when the markets turn sluggish … it remains pretty good here. We enjoy an enviable insular equilibrium due to a combination of factors. These include our location, a comparatively attractive cost of living, the combined economic engines of MassMutual, Baystate Health, the region’s other major employers, and maybe the White Hut.

When dissected, the regional commercial real estate market component parts can be, and often are, in divergent conditions of health. The segments comprising the market include:

  • The sale of tenanted properties as investments, such as shopping centers; single- and multi-tenant office, warehouse and manufacturing buildings; and multi-family housing;
  • Office property leasing, which has subsets, including downtown and suburban areas, and their respective sub-markets of Class A, B, and C space;
  • The development markets, both public and private, such as the pending redevelopment of the former Basketball Hall of Fame and the new federal courthouse; and
  • The combination of retail leasing, warehouse and industrial leasing, and hotels and other hospitality properties, which play an important role as well.

This diversity within the realm of the commercial real estate market has a balancing effect on the sector as a whole, where the hot potato of risk is being continuously passed around.

While the real estate market is volatile like any commodity market, traditionally it is a lagging economic indicator. It’s like the last car in a multi-car fender bender. You can see the crash coming, but have no ability to avoid it. Therefore, while the commercial real estate sector may temporarily avoid the inevitable when the economy is in decline, the price it pays is often the heaviest.

The current overall stable and steady market is the result of the outstanding performance of some very hearty segments, others that are in economic cruise control, and lastly that portion on extended stay in the doldrums.

The investment sales market continues to be extremely robust. Due to the availability of investment opportunities with comparatively higher rates of return in the Western Mass. market, the area has experienced a surge of interest from investors outside of the market. The most notable examples are the sale/lease back of the Yankee Candle corporate headquarters in South Deerfield, the Potpourri Plaza office complex sale in Northampton, and the purchase of a large block of class B office properties in the Springfield central business district.

The most immediate factor that could calm this segment’s ferocity is a dwindling supply of investment property opportunities. For the time being, however, the push continues, and several pending transactions of significance will conclude in the next few months.

The vibrancy of the region’s hospitality sector is visible to everyone. Several new hotels have sprung up along I-91 recently. New hotels are planned for Northampton and Amherst. Judging by the always-packed parking lots at the Hilton Garden Inn and its neighbor, Uno Chicago Grill, business appears to be blistering.

Without question, the benchmark used most commonly to judge the overall condition of region’s commercial real estate market is the office component. Collectively the Class A office properties command the most attention because visually they dominate the landscape, symbolic of the region’s wealth and prosperity.

The office market is, and has been, controlled by two forces; one is the never-ending, musical-chair-like movement of office tenants from one building to another. While this has little beneficial impact upon market occupancy rates, it does create a nice ripple of new economic activity that beneficially impacts the building trades, the banking and legal communities, and a myriad of other enterprises, including, of course, real estate brokers.

The other compelling force is the absorption of vacant space by existing local companies expanding, new start-ups, and companies locating here for the first time. It’s the rare 100,000-square-foot lease that gets the media coverage, but it’s the small, 2,000-square-foot deals that are the foundation of the office market.

Overall, too much emphasis is placed on the office segment as a bellwether for the market in general. It just seems to get all the attention.

So, when asked, “how’s the market?” my answer will be, “solidly good, getting better, and always aspiring to be great.”

John Williamson is president of Williamson Commercial Properties; (413) 736-9400.

Sections Supplements
Memorial Drive Remains Poised for New Development Opportunities
The Chicopee Marketplace

The Chicopee Marketplace, adjacent to a Wal-Mart that will soon be expanded, are two signs of new life on Memorial Drive.

Chicopee’s planners are learning some new verbiage as development continues on Memorial Drive, a.k.a Route 33, the city’s main retail corridor.

Terms like ‘linger zone,’ ‘redemising,’ and ‘alternative hospitality options’ are being tossed around more often as the thoroughfare evolves — proof of some new, innovative changes both in the works and on the horizon.

That said, change is not coming at an explosive pace along Memorial Drive: ‘gradual’ is a better description of the additions to its growing legion of businesses.

However, it’s an area that Mayor Mike Bissonnette said is currently garnering some real interest in Western Mass., and with that interest comes a new focus on further diversifying the roadway to include a greater mix of retail and restaurant establishments. The end goal, he said, is to make Memorial Drive a destination, and not a throughway.

“This is one of the hottest areas for commercial real estate in Western Mass. right now,” said Bissonette, who attributes that to a number of inherent traits that have existed in the area for some time, including the thousands of employees working out of Westover Air Reserve Base and the Chicopee Industrial Park, as well as Memorial Drive’s close proximity to the Mass Pike.

But there are new variables that are adding to the surge of activity on Route 33, including a $110 million construction project at Westover that will add new buildings and, subsequently, new jobs. The revival of some key parcels on Memorial Drive, such as the former Fairfield Mall site (now called Chicopee Marketplace) has also created new interest and confidence in the strip among developers.

“The Fairfield Mall project really seemed to spur what I call the second generation of Route 33,” said Bissonnette. “The first generation was the housing, commercial, and retail real estate boom we saw in the 1960s following the construction of Westover.

“I also think we have a quick permitting process,” he continued. “We can get things moving usually within two months, and overall, I think developers like working with us.”

Follow the Franchises

Today, the mix on Memorial Drive is primarily casual dining franchises like Applebee’s and the 99 Restaurant; fast-food chain locations such as Arby’s, Subway, Quiznos, KFC, and McDonald’s; discount retail stores including Marshall’s and Payless Shoes; a smattering of auto dealers and local businesses including the landmark Hu Ke Lau; and big boxes like Wal-Mart and Home Depot. Two hotels — a Days Inn and Hampton Inn — round out the mix.

Moving forward, Bissonnette said he’d like to see a greater mix of retail and restaurant choices, and a greater percentage of higher-end establishments, those he says carry “a little cache.”

Some success has already been observed in the higher-end stratum, including the addition of a Starbucks across from Chicopee Marketplace. In addition, the McDonald’s on the roadway was recently one of 30,000 franchises across the country to get a facelift and image redesign, now including wi-fi access, premium coffee, and that aforementioned ‘linger zone,’ complete with plasma televisions and sofas, designed to keep people in the restaurant longer.

Bissonnette said he’ll keep a close watch for any other opportunities to make Memorial Drive more diverse, especially within the retail and hospitality sectors. “We’re still getting a lot of inquiries from chains, which is fine, but there is a need, for instance, for an additional hotel,” he said.

Still, while new opportunities are being mulled constantly for Memorial Drive, Bissonnette said he doesn’t discount the importance current retailers, franchises, and other businesses have had on the street’s overall health.

“It’s important to point out the jobs these places create,” he said. “They aren’t the kinds of jobs that you can necessarily build a future on, but they fill a vacuum in this area’s economy, and also keep dollars in Chicopee.”

Bissonnette cited one example as proof of the need for such jobs in retail and the food and hospitality sectors. When one of Memorial Drive’s more popular spots, Applebee’s, opened in 2006, the mayor said 1,200 applications were received for employment.

“We tend to talk about ‘meds and eds’ a lot,” he added, “but 1,200 applications — 600 of them completed online — shows that people are looking for these jobs, and moreover that they’re very important.”

On the Drawing Board

Kate Brown, Chicopee’s city planner, agreed, noting that there is already some interest among developers that suggests a new hotel might not be far off for Route 33.

“There’s been some interest from various types of outfits,” she said. “We’re still in the early days of that, but I think people are recognizing that this is a great location for spill-over from the Springfield market, for Six Flags visitors, or for travelers going east or west to other destinations.”

Brown said that while she, too, worried at one time that Memorial Drive would become a sea of fast-food restaurants, bank branches, and discount retailers, that trend is slowly changing. Further, she said existing businesses on the roadway have created a base from which to grow that, before 1996, was non-existent.

“Today, it’s very competitive,” she said. “The boom started in 1996, with an auto parts store and a Taco Bell, and it mushroomed from there. For a while all I saw were auto parts stores and banks, and I started to bite my fingernails a little.

“We’d still like to be able to orchestrate things a little better,” she added, “but I’m seeing a move toward businesses that better fill the needs of the community.”
Brown also agreed that the redevelopment of the former Fairfield Mall parcel that created what is now the Chicopee Marketplace has been one of the driving forces for growth on Memorial Drive, and that trend continues.

“Wal-Mart will soon be expanding, and the Ocean State Job Lot property is redemising, which is a new word I’ve been introduced to of late.”

In short, this is a 50-cent term for restructuring; the site will soon be home to seven different stores of varying sizes, creating what Brown calls a ‘plaza environment’ with the possibility of outdoor dining space.

“Buildout of the Chicopee Marketplace has made other undeveloped properties along Route 33 more attractive,” said Brown, noting that in particular, activity directly surrounding the parcel, which is also near the on-ramp to the Mass Pike, has been brisk. “Everyone wants to be near the Pike, which actually creates an interesting problem — there’s limited land available in that particular area of Memorial Drive, and it will be interesting to see who wins that race.”

Adding to that area’s draw is a $750,000 renovation of the Days Inn at 450 Memorial Drive now underway, spearheaded by the property’s owner, Dinesh Patel, who also owns the Hampton Inn on the other side of the Turnpike off-ramp.

To capitalize further on those positive developments, Brown said she’d like to see the area augmented by stores that could elevate the city’s shifting retail identity.

“Chicopee has never really been on the front line in terms of retailer choice,” she said. “I think that has a lot to do with base income in the city, and I think that has shaped what Memorial Drive looks like.

“But with the existing mix of discounters on the drive, having upper-scale goods at lower prices would be a great addition; I also wouldn’t mind seeing a bookstore,” she said.

Outlet for Greatness?

Bissonnette offered another option for growth, proposing that the area could be suitable for outlet shopping.

The model has already seen success in Lee and in the eastern part of the state in Wrentham; however, Bissonnette concedes that making it work in Chicopee may be problematic. Most retailers require that their discounted stores be placed a certain geographical distance away from existing stores, and with the Holyoke and Eastfield malls bookending Chicopee, that’s a high hurdle to clear. But Bissonnette said with existing discount clothing stores such as Marshall’s, Fashion Bug, and Payless Shoes already in operation, as well as a strong mix of casual dining establishments, the infrastructure is there for further development of destination shopping, rather than the ‘passing-through’ variety that is now more common to Route 33.

And Brown said that, while large parcels of land are becoming more scarce on the strip, there are many smaller development opportunities remaining, as well as a few sites that city officials are keeping a close eye on.

One such parcel is about 60 acres owned by the Springfield Diocese, located across the street from the Arbors assisted living facility at 929 Memorial Drive. The plot of land has yet to go up for sale, but Brown said it’s being watched closely.

“That’s the last big piece of real estate left on Memorial Drive,” she said.

Whether it will be redemised for an alternative hospitality venue or a hip, new eatery outfitted with a linger zone remains to be seen. Those are, after all, just some of the trends on a street that is definitely in the fast lane of progress.

Jaclyn Stevenson can be reached at[email protected]

Departments

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

AMHERST

Goodwin & Goodwin Inc., 460 West St., Suite A, Amherst 01002. Brien James Goodwin, 231 Elm St., Apt. 1R, Northampton 01060. Manufacturing, sales, and distribution of baked goods to retail and wholesale customers.

The Nyansa Project Ltd., 22 Emily Lane, Amherst 01002. Rev. Robert Andoh, Sekondi Assemblies of God Church, Takorandi, GHA. Dennis Hanno Dean, 22 Emily Lane, Amherst 01002, treasurer. (Nonprofit) To stimulate economic development in Ghana and surrounding nations, with a specific focus on the Takoranda and Sekondi metropolitcan area, etc.

BELCHERTOWN

Apremont Applications Inc., 515 Michael Sears Road, Belchertown 01007. Joyce Christine Poulin, same. Waterproofing, damp-proofing, building restoration.

EAST LONGMEADOW

Spagnuolo Subs Inc., 85 Holland Dr., East Longmeadow 01028. Judith A. Spagnuolo, same. Submarine sandwich shop.

HADLEY

Russell St Realty Corp., 8 River Dr., Hadley 01035. John P. Regish, 22 West St., Hadley 01035. Real estate development and leasing.

INDIAN ORCHARD

Paesano’s Pizzeria Inc., 306 Pasco Road, Indian Orchard 01151. Arduino Siniscalchi, 108 Sawmill Road, Springfield 01118. Pizza shop.

LONGMEADOW

Longmeadow Youth Basketball Association, Inc., 136 Grassy Gutter Road, Longmeadow 01106. Steven Dudeck, same. (Nonprofit) To provide an organized and structured basketball program that fosters the players’ appreciation for the game in a competitive team environment, etc.

New England Payroll Inc., 178 Nevins Ave., Longmeadow 01106. Scott Feinstein, same. Payroll processor.

LUDLOW

Parmar Brothers Inc., 321 Center St., Ludlow 01056. Sharpool S. Parmar, 239 Russell St., Hadley 01035. Hotel.

MILLERS FALLS

Rich Young Property Management Inc., 84 Federal St., Millers Falls 01349. Richard A. Young, same. Management of real property.

NORTHAMPTON

Hampshire Flooring & Tile Co. Inc., 141 Damon Road, Northampton 01060. John K. Asselin, 56 West Pelham Road, Shutesbury 01072. Retail flooring sales.

ORANGE

Sharon’s White Cloud Inc., 627 East River St., Orange 01364. Sharon L. Prue, same. To provide food and restaurant services, etc.

PALMER

GTB Cases Corp., 1240 Park St., P.O. Box 660, Palmer 01069. George T. Benoit, same. Sales and distribution of specialty cases.

RUSSELL

Utility Assistance Corp., 178 Dickinson Hill Road, Russell 01070. Frederick J. Wojick, Jr., same. Contracting services.

SHUTESBURY

iqSense Inc., 37 Carver Road, Shutesbury 01072. Thomas D. Williams, same. Professional consulting services related to electronics.

 

SOUTH HADLEY

Perry’s Prime Investments Inc., 39 Abbey St., South Hadley 01075. Michael Perry, same. (Foreign corp; NY) Promissory note investment.

South Hadley Community Tennis Association Inc., 93 Woodbridge St., South Hadley 01075. Ira Brezinsky, same. (Nonprofit) To establish and operate a Community Tennis Association, etc.

SOUTHAMPTON

Pignatare Construction Inc., 36 Montgomery Road, Southampton 01073. Marc C. Pignatare, same. Construction.

SOUTHWICK

Hampden West Holding Corp., 10 Coyote Glen, Southwick 01077. Edward J. Grimaldo, same. Purchase and lease of real estate.

Sportsmen’s National Land Trust-Massachusetts Chapter Inc., 239 Vining Hill Road, Southwick 01077. Ron Michonski, same. (Nonprofit) To acquire and manage open space and wildlife habitat areas, promote a conservation ethic, etc.

SPRINGFIELD

A-Z Credit Building Inc., 91 Mill Park, Suite 5, Springfield 01108. Hasapali Mohamed, same. Consumer credit building services.

JLC Services Inc., 196 Eddy St., Springfield 01105. Jeffrey L. Crapser, same. Cleaning business.

New Life Calvary Baptist Church, 981 Wilbraham Road, Springfield 01109. Rev. Jessee W. Williams, Sr., 84 Hazen Ave., Springfield 01109. (Nonprofit) To maintain public worship in accordance with the laws, traditions and customs of the New Life Calvary Baptist Church, etc.

New-Ct&Mass Construction Corp., 190 Commonwealth Ave., Springfield 01108. Guillermo R. Negron, same. General contractor, home improvement, painting, etc.

Peoples Group Company Inc., 57 Florence St., Springfield. Darnel Hunter, same. (Nonprofit) Entrepreneurial public awareness.

Slaughter Enterprises Inc., 31 Rutledge Ave., Springfield 01105. Dominique Eileen Slaughter, same. Customer services.

Xiuli Li Corp., 249 Belmont Ave., Springfield 01180. Xiuli Li, same. Personal service such as health bodyworks.

TURNERS FALLS

Alpha Stone Concrete Inc., 78 11th St., Turners Falls 01376. Daniel W. Gobillot, 19 Central St., Turners Falls 01376. Design and construction of concrete counter tops.

WESTFIELD

WFD Securities Inc., 141 Elm St., Westfield 01085. James C. Hagan, same. To deal in securities in its own behalf not as a broker but as a whole owned subsidiary of Westfield Financial, Inc.,

WILBRAHAM

Hurley’s Livery Inc., 37 High Pine Circle, Wilbraham 01095. Sheila M. Hurley, same. Transportation service.

Memorial School Parent Teacher Organization Inc., 310 Main St., Wilbraham 01095. Darlene Maconi, 16 Wagon Dr., Wilbraham 01095. (Nonprofit) To encourage cooperation among parents, school staff and community to enhance children’s education, etc.

Departments


Aelan B. Tierney

Aelan B. Tierney of Kuhn Riddle Architects in Amherst has completed the Architectural Registration Exams and is a licensed architect in Massachusetts. She specializes in commercial and residential projects at the firm.

•••••

 

Kleer Lumber, LLC of Westfield announced the following:
• Jack Delaney has been named Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Delaney will reinforce Kleer’s presence in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic and expand sales into geographic markets west of the Mississippi River and throughout the country;
• Margaret P. Sims has been named Director of Special Projects. She will focus on identifying OEM opportunities with architectural companies that source PVC trimboard for a variety of building uses, and
• Jerry Craig has been named Director of New Product Development. He will explore and identify new distribution channels and new markets for Kleer PVC trimboard.

•••••

 


Christy Hedgpeth

Christy Hedgpeth has been promoted to Director of Branding and Licensing at Spalding in Springfield. She will be responsible for brand consistency across all of the Spalding businesses and will also manage existing licensees, establish new licensing partnerships with strategically aligned companies, and manage the new initiative of licensing patented technologies.

•••••

Franklin County Home Care has hired Pam Kelly as its Development Director.

•••••

Mario Godbout has been promoted to Vice President of Ball Operations at Top-Flite Golf Co. in Chicopee.

•••••

Commerce Bank & Trust Co. in Worcester has appointed John S. Kelley as Senior Vice President-Commercial Real Estate.

•••••

Northampton Attorney Harry L. Miles has received a letter of thanks from the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program in Washington, D.C., for his handling of a pro bono appeal for a veteran. Miles is a partner in the law firm of Green, Miles, Lipton & Fitz-Gibbon.

•••••

Friendly Ice Cream Corp. in Wilbraham announced the following:
• Jim Sullivan has been promoted to Vice President, Franchising. He will be responsible for franchise operations and sales, franchise and company development, as well as franchise and real estate services, and
• Gus DiGiovanni has been promoted to Vice President, Company Operations.

•••••

 

Springfield Technical Community College announced the following:


Michael D. Niziolek

• Michael D. Niziolek, Vice President for Human Resources at Hasbro Games, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees, and

 

 

 


Bret F. Coughlin

• Bret F. Coughlin, M.D., Vice Chairman of the Department of Radiology, and Division Chief of Abdominal Imaging at Baystate Medical Center, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees.
Their five-year terms began last fall.

•••••

Debra Guy-Akers has joined Training Resources of America Inc. as Western Massachusetts regional manager with oversight of education and training sites in Holyoke and Springfield.

•••••

Abraham J. Macutkiewicz has joined the Westfield office of Carlson GMAC Real Estate as a Sales Agent.

•••••

Patrick Hughes has been named Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing and Sales Officer for Fallon Community Health Plan.

•••••

Brenda S. Doherty of the law firm Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy in Springfield, recently earned an LL.M, Master of Laws in Taxation, from Boston University. She practices in the areas of corporate law, estate planning and taxation.

•••••

Joy Chipman has joined Steenburgh Real Estate as an Associate.

•••••

Patti Affeldt has joined Witalisz & Associates Inc. of Westfield as a Real Estate Sales Consultant.

•••••

UMass Amherst announced the following:
• English Professor Peter Gizzi’s latest poetry collection, The Outernationale, has been published by the Wesleyan University Press;
• Yeonhwa Park, Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science, has received a 2007 Future Leader Award from the International Life Science Institute of North America, and
• A research paper by Anna Nagurney, Professor of Operations Management, and doctoral students Zugang Liu and Trisha Woolley, has been selected as the lead article in the inaugural issue of the International Journal of Sustainable Transportation.

Sections Supplements
Officials Want to Make it Easier to Do Business in Amherst

Amherst boasts one of the healthier economies in Western Mass., yet, ironically, it has a reputation as a difficult place to set up shop, one with an oppressive and confusing maze of bureaucracy to navigate. But Town Manager Laurence Shaffer and other Amherst officials have begun to address that reputation — and make some concrete changes in the way business gets done.

Emily Wadham and her husband, Adrian D’Errico, opened a new restaurant, Tabella, in Amherst in October.

They had been shooting for July.

“One of the complications was the lack of some protocol that was understandable to new business owners in town,” Wadham told BusinessWest. “It was a runaround trying to figure out what we needed and when we needed it.”

Specifically, the couple was surprised by the volume of paperwork and permits involved in opening a restaurant, and confused by the lack of a clearly communicated strategy for the order in which to tackle them. “It’s so arbitrary,” she said, “that you can really shoot yourself in the foot if you don’t get everything lined up the right way.”

Their experience is far from an isolated one in a community that in many ways is thriving economically, yet still has a reputation as a sometimes-difficult place in which to do business. Town Manager Laurence Shaffer thinks something should be done about that.

“Generally, there has been a sense in the community that inspections are not logical, not efficient, and maybe not effective,” he said.

“I don’t know if any of that is true, but a much smarter philosopher than me said that perception is reality, and when our community says that this is indeed their perception, we need to respect that, and we need to look for opportunities to change our reality in order to change that perception.”

In this issue, Shaffer and others discussed with BusinessWest what steps the town is taking to alter its business-unfriendly reputation when it comes to the permitting process — and why that’s important even for a community with as much life as Amherst.

Grinding to a Halt

John Coull, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, did not hesitate when asked about the town’s red tape-laden image among current and prospective businesses.

“I do believe that’s the perception, and that perception is reality,” Coull said. “Therefore, I think businesses will be extremely interested in seeing an improved process and especially improved communication of that process, which is a good deal of the issue.”

The reasons, he continued, are uncomplicated, and have everything to do with the adage that ‘time is money.’

“When someone takes on a lease for an expensive piece of real estate and is ready to build out in preparation for opening, a day is a dollar,” Coull said. “If they’re forced to eat heavily into their operating budget just to endure the time these delays might make necessary, it sets them at a distinct disadvantage when they do open their doors.”

And that, in turn, creates often-unnecessary obstacles to do business in a town that in many ways has become an attractive place to set down roots.

“This is one of the most desirable places to live in Western Mass.,” Shaffer argued, noting the presence of three colleges — UMass, Amherst College, and Hampshire College — as well as an array of museums and cultural attractions.

In addition, “we have an intact downtown that’s bustling and thriving, and we have one of the best conservation programs in Western Mass., with thousands of acres under protection. The quality of life here is confirmed every day by the number of people who want to live here.”

Yet, Amherst has well-documented hindrances to new business. For one thing, the commercial tax rate in neighboring Hadley — $9.12 per $1,000 in assessed valuation — is much lower than Amherst’s rate of $15.68. Then there’s that perception of slow, confusing permitting — but Shaffer says relief is coming.

“We have a goal of trying to make the process more transparent, open, and streamlined,” he said, “so we’re looking at a variety of new approaches and philosophies to deal with inspections.”

Currently, he said, eight separate entities that conduct building inspections — covering building, plumbing, electrical, fire, and health codes, among others — do their work independently of all the others, with little communication between them.

“Each entity has its own very valid, very important regulations that require compliance,” Shaffer said. “We’re looking for a synchronized process that makes it more logical and streamlined so that each process relates to the others, rather than being independent.

“That isn’t to negate the very serious health and safety issues that the codes attempt to get at in each of these disciplines,” he added. “But there needs to be a recognition that each works with the others. We want a process that’s logical and transparent so that people involved in these things know where they stand in the process.”

Access Point

Part of the solution involves electronic infrastructure, said Shaffer — specifically, allowing all stakeholders in a project to access the information they need on their computers.

“We’ve acquired a new software system, similar to the software platforms used throughout the town, to create a single point of entry into the system, and a repository of information about individual building projects,” he said.

Allowing easier electronic access is part of an overall culture change aimed at dispelling the perception of closed-door dealings.

“We need to be more transparent to the public,” Shaffer said. “How does the public know what the status of a permit is? What kinds of outstanding items remain? The expectation on our part is that can be done electronically, so a lot of this comes down to the whole method of how we gather, compile, and share information.”

For their part, Wadham and D’Errico had no problem with any individual board — just the lack of communication between them.

“Of all the individual people we spoke with in the town offices, no one was unhelpful,” Wadham said. “But you had to do the hunting yourself to figure out how to make them work together. Everyone does their job, but there’s no simple protocol for new businesses to follow.”

She suggested establishing some kind of business welcoming committee to help guide newcomers through the process — or at the very least issue a checklist that explains the order in which each permit, meeting, and stack of paperwork should be tackled.

The town’s Select Board has been discussing various options with local developers and business owners, Shaffer said, creating a forum of sorts to air issues that have arisen during various inspection processes.

“The town collects a lot of information,” Shaffer said. “We need to allow each department to know the status of other inspections with some kind of local synchronization process.”

Coull said such an effort is long overdue.

“I have strong hopes for an improved system,” he said. “The communication among and between the departments is going to make a difference. And for the consumer, the business person, to know what their status is at any time, that too will make a difference.”

Bright Future

When Shaffer was appointed town manager in mid-2006 — hired away from Vernon, Conn., where he had served as town administrator since 1999 — he brought some 30 years of municipal management experience to the table.

With a degree in Public Administration in hand from the Rockefeller School at Albany State University in New York, Shaffer first tasted public service in a variety of capacities in Oneonta, N.Y., including city assessor and head of economic development.

After a decade in Oneonta, Shaffer spent another 10 years as assistant city manager in Keene, N.H., followed by three years in Durham, N.H. as town administrator, before moving on to Vernon. Amherst, however, projects a sort of vibrancy that both excites and challenges him like none of his past roles.

“We’re in the midst of developing a master plan for Amherst, and one of the areas of discussion is the whole aspect of economic development,” Shaffer said. “I’m hoping that, through this process, we bring some definition to this issue, and provide some directions for where the town government might go in terms of being a catalyst for economic development.”

That plan, however, is still being hammered together, Shaffer added, and for now he’s trying to strengthen the relationships the town already has with its major economic players, including the three colleges.

“We’ve begun to have conversations with them and begun to explore what’s possible in terms of collaborating on projects of mutual benefit,” he said.

In many ways, he explained, Amherst is in the uncommon position of being able to shape its own future, partly because many consider it such an attractive place to live. The question now remains: what model of growth best fits the town’s profile as a regional center of culture, education, and conservation?

“It all relates directly to economic development,” Shaffer said. “We have developers interested in putting in 55-and-older communities in town, folks who want to open up new restaurants — and I think the sky’s the limit for our downtown and its desirability as a destination point. I think the future is very bright for our community.”

And discarding a few layers of red tape, he suggested, can only make it brighter.

Departments

The following Business Certificates and Trade Names were issued or renewed during the month of January 2007.

AGAWAM

Goliath General Contracting
1060 North St. Extension
Jeremy Roscoe

Hell Creek Saddlery
168 Elm St.
Sean Picktop

Highland Lake Writing
88 Doane Ave.
JoAnn Mason

L.M. Parts
26 Faymore Dr.
Eric Anderson

Rose Real Estate Group
149 Brookfield Lane
Raymond J. Rose Jr.

WRB Consulting
193 Coyote Circle
Wayne R. Ball

AMHERST

Lawrence H. Smith Properties
9 Squire Lane
Althea Dabrowski

Tenderhearts Family Daycare
123 Logtown Road
Dania Suarez

CHICOPEE

Dream House Siding Company
45 C Colonial Circle
Richard Francis Boucher

Dynamic Network Solutions
31 Loveland Terrace
Michael T. Malley

InStar Services Group
30 Haynes Circle
Gary Grout

JBA Low Voltage Contractors
123 Wheatland Avenue
Jeffrey B. Averill

Porter and Chester Institute
134 Dulong Circle
Eric Emet

Royal Touch
80 Boileau Terrace
Joshua Pendrick

SJR Bookkeeping
47 Coakley Dr.
Sara J. Rzewnicki

Stanley General Contractors
27 Richelieu St.
Stanislaw Orzol

Tony’s Sunoco Inc.
2041 Memorial Dr.
Anthony Elias

Vital’s Auto Service
451 Granby Road
Vital Fonseca

EASTHAMPTON

Lynzi Wildheart
26 Spring St.
Lynzi Williams

R & H Roofing, LLP
59 South St.
Henry E. Hopkins

RPM Worx
55 East St.
Ryan Mancini

EAST LONGMEADOW

Case Handyman Services
94 Shaker Road
William Richard Miller

Catherine @ Shapes A Salon
219 Shaker Road
Catherine M. Rasid

Credit Solutions Network
444 A North Main St.
Isaac O. Wilson

Daisy’s Dogs
60 Shaker Road
Daniel and Samantha Macer

Vital Signs
169 Shaker Road
Kevin M. Moriarty

GREENFIELD

V.O. Rell Xpress
332 Deerfield St.
Viorel Marin

Worldview Photography
14 Sanderson St.
Nancy Young

HADLEY

Huntington Photography
93 Huntington Road
David Michalak

Leading Edge Toners
226 Russell St.
Brian A. Zuckerman

HOLYOKE

B & B Real Estate
59 Cherry St.
John P. Brunelle

Dairy Market
160-162 Lyman St.
Irfan Kashif

Reyes Income Tax and Bookkeeping
18 1/2 Gilman St.
Enrique Reyes

Wells Computer Systems
2016 Northampton St.
Kevin L. Pettingill

LONGMEADOW

Molly Coddle Boutique
73 Falmouth Road
RoseAnn Caliento

Pack Solutions
794 Frank Smith Road
William J. Kline

LUDLOW

Excel Home Car Services
200 Center St.
Rebecca Paquette

NORTHAMPTON

Safeground Landcare
110 Williams St.
Bernadette Giblins

Shear Xtreme
4 Old South Road
Barbara Paolo

Treasures Film Inc.
27 Pleasant St.
Robert Lawton

Verge Design Jewelry
76 Pleasant St.
Angela Gerhard

Template X Design
121 Meadow St.
Albert N. Sanchez

Universal Remodeling
15 West Farms Road
Richard Czyzewski

PALMER

Lia Sophia Jewelry
9 Cabot St.
Sarah Jane Leneau

 

Nutritional Healing Center
3 Carter St.
Lionel Gingras

The Mane Attraction
1020 Central St.
Margaret K. Hiersche

The Tax Lady
25 Cyd Alan St.
Julie Ann Gromosky

SOUTH HADLEY

Jim’s Home Improvements
6 Lloyd St.
James Pouliot

Medical Device Intelligence Group
317 East St.
Kiersten Asbeck

Michael Bullough Electrician
311 East St.
Michael Bullough

The Stone Group
64 Hadley Village Road
Michael Stone

SOUTHWICK

Merk Technologies
610 College Highway
James L. Richardson

R.G. Lewis & Son
62 Powdermill Road
Raymond G. Lewis

SPRINGFIELD

Heavenly Cleaning
72 Princeton St.
Tamyka Washington

Jade’s Beauty
341 Wilbraham Road
Sophia C. Evans

Kubbie Korner
32 C Parker St.
LillyBelle M. Fox

La Bodega
178 Oakland St.
Elizabeth St.

Lilly-Good Luxury Imports
32 Hampden St.
Alan R. Goodman

Montero Auto Sales
1579 State St.
Carlos Montero

My Pets House
256 Greenaway Drive
Andrea Bailey

New Image Renovation
72 Elijah St.
Emmanuel Lewis

Pafumi’s State Inspection
354 Main St.
Joseph M. Pafumi Jr.

Rick’s Equipment
24 Sara Lynn Drive
Richard D. Parneteau Jr.

SavMore Citgo
1112 Bay St.
Mohammed Imtiaz

Sign Language Interpreter
67 Trafton Road
Kara L. Santaniello

Skyrlee Express
107 Cedar St.
Victor Amaro

St. James Auto School
262 St. James Boulevard
John Vigneri

St. James Custom Autobody
503 St. James Ave.
Maritza Del Rio

Superior Safety & Security
27 Bernard St.
Sufir Hashim

The Trailhead Trading Co.
82 Birchland Ave.
Christopher Baeur

Visuals Interior Re- Design
62 Maybrook Road
Elaine Loftus

Vitaliy’s Full Handy Maintenance Service
32 Manor Court
Vitaliy Tereshchenkou

Works Management
129 Miller St.
Raquel Rodriquez

WESTFIELD

Great Home Realty
103 Broadway
Erika Adoryan

Labrie & Associates Quality Consultants
47 Bigwood Dr.
Catherine & Richard Labrie

Landman Services
97 Papermill Road
Gary Drenzek

NAP Electric
160 Holyoke Road
Neil Peloquin

Writingwood
257 Falley Drive
Bernard Puza

WEST SPRINGFIELD

A Gift 4 Less
751 Memorial Ave.
Michael Pacheco

Asian Cuisine
1152 Riverdale St.
Zheng’s Garden, LLC

Attitudes
62 Westfield St.
Barbara Thompson

BMW of West Springfield
1497 Riverdale St.
Wagner Motors LLC

Kentucky Fried Chicken
931 Riverdale St.
Houston Enterprises Inc.

KMS Realty
73 Rogers Ave.
Donald C. Pinkerman

Pat’s Auto Service
163 Norman St.
Richard D. Parenteau

Preferred Auto
167 Norman St.
Richard Larivee

Red Light Lounge
125 Capital Drive
Capital Liquors, Inc.

Wicks and Wood
640 Elm St.
Lesley Maple

Word-of-Mouth Painting
322 Main St.
Andrew A. Forbes

Departments

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

CHICOPEE

The Friends of Elms College Inc., 291 Springfield St., Chicopee 01013. Bernadette Nowakowski, 38 Cedar Glenn, Belchertown 01007. (Nonprofit) To enhance the continuation of The College of Our Lady of the Elms by providing various giving opportunities, etc.

Sherrin Entertainment Inc., 240 Moore St., Chicopee 01013. Stephen Edward Sherrin, same. Production of entertainment media including films, TV, Web content, streaming media, etc.

CUMMINGTON

United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association Inc., 320 Stage Road, Cummington 01026. Paul Wojick, 811 East 5th St., Northfield MN 55057. Laura Cecilia Sullivan, 320 Stage Road, Cummington 01026, secretary. (Nonprofit) To be the governing body for intercollegiate team racing competition in the discipline of alpine, cross-country and snowboard, etc.

GREENFIELD

Cold River Mining Inc., 246 Silver St., Greenfield 1301. Adam Marchacos, same. Wholesale sales.

HAYDENVILLE

Complex Systems Optimization Laboratory Inc., 20 High St., Haydenville 01039. Sclaudina Vargas, Ph.D., same. (Nonprofit) To develop a first class multidisciplinary research team willing to utilize their expertise to expand knowledge and advance the performance and quality of critical complex systems, etc.

HOLLAND

Cevans Inc., 31 Hisgen Road, Holland. Arthur D. Evans, Jr., same. Technical support of business computer systems.

HOLYOKE

J.D-Wal Inc., 615 Homestead Ave., Holyoke 01040. Gurninder Dhariwal, 20 Easthampton Road, Apt. #B4, Holyoke 01040. Family pizza restaurant and eatery.

LONGMEADOW

Park’s Repair World Inc., 51 Clairmont St., Longmeadow 01106. Woo Tae Park, 19 Winter Court, East Windsor, CT 06088. Amy Bricker, Esq., 51 Clairmont St., Longmeadow 01106. Shoe repair, key duplication, jewelry repair, and clothing alteration.

LUDLOW

Vallee Realty Inc., 199 Moody St., Ludlow 01056. David F. Vallee, 103 Carver St., Granby 01033. Real estate rental and management.

MONSON

HIAA Inc., 143 Butler Road, Monson 01057. Heather L. Emery, same. Order taking/reservations via internet.

MBNE Inc., 129 Fenton Road, Monson. Mona Labonte, same. Medical billing service.

NORTHAMPTON

Commonwealth Center for Change Inc., 12 Crafts Ave., #4, Northampton 01060. David Simpson, same. (Nonprofit) To build community and deepen the democracy skills of youths and adults.

 

Park-Well Inc., 518 Pleasant St., Unit #11, Northampton 01060. Richard T. Petricca, 73 Swamp Road, Richmond 01259. Concrete contracting services.

QOI Corp., 193 Prospect St., Northampton 01060. Matthew Ward Whitcomb, 1204 Roundhouse Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314.
Jeremy D. Whitcomb, 193 Prospect St., Northampton 01060, registered agent. Restaurant.

SHELBURNE

Judith Collins Inc., 139 Old Greenfield Road, Shelburne 01370. Judith Lynn Collins, same. Telemarketing.

SOUTHWICK

Green Passport Inc., 1 Partridge Lane, Southwick 01077. Crist Zantouliadis, same. Media management.

SPRINGFIELD

Law Offices of Bethzaida Sanabria-Vega, P.C., 1145 Main St., Ste. 403, Springfield 01103. Bethzaida Sanabria Vega, 340 Chapin Terrace, Springfield 01003. To provide legal services and advice.

Manna Chinese Restaurant Corp., 441 A Springfield St., Springfield 01107. Yun Xia Lin, same. Chinese restaurant.

MOR Services Inc., 293 Bridge St., Suite 307, Springfield. Henry Orszulak, 314 Circle Dr., West Springfield 01089. Commercial and residential construction, demolition and renovation, etc.

Sam’s Auto Center Inc., 153 Spear Road, Springfield 01119. Samuel J. Eady, same. Retail sales and service of motor vehicles.

Segundo Templo Pentecostal Mont Sinai, 278 Wilbraham Road, Springfield 01109. Nereida Garcia, same. (Nonprofit) To provide for the civic, social and educational welfare of people in need of supportive services, etc.

THREE RIVERS

Jeff Ferreira Construction Inc., 2 Norbell St., Three River 01080. Jeffrey D. Ferreira, same. Realty contracting, development, construction and management.

WESTFIELD

New England Poly-Recycling Inc., 825 North Road, Westfield 01085. Gary Cloutier, 28 Adams St., Chicopee 01022. To manage, reuse and recycle plastic waste disposal.

WILBRAHAM

Jake’s Drive-In Corp., 2535 Boston Road, Wilbraham 01095. Michael P. Erricolo, 119 Moore Ave., Warren 01083. Restaurant.

PhamLe Inc., 2036 Boston Road, Wilbraham 01095. Quan Pham, 13802 A Pacific Ave., Westminster CA 92683. Tracyna Le, 22 Camp St., Worcester 01603, secretary. To operate a restaurant.

Sections Supplements
Her Career in Cooking is Successfully Panning Out

Cindy Pierce always enjoyed cooking.

She fondly remembers taking part in the preparation of lavish Sunday dinners orchestrated by her Italian grandmother and great aunt.

“They were like master chefs,” she said of her older relatives, noting that they took pride in making their own sauces and breads and turning meal preparation into an event. “I think that’s now somewhat of a lost art; these days, more and more people are saying, ‘what I can I slap together quickly?’”

Despite her fondness for the stove — Pierce experimented with French cooking in her teens, won ribbons for her baking at 4-H fairs, and financed her college education by working in various restaurants — she never imagined she could ever make a living from it. It wasn’t until nearly 20 years after she graduated from college — and after assorted career stops in fields ranging from broadcast journalism to software development — that she realized she could.

It was while in that software industry phase of her career that she started working long hours, getting home late, and, after discussing dinner options with her partner, often resorted to take-out food.

“That was the epiphany for me,” she said. “While trying to decide between Dominos or Chinese, we would say how we wished there was a person, an elf, that would magically make us dinner.”

Soon, she would learn that many colleagues and friends had similar wishes, and this eventually led her to revisit her youth and juxtapose her culinary skills with her career situation. “I said, ‘wait … I like to cook, I’m not happy at work; I could be that person who magically cooks dinner.”

Using the kitchen at the Polish American Club in South Hadley (a facility she rents for a few hours a day), and not magic, she is doing just that under the corporate name Abbondanza! LLC, which, in Italian, means abundance. That term would not accurately describe the size of her client list, but she’s getting there through a service largely unique to this region.

Rather than personal chef work, which is where Pierce started and involves an individual coming to one’s home and cooking meals to their specifications, Abbondanza! delivers up to a week’s worth of meals to clients who range from a young couple struggling with 70-hour work weeks to an elderly woman suffering from a bad back.

Pierce currently prepares and delivers several dozen meals a week, and expects to grow her client list through word-of-mouth referrals and societal dynamics that will keep her products and service in demand — and more-so as the Baby Boom generation heads into retirement.

“These are people who realize that they need some help and value their time,” she explained. “They’re willing to make a trade-off — spending a little more, perhaps, but gaining some precious time and eating meals that will serve them far better than most take-out.”

Her Bread and Butter

Braised chicken with dried fruit. Pan-seared whitefish and potatoes. Curried couscous with broccoli and feta. Turkey cutlets with cider and thyme sauce. And something called ‘Caribbean stew.’

These are just a sampling of the offerings Pierce has put on the menu for the past few weeks; she says she has roughly eight months’ worth of different offerings. The stew, by the way, is described on the menu as a tropical blend of sweet potatoes, tomatoes, greens, and other vegetables. It’s served over brown rice with cornbread, and, like other dishes, comes in regular (usually 8 ounces) and spa (4 ounces) portions, and blends taste with nutrition and affordability. The stew is $13, while most entrees are a few dollars more.

“And it comes right to your door,” said Pierce, noting that convenience, above everything else, is the factor that will take this business where she wants it to go.
The business card says ‘Chef Cindy Pierce.’

That’s not something the Tewksbury native could have imagined while attending the University of South Carolina and working toward a degree in broadcast journalism. She took that diploma and went to work for WSBA, a small CBS affiliate in Spartanburg, S.C. There, she worked in the production department for the 6 and 11 nightly news broadcasts, starting as a studio camera person and working her way up to lighting chief and assistant director, eventually working on a number of projects including an American Bandstand-like program called Sound Effects.

She eventually segued out of TV and into freelance video and production work. Soon, however, she realized this was a field with limited income potential, and thus sought something with better opportunities.

She found it in the technology sector which was booming at that time, the late ’90s, and place, the Route 128 corridor in Eastern Mass. She worked first for Reading-based Addison Wesley Longman, a textbook publisher, and was part of the team that created its InterAct math tutorial program. Later, she became a Lotus Notes developer for Lexington-based IBS America Inc.

She enjoyed the work, but the long hours and lengthy commute brought her home late — too late on many occasions to do anything but order out, a practice that wasn’t good for her health or her wallet.

These experiences ultimately led to some soul-searching and a decision to start over — in a big way. She would embark on a new career, as business owner and personal chef, and do so in Western Mass. (specifically Holyoke), where the cost of living, and especially real estate prices, were and still are far lower than in Eastern Mass.

Before launching Abbondanza! Personal Chef, however, she did considerable research, talking with a number of people who have chosen that profession in this market and outside it.

“When I Googled ‘personal chef,’ I found all kinds of information,” she said, adding that she eventually communicated with a personal chefs organization, which offered direction on how to get started. “What I kept hearing was that this is a viable field to go into. People can make it work; they just have to do it right.”

Stirring Things Up

Pierce enjoyed some initial success as a personal chef, and still works in that capacity for a few clients, but eventually came to the realization that there was a bigger, better market for a different kind of service, one where the meals are cooked off-site and then delivered to the home.

“That’s what this market seemed to want,” she explained. “I was getting a lot of calls from people who wanted meals, but they didn’t want me coming to their house; they were saying, ‘we just want the food.’”

The nature and volume of those comments brought a new name and direction to her venture.

Pierce now spends Mondays and Tuesdays preparing meals (ordered by noon the preceding Friday) at the Polish American Club, which has the requisite licensed kitchen as well as long stretches during most days when those facilities aren’t being used. Deliveries are made on Wednesdays to Southern Hampden County, and on Thursdays to Chicopee, Holyoke, and the Northampton area. They are accompanied by advice on which entrees will freeze better or should be eaten first.

Since shifting to delivery of meals, Pierce said she has seen the venture take off. She has a group of what she calls “regulars” — whom she described as individuals or couples who can’t cook for themselves for mostly physical reasons, or can but don’t have the time to do so or would prefer to put that time to other uses — and some who use the service on occasion.

To grow those numbers, Pierce is relying on word-of-mouth referrals, some marketing, mostly through a Web site (www.abbondanzachef.com) that includes everything from menus to reviews, and some extensive networking. She’s a member of the Women Business Owners Alliance (WBOA), the networking group BNI, and other organizations, and is involved with the Northampton Chamber of Commerce.

Her immediate goals include expanding the array of offerings to include meals that would fit in with many of the more popular diet plans, while longer-term she hopes to add volume to the point where she can hire staff and perhaps drop delivery duties from her job description. For now, though, she enjoys that assignment, because it keeps her in touch with the client base, providing important feedback on the menu.

Pierce acknowledges that she has considerable competition in the form of individual restaurants and companies that will bring meals from a wide list of area restaurants to one’s door. But she believes she has something unique, something more personal, that has strong growth potential.

“I think I go beyond what restaurants can offer,” she said, listing everything from the variety of the menu to the local produce she uses (when it’s in season) to the give and take she has with clients about ways to deliver what they want. “It’s a more personal approach that people like.”

Bringing Home the Bacon

Pierce says recipes for meals ranging from lasagna to “Nuts4Nuts Crusted Pork Chops” — with seasoning that comes from another WBOA member enjoying success — arrive from a number of sources. They include cookbooks, magazines, acquaintances, the cooking shows she catches on rare occasions, and her own imagination.

Her specialty? She thought for a moment and summoned pan-roasted eggplant Parmesan — and her in-demand morning glory muffins.

They represent both part of her desire to revive some of that lost art mastered by grandmother and great aunt, and her broad goal to forge a career that brings the many different kinds of rewards she’s seeking.

Time will tell just how popular this venture becomes, but for now, its certainly panning out the way she’d hoped.

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

Departments

The following Business Certificates and Trade Names were issued or renewed during the month of January 2007.

AGAWAM

Agawam Pizza & More
421 Springfield St.
Zahra Mortazi

Bobbie J’z
1668 Main St.
Mary-Jane Jensen

Bobskill Paver Stone Co.
17 McKinley St.
William Bobskill

City Fashion
299 Springfield St.
Tommy Mgauyen

Extra Innings of Agawam
45 Tennis Road
Mark L. Tengren

AMHERST

A.D. Cleaning Service
147 Bay Road
Amaro Ferreira

Carrie at Salon Divine
15 Pray St.
Caryl Whiteman

Coinshow.Com
409 South Main St.
Jonathon C. Roche

CHICOPEE

Auto-Pro’s Vehicle Service
35 Gladd Avenue
Robert J. Brault

Chase Automotive Trim & Glass
1422 Granby Road
John H. Chase

Daigle’s Truck Master Inc.
57 Fuller Road
Jeffrey Charles Daigle

Happy Days Breeding and Training
30 Shea Dr.
Elizabeth Ann Leclerc

Intensity Motor Sports
970 Burnett Road
Joseph T. Goulet

Mario’s Auto Service
63 Center St.
Mario J. Domingos

Moran’s Garage USA Inc.
536 East St.
James M. Garvey

Rosy’s Nails
25 Burnett Road
Tina Nguyen

Timberline Properties
83 Thaddeus St.
Robert Kachinski

Vitaliy’s Autobody and Repair
108 Meadow St.
Dmitriy Salagornik

EASTHAMPTON

ABC Construction & Roofing Service
150 Pleasant St.
Bruce Bliven

Eliza Consulting
35 Fort Hill Road
Eliza Lake

Kaleidoscope Institute
116 Pleasant St.
Jennifer Winick

EAST LONGMEADOW

Caldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Real Estate School
55 North Main St.
NRT New England Inc.

Clark’s Landscaping
20 Alandale Dr.
Andrew Clark

Daniel P. Dirico Pro-Shop
176 Millbrook Dr.
Daniel P. Dirico

Family Bike & Sports
217 Shaker Road
Raymond D. Plouffe

NAPA Auto Parts
167 Shaker Road
Stephanie Nelson

GREENFIELD

Harmon Personnel Services
326 Deerfield St.
Community Action Enterprises Inc.

Sonam’s Stonewalls
310 Chapman St.
Sonam Lama

HADLEY

Culinary Partners
84 Russell St.
Valley Computer Works Inc.

HOLYOKE

Dairy Market
1552 Dwight St.
Irfan Kashif

Finding Time
583 Pleasant St.
Marie M. Sheedy

Green Room Salon
159 St. Jerome Ave.
Jennifer Sicotte

SoHo Holyoke
50 Holyoke St.
Hae Yeon Cho

Special Effects Entertainment
179 Pearl St.
Jose Lebron

LONGMEADOW

Alex’s Bagel Shop
786 Williams St.
Aleksandr Belyshev

Creative Edge Salon
7 Edgewood Ave.
Ingrid Margaret Kuselias

LUDLOW

Joseph Testori Electrical Contractor
21 New Crest St.
Joseph J. Testori

NORTHAMPTON

A2Z Pest Control and Problem Wildlife
296 Spring St.
Steven J. Rosetti

Cracked Film Productions
12B Randolph Place
Jared M. Sena

Gear Noho
9 Trumbull Road
Ann S.Colbourn

Hayfield’s Café
48 Main St.
The Certo Group, LLC

Mark Lantz Group
74 Lyman Road
Mark M. Lantz

Small Beer Press
176 Prospect Ave.
Gavin J. Grant

 

PALMER

Autumn Portraits
51 Vicardau Ave.
Autumn Delaney

Akcess Biometrics
21 Wilbraham St.
Katrina Champagne

Innovative Web Design
1528 North Main St.
Anthony L. Casperini

SOUTH HADLEY

Beautiful Beginnings Event
92 Riverboat Village Road
Christina Stevenson

Blackbird Design
80 Granby Road
Richard Watanabe

DMS Financial Services
50 Prospect St.
Scott M. Duguay

Dwight Prosthetics
128 North Main St.
Eugene J. Sigda

Ichaban
2090 Memorial Dr.
Huang Family Restaurants, LLC

SOUTHWICK

Colonial Windows and Siding
229 Hillside Road
Lisa & Ronald Vandervliet

SPRINGFIELD

Absolute Voice & Data
33 Dana St.
Darren Evangelista

Allied Waste Transfer of Springfield
44 Rose St.
F.P. McNamara Rubbish Removal

Anderson’s Cleaning Company
174 Spear Road
Theresa Anderson

Blueprint Investments
One Monarch Place
Blueprint LLC

B & A Home Improvements
23 Decker Place
Germain Almeida

Carolina’s Montehatillo Variety Gift Shop
2595 Main St.
Carmen V. Fernandez

Cottage St. Motors
807 Cottage St.
Vincenzo Botta

DC Gift & Variety Store
19 Dearborn St.
Diana C. Pusey

Deb’s Place
812 Cottage St.
Deborah Pafumi

DeMars
71 Pear St.
Kenneth DeMars

Dreams by Dana
17 Parkside St.
Dana Hines

Ebony Hill Web Design
111 Florida St.
Derrick & Lillian Hill

Eva’s Beauty Salon
9 Dorset St.
Eva Polanco

Fantastico Wraps & Salads
1500 Main St.
Nazario & Maria Settembre

1st Call Real Estate
770 Plumtree Road
Kenny Nguyen

First Fruits Children’s Center for Learning & Development
54 Marlbough St.
Tiffany McCarr

Fortuna Auto Sales
1650 Bay St.
Jose Taveras

Global Link Translations & Interpreting Service
One Federal Building
Glolin, LLC

The Good Shepard
10 Merrick Ave.
Francis Addai

WESTFIELD

A.J. Stables
1040 East Mountain Road
Tammy Zabik

All Pro Lawn Care
28 Woodbridge Lane
Michael Goodreau

Extreme Consulting
9 Colony Crest
Paul P. Tobias

Reflections Hair & Nail
2 Russell Road
Gloria P. Dandeneau

Serene Photography
51 Court St.
Joan Karanas

T & N Tree Service
77 Mill St.
Anthony Fastiggi

WEST SPRINGFIELD

A Chipaway Windshield Repair
480 Bear Hole Road
William L. Matte

Antonio’s Ringside Incorporated
125 Capital Drive
Gregory A. Vatrano

Canta Napoli Pizza and Restaurant
261 Union St.
Silvestro Vivenzio

Case Handyman and Remodeling
380 Union St.
New England Handyman Services

Charlie’s Diner
218 Union St.
Michael Alfano

Friendly Car Wash
668 Westfield St.
Quicky’s Car Wash, LLC

Melon-Collie Entertainment
445 Cold Spring Avenue
Robert Lewis Pepek, Jr.

Mike’s Auto Service & Repair
173 River St.
Michael Zabik

Riverdale Storage Center Inc.
143 Doty Circle
Jan A. Chrzan

Total Women’s Health Care Inc.
46 Daggett Drive
Aleli L. Villanueva, M.D.

Departments

Joel Morse has joined Marcus Printing in Holyoke as Sales and Marketing Manager. He will be in charge of all sales and marketing functions for the third-generation commercial printing company.

•••••

 


Carole Parlengas

United Personnel Services Inc. in Springfield has promoted Carole Parlengas to Vice President/Chief Financial Officer. She joined the firm last year as the Chief Financial Officer.

 

•••••

The Western Mass. Pharmacists Assoc. announced the following officers and directors for 2007:
Officers are:
• H. John Mailhot, President;
• Eugene Cantor, Vice President;
• Robert Castelli, Recording Secretary;
• Norman Halperin, Treasurer;
• George J. Couchiaftis, Corresponding/Financial Secretary, and
• Stanley Derezinski, Sergeant-at-Arms.
Directors are: John Canninc, Robert Dobeck, Richard Garvin, Daniel Hayes, Christine Masciardelli, Clark Matthews, and Andrea Reid.

•••••

Walter E. Drenen of Drenen Financial Services Inc. in Southwick has been accepted into the National Assoc. of Enrolled Agents.

•••••

Amy Pinney has joined Carlson GMAC Real Estate’s Westfield office as a Sales Agent.

•••••

Sarah Kelley has joined the Northampton office of Countrywide Home Loans Inc. as a Home Loan Consultant.

•••••

Ilkwan Kim has joined Keller Williams Realty and will work at its Longmeadow Market Center office.

•••••

James Goodwin has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Human Development Inc. Goodwin joined the organization in 1980 and most recently served as interim president.

•••••

Ida Tassinari has joined Park Square Realty in Westfield and will work out of its Feeding Hills office as a Sales Associate.

•••••

Michael M. Lefebvre has been promoted to Senior Vice President in the Commercial Lending Division at TD Banknorth Massachusetts in Springfield.

•••••

 

 

Tonya Plante has become a Sales Associate in the Agawam office of Carlson GMAC Real Estate.

•••••

Amy S. Leitl has joined Phillips Insurance Agency Inc. as head of the Life & Benefits Division.

•••••

The region’s largest local union of U.S. Postal Service Letter Carriers has elected officers for a three-year term as follows:
• Tina M. Richard, President;
• Michael Harazmus, Vice President;
• Richard Micelotta, Upper Valley Vice President;
• David Lamontagne, Secretary;
• Patricia Rogers, Treasurer;
• Chris Burrage, Health Benefits/MBA Representative;
• Laura Parenteau, Trustee;
• James Graham, Trustee;
• Bonita Berselli, Trustee, and
• William Gelinas, Sergeant-at-Arms.
Twenty-five stewards were also chosen in the recent election.

•••••

Tom Martucci has been appointed Vice President for the Momentum Group. He will provide business development, marketing and product development programs.

•••••

Marie Phillips has been named Human Resources Director at the Elms College, Chicopee.

•••••

Hampden Bank has announced that Glenn S. Welch has been named Executive Vice President. In this new position, Welch will oversee all of the organization’s lending and retail functions.

•••••

Human Resources Unlimited has appointed Debra Marvell as Program Director.

•••••

Vicky Applebee has joined Mass Match as its Director of Marketing and Sales. She is trained as a certified matchmaker from the Matchmaking Institute and is a member of the National Board of Certified Matchmakers.

•••••

Victoria A. White has announced that her Northampton-based Internet services business, eclecTechs, will be managed by David Flaherty, owner of Springfield-based Ashton Services. eclecTechs will retain its name, staff, services and product line.

•••••

Brenda Cuoco of the Wilbraham Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has achieved the International Sterling Society Award for 2006. Cuoco earned more than $6 million in sales with 30 homes sold. She has also placed 52 out of 1,845 realtors in the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

Cover Story
Community Music School Makes Sound Contributions
January 22, 2007 Cover

January 22, 2007 Cover

Coming of age in New York City, Eric Bachrach, founder of the Community Music School of Springfield (CMSS), said he realized the power of music early on, but only later did he realize that not everyone has the means to study the universal language. He set out to change that in the early 1980s, and today, Western Mass. continues to hear the strains of one organization doing its part to change the world.

It was a disaster that would dampen anyone’s resolve.

In 1994, a broken water main on Birnie Avenue caused a 10-million-gallon flood to course through the halls of the Community Music School of Springfield.
Countless sheets of irreplaceable music were lost, the building was uninhabitable, and one of the school’s pianos was drowned under 25 feet of water.

The blow was catastrophic for CMSS, still fragile 10 years after opening its doors with two borrowed pianos and a second-hand drum set held together with masking tape.

But the school lived on, as did the ill-fated piano, which, after some repair, still plays. CMSS Executive Director and Founder Eric Bachrach says that’s an apt metaphor for the entire organization.

“We are famous for rising from the flood, for our resilience,” he said. “We’ve been through the vagaries and trials of any nonprofit, but we’ve always been confident in our importance, and the importance of keeping music a reality for anyone and everyone.”

And that, in essence, is the school’s mission and purpose. Dedicated to music education for children and teenagers across the region, Springfield’s Community Music School has grown from about 80 students in the 1980s to more than 2,000, involved through both on- and off-site programs. Many of those students are receiving their musical education for free, and many others through the benefit of scholarships and financial aid, amounting to more than $250,000 a year.

The goal is a simple one — to offer exposure to music to as many young people as possible, regardless of their social or financial strata. But often, the importance of music and cultural education can be difficult to articulate.

To help him translate the school’s objectives, Bachrach, a violinist, returns to both his own roots and those of community music schools in general, of which there are about 350 across the country. Each school operates independently and in a variety of ways, but all share one common bond: they provide musical opportunities for students who otherwise may never get the chance to simply make a joyful noise.

Bach to Basics

“I grew up in a middle-class family in the Bronx,” Bachrach began. “My mother taught at Julliard, and my father taught psychology at City College of New York. A time came when they decided it was time for me to study music, and I did so privately — never realizing that there are so many people who do not have access to the study of music.”

It wasn’t until he began to study under violinist Ruth Kemper, who helped found the National Guild of Community Music Schools, of which CMSS is a member, that he began to fully grasp that reality.

“She made me realize the importance of equitable and democratic access to the arts,” he said, reaching for a tattered — and water-stained — copy of Music, Youth and Opportunity, a text published in 1926 for the National Federation of Settlement Schools. Kemper presented the book to him, and it became the guide for many of CMSS’s programs.

“The community music school model came from the early settlement schools in this country,” he explained. “They were set up to teach immigrants the basics of life.”

In addition to balancing a budget and negotiating at a public market, the schools also considered music to be basic.

Bachrach taught music in New York City throughout the 1970s, and moved to Massachusetts in the 1980s to pursue a master’s degree in Music at UMass Amherst. In 1983, he made his first and last foray into providing accessible music education, by sending leaflets to about 18,000 Springfield public school children announcing a new music school in the city.

Of those students, less than 1% signed up for classes, but the CMSS never shut its doors after that point.

It has moved a few times — the original CMSS was located on Birnie Avenue until the flood in 1994. At that point, the school was homeless, but not defunct. Bachrach said within a week, classes had resumed in a variety of locations throughout the city, and staff had begun searching for a new home.

“We knew it was going to be in Springfield — we’ve always been in Springfield,” he said. “We knew we needed parking, and we wanted it to be downtown, in a neighborhood that effectively belongs to everyone regardless of ethnicity.”

No Strings Attached

A search committee that included some recognizable names in the Western Mass. business community, among them real estate developers Harold Grinspoon and Tom Henshon, attorney Steve Schatz, and and former SIS president Bill Marshall, began looking for a suitable property, and in 1996, they found it — an historic 1933 Art Deco bank building on State Street with high ceilings and, in turn, fabulous acoustics.

The building had just been acquired by Fleet Bank, along with four other properties downtown, and Bachrach said because there was not a lot of obvious re-use potential in the State Street facility, CMSS was in position to take advantage of an excellent opportunity.

“But we took a risk and held out, because we needed the building and also its adjacent parking garage,” he said, noting that Fleet was prepared to virtually give the building to the school, but was more hesitant to give up prime-location, downtown parking space. “It took a lot of negotiating, but in the end it resulted in a priceless gift.”

The bank building and its adjacent parking were sold to CMSS by Fleet for $1 in 1996. Bachrach said staff moved the school’s music library, instruments, and furniture in over one weekend, and have operated from that location for a decade with no plans to move again. Back rooms were converted into studios and offices spanning four floors, and the Ruth Kemper Music Library was created, housing all of the sheet music, books, and recordings that were salvaged from the Birnie Avenue flood or procured since then.

Development plans have also been brisk in those 10 years, and remain so as CMSS approaches its 25th year.

Bachrach explained that about 700 students study music at the State Street school, while an additional 1,300 or so take part in off-site programs, all of which are free to students. They include the Prelude program, which, through the assistance of a Wallace Foundation grant, provides music and creative movement instruction to Head Start classrooms; and the Presto program, which identifies young, inner-city elementary school students and provides lessons in stringed instruments.

The school also offers musical instruction to incarcerated teens through the Renaissance program and to others through various community organizations, such as Girls Inc. and the YMCA. It has also created a special Saturday program for Somali mothers and their children, through a program that again returns to CMSS’s settlement school beginnings.

“In addition to music, that program also offers arts and craft instruction and English as a Second Language classes,” said Bachrach, “and these mothers have been gathering here for about a year and a half. It’s sort of a home away from home that allows them to create a community amongst themselves, after years of feeling displaced.”

At the school, students take part in private and group lessons with one or more of its 68-person faculty, all professional musicians. Instruction is available for a wide array of instruments, including violin and guitar through the internationally-known Suzuki method, and ranging further from baritone horn to vibraphone and beyond.

Classes include early childhood programs for infants, toddlers, and young school-age children and music therapy classes for those with special needs, in addition to instruction in a variety of instruments and genres. Jazz and classical ensemble programs are also available, as is participation in the CMSS Chamber Orchestra, chorus and choir programs for young singers, and an adult instruction program.

Those programs, as well as improvements to the CMSS building to make them possible and the scholarships that bolster its student roster, are financed largely by grants and private support, including $2.1 million raised through the Focus on the Future campaign in 1999, which financed renovation of studios and the school’s exterior, installation of a handicapped-access elevator, a scholarship endowment, the start of a community partnership program, and other program expansions.

Currently, the school’s annual operating budget is about $1.3 million and its endowment $500,000. Soon, it will embark on a new fundraising campaign to further expand programming and make improvements to the CMSS facility. Less than half of the operating budget is funded through tuition.

A Handel on Things

On top of Bachrach’s to-do list is the creation of a new performance hall at the school, which would provide a more professional space for concerts, now held in the school’s spacious foyer.

“As grand and regal as this space is, it’s really not fitting for us now,” he said, noting that performances are held adjacent to the school’s administrative offices and front door, where ringing phones and visitors are a distraction. “We need to close the world off and form a discreet space.”

Plans to collaborate with Boston’s Berklee College of Music to offer the Pulse program, which will serve 100 middle- and high-school students each week through Web-based, acoustic and electronic instrument instruction are also in the works, as are plans to start an arts-based pre-school at CMSS.

That program would augment existing early education initiatives at the school, and also provide an academic preschool with a focus on music and the arts for area children. Half of those students, Bachrach said, are expected to have their education fully subsidized.

“We’re always looking to raise money for really important work,” said Bachrach. “Our students are high achievers, who come from families that are interested in the important parts of life, but which are often not easily accessible.”

As he continues to tear down those barriers, Bachrach said his hope for CMSS is that it will continue to evolve from a small community music school into a regional center for the arts and arts education. Following the launch of the school’s newest capital campaign, yet to be formally announced, he added that he hopes the creation of a new performance hall and other improvements will also help return State Street, one of downtown’s main thoroughfares, to “boulevard status.”

Flood of Memories

These are lofty goals, Bachrach concedes, but not unachievable.

“It was a real eureka moment for me when I realized that increasing access to music education can change the lives of students, regardless of social strata,” he said. “That’s an idea to which we’ll stay very deeply connected, and we have some very concrete plans for the future.”

Indeed, following the flood, many contend that a new world was born.

Jaclyn Stevenson can be reached at[email protected]

Departments

Economy Withstanding Slumping Housing Market

WASHINGTON — Despite some economic slumps in the market, most industries are withstanding the sharp drop in housing activity. Analysts report that the economy is going through a slow period in response to a serious housing slump, but has not shown strains that could bring on a recession. Economic data released this month included big retail chains reporting sales in December below expectations, and orders to factories for manufactured goods rising by 0.9% in November, a smaller-than-expected gain. Also, demand declined for home appliances and furniture, two industries connected to the slumping housing market, and orders dropped for new cars. Additionally, the service sector, where most people in the country work, grew at a slower rate in December than in November. On a positive note, there was a gain in orders in November for military aircraft, and orders for commercial airplanes rose by 0.8%.

City Sees Junk Bond Status Evaporate

SPRINGFIELD — Standard & Poor’s has upgraded the city’s bond rating from BB to BBB, which means the city has an adequate capacity to pay interest and repay principal. Standard & Poor’s credits the Finance Control Board with its remarkable turnaround from just two years ago. Mayor Charles V. Ryan termed the rating as a “major step forward for the city.” In related news, Moody’s Investor Services has reported a stable financial outlook for the city for the first time since 1990.

Six Flags Selling Off Seven Parks

NEW YORK — Six Flags Inc. plans to sell seven of its theme parks as part of a strategy to reduce debt and enhance its operational and financial flexibility. Six Flags New England in Agawam is not one of the parks up for sale. Six Flags currently owns 30 North American parks and expects to garner $312 million from the sale of the seven parks. At press time, the parks were being purchased by Jacksonville, Fla.-based park operator PARC 7F-Operations Corp., but PARC will simultaneously sell them to Orlando-based real estate investment trust CNL Income Properties Inc. CNL will then lease the parks back to PARC. The parks include Six Flags Darien Lake near Buffalo, N.Y.; Six Flags Elitch Gardens in Denver; both Frontier City and the White Water Bay water park in Oklahoma City; SplashTown in Houston; Waterworld USA in Concord, Calif.; and Wild Waves and Enchanted Village in Seattle. The sale is expected to close in March.

Mortgage Rates on the Rise

WASHINGTON — Rates on 30-year mortgages rose during mid-January to the highest level since mid-November after a better-than-anticipated employment report renewed inflation worries in financial markets. Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant, reported that 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages were averaging 6.21% during the week of Jan. 8, up from 6.18% the previous week. Analysts noted that financial markets were reacting to a stronger reading on employment, with 167,000 jobs created in December — the best showing in three months. Analysts also are optimistic that mortgage rates would not rise far this year, predicting that 30-year rates would not top 6.5%.

Office Building to Get Upgrade

HOLYOKE — Suffolk Realty Associates LLC, with offices in Holyoke and New York City, has purchased the former Hadley Falls Trust Co. building at Maple and Suffolk streets, as well as an adjoining one-story structure on Suffolk Street and two parking lot areas on Maple Street. The firm purchased the parcels in December for a reported $675,000. The new owners have notified tenants of the properties that improvements would be made and that their input would be considered. Additionally, the new owners hope that the upgrades will entice new renters to its available building space.

Survey: Executives Expect Moderate M&A Activity

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Corporate marriages may be on the rise through the end of the decade, according to a new survey by Robert Half Management Resources. Twenty-seven percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled recently said they expect the number of corporate mergers and acquisitions (M&As) overall to increase in the next 12 months. In a follow-up survey, 48% of CFOs polled said they anticipate greater M&A activity in the next two to three years. The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. Among industries, the greatest amount of merger activity is expected to take place in the transportation and finance sectors in the next two to three years, according to executives polled. Relatively low interest rates and deep cash reserves within many companies are prompting firms to make strategic acquisitions, according to Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. McDonald added that the complex nature of the merger and acquisition process is driving the need for financial executives with specialized M&A experience to support them in conducting due diligence, analyzing financial data, developing competitive forecasts, and assisting with tax compliance issues.

Opinion

By most accounts, Springfield is starting to rebound.

The Finance Control Board has stabilized the city’s finances and brought about relative peace and harmony to the labor front. The Urban Land Institute study of the city has established some priority areas for the community, and there is already movement on some of these fronts. We’ve seen momentum in the business community and the commercial real estate market, and the promise of more activity and jobs.

As the new year dawns, many in the community would like to add to this list by putting the scandals that have rocked Springfield in the rear-view mirror. Some have suggested that the FBI, which has successfully ferreted out wrongdoing on the part of many city officials, including most members of the Asselin family, should consider its work here done.

Not yet.

The FBI shouldn’t close the book on Springfield until its work is finished, and that won’t be accomplished until former Mayor Michael Albano, who was ringmaster for the circus that his administration became, is made to account for his many misdeeds.

While several members of his administration have been indicted, tried, found guilty, and incarcerated, Albano has thus far escaped the same fate. Maybe there’s nothing the Feds can pin on him, but we suspect that there may be other reasons for the FBI’s reluctance to act on the former mayor.

Albano has suggested to many that the FBI’s crackdown, similar in some ways to the well-documented Operation Plunderdome that took down Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci, is part and parcel to “being an Italian American” who assumes a leadership position in this country. This is nonsense.

Albano’s assertions are offensive to all Americans, especially to those of Italian descent, and are being compounded by Albano’s opining that the FBI’s interest in Springfield and his administration is motivated by actions he took 24 years ago.

Albano, a former member of the state Parole Board, recently testified in a U.S. Civil Court trial that the FBI never provided him with information that three men convicted of murder were innocent. The testimony came in a trial in which two men and the families of two deceased men are suing the government for than $100 million for wrongly putting them in prison.

The two living individuals, who were freed after 25 years in prison, were exonerated after documents were released indicating that the FBI knew the men were innocent but set them up to protect an informant who committed the murder of a mob member.

Outside the courtroom, Albano told reporters that when the Parole Board was considering whether to commute the sentence of one of those convicted, he was told by two FBI agents that voting for the commutation — which he eventually did — would not be a good career move for him.

It appears that Albano is trying to use these events, and his ancestry, to suggest that the FBI has no good reason for being in Springfield and turning City Hall, the Housing Authority, the Mass. Career Development Institute, and other once-corrupt agencies upside down looking for wrongdoing.

The truth is that the FBI has every reason to be here, as evidenced by the convictions already won, and it should stay here until its job is finished. More importantly, it should not be intimidated by Albano’s posturing about being bullied by the bureau two decades ago.

Former members of the Albano administration have hinted privately that the best defense against the FBI is a good offense. The former mayor has been saying for years that the bureau has an ax to grind and that this explains why the Feds have set up camp in Springfield.

The truth is that the mayor presided over a City Hall that was corrupt, out of control, and an embarrassment to the community. And that’s why we believe the FBI’s work, as damaging as it has been the city’s reputation, must continue until all the questions are answered. Then, it will be appropriate to move on.

Departments

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

AMHERST

International Arthouse Features Inc., 83 Shays St., Amherst 01002. Larry Jackson, same. Film distribution.

BELCHERTOWN

Rushing Rivers Inc., 50 Two Ponds Road, Belchertown 01007. Piotr Parasiewicz, same. Research on rivers.

BRIMFIELD

Sunny Farm Days Inc., 81 Five Bridge Road, Brimfield 01010. Kimberly J. Morse, same. Marketing operations.

EASTHAMPTON

Scheherazade Reportory Theatre Inc., 32 Briggs St., Easthampton 01027. Mark J. Vecchio, same. (Nonprofit) For charitable purposes.

FEEDING HILLS

Family Bike of Agawam Inc., 1325 Springfield St., #4, Feeding Hills 01001. Trevor J. Emond, 67 Cooley Dr., Longmeadow 01106. Bicycle (and other sporting equipment) retail sales and repair.

HOLYOKE

Sacred Slam Inc., 263 Suffolk St., Ian Koebner, Holyoke 01040. Ian Koebner, same. (Nonprofit) To promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and respect for diversity through the arts and education, etc.

LUDLOW

PCD Group Inc., 185 West Ave., Ludlow 01056. Carlos Cortinhas, 34 Jestina Circle, Ludlow 01056. To operate an auto repair shop.

MIDDLEFIELD

New American Castle Museum Inc., 86 Chester Road, Middlefield 01243. Kim Baker, same. (Nonprofit) To operate a museum.

NORTHAMPTON

NoHo Management Inc., 36 King St., Northampton 01060. Mansour Ghalibaf, same, president, treasurer and secretary. Hotel management.

Northampton Swimming and Diving Booster Club Inc., 49 Northern Ave., Northampton 01060. Robert Boyton, 20 Emily Lane, Northampton 01060. (Nonprofit) To promote the sport of swimming and diving in local Hampshire county communities.

 

Somatics Inc., 32 Mason St., Northampton 01060. Steven Aronstein, same. Somatics and somatic education certification and consulting.

SPRINGFIELD

Korv Inc., 288 Worthington St., Springfield 01103. Orlando Velez, same. To provide a full restaurant/banquet hall service, including takeout and offsite catering.

R.R. Enterprises Inc., 125 Paridon St., Springfield 01118. Ronald Ruell, Sr., 121 Albemarle St., Springfield 01108. Sale of paper, used books, used clothing.

Talk Media Inc., 650 Belmont St., Springfield 01108. Michael Harrison, same. Media production and management.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

B & K Hospitality Management Co., 739 Prospect Ave., West Springfield 01089. Dinesh Patel, same. Hotel management.

Chunida Inc., 739 Prospect Ave., West Springfield 01089. Dinesh Patel, same. Operation of hotel.

Guyette Framing & Home Improvement Inc., 202 High Meadow Dr., West Springfield 01089. Chris P. Guyette, same. Framing and home improvement.

Revaba Inc., 739 Prospect Ave., West Springfield 01089. Dinesh Patel, same. Real estate holding company.

Summerwood Construction Inc., 1027 Amostown Road, West Springfield 01089. Scott C. Harvey, same. General contracting/residential and commercial remodeling.

Sunburst Inc., 739 Prosepct Ave., West Springfield 01089. Dinesh Patel, same. Operation of restaurant and bar.

WESTFIELD

Own your Home Inc., 60 Scenic Road, Westfield 01085. Charles Fortin, same. Providing sources of financing to sell real estate.

St. Pierre Brothers Drywall Inc., 18 St. Pierre Lane, Westfield 01085. Troy M. St. Pierre, same. Drywall work.

WILBRAHAM

Palmer Park Inc., 655 Glendale Road, Wilbraham 01095. Leonard F. Surdyka,
same. Real estate

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