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Agenda Departments

Retirement and Elder-care Planning Seminar

Feb. 3: A retirement and elder-care planning seminar will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Church in the Acres, 1383 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. Presenters include David Fedor, certified financial planner, practitioner, and chartered retirement planning counselor from Commonwealth Financial Network; Sharon Connor from Choices Elder Support; Mary-Anne Schelb from JGS Lifecare; Jennifer Kinsman from Acti-Kare; and Lisa Beauvais, estate-planning attorney. This event is free and open to the public. Call (413) 726-9044 to RSVP.

Free Legal Help Hotline

Feb. 8: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. will hold a Legal Help Hotline in conjunction with Western New England University School of Law from 4 to 7 p.m. at Western New England University School of Law, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. The volunteers will provide legal advice on a variety of topics, including divorce and family law, bankruptcy, business, landlord/tenant, and real estate. Additionally, in light of recent immigration developments, attorneys with immigration-law experience will be available to answer questions. Spanish-speaking attorneys will also be available. Individuals needing advice should call (413) 796-2057 to speak to a volunteer.

40 Under Forty Nomination Deadline

Feb. 16: BusinessWest magazine will accept nominations for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2018 through the end of the work day (5 p.m.) on Friday, Feb 16. The annual program, now in its 12th year, recognizes rising stars within the Western Mass. community, which includes Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. This year’s group of 40 will be profiled in the magazine’s April 30 edition, then toasted at the June 21 gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke (see below). The nomination form, which can be found online HERE, requests basic information and can be supported with other material, such as a résumé, testimonials, and even press clippings highlighting an individual’s achievements in their profession or service to their community.

Inclusive Sports Sampler

Feb. 17: For parents of young adults who have an IDD (intellectual or developmental disability), there is one challenge shared by all: identifying inclusive and accessible recreational experiences in their local community that offer opportunities for peer connections and fun, at low cost. Best Buddies, CHD Disability Resources, and Extra Innings understand this challenge firsthand and have combined resources to offer a solution. These organizations are teaming up to present the Young Adult Sports Sampler. This event gives members of the community who have an IDD, ages 14-22, an opportunity to sample several activities at once, in one location. The Young Adult Sampler takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Extra Innings, 340 McKinstry Ave., #250, Chicopee. A wide range of accessible and inclusive activities will be offered, including dance and movement, martial arts, intro to sled hockey, Wiffle ball, baseball simulator, and intro to adaptive bikes. There is no cost to attend, but an RSVP is appreciated. Contact Jessica Levine at [email protected] by Saturday, Feb. 10.

EMT Training Program

March 5 to June 20: Holyoke Community College, in collaboration with the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp. and Emergency Medical Training Solutions, is offering an EMT training program at the E2E: Quaboag Region Workforce Training and Community College Center at 79 Main St., Ware. The EMT-B Emergency Medical Technician Basic course meets on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 10 p.m. and on select Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 13-week program consists of more than 170 hours of in-class lectures and additional online study, training, field trips, and workshops designed to prepare students for the state EMT certification exam. The course covers all aspects of emergency care, including patient handling, extrication, communication, working with law enforcement, legal issues, ethics, medical equipment, and safe transportation of patients. The course fee is $1,099 plus $200 for texts. For more information or to register, contact Ken White at (413) 552-2324 or [email protected], or visit www.hcc.edu/workforce.

Difference Makers

March 22: The 10th annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners will be announced and profiled in the Jan. 22 issue. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are making a difference in this region. Tickets to the event cost $75 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100 or visit HERE. Sponsors to date include Sunshine Village and Royal, P.C. Sponsorship opportunities are still available by calling (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2017. Also, the third Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event always sells out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected].

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — A retirement and elder-care planning seminar will take place on Saturday, Feb. 3. Presenters include David Fedor, certified financial planner, practitioner, and chartered retirement planning counselor from Commonwealth Financial Network; Sharon Connor from Choices Elder Support; Mary-Anne Schelb from JGS Lifecare; Jennifer Kinsman from Acti-Kare; and Lisa Beauvais, estate-planning attorney.

This event will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Church in the Acres, 1383 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. Although this event is free and open to the public, seating is limited, so call (413) 726-9044 to RSVP. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held on Feb. 10.

Accounting and Tax Planning Sections

Tax Incentives for Business Owners

By Brenden Healy, CPA

Brenden Healy, CPA

Brenden Healy, CPA

Whether we like it or not, taxes are a part of any business strategy. From the federal level on down, tax obligations go side-by-side with running a business. And while the economy is getting better for much of the country, business owners need to continue to improve their bottom line. One good way to strengthen business cash flow is by taking advantage of tax credits or tax incentives. Business owners sometimes do not harvest these opportunities, most often because they don’t know about all the options available to them or because they don’t fully understand the requirements.

Capturing these benefits requires knowing to look for them, which can be an issue in the diverse tax rules of the IRS or state taxing authorities. Here are some tax opportunities that every business owner should know about:

• Research and Development Tax Credit: This credit was introduced as an incentive to encourage new innovation in the U.S., but remains one of the most overlooked tax opportunities out there. There’s a lot of misconception that a research-driven credit must be limited to modern, large tech firms that are putting out new products. However, the purpose of this credit is to fuel innovation and development, which is relevant to a variety of industries, of all sizes. Recent changes in IRS regulations have opened up this tax credit to many industries. Manufacturing, investment-management services, software development, and even construction are major industries that can take advantage of this tax-savings opportunity, but it can be applied to other industries in certain scenarios.

• Export Sales: The IRS allows companies that produce goods in the U.S. and then export them outside the border to take advantage of a reduced tax rate for some of the profits relating to those export sales. This is accomplished by converting the business income related to the exports into long-term capital-gain income, which is usually taxed at about half the normal business tax rate.

• Write-Off of Asset Purchases: This incentive is one of the most beneficial ones for small businesses. The IRS continues to allow generous write-offs for purchasing equipment, machines, computers, etc. through the Section 179 tax-expensing election with a 2017 deduction limit of about $500,000, or the 50% ‘bonus’ depreciation deduction, which could be used after that spending cap is reached.

• New IRS Capitalization-policy Rules: Just by making a special election on the tax return, a small business can adopt a policy of expensing items purchased during the year, up to $2,500 for each item. As an example, if a business buys 10 computers for $1,500 each, it could expense the full $15,000 of computers under this capitalization policy rule.

• Roof Repairs and Other Building Maintenance Costs: The IRS is also allowing real-estate owners to take advantage of writeoffs relating to building maintenance items. Under new IRS rules, certain roof repairs and other building maintenance items can be expensed in the year they are completed, instead of capitalizing those costs and depreciating them over a 39-year period of time, which was the old requirement.

• ‘Segregation’ of Building Costs for Tax Expensing: When a business owner buys a new building or makes significant improvements to a building, there can be ways to expense those costs faster than the normal, 39-year depreciation life that the tax law allows. By identifying certain costs such as non-structural items, wall coverings, or specialty lighting, the IRS allows the building owner to expense these costs at a faster rate. Thus, performing a ‘cost-segregation study’ can create large tax writeoffs up front instead of waiting 39 years to recover the investment.

• Compensation and Retirement Planning: The IRS also allows business owners to put away large amounts towards their retirement as well as the retirement of key employees of the business. By properly designing a compensation strategy and deferred-compensation planning options, business owners can take care of their key employees while saving tax money.

Leveraging tax incentives can greatly help buffer a company’s bottom line, but more often than not, business owners don’t know what’s available to them. It’s crucial that business owners have open conversations with their accountant about the work of the company to see if there are opportunities available. While these programs can be complex and difficult to navigate, they can save a business a significant amount of money.


Brenden Healy, CPA, is a partner at Whittlesey with significant experience in consulting with business owners to identify tax incentives and strategic planning for their future.

Daily News

SOUTH HADLEY — Stephen Duval, a private wealth advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., recently announced he has moved his practice to a new location at 551 Newton St. and changed its name to Summit House Wealth Partners. Duval has also expanded his team of financial advisors by one.

A certified financial planner, Duval moved his office in June from 130 College St., and colleague Justin Osowiecki, a financial advisor, made the transition with him. At the same time, Duval partnered with Edward Boscher, who is also now serving clients as a Summit House Wealth Partners financial advisor.

The team will hold an open house for the public at the new Newton Street office on Thursday, Sept. 21 from 2 to 7 p.m.

Duval holds a bachelor’s degree from UMass in business administration and is a graduate of the College for Financial Planning. He has been with Ameriprise for 25 years. Boscher is also a certified financial planner and a certified investment management analyst. He has spent much of his career working with Voya Investment Management out of its Windsor, Conn. office. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University.

Boscher made the transition to Summit House Wealth Partners, he said, “to put my 23-plus years of asset-management experience to work for people around here, because I live here.”

Duval’s practice is an Ameriprise Financial franchise. Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. offers financial-advisory services, investments, insurance, and annuity products. For more information, or for details on upcoming workshops — on topics ranging from Social Security to identify theft to retirement planning — call (413) 540-0196.

Daily News

HADLEY — A recent study has discovered that 38% of financial advisors expect to retire over the next decade, which means a new wave of wealth managers are stepping up to the plate. In light of this demographic shift, Forbes has released its first-ever list of “America’s Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors.”

Among those earning a place on this prestigious list is UMassFive College Federal Credit Union’s Nick Cantrell, a financial advisor registered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P., who specializes in retirement planning, investment management, socially responsible investing, insurance planning, and estate planning with Massachusetts State employees, healthcare professionals, and employees of colleges and universities.

In order to be considered for this honor, Cantrell was required to complete a lengthy performance survey covering areas such as compliance records, client retention, revenue production, and assets managed. He has been a financial advisor for more than 10 years, and has worked at UMassFive College Federal Credit Union since 2012. He maintains office hours both in Worcester and Northampton.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Michael Matty, president of St. Germain Investment Management, announced the hiring of William Walthouse to the firm as vice president, financial advisor, and Tatyana Shut as client services associate.

Walthouse brings 30 years of experience and knowledge of the financial industry in areas of investments, insurance, and retirement planning. Over the last 15 years, his focus was on relationship management, an area of increased relevance in an industry that’s become more complex. He has Series 65 and Series 7 designations and is licensed in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida as a registered financial advisor. Similarly, he is also licensed to provide life- and health-insurance solutions in those states.

Prior to joining St. Germain, Walthouse was an advisor with Key Investment Services. He also worked with MassMutual and Dowd Financial Services. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Bryant College and an MBA from American International College.

Shut has significant experience in financial operations and reporting, international export logistics, business development, marketing, and client services. Prior to joining St. Germain, she held these and other responsibilities as the controller and export logistics manager at Gordon-Cross Corp. in Connecticut.

She is an active volunteer in her community, having organized two youth mission trips abroad with a group of 23 members. Similarly, she helps nonprofits at events and with fund-raising activities. A graduate of Westfield State College, she holds a bachelor’s degree in business management with a concentration in marketing. She also earned her MBA with a concentration in leadership from Western New England University.

Daily News

HADLEY — Jeffery Still, an Eagle Strategies financial adviser and registered representative since 2012, has opened an office at 2 Bay Road, Suite 100, in Hadley.

Still is a fiduciary in the capacity of financial adviser, focusing on core components for clients when planning for retirement. He helps his clients with retirement planning, estate planning, investments, and life-insurance planning. His office was previously located in Westborough and Holyoke.

“I really love Western Mass.,” Still said. “I grew up here, and I have a lot of family ties in the area. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. I look forward to serving the needs of local consumers and businesses and to contributing to the area’s economic and civic vibrancy in a meaningful way. I’m passionate about financial education for my clients and making sure that they have the best possible options available to them across a wide range of retirement and insurance planning concerns.”

For the last four years, Still has been a member of New York Life’s Executive Council, members of which are among the most successful of the company’s sales force of 12,000 licensed agents. He is a member of the Northampton Chamber of Commerce.

Still earned a bachelor’s degree from American International College in Springfield and studied finance and business management at the University of Florida.

Agenda Departments

Seminars on Memory Loss

Nov. 1: Linda Manor Assisted Living will host seminars on early memory troubles and strategies for seniors at noon and again at 5:30 p.m. Lunch and dinner will be served. Dr. Beth Warner, a geriatrician and Linda Manor’s medical director, will discuss the early signs of memory problems, causes of memory loss, what a memory-loss evaluation should include, and strategies for discussing memory loss with loved ones. She is certified by the American Medical Directors Assoc. and has completed specialized education in care and management concerns specific to older populations and long-term care. She is board-certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, and hospice and palliative care. Seating is limited. Those wishing to attend are asked to register by calling (413) 588-3316.

‘Being Mortal’ Documentary

Nov. 1: Hospice of Franklin County, in collaboration with Baystate Franklin Medical Center, is holding a free community screening of the documentary Being Mortal at 5:15 p.m. in hospital conference rooms A, B, and C. After the screening, audience members can participate in a guided conversation on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences. Being Mortal delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. It follows a surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters. When Gawande’s own father gets cancer, his search for answers about how best to care for the dying becomes a personal quest. The film sheds light on how a medical system focused on a cure often leaves out the sensitive conversations that need to happen so a patient’s true wishes can be known and honored at the end. It underscores the importance of people planning ahead and talking with family members about end-of-life decisions. Seventy percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but nearly 70% die in hospitals and institutions. Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30% have done so. For more information about the free screening or to RSVP for the event, contact Andrea Johnston at (413) 773-2144 or [email protected] The free screening is made possible by a grant from the John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.

Real-estate Licensing Course

Nov. 2: Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 2, the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley will sponsor a 40-hour, 14-class sales licensing course to help individuals prepare for the Massachusetts real-estate salesperson license exam. The course will be completed on Dec. 7. Tuition is $359 and includes the book and materials. For an application, call the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley at (413) 785-1328.

Western Mass. Business Expo

Nov. 3: Comcast Business will present the sixth annual Western Mass. Business Expo at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by BusinessWest and the Healthcare News. The business-to-business show will feature more than 150 exhibitor booths, educational seminars, breakfast hosted by the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, lunch hosted by BusinessWest, and a day-capping Expo Social. Current sponsors include Comcast Business (presenting sponsor), Express Employment Professionals, Health New England, the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Johnson & Hill Staffing Services, MGM Springfield, Wild Apple Design, the Western Mass. Economic Development Council, Savage Arms, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, the Better Business Bureau, and the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. The event’s media partners are WMAS, WHMP, and Rock 102/Laser 99.3. For more Expo details, see the special section in this issue or visit www.wmbexpo.com.

Bay Path University Cybersecurity Summit

Nov. 4: Cybersecurity is no longer just a technology problem — it has become a business differentiator. As the topic is discussed around the table of company boards and government task forces, the face of cybersecurity professionals is changing as well. At Bay Path University’s fourth annual Cybersecurity Summit, “The Business of Cybersecurity,” Jillian Munro will share her experiences and observations from throughout her career of the different facets of that new face, highlighting how non-traditional skills now apply in the area of cybersecurity. The summit takes place in Blake Student Commons on the university’s Longmeadow campus. Breakfast will be offered at 7:30 a.m. followed by the presentation at 8 a.m. Munro is senior vice president of Resiliency & Business Engagement for the Enterprise Cybersecurity (ECS) organization at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing, and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions, and financial intermediaries. Munro joined Fidelity in 2015 and is responsible for ensuring alignment between the firm’s business priorities and the cybersecurity agenda, as well as leading the enterprise technology resiliency program. The summit is presented by Bay Path’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management program, which was launched October 2013 as the first of its kind in New England. The summit is free and open to the public. To register, visit www.baypath.edu and click on ‘Events.’ For more information, e-mail Ann Cantin at [email protected]

LEEF Black and White Fund-raising Gala

Nov. 5: The Longmeadow Educational Excellence Foundation (LEEF) will host its 15th annual fund-raising gala from 6:30 to 11 p.m. at Twin Hills Country Club. The event, which will feature a black and white theme, includes food, entertainment, silent and live auctions, and raffles. This year’s entertainment will be provided by Boston’s premier party band, the Marsels. Funds raised through the gala are used to provide grants to Longmeadow teachers, providing opportunities for innovative educational and enrichment programs that go beyond the tax-supported budget. Since its founding in 2001 by a group of dedicated parents, LEEF has funded 330 teacher grant requests, totaling more than $1.2 million, to Longmeadow public schools. LEEF maintains both a sustaining fund and a permanent endowment with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. “It is only through the generous support of our sponsors and donors that we are able to supply these grants that enhance our students’ education,” said Whitney Harrington, LEEF board member and co-chair of the gala. The platinum sponsor of the 2016 LEEF gala is North Star Recycling. Gold sponsors are Bay Path University and Green Earth Energy Photo Voltaic Group. Long-time supporters Advanced Vein Care and Collins Pipe are silver sponsors, with Playful Minds, Bacon Wilson, and Harry Grodsky & Co. as bronze sponsors. Tickets are available at $85 each. Donations for the live and silent auction are still being accepted. To donate or sign on as a sponsor or volunteer, e-mail Harrington at [email protected] To purchase gala tickets, visit www.goleef.org or mail checks to LEEF, P.O. Box 60782, Longmeadow, MA 01106-0782.

Spaghetti Dinner to Benefit Alzheimer’s Assoc.

Nov. 8: Williamstown Commons will host a spaghetti supper from 5 to 7 p.m. at Williamstown Commons, 25 Adams Road, Williamstown. The cost is $8 per person at the door, and all proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Alzheimer’s Assoc. The supper will include spaghetti with meatballs, Italian sausage, garlic bread, dessert, and beverages. Diners may dine in or take their meal to go. Williamstown Commons, located at 25 Adams Road, Williamstown, is a nonprofit organization providing short-term rehabilitation, long-term skilled-nursing care, respite care, and hospice services.

‘Diversify Your Workforce’

Nov. 17: The Western Mass. Employment Collaborative (WMEC) will present a breakfast event called “Diversify Your Workforce” from 9 to 11 a.m., preceded by breakfast and networking at 8:30 a.m. at the Delaney House in Holyoke. WMEC partners work toward the common goal of increasing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. WMEC works across all disabilities and represents hundreds of job seekers who have the skills, commitment, and desire to enter the workforce and contribute positively to a local employer. To that end, it is partnering with the Mass. Down Syndrome Congress and its “Find Your Next Star” campaign. Attendees of the Nov. 17 event will learn ways to grow their business and meet their hiring needs. To register, visit www.mdsc.kintera.org/dywwest.

Joseph D. Freeman Bowl-a-Thon

Nov. 19: The Joseph D. Freedman Bowl-a-Thon will present its fifth annual event to benefit Camphill Village in Copake, N.Y. The event will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Chicopee AMF Lanes. Last year, more than 250 attended the event, and since its inaugural in 2011, the event has raised more than $220,000 for Camphill, which is a residential village where 95 special-needs residents reside. No one has ever been charged a fee to live at the Village, nor has anyone ever been turned away for lack of funds. To learn more about the event, visit www.camphillvillage.org/bowlathon.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Cybersecurity is no longer just a technology problem — it has become a business differentiator. As the topic is discussed around the table of company boards and government task forces, the face of cybersecurity professionals is changing as well.

At Bay Path University’s fourth annual Cybersecurity Summit, “The Business of Cybersecurity,” Jillian Munro will share her experiences and observations from throughout her career of the different facets of that new face, highlighting how non-traditional skills now apply in the area of cybersecurity. The summit takes place Friday, Nov. 4 in Blake Student Commons on the university’s Longmeadow campus. Breakfast will be offered at 7:30 a.m. followed by the presentation at 8 a.m.

Munro is senior vice president of Resiliency & Business Engagement for the Enterprise Cybersecurity (ECS) organization at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing, and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions, and financial intermediaries. Munro joined Fidelity in 2015 and is responsible for ensuring alignment between the firm’s business priorities and the cybersecurity agenda, as well as leading the enterprise technology resiliency program.

The summit is presented by Bay Path’s Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management program, which was launched October 2013 as the first of its kind in New England. The summit is free and open to the public. To register, visit www.baypath.edu and click on ‘Events.’ For more information, e-mail Ann Cantin at [email protected].

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank will hold a complimentary workshop titled “Planning for Health Care in Retirement,” featuring Kevin Flynn, regional vice president for Nationwide.

The event is designed to help people plan for retirement and learn how healthcare costs can impact their retirement income. This can be an unknown area of retirement planning, and the workshop will help make it simpler to understand the ins and outs of healthcare costs, Medicare coverage, and available options to help people plan for these expenses when they retire. It will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Hampden Senior Center, 104 Allen St., Hampden. Refreshments will be served.

“Too often, people don’t fully account for healthcare costs or understand what Medicare pays for when they decide to retire, and, unfortunately, they’re unpleasantly surprised at the adjustments they need to make to their budget and retirement plans when reality hits,” said Steve Lowell, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. “This workshop is designed to help people avoid that difficult scenario.”

The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, and reservations are required. To RSVP, contact Anna Calvanese at (413) 267-1221 or [email protected].