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Cover Story

29th Annual Compilation Celebrates the Depth, Diversity of Business Community

Launched nearly three decades ago, the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Super 60 program (originally the Fabulous 50 before it was expanded) has always acted like a giant telescope, bringing the breadth and depth of the region’s business community clearly into focus. And the 2108 lists are no exception. Businesses on the Total Revenue and Revenue Growth categories represent nearly every business sector — from healthcare to financial services, from marketing to dentistry, from construction to retail. There are some who have been hearing their names called at the Super 60 lunch for decades now, and others who will hear it for the first time. Overall, the lists put the region’s many strengths and immense diversity clearly on display. The Super 60 will be celebrated at the annual lunch on Oct. 26 at Chez Josef, starting at 11:30 a.m. The Super 60 awards are presented by Health New England and sponsored by Farmington Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, the Republican, and Zasco Productions.

Total Revenue

1. WHALLEY COMPUTER
ASSOCIATES Inc.
One Whalley Way, Southwick
(413) 569-4200
www.wca.com
John Whalley, president
WCA is a locally owned family business that has evolved from a hardware resale and service group in the ’70s and ’80s into a company that now focuses on lowering the total cost of technology and productivity enhancement for its customers. Boasting nearly 150 employees, Whalley carries name-brand computers as well as low-cost compatibles.

2. MARCOTTE FORD SALES INC.
1025 Main St., Holyoke
(800) 923-9810
www.marcotteford.com
Bryan Marcotte, president
The dealership sells new Ford vehicles as well as pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs, and features a full service department. Marcotte has achieved the President’s Award, one of the most prestigious honors given to dealerships by Ford Motor Co., on multiple occasions over the past decade. It also operates the Marcotte Commercial Truck Center.

3. TIGHE & BOND INC. *
53 Southampton Road, Westfield
(413) 562-1600
www.tighebond.com
DAVID PINSKY, PRESIDENT & CEO
Tighe & Bond is a full-service engineering and environmental consulting firm that provides a wide array of services, including building engineering, coastal and waterfront solutions, environmental consulting, GIS and asset management, site planning and design, transportation engineering, and water and wastewater engineering.

A.G. MILLER CO. Inc.
57 Batavia St., Springfield
(413) 732-9297
www.agmiller.com
Rick Miller, president
Early in its history, A.G. Miller made a name in automobile enameling. More than 100 years after its founding in 1914, the company now offers precision metal fabrication; design and engineering; assembly; forming, rolling, and bending; laser cutting; punching; precision saw cutting; welding; powder coating and liquid painting; and more.

BALTAZAR CONTRACTORS
83 Carmelinas Circle, Ludlow
(413) 583-6160
www.baltazarcontractors.com
Frank Baltazar, president
Baltazar Contractors has been a family-owned and operated construction firm for more than 20 years, specializing in roadway construction and reconstruction in Massachusetts and Connecticut; all aspects of site-development work; sewer, water, storm, and utilities; and streetscape improvements.

CHARTER OAK INSURANCE & FINANCIAL SERVICES CO. *
330 Whitney Ave., Holyoke
(413) 374-5430
www.charteroakfinancial.com
Peter Novak, General Agent
A member of the MassMutual Financial Group, Charter Oak been servicing clients for more than 125 years. The team of professionals serves individuals, families, and businesses with risk-management products, business planning and protection, retirement planning and investment services, and fee-based financial planning.

CITY ENTERPRISE INC.
52-60 Berkshire Ave., Springfield
(413) 726-9549
www.cityenterpriseinc.com
WONDERLYN MURPHY, PRESIDENT & CEO
City Enterprise Inc. is a general contractor with a diverse portfolio of clients, including the Groton Naval submarine base, Westover Air Reserve Base, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Park Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, and many others.

COMMERCIAL DISTRIBUTING CO. INC.
46 South Broad St., Westfield
(413) 562-9691
www.commercialdist.com
Richard Placek, Chairman
Founded in 1935 by Joseph Placek, Commercial Distributing Co. is a family-owned, family-operated business servicing more than 1,000 bars, restaurants, and clubs, as well as more than 400 package and liquor stores. Now in its third generation, the company continues to grow by building brands and offering new products as the market changes.

CON-TEST ANALYTICAL LABORATORY (Filli LLC)
39 Spruce St., East Longmeadow
(413) 525-2332
www.contestlabs.com
TOM VERATTI, FOUNDER, CONSULTANT
Established in 1987 and founded by Thomas and Kathleen Veratti, Con-Test Inc. provides industrial hygiene and analytical services to a broad range of clients. Originally focused on industrial hygiene analysis, the laboratory testing division has expanded its capabilities to include numerous techniches in air analysis, classical (wet) chemistry, metals, and organics.

DAVID R. NORTHUP ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS INC.
73 Bowles Road, Agawam
(413) 786-8930
www.northupelectric.com
DAVID NORTHUP, PRESIDENT
David R. Northup Electrical Contractors Inc. is a family-owned and operated, full-service electrical, HVAC, and plumbing contractor. The company specializes in everything from installation and replacement to preventative maintenance; indoor air-quality work to sheet-metal fabrication.

FREEDOM CREDIT UNION
1976 Main St., Springfield
(800) 831-0160
www.freedom.coop
GLENN WELCH, PRESIDENT & CEO
Freedom is a full-service credit union based in Springfield serving a wide range of business and consumer clients. Freedom has its main office on Main Street, with other offices in Sixteen Acres (Springfield), Feeding Hills, Ludlow, Chicopee, Easthampton, Northampton, Turners Falls, Greenfield, and the Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy.

THE FUTURES HEALTH GROUP, LLC
136 William St., Springfield
(800) 218-9280
www.discoverfutures.com
Brian Edwards, CEO
Futures provides occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech-language therapy, special education, nursing, mental health, and other related services to schools and healthcare facilities across the U.S. Founded in 1998, it continues to be managed by expert practitioners in their fields.

GARY ROME HYUNDAI INC. *
150 Whiting Farms Road, Holyoke
(877) 830-4792
www.garyromehyundai.com
GARY ROME, President
Gary Rome is the largest Hyundai dealership in the nation after a new, much larger facility opened in 2017. The company’s mission statement is to “provide our customers with a consistent sale and service experience that satisfies each person’s needs and exceeds their expectation in a clean and comfortable environment.”

GOVERNORS AMERICA CORP. – GAC MGMT. Co.
720 Silver St., Agawam
(413) 786-5600
www.governors-america.com
Governors America Corp. is a privately held engine-control company that provides complete design, development, production, and marketing capabilities for electro-mechanical and electronic devices that are used for engine control. The engine-control products are used in a wide range of industries, including generator set, material handling, marine propulsion, mining, locomotive, and off-highway applications. Governors America has developed an advanced line of electronic governing and fuel-control systems with accessories.

HOLYOKE PEDIATRIC ASSOCIATES, LLP
150 Lower Westfield Road, Holyoke
(413) 536-2393
www.holyokepediatrics.com
KATHY TREMBLE, Care Coordinator
Holyoke Pediatric Associates is the largest pediatric practice in Western Mass., serving patients from the Pioneer Valley at offices in Holyoke and South Hadley. The group medical practice comprises board-certified pediatricians, certified nurse practitioners, and more than 75 clinical, nutritional, and clerical support staff, and has served the healthcare needs of infants, children, and adolescents since 1971.

JET INDUSTRIES INC.
307 Silver St., Agawam
(413) 786-2010
www.jet.industries
Michael Turrini, president
Jet Industries Inc. is a leading design-build electrical, mechanical, communications, and fire-sprinkler contractor. What began as a small, family-run oil company founded by Aaron Zeeb in 1977 has grown into one of the nation’s largest companies of its type, with more than 500 employees servicing projects all across the country.

KITTREDGE EQUIPMENT CO. INC.
100 Bowles Road, Agawam
(413) 304-4100
www.kittredgeequipment.com
Wendy Webber, president
Founded in 1921, Kittredge Equipment Co. is one of the nation’s leading food-service equipment and supply businesses. It boasts 70,000 square feet of showroom in three locations. The company also handles design services, and has designed everything from small restaurants to country clubs to in-plant cafeterias.

LANCER TRANSPORTATION & SULCO WAREHOUSING & LOGISTICS *
311 Industry Ave., Springfield
(413) 739-4880
www.sulco-lancer.com
Todd Goodrich, president
In business since 1979, Sulco Warehousing & Logistics specializes in public, contract, and dedicated warehousing. Lancer Transportation & Logistics is a licensed third-party freight-brokerage company that provides full-service transportation-brokerage services throughout North America.

LOUIS & CLARK DRUG INC.
309 East St., Springfield
(413) 737-7456
www.lcdrug.com
Skip Matthews, president
Since 1965, Louis & Clark has been a recognized name in Western Mass., first as a pharmacy and later as a resource for people who need home medical equipment and supplies. Today, the company provides professional pharmacy and compounding services, medical equipment, independent-living services, and healthcare programs.

MAYBURY ASSOCIATES INC.
90 Denslow Road, East Longmeadow
(413) 525-4216
www.maybury.com
John Maybury, president
Since 1976, Maybury Associates Inc. has been designing, supplying, and servicing all types of material-handling equipment throughout New England. Maybury provides customers in a wide range of industries with solutions to move, lift, and store their parts and products.

NOTCH WELDING & MECHanICAL CONTRACTORS INC. *
85 Lemay St., Chicopee
(413) 534-3440
www.notch.com
Steven Neveu, president
A family-owned business since 1972, Notch Mechanical Constructors provides piping installation and repair services to facilities throughout Southern New England. Its team has the capacity to address process and utility piping challenges at any business within 100 miles of its locations in Chicopee and Hudson, Mass.

O’REILLY, TALBOT & OKUN ASSOCIATES INC.
293 Bridge St., Suite 500, Springfield
(413) 788-6222
www.oto-env.com
JIM OKUN, KEVIN O’REILLY, MIKE TALBOT, principals
O’Reilly Talbot & Okun is a specialty geo-environmental engineering firm, specializing in asbestos management, brownfields redevelopment, environmental site assessment, indoor air quality and industrial hygiene, MCP compliance, vapor intrusion, geotechnical engineering, lead inspection, PCB assessment and management, and other services.

P.C. ENTERPRISES INC. d/b/a ENTRE COMPUTER
138 Memorial Ave., West Springfield
(413) 736-2112
www.pc-enterprises.com
Norman Fiedler, CEO
PC Enterprises, d/b/a Entre Computer, assists organizations with procuring, installing, troubleshooting, servicing, and maximizing the value of technology. In business since 1983, it continues to evolve and grow as a lead provider for many businesses, healthcare providers, retailers, and state, local, and education entities.

PARAGUS STRATEGIC IT
112 Russell St., Hadley
(413) 587-2666
www.paragusit.com
Delcie Bean IV, president
While still in high school, Delcie Bean founded Paragus IT in 1999, first under the name Vertical Horizons and then Valley Computer Works. Under the Paragus name, it has grown dramatically as an outsourced IT solution, providing business computer service, computer consulting, information-technology support, and other services to businesses of all sizes. 

REDIKER SOFTWARE INC.
2 Wilbraham Road, Hampden
(800) 213-9860
www.rediker.com
Andrew Anderlonis, president
Rediker software is used by school administrators across the U.S. and in more than 100 countries, and is designed to meet the student-information-management needs of all types of schools and districts. For example, 100,000 teachers use the TeacherPlus web gradebook, and the ParentPlus and StudentPlus web portals boast 2 million users.

SANDERSON MacLEOD INC.
1199 South Main St. Palmer
(413) 283-3481
www.sandersonmacleod.com
MARK BORSARI, PRESIDENT
Launched in 1958 by Ken Sanderson and Bruce MacLeod, Sanderson MacLeod invented the first twisted-wire mascara brush. Today, it is an industry leader in the making of twisted wire brushes for the cosmetics industry, the healthcare sector, the OEM-cleaning brush market, the firearm-cleaning brush market, and many others.

TIGER PRESS (Shafii’s Inc.)
50 Industrial Dr., East Longmeadow
(413) 224-1763
www.tigerpress.com
JENNIFER SHAFII
TigerPress is an award-winning, ISO 9001 & FSC-certified custom printing company featuring the latest digital prepress and printing technology. The company manufactures folding cartons, marketing and educational printed products, fulfillment services, and indoor and outdoor signs.
TROY INDUSTRIES INC.
151 Capital Dr., West Springfield
(413) 788-4288
www.troyind.com
Steve Troy, CEO
Troy Industries was founded on the principle of making reliable, innovative, over-engineered products that function without question when lives are on the line. Troy is a leading U.S. government contractor that designs and manufactures innovative, top-quality small-arms components and accessories and complete weapon upgrades.

UNITED PERSONNEL SERVICES *
1331 Main St., Springfield
(413) 736-0800
www.unitedpersonnel.com
Patricia Canavan, president
United provides a full range of staffing services, including temporary staffing and full-time placement, on-site project management, and strategic recruitment in the Springfield, Hartford, and Northampton areas, specializing in administrative, professional, medical, and light-industrial staff.

WESTSIDE FINISHING CO. INC.
15 Samosett St., Holyoke
(413) 533-4909
www.wsfinish.com
BRIAN BELL, PRESIDENT
Founded in the early 1980s, Westside Finishing is a family-owned business specializing wide array of services, including silk screening, conveyorized powder coating, batch powder coating, pad printing, trucking, sub-assembly, final packaging, and more.

Revenue Growth

1. FIVE STAR TRANSPORTATION INC. *
809 College Highway, Southwick
(413) 789-4789
www.firestarbus.com
Nathan Lecrenski, president
Five Star provides school-bus transportation services to school districts and charter schools throughout Western Mass. From its launch a half-century ago with a single bus route, the company currently services more than 12 school districts and operates a fleet of more than 175 vehicles. 

2. BAYSTATE BLASTING INC.
36 Carmelinas Circle, Ludlow
(413) 583-4440
www.baystateblasting.com
Paul Baltazar, president
Baystate Blasting, Inc. is a local family-owned and operated drilling and blasting firm located in Ludlow that began in 2003. Services include site work, heavy highway construction, residential work, quarry, portable crushing, and recycling, and it is an ATF-licensed dealer of explosives as well as rental of individual magazines.

3. IN-LAND CONTRACTING INC.
83 Carmelinas Circle, Ludlow
(413) 547-0100
Denis Baltazar, Treasurer
In-Land Contracting is a general contractor specializing in garages, exterior work, parking lots, and other types of work.

AMERICAN PEST SOLUTIONS INC.
169 William St., Springfield
(413) 781-0044
www.413pestfree.com
BOB RUSSELL, PRESIDENT
Founded in 1913, American Pest Solutions is a full-service pest-solutions company. With two offices, in Springfield and Hartford, Conn., the company serves residential and commercial customers, offering inspection, treatment, and ongoing protection.

BAYSTATE RESTORATION INC.
69 Gagne St., Chicopee
(413) 532-3473
www.baystaterestorationgroup.com
MARK DAVIAU and DON ROBERT, OWNERS
Baystate Restoration Group is a 24-hour emergency service-restoration company specializing in all areas of restoration and insurance claims due to fire, water, smoke, mold, storm, and water damage to homes and businesses.

BURGESS, SCHULTZ & ROBB, P.C.
200 North Main St., Suite 1, South Building, East Longmeadow
(413) 525-0025
www.bsrcpa.com
ANDREW ROBB, MANAGING PARTNER
Burgess, Shultz & Robb is a full-service accounting firm specializing in accounting, auditing, tax, and business planning for closely held businesses and nonprofit organizations, trusts, and estate services.

CENTER SQUARE GRILL (Fun Dining Inc.)
84 Center Square, East Longmeadow
(413) 525-0055
www.centersquaregrill.com
Michael Sakey, Bill Collins, Proprietors
Center Square Grill serves up eclectic American fare for lunch and dinner, as well as an extensive wine and cocktail selection and a kids’ menu. The facility also has a catering service and hosts events of all kinds.

CHICOPEE INDUSTRIAL CONTRACTORS INC.
107 North Chicopee St., Chicopee
(413) 538-7279
www.chicopeeindustrial.com
Carol Campbell, president
Founded in 1992, Chicopee Industrial Contractors is an industrial contracting firm specializing in all types of rigging, heavy lifting, machinery moving, machine installation, millwrighting, machine repair, heavy hauling, plant relocations, concrete pads, foundations, and structural steel installations.

COURIER EXPRESS INC.
20 Oakdale St., Springfield
(413) 730-6620
www.courierexp.com
Eric Devine, president
Courier Express is committed to providing custom, same-day delivery solutions for any shipment. Its focal point is New England, but its reach is nationwide. The company strives to utilize the latest technologies, on-time delivery, customer service, and attention to detail to separate itself from its competitors.

E.F. CORCORAN PLUMBING & HEATING CO. INC. *
5 Rose Place, Springfield
(413) 732-1462
www.efcorcoran.com
CHARLES EDWARDS and BRIAN TOOMEY, Co-OWNERS
E.F. Corcoran Plumbing and Heating, founded in 1963, is a full-service plumbing and HVAC contractor. Services include 24-hour plumbing service, HVAC system installs, design-build services, energy retrofits, system replacements and modifications, gas piping, boilers, and more.

EOS APPROACH, LLC / Proshred Security international
75 Post Office Park, Wilbraham
(413) 596-5479
www.proshred.com
JOE KELLY, OWNER
Proshred is an industry leader in on-site shredding and hard-drive destruction. The company offers a number of services, including one-time paper shredding, ongoing shredding service, hard-drive destruction, product destruction, document scanning, and drop-off shredding.

EWS PLUMBING & HEATING INC.
339 Main St., Monson
(413) 267-8983
www.ewsplumbingandheating.com
BRANT STAHELSKI, PRESIDENT
EWS Plumbing & Heating Inc. is a family-owned and operated company that designs and installs plumbing and HVAC systems. A full-service mechanical contractor, the company specializes in both residential and commercial applications.

FLETCHER SEWER & DRAIN INC.
824A Perimeter Road, Ludlow
(413) 547-8180
www.fletcherseweranddrain.com
Teri Marinello, president
Since 1985, Fletcher Sewer & Drain has provided service to homeowners as well as municipalities and construction companies for large pipeline jobs. From unblocking kitchen sinks to replacing sewer lines, Fletcher keeps up to date with all the latest technology, from high-pressure sewer jetters to the newest camera-inspection equipment.

GALLAGHER REAL ESTATE *
1763 Northampton St., Holyoke
(413) 536-7232
www.gogallagher.com
PAUL GALLAGHER, OWNER
Gallagher Real Estate is an independent brokerage that operates in Hampshire and Hampden counties in Massachusetts and Hartford County in Connecticut, and specializes in both residential and commercial properties. The company has offices in Holyoke, South Hadley, East Longmeadow, and Springfield.

GLEASON JOHNDROW LANDSCAPING INC.
44 Rose St., Springfield
(413) 727-8820
www.gleasonjohndrowlandscaping.com
Anthony Gleason II, David Johndrow, Owners
Gleason Johndrow Landscape & Snow Management offers a wide range of commercial and residential services, including lawnmowing, snow removal, salting options, fertilization programs, landscape installations, bark-mulch application, creative plantings, seeding options, pruning, irrigation installation, maintenance, and much more.

GMH FENCE CO. inc. *
15 Benton Dr., East Longmeadow
(413) 525-3361
www.gmhfence.com
GLENN HASTIE, OWNER
Serving the Western Mass. area for nearly a quarter century, GMH Fence Co. is one of the largest fence companies in the region. The company offers fence installations from a selection of wood, aluminum, steel, and vinyl fencing for residential and commercial customers.

KNIGHT MACHINE TOOL CO. INC.
11 Industrial Dr., South Hadley
(413) 532-2507
Gary O’Brien, owner
Knight Machine & Tool Co. is a metalworking and welding company that offers blacksmithing, metal roofing, and other services from its 11,000-square-foot facility.

L & L PROPERTY SERVICES, LLC
582 Amostown Road, West Springfield
(413) 732-2739
www.
RICHARD LAPINSKI, OWNER
L&L Property Services LLC is a locally owned company providing an array of property services, including lawn care, snow removal, sanding, excavations, patios and stonewalls, hydroseeding, and more.

MARKET MENTORS, LLC *
1680 Riverdale St., West Springfield
(413) 787-1133
www.marketmentors.com
Michelle Abdow, principal
A full-service marketing firm, Market Mentors handles all forms of marketing, including advertising in all media, media buying, graphic design, public relations, and event planning.

MORAN SHEET METAL INC.
613 Meadow St., Agawam
(413) 363-1548
PAUL MORAN, OWNER
Founded in 1993, Moran Sheet metal is a family-owned company specializing in custom fabrication and installation of HVAC systems for commercial clients across Western Mass. and into Central Mass.

NORTHEAST IT SYSTEMS INC.
170 Lockhouse Road, Westfield
(413) 736-6348
www.northeastit.net
Joel Mollison, president
Northeast is a full-service IT company providing business services, managed IT services, backup and disaster recovery, and cloud services, as well as a full-service repair shop for residential customers, including file recovery, laptop screen replacement, PC setups and tuneups, printer installation, virus protection and removal, and wireless installation.

RAYMOND R. HOULE CONSTRUCTION INC.
5 Miller St., Ludlow
(413) 547-2500
www.rayhoule.com
TIM PELLETIER, PRESIDENT
Raymond R. Houle Construction specializes in commercial and industrial construction. Services include general contracting, construction management, and an integrated construction-assistance program.

RODRIGUES INC.
782 Center St., Ludlow
(413) 547-6443
Antonio Rodrigues, president
Rodrigues Inc. operates Europa Restaurant in Ludlow, specializing in Mediterranean cuisine with an interactive dining experience, presenting meals cooked on volcanic rocks at tableside. Europa also offers full-service catering and banquet space.

SECOND WIND CONSULTANTS
136 West St., #102, Northampton
(413) 584-2581
www.secondwindconsultants.com
AARON TODRIN, PRESIDENT
Second Wind Consultants is a Better Business Bureau-accredited business debt-relief consulting firm that helps companies avoid bankruptcy or litigation through a debt workout.

SKIP’S OUTDOOR ACCENTS INC.
1265 Suffield St., Agawam
(413) 786-0990
www.skipsonline.com
JOHN and SCOTT ANSART, OWNERS
Skip’s Outdoor Accents specializes in a wide range of outdoor products, including sheds and garages, gazebos, swingsets, outdoor furniture, yard and garden products, weathervanes and cupolas, indoor furniture, playhouses, and pet structures.

SUMMIT CAREERS INC.
85 Mill St., Suite B, Springfield
(413) 733-9506
www.summetcareers.inc
DAVID PICARD, OWNER
Summit Careers provides temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct-hire services for clients in a variety of sectors, including light industrial, warehouse, professional trades, administrative, accounting, and executive.

TAPLIN YARD, PUMP & POWER (M. Jags Inc.)
120 Interstate Dr., West Springfield
(413) 781-4352
www.fctaplin.com
Martin Jagodowski, president
Taplin has been servicing the local area since 1892, and is an authorized dealer for parts, equipment, service, and accessories for a wide range of brands. It boasts a large inventory of zero-turn mowers, commercial lawn equipment, lawnmowers, lawn tractors, trimmers, blowers, generators, pressure washers, pole saws, sprayers, chainsaws, and more.

VANGUARD DENTAL, LLC
1730 Boston Road, Springfield
(413) 543-2555
www.vanguarddentistry.com
DR. YOGITA KANORWALLA, PRINCIPAL
Vanguard Dental is a full-service dental practice specializing in same-day crowns, dental implants, root canals, bridges and dentures, Invisalign, and cosmetic dentistry.

WANCZYK EVERGREEN NURSERY INC.
166 Russell St., Hadley
(413) 584-3709
www.wanczynursery.com
MICHAEL WANCZYK, OWNER
Wanczyk Nursery has been a premier plant grower in the Pioneer Valley since 1954. The family-owned business offers many kinds of trees, shrubs, bushes, and flowers.

WEBBER & GRINNELL INSURANCE AGENCY INC.
8 North King. St., #1, Northampton
(413) 586-0111
www.webberandgrinnell.com
BILL GRINNELL, PRESIDENT
Webber & Grinnell’s roots can be traced back to 1849, when A.W. Thayer opened an insurance agency on Pleasant St. in Northampton. The agency offers automotive, homeowners, and business coverage, as well as employee benefits.

Departments Picture This

The Super 60

The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce staged its annual Super 60 Luncheon at a packed Chez Josef in Agawam on Oct. 28. Now in its 28th year, the program recognizes high-performing companies in two categories: Total Revenue and Revenue Growth.

Bill Grinnell (center), president of Webber & Grinnell Insurance, a winner in the Total Revenue category, accepts his plaque from Ashley Allen, vice president of Sales & Marketing for Health New England, the presenting sponsor, and Don D’Amour, chairman of Big Y Foods, a platinum sponsor

Bill Grinnell (center), president of Webber & Grinnell Insurance, a winner in the Total Revenue category, accepts his plaque from Ashley Allen, vice president of Sales & Marketing for Health New England, the presenting sponsor, and Don D’Amour, chairman of Big Y Foods, a platinum sponsor

Ralph Crowley Jr., CEO of Polar Beverages in Worcester, delivers the keynote address

Ralph Crowley Jr., CEO of Polar Beverages in Worcester, delivers the keynote addres

Paul Whalley, vice president of Whalley Computer Associates, the top finisher in the Total Revenue category, accepts his plaque from Allen and D’Amour

Paul Whalley, vice president of Whalley Computer Associates, the top finisher in the Total Revenue category, accepts his plaque from Allen and D’Amour

Drive Time

A host of local and state officials were on hand on Nov. 1 for the ribbon cutting for Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, the $12 million dealership created at the site of the former Plantation Inn in Chicopee. First conceived nearly three years ago, the dealership marks the return of Mercedes-Benz to the Greater Springfield area after a decade-long absence.

Attendees mingle in the showroom prior to the ceremonies

Attendees mingle in the showroom prior to the ceremonies

Jay Ashe, state secretary of Housing & Economic Development, addresses the attendees

Jay Ashe, state secretary of Housing & Economic Development, addresses the attendees

Cutting the ribbon are

Cutting the ribbon are, from left, state Rep. Joseph Wagner, Ashe, Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos, partners Peter and Michelle Wirth, partner Richard Hesse, and his wife, Amy

Peter Wirth says a few words to the attendees

Peter Wirth says a few words to the attendees

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Ralph Crowley Jr., president and CEO of Polar Beverages, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Super 60 event on Friday, Oct. 27. Now in its 28th year, the program celebrates the success of the fastest-growing and privately-owned businesses in the region which continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy.

Worcester-based Polar Beverages was founded by Crowley’s great-grandfather, Dennis Crowley, in 1882, primarily as a wholesale and retail liquor business. However, prohibition put a stop to the family’s liquor sales, forcing them to focus on bubbly waters and bottled water instead. Under the entrepreneurial and visionary leadership of fourth-generation Ralph Crowley Jr., Polar Beverages has grown to be the largest privately owned soft-drink bottler in the U.S., having completed more than 30 acquisitions, including proprietary brands Adirondack, Waist Watcher, Clear ‘n’ Natural, and national brands 7Up, A&W, Sunkist, Seagram’s, Royal Crown, and Diet Rite, along with new-age brands Snapple, AriZona, Fiji Water, O Water, HyDrive, and Nantucket Nectars. Polar also bottles home and office water.

In September 2001, Polar Beverages formed a joint venture with Cott Corporation. The partnership is known as Northeast Retailer Brands, LLC. This joint-venture partnership produces and distributes most of the retailer-branded beverages in the Northeast. At one time, Polar Beverages maintained a warehouse in Springfield.

“Polar Beverages is an example of a regional, family-owned business that has remained true to its roots, while at the same time growing its brand by smart acquisitions and innovative, entrepreneurial thinking,” said Springfield Regional Chamber President Nancy Creed. “Its founder could probably not have envisioned a line of mythically inspired, limited-edition cans of seltzer with names like Mermaid Songs, Unicorn Kisses, and Dragon Whispers that, in 2017, fly off of store shelves.”

The Super 60 Celebration event honoring this year’s class will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Chez Josef, 176 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam. Reservations are required. The cost is $60 for members, $75 for general admission. Reservations may be made for tables of eight or 10. The deadline for reservations is Oct. 18. No cancellations will be accepted after that date, and no walk-ins will be allowed. Reservations may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by e-mail to [email protected].

The Super 60 event is presented by Health New England and sponsored by Farmington Bank. The event is also sponsored by the Republican, the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, and Zasco Productions.

40 Under 40 The Class of 2017

President, Noonan Energy Corp.; Age 37

Ted Noonan

Ted Noonan

Ted Noonan says he’s extremely proud of his family history and the company that was started by his great-great-grandfather in 1890, and is doing his part to add to that legacy.

His father, Ed, introduced him to Noonan Energy at age 7 and served as a role model who inspired him to become active in the industry. Noonan pumped diesel fuel in his youth, drove an oil truck in high school, joined the company as a full-time employee in 1998, and worked his way up to the role of president.

Under his leadership, the company has acquired several oil companies, started a plumbing division, and further diversified into home-energy audits and providing lighting improvements and air sealing through the Mass Save program.

Noonan overhauled the company’s service department, streamlined the dispatch system and fleet, and spearheaded the company’s transition to Bioheat fuel, advocating for its use, he says, because it is better for the environment.

He has been interviewed by trade publications regarding the proposed natural-gas pipeline expansion in New England, is immediate past chairman of the board and current board member of the Mass. Energy Marketers Assoc. (MEMA), is an executive committee board member and vice chair of the New England Fuel Institute, and advocates for his industry in Washington, D.C.

“The industry has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, but everyone wants to be comfortable, either warm or cool depending on the season, so we focus on being able to offer those services,” Noonan said. “And the more I get involved, the more I realize the value of giving our employees a future they can feel good about.”

In 2013, the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce named Noonan Energy a Super 60 company, and Noonan and his father were feted with the Industry Leadership Award by MEMA. He served as corporator for Country Bank from 2013 to 2016 and is on its board of trustees.

Noonan Energy supports many charitable organizations, including the Gray House in Springfield and others that provide discounts for fuel deliveries. The company also supports local sports teams and has donated four $250 gift certificates as part of the Noonan Warm Wishes contest on 94.7 WMAS.

“My family has always been very giving,” said Noonan, who has three sons — Brady, 9, Dillon, 6, and Ethan, 3 — with his wife, Jessica, “and that will continue under my leadership.”

—Kathleen Mitchell

Sections Women in Businesss

Tapping Potential

Jill Monson-Bishop

Jill Monson-Bishop says women who own businesses can benefit from creating a team of advisors who can support them.

That famous quote from Oprah Winfrey — “Follow Your Passion: It is What Will Lead to Your Purpose” — is emblazoned in oversized letters on a wall in the waiting room of Inspired Marketing Inc. in Springfield.

The quotation is in line with the belief system embraced by the company’s self-named ‘chief inspiration officer,’ Jill Monson-Bishop, a title she put on her business card when she established her full-service advertising company, then went on to hire team members with a driving desire to help clients realize their goals.

The climate within the office was also carefully orchestrated: there are three dogs on-site most days; they sport the titles  ‘employee satisfaction manager,’ ‘customer experience associate,’ and ‘siesta manager.’ Everyone has a pair of comfortable slippers under their desk, and not only is collaboration encouraged, milestones of any kind are announced and celebrated.

It’s a formula that has led to success: Over the past three years Inspired Marketing has retained 93% of its clients and increased revenue by 362%.

“We don’t strive to be the number-one local marketing agency and win awards,” Monson-Bishop said. “Our aim is to have our clients win awards and reach goals and know that everyone here is invested in their growth.”

Indeed, awards have been forthcoming: One client was feted with a Better Business Torch Award; others were finalists for the honor; and still others have been named Super 60 companies by the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce for revenue and revenue growth.

Monson-Bishop tells new clients she doesn’t just want to purchase media for them, create a logo, or do graphic design; instead, she wants to be part of their team. That vision has materialized, and one business sends her their weekly sales report.

“I’m part of their growth or struggle depending on the week,” she noted.

She took pride in the fact that one client, the Good Dog Spot was recently able to open a second location, which was among its goals, and says she and her team have been invited to a number of company holiday parties.

Team members at Inspired Marketing

Team members at Inspired Marketing have increased revenue over the past three years by 362% and retained 93% of their clients.

One thing she focuses on is creating synergistic relationships between clients. For example, when Square One needed a pizza donation, she approached Frankie and Johnnie’s Pizzeria. Today the restaurant donates pizza to the non-profit once a month and employees and families involved with Square One frequent the eatery and buy lunches there, which they hadn’t been doing in the past. In addition, Frankie & Johnnie’s will cater an event for Square One next year.

Another example is a collaboration between Bob Pion Buick GMC; Square One; and the American International College Men’s –D1 Ice Hockey team.

AIC had planned to stage a toy drive at a December ice hockey game, and, thanks to Inspired Marketing, Bob Pion has volunteered to donate a truck, the toys will go to Square One, and every donor will receive a ticket to another AIC hockey game.

“I believe businesses are stronger together and if they can find opportunities to work together, they can grow together,” Monson-Bishop said “Our clients know we put our heart into what we do. If I write a press release and the media uses it, my teammates come running down the hall to tell me. They get very excited when we help a business attain success.”

Personifying Beliefs

Monson-Bishop says starting her own business has been the most difficult and rewarding thing she has ever done.

“I love being an employer,” she said, “being able to watch people’s dreams come true and being part of it.”

The decision to launch her advertising firm was made after her mother died unexpectedly at age 56. The loss was devastating, but also prompted the thought, “What if I only get 56 years on this planet? What would my legacy be?”

Monson-Bishop had worked as a radio broadcaster, and when her mother passed away she was selling coupon advertising and making more money than she ever had in her life. “But I didn’t want my legacy to be selling 50% off pizza coupons,” she said.

“I enjoyed working with clients and had found that small and medium-sized businesses were not being served by advertising agencies. Many were good at what they did but they had no idea how to spend money effectively on marketing,” she noted, explaining that the belief was reinforced by Butler Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, which had been in business for 30 years, and became her first client.

Monson-Bishop launched her new venture by renting a desk in a friend’s Springfield office. She moved to Agawam after hiring one part-time employee; then moved back to Springfield two years ago, which is a city she truly loves.

“I just purchased a Victorian in the Historic McKnight area, and believe the city is on the cusp of a renaissance. Great things are happening and I want to be part of them,” she said, noting that she also owns another house in the City of Homes.

Today Inspired Marketing has five team members in addition to Monson-Bishop  and gets help from two interns every college semester.

Their business is split equally between marketing and events, and clients include Smith & Wesson; Northwestern Mutual, American International College and the City of Springfield School Department; as well as smaller businesses.

They also work with a number of nonprofits including Valley Venture Mentors and the Zoo in Forest Park. “They do so much for us and we need to support them,” Monson-Bishop said, noting that last year, Inspired Marketing staged a Tiny Tea to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Square One’s popular fundraiser. Dignitaries included Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse who enjoyed tea seated at a child’s table. They wore hats and the event attracted a lot of media attention.

The crew also takes pride in coming up with creative advertising ideas. When they did a campaign for one non-profit they mailed reading glasses to potential donors with a note that said, “See the difference we can make,” then went on to explain the charity’s mission.

Another client received the attention it was seeking when Inspired Marketing did a mailing that contained scratch tickets with a note that said, “You wouldn’t throw away the enclosed without taking a chance on it. Take a chance on us and you will win every time;” while a press release delivered to media outlets about a classic-car cruise night contained matchbox cars; and another client’s business blossomed due to a marketing promotion in which packets of seeds were mailed with handwritten notes that said, “Let us help your business grow.”

Unique Challenges

Monson-Bishop believes female entrepreneurs face challenges unique to their gender. Her own accomplishments are significant: not only has she grown from a sole entrepreneur to a thriving advertising firm; she lost 125 pounds 3 1/2 years ago, has kept it off and been sugar-free for more than 1,200 days; was chosen as a BusinessWest 40 Under Forty 2010 class member, among other honors.

When she was notified about the most recent award, “I only celebrated for about 10 seconds,” she said, adding that she believes it’s easier for women to praise other people’s accomplishments and victories than take pride in their own.

“We tend to beat ourselves up for mistakes and need to learn to celebrate our own accomplishments and say ‘thank you’ when we receive a compliment,” she noted.

She believes her weight loss has led business professionals to take her more seriously and is now able to purchase a professional wardrobe, which was difficult to do when she was 125 pounds heavier.

Monson-Bishop has an advisory board composed of 10 local business leaders who have guided her over the years by providing honest and critical input. She shares her financial information with them and believes every female business owner could benefit from creating her own confidential circle of supporters.

“When you have a hard day or have to make a difficult decision, it helps to have someone to talk to, and that person isn’t always your spouse,” she said.

The founder of Inspired Marketing also feels many women suffer from what she calls the “Wizard of Oz Syndrome,” which is her metaphor for the imposter syndrome.

“The world may see you as the big and powerful Oz, but sometimes you feel like the man behind the curtain who is afraid to have it pulled back and be found out,” she said.

But testimonials from clients say that Monson-Bishop and her crew are truly inspired, have the ability to attract attention and help clients succeed.

Blazing a Path

Monson-Bishop not only used personality and drive as criteria when she began hiring people, today when a new position is created all team members are included in interviews with prospective job candidates to ensure they are a good fit.

Heather Ruggeri was thrilled the team chose her to be vice president and chief events officer, even though her credentials didn’t exactly match the job description.

“But she had a willingness to learn; a desire for absolute customer satisfaction and it was evident that she was deeply loyal. She didn’t want a job, she wanted to be part of something,” Monson-Bishop said, adding that Ruggeri is one of many team members whose professional achievements have made her proud.

Kristin Carlson was hired immediately after graduating from Fitchburg State University, and says her fellow team members have become like family and whenever they reach a goal, it is viewed as cause for celebration.

“I have run down the hall to Jill’s office when we have achieved something such as getting 10,000 Likes on a client’s Facebook page,” said Carlson. “We get excited about things here.”

That enthusiasm is generated by passion and the purpose that Monson-Bishop has found since she started her business venture. “You only get one chance at life, and this is it,” she said.

Departments Picture This

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

Super 60

Super 60

More than 500 guests gathered at Chez Josef in Agawam on Oct. 28 for the Super 60 awards luncheon, presented by the Springfield Regional Chamber to honor the region’s fastest-growing privately owned companies. This year’s top honoree in the Total Revenue category was Stavros Center for Independent Living Inc. in Amherst, while the top honoree in Revenue Growth was Lavishlyhip, LLC in Feeding Hills. The event’s keynote speaker was Tree House Brewing co-founder Dean Rohan.

 

Justin Pelis, board treasurer of Stavros Center for Independent Living

From left, Justin Pelis, board treasurer of Stavros Center for Independent Living; Ashley Allen, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Health New England; Nancy Bazanchuk, board vice president of Stavros; and John Patrick, president and CEO of Farmington Bank

 

Bill Grinnell, president of Webber

Bill Grinnell, president of Webber and Grinnell Insurance (left), and Richard Venne, CEO and president of Community Enterprises

From left, Allen; Jay Ray, president of Detector Technology Inc.; and Patrick

From left, Allen; Jay Ray, president of Detector Technology Inc.; and Patrick

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Regional Chamber announced the honorees for its annual Super 60 award, presented by Health New England and sponsored by Farmington Bank. Now in its 27th year, the program celebrates the success of the fastest-growing privately-owned businesses in the region which continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy.

The Super 60 celebration event honoring this year’s class will be held Friday, Oct. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Chez Josef, presented by Health New England; sponsored by Farmington Bank, Zasco Productions and WWLP-TV 22; with reception sponsors the Republican and the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, gold sponsor Berkshire Bank, and in partnership with the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce (ERC5). Tree House Brewing Co. co-Founder Dean Rohan will keynote the event and discuss the success of the artisan brewery.

Reservations are required for the event; the cost is $50 for Springfield Regional Chamber and ERC5 members, $70 for general admission. Reservations for tables of eight or 10 are available. The deadline for reservations is Wednesday, Oct. 19. No cancellations are accepted after that date, and no walk-ins will be accepted. Reservations must be made in writing, online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by e-mail to [email protected].

To be considered, a company must be based in Hampden or Hampshire counties or be a member of the Springfield Regional Chamber, have revenues of at least $1 million in the last fiscal year, be an independent and privately owned company, and be in business at least three full years. Companies are selected based on their percentage of revenue growth over a full three-year period or total revenues for the latest fiscal year.

This year’s winners hail from 17 communities across the region and represent all sectors of the economy, including nonprofit, transportation, energy, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, retail, and service.

“Small business is the backbone of our region and our continued growth engine, and the success of this year’s winners is a clear indication that our regional economy is strong,” said Springfield Regional Chamber President Nancy Creed. “What is interesting to see this year is the emergence of the digital world. Two of our honorees, 3BL Media and LavishlyHip — which also took the top spot in Revenue Growth — have a strong presence in the online community and do business primarily on the web versus brick and mortar. I think this might be first year we’ve had such honorees.”

This year’s top honoree in Total Revenue is Amherst-based Stavros Center for Independent Living, one of the oldest independent-living centers in the country. The organization came in at number two in Total Revenue in 2014.

Creed noted that one-third of the Total Revenue winners exceeded $45 million in revenues, with all the winners combining for more than $1.3 billion in revenues. In the Revenue Growth category, she said all winners had growth in excess of 25%, while one-third had growth in excess of 60%.

Three companies in the Total Revenue category also qualified for the Revenue Growth category, while nine companies in the Revenue Growth category also qualified for the Total Revenue category. These companies are indicated by asterisks below. The top three in each category are ranked as such, with the rest following alphabetically.

The 2016 winners in Total Revenue are: 1. Stavros Center for Independent Living Inc.; 2. Springfield College; 3. Whalley Computer Associates Inc.; Baltazar Contractors Inc.; Behavioral Health Network; Braman Chemical Enterprises Inc.; City Tire Company Inc.; Collaborative for Educational Services; Commercial Distributing Co. Inc.; Community Enterprises Inc.*; the Dennis Group; Filli, LLC d/b/a ConTest Analytical Laboratory; Grand Prix International; HAPHousing (HAP, Inc.)*; Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start Inc.; Human Resources Unlimited Inc.; Kittredge Equipment Co. Inc.*; Lancer Transportation & Logistics and Sulco Warehousing & Logistics; Marcotte Ford Sales Inc.; Multicultural Community Services of the Pioneer Valley Inc.; Northeast Treaters Inc.; P.C. Enterprises Inc. d/b/a Entre Computer; Pathlight Inc.; Sarat Ford-Lincoln; Specialty Bolt & Screw Inc.; Tighe & Bond Inc.; Troy Industries Inc.; United Personnel Services Inc.; Valley Opportunity Council Inc.; WestMass ElderCare Inc.

The 2016 winners in Revenue Growth are: 1. Lavishlyhip, LLC; 2. City Enterprises Inc.*; 3. 3BL Media, LLC; Aegenco Inc.; Aegis Energy Services Inc.*; Bart Truck Equipment, LLC; Baystate Crushing; Charter Oak Insurance & Financial Services*; Courier Express Inc.; Detector Technology Inc.*; Environmental Compliance Services Inc.; Fletcher Sewer & Drain Inc.; Fun Dining Inc. d/b/a Center Square Grill; Gandara Mental Health Center Inc.*; GMH Fence Co. Inc.; Knight Machine Tool Co. Inc.; M. Jags Inc.; Maybury Associates Inc.*; Michael’s Party Rentals Inc.; MicroTek Inc.*; O’Connell Care at Home; Orthotics & Prosthetics Laboratories Inc.; Paragus Strategic IT Inc.; Powervestors II, LLC; Rediker Software Inc.*; Rodrigues Inc.; Tech Roofing Service Inc.; Universal Plastics Corp.*; Webber & Grinnell Insurance Agency Inc.; Yankee Home Improvement.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Time is running out to submit nominations for the Springfield Regional Chamber’s annual Super 60 awards program. The deadline is this Friday, Aug. 12.

Now in its 27th year, the awards program celebrates the success of the fastest-growing privately owned businesses in the region, which continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy. Each year, the program identifies the top-performing companies in revenue growth and total revenue. Last year, total-revenue winners combined for revenues of more than $1 billion, with only-third of winners exceeding revenues of $30 million. All winners in the revenue-growth category had growth in excess of 20% while one-third experienced growth in excess of 65%.

To be considered, companies must be based in Hampden or Hampshire county or be a member of the Springfield Regional Chamber, produce revenues of at least $1 million in the last fiscal year, be an independent and privately owned company, and have been in business for at least three full years. Companies are selected based on their percentage of revenue growth over a full three-year period or total revenues for the latest fiscal year.

Companies may be nominated by financial institutions, attorneys, or accountants, or be self-nominated. Companies must submit a nomination form and provide net operating revenue figures for the last three full fiscal years, signed and verified by an independent auditor. All financial information must be reported under generally accepted accounting principles and will be held and considered confidential and not released without prior approval.

Nomination forms are available here or by contacting Kara Cavanaugh at [email protected] or (413) 755-1310.

The Super 60 awards will be presented in partnership with the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce at the annual luncheon and recognition program on Friday, Oct. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Chez Josef in Agawam.

Briefcase Departments

UMass Vaults to Top 30 in Patents Awarded in 2015

BOSTON — In the latest display of its R&D firepower, the University of Massachusetts vaulted to 30th globally in the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Patents in 2015. Winning a record 62 U.S. patents arising out of faculty inventions, UMass placed third in Massachusetts and New England and was tied for 24th place among American universities. “Our faculty continues to shine with cutting-edge research and innovation that places us in the top tier of universities in the world. They lead us to new frontiers of human understanding, and their work opens the door to a more prosperous economic future,” President Marty Meehan said. “We’re proud of this accomplishment because today’s patent is tomorrow’s job-creating startup technology company.” The patents awarded are based on UMass research in areas as diverse as gene silencing, high-technology textiles, polymers, and nanotechnology, according to Abigail Barrow, interim executive director of the university’s Office of Technology Commercialization and Ventures. The 62 patents represent a 55% increase over the 40 awarded to UMass in the previous year and is the highest number issued in a single calendar year since UMass began its technology-transfer program in 1995, she added. UMass is also a national leader among universities in licensing income earned on its patented inventions. “Congratulations to the University of Massachusetts for making the Top 100 again this year and for an impressive increase,” said Paul Sanberg, president of the National Academy of Inventors, which produces the rankings along with the Intellectual Property Owners Assoc. One of the UMass patents relates to Geckskin, a super-strong adhesive discovered at UMass Amherst that can be used multiple times without losing effectiveness. This year’s top 10 ranked universities worldwide were: the University of California system, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, the University of Texas, Tsinghua University (China), California Institute of Technology, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, and University of Michigan. The rankings are calculated using data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. UMass is on pace to match or modestly exceed its record 62 patents in the next report, Barrow said. “Our impressive patent numbers reflect the rapid growth and influence of UMass’ research enterprise and the discovery going on at all of our campuses.” UMass shares the number-30 spot with the University of Utah Research Foundation and the Research Foundation of the State University of New York. The National Academy of Inventors is a nonprofit organization of U.S. and international universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutions with more than 3,000 members. The Intellectual Property Owners Assoc. is a trade association of owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. This is the fourth year they have collaborated to issue the rankings report.

Springfield Regional Chamber Seeks Super 60 Nominations

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Regional Chamber is seeking nominations for its annual Super 60 awards program. Now in its 27th year, the awards program celebrates the success of the fastest-growing privately owned businesses in the region, which continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy. Each year, the program identifies the top-performing companies in revenue growth and total revenue. Last year, total-revenue winners combined for revenues of more than $1 billion, with only-third of winners exceeding revenues of $30 million. All winners in the revenue-growth category had growth in excess of 20% while one-third experienced growth in excess of 65%. To be considered, companies must be based in Hampden or Hampshire county or be a member of the Springfield Regional Chamber, produce revenues of at least $1 million in the last fiscal year, be an independent and privately owned company, and have been in business for at least three full years. Companies are selected based on their percentage of revenue growth over a full three-year period or total revenues for the latest fiscal year. Companies may be nominated by financial institutions, attorneys, or accountants, or be self-nominated. Companies must submit a nomination form and provide net operating revenue figures for the last three full fiscal years, signed and verified by an independent auditor. All financial information must be reported under generally accepted accounting principles and will be held and considered confidential and not released without prior approval. Nomination forms are available here or by contacting Kara Cavanaugh at [email protected] or (413) 755-1310. Nominations must be submitted no later than Friday, Aug. 12. The Super 60 awards will be presented in partnership with the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce at the annual luncheon and recognition program on Friday, Oct. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Chez Josef in Agawam.

Springfield Launches Futurecity Massachusetts

SPRINGFIELD — On Friday, July 15, the Springfield Central Cultural District (SCCD) will be one of three statewide districts to launch Futurecity Massachusetts, a new approach to transforming cities that puts art, culture, and creativity at the center of redevelopment and revitalization. Futurecity Mass is a joint initiative of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) and the Boston Foundation. Futurecity Massachusetts will work with mayors, urban planners, and arts and business leaders in Boston, Worcester, and Springfield on key real-estate projects in state-designated cultural districts in the three cities, targeting areas ready for development and job growth. It is the first U.S. effort to advance the strategies of Mark Davy and his London-based Futurecity, which has created more than 200 partnerships across the globe that reposition cultural assets from community amenities to marketplace drivers. Futurecity has been immersed in cultural placemaking projects for more than a decade, and Davy believes Futurecity Massachusetts will secure the Commonwealth’s global position as a cultural leader. Davy will visit Springfield on July 15 to meet and workshop with local cultural and economic-development leaders. He will take knowledge from a walking tour of the Cultural District, an extensive workshop, and a general reception back to his UK team to review. In October, Futurecity will return to present a strategy to the Springfield public. The MCC hopes to eventually expand the program statewide. A press event will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Friday with Davy, MCC Executive Director Anita Walker, Mayor Domenic Sarno, and SCCD Executive Director Morgan Drewniany on the steps of City Hall. Both press and the general public are invited to attend. The Springfield Central Cultural District, which encompasses an area of the metro center of Springfield, is membership-based, involving many of the downtown arts institutions. Its mission is to create and sustain a vibrant cultural environment in Springfield.

Local Business Volunteers Bring JA to Fairview School

CHICOPEE — Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JA) and 33 volunteers from area banks, businesses, and colleges teamed up to bring Junior Achievement programs to all 436 students at Fairview School in Chicopee for last month’s JA in a Day event. “This is the sixth year that Chicopee Savings Bank Foundation has sponsored JA in a Day for these students,” noted Jennifer Connolly, president of Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts. “The students and teachers look forward to ending their year with JA, and Junior Achievement looks forward to ending our year with this terrific school. Nowhere else are our JA Volunteers treated to a final assembly with hundreds of cheering students and handmade cards and notes. It is an amazing event.” This year, JA volunteers from Chicopee Savings Bank, Bank of America, Santander Bank, Westfield Bank, Webster Bank, TD Bank, Babson Capital, Elms College, UMass Amherst, and Lead Yourself Youth brought Junior Achievement programs to students in grades K-5 at Fairview School. Carlos DeLeon, a Chicopee Savings Bank volunteer, noted, “the students had a good understanding of how a city runs. They had a great understanding of a savings account, and we talked about how taxes help the city rebuild.” Erika Eisnor, a Santander volunteer who taught JA Our Region in a fourth-grade class, noted that “JA is so much fun and a great learning experience.” Added Kidon Gebersadik from Bank of America, “it’s never too early to learn about good money habits. These exceptional students are learning about building blocks that will lead to more stable financial lives down the road, making our communities and local economies stronger.” Tim Dominick, a teacher at Fairview School, explained that the program “further offered the students a chance to explore their creative thinking process. The students benefited from the teamwork and problem solving the program offered.” JA programs empower students to make a connection between what they learn in school and how it can be applied in the real world, enhancing the relevance of their classroom learning and increasing their understanding of the value of staying in school. Each year, JA reaches more than 10 million students worldwide and helps them develop successful financial-management habits, empowering them to explore the potential of becoming an entrepreneur and providing them with the skills necessary to succeed in a global workforce. Locally, Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts reaches more than 11,000 students.

Baker Signs Transgender Anti-discrimination Law

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law an anti-discrimination bill, previously passed by the state House and Senate, that gives transgender people the right to use public restrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identities, regardless of their sex at birth. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination will adopt policies to enforce its provisions, a statement from the governor’s office said. “No one should be discriminated against in Massachusetts because of their gender identity,” Baker said, according to CNN. “This compromise legislation extends additional protections to the Commonwealth’s transgender community, and includes language to address the public-safety concerns expressed by some by requiring the attorney general to issue regulations to protect against people abusing the law.”

Area Business Leaders to Head to Capitol Hill

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Regional Chamber will hold its biannual Washington Symposium on September 21-23 hosted by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal. This popular event brings the region’s business leaders to Washington, D.C. to listen to and question some of the country’s most influential leaders, including members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, top federal policy makers, and members of the Obama Administration in its last months in office. Past speakers have included political strategist Stan Greenberg, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, House Ways and Means Chair David Camp, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors Jason Furman, and Ireland’s Ambassador to the U.S. Anne Anderson. Registrations are limited and include air transportation, airport parking, hotel transfers, hotel accommodations at the Phoenix Park Hotel within walking distance to the Capitol, breakfast and lunch each day, and welcome and closing evening receptions. The reservation deadline is Friday, Aug. 5, and no refunds will be granted after that date. The all-inclusive cost is $1,395 (single) or $1,270 (per person, double occupancy) if made by Friday, July 15. Reservations made after July 15 will increase to $1,495 (single) or $1,370 (per person, double occupancy). Sponsorship opportunities are also available and include complimentary attendance. For reservations or more information, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or e-mail Nancy Creed at [email protected]

BTCF HousingUs Initiative Issues RFP

SHEFFIELD — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s HousingUs initiative is soliciting proposals from nonprofits, community organizations, and public agencies to plan and convene outreach activities that bring residents together to explore the interrelated issues of affordable housing, economic development, and town-center vitality. Grants of up to $10,000 will be available for projects that result in action-oriented community-development strategies or create broader public awareness of the elements of healthy and resilient communities, including the availability of affordable housing. Only collaborative proposals with one lead applicant and at least one other partner will be considered. Organizations serving Berkshire County, Mass.; Columbia County and Northeast Dutchess County, N.Y.; and Northwest Litchfield County, Conn., are eligible. The deadline for submitting proposals is Friday, Aug. 26. For more information, visit www.berkshiretaconic.org/housingus.

AMA Recognizes Benefits of Paid Sick Leave

CHICAGO — The American Medical Assoc. (AMA) recently adopted new policy recognizing the public-health benefits of paid sick leave and other discretionary time off. Citing a growing body of evidence that lack of access to paid sick leave results in the spread of infectious diseases, as well as delayed screenings, diagnoses, and treatment, the new AMA policies support paid sick leave, as well as unpaid sick leave, for employees to care for themselves or a family member. “With both dual-earner and single-parent households on the rise in the United States, it is increasingly challenging for workers to juggle family and work,” said former AMA board chair Dr. Barbara McAneny. “Workers without paid sick days are more likely to work sick and are more likely to delay needed medical care, which can lead to prolonged illness and worsen otherwise minor health issues. Lack of paid leave also has a ripple effect across a worker’s family. Paid sick leave has been shown to aid children’s health, shorten hospital stays, and reduce the risk of disease transmission by allowing parents to stay home with sick children. Paid sick leave keeps our homes, offices, and communities healthier while ensuring the family’s economic security.” The U.S. is the only industrialized nation without a federal family-leave law that guarantees workers may receive pay while taking time to care for themselves or their family. Although the Family and Medical Leave Act mandates that companies provide leave, the law does not require that it be paid. The AMA also reaffirmed existing policy supporting voluntary leave policies that provide employees with job security and the continued availability of health-plan benefits in the event that leave becomes necessary due to medical conditions.

Rep. Neal Releases Rail Study for Northern New England

SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, dean of the New England congressional delegation, held a press conference in Springfield last week to release the Northern New England Intercity Rail Initiative (NNEIRI), a study funded by the Federal Railroad Administration and requested by Neal and former U.S. Rep. John Olver to identify and improve rail service in the region, including Springfield to Boston. NNEIRI is a conceptual planning study that examines the benefits, opportunities, and impacts of adding more frequent and higher-speed inter-city passenger rail service on two rail corridors, the inland route and the Boston-to-Montreal route. The inland route would run between Boston and New Haven, Conn. via Springfield. The Boston-to-Montreal route would run between Boston and Montreal, Quebec via Springfield. The two routes would share the trackage between Boston and Springfield. The combination of these two rail routes defines the study area that is collectively identified as the NNEIRI Corridor. “More than 2 million people live within three miles of a station along this corridor,” said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg. “For everyone to move safely and efficiently, this region needs a robust rail system, and this blueprint will help achieve that goal.”

Report Details State Residents without Insurance Coverage

BOSTON — The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation released a new report, “Massachusetts Residents without Health Insurance Coverage: Understanding Those at Risk of Long-term Uninsurance.” Massachusetts currently has the lowest uninsurance rate in the nation, and as part of the individual mandate to carry health insurance coverage, the state collects detailed information through its tax-filing process about the health-insurance status of more than 4 million residents. This report analyzes 2011 and 2012 state-tax-filer data and provides new information about Massachusetts residents who are prone to remaining uninsured over consecutive years. The findings can help inform stakeholders who want to maintain the state’s low uninsurance rate and strive to lower the number of individuals without health-insurance coverage. Prepared by Michael Chin of UMass Medical School and Audrey Gasteier of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, the analyses in this report represent the first time that tax-filer data is being used to quantify the state’s uninsured population over a period of two consecutive calendar years. No other state has such detailed information on its residents’ insurance status.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Regional Chamber is seeking nominations for its annual Super 60 awards program.

Now in its 27th year, the awards program celebrates the success of the fastest-growing privately owned businesses in the region, which continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy. Each year, the program identifies the top-performing companies in revenue growth and total revenue. Last year, total-revenue winners combined for revenues of more than $1 billion, with only-third of winners exceeding revenues of $30 million. All winners in the revenue-growth category had growth in excess of 20% while one-third experienced growth in excess of 65%.

To be considered, companies must be based in Hampden or Hampshire county or be a member of the Springfield Regional Chamber, produce revenues of at least $1 million in the last fiscal year, be an independent and privately owned company, and have been in business for at least three full years. Companies are selected based on their percentage of revenue growth over a full three-year period or total revenues for the latest fiscal year.

Companies may be nominated by financial institutions, attorneys, or accountants, or be self-nominated. Companies must submit a nomination form and provide net operating revenue figures for the last three full fiscal years, signed and verified by an independent auditor. All financial information must be reported under generally accepted accounting principles and will be held and considered confidential and not released without prior approval.

Nomination forms are available here or by contacting Kara Cavanaugh at [email protected] or (413) 755-1310. Nominations must be submitted no later than Friday, Aug. 12.

The Super 60 awards will be presented in partnership with the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce at the annual luncheon and recognition program on Friday, Oct. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Chez Josef in Agawam.