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Western Mass. Business Leaders Join AIM Board, Executive Committee

A prominent business owner from Holyoke and the chancellor of UMass Amherst, are among 13 business leaders to join the board of directors of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM).

Pia Sareen Kumar, co-owner and chief strategy officer of Universal Plastics Group, and Kumble Subbaswami, chancellor at UMass Amherst, were elected to the board of the statewide business association at AIM’s annual meeting in May. AIM represents the interests of more than 3,500 employers on public policy issues affecting the Massachusetts economy.

Tricia Canavan, president of United Personnel in Springfield and an incumbent director at AIM, was elected to the organization’s Executive Committee. Canavan is a 2018 winner of the AIM Next Century award for contributions to economic opportunity and serves as a member of AIM’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

“AIM has always maintained a strong group of directors from Western Massachusetts and Pia Kumar, Kumble Subbaswami and Tricia Canavan certainly add to that strength,” said John Regan, newly named president and CEO of the association.

“AIM members this year elected the most talented and diverse group of new directors in the 104-year history of the organization,” he went on. “We look forward to their insight and direction as the business community prepares for a simultaneously exciting and challenging period.”

Kumar leads a family of five plastics manufacturing businesses located in the Northeast and Midwest, including Universal Plastics in Holyoke. The companies specialize in a range of processes including injection molding, gas assist molding, heavy gauge thermoforming, blow molding and structural foam molding. The current companies have expertise in large, complex and highly aesthetic parts with manufacturing volumes of 50-50,000 parts per year.

Kumar started her career as an investment banker at JPMorgan Chase and was a global director of strategic partnerships at American Express. She holds an MBA from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.

Subbaswamy became the 30th leader of UMass Amherst July 1, 2012. He has emerged as a popular and well-regarded chancellor for his pursuit of academic excellence, promotion of research and outreach, and initiatives aimed at addressing campus climate, diversity, and culture.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in science from Bangalore University, a master’s in physics from Delhi University, and a PhD in physics from Indiana University. He was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1989.

Canavan is a respected business leader throughout Western Mass.

She leads a second-generation family company that connects more than 700 people each day to good jobs throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. Headquartered in downtown Springfield, the company operates additional offices in Northampton, Pittsfield and Chelmsford, along with Hartford and New Haven, Conn.

Canavan serves as on the boards of the Economic Development Council of Western Mass., the Springfield Public Forum, the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Business Leaders for Education, and the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board.


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