Page 46 - BusinessWest July 20, 2020
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Melanson Heath
Rebrands as Melanson
NASHUA, N.H. — Melanson Heath, one of the fastest-growing accounting firms in the U.S., announced that the com- pany will begin operating under a new name and will be known as Melanson, effective immediately. This rebrand- ing strategy reflects both the evolution of the company and its vision for the future. Along with this change, a newly redesigned company logo has been revealed, and a new website, melan-, has been launched. “As part of our focus on expansion and business development, our leadership team and I believe it was appropriate to rebrand our firm to more specifi- cally reflect who we are,” said Manag- ing Partner Scott Toothaker, CPA. “We are very excited about the introduction of our new company name, Melanson, because it allows us to better represent our business to our clients and com- munity. We are also very happy about the launch of our new website, which features our own employees and better reflects the personality found at Melan- son. We are not just an accounting firm; we are a partner for our clients.”
Phoenix Project Launched to Assist Struggling Businesses
fano Group and Seven Roads Media announced the Phoenix Project, a movement to collaborate and cre-
ate opportunities within the Pioneer Valley business community based on the principles of kindness and under- standing. The goal is to provide a broad range of assistance to businesses that are struggling as a result of the unprec- edented happenings of 2020. The two companies, in direct response to the inequities and hardships that so many in the community are facing, will seek to gain a genuine understanding of what local business owners need and address those needs immediately and for free. The process will begin with
a video interview to gather raw, first- hand knowledge. Seven Roads Media and the DiStefano Group will provide business and media coaching on the spot, but support for the business won’t end there. The Phoenix Project also includes the expertise of an estab- lished group of ‘masterminds’ — local professionals at the top of their fields — to provide coaching in banking, marketing, financial management,
real estate, photography, hospitality, events, human resources, psychology, IT, and more. Gina DiStefano, president and CEO of the DiStefano Group and Phoenix Project co-founder, explained that “the video is just the beginning. From there, we will connect the busi- ness with our group of masterminds, who will continue to provide pro bono advice. We intend to have a real impact on businesses that have been hit hard. We are willing and able to help.” The project’s model will build supportive relationships not just for the chosen
business, but among all of the those represented by the masterminds, said the third co-founder, Jess Roncarati- Howe, a nonprofit consultant and coach with the DiStefano Group who formerly served as president of the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Com- merce. “An entrepreneurial spirit who truly cares about what’s going on around them can foster tremendous impact,” she added. “It is the driving force behind the Phoenix Project. We will help our community to heal — one interaction, one relationship at a time.”
IALS at UMass Amherst
Joins Digital Health
Sandbox Network
AMHERST — The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI) selected six new healthcare research and development (R&D) hubs to join the Digital Health Sandbox Network, including UMass Amherst’s Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS). The Sandbox Network program connects digital-health startups to cutting-edge R&D facilities in the Commonwealth and allows Massachusetts startups to apply for funding to test their innova- tions at one of the networks’ labs, now including IALS. Sandbox R&D facilities provide a range of services supporting validation and testing for digital health companies throughout their life cycles. “Establishing a translational institute at UMass that provides startup lab space; more than 30 industry-friendly, staffed core equipment facilities; and individualized venture-mentoring services creates an exciting environ- ment for digital-health companies in Western Massachusetts,” IALS Direc- tor Peter Reinhart said. IALS helps to shepherd and translate fundamental research into new product candidates, technologies, and services that benefit human health and well-being. IALS also helps users address both basic and translational questions, deliver tech- nologies and product candidates more rapidly, and become more competitive in obtaining funding. Facilities include a state-of-the-art test bed for mobile health experiments at scale, the Center for Human Health and Performance, a roll-to-roll fabrication and processing facility, and research laboratory space for lease. In 2019, Gov. Charlie Baker announced $500,000 in funding for the Sandbox program as part of the Com- monwealth’s efforts to boost the digital- health ecosystem under the Massachu- setts Digital Health Initiative.
Captain Candy to Open Second Store in Holyoke
NORTHAMPTON — Levi Smith, owner of Captain Candy in the lower level of Thornes Marketplace, announced he is opening a second store in the Holy- oke Mall at Ingleside. “I’ve survived the COVID-19 shutdown, and I’m excited to be opening a second store in Holy- oke,” Smith said. Captain Candy offers
chon Park to envision and create pub- lic art that serves to connect the city, residents, and visitors. This is one of 51 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category. Spark: Igniting Our Community is a two-year public art project that will transform recently reopened Pynchon Park into a vibrant public space through inno- vative multi-media art installations created by local and national artists. City residents, community stakehold- ers, and cultural institutions will be involved in a collective process to imagine, select, and commission pub- lic art that celebrates Springfield’s citi- zens, culture, and heritage. The park,
Company Notebook
eclectic candies that are not the norm in grocery and convenience stores — everything from gumballs to candy cig- arettes, wax bottles full of juice, Turkish taffy, Pop Rocks, and Zotz. Smith was contacted in January by the owners of Pyramid Management Group, which owns more than a dozen malls in the Northeast, including the Holyoke Mall. Smith’s Holyoke store opening comes a little over a year after he purchased the Northampton shop from former owner Nolan Anaya. Smith was 18 at the time. Currently, he is a business student at Holyoke Community College. In the early months, Smith will operate the new store to ensure a smooth start, and then he will hire
as needed. Cur-
rently, he and six part-time employ-
ees operate the Thornes location, which opened in 2013.
closed for 40 years, will use the arts to connect neighborhoods and people, creating equitable partnerships that demonstrate the power of civic engage- ment for more vibrant and livable com- munities. The park’s reopening offers an opportunity to continue momen- tum by celebrating public art in this passageway and creating a program- ming and civic-engagement space. This project will create a walkable pathway between the museum district and the commercial downtown, spurring retail and public-space projects along these avenues and encouraging greater tour- ism throughout the city.
Webster Bank Offers Financial Program for Frontline Heroes
WATERBURY, Conn. — Webster Bank became one of the first financial-ser- vices companies nationwide to intro- duce Frontline Heroes, a program for essential healthcare workers and first responders that enhances the finan- cial well-being of those who are on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. In gratitude for their selfless service, Webster’s new Frontline Heroes pro- gram offers a range of financial ben- efits, including checking accounts free of a monthly maintenance fee and free checking withdrawals at any ATM through December 2021. The program provides new customers with the abil- ity to earn a cash incentive, as well
as additional discounts and benefits. Frontline Heroes includes any full- time or part-time employee currently in essential healthcare, including hos- pitals, nursing homes, medical and dental practices, and home healthcare. The program is also available to first responders. For every new Frontline Heroes customer, Webster will also donate $250 to United Way COVID-19 Response Funds, making a minimum donation of $100,000.
JULY 20, 2020 45
Smith College Team Wins Ventilator-design Challenge
NORTHAMPTON — The SmithVent team of engineering alumni, staff, and faculty are the winners of the CoV- ent-19 challenge to design an easily manufacturable ventilator for use dur- ing the coronavirus pandemic, accord- ing to Grécourt Gate, Smith College’s online news portal. The team’s breath- ing device was chosen from more than 200 submissions to the competition launched on April 1. “In two months, we went from knowing nothing to hav- ing a functional prototype,” said team co-leader Susannah Howe, director
of Smith’s Engineering Design Clinic. “To see that trajectory in such a short period of time, with people who are volunteering their time on top of their other jobs, is amazing and heartwarm- ing and so rewarding.” Smith College President Kathleen McCartney added that “I could not be more proud of the SmithVent team for winning the CoV- ent-19 Challenge. This win speaks vol- umes about the power of a liberal-arts education, grounded in experiential learning, to find innovative, collabora- tive solutions to complex, urgent prob- lems. SmithVent is Smith at its best:
a lasting example of our community coming together for the betterment of the world.”
Springfield Library & Museums Assoc. Wins $100,000 NEA Grant
SPRINGFIELD — National Endow- ment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020. Included in this announcement is an Our Town award of $100,000 to the Springfield Library
& Museums Assoc. in partnership with the Springfield Cultural Partnership
for Spark!: Igniting Our Community,
a project in the newly renovated Pyn-

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