Page 93 - BusinessWest May 12, 2021
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‘Buying or Selling a Business
During COVID-19’
May 12: Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity
is on the rise, fueled by attractive market condi- tions and economic necessities. Buyers looking to increase their market share may see the pandemic as an opportunity to acquire a competitor and have access to record-low interest rates for bank-financed transactions. For businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic, selling is a more attractive option than insolvency, bankruptcy, or dissolution, and
a properly structured deal can allow the sellers to benefit from any post-pandemic growth. Attorneys David Parke and Ryan Barry from Bulkley Richard- son’s M&A team will present a virtual seminar, “Buy- ing or Selling a Business During COVID-19: Unique Opportunities and Challenges,” in which they will discuss the unique challenges for M&A transactions during the pandemic, including achieving an accu- rate valuation of a business impacted by the pan- demic, structuring compensation and earn-outs in
a way that fairly allocates the risks of current condi- tions and the benefits of a post-pandemic recovery, issues posed by unforgiven PPP loans, loss carryback refunds and deferred payroll taxes under the CARES Act, impacts on material customers and supply chains, addressing the risks of pandemic-related changes on the target business prior to closing, and impacts on traditional representations and warran- ties. The webinar will be held from noon to 1 p.m., and pre-registration is required at ma-invitation.
Community Shred Days
May 14; June 11: Just in time for spring cleaning, Freedom Credit Union will again offer the oppor- tunity for Western Mass. residents to securely purge unwanted paperwork. In cooperation with PROSHRED Springfield, Freedom is offering free Community Shred Days at four of its branches in
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Mission Accomplished
For Colón, such work is especially gratify- ing considering that, early in his career, he never thought about running a business. But his former employer, Raf Anzovin, encour- aged that growth — and, in fact, encouraged him and Webb to branch out on their own.
“I feel like the people I met along the way influenced me in continuing this work. If those people weren’t there, we wouldn’t be around,” Colón said.
Achieving the studio’s goals in Western Mass. — a region that has been steadily growing its reputation for innovation and technology — is especially satisfying, he said. Clients run the gamut from large corpora- tions to small outfits, and the remote nature of the work allows Open Pixel to take on proj- ects from Boston to the West Coast.
He’s also particularly proud that the com- pany is certified as a majority women-owned business. Noting that the history of anima- tion has not always been a friendly one for women, he hopes Open Pixel inspires other women to pursue this field.
Springfield, Feeding Hills, Northampton, Greenfield, Chicopee, and Ludlow. The schedule is as follows: Friday, May 14, 9-10 a.m., 226 King St., Northamp- ton; Friday, May 14, 11 a.m. to noon, 74 Main St., Greenfield; Friday, June 11, 9-10 a.m., 1976 Memorial Dr., Chicopee; and Friday, June 11, 11 a.m. to noon, 645 Center St., Ludlow. The public is invited to bring old bills, bank statements, tax returns, and other sen- sitive documents for free, quick, and secure on-site shredding. Members and non-members alike may bring up to five file boxes or paper bags per vehicle to the events. Masks are required, and social-distanc- ing guidelines will be in effect.
Social Work Conference
May 19: Professionals from throughout Western Mass. will gather virtually as Western New England University (WNEU) convenes its 38th annual Social Work Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. This year’s conference is being presented virtually in accordance with CDC recommendations at the time of planning. Risa Silverman, director of the UMass School of Public Health and Health Sciences Office for Public Health Practice and Outreach, will be the keynote speaker for this event. Silverman’s presen- tation, “Bridge the Gap: Look at Race and Health Through an Intergenerational Lens,” will describe the work of the Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network and its latest project, creating a film with community members young and old, on conversa- tions about racism and health in our communities. Rosa Espinosa will be honored with the annual Jim Quinn Human Service Award at the conference. Espinosa is the director of family-based services
at New North Citizens’ Council (NNCC), which provides advocacy, public, and human services to Hampden County residents with an emphasis on
the Hispanic/Latino community. The daylong con- ference is sponsored by Western New England Uni- versity’s Bachelor of Social Work program, the Social
Work Advisory Council, and the Office of Enroll- ment Management, as well as more than 30 virtual sponsors. Registration for this event is now open. If received before May 12, the registration fee is $120 and includes seven credit hours for full attendance. The conference fee after May 12 will be $135. Lower student rates are also available. Visit to register online, or call (413) 796-2173.
VA Healthcare Virtual Summit
May 24-26: The Institute for Defense and Govern- ment Advancement (IDGA) announced plans for the IDGA VA Healthcare Summit. HCN is sponsoring this event, at which attendees will have the opportu- nity to meet with the leaders positioned to provide substantive change across the department, with
a particular focus on advancing patient advocacy and experience, digital transformation, community and vendor engagement, e-learning, the VA’s inno- vation ecosystem, and more. IDGA’s summit will highlight these areas across the agenda, as well as include enabling VA initiatives currently underway to advance the most critical needs for veterans across the U.S. This year’s agenda, developed through indepth research by IDGA, covers a range of topics, including VHA innovation ecosystem initiatives, VA telehealth capabilities, financial management and business-transformation efforts, and a deep dive into clinical delivery. For more information and to view the agenda, visit fairshealthcare-spring. To join and receive a 20% discount, register at and quote code VAH_HCN. All federal, state, and local government, as well as military and law enforcement, can attend at no cost.
    While technology plays a key role in the finished product, every detail, from tone to characters to sound effects, has been hashed out well before images are created on a screen.
As for those tools, they’re much more affordable and accessible than they once were,” Colón said. “You can get a license and run a stu- dio from your home office. But what makes us special is our process and our back end, our ability to push ani- mation further than where it currently is right now.
“So much of it is in enter- tainment — games and movies,” he went on, “but we’re seeing a shift toward companies creating adver- tising campaigns utilizing animation because it’s so limitless. You can create any- thing you like. That’s what we see — unlimited creative expression.”
And always in the service of the client, Taccone added.
“We pride ourselves on being a studio that takes time to understand the
 Through it all, he, Taccone, and Webb hope to con- tinue to expand the work they do, but also become a destination to start a career.
“In the future, we want to be a jumping-off point for folks getting out of college,” he said, noting that it’s natural for talented graduates to depart the Five
Colleges and look for jobs in New York, Los Angeles, or Boston. To encourage them to start their careers closer to home, Open Pixel has developed a pipeline of interns from Amherst College and Hampshire Col- lege. “Not only can you learn the tools here, this can be an entry point into the field.”
balance between the client’s needs and our artistic identity. That way, we all enjoy the process as we go through it.” u
Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]
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