Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate increased to 3.2% in January from the revised December rate of 3.1%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced Thursday.

The preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate Massachusetts added 13,000 jobs in January. Over-the-month job gains occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities; financial activities; construction; leisure and hospitality; education and health services; information; and government.

From January 2016 to January 2017, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 65,100 jobs. The January state unemployment rate remains lower than the national rate of 4.8% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Massachusetts continues to experience low levels of unemployment with the largest year-over-year percentage gains in jobs in the construction, education, and health services sectors. We remain focused on fostering an employment environment where businesses can grow and create jobs while having access to workers with the skills and training needed to fill them,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II said.

The labor force increased by 1,600 from 3,561,700 in December, as 9,800 more residents were employed and 8,200 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 1.1% from 4.3% in January 2016. There were 40,400 fewer unemployed people over the year compared to January 2016.

The state’s labor-force participation rate — the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks — increased to 64.9% over the month. The labor-force participation rate over the year has decreased 0.1% compared to January 2016.

The largest private-sector percentage job gains over the year were in construction; education and health services; financial activities; professional, scientific, and business services; and leisure and hospitality.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The College Career Centers of Western Massachusetts will hold a career fair on Wednesday, March 29 from noon to 3 p.m. in the Alumni Healthful Living Center on the campus of Western New England University. Nearly 100 companies will be recruiting college students for paid and unpaid internships, as well as full-time and part-time employment opportunities. This annual event is a unique opportunity for employers and graduate-school representatives to connect with motivated students and alumni who are looking to launch and advance their careers.

The College Career Centers of Western Massachusetts is a consortium of career-center professionals representing the eight colleges in Hampden County, including American International College, Bay Path University, Elms College, Holyoke Community College, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, Western New England University, and Westfield State University.

These eight institutions of higher education enroll more than 27,000 students from diverse backgrounds, and graduate approximately 5,000 students each year with a wide range of academic degrees.

Daily News

HADLEY — On Wednesday, March 15 from 5 to 7 p.m., the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce (AACC) will hold its regular After-5 business networking event at the Autobahn Indoor Speedway at Hampshire Mall in Hadley.

Attendee registration fees ($10 for AACC members, $15 for non-members) includes a free ($26 value), 14-lap ‘Arrive & Drive’ experience along with a helmet and head-sock rental.

“This will be a truly thrilling evening for those who are ready to head out and challenge the track,” said Kim Alli, AACC marketing and membership director. “These Italian-built, Formula One-inspired electric karts can safely reach speeds of up to 50 mph, so it’s a lot of fun.”

Alli noted that the professionally designed Grand Prix-style track is indoors, so “it’s always in top condition, no matter the weather.”

Four-point safety harnesses are also provided, and dual disc brakes ensure a comfortable ride. Additional drives will be at registrant’s expense. The event is sponsored by AmherstWorks, the new co-working space in Amherst.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — Caolo & Bieniek Associates Inc., a full-service architecture, planning, and interior-design firm located in Chicopee, announced that Bert Gardner has become a principal. A graduate of Roger Williams University, Gardner is a registered architect in Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Since joining Caolo & Bieniek Associates in 1999, Gardner has served in key roles on numerous project teams with increasing levels of responsibility. Most recently, he has been the project architect for projects at Westfield State University, UMass, and the Dupont Middle School in Chicopee (former Chicopee High School), and is currently overseeing the Maple Street Elementary School project in Easthampton. He has been an active board member for the Chicopee Boys & Girls Club, serving as president in 2013 and 2014.

Caolo & Bieniek Associates has been providing architectural services since 1955. Its design process integrates a creative approach to problem solving with a sustained commitment to client needs. The firm’s scope of services includes renovations, adaptive reuse, new construction, facilities assessment, feasibility studies, master planning, interior design, historic preservation, and sustainable and ‘green’ design expertise.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Robert Cummings, CEO and founder of American Benefits Group (ABG), has been nominated for the 2017 EBN Innovator Award by Employee Benefit News, a leading national benefits-industry publication serving 106,800 senior-level benefits decision makers across all platforms. This audience includes human-resources executives and benefits directors, whose sphere of responsibility and influence spans health and retirement plans, voluntary benefits, legal and regulatory compliance, employee training and development, benefits procurement, technology, strategic direction, and finance.

Cummings founded ABG in 1987 and was an early adopter and innovator of flexible spending accounts in the late 1980s. The company added COBRA administration services and commuter benefit accounts in the 1990s, and health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements when they came into being in the early 2000s. For decades, ABG focused exclusively on working with Western Mass. employers, providing full benefits strategy, funding, communications, and administrative solutions. The company began to focus on a national expansion of its specialty employee-benefits administrative services beginning in 2007.

Today, ABG serves a diverse base of more than 1000 employer clients nationwide from its home offices near downtown Northampton. ABG’s employer clients range from small and mid-size businesses to high-profile Fortune 1000 employers and global organizations, covering all of the continental U.S.

Recognition on the national stage is not new for ABG. In 2014, the Institute for Health Care Consumerism presented the company with a Superstar Innovator Award, and in 2015 ABG was recognized by its platform provider, consumer account technology giant Alegeus Technologies, as its national Customer Service Champion. ABG also serves as the preferred platform partner for consumer-account-based plans and COBRA administration services for NFP, one of the largest global insurance and corporate benefits brokers and consultants.

Cummings has been on the leading edge of technology innovation since before the Internet, as ABG was one of the first benefits administrators in the nation to adopt debit-card payment technologies. The ABG debit card allows consumers to pay expenses from their consumer pre-tax accounts directly at the point of service, and auto-substantiates the majority of their transactions. ABG was one of the first adopters of web-based participant portals and mobile applications that offer instant account access and management anytime, anywhere. In 2010, ABG was again at the forefront of the market with its introduction of a live participant-feedback review portal, where participants could rate their experience and post live reviews that are shared online. Basically a private Yelp review and rating portal for its own clients, the company has leveraged this to garner thousands of five-star feedback reviews.

Working with the top global benefits consulting and brokerage organizations like Mercer, Lockton, HUB, Gallagher, and NFP, as well as leading independent benefits consulting and brokerage firms from across the country, ABG has been able to achieve consistent growth. In 2016, the company grew revenue by a record 35%, and it has achieved compound annual growth since 2010 of more than 20% per year.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Fort in Springfield will host “Plunge into the Parade” on Thursday, March 9 from 5 to 9 p.m., featuring drinks, celebrity servers, and live music. The celebrity servers will include the Dress For Success board; the Suit Up Springfield board; Devin Sheehan of the Holyoke School Committee; and Jacob Wycoff, John Hesslein, and Jeff Cramer of Western Mass News.

Donations collected by the celebrity servers will go back to both the Leprechaun Plunge Committee of South Hadley and the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee. A percentage of food and drinks purchased during the event will also be donated by the establishment.

This is the fourth of five fund-raising events taking place on Thursdays through March 16 to raise money for both organizations. A complete list with dates, locations, and celebrity servers may be found at www.facebook.com/plungeintotheparade.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Anthony Gulluni, Hampden County district attorney, will host his second annual St. Patrick’s Day Party on Friday, March 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the John Boyle O’Reilly Club in Springfield. There will be a $20 charge at the door.

The celebration will include corned-beef sandwiches and live Irish music from Jimmy McArdle. There will also be special greetings from U.S. Rep. Richard Neal.

Gulluni, a life-long Springfield resident, was sworn in as Hampden County’s district attorney in January 2015 at age 33, the youngest to serve in that role in more than a half-century. Prior to being elected, he was an assistant DA for Hampden County. Throughout his years as a prosecutor, he has tried cases in the district and superior courts. He earned both his bachelor’s degree and juris doctor from Western New England University. He continues to be involved in his community and actively supports many nonprofit organizations.

The Office of the District Attorney is responsible for the prosecution of all cases in Hampden County. Cases are heard in district court, superior court, and juvenile court.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Dress for Success Western Massachusetts will host “Hockey ’n Heels” Saturday, March 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, during the Springfield Thunderbirds vs. Hartford Wolfpack game.

A donation of $50 will purchase admission to the pre-game cocktail reception with special guests Jennifer Brodeur, the UMass Football Assoc. head athletic trainer; Doug Janik, Springfield Thunderbirds assistant coach; and Nate Costa, executive vice president of the Springfield Thunderbirds, as well as admission to the Thunderbirds-Wolfpack game. The $50 also includes a $20 donation to Dress for Success Western Massachusetts to support its programming in 2017.

“We are extremely excited to be partnering with the Springfield Thunderbirds for an amazing fund-raising opportunity,” said Dawn Creighton, president of the board of directors for Dress for Success Western Massachusetts. “We are thrilled to be at the Thunderbirds vs. Wolfpack game during Baystate’s Pink in the Rink event. Great to see so many organizations in our community supporting women.”

Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — On Wednesday, March 22, HRMA of Western New England will present a half-day symposium event on understanding gender identity and supporting transgender and gender non-binary individuals in the workplace.

This important topic is impacting local employers across the region. This program will help attendees understand the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation, learn ways to foster respectful work environments for all employees, and gain an understanding of the legal protections for the transgender community.

Speakers will include Dr. Eunice Aviles, gender specialist and clinical psychologist; Erica Tabias, public speaker, transgender advocate, and life coach; and Jonathan Miller, chief of the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau for the state Attorney General’s Office.

The event runs from noon to 4 p.m., with a buffet lunch included. Tickets are $75. For more information, contact Allison Ebner at (413) 789-6400 or [email protected], or visit www.hrmawne.org.

Opinion

Editorial

No one would ever call renovating Springfield’s Union Station the ‘easy’ part.

A different adjective would certainly be needed to describe a journey that has lasted roughly 40 years and included more ups and downs than anyone could count; file drawers full of plans that featured everything from an IMAX theater to a high-end restaurant to a day-care center; calls for action, and calls to mothball the thing and let the next generation figure it out.

To put things in perspective, BusinessWest turns 33 years old in a month or so; one of its very first cover stories was an in-depth conversation with then-station owner David Buntzman about what he planned to do with the landmark.

Dozens of stories and tens of thousands of words later, we are finally — finally — talking about Union Station in the present tense, rather than the past or future. As they say in the transportation business, it’s been quite a ride, and not one single thing about it, not even fixing the clock in the concourse or putting up the new sign over the door, has been easy.

But now comes what most would consider the even harder part — making the station viable, a word Webster defines this way: “capable of living; capable of growing or developing; capable of working, functioning, or developing adequately; capable of existence and development as an independent unit; having a reasonable chance of succeeding; financially sustainable.”

Most people believed that Union Station could be renovated — it would be difficult, but it was certainly doable. But many have wondered out loud and long doubted whether the station could live up to those definitions of ‘viable.’

And the questions were, and still are, well worth asking, because there must be a good reason for spending $80 million to renovate a building that doesn’t hold any real meaning, or solid memories, for anyone under the age of 60, other than nostalgia. And many people couldn’t find one.

But U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and his long-time aide Kevin Kennedy, now Springfield’s chief Development officer, pressed on, firm of the belief that the station could, indeed, be viable, as defined above, as a transportation hub, business center, and catalyst for further economic development in Springfield’s central business district.

We’re about to find out if they’re right, although it will certainly take several years and perhaps even a decade or more to fully answer that question.

There are many things going in the station’s favor, certainly, and together, they make the timing for its rebirth exponentially better than 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. So much so, in fact, that people might be glad it took so long to get this done.

They include continued progress in revitalizing Springfield and its downtown. The word ‘renaissance’ gets kicked around often, and it’s a little strong, but it probably works. If the station were to have opened a decade ago, with the city’s finances and its downtown in much worse shape, its prospects for viability would be far dimmer.

The same can be said regarding the rebirth of rail transportation in the Northeast corridor. New lines have been created, old ones revitalized, and talk continues about the state making a huge investment in an east-west line that would bring Boston a whole lot closer to Springfield, and vice versa. A decade ago, most of these developments were just talk or dreams.

The conditions are also much more favorable when it comes to urban living and demographics. Cities are making a huge comeback, and demographics are a big reason; Baby Boomers are retiring, and many are moving back to cities, especially walkable ones; meanwhile, Millennials seem to like cities (again, walkable ones) far more than their parents. They’re settling into cities, and many are choosing urban areas with transportation (usually rail) that can take them to work somewhere else.

And then, there’s the casino era launched by MGM Springfield. It’s a big part of this renaissance, and the agreement between the company and the city calls for MGM to pay $7.5 million over the next 15 years to help defray the costs of operating the station and building out spaces for tenants. A decade ago, such private-sector help and the cushion it provides was unimaginable.

So, the not-so-easy part is over, and the even harder part begins. There is still no shortage of skepticism out there, but if the station ever stood a chance of being truly viable, now is certainly the time.

Let this intriguing new era begin.

Opinion

Opinion

By Robin Saunders

Some years ago, I earned a college degree in cybersecurity and healthcare information technology, becoming the first woman in the U.S. with such a degree. This wasn’t an accomplishment I set out to achieve — I just always had a driving interest in technology, so it was the natural thing for me to do.

I’ve always been fascinated by technology and the sciences. It never occurred to me at the time that these fields were considered the domain of males, or that females were hard to find in industries related to technology.

I describe myself as a geek, though stereotypically the word ‘geek’ tends to conjure a male. But I learned early that the description fit me to a T.

My fascination with technology started in my childhood. My father loved electronic gadgets and would arrive home after a long day in his New York office with “something wonderful” that he found to increase his productivity. When he retired his cool gadget, I loved taking it apart and studying it.

It was my dad who took me on my first trip to Radio Shack, which was famous for its electronic kits. I would purchase these kits with money earned from babysitting. By the time I was in college, I was able to build a quadraphonic stereo — making the woofers and tweeters, back when the word ‘tweet’ meant something different.

Technology and technology-centered careers were never mentioned as career choices in the all-girls school I attended. The closest to a technology career was ‘medical technology.’ MD pathologists had been assisted for many years by medical technicians, mostly men, but the field of medical technology was just beginning, and women started to enter the field.

When I enrolled in a master’s program in 1980 and took my first computer programming course, I was one of five women in a 30-student class.

It is no secret that males have filled most of the jobs and careers having to do with technology and its offspring — the new careers emerging in the cyber arena.

The statistics are quite stark when it comes to women in technology and cybersecurity. Today, only 9% of cybersecurity jobs worldwide are filled by women. And jobs overall in the realm of cybersecurity abound, with 2 million such jobs worldwide going unfilled, some 200,000 in the U.S. alone.

If job fillers in the cyber economy were reflective of the gender ratio in the larger population, that would mean 1 million jobs waiting to be filled by women around the globe and 100,000 jobs available right now for women in the U.S.

Today, I’m director of Graduate Programs in Communications and Information Management at Bay Path University, an all-women’s university in its undergraduate programs that serves both men and women in its online graduate programs. And while there are many male students in our graduate programs, there is no question more women are entering this field; from my perspective, it is about time.

In the Knowledge Corridor that runs north-south along the Connecticut River in Connecticut and Massachusetts, the need in the realms of technology and cybersecurity is growing. With global financial-services companies, research universities, and biotech startups, there is ample opportunity for work in this arena.

My experience in technology and in teaching has taught me one important lesson — that women have the ‘right stuff.’ Call it women’s intuition or a sixth sense. In my view, women possess exactly what the field of information security needs. Not only can women match their gender counterparts in mastering technical skills, but some studies have shown that they may be better at the interpersonal and communication abilities that account for the rest of the job.

In a nutshell, women want a stable job, want to do work that they are passionate about, want to be successful in their careers, want to give back to the community, and want to make a lot of money. The emerging field of cybersecurity offers the perfect fit.

Women have been taught from a young age to be aware of their surroundings and to be very security-conscious. I think women intuitively grasp the need for security.

High employer demand, fabulous salaries, great promotion prospects — what’s not to love about cybersecurity?

If information security is a man’s world — as it is so commonly declared — then how do you explain the wonderful women who continue to perform and succeed just as impressively as the next man? And how to explain the increasing number of women earning an undergraduate or graduate degree in cybersecurity and related data and technology programs?

Many of the pioneers in computer science were women. Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer, Grace Hopper built the first compiler, and a team of six female mathematicians created programs for ENIAC, one of the first fully electronic general-purpose computers. In fact, programming and operating computers was once seen as women’s work.

We have all discovered the great opportunity and connectivity that the Internet has brought into our lives, but it also adds to the complexity of the cyber threat. That threat of security also offers an opportunity to little girls who may have a fascination with all things technological, like me.

Calling all women: the cybersecurity field needs you, and there are a million jobs waiting.

Robin Saunders is director of the MS in Communications and Information Management program at Bay Path University.

Community Spotlight Features

Community Spotlight

Frank DeToma and Mike Sullivan

Frank DeToma and Mike Sullivan say the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge is the gateway into South Hadley Falls, where revitalization efforts are underway.

In two months, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge that leads from Holyoke into South Hadley Falls will be closed for a day for a “River Roll and Stroll” event.

The family festival is designed to promote healthy living and is being co-sponsored by the Holyoke Bike-Pedestrian Committee and the South Hadley Bike-Walk Committee, a grass-roots effort to help promote recreational opportunities for bicyclists and pedestrians.

“The River Roll and Stroll will give people a look at the Falls and allow them to see the potential that exists while providing an economic boost to businesses there,” said Mariann Millard, co-chair of the event steering committee and chair of the South Hadley Bike-Walk Committee.

One of their goals is to make people aware of the natural resources and hiking trails that wind through conservation land in the town, which will help to expand efforts by town officials who believe increasing recreational opportunities will foster the growth of economic investments.

“We don’t have a rail trail, but want to show the public what we have to offer,” Millard said, adding that the South Hadley Falls Neighborhood Assoc. has put together a walking map of the area that highlights historic buildings and the Bicentennial Canal Park that overlooks the Connecticut River.

The newly created map; River Roll and Stroll on May 7, which was initiated by Sean Condon of Holyoke; and upcoming annual FallsFest Music & Arts Festival on July 29 that attracts thousands of people are part of a growing force aimed at introducing newcomers to the Falls and promoting economic development there.

“We believe the strategic use of public funding and local enthusiasm will encourage more people to live, visit, and work in the Falls and become a catalyst for private investment,” said Frank DeToma, a selectman and chair of the Redevelopment Authority. “Our ultimate vision is to develop a ‘canal village’ that will consist of commercial and residential establishments that capitalize on our historic canal and adjacent riverfront as well as the architectural character of some of the original buildings.”

Town Administrator Mike Sullivan said that, although the Redevelopment Authority is concerned with the entire town, bringing new life to the Falls will provide a significant boost to South Hadley’s economy as a whole.

We believe the strategic use of public funding and local enthusiasm will encourage more people to live, visit, and work in the Falls and become a catalyst for private investment.

Ira Brezinsky agrees and says collaborative efforts that include work by government officials and businesses have coalesced to shine a light on the Falls and attract people who might not otherwise visit the area.

“It’s an ideal time for business people who want to get a taste of the community and neighborhood to come here, and we will put our best foot forward to welcome people from throughout the region,” said the selectman, co-chair for the River Roll and Stroll, and president of Music and Arts South Hadley, a grass-roots effort that became a nonprofit last year and hosts the FallsFest.

The town has also partnered with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to map out walking trails that need improvement and places where bike lanes and chevrons are needed to increase recreational opportunities.

In addition, a five-year, $5 million infrastructure project that involves improving parks, adding benches, new landscaping, crosswalks, traffic-calming devices, and new sidewalks in the Falls is well underway. So far, $2.7 million has been spent, and this year another $1.2 million will be poured into the redevelopment effort.

For this, the latest installment of its Community Spotlight series, BusinessWest looks at what the Falls has to offer, plans for its future, and why officials and residents are bullish on the idea of redeveloping the area.

Planned Progress

Sullivan says the Falls is overdue for attention, and holds unlimited potential. It is less than a mile from the $4.3 million Holyoke passenger rail platform, and has centralized sewers and great access to the Connecticut River. In addition, South Hadley has its own municipal light plant, and work is being done to be able to offer secure, high-speed Internet in the future.

The Falls is also rich in history: the first navigable canal in the U.S. was built there in 1795, which made Falls Village (then South Hadley Canal) a busy shipping center and tourist attraction.

Unfortunately, its former vibrancy has been greatly diminished, mirroring what has occurred in many towns and cities across Western Mass., where businesses along riverfronts shut their doors or moved, and disinvestment slowly occurred.

But revitalization efforts began in earnest after a study of the area that was completed about five years ago became a springboard for change. As a result of recommendations in the final draft, the Falls Neighborhood Assoc. was formed, and in 2014 two important advances were made. The first was the long-awaited construction of a new $12 million public library on 2 Canal St. It was dedicated a year ago and contains meeting and reading rooms, and large banks of computers that businesses can use to conduct training classes.

The second advance occurred when a town meeting approved the creation of an advisory board to develop a comprehensive plan for the area.

The final draft is almost complete and will be presented to the public by the Redevelopment Authority, which is the name the advisory board was given, at a special town meeting held expressly for that purpose on June 7.

“A tremendous amount of work has gone into this,” Sullivan said, noting that the committee members are all unpaid volunteers.

There are many components to the plan, which include a focus on the east-west core of the area that is part of a larger, recently established ‘Smart Growth’ overlay district in the Falls.

“Developers who wish to construct relatively high-density housing in Smart Growth districts can do so by right, thus eliminating their need to apply for special permitting from a local planning authority,” DeToma told BusinessWest.

The proposed plan contains many other elements, including repurposing some town-owned properties and redeveloping a number of industrial properties.

But progress is already occurring, and the first residential construction project in decades is underway. Orange LLC is building 12 condominiums in three units directly across from the new library on 1 Canal St. that will each have their own garage and extra parking.

“This is a beautiful spot, and the Victorian look of the buildings is expected to enhance the neighborhood,” DeToma said, adding that Orange LLC also has plans to develop six other condominiums in the old library building on 27 Bardwell St. “The design is very imaginative and interesting, and there will be a great room in every unit.”

Sullivan told BusinessWest that condominiums in South Hadley have appreciated significantly over the past six months. “New ones are selling more quickly than they can be built,” he said, noting that construction on the Rivercrest Condominiums on Ferry Street began last year, and 16 of the proposed 28 units have already been sold.

Business growth has also taken place in the Falls. Over the past 18 months, Mohawk Paper and E Ink Corp. moved there, and South Hadley Fuel scrapped its plans to move out and expanded in town instead.

Sullivan explained that the decision came about in large part because Town Planner Richard Harris alerted South Hadley Fuel owner Steve Chase to an existing but unused underground tank farm near E Ink Inc., which he described as an “opportunity found.”

“As a result, they have opened one of the largest propane storage and distribution facilities in Western Mass,” the town administrator said. “We do all we can to introduce businesses to opportunities that exist here.”

Brezinsky agreed. “South Hadley and particularly the Falls has been very welcoming and engaging to businesses that want to move or expand there. We were able to steer Mohawk Paper through town meeting very quickly to get them what they needed to move here, and there are other examples like this,” he said, explaining that Mohawk Paper moved to the Falls two years ago into a group of buildings formerly known as the U.S. Gaylord properties, and opportunities exist for professional space, retail businesses, manufacturing, and incubator space.

“I believe one of the benefits of the Falls is its scale,” he continued. “It has a small footprint and is very walkable, unlike some former industrial areas where there are blocks of old buildings. The Falls never rose to those heights, so I don’t believe it will take much to get it to the tipping point where it can become a vibrant place again where people live, work, and play.”

DeToma said the northwest corner of the gateway Bridge/Main intersection is a prime location for redevelopment. It consists of three parcels owned by three different entities, but each lot is too small to be of interest to a developer.

“Our proposed redevelopment plan calls for the consolidation of those properties in order to increase their potential for private development,” he said.

Forward Movement

South Hadley recently lobbied to have Pioneer Valley Transit Authority’s Tiger Trolley change its route. Today, it runs over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge on Route 116 rather than the bridge on Route 202. Sullivan said that was important because the Falls is densely populated and town officials wanted to provide access to jobs in Holyoke and South Hadley, especially since Mohawk Paper and Mount Holyoke College are two of the largest employers. He added that the X90A Route that runs from Chicopee to Main Street in South Hadley is one of the fastest-growing routes in the area and also goes over the Route 116 bridge.

Parks in the town are also receiving attention. The town administrator told BusinessWest that Bicentennial Park, which is situated a quarter-mile away from the new library, will be renamed Belsky Park after Ted Belsky, a longtime member of the Select Board, and $97,000 will be spent to install lighting and a deck that will overlook the Connecticut River.

In addition, the town is creating a one-mile loop called the River to Range Trail that will begin in a field near Brunelle’s Marina and offer access to people of different abilities.

“We worked with the Pioneer Valley Planning Council on this,” Sullivan noted, adding that, eventually, the trail will connect to the Summit House on top of Mount Holyoke. “We see it becoming part of a recreational economy. That market is exploding, and we are getting requests for groups for camping areas. Although we are not proposing to open any right now, we have to be cognizant of opportunities as they present themselves.”

The Buttery Brook area is another area of focus. It runs east-west and roughly parallel to Gaylord and Bridge streets, crosses under Main Street via a culvert, and empties into the Connecticut River. DeToma said it is overgrown, but the Redevelopment Authority hopes to restore it to its original, attractive condition and install a multi-use recreational path along its bank.

“There will be two benefits to this,” he explained. “First, it will be a major recreational attraction in our Canal Village central area. Secondly, because this area is part of our Smart Growth district, it should stimulate the interest of developers in constructing affordable, higher-density housing nearby.”

Plans are also in place to build a new bridge over Bachelor Brook as well as a parking lot for 12 cars. The estimated cost is $2.1 million, and South Hadley has already received almost $1 million toward that amount from state and federal grants.

Concerted Efforts

Sullivan said major efforts are taking place to help people rediscover, reconsider, and reinvest in the Falls, and the Redevelopment Plan is the underpinning of the future.

“South Hadley has many opportunities; a lot of cool things are happening here,” he told BusinessWest, noting that South Hadley Electric is planning to create a hub for data storage and hired a new manager to help develop its high-speed Internet plan. “Their rates were key in bringing Mohawk Paper here, and enthusiasm about the area is growing. It has become an organic movement with its own energy, all for the benefit of the Falls.”

DeToma concurred. “The grass-roots efforts are taking on a life of their own. As we point out the value and potential of moving here, many groups are getting involved, and events like the River Roll and Stroll will help South Hadley and Holyoke to grow.”

Which bodes well for the future as residents and officials work together to bring new life to South Hadley in a way that will benefit generations to come.

 

South Hadley at a glance

Year Incorporated: 1775
Population: 17,663 (2017)
Area: 18.4 square miles
County: Hampshire
Residential and Commercial Tax Rate: $20.12 (Fire District 1); $20.66 (Fire District 2)
Median Household Income: $64,610
Median family Income: $76,679
Type of government: Town Administrator, Select Board, Town Meeting
Largest employers: Mount Holyoke College, Loomis Communities, Mohawk Paper
* Latest information available

Creative Economy Sections

Broad Strokes

Springfield Central Cultural District Director Morgan Drewniany

Springfield Central Cultural District Director Morgan Drewniany

As director of the Springfield Central Cultural District, Morgan Drewniany doesn’t see the arts in a vacuum. Rather, they’re one of the connecting threads joining the realms of economic development, social justice, and a city’s walkability and livability, which are, of course, among the keys to any community’s future. To that end, the SCCD is raising the profile of the arts in and around downtown Springfield — and that of its myriad artists as well.

Morgan Drewniany recognizes the connections in her passions. That’s why she doesn’t think it strange that she went from studying soil chemistry at Hampshire College to leading the Springfield Central Cultural District (SCCD).

The specific connecting fiber is a passion for improving society. For example, to write a thesis on the political and physical environment in Northern New Mexico, she stayed on a reservation there, and later brought 200 soil samples — packed into the back of her Volvo — on a cross-country trek back to Amherst.

When she thinks back to her early interest in environmental health and social justice, “what I loved most was working with economically disadvantaged communities, those with lower education levels, lower income levels, communities of color in general. So, when I looked for a job, I didn’t look in the science field; I looked in art and nonprofits.”

The job Drewniany found was assistant director of the Springfield Business Improvement District. “It seemed like a good fit,” she told BusinessWest, explaining that the idea of lending her skills and passions to economic development appealed to her, particularly in the City of Homes. “I grew up in Westfield, and my parents brought me to Springfield all the time as a kid, to the museums or the symphony — I thought it was the coolest place ever. So to come back and help out during its revitalization was really gratifying for me.”

Violinist Anne Marie Messbauer

Violinist Anne Marie Messbauer plays in front of New England Public Radio during last fall’s Art Stop. NEPR will again host an Art Stop gallery next month.

But another opportunity would emerge that she’d find more intriguing. In 2013, the Massachusetts Cultural Council introduced the Cultural District Program as a way to brand areas densely populated with architectural, historical, and cultural assets. A consortium of cultural entities in Springfield applied for the designation, launching the SCCD in 2014. A year later, the organization sought a new director.

“When the opportunity came up, I knew the players, I personally have a passion for the arts, I have a lot of friends who are artists … it was a pretty natural fit,” Drewniany said, adding that she was drawn by the district’s untapped potential. “We were still applying for 501(c)(3) status, finalizing our bylaws and structure, a lot of internal stuff … it was a really exciting time. Now we know who we are. We want to be a unified voice for arts culture, not just within Springfield, but statewide, and even nationally.”

Today, the SCCD is supported by 55 members, ranging in size from the Mattoon Street Arts Festival, an annual weekend event, to larger players like Springfield Museums, New England Public Radio, the Community Music School of Springfield, and the Eastern States Exposition.

Representatives of these groups have long attended conferences on the state and national levels to advocate for the role of the arts, but the SCCD can represent the entire range of arts in Greater Springfield, Drewniany explained.

“We have a mission and vision — in short, to make Springfield a more friendly arts culture through civic engagement and arts engagement. That’s very broad, so it leaves us a lot of opportunities to interpret that.”

Forging Links

The district’s website explains its mission this way: “To bring more vitality to the city by highlighting its outstanding cultural offerings and adding new creative opportunities for artists and the greater community. We aim to make arts and culture in Springfield more accessible, while creating connections between artists, cultural landmarks, and visitors.”

One of those connections is the partnership known as Futurecity Massachusetts, a joint initiative of the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Boston Foundation. Futurecity is working with mayors, urban planners, and arts and business leaders in Springfield, Boston, and Worcester on key real-estate projects in state-designated cultural districts in the three cities, targeting areas ready for development and job growth. The organization has created more than 200 such partnerships across the globe that reposition cultural assets from community amenities to marketplace drivers.

“We took on the Futurecity Massachusetts initiative with the Massachusetts Cultural Council with the idea of talking about a paradigm shift of art from nicety to necessity,” Drewniany said. “That has involved not just arts people but developers, city department heads, and city leaders talking about how, in order to create a 21st-century city, you have to integrate the arts. When you look at competitive cities right now, like London or Boston, developers are one-upping each other, saying, ‘we have art in our gallery.’ ‘Our building is totally made of art, and we have a huge sculpture outside!’”

She noted the example of London, where the developers behind a recent train-station project invested so much money in the building’s aesthetics that people started hanging out there because it was so beautiful. In short time, cafés started popping up, and adjacent vacant buildings were bought up and converted to lofts. “The revitalization of that neighborhood was based around the choice not to build a regular train station,” she said. “They didn’t just slap a mural on a wall and call it a day.”

The utility-box painting project

The utility-box painting project has brought splashes of color and whimsy to Springfield’s downtown.

That’s not to say public art of any size isn’t valuable. For example, starting last spring, the SCCD commissioned 26 artists to paint utility boxes around the district’s footprint, transforming the gray, bland boxes with a splash of bright color. The program was intended to both encourage walking downtown and provide a source of income to working artists, and was funded by matching local businesses and organizations to individual artists. The net effect has been increased feelings of positivity downtown, Drewniany said, which hopefully impacts pedestrian traffic.

“We’re so focused on walkability right now, and connecting spaces. If we have more people on the street, it portrays a more positive, friendly environment, and that affects public safety and also helps bring dollars to downtown businesses,” she explained. “And we advertised the times the artists would be painting so people could watch something be created right in front of their eyes, so it served a secondary purpose. We want people to interact with each other, even if it’s for a second. It’s a way to start building a bridge to a more connected community.”

Play and Pay

Other efforts to connect the district’s institutions through art include a new video map to accompany the Downtown Springfield Cultural Walking Tour, and the second annual Art Stop event slated for later this month.

The walking tour, first introduced in the summer of 2015, is a tool designed to be used by visitors or residents to learn more about the city’s architectural, historic, and cultural highlights. Printed maps are available at all downtown hotels, visitor’s centers, and cultural institutions.

The video map, available digitally on the SCCD website, springfieldculture.org, brings a new dimension to the walking tour. Viewers gain insight into the history of each location on the map and have the chance to learn an unexpected fact about the venue or building. Each short video (under two minutes, for easy viewing while out and about) is presented by a member of the SCCD on location.

The Art Stop initiative — essentially a pop-up gallery program — also encourages foot traffic downtown, while giving artists a chance to sell their work in one of three locations downtown: New England Public Radio, SilverBrick Lofts, and 1550 Main.

A request for proposals closes on March 8, and the exhibits will be displayed starting the first week of April. All pieces will be available for sale, with 100% of proceeds going directly back to the creators. Like last fall’s inaugural Art Stop, a joint reception will be held between the three locations on April 5, with artist talks, street art, and performances between the locations to encourage walking, and light food and drinks provided by the SCCD and artist hosts.

“Property owners had contacted me about how to activate a space, to get people interested in it, because it felt bland,” Drewniany said of the inspiration behind the program. “We felt we could provide economic impact for artists by creating galleries in these spaces, where the artists can actually sell their work. We also hire musicians and street performers and pay for their performances. That’s definitely a focus of ours — whenever artists are doing work, they’re getting paid like everyone else.”

Too many people, she went on, are too willing to ask artists to perform and produce work as a public service, when other industries don’t get treated that way. “You’d never invite an electrician into your house and say, ‘if you do this, I’ll tell my friends; it’ll be great exposure for you.’”

Other SCCD programs are one-off events intended to create buzz around often-unappreciated cultural genres. For example, in November, the district presented a free concert with three local organists in Old First Church in Court Square, playing the church’s full-size 1958 Aeolian-Skinner organ with its 56 ranks and 3,241 pipes.

The organizers hoped to both show how beautiful and versatile the Old First Church space is — demonstrating the potential in a historic building and encouraging future activity there — and, again, provide income to local artists.

Coming into Focus

While the district is prioritizing Springfield artists in its applications and trying to build a culture of artistic excellence downtown, Drewniany said, SCCD outreach includes artists from across the whole region, recognizing that Western Mass. is rich in cultural resources and individual artists. “But we want to make our downtown a place where artists want to be showing.”

Member fees fund roughly 75% of the district’s programs and expenses, she told BusinessWest, while most of the remainder is covered by grants, and a few projects, like the utility boxes, are sponsored. She treats her grant-application efforts like all her endeavors — in other words, seeking connections between art and community betterment.

“I’ve applied for public-health grants; I’ve applied for economic-development grants,” she said. “Really, the arts have such a unique way to reach people and solve problems — if you find the right partners and take the right approach. We want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have their voice heard.”

That’s a vision worth painting — and it sure beats the cold gray of an unadorned metal box.

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Creative Economy Sections

Space to Create

Mike Stone (left) of Cofab Design and Dan Battat of Battat Glass

Mike Stone (left) of Cofab Design and Dan Battat of Battat Glass, two of the founding members of Brick Coworkshop.

Dan Battat is a glassblower, and that can be a solitary art. But he prefers company.

“As someone who has worked in a solo shop setting, it’s awesome to look up from the bench and see someone pouring concrete into molds, or these guys in the machine shop cutting metal, all in my view from my workspace. Seeing them, it’s hard not to think of new ideas.”

That iron-sharpening-iron philosophy is one of the driving forces behind Brick Coworkshop in Holyoke, a co-working space that currently houses eight artists of varying disciplines — from glass, metal, concrete, and wood art and fabrication to ceramics, painting, and product design and engineering — who themselves represent six small businesses.

Battat said several of the players knew each other and were looking for this kind of shared space when an opportunity arose — 15,000 square feet of opportunity, to be specific — in the Wauregan Building on Dwight Street, along the downtown canal network.

“A lot of us had talked about this concept of an arts center before the space suddenly became available,” he said, noting that many of them knew each other through the region’s broad ‘maker’ community.

“We were all in the right place at the right time,” said Mike Stone, one of three members of Cofab Design who moved their operations to Brick. “There were zero days of downtime. The previous tenant got out, and we moved right in.

Aaron Cantrell of Cofab Design gets down to work at Brick.

Aaron Cantrell of Cofab Design gets down to work at Brick.

“Everyone had some kind of shop before that,” he added. “We all moved a lot of equipment in. It looked nothing like it does now. But we were intrigued by the idea of being able to share resources and inspire one another to work together on projects.”

Brick’s founders describe it as a shared work environment for artists, fabricators, engineers, and designers, where members work individually, collaboratively, and for the community in a variety of disciplines and mediums.

Besides Battat Glass and Cofab Design, Brick currently houses the creative entrepreneurs behind Kamil Peters Metal, concrete specialist Karmody Worldwide, Cog Ceramics, and Paul Palmgren, a fine-art painter. Other members have come and gone in the nearly four years since Brick opened, but most of the current ones have been there since the beginning.

Stone said the various members pursue their own business goals but also contribute energy to the collective, whether that’s through grant applications to fund educational programs or working with community groups on artistic projects. “We’ve let it develop as organically as possible, but we continue to formalize it.”

He sees more collaboration in the future, believing Brick has potential as a different kind of workspace — one where members from different disciplines work together as much as they do separately. “One of the things that differentiates us from the traditional model of co-working space, what makes us different, is that we don’t fit neatly into any category — maker space, co-work, incubator … we’re halfway between all of those.”

Building Momentum

Take, for example, a recent collaboration with Wistariahurst in Holyoke to create a traveling museum experience, comprised of installation space for interchangeable panels, protective cases for artifacts and objects, and a recording area where members of the community can document and share their memories. The idea, museum Director Kate Preissler noted last year, was to interact with people who’ve never heard of Wistariahurst and may never have visited the museum.

The traveling museum project involved many facets of what the artists at Brick do, Stone said, from preliminary research through design and fabrication of the actual exhibit infrastructure, and leveraging their collective expertise to benefit the community.

Brick Coworkshop

Brick Coworkshop has set up shop on the second floor of the Wauregan Building alongside Holyoke’s canal network.

“Kate was looking for an intriguing way to take the rich collection of history at Wistariahurst collection over the years, get that out of the bounds of the museum itself,” Stone said. “How do we take this great content and make it more accessible and more relatable to people? It was a great example of taking a project from concept to design to implementation.”

Meanwhile, Stone and Battat both say educational and community programming will be an increasingly more significant aspect of Brick. Some members, like Battat, offer private lessons in their specific discipline, while group classes are occasionally scheduled as well, in addition to school-group tours.

By bringing kids into the sprawling, open space where glass, metal, concrete, and more gets manipulated into both conceptual art and products they may use every day, Stone said, “maybe we can spark something in a young person’s mind.”

The collective is still working out strategies for a more robust educational program, perhaps in collaboration with the Holyoke Creative Arts Center, located downstairs in the Wauregan Building. Whether it’s a six-week course or a one-weekend session, Stone said he hopes each member can find the right niche to make education a bigger part of the Brick ecosystem.

“I like being able to teach here, having the space to do that, pulling in all the multiple disciplines we have,” Battat added. “We knew that aspect would become an important part of the picture.”

There’s also an element of sharing resources between members that makes their operations less capital-intensive, Stone said, and not just the common areas like the woodworking shop available to all. “It acts as a resource multiplier — if Dan’s got something I need, instead of running to Home Depot, I can borrow it from him, or vice versa.

“And if I ever need a tool that doesn’t exist yet,” Battat added, “we can probably make it within the hour.”

But it’s the sharing of expertise and inspiration that makes a bigger difference, Stone told BusinessWest.

Metalwork artist Kamil Peters

Metalwork artist Kamil Peters creates a mask, one of the many striking products he forges at Brick.

“It really comes down to the fact that it’s exciting and invigorating to share space with creative people. We all pick up knowledge with each other, have discussions, foster that crucible where ideas get bumped around — even just in passing each other in the hall. And when the time is right, we may work directly with each other. It’s a cool way to hone our individual disciplines and all work toward becoming a little more multi-disciplinary.”

Come Together

In the end, Battat said, not every artist or artisan will benefit from such a collaborative environment, but those with the right personality for it will find they accomplish more than working alone.

Stone agreed, calling the arrangement a creative multiplier effect. “Having eight to 10 people in the space as collaborators, we’re able to speak in a louder voice than one individual in a shop. Not that there’s anything wrong with that model; for the right type of person, it definitely works. But we’ve lucked out with a great group of people, sharing a similar mindset, that keeps the momentum moving forward.”

With more event and educational programming on the horizon and a better sense of how Brick fits into the Holyoke community, the organization is ready to increase its profile alongside the canals and beyond.

“We want to leverage our energy and potential down here and play off things going on in the community,” Stone said, “and keep all this moving forward.”

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Cover Story Sections Tourism & Hospitality

Everyone’s Living Room

Main Street Hospitality Group CEO Sarah Eustis

Main Street Hospitality Group CEO Sarah Eustis

Sarah Eustis says the core mission of the Main Street Hospitality Group is to “create places that will enable people to connect in meaningful ways — not just to provide hospitality excellence.” The group is now doing that on a few Main Streets, with further expansion of the portfolio always on its mind.

The barstools in the Red Lion Inn’s rustic tavern creak a little, but Sarah Eustis says that’s part of the charm in a building that dates back to the late 18th century. The guests who crowded the place on a late weekday afternoon, as Eustis sat with BusinessWest and told the story of her family’s growing hospitality business, didn’t seem to mind.

It’s a story that actually begins almost 50 years ago, when Eustis’s grandmother, Jane Fitzpatrick, bought the Stockbridge hotel in 1969 with a couple of motivations in mind — to find a home for her growing curtain business, known today as Country Curtains, and to save the Red Lion from becoming a “parking lot.”

“It was a seasonal property — at the time, it was closed in the winter — and it was at risk of being taken down,” said Eustis, CEO of the Main Street Hospitality Group (MSHG). “She reopened the hotel and brought it to full operation, year-round, and the family has been running it ever since.”

Fitzpatrick had a specific vision for the 1773 landmark, Eustis added. “My grandmother set the standard of hospitality, maintaining the place as the ‘living room of the Berkshires.’ All our hotels have that identity and that spirit, meaning a place where all are welcome, a place where people can connect in meaningful ways, with the place and with each other.”

Those places now include four hotels around the Berkshires the MSHG currently owns or manages: the Red Lion Inn, Porches Inn in North Adams, Williams Inn in Williamstown, and, most recently, Hotel on North in Pittsfield, which collectively boast 350 rooms and almost as many employees.

Hotel on North was designed, like all of Main Street’s properties, to be the ‘living room’ of its community.

Hotel on North was designed, like all of Main Street’s properties, to be the ‘living room’ of its community.

“People are coming through the doors with an entire range of human emotions,” Eustis went on, “and they’re wearing invisible signs around their necks, and we have to figure out what they say: ‘I’m in the middle of a divorce.’ ‘I have to impress my girlfriend.’ ‘I’m here with my first big client.’ ‘I’m worried about my child.’ ‘I’m exhausted and hungry.’ We have to figure that out; it’s our job to connect with people in a way that makes the experience good for them, where they are, in that particular moment. We’re not perfect, but it’s what we work toward.”

When they succeed in that task, downtown hotels can be the lifeblood of a town center, she said. “They are the heartbeat that pumps blood to the arteries of cities. Hotels are always there; the lights are always on, and someone is always there.”

Independent hotels, with their unique charms that aren’t based on a corporate template, are even better, she went on. “The Marriotts and Hiltons are great, but I do think there’s something about an independently designed hotel that is unique and that people are willing to pay for.”

Third Generation

Fitzpatrick passed the business to her daughter, Nancy Fitzpatrick — Eustis’s stepmother — who has overseen the operation for the past 20 years.

“I grew up around this place and started working here as a housekeeper when I was 14,” said Eustis, who lived with her mother in Philadelphia but spent plenty of time in the Berkshires as well. “I will always stand behind hospitality training early in one’s career is a great way to start. We have so many young people come through our hotels and go into all kinds of things. If they want a hospitality career, that’s great, too. I was here every summer growing up, getting experience in every aspect of the operation. I’ve cleaned every toilet in the place, and I make a mean hospital corner.”

But she didn’t see it as her career at first, moving instead to New York City to pursue a career in retail operations, marketing, design, and brand development for big clothing labels like Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, and Limited Brands. “I got good experience working for family businesses, because that’s what those companies are. And that was appealing to me.”

mainstreetporches

Two of MSHG’s properties, Porches Inn opened in North Adams a decade and a half ago, followed by Hotel on North in Pittsfield in 2015.

Two of MSHG’s properties, Porches Inn opened in North Adams a decade and a half ago, followed by Hotel on North in Pittsfield in 2015.

When her father, Jack Fitzpatrick, passed away in 2010, Eustis started thinking about the family business, and decided to move back to Massachusetts in the summer of 2012, a time that unofficially began the family’s most recent chapter, with Eustis eventually setting in as CEO, and Nancy Fitzpatrick continuing as owner and chairman.

“The Main Street Hospitality Group did not exist before that point,” Eustis said. “My aim was to explore how we could evolve and take the resources we already had on the team and deploy them further — to take the ‘special sauce’ that happens here at the Red Lion, in terms of hospitality and graciousness, and spread it around, and also develop new revenue streams.”

The first expansion had already occurred a decade earlier in North Adams. Nancy Fitzpatrick and Jack Wadsworth were both founding board members of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, and decided to strike a deal.

“As the story goes, they were in the main gallery of MassMoCA, looking out across the street at these derelict houses originally designed for workers at the Sprague Electric factory. Nancy is a really creative visionary, and she said to Jack, ‘why don’t we do a hotel there?’ He said, ‘that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.’ But they signed on a napkin and did the project.”

The result was Porches Inn,  seven renovated Victorian-era buildings. Reflecting its artsy surroundings, the guest rooms and public spaces employ a synthesis of retro and contemporary designs, reflecting everything from the Mohawk Trail to paint-by-numbers art. Boston magazine praised its “hipster sensibility with downtown charm.”

“It’s been a remarkably successful venture,” Eustis said. “We wanted to instill part of our DNA into something that adds value to its landscape. It has to reflect the feeling of the place. It’s elegant, but with a sense of humor. Guests just rave about the place. We really haven’t changed it in 15 years; we just keep it polished and updated and fresh.”

City Life

Williams Inn came next, a 125-room hotel owned by Williams College that MSHG has managed for the past several years.

“The college bought it, but they don’t run hotels,” Eustis said. “They gave us our first big break as a management company. We provided return to the college on what I would call a tired asset.”

But that project, along with the Porches, gave Main Street experience working in educational and art settings, a niche it aims to further explore in the future. Hotel on North, on the other hand, became the company’s first foray into the city setting.

Around 2013, Eustis began talking with the family that owns Tierney Construction in Pittsfield, which had purchased the former Bessie Clark clothing store in the heart of that city. She’s intrigued by Pittsfield’s story as an industrial city that has struggled to reinvent itself but has launched a sort of renaissance over the past couple of decades.

“We’re very, very committed to Pittsfield. It’s right in the middle of our region — this urban center in this bucolic place — and it needs to thrive.”

A city’s renaissance is typically a 20-year process, she said, a cycle she believes Pittsfield is well into, starting with the Colonial Theatre renovation a decade ago.

“A lot has happened on North Street. We felt the momentum was there. Our partners bought the building and invited us to do a hotel with them; we worked on every aspect of the hotel together. We led the design, we staffed the hotel, we run the hotel … we’re accountable to the owners for agreed-upon results.”

Hotel on North was opened using historic tax credits in June 2015, with an eye toward being one of the key anchors downtown. Developers sought the same blend of local character, historical design flourishes, and modern amenities showcased at other MSHG properties, creating a place where, as Main Street’s marketing materials put it, “lightning-fast wi-fi beams through exposed brick from the 1880s.”


List of Airlines serving Bradley Aiport


Eustis said first-year projections may have been optimistic. “We really had to engage the community, engage the city, do a grass-roots sales campaign.” But, at the same time, the hospitality group was growing as an organization as well, and the family was learning how to leverage its economies of scale across the properties, including in Pittsfield. “We got stronger and stronger, and the hotel started to get its legs, too. Now it’s really thriving and making a lot of people happy.”

In fact, 15,000 people checked into the hotel last year as their home base to explore Pittsfield. “It’s a well-designed, thoughtful, genuinely hospitable face — it’s become the living room of Pittsfield,” she went on, again echoing her grandmother’s original vision for the Red Lion 15 miles south on Route 7. “You have to overcome the doubters and keep going and show them the positive outcomes that come from a project like this.

“Our core purpose, as we’ve developed it as a leadership group,” she went on, “is to create places that will enable people to connect in meaningful ways — not just to provide hospitality excellence, which we do anyway.”

What’s Next?

Beyond physical expansion, the company is branching out in other ways as well. Take food service, led by Brian Alberg, vice president of Culinary Development. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who has been with MSHG for about a dozen years, he was at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement in the Berkshires and created a culture around that philosophy at all the group’s properties, as well as a growing niche in event catering.

In addition, Main Street recently formalized a partnership with Hancock Shaker Village — and its new director, Jennifer Trainer, herself a MASSMoCA veteran with a rich culinary background — to establish a café (opening April 15) and manage it, along with working with her on all the facility’s culinary events.

“We’re also expanding the retail piece here at the Red Lion, which is my background,” Eustis added. While the hotel has a gift shop, she envisions creating a line of tasteful logo items — think the Black Dog on Martha’s Vineyard as an example — that will expand the Red Lion brand beyond the Berkshires. “We’re thinking of things that reflect the warmth and genuine feeling of being at the hotel, whether it’s food, accessories, or home-related things. This is a part of our business that’s growing slowly this year and will grow further in 2018.”

After almost 50 years in the Fitzpatrick family, the Red Lion Inn remains the heart of Main Street Hospitality Group’s operations.

After almost 50 years in the Fitzpatrick family, the Red Lion Inn remains the heart of Main Street Hospitality Group’s operations.

As for the next big property, the company is looking at a number of projects, representing both ownership and management models.

“A new project has to pass certain fundamental criteria for us — geography, size and scope, who are the people involved, is it a new build or a conversion,” Eustis said. “It’s not necessarily about rolling out the Hotel on North or Porches concept into different markets. I’m interested in responding to the needs of the community, the fact that there may be existing hotels that need to be refreshed or revitalized.”

Still, she went on, “the way Porches and Hotel on North, not to mention Red Lion, have resonated has led us to conclude that kind of hotel can be relevant in other places and can be successful and add value to landscapes like Springfield, like Buffalo, like Albany — cities that are re-emerging as secondary or tertiary cities and benefiting from migration out of big cities.”

Yes, Springfield is a possibility, reflected by the fact that Eustis has had conversations with planning leaders there.

“Springfield is right in our backyard, and the Pioneer Valley has been interesting to us for a number of years. There’s good stuff going on there, a lot of like-minded people collaborating. We’re looking for opportunities where we can add value and the city’s ready for it.

“It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme,” she added. “You do need patient investors that have some psychic investment in a place. You can make money; it just takes a while.”

In other words, Eustis noted, MSHG is not looking to become a 200-hotel group.

“Let’s be honest — we value our lifestyle and like to see our children from time to time. Our vision is to grow thoughtfully,” she said. “Hotels always used to be on Main Street. And we want to be the heart of a place.”

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Sections Tourism & Hospitality

Past Is Prologue

Michelle Rondeau and Michael Glick

Michelle Rondeau and Michael Glick say the addition to the Chamberlain House includes a patio and suite for wedding parties or groups holding functions in the Garden Tent.

Michael Glick says the Publick House Historic Inn and Country Lodge in Sturbridge is two miles — and two centuries — away from the Mass Pike.

“We have every modern amenity, but when people come here, they step back to a period in time when things weren’t so fast-paced. It’s a place where they can really relax,” said the general manager.

Throughout its 246-year history, the Publick House has been known for its hospitality, excellent food, and New England charm, and has become a popular venue for weddings, celebratory events, and family gatherings. Part of the draw is its central location: it is in close proximity to Route 20 and Interstates 90 and 84 and easy to get to from all of the New England states as well as New York and New Jersey.

The historic inn was built in 1771, houses two restaurants and a pub, sits directly across from the Town Common, and offers a retreat from stress on its 43-acre campus that contains more than eight buildings.

Publick House

Michelle Rondeau says the multi-million-dollar investment in the hotel portion of the Publick House has led to an increase in corporate business.

During the fall and winter, guests lounge in comfortable chairs next to wood-burning fireplaces and spend hours reading or talking to co-workers, friends, or family members.

In the spring and summer, meanwhile, they stroll along meandering brick walkways through lush gardens, relax on patios with sweeping vistas, and enjoy outdoor fire pits.

Although its 11 event rooms can accommodate corporate gatherings of up to 200 people, in the past, marketing efforts were focused almost entirely on weddings and events in the dining room. The complex was never promoted as a place to stay overnight, and Glick says that was purposeful.

The reason was simple: the inn offered 17 rooms, and the Chamberlain House next door had six rooms outfitted with period furnishings and décor. But the remaining 80+ rooms were in the outdated Country Motor Lodge. It was built in the ’60s on a hill behind the inn, has drive-up entrances to each room, and falls short of offering the luxury and amenities people expect today.

Minor upgrades were made over the years, including installation of new hotel bedding, but the discrepancy between the rooms in the Motor Inn and the Publick and Chamberlain House next door was so great, they couldn’t market it as a place to hold multi-day business meetings or group gatherings.

“All of our rooms are sold out every weekend because we have so many weddings here,” said Rooms Division Manager Michelle Rondeau, adding that they hosted 183 weddings last year, and 179 nuptial celebrations have already been booked for 2017.

“But corporate groups were offended by the idea of having to put some of their participants in the old motor lodge,” she noted. “Everyone wanted to stay in the inn or the Chamberlain House, and in order to book multi-day events, we needed to be able to offer similar accommodations.”

In 2014 a decision was made to help resolve that discrepancy, and 15 months ago a $3.2 million renovation and addition to the Chamberlain House was completed that includes 20 new hotel rooms.

It has changed the focus of the Publick House from a quintessential New England restaurant to a charming hotel that can custom-tailor events for businesses and other large groups.

New jobs were created as a result of the project, and salespeople who were hired to market the rooms were successful in attracting businesses, craft-oriented groups, and more for multi-day stays.

The trend is continuing, and construction on a new $5 million to $6 million building is expected to start soon to replace more of the old rooms in the motor inn. It will be built on a site that houses an old barn originally built to store horse feed.

“We’re a boutique hotel, and we are not looking to grow larger,” Glick said, adding that town bylaws allow the facility to have only 125 hotel rooms on the campus. “We just want to replace the motel rooms with ones of a higher quality.”

For this issue and its focus on tourism and hospitality, BusinessWest looks at recent changes that have taken place at the Publick House Historic Inn and Meeting Lodge, what people can expect in the future, and the reasons behind the facility’s success.

New Focus

Glick said the Publick House first approached the town about six years ago with the idea of making changes, and in 2014 the architectural and landscape design firm Siemasko and Verbridge was hired to find a creative and appropriate way to add new guest rooms to the campus.

Its design plan involved retaining the exterior of the 1830 Chamberlain House with its wide columned porch, gutting the interior, replacing outdated plumbing and electrical wiring, adding a handicapped entrance, and building an addition onto the rear of the structure that would add 14 new rooms and blend in seamlessly with the neighboring historic buildings.

After the renovation and addition was complete, the rooms were decorated in a simple manner befitting the history of the home and Publick House. Window treatments were purchased from Country Curtains in Sturbridge, and the rooms were furnished with solid-wood bureaus and beds whose high wood posts are topped with pineapples, which are a sign of hospitality commonly seen at New England inns during the Colonial era.

In addition, an outdoor courtyard was built between the Chamberlain House and the Publick House that overlooks the bucolic area where the Garden Tent area is set up three seasons of the year. It can hold 200 guests and is a popular place for weddings.

historic building on the Publick House campus

The new hotel has been designed to meld with the architecture of the historic building on the Publick House campus.

A brick pathway leads directly from the Chamberlain House to the tent, and the suite that faces the area is used as a hospitality room for bridal parties, large gatherings, and corporate events, while the patio is often the setting for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

Two of the five buildings that make up the old motor lodge have been phased out, and more rooms will be closed when the new building is complete, but Glick said they plan to leave a few open for travelers seeking a modest price point.

“The addition and renovation of the Chamberlain House has definitely increased our corporate business,” Rondeau said, noting that companies that have held training sessions, seminars, meetings, and themed events in the country setting.

For example, a Hawaiian Luau in the Garden Tent was created for a business party and included carving a fully cooked pig in the patio area.

“We created a beautiful atmosphere. The outdoor fire pit was burning, tiki torches were lit around the perimeter of the area, and there were lush flowers blooming everywhere,” Glick said, explaining that the acreage allows the company to offer events that might not be possible in a downtown hotel in a large city.

He added that business guests who enjoy the atmosphere and hospitality the Publick House offers are returning for overnight stays with their entire families.

The investment in upgraded rooms proved so successful that Siemasko and Verbridge were rehired last year to create a design for the new hotel building. Its plans involve tearing down the white clapboard-style barn that sits next to the Publick House and replacing it with a 21,314-square-foot structure with 28 hotel rooms.

The building will face the street and resemble a Colonial home on a raised, red-brick foundation linked to a red-barn-style structure with a raised stone foundation.

“It will be nestled between the Publick House and Sadie Green’s,” said Rondeau, referring to the retail emporium, jewelry store, and curiosity shop housed in buildings on the property.

“The new lobby will become the hotel registration center and will feature a double-sided wood-burning fireplace with lots of comfortable seating,” she continued. “The design and layout have a lot of character that includes roof gables and a mock hayloft door. We can’t recreate the Publick House, but we’re doing our best to give the new building a historic feel.”

The town’s design review board approved the plan in November, and it will go before the planning board in April.

However, the project was delayed in December when the Historical Commission put the demolition of the existing barn on hold for a year, but Glick said they are working closely with the commission and hope to come up with a compromise that will allow them to move forward this year.

“But the Publick House will continue to serve as the hub of the property,” he said, noting that its two restaurants and historic pub are convenient for overnight guests.

Ongoing Traditions

The Publick House is known for its fine food, New England specialties, and bake shop, which does $700,000 in business annually.

Glick noted that the majority of dishes on the menu in the dining room never change and include pot roast, chicken pot pie, lobster pie, and a full turkey dinner with all of the fixings that is offered every day throughout the year.

“People come here and expect to be able to order the foods we’re known for,” he explained.

Indeed, families have been coming there for generations and expect things to stay the same. Glick told BusinessWest that the bakery offers a frosted sugar cookie with a smiley face, and when the chef altered the recipe to make it healthier, they received calls and letters of complaint even though there were no signs alerting people to the slight difference in taste. “So we went back to the original recipe,” he said.

Rondeau added that the Publick House is rooted in tradition, and many grandparents bring their grandchildren there to experience history in the same way they did when they were young.

But ultimately, what all of their guests look for and find is the service, attention to detail, and personal touch that Colonial New England inns were known for.

“We have all the luxuries of a downtown hotel, and the quality of our food drives business here. Until last year, we were never known as a hotel, but that is changing,” Glick said. “We’re targeting business groups of about 50 people, but no matter who our guests are, our focus will always remain on offering them true hospitality.”

Manufacturing Sections

Making a Name for Itself

From left, Frank Mitchell, Chris Brucker, Jack Mitchell, and Mark Mitchell

From left, Frank Mitchell, Chris Brucker, Jack Mitchell, and Mark Mitchell show off one of the company’s custom machines — one that will slice sapphire.

Since it was launched by John Mitchell in 1920, Mitchell Machine has grown and diversified — shifting from producing parts and tools for the Springfield Armory and Indian Motocycle to designing and manufacturing complex machines for the semiconductor industry. But since day one, the company has essentially been doing the same thing — producing solutions for its clients.

 

 

It’s called a ‘sapphire wafer slicer.’

And that’s exactly what the blue-painted piece of machinery is — a device that slices sapphire substrate into razor-thin wafers for use in the production of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and other products.

As they gathered for a photo in front of this piece of equipment, which was due to be shipped out to an unnamed customer within a matter of days, those at Mitchell Machine were careful to position themselves so that they were shielding anything that might be the slightest bit proprietary in nature.

It has been this way — sort of, and in most respects — at this landmark Springfield company since it was started by Jack Mitchell’s grandfather, John Mitchell, in 1920.

Back then, said Jack, one of the third-generation owners (his brother, Frank, is the other), this was mostly a parts manufacturer, supplying several companies but especially two huge customers steeped in history and lore and located just blocks away from the Hancock Street plant — the Springfield Armory and Indian Motocycle.

Chris Brucker

Chris Brucker says Mitchell Machine has a long track record of providing solutions to its clients.

The second generation of ownership — John’s sons, Frank, John, and Richard — led the company through its first evolutionary process, into the tool and die business in the ’50s. Today, the company handles everything from production of special machinery — like the sapphire wafer slicer — to subcontract machining; from design and manufacturing of robotics equipment that can provide companies with cost-effective automation, to machine design and engineering services for companies that would prefer to outsource such important work.

The common denominator when it comes to everything that goes on in (or out of) the plant today, and what transpired decades ago, is the fact that Mitchell has always been in the business of providing solutions to many different kinds of customers.

“When people have problems in manufacturing — when they need to do something faster, they need automation, they need robotics — they require solutions, and we provide them,” he explained, adding that, as Baby Boomers retire and the task of replacing highly skilled workers becomes ever more daunting, manufacturers are increasingly looking at using technology to do (or help do) what people have traditionally done.


Chart of Largest Manufacturers in the region


Mitchell works with clients in a host of business sectors, including automotive, communications, machinery, electronics, plastics, printing, rubber, optics, and semiconductors.

Many of these solutions are one truly one-of-a-kind in nature, meaning the company won’t even make two of them, he went on, adding that such undertakings make the business unique and the work quite intriguing. But it also brings challenges, especially the need to keep a steady flow of projects in the queue.

“We rarely do the same thing twice — there’s not a lot of volume production — and this requires a lot of skill,” he said, adding that individual projects generally take anywhere from five to 18 months or more to complete. “So you need a lot of projects in the pipeline, and you need financial security, because it’s a long time between drinks.”

This need to continually bring in new work led Mitchell to become one of a handful of area companies to take part in Valley Venture Mentors’ first accelerator program for established manufacturers.

Mark Mitchell, Frank’s son, and thus a fourth-generation leader of the company, led Mitchell’s involvement in the intense, three-month accelerator program. He said it was helpful on many levels, but especially with marketing and raising the company’s profile, thus generating new clients.

“There was a lot of insightful reflection on the company, how we produce, and how can market ourselves,” he noted, adding that, while the company made some direct contacts that might lead to additional business, many of the takeaways involved operations and becoming more visible. And one of the first orders of business will be a new and improved website.

For this issue and its focus on manufacturing, BusinessWest takes an in-depth look at Mitchell Machine’s long history of providing solutions for customers, and how, as it approaches its centennial, it continues to find new ways to expand an already-impressive portfolio of projects.

Parts of the Whole

Jack Mitchell told BusinessWest that, when his grandfather arrived at his home in Springfield’s Hungry Hill section one afternoon in 1920, he had what amounted to good news and bad news for his wife.

“The good news was that he bought a building and was going to start a business,” he explained. “And the bad news was that he didn’t have his existing job anymore, and he had to rely strictly on himself. And he had six children; needless to say, my grandmother was quite alarmed.”

That job was as a toolmaker with Colt Industries in Hartford, he went on, adding that his grandfather’s story was typical of many machinists working for the Armory and other companies at the zenith of this region’s industrial age; individuals with an entrepreneurial bent who decided to take their assembled skills and go off on their own with a career turn (that’s an industry term) that would bring with it a whole host of risks, sacrifices, and unknowns.

To make ends meet, Mitchell noted, his grandfather would work at shops like Van Norman Machine Tool and Bosch Machine during the day, and work at the company with his own name on it at night, logging 16- to 20-hour days, usually six days a week.

What’s happened since that start, though, is far from typical.

Indeed, the company has, as noted, reached fourth-generation involvement (a rarity in any sector, but especially manufacturing) and continues to find new and different ways to grow, evolve, and, yes, manufacture solutions for clients across a wide range of business sectors.

Relaying some of the company’s rich history in Springfield, Mitchell noted that, during World War II, it made parts, gauges, and other equipment for essentially two clients — the Armory, which, by the war’s height, was employing more than 15,000 people in arms production, and Indian, which by then was producing motorcycles exclusively for the military.

“At that time, we had more than 100 people working in a very small section of our current shop,” he explained. “It was a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week operation during the war.”

After the war, the company acquired new, larger equipment, and subsequently diversified into the manufacturing of complete, custom machines, and for companies across the country, not simply across town.

Then, as now, it served a host of different sectors, many with a presence in this region, including the paper industry (many communities in the area had plants), tire making (those products were produced in both Chicopee and Springfield), and molded fiber, among others.

“To this day, Michelin is still a customer — we’ve been serving the tire industry since the ’50s,” said Mitchell, adding that many customers in the portfolio have been with the company for decades.

Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell says the company’s participation in the manufacturing accelerator has provided new business leads and insight into how to raise Mitchell’s profile in the marketplace.

The company’s next important step in diversification came in 1992 with the establishment of Mitchell Engineering, which took the company into the design-and-build realm when it came to custom machinery and robotics and to a new dimension in providing clients with solutions.

Today, such work represents roughly 60% of the annual revenues, with the rest coming in the form of subcontract machining.

As noted, Mitchell Engineering is in the business of providing solutions to problems, many of them workforce-related, he said, citing, as one example of the work it undertakes, an assignment involving Sanderson MacLeod, the Palmer-based manufacturer of twisted wire brushes.

“There’s an unusual brush that only one person could make,” Mitchell told BusinessWest. “And that individual was retiring. They came to us, and we designed and built a machine that could actually perform the task that this person did.”

Designs on Growth

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of similar stories in the portfolio, he went on, adding that the machine to slice sapphire — which is ideal for use in both LED and non-LED applications due to its high temperature resistance, high strength, and good electrical insulation — certainly falls into this category.

“Sapphire is harder than silicon, so it’s a more difficult thing to do,” Mitchell noted. “This is a prototype machine — nothing like it has ever been built before.”

Many of the products and solutions that roll out the door command similar language, said Chris Brucker, an applications engineer for the company, adding that the solutions are generated through intense collaboration, or interface, with the client concerning the problem and the best means of solving it.

“Our clients will have an application that they’re looking to automate, or generate better quality, less scrap, fewer direct labor hours … all those kinds of things to stay competitive, increase profits, all those good things companies want to do,” he explained. “I go in and talk to them, understand their process from their perspective, find out what they need to do,” he went on, “and then develop concepts for a special piece of machinery or automation.”

As noted earlier, projects of this nature generally take at least six months from start to finish, and many require much more time.

Thus, there is that heavy premium on constantly generating new work for the pipeline, said those we spoke with, adding that, as might be expected, it comes in two forms — additional work for existing clients, and attracting new clients.

And recent efforts have been focused on both, said Jack Mitchell, adding that this is a relationship business, and once one has been established, the goal is to grow it.

He said there are many examples where subcontracted machining has also led to work designing and manufacturing custom equipment or the promise of such work, including one case involving a medical-equipment manufacturer.

“It started with a small, complex part, and moved to a much more complicated assembly of parts, to creating a tool they could use,” he explained, adding that the next step could be work to design a production line for the company.

As for attracting new clients, word of mouth has always been and will always be the best form of marketing, said Mark Mitchell, and the company does take part in several large trade shows each year. Still, there are many who don’t know the Mitchell name and all that it stands for, and this nagging reality was perhaps the primary motivation behind participation in the manufacturing accelerator program, although connecting with new customers directly was also a goal.

“We’ve quoted on a number of projects as a result of the program,” said Mark, adding that the program reaffirmed the notion that original equipment manufacturers, including many in this area, are not fully aware of the resources (such as Mitchell’s expertise) that are available to them.

Slices of History

The small conference room at Mitchell Machine speaks to the company’s long history, and brings the past, present, and future together efficiently.
Indeed, along with a few golf pictures (which reflect a passion for the game shared by several generations of the Mitchell family), the walls feature a few framed replicas of World War II-era posters proudly touting the contributions of defense contractors toward victory in Europe and the Pacific.

“Your Work Means Victory — Build Another One” reads one poster depicting a shipbuilder.

There’s also a 10-pound block of silicon sitting on a base in the middle of the table. It’s there as a nod to the fact that Mitchell has designed and built machinery that will shape that silicon in the production of microchips.

As the company prepares to turn 100, it is still doing what it was doing when John Mitchell came home with that mix of good news and bad news — produce solutions. And along with those, it is making (and has always made) a proud name for itself.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Manufacturing Sections

On the Cutting Edge

Marianne Halpern

Marianne Halpern displays the Thunderbird, one of the knives now being produced by Three Rivers Mfg., a subsidiary of Halpern Titanium.

Marianne Halpern says the company used to be called Custom Knife Supply because … well, that’s what it did — that’s all it did.

It supplied custom parts — blades, handles, hinges, and other components — to knife makers across the country, she said of the venture that she and her husband, Les, started out of their home in Monson, more as a money-making hobby than anything else.

When it became much more than that — the two eventually left their day jobs to pursue this full-time — and did much more than supply knife parts, a name change was certainly in order, Halpern told BusinessWest.

The search for something new and more accurate wasn’t exactly involved or scientific in nature, Halpern went on, adding that credit for what’s now in block letters on the business cards goes to the woman who handled that printing job.

“She asked what we did and what materials we worked with,” Halpern noted, adding that, when given a quick primer, the printer, desiring to make the principals’ name part of the equation, said, ‘how about Halpern Titanium?’

This question soon became the answer, said Halpern, because ‘Titanum,’ all by itself, says a quite a bit. “It has a definite ring to it.”

Indeed, this silver-colored, low-density, high-strength metal is practically synonymous with ‘cutting edge’ when it comes to its use in everything from artificial joints and dental implants to golf clubs; from eyeglass frames to Corvette engine parts.

Meanwhile, the metal itself is not exactly easy to fabricate into any of the above, Halpern went on, adding that, in many ways, this name connotes precision and expertise to those who read it.

Exactly how much the new name has helped the company is a matter of debate, but what isn’t is the fact that Halpern Titanium, now located in the Palmer Technology Center (the old Tambrands complex in Three Rivers) continues to grow and diversify itself into a major player within this industry.

The company, which also specializes in other materials, including carbon fiber, fiberglass, and stainless steel, now makes parts for a number of knife makers, many based in Oregon due to very liberal knife laws there (quite of the opposite of what are on the books in the Bay State), but manufacturers of other projects as well. And within the past 18 months or so, it has taken its expertise to a new and different label by introducing its own brand of knives, produced by a subsidiary named Three Rivers Manufacturing (TRM).

That venture has already produced several models, including the Nomad, the Class Action, the BT 1000, and the Thunderbird, which earned an enthusiast review from a trade publication called Knife News.

The Nomad Slipjoint

The Nomad Slipjoint, complete with titanium frames and royal blue G-10 handle, is one of several knives now bearing the Three Rivers Mfg. (TRM) name.

“Designed by company founder Les Halpern, the Thunderbird’s distinctive geometry injects some new life into familiar tactical knife attributes like a wharncliffe blade, titanium framelock, and sculpted pocket clip,” the magazine wrote. “The narrowing frame is embellished with deep milled-out grooves to create a look that harkens back to the tail fins found on the classic 1950s American-made automobiles.”

TRM, currently selling direct to consumers from its website, hopes to roll out several new models in the years to come, said Halpern, adding quickly that the parent company’s main purpose in life is to help a host of major knife makers earn similar platitudes for their products.

For this issue and its focus on manufacturing, BusinessWest takes an in-depth look at a company with a sharp — as in sharp — focus on controlled growth and further expansion of each of the many components within the business plan.

Cutting to the Chase

The printer who handled the Halperns’ business cards had more to do than help come up with a new name. Her eventual assignment was to pack a ton of information on that small space, while putting it all in something approximating titanium’s color on a black background.

In short, there’s a lot to read there.

Beyond the typical name, address, phone, and e-mail, the card provides a quick education into the services provided and materials used — at least to those versed in this field and the language associated with it.

Indeed, there are phrases like ‘dynamic waterjet cutting’ and ‘swiss turning,’ and listed materials including ‘titanium sheet bar and plate’ and the related ‘6AL/4V, CP Grades 1-4’ (an alloy of that metal), as well G-10 (fiberglass) and carbon fiber sheet. One could also note that free quotes are available and that this is a certified women-owned business.

Like we said, there’s a lot to read. And it all translates into the fact that this company has come a long way from the Halperns’ basement in Monson.

That’s where things started almost 20 years ago, said Marianne, noting that she was a teacher at Tantasqua Regional Senior High School and Les was a designer in the adaptive equipment department at the Monson Developmental Center when they started to fashion parts for knife makers on the side — and got really good at it.

So good, as noted, that they started thinking about this as a career move.

“I took a leave of absence from my job in 2000, and never went back — and I never looked back, either,” she told BusinessWest. “Les retired, and he never looked back.”

Instead, they’ve been looking both outward and inward with an eye on finding new ways to do what the company has essentially done from the very beginning — serve as a solution finder for many of the nation’s most prominent knife makers.

“Companies come to us with a specific need they need to address,” she said, adding that solutions include everything from parts to whole-knife manufacturing and assembly (although not much of that) to assistance with designing new products for the market.

When asked to list some of these customers for which solutions are provided, Halpern said those names are among the many things are kept confidential within this large, tight, and highly competitive business.

To effectively convey what the company does, Halpern had to repeatedly stop in mid-sentence, get up from her chair, and find a knife with which she could show the company’s contribution rather than explain it.

She picked up an elaborate multi-tool product assembled by one of those companies she couldn’t name to explain how it makes one small carbon-fiber piece that holds the tool bit in place. She picked up another knife to show off one of the many types of handles (a good number of them produced from G-10), and on it went.

Les Halpern

Les Halpern, seen here at the prototype CNC machining center, wears many hats for the company, including knife designer.

“For many customers, we’ll make one part, like the handle, and they’ll make the rest,” she explained. “We’re a team with that company, and we have many, many relationships like that. They don’t have to worry about that part of the knife.”

Getting to the Point

There are many visible signs of growth at Halpern Titanium, starting with its facility in Palmer.

The company started with roughly 3,000 square feet, a few machines, and the Halperns handling almost all the assigned duties. The footprint has expanded to 20,000 square feet, there are now 12 employees and 25 machines, and the Halperns, while they still work long hours, don’t have to do it all.

A growing client list is another measure of success, she said, adding that the company has staked out a position as one of the clear leaders in this field.

“There’s not a lot of competition out there — it’s not easy to do what we do,” she said, noting, again, the difficulty of working with titanium, G-10, and other materials.

The new subsidiary, TRM, is still another sign of growth and progress, she said, adding that she and Les decided roughly 18 months ago to take their acquired expertise and put the company’s name on its work instead of someone else’s.

“We had been making private-label knives for other companies for 18 years, and we often thought that it would be a good idea to do some of our own,” she explained. “And we recognized that making something for someone else that they sell is very different from making something yourself that you have to market, but we wanted to give it a try.”

Working in tandem with some noted custom knife designers, TRM brought a few products to the marketplace last year, she went on, including the Nomad, complete with an array of handle colors, such as ‘blaze orange,’ ‘cranberry,’ ‘forest green,’ and ‘battleship gray.’ The Thunderbird will be available online shortly.

Results thus far have been generally positive, said Halpern, and the company is learning the new elements of business associated with this venture, especially the marketing side of the equation and its various social-media platforms.

“It’s a whole different experience trying to market a product,” she explained. “I’m very active on social media — Twitter, Facebook, Instagram … and I’m gradually building a following for our company.”

She and others will attempt to expand this following in June at the Blade Show in Atlanta, billed as the largest knife show in the country, sponsored by Blade magazine. Attendees will include custom knife makers, manufacturing operations, collectors, and many more constituencies.

This means those representing both TRM and Halpern Titanium can multi-task, which is essentially what those at this corporation are now doing on a daily basis.

Indeed, Halpern noted, with the many different kinds of operations, including production of its own brands, now taking place, the company must conduct what she called a “balancing act” to ensure that each has the ability to thrive and grow.

“On the private label, we want to continue with those companies that want to add new products and grow with them,” she explained. “Meanwhile, we’re adding new customers selectively, making sure it’s a good fit, and we want to continue with our own models, introducing maybe a few new ones each year. Let’s see where that all takes us.

“It’s definitely a balancing act; we keep evolving as we need to,” she went on. “You can’t just stand still — in any kind of business, but especially this one. You have to be ready to add things to your repertoire.”

Getting a Handle

Things like the Thunderbird, with its narrowing frame and deep milled-out grooves, and the Nomad, with its blaze-orange, cranberry, and battleship-gray handles.

This company that was started in a basement continues to build upon its repertoire and its track record of excellence within the knife industry.

As the name suggested by that printer a while back suggests, this company is on the cutting edge — in just about every aspect of that phrase.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Business of Aging Sections

Sight Restoration

Dr. John Papale says most patients who undergo cataract-removal surgery see a more than 95% restoration of vision.

Dr. John Papale says most patients who undergo cataract-removal surgery see a more than 95% restoration of vision.

As the population ages, eye problems will become an increasingly large healthcare issue for society. Fortunately, modern science and new surgical techniques are bringing improved vision — and better quality of life — to those suffering from a number of common ailments.

Several months ago during a routine eye exam, Louise Pugliano was told that she had cataracts in both eyes. The 84-year-old doesn’t drive at night and had no symptoms, but had worn glasses or contact lenses for more than 20 years, and agreed to have cataract-removal surgery.

The first procedure took place Jan. 8, and the second was done Jan. 23, and they were not only painless, but the Springfield woman was thrilled to find she no longer needs prescription eyewear.

“I’m so glad I did this; I had a great experience and wonderful results: I don’t need glasses anymore and can read the small print in the newspaper,” Pugliano said, adding that she had complete faith in her surgeon, Dr. John Papale of Papale Eye Center in Springfield.

Her diagnosed condition, treatment, and response to it are all typical of what’s happening within the broad realm of eye care today — as the population ages, more people are being diagnosed with problems, but modern science has created solutions, many of which are truly life-altering.

Papale told BusinessWest that cataract removal is the most commonly performed surgery in the U.S., and more than 3 million people have the procedure done every year. The 20-minute outpatient operation corrects vision and eliminates troublesome symptoms that affect many seniors, such as seeing halos or being bothered by the glare of oncoming headlights when driving at night.

“Most people have more than a 95% restoration of vision, assuming there are no other problems such as glaucoma and macular degeneration,” Papale said, as he spoke about conditions that affect aging eyes.

Indeed, they are common. The Mayo Clinic reports that about half of all 65-year-old Americans have some degree of cataract formation, and more than 30 million Americans are expected to develop them by 2020. In addition, more than 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older have a severe visual impairment, and rates of severe vision loss are expected to double by 2030.

Dr. Camille Guzek-Latka, an optometrist at Chicopee Eyecare, P.C., says many people use over-the-counter glasses to avoid getting an eye exam. “But the exam is important; we not only evaluate the need for glasses, we look for evidence of eye disease because, as people age, their risk of developing a problem increases.”

Annual eye exams are critical for people over the age of 60 because eye disease can cause irreversible blindness and there may be no symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage.

Dr. Andrew Jusko says an eye exam is needed to detect glaucoma, as there are no symptoms in the early or middle stages.

Dr. Andrew Jusko says an eye exam is needed to detect glaucoma, as there are no symptoms in the early or middle stages.

Although some people don’t have vision coverage on their insurance plan, Eye Care America has provided free exams to almost 2 million eligible seniors (visit www.aao.org), and health-insurance plans cover the cost if a minor medical problem is uncovered, which usually happens as people get older.

“It’s important to protect against damaging eye diseases; people are living longer today and want to maintain full visual functionality through the end of their lives,” said surgeon Dr. Andrew Jusko of Eyesight and Surgery Associates in Springfield and East Longmeadow.

Papale agrees. “The eye is our most important sense: 25% of all input to the brain comes from the eye and nerve endings,” he noted.

For this issue and its focus on the business of aging, BusinessWest examines problems that affect aging eyes and what can be done to prevent and correct them.

Cause, Effect, and Treatment

The lens of the eye consists of a flexible jelly that begins to stiffen as people enter their 30s and 40s. The condition is called presbyopia, and most people need reading glasses to compensate for the fact that their eyes can no longer shift focus easily.

“Many people in their 40s and 50s get by with over-the-counter reading glasses, but by the time they reach their 50s or 60s they usually don’t work well,” Jusko said, adding that early stages of other diseases such as diabetes or hypertension can be seen in the eyes during an exam.

Cataracts cause the lens to change from crystal clear to cloudy, and typically develop as people age. They don’t harm the eye but do affect vision, and surgery to correct the problem involves replacing the aging lens with an artificial one.

In the past, eye drops were always needed for a few weeks following the procedure, but Guzek-Latka said a newer approach is often used today called ‘dropless cataract surgery,’ which occurs when the surgeon injects a combination of antibiotics and steroids into the eye at the time of the procedure to reduce the need for drops after it.

“The surgery is safe and wonderful; it can restore sight, reduce the risk of falling, and people are thrilled with the results,” she noted, adding that, although cataracts are related to aging, prolonged use of steroids for conditions such as asthma can cause them to develop earlier.

Cataracts are a change that occurs as the eye ages, but glaucoma is an age-related disease that causes blindness as the peripheral or side vision is lost.

“It’s called the silent thief of sight because the vision loss occurs slowly and painlessly,” Guzek-Latka said, adding that the condition is linked to a buildup of pressure inside the eye, but it can take many years for the vision loss to occur.

The disease can start in the 40s, but risk increases with age. “People cannot tell if the pressure inside their eye is normal, so they can be going blind and not know it,” Papale told BusinessWest, noting that, since glaucoma frequently only affects one eye, the other eye compensates for it so the person doesn’t realize what is happening.

As a result, it’s critical to catch the disease before irreversible damage is done. “An eye exam will show whether the pressure is normal and if the optic nerves appear abnormal,” Jusko said.

Some forms of glaucoma can be cured, and treatment ranges from surgical procedures to prescription eye drops that control pressure inside the eye.

Jusko often uses eye stents during surgery, which are small devices implanted in the drainage area of the eye to help reduce the need for future medication.

“The average age for glaucoma is the 70s, which is about the same age that people need cataract surgery,” he said, noting that stents can also be used during that procedure.

Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is one of the most serious eye diseases and the leading cause of blindness in seniors. “The macula is the part of the retina that gives you the sharp vision you need to read, drive, and recognize faces,” Papale said.

More than 2 million Americans are afflicted with some form of the disease, and that number is expected to more than double to 5.4 million by 2050 due to the aging population.

“It’s the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in people age 50 and older, and treatment for it is limited,” Guzek-Latka said.

“There are usually no symptoms in the early stages, but the disease can be seen when the pupil is dilated during an eye exam,” she continued, adding that, as the disease progresses, it causes distortion in the central vision. “People can still see things on the side, but they can’t read, and faces often appear as dark gray areas. Most people think blindness means total blackness, but it’s very rare not to be able to see any light.”

The cause of AMD is unknown, but it’s important for people to be aware of risk factors. Smoking doubles the risk of macular degeneration, it tends to run in families, women are more likely to develop it than men, and it is more common among Caucasians than African-Americans, Hispanics, and other races.

“People might be able to reduce their risk of macular degeneration or slow the progression by making healthy choices such as regular exercise, maintaining normal blood pressure, quitting smoking, and eating a healthy diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish,” Guzek-Latka said.

The disease is divided into two categories — wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration. Although there are no symptoms associated with early dry macular degeneration, the vision becomes distorted over time, and once function is lost, it cannot be restored.

However, further damage may be prevented with special vitamins formulated for the eye. “But we don’t recommend taking them unless the person has been diagnosed with macular degeneration,” Jusko said, noting that studies show no definitive or preventive benefits for people without the disease.

Wet macular degeneration is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the macula that are fragile and prone to bleeding.

“The bleeding is not visible because the macula is in the back of the eye,” Papale said, adding that the dry form of the disease can progress to the wet type.

Treatment includes injections of medicine that block the growth of abnormal blood vessels and can lead to some improvement.

“It won’t cure the disease, but it’s definitely an advance; 10 years ago, there was less hope for people with wet macular degeneration then there is today,” Guzek-Latka said.

She added that FDA approval was granted for an implantable device in 2010 that is used at the end stages of the disease. It’s the size of a pea and magnifies images onto the retina.

“But it’s only used as a last resort. It will not restore vision, but might allow someone to identify faces, even if they are not clear,” she said.

Diabetes is another disease that affects the eyes. According to the National Eye Institute, 40% of Americans over age 40 have some degree of diabetic retinopathy, and one of every 12 people with diabetes in this age group has advanced, vision-threatening retinopathy.

That’s a condition that results when small blood vessels in the retina leak blood or other fluids that cause progressive damage to the retina, which is the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye.

“Once someone is diagnosed with diabetes, they need yearly eye exams to detect it,” Jusko said.

Treatment ranges from the use of lasers to injections and surgical procedures, and primary-care physicians usually work closely with the person to ensure their blood-sugar levels and blood pressure are under control.

Hope for the Future

Dry eye is another condition that can affect people of any age, but is more prevalent in elders and post-menopausal women. It results from inadequate tear production and causes burning, stinging, itching, or the feeling that sand is in the eyes.

It can be alleviated with over-the-counter lubricating drops, fish-oil supplements, and vitamin C. But dry eye that is moderate or severe can cause damage, so people whose symptoms aren’t helped with over-the-counter remedies should see their eye doctor.

There is no doubt that eyesight is affected as people age, but there are things everyone can do to help to prevent disease. Eyes need good blood circulation and oxygen intake, and since both are stimulated by regular exercise, it ranks high on the list.

People should also do their best to maintain normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet light.

But getting an annual eye exam is the most important measure anyone can take to preserve vision.

“Eyesight is our most important sense,” said Guzek-Latka. “We rely on it for so many things, and having good vision is a driving factor in people’s well-being as they age.”

Business of Aging Sections

The Write Stuff

By Gina Barry, Esq.

Gina Barry

By Gina M. Barry, Esq.

It should come as no surprise that the general population of the U.S. is aging. According to the Administration for Community Living, which was created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people who were age 65 or older represented 14.5% of the population in 2014, and that number is expected to grow to 21.7% of the population by 2040.

When aging, most people would prefer to have a plan in place to ensure that their needs and goals will be met, even if they are incapacitated or pass away. While many people believe they do not have enough money to need an estate plan, the need for an estate plan is not solely related to the amount of one’s wealth.

As explained below, a basic estate plan is comprised of four legal documents and is quite simple to establish.

Last Will and Testament

A will directs the disposition of the probate estate. The probate estate consists of assets held in the decedent’s name alone that do not have a beneficiary designated. When a person passes away without a will, their estate will be distributed as directed by the Commonwealth’s intestacy law, which may not be as they would have desired.

A common misconception is that a will is not needed if every asset is jointly owned or has a designated beneficiary. Of course, there must be a surviving joint owner for this plan to work. If both owners pass away simultaneously in a common accident, the estate will need to be probated, as there will be no surviving joint owner.

A will is also necessary in order to designate a personal representative, who will carry out the estate. The personal representative will gather the probate assets, pay valid debts, and make distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries as set forth in the will. Further, if the decedent leaves behind minor children, a guardian can be designated in the will to take custody of these children.

Likewise, a trust can be established in a will that would provide ongoing protection for minor children — or possibly for other beneficiaries who should not receive their inheritance outright, usually due to spendthrift concerns. When there is no will in place, the power and ability to make these designations and to direct the disposition of property is forfeited.

Healthcare Proxy

A healthcare proxy is a document that designates a healthcare agent, who would make healthcare decisions in the event of incapacity of the principal (person signing the proxy). The healthcare agent would step into the shoes of the principal and make decisions as they would if they were able. For example, they may decide whether a certain medication should be taken, whether a certain medical procedure should be done, or whether there should be an admission or discharge from a medical facility.

 

While many people believe they do not have enough money to need an estate plan, the need for an estate plan is not solely related to the amount of one’s wealth.”

 

‘Living will’ language is normally included within the healthcare proxy. The living-will language addresses end-of-life decisions and generally sets forth that the principal does not want extraordinary medical procedures used to keep them alive when there is no likelihood of recovery. This can be a difficult decision to carry out; therefore, care should be taken to name someone who would be able to honor that decision. Individuals who have an advanced illness may choose to establish medical orders for life-sustaining treatment (MOLST) in addition to a healthcare proxy.

A MOLST is a medical order form completed by a patient and their physician that relays instructions about a patient’s care, including stating which treatment should be given or otherwise withheld. A MOLST would eliminate the need for living-will language in a proxy, but the best practice would be to reference it in the proxy.

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney is a document that designates someone to make financial decisions. This document is usually in full force and effect when it is signed, but it is expected that it will not be used unless you are unable to handle your own financial affairs. It is also possible to grant a springing power that does not take effect until incapacity arises.


Rehabilitation Facilities in Western Mass.


The power of attorney is a very powerful document that is as broad as the powers granted within it. It gives authority to the designated person to handle all financial decisions, not just pay bills. In most cases, the person named will be authorized to handle real estate, life insurance, retirement accounts, other investment accounts, bank accounts, and any other matters involving money.  As such, the person chosen to serve in this capacity should be someone with financial savvy who can be trusted without reservation.

Homestead Declaration

The homestead declaration, once properly recorded in the Registry of Deeds, declares a principal residence to be a homestead. The homestead declaration protects the equity in the primary residence up to $500,000 from attachment, seizure, execution on judgment, levy, or sale for the payment of debts.

In some cases, such as advanced age or disability, the equity protection can be up to $1 million. If a homestead declaration is not recorded, there is an automatic $125,000 of equity protection.  In addition to some other specific exceptions, a homestead declaration will not protect the real estate from nursing-home costs or tax liens.

Conclusion

With these four documents, most people can help their family members or trusted companions avoid expensive and painful legal hassles related to their ongoing care and their estate.

Individuals with more complicated estates may require different or additional documents to fully protect their interests and their beneficiaries, but for the majority of people, an estate plan is only four documents away.

Gina M. Barry is a partner with the law firm Bacon Wilson, P.C. She is a member of the National Assoc. of Elder Law Attorneys, the Estate Planning Council, and the Western Mass. Elder Care Professionals Assoc. She concentrates her practice in the areas of estate and asset protection planning, probate administration and litigation, guardianships, conservatorships, and residential real estate; (413) 781-0560; [email protected]

Building Permits Departments

The following business permits were issued during the month of February 2017.

CHICOPEE

Michael Poggi and Jill Dimonaco
305 Broadway
$13,500 — Infill existing communicating room opening on third floor; removal of cabinets and appliances from third-floor kitchem to create dining space

Rite Aid Corp.
1 St. James Ave.
$3,990 — Repair of masonry veneer where vehicle crash occurred

Walmart
591 Memorial Dr.
$72,539 — Repair of cracks in concrete form deck slab and structural steel
EAST LONGMEADOW

Atrium Dental
100 Shaker Road
$48,000 — Fire alarm

Benton Professional Partners LLC
265 Benton Dr., Suite 101
$3,500 — Fire alarm system

Benton Professional Partners LLC
265 Benton Dr., Suite 104
$3,500 — Fire alarm system

Pioneer Spine and Sport Physicians
265 Benton Dr.
$18,400 — Sprinkler system

St. Mark Church
1 Porter Road
$9,700 — Insulation

LONGMEADOW

Rinaldi’s Realty, LLC
410 Longmeadow St.
$38,500 — Roofing

LUDLOW

MMWEC
327 Moody St.
$9,000 — Non-illuminated sign

Treasures of the World
309 East St.
$1,000 — Non-illuminated sign

NORTHAMPTON

River Valley Market
330 North King St.
$21,374 — Interior alterations to second-floor community room

Smith College
College Lane
$486,000 — Renovations to existing library, classroom, and office space

Smith College
25 Henshaw Ave.
$115,506 — Shoring and relocation of existing structural beam, install new structural beam, bearing posts, minor demolition, new finishes

Smith College
43 West St.
$55,300 — Interior apartment renovations

Thornes Marketplace
150 Main St.
$62,500 — Renovate and improve facades, install new ramp assembly to replace staircase

PALMER

JMS North Main St.
1622 B North Main St.
$675 — Replace sign

Gaston and Donna LaFleur
80 Stimson St.
$15,000 — Install three remote radio units behind antennas at existing cell site

SPRINGFIELD

Bertelli Realty Group
979 Main St.
$150,000 — Roof repair, replacement windows, replace front upper facade

Century Investment
1985 Main St., Suite E
$3,500 — Wire new fire-alarm devices to existing fire-alarm panel

City of Springfield
50 Morison Terrace
$25,000 — Classroom ceiling renovation at Glenwood Middle School

DevelopSpringfield
284 Bridge St.
$6,800 — Install second-floor bathroom, renovations to stairs and walls, replacement windows

Mason Square Apartments
851-891 State St.
$125,000 — Install nine façade-mounted wireless communication antennas and associated ground equipment

Springfield SS LLC
340 Taylor St.
$180,000 — Removal of non-load-bearing walls, finishes, and freezer/cooler

State Street Retail, LLC
632 Boston Road
$487,510 — Complete exterior and interior building renovation

WEST SPRINGFIELD

201 Park Ave. LLC
201 Park Ave.
$200 — Install steel door

Briarwood 8, LLC
174 South Blvd.
$11,125 — Roofing

Centaur Group
151 Capital Dr.
$6,000 — Enlarge overhead garage door opening

HL Foster Co.
154 Agawam Ave.
$18,100 — Roofing

WARE

Mark Andrews
78 Main St.
$14,000 — Modification of existing office space to add two new private offices and a new kitchenette

WILBRAHAM

Joseph Dumas
1241 Stony Hill Road
$20,000 — Install three newer antennas and associated equipment alongside existing antennas

JPZ Inc.
2380 Boston Road
$25,000 — Upgrade to an existing cell tower

Valley Stone Credit Union
2002 Boston Road
$4,000 — Install two new dutch doors

Departments Real Estate

Real Estate Transactions

The following real estate transactions (latest available) were compiled by Banker & Tradesman and are published as they were received. Only transactions exceeding $115,000 are listed. Buyer and seller fields contain only the first name listed on the deed.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

ASHFIELD

1003 Apple Valley Road
Ashfield, MA 01330
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Silas Winthrop-Clark
Seller: Richard L. Stevens
Date: 02/02/17

1453 Hawley Road
Ashfield, MA 01330
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Drew M. Haerer
Seller: Helen Hillard-Rees
Date: 01/31/17

BERNARDSTON

48 Hillcrest Dr.
Bernardston, MA 01337
Amount: $219,801
Buyer: Jeffrey Calaski
Seller: Paul C. Skiathitis
Date: 01/30/17

171 Merrifield Road
Bernardston, MA 01337
Amount: $227,500
Buyer: Austin White
Seller: Andrew H. Zimmerman
Date: 01/27/17

DEERFIELD

257 Conway Road
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Matthew H. Munson
Seller: Evvan A. Mercure
Date: 01/27/17

39 Foxtown Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
Amount: $625,000
Buyer: Michael E. Doyle
Seller: Melissa Jane Gardiner RET
Date: 01/26/17

4 Greenfield Road
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Angel Properties LLC
Seller: David Adkins
Date: 01/30/17

710 River Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: David H. Adkins
Seller: John L. Knuerr
Date: 01/30/17

98 Whately Road
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $421,500
Buyer: Kaimei Zheng
Seller: Eric Bielski
Date: 01/27/17

GILL

32 French King Hwy.
Gill, MA 01354
Amount: $172,000
Buyer: Jason R. Raymond
Seller: Robert Raymond
Date: 01/31/17

GREENFIELD

7 Pine St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $214,000
Buyer: Bryan Marvell
Seller: Brian E. Kynard
Date: 01/31/17

3 Plantation Circle
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $268,000
Buyer: Tionne L. Brown
Seller: John C. Rose-Fish
Date: 01/23/17

16 Spring Terrace
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $141,000
Buyer: Nicolai Parpalov
Seller: Russell, Rick Allen, (Estate)
Date: 01/24/17

52 Washburn Ave.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Terry J. Narkewicz
Seller: Linda A. Haines
Date: 01/31/17

HEATH

208 Taylor Brook
Heath, MA 01346
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: James E. Wickline
Seller: Earl D. Wickline
Date: 01/24/17

MONTAGUE

385 Montague City Road
Montague, MA 01376
Amount: $177,000
Buyer: Luis Matos
Seller: Tamara M. Spears
Date: 01/24/17

133 Ripley Road
Montague, MA 01351
Amount: $247,000
Buyer: Amy L. McDonald
Seller: Rise H. Thornton
Date: 01/27/17

NORTHFIELD

166 Maple St.
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $206,000
Buyer: Jose A. Madiedo
Seller: Jane Knodler
Date: 01/27/17

437 Millers Falls Road
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $149,000
Buyer: Mikayla M. Goodwin
Seller: Hanrahan IRT
Date: 01/27/17

ORANGE

549 East Main St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Currier Road Holdings LLC
Seller: JJS SS & Son Development
Date: 01/31/17

108 Mattawa Circle
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $144,900
Buyer: Pamela Hammonds
Seller: David M. Bialecki
Date: 01/30/17

211 North Main St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $137,000
Buyer: Andrew R. Anderson
Seller: Harris RT
Date: 01/31/17

57 Stone Valley Road
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $153,000
Buyer: Mario Susi
Seller: Raymond P. Williams
Date: 01/27/17

195 West Main St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $189,000
Buyer: Ira P. Houle
Seller: Elinor L. Britt
Date: 01/31/17

SUNDERLAND

211 Russell St.
Sunderland, MA 01375
Amount: $241,000
Buyer: Judith Mayrand
Seller: Frances B. Martino
Date: 01/26/17

ROWE

37 Brittingham Hill Road
Rowe, MA 01367
Amount: $262,230
Buyer: Colleen Carey
Seller: Judith A. Pierce
Date: 02/01/17

SHUTESBURY

71 Locks Pond Road
Shutesbury, MA 01072
Amount: $420,682
Buyer: FNMA
Seller: Linda D. Lau
Date: 02/03/17

SUNDERLAND

146 North Silver Lane
Sunderland, MA 01375
Amount: $202,000
Buyer: Cynthia Faith
Seller: Troy Santerre
Date: 01/30/17

HAMPDEN COUNTY

AGAWAM

52 Federal Ave.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Joanne E. Craig
Seller: Ronald J. Hamel
Date: 01/26/17

11 Herbert P. Almgren Dr.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $1,620,000
Buyer: Agawam Silver Street RE
Seller: Eurofins Spectrum Analytical
Date: 01/24/17

122 Leonard St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $365,500
Buyer: Caren B. Foisie
Seller: Joseph A. Coppola
Date: 01/30/17

56 Poinsetta St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $221,000
Buyer: Maria T. Mikuszewski
Seller: Andrew A. Brower
Date: 02/03/17

830 Silver St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $1,620,000
Buyer: Agawam Silver Street RE
Seller: Eurofins Spectrum Analytical
Date: 01/24/17

62 Stewart Lane
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $205,000
Buyer: Jaime L. Bouchard
Seller: Robert W. Manning
Date: 01/26/17

CHICOPEE

79 Ashgrove St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $170,000
Buyer: Sovannarith Som
Seller: Irene Hambley
Date: 01/30/17

54 Asselin St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Allen F. Cormier
Seller: Howard F. Cormier
Date: 01/26/17

229 Bemis Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $166,080
Buyer: Matrix Financial Services
Seller: Sonia I. Rodriguez
Date: 02/01/17

555 Burnett Road
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $137,000
Buyer: Christopher N. Ouimette
Seller: Loretta M. Boyle
Date: 02/03/17

27 Dickinson St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $146,640
Buyer: George E. Brown
Seller: Robert S. Nelson
Date: 01/25/17

19 Fisher St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $203,000
Buyer: Allen M. Caron
Seller: Witold Kaczor
Date: 01/27/17

35 Forest St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Hector R. Quiles
Seller: Alla Boyko
Date: 01/31/17

605 Front St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $226,000
Buyer: Eric C. Lubarsky
Seller: Natalya Konovalova
Date: 01/26/17

96 Hilton St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $229,500
Buyer: Mark Hebert
Seller: Ryan Fitzemeyer
Date: 01/27/17

37 Ludger Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $153,000
Buyer: Wells Fargo Bank
Seller: Kenneth W. Sikes
Date: 02/03/17

21-25 Maple St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Valley Opportunity Council
Seller: Roman Catholic Bishop Of Springfield
Date: 02/03/17

67 Otis St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Tina M. Dougherty
Seller: Jo-Ann R. Gagnon
Date: 01/30/17

44 Paul Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $115,200
Buyer: Wells Fargo Bank
Seller: Amber D. Yarrows
Date: 01/26/17

93 Rivers Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $164,000
Buyer: Jennifer L. Pimental
Seller: Rebingham Inc.
Date: 01/24/17

31 Ruskin St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Arthur W. Boutin
Seller: Oak Ridge Custom Home Builders
Date: 01/27/17

1040 Sheridan St.
Chicopee, MA 01022
Amount: $2,100,000
Buyer: WE 1040 Sheridan LLC
Seller: NIP Owner 2 LLC
Date: 01/26/17

1045 Sheridan St.
Chicopee, MA 01022
Amount: $1,900,000
Buyer: WE 1045 Sheridan LLC
Seller: NIP Owner 2 LLC
Date: 01/26/17

83 Thaddeus St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $164,900
Buyer: Laurie A. Brown
Seller: Andrew M. Kitiyo
Date: 01/27/17

81 Washington St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $212,000
Buyer: John D. McKenna
Seller: Michelle M. Gregoire
Date: 02/03/17

183 Woodcrest Dr.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $124,000
Buyer: David R. Roberts
Seller: Citibank
Date: 01/30/17

EAST LONGMEADOW

240 Canterbury Circle
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $445,000
Buyer: Saborna Das
Seller: Patrick J. Brown
Date: 01/23/17

135 Dwight Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $182,500
Buyer: Vladimir Kostenko
Seller: Vincent Pafumi
Date: 01/27/17

175 Dwight Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $128,500
Buyer: Cailin Donovan
Seller: Robert J. Schroeter
Date: 01/27/17

52 Highlandview Ave.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $338,000
Buyer: Terry Peckham
Seller: Brian P. Lambert
Date: 01/25/17

39 Lori Lane
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Gonzalo A. Chacon
Seller: Mary Turner
Date: 01/27/17

75 Parker St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Charles D. Vanzant
Seller: Peter J. Borrello
Date: 01/31/17

HAMPDEN

24 Fox Run Lane
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $292,500
Buyer: Timothy J. Moore
Seller: Stefan Mikolajczuk
Date: 02/03/17

222 South Monson Road
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Rebeca L. Merigian
Seller: Merigian, Jeffrey M., (Estate)
Date: 01/27/17

66 Woodland Dr.
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $243,900
Buyer: Brian M. Terron
Seller: Mary Persaud
Date: 01/26/17

HOLLAND

2 Fenton St.
Holland, MA 01521
Amount: $120,887
Buyer: 2 Fenton Street RT
Seller: Donald Boutin
Date: 01/30/17

HOLYOKE

513 Beech St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $182,610
Buyer: Tarps Investment Group
Seller: Mary E. Larrivee
Date: 02/01/17

193-203 Chestnut St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $303,000
Buyer: Chicopee Kendall LLC
Seller: 193-203 Chestnut St LLC
Date: 01/31/17

70 Essex St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $687,000
Buyer: 328 Maple Street RT
Seller: Anne Mistivar-Payen
Date: 01/23/17

117 Essex St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: Chicopee Kendall LLC
Seller: Kais Akremi
Date: 01/31/17

1114 Hampden St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $173,500
Buyer: Heather Cahillane
Seller: Michael B. Tetreault
Date: 02/03/17

38 Lindbergh Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $193,140
Buyer: Robert J. Carroll
Seller: Alice P. Aughe-Redfern
Date: 01/31/17

328 Maple St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $687,000
Buyer: 328 Maple Street RT
Seller: Anne Mistivar-Payen
Date: 01/23/17

330 Maple St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $687,000
Buyer: 328 Maple Street RT
Seller: Anne Mistivar-Payen
Date: 01/23/17

529-539 South Canal St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $337,500
Buyer: Dana E. Carpenter
Seller: Jaroslaw Leshko
Date: 01/31/17

LONGMEADOW

251 Academy Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $415,000
Buyer: Scott C. Milas
Seller: Jay H. Loevy
Date: 01/27/17

109 Homestead Blvd.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $230,500
Buyer: Donna L. O’Keefe
Seller: Carin A. Savel
Date: 01/26/17

129 Overbrook Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $735,000
Buyer: James J. Tallaksen
Seller: Donna M. Walen
Date: 01/31/17

LUDLOW

264 Alden St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Ventures TR
Seller: Gabriel Cady
Date: 01/25/17

36 Butler St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $195,000
Buyer: Leona F. Tyrrell
Seller: John P. Strycharz
Date: 01/25/17

45 Deroche Circle
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $186,000
Buyer: Alex M. Jendrysik
Seller: John J. Flynn
Date: 01/23/17

N/A
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Erick A. Leal
Seller: FNMA
Date: 01/31/17

57 Pleasant St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $151,500
Buyer: Hannah E. Flanders
Seller: Sean D. Burtt
Date: 01/25/17

Turning Leaf Road #19
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $135,000
Buyer: Jeffrey Dias
Seller: Whitetail Wreks LLC
Date: 01/27/17

131 Williams St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: Barbara A. Orszulak
Seller: Seth J. Hooten
Date: 01/25/17

383 Winsor St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Charlene A. Fernandes
Seller: Teresa Alves
Date: 02/03/17

MONSON

6 Hilltop Dr.
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $194,880
Buyer: Bank Of America
Seller: Virginia A. Zemianek
Date: 02/01/17

175 Main St.
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $205,000
Buyer: Jerry Krupa
Seller: M. A. Charette-Strange
Date: 01/30/17

230 Silver St.
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $247,800
Buyer: F. Davis Johnson
Seller: Matthew G. Shiel
Date: 01/31/17

PALMER

285 Barker St.
Palmer, MA 01080
Amount: $138,500
Buyer: Deutsche Bank
Seller: Louise E. Barry
Date: 02/01/17

1051 Overlook Dr.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $173,000
Buyer: Erin K. Brunk
Seller: Meaney, Carol A., (Estate)
Date: 01/31/17

RUSSELL

616 Woodland Way
Russell, MA 01071
Amount: $287,900
Buyer: Robert A. Pont
Seller: David C. Cummings
Date: 01/31/17

SOUTHWICK

6 Babb Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Monica J. Cable
Seller: Joseph M. Coppa
Date: 01/27/17

42 Lakeview St.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $299,900
Buyer: Donald Nooney
Seller: Daniel Hinckley
Date: 01/24/17

13 North Pond Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Dana Cochrane
Seller: Steven R. Ferrari
Date: 01/31/17

SPRINGFIELD

209 Albemarle St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $156,000
Buyer: Jose L. Torres
Seller: Irma Cotes-Soto
Date: 02/01/17

68 Alwin Place
Springfield, MA 01101
Amount: $400,000
Buyer: Jeanette Torres
Seller: Grahams Construction Inc.
Date: 01/23/17

164 Arnold Ave.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $154,000
Buyer: Robert D. Cummings
Seller: Sirita L. Harmon
Date: 01/30/17

1 Bairdcrest Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Gabriela V. Rivero
Seller: Megan A. Berry
Date: 01/31/17

901 Boston Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $1,418,400
Buyer: Meads FT
Seller: GHI Ventures LLC
Date: 01/27/17

120 Canterbury Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $119,900
Buyer: Stephen Delusa
Seller: Robert Federico
Date: 01/27/17

735 Carew St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $134,000
Buyer: Edward Dones
Seller: Tashira M. Roman
Date: 01/31/17

24 Chapin Terrace
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $326,070
Buyer: Tarps Investment Group
Seller: Mary E. Larrivee
Date: 02/01/17

21 Clydesdale Lane
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $145,000
Buyer: Anthony J. Ragone
Seller: Kelly D. Gosselin
Date: 01/30/17

44 Dana St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $123,500
Buyer: Richard Jones
Seller: Kimberly A. Hyde
Date: 01/27/17

17 Dartmouth St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $120,900
Buyer: Kevin G. Silva
Seller: TM Properties Inc.
Date: 01/31/17

90 Embury St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: William J. Guilbe
Seller: Nelson Torres
Date: 01/26/17

70 Emerson St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Yadu Tiwari
Seller: Victor Ocasio
Date: 01/23/17

145 Emerson St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $228,450
Buyer: Matthew E. Scott
Seller: Daniel D. Kelly
Date: 01/30/17

67 Fort Pleasant Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $116,000
Buyer: Carol A. Ouellette
Seller: JB Camerlin Real Estate
Date: 01/27/17

131 Fort Pleasant Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Zamarie Morales
Seller: J&M Property & Development LLC
Date: 01/31/17

74 Glenham St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $148,000
Buyer: US Bank
Seller: Peter Lopez
Date: 02/02/17

59 Granby St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $135,000
Buyer: US Bank
Seller: Geoffrey A. Buoniconti
Date: 01/27/17

43 Harmon Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $121,600
Buyer: Benjamin S. St.Amand
Seller: Desellier, David L., (Estate)
Date: 02/02/17

133 Harmon Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $142,000
Buyer: US Bank
Seller: Rosa M. Rodriguez
Date: 02/01/17

75 Harvard St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $135,000
Buyer: Marisol Padilla
Seller: Angel M. Villanueva
Date: 01/31/17

96 Joan St.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $164,900
Buyer: Misael Ramos
Seller: Everett E. Twining
Date: 01/27/17

15 Lamont St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: Jennifer Bennett
Seller: BP LLC
Date: 02/01/17

90 Lang St. #171
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $189,900
Buyer: Alex M. Marzan
Seller: Propcity LLC
Date: 02/01/17

38-40 Langdon St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $139,900
Buyer: Ubaldo Lopez
Seller: Marisabel Agosto
Date: 01/27/17

58 Leete St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $163,500
Buyer: Worku Bihonegne
Seller: Yuri Grechka
Date: 01/30/17

171 Longhill St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $189,750
Buyer: Marc J. Sbalbi
Seller: Jason M. Dieni
Date: 01/31/17

421 Maple St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $126,000
Buyer: Marisol Tavarez
Seller: Thomas A. Valentine
Date: 01/24/17

84 Meadowbrook Road
Springfield, MA 01128
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: Joseph R. Rosinski
Seller: Suzanne M. Hoey
Date: 02/03/17

76 Merida St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: Luis A. Rosario
Seller: Jeffrey A. Pelletier
Date: 01/24/17

64-66 Moulton St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $170,000
Buyer: Stanley H. Czaplicki
Seller: HSB Investments LLC
Date: 02/02/17

36 Naismith St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $205,000
Buyer: Brian O’Connor
Seller: Dale C. Villar
Date: 01/30/17

24 Nathaniel St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $132,000
Buyer: Jose L. Marquez
Seller: Diana Marquez
Date: 01/23/17

32 Nichols St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: Levi Perkins
Seller: Raymond A. Recor
Date: 01/30/17

56 Northway Dr.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $164,000
Buyer: Kevin A. Shea
Seller: Ryan Mahan
Date: 01/26/17

112 Oregon St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $144,900
Buyer: Raymond B. Yelinek
Seller: Michael V. Donato
Date: 01/27/17

602 Parker St.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $133,500
Buyer: Lisa L. Wolfe
Seller: Belczyk, Evelyn N, (Estate)
Date: 02/03/17

83 Pennsylvania Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $313,060
Buyer: Deutsche Bank
Seller: Alan P. Drew
Date: 01/31/17

13 Plum St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $115,000
Buyer: Beth Njugna
Seller: Anthony A. Bellucci
Date: 01/31/17

Saint James Ave.
Springfield, MA 01101
Amount: $398,400
Buyer: Sprague Operating Resources LLC
Seller: Leonard E. Belcher Inc.
Date: 02/02/17

195-255 Saint James Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $1,074,300
Buyer: Sprague Operating Resources
Seller: Leonard E. Belcher Inc.
Date: 02/02/17

487 Saint James Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $1,074,300
Buyer: Sprague Operating Resources
Seller: Leonard E. Belcher Inc.
Date: 02/02/17

615 Saint James Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $1,074,300
Buyer: Sprague Operating Resources
Seller: Leonard E. Belcher Inc.
Date: 02/02/17

617 Saint James Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $1,074,300
Buyer: Sprague Operating Resources
Seller: Leonard E. Belcher Inc.
Date: 02/02/17

16 Stratford Terrace
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: Lionel Raye
Seller: Christine R. Krastin
Date: 01/27/17

Tapley St.
Springfield, MA 01101
Amount: $1,074,300
Buyer: Sprague Operating Resources
Seller: Leonard E. Belcher Inc.
Date: 02/02/17

164 Tremont St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $187,000
Buyer: Dirk A. Vernon
Seller: Kevin Czaplicki
Date: 01/27/17

67 West Allen Ridge Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $166,500
Buyer: Donald Felton
Seller: Ryan C. Gardner
Date: 01/31/17

197-199 White St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $162,000
Buyer: AJN Rentals LLC
Seller: Hallerin Realty LLP
Date: 01/31/17

2040 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Neyda S. Morell-Giboyeaux
Seller: Nicholas J. Zguta
Date: 01/30/17

720 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $391,230
Buyer: Tarps Investment Group
Seller: Mary E. Larrivee
Date: 02/01/17

TOLLAND

Hartland Road
Tolland, MA 01034
Amount: $249,900
Buyer: Mark R. Dintzner
Seller: John A. Devine
Date: 01/31/17

WALES

153 Union Road
Wales, MA 01081
Amount: $208,000
Buyer: Jeffrey A. Barsaleau
Seller: Brian S. Kun
Date: 01/27/17

WESTFIELD

63 Beveridge Blvd.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $146,000
Buyer: US Bank
Seller: Debra Milczarski
Date: 01/24/17

1750 East Mountain Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Ryan T. Mahan
Seller: Donald C. Tryon
Date: 01/26/17

Egleston Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $650,000
Buyer: H&H County RE LLC
Seller: Scarfo Construction Inc.
Date: 02/02/17

5 Fritz Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $165,500
Buyer: Milena Vrankovic
Seller: Karen M. Majeski
Date: 01/31/17

11 Grant St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: Westfield Realty LLC
Seller: Mazeika, Nellie M., (Estate)
Date: 02/02/17

111 Hawks Circle
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $320,000
Buyer: Kenneth Kimani
Seller: Lisa M. Hague
Date: 01/25/17

76 Kane Brothers Circle
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Jabir Khan
Seller: Deborah J. Labarre
Date: 01/31/17

Lapointe Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $148,000
Buyer: Russian Evangelical Baptist
Seller: St.Marie, Paul R., (Estate)
Date: 02/02/17

103 Servistar Industrial Way
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $650,000
Buyer: H&H County RE LLC
Seller: Scarfo Construction Inc.
Date: 02/02/17

471 Shaker Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Jeffrey C. Manley
Seller: Kocal, Ann K., (Estate)
Date: 01/24/17

1111 Southampton Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $15,100,000
Buyer: WE 1111 Southampton LLC
Seller: NIP Owner 4 LLC
Date: 01/26/17

21 State St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $175,500
Buyer: Coburn A. Watson
Seller: Pamela E. Pratt
Date: 01/27/17

103 Steiger Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $282,000
Buyer: Paul J. Landry
Seller: Nino N. Valentino
Date: 02/03/17

75 Western Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $269,500
Buyer: James J. Irwin
Seller: David A. Bannish
Date: 01/31/17

70 Westwood Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Alexis M. Aube
Seller: Marilyn L. Sandidge
Date: 01/26/17

68 Woodsong Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $286,500
Buyer: Daniel A. Nash
Seller: Shawn S. Baker
Date: 01/27/17

WILBRAHAM

12 Bellows Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $440,000
Buyer: Daniel D. Kelly
Seller: Mary E. Paul
Date: 02/01/17

8 Leemond St.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Margaret Petrie
Seller: Kurt J. MacDonald
Date: 01/26/17

421 Monson Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $369,900
Buyer: Miguel A. Acevedo
Seller: New England Developers
Date: 01/27/17

6 Oakridge Dr.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Nicklaus D. Kalish
Seller: Steven A. Iampietro
Date: 01/26/17

3 Pomeroy St.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Susan E. Adams
Seller: Joseph F. Queiroga
Date: 01/30/17

Stonington Dr. #2
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Peter D. Martins
Seller: Silo Farm Associates LLC
Date: 01/26/17

Stonington Dr. #3
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Peter D. Martins
Seller: Silo Farm Associates LLC
Date: 01/26/17

1072 Stony Hill Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: MW RT
Seller: William Raleigh
Date: 01/25/17

717-719 Stony Hill Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $262,000
Buyer: Brendan J. Kennedy
Seller: Dollar, Lorraine I., (Estate)
Date: 01/26/17

WEST SPRINGFIELD

869 Dewey St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $228,000
Buyer: Vinodkumar Patel
Seller: VIP Homes & Associates LLC
Date: 01/30/17

12 Exeter St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $152,000
Buyer: Andrew J. Slowick
Seller: Grammatiki Anderson
Date: 02/01/17

34 Hale St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $257,500
Buyer: Chitra K. Rai
Seller: Patricia A. Pope
Date: 02/01/17

426 Massachusetts Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $156,000
Buyer: Pamela Pratt
Seller: Daniel Nash
Date: 01/27/17

150 Morton St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $133,000
Buyer: FNMA
Seller: Judith A. Connors
Date: 02/02/17

45 Oakland St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $147,500
Buyer: Ashley Cabana
Seller: Howard A. Fife
Date: 01/25/17

51 Oakland St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $202,000
Buyer: Jonathan L. Longenecker
Seller: Fred W. Geiger
Date: 01/30/17

104 Orchardview St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $205,000
Buyer: Kaleshia Estabrook
Seller: Marc A. Sawyer
Date: 01/24/17

28 Rogers Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $185,500
Buyer: Lauren E. Counter
Seller: Ronald C. Kidd
Date: 02/03/17

248 Sibley Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: Meirion W. George
Seller: Elizabeth L. O’Brien
Date: 01/27/17

233 Western Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $115,000
Buyer: CGS Realty LLC
Seller: M. Jerome Fredette
Date: 01/27/17

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY

AMHERST

140 Amity St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $295,000
Buyer: Barry S. Goldstein
Seller: Mario S. Depillis
Date: 01/25/17

19 Birchcroff Lane
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $355,620
Buyer: Eva Hudlicka
Seller: Ann E. Bestor IRT
Date: 01/31/17

27 Greenleaves Dr.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $135,500
Buyer: Elizabeth Tozloski
Seller: Amhad Development Corp.
Date: 01/27/17

202 Harkness Road
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $159,139
Buyer: Hawkness Road TR
Seller: Deutsche Bank
Date: 01/31/17

BELCHERTOWN

50 Center St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $334,000
Buyer: Judith Greenberger
Seller: Commons Group LLC
Date: 01/25/17

16 Oakwood Dr.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $256,000
Buyer: Sylvia E. Ferreira
Seller: Marian M. MacCurdy
Date: 01/31/17

404 Rockrimmon St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: John D. Williams
Seller: John P. Palmer
Date: 01/31/17

33 Westview Dr.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $166,600
Buyer: Robert E. Wojtczak
Seller: Wells Fargo Bank
Date: 01/26/17

CHESTERFIELD

270 Main Road
Chesterfield, MA 01012
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Jenny L. Aultman
Seller: Sherry D. Ouimet
Date: 01/31/17

EASTHAMPTON

8 East Green St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $228,000
Buyer: Michael R. Packard
Seller: Tracey Mcneill
Date: 02/03/17

14 Florence Road
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Daniel J. Ferreira
Seller: Laura J. Patton
Date: 01/23/17

88 Garfield Ave.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $349,000
Buyer: Peter Loeb
Seller: Brandon Reed
Date: 01/31/17

29 Kingsberry Way
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $383,000
Buyer: Lindsay L. McGrath
Seller: Deborah L. Jones
Date: 01/23/17

170 Park St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $360,000
Buyer: Paul G. Davis
Seller: Brian K. Colby
Date: 01/26/17

38 Peloquin Dr.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $172,000
Buyer: Dennis J. Meehan
Seller: Christopher D. Allison
Date: 01/27/17

74 Plain St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $319,000
Buyer: Dennis E. Radgowski
Seller: Lindsay L. McGrath
Date: 01/23/17

16 West St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $196,500
Buyer: Lyle D. Phipps
Seller: Adam M. Fox
Date: 01/26/17

GRANBY

10 Pinebrook Circle
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Derek Mann
Seller: Marni B. Normand
Date: 01/27/17

HADLEY

54 Bay Road
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: CIL Realty Of Mass. Inc.
Seller: Beverly A. Graves IRT
Date: 01/24/17

34 East St.
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Henry J. Filkoski
Seller: Juliana M. Niedbala
Date: 01/27/17

233 Russell St.
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $223,340
Buyer: Lich V. Nguyen
Seller: Deborah L. Pipczynski
Date: 01/30/17

5 Wampanoag Dr.
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $317,500
Buyer: James L. Beadle
Seller: Stephen R. Feltovic
Date: 01/31/17

HATFIELD

7 King St.
Hatfield, MA 01038
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: John P. Klepacki
Seller: John J. Faszcza
Date: 01/26/17

20 Old Farms Road
Hatfield, MA 01038
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Tracey A. McNeill
Seller: Emily R. Cohen
Date: 02/03/17

89 Prospect St.
Hatfield, MA 01038
Amount: $250,900
Buyer: Nicholas J. Zguta
Seller: Lynn Wojewoda
Date: 01/30/17

NORTHAMPTON

263 Brookside Circle
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $213,000
Buyer: Louise L. Norris
Seller: Ian J. Matchett
Date: 01/31/17

167 Chestnut St.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Douglas Thayer
Seller: Kmetz IRT
Date: 02/01/17

24 Clark Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $390,000
Buyer: Kent S. Hicks
Seller: John P. Mistark
Date: 01/30/17

468 Coles Meadow Road
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Sarah L. Creighton
Seller: Margaret P. Hughes
Date: 01/31/17

179 Florence Road
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $151,250
Buyer: Efrain Diaz
Seller: Segundo Cintron
Date: 01/25/17

723 Florence Road
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: Amrik Singh
Seller: Kurt D. Robinson
Date: 01/25/17

96 North Maple St.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $334,000
Buyer: David C. Hill
Seller: Barry S. Goldstein
Date: 01/24/17

118 Spruce Hill Ave.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Caleb Fischer
Seller: David E. Hentz Jr. TR
Date: 01/23/17

PELHAM

Boyden Road
Pelham, MA 01002
Amount: $290,250
Buyer: Town Of Pelham
Seller: Kestrel Land TR
Date: 01/31/17

Boyden Road #160
Pelham, MA 01002
Amount: $120,250
Buyer: Kestrel Land TR
Seller: Marc Gurvitch
Date: 01/31/17

Buffam Road
Pelham, MA 01002
Amount: $290,250
Buyer: Town Of Pelham
Seller: Kestrel Land TR
Date: 01/31/17

59 Enfield Road
Pelham, MA 01002
Amount: $205,000
Buyer: Bank Of America
Seller: John C. Cooper
Date: 02/02/17

North Valley Road (off)
Pelham, MA 01002
Amount: $290,250
Buyer: Town Of Pelham
Seller: Kestrel Land TR
Date: 01/31/17

SOUTH HADLEY

554 Amherst Road
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: US Bank
Seller: Holly A. Labrecque
Date: 01/25/17

34 Boynton Ave.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Minh Lang
Seller: Deborah L. Baker
Date: 02/02/17

3 Cordes Court
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $127,000
Buyer: FNMA
Seller: Doris L. Nadeau
Date: 01/30/17

20 Grandview St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Matthew A. Simard
Seller: John P. Griffin
Date: 01/31/17

14 Lakeview Ave.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $312,500
Buyer: Brendan J. Doyle
Seller: G&A RT
Date: 01/25/17

118 Lyman St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $124,900
Buyer: 4 Seasons Property Maintenance
Seller: FNMA
Date: 01/23/17

9 North St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: Brian R. Demers
Seller: Sarah A. Maxon
Date: 01/31/17

3 White Brook Lane
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $679,000
Buyer: Margaret O. Collenberg
Seller: Ceasar P. Fernandes
Date: 02/01/17

SOUTHAMPTON

10 Glendale Woods Dr.
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $380,000
Buyer: Daryl G. Soares
Seller: Arthur E. Lustenberger
Date: 01/30/17

118 Middle Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $354,900
Buyer: Brian D. Slezek
Seller: Daviau & Hathaway Development LLC
Date: 01/27/17

76 White Loaf Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $295,000
Buyer: Jeffrey Ocampo
Seller: Jaroslaw M. Przybyla
Date: 01/24/17

WARE

433 Belchertown Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $287,000
Buyer: Jason Ohara-Richardson
Seller: Paul B. Morris
Date: 01/27/17

730 Belchertown Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: RTS Welding Fabrication
Seller: Wayne E. Henrichon
Date: 01/26/17

69 Coffey Hill Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $184,500
Buyer: Frank P. Wawro
Seller: Shawn Gersbach
Date: 01/23/17

34 Meadow Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Mark A. Lagimoniere
Seller: Roger H. Pariseau
Date: 02/03/17

19 Shoreline Dr.
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: Charles W. Thomas
Seller: FHLM
Date: 01/25/17

WESTHAMPTON

32 Mine Road
Westhampton, MA 01027
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Charles Braun
Seller: Jean M. Kandrotas
Date: 01/30/17

WILLIAMSBURG

164 Main St.
Williamsburg, MA 01096
Amount: $152,000
Buyer: Barbara F. Bricker
Seller: Lucy G. Krzanowski
Date: 02/03/17

Bankruptcies Departments

The following bankruptcy petitions were recently filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Readers should confirm all information with the court.

Amero, Mary Ann
67 Dole Road
Gill, MA 01354
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/29/17

Baru, Aaron J.
10 East Primrose Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/27/17

Bielawa, Holly A.
50 Tyrone St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 01/27/17

Boudreau, James D.
James D. Boudreau Plumbing
Boudreau, Laurie A.
a/k/a Howard, Laurie A.
85 Russellville Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/31/17

Bruno, Maria
21 Sylvan St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/18/17

Chiarella, Joseph
Chiarella, Emilia
63 Bayberry Road
Hampden, MA 01036
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 01/30/17

Colon, Nilda M.
305 Denver St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/17/17

Duga, Richard V.
111 Regency Park Dr.
Agawam, MA 01001
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/26/17

Eger, Rosemary
80 Robinson Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/31/17

Fabiani, Michael P.
58 Bosworth St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/27/17

GreenGrow LLC
TruePresence
Green, Daniel
498 South Gulf Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/31/17

Hansen, Mayrena P.
2 Conz St., Unit 66
Northampton, MA 01060
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/20/17

Haywood, Eduardo
P.O. Box 80917
Springfield, MA 01138
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/19/17

Heroux, Beth A.
24 Grape St., Apt. 1R
Chicopee, MA 01013
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/31/17

Jackson, Cedric
58 Roosevelt Terrace
Springfield, MA 01109
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 01/29/17

Jacque, Ryan D.
31 Echo Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 01/18/17

Kastrinakis, John G.
PO Box 450
Lenox, MA 01240
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/23/17

Lussier, Patricia Anne
535 Holtshire Road
Orange, MA 01364
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/31/17

McManus, David J.
974 Russell Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/18/17

Melbourne, Chris A.
P.O. Box 1998
Westfield, MA 01085
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/31/17

Miller, Lionel Seon
a/k/a Miller, Mick
19 Honey Pot Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/23/17

Perdomo, Magnolia
116 Middlesex St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 01/29/17

Plante, Amber R.
a/k/a/ O’Strander, Amber
9 Grove Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/18/17

Rodriguez, Jose A.
170 Goodwin St.
Indian Orchard, MA 01151
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 01/28/17

Rotolo, Debbra L.
22 Central Ave.
North Adams, MA 01247
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/30/17

Symiakakis, Nicholas
16 Partridge Dr.
Springfield, MA 01119-2128
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 01/30/17

Vu, Kim Loan T.
Phan, Si V.
111 Polaski Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 01/19/17

DBA Certificates Departments

The following business certificates and trade names were issued or renewed during the month of February 2017.

AMHERST

Market Hill Woodwork, LLC
460 Market Hill Road
Christopher Killion

Sandy’s Barber Shop
96 North Pleasant St.
Sandra Renaud

Theodore’s
230 Sunset Ave., #411
Theo Kalantzakos

BELCHERTOWN

Nate Quieros Electric
15 Ledgewood Dr.
Nathan Quieros

Pamela Schneider Health Co.
55 North St.
Pamela Sotolotto

Sara Vatore
281 Franklin St.
Sara Vatore

CHICOPEE

Casa de Campo Restaurant
108 West St.
Victor Ramos

Design Dental Lab
35 Center St., #201
Diana Shveyko

Lucas Cleaning Services
18 Broadway St.
Lucas Oliveira

Melaney Houle Boutique
17 Graham Dr.
Melaney Houle

Monsita J. Moorehead Tax Services
91 Bell St.
Monsita Moorehead

Talbot Shaving
146 Wilson Ave.
Chad Irish

EAST LONGMEADOW

At Any Length
126 Shaker Road
Vanessa Cestero

Century Fitness Inc.
491 North Main St.
Todd Witwer

Coyne Tax
53 Wellington Dr.
Jonathan Coyne

Pizza Shoppe
134 Shaker Road
Anthony Giuggio, Ralph Giuggio

Stop & Shop Supermarket
470 North Main St.
Stop & Shop Supermarket Co.

GREENFIELD

The Artisan Dragon
34 Mill St.
Kevin Leszczynski

Power of Reiki
10 Fiske Ave., Suite 3
Joan Vauton

The Rusty Hen
347 Federal St.
Deborah Stratton

HAMPDEN

Hampden Beauty Nails
4B Allen St.
Kim Nguyen

Scantic River Child Care
590 Main St.
Sarah Blain

HOLYOKE

Amaranta’s Nail, Hair & Makeup Salon Studio
123 High St.
Luis Baez

The Cottage
1613 Northampton St.
Wendy Werbiskis, Estelle Czamucki, Kathy Manijak

Bermudez Tax Services
610 South Summer St.
Maria Bermudez

Children’s House
513 Beech St.
Sandip Patel

Jaffe & Thurston
158 Morgan St.
Diane Thurston, Arnold Jaffe

Kim’s Nail Salon
98 Lower Westfield Road
Kimchi Huynh

Slainte
80 Jarvis Ave.
Debra Flynn, Jacob Perkins

LUDLOW

C S Auto & Diesel
135 Carmelinas Circle
Christopher Skora

Kenney Remodeling Group Inc.
541 Center St.
James Kenney

Michele Barbeau at Expressions
271 East St.
Michele Barbeau

Stirling Plumbing Co. Inc.
311 R West St.
Gerald Witkop

NORTHAMPTON

ConMed Response Team
69 Woodland Dr.
Tae Kim

Harlow Builders
336 Coles Meadow Road
Scott Harlow

Heart House Studio
68 Cherry St.
Kendra Rosenblatt

Key Step Media
221 Pine St., #408
Hanuman Goleman

Little Lover Family Daycare
24 Indian Hill
Melanie Streeter

Oasis of Grace Healings
30 North King St.
Kimberly Duquette

PALMER

Chris’s Tax Prep & Small Business Bookkeeping
9 Fuller Road
Christine Miarecki

Earth, Wind and Spirit
1118 Park St.
Carol Clark

Gao Wen Ming House
1427 North Main St.
Jin Gao

Images by Sheila
1207 South Main St.
Sheila Pratt

Stellar
90 Ware St.
Wendy Smith

Small Town Motors LLC
1317 Main St.
Freddy Rosario

SOUTHWICK

Balance Salon Inc.
535 College Highway
Susan Manolakis

The Southwick Inn
479 College Highway
Jessica Whalley-Loudon

SPRINGFIELD

Beautiful Nails II
1257 Boston Road
Tony Vo

Cove Home Cleaning Solutions
38 Fallston St.
Cameron Cove

Dream Decor Inc.
794 State St.
Abdul Chaudry

Go! Calendars
1655 Boston Road
Calendar Holdings LLC

Gould’s Building & Remodeling
235 Birchland Ave.
Mark Gould

Liberty Multi Services
6 Aldrew Terrace
Namanh Phan

Lularoe
144 Newhouse St.
Marque Louise

Maxi Truck
75 Keith St.
Jose Dilone

One Stop Discount Liquor
494 Central St.
Dilipkumar Patel

Opportunas
1242 Main St.
Jenny Romero

Roberto Fashion and Music
2633 Main St.
Edwin Perez

Skyline Maids
1188 Parker St.
Mariela Cruz

The Tile Guy
83 Meadowlark Lane
Christopher Robert

WARE

Erickson Sandblast
34 ½ Pleasant St.
Roy Erickson

WEST SPRINGFIELD

AFC Urgent Care
18 Union St.
Richard Crews

Beauty Nail
201 Elm St.
Thao Hai Ly

Cellore
774 Main St.
Vusal Gasimov

Homewatch Caregivers
425 Union St.
Lori Mgrdichian

Medina’s Boutique
411 Main St.
Jasmina Becar

P.E.C. Rivera Transport LLC
84 Westfield St.
Pedro Rivera

Perfect Fit Dental Lab
442 Westfield St.
Yuri Murzin

Red Carpet Inn
560 Riverdale St.
Rajendra Patel

YMCA of Greater Springfield
79 Great Plains Road
Scott Berg

YMCA of Greater Springfield
114 Birch Park Circle
Scott Berg

WILBRAHAM

Andrasa Arts & Antiques
14 Woodland Dell Road
Heather Anderson

Great Expressions Dental
2141 Boston Road
James Sarcheck, Gregory Nodland

Haink
14 Woodland Dell Road
Heather Anderson

Naman Corp.
461-465 Main St.
Niraben Patel, Mitesh Patel

Prime Storage
2535 Boston Road
Robert Moser

Prime Group Wilbraham, LLC
2350 Boston Road
Robert Moser

Spartan Auto Care Center
2714 Boston Road
GPC DEC, LLC

Departments Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.

BELCHERTOWN

Medical and Life Care Consulting Services Inc., 38 Barton Ave., Belchertown, MA 01007. Cynthia M. Bourbeau, same. Medical consultation.

CHICOPEE

JFR Investments Inc., 26 Lorraine St., Chicopee, MA 01013. Fernando Ramirez, same. Real estate.

M&S Bluebird Inc., 727 Grattan St., Chicopee, MA 01020. Stanley R. Grochmal, Jr., 26 Candlewood Drive, Otis, MA 01253. Rental mobile home park.

HOLYOKE

Mater Dolorosa Church Preservation Society of Holyoke Inc., 62 Richard Eger Dr., Holyoke MA 01040. John Fydenkevez, 384 East Main St., Chicopee, MA 01020. Nonprofit organization designed to preserve and maintain the Mater Dolorosa Church building at 71 Maple St. in Holyoke, Massachusetts, for its historical and architectural attributes.

PITTSFIELD

Movemint Inc., 82 Wendell Ave., Suite 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Julian Dano, same. Nonprofit committed to combining innovation in technology and nonprofit work to establish and support sustainable projects for communities in need which benefit education, health, economy, environment, and other designated areas within a given community.

Hearing Aid Associates Inc., 169 1st St., Pittsfield, MA 01201. Darren Rucch, same. Sales — selling hearing aids.

SPRINGFIELD

Krex Transport Inc., 32 Lindsay Road, Springfield, MA 01128. Kevin C. Roberts, same. Delivery services.

Liu 138 USA Inc., 309 Berkshire Ave., Springfield, MA 01109. Wen Qing Liu, 141-15 33rd St., Flushing, BY 11354. Food services.

Lou Cadorette & Co., 11 Maplewood Terrace, Springfield, MA 01108. Lou Cadorette, same. Business consulting and tax preparation.

SOUTH DEERFIELD

Mighty Mentorship Inc., 18 Grey Oak Lane, South Deerfield, MA 01373. Justin Denial Davis, same. Nonprofit organization mentoring emerging adults and military veterans to encourage positive personal results to benefit the community.

SOUTHWICK

LJ’s Unlimited Landscaping Inc., 10 Lexington Circle, Southwick, MA 01077. Leonard J. Allen III, same. Lawn care and landscaping.

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Kalmm Times Child-Center Corp, 30 Ames Ave., West Springfield, MA 01089. Keyla Diaz, same. Child care services.

Chamber Corners Departments

1BERKSHIRE
www.1berkshire.com
(413) 499-1600

• March 15: Chamber Nite, 5-7 p.m., at Community Health Programs, 71 Hospital Ave., North Adams. Bring your business card so you can enter to win a door prize. Cost: free.

• March 29: Career Fair, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Berkshire Community College, Paterson Field House, 1350 West St., Pittsfield. Get in front of Berkshire-based businesses at this annual event. This event is open to the public and is free. No registration is required.

• March 29: Brown Bag Fundraising, noon-1 p.m., at 1Berkshire Central Station, 66 Allen St., Pittsfield. Cost: Free

Register online for events at www.1berkshire.com.

EAST OF THE RIVER
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.erc5.com
(413) 575-7230

• April 27: The Feast in the East, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse, 128 Wilbraham Road, Hampden. This event is open to the public. The ERC5 is preparing to host 30 of the finest restaurants in our area to serve delicious and decadent signature dishes to guests. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available at www.erc5.com. Call Nancy Connor, executive director, at (413) 575-7230 with questions.

GREATER CHICOPEE
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.chicopeechamber.org
(413) 594-2101

• March 8: Salute Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., at the Delaney House, 3 Country Club Road, Holyoke. Salutes include Berkshire Bank/165-year anniversary; Chicopee Industrial Contractors/25-year anniversary; Chicopee Colleen and her court; and a Bow of Recognition to Clear Vision Alliance for a 10-year anniversary. Cost: $23 for members, $28 for non-members. To register, visit www.chicopeechamber.org.

• March 16: CEO Luncheon featuring Raymond Berry, president and general manager of White Lion Brewing Co., 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Collegian Court Restaurant, 89 Park St., Chicopee. Cost: $30 for members, $35 for non-members. To register, visit www.chicopeechamber.org.

• March 22: Business After Hours with the Springfield Regional Chamber, 4:30-6:30 p.m., hosted by Springfield Thunderbirds main office, 45 Bruce Landon Way, Springfield. Networking, raffle prizes, shoot-the-puck contest on the ice, Plan B Burger, and a cash bar available. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. To register, visit www.chicopeechamber.org.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.easthamptonchamber.org
(413) 527-9414

• April 12: Business Expo, 4:30-7 p.m., at the Bartley Center at Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Ave., Holyoke. Sponsored by Florence Bank, Williston Northampton School, and Green Earth Energy PhotoVoltaic. The Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the chambers of Holyoke, Chicopee, and Northampton for a Business Expo. The chambers are now accepting reservations for tables. The cost is $150 if reserved by March 29, and $200 after that date. Table fee includes a 6’ x 30” skirted table, two entrance passes, a light supper, and free parking. Sponsorships are also available. For more information, call the chamber at (413) 527-9414 or e-mail [email protected]

GREATER WESTFIELD
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.westfieldbiz.org
(413) 568-1618

• March 6: Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m., at Armbrook Village, 551 North Road, Westfield. Join us for our monthly Mayor’s Coffee Hour with Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan. Free and open to the public. Call (413) 568-1618 to register for this event.

• March 8: After 5 Connection, 5-7 p.m., at Shaker Farms Country Club, 866 Shaker Road, Westfield. Sponsored by Camp K-9 Doggie Day Camp. Refreshments will be served, and there will be a 50/50 raffle to benefit our CSF – Dollars for Scholars fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Cost: free for members, $10 for general admission (cash/credit paid at the door). Online registration will be made available at www.westfieldbiz.org. For more information, call Pam at the Chamber at (413) 568-1618.

• March 15: St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, 6-10:30 p.m., at Tekoa Country Club, 459 Russell Road, Westfield. Sponsored by Westfield Bank, platinum sponsor; Savage Arms, gold sponsor; A Plus HVAC Inc., silver sponsor; NorthPoint Mortgage, beer sponsor; and Mercy Continuing Care Network, dessert table sponsor. Join us for our St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, 6-6:30 p.m.; cocktails and networking, 6:30-7:30 p.m.; dinner and program, 7:30-10:30 p.m.; music and dancing. Cost: $38 for singles, $70 for couples, and $300 for a table of eight. Featuring Band O’Brothers, an Irish/American band. For sponsorship opportunities, call the chamber office at (413) 568-1618. To register, visit www.westfieldbiz.org.

• March 24: Employment Law Workshop, 8:30-10 a.m., at the Holiday Inn Express, 39 Southampton Road, Westfield. Topic: “Managing Employee Appearance and Religious Accommodations in the Workplace.” Join attorney Karina Schrengohst for a roundtable-style seminar to discuss appearance in the workplace and religious accommodations, including an overview of religious-discrimination law; dress and appearance standards; body modification (tattoos and piercings); an workplace culture, individual self-expression, and employee retention. Cost: free for members, $30 for general admission paid in advance. Online registration will be made available at www.westfieldbiz.org. For more information, call Pam at the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S CHAMBER
www.myonlinechamber.com
(413) 787-1555

• March 22: Professional Women’s Chamber Headline Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Location to be determined. Cost: $30 for PWC members, $40 for general admission.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER
www.myonlinechamber.com
(413) 787-1555

• March 6: Outlook 2017, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at MassMutual Center, 1277 State St., Springfield. Cost: $50 for members, $70 for general admission. Reservation deadline: Feb. 22. No walk-ins accepted. No cancellations after RSVP deadline.

• March 8: Lunch ‘n’ Learn, “Apprentices and Internships: The Real Deal,” 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Lattitude Restaurant, 1338 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Presented by David Cruise, president of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. Cost: $25 for members in advance ($30 at the door), $35 for general admission ($40 at the door).

• March 14: Speed Networking, 3:30-5 p.m., at Lattitude, 1338 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Cost: $20 for members in advance ($25 at the door), $30 for general admission in advance ($35 at the door).

• March 22: “Power Play” After 5, 4:30-7 p.m., hosted by the Springfield Thunderbirds, MassMutual Center, 1277 State St., Springfield. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for general admission. Special event presented jointly with the Springfield Regional Chamber and the Greater Chicopee Chamber.

• March 28: Pastries, Politics & Policy, 8-9 a.m., at TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main St., Springfield. Cost: $15 for members in advance ($20 at the door), $25 for general admission in advance ($30 at the door).

Reservations for all chamber events may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com.

WEST OF THE RIVER
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.ourwrc.com
(413) 426-3880

• March 16: Networking Lunch, noon to 1:30 p.m., at Crestview Country Club, Agawam. You must be a member or guest of a member to attend. Enjoy a sit-down lunch while networking with fellow chamber members. Each attendee will get a chance to offer a brief sales pitch. The only cost to attend is the cost of your lunch. Attendees will order off the menu and pay separately that day. We cannot invoice you for these events. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880 or [email protected]

• March 23: Business 2 Business Meet and Greet with West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt. 7:30 a.m., hosted by Fathers & Sons, 989 Memorial Dr., West Springfield. A casual meet and greet with local businesses and the mayor.

Departments People on the Move
 David Griffin Jr.

David Griffin Jr.

The Dowd Insurance Agencies announced that David Griffin Jr. has been promoted to Vice President. Griffin is based out of the Holyoke office and works with the other branches based in Hadley, Southampton, Ludlow, and Indian Orchard. “The Dowd Insurance Agencies is the oldest family-owned agency in Massachusetts,” said David Griffin Sr., “and I am very proud that my son has chosen to continue that legacy of family leadership. We look forward to the future with a strong management team in place. Now a part of that team, Dave earned his place by honing in on his sales and customer-service skills and adding responsibilities that benefit our internal team and our customers.” Griffin began his role as vice president this past December and looks forward to continuing to grow the organization through new-business development, strategic initiatives, operational efficiency, and managing the firm’s use of technology. “Dave has grown considerably in his evolving role here at Dowd,” said John Dowd Jr., president and CEO of the Dowd Insurance Agencies. “While sales is his primary function, his aptitude and enthusiasm for technology has been a welcome skill set for our agency, and he is now in charge of IT here at Dowd. Dave has demonstrated a command of these responsibilities in a relatively short period of time. We decided it was time to make him an officer of the corporation where he can interact regularly with senior management and help manage the overall direction of the agency going forward.” David Griffin Jr. has been a member of the Dowd team since June 2009. He began his career in the insurance industry as a property and casualty underwriter for Liberty Mutual with stops in Schaumburg, Ill. and Charlotte, N.C., before coming back to Western Mass. He is a 2007 graduate of Bentley University in Waltham, where he earned his degree in finance, and he received his designation as a certified insurance counselor in 2014. Currently, Griffin is an active member of the community, serving on the boards of directors for the Holyoke Rotary Club, the Sisters of Providence Health System (foundation board), and Wistariahurst. Additionally, he also supports the United Way of Pioneer Valley as a member of the resource development committee.

••••••

 

Sarah Knowlton

Sarah Knowlton

Molly Desroches

Molly Desroches

United Personnel announced the recent promotion of two staff members: Sarah Knowlton and Molly Desroches. Knowlton, formerly a junior recruiter and administrative coordinator for the Professional Staffing Division in Springfield, has been promoted to the Light Industrial Staffing Division’s Recruiter position. She has been with United Personnel for two and a half years. In her new role, she will work on the candidate pipeline for some of United Personnel’s largest clients. Knowlton is currently enrolled in the business administration program at Holyoke Community College in pursuit of her associate degree. Desroches, formerly a Light Industrial Staffing senior recruiter, has been promoted to staffing consultant for United Personnel’s Professional Staffing Division. Desroches, hired the same day as Knowlton, will serve as a resource for United Personnel’s clients and candidates, overseeing contract and direct-hire placements. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Bryant University. She is captain of a Holyoke recreational soccer team and an ambassador for the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce. Both Knowlton and Desroches serve on United Personnel’s social-media team, leveraging their human-resources knowledge to create content for various social-media platforms. “The United team is proud to see two colleagues earn promotions as part of our ‘promote from within’ policy,” President Tricia Canavan said. “We look forward to the innovation and creativity they will bring to their new roles.”

•••••

 

Meghan Avery

Meghan Avery

Unemployment Tax Control Associates Inc. (UTCA), a national unemployment-insurance service provider based in Springfield with an office in Boston, announced the promotion of Meghan Avery to Director of Operations. Avery draws expertise from her undergraduate studies at Hofstra University and brings nearly a decade of professional experience to UTCA, six of which were gleaned in-house. She joined the team as senior analyst in 2011, quickly advancing to lead analyst and then Client Services manager, before her most current promotion. As director of Operations, she will oversee client services and all aspects of the claims department, management education, and sales functions. She will manage key areas of the operational budget and employee development. Additionally, liaising with the CEO and director of Finance, she will be tasked with deliverables related to the company’s financial objectives, profitability, and alignment of corporate strategic goals. “Meghan’s promotion is certainly well-deserved. In addition to commendable qualifications and experience, she has demonstrated success in-house relative to operational performance,” said Tim Phelan, chief legal counsel and vice president of Client Services. “Drawing on her expertise in the cost-management area of our business, Meghan’s talents have supported the growth of UTCA, furthering the company’s ability to effectively speak to our value proposition. She is a rising star at UTCA and embodies our mission of providing the best service in the industry focusing on the client, first and foremost.”

•••••

Ruby Pontbriand has joined the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley as its Marketing and Communications Director. She brings more than five years of experience, having previously served as a corporate marketing communications specialist at MAPFRE Insurance in Webster. Previous positions include front office manager and sales director at the Hampton Inn in Sturbridge. For two years, she served as a peer advisor at the Worcester State University Academic Success Center. Pontbriand is a 2011 magna cum laude graduate of Worcester State University with a major in communications and a concentration in public communications, with a minor in theatre. Additional staff changes announced by the 1,600-member trade association include the following title changes for current staff: Laura Herring from education coordinator to director of operations, and Kim Harrison from membership and outreach coordinator to membership and meetings coordinator.

•••••

 

David Horgan

David Horgan

David Horgan was recently named Director of Advertising for Pride Markets. His focus has been launching the Pride 100 anniversary celebration, with outreach through television, radio, MassLive, and a newly launched website. His experience includes creating the early Gary Rome and Marcotte Ford TV campaigns, as well as election commercials for more than 30 winners, including U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and state Sen. James Welch. Previously, Horgan was director of Marketing for 1st Alliance Lending in Hartford. As part of the ongoing Pride Gives Back program, he teaches media and filmmaking to inner-city children at the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts on Wednesdays.

•••••

NetLogix recently welcomed Jenny Aldrich as Business Development Representative. Aldrich brings a background in a variety of technology organizations, ranging from IT network planning, security, and management, as well as SaaS business applications. Leveraging her experience with medical and insurance business systems will be a benefit to NetLogix’s new clients. Over the years, she has seen firsthand where IT networking solutions have provided stability, security, and growth to companies in the legal, medical, insurance, nonprofit, manufacturing, distribution, banking, and engineering fields. “I really enjoy helping companies focus on their ‘top line’ by delivering effective technology solutions,” Aldrich said. “I have worked for large, small, and tech startup companies, and one thing stays consistent: you have to really love your clients’ business as much as they do.” Added Marco Liquori, NetLogix CEO, “I am extremely excited about the opportunities that Jenny can create for NetLogix. The addition of a dedicated resource for new clients is a key to our success.”

Court Dockets Departments

The following is a compilation of recent lawsuits involving area businesses and organizations. These are strictly allegations that have yet to be proven in a court of law. Readers are advised to contact the parties listed, or the court, for more information concerning the individual claims.

CHICOPEE DISTRICT COURT

Timothy Shannon v. Pride Stores LLC
Allegation: Slip and fall causing injury: $24,999
Filed: 1/19/17

FRANKLIN DISTRICT COURT

Thomas Hodak v. Beau Geste XXV, LLC and Doubletree Suites by Hilton
Allegation: Slip and fall causing injury: $24,999
Filed: 2/1/17

FRANKLIN SUPERIOR COURT

Rexel Inc. d/b/a Capital Light & Supply Co. Inc. v. Atlantic Furniture Inc.
Allegation: Monies owed for services, labor, and materials: $33,496.66
Filed: 1/4/17

HAMPDEN DISTRICT COURT

Luis Hernandez v. Shoukat & Saeed Inc. and S & S Food Mart
Allegation: Slip and fall causing injury: $24,000
Filed: 1/20/17

Jerri Lynn Myrick v. Big Y Foods Inc.
Allegation: Slip and fall causing injury: $9,012.41
Filed: 1/23/17

HAMPDEN SUPERIOR COURT

Richard Aponte v. Crystal Brook Landscape Construction Inc.
Allegation: Negligence in construction of stairs causing injury: $46,800
Filed: 2/6/17

Joshua Lewis v. Hurley & David Inc.
Allegation: Employment discrimination: $25,000+
Filed: 2/7/17

Patrizia Politi v. Springfield Riverfront Development Corp., Springfield Riverfront Condominium Assoc., and the Hanover Insurance Group Inc.
Allegation: Slip and fall causing injury
Filed: 2/7/17

Ondrick Materials & Recycling, LLC v. Palmer Motorsports Park, LLC
Allegation: Monies owed for goods sold and delivered: $98,261.30
Filed: 2/8/17

William Roach v. Joseph Hamm d/b/a Hamm’s Welding & Trailers
Allegation: Slip and fall causing injury: $350,000
Filed: 2/8/17

HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT COURT

Evelyn Stankowski v. the Blue Rock Restaurant and Bar, LLC
Allegation: Non-payment of overtime wages: $1,240.37
Filed: 1/25/17
Sherwin-Williams Co. v. Paul Shepard d/b/a Gentlemen Painters
Allegation: Monies owed for goods sold and delivered: $6,638.18
Filed: 1/26/17

HAMPSHIRE SUPERIOR COURT

Jeffrey Zesiger, MD v. Cooley Dickinson Hospital and Cooley Dickinson Medical Group a/k/a Cooley Dickinson Practice Assoc.
Allegation: Breach of contract: $25,000+
Filed: 2/3/17

David Jackson and Elaine Stinson v. David Kaufman, MD; Fred Kim, MD; Phillip Kick, MD; Valley Medical Group, P.C.; and Urology Group of Western New England, P.C.
Allegation: Medical malpractice: $1,375,000
Filed: 2/6/17

HOLYOKE DISTRICT COURT

Ariana Garcia as mother and next friend of Ariana Garcia, a minor, v. Pyramid Management Group, LLC
Allegation: Slip and fall causing injury: $3,300
Filed: 1/20/17

Departments Picture This

A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts March 7, 2017
Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

Spreading Light

I Found Light Against All Odds, a television program hosted and co-produced by Stefan Davis, provides high-risk youth and families with tools and opportunities to break the cycle of poverty, desperation, and dependence that dominates their lives, enabling them to become contributing members of the community. Pictured at a recent meet and greet in Wilbraham for I Found Light Against All Odds are, from left, Lisa Leary; John Doleva, president and CEO, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; Lauri Doleva; Kim Sanborn, board member, I Found Light Against All Odds; Davis; Lori Berg, and Scott Berg, president and CEO, YMCA of Greater Springfield.

I Found Light Against All Odds, a television program hosted and co-produced by Stefan Davis, provides high-risk youth and families with tools and opportunities to break the cycle of poverty, desperation, and dependence that dominates their lives, enabling them to become contributing members of the community. Pictured at a recent meet and greet in Wilbraham for I Found Light Against All Odds are, from left, Lisa Leary; John Doleva, president and CEO, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; Lauri Doleva; Kim Sanborn, board member, I Found Light Against All Odds; Davis; Lori Berg, and Scott Berg, president and CEO, YMCA of Greater Springfield.

Agenda Departments

‘Sport and Diplomacy’

March 8: Retired U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer Hugh Dugan will present “Sport and Diplomacy” at the Center for International Sport Business (CISB) program series, “For the Love of the Games.” The presentation will take place at 7 p.m. in the Lyman and Leslie Wood Auditorium in Sleith Hall at Western New England University. Dugan currently serves as a distinguished visiting scholar and fellow at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. The intersection of sports and diplomacy can be difficult, but rewarding. Dugan will talk about his diplomatic career spanning 32 years, including serving as senior adviser to 11 U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations, and his work to secure adoption of the ancient tradition of the Olympic Truce by the UN General Assembly. This event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Western New England University Alumni Assoc. Established in 2007, the CISB is a forum for the study of the business of sport with an international focus. In addition to the distinguished-speaker program that brings prominent personalities from sport and business to the university community, the CISB organizes a summer seminar-abroad program that takes students to the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup.

Caritas Gala

March 11: Mercy Medical Center will present the first annual Caritas Gala at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Themed “All You Need Is Love,” the inaugural gala will raise funds to expand and enhance Mercy Behavioral Health Care’s Opioid Treatment and Addiction Recovery programs. The major goal of the project is to create a new inpatient step-down treatment program for post-detox services, giving individuals a better chance at long-term recovery. John Sjoberg and Brenda Garton-Sjoberg are the Caritas Gala honorary chairpersons. Sjoberg serves as chairman of the board for Mercy and as vice chairman of the board for Trinity Health New England. Garton-Sjoberg has served as honorary chairperson of Mercy Gift of Light. The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Beantown, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., followed by a live auction and dancing until midnight. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.mercycares.com/caritasgala.

Difference Makers

March 30: The ninth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners, profiled in the Jan. 23 issue and at BusinessWest.com, are the Community Colleges of Western Mass. (Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, and
Springfield Technical Community College); Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round; Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western Mass.; and Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One. Tickets to the event cost $65 per person, with tables of 10 available. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Details on the event will be published in upcoming issues of the magazine. Sponsors include First American Insurance; Health New England; JGS Lifecare; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Northwestern Mutual; O’Connell Care at Home; Royal, P.C.; and Sunshine Village.

‘Mini Golf in the Library’

April 7-8: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library will host its second annual “Mini Golf in the Library” fund-raiser on the weekend of April 7-8. Hole sponsors and event sponsors are now being recruited. At last spring’s event, more than 250 players putted their way through five levels of the Holyoke Public Library building, laughing and enjoying unique obstacles added by enterprising hole sponsors. Funds raised help the Friends of the Library support library programs and resources, especially those for children and youth. Sponsors will be publicized and thanked in local media, social media, and the library’s website in connection with this event. Logos of sponsors will be printed on the scorecard given to each player. Names of sponsors will be displayed in the library, ranked by level of sponsorship. Sponsors will be invited as guests to the Friday-evening cocktail party, with the opportunity to preview (and play through) the course. In addition to event sponsors and hole sponsors, the event planning committee, chaired by Sandy Ward, is seeking donors of in-kind services and items for a silent auction to be held during the Friday cocktail party. Hole sponsorships start at $250. Those who wish to sponsor (and decorate) one of the 18 holes are encouraged to act quickly, as holes are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Event sponsorships are available at five levels ranging from $250 to $1,000. An exclusive title sponsorship is possible at $2,500. For more information, visit www.holyokelibrary.org/aboutfriendsgolf.asp or e-mail Sandy Ward at [email protected].

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College Assistant Professor of Physical Education Tan Leng Goh recently received the 2017 Hally Beth Poindexter Young Scholar Award presented by the National Assoc. for Kinesiology in Higher Education (NAKHE). The award was presented at the annual NAKHE Conference in Orlando, Fla.

“Tan Leng Goh’s recent award from NAKHE is a true testament to her commitment to her scholarly work,” said Springfield College School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Dean Tracey Matthews. “I look forward to her continued scholarly successes at Springfield College.”

During the 2017 NAKHE’s annual conference, Goh presented her paper titled, “Children’s Physical Activity and On-task Behavior Following Active Academic Lessons.”

Goh’s presentation focused on the amount of hours a day children remain sitting when receiving academic instruction. Goh’s presentation hypothesizes that sitting for an extended amount of time is detrimental to children’s physical health, and may cause off-task behavior in the classroom. The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of active academic lessons on children’s physical activity and on-task behavior.

The NAKHE organization provides a forum for interdisciplinary ideas, concepts, and issues related to the role of kinesiology subdisciplines in higher education with respect for social, cultural, and personal perspectives.

Kinesiology is an academic discipline, which involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society, and quality of life. It includes, but is not limited to, such areas of study as exercise science, sports management, athletic training and sports medicine, socio-cultural analyses of sports, sport and exercise psychology, fitness leadership, physical education-teacher education, and pre-professional training for physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine and other health-related fields.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The health information technology program at Springfield Technical Community College was awarded accreditation, a big step forward for an area of study that can help hospital workers like Pamela Rau advance in their careers.

Rau, 53, of Southampton, worked at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield for more than 20 years when she decided to seek an associate degree in health information technology from STCC. She needed the diploma to continue working as a supervisor in health information management. Rau was part of the first graduating class in June.

“It was interesting because what I learned on the job coincided with what I learned in school,” Rau said. “And the things I learned in school helped me grow in this position in my job. I was very impressed with the program.”

Her next step is to take a certification exam to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT). She also hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in health care administration. But her academic journey started with STCC’s Health Informatics and Information Management (HIIM) program, which awards degrees in health information technology. On Dec. 20, the two-year-old program received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).

Accreditation, a tool for assuring academic quality, shows that the program meets a certain minimum standard. A graduate of the accredited HIIM program at STCC becomes eligible to take professional certification exams.

Tracey A. McKethan, department chair and professor of health information technology, said the program went through a rigorous process involving an on-site review by accreditors and met 33 standards. “There are no other programs like this in Western or Central Mass. or in Northern Conn.,” McKethan said, noting that STCC’s program has a 100% graduation rate.

The HIIM program prepares students, who are awarded degrees in health information technology, for certification and practice as registered health information technicians. The program has transfer agreements with four-year institutions, which means students can apply their credits from STCC to pursue bachelor’s degrees. Master’s programs also are available.

The technicians typically work at hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, mental health centers or large medical practices. As the custodians of patient medical records, the technicians must be able to translate complex data into understandable, interesting and simplified information for the general public.

“It’s a growing field,” McKethan said. “With more regulations being pushed out by the government and insurance companies, you really need these highly skilled, credentialed people in certain positions at hospitals and larger practices.”

For more information, call the admissions office at (413) 755-3333 or visit www.stcc.edu/apply. Fall applications are due by April 30.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Regional Chamber will stage its popular Speed Networking event on March 14 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Lattitude, 1338 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. The event provides attendees with a quick and entertaining opportunity to introduce themselves and pitch their company to the other attendees.

The core concept to speed networking is the “elevator speech,” a short summary of an individual, business, organization, product or service — a summary that a person could deliver in the time span of a short elevator ride. Attendees will be divided into two groups, seated across from each other. Each group member will have 60 seconds to give his/her elevator speech to the person seated directly across from him/her. Once each member has given their elevator speech, they will change seats and the process will begin again with a new partner. The round robin format of networking will continue until the event is over.

Only one person per company can attend the event so that attendees are able to meet with someone from a different company at each interaction.

The event will begin with registration and light refreshments at 3:30 p.m. To accommodate the event, no admittance will be allowed after 3:55 p.m. Reservations are $20 in advance for members ($25 at the door), $30 for general admission ($35 at the door). Reservations must be made online and in advance at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by contacting [email protected].

Daily News

WARE — Country Bank announced that Blair Robidoux has been appointed branch manager of the West Street Office. It also welcomes two new branch managers to its Retail Banking Division — Elise Kowal and Melissa Mann.

Blair has been with the bank for 12 years and began her career as a teller before working her way up to branch manager. Robidoux’s strong operational and management skills along with her desire to help people, provides exceptional leadership at one of the bank’s busiest offices.

Kowal is located at the West Brookfield Office and has been in banking for more than eight years. She began her career at Country Bank as a teller and worked her way to a teller supervisor position before moving to the bank’s Corporate Risk Department. She will graduate this summer from Western New England University, where she is studying for her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. “I love working with people, educating others, and providing encouragement and guidance in reaching their professional and financial goals,” she said.

Mann will work in the Belchertown Office. She has been in the banking industry for 14 years in various positions in Western Mass. and Central Conn., most recently at PeoplesBank in Sixteen Acres. She is a graduate of Belchertown High School. Relocations, family needs, and professional development have brought her back to Belchertown.

“As a branch manager, I’m most proud of the personal connections that my team builds with our customers,” she said. “We want our customers to know just how much we appreciate them.”

Features

The Time Is Now

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After roughly 40 years of being mostly relegated to Springfield’s past, Union Station is set to begin what will certainly be an intriguing new life. As the station sets to open next month, however, questions remain about just how viable it will be as a business and economic driver. The Union Station in Worcester provides some interesting parallels and talking points.

In many ways, the giant clock in the grand concourse at Springfield’s Union Station has served as a symbol, or metaphor, for that landmark and efforts to revitalize it.

Indeed, for the better part of four decades, time essentially stood still — for the clock (its ornate bronze hands never moved during that time) and for the station itself, which sat mostly idle and, like the timepiece, continued to deteriorate inside and out.

Today, though, the 54-inch-wide clock is functional again, having been repaired by a Medfield-based company that specializes in such work and returned to its place at the south end of the concourse. And the station will soon be functional as well; it is on schedule to be open and serving as a transportation hub next month.

And the comparisons continue. The clock required an extensive makeover, including replacement of its inner mechanism and a surface overhaul. The station? Its multi-faceted renovation has taken several years, and the price tag, when all is said and done, will be north of $80 million.

The clock in Union Station’s concourse before restoration

The clock in Union Station’s concourse before restoration

... and after the work was completed

… and after the work was completed

However, it is at this point that the story lines separate. The clock has been repaired, and its future is no longer in doubt.

The same cannot exactly be said of the station, although there is considerable optimism about what comes next, at least among city development leaders.

Train travel is becoming a larger part of the economic-development picture in the Northeast corridor, and Union Station is well-positioned to play an important part in such efforts. Meanwhile, the station will be a hub for inner-city and perhaps intra-city bus travel as well.

But the station has long been touted as a much larger piece of the economic-development puzzle than that of a mere train and bus station. It is being projected as both a catalyst to further development — of both businesses and residential facilities — as well as home to a number of businesses in its nearly 100,000 square feet of available retail space, a key to its ability to function as something approximating a break-even business.

Chris Moskal, president of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority (SRA), told BusinessWest that three vendors have already signed on the dotted line for spaces adjacent to the concourse, and there is considerable interest in some of the available office space above it.

There is more positive news in the form of language within the host-community agreement between MGM and Springfield, said Moskal. It calls for the casino company to pay $7.5 million over the next 15 years toward the costs of operating the station and fitting out space for tenants — an option MGM chose over actually locating at the station itself.

This $500,000 annually should help the facility stem whatever losses it might incur in meeting what is currently projected to be a $750,000 annual operating budget (a number certainly subject to change), with the bulk of that going toward maintenance and security, said Moskal.

But since the restoration of Springfield’s Union Station began, comparisons to the one in Worcester have been inevitable and seemingly constant, and in many ways, this has been unfortunate for the local landmark, because these comparisons serve as a counterweight to the expressed optimism.

That’s because Worcester’s station has mostly been described locally with terms such as ‘under-performing,’ ‘disappointing,’ and ‘unsuccessful.’ And these words are, in fact, accurate, at least when it comes to the real-estate and fiscal performance sides of the equation; the station is expected to run roughly $600,000 in the red this fiscal year, slightly more than the average lately due to some needed maintenance work, and by most accounts, only half its available commercial space is under lease.

They were attracted to that area because of the train station. People can live there, take the train to a job in Wellesley or Newton or Boston; this rail service shortens the distance to those communities.”

But from a bigger-picture perspective, the station (and the vastly improved commuter rail service that has come because of it) are succeeding in their primary role, that of spurring economic development, said Stuart Loosemore, general council and director of Government Affairs and Public Policy for the Greater Worcester Chamber of Commerce.

Elaborating, he spoke of concentric circles and how development, in the form of market-rate housing, a new hotel, additional restaurants, and more have emanated out from the station, if you will, as train runs from Worcester to Boston have increased to more than 20 a day, including the popular, non-stop Heart to Hub trip, which leaves Union Station at 8 a.m.

“And it gets to Boston in an hour or less,” Loosemore explained, adding that commuting by car will likely take half again as long and bring other inconveniences and expenses, including parking. “That makes it much easier to live in Worcester and get to work or school in Boston; it’s bringing that city much closer.”

Whether similar developments will take shape in Springfield remain to be seen, especially since there isn’t a logical destination for riders, as there is in Worcester with Boston. In keeping with the theme of this story, time will tell.

Soon, though, the speculation about this city’s Union Station — again, about 40 years of it — will soon end, and its next life will begin.

In other words, the time is now.

Hour Town

Tom Erb says the assignment to restore the concourse clock at Union Station, as well as others at that facility, was in most ways typical of those taken on by his family business, Electric Time Co. Inc. And its condition when it arrived at the shop was also typical of what the company has witnessed at several old train-station projects in its vast portfolio, including a recent one in Kansas City.

In short, water had leaked onto and into the clock, manufactured by the Springfield-based Standard Electric Time Co., he explained, requiring extensive repair work to its brass and marble components.

“They were very sad-looking,” he said of the group of clocks and especially the concourse timepiece. “A few of them were missing numbers, which we had to recreate using an oxidizing compound to make them look old … they needed quite a bit of work.

“We replaced the mechanism in the main clock, which was in very bad shape,” continued Erb, whose company has worked on many projects in Western Mass., from restoration of the clock on the Springfield Armory Museum to installation of the massive timepiece now gracing the entrance to the Great River Bridge in Westfield. “We reused the existing clock hands and gave it a small control along with a receiver that latches into atomic time, so the clock will always be absolutely perfect, which is important at a train station.”

The concourse clock is one of many examples of blending old with the new at Union Station, said Kevin Kennedy, Springfield’s chief development officer, as he gave a tour of the facility.

Kevin Kennedy

Kevin Kennedy says the renovated Union Station, and especially its grand concourse, will feature an intriguing blend of the old and the modern.

To get his points across, all Kennedy, who has been involved with redevelopment of the station for roughly 30 years now, needed to do was gesture with his arm across the concourse and just beyond. With that sweep, he pointed out the recently installed retail kiosks, the station’s original (and restored) terrazzo floor, modern exit lights juxtaposed against the original archways, original (and restored) sconces in the ceiling, and wi-fi hook-ups.

“This is an historical renovation,” he explained. “What stands out to me are two things — the neatness of that historical renovation, but also the modern codes of today that require these brightly lit exit signs. You have the 21st century coming together with 1926, and it’s pretty cool.”

The old and new will come together in dramatic and artistic fashion within the renovated tunnel linking the station with downtown Springfield, he went on, noting that there, elaborate murals depicting the history of the station and the city will be installed as part of a project being undertaken in conjunction with Springfield Museums.

While these murals will no doubt become a conversation piece and an attraction in and of themselves, those involved with the station project — especially U.S. Rep. Richard Neal — have stressed that $80 million hasn’t been spent in the name of nostalgia or to establish a museum.

Rather, it’s been spent to create a transportation hub — which the station was for decades before the decline of rail travel — as well as a business center and catalyst for further economic development.

There is little doubt that it will become at least the former. Indeed, 14 trains will soon be moving in and out of the station daily as part of expanded service in the northeast corridor, especially between Springfield and New Haven through what’s known as the Connecticut Line. Meanwhile, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority will make the station its hub, with roughly 700 buses running in and out every day.

Intra-city bus service remains a question mark, however. Negotiations continue with Peter Pan Bus Lines, headquartered just a few hundred feet from the renovated station, about its possible presence at the facility, and there are other intra-city companies that may become tenants as well, said Moskal.

The business and economic-development sides of the equation involve more question marks, however, and the performance of Worcester’s Union Station since it was renovated in the late ’90s creates still more.

Up-to-the-minute News

As he gave BusinessWest a tour of the available commercial spaces at the station, Kennedy pointed to the large windows while listing several reasons why the assembled square footage might be an attractive landing spot. Actually, to the windows and beyond.

The windows themselves provide large amounts of natural light, which is preferred by many types of businesses, especially those in the creative fields, he said. Meanwhile, as one looks out those windows, they can see I-91, Route 291 (and signs for the Turnpike on both of them), and the point where they intersect, which translates into convenience for employees and customers alike.

Outside some windows, people can also see the 377-space parking garage, a critical component of the station project and another important amenity for a business located downtown, and from still others, people can see downtown and the many forms of progress there.

Thus, the windows reveal a lot, said Kennedy, who noted that the various spaces in the station, stretched across three floors, with one offering views of the station concourse itself, are already attracting interest, and should draw more once a few tenants settle there.

“I think people needed to see this building completed before they could really understand what we had here,” he explained. “Now that it is completed, I think people will take notice, and when we get a few tenants in here, word will start to spread.”

The concourse area itself is already filling in nicely, said Moskal, noting that agreements have been reached for three of the small retail spaces along its east side, with a convenience store, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Subway due to move in over the next few months. A fourth is still available, and there has been interest expressed in it.

Meanwhile, the convenience-store developer will also lease two of those aforementioned kiosks in the tunnel, said Moskal, adding that he isn’t sure what will be sold from them, but expects one will likely be dedicated to cell-phone accessories.

Also, a rental car company (the name was not disclosed, but Moskal said it is a major player in that business) has signed on to do business out of the station, with cars to be stored in the parking garage.

As for the office space above the concourse, Moskal said several parties have expressed interest, and he even added the adjective ‘strong’ to describe it.

“We have a number of interested parties, and one of them is very promising,” he said, referring specifically to space on the second floor, which, as noted, has windows with a view of the concourse. “That would be huge for us; this party wouldn’t take all of the second floor, but maybe 70% of it.”

And, like Kennedy, he said signing a tenant or two will likely create some needed momentum. “Once you start to spin that kind of positive news, hopefully, others will take note.”

Overall, the SRA has been “conservative,” a word Moskal used early and often, with regard to projections for tenants and resulting revenues so as not to create unreasonable expectations and disappointment if they are not met. And thus far, those goals are being met or exceeded.

“We set conservative goals — having 30% leased by the second year, and maybe 60% by the third year,” he explained. “And this is a positive for us, because we hope to have more than that under lease.”

The $7.5 million committed by MGM provides a cushion of sorts, especially for the first three years, he said, adding that the hope is that, by year four, that kind of cushion will be less necessary.

On Second Thought

But it is with the bigger-picture perspective that greater optimism likely prevails, and here, Worcester’s station should serve as an inspiration, rather than a cautionary tale, said those we spoke with.

To emphasize this point, Loosemore started with references to what was known as the Osgood-Brady Building, named for the company, which, ironically enough, manufactured railway passenger cars and streetcars there starting in 1914.

Today, it is home to more than 250 students living in more than 80 market-rate apartments carved out of the various spaces. Most of them are there, said Loosemore, specifically for the trains running out of Union Station just a few blocks away.

“They called it ‘purpose-built student housing,’ and I believe this was the first time it was done in Massachusetts,” he explained. “They’re marketing to college students, and part of what attracted them to it is students at the Worcester colleges doing internships in Boston; living next to Union Station, you can get into various areas of Worcester, because you’re right there, but you can also get to access to the train, which will get you to the Boston region and opportunities for jobs, internships, and other expanded learning opportunities.”

A new hotel is also going up in that area, and the developer has stated publicly that commuter rail is a big reason why the project went forward, and in that location. Meanwhile, across the street from the bus depot at the station, a company is building more than 350 units of market-rate housing, Loosemore continued. “They were attracted to that area because of the train station. People can live there, take the train to a job in Wellesley or Newton or Boston; this rail service shortens the distance to those communities.

Indeed, the train station and accompanying commuter rail are creating much stronger connections between New England’s two largest cities, said Loosemore, adding that many are now finding it convenient (and also far more affordable) to live in Worcester and work or go to school in Boston or one of its suburbs.

He added quickly that, while this isn’t the loftiest of goals for the city or its chamber of commerce — both would rather have people living and working in Worcester — such scenarios do bring a host of benefits.

“If I can’t have the jobs, how can I get the workers?” he asked while speaking for the chamber and noting that reliable commuter rail has become at least part of the answer to that question.

And having the workers come back to Worcester at the end of the day has certainly helped prompt growth of the city’s restaurant district, which borders Union Station.

“People come into the station, and they can go around the corner and get dinner or a drink,” he said. “People may work in Boston, but on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday, they’re in Worcester.”

Loosemore, who has been with the chamber for roughly two years now, and has learned much of the history of Union Station and the area around it rather than experiencing it first-hand, said what’s happened there didn’t take place overnight. It came incrementally, and as commuter rail became better, faster (the Heart to Hub run, for example), and more frequent.

Tim Murray, president of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and former lieutenant governor, expanded on this thought in a recent op-ed in the Worcester Business Journal, in which he drew parallels between progress in that city and the recent success of the region’s pro football franchise.

“The ability to gain the crucial inch that determines victory often comes as the result of hard work, preparation, and never giving up,” he wrote. “These same principles apply to the progress we have made during the past 15 years to expand commuter rail service between Worcester and Boston … hard work, persistence, and preparation has allowed a team of public and private leaders to go from six round trips a day to 20.

“This progress has contributed significantly to the unprecedented private-sector investments in and around Worcester’s Union Station,” he continued. “Developers, property owners, and business owners including the City Square, Theater District, and Gateway Park projects all tout the presence of rail service as a major catalyst for their investments.”

Whether similar developments will come in Springfield remains to be seen, said Loosemore, noting that the City of Homes does not have a logical or potential-laden destination (like Boston) for commuters — yet, anyway.

In time, more routes going north-south and perhaps east-west (many officials are calling for a high-speed Springfield-to-Boston connection) may be added, and Springfield may see some of that growth in concentric circles that Worcester has.

“Having that commuter rail has certainly been a catalyst for development here,” he said in conclusion. “And it may prove to be the same in Springfield.”

Hands Down

Part of the restoration effort involving the clock in the main concourse was refinishing the words spelled out in the middle of the timepiece — ‘Eastern Standard Time.’

Erb told BusinessWest that, decades ago, it would not have been uncommon for train travelers to cross from one time zone into another in the course of their journey, and thus they might need a reminder as to just what the hour was in the City of Homes.

Such long trips, while still doable, are not a big part of the equation in this new era for Union Station. Meanwhile, cell phones automatically adjust for time zones, and that’s how most people note the time these days anyway.

But the clock still serves a very useful function, said Kennedy, adding that, for the first time in four decades, Union Station does as well. It is a transportation hub, as it was when it opened in 1926, but it is also an economic driver, perhaps one to be as successful in that role as Worcester’s.

Time will tell, but for the first time in a long time, the clock is running at Union Station, in every way, shape, and form.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Daily News

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration recently announced it is awarding contracts to programs in Pittsfield, Lowell, and Salisbury to support and expand residential substance-use-disorder treatment for women in Massachusetts. The contracts will fund 60 long-term, residential treatment slots that, when operational, will provide services to approximately 240 women each year.

“The opioid and heroin epidemic has tragically impacted too many people and communities in our Commonwealth, and we are committed to helping those struggling with addiction,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “Support for these residential treatment slots underscores not only our comprehensive approach to addressing the opioid epidemic, but also adds to the investment we’ve already made to strengthen our treatment and recovery infrastructure.”

Since coming into office in 2015, the Baker-Polito administration has increased spending on addiction services by 50%, from $120 million to $180 million, and has added more than 500 substance-use treatment beds to the system.

“As the Commonwealth continues to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic from all angles, our administration is pleased to announce these contracts for communities in need,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “We will keep investing in this public-health crisis and partnering with communities in every corner of the state to offer resources and treatment for those struggling with this horrific epidemic.”

The $1.75 million in annual funding awarded to the three programs was based on a competitive procurement and will support expansion of one existing and two new programs. The funded programs are:

• The Brien Center/Seymour House, Pittsfield: funding to create a new, 17-bed program serving the needs of pregnant or post-partum women.

• Megan’s House, Lowell: funding to support 28 beds in its existing program serving the needs of young women, ages 18-25. This new funding will ensure greater access to treatment for women without health insurance.

• John Ashford Link House/Seacoast Recovery Home for Women, Salisbury: funding to create a new 15-bed program with a focus on serving the needs of women on the North Shore, some of whom are criminal-justice-involved.

Residential treatment programs provide a highly structured and supportive environment to assist each resident’s recovery from substance-use disorders. Programs include individual and group counseling, comprehensive case management, and assistance with skills necessary to maintain a drug- or alcohol-free lifestyle.

Work on each of the funded programs will begin immediately and are expected to be fully operational by the end of June.

Daily News

HADLEY — Cultivate & Nest, a collaborative workspace for businesspeople with children, will host Bloom, its annual open house, on Saturday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in its Hadley office center.

Terra Missildine, founder and owner of Cultivate & Nest, said the event will offer talks on the topic of entrepreneurship and parenting.

A highlight of the day will be a flower-hat-making craft and a hat parade around the grounds. Face painting, puzzles, and other activities will also be offered. Tours of the workspace will be offered to parents hourly, while children will enjoy story time. In addition, a drawing will be held for a one-month Cultivate & Nest membership, valued at $99.

All Pioneer Valley families are invited to take part in the event and bring their children. Registration is not required, and the event is free.

Cultivate & Nest is the first membership-based collaborative workspace in the Valley to incorporate a childcare component. Located on the first floor in the Hadley Crossing business park, Cultivate & Nest offers roughly 3,400 square feet of work and community space.

Members of Cultivate & Nest pay in cost tiers that range from $100 to $600 per month, depending on amenities and level of office access. Event and workshop space is also available for members and the community at large to host family friendly events.

To learn more about Cultivate & Nest, visit cultivateandnest.com or call Missildine at (413) 345-2400.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Table Top Expo has a new home in 2017, as the Bartley Center at Holyoke Community College (HCC) will open its doors to the event on Wednesday, April 12 from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

The 23rd annual event, one of the region’s largest small-business networking events, will welcome 200 small-business professionals and entrepreneurs who want to take their business to the next level and develop their business leads. The show is the ‘big sister’ of the Chicopee Table Top Expo, which takes place each fall, and is a multi-chamber event that includes the Greater Holyoke, Chicopee, Easthampton, and Northampton chambers with vendors from Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

The event originated as the Commerce Show and was held at the Basketball Hall of Fame but moved closer to home in 2008 and has been hosted by the Log Cabin ever since. The trade show consistently grew each year and eventually exceeded the capacity of the Log Cabin, therefore forcing the event to move to a larger venue. After an exhaustive search for a venue large enough to accommodate 200 vendors, hundreds of visitors, room to grow, ample parking, and a convenient location, organizers chose the Bartley Center at HCC.

“Exhibitors will miss the great service and warm environment that that the Log Cabin provided, but will be rewarded significantly with a larger facility and plenty of convenient parking,” said Wanda Zabawa, Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce program manager.

Added Kathleen Anderson, president of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, “we’re pleased to bring local small-business owners and entrepreneurs together to network and learn about the newest products and services out there. It’s a great learning tool to assist the local entrepreneurs in their daily tasks and long-term goals.”

Another event sellout is expected at the new location, but early registration will guarantee a table. Call your local participating chamber if you are interested in reserving a table or becoming an event sponsor. For general information, call the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce at (413) 534-3376.

Daily News
Bruce Landon

Bruce Landon

The Springfield Thunderbirds didn’t win Friday night’s game against Lehigh Valley. But only real diehard fans could have been disappointed with the way the evening turned out.

That’s because the night didn’t belong to the T-Birds and their long-shot efforts to make the AHL playoffs. No, it belonged to Bruce Landon, and, therefore, there was cause for celebration. Lots of it.

Landon, or ‘Mr. Hockey,’ as he’s known in Springfield, says he will officially retire next month after nearly 50 years of close association to hockey in this town. Most are taking a ‘we’ll believe it when we see it’ approach to that word ‘retirement,’ but Landon, now 67, says this time, he means it.

The Thunderbirds threw a night in his honor Friday, complete with a bobblehead that Landon says bears a resemblance to Lex Luthor. Maybe, but Lex Luthor is a villain, and Landon has always been a hero when it comes to hockey, Springfield, and hockey in Springfield.

He lived, he breathed it, he promoted it, he championed it. To say that there wouldn’t be hockey in Springfield without him is an understatement. The current ownership team and management personnel are on record as saying they were motivated to launch the T-Birds because of the legacy Landon created and a strong desire not to see it come to an end.

Landon’s career had come to an end, sort of, when the owners of the Springfield Falcons, citing poor attendance, decided nearly a year ago to move the team to Arizona.

Landon didn’t actually retire, though, essentially because the future of hockey in Springfield was anything but secure. Now, it is, and therefore he believes the time is right to step aside.

He leaves with high praise for the new owners and the team’s chief executive, Nate Costa, saying they have the commitment and the passion to keep the game here.

Those are the very same words that defined Landon’s work for nearly a half-century.

In 2013, BusinessWest presented Landon with its Difference Makers award, citing his work to keep hockey alive in Springfield as one of the many not-so-obvious ways that people can make a difference in this region.

As he was being honored that night, the audience was told that hockey, although certainly not appreciated by all, was certainly part of the fabric of the city and the region.

We can still say that in March 2017, and Bruce Landon is a big reason why. And that’s why last Friday night, and the last few weeks of Landon’s career — again, we’ll believe it when we see it — are cause for celebration.

Daily News

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Savings Bank announced it will open additional branch offices in Amherst and Northampton to augment its existing offices in those towns.

The downtown Amherst location will be at 108 North Pleasant St., and the downtown Northampton office will be located at 207 Main St. The bank expects the new locations to be open by mid-summer 2017, pending approvals and renovations staying on schedule.

“The new branches will enhance convenience for our customers in both of these communities,” said John Howland, president of Greenfield Savings Bank. “This is especially true for our downtown Amherst- and Northampton-based commercial customers. Last year, our commercial loan originations increased more than 20%, and the additional locations will help service the rising demand.”

The new facilities will offer all of the bank’s services, except safe-deposit boxes, which are available at the Northampton office on King Street. The bank is expecting to add an additional four to six positions over the next year to work at the new branches.

Founded in 1869, Greenfield Savings Bank has 135 employees and has offices and ATMs throughout Franklin and Hampshire counties.

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