1. Articles from JimKinney413

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    1. People in Business: Tony Maroulis named director of community relations at UMass Amherst

      People in Business: Tony Maroulis named director of community relations at UMass Amherst

      Tony Maroulis, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and co-director of the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council has been named director of community relations at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, effective March 3.  “Tony’s reputation as a strong leader of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and his breadth and depth of knowledge of the issues in town-gown relations will be a tremendous boost to our team,” said Nancy Buffone, executive director of external relations and university events in a prepared statement. “He has great relationships with civic, political and business leaders in the region and ...

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    2. Pioneer Valley creative economy gets boost from networking, regional strategy

      Pioneer Valley creative economy gets boost from networking, regional strategy

      Creative businesses in Western Massachusetts will get help increasing their visibility, recruiting talent, finding appropriate space, borrowing capital and growing under a new partnership announced Thursday at Holyoke's Open Square complex.  The state designated the Pioneer Valley as part of Massachusetts' Creative Economy Network and formally partnered with the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council which is in charge of the effort. The designation, by itself, doesn't come with state money. But several organizations are planning to apply for state grants.

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    3. Smith & Wesson in Springfield posts increase in quarterly earnings, sales figures

      Smith & Wesson in Springfield posts increase in quarterly earnings, sales figures

      Smith & Wesson is also feeling optimistic about the future and has raised its full year fiscal 2014 guidance. It now estimates net sales of between $615 million and $620 million and earnings per diluted share from continuing operations of between $1.39 and $1.42.  Founded in Springfield in 1852, Smith & Wesson has more than 1,600 employees, including 1,500 production workers at its sprawling firearms plant on Roosevelt Avenue. The company has a $77.5 million annual payroll.

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    4. Springfield Plaza under new ownership, due for $4 million to $5 million in renovations

      Springfield Plaza under new ownership, due for $4 million to $5 million in renovations

      The Springfield Plaza Shopping Center on Liberty Street has been sold for $35 million and the new owners plan on pumping another $4 million to $5 million into renovations. Work, set to begin as soon as the weather breaks, will include new roofs and basic building repairs, better signage, better lighting and refurbished building facades, said Charles Irving, president of the Davenport Companies, which is one of the new owners. He also promised enhanced security with a round-the-clock security staff.

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    5. Columbia Gas of Massachusetts opens new maintenance depot in Easthampton

      Columbia Gas of Massachusetts opens new maintenance depot in Easthampton

      Columbia Gas of Massachusetts has opened a new maintenance base at 7 Industrial Parkway, replacing an outmoded facility in Northampton. Depots like this one, called a MOD for Mobile Operations Deployment, are the direction gas companies across the country are taking, Columbia Gas spokeswoman Andrea M. Luppi said. The new MOD will be supported by distribution crews and service technicians and will house materials, supplies and equipment for easy accessibility. The Easthampton MOD will have about a dozen employees.

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    6. Yankee Candle announces layoffs at South Deerfield headquarters

      Yankee Candle announces layoffs at South Deerfield headquarters

      Yankee Candle Co. laid off some salaried workers at its corporate offices here Thursday as part of a restructuring.  Harlen M. Kent, Yankee Candle’s president and CEO, wouldn't reveal numbers Thursday. But he said the layoffs amount to less than 2 percent, or fewer than 30 people, of the 1,500 who work for Yankee Candle locally either in retail or manufacturing or in the corporate headquarters. The eliminated employees are in marketing, engineering and operations and product development, Kent said.  'Where possible we have redirected folks into new positions,' Kent said. Yankee Candle Co. is Franklin County ...

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    7. Baystate opens colorful, child friendly Children's Specialty Center on Wason Avenue in Springfield

      Baystate opens colorful, child friendly Children's Specialty Center on Wason Avenue in Springfield

      Baystate Health's new $20 million Children’s Specialty Center is designed not just for kid's health, but for their happiness.  'I work in a place where the colors and the lights make me smile,' said Dr. Laura Koenigs, chairwoman of the Department of Pediatrics at Baystate Health and one of 40 physicians working in the new center . 'When a child walks in here, you see their entire face light up in a smile. And the parents, too.'  The building at at 50 Wason Ave. in Springfield's North End has more than 100 staff members and totals74,000 ...

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    8. MassMutual Financial Group releases 2013 results

      MassMutual Financial Group releases 2013 results

      MassMutual Financial Group reported financial results Wednesday that reflected the largest acquisition in the Springfield-based company's history.  MassMutual has an estimated dividend payout for 2014 of $1.49 billion to eligible participating policy owners. That reflects a dividend interest rate of 7.1 percent on eligible participating life insurance policies, according to a news release.  In 2013, the dividend totaled $1.379 billion, MassMutual said.  Net gain from operations before policy owner dividends and taxes – the company’s primary earnings measure as a mutual company – was $1.8 billion compared to $2.1 billion the year before, according to ...

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    9. MAAC basketball tournament returns to MassMutual Center in Springfield for last time

      MAAC basketball tournament returns to MassMutual Center in Springfield for last time

      The city is poised to welcome 15,000 fans and about $2.3 million in economic activity March 6 through 10 when the MAAC conference brings its men's and women's basketball championships back to the MassMutual Center for the third, and final, time.  'It's a great event. My restaurant is full,' said Michael E. Hurwitz, chairman of the Greater Springfield Convention Visitors Bureau and the owner of the Uno Chicago Grill near the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. 'It's feet on the street and its heads in the beds.'

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    10. Fox News' Ed Henry warns not to expect much action from White House or Congress with elections looming

      Fox News' Ed Henry warns not to expect much action from White House or Congress with elections looming

      Henry offered his take on today's Washington at the Outlook 2014 Luncheon hosted by the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield. He's been with Fox News since 2011, and prior to that covered the White House beat for CNN, where one of his questions famously elicited the 'I'm the decider' quote from President George W. Bush.  Henry was joined Tuesday by state Auditor Suzanne Bump. U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal, a frequent speaker at this event who helped book Henry as keynote, was absent due to a last-minute change in schedule.  Bump, a former state ...

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    11. Pittsfield's Nuclea Biotechnologies to expand, create 25 jobs with state tax incentive

      Pittsfield's Nuclea Biotechnologies to expand, create 25 jobs with state tax incentive

      Nuclea Biotechnologies, a developer and maker of diagnostic tests for cancer and diabetes, has received a $510,000 state tax incentive to develop more manufacturing in Pittsfield and create 25 jobs.  “We’re exited about that it really gives us a boost,” said Patrick J. Muraca, president and chief executive officer and co-founder of Nuclea.  The jobs, he said, will involve making a new technology related to his company's diagnostic tests. The jobs will begin at $50,000 or more a year. Muraca credited state Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Springfield, for his help with the incentive.

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    12. Demolition clears site for entrance to renewed Union Station in Springfield

      Demolition clears site for entrance to renewed Union Station in Springfield

      Demolition crews are wrapping up work removing an unstable parking garage on Frank B. Murray Street, making way for the new improved Springfield Union Station taking shape across the street. The property will serve as a new entrance to the planned $83 million Union Station Intermodal Transportation and Rail Center. As part of the center, the soon-to-be-vacant lot also will be the site of a surface parking lot and four bus berths. Renovations at the historic station were delayed but are on track to be completed sometime in 2015.

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    13. Massachusetts Broadband Institute completes construction and testing of fiber-optic network

      Massachusetts Broadband Institute completes construction and testing of fiber-optic network

      The Massachusetts Broadband Institute completed construction and testing last week on MassBroadband123, a 1,200-mile high-speed Internet access system that promises to bring high-speed connectivity to rural parts of the Berkshires and hill towns. The new network has been turned over to network operator Axia NG Networks USA, which uses a hub in the Springfield Technical Community College Technology Park on State Street. Many community facilities are already using the MassBroadband123 network, with hundreds more expected to come online over the next several months, the institute said.

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    14. MassMutual donates $100,000 to Rebuilding Together

      MassMutual donates $100,000 to Rebuilding Together

      Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has donated $100,000 to Rebuilding Together to help families across the country repair and rebuild their homes. This is the second year that MassMutual has donated to Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit organization that provides critical repairs and renovations for low-income homeowners across the United States. The donation is a result of MassMutual’s ongoing efforts to encourage its retirement plan participants, employees and agents to sign up for e-delivery for their quarterly statements, sent by email and available on the company’s RetireSmart website, in the place of mailed paper statements. For every ...

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    15. State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey talks rail, Interstate 91 viaduct

      State Transportation Secretary Richard Davey talks rail, Interstate 91 viaduct

      State Transportation Secretary Richard A. Davey talked passenger rail, Interstate 91 and the Willimansett Bridge Tuesday in a wide-ranging luncheon hosted by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce.  The event also featured remarks from state Rep. Joseph Wagner, D-Chicopee.  Davey said he expects all construction on all three projects, including phase one work repairing Interstate 91 near the Interstate 291 ramp, to begin in 2014 if the state Senate passes a pending authorization bill already passed by the House. That $260 million first phase also includes planning for the possibility of rebuilding the 2.5-mile stretch of highway either at ...

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    16. Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announces internship development challenge

      Massachusetts Life Sciences Center announces internship development challenge

      The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has announced the launch of the 2014-2015 Internship Challenge. The workforce development program, first launched in 2009, creates hundreds of new paid internship opportunities each year throughout Massachusetts.  Eligible college students and recent graduates can apply online through the MLSC’s website for an internship with one of over 300 life sciences companies registered to host interns. Companies review candidates through a web-based interface in which they can match skills with their needs. Upon conclusion of the internship, the MLSC reimburses companies for stipends paid to their interns.

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    17. B & E Precision Aircraft Components looks to build staff, grow with industry

      B & E Precision Aircraft Components looks to build staff, grow with industry

      The machine shop, with its 103 employees, had a good 2013 and is looking for an even better years 2015 to 2020 as aircraft like those new jetliners go from design and testing to full production , according to company president Glenn Ford,. The precision machine shop is one division of the larger B & E Group which has offices in Westfield and Florida.  The machine shop is a maze of activity with robots placing parts on machine tools and people setting up the work and telling the robots what to do. Nearby are airplane parts, including a small bracket that breaks ...

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    18. Western Mass. manufacturing firms innovate and diversify to keep

      Western Mass. manufacturing firms innovate and diversify to keep

      Smaller than a pencil tip, the titanium set screw cradled in the palm of machinist David Ruest's hand is the most complicated part he makes. It's full, he said, of odd angles and bevels not to mention the tiny little Allen-wrench slot that goes at the tip. Even the ridges of the threads have to be shaped just so, or the screw won't fit into the equally tiny part where it serves to hold a slightly larger screw in place. He runs a computer-controlled machine tool at Detector Technology Inc. in Palmer, an expanding company that makes ...

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    19. Auto dealerships retool operations to create a better buying experience

      Auto dealerships retool operations to create a better buying experience

      An auto dealer needs to move a lot of metal to make back a $13 million investment in two new dealership buildings, but Thomas M. Cosenzi and Carla J. Cosenzi, brother-and-sister owners of the Tommy Car Auto Group knows that new facilities are what it takes in today's competitive auto market.  Especially if those dealerships are next to other dealerships on Northampton's King Street, an area emerging as an auto mile with new Lia dealerships, the switch of Burke from GMC trucks to the more varied Chevrolet and the relocation a year ago of Ford of Northampton to ...

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    20. Mass Mentoring Partnership meets in Springfield

      Mass Mentoring Partnership meets in Springfield

      The breakfast networking event was designed to raise awareness of the youth mentoring movement in Western Massachusetts during National Mentoring Month, and to provide attendees with information on mentoring opportunities in the city. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council Vice President and MMP Board Member Ann Burke, and United Way of Pioneer Valley Executive Director Dora Robinson were among the community leaders in attendance.

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    21. Westfield cuts ribbon for Barnes Air National Guard Base runway project as state preps for national review of military installations

      Westfield cuts ribbon for Barnes Air National Guard Base runway project as state preps for national review of military installations

      Gov. Deval L. Patrick and U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal used the occasion Friday of a ribbon-cutting at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport and Barnes Air National Guard base to tout the state's readiness for an expected round of Pentagon cutbacks.  Neal, D-Springfield, predicts another BRAC, or Base Realignment and Closure Commission review, in 2015, a process that could result in recommended cutbacks at one of Massachusetts' six military bases. It's a list that includes Barnes in Westfield and Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee.

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    22. Downtown Holyoke building marketed as a hydropower resource

      Downtown Holyoke building marketed as a hydropower resource

      Marcos Marrero, director of planning and economic development for the city of Holyoke, said the folks behind 195 Appleton St. are not alone. Open Square developer John Aubin has long marketed Open Square, located a few blocks away, as the country’s largest zero net energy mixed-use development. Open Square generates 500 kilowatts of electricity, also using water drawn from the canals. Open Square produces more energy than it uses and feeds electricity back to the city's power grid. The city's grid itself is also green, considering Holyoke Gas & Electric's hydro and solar operations. "Clean energy is ...

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    23. Massachusetts economy grows as residents gain confidence, according to studies released by UMass and MassINC

      Massachusetts economy grows as residents gain confidence, according to studies released by UMass and MassINC

      Massachusetts real gross domestic product grew at an estimated annual rate of 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the MassBenchmarks Current Economic Index.  The economic index was released Thursday by MassBenchmarks, the journal of the Massachusetts economy published by the UMass Donahue Institute based in Hadley in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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