1. Articles from Joseph Bednar

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    1. For Landscapers, Growth Opportunities Mix with Persistent Challenges - BusinessWest

      For Landscapers, Growth Opportunities Mix with Persistent Challenges - BusinessWest

      For area landscapers, the pandemic created a boom in business as consumers working at home and unable to go on vacations decided to improve their surroundings and invested accordingly. There is still some of that going on, but noticeably less, with consumers enjoying more spending options, while also experiencing considerable anxiety over sky-high inflation. While there is still plenty of work, landscapers confront a host of challenges, from workforce issues to shortages of materials to soaring gas prices.

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    2. Westfield Sees Progress on Several Fronts

      Westfield Sees Progress on Several Fronts

      By Mark Morris

      Mayor Mike McCabe says he’s gained needed feedback from his visits with business owners and monthly coffee hours.

      Four months into his new job, Westfield Mayor Michael McCabe says he loves his work.

      “I’m able to make an impact in areas that I wouldn’t have thought I could; the job requires a lot of problem-solving, something I’m used to doing,”said McCabe, who, after serving for 36 years in various capacities with the Westfield Police Department, unseated incumbent Donald Humason in last November’s election.

      The same two men squared off in 2019 ...

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      Mentions: Westfield
    3. UMass Amherst Launches Effort to be Carbon Zero by 2032

      UMass Amherst Launches Effort to be Carbon Zero by 2032

      UMass Amherst chose Earth Day to announce an ambitious effort to convert the power systems for the entire campus to renewable energy by 2032. UMass Carbon Zero puts the university at the “vanguard of a big idea,” according to UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy who added that the project will have ramifications far beyond the campus.

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    4. Summer Jobs Program Expands Its Horizons

      Summer Jobs Program Expands Its Horizons

      David Cruise is more than familiar with the vast potential of Hampden County’s young people and their importance to the region’s business community. As the president and CEO of MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, he administers a program called YouthWorks, a state-funded summer-employment program that helps teens and young adults gain the skills and experience needed to not only find and keep jobs, but to begin to design a path toward success. He’s watched over the years as the program has helped introduce young people to the world of work while also assisting area cities, towns, non-profits ...

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    5. BusinessTalk with Ted Mendoza, a capital projects manager at UMass Amherst

      BusinessTalk with Ted Mendoza, a capital projects manager at UMass Amherst

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Ted Mendoza, a capital projects manager at UMass Amherst about the school’s recently announced ‘carbon-zero’ project, a bold initiative to power the campus with 100% renewable energy within the next decade or so. The two discuss the coming steps in the process, the challenges and potential obstacles, and the hope that by reaching this ambitious goal, UMass may set a standard for others to follow. It’s all must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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    6. BusinessTalk with Andrew Michael, manager of Dave DiRico’s Golf in West Springfield

      BusinessTalk with Andrew Michael, manager of Dave DiRico’s Golf in West Springfield

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Andrew Michael, manager of Dave DiRico’s Golf in West Springfield. The two discuss the surge that the game — and business — of golf have seen since the start of the pandemic and its prospects for continuing in the 2020 season. They also delve into supply chain issues,  inflation, and the many other challenges facing course owners and managers. It’s all must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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    7. The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Moves Closer to a New Home

      The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Moves Closer to a New Home

      While it manages an impressive flow of food from numerous sources to the people who need it most, in recent years, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has been doing that job in a space that’s not sufficient for the work. That will change with the opening, in 2023, of a new headquarters in Chicopee that will more than double the organization’s space and allow it to serve more people with more food and more nutrition and educations — in effect, expanding the menu of what’s possible at a time when the need is great.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    8. bankESB Parent Continues to Expand Through Acquisition

      bankESB Parent Continues to Expand Through Acquisition

      A “survival tactic.” That’s one of the phrases Matt Sosik, CEO of Hometown Financial Group Inc., the parent of bankESB, used to describe Hometown’s announced plans to acquire Randolph Bancorp Inc., the latest in a series of moves by Hometown to expand through acquisition. Elaborating, Sosik said this acquisition will certainly give Hometown, the multi-bank holding company for Abington Bank as well as bankESB, a larger, stronger footprint on the state’s South Shore. Indeed, Randolph Bancorp is the holding company for Envision Bank, which will merge with and into Abington Bank to create a $1.4 billion ...

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    9. There’s a Developing Story in Palmer

      There’s a Developing Story in Palmer

      Three years ago, when Ryan McNutt took the job as Palmer’s town manager, he observed that, when people entered town from Mass Pike exit 8 (now exit 63), they encountered a Big Y World Class Market, a McDonald’s, a couple of other businesses, and lots of empty parcels all around them on Thorndike Street. “You don’t typically see this near a turnpike exit; it’s usually built out with commercial real estate,” he said, adding that town residents — and those passing through — may soon see the landscape change in a meaningful way.

       

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    10. BusinessTalk with Darby O’Brien, founder and principal of Darby O’Brien Advertising

      BusinessTalk with Darby O’Brien, founder and principal of Darby O’Brien Advertising

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien engages in provocative discussion with Darby O’Brien (no relation), founder and principal of Darby O’Brien Advertising. Speaking from 42 years of experience, Darby believes businesses have become too cautious in their marketing and advertising and far less willing to take on anything approaching risk — to their detriment. The give and take between the two O’Briens is must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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    11. Greenspace CoWork Launches Business Networking Series

      Greenspace CoWork Launches Business Networking Series

      While the past two years haven’t exactly been kind to co-working spaces, Jeff Sauser said, the long-term view is much rosier. “COVID has really accelerated the trend toward remote work,” he explained, noting that the business world was already taking steps in that direction, but at a much more gradual pace. “One silver lining from COVID is that co-working spaces and other shared spaces are seeing a golden age moving forward.” Jeremy Goldsher, who opened Greenspace CoWork with Sauser in downtown Greenfield several years ago, agreed. “We’ve managed to keep everything afloat during the last few years. Its ...

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    12. Region’s Cultural, Recreational Destinations Anticipate a Strong 2022

      Region’s Cultural, Recreational Destinations Anticipate a Strong 2022

      For the region’s large and very important tourism and hospitality sector, the past 24 months have been a long, grueling slog marked by COVID-forced restrictions, new variants impacting attendance, a workforce crisis, and large doses of uncertainty about what will come next. Pivoting has been the order of the day, and normalcy has been an elusive goal. But as winter turns to spring, with summer right on its heels, leaders of area attractions are talking optimistically about a year that seems loaded with promise. For this issue’s focus on tourism, we spoke with four of them — a casino ...

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    13. BusinessTalk with Julie Quink, managing partner at Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C.

      BusinessTalk with Julie Quink, managing partner at Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C.

      On the next installment of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively, wide-ranging discussion with Julie Quink, managing partner of the West Springfield-based accounting firm Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C. It’s tax season, so the two talk about new tax laws and what they mean to businesses and individuals, but they also discuss what has been called the ‘never-ending tax season’ and the many challenges facing accounting firms today. It’s all must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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    14. BusinessTalk with Sandra Doran, president of Bay Path University

      BusinessTalk with Sandra Doran, president of Bay Path University

      On the this installment of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively, wide-ranging discussion with Sandra Doran, president of Bay Path University. The two talk about the long-awaited return of the school’s Women’s Leadership Conference, what’s on tap for this year’s day-long event, and the importance of the conference to the region and its business community. It’s all must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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    15. IT Firms Help Clients Navigate an Increasingly Complex Landscape

      IT Firms Help Clients Navigate an Increasingly Complex Landscape

      One of the surprises of the pandemic’s early days was how quickly companies of all kinds were able to move their workers to remote, home-based setups. Much of the credit for that goes to the IT teams who helped them achieve that transition quickly. It’s just one way IT firms help clients navigate changes in technology, defend against constantly evolving cyber threats, and make regular assessments of what a business needs to be efficient and effective.

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    16. EcoBuilding Bargains Builds a Global Presence Online

      EcoBuilding Bargains Builds a Global Presence Online

      When Darcy Ratti was living in Southern Connecticut, she heard about EcoBuilding Bargains — shortly after she completely refinished her basement. “I was so angry,” she recalled. “I would have saved so much money, and it would have looked so much cooler.” These days, as store manager at the Springfield-based seller of reclaimed building materials, Ratti is sharing that enthusiasm with customers both near and, increasingly, far away. “We get a lot of higher-quality materials now than we did four or five years ago as word has spread,” Ratti said, explaining how the store procures its ever-shifting stock of used building ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    17. Deerfield Aims to Better Leverage Its Location

      Deerfield Aims to Better Leverage Its Location

      Deerfield is one busy town these days. Residents there are engaged in 22 different boards and committees planning several ambitious projects to better the town. Still, while all that activity is admirable, it also invites confusion if anyone feels out of the loop. A group of 15 residents who serve on several boards and committees in Deerfield were aware of the potential pitfalls and formed the Connecting Community Initiative (CCI) to improve communication among the various committees and with municipal officials. Denise Mason, chair of the CCI, said the initiative came about after increasing frustration among members of several boards ...

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    18. Community Spotlight

      Community Spotlight

      Aaron Vega says there are many cannabis-related businesses now operating in Holyoke, and many more in the pipeline. Joshua Garcia, Holyoke’s first Puerto Rican mayor and a lifelong resident of this historic community, says that, in many respects, history is repeating itself in the city. Elaborating, he said that for the better part of a century, the paper and textile mills on the canals were a symbol of strength, a source of jobs, and, in many ways, the city’s identity  It wasn’t that way through the latter half of the 20th century as most of the mills ...

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    19. BusinessTalk with Brian Houser, general manager of Balise Hyundai and Ready Credit Used Cars in Springfield

      BusinessTalk with Brian Houser, general manager of Balise Hyundai and Ready Credit Used Cars in Springfield

      On this installment of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien has a lively, wide-ranging discussion with  Brian Houser, general manager of Balise Hyundai and Ready Credit Used Cars in Springfield. The two talk about the current state of the auto industry on President’s Day weekend, and why this all-important, season-starting event will certainly be different in these challenging times of pandemic, inventory shortages, and long waits for desired models. It’s all must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local and sponsored by PeoplesBank.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    20. Tara Brewster, Vice President of Business Development, Greenfield Savings Bank

      Tara Brewster, Vice President of Business Development, Greenfield Savings Bank

      Tara Brewster says she’s probably bought more than 100 copies of the children’s book — and given them all away. She joked that she’s waiting for the author to call and thank her for her consistent support. It’s called The Three Questions, and it’s based on a story by Leo Tolstoy. It’s about a young boy named Nikolai who sometimes feels uncertain about the right way to act.

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    21. Colleges Offer Many Ways to Make a Degree More Affordable - BusinessWest

      Colleges Offer Many Ways to Make a Degree More Affordable - BusinessWest

      It’s not exactly news that the cost of college — at least, the published price tag — has consistently risen over the past two decades. But the net cost — what students actually pay — has actually crept down a bit. That’s largely due to the myriad resources families can access to help bring those costs down and reduce the initial sticker shock. Putting the pieces together takes some effort, self-education, and patience, but most families would agree that the end result, a degree, is worth the journey.

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    22. Banks, Credit Unions Find Many Ways to Give Back, Especially During Pandemic

      Banks, Credit Unions Find Many Ways to Give Back, Especially During Pandemic

      Banks and credit unions have long touted their role in supporting local nonprofits through philanthropic efforts, but those efforts took on more urgency over the past two years, especially in areas such as food insecurity and other basic human needs. But even before the pandemic, these institutions were giving back in ways that went well beyond writing checks, from participating in fundraising events in the community to promoting a culture of volunteerism among officers and employees. In other words, the needs remain numerous, but so do the ways to address them.

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    23. Manufacturing Leaders Ponder the State of Their Industry

      Manufacturing Leaders Ponder the State of Their Industry

      Manufacturing is a healthy industry, Bill Bither days, and demand for manufactured goods is soaring across all sectors. Meeting that demand is … well, a challenge.  “The first half of 2021 was quite strong; we were actually averaging around 30% higher than we’ve ever seen since we’ve been collecting this data,” said Bither, co-founder and CEO of MachineMetrics, a Northampton company that specializes in predictive analytics for manufacturers and serves hundreds of customers all over the globe.

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    24. Mergers and Acquisitions Continue to Dominate the Insurance Industry

      Mergers and Acquisitions Continue to Dominate the Insurance Industry

      If you think you’ve seen more headlines than usual lately about insurance agencies being bought and sold, you’re not mistaken. In fact, 2021 was the fifth straight record-setting year for M&A activity in the insurance world. The reasons range from federal fiscal trends to a desire to broaden an agency’s expertise; from pandemic fatigue to the aging of the Baby Boomers who built and grew many of these firms. The idea, area leaders say, is to grow strategically, with customer service and company culture at front of mind.

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    1-24 of 416 1 2 3 4 ... 16 17 18 »
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