1. Articles from Joseph Bednar

    1-24 of 110 1 2 3 4 5 »
    1. At bankESB, Growth Continues on a Number of Fronts

      At bankESB, Growth Continues on a Number of Fronts

      In this era of rampant mobile banking, opening a physical branch is a different proposition than it used to be, Matt Sosik said. But it’s still an important one. “At this point in the cycle of our industry, branching has fallen by the wayside a little bit,” said Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, which recently opened its 11th branch on Sargeant Street in Holyoke — a move that, despite the declining emphasis on bricks and mortar, made a lot of sense. “We feel we’ve been banking with the people of Holyoke for years and years, so Holyoke is ...

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    2. Amherst Boasts Some Positive Transitions

      Amherst Boasts Some Positive Transitions

      Amherst is a community in transition, Paul Bockelman says — in some positive ways. The most notable change, obviously, was the seating of Amherst’s first Town Council last month; 13 members were elected following a change in the town charter last March that included a move away from the town-meeting form of government. “Some people who advocated for the charter change felt the representative town meeting wasn’t fully representative of the town and wasn’t nimble enough to address the issues that were facing the town on a daily basis,” said Bockelman, Amherst’s town manager. Other people, he ...

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    3. First Lego League Sends Kids on a Journey of Learning

      First Lego League Sends Kids on a Journey of Learning

      Seeing a group of middle-schoolers design, build, and program robots that perform specific, detailed tasks on cue is an impressive sight. But the impact of the FIRST LEGO League, which boasts teams in numerous schools throughout Western Mass., goes far beyond engineering training. It’s also teaching young people communication skills, teamwork, and confidence — all key traits to take into whatever career they choose, whether in the STEM fields or not.

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    4. Holyoke Community College Opens New Center for Life Sciences

      Holyoke Community College Opens New Center for Life Sciences

      As she walked BusinessWest through one of the brand-new labs in Holyoke Community College’s Center for Life Sciences, Professor Emily Rabinsky said there’s plenty for students to appreciate. “Our old lab space was very outdated and not very conducive to learning,” said Rabinsky, who coordinates the Biotechnology program at HCC. “There were two long bays with a tall shelf in between that made it very difficult for the students to see what the lecturer was referring to, and the equipment was very outdated.” Not so today. “At our recent open house, some students happened to walk by, peeked ...

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    5. Educare Draws Connections Between Home, School, and Economic Opportunities

      Educare Draws Connections Between Home, School, and Economic Opportunities

      The new $14 million Educare Center now under construction in Springfield is focused on education, obviously, but parental involvement and workforce development are key focal points within its broad mission. Mary Walachy calls it “Head Start on steroids.” It’s a term she has called upon often, actually, when speaking to individuals and groups about Educare, an innovative model for high-quality early education that’s coming to Springfield next year — only the 24th such center in the country, in fact.

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    6. Berthuiame Center for Entrepreneurship Seeks to Expand Ecosystem

      Berthuiame Center for Entrepreneurship Seeks to Expand Ecosystem

      People may know the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship from its public events, most notably the Innovation Challenge, where UMass Amherst students compete for seed money to turn entrepreneurial ideas into viable businesses. But the center’s new director, Gregory Thomas, wants to broaden the center’s reach and help more young people understand that the goal isn’t to win a competition — it’s to develop a true entrepreneurial mindset that will serve them well no matter where their lives take them.

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    7. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito to Speak at GHCC’s Governmental Affairs Luncheon on Oct. 18

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito to Speak at GHCC’s Governmental Affairs Luncheon on Oct. 18

      The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce (GHCC) will host Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito at its fall Governmental Affairs Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Wherehouse?, located at 109 Lyman St. in Holyoke. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Polito plans to speak to the Greater Holyoke business community on what the administration’s plans are to promote economic and commercial growth in this area. Additionally, she will touch on the topics of manufacturing and STEM education, both of which are relevant to Holyoke and Western Mass.

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    8. UMass Amherst Launches New Biomedical Engineering Department

      UMass Amherst Launches New Biomedical Engineering Department

      The College of Engineering at UMass Amherst has established a new department of Biomedical Engineering, which will offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. It is the fifth department within the college. Biomedical engineering (BME) integrates engineering science, biology, and medicine into a cross-disciplinary field focused on improving human health and solving problems in the delivery of healthcare. Its key principle is that, by looking at the human body through the lens of engineering, one can apply the concepts of design, optimization, and programming to complex biological systems in order to detect, repair, and treat disease and to create ...

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    9. East Longmeadow Crafting a Plan for Progress

      East Longmeadow Crafting a Plan for Progress

      Denise Menard has witnessed plenty of growth in East Longmeadow’s Town Hall since becoming the community’s first town manager two years ago, from the creation of a seven-member Town Council to the creation of a Human Resources department, a new director of Finance and director of Planning and Community Development, and the establishment of a Board of Health overseen by a full-time director. But she says the most important change in the city offices may be the ease with which new businesses to town can navigate the permitting process.

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      Mentions: Baystate Health
    10. Berkshire Innovation Center Breaks Ground on Cutting-edge Facility

      Berkshire Innovation Center Breaks Ground on Cutting-edge Facility

      Steven Boyd isn’t just the president and board chairman of the Berkshire Innovation Center; he’s a true believer that the $13.8 million facility will be a game changer for the region’s manufacturing and life-sciences economy. “From a broad perspective, I’d say the center aims to support the legacy manufacturing base that has a long history of innovation here in the Berkshire region,” he told BusinessWest. “We’re an innovation center that is equal parts research and teaching institution and programming for private-sector businesses.”

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    11. Westfield Hones Its Message to Boost Business

      Westfield Hones Its Message to Boost Business

      Folks in Western Mass. know they’re often dismissed by residents out east, Lisa Stowe says. So how does a city like Westfield make its case as a vibrant destination for a business looking to plant roots? By working together. That’s exactly what a handful of partners — municipal leaders, Westfield Gas + Electric (WG+E), Whip City Fiber, the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, and corporate sponsor Westfield Bank — have done by launching Go Westfield, a still-evolving engine to encapsulate what makes this city a desirable landing spot, and, more importantly, tell people about it.

       

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    12. Lenox Looks to Further Boost Quality of Life - BusinessWest

      Lenox Looks to Further Boost Quality of Life - BusinessWest

      As its town manager, Christopher Ketchen is certainly bullish on Lenox.  “If you’re moving to the Berkshires, Lenox has clearly got to be on your radar for many reasons,” he told BusinessWest, adding that he’s one of the more recent converts. “I made the move here myself from the Boston area four years ago. I’m originally from Alford, and when I moved back to this area, I chose to live in Lenox.”

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. Wilbraham Strives for a Healthy Balance - BusinessWest

      Wilbraham Strives for a Healthy Balance - BusinessWest

      Being pro-business, Jeff Smith says, doesn’t mean letting just any business set up shop in Wilbraham — but it does mean giving every business a fair shake.  Take, for example, Iron Duke Brewing, which is moving to town after a successful but eventually contentious stay at the Ludlow Mills. Because Wilbraham had no zoning for microbrew and brewpub establishments, the town’s Economic Development Initiative Steering Committee (EDICS) recommended a zoning change that eased the path for not just Iron Duke, but also Catch 22 Brewing, which is setting up shop at the former Dana’s Grillroom on Boston Road.

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    14. Snapchef Cooks Up a Lifeline for the Food-service Industry

      Snapchef Cooks Up a Lifeline for the Food-service Industry

      The culinary world is a notoriously challenging place to forge a career, and turnover at the entry level is often high, a problem that constantly challenges restaurants, hotels, colleges, and a host of other food-service companies. Enter Snapchef, which has built a regional reputation for training those workers and matching them with workforce needs to help them get a foot in the door — and then, hopefully, kick it in.

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    15. Regional Rail Service Picks Up Speed

      Regional Rail Service Picks Up Speed

      The launch of the Hartford line last month, which expands rail activity from Union Station in Springfield to a host of Connecticut stops, has been a success, judging by early ridership. More important, it has municipal and economic-development leaders from Greater Springfield thinking about the potential of a Springfield-to-Greenfield service beginning next year, as well as the viability of east-west service between Boston and Springfield. It’s about more than riding the trains, they say — it’s about what riders will do once they get here.

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    16. Community Connections Energize Easthampton - BusinessWest

      Community Connections Energize Easthampton - BusinessWest

      As executive director of the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce, Moe Belliveau has a good view of what has become one of the region’s more unique and energetic small cities.  “There’s a lot of great stuff here, different stuff,” she told BusinessWest. “I think Easthampton has a very eclectic flavor to it, and that just continues to grow. I believe the community really enjoys that about itself and embraces that part of themselves, and helps to nurture that. It’s lovely to be a part of that.”

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    17. Springfield’s Economy Continues to Outperform Hartford

      Springfield’s Economy Continues to Outperform Hartford

      Connecticut has had its share of economic challenges in recent years, including a slow but steady outmigration of residents. Many might not be aware, however, of how stark the differences are between Connecticut and Massachusetts when it comes to long-term job recovery from the Great Recession — including Springfield’s relative strength when compared to Hartford. Farmington Bank’s economic adviser recently broke down the numbers, painting a picture that should be encouraging to those north of the border.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    18. Click Workspace Aims to Make an Economic and Cultural Impact

      Click Workspace Aims to Make an Economic and Cultural Impact

      Co-working spaces — offices where members share physical work areas and office technology and supplies — have become an increasingly popular model for small, particularly solo, businesses in the region. Mary Yun, executive director of Click Workspace in Northampton, had a broader vision, helping to grow a center that brings economic energy to the city, but also builds on its cultural vibrancy through the arts. A rapidly growing roster of members testifies to the success of that vision.

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    19. Northampton Energized by Its Lively Downtown

      Northampton Energized by Its Lively Downtown

      Northampton’s downtown, Amy Cahillane says, is nothing if not eclectic. “We have a great mix of businesses,” said the director of the Downtown Northampton Assoc., a two-year-old organization dedicated to boosting vibrancy in the city’s center. “We have a lot of different clothing stores, coffee shops, restaurants and bars — there’s a lot of room to find your niche here.” She said business owners downtown are very much a network of mom-and-pop outfits that take pride in the district’s economic vibrancy and work hard to welcome new shop owners into the fold as they’re launching their ...

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    20. FloDesign Sonics Aims to Bring Cell Therapy to the Masses

      FloDesign Sonics Aims to Bring Cell Therapy to the Masses

      The “filterless filter company,” as FloDesign Sonics dubs itself, was launched in 2010 in an effort to separate contaminants — particularly anthrax — from the water supply. There’s nothing trivial about that goal, but the company’s co-founder and CEO, Stanley Kowalski III, and his team have only been thinking bigger ever since. “We don’t like mediocre challenges; we take on pretty big issues, and we back it with the best thought leaders in this space,” he told BusinessWest. “We’ve targeted some of the biggest things mankind could be working on, and it gets people motivated on a different ...

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    21. Finding People Jobs Is Only Part of Nicole Griffin’s Calling

      Finding People Jobs Is Only Part of Nicole Griffin’s Calling

      A job seeker came to see Nicole Griffin recently after making a careless mistake — one he didn’t even recognize at the time. The mistake was leaving a temporary position at a large, well-known firm two weeks before his contract was up because he didn’t like the environment and the job wasn’t quite what he thought it would be. “I said, ‘you kind of ruined all the work you did there for several months by leaving before your assignment ended,’” said Griffin, president of the employment firm she launched in 2013 as Griffin Staffing Network. “That was a ...

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    22. WNEU School of Law Selects Sudha Setty as Its Next Dean

      WNEU School of Law Selects Sudha Setty as Its Next Dean

      Sudha Setty wasn’t sure where her initial interest in law would take her — she simply wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Her current role as a professor certainly fits that bill, though it’s not a path she expected to take early on. Now, as she prepares to take over the dean’s chair at Western New England University School of Law, she’s ready to navigate a still-challenging climate for law schools and help other young people achieve their world-changing goals.

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    23. Emerging Technologies Will Bring Dramatic Changes to Business

      Emerging Technologies Will Bring Dramatic Changes to Business

      Delcie Bean knows something about innovation, building the company he launched at age 13, Paragus IT, into a nimble, multi-faceted presence in the region’s IT world. He’s also passionate about futurism studies, understanding better than most that several emerging innovations will dramatically alter the way entire industries do business — leaving many companies hopelessly behind. But for those willing to embrace the change, it’s also a time of great excitement.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    24. New Projects Energize Palmer’s Neighborhoods

      New Projects Energize Palmer’s Neighborhoods

      In a neighborhood struggling to regain some momentum, any new development matters — no matter how humble. Literally, in the case of Humble Pie, a restaurant with a façade as nondescript as its name and a farm-to-table ethos that has quickly won over locals since opening in December on Main Street in the Three Rivers section of Palmer. “They’ve been getting excellent reviews, and people are literally standing in line,” said Town Planner and Economic Development Director Linda Leduc. “That’s good because it’s another catalyst to get other business owners and developers to invest in Main Street ...

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      Mentions: Palmer
    1-24 of 110 1 2 3 4 5 »
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