1. Articles from Joseph Bednar

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    1. CARES Act Aims to Support Economy During Viral Pandemic - BusinessWest

      CARES Act Aims to Support Economy During Viral Pandemic - BusinessWest

      The act passed in the Senate by a unanimous vote late on March 25 and was passed in the House of Representatives on March 27. The President signed the bill into law later that day.  The CARES Act looks to make a significant impact on the economy by providing loan forgiveness, supporting small businesses, enhancing unemployment insurance, and providing federal loans to industries severely impacted by the pandemic.

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    2. To Jeff Daley, Healthy Development Means Healthy Communities - BusinessWest

      To Jeff Daley, Healthy Development Means Healthy Communities - BusinessWest

      Jeff Daley boasted a long career in development, with experience on the municipal, state, and private realms, when an intriguing opportunity came about last year: the role of CEO at Westmass Area Development Corp., which oversees a number of newsworthy projects in the region, most notably Ludlow Mills. He couldn’t pass up the opportunity to connect municipalities and developers on a larger scale — and help generate the sort of economic activity and job creation that makes communities strong.

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    3. Vann Group Creates Crisis Response Team to Help Businesses Impacted by Pandemic

      Vann Group Creates Crisis Response Team to Help Businesses Impacted by Pandemic

      Mike Vann says the phone started ringing only a few moments after the e-mail blast went out last Friday to clients and other companies across the region. It wasn’t a flood of calls, but there were several, and he expects there to be many more in the days and weeks to come. That because his company, the Vann Group, a business consulting firm with a number of specialties, has assembled what it is calling a ‘COVID-19 Crisis Response Team’ to help businesses deal with the fallout from the pandemic.

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      Mentions: Vann Group
    4. Link to Libraries, MGM Provide Books to Springfield Students Learning from Home

      Link to Libraries, MGM Provide Books to Springfield Students Learning from Home

      Link to Libraries and MGM Springfield announced a partnership to promote learning and literacy in support of Springfield students who are out of the classroom and learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Link to Libraries and MGM Springfield donated more than 1,000 books to children ranging from kindergarten through high school. The books were distributed to families through the 15 schools designated as lunch pickup sites.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    5. Elms College Reschedules Executive Leadership Breakfast to Sept. 22

      Elms College Reschedules Executive Leadership Breakfast to Sept. 22

      Elms College has rescheduled its third annual Executive Leadership Breakfast to Tuesday, Sept. 22 due to state-mandated caution regarding large crowds and coronavirus. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal is still slated to be the keynote speaker for the event, which was originally scheduled for April 9. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, the college will announce more details as necessary.

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    6. STCC Donates Personal Protective Equipment to Area Hospitals

      STCC Donates Personal Protective Equipment to Area Hospitals

      Responding to an urgent call for supplies, Springfield Technical Community College’s (STCC) School of Health and Patient Simulation is donating personal protective equipment to area hospitals and medical centers. The equipment, which includes surgical masks, isolation gowns, and exam gloves, will serve as a first line of defense for healthcare professionals and reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19 while treating patients.

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    7. MGM Joins Thunderbirds, Hotels, Restaurants to Feed Healthcare Providers, First Responders

      MGM Joins Thunderbirds, Hotels, Restaurants to Feed Healthcare Providers, First Responders

      As Western Mass. continues to mobilize in response to the COVID-19 crisis, MGM Springfield has brought together a group of local partners and stakeholders to help feed the men and women on the pandemic’s front lines. “This is a close-knit community, and we wanted to find some simple ways to say ‘thank you’ to those friends, neighbors, and family members working tirelessly to serve and protect us during this challenging time,” said Chris Kelley, president of MGM Springfield. In partnership with the Springfield Thunderbirds, Sheraton Hotel, Hilton Garden Inn, and Uno Pizzeria & Grill, MGM Springfield is leading an effort ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    8. The Food Bank Needs Your Help in This Time of Crisis

      The Food Bank Needs Your Help in This Time of Crisis

      We’ve all been to the supermarkets. Households are stocking up on food in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). But let’s not forget there are tens of thousands of individuals across Western Mass. who can’t even get to a supermarket — elders, people with disabilities, and households who must rely on unreliable public transportation. Others can, but they can’t even afford to buy enough food to feed their families, much less stock up for two weeks’ worth as suggested by public officials.

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    9. Technology Helps Businesses Equip Home-based Employees

      Technology Helps Businesses Equip Home-based Employees

      While much of the national conversation around COVID-19 has centered around how prepared the government and healthcare sector are to deal with the pandemic, another sector has been asking itself similar preparedness questions. That would be IT firms, especially those who handle the networks of business clients at a time when companies are sending employees home en masse — not to take time off, but to work remotely.

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    10. Baystate Is Constructing COVID-19 Triage Facility

      Baystate Is Constructing COVID-19 Triage Facility

      The Emergency Department was rather quiet at Baystate Medical Center on Monday morning. And Dr. Niels Rathlev, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, attributed this to the fact that the public is listening to the governor and other elected officials and staying away from the ER unless they really need to be there. But that relative quiet in the ER — one spokesperson for the hospital described it as “almost eerie” — is almost certain to be short-lived as the spread of COVID-19 continues in this region. And that eventuality was the inspiration for the construction of a rapid-response triage facility ...

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      Mentions: Baystate Health
    11. Kevin Day Begins a New Phase as President of Florence Bank

      Kevin Day Begins a New Phase as President of Florence Bank

      In some ways, Kevin Day is no stranger to running Florence Bank — he was already overseeing about 90% of its departments as executive vice president, a series of responsibilities he gradually took on after coming aboard as CFO in 2008. So he was a natural choice to succeed John Heaps Jr., who recently stepped down after 25 years as president. Day’s mandate is simple — keep a bank known for its steady, organic growth moving forward, and keep cultivating the culture of teamwork that allows such growth to occur.

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    12. As Threats Evolve, Opportunities in Cybersecurity Abound

      As Threats Evolve, Opportunities in Cybersecurity Abound

      Cybersecurity experts say there’s still plenty of misunderstanding when it comes to the reality of data threats. For example, it’s not just big companies being attacked — these days, everyone is a target, and data thieves are becoming more subtle and savvy with their methods. That means companies need to be more vigilant — but it also means career opportunities abound in a field that desperately needs more young talent.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    13. Greater Springfield Becoming a More Attractive Convention Site

      Greater Springfield Becoming a More Attractive Convention Site

      Conventions are good business for a city like Springfield. But they don’t exist in a vacuum. “We’ll ask if they have time for things outside their program,” said Mary Kay Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau (GSCVB). “Are they bringing spouses? Will they have time, either pre-event or post-event, to go to Yankee Candle, or Six Flags, or the Seuss museum?” “That’s part of their convention experience as well,” added Alicia Szenda, the GSVCB’s director of Sales. “They might be at the MassMutual Center for three or four days, but they might do ...

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    14. Baystate’s Cardiac Surgery Program Honored by Society of Thoracic Surgeons

      Baystate’s Cardiac Surgery Program Honored by Society of Thoracic Surgeons

      Baystate Health’s Cardiac Surgery program received national recognition by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for achieving a high level of clinical excellence on behalf of its patients. Baystate has received the coveted 3 STAR ranking from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the highest possible ranking bestowed by the organization, placing its award-winning Cardiac Surgery program among the top 10% in the categories of coronary artery bypass surgery, aortic valve replacement surgery, and mitral valve repair surgery. The new rankings place Baystate in the top 1% to 2% of more than 1,000 cardiac surgical programs in the U ...

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    15. HUB International Continues to Grow Its Footprint in the Region

      HUB International Continues to Grow Its Footprint in the Region

      When FieldEddy Insurance entered the HUB International family a little over five years ago, it traded a name with a rich regional history for one backed by the resources of a large corporation. The result has been the best of both worlds — HUB’s clout improves the office’s ability to grow specific niches through talent development, while the company is still able to focus on local needs with an emphasis on building deeper relationships with customers.

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    16. Jamina Scippio-McFadden Named Director of the UMass Center at Springfield

      Jamina Scippio-McFadden Named Director of the UMass Center at Springfield

      Jamina Scippio-McFadden, a senior program manager at the UMass Center at Springfield, has been named director of the center by UMass Amherst. “Jamina Scippio-McFadden has outstanding professional credentials and a wealth of strong ties to the community,” said Steve Goodwin, deputy chancellor at UMass Amherst. “As the center builds upon its achievements and identifies opportunities to be more deeply connected to the community, she is well-prepared to provide the leadership essential to success.”

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    17. Ira Bryck, Consultant and Former Executive Director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

      Ira Bryck, Consultant and Former Executive Director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley

      Ira Bryck started working in his family’s business — Barasch’s, a store on Long Island selling children’s clothes — when he was 5, and continued putting in hours there on weekends, after school, and during the summer through his college years. He has a lot of memories from those days, including the fact that he generally had more money in his pocket than his friends because he was gainfully employed — even in middle school. But he also remembers something his father — and boss; a tough boss at that — told him. Something that gnawed away at him in some respects ...

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    18. Vince Jackson Sees a Deeper Role for the Greater Northampton Chamber

      Vince Jackson Sees a Deeper Role for the Greater Northampton Chamber

      Taking over leadership of a chamber of commerce is always fraught with challenges, especially in a community as rich in diverse businesses and nonprofits as Northampton, and also stepping into the large shoes of the previous executive director, who served for 27 years. But Vince Jackson, with his deep background in entrepreneurship, business development, and marketing, is proving to be an ideal fit, and has already begun to shift and deepen perceptions about what a chamber can be.

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    19. Agawam’s Bridge Becomes an Attention Span - BusinessWest

      Agawam’s Bridge Becomes an Attention Span - BusinessWest

      Mayor William Sapelli said he received the text late on a Friday afternoon earlier this month, and it was somewhat unexpected; he was anticipating word coming later. But it was very, very welcome.  It came from state Lt. Gov. Karen Polito, and it said, in essence, that the state had approved what’s known as an acceleration agreement for the Morgan-Sullivan Bridge project. What that means is that money has been apportioned that will allow the general contractor, Palmer-based Northern Construction, to pay crews overtime to work on nights and weekends to accelerate (hence the name) the timeline for completing ...

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    20. Dodge Data & Analytics Sees Construction Starts Slipping in 2020

      Dodge Data & Analytics Sees Construction Starts Slipping in 2020

      Dodge Data & Analytics recently released its 2020 Dodge Construction Outlook, predicting that total U.S. construction starts will slip to $776 billion in 2020, a decline of 4% from the 2019 estimated level of activity. “The recovery in construction starts that began during 2010 in the aftermath of the Great Recession is coming to an end,” said Richard Branch, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “Easing economic growth driven by mounting trade tensions and lack of skilled labor will lead to a broad-based but orderly pullback in construction starts in 2020. After increasing 3% in 2018, construction starts dipped an ...

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    21. STCC’s Civil Engineering Technology Grads Entering Robust Field

      STCC’s Civil Engineering Technology Grads Entering Robust Field

      Civil engineers help design bridges, roads, and other critical infrastructure projects. In fact, “we make civilization possible,” Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) Assistant Professor Cynthia DeSellier tells her first-year students. “You turn on the water in your house — a civil engineer made that possible,” DeSellier added. “Engineering truly does make civilization possible. Without us, the standard of living we enjoy wouldn’t be there.”

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    22. Top Entrepreneur 2019

      Top Entrepreneur 2019

      As the largest private landowner in Massachusetts, with properties in 30 towns, the Cowls family is especially synonymous with North Amherst, where it has made its headquarters — and an enduring legacy in lumber and conservation — for 279 years. These days, Cinda Jones, the ninth-generation president of W.D. Cowls Inc., and her team are doing nothing short of creating a new town center in North Amherst. Why? Because the family has always transformed the land into what was most beneficial and needed. Today, she says, that’s a sense of community.

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      Mentions: Amherst
    23. Springfield College to Welcome Courts for Kids President Derek Nesland on Jan. 28

      Springfield College to Welcome Courts for Kids President Derek Nesland on Jan. 28

      Springfield College will welcome Courts for Kids President Derek Nesland to the campus on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Fuller Arts Center. Nesland’s presentation, titled “Who Says There’s No Traveling in Basketball? Community Development Through Court Building Around the Globe,” will highlight the service-to-humanity mission provided by Courts for Kids, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that helps build multi-sport courts in economically disadvantaged areas throughout the world. Nesland’s presentation is part of the 2019-20 Humanics Triathlon project led by Distinguished Springfield Professor of Humanics Judy Van Raalte.

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    24. Singer Traciana Graves to Speak at Bay Path for Black History Month Event

      Singer Traciana Graves to Speak at Bay Path for Black History Month Event

      Although she’s known for her vocal work with artists like Celine Dion and Steel Pulse, these days vocalist, strategist, and speaker Traciana Graves is using her voice to deliver an even more powerful message — one of inclusivity. She believes people have the ability to change the world with the power of their voice, and she’ll bring that inspirational message to Bay Path University as the keynote speaker for its Black History Month celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

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