1. Articles from George O'Brien

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    1. Development Chief Looks to Build on Momentum

      Development Chief Looks to Build on Momentum

      Tim Sheehan, who succeeded Kevin Kennedy as Springfield’s chief Development officer in July, may be new to the job, but he’s certainly not new to the city. He grew up there, and later worked for two different mayoral administrations. In recent years, he’s seen the city go from the depths of receivership to what many are calling a renaissance. Looking to build off created momentum, he said there is still considerable work to do.

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    2. Easthampton: It’s Not the ‘New Northampton’

      Easthampton: It’s Not the ‘New Northampton’

      It was the food that brought Cynthia West to Easthampton. Well, sort of. It was the food, in the form of weekly visits to restaurants like Galaxy, Kisara, and others that gave West … well, a flavor of Easthampton and, eventually, the opinion that this was the place to bring a business she had been thinking about and dreaming about for some time. It’s called Sonnet & Sparrow, a “curated thrift store” she operates with her daughter, McKenzie West, in space that was once part of the historic, yet also somewhat notorious, Majestic Theater on Cottage Street. Notorious because 30 years ...

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    3. Online Nursing Programs Evolve to Meet Workforce Needs

      Online Nursing Programs Evolve to Meet Workforce Needs

      Back in 2010, the Institute of Medicine put out a call for 80% of all registered nurses to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) by 2020. National nurse organizations picked up the goal as well — 85% is the current goal — while hospitals with ‘magnet’ status, such as Baystate Medical Center, maintain even stricter staffing goals. One problem, though: RNs work full-time jobs, and many go home to a full slate of family and parenting obligations. And that leaves little opportunity to go back to school to take classes toward a BSN.

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    4. Hoop Hall, MGM, Ray Allen Team Up for Charity Golf Classic

      Hoop Hall, MGM, Ray Allen Team Up for Charity Golf Classic

      They’re calling it a “pairing party.” And, as that name suggests, this is a party at which the pairings for the MGM Springfield Basketball Hall of Fame Golf Classic Hosted by Ray Allen!, will be announced. Most golf tournaments in this region, and there are a great many of them, don’t have a pairing party. This one does, and for a good reason — players are being paired with Hall of Famers and legends of the game. The list of those signed on to participate include players such as Allen, Dominique Wilkins, Gary Payton, Dave Cowens, Rick Barry, Bernard ...

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    5. Greenfield Cooperative Bank Maintains a Solid Pace of Growth

      Greenfield Cooperative Bank Maintains a Solid Pace of Growth

      Like most all bank presidents in the 413, Michael Tucker would concede that a great many of the region’s communities are heavily populated with financial institutions, or “overbanked,” to use the term most would put into play. He’s inclined to include Greenfield on that list, and gestures out the window of his office to make his point. “They used to call the other end of the street Bank Row,” he said, referring to a stretch of Federal Street now occupied by what once were stately bank offices, many of them redeveloped for other uses. “They really should call ...

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    6. Nonprofits Face a Host of Daunting Challenges - BusinessWest

      Nonprofits Face a Host of Daunting Challenges - BusinessWest

      Managing a nonprofit agency has never been easy, but a number of factors, from low unemployment rates and rising employment costs to new labor regulations and immense competition for donor dollars, are making it much more difficult for organizations to carry out their missions.  Joan Kagan compares the effects that unfunded mandates and rising costs have on a nonprofit to a bad tomato season. Well, sort of.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    7. Business Group Becomes ‘Critical Friend’ to Springfield Schools - BusinessWest

      Business Group Becomes ‘Critical Friend’ to Springfield Schools - BusinessWest

      Trisha Canavan tells the story often, and for a reason — it resonates with everyone who hears it.  United Personnel, the staffing agency she serves as president and CEO, used to make candidates for jobs in warehousing and manufacturing, two of the company’s strongest niches, take and pass what she called a “basic math test” before they could be considered for placement with a client.

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    8. That’s What the PVPC’s Tim Brennan Has Done for the Past 47 Years - BusinessWest

      That’s What the PVPC’s Tim Brennan Has Done for the Past 47 Years - BusinessWest

      Tim Brennan’s almost-half-century-long career with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission will draw to a close later this summer. As he pivots into retirement, Brennan talked with BusinessWest about the many ways the landscape has changed over the past four and half decades, and especially the emergence of a more regional focus in the Valley.

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    9. Jazz & Roots Festival Brings People, Energy to Springfield

      Evan Plotkin has always been a firm believer in the arts as an economic-development strategy and vehicle for “changing the conversation about Springfield,” as he likes to say. And this belief has manifested itself in a number of ways, from the manner in which he has turned 1350 Main St. (the downtown Springfield office building he co-owns) into a type of art gallery to the sculptures he has helped bring to the central business district, to his long-time support of the Springfield Museums and other institutions.

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    10. Innovate413 Looks to Take Its Mission to a Higher Level

      Innovate413 Looks to Take Its Mission to a Higher Level

      Samalid Hogan says that, when the website Innovate413 was launched roughly four years ago, it was with a desire to not only promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the region, but to inspire more of both. And when she agreed to essentially take over the initiative early last year, she admitted the original goal was just to “keep it going,” as she put it, because she could clearly see the value it represented.

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    11. Chikmedia Celebrates Five Years of Growth in the Marketing World

      Chikmedia Celebrates Five Years of Growth in the Marketing World

      When Meghan Rothschild launched Chikmedia as a two-woman operation five years ago, she was determined to build a successful marketing firm that focused heavily, if not exclusively, on women and brought a fierce attitude and a sense of fun into the work. Five years later, as the head of a small team with an ever-growing clientele, she says those philosophies haven’t changed — nor has the need for a company that reminds women of the power they wield when they lift each other up.

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    12. Innovation Fest to Celebrate Region’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

      Innovation Fest to Celebrate Region’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

      HUBweek in Boston. Denver Startup Week. The Tom Tom Summit & Festival in Charlottesville, Va. South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. These are just a few of the many highly successful and very well-attended entrepreneurship and innovation events now taking place across the country. Some of them go on for a few days, others for a whole week, as their names make clear, said Kristen Leutz, executive director of Springfield-based Valley Venture Mentors (VVM), who has been to Startup Week and will likely attend some of those other gatherings in the months and years to come as she seeks to learn ...

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    13. Peter Pan Charts a Route to Continued Growth

      Peter Pan Charts a Route to Continued Growth

      Peter Picknelly says the higher prices that consumers are experiencing at the gas pump are a fairly recent phenomenon, with the surge coming over the past few months or so. But in the bus business, such changes to the landscape can, and usually do, have a quick and profound impact. And Easter weekend provided ample evidence of this. “Business was up 18% over the same period a year ago — we were really busy over Easter weekend,” said Picknelly. “When gas prices go up, we see an increase in ridership, and they’ve been going up.

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    14. MASS MoCA Continues to Expand and Contribute to the Big Picture in the Berkshires - BusinessWest

      MASS MoCA Continues to Expand and Contribute to the Big Picture in the Berkshires - BusinessWest

      Anyone who hasn’t been to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in the past decade might be surprised at how different it is from its early days. From a near-doubling of art space to a growing array of long-term exhibits to a robust music, theater, and festival business, MASS MoCA has become a true driver of Berkshire County’s creative economy — and that’s by design.

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    15. Berkshire Blueprint 2.0 Charts Ambitious Course to Economic Growth

      Berkshire Blueprint 2.0 Charts Ambitious Course to Economic Growth

      Jonathan Butler knows what happens to a lot of reports, and he’s determined to avoid that fate. “This wasn’t intended to be just a two-year study that ends up as a report that sits on a shelf,” he said, referring to Berkshire Blueprint 2.0, an 80-page action plan of sorts for the Berkshire County economy. “It very much means to be a new look at our economy, a new baseline for where we are that identifies challenges we have in different areas and action steps needed to move forward.”

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      Mentions: 1Berkshire
    16. Machine Metrics Continues Torrid Pace of Growth

      Machine Metrics Continues Torrid Pace of Growth

      Over the past five years, Machine Metrics, a company that specializes in predictive analytics for manufacturers, has been scaling up its operation. But with an infusion of $11.3 million in venture capital last fall, this process enters a new and dynamic phase. The company has nearly doubled its workforce, expanded with a new office in Boston, and become much more aggressive in efforts to educate potential clients about its game-changing software.

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    17. JA Celebrates 100 Years of Providing Life Lessons - BusinessWest

      JA Celebrates 100 Years of Providing Life Lessons - BusinessWest

      The 100th Anniversary Gala for Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts will have a decidedly ’20s flair — as in the 1920s. In fact, the theme is “The Roaring ’20s are Back.”  Attendees are encouraged, but not required, to come in period dress, a challenge that Jennifer Connelly, executive director of the local JA chapter, met (with considerable help from her daughter) by doing a hard search online that yielded the appropriate dress as well as a headband with a feather.

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    18. For 150 Years, the YWCA of Western Mass. Has Been Helping Survivors Heal - BusinessWest

      For 150 Years, the YWCA of Western Mass. Has Been Helping Survivors Heal - BusinessWest

      Helping survivors heal. That’s been the mission of the YWCA of Western Mass. for 150 years. Today, the agency does this in a number of ways, some well-known, such as its 58-bed domestic-violence shelter, and others far-less-heralded but still important, such as helping area young people attain their high-school equivalency. In each case, the key is providing these survivors with the tools they need to achieve a higher quality of life.

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    19. Wyckoff’s New Owners Have Ambitious Plans for Facility

      Wyckoff’s New Owners Have Ambitious Plans for Facility

      None of the members of the new ownership team at Wyckoff Country Club in Holyoke had spent any time on the golf course — or in the golf business — prior to their acquisition earlier this year. But they did know a few things about what they were getting into. Actually, more than a few. They knew how to run a business — Bob VanZandt Sr. has operated American Tire Sales & Service in Springfield for nearly 40 years, and Charlie Arment has been at the helm of Charlie Arment Trucking in Springfield, a 65-year-old family business, since 1978. Beyond that, well, they knew ...

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      Mentions: Holyoke
    20. EforAll Helps a Challenged Constituency Share the Wealth - BusinessWest

      EforAll Helps a Challenged Constituency Share the Wealth - BusinessWest

      The agency is called SPARK EforAll Holyoke. It represents a merger of SPARK Holyoke, an entity created to inspire and mentor entrepreneurs, and EforAll, the Lowell-based organization that has created an effective model that does essentially the same thing. By whatever name it goes, the agency is helping to spur business ownership among minorities, women, and other constituencies, and it is already changing the landscape in the Paper City.

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    21. Nearing the End of an Era: Bay Path University President Carol Leary to Retire in 2020

      Nearing the End of an Era: Bay Path University President Carol Leary to Retire in 2020

      Carol Leary was ready to announce her retirement, but not exactly ready to talk about it. OK, she talked about it a little, mentioning how it would include, among other things, travel to some of the places she hasn’t been to yet (countries along the Adriatic and in Scandinavia, for example) and ongoing work to maintain the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine, where she and her husband, Noel, have owned a home for some time now; she’s on that landmark’s preseveration committee.

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    22. Celebrating the Class 0f 2019

      Celebrating the Class 0f 2019

      It was almost a decade ago now when Bill Ward, then the executive director of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, stepped to the podium at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke to accept the first Difference Maker award presented by BusinessWest. Much has happened since then. Ward retired a few years later, and the REB is now known as the MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board. But the Difference Maker award remains a constant — and a symbol of excellence and dedication to improving quality of life in this region. The six members of the class of 2019 ...

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    23. Eric Lesser Wants to Close the Distance Between East and West - BusinessWest

      Eric Lesser Wants to Close the Distance Between East and West - BusinessWest

      Since first elected to office five years ago, state Sen. Eric Lesser has made economic development and, more specifically, closing the wide gap in prosperity between the eastern and western areas of the state his top priority. While he’s most closely linked to high-speed rail, he’s put his name — and energy — behind a number of initiatives to bring more jobs and more vibrancy to the 413.

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    1-24 of 231 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »
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