1. Articles from George O'Brien

    1-24 of 297 1 2 3 4 ... 11 12 13 »
    1. Progress Continues in Wilbraham’s Business Districts

      Progress Continues in Wilbraham’s Business Districts

      Wilbraham is a mostly residential town with two main business districts — the town center, as it’s known, on Main Street, and along a lengthy stretch of Route 20, or Boston Road. The fact that both have seen development activity during the ongoing pandemic is good news indeed, said Jeffrey Smith, chairman of the Planning Board. Take, for example, a couple of vacant buildings next to Home Depot that have been vacant for about a decade. They will soon become a 7,000-square-foot O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store and a 2,340-square-foot Valvoline instant oil-change facility.

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    2. Robert Johnson Takes the Helm at WNEU

      Robert Johnson Takes the Helm at WNEU

      At least once, and perhaps twice, Robert Johnson strongly considered removing himself from the mix as a search committee narrowed the field of candidates to succeed Anthony Caprio as president of Western New England University (WNEU) in Springfield. It was early spring, and the COVID-19 pandemic was presenting every institution of higher learning, including UMass-Dartmouth, which he served as chancellor, with a laundry list of stern — and, in some cases, unprecedented — challenges.

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    3. Springfield Positions Itself to Bounce Back from COVID-19

      Springfield Positions Itself to Bounce Back from COVID-19

      Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno noted that his city is certainly well-versed in dealing with natural and man-made disasters — everything from the tornado in June 2011 to the natural-gas explosion a year and a half later. “Battle-tested” was the phrase he used to describe a community that has been though a lot over the past few decades. But the COVID-19 pandemic … this is a different kind of disaster. “It’s like shadow boxing in a lot of ways,” he said, using that phrase to essentially describe a foe that’s hard to hit and an exercise that amounts to punching air ...

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    4. Pioneer Valley Railroad Is a Moving Business Success Story

      Pioneer Valley Railroad Is a Moving Business Success Story

      When it comes to moving freight, Jeremy Levine says, many business owners believe it comes down to a choice between rail — if it’s available — or trucks. But in many cases, he believes, the best answer might be rail and trucks. And this is the answer that has enabled Westfield-based sister businesses Pioneer Valley Railroad (PVRR) and its wholly owned subsidiary Railroad Distribution Services (RDS) — both Pinsly Railroad companies — to thrive for the past 35 years and remain on a steady growth trajectory.

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    5. Palmer’s Town Manager Sees Growth Potential

      Palmer’s Town Manager Sees Growth Potential

      If there’s one thing capitalism doesn’t like, Ryan McNutt says, it’s uncertainty. And COVID-19 has certainly injected plenty of that into the regional and national economic picture. But unlike more densely populated areas like Boston, where the death toll — and accompanying anxiety — are higher, leading to a slower return to acitity, Palmer has seen only seven coronavirus-related deaths. Even now, only nine people are under some sort of quarantine order, following a long stretch of no cases at all.

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      Mentions: Palmer
    6. BusinessTalk with Tessa Murphy-Romboletti

      BusinessTalk with Tessa Murphy-Romboletti

      Thom Fox interviews Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, Executive Director of EforAll in Holyoke.  EforAll [Entrepreneurship for All] accelerates economic and social impact in communities through inclusive entrepreneurship. Tessa discusses the organization’s Business Accelerator program, Pitch Contests, and how EforAll is supporting local entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    7. BusinessTalk with Scott Foster

      BusinessTalk with Scott Foster

      Scott Foster, Partner at the Buckley Richardson Law Firm, joins Thom Fox to discuss what Western Massachusetts businesses are doing to survive, and thrive, during COVID-19 recovery.  Scott and Thom also discuss, business liability concerns, the Paycheck Protection Program, and how municipalities are making it simpler to do business.

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    8. For Manufacturers, COVID-19 Changes … Everything

      For Manufacturers, COVID-19 Changes … Everything

      Mark Borsari says he hasn’t been on a plane since a vacation in early March. By his reckoning, that’s by far the longest stretch he can remember when he hasn’t been flying somewhere, especially in his role as president of Palmer-based Sanderson MacLeod, a maker of fine wire brushes for everything from makeup kits to gun cleaning. The six months on the ground has been a time of reflection — and even humor. “I’m sure my wife’s probably thinking I should be on a plane more,” said Borsari with a laugh, adding that he’s not ...

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    9. Paul Belsito Eyes ‘Impact Philanthropy’ as He Takes Helm at Davis Foundation

      Paul Belsito Eyes ‘Impact Philanthropy’ as He Takes Helm at Davis Foundation

      Paul Belsito admits he’s struggling somewhat with Zoom and conference calls — not the technology, but the nature of those forms of communication. He’s a people person, and he likes meeting them face to face — and not on screen or over the phone. “I enjoy going to events and networking — that’s how I meet people,” he said, noting that there haven’t been any opportunities like that since he’s arrived, and he’s looking to the day when they return. “Zoom is OK, and I’m getting good at it, but it’s not the same.”

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    10. New Bay Path President Says School Will Be a Leader in Time of Crisis

      New Bay Path President Says School Will Be a Leader in Time of Crisis

      Sandra Doran says her family has long been attracted to careers in education and the law. One great-grandfather traveled from New York to Colorado and set up the first one-room schoolhouse in that state, she noted, while her grandfather was superintendent of a school district in New York City, and her mother was a music teacher. And her other great-grandfather was a bankruptcy lawyer, kept especially busy during the Great Depression. So it’s logical she would take one of those career paths. Actually, she took both.

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      Mentions: Carol A. Leary
    11. ESE Searches for Revenue Streams After 2020 Big E Is Canceled

      ESE Searches for Revenue Streams After 2020 Big E Is Canceled

      As he talked with BusinessWest about the cancellation of this year’s Big E and how the Eastern States Exposition (ESE) will respond to that huge loss of revenue, Gene Cassidy stopped and pointed to a picture at the opposite end of the company’s large conference room. “That’s J. Loring Brooks, son of Joshua L. Brooks, founder of the Eastern States Exposition,” said Cassidy, president and CEO of ESE. “He was the Big E’s chief development officer. When the Eastern States had rainy fairs or fairs where, for one reason or another, we didn’t make any ...

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    12. After Four Challenging Months, Museums Reopen to a Different World

      After Four Challenging Months, Museums Reopen to a Different World

      Kay Simpson says the top priority before reopening Springfield Museums was making sure both visitors and staff would be safe. “Kissing Through a Curtain” is an exhibit of 10 contemporary artists, dealing with communicating and translating across borders, how people interact, and the meaning behind words. It was hung at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in March, a few days before the museum closed due to COVID-19 — and there it has hung, dormant, ever since.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. MGM Emphasizes Safety as It Reopens After COVID-forced Shutdown

      MGM Emphasizes Safety as It Reopens After COVID-forced Shutdown

      Those visiting MGM Springfield after it reopens following a nearly four-month-long shutdown forced by COVID-19 will certainly recognize the place. But much will be different at One MGM Way, to put it mildly, when it opens to its M life members this week and the general public on July 13. Plexiglass dividers are now in place between some slot machines. Many of the table games — roulette and craps, for example — will not be open for play. There are seats only at the slot machines that are in use. Those that are not bear a simple round, black sign that reads ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    14. Business Talk with Peter Rosskothen

      Business Talk with Peter Rosskothen

      George O’Brien interviews serial entrepreneur, Peter Rosskothen, Owner of The Log Cabin, Delanry House, D. Hotel Suites & Spa, and Delaney’s Market. George and Peter discuss the effects the pandemic has had on a local business owner in an industry focused on bringing people together, and how the current situation has compelled the companies to be more hands-on in their approach and think outside the “event” box.

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      Mentions: Peter Rosskothen
    15. County’s Attractions Begin to Open in a Different Kind of Summer Season

      County’s Attractions Begin to Open in a Different Kind of Summer Season

      Magic Wings is a year-round operation, Kathy Fiore said — even when its doors are shut. “This is different from a clothing store,” said Fiore, who co-owns the butterfly conservatory in Deerfield with her brother. “When we closed our doors, we still needed to have staff here, because we have to take care of whatever is happening. Butterflies are laying eggs every day. Caterpillars are hatching out every day. We need to feed and care for the lizards, tortoises, birds, fish … all sorts of animals have to be taken care of.” And that means expenses that don’t disappear when no ...

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    16. Universal Plastics’ Pia Kumar Puts the Focus on Work-life Balance

      Universal Plastics’ Pia Kumar Puts the Focus on Work-life Balance

      Back in mid-March, Pia Kumar recalls, at the height of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a good deal of absenteeism at the five plants within the Universal Plastics fold — maybe 40% by her estimate, a number that spoke volumes about the high levels of fear and anxiety within the workforce. So Kumar, who co-owns the Universal family of businesses with her husband, Jay, and has the title ‘Chief Strategy Officer’ printed on her business card, did what she says comes naturally to her. She got on the phone. “I called every single employee that was not ...

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    1-24 of 297 1 2 3 4 ... 11 12 13 »
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