1. Articles from George O'Brien

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    1. BusinessTalk with Dave DiRico, owner of Dave DiRico’s Golf & Racquet

      BusinessTalk with Dave DiRico, owner of Dave DiRico’s Golf & Racquet

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Dave DiRico, owner of Dave DiRico’s Golf & Racquet. The two have a lively discussion about everything from the state of the golf business in the wake of the pandemic — the sport has actually received a big boost from COVID — to how the federal government’s various economic stimulus programs are helping small businesses — like his — by giving people more buying power. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

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    2. Pandemic Will Reshape the Office in Many Ways Moving Forward - BusinessWest

      Pandemic Will Reshape the Office in Many Ways Moving Forward - BusinessWest

      It’s been said time and again that, for businesses large and small, the pandemic provided a number of learning opportunities. Companies learned new ways to do things — mostly out of necessity — while also learning that the ‘old’ way may not be the best way. Meanwhile, the pandemic provided opportunities that didn’t exist before — especially when it comes to hiring — and accelerated the pace of needed change. All that means the landscape has been altered for the long term.

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    3. Construction Sector Looks Ahead with Optimism

      Construction Sector Looks Ahead with Optimism

      The past year has been an unusual time for the construction industry — one marked by project postponements, soaring prices for materials, and the establishment of strict COVID safety protocols on job sites. But for most builders, it wasn’t a devastating year, and, in many cases, it led to a surprisingly promising 2021. After all, the need for projects to be completed hasn’t gone away, and the backlog is actually creating a surplus of projects to bid on. The aforementioned challenges still remain, contractors say, but the work rolls on.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    4. Jacob’s Pillow Looks to Rebound from a Horrific 2020

      Jacob’s Pillow Looks to Rebound from a Horrific 2020

      or Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, the nation’s largest and longest running dance festival, 2020 was a lost year in almost every respect. That’s almost, and we’ll get to that silver lining, if it can be called that, shortly. First, all those losses. Jacob’s Pillow lost an entire season of live performances and all the revenue that comes with it, forcing a 50% reduction in the budget, layoffs, and other cutbacks. It also lost some momentum when it comes to fundraising, especially for a much-needed renovation of its main stage, the Ted Shawn Theatre, or the ...

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    5. Tourism and Hospitality Industry Optimistic for 2021

      Tourism and Hospitality Industry Optimistic for 2021

      Mary Kay Wydra learned a couple new phrases over the past few months. “The buzz term is ‘revenge spending,’” the president of the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) said. “That is, ‘I’ll spend more on things I was denied because of COVID.’ Things like in-person entertainment, eating at restaurants next to people, and travel.” The other buzzword making its way around the tourism industry is ‘vacation retaliation,’ and it means roughly the same thing. She likes those phrases — or, more accurately, what those sentiments portend. “That bodes well for us as a region,” she told BusinessWest. “We are ...

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    6. Co-working Spaces See Opportunities Beyond the Pandemic

      Co-working Spaces See Opportunities Beyond the Pandemic

      Since launching Click Workspace a decade ago, Mary Yun has seen nothing but growth in one of the region’s first co-working ventures. That growth led her to abandon her original 1,000-square-foot facility in 2015 and develop a 9,000-square-foot building in downtown Northampton, which, at its peak prior to the pandemic, hosted 80 members and a host of community arts and cultural events. “That was a good number for us, where we could operate with a full-time member advocate and myself as executive director overseeing all the operations and also working on events,” she said. “We’re mission-driven ...

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    7. BusinessTalk with Judy Matt, president of the Spirit of Springfield

      BusinessTalk with Judy Matt, president of the Spirit of Springfield

      On this installment of BusinessTalk, BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Judy Matt, president of the Spirit of Springfield. The two have a lively discussion about the toll the pandemic has taken on this nonprofit and the many types of events it stages for the region, and how, if all goes well,  2021 could be a bounce back year for this important institution. They also talk about just how critical SOS events, like Bright Nights, the Fourth of July fireworks, the pancake breakfast, and the  Big Balloon Parade are to the quality of life in this region. It’s ...

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    8. When Will Employees Come Back to the Office? And Should They? - BusinessWest

      When Will Employees Come Back to the Office? And Should They? - BusinessWest

      Most of Big Y’s 11,000 employees — those who stock shelves, prepare food, work the cashier lines, and do any number of other tasks — must do their jobs on site, in a specific location. But at Big Y’s 300-employee-strong customer-support center in Springfield, which supports those frontline workers, about 70% of them have worked remotely since the start of the pandemic.  “This past year, we learned that remote work can work, and it allows for a lot of flexibility for individuals,” said Michael Galat, vice president of Employee Services at the supermarket chain.

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    9. BusinessTalk with Mark Melnik

      BusinessTalk with Mark Melnik

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Mark Melnik, director of economic and public policy research at the UMass Donahue Institute in Amherst.  The two have a lively discussion about everything from recent data on how many people are leaving the state — and why — to the ongoing economic recovery, the shape it will take, and the many factors that will drive it. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

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    10. West Side Story Is One of Continued Progress - BusinessWest

      West Side Story Is One of Continued Progress - BusinessWest

      When Tyler Saremi looks at what is considered downtown West Springfield — the Elm Street/Park Street area — he doesn’t see Northampton or West Hartford.  But he can easily imagine a day when that section of this city that still calls itself a town can attain something approaching a level of vibrancy and an eclectic mix of businesses, especially those in the hospitality sector, that define those communities.

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    11. COVID-19: One Year Later - BusinessWest

      COVID-19: One Year Later - BusinessWest

      One year ago, the world, or at least our little corner of it, stopped. Completely.
      Well, almost completely. Better to say that it paused — big time. The COVID-19 pandemic had arrived in the 413 and elsewhere, and life as we knew it had given way to something else. Something much different. Something the likes of which we had never seen or dealt with before. The cover of the March 16, 2020 issue of BusinessWest captured it perfectly. Above a set of empty conference-room chairs was the headline “Life in Limbo.”

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    12. Healthcare Construction Is Picking Up, but Questions Remain

      Healthcare Construction Is Picking Up, but Questions Remain

      Ryan Pelletier says that, while it was “scary at times,” he believes life has returned to something approaching normal — although ‘normal’ is certainly a relative term — when it comes to construction within the broad and all-important healthcare sector in Western Mass. And he should know. He’s project manager for Houle Construction in Ludlow, a family-run operation (his father, Tim, is president) that does the bulk of its work within the healthcare sector, including projects for most area hospitals and a number of private practices as well.

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      Mentions: Palmer
    13. Holyoke Looks to Regain Momentum

      Holyoke Looks to Regain Momentum

      When he made up his mind roughly a year ago not to seek re-election to the state House seat he had held for four terms, Aaron Vega had an informal list of things he would like to do next when it came to his career. Working in Holyoke City Hall certainly wasn’t one of them. But … things changed, in many ways, and in a profound way. For starters, the COVID-19 pandemic limited some of the other options he was thinking about professionally, especially those in higher education, economic development, and workforce development. More importantly, though, Marcos Marrero, the long-time ...

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    14. BusinessTalk with Kirk Jonah

      BusinessTalk with Kirk Jonah

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Kirk Jonah, a man who is trying to “Make Courage Contagious.” Kirk’s son, Jack, died of a heroin overdose a few years ago, and Kirk has dedicated much of his time, energy, and imagination to educating others about the dangers of opioid abuse. The two discuss his various speaking engagements, and also a recently-released movie about Jack Jonah, the Jonah family, and others, and its impact on audiences. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

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    15. EforAll Holyoke

      EforAll Holyoke

      “If your dreams don’t scare you … they are not big enough.” That’s the quote, attributed to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian president, economist, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, that is stenciled onto one of the walls at EforAll Holyoke’s headquarters on High Street, in the heart of the city’s downtown. Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, executive director of this nonprofit since its inception, chose it for many reasons, but mostly because it resonates with her and also because it accurately sums up entrepreneurship in general, as well as the work that goes on in that facility.

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    16. Kristin Carlson, President, Peerless Precision

      Kristin Carlson, President, Peerless Precision

      Kristin Carlson calls it the ‘Boston Marathon bomber story.’ Because … it’s about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two brothers who perpetrated those heinous crimes almost eight years ago now. More to the point, though, it’s about the role her company played in eventually apprehending him. Indeed, Tsarnaev was found hiding in a boat in a backyard in Watertown, and he was discovered through the use of a thermal-imaging camera in a police helicopter flying over the area. Carlson’s company, Westfield-based Peerless Precision, makes several components for that camera, including one for the cryogenic cooling system that ensures ...

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    17. BusinessTalk with Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center

      BusinessTalk with Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center, recently honored as one oof the magazine’s Healthcare Heroes for 2020. The two discuss the state of the pandemic and current trends with cases and hospitalizations, as well as the many ways COVID is impacting the bottom line at this and other hospitals. The two also discuss HMC’s ongoing, and now changing, plans to add more behavioral health beds in a region that sorely needs them. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership ...

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    18. Dawn Forbes DiStefano Brings to Square One a Blend of Passion, Business Sense

      Dawn Forbes DiStefano Brings to Square One a Blend of Passion, Business Sense

      For Dawn Forbes DiStefano, it was the quintessential all-or-nothing proposition. As the search for a successor to Joan Kagan, Square One’s long-time president and CEO, commenced last summer, Forbes DiStefano knew what few outside the organization — and probably few inside it, as well — knew: if she did not prevail in the nationwide search, she would no longer be working for the Springfield-based provider of childcare and other services for children and families. That’s because the position she held at the time — executive vice president — was to be eliminated as the agency continued on a course of restructuring its ...

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    19. Springfield Looks to Identify and Provide Skills Students Need to Thrive

      Springfield Looks to Identify and Provide Skills Students Need to Thrive

      The program is called ‘Portrait of a Graduate,’ and that name pretty much says it all. But maybe an adjective is in order to get the complete picture, pun intended. Indeed, what the Springfield Public Schools are focused on now is creating a portrait of a successful high-school graduate, through an initiative designed to gain feedback from a host of constituencies regarding the skills — as in all the skills — that young people will need to not only earn a high-school diploma, but thrive in an ever-changing, technology-driven economy. Among those providing input are members of the business community, said Trisha ...

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    20. Lenox Goes All Outdoors to Save Tourism Season

      Lenox Goes All Outdoors to Save Tourism Season

      For the past year, the town of Lenox showed what happens when uncertainty meets a can-do attitude. Despite the formidable challenges of COVID-19, Town Manager Christopher Ketchen said, Lenox residents and businesses have been remarkably resilient. “Throughout the pandemic, our residents demonstrated how much they love our town,” Ketchen said. “They make their homes here, and our businesses are invested in their customers and their community.”

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    21. BusinessTalk with Carol Campbell, president of Chicopee Industrial Contractors

      BusinessTalk with Carol Campbell, president of Chicopee Industrial Contractors

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Carol Campbell, president of  Chicopee Industrial Contractors, and one of the magazine’s Women of Impact for 2020. The two discuss the state of the economy and the outlook for 2021, but mostly they talk about the glass ceiling, why it still exists, and what it will take to remove the barriers from women entering the boardroom and even some professions. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

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      Mentions: Chicopee
    22. BusinessTalk with Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council

      BusinessTalk with Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council. The two discuss the state of the economy and the outlook for the balance of 2021. The two also discuss the pandemic, its impact on the local business community, and the possibility that it might provide some opportunities for the region in terms of attracting new businesses — and new residents — who might view Western Mass. as a viable option to higher-cost urban centers like Boston and New York. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by ...

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      Mentions: Rick Sullivan
    23. BusinessTalk with Andy Yee, president of the Bean Restaurant Group

      BusinessTalk with Andy Yee, president of the Bean Restaurant Group

      BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien talks with Andy Yee, president of the Bean Restaurant Group. The two discuss the ongoing plight of area restaurants as they battle the pandemic, ever-tighter restrictions on their operations, and the onset of winter. They also discuss the various forms of relief restaurants are receiving and whether they will be enough to help them withstand the many challenges they are facing. It’s must listening, so join us on BusinessTalk, a podcast presented by BusinessWest in partnership with Living Local.

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    1-24 of 345 1 2 3 4 ... 13 14 15 »
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