1. Articles from George O'Brien

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    1. Dawn Creighton Wants to Be a Connector and Program Builder

      Dawn Creighton Wants to Be a Connector and Program Builder

      During her decade-long tenure as regional director for Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), Dawn Creighton’s role was basically to support member businesses in the 413. “I went out and met with member companies, with their executive directors, and they would tell me what their biggest business challenges are, and I would try to find them a solution,” she told BusinessWest. “Sure enough, every single one of them said, ‘Dawn, if you could get me the bodies, I could double my workforce.’ No matter what the industry was, I’d meet with the HR person, and she’d say, ‘oh ...

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    2. Progress in Ludlow Extends Beyond Mills Project

      Progress in Ludlow Extends Beyond Mills Project

      For more than a decade now, the Ludlow Mills project, a 20-year initiative that is changing the face of that historic complex and bringing jobs, new businesses, and new places to live to this community, has been the dominant talking point when it comes to the subject of economic development here. But municipal officials are quick to point out that it’s just one of many intriguing stories unfolding in this town of around 21,000 people, the sum of which adds up to an intriguing, very positive chapter in the history of this community across the Chicopee River from ...

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    3. Springfield’s Educare Facility Is State-of-the-art in Every Respect

      Springfield’s Educare Facility Is State-of-the-art in Every Respect

      Nikki Burnett says Springfield’s Old Hill neighborhood and those surrounding it certainly need the gleaming new $14 million Educare facility constructed next door to the Elias Brookings Elementary School on Walnut Street. More to the point, though, she told BusinessWest, they deserve this facility, which can only be described with that phrase state-of-the-art when it comes to everything from its programs to its play areas to its bathrooms.

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    4. Kim Robinson Takes the Helm at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

      Kim Robinson Takes the Helm at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

      Kim Robinson, who has worked with planning and development agencies in Detroit and Nevada, has been chosen to fill the large shoes left by Tim Brennan, who recently retired as director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission after more than four decades in that position. Robinson is focused on a number of short- and long-term priorities — everything from the upcoming census to east-west rail service.

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    5. Katherine Putnam

      Katherine Putnam

      This Investor and Mentor Is Making a Difference within the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem.  Katherine Putnam was a history major in college, and she certainly knows her stuff. While she really likes European history, she knows all about this country — and this region — as well. She knows, for example, about the very rich tradition of entrepreneurship in Western Mass., and what it meant for the development of individual cities and towns.

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    6. Tricia Canavan

      Tricia Canavan

      Tricia Canavan spent much of her early career as an educator. Today, in a much different role, education is never far from her mind. “As I’ve done this job for the last eight years, I’ve learned how education is tied to workforce development and people being successful. It’s not just about being able to write well or have the fundamentals of math — can you support yourself?”

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    7. 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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    8. 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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    9. 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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    10. 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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    11. 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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    12. 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
    13. 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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    14. 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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    15. 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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    16. 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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    17. 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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    18. 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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    19. 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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    20. 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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    21. 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
    22. 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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    23. 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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    1-24 of 237 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 »
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