1. Articles from BusinessWest Staff

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    1. VVM Accelerator Awards Boost Startups in More Ways Than One

      VVM Accelerator Awards Boost Startups in More Ways Than One

      Valley Venture Mentor's third annual Accelerator program may have been capped by the grants given to a dozen of its participants at a recent awards ceremony, but participants say the rewards of the program go far beyond dollars, encompassing everything from intensive business training and expert advice to exposure in the marketplace and critical networking. These entrepreneurs’ ideas are often potentially world-changing; VVM’s goal is to help turn that potential into reality.

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    2. WNEU to Host Public Hearing on Clean Energy and Climate Change

      WNEU to Host Public Hearing on Clean Energy and Climate Change

      The Western New England University School of Law Institute for Legislative and Governmental Affairs will host the Massachusetts Clean Energy Future Tour presented by state Sen. Jim Welch and the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. The event will take place on Monday, June 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Blake Law Center, J. Pellegrini Moot Court Room. The event is free and open to the public.

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    3. HCC President Christina Royal Appointed to Mass Tech Collaborative

      HCC President Christina Royal Appointed to Mass Tech Collaborative

      Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal has been appointed to the board of directors of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, a nonprofit public agency that seeks to advance economic development through technological innovation, particularly in key industries such as healthcare, life sciences, information technology, nanotechnology, broadband deployment, and marine sciences. “Through its major divisions — the Innovation Institute, the Massachusetts eHealth Institute, and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute —Mass Tech brings together leaders from industry, government, and higher education to advance technology-based solutions that strengthen regional economies, improve the healthcare system, expand broadband access, and stimulate economic growth throughout the Commonwealth,” according to ...

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    4. Eversource Welcomes Michael Vedovelli

      Eversource Welcomes Michael Vedovelli

      With more than 19 years of community and economic-development experience in Western Mass., Mike Vedovelli joined Eversource as its newest community relations specialist. Vedovelli will serve as the company’s liaison for communities in Hampden and Hampshire counties. His focus is supporting Eversource’s electric service business. He is a past board member of DevelopSpringfield and the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce, and a graduate of St. Anselm College.

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    5. Internships Help Students Realize Their Potential

      Internships Help Students Realize Their Potential

      Today’s college graduates understand it takes much more than book learning to compete in the job market; employers are looking for real-world experience. Students gain that experience through internships in their field, but they gain more than that. BusinessWest spoke with a few from this year’s graduating class who said their internships gave them confidence, inspiration, connections, and, in one case, a whole new career focus.

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    6. United Personnel Builds Business-development Team

      United Personnel Builds Business-development Team

      Victoria Owen has joined United Personnel as the organization’s newest business development representative, as the company expands its team to better serve area businesses. Owen, former owner of Owen Employee Benefit Strategies LLC and past director of Employee Benefits at Northwestern Mutual, brings a wealth of knowledge about business operations and human-resources priorities to her current role at United Personnel. She leverages more than 20 years of industry expertise in employee benefits, strategic planning, and business development to support clients and candidates throughout Western Mass.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    7. Greater Holyoke Chamber Business Breakfast Slated for June 14

      Greater Holyoke Chamber Business Breakfast Slated for June 14

      The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce’s end-of-year Business Breakfast will take place on Wednesday, June 14 at Wyckoff Country Club in Holyoke. The agenda includes the chamber’s 2016-17 accomplishments, a look ahead to future initiatives, and recognition of the change of leadership in its board of directors. The breakfast will welcome new board members and recognize outgoing board members. The incoming board members are Eileen Leahy, senior manager of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Comcast; Jay Candelario, proprietor of Jay’s Bed & Breakfast; and Zuleika Rivera, co-owner of Appliance Bargain.

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    8. STCC Health Information Technology Graduate Wins Award

      STCC Health Information Technology Graduate Wins Award

      Maria Mitchell, a Springfield Technical Community College graduate of the newly accredited Health Information Technology program, is the first person from STCC to receive the MaHIMA Student Achievement award. The Massachusetts Health Information Management Assoc. (MaHIMA) offers the award to an outstanding student from any accredited health-information technology or health-information management program. STCC’s program received accreditation in December, making a graduate of the program eligible for the first time this year.

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    9. Tru by Hilton Breaks Ground on Chicopee Hotel

      Hilton recently broke ground on a new Tru by Hilton property located in Chicopee. The celebration marked the first groundbreaking of the company’s Tru by Hilton in Massachusetts. Attendees, numbering about 150, included a roster of dignitaries and executives who were instrumental in pushing the project forward, including state Sen. James Welch; state Reps. Michael Finn, Joseph Wagner, and Angelo Puppolo; and Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos. The 108-room, four-story hotel is located at 440 Memorial Dr. and is owned by BK Investments. It is expected to be completed in May 2018.

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    10. Massachusetts Adds 3,900 Jobs in April

      Massachusetts Adds 3,900 Jobs in April

      The preliminary job estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Massachusetts added 3,900 jobs in April. Over-the-month job gains occurred in professional, scientific, and business services; education and health services; trade, transportation, and utilities; other services; information; and manufacturing. “Through the first four months of 2017, Massachusetts has added over 20,000 jobs, with much of those gains coming from key sectors of the economy like professional, business, and scientific services,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Ronald Walker II said. “These job gains, coupled with large increases to the labor force and a low unemployment rate, are signs ...

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    11. Springfield Central Cultural District Seeks Pop-up Gallery Proposals

      Springfield Central Cultural District Seeks Pop-up Gallery Proposals

      The Springfield Central Cultural District (SCCD) has issued a call to artists for a unique opportunity in downtown Springfield. The Cultural District is searching for artists to host a solo show in their Art Stop pop-up gallery program and sell their work in one of three locations downtown – New England Public Radio (NEPR), UMass Springfield, and 1550 Main. The RFP asks for proposals from artists of all mediums to show their work from July to October. Requirements to what the art should look like are fairly laid-back, to best enable creative expression. All art will be available for sale during ...

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    12. RFP Issued for Young Women’s Initiative Springfield Partnership

      RFP Issued for Young Women’s Initiative Springfield Partnership

      The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts is accepting applications for $150,000 in funding over three years from Springfield-based nonprofit organizations serving young women to partner with the fund in implementing the Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) Springfield Partnership, a national, multi-sector, three-year pilot program focused on driving long-term prosperity for young women in the city of Springfield. The successful organization, or collaborative group of organizations, will lead and facilitate the Young Women’s Advisory Council, comprising up to 20 young women ages 12 to 24. Bright, self-motivated, and collaborative young women with a history of community leadership and ...

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      Mentions: Springfield
    13. West of the River Chamber to Host Annual Meeting June 15

      West of the River Chamber to Host Annual Meeting June 15

      The West of the River Chamber of Commerce announced its annual meeting and business grant drawing will take place Thursday, June 15 at 7 a.m. at Chez Josef in Agawam. The event will kick off with the welcoming of new chairman Frank Palange of V&F Auto and the incoming board of directors. Following these introductions will be a special presentation given by Drew Crandall of Keep In Touch. The topic will be “Serving Customers Well Without Caving In.” The names of two West of the River Chamber businesses will be drawn to receive a $500 business grant from ...

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    14. Advanced-manufacturing Partnership Graduates 100th Student

      On Friday, May 19, 14 advanced-manufacturing trainees will receive certificates of completion and start down the pathway toward precision-machining careers in Pioneer Valley manufacturing companies. The current cohort of students in the Advanced Manufacturing Pipeline – Computer Numerical Control (AMP-CNC) training program hail from across Franklin and Hampshire counties, including Belchertown, Colrain, Easthampton, Greenfield, Montague, Northfield, South Hadley, and Shelburne. Among these trainees will be the 100th graduate of a successful job-training partnership that began four years ago to address a shortage of skilled machinists in the Valley’s precision-manufacturing industry. The event will be held at 4 p.m. at ...

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    15. United Way of Pioneer Valley Board Names Jim Ayres President, CEO

      United Way of Pioneer Valley Board Names Jim Ayres President, CEO

      United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) announced that its board of directors has appointed Jim Ayres the organization’s next president and CEO, effective June 12. Ayres, who currently serves as the CEO of the United Way Hampshire County, will succeed Dora Robinson, UWPV’s most recent president and CEO and current president emeritus. “After a comprehensive search, the board is thrilled to have found a strong leader with a proven track record to lead this organization that is such an integral part of the Pioneer Valley,” said Ben Markens, United Way Pioneer Valley board chair. “The board of directors ...

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    16. White Lion Wednesdays Return on May 17

      White Lion Wednesdays Return on May 17

      White Lion Wednesdays return to Springfield on May 17 and will run through August 27, presented by Berkshire Bank in partnership with the Springfield Business Improvement District (BID) and Springfield’s White Lion Brewing Co. Touted as one of last summer’s “Best Pop-up Beer Gardens” by Food & Wine magazine, Raymond Berry, president of White Lion, said this season will be even better. “White Lion is ecstatic to kick off this year’s beer garden series in May. Last year’s series had great attendance and obtained national recognition; we will look to capitalize on its success, and we are ...

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    17. STCC Inaugurates John Cook as Sixth College President

      STCC Inaugurates John Cook as Sixth College President

      Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) entered a new chapter in its 50-year history Thursday with the inauguration of John Cook as its sixth college president. The installation ceremony at STCC’s Scibelli Hall Gymnasium featured a mixture of pageantry, tradition, and celebration. The event opened with a processional led by the STCC Ceremonial Brass Ensemble, followed by the Bearer of the Mace and more grandeur befitting such formal occasions. The audience of STCC students, faculty, staff, and members of the community witnessed the presentation of colors, heard a rendition of the National Anthem, and listened to greetings from a variety ...

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    18. Main Street Hospitality Unveils $1 Million Kitchen at Red Lion Inn

      Main Street Hospitality Unveils $1 Million Kitchen at Red Lion Inn

      After nearly a nearly a two-month-long construction project, Main Street Hospitality will unveil the new, 1,600-square-foot kitchen at the Red Lion Inn with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, April 27 at 3:30 p.m. Open only to hotel guests with a select menu since late February, the dining room at the historic hotel has reopened to the general public with new seasonal menus. The new kitchen represents the third significant renovation project at the hotel in the last 10 years, and brings a much-improved dining experience. Among the necessary improvements that preserve and reinforce the historic building are ...

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    19. Sunshine Village Earns Three-year Accreditation from CARF

      Sunshine Village Earns Three-year Accreditation from CARF

      The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) announced that Sunshine Village has been accredited for a period of three years for its day-habilitation, employment-services, and day-services programs. The latest accreditation is the 10th consecutive, successful three-year accreditation given to Sunshine Village by the international accrediting body. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization. An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable ...

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    20. PeoplesBank Issues Annual Corporate Green Report

      PeoplesBank Issues Annual Corporate Green Report

      PeoplesBank has issued its annual Corporate Green Report. Through its green values and actions to support environmental sustainability, PeoplesBank believes it can help make the region a healthier place to live, work, and raise a family. The bank puts these values to work throughout the year through its charitable donations and volunteerism. PeoplesBank is also recognized for its support of green-energy projects and its construction of LEED-certified offices. For Earth Day 2017, PeoplesBank highlighted more than $65,000 in funding for green initiatives in Western Mass. Those initiatives include support for an existing mobile farmers’ market in Springfield and the ...

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    21. HMC Earns ‘A’ Grade for Patient Safety

      HMC Earns ‘A’ Grade for Patient Safety

      Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) has once again earned an ‘A’ rating from The Leapfrog Group, ranking them among the safest hospitals in the United States. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is the first and only national health care rating focused on errors, accidents and infections. The program has been assigning A, B, C, D and F letter grades to general acute-care hospitals in the U.S. since 2012. Holyoke Medical Center was one of 823 hospitals to receive an ‘A’ ranking among the safest hospitals in the United States.

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    22. Pride Stores Partners with Local Beer Brand White Lion

      Pride Stores Partners with Local Beer Brand White Lion

      White Lion Brewing continues to root itself as Springfield’s craft beer brand. Pride Stores which has a beer-and-wine selection in five of its 30 locations will feature White Lion as the preferred local beer brand. “The partnership is part of Pride Stores commitment to the local community,” said David Horgan, director of Advertising. “The company recently announced a distribution partnership with Big Mamou Restaurant, a Springfield based establishment, and we are excited to expand our partnerships through the ‘Support Local’ campaign with White Lion.”

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      Mentions: Springfield
    23. Introducing the Class of 2017

      Introducing the Class of 2017

      A year ago it was a first; now, it would have to be called a trend.  Women again outnumber men within the 40 Under Forty class of 2017, as the photos will reveal, although it’s quite close, actually. But who’s counting?  What people should be counting are the years and the numbers of area residents now in this special club, if you will. That would be 11 and 440, to be exact.

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      Mentions: Springfield Holyoke
    24. 4th Western Mass. Film and Media Exchange Slated

      4th Western Mass. Film and Media Exchange Slated

      Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative (BFMC) will partner with Vitec Videocom to bring their nationally touring ‘Roadshow’ to the Sheraton Springfield on May 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  This will be BFMC’s 4th Film and Media Exchange — a ‘Day 2 Play’ — with workshops and an exhibit hall showcasing the latest in production equipment. The event will focus on cost-effective production techniques designed for anyone in broadcasting, filmmaking, photography, communications, and marketing. The exchange also includes lunch, keynote speech, and networking opportunities with others in the industry.  According to Diane Pearlman, executive director of ...

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