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    1. Being Entrepreneurial

      Explore BusinessWest (11 hours ago)

      Being Entrepreneurial

      When Katie Stebbins talks with those involved in efforts across the state to create and expand what are coming to be known as ‘entrepreneurial ecosystems,’ she speaks with a good deal of perspective — and experience. Indeed, the Commonwealth’s recently named assistant secretary for Technology, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, within the Executive Office of Housing & Economic Development.

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    2. Finding a Unicorn

      Explore BusinessWest (May 21 2015)

      Finding a Unicorn

      Traction.  Webster has many definitions for that noun, including ‘the adhesive friction of a body on the surface on which it moves’ — and that’s why it’s used frequently, and often with accompanying adjectives, by companies selling tires.
      That’s also, although more loosely, why it’s part of the lexicon among those who launch new businesses — and, perhaps more importantly, those who sometimes help finance them.   So, in many ways, the first annual Accelerator Awards, staged recently by Valley Venture Mentors, represented a highly competitive contest of traction — which of the 30 companies in the first cohort of ...

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    3. Community Spotlight: Great Barrington

      Explore BusinessWest (May 19 2015)

      Community Spotlight: Great Barrington

      Main Street in downtown Great Barrington has always been an interesting place with lots to do. These days, it still fits that description, but for many more — and quite intriguing — reasons.  A few weeks ago, for example, a crowd of people outfitted in western clothing, including cowboy hats, gathered in front of the coffee shop known as Fuel for what became a Wild West flash-mob gathering.

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    4. Holding the Line

      Explore BusinessWest (May 19 2015)

      Holding the Line

      Rick Sullivan acknowledged the obvious: No one likes paying more for heating their home.  “It’s a very real pocketbook issue. The average resident saw what happened to their electric bill this winter; it went up drastically because of the availability and price of natural gas,” said Sullivan, president of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council (EDC). “Right now, natural gas is setting the price for power in this region.”  But, on a larger scale, it’s also setting back the region’s economic-development potential at a time when Western Mass. is starting to see signs of growth and recovery.

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      Mentions:   Kenn Delude   Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts   Rick Sullivan

    5. Star Search

      Explore BusinessWest (May 8 2015)

      Star Search

      The company’s professional job-matching service has led to a bevy of long-time and new clients who include sole proprietors that need someone part-time, manufacturers in need of temporary employees throughout the year, and businesses seeking to fill permanent positions. And United has done well despite the ebb and flow of the economy over the past three decades. Business is currently booming in its offices, which employ a total of 30 people.  “As the economy improves and things pick up, many of our customers find they need an extra pair of hands, but are not yet ready to commit to ...

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    6. Decade Declarations | BusinessWest

      Explore BusinessWest (May 7 2015)

      Decade Declarations | BusinessWest

      The key opportunities, meanwhile, involve “leveraging new connections that significantly enhance the region’s economic competitiveness” — a reference to everything from enhanced rail service to broadband networks; “leading the Commonwealth’s clean-energy transformation while moving the region toward a balanced and diversified energy portfolio”; and “harnessing the economic-development potential of the New England Knowledge Corridor.” That’s something Brennan says both Western Mass. and Northern Conn. have essentially failed to do since the corridor was conceptualized 15 years ago.

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      Mentions:   Timothy W. Brennan

    7. Community Spotlight: West Springfield

      Explore BusinessWest (May 5 2015)

      Community Spotlight: West Springfield

      West Springfield is a city on the move, Mayor Edward Sullivan says, and the Memorial Avenue corridor is exhibit A.  “We’re excited about the work that will be done and think there will be some great multi-purpose opportunities along the corridor,” he told BusinessWest. “It has needed work for years, and the redesign we’re planning will make it a pretty special place to own a business. It’s close to major highways, and the MGM casino in Springfield will increase traffic.”

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   West Springfield   Springfield   MGM

    8. Introducing the Class 2015

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 30 2015)

      Introducing the Class 2015

      Diverse.  That’s a word that could be used to describe any of BusinessWest’s classes of 40 Under Forty winners. But with the class of 2015 (see the list below), an adverb like ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ would sem to be necessary.  That’s because this group of winners represents virtually every sector of the economy — from financial services to manufacturing; retail to healthcare; technology to nonprofit management; education to law.

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      Mentions:   Springfield

    9. Investments for the Future

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 27 2015)

      Investments for the Future

      Chris Sikes, Common Capital’s CEO, said this movement, if it can be called that, can be traced to New Hampshire, and it has quickly spread to many other areas of the country.  That’s because the concept is fairly simple, and — to the growing number of people who, like Weeks, desire investments that that can in some way be categorized as ‘sustainable’ — it’s also quite appealing.

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      Mentions:   West Springfield   Common Capital   Springfield

    10. Tracking Progress

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 21 2015)

      Tracking Progress

      Union Station wouldn’t be the first Springfield landmark that Daniel O’Connell’s Sons has constructed — or reconstructed, as the case may be.  Indeed, the company handled the massive rehabilitation of the of the Memorial Bridge in the early ’90s, and it also handled the $60 million initiative to build a new federal courthouse on State Street, a three-year project that was completed in 2008. Aquadro served as project manager for the federal courthouse work, as he did for construction of the new, $80 million Taunton Trial Court, his most recent major assignment, and another endeavor that stretched through ...

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      Mentions:   Domenic J. Sarno   Amtrak   Springfield

    11. Anticipation Builds for 40 Under Forty Reveal, June 18 Gala | BusinessWest

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 14 2015)

      Anticipation Builds for 40 Under Forty Reveal, June 18 Gala | BusinessWest

      The ninth annual 40 Under Forty award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House the evening of June 18.  The event honors the region’s most accomplished and civic-minded professionals under age 40, and this year’s class will be revealed and profiled in next week’s April 20 issue. This year’s winners represent virtually every sector of the economy — from financial services to manufacturing; retail to healthcare; technology to nonprofit management; education to law. They also show the seemingly innumerable ways people can give back to the community.

      (Read Full Article)

    12. Florence Bank Names Henry Downey VP of Commercial Lending | BusinessWest

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 14 2015)

      Florence Bank, a mutually owned savings bank serving the Pioneer Valley through nine branch locations, announced the appointment of Henry Downey to the position of vice-president of Commercial Lending.  Downey comes to Florence Bank with more than a decade’s banking experience, most recently at Chicopee Savings Bank, where he served as senior vice president and team leader in the Commercial Lending department. His duties there included managing a commercial-lending team and an extensive loan portfolio. His experience also includes serving as assistant vice president and commercial and loan officer at TD Bank in Springfield, and as an analyst at ...

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      Mentions:   TD Bank   Springfield   Chicopee

    13. Anne Paradis Honored as PWC Woman of the Year

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 9 2015)

      Anne Paradis Honored as PWC Woman of the Year

      The Professional Women’s Chamber (PWC) has announced that Anne Paradis, chief executive officer for MicroTek Inc. in Chicopee, has been named the PWC 2015 Woman of the Year.  The award, given annually since 1954, is presented to a woman in the Western Mass. area who exemplifies outstanding leadership, professional accomplishment, and service to the community. A celebration in Paradis’s honor will be held on Tuesday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Carriage House, Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield.  “We are thrilled with this year’s honoree — a truly inspiring and accomplished woman like ...

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      Mentions:   Springfield   Chicopee   MicroTek

    14. Plain Speaking

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 7 2015)

      Plain Speaking

      In her role as a credit analyst for TD Bank, Alicia Raymond spends most all of her time crunching numbers and helping to gauge risk. She’s not often interacting with clients or making presentations.  But with an eye toward the future, she knows that, to advance into commercial lending and one day have her own portfolio of clients, she must build confidence and improve her communication skills.  And those are the primary reasons why, nine months ago, she joined he downtown Springfield chapter of Toastmasters International, an organization that, as the name implies, has 313,000 members in 14 ...

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      Mentions:   TD Bank   MassMutual   Springfield

    15. Community Spotlight: Northampton

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 7 2015)

      Community Spotlight: Northampton

      Northampton touts a new initiative called “Pleasant Futures,” which Narkewicz describes as a “community re-visioning process for Pleasant Street,” and a number of public meetings have been held to get input from residents in surrounding neighborhoods about what needs to be done to increase density and expand the downtown area in the neighborhood in a way that is pleasing to everyone.  It kicked off last May and is a collaborative effort between the Office of Planning and Sustainability and the Ward 3 Neighborhood Organization. “The concerns expressed in the meetings focused on pedestrian safety and vibrancy along the corridor,” Narkewicz ...

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      Mentions:   Northampton

    16. Planting Seeds

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 6 2015)

      Planting Seeds

      “Harold’s vision is for college students to understand that entrepreneurship is not only a viable option, but also a prestigious one,” said Cari Carpenter, director of entrepreneurship initiatives at the Grinspoon Charitable Foundation.  “Over the past 12 years, we have engaged all 14 colleges in the Valley in an endeavor to collaborate to really support students exploring those career options,” she added. “I really think the fact that we have this intercollegiate collaboration, where each college has a faculty-member liaison on campus, and they encourage students to participate in our high-profile events, encourages business creation in the Pioneer Valley.”

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      Mentions:   Greenfield Community College   Greenfield

    17. Quantum Leap

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 6 2015)

      Quantum Leap

      Gareth Ross says a pipeline of data scientists, or people who possess skills related to the emerging field, is critical to the future of every company. But he also knows it’s difficult to find, attract, and retain qualified job candidates.  “It’s a very, very specialized area. The analytics involved are very complex and require a doctorate in statistics, computer science, or both,” said Ross, MassMutual’s senior vice president of Data Analytics and Target Markets.  Indeed, studies show there are not enough qualified individuals to analyze, interpret, explain, and make use of the enormous amounts of data spawned ...

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      Mentions:   MassMutual

    18. The Next Chapter

      Explore BusinessWest (Apr 1 2015)

      The Next Chapter

      Having been a mayor, Richard Sullivan Jr. understands how city leaders think. But he wants them to broaden their horizons.  “Cities often don’t focus on the importance of regional development,” said Sullivan, the new president of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council (EDC). “I understand the parochialness; every community wants development they think is appropriate for their community first.

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    19. Chamber Leaders Head to Beacon Hill for Business Summit

      Explore BusinessWest (Mar 30 2015)

      Chamber Leaders Head to Beacon Hill for Business Summit

      Members of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield (ACCGS) will travel to Boston for the annual ACCGS Beacon Hill Summit on Wednesday, April 29. Sponsored by Baystate Health, Comcast, and WWLP-TV22, and presented in partnership with the ACCGS’s member chambers, the largest regional business summit at the State House provides an unencumbered opportunity for business and community leaders to hear from and speak with members of the Baker-Polito administration and members of the local legislative delegation.

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      Mentions:   Comcast   Baystate Health   Springfield

    20. WomenUpFront Accelerates Women Business Owners’ Growth

      Explore BusinessWest (Mar 18 2015)

      WomenUpFront Accelerates Women Business Owners’ Growth

      In support of the growth and success of Pioneer Valley women presidents and the businesses they own, WomenUpFront is launching a new monthly roundtable for women business owners whose annual revenues have passed the $200,000 mark but have not quite reached $1 million. 

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      Mentions:   Springfield

    21. PVPC Receives Award from PolicyLink to Advance Equity Agenda

      Explore BusinessWest (Mar 17 2015)

      PVPC Receives Award from PolicyLink to Advance Equity Agenda

      PVPC will use the funds to embed transit-equity principles into LiveWell Springfield, and will host local activities to engage, educate, and empower local leaders within communities of color to lift up the Equity Caucus agenda locally and federally. Specifically, PVPC is collaborating with Joseph Krupczynski and the Center for Design Engagement, Natalia Muñoz of Verdant Multicultural Media, and Evelín Aquino to expand the successful capacity-building sessions implemented in 2014 for emerging leaders in Springfield. (For a summary of this work, visit www.pvpc.org/content/new-video-building-skills-equity-and-engagement-planning).

      (Read Full Article)

      Mentions:   Pioneer Valley Planning Commission   Springfield

    22. Hampden Bancorp Stockholders Approve Berkshire Hills Merger | BusinessWest

      Explore BusinessWest (Mar 13 2015)

      Hampden Bancorp Stockholders Approve Berkshire Hills Merger | BusinessWest

      Hampden Bancorp Inc. announced that its stockholders have voted to approve the previously announced merger of Hampden with Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. The companies expect to complete the merger in April 2015, although there can be no assurance that the closing will occur then. Consummation of the merger is subject to approval by state and federal regulatory agencies.  On Nov. 4, Hampden and Berkshire announced that they had entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Berkshire will acquire Hampden and its subsidiary, Hampden Bank, in an all-stock transaction. Under the terms of the merger agreement, each outstanding share of ...

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      Mentions:   Springfield

    23. Grounds for Optimism

      Explore BusinessWest (Mar 12 2015)

      Grounds for Optimism

      The conference room in the Chemex manufacturing and distribution facility in Chicopee isn’t really serving the company in that capacity at this time — well, not only in that capacity, to be more precise.  Instead, while renovations continue at the plant on Veterans Drive, which the company moved into last summer, it is also acting as both storage area and museum of sorts, with all manner of material related to the famous Chemex coffeemaker — assembled on that site — and its inventor, Peter Schlumbohm.  “He was kind of a mad scientist — he had lots of inventions and lots of ideas,” Eliza ...

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      Mentions:   Chicopee

    24. ACCGS April Business@Breakfast to Feature Mayors’ Forum

      Explore BusinessWest (Mar 11 2015)

      ACCGS April Business@Breakfast to Feature Mayors’ Forum

      The Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield (ACCGS) April Business@Breakfast will feature a Mayors’ Forum as the highlight of the event on Wednesday, April 1 from 7:15 to 9 a.m. at the Delaney House, 3 Country Club Road, Holyoke, sponsored by United Personnel Services.  Dave Madsen, managing editor and primary anchor for abc40, will moderate an informal discussion with West Springfield Mayor Edward Sullivan, Westfield Mayor Daniel Knapik, and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The discussion will provide attendees with an inside look at the personal and professional lives of these elected officials.

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      Mentions:   Springfield   Holyoke   United Personnel Services

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