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    1. Owners, Manager Craft a Business Plan to Enable Thunderbirds to Soar

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 29 2016)

      Owners, Manager Craft a Business Plan to Enable Thunderbirds to Soar

      Nate Costa had what most people would consider an attractive position with the American Hockey League — with the operative word being had.  As a member of the AHL’s Team Business Services Department, Costa had a broad job description, but essentially he worked with all 30 of the league’s teams to improve revenues and attendance and deploy best practices to help their organizations run more efficiently and profitably. It was a job that took him across the country, to cities ranging from San Diego to Grand Rapids, Mich., to Utica, N.Y., and provided a host of learning opportunities ...

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      Mentions:   MassMutual Center   Springfield Falcons   Springfield

    2. PVPC Releases Economic Development Strategy

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 28 2016)

      PVPC Releases Economic Development Strategy

      The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) recently released its 2016 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) annual update, as part of its larger Plan for Progress, a 10-year blueprint for economic development in the region. The CEDS features a description of regional economic development conditions and sets forth goals and objectives for the future, as well as a list of projects seeking the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) Public Works funding in the next year.

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      Mentions:   University of Massachusetts   Holyoke Community College   Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

    3. Creative Hub to Cut the Ribbon

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 27 2016)

      Creative Hub to Cut the Ribbon

      The public is invited to attend the official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony for The Creative Hub on June 30, at 2 p.m. 2016 at 2 p.m., 28 North Elm St. Lite refreshments and snacks will be served.

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      Mentions:   Westfield

    4. State Awards $8.5M in Workforce Training Grants

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 27 2016)

      State Awards $8.5M in Workforce Training Grants

      The Baker-Polito administration announced recently that more than $8.47 million in Workforce Training Grant funds to 101 companies, which will enable the businesses to train current or newly hired workers.  Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the grants at Vibram USA, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of high performance shoe soles, outdoor products, and FiveFingers athletic shoes.

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      Mentions:   Big Y Foods   West Springfield   Springfield

    5. CityBlock Concert Series Will Rock Springfield’s Downtown

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 24 2016)

      CityBlock Concert Series Will Rock Springfield’s Downtown

      Chris Russell says the performers at this year’s CityBlock Concert Series will appeal to a wide variety of musical tastes. “The outdoor concerts have been a popular event for many years, and we worked hard last year to diversify the offerings,” said the executive director of the Springfield Business Improvement District, or BID, which stages the series. “But we think we’ve done an even better job this year.” The summer lineup includes a range of genres and showcases well-known groups whose music ranges from pop, rock, and folk to country, Motown, and blues. “We offer regional and national ...

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      Mentions:   MassMutual   MassMutual Center   Springfield

    6. CityBlock Concert Series Finalizes Summer Lineup

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 22 2016)

      CityBlock Concert Series Finalizes Summer Lineup

      The Springfield Business Improvement District (SBID) announced that the lineup for the CityBlock Concert Series, presented by MassMutual Financial Group, has been finalized.  The Thursday-evening shows start with FAT on June 30 in Court Square. The shows then move to Stearns Square for the rest of the summer, and include Ricky Nelson Remembered (July 7), Forever Motown (July 14), the Machine performs Pink Floyd (July 21), Natalie Stovall and the Drive (July 28), Terry Sylvester (Aug. 4), Max Creek (Aug. 11), Blessid Union of Souls (Aug. 18), and the Shadowboxers (Aug. 25). All concerts are at 6:30 p.m.

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      Mentions:   MassMutual   Springfield   Eastern States Exposition

    7. Banks Face Rising Need for IT Talent

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 20 2016)

      Banks Face Rising Need for IT Talent

      Steven Lowell occasionally visits high-school career days and speaks with students, so he knows how young people perceive banking jobs.  “Everyone thinks of the bank as either the teller or the loan officer,” said Lowell, president of Monson Savings Bank. Which is why students with an aptitude for information technology (IT) typically don’t think of the financial world as a viable career choice.

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      Mentions:   Berkshire Bank   Monson Savings Bank

    8. Photographer Brings a Unique Niche and a Thriving Business into Focus

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 20 2016)

      Photographer Brings a Unique Niche and a Thriving Business into Focus

      When Dani Klein-Williams started her own photo studio, she had only enough confidence to seek a month-to-month lease. Fast-forward nearly 20 years, and she’s occupying 1,300 square feet on the second floor of Thornes Marketplace in Northampton. This sea change has come about through an abundance of confidence forged through a blend of sound business practices, cutting-edge work in the field, and development of intriguing niches, such as the genre known as boudoir.  Dani Klein-Williams was only half-kidding when she joked that photographers don’t even like to look back at work they did a few months or ...

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      Mentions:   Northampton   Easthampton

    9. Developments Spur Growth in Northampton

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 16 2016)

      Developments Spur Growth in Northampton

      Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz says the scope of new construction and renovation projects that were recently completed, are underway, or are in the planning stages total $36 million, and attest to the city’s strong financial position and vibrant downtown.  “We’ve seen high levels of residential and commercial construction over the past few years, and Standard & Poor’s recently upgraded our bond rating to AAA,” he said, adding that only 65 out of 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth have attained that status.

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      Mentions:   MassDevelopment   Smith College   Amtrak

    10. Elms College, WNEU to Establish Law School Agreement

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 15 2016)

      Elms College and Western New England University School of Law will execute a ‘3+3’ agreement this month that allows students to apply for admission to the law school and begin their legal education during their senior year at Elms College. This could shorten the time for students to earn both their bachelor’s and juris doctor degrees from seven years to six years.

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    11. Conference Helps Women Master Important Business Skill Sets

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 14 2016)

      Conference Helps Women Master Important Business Skill Sets

      Kim Miles says many women fail to network effectively, and for various reasons. They lack the confidence to promote themselves, their accomplishments, and their products and services, she said while summing them up, and don’t get results because they are uncomfortable asking for what they want or need.  “If you pressed the ‘pause’ button and put your career on hold to raise a family, you should talk about it with delight,” Miles, founder of Miles in Heels Productions, told the audience during a talk at a recent conference titled “Entrepreneurial Adventure,” staged by Bay Path University. “There should be ...

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    12. Pilot Program Targets Region’s Manufacturing Sector

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 14 2016)

      Pilot Program Targets Region’s Manufacturing Sector

      A $320,000 pilot program to be undertaken in conjunction with MassDevelopment (the primary funding agency putting up $200,000), the National Machine Tooling Assoc. (NMTA), the Economic Development Council of Western Mass., and other partners will seek to change many aspects of this equation. It will enable, and essentially force, participating companies to become more willing and able to take some calculated risks.

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      Mentions:   MassDevelopment   Springfield   Valley Venture Mentors

    13. Western Massachusetts Developers Conference Set for June 23

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 10 2016)

      Western Massachusetts Developers Conference Set for June 23

      The day-long event —which includes a light breakfast, lunch, municipality and resource vendors, plus an interactive map featuring priority development opportunities — is being coordinated by key area organizations, including the Western Mass. Economic Development Council (EDC), Economic Development Partners, MassDevelopment, and MassEcon. “We are thrilled to be a part organizing this event,” said Ann Burke, EDC vice president. “This is an incredibly exciting time for the region, with many investment opportunities, plus there are countless resources available to developers and businesses considering Western Mass., and we are excited to share them.”

       

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      Mentions:   University of Massachusetts   MassDevelopment   Massachusetts Office of Business Development

    14. UMass Generates Record $6.2B in Economic Impact

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 9 2016)

      UMass Generates Record $6.2B in Economic Impact

      The University of Massachusetts was responsible for $6.2 billion in economic activity in Massachusetts last year — a record high — and helped to support more than 43,000 jobs statewide, President Marty Meehan announced Tuesday. “UMass educates more students than any college or university in the Commonwealth and is one of the state’s three largest research universities, but it also has a profound impact on the Massachusetts economy based on the scope and reach of its operations,” Meehan said. “UMass is a vital economic engine for the Commonwealth, and its impact is felt in every community and by virtually ...

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      Mentions:   University of Massachusetts   Amherst

    15. ERC5 Annual Meeting Slated for June 17 at GreatHorse

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 8 2016)

      ERC5 Annual Meeting Slated for June 17 at GreatHorse

      The East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce (ERC5) board of directors announced it will hold its annual meeting at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden on Friday, June 17 from noon to 1:30 p.m.  Tickets for the event are $55 per person, and both members and non-members are invited to attend. Lunch will be served. Keynote speaker Seth Stratton, MGM Springfield’s vice president and general counsel, will discuss the rich opportunities within business sectors of the ERC5.

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      Mentions:   Springfield

    16. Melissa Morriss-Olson Selected for Leadership-development Program

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 8 2016)

      Melissa Morriss-Olson Selected for Leadership-development Program

      Bay Path University announced that Melissa Morriss-Olson, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, is one of 23 senior-level administrators in higher education nationwide selected by the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) to participate in the 2016-17 Executive Leadership Academy.  Individuals chosen for the year-long program are vice presidents or cabinet officers in higher education who may wish to consider a presidency of an independent college or university. Morriss-Olson will participate in two seminars in Washington, D.C.; the opening seminar will take place July 11-13, 2016, and the closing seminar will be held June 19-21, 2017. She will also ...

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      Mentions:   Carol A. Leary

    17. Hadley Farms Meeting House Aims to Create Memorable Events

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 8 2016)

      Hadley Farms Meeting House Aims to Create Memorable Events

      After-5 events, those ubiquitous get-togethers sponsored by area chambers of commerce, can get a little stale, Brenda Lee said.  “You go, and everyone eats, drinks, and talks a little, then everyone leaves,” said Lee, sales manager at Pioneer Valley Hotel Group, by way of explaining why one of the group’s properties, Hadley Farms Meeting House, is hosting a slightly different After-5 with the Greater Chicopee, Greater Westfield, and South Hadley & Granby chambers.

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      Mentions:   Baystate Health   Springfield   Amherst

    18. Cultural Investments Spark North Adams

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 2 2016)

      Cultural Investments Spark North Adams

      Mayor Richard Alcombright says North Adams used to be a little mill town that people had to drive through to get to Stockbridge, Williamstown, or popular spots in Southern Vermont.  “But over the last decade, we’ve become a place to stop and are really finding our way to becoming a destination,” he told BusinessWest, adding that there are many projects in various stages of completion that will only enhance the city’s growing popularity.

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    19. Local Chambers to ‘Move the Mountain’ for Networking Event

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 2 2016)

      The Greater Holyoke and Greater Easthampton chambers of commerce have joined forces for the third year to host a “Move the Mountain” networking event on Monday, June 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Holyoke Country Club, One Country Club Road. The event, sponsored by Easthampton Savings Bank, Northeast IT Systems, Paychex, and Taylor Rental of Holyoke, will offer guests an evening of networking among chamber members as well as an opportunity to meet up with old friends and build new business relationships.

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      Mentions:   Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce   Holyoke   Easthampton Savings Bank

    20. Father, Son Innovators Put the Pedal to the Mettle

      Explore BusinessWest (Jun 1 2016)

      Father, Son Innovators Put the Pedal to the Mettle

      It was born out of a blend of need and desire. Nevin Murrary wanted something that would get him to high school in a manner that would by healthy, environmentally friendly — and cool. He and his father, Kevin, came up with the PEBL, described as a bridge between a bike and a car. But beyond becoming an effective means for the younger Murray to commute, it is evolving into a business concept with recognized potential.

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      Mentions:   Greenfield Community College   Amherst   Greenfield

    21. FutureCity 2026 Presents Economic-development Strategy

      Explore BusinessWest (May 31 2016)

      FutureCity is a joint initiative by DevelopSpringfield, the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the city of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development. Its purpose is to build on the strategies identified in earlier studies such at the Urban Land Institute study of 2006 and the Rebuild Springfield Plan of 2012 — both of which identified tangible goals that continue to be the focus of public and private economic-development strategy in Springfield. Both plans recommended the importance of developing a long-term strategy for economic growth in the city that would ultimately benefit the entire region.

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      Mentions:   Domenic J. Sarno   Springfield   Rebuild Springfield

    22. Development Associates Broadens Its Portfolio

      Explore BusinessWest (May 27 2016)

      Development Associates Broadens Its Portfolio

      The walls of Ken Vincunas’ office in Agawam Crossing, the property his company built on Silver Street, are covered with photos that he and his daughter have taken in Italy, Spain, and other travel destinations over the past several years. The front lobby of that space is another matter. The photos there feature landmarks of a different kind, specifically some of the properties Development Associates has built over the years and now manages. There’s one of the Greenfield Corporate Center, for example, as well as 8 Atwood Dr. in Northampton, one of two 40,000-square-foot buildings at that site ...

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      Mentions:   Comcast   Amherst   Northampton

    23. MGM, Surging Downtown Boost Prospects for Meetings, Conventions

      Explore BusinessWest (May 27 2016)

      MGM, Surging Downtown Boost Prospects for Meetings, Conventions

      As news circulates concerning construction of MGM’s $950 million casino in Springfield’s South End, the region is finding itself a player in many more of the spirited competitions taking place to host meetings and conventions. That’s no coincidence, said area tourism officials, as well as those who plan such events. Because of the casino and other visible forms of progress, they note, the city is now in a different, higher bracket for such gatherings.

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      Mentions:   Springfield   Northampton   Mary Kay Wydra

    24. The Creative Opens Office in Thornes Marketplace

      Explore BusinessWest (May 26 2016)

      The Creative Opens Office in Thornes Marketplace

      The Creative, a collaboration of three local businesswomen, has opened an office in Thornes Office Suites. The collaboration, which launched in April 2013, is made up of Janice Beetle, principal of Beetle Press; Ruth Griggs, principal of RC Communications; and Maureen Scanlon, principal of Murre Creative. Together, they provide strategic marketing, messaging, and design services. The trio provide flexible services to clients, combining forces to match clients’ needs and offering a full complement of agency services where necessary.

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      Mentions:   Northampton

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