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    1. Banks to Sponsor Pitch Competition at Entrepreneurship Banquet

      Banks to Sponsor Pitch Competition at Entrepreneurship Banquet

      The Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative will mark its 15th year with an evening of exhibits, contests, and celebration at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on Wednesday, April 25. Early arrivers at 5 p.m. will be treated to an entrepreneur exhibit featuring students who have already started their own businesses or are on the cusp of doing so. “Though I’m a seasoned entrepreneur, I get a thrill every year from seeing these young, innovative business minds at work,” said philanthropist Harold Grinspoon.

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    2. PeoplesBank Issues 2018 Corporate Green Report - BusinessWest

      PeoplesBank Issues 2018 Corporate Green Report - BusinessWest

      PeoplesBank issued its 2018 annual Corporate Green Report in recognition of Earth Day 2018. 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, and 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.  “Our green values date back to when we helped Holyoke Gas & Electric replace hydroelectric generators years ago,” said Thomas Senecal, president and CEO of PeoplesBank. “That sustainable-energy ...

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    3. Panel Discussion to Focus on HCC’s Role in Valley’s Future

      Panel Discussion to Focus on HCC’s Role in Valley’s Future

      Holyoke Community College is bringing together an all-star lineup of regional leaders for a panel discussion on April 25, focusing on the future of the Pioneer Valley and HCC’s role in it. That discussion, “Shaping the Future: HCC and the Pioneer Valley,” will be conducted over breakfast from 7:30 to 10 a.m. in the PeoplesBank Conference Room in the HCC Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on the main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The breakfast is open to the public. Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

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    4. Summer Program Offers Teenagers a Paycheck — and Much More

      Summer Program Offers Teenagers a Paycheck — and Much More

      t’s hardly news that far fewer teenagers work during the summer than they did decades ago, for many reasons. Those who do want to work are often happy to nail down a steady paycheck, while others gain something more — a career-oriented summer job that comes with training, mentorship, and connections. That’s the goal of a state-funded program that will send 900 area teens into the workforce this summer, but its administrators say that number isn’t nearly enough.

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    5. FloDesign Sonics Aims to Bring Cell Therapy to the Masses

      FloDesign Sonics Aims to Bring Cell Therapy to the Masses

      The “filterless filter company,” as FloDesign Sonics dubs itself, was launched in 2010 in an effort to separate contaminants — particularly anthrax — from the water supply. There’s nothing trivial about that goal, but the company’s co-founder and CEO, Stanley Kowalski III, and his team have only been thinking bigger ever since. “We don’t like mediocre challenges; we take on pretty big issues, and we back it with the best thought leaders in this space,” he told BusinessWest. “We’ve targeted some of the biggest things mankind could be working on, and it gets people motivated on a different ...

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    6. Finding People Jobs Is Only Part of Nicole Griffin’s Calling

      Finding People Jobs Is Only Part of Nicole Griffin’s Calling

      A job seeker came to see Nicole Griffin recently after making a careless mistake — one he didn’t even recognize at the time. The mistake was leaving a temporary position at a large, well-known firm two weeks before his contract was up because he didn’t like the environment and the job wasn’t quite what he thought it would be. “I said, ‘you kind of ruined all the work you did there for several months by leaving before your assignment ended,’” said Griffin, president of the employment firm she launched in 2013 as Griffin Staffing Network. “That was a ...

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    7. Deerfield Strives to Be More Than a Tourist Town

      Deerfield Strives to Be More Than a Tourist Town

      Wendy Foxmyn acknowleged that, when pressed to describe Deerfield with a word or two, most responders would say ‘tourist town,’ or something to that effect. And, sounding somewhat like the Seinfeld characters in that infamous episode, she said there’s nothing particularly wrong with that. But she quickly, and repeatedly, stressed that this community that is home to Yankee Candle’s flagship store — one of the most visited attractions in New England — as well as Mount Sugarloaf, Historic Deerfield, and the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservancy and Garden wants to diversify and broaden its commercial portfolio.

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    8. The Golf Business Faces Some Formidable Hazards

      The Golf Business Faces Some Formidable Hazards

      Two decades ago, people were clamoring to get into the golf business. It was seen as an almost can’t-miss proposition, and individuals and municipalities alike were looking to cash in. Things changed in a hurry, of course, and today, operations are struggling to stay in the black. To do so, they must be imaginative, flexible, and diverse.  For several years now, area golf-course operators have been saying there’s at least one too many courses in this region for the collective good, especially given the downward trajectory of the business as overall play has declined.

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    9. Training and Workforce Options to Host Financial Industry Forum

      Training and Workforce Options to Host Financial Industry Forum

      Training and Workforce Options (TWO), a partnership between Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), will host an employer-engagement forum focused on the financial-services industry on Thursday, May 3 from 8 to 10 a.m. at STCC’s Scibelli Hall, Rooms 701 and 702. The forum will provide financial professionals with information on workforce-development training opportunities and related services offered by experienced trainers from HCC and STCC. TWO representatives also will discuss how regional businesses can secure Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Grants to enhance training efforts for their workers.

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    10. Grand Opening of Hcc Mgm Culinary Arts Institute Set for April 12

      Grand Opening of Hcc Mgm Culinary Arts Institute Set for April 12

      Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito will be the first featured speaker at a grand-opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute on Thursday, April 12. The Holyoke Community College event will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the institute at 164 Race St. on the corner of Appleton Street. Other special guests and speakers will include Massachusetts Secretary of Education Jim Peyser, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, HCC President Christina Royal, HCC board of trustees Chair Bob Gilbert, MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis, and HCC Foundation board of directors Chair Paul Boudreau.

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    11. Businesses Connect and Grow at the Orange Innovation Center

      Businesses Connect and Grow at the Orange Innovation Center

      The movement toward innovation centers and collaborative maker spaces might be hot right now across Western Mass., but the Orange Innovation Center was on the cutting edge when it opened 20 years ago in this small Franklin County town. Under its current ownership, the complex has doubled its tenant roster over the past five years, in turn boosting perhaps its greatest calling card — the built-in support of a business community invested in seeing each other succeed.

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    12. Innovative Care Partners Aims to Better Integrate Health Services

      Innovative Care Partners Aims to Better Integrate Health Services

      The healthcare landscape is changing in dramatic fashion, with a movement toward population health and providers being paid to keep people healthy rather than strictly for treating them when they’re sick. There are many intriguing manifestations of this shift, and one that bears watching is a new venture involving three area providers — the Center for Human Development, ServiceNet, and the Gandara Mental Health Center — with a name that speaks volumes about just how it will operate: Integrated Care Partners.

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    13. Local Chambers to Present ‘A Taste of Commerce’ on April 11

      The public is invited to “A Taste of Commerce,” a chamber of commerce collaboration consisting of the Greater Holyoke, Greater Easthampton, Greater Chicopee, Greater Northampton, South Hadley and Granby, and Quaboag Hills chambers coming together to showcase local businesses in the region. The event is set to take place on Wednesday, April 11 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Holyoke Community College Bartley Center. Previously known as the Table Top Expo, “A Taste of Commerce” seeks to retain its original business-to-business initiative, while inviting the public to take part in the show and get a taste of ...

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    14. Social Innovation Conference to Take Place April 7

      Social Innovation Conference to Take Place April 7

      The Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship will present its 2018 Social Innovation Conference on Saturday, April 7 at the UMass Integrative Learning Center. Registration is free and includes two keynote speakers, three panel discussions, a design workshop, breakfast, lunch, and refreshments. Attendees will learn about trends in innovation and how social entrepreneurship is transforming traditional business. The day will begin with Bill Baue, CEO of Reporting 3.0, a business that is changing systems of reporting, along with a panel of entrepreneurs discussing the role social impact takes in their business.

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    15. WNEU School of Law Selects Sudha Setty as Its Next Dean

      WNEU School of Law Selects Sudha Setty as Its Next Dean

      Sudha Setty wasn’t sure where her initial interest in law would take her — she simply wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. Her current role as a professor certainly fits that bill, though it’s not a path she expected to take early on. Now, as she prepares to take over the dean’s chair at Western New England University School of Law, she’s ready to navigate a still-challenging climate for law schools and help other young people achieve their world-changing goals.

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    16. GCC’s Bob Pura Made the Community-college Mission a Career

      GCC’s Bob Pura Made the Community-college Mission a Career

      Bob Pura couldn’t help but laugh and shake his head as he talked about it. And that’s because the whole idea of it was so, well, foreign to him — in every way. He and his wife will be flying into Edinburgh, Scotland in July to visit their daughter, who’s studying there. “And we bought one-way tickets,” he said, uttering those last three words slowly for emphasis and in a voice that conveyed as much as three exclamation points. “We might stay a week, we might stay two … we don’t know,” said Pura, president of Greenfield Community ...

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    17. CLICK Workspace Welcomes Sofia Nardi as Member Advocate - BusinessWest

      CLICK Workspace Welcomes Sofia Nardi as Member Advocate - BusinessWest

      CLICK Workspace, a co-working space located in downtown Northampton, announced the hiring of Sofia Nardi as a new member advocate. Nardi is a recent graduate of Bay Path University, where she double-majored in small business development and marketing, graduating summa cum laude. At CLICK, she manages all administrative functions, including financial accounting, office operations, purchasing, and troubleshooting routine problems with equipment and maintenance. Serving as the first point of contact for all inquiries and visitors, she aims to ensure a welcoming environment.

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      Mentions: Northampton
    18. Dress for Success to Host Annual Gala on April 12

      Dress for Success to Host Annual Gala on April 12

      Thursday, April 12 will be an evening of inspiration and celebration when hundreds of people gather at CityStage to celebrate the work of Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts. “This evening is about realizing what truly empowers women’s greatest,” said Dawn Creighton, board president of Dress for Success. “It’s so much more than suits and shoes. When young women dream about who they want to be, they see much more than clothes, and so do we. We see bright futures, fulfilling careers, and healthy families. We see leaders.” This year’s event will feature an artistic visual representation ...

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    19. Food Processing Center Gives Clients the Right Ingredients

      Food Processing Center Gives Clients the Right Ingredients

      Launched in 2001, the Western MA Food Processing Center in Greenfield has become a powerful engine when it comes to economic development in Franklin County and beyond. The WMFPC has been instrumental in helping farmers and other food and beverage entrepreneurs to grow organically — in every sense.
      Caroline Pam gave the jar a half-turn.  That was how she started to answer a question, the one about what makes her company’s salsa and sriracha (hot sauce) stand out in a market crowded with competitors.

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      Mentions: Greenfield
    20. Unify Against Bullying to Hold Launch Party for 2018 Fashion Show

      Unify Against Bullying to Hold Launch Party for 2018 Fashion Show

      Unify Against Bullying and Robert Charles Photography will host a rally on Monday, March 26 at 6 p.m. in the third-floor community room located at One Financial Plaza, 1350 Main St., Springfield. The event is the official kickoff for the annual Unify Fashion Show, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, May 15 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The tickets to the event go on sale that evening. The show has been sold out the last four years, taking just three weeks to sell out last year.

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      Mentions: Springfield Holyoke
    21. Tech Foundry Offers Excel Skill Training to Regional Workforce

      Tech Foundry Offers Excel Skill Training to Regional Workforce

      Tech Foundry will offer a four-day Excel skill training the week of May 14-18 (every day but May 16) from 9 a.m. to noon at 1391 Main St., ninth floor, Springfield. Because its first Excel class offered to area companies and their employees was such a success, Tech Foundry is eager to meet the Excel needs of more area employers and their employees. Hundreds of workers in the Pioneer Valley alone use Excel on a daily basis, yet only a small fraction have the training and skill needed to maximize job success and productivity.

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      Mentions: Springfield
    22. Florence Bank to Present Customers’ Choice Community Grants

      Florence Bank to Present Customers’ Choice Community Grants

      Florence Bank will present the awards in its 16th annual Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program at an event slated for Wednesday, March 21. Contributions through the program will reach the $1.05 million mark in terms of grants made to community nonprofits over almost two decades. Representatives from 57 nonprofits receiving funds will be present at the Garden House at Look Park from 5 to 7 p.m. to accept the grants, view photographs and displays from previous Customers’ Choice events, and sample hors d’oeuvres by Seth Mias Catering. The grant amounts will be announced that evening. The Customers ...

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    23. Home & Garden Show Will Feature More Than 350 Vendors

      Home & Garden Show Will Feature More Than 350 Vendors

      Gisele Gilpatrick says her family’s business, Pro-Tech Waterproofing in Chicopee, typically garners about six months’ worth of business from the Western Mass. Home & Garden show — just not all at once.  “They’ll take our information, but they won’t always call next week,” said Gilpatrick, Pro-Tech’s office manager and the chair of the 64th annual Home & Garden show, slated for March 22-25. “They’ll say, ‘we saw you six months ago, or a year ago, or two years ago. I pulled out your card, because I have a problem now.’   That’s the value for many of the ...

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    24. Greentown Initiative Links Startups with Manufacturers

      Greentown Initiative Links Startups with Manufacturers

      Adam Rodrigues, manufacturing fellow with Greentown labs, says his job description can be smashed down to two words: Making matches. That would be matches between startups across the state, and especially those within the 413, and manufacturers in Western Mass. that can help bring a concept to the marketplace. He’s already made several of these matches and plans to make many more, connections that have a number of benefits — for the startups, the manufacturers, the region, and the state.

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