Patrick Lawlor Selected for New Public Policy Position

 

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the addition of Patrick Lawlor to its professional staff as Public Affairs Manager.

In this new position, Mr. Lawlor will be tasked with growing the advocacy and public policy efforts of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber and increasing the visibility of the region’s businesses and economy on Beacon Hill.

“Our region is often overshadowed by the Greater Boston area, and this is an important step in reminding Massachusetts how critical our region is to the overall economy,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President & CEO. “Patrick’s experience working on high profile public policy issues will be a boon to our members.”

Lawlor most recently served the Commonwealth’s Division of Insurance as a communications and external affairs specialist. In that capacity, Lawlor led communications and outreach efforts for the insurance regulatory agency, working on a variety of issues including federal health insurance reform, consumer education on auto and home insurance, and disaster response efforts. His experience in state government has positioned him on the frontlines of rolling out major policy initiatives in the last two administrations.

Lawlor’s experience also includes working at the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, as well as serving as a legislative intern for the House Ways and Means Committee and the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies. His knowledge will be a great resource to members of the Chamber who want to easily navigate government, whether it is obtaining a license or permit, accessing tax incentives or passing a bill.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Merrimack College and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

NORTH CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES SUPPORT OF KINDER MORGAN PIPELINE

NORTH CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
ANNOUNCES SUPPORT OF KINDER MORGAN PIPELINE

 The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce today announced its support of the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline. The construction of the natural gas pipeline will provide a reliable, more affordable source of energy in a region that has been plagued by high energy costs.

“Businesses in Massachusetts face energy costs that present significant obstacles to competing in a growing economy,” said Roy Nascimento, president and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “The pipeline will allow businesses and families to access a clean and affordable energy supply.”

According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), Massachusetts ranks as the third most expensive state in the country for electricity prices. The EIA has also stated that Massachusetts has exceptionally high natural gas prices, resulting from a serious lack of pipeline capacity supplying power plants. Natural gas is used by power plants in New England to produce over 40 percent of the region’s electric power, meaning the supply of natural gas to our state significantly impacts electric rates. Gas prices are a function of supply and demand in the market, and the current regional supply infrastructure cannot meet the increasing demands of the state.

Higher energy costs also impact residents and working families in the region and the state. Residential electric rates have doubled in New England since 1990, with much of the increase occurring since 2004. In addition, about half of households in the state rely on natural gas as their primary energy source for home heating.

Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline would deliver natural gas to the region from Pennsylvania. The project is expected to bring 1,700 jobs to Massachusetts and nearly $24 million in state and local tax revenues each year after project completion.

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce supports measures and initiatives that support and encourage a reliable, diverse and more affordable energy supply that keeps pace with the region’s growing population and economy, while protecting our environment. Given the strained natural gas capacity in New England and the region’s increasing reliance on Natural Gas for our electricity, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber supports the development of the Kinder Morgan NED pipeline to transport natural gas into the region and state. The Chamber believes that the project will increase the availability of natural gas in New England, reduce price volatility and increase capacity to help support the future needs of the region and the Commonwealth.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors and Government Affairs Committee reviewed the project and adopted a formal position statement supporting the project on September 24, 2015.

10/27/15 – NCM Development Corporation Press Release Entrepreneur Workshop

All-Day Workshops Scheduled for Entrepreneurs in Gardner

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, and TD Bank are holding two business workshops on October 27 in Gardner aimed at assisting potential and existing entrepreneurs.

The free workshops are being held in cooperation with the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC), the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, and Twin Cities CDC.

Both workshops will last approximately 2.5 hours and will be held at the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce, 29 Parker Street, Gardner on Tuesday, October 27.

Session I: Fundamentals in Planning, Preparing, and Financing Your Business will run from 8:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and will focus on evaluating and understanding the fundamentals of owning one’s own business.  Information on how to get started, where and how to get financing and the loan application process will be presented.  Registration begins at 8:30. Breakfast will be provided for all participants.  Presented by Roland Nutter, AdviCoach

Session II: Understanding the Purpose of Financial Statements and How They Can Help Determine the Health of Your Business will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will focus on understanding a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement.  The workshop will also explain how a small business owner can anticipate financial needs in order to operate his/her business more efficiently. Registration begins at 11:00. Lunch will be provided for all participants. Presented by Robert C. Alario, CPA

To register, please contact Sandie Cataldo at 978-353-7600 ext. 232 or Cataldo@massweb.org or register online at northcentralmass.com.

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) is a non-profit corporation with the mission of creating jobs and improving the economy of North Central Massachusetts. NCMDC is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program. The NCMDC works in partnership with local banks, credit unions, chambers of commerce and area nonprofits to support emerging microenterprises, small businesses, and community projects with loans and business assistance. Since 1996, the NCMDC has granted over $4,200,000 in loans to small businesses to help grow jobs and the economy in 26 communities in the North Central Massachusetts region.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978-353-7607.

NR New Look of Appleseed.org

The New Face of Appleseed.org Fitchburg

(July 7th ) – The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA), through a grant awarded by the Massachusetts Office of Administration and Finance, has launched a new website redesign to appleseed.org to better promote North Central Massachusetts as a tourist destination to the traveling public and the local community. The new website serves as the official, premier resource for travelers, the media, group tour operators and locals interested in learning more about the region’s unique attractions, businesses and events.

The new design will give users a unique experience every time they visit the site that focuses more on members and local events. The website was performing on a ten years old platform, and was receiving over 160,000 hits a year. The upgrade and redesign will allow JATA to publish additional content and create a more user friendly website all while increasing interconnectivity between the traveling public and local businesses and events. By increasing the site’s capabilities it will be able to bring a greater visibility to the local tourism industry, and to better market North Central Massachusetts as a unique tourist destination, and continue the growth of tourism as an economic driver in the region.

“We are very excited about this new and improved website. In today’s highly competitive travel marketplace, it’s essential that our region stay competitive by maintaining a cutting-edge website that’s attractive and engaging and helps grow our share of the tourism business.” said Suzanne Farias, General Manager of the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Leominster and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association. “We expect the new appleseed.org to be a wonderful new tool in showcasing the many great things that North Central Massachusetts has to offer and growing the economic impact of the tourism industry to our local communities.”

Visitors to appleseed.org will be able to look up what to do, where to stay, and where to go shop and eat all within North Central Massachusetts. New to the site is an ability for users to see local deals and promotions in the region. Business and organizations also have a place where they are able to submit both deals and events that they would like to have posted on appleseed.org.

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association is the official designated Regional Tourism Council serving the 26 cities and towns of North Central Massachusetts. The organization’s primary mission is to educate the traveling public, tourists, and residents of North Central Massachusetts about the many historical, cultural, and hospitality related sites within this scenic New England Region. Through this mission the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association works collectively with local attractions, hospitality businesses and local communities to market the North Central region as a destination and provide information and services to the traveling public. The North Central Massachusetts region is comprised of the communities of Ashburnham, Ashby, Athol, Ayer, Barre, Bolton, Clinton, Fitchburg, Gardner, Groton, Harvard, Hubbardston, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Petersham, Phillipston, Princeton, Royalston, Shirley, Sterling, Templeton, Townsend, Westminster, and Winchendon.

For more information about the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association please visit appleseed.org or call 978-353-7604.

New Member Campaign Press Release

NORTH CENTRAL CHAMBER TO HOLD NEW MEMBER CAMPAIGN

(North Central, MA)—The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will be holding an aggressive New Member Campaign on September 29 and 30, 2015. This new member campaign will include reaching out to over 3,500 businesses in the region that are not yet benefiting from Chamber membership. The campaign will include a mailed invitation and personal phone calls from business leaders in the region encouraging them to join the Chamber.

Paul DiGeronimo, President of Geronimo Properties and Immediate Past Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors will chair this special campaign. In addition, nearly 80 business leaders have volunteered to help recruit new members to the Chamber by sharing information about their positive experiences and the many benefits of Chamber membership.

“The Chamber is an important element in the fabric of the community and has a tremendous impact supporting the local business community,” said Paul DiGeronimo, Chairman of the New Member Campaign. “This is a great opportunity to tell our story and give the Chamber’s financial and membership efforts a solid boost.”

The Chamber provides numerous services for members, including networking and professional development, free and low cost marketing, health and dental insurance, as well as government affairs and economic development programs to encourage a positive business climate for the region.

In addition, the Chamber’s New Member Campaign will feature several “join now” incentives for businesses and organizations that enroll with the Chamber, including free advertising, web site listings, admission to Chamber networking programs and more.

Highlighting the campaign will be a two-day, four-session phone-a-thon at the Chamber’s offices on September 29 and 30. Volunteers will be competing for bragging rights as the top recruiter and some great prizes including overnight trips, gift certificates to restaurants and stores, and much more.

The Chamber’s New Member Campaign is sponsored by Comcast Business and Heat Trace Products. Supporting sponsors include S.J. Mullaney Engineering, Inc. and the lunch sponsor is Burkart-Phelan Inc. In addition, media sponsors for the Campaign include the Sentinel & Enterprise, Leominster Champion, Worcester Business Journal, WPKZ 105.3 FM, AdviCoach, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, LATV and FATV.

Businesses interested in joining the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce should contact should contact Yasmin Loft, Member Services Manager at (978) 353-7600, x234 or via email at loft@massweb.org.

 

About the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce
The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce (northcentralmass.com) is a business advocacy, economic development organization working to create and sustain relationships among businesses and between businesses and the community. With 1000 member firms, employing over 25,000 people in the region, the Chamber is working to foster economic opportunity in Fitchburg, Leominster, and surrounding communities.

NCMCC Hires Sandie Cataldo as Manager of Economic Development

CATALDO SELECTED FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT POSITION

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation are pleased to announce the addition of Sandie Cataldo to the professional staff as Manager of Economic Development.

In this new position, Ms. Cataldo will be responsible for managing the economic development and micro loan programs of the Chamber and its affiliate the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation. Her role will include promoting and overseeing the micro loan and technical assistance programs, as well as serving as the primary contact for businesses looking to start-up or expand in North Central Massachusetts.

“We are excited to have Sandie join our team and help lead our efforts to advance local businesses and the economic growth of North Central Massachusetts,” said Roy M. Nascimento, President. “Her enthusiasm and professional experience in economic development, particularly her work in helping small businesses, make her uniquely suited for this role.”

Prior to being selected for this position, Ms. Cataldo worked since 2006 for the City of Leominster in the Office of Planning and Economic Development as their Small Business Development Coordinator. During this time she acted as the liaison between the city and the small business community. In addition to assisting businesses with their municipal needs, she also provided resources and tools to assist with business plans, financing options, marketing opportunities, and property search. She introduced new and innovative business practices through small business workshops, seminars, as well as planned and managed over thirty five large community events with attendance of 4,000+ designed to promote the local small business community.

Prior to working for the City of Leominster, Ms. Cataldo worked as a project manager for JS Lewis Exhibit Associates. In this position, she managed all trade show services for a national client base from a variety of industries.

 

About the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce
The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce (northcentralmass.com) is a business advocacy, economic development organization working to create and sustain relationships among businesses and between businesses and the community. With 1000 member firms, employing over 25,000 people in the region, the Chamber is working to foster economic opportunity in Fitchburg, Leominster, and surrounding communities.

About the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation
The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) is a non-profit corporation with the mission of creating jobs and improving the economy of North Central Massachusetts. NCMDC is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program. The NCMDC works in partnership with local banks, credit unions, chambers of commerce and area nonprofits to support emerging microenterprises, small businesses, and community projects with loans and business assistance. Since 1996, the NCMDC has granted over $4,000,000 in loans to small businesses to help grow jobs and the economy in 26 communities in the North Central Massachusetts region. For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978-353-7607.

NCM Development Corporation Press Release Entrepreneur Workshop

All-Day Workshops Scheduled for Entrepreneurs in Devens

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and North Middlesex Savings Bank are holding two basic business workshops on September 8 in Devens aimed at assisting potential and existing entrepreneurs.

The free workshops are being held in cooperation with the MA Small Business Development Center (MSBDC), the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, and Twin Cities CDC.

Both workshops will be held at the Mount Wachusett Community College, 27 Jackson St., Devens on Tuesday, September 8th .

Session I: Fundamentals in Planning, Preparing, and Financing Your Business will run from 8:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and will focus on evaluating and understanding the fundamentals of owning one’s own business. Information on how to get started, where and how to get financing and the loan application process will be presented. Registration begins at 8:30. Breakfast will be provided for all participants. Presented by Roland Nutter, AdviCoach

Session II: Understanding the Purpose of Financial Statements and How They Can Help Determine the Health of Your Business will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will focus on understanding a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement. The workshop will also explain how a small business owner can anticipate financial needs in order to operate his/her business more efficiently. Registration begins at 11:00. Lunch will be provided for all participants. Presented by Bob Alario, Robert C. Alario, CPA

To register, please contact Sandie Cataldo at 978-353-7600 ext. 232 or Cataldo@massweb.org or register online at northcentralmass.com.

 

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation (NCMDC) is a non-profit corporation with the mission of creating jobs and improving the economy of North Central Massachusetts. NCMDC is certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Program. The NCMDC works in partnership with local banks, credit unions, chambers of commerce and area nonprofits to support emerging microenterprises, small businesses, and community projects with loans and business assistance. Since 1996, the NCMDC has granted over $4,000,000 in loans to small businesses to help grow jobs and the economy in 26 communities in the North Central Massachusetts region.

For more information about the NCMDC loan programs, please call 978-353-7607.

ABM 2015 Election Results Press Release

WORKERS’ CREDIT UNION PRESIDENT & CEO DOUGLAS PETERSEN TO CHAIR NORTH CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

(FITCHBURG, MA) – Douglas J. Petersen, President & CEO of Workers’ Credit Union has been elected Chairman of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2015-16. The announcement was made at the chamber’s annual business meeting on June 11, 2015.

Doug Petersen joined Workers’ Credit Union in 1995 as Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, after eleven years of professional experience in the financial services industry. He was promoted to Executive Vice President in 1998 and then to President and CEO in 2011. He earned both a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from Bentley College. He earned a graduate degree from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

Headquartered in Fitchburg, the credit union has more than 84,000 members, more than 250 employees, and 16 branches throughout northern Worcester and Middlesex counties. Under Mr. Petersen’s leadership, the credit union passed the $1 billion mark in assets in 2013 and established the Workers’ “GiveBack” Program that has given out more than $4.5 million back to members since 2014.

Mr. Petersen has served on the Chamber’s Board of Directors for several years and has held several leadership positions including Vice Chair and Treasurer. As the Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, Mr. Petersen will work with the Board, Chamber staff, and membership to champion the Chamber in its mission to serve the region’s business community.

“As Chairman, Doug will play a significant role in advancing the Chamber’s goals and initiatives,” noted Roy Nascimento, Chamber President. “We are fortunate to have his respected leadership. We look forward to working with him to advance the interests of our members and promote North Central Massachusetts.”

He succeeds Paul DiGeronimo, President of Geronimo Properties, who now moves to the position of Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors.

“It has been a pleasure having Paul DiGeronimo heading the Chamber,” expressed Mr. Petersen, “Paul has done so much for the Chamber and the region. I am excited to pick up where he left off and make sure the Chamber remains a strong resource for the local business community.”

In the same election, Anthony Mercadante, Managing Partner at Mercadante & Mercadante, P.C., CPAs, was voted Vice-Chairman and director Mark Freeman, president of Steel-Fab, Inc., was elected to the position of Treasurer.

New board members elected for a three-year term were Neil Abramson, Chief Financial Officer of ECi Stores and Will Aubuchon, President of W.E. Aubuchon Company.

Continuing current terms on the Board of Directors are Lillian Burkart, Burkart Phelan; Wayne Canty, Heat Trace Products; David Duval, Protective Services; Ken Gurge, Law Offices of Kenneth W. Gurge; Mary Leger, Ruel Electric; Laura Reynolds, FHC Industrial Supply; Stephen Mullaney Jr., S.J. Mullaney Engineering, PE; Steve Rocheleau, Rocheleau Tool & Die, Inc.; Eric Shapiro, The Lexvest Group/Phoenix Park; Deborah Weymouth, HealthAlliance Hospital; and John Witkowski, NYPRO, Inc