News from our members

2018 Fitchburg Toy Drive

Elite Construction & Design, Inc. will be helping to coordinate the toy drive for the Fitchburg school system this year for the 4th time.  They have approximately 300 children between the ages of 5 – 10 that are homeless and in need of Christmas gifts.  The last three years were such a great success that the cause continues. Last year Elite Construction & Design, Inc. donated over $4,000 worth of toys and clothes!  If you would like to donate to this wonderful cause, they are accepting checks made payable to Elite Construction which will be used towards gifts that they will purchase or they would accept any new unwrapped gifts dropped off to their donation box at their office at 431 Westminster Street, Fitchburg, MA  01420.  Your company name will be acknowledged in the article that will be written. If you have any questions please call Lesa Bourgeois at (978) 597-5071.

PSA for November 13th Devens Job Fair

The MassHire NORTH CENTRAL CAREER CENTER (a non-profit agency) and the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce have partnered for a November 13th job fair at the Devens Common Center in Devens, MA.   All of the 77 companies who will participate are hiring. 


To pre-register or questions, please contact the MassHire North Central Career Center at 978-534-1481. 

An updated list of employers is available at

Job Fair details:

WHEN: Tuesday, November 13th  9:30AM to 12:30PM

WHERE:  Devens Common Center, Devens, MA

WHO: Anyone looking for work.

COST: Free for job seekers

The Importance and Essentials Of a Successful Business Plan

Thursday, October 25, 2018
6:00–7:00 p.m.
presented by
Raymond Belanger
Director of Small Business at New Vue Communities
Wachusett Business Incubator
35 Sanborn Street, Gardner, MA
Advance Registration
978.410.9250 or
Free to Wachusett Business Incubator members • $15 for non-members
Light refreshments will be served
Attention Entrepreneurs

Executive Furniture Available

The non-profit Devens Eco-Efficiency Center’s Great Exchange has received a generous offer of executive office furniture. Items are in very good shape and must be picked up in Concord on October 25. The attached PDF offers pictures, dimensions, quantities of desks, chairs, cabinets and tables available for a donation of approximately 40% of value – a terrific savings opportunity!

More items coming November 8; pictures continuously updated at

For more info and to confirm interest: Dona Neely 978-772-8831 x3304.

Book Release Party and Talk at  Fitchburg Historical Society on Wednesday, October 24:

Sally Dickinson Discusses Fitchburg’s Role in the
Career of Helicopter Inventor Igor Sikorsky

The Fitchburg Historical Society will host a talk on Wednesday, October 24 at 6 p.m. by Sally Dickinson, at the release party for her new paperback book The Missing Links to the Igor Sikorsky Story: His Struggle to Survive the Years between 1924 and 1929.

Dickinson discovered a large cache of historical documents about Sikorsky’s earliest years in America. She has written up the story in her new book, which she will be selling and signing at the Fitchburg Historical Society.  The party will also feature a brief talk on some of the highlights of Dickinson’s research into the relationship between the aviation pioneer and his business partner Arnold Dickinson, a prominent business leader in Fitchburg.

Sikorsky emigrated to the US from Russia in 1919, escaping from the Soviet Revolution. The Wright Brothers flight had happened less than 20 years earlier, but Sikorsky imagined that large airplanes could move people, cargo and mail. After arriving in the states, he created businesses to design those modern airplanes, inventing some new forms of commercially successful planes. Ultimately, he invented amphibious airplanes and (most famously) invented the helicopter, a huge innovation in engineering and technology.

But how did a recent immigrant start and maintain a major manufacturing company in a brand new industry? Sikorsky needed to work with American businessmen to support him in his inventions and to create a successful company within short years of arriving in the US. As told in Dickinson’s new book, Sikorsky’s story includes great victories and terrible crashes. It also includes the race to fly from New York to Paris, and the daredevil age of pilots racing each other and risking death to fly nonstop between continents.

Sally Dickinson is from Leominster, went to Leominster High and Skidmore College. After raising a family and then working as a sales representative with Brown and Bigelow, a manufacturer of business promotional materials, she opened her own business, Portals Business Promotions, in the 1970’s, when independent women-owned businesses were still relatively rare.

As the President of the Board of Directors of the Fitchburg Historical Society, she headed up the Capital Campaign that allowed the Historical Society to purchase and renovate Phoenix Building on Main Street, a project that lasted over 5 years and raised more than 3 million dollars. She wrote a short booklet for the Historical Society: The Dickinson Family Story: From Handmade Boots to Amphibious Aircraft.

Save the Date! Or, Save the Whole Weekend (Oct. 27 & 28) for “Fitchburg Open Studios”

An “art tour” is a sort of voyage of discovery for art lovers. The idea is for patrons to be able to see what the arts have to offer in a particular city or region. Artists and art gallery owners come together for a day (or two) to show off the artwork being created in that area, sometimes to witness even the very act of creation itself. Such will be the exciting goings-on over the weekend of October 27 and 28 in Fitchburg, Mass., and vicinity.

“Fitchburg Open Studios” was organized by four stars of the Fitchburg art scene: gallery owner Tamar Russell Brown, pastel painter Lisa Regopoulos, and gallery owners Peter and Ann Capodagli. More than 20 artists responded to a call for artwork to be shown over the big weekend at many different sites, including the Fitchburg Art Museum and the various studios of participating artists. The 40,000 or so residents of the city of Fitchburg are about to find out just how much artistic talent the area has to offer.

Art lovers may need a full tank of gas or the equivalent energy on a bicycle for the entire weekend. The epicenter of the activities will be Fitchburg, of course, but the surrounding communities of Gardner, Leominster, Princeton and Townsend will be sites of studios where artists will be exhibiting.

“I had a dream to do this gallery,” says Tamar Russell Brown of Gallery Sitka at 454 Main Street in Fitchburg. The dream became a reality in May 2014 when Ms. Russell Brown started up a gallery at the Phoenix Park Mill in Shirley, and culminated with the grand opening of Gallery Sitka in downtown Fitchburg in July 2016. Some 40 area artists are represented by Sitka, and that gallery has an email list of over 100.

Art is a family affair for Tamar. “My father is an artist,” she reports, and her great aunt and great uncle were both painters. Though her father tried to warn her about the difficulty of making a living in the arts, she followed that dream anyway. The story goes all the way back to her teens, growing up in Tennessee. “I was collecting art at 15,” she recalls. Apparently she was destined for this calling in the art world from an early age.

Lisa Regopoulos paints pastels and considers herself an impressionistic artist. “I’m often trying to catch an image as if you had just caught a glimpse of it,” she says of her working methods. “You put more of yourself into the work,” she says, if you are working under that urgency of catching not just the visual fireworks of the images she paints en plein air (in the great outdoors) but also the mood, the feeling created while observing her subject matter. She’s out to capture, of course, an impression, and to communicate the excitement of a fleeting moment of beauty. The pastels are pigments held together by binders that allow tremendously vibrant colors to live on the paper surface, perhaps more strikingly than is possible with other materials.

Lisa will be opening her entire house to art lovers, hanging many recent paintings and working at the easel on a picture while her visitors look on. Some of the other artists who answered the call will be doing the same kind of demonstrations.

Ann and Peter Capodagli made their own dreams come true in 2008 when they opened the Boulder Art Gallery at 960 Main Street, in the shadow of the Rollstone Boulder, one of Fitchburg’s proudest landmarks and the inspiration for the name of the gallery. The lovely Upper Common area is the backdrop for the gallery, which also serves as Ann’s studio.

The Capodaglis were both teachers. Ann enjoyed 36 years as a Visual Arts instructor at Fitchburg High School, while Peter is a retired middle school science teacher who worked for 35 years in the Shirley school system. Ann is a watercolorist. Along with her watercolors, Ann will also be offering giclee prints and note cards at Boulder on both days of the art tour. Peter has been a collector of vintage art for many years. They are both dedicated to promoting and supporting local and regional artists.

Most of Boulder’s art is representational, Ms. Russell Brown says, with beautiful landscapes predominating. Sitka focuses more on abstract works that provide exciting interactions of pure color and texture.

Among the artists participating will be Doreen M. LaScola of Gardner, Ellen Schneeflock of Ashburnham, Pam Short of Lancaster, Linda Williams of Ashby, Leonard A. Haug of Princeton, Therese R. Blood of Westminster, as well as Brian G. Beaudoin, Randy LeSage, Christopher Di Nunzio, Kathryn Swantee, Iphigenia Burg, Jennifer Jones, Jen Hemenway, Gail Bloom, Sally Sargent, Kate Shaffer, Priscilla Mavrikis Walker, Keven McCarthy and Wil Darcangelo.

Ms. Russell Brown has created a special map to guide art lovers to all the participating studios and galleries. Go to for the map and more information about the big weekend.

MassHire North Central funding workshop for businesses

On October 17, 2018 from 1pm to 3pm, the MASSHIRE North Central Career Center and Commonwealth Corporation will present a Workforce Training Fund informational workshop geared to businesses looking to train their employees.  The Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund is a program that provides matching dollars to eligible businesses who are investing in their staff through training and/or retraining.


The info session will provide an overview of the features and benefits of each Workforce Training Fund grant program, including the amount of available funding, program guidelines, and how to apply for each grant. You will have direct access to Commonwealth Corporation staff to ask any questions you might have about each program.

To reserve a seat please use this Event Bright link  


Or, for more information contact Scott Percifull at 978-534-1481, X209 


The workshop will be located at:

North Central Career Center

100 Erdman Way (rear of building)

Leominster, MA 01453