Chamber Member Spotlight: Elite Construction & Design, Inc.

Elite Construction & Design, Inc. believes in the future of downtown Fitchburg and recently made a move to be at the center of it.

Previously located in a former Crocker paper mill on Westminster Street in West Fitchburg, the construction company has moved to Sawyer Passway, where it hopes to play a key role in the city’s revitalization efforts, said President Matthew Fournier. 

“It’s already starting but we lost some momentum with the pandemic,’’ Fournier said. “The energy is still there with public and private development. There are projects that will bring quality housing and restaurants downtown and some amenities. It may have delayed us a year or two but at the same time, all the projects are still there and moving forward. People are feeling positive about it.’’

Wachusett Brew BarnWhile some projects downtown may have been delayed, business is strong overall at Elite, Fournier said. 

Between businesses looking to reconfigure their space or make improvements during some downtime, growth in the cannabis industry and homeowners investing in projects, Elite has kept busy.

“A lot of our clients are in different industries and are getting affected in different ways so we are there to help them adapt,’’ Fournier said. “Commercial construction is still going strong and residential has picked up. A lot of people are sitting at home and look at their yards and houses saying ‘We’re not going on vacation, how can we change our space?’’’

Fournier founded the company in 2004 after graduating from Wentworth Institute of Technology a year before with degrees in interior design and facilities management and planning. 

“I wanted to create a construction business from the ground up by focusing on long term relationships and servicing clients with an innovative hands-on approach, driven by small business values instilled in me by my family and other mentors,’’ Fournier said. “Our team is driven to be a recognized as one of the most responsive, innovative and customer-focused firms in Central Massachusetts.’’

Today, his company offers general contracting, design-build, pre-construction services, tenant fit-ups, rapid response facility services and insurance repairs/emergency services. 

Elite caters to a variety of industries including commercial, residential, health care, retail, hospitality, food service, cannabis, non-profit and municipal. Wachusett Brew

“At Elite Construction, we differentiate ourselves by providing our clients and partners with a high level of service from a project’s conceptual phase through the project closeout and beyond,’’ Fournier said. “Three values that lead our day to day are: Plan, execute and deliver.’’

Elite is a member of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, which Fournier said has helped on a business and personal level, with professional development, networking, visibility, credibility and a better understanding of the changing community and economic landscape of the region.

Elite Construction & Design, Inc. is located at 61 Sawyer Passway, Fitchburg and can be reached at 978-597-5071. For more information, visit 

Chamber Member Spotlight: bankHometown rescues small businesses with PPP approvals

When the SBA launched the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), bankHometown sprang into action to assist local business owners access these funds and keep the community employed.

Their branches moved swiftly and quickly to transform the retail business so that their customers could count on them, and, in total, bankHometown approved almost 800 PPP loans totaling nearly $70 million, allowing local business to keep thousands of employees on payroll.

“Our focus was on small businesses who needed it most, with 90% of our PPP loans under $250,000. Through it all, we remain proactive, accessible, and responsive to help business owners weather the storm,” said Robert Morton, President and CEO.

“In fact, we recently contributed $5,000 to the North Central Massachusetts Economic Recovery Fund to help provide emergency support to small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued. “The chamber’s outreach to local business owners has become even more critical in these times of hardship and economic downturn, and we continue to support the chamber so that their services can continue to support our local business community in these difficult times.”

For over 130 years, bankHometown has been assisting their customers make the most of their financial futures and has experienced significant growth, particularly through a series of mergers and acquisitions, including locally with Athol-Clinton Cooperative Bank in 2011. Today, bankHometown grew into a $1.2 billion community bank with sixteen branch locations across central Massachusetts – including offices in Athol, Leominster, and Lancaster – and northeastern Connecticut.

“We’re proud to deliver local, community banking services to our communities, reinvesting deposits in loans that support local economic growth and job creation and giving back generously to the many ‘hometowns’ we serve through charitable donations and other community support,” said Morton. “Customers looking for enhanced services, greater convenience, a continued commitment to hometown banking and to our neighborhoods, with local leadership and service from trusted employees should look to bankHometown!”

This year, they opened up a second Worcester, MA location in September.

“We’re excited about the future and how we can continue to partner with our customers. We continue to develop new ways to provide customized financial solutions that create a successful tomorrow for our customers, and to add to our suite of smart banking technology that makes banking convenient and accessible—wherever our customers are and how they live,” Morton said.

bankHometown continues to play a critical role in the local community’s well-being during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and continue to work with their customers facing financial stress and hardship during this crisis.

Morton states, “We helped our customers embrace the convenience and capabilities of bank-at-home services, many for the first time, so that they experience the peace of mind that comes with remaining connected. When we ultimately reopened our branch lobbies to customers, we implemented a wide range of personal protection measures that are in place today to ensure our locations are safe to do business.”

Morton also said that bankHometown is on a mission to deliver individualized financial support that ensures their customers can build a successful future – one that harnesses their financial power, fulfills their hope, dreams, and aspirations, and lets them live life to its fullest.

“We feel so strongly and passionately about that mission, that this fall we took the opportunity to evolve our bank’s brand to better communicate it,” he said.

‘Unlock Your Potential’ is more than just our new tagline. It’s our commitment to making a meaningful difference in our customers’ lives—to helping them through the most important financial decisions they face with confidence and assurance, and to unlocking the power of their own financial potential for themselves, their families, and their businesses.”

That promise is highlighted with a new logo that puts the customer at the epicenter, along with looking forward to new communications, branch signage, advertising, and introducing new television commercials that showcase how bankHometown can be a part of the financial milestones in customers’ lives.

bankHometown has sixteen locations and can be reached at 1-888-307-5887, or visit their website at to find out more information. 

Member Spotlight:Complete Physical Therapy & Wellness.

In each newsletter we highlight a Chamber member doing interesting work in our community.  This month we highlight Complete Physical Therapy & Wellness.

With their new location on 960 South Street in Fitchburg, MA, we are certainly proud to not only support Complete Physical Therapy & Wellness as a chamber member, but also as a fellow neighbor.

Complete Physical Therapy & Wellness is a privately owned physical therapy and wellness clinic. They are unique in that they combine the diverse experience and specialties of five longtime colleagues to service communities throughout Central Massachusetts.

Physical therapists Theresa Brassard, Joanne D’Onfro, Jennifer LeBlanc, Tamara Moses and Alice Thompson have unified their skills and passion to provide superior patient care in a customized, fully equipped facility. Their clinical excellence and expertise, combined with an unwavering commitment to prompt, personalized care, will make Complete Physical Therapy & Wellness a premier choice for all your physical therapy needs.

Complete Physical Therapy & Wellness specializes in the following areas: orthopedics, post joint replacements, sports injuries and prevention,

women’s health (pregnancy & incontinence), spine disorders, pediatrics, scoliosis, balance training & Pilates rehabilitation.

We are excited to celebrate the grand opening of Complete Physical Therapy & Wellness in the coming month. To contact them, visit

JULY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: US Army Recruiting Center – Leominster, MA (1A4F)

In each newsletter we highlight a Chamber member doing interesting work in our community.  This month we welcome the US Army Recruiting Center of Leominster, MA (1A4F).

It is very fitting we highlight the US Army in this month’s membership spotlight as we honor the men and women serving our country all month long.

We are extremely proud to have the US Army as a part of our chamber and we are very thankful they were honored guests at our Annual Business Meeting with Governor Charlie Baker this past month.

The US Army will also be a part of our upcoming Appleseed Country Fair held Labor Day Weekend this year!

The US Army Recruiting Center of Leominster, MA is available to those individuals ready to make a positive change in their life. They are on hand to answer questions like how to pay for college, how to receive free skill training, what travel opportunities and benefits are available to qualified applicants, and more.

Their goal is to provide the strength to the United States Army, the finest fighting force ever fielded in human history. They seek intelligent young men and women who feel they have what it takes to defend our country, and make our world a better place.

More than anything else, the US Army is here to offer advice and options on the best way to achieve your goals. You can learn more by visiting

The US Army Recruiting Center of Leominster, MA is located at 110 Erdman Way, Leominster, MA 01453.

JUNE MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: The Art Longsjo Foundation

On June 24th & 25th, the cities of Fitchburg and Leominster will host the second-oldest bicycle race in America, the 56th running of the Longsjo Classic, named for Fitchburg native and Olympian “Art” Longsjo, Jr.  This month, the North Central Mass Chamber reveals the history of this time-honored, classic American cycling event, a community celebration of cycling, fitness, and health.

Arthur “Art” Matthew Longsjo, Jr. (October 23, 1931 – September 16, 1958) was an American Olympian speed skater and cyclist, the first athlete to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games in the same year (1956).  After he died tragically in 1958 following a car accident in Burlington, Vermont, the first Fitchburg Longsjo Classic was held in 1960, with the Longsjo Foundation formed to make donations from race revenue to community charities.

The foundation contributes thousands of dollars annually to groups that volunteer at the race — from the American Legion, to Fitchburg High School’s athletic teams, to the Boys and Girls Club.  But this carries on throughout the year, with recent support for Our Father’s House, the Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network, the New Patriots Veterans Outreach Center, and others.  Longsjo funding will also help build the inclusive Sam Pawlak Community Playground at Coolidge Park, and keep holiday lights on in downtown Fitchburg.

The Longsjo will feature 15 races for men & women of different age groups and ability levels over 2 days of exciting criterium racing on Saturday June 24th (Leominster) and Sunday June 25th (Fitchburg), along with a kids’ race each day.  Mayors Dean Mazzarella and Stephen DiNatale will also host a charity ride on the same course the pros use, with a trophy for the mayor who raises the most money at stake for his City Hall!

“Crit” racing consists of several laps around a closed circuit, the length of each lap ranging from about 500 to 1000 meters.  More than 1000 racers will compete, with thousands of spectators expected to line the courses and attend the race expo.

 The Longsjo Classic is proud to be a local race with international reach, committed to the local community.  Please visit to sponsor the race or volunteer (race marshals, registrars, and set-up & take-down crews still needed!).  You can also purchase race merchandise, apparel, and accessories on the website (all produced by Chamber member Northeast Promotions). 





In each newsletter we highlight a Chamber member doing interesting work in our community.  This month we welcome Heywood Hospital in Gardner.

Heywood Hospital is a non-profit, community-owned, 134-bed facility in Gardner, with more than 1,000 employees.  A strategic alliance formed with Athol Hospital in 2013, to take advantage of economies of scale, has further expanded the service area.  The Heywood Medical Group network includes 200 active, courtesy, and consulting physicians in primary care and a multitude of specialties.

Dawn Casavant, Heywood’s Vice President of External Affairs, has brought a philanthropic focus to Heywood’s mission in the Greater Gardner and North Central regions of Massachusetts, believing that social services play an important role alongside healthcare:  “We are trying to address the pressing need for behavioral health and addiction services in our region.”

An unsettling trend is the increase in suicide and depression among teens.  Heywood Hospital has established a Suicide Prevention Task Force, in conjunction with the Mass Department of Public Health, to prevent suicide and to provide education and resources to help those who struggle with depression, survivors of suicide, and those who have lost loved ones.

An important resource in this struggle will be The Quabbin Retreat project, a substance abuse and mental health center in Petersham.  The first stage, the Dana Day Treatment Center, opened in February and will provide outpatient services for patients in need of addiction and behavioral health treatment.  When complete, the Quabbin Retreat will offer both inpatient and outpatient mental health services, including an adult residential substance abuse center.  In the coming years, phases two and three will encompass a residential adolescent substance abuse treatment program and an inpatient detox center, according to Casavant.  More than 30% of day rehab patients at The Quabbin Retreat currently come from Fitchburg and Leominster.

The center is named in honor of the town of Dana, one of the four lost towns of the Quabbin Reservoir, which was created in the 1930s by digging up four towns to create two immense dams.

Dawn, who also sits on the board of the Greater Gardner chamber, views Chamber of Commerce engagement as an important tool for improving community health.  “Chambers give us a pulse on what’s happening in the region, relationships with big businesses, and the support of government affairs and advocacy efforts.”  A colleague of Dawn’s, Mary Giannetti, serves on the Behavioral Health working group of the Community Health Improvement Project (CHIP), a program the Chamber has supported.

Heywood Hospital is regularly applying for grants to provide more access to services, and connect families to community-based resources.  A $10 million capital campaign is also underway.

To learn more about Heywood Hospital or get involved, please call Mary Giannetti on (978) 630-5797, or email on


We recently welcomed Nutrishop Fitchburg located at 18 John Fitch Highway in Fitchburg.

When Scott Radford (a policeman by trade and a life-long fitness buff) and his wife, Melissa, decided to open a new business, they wanted to establish a wellness center, not just a supplement shop.  Frustrated by what he felt were staff lacking product knowledge and offering generic service at national chain shops, Scott set out with Nutrishop to fill a void in the retail nutrition industry locally, by providing health-conscious consumers with a diverse selection of superior supplements at low prices, sold by fitness enthusiasts who could help each customer choose the right products based on body type and workout goals.

Due to the popularity of wellness programs within businesses, Nutrishop offers a “body transformation challenge” for employees of local companies. The points-based contest begins with a weigh-in on advanced In-Body scale, which uses electric impedance to measure a host of fat & strength stats, including “lean analysis” by limb & and by trunk.  Participants are consulted on their goals and given guidance on meal planning and exercise (when and how often).  Over a 3-month period, they come back to check-in every 2 weeks, and receive points for each pound of fat or % of body fat lost – or pound of muscle gained.  Nutrishop does the admin work and the challenge is flexible enough to accommodate other routines as well.

Scott hopes people will appreciate his advice, and offers a discount on supplements (and free samples) for participants.  But he makes it clear that supplements aren’t the most important part of a fitness routine:  “They really are a niche product, supplements & vitamins may address a deficiency but first you need the foundation of exercising and eating right.”

Please join Nutrishop for their Grand Opening on Friday, April 7th at 11:00 am at 18 John Fitch Highway in Fitchburg.  You can call the shop on (978) 516-2476.


Member Spotlight: J.U.M.P.

JUMP – or “Just Understand My Potential” is youth outdoor educational organization that connects youth with the outdoors and teaches skills that can not only be used in nature – but in life.

Founded by Bill Spacciapoli – an avid outdoorsman – in 2010, JUMP uses mountain skills such as hiking and backpacking as an outlet for kids ages 11 and above to enjoy and appreciate nature, while teaching valuable life skills like accountability and cooperation.

JUMP counselors have led more than 400 participants on 50 trips in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and in central Massachusetts, including Fall and Spring day hikes to give kids a taste of the program; Summer weekend trips and short winter programs with an annual cross-country ski day at Windblown Cross-Country Ski Area in New Ipswich, New Hampshire.

Training sessions help participants learn and practice mountain skills in comfortable surroundings close to home, so there are no consequences to getting things wrong the first time -or the first few times.

While founded as a non-profit serving disadvantaged populations, growth plans include offering fee-based programs for schools and similar groups.  Partners and donors include the Appalachian Mountain Club and Chamber members such as the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg & Leominster and Rollstone Bank & Trust.

“We teach hiking and backpacking as ‘cooperative sports.’ That means that we cultivate fitness, skills, understandings, and values, just as those who coach competitive sports do. But mountain travel is not a game. The object is not to defeat some identically motivated opponent, but to thrive in an exciting and demanding environment. The rewards are adventure, accomplishment, great memories,

the joy of high places” said Bill Spacciapoli.

JUMP seeks Chamber members well-networked in the community to join their advisory board; help with specific functions such as marketing, bookkeeping, and social media; and of course volunteer leaders to manage a group of kids for a day hike.  To volunteer or donate, please call Bill on (978) 621-7286, or email