Making News in Business
NORTHAMPTON — The Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce welcomed six new board members from across Hampshire County this month. The five women and one man come from diverse ethnic, racial, and professional backgrounds, bringing fresh, new voices and ideas to the board.
The new members to the 24-person board include:
Anna Bowen, who lives in Florence with her two children and owns Strada on Main Street in Northampton. A native of Oklahoma, Bowen is a graduate of Hampshire College. She has owned Strada since 1994, which has been voted a “Top Ten Shoe Store” and boasts over 8,000 clients.
Logan Mary Ebbets, a physician/advanced practitioner recruiter at Cooley Dickinson Health Care, received her bachelor of science degree in animal science at the University of Vermont, her master of science in organizational leadership from Nichols College, and is a certified physician/provider recruitment professional. Ebbets grew up in the Pioneer Valley and now calls Hatfield home. She is a member of the Downtown Business Association board.
Isolda Ortega-Busamante is the director of development for the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton. She earned her bachelor of arts degree with concentrations in political science and Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and her master of science in political science at Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York. Having worked in the Pioneer Valley for over 20 years, and a resident of Amherst, she is passionate about the impact of educational outcomes on the overall social and economic health of western Mass.
Scott Keiter is the founder and president of Keiter Builders in Florence, where he lives with his wife and two children. Keiter holds a bachelor of scinece in environmental economics and an master of science in resource economics from the University of Rhode Island. He is passionate about economic security in the region, and supports diversity in the workplace, where he leads by example: 45% of Keiter Builders management is female.
Felicia Lundquist, who lives in Northampton, is the director of multicultural affairs and an adjunct faculty member at Springfield College. Lundquist double majored in Spanish and sociology as an undergraduate, then earned her master’s in higher education, all at UMass Amherst. She has developed and facilitated workshops, trainings and retreats in cultural competence, social change leadership, and navigating cultural differences.
Abby Mae Stern is a co-founder of the Hampshire Young Professionals Association. She lives and works in Hadley, serving as executive assistant to the CEO at Paragus Strategic IT. Stern earned her bachelor of science detree in marketing at San Diego State University, and shortly after moved to western Massachusetts, where she has been a leader in nonprofit volunteering in Hampden and Hampshire counties.
CDH lands Rotary grant for COVID supplies
NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson last month received a $19,500 grant from Rotary International to purchase a ventilator and linens (approximately 690 sheets, pillows and towels) to support COVID-19 care.
The Rotary’s Disaster Response Grants program is designed to provide a fast and effective way for districts to respond to local events. Recently, the Rotary Foundation added COVID-19 projects to its list of eligible activities to receive grant funding. Each district can apply for one grant to address COVID-19, depending on the availability of funds. Rotary District 7890 applied for this grant on Cooley Dickinson’s behalf through the Rotary’s Disaster Response Grants program and at the request of the Rotary Club of Amherst.
Women’s Fund of Western Mass., HCC partner on leadership program
HOLYOKE — The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts is sponsoring an eight-week spring training program at Holyoke Community College aimed at women who want to enhance their leadership skills.
The course — “Women Leaning Into Leadership: Empowering Your Voice” — is being offered over Zoom on Thursdays, from noon to 1:15 p.m., March 25 through May 13.
Beyond that, each program participant will receive 30 minutes of private, one-on-one coaching from the instructor, Annie Shibata, owner of Growth Mindset Leadership and Communication Coaching.
The cost of the eight-week program is $799, but the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts is offering sponsorships of up to $650 to each qualified participant.
This course, along with HCC’s monthly Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series, is targeted to emerging leaders in mid-career and to women working to become more effective in their jobs and in the community.
During the program sessions, participants will learn to evaluate their communication skills and apply new communication techniques; practice the power of mindfulness; distinguish forms of influence and persuasion to create powerful messages; assess their leadership strengths; and create short- and long-term plans for career development.
Enrollment for the course is limited by design. To register and apply for a sponsorship, please go to: hcc.edu/women-leaning
MassMutual launches fund to spur job creation, business growth
SPRINGFIELD — Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company has launched the MM Catalyst Fund LLC, a $50 million investment commitment earmarked for businesses across Massachusetts.
The fund will be divided evenly between two groups of capital: a $25 million community growth area to target equity and debt investments in Black-owned, founded or managed businesses across Massachusetts; and, a $25 million technology area to target equity investments in Massachusetts technology companies based outside Boston.
The MMCF will build a portfolio of early and mid-stage companies with investment sizes of $250,000 to $2.5 million each. This initiative will serve as a catalyst to strengthen Massachusetts in less economically developed areas of the state through employment and business growth.
An online funding application is available at massmutual.com/lp/catalyst.