Scott Foster is the Co-founder of Valley Venture Mentors. He joined me to recap the 2018 VVM Accelerator awards where 12 startups (out of 35) were awarded a total of $150,000 in prize money. About 450 people attended and speakers included VVM Alumna Angela Lussier of Speaker Sisterhood and Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We discuss who won, and what’s coming up for VVM. Learn more about winders at VVM’s website- 2018 Awards Winners
Julia Franchi Scarselli is the cofounder of the sustainable olive oil company, Libellula, which means dragonfly in Italian. The company helps people adopt olive trees from family farmers and receive extra-virgin olive oil delivered to their doorstep. Julia came up with the idea when she visited her father in the Italian Sabina region, and pitched it at Smith College’s annual Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs – winning third place. We discuss what she’s been up too since graduation, and where she is going in 2018. To learn more about adoption, visit - libelluladopt.com.
Mary-Beth A. Cooper, PhD, DM, is the president of Springfield College. The College was founded in 1885 as a training school for YMCA CEOs, and the school has come a long way. Times have changed, but the school’s mission of spirit, mind, and body, and leadership and service to others remains unwavering. Under Dr. Cooper’s leadership, Springfield College has experienced a rededication to the community service and civic engagement. Her vision for Springfield College is to build an inclusive campus that encourages engaged and diverse populations. We discuss the college’s past, present, and future. Learn more about Springfield College - https://springfield.edu/
Google is coming to town, and boy are they bringing the heat. On July 9th from 9AM to 6PM at the MassMutual Center, Grow with Google will be holding a day of free training, demos, and coaching. Stephen Brokaw, from Grow with Google, and one of their local partners, Jonathan Edwards, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Tech Foundry, joined The Engine to discuss the event. There will programming for teachers to better understand Google’s free teaching resources, workshops for entrepreneurs on how to improve business and marketing skills, and a focus on job seekers and leveraging enhanced ‘Search’ to find employment. Learn about his, and more, in our interview. To sign-up for the free event, please visit - Grow with Google - Springfield, MA.
Ward Caswell, president of the Beveridge Family Foundation, discusses the recently-released Alternative Funding Survey which focuses on the future of nonprofit funding. In WesternMA, we are fortunate to have many worthwhile causes, and they compete for an ever-changing pool of resources. Ward shares what leaders should consider when planning for tomorrow. The Beveridge Family Foundation was found in 1947 and works to create opportunity and a more vibrant economy and quality of life in Hampden and Hampshire counties by funding many nonprofits. Learn more about the findings of their February 2018 release Alternative Funding Survey.
Seth Frappier established his start-up business, Chronic Trips, in 2016. He hosts wellness walks during the new and full moon of every month as well as some educational classes. Seth’s ultimate goal for Chronic Trips is to open a social consumption lounge that blends cannabis with adventure and wellness. We discuss the stigma associated with ‘weed’, the industry’s potential, and the health benefits associated with cannabis.
Jeanne Yocum, is the author of The Self-Employment Survival Guide: Proven Strategies to Succeed as Your Own Boss. She joined me to discuss her latest book. In it, Jeanne shares key behaviors that impede success and provides solutions for the obstacles that might cross your path, including unreasonable clients, slow payers, time management, health and financial planning, and the feelings of isolation that can sometimes accompany working on your own. If you’re self-employed, or considering self-employment, this is a must-read. Learn more about Jeanne at her website, www.succeedinginsmallbusiness.com.
Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator, as well as a parenting expert, certified life coach, columnist, veteran of two different U.S. Military Branches, and father of five. He teaches Special Education in Connecticut’s largest inner-city high school where he was chosen by the AFT-CT as the face and voice of educational reform. As an educator, author, speaker, and parent Dan feels that it is his duty to positively influence our youth every chance that he gets! We discuss the books he’s authored, and the lives he’s changed by helping teens view themselves as leaders. Learn more about Dan and his work at http://granddaddyssecrets.com/.
Christine Monska, Officer for Community and Youth Investments for the Woman’s Fund joined me to discuss the Young Women’s Initiative (YWI), a local pilot of a national initiative right here in Springfield to benefit girls and young women 12-24. We chat about the Initiative and the upcoming graduation of the first cohort where graduates present their final philanthropy projects and recommendations for increasing prosperity for youth in Springfield and Western Massachusetts.
Chris Russell, Executive Director of The Springfield Business Improvement District (BID), chats about all the wonderful things happening Downtown Springfield. Whether it’s the Downtown Springfield Farmers’ Market, Cruise Night at Court Square, or White Lion Wednesday, Chris and his team are working hard to make the city a destination. We talk about the impact these events have on the community, and the downtown economy. To learn about upcoming events, please visit - https://springfielddowntown.com.