Denise Jordan, Chief of Staff for Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno joined me on to discuss the profound metamorphosis currently underway in the city. From MGM, to Railroad manufacturing, to up and coming businesses graduating out of Valley Venture Mentors, there certainly is a lot of ground to cover. We also chat leadership, and of course, the Mayor’s infallible hair.
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Mikki Lessard and Nancy Feth transformed an online boutique and pop-up shop into Simply Grace, a retail store in full support of the Springfield Renaissance. Simply Grace is a vibrant, organic, sustainable, sincere, purpose driven community and brand which mindfully fuses and integrates women’s intrinsic values (inner beauty) with their extrinsic values through an abundant generosity of grace. Mikki and Nancy discuss what’s going on at the Shops at Marketplace, Downtown Springfield, as well as the importance of support supporting artisan entrepreneurs.
When running a nonprofit, passion is your primary resource. And Kirk and Kristine from the YMCA of Greater Springfield have plenty of passion. Kirk Smith (President and CEO) and Kristine Allard (Chief Operating Officer) dropped by The Engine: Sunday Edition to discuss their Y-AIM program, which is having a HUGE impact on the city's dropout rate. Currently, kids in the program are experiencing a 92% graduation rate; far higher than the 57% rate for the city overall. They’re not alone in the initiative. Big Y, MassMutual, First Niagara, the United Way, and others are offering a tremendous amount of support. As a dropout myself (don’t worry folks, I earned my GED and graduated college later in life, ha) I understand the emotional and financial toll it takes. In order to encourage economic growth and entrepreneurship, we need an educated population. It’s initiatives like this that transform our community, and I urge you to support Y-AIM in any way you can. We also chat about nonprofit governance and the power of harnessing the good will of the community. Tune in to hear what’s happening in Western Massachusetts, and the possibilities these efforts offer.
Recently, Dawn Creighton of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) joined us to discuss details emanating from Springfield’s ‘City on the Rise’ event. The focal point of the event was a presentation by Springfield’s Chief Development Officer, Kevin Kennedy, which detailed $2.5 billion worth of investments being made in the city. Dawn and I attended the event, and were not alone in our enthusiasm to hear all about these great things happening in the city of Springfield. There was easily a few hundred people in attendance, representing organizations such as the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council, the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, as well as a host of area entrepreneurs, community leaders, and business professionals. We don’t hear enough about the positive things going on in Springfield, so if you’re a small business owner, or someone who cares deeply about the city, you’ll want to listen to our Engine interview.