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the engine: Sunday edition

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Eric Lesser Wants to Put Lessons Learned At the White House to Work Here In Western Massachusetts

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For those of you that know me, politics isn’t my bag. I’m a big fan of picking the person who’s best for the job despite party affiliation. That being the case, I always enjoy when I can talk to a politician minus the politics. Recently, we had Eric Lesser (candidate for State Senate) on The Engine, and we did just that… we had a nice conversation. Eric and I discussed the importance of education, encouraging entrepreneurship, and making investments in Western Massachusetts. Among the candidates running for State Senate, Eric brings a different approach. He worked for the president’s Council of economic advisers and offers macro solutions to micro challenges. Is he the best person to fill the seat for the First Hampden & Hampshire District here in Western Massachusetts? Before you make up your mind, take a listen to our interview.

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The YMCA of Greater Springfield Is Serious about Investing in the City’s Youth

Kirk Smith and Kristine Allard of the YMCA

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.  

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Western Massachusetts is in good company with Dave Sweeney of viz-bang!

Dave Sweeney of viz-bang!

Recently we sat down with Dave Sweeney from viz-bang! Dave works with business owners to create and implement social media strategies. Sure, social media strategist are a dime a dozen, and there seems to be a “guru” around every corner; but Dave is different. He’s driven results, and Western Massachusetts is lucky to have his talent and skills at our disposal. Building upon his success, Dave has created a new television program for ABC-40 titled “In Good Company.” The show is a culture and lifestyle program which will air Sunday mornings. He tells us why he created this platform for business owners, and how the world of social media is ever evolving. If you own a business, and ever heard the term “social media” you’ll want to listen to Dave's interview.

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