It's been awhile I've been hosting the show [5ish years]. Over coffee (and reminiscing about NY Black and White Cookies), friend and fellow VVM’er Rick Plaut had a fun idea – turn the tables on me. So, Rick came on the show and interviewed yours truly. We discuss The Engine, my work in the community, and why it's important to give back.
What seems like years in the making finally became a reality in the Summer of 2018; MGM Springfield opened its doors. From entertainment, to gaming, to world-class accommodations, Downtown Springfield in now on the map with MGM. Michael Mathis [MGM’s President] and Jose Delgado [its Director Of Government Affairs] joined me to discuss opening day, and the what the future holds for the destination.
Kristine Allard, Chief Development & Communications Officer of Square One joined us recently to chat about this amazing organization. Square One provides early education and care to over 500 infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children every day. In addition, they provide family support services and workforce development opportunities to 1,500 families each year. Their team works to stabilize the early years of children’s lives as it has a profound impact on their long-term academic, social, physical and emotional success. Learn more at http://www.startatsquareone.org/.
Janice Fedor, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Business Management at the Elms College (and incoming Chair of the Division of Business), joined me to discuss the college’s entrepreneurship and MBA programs. We also chat about the importance of defining your leadership style, and how it impacts those around you. Learn more about the programs offered at Elms College at https://www.elms.edu/.
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 winners 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.