Business Talk

Radio/Podcast Show

We are excited to announce that BusinessWest, in partnership with Living Local, has launched a new podcast series, Business Talk. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews and discussions with local industry leaders, providing thoughtful perspectives on the Western Massachusetts economy and the many business ventures that keep it running during these challenging times

George OBrien

George O’Brien,
Editor and Associate Publisher for BusinessWest & Healthcare News, is one of the region’s most experienced and respected journalists, with more than 30 years’ experience as a writer and editor.

Thom Fox

Thom Fox,
is a Strategy Consultant specializing in evidence-based revenue generation. Acknowledged as an expert resource, Thom’s advice is featured by media outlets such as Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and the Huffington Post. He was also the former Host of The Engine aired on WHYN NewsTalk 560.

Episode 27: Sept. 14, 2020

George Interviews Peter DePergola, Director of Clinical Ethics, Baystate Health

George interviews Peter DePergola, Director of Clinical Ethics at Baystate Health and one of BusinessWest’s 2020 Alumni Achievement Award finalists. When he joined the other members of the 40 Under Forty class of 2015, he was a staff ethicist at Baystate and the only person to hold that title in Western Mass. Now a professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Elms College, he’s still the only ethicist in the 413, but his influence now extends well beyond this region.

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Episode 26: Sept. 9, 2020

Thom Fox interviews Samalid Hogan, Regional Director of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC)

The MSBDC provides free and confidential one-to-one business advice. COVID-19 has created a tremendous amount of challenge throughout the business community, and the MSBDC have been on the forefront of lending support. Along with helping business owners navigate the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Assistance Program, Samalid and her team have also launched an informative webinar series and built a comprehensive listing of area Business Resources.

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Episode 25: Sept. 7, 2020

George Interviews Mike Fenton, Shareholder at Shatz, Schwartz, and Fentin

George interviews Mike Fenton, Shareholder at Shatz, Schwartz, and Fentin, and one of BusinessWest’s Alumni Achievement Award finalists. Fenton is now a multiple-year finalist for the Alumni Achievement Award, previously known as the Continued Excellence Award. He hopes that 2020 will be the year he’ll break through, but he admits to having other things on his mind right now.

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Episode 24: Sept. 2, 2020

Thom Fox interviews Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, Executive Director of EforAll in Holyoke

Thom Fox interviews Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, Executive Director of EforAll in Holyoke. EforAll [Entrepreneurship for All] accelerates economic and social impact in communities through inclusive entrepreneurship. Tessa discusses the organization’s Business Accelerator program, Pitch Contests, and how EforAll is supporting local entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Episode 23: Aug. 31, 2020

George Interviews Paul Kozub, founder of V-One Vodka

George interviews Paul Kozub, founder of V-One Vodka and one of the five finalists of the BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty Alumni Achievement Award. Launched in 2015, and known then as the Continued Excellence honor, BusinessWest’s Alumni Achievement Award recognizes a previous 40 Under Forty honoree who has continued to build on his or resume as a rising star in this region and leader both in business and within the community. This is the first installment of Alumni Achievement Award podcast installments. Hea what Paul has been up to since his 40 Under Forty honor!

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Episode 22: Aug. 26, 2020

Thom Interview Bill Cole, President of Living Local.

Thom Interview Bill Cole, President of Living Local. Living Local is a grassroots movement in Western Mass that promotes and educates on how and why we need to Eat, Shop and Live Local. Bill and Thom discuss the organization’s economic development efforts, including its partnership with BusinessWest.

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Episode 21: Aug. 24, 2020

George Interviews Donna Haghighat, CEO of The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts

George interviews Donna Haghighat, CEO of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and discuss the mission and program provided by the organization including the LIPP program, Young Women’s Initiative, and the Peace, Power, and Prosperity event and how the pandemic has effected women, and women-owned businesses.

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Episode 20: Aug. 19, 2020

Thom Interviews Scott Foster, Partner at Bulkely Richardson

Scott Foster, Partner at the Buckley Richardson Law Firm, joins Thom Fox to discuss what Western Massachusetts businesses are doing to survive, and thrive, during COVID-19 recovery. Scott and Thom also discuss, business liability concerns, the Paycheck Protection Program, and how municipalities are making it simpler to do business.

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Episode 19: Aug. 17, 2020

George Interviews John Gannon, employment law specialist with Skoler Abbott

George interviews John Gannon, employment law specialist with Skoler Abbott, and they discuss the top questions and concerns of employers during the pandemic including how companies are struggling bringing their employees back to work, and provides legal guidance moving forward.

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Episode 18: Aug. 12, 2020

Thom Interviews Paul Silva & Kelly Minton of Innovation Accelerator

Innovation Accelerator teaches nonprofits how to develop, test, and deploy new mission-aligned, revenue-generating programs. Co-founders Paul Silva and Kelly Minton join Thom Fox to discuss how they are helping Western Massachusetts nonprofits identify unrestrictive revenue streams to offset funding challenges brough about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Episode 17: Aug. 10, 2020

George Interviews Senator Eric Lesser

George interviews Senator Eric Lesser and they discuss, in detail, the ENDURE Act, which authorizes $455 million to provide relief to communities and stimulate economic development in an effort to combat devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Episode 16: Aug. 5, 2020

Thom Fox chats with Nancy Urbschat, Principal at TSM Design

Thom Fox chats with Nancy Urbschat, Principal at TSM Design. In 2019, TSM shifted to a remote business model – long before COVID-19. Nancy shares what she has learned in leading a remote team and managing her award-winning creative services agency through the pandemic.

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Episode 15: Aug. 3, 2020

George Interviews John Doleva, president and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

George Interviews John Doleva, president and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and Chairman of The Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and they discuss how the pandemic has impacted the tourism industry and Springfield’s long-term strategic plan moving forward.

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Episode 14: July 29, 2020

Thom Fox interviews Pia Kumar, Co-Owner and Chief Strategy Officer of Universal Plastics

Thom Fox interviews Pia Kumar, Co-Owner and Chief Strategy Officer of Universal Plastics on how empathy, employee engagement, and people-centric leadership are helping her essential-business meet the challenges, and demands, of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Episode 13: July 27, 2020

George Interviews Chris Thibault, Owner, Writer & Director for Chris Teebo Films

George interviews Chris Thibault, owner, writer and director for Chris Teebo Films and discusses his navigation, along with his wife Missy, through his cancer fight. Chris also gives insight on his company, Chris Teebo Films, what they provide, and how the COVID pandemic, and his health, has affected business.

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Episode 12: July 22, 2020

Thom Fox interviews Tricia Canavan, President of United Personnel Services

Thom Fox interviews Tricia Canavan, President of United Personnel Services. With hundreds of jobs to fill, United Personnel has not slowed down during COVID. Thom and Tricia discuss the evolving world of work, innovations brought about by the pandemic, and the types of talent WesternMA employers are seeking.

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Episode 11: July 20, 2020

George Interviews Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno

George interviews Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and they discuss how the City of Springfield is coping with the pandemic as it relates to its residents, businesses, school system, and its senior and homeless population, and how the city will regain its momentum.

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Episode 10: July 15, 2020

Thom Fox interviews Westfield Starfires Co-Founder/Owner Christopher Thompson

Thom Fox interviews Westfield Starfires Co-Founder/Owner Christopher Thompson. Thom and Chris discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on the 2020 Futures Collegiate Baseball League, fan safety measures for home games, and how Westfield is ready to ‘play ball’!

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Episode 9: July 13, 2020

George interviews serial entrepreneur, Peter Rosskothen, Owner of The Log Cabin, Delanry House, D. Hotel Suites & Spa, and Delaney’s Market.

George O’Brien interviews serial entrepreneur, Peter Rosskothen, Owner of The Log Cabin, Delanry House, D. Hotel Suites & Spa, and Delaney’s Market. George and Peter discuss the effects the pandemic has had on a local business owner in an industry focused on bringing people together, and how the current situation has compelled the companies to be more hands-on in their approach and think outside the “event” box.

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Episode 8: July 8, 2020

Thom Fox interviews David Cruise, President and CEO of MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board [MHHCWB]

Thom Fox interviews David Cruise, President and CEO of MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board [MHHCWB]. The MHHCWB is the region’s primary planner to address workforce development issues, and Thom and David discuss how they are managing historic levels of unemployment brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Episode 7: July 6, 2020

George Interviews Mark Keroack, President & CEO of Baystate Health

George interviews Mark Keroack, President & CEO of Baystate Health and they discuss how COVID-19 has impaired the local healthcare economy, a potential “second wave” of the virus, and how the western Mass. community is boding well through the pandemic in comparison to other areas of the country.

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Episode 6: July 1, 2020

Thom interviews Raymond Berry, Jr., President and General Manager of White Lion Brewing

Thom Fox interviews Raymond Berry, Jr., President and General Manager of White Lion Brewing. Thom and Raymond discuss COVID-19’s impact on the hospitality and beverage industry, how he and his peers are managing the pandemic, and when the new White Lion Tap Room will roar into Downtown Springfield.

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Episode 5: June 29, 2020

George Interviews Bob Nakosteen of UMass Amherst, Isenberg School of Management

George O’Brien interviews Bob Nakosteen, Department Chair & Professor of Operations & Information Management for UMass Amherst, Isenberg School of Management and discusses the economic, health, and political climate as it pertains to education, business, and consumer confidence.

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Episode 4: June 24, 2020

Thom Interviews Rick Sullivan

Thom Fox interviews Rick Sullivan, President & CEO of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. Thom and Rick discuss the unique opportunities COVID presents for WesternMA’s future, local employer’s approach to the region’s unemployed, and resources to support small business owners.

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Episode 3: June 22, 2020

George Interviews Christina Royal, President of Holyoke Community College

George O’Brien interviews Christina Royal. O’Brien and Royal discuss how the pandemic has disrupted and impacted higher education, its students, and the plans of adaptation for Fall 2020.

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Episode 2: June 17, 2020

Thom Fox interviews Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle

Thom and Mayor LaChapelle discuss her service on Governor Baker’s COVID-19 Reopening Advisory Board, resources business owners can access to reopen successfully, and challenges some industries may face in a post-COVID economy.

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Episode 1: June 15, 2020

George interviews Nancy Creed, president of the Springfield Regional Chamber

George O’Brien interview Nancy Creed, president of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce. O’Brien and Creed will discuss a wide range of issues, from the reopening of the economy to the impact of the pandemic on downtown Springfield, to the future of chambers of commerce.

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We are in the process of building a new platform and website for Living Local. We are planning to relaunch in September of 2020. In the meantime, we would love to hear from you. Once you join our mailing list, we will be sure and let you know what is happening and when we launch our new programs.

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