Impact NORTH SHORE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
A HEALTHY WORKFORCE
FROM HOSPITALS TO FITNESS CENTERS, WELLNESS IS DRIVING BUSINESS
INSIDE GET TO KNOW THE DIAMOND AWARD HONOREES
BENEFITS AND PERKS ARE KEY TO RETENTION
JOSH KRAFT TO SPEAK AT ANNUAL DINNER
FROM THE CEO
Maximize your membership Nurturing success with the North Shore Chamber
he North Shore Chamber of Commerce stands as a beacon of support and empowerment for businesses in the region. With a clear focus on its members and a mission to advocate, educate and collaborate, your Chamber is actively contributing to the economic growth and vitality of the North Shore. As businesses continue to face ever-evolving challenges, the Chamber remains a steadfast partner for success. When business leaders come together, share knowledge, and work collectively, we achieve greatness. The North Shore Chamber of Commerce, with its unwavering commitment to its members, is a testament to the power of unity and collaboration in the business world. I’d like to remind you, as a valued member, how you can make the most of this valuable partnership. Here are actionable steps to maximize your membership: Grow Your Business through Networking: The Chamber hosts a multitude of events throughout the year that provide excellent opportunities to connect with fellow members and potential customers. Don’t miss out on these chances to expand your network and foster new relationships. Every conversation could lead to your next big opportunity. Attend Training and Educational Seminars: Knowledge is power, and the Chamber offers a wealth of training and educational opportunities. These events can help you and your employees stay up-to-date with industry trends, acquire new skills, and gain insights that can give your business a competitive edge. Join Initiatives: Consider becoming part of specialized committees or groups within the Chamber, such as “Thrive” for women in business or “Emerging Leaders” for young professionals. These sub-communities provide additional networking and training opportunities, mentorship, and a platform to collaborate with like-minded individuals. Leverage Marketing Opportunities: Take full advantage of the Chamber’s marketing resources. Promote your business
Tell us your story
NORTH SHORE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
500 Cummings Center, Suite 1700 Beverly, MA 01915 978-774-8565 northshorechamber.org 4
affordably by sponsoring events, advertising in Impact Magazine, and exploring digital advertising options. These channels offer effective and low-cost ways to increase your brand visibility and reach. Custom Investment Package: The Chamber recognizes that businesses come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why it offers the flexibility of custom investment packages. You can work with the Chamber to design a membership plan that meets your unique requirements, whether it’s about networking and marketing, or community engagement and philanthropy. This tailored approach ensures that your annual investment delivers maximum value for your business, especially as you plan for the coming budget year. Showcase Your Expertise: You are the expert in your field, and the Chamber recognizes that. Volunteer to speak at Chamber events or contribute articles to Impact. Sharing your knowledge not only positions you as an authority in your industry but also strengthens the Chamber’s collective expertise. Utilize the Job Board: If you have job openings, don’t forget to post them on the Chamber’s job board, which is free for members. This service can help you find qualified candidates efficiently and support local workforce development. Tap into Our Event Space: The Chamber provides a professional event space that can accommodate up to 45 people. Consider using this space for your meetings, seminars, or corporate events. It’s a fantastic perk of your membership that can leave a lasting impression on your clients and partners. Hosting your gatherings in this beautiful space can elevate your brand and create a positive impression on clients, partners, and attendees. Your journey toward business excellence begins here, with the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is not just a passive association. It’s a catalyst for your business success – a place where you can learn, connect and thrive. So, seize the possibilities, harness the resources, and make the most of your membership. Together, we will continue to drive economic impact, foster prosperity, and create a thriving business community on the North Shore. I
Impact Magazine is focused on highlighting the work of The Chamber’s member businesses through articles. We also want to help spread your business news. Send your press releases, along with high-resolution photos (300-dpi, jpg format) to katie.lovett@ northshorechamber.org.
Advertise with us Impact Magazine is distributed to Chamber members and others across the North Shore. It is also available as an e-edition. Contact Cheryl Begin, director of sales and marketing, at 978-774-8565, ext. 101, or email@example.com.
Join our membership The Chamber is the hub of the North Shore business community and stands to be your organization’s voice in all arenas. Call our office or visit our website to learn more.
Impact OCTOBER 2023 President and Chief Executive Officer
KAREN E. ANDREAS karen.andreas@ northshorechamber.org Editor
KATIE LOVETT katie.lovett@ northshorechamber.org Director of Sales and Marketing
CHERYL BEGIN cheryl.begin@ northshorechamber.org Operations Manager
ROBYN PREGENT robyn.pregent@ northshorechamber.org Member Services Coordinator
KAY EISENSTEIN kay.eisenstein@ northshorechamber.org Events Manager
PATTI BAKER patti.baker@ northshorechamber.org Administrative Coordinator
ASHLEY ADDESA ashley.addesa@ northshorechamber.org Creative Design and Production
DIANE CARNEVALE ART dianecarnevale.com
The Business of Health Across the North Shore, companies are focusing on all aspects of wellness.
The complete package
Advancing the fight
As potential employees pay close attention to company benefits, HR officials focus on flexibility, Page 8
With cutting-edge technology, Beth Israel Health ensures cancer patients have the best care possible, Page 18
FEATURING SHINING STARS Diamond Awards put five exceptional business women in spotlight. Page 23-33
YOUR IMPACT After a career climbing the ranks, David Eidle strives to be a mentor for young professionals. Page 67
CHAMBER LIFE CELEBRATING LEADERSHIP:
Distinguished Leaders to be feted at Annual Dinner. Page 12
SALUTE TO VETERANS: Veterans
breakfast honors area’s military. Page 42
SPREADING THE WORD: With Job Board,
members have a new tool to post job openings, Page 22
MAKING ITS MARK:
Sail Beyond Cancer North Shore observes sixth anniversary, Page 20
MEN’S HEALTH: Make
time in your workday for movement breaks, By Francis Walsh, Page 50
CHAMBER VOICES FINANCIAL HEALTH:
Financial education can lead to healthier workforce, Thrive, By Raminder Luther. Page 13
WORK-LIFE BALANCE: For younger workers, taking time for themselves is key to success. By Kelsie Thomson. Page 14 CREATIVE OUTLET:
Expressive arts therapy is growing in popularity. By Natalie Blue. Page 37
ERGONOMICS: How we do our jobs is impacting our health, By Jennifer Graham. Page 38 PROBLEM-SOLVING:
Suffering from brain fog? Stressed? Clear your head, By Richard Huttner. Page 40
SNAP TO IT: How often should a headshot be updated? More than you think, By Norman Jaillet. Page 44 GEN Z: Businesses must explore ways to retain younger workers, By Lesley Tracy. Page 54 REALITY CHECK: Artifical
Intelligence is becoming a useful marketing tool, By Robin Samora. Page 48
FAFSA: What families and
students need to know about FAFSA changes, By Brad Small. Page 55
REAL ESTATE: As pre-COVID leases expire, prepare for changes, By John Weaver. Page 43 A HEALTHY INVESTMENT:
HSAs are a powerful financial planning tool, By Patricia Beckwith. Page 46
NOURISHING THE COMMUNITY: At Salem
Pantry, a non-traditional model awaits visitors, By Kia Fernandes. Page 52
TAKING A TOLL: Manual therapy can ease cancer side effects, By Michealina Frackleton. Page 53 CONSULTATIVE SELLING: A look at this sales approach that prioritizes relationships, By Bobbie Antinarelli. Page 61 THE WHOLE PICTURE:
“Wellness” is more than physical health, By Courtney Lillie. Page 62
RETIREMENT: Addressing the most common Social Security questions, By Brad Small. Page 65 PET HEALTH: Important steps to keep your pet healthy, By Christie D’Andrea. Page 56 OFFICE STYLE: Build your work wardrobe with these staples, By Stephanie Scanlon. Page 57 CHAMBER DEPARTMENTS:
Planner, Pages 6, 7; New Member Welcome, Page 64; Briefcase, Page 58; Faces & Places, Pages 34-35
For a complete Chamber calendar and details on signing up for any of our events, visit northshorechamber.org.
Business Leads Group Meet fellow Chamber members and have the opportunity to connect and market to other business professionals from our local area during this free networking event. This is for Chamber members only. 8 to 9 a.m. North Shore Chamber 500 Cummings Center, Suite 1700, Beverly
Salute to Veterans Breakfast
In partnership with UniCare, the premier sponsor, and Chamber member O’Donnell Funeral Services, The Chamber’s NOVEMBER annual patriotic ceremony in appreciation of our veterans and active military features speakers and music. We will THURSDAY also recognize this year’s Minuteman Service Award recipients. 7:30 to 9 a.m. Danversport 161 Elliott St. (Route 62), Danvers
TUESDAY Emerging Leaders Financial Education Series: Part 2
The Emerging Leaders’ Financial Education Series continues as we address strategies for wealth and investment planning. Whether you’re just starting your investment journey or looking to optimize your existinvg portfolio, this seminar is tailored to meet your needs. A light dinner will be provided. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. North Shore Chamber 500 Cummings Center, Suite 1700, Beverly
Annual Dinner and Distinguished Leader Awards
Join us in honoring our 2023 Distinguished Leaders: Bernadette Butterfield, Senior Vice President of Business Strategy and Development, Groom Construction; David Eidle, Senior Vice President, Regional Manager, Massachusetts Business Banking, M&T Bank; and David Morales, General Manager, UniCare. Celebrate the year’s accomplishments, outline initiatives for 2024, and install our new Board members. The keynote speaker for the evening will be Josh Kraft, president of the New England Patriots Foundation. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Danversport 161 Elliott St. (Route 62), Danvers
Join Thrive for a light lunch and workshop featuring Laura Caton from LeadShift. Delve into the art of challenging conversations and discover how to effectively communicate in a way that resonates with others. Uncover the skills that will empower you to deliver necessary feedback efficiently. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. North Shore Chamber 500 Cummings Center, Suite 1700, Beverly
Emerging Leaders Financial Education Series: Part 3
The final seminar in the Financial Education Series will explore the basics of insurance. A light dinner will be provided. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. North Shore Chamber 500 Cummings Center, Suite 1700, Beverly
Business Insight Breakfast Forum
Save the Date for our monthly forum! 7:30 to 9 a.m. Ipswich Country Club 148 Country Club Way, Ipswich
Business Insight Breakfast Forum
Mark your calendar for The Chamber’s annual Holiday Party!
5 to 7 p.m. Hawthorne Hotel 18 Washington Sq., Salem
Save the Date for our monthly breakfast. Our local North Shore college presidents will offer an overview from their educational institutions. 7:15 to 9 a.m. Location TBA
The main attraction
WHEN IT COMES TO RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION, EMPLOYEE BENEFITS ARE KEY By Melissa Russell
uring the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of employees resigned en masse from their jobs in what came to be called the Great Resignation. The reasons included low wages, hostile work environments, poor benefits and general job dissatisfaction. In some cases, workers felt empowered to swap their jobs for better opportunities, but others left due to childcare responsibilities or inflexible workplace policies. Employers took notice. Today, while some industries are still struggling to find employees, workforce participation has largely returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to Microsoft’s Work Trend Index. But at least one thing has changed: workers are increasingly vocal about what they need to gain a better work-life balance. For some, it is remote or hybrid work. For others, it means more attention paid to 8
employee mental health. What is clear is that potential employees are paying more attention to company benefits, and employers are focusing on what they need to do to attract and retain employees. Mary McNally, director of AIM HR Services, a Bostonbased human relations consulting company, says post pandemic, people are very specific in their desire to have input into where and how they do their work, and that can be difficult for employers to manage. “One trend I’m seeing is candidates being very specific about doing, at minimum, hybrid work,” she said. “It is easier in some industries than others.” Overall, people are looking for work-life balance, she said. “Employers have to find the balance between what they can offer and the cost.” Laurie LaBrie, president of Integrated Human Resources, Inc., said it is important for employers to understand what employees need, what the business can afford and what IMPACT MAGAZINE
will give them the biggest return on their investment. “One size doesn’t fit all anymore,” she said. “Businesses have to offer more flexibility of benefits.” What are benefits and how do they differ from perks? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines benefits as paid leave, supplemental pay, insurance, retirement plans and legally mandated programs such as Social Security and unemployment insurance. Benefits usually make up about 30 percent of total compensation, after wages and salary. Perks, on the other hand, aren’t required by law, but are a reflection of a company’s culture and are a way to attract and retain top talent. These can include a wide range of employee experiences such as flexible work schedules, extended parental leave or discount programs and are designed to make employees happy to be part of the company. What are the most popular perks and benefits today? According to the International
Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, the most desired benefits are health and wellness oriented – such as medical and dental insurance and prescription drug coverage. Health benefits have grown in recent years to include mental health care, fertility programs, transgender care and telemedicine. Financial and retirement benefits including 401k plans, pensions, stock ownership or profit sharing and other forms of financial planning are fairly typical. Time off and leave benefits are high value as well, including vacation, sick time, flextime and forms of unpaid leave. Telecommuting, childcare and elder care are also sought after benefits. Additional perks can include on-site child care, company cars or tech equipment, commuter reimbursement, relocation or education assistance, free or discounted meals and snacks, pets at work and on-site fitness centers. There can also be team-building events and performance bonuses, depending on the type of business. In a survey of 1,000 American employees and 1,000 business owners, Forbes Advisor found the top benefits wanted
by employees are employee-covered healthcare, life insurance, pension and/ or retirement plans and paid time off. On-site workers wanted flexible hours, work-from-home options, employee discounts, professional development opportunities and a four-day work week. The most desired perks or fringe benefits remote workers desire include flexible hours, work-provided equipment, a home office stipend and virtual team bonding activities. McNally said she sees a trend in targeting different generations with specific benefits. “The Millennial will value certain benefits more than a Baby Boomer or Gen Z,” she said. “The question is how do you appease generations across the workforce?” Unlimited vacation time or student loan forgiveness are perks that may attract and retain younger workers, and companies may be able to obtain tax credits for it, she said. Older employees may appreciate resource and referral services for an elderly parent, for example, or family leave policies that include time off to care for
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a sick relative. More mature workers tend to appreciate cash or something of value, while younger workers value time flexibility. Benefits that don’t cost an employer money, what McNally calls “low hanging fruit,” can include discounts on home, auto, renters and pet insurance, or additional life or critical illness insurance. Discounts for meal plans such as Hello Fresh or Blue Apron are popular with younger employees, she said. “It is important for employers to understand the employee base – what they want, need and what will incent them,” said LaBrie. In the end, companies need to pay attention to what people need and want, not just what they think they want. “Before COVID, people liked the onsite cafeteria, but the thought process behind it has changed,” LaBrie said. “When people are not going into work, the cafeteria is not as valuable to them. Employers need to think about how needs of staff have changed. Maybe they can send meals home, so they’re getting the same benefit.” I
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Business, leadership and philanthropy celebrated at Annual Dinner
he North Shore Chamber’s Annual Dinner will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16 at Danversport. During this special evening, Chamber members gather to celebrate this past year’s achievements and initiatives, and to determine our goals for the new year. The new members of the Board of Directors will also be installed. The keynote speaker for the evening will be Josh Kraft, president of the New England Patriots Foundation. Learn more about the Kraft family’s many philanthropic initiatives, including the Patriots Foundation, Revolution Charitable Foundation, Kraft Center for CommuKeynote speaker Josh Kraft nity Health, and participation in REFORM Alliance. Kraft spent 30 years with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, including 12 as the Nicholas President and CEO. During his time with the organization, he nearly doubled their budget and led a five-year $125 million campaign that was wildly successful in 12
TICKET SALES close Nov. 10; $150 for members and $200 for non-members. Visit www. northshorechamber.org to register or to learn more about sponsorship opportunities. broadening the reach and deepening the impact of the non-profit. A highlight of the evening’s festivities will be the Distinguished Leaders awards ceremony. This year’s recipients are: Bernadette Butterfield, Senior Vice President of Business Strategy and Development David Eidle, Senior Vice President/Regional Manager/Massachusetts Business Banking for M&T Bank. David Morales, General Manager of UniCare Thus far, the sponsors for the Annual Dinner include: Presenting Sponsor — UniCare and Chapters Recovery; Platinum Sponsor — North Shore Bank, Eastern Bank; Title Sponsors — Newburyport Bank, Silver Lining Solutions, National Grid; Connolly Bros, Beth Israel Lahey Health/ Beverly Hospital; Cape Ann Savings Bank; and Gold Sponsors — Avangrid, Sports Medicine North and M&T Bank. IMPACT MAGAZINE
Educating your team — financially
ADDRESSING YOUR EMPLOYEE’S PERSONAL FINANCIAL WELL-BEING IS IMPERATIVE TO A HEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT
By Dr. Raminder K. Luther Ph.D; CFP®
Salem State University
ife is full of questions at every turn. When we don’t know the right question to ask, or who to ask, or where to go for help, it creates stress that may manifest in multiple negativities. Financial health falls in this category. While there is evidence that poor personal financial health can impact one’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being, it is also known that most individuals do not know where to turn to assess their own financial well-being or to improve their situation. Most individuals are also hesitant to share financial difficulties with others and cannot ascertain the value of such discussions due to lack of knowledge in the area. Almost 60 percent of employees, including 47 percent of those earning more than $100,000 per year reported that personal finances are the top cause of stress in their lives (2023 PwC’s Financial Wellness Survey). This stress may lead to sleeplessness, lack of concentration, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Individuals with personal financial health issues are also more likely to experience physical issues like high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity, and social wellness issues such as lack of self-esteem, personal relationships and/or engagement with their colleagues. As such, it becomes imperative that employers recognize the value of investing in employee financial education programs and connecting their employees with resources including those that are free or low cost. Supporting your employees’ financial well-being not only improves employee engagement, but also enhances the workplace environment and organizational productivity. When employees face financial stress, they are less likely to focus on their career or put in extra effort to advance their career, thereby getting stuck in the vicious cycle of financial health issues.
Many who are in this situation do not have access to such resources on their own and may exhibit increased absenteeism, distraction, and workplace stress. When employees are exposed to financial literacy, their financial stress reduces, and they start making better financial decisions that positively impact them and their families. They learn to manage their debt, pay attention to their debt income ratio, evaluate their insurance coverage, and plan better for major life events including home ownership, retirement, and education expenses. Reduced stress also leads to increased engagement, improved morale, and greater satisfaction at work all of which results in lower employee turnover. Investment in financial education demonstrates a commitment to holistic development of their employees, and employees exhibit higher commitment and employers see a lower employee turnover rate. The need for such education has become more critical and acute since COVID. Many relief programs put in place during that time have evolved, and student debt repayments are set to begin in October 2023 after the Supreme Court ruled that the HEROES act does not authorize the administration’s loan forgiveness plan. Employees will need help in understanding the impact of these changes on their finances and how to use the programs in existence if they are eligible. Some of the ways in which employers can provide financial education to their employees include: Provide in-house seminars conducted by financial experts especially those who don’t have a vested interest to sell financial products. One on One Financial counseling and Group Financial Wellness programs Provide time and vouchers to take a personal finance course online or at a local college or university. By empowering the workforce with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate their financial challenges, employers can create a healthier, more engaged, and productive workplace. I
Dr. Raminder Luther is the Dean of the Bertolon School of Business at Salem State University and a member of the Chamber’s Thrive Advisory Committee. NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
Taking time for oneself FOR YOUNGER WORKERS, WORKLIFE BALANCE IS ESSENTIAL WHEN NAVIGATING A CAREER
By Kelsie Thomson Emerging Leaders’ Leadership Team
ork-life balance is a topic that’s become more widespread over the past decade. The workforce is actively seeking a vibrant office culture and work-life balance while searching for new career opportunities. Today, workers of all ages want to strike a healthy balance between professional
and personal lives. As we divide our time between our passions and interests, how do we ensure we give each the attention it deserves? How do we prove we are serious about, and dedicated to, our professions while also giving equal weight to our personal lives? It’s a push-and-pull that many struggle with. So, how are people finding the balance? For me, taking time to do, at a minimum, one thing for myself every day is how I stay aligned and centered with my work-life balance views. Life can get busy between family, friends, networking events, work events and our responsibilities. We all experience weeks - or even months - at work when we feel like we are on a hamster wheel and our personal lives seem to take a back seat. Make it a priority to put yourself in the front seat as often as possible. There is simply no way to give your best to others if you’re not taking care of yourself. I am constantly reminding myself that you can’t pour from an empty glass. How you fill your glass might vary. You might love yoga, going for a run or walk, reading a good book, or enjoying a cup of coffee by yourself or with a friend. Whatever it is, I challenge you to wake up a little earlier
Kelsie Thomson is an employee experience specialist at Windover Construction, and a member of the Emerging Leaders’ leadership team.
“ There is simply no way to give your best to others if you’re not taking care of yourself. I am constantly reminding myself that you can’t pour from an empty glass.” on those “hamster wheel weeks” and make room in your day for that something you love. I guarantee that you’ll go to bed that night feeling like you owned that day instead of feeling defeated and like that day owned you.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
While not a seasoned expert on this, I have some weeks that are better than others. I have found that navigating work-life balance is easier by staying true to my values. I value my health and wellbeing physically and mentally; I value my relationships with family, friends, and my professional network; and I value my career. Every day, to bring my best self to the table for any aspect of my life, I need to hold tight to my values. This means taking care
of myself so I can better serve others, attending to relationships in and out of work, and going to work every day ready to put my best self forward. Take a breather! Whether you are working from home or at your company, take time to step away from your workspace. Taking a walk to get some fresh air or sunshine gives the brain a break and helps you get back to work feeling refreshed. Fuel yourself! Eating healthy meals throughout the day and drinking plenty of water helps eliminate that afternoon slump. Think of yourself like a car. Your car needs maintenance, it needs gas to run every day, it needs new tires every few years, and it needs an oil change every few thousand miles. If you put those things off, your car is going to break down and not run efficiently. Same goes for you! Give yourself the attention you deserve every day before you break down. Manage your life, manage your time. We all have roughly the same number of hours in the
workday. How those hours are managed on a day-to-day basis will divide those who are able to find balance and those who do not. For example, before work, build in some time to do something for yourself, and after work, build in time to do the same. Orchestrating structure to your days and weeks can help you feel like you are more in control of your time and life. Why is work-life balance so important to our generation? Overall, I believe young professionals just want to be happy. We’re striving to find joy in what we do for work, we understand the importance of a balance personally and professionally, and we are working towards longevity in all the components of our lives. We feel energized by spending time with family and friends outside of work, we are growing families, buying homes, and building careers simultaneously. The work-life balance encouragement from employers for young professionals not only makes them feel supported but makes them strive to be that much better at what they do every day. I
Helping Clients Make Informed Financial Decisions with Confidence Financial Planning Investment Policy Review Tailored Portfolio Solutions
Patricia B. Beckwith
CFP®, AEP®, RICP® Office 978.777.5500 85 Constitution Lane, Ste 100E, Danvers firstname.lastname@example.org ConstitutionFinancialPartners.com Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Constitution Financial Partners is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services
ERGONOMICS KEEPS YOU WORKING Think about how you feel physically during the day at work. Do you have an area of persistent discomfort? An area of your body that is more fatigued? Overall low energy after work? Many workstations are uncomfortable at best… and at worst are causing injuries over time. During an Ergonomic Assessment, I will help you solve the complex task of setting up your environment to decrease discomfort and fatigue today and reduce the potential for injuries over time.
THE BENEFITS OF AN INDIVIDUALIZED ERGONOMIC ASSESSMENT
FOR THE EMPLOYEE
FOR THE EMPLOYER
• Decrease discomfort
• Improve Employee
• Improve posture
• Reduce risk of Injury
• Increase Productivity
• Decrease fatigue
• Increase Employee
• Increase productivity • Improve well-being
Retention • Reduce Absenteeism • Decrease Workers’ Compensation Claims
Ergonomic services include: In-person or remote individual assessments, corporate webinars, leadership trainings and educational seminars.
MEET JEN GRAHAM As a Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist, I am able to use my extensive knowledge and over 25 years of experience working with patients as a Physical Therapist to help create supportive workstations for my clients to help improve their overall well-being at work!
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New technology aids in breast cancer detection, surgery By Ashling O’Connor, M.D.
Breast Health Center, Beth Israel Lahey Health Care Center - Danvers
reast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed female cancers, killing an estimated 685,000 people globally in 2020, according to the World Health Organization. An estimated 297,790 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be
diagnosed in women in the U.S. in 2023, according to the American Cancer Society, along with 55,720 new cases of noninvasive breast cancer. Detection of breast cancer in its earliest stages offers women the best long-term prognosis. With new technology delivering improved imaging techniques and more sensitive mammograms, we are now detecting cancers at very small sizes. These tumors often cannot be felt in the breast. To assist surgeons in accurately locating these tumors in the operating room, we need a way to mark them.
Ashling O’Connor, M.D., is a breast surgeon with Beverly Hospital, a member of Beth Israel Lahey Health. She is medical director of the Breast Health Center at Beth Israel Lahey Health Care Center – Danvers and also practices at Lahey Medical Center, Peabody.
In the past, we would place a wire into the tumor guided by either a mammogram or ultrasound on the morning of the surgery. This method, while effective, was not very comfortable for the patient. The wire could also become dislodged before surgery, which could lead to surgical delays and potentially a subsequent surgery, as the surgeon may not be able to remove the entire tumor. This placed undue stress on everyone. In seeking a solution for our patients, Beverly Hospital, Beth Israel Lahey Health Care Center - Danvers, and Lahey Hospital & Medical Center now utilize a magnetic surgical technology called Magseed to locate tumors in the breast. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Magseed is a magnetic chip that is placed next to the tumor through a small needle. The procedure is completed a few days prior to surgery at the patient’s convenience. At the time of surgery, the surgeon can then locate the magnetic chip by using a small handheld scanner. The marker gives off a signal
that allows clinicians to accurately determine the tumor’s location, enabling the surgeon to make a smaller incision. The Magseed technology has been an important benefit for both patients and surgeons. We continue to explore advances in technology surrounding breast cancer treatment and surgery and new opportunities to support our patients and ensure they have access to the best care possible. Recent advances being pursued include a new drug that can be injected in the operating room while a patient is asleep that helps identify potentially cancerous lymph nodes under the arm at the time of breast cancer surgery, as well as new opportunities to determine if tumor midsection margins are negative in real time, while a patient is still in the operating room. With all the advancements, early detection and awareness remain critical in treating breast cancer. Women should follow these simple guidelines for early breast cancer detection: Mammogram: Yearly
mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health. Clinical breast exam: A clinical breast exam is recommended every three years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and older. Breast awareness and breast self-exam: Women should know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care provider. Breast self-exam is an option for women starting in their 20s. Breast MRI: Some women — because of their family history, a genetic tendency or certain other factors — should be screened with MRI in addition to mammography. (The number of women who fall into this category is small: less than 2 percent of all women in the U.S.) Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age. I
Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals wish our communities, students and families good health as we enter the new school year.
By Rick Haigis Sail Beyond Cancer North Shore
Sail Beyond Cancer North Shore turns six
ix years ago, Suzanne Johnson, the founder of Sail Beyond Cancer had an idea to expand the original program on Lake Champlain in Vermont and started a second chapter in Salem. The program has since added a third chapter in Annapolis Maryland. Sail Beyond Cancer North Shore (SBCNS) provides free private threehour sails for cancer patients and their loved ones, friends, and caregivers, sharing the healing powers of wind, water and sail. Each sail has a different route and flavor based on weather conditions and weaves through the islands in Salem Sound. The patient and invited family and friends are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy on-board and many times find themselves at the wheel sailing High Tea. The program is based at the Safe Harbor Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem. Safe Harbor has been a generous community partner, helping bring this service to the North Shore. The season starts in early June and, weather permitting, extends into early October. Sails are available Wednesday through Sunday each week of the season. There are approximately 60 to 70 nominations over a season. Nominations come from the North Shore and Boston metro area.
A ‘MAGICAL’ DAY AT SEA
The nomination process is easy and this trip is a fantastic gift that you can give someone you love who is dealing with the challenges of cancer. Patient nominees, through strong support of the North Shore community, are able to celebrate a life well-lived while under sail. Rosa R., a patient nominee from Fitchburg, called the trip she took last July “magical.” “Taking over as captain was the most freeing experience,” she noted. “For the first time since my diagnosis, I felt like I was in complete control. It was amazing to share this experience with loved ones who have supported me through 20
Cancer patients and their loved ones take a sail through Salem Sound aboard the High Tea.
Sail Beyond Cancer North Shore receives about 70 nominations over a season. Nominations come from across the region and Greater Boston.
my journey. The sail was exhilarating and joyful for all of us.” “I didn’t realize just how much I needed this,” she added. “To have a day where all my worries of the effects of cancer and medication didn’t exist, was life changing! Thank you to our captain and crew for such a beautifully amazing experience.”
FULLY RUN BY VOLUNTEERS
The 2023 season kicked off with a truly gratifying response from the volunteer community of 70, many who attended an evening of celebration, education and preparation for a summer and autumn of respite and memorial sails.
As a fully volunteer organization, Sail Beyond Cancer North Shore is appreciative of its donors, captains and crews, and many others who man booths at events, help with administrative tasks and marketing, and create much needed social media posts. A dedicated group of nurses, doctors, and physical therapists promote SBCNS with oncology programs based in the Boston area and the North Shore. The organization is also blessed with the support of and participation from the Corner Stone and Livestrong programs at the Beverly YMCA. Corner Stone is a collaborative health and wellness program providing support to cancer patients, cancer survivors, and their immediate families. LIVESTRONG at the YMCA partners with patients in healing the whole person by providing a 12-week program to build the physical strength and stamina needed as part of recovering from cancer. Sail Beyond Cancer North Shore is honored to be the 2023 Recipient of the Spirit Award from the Fast Mermaid Regatta in honor of Lindsay Smith, a local sailor and domestic violence survivor. It is also a recipient of a Boston North Cancer Association community grant.
MEMORIAL SAILS HONOR LOVED ONES
Memorial sails are designed to help by providing support in the face of loss, letting those who have lost a loved one to cancer know that they are not alone in this journey. These sails are designed to offer an opportunity to allow for self care. It is a time to honor the loved one lost with family and friends. Anyone who has lost a loved one to cancer in the past three years can nominate themselves or someone they know for their own private Memorial Sail. To learn more about SBCNS or to fill out a nomination, visit https://www.sailbeyondcancer.org/north-shore-chapter. I IMPACT MAGAZINE
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Looking for a job?
Or do you need to fill an opening? We can help. The North Shore Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping our members thrive and be successful. Over the last few years, all businesses have encountered ongoing challenges following the pandemic, including a shortage in the workforce. We know many of our members are struggling to fill open positions and to have enough employees to operate a full shift. Therefore, on our recently redesigned website, The Chamber has added a job board. To access the job board, go to the
button on the Chamber’s homepage, under “Join the Chamber” and “Chamber News,” next to the Chamber’s mission. A listing can be posted for 30, 60 or 90 days. It is free for our members to post a job. Non-members can post a job for a fee. When posting a job, employers can choose to add a “quick apply”
feature for applicants. Job seekers can easily search for job opportunities using keywords or a location. Listings can be explored by industry or the type of job (full or part-time, temporary, volunteer, intern, etc.) We hope our members will find this new tool useful as we all navigate the changing landscape of the workplace. I
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2023 Diamond Awards honor leaders making an impact The North Shore Chamber of Commerce celebrated the achievements of five exceptional women during the 2023 Diamond Awards breakfast on Aug. 23 at the Kernwood Country Club in Salem. Diamond Award recipients were recognized for their commitment and passion for leading with purpose, empowering women, serving others and making an impact professionally and personally. The honorees were nominated by their peers and colleagues and selected by The Chamber’s Diamond Awards Selection Committee. Our 2023 honorees are: Mary Anne Clancy, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, Institution for Savings Renee Connolly, Chief Diversity Equity & Inclusion Officer, Merck KGaA / Millipore Sigma MaryAnn “Mo” Levasseur, President, Profile Research Raminder Luther, Dean, Bertolon School of Business, Salem State University Mary Speta, Executive Director, Amirah. Inc. Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors of the 2023 Diamond Awards Breakfast: the Institution for Savings and The Massachusetts Conference for Women; Gold NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
From left: Renee Connolly, MaryAnn Levasseur, Raminder Luther, Mary Anne Clancy and Mary Speta were feted by colleagues, friends and family, during the Diamond Awards breakfast in August.
Sponsors: UniCare, Windover Construction and Solomon Private Wealth; Silver Sponsors: Millipore Sigma, North Shore Bank, Silver Lining Solutions and Eastern Bank, and Bronze Sponsors: McLane Middleton, Cataldo Ambulance,
Constitution Financial Partners, Tinti & Navins Inc., DMS Designs LLC and ENBRIDGE. Over the next several pages, we will showcase each of this year’s recipients and their contributions to the North Shore. 23
DIAMOND AWARD North Shore Chamber of Commerce
2023 Women of Excellence
A lifetime of service
From a young age, Mary Anne Clancy was inspired to leave her imprint
strong desire to make an impact in this world and the drive to help women in all stages of their professional careers. These are just two traits that drive Mary Anne Clancy. Knocking down barriers is something very familiar to Clancy. She embodies a life of service to others. Clancy first began her career, working for U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas. The lessons she learned from the late senator have inspired her throughout her long career, whether as mayor of Newburyport, or as senior vice president of marketing and communications at the Institution for Savings. Clancy often recalls Tsongas’ belief in “the obligation of our survival.” “He said, we all have a responsibility to leave the world better for those that will come after us,” Clancy said. “I am a mom and a grandmother, and I have tried to live true to that sentiment as often as I can.” A sense of duty, and service to others, was instilled in Clancy at a young age while growing up in Newburyport. Her father was an educator and superintendent, and her parents left an indelible mark on their hometown. Today Clancy’s imprint can be seen throughout the city as well. In addition to her decade on the Newburyport School Committee and her term as mayor, she has been a board member for the Firehouse Center for the Arts, a founding board member of the Newburyport Education Foundation, and a former board member of the Anna 24
Mary Anne learned the importance of community service at a young age, and has passed those values on to her children.
Mary Anne says she is proud to work for the IFS, a company that values giving back to the community.
Her greatest job is being a mother and grandmother, Mary Anne says. “There is truly nothing like watching your children raise their own children,” she explains.
Jaques Community Health Foundation. Clancy serves on the North Shore Chamber’s Board of Directors, and is the co-chair of Thrive, the professional group for women in business. The mission of Thrive is to empower and support women in all phases of their personal and professional lives. She was instrumental in planning and promoting the Thrive Summit last spring, which drew more than 200 women from across the North Shore and welcomed Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll as the keynote speaker. “As someone who often crossed barriers in my career, I know that women often face unique challenges and knowing that you may not be alone in meeting those challenges can be extremely comforting,” Clancy said. In her role on the senior leadership
team at the Institution for Savings, Clancy’s day-to-day responsibilities include planning and implementation of the bank’s advertising, public relations, and community outreach efforts. She notably designed the IFS’s financial literacy program, which offers high school students school credit following the completion of an online program that challenges them to create and live within an imagined budget. The program has attracted the attention and participation of eight Massachusetts banks. She has also collaborated with Massachusetts legislators to make financial education mandatory in public schools. In her nomination of Clancy for her Diamond Award, Bethany Blake, director of philanthropy and marketing for Harborlight Homes, praised her work ethic.
As co-chairs of Thrive, Mary Anne Clancy and Karen Andreas were honored to welcome Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll as the keynote speaker at the first annual Thrive Summit.
“Mary Anne leads by example. Coworkers, friends, and others know that she is the first one to volunteer, she will step in and get a project done no matter how hard it is or how long it takes,” she wrote. “She is a mentor and loves to empower and support those around her.” Clancy has the same high praise of her friends and colleagues as they do of her. “I truly love working at the IFS. It is not just that bank leaders have that same vision of giving back (to customers, employees and community); it is that the people I work for and with live that vision every day,” she said. “I am so proud to work for a company that gives back to so many.” But, she admits, her greatest job is being a mother to three and grandmother to six. “There is nothing like watching your children do the things they are most passionate about, and there is truly nothing like watching your children raise their own children,” Clancy said. One can’t help but believe they took the lead from their mother. Despite her long list of accomplishments, Clancy still has moments of selfdescribed “imposter syndrome.” “I hold my fellow honorees this year and last year in such high regard. What they have accomplished professionally and personally and their passion for helping others is awe-inspiring and I am honored to be among them,” she said.
—By Sabrina Deinstadt 25
DIAMOND AWARD North Shore Chamber of Commerce
2023 Women of Excellence
Going above and beyond
Driven by a passion to help others, Renee Connolly is a leader, team player, ally
hile others may shy away from the thought of bringing together different groups of people to find common ground or arrange a metaphorical “meeting of the minds,” Renee Connolly welcomes the challenge. A graduate of Ithaca College in New York with a degree in journalism, Connolly began her career in the sciences after watching her mother battle cancer. In 2004, she joined the biotech company, Serono, as the vice president of North America Communications. Today, that company is known as EMD Serono, the Healthcare business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. After 19 years in life science communications, and most recently two years as the chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) officer at Merck KGaA Darmstadt Germany (Merck KGaA), Connolly still seeks to “bridge the gaps and pull people together to talk.” It’s what defines her, both personally and professionally. Connolly sees her goals as straightforward. She brings people together for conversations, promotes education, raises awareness and understanding, all while maintaining business as a priority. Recently Connolly achieved the accomplishment of publishing the company’s first DE&I report. Her selfproclaimed “pride and joy.” The DE&I report opened a window into Merck KGaA’s efforts, commitment, aspirations, culture and initiatives the company sustains with Connolly leading the charge. At a company with more than 60,000 employees worldwide, this is no easy feat. “This position was not in my cards, but I am honored to take on the role,” she said. Connolly began working at Merck KGaA, 26
A native New Yorker, Renee relocated to the North Shore and settled in Salem. She and her husband have four children.
Renee Connolly addresses the crowd during the Diamond Awards ceremony.
In her nomination, Renee was lauded for going “above and beyond” to make others feel valued.
After losing her mother to the disease at a young age, Renee Connolly became an active supporter of the American Cancer Society.
Darmstadt, Germany in 2021 and is the second female Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Merck KGaA. After dabbling with DE&I, her passion, Renee was thrilled to accept the offer to transition into the position. “I see myself as a team player, a coach, and there if I can help,” Connolly said. According to her colleagues, Connolly excels in those jobs, too. As she introduced Connolly at the Diamond Awards ceremony, Kristen Garzone, the Global Culture, Purpose, Change and People Initiative Leader at Merck KGaA Darmstadt, highlighted her “genuine love of working with people.” “Renee has been a mentor for many female professionals – I am one of them,” said Garzone, who was once Connolly’s intern. “She is a strong ally for our NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
employees – working with and advocating for our employee resource groups. And she is a valuable partner – driving efforts to help the greater community through fundraising and other initiatives. “Renee goes above and beyond to make people feel valued and encouraged. She is approachable and selfless, kind and loyal...she is one-of-a-kind – and a true leader,” William Faria, who nominated Renee for the Diamond Award called Connolly “authentic, inspiring and inclusive.” “[She] builds strong teams and empowers them to achieve extraordinary results. She can work effectively with all levels of the organization and in all regions of the world,” Faria said. A Salem resident, Connolly also dedicates her time as a board member to
causes close to her heart. She volunteers with the American Cancer Society and the Home for Little Wanderers. She is active in the Massachusetts Women’s Forum, and the Massachusetts Conference for Women. While all causes hold great importance, Connolly said the American Cancer Society holds a special place in her heart, after she lost her mother to the disease when she was in college. Her mother was only 42. Following her mother’s death, Connolly stepped away from her dream of becoming the next Barbara Walters and toward the accomplished career that she has today. “You only have good fortune to drive change for a certain time,” Connolly said when asked about her time serving on the boards, “and this job provides a platform to help do that.” A native New Yorker, Renee spent nine years working in her home state before moving to Massachusetts. She and her husband have four children. —By Sabrina Deinstadt 27
DIAMOND AWARD North Shore Chamber of Commerce
2023 Women of Excellence
‘I don’t hear stop’ Propelled by a desire to make the world better, MaryAnn Levasseur is always in your corner
o Levasseur is widely known as someone you can call when you need help. She stepped forward when her hometown of Rowley needed residents to serve on various municipal committees. When her son’s school needed parent volunteers to pitch in, Levasseur was there. When there was a need for more Little League coaches, Levasseur grabbed her mitt and led them to the World Series. And when a Rowley friend passed away in 2009, she created a nonprofit, Solace for Stephanie, with her friend’s family. This organization raises money and provides financial support for local residents fighting cancer. Levasseur credits her upbringing in East Boston for building her character and instilling in her a desire to give back. “I love helping others,” she said. “I don’t like to see someone not supported in their dream. I’ve offered to help hundreds of people…I’m determined to be a mentor for people because I didn’t have that.” Levasseur lost her mother when she was 11 years old. Levasseur and her siblings were split up following her death. Levasseur stayed with her older sister. Fueled by her own will and determination, Levasseur played three sports in high school and earned high honors. Today, that same determination pushes her to make the world around her a better place. As founder and president of Profile Research, a background checks and investigations company, Levasseur pushes her employees towards success, and urges them to follow their own path. A former executive aide to the chief 28
Mo Levasseur remains active in North Shore Women Connect, and served as president in years past.
for the Danvers Police Department, Levasseur started the investigative company after some time as a stay-at-home mom following the birth of her son. “I mentor a lot of my employees - and former employees,” she said. She also mentors many others. A member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, Levasseur also leads The Chamber’s ambassadors program, in which longtime members guide and assist new members. “I tell them, ‘you can really succeed here,’” Levasseur said. “You need the Chamber if you are a business, you need the support.” Levasseur is also active in North Shore Women Connect, a professional networking organization for business women that she first joined in 2007. When she saw the group start to struggle and lose its membership six years ago, she stepped up once again. She served as its president for three years, leading it in a new way with a nod to the changing way we network and socialize. The group has 75 members today. Alyssa Southall, who nominated Levasseur for the Diamond Award, commended her desire to empower others to also become strong, effective leaders. “She helps women starting their own businesses make connections and navigate business ownership,” Southall wrote in her nomination form. “She helps women who are unemployed navigate job searching and provides NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
Numerous friends and family members joined Mo to watch her accept her Diamond Award.
North Shore Chamber Board of Directors chairman Joe Riley and Chamber President and CEO Karen Andreas presented Mo with her award.
connections and advice. She possesses incredible mentor skills.” It’s abundantly clear that once you are in Levasseur’s world, you have a permanent spot. Remember that Little League team? She has stayed connected with them too. Recently Levasseur helped one of those former players secure a new apartment. “I’m Coach Mo for life,” she said. It was while she was coaching Little League that Levasseur first crossed paths with Stephanie Jenkins, a popular Rowley mother. The two quickly formed a friendship that lasted through Jenkins’ death from cancer in 2009. “When she passed, I just got that Mo compelling feeling,” Levasseur said.
“When I was in line for the funeral, I said to [my husband], ‘We are going to do something to remember her.’” A week later, plans were in the works to install a memorial at the Rowley playground Jenkins had led the effort to build. Levasseur and her band of volunteers continued Jenkins’ work, raising money to further renovate and repair the playground. The renovated project was unveiled in 2016. “I just keep going; I don’t hear stop,” Levasseur said. Today Solace for Stephanie directs its energy to helping patients and families undergoing cancer treatment. The funds they raise are given to help pay expenses, such as prescription and medical costs, groceries or gas costs. The nonprofit has helped 105 families. Levasseur knows each one. In 2017, she was named an “Unsung Heroine” by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women for her work with Solace for Stephanie. “If I can be on your journey with you to make it a little lighter, that’s my blessing,” Levasseur said. When she was notified that she was selected as a Diamond Award recipient, Levasseur shared the philosophy she lives by: “I am honored to be acknowledged for trying to help the world be a better place,” she said. “That’s my M-O.” —By Katie Lovett 29
DIAMOND AWARD North Shore Chamber of Commerce
2023 Women of Excellence
A strong leader with unwavering vision Raminder Luther guides SSU business school to acclaimed spot on the North Shore
aminder Luther already had her Ph.D in finance and yet, she was still confounded when her thenemployer asked which mutual fund she wanted to select for her retirement account. Slightly embarrassed that, despite her advanced degree, she didn’t know exactly what to do, the professor of finance started down the rabbit hole of personal finance education. From there, she went on to become an awardwinning expert and speaker on personal financial difficulties and their impact on society. She brought this acumen — to help individuals navigate everyday finances — to Salem State University when she arrived in 1998. Today, Luther is dean of the Bertolon School of Business at Salem State University. In that position, Luther is widelyregarded as an effective, successful leader. “She has a clear vision for Salem State’s Bertolon School of Business and is passionate about providing students with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to succeed in business and contribute to their community,” wrote Don White, assistant dean of Bertolon School of Business in his nomination of Luther for the award. The 62-year-old’s story began in Punjab, India, where she was born to a poorly paid college math professor and a stay-at-home mom. “I grew up in a home that highly 30
Dr. Raminder Luther thanks her colleagues during the Diamond Awards ceremony.
Salem State University colleagues joined Raminder for the awards breakfast at the Kernwood Country Club.
valued books and food...clothes and shoes not so much. My mother was very creative with sewing,” says the Winchester resident. Having inherited a penchant for math from her dad, Luther pursued electrical engineering at Punjab University, where she was just one of four female students in the entire college. After receiving her bachelor of science degree, she enrolled in the University of Delhi’s Master’s of Business Administration in Marketing program. It was there she met her now husband of 39 years, Sandeep, who was a computer science major. Following graduation, she worked as an executive for both Voltas and DCM Data Products. In 1988, when her son Aman was three, with the encouragement of her husband, she relocated to study at the University of Mississippi and she enrolled in the Ph.D in Finance program. Just a short time into her studies, a serious accident left her husband sidelined and she returned to India. “The support I received and the person I became, I credit to Ole Miss,” Luther acknowledges. The first time she stepped into a classroom in a role other than a student, she was shocked at the thrill she received from teaching. “I never knew I liked teaching,” she said. “I never expected to like it. But from the first time, it was out of this world. It has become my happy place.” Her first, full-time, academic position
was as a professor of finance at Marywood. It was there that she had the personal finance revelation. In addition to teaching, she became the principal investigator at the Military Family Institute at Marywood. She has since become widely known for her research on personal financial difficulties faced by enlisted members in the U.S. Department of the Navy. What she soon learned through research, was that personal financial difficulties weren’t limited to the enlisted. Officers too, struggled with making the right financial decisions. She presented at the Pentagon, emphasizing the importance of teaching personal finance during boot camp. One of Luther’s first professional duties at Salem State was developing a personal finance course for students. The course covers cash management, budgeting, applying for a mortgage, understanding debt ratio, and encouraging saving. “This way they are going out into the world with some knowledge of personal finance,” she notes. “They understand what they need to be secure. This gives them confidence, which is their biggest asset even more than their skill set.” White lauds Luther’s style. “Raminder is a brilliant strategist and a very effective steward of all the resources available to the business school,” he says. “As dean she is a catalyst of change, and a cultivator of best practices in teaching and research.” She is emphatic that personal finance should be taught before and during the
college years. Personally, despite spending little time in the classroom these days, Luther is content. “Salem State University is my home. It is my family,” she says. Also included in her family is Sandeep, Aman, another son Herman, her grandson and granddaughter. While the boys and their families live down south, Luther’s parents and siblings live in Toronto, Canada. She has served as a faculty member, graduate program coordinator, chaired more than 10 faculty-led committees, and has been an active member of the university’s tenure promotion and budget committees. She is proud of the university and her role in making it the preeminent business school on the North Shore. She was instrumental in navigating SSU, after three failed attempts, through the grueling AACSB accreditation process, which only five percent of business schools worldwide receive. Bertolon and UMass Isenberg School of Business are the only two Massachusetts state schools with the accreditation. With accreditation secured, her recent focus has been on bolstering SSU’s experiential learning opportunities. What they learn during their internships, she says, is just as important as what they learn in the classroom and from their textbooks. “This is where I am now,” she says. “And this is what I want to do.” —By Ellen Small Davis 31
DIAMOND AWARD North Shore Chamber of Commerce
2023 Women of Excellence
Adding her voice to the fight
As executive director of Amirah, Inc., Mary Speta draws on her past to advocate for the exploited
hile Mary Speta may be a classically trained vocalist as well as a doctoral candidate in law and policy, it is commercial sexual exploitation that is her daily focus. As executive director of Amirah, Inc, a Beverly-based nonprofit that provides exit and aftercare services to women who have experienced trauma through prostitution, sex trafficking, or commercial sexual exploitation, she works on their behalf. Prior to her current position, Speta was the director of development. Brad Small of Solomon Private Wealth, LLC, nominated the 31 year-old Speta for her Diamond Award, writing “she is mature beyond her years. Mary leads an amazing team of people that are helping to save women from trafficking.” Battling the scourge of sexual exploitation may seem an unusual career choice for a vocalist who briefly sang professionally. But it is less In her first action as executive director of Amirah, Inc., Mary Speta surprising once you know Speta’s history. sought to establish an independent Raised in a tiny, farm comhousing program rather than group munity in western New York homes. state, Speta, the granddaughter of Bulgarian immigrants, got accepted to Gordon College in Wenham and was among the first in her family to go to college. With her family’s limited financial resources, Speta worked three jobs to fund her education. During one of her shifts as a bartender, the college student met the man who would become her exploiter. “I was convinced I was in love,” Speta says. “He was worldly.” Her life was suddenly exciting beyond her expectations, until it wasn’t. With her own personal history of unresolved sexual abuse as a child and family history of domestic violence, Speta was a perfectly vulnerable individual. This combined with a lack of 32
Mary Speta greets the audience at the Diamond Awards.
Alongside her dedicated staff, Mary works tirelessly to advocate for those who have been exploited, drawing on her own past experiences to offer support and encouragement.
Solomon Private Wealth founder Brad Small nominated Mary for the Diamond Award.
self-esteem led to two “dark, messed up years,” she says. Eventually she arrived at “rock bottom” both emotionally and physically. It took her five attempts before she would break free from her exploiter. She would later learn, on average, it takes the exploited nine attempts to find freedom. Three years after she escaped the relationship, with her bachelor’s in music performance and a master’s from Boston University in administration, Speta began rebuilding her life. She soon realized there was a name for what she experienced. Initially, Speta didn’t trust herself and feared she was creating a false narrative. Once she accepted her lived trauma and became familiar with words like “groomer,” “love-bombing,” “manipulation,” and “coercion,” she was ready to leave her position at a local orchestra and help others change their own trauma narratives. Today, she oversees 11 paid staff and more than 80 volunteers. “They deal with the most heinous of crimes and do it with poise, compassion, and intelligence,” Small says. NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
Since the organization’s inception in 2011, more than 450 individuals have received assistance through the residential treatment program. In just a few short years, Speta has become a seasoned researcher, educator, speaker, and advocate in the movement to end commercial sexual exploitation. She uses her research to bust myths, inform policy, and shape effective evidence-based exit ramps for those seeking to gain their independence from commercial sex, according to Small. In April of 2022 when Speta became executive director, the chairman of the board of directors asked her a hypothetical question. If she could take the existing budget and revamp Amirah’s framework what would it look like? Her immediate response was to close the group safe homes, and build out an independent housing program that prepares clients economically to reintegrate into society. She was given the approval to implement that vision. With the new individual, residential housing, Amirah staff realized the residents improved “light years faster,” Speta says. Most of the women, who are in their 30s, receive training and education to prepare them for success, according to Speta. They work on improving their self-esteem, creating economic stability, and establishing communal connections, she explains. In the future, Speta says, she would like to improve collaboration with
other organizations and agencies. “I believe in collaboration, not duplication,” she says. The new Beverly location also provides the organization the opportunity for upgraded technology. But there is much to do, she acknowledges, and is working to do her part. She serves on multiple legislative advisory and service provision committees throughout New England. These include the Global Association of Human Trafficking Scholars (developing scholar member), The New England Coalition Against Trafficking (committee member,) and the Mass. Governor’s Commission on Human Trafficking. Speta is also currently a doctoral candidate in Northeastern University’s Law and Policy program. The name Amirah has several translations including “female warrior.” It was borrowed from a closed domestic violence center in Mexico that was operated by a colleague’s grandmother. Speta says it is appropriate for the agency’s clients. “We don’t rescue anybody,” she says. “They are the heroes of their own stories.” Speta says she sees herself staying in the fight against sexual exploitation. “I’m a person of faith. This is work I have dedicated my life to…I will continue to work along side others to create programs and policies,” she says. “No one deserves to be exploited. We need the voices of the people with lived experiences.” — By Ellen Small Davis 33
FACES & PLACES
July 17, Ipswich Country Club
SUMMER AFTER HOURS
July 20, Beauport Hotel
EMERGING LEADERS AFTER HOURS
July 25, Salem Waterfront Hotel
AUGUST BUSINESS INSIGHT BREAKFAST FORUM
Aug. 9, Salem Waterfront Hotel
Doug Howgate, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, shared a fiscal update and outlook for the North Shore.
‘STATE OF THE REGION’ BREAKFAST Sept. 13, Boston Marriott Peabody
North Shore municipal leaders shared updates on their communities, focusing on housing, transportation, traffic and commercial growth.
EMERGING LEADERS AFTER HOURS
Sept. 21, Kings Dining and Entertainment
Beverly, MA windover.com 36
The art of self-expression MORE ADULTS ARE OVERCOMING ‘CREATIVITY SCARS’ AND EMBRACING EXPRESSIVE ARTS THERAPY By Natalie Blue The Artful Life Counseling Center & Studio Have you ever thought to yourself, “I just can’t find the words to explain how I’m feeling?” Arts in counseling can be extremely valuable in finding those hard to express thoughts. Finding meaning through images, metaphor, movement, sound, storytelling, or even scribbles, can often provide someone the emotional distance to describe the inner workings of their thoughts and feelings. Art therapy is a mental health profession that encourages clients to utilize art-making and the creative process as a means of self-expression. Now, picture this, you are at a networking event and someone asks you: ”So, what do you do?” Is your first instinct to launch your elevator pitch only to have that person’s eyes glaze waiting for their turn to talk? As the cofounder of The Artful Life Counseling Center and Studio, this does not happen to me often. Nine times out of 10, the person I’m talking to will have one of two reactions. The first is: “So you just work with kids, right?” or they will anxiously exclaim: “well, I can’t even draw a stick figure!” Many adults who declare they are not artistic have what I call “creativity scars.” A creativity scar occurs during childhood when a well meaning (or not-so-well-meaning) adult harshly criticizes the artistic abilities of a child. That child then declares themselves not an artist and the label carries into adulthood. It’s quite common to pass judgment on one’s ability to create, instead of seeing self-expression as a
process open to everyone. It is a common assumption that art therapists only work with children. No matter our age we never lose our ability to flex our creativity muscle. Incorporating art modalities (visual, movement, drama, play, etc) into therapy is just another therapeutic tool like CBT or DBT, more cognitive-based tools, that many people are familiar with. Expressive arts therapy can be highly beneficial for adults as it provides an expressive outlet for emotional and psychological healing. It can provide an alternative mode of communication that can facilitate the expression of thoughts and feelings in a non-threatening way and improve interpersonal skills and relationships. According to Gallup polling, the number of adults seeking mental health counseling in the past two decades has doubled from 13 percent in 2004 up to 23 percent in 2022. As therapy needs for adults increase so does the need for treatments that are as unique as the individual seeking the support. Here are five additional ways that expressive arts therapy can be helpful for adults: Emotional Expression: Sometimes, it can be difficult for adults to articulate complex emotions. The expressive arts allow individuals to express their feelings, thoughts, and experiences through visual art, movement or sounds. This can be particularly helpful for those who struggle with finding the right words to describe their emotions. This can also serve as a form of emotional release, allowing individuals to express and release pent-up emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. Mindfulness & Stress Reduction: Engaging in art-making can be a soothing and meditative experience. It helps focus one’s attention on the creative process, which can lead to a reduction
in stress and anxiety. The expressive arts encourage individuals to be in the present moment and engage fully in the creative process, which has a positive effect on mental well-being. Self-Exploration: Through the artmaking process, individuals can explore their inner thoughts, beliefs, and experiences. This self-exploration can lead to greater self-awareness and insight into one’s own motivations and challenges. The act of producing something meaningful can provide a sense of accomplishment and pride. Trauma Processing: Art therapy can be effective in processing and healing from traumatic experiences. Creating visual or body-based representations of trauma-related emotions and memories can help individuals confront and work through their trauma in a safe and controlled manner. Enhanced Problem-Solving: Engaging in the creative process can help adults develop problem-solving skills as they experiment with different techniques, materials, and approaches to their artwork. It’s important to note that expressive arts therapies are typically facilitated by therapists who have specific training to guide individuals through this process. It helps the client make connections between their artwork and their emotional experiences. Also expressive arts therapists use these tools effectively when combined with other therapeutic approaches, depending on the individual’s needs and goals. In my 20 years of work as a trauma therapist, I have witnessed my adult clients communicate emotions through various creative outlets. It is an honor to watch someone tap into their imagination in a way that helps them gain insights into their behaviors, deepen their self awareness and facilitate personal growth. I
Natalie Blue LMHC, an expressive arts therapist, is the co-owner of The Artful Life Counseling Center & Studio in Salem. She is a member of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
Don’t just stand there! WORKING AT YOUR DESK MIGHT BE A PAIN IN THE NECK...OR THE BACK, OR THE SHOULDERS...
By Jennifer Graham JGPT, LLC
hat are the best ergonomic solutions for your home or office workstations? Movement! Really, it’s that simple. Our bodies are meant to move. Over the past several decades, our work environments have changed significantly. We spend more time than any generation before us in stationary positions, sitting at a desk on a computer. Since 2020 many of us have been working at home, often on a laptop. Ergonomically, home offices are often less than ideal. Let’s first look at the definition of ergonomics. According to the dictionary, ergonomics is “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.” Ergonomics is the study of how people function in their work setting. More specifically, ergonomics
Physical therapist Jennifer Graham, PT CEAS, is the owner of JGPT, LLC and a member of The North Shore Chamber of Commerce.
is fitting the workspace to the employee, not the other way around! Ergonomic injuries can be simply irritating, or unfortunately, in some cases devastating. The good news is that in most cases these types of injuries can be prevented with an environment and a workstation that supports that nature of work that you do. The majority of employees that I have evaluated are using desks that are not at the correct height, chairs that are not adjustable or supportive and monitors that are too low. Repetitive motions, such as answering emails or entering data that are performed daily while sitting in static postures that are less than ideal often create harmful long-term lasting effects. A more troubling issue is that fewer workers are actively moving during the day than in years past when we worked fulltime in an office. This is such a significant health concern that OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) has listed repetition and awkward/prolonged/static postures as significant ergonomic risk factors for more than 25 years. In the last three years, as home work stations have become more common, ergonomic problems have grown. These stations are often not set up in a way that supports our bodies to help prevent injuries given the static positioning coupled with repetitive motions that we do every day. The negative effects of prolonged sitting have been widely studied and reported. This includes: excessive fatigue, generalized discomfort, repetitive use injuries, low back pain, neck pain, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, obesity, some cancers, depression and anxiety among others. Think about how much more movement was incorporated into your day when you worked in an office. You walked from your home to your car and from your car to the office. At work, you walked to lunch and then back to your desk. You walked around the office talking to coworkers or attending meetings.… You get the idea. Working from home is a great option for so many reasons, but we need to make a conscious effort to incorporate more movement throughout our day. Movement is the NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
IS YOUR OFFICE EQUIPMENT A POOR FIT? If you are experiencing discomfort, pain, numbness or tingling, it might be a sign that you need to change your posture. Jen Graham offers these tips to know if your office equipment isn’t set up correctly: Chair: If you are perching on the edge of the chair, then the chair is not adjusted correctly or you need a different chair. Sometimes pain caused by the chair’s height isn’t as obvious. Even neck pain can be
medicine that can help mitigate the risk of developing many of these lasting issues. I like to suggest the ratio recommended by Alan Hedge, professor of ergonomics at Cornell University: Sit for 20 minutes, stand for 8 minutes and walk/move for at least 2 minutes out of every 30 minutes. If you can increase the movement, do it. 20/8/2: Easy to remember and to implement into your routine. Set your phone timer to alert you when it’s been 20 minutes. You may find that you cannot break away from your task right at 20 minutes. That is OK. However, if your timer goes off 3 or 4 times and you still have not moved from your static position,
related to a chair that is not adjusted correctly. Your monitor is too low: A monitor set at an incorrect height can result in neck pain, discomfort or pain behind the shoulder blade, or numbness/tingling in the arm/hand. You may experience lower back pain or eye strain. When the monitor is at the right height and everything else is in good alignment, you should be looking at the top 1/3 of the screen. “Interestingly, our eyes should not be in line with the middle of the screen because our gaze lowers about 15 degrees as we are working,” Graham says.
Jennifer Graham, PT CEAS
you need to change your habit of sitting for too long. It is a habit. You can change it. Take a stretch break. Stand for a call. Use your standing desk. Walk to lunch. Take the stairs. Do a few squats. March in place. Do a few body weight exercises. Exercise during your lunch break. It is also incredibly important to have equipment in your office that helps you maintain good posture and supports you when you are sitting. Properly fitted adjustable chairs, standing desks and ergonomic keyboards are valuable tools. Unfortunately, even the best equipment will not solve for lack of movement. So, stand up and get going. I 39
‘Ready, aim, relax...’ CLEAR THINKING, BREAKTHROUGH SOLUTIONS
By Richard Huttner
ur company was in the baby products business, and I had a great idea for a new product that would appeal to our market of 3,500,000 expectant mothers. It would cost $200,000 to launch it. As CEO, I knew we generated this amount quarterly, but almost our entire cash flow went to service our bank debt. Our venture capital owners had completely leveraged the company. How frustrating and ironic that our next bank loan repayment was the very $200,000 I needed. I thought and thought and thought. Just as I had resigned myself to disappointment, an idea popped into my head. In the bottom of my desk drawer, I found our 47-page bank loan agreement. I was embarrassed that I had never read it. Was there some kind of loophole buried in the fine print? To my amazement, I discovered an obscure clause stating that at the bank loan officer’s discretion one of the periodic payments could be skipped and placed at the end of the loan. I called our banker immediately and asked if he could come in that afternoon. He agreed. During our meeting, I enthusiastically romanced him with a presentation about our new product. “This looks great,” he said with a bemused expression on his face, “and I wish you the best of luck with it. Why am I here?” I showed him the bank loan agreement clause, and he broke into a grin. “Let’s do it,” he said. He took out his phone and sent me a confirmation email. I walked out of the conference room with my $200,000. Where did this idea come from, I wondered? I wish I could have asked Sir Isaac Newton who, according to legend, discovered gravity when an apple fell on his head. Actually, Newton’s friend and biographer, William Stukeley, in “Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton’s Life,” published in 1752, reports a slightly different story: “After dinner, the weather being warm, we went into the garden, & drank thea under the shade of some apple trees… he told me, he was just in the same situation, as
when formerly, the notion of gravitation came into his mind…. occasion’d by the fall of an apple, as he sat in a contemplative mood.” I’m not in the same league as Sir Isaac Newton, but both stories illustrate how “clear thinking” can appear spontaneously, almost by magic. May I suggest if you are facing a challenging problem, you might save yourself a lot of stress by being patient. Inspiration will likely come. Try, “Ready, aim, relax.”
Most of the time, however, clear thinking is a process. As one small, but helpful, example, I try not to reply to important emails immediately. I find if I write a first draft, review it with a trusted colleague (or my spouse), and then revise, my response turns out so much better and shorter — not to mention fewer typos and more careful attention to attachments. According to executive coach Jennifer Porter, “Reflection gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning.” To help yourself further, consult with your team. Adopt the humility of being a wisdom seeker. You hired your team members for their knowledge, experience, and helpfulness. Take full advantage of it. You can involve outside experts, too. They may not be completely familiar with your problem, but they represent a variety of disciplines and viewpoints. According to Frans Johansson, author of “The Medici Effect,” if you consult with knowledgeable people from diverse backgrounds, you’re likely to get intellectual crosspollination resulting in great leaps in innovation and remarkable original and effective solutions.
When your brain is tired, stressed, overloaded, overstimulated — in short, in a memory and thinking fog — what are some proven ways to clear your head? First, take a mental break. According to “Scientific American,” “Research on naps, meditation, nature walks and the habits of exceptional artists and athletes reveals how mental breaks increase productivity,
Richard Huttner is an executive coach who helps CEOs and senior leaders tackle tough problems and take full advantage of new opportunities. Formerly, he was CEO of three successful companies and owner of Crestcom, a leadership and management skills firm. A member of the North Shore Chamber, Richard is a graduate of Yale and the Stanford School of Business.
with effects lasting for up to two hours.” If you just don’t have time to hit the nature trail or the health club, try this blood-flow-to-the-brain shortcut: Dark chocolate. According to “Nutrients” journal, eating dark chocolate daily boosts attention, verbal learning, and memory. In addition, if you savor the chocolate, you’ll be transported away from your problems -- or even forget them!
TRUST THE NAVY SEALS
replenish attention, solidify memories, and encourage creativity.” Exercise is especially beneficial. Research shows, “executive functions
including attention, working memory, problem solving, cognitive flexibility, verbal fluency, and decision making… receive the most benefit from exercise
When the President assigns the Seals to take out terrorists in a foreign land, you might think they rush to get into action. They don’t. The Seals prepare methodically, following their motto, “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” The Seals have long found rushing leads to poor preparation, dead-wrong decision-making, and mission failure. Our overall conclusion: clear thinking takes time: Let inspiration come, seek out the best advice, follow a decision-making process, and periodically refresh yourself. Slow down to think clearly. I
SPORTS MEDICINE NORTH PROUDLY INTRODUCES WILLIAM RUBENSTEIN, MD HIP & KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGEON FELLOWSHIP Joint Arthroplasty Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts RESIDENCY Orthopaedic Surgery University of California San Francisco San Francisco, California MEDICAL SCHOOL Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) Doctor of Medicine New York, New York Dr. Rubenstein specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions related to the hip and knee and performs procedures including total and partial joint replacements. In network with all major insurances. ORTHOPEDIC EX CEL L ENCE. COMPASSIONATE CAR E.
PEABODY | BEVERLY | NEWBURYPORT
All of our physicians are affiliated with the New England Baptist Orthopedics Program at Anna Jaques Hospital and Beverly Hospital.
Sponsors sought for annual ‘Salute to Veterans’ Breakfast One of the most special events that The Chamber hosts each year is the Salute to Veterans breakfast, which will be held on Thursday, Nov. 9 at Danversport. Together with premier sponsor, UniCare, and supporting sponsor, O’Donnell Funeral Services, The Chamber will honor the region’s veterans and military during a patriotic ceremony featuring music and speakers. The keynote speaker this year will be Skip Soderholm, a retired Command Sergeant Major and decorated combat veteran with over 25 years of service to the US Army and US S p e c i a l Operations Command. Soderholm Thursday, Nov. 9, spent 20 of 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. those years Danversport serving in 161 Elliott St. t h e A r my ’s (Route 62) elite Spe Danvers cial Missions Unit, where TO LEARN he served as MORE ABOUT an operaSPONSORSHIPS t o r, t e a m contact Cheryl leader, masBegin, director of ter breacher, sales and marketing, instructor, at cheryl.begin@ t r o o p s e rnorthshorechamber. geant major, org or 978-774-8565, operations Ext. 101. sergeant major, and command sergeant major. Soderholm has 11 combat deployments to the middle east where he participated in over 800 combat missions. He has been awarded 10 Bronze Star medals, twice for valor, 3 Purple Heart medals and is a 100 percent disabled veteran. Soderholm is a graduate of the many military schools, including the US Army Ranger School, Special Forces Qualification Course, the Operator Training Course, and the US Army Sergeants Major Academy. A highlight of the Salute to Veterans program is the presentation of the Minuteman Service Award, which is given
A group of veterans stand to be recognized during last year’s breakfast.
Salute to Veterans
Veterans and members of the military attend the breakfast for free, due to the generosity of sponsors.
to two deserving recipients. The award recognizes one individual and one business that demonstrate selfless dedication and outstanding leadership to our country in support of the military or veterans community. Thanks to the generosity of UniCare, O’Donnell Funeral Services, and many of the Chamber’s member businesses, all veterans and members of the military are invited to attend for free. Chamber members are encouraged to consider sponsoring this important community event. “Thank a Veteran” Sponsorship levels are: Freedom Sponsor ($1,000): This level
allows 10 veterans to attend the breakfast free of charge. Sponsors will receive a table sign thanking your business; logo recognition in the event slideshow; logo recognition on the Chamber website; recognition on printed materials at the table; leave written messages for the veterans at the table. Patriot Sponsor ($500): This level allows five veterans to attend the breakfast free of charge. Sponsors will receive a shared table sign thanking your business; logo recognition in the event slideshow; bring marketing materials/ gifts for the veterans at the table; leave written messages for the veterans at the table. I IMPACT MAGAZINE
Market considerations AS PRE-COVID LEASES EXPIRE, WHAT TENANTS AND LANDLORDS NEED TO KNOW
By John Weaver McLane Middleton
he three years before COVID – before quarantine, before widespread work from home policies — represented the peak of the leasing market for many sectors. The three years since the outbreak of COVID have seen that market change significantly. As the leases signed right before COVID begin to expire and come up for renewal, tenants and landlords should be aware of the state of the market before beginning negotiations with one another.
In the years leading up to 2020, the office leases I helped clients negotiate were more likely to favor the landlord due to outsize tenant demand, but that’s no longer the case. Tenants are able to demand shorter terms, greater ability to downsize into smaller footprints, and other concessions. For office owners, shorter lease terms might not be the worst thing in the world, as it could make financing easier in the long run. By negotiating shorter lease terms now, landlords may avoid locking in tenantfriendly rent for years to come and keep open the option that when the shorter terms expire the market has rebounded and they can refinance on better terms. For office tenants, they should make sure there is a subordination, non-disturbance, and attornment agreement signed and recorded. If that is not in place, the landlord’s lender will have an easier time terminating the lease in the event market conditions force a foreclosure.
In contrast to office landlords, landlords in the industrial market have a great deal of leverage, as demand remains high and supply is low. Mike Ogasapian, vicepresident with R.W. Holmes Commercial Real Estate, notes that existing industrial tenants, “are faced with few market options to relocate to and landlords know that. Expansion need also is common right now among users.” This means tenants face a lot of uncertainty as to whether it is smarter to remain in their current premises or seek larger space. “In many instances,” Ogasapian continues, “tenants have leverage through holdover provisions that are at 200% of their current rent, which is typically 50%-70% of what current market rents are. If the tenant’s provision does not have them responsible for damages caused due to holding over, we’ve seen several users either holdover to stall to relocate or simply leverage the situation to achieve more favorable terms to remain in place.” For industrial landlords in the current market, “holdover is the most glaring item they need to consider,” per Ogasapian. They should review their leases to double check the holdover language and negotiate with tenants with that in mind. In any amendments or new leases, landlords should ensure that a holding over tenant is liable for damages caused by that holdover. In their amendments and new leases, industrial tenants should pay close attention to renewal language for valuation of fair market rent. It should be specific to SEE PAGE 64
John Weaver is the chair of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group and represents clients in all manner of real estate transactions in the north of Boston market, including sales, acquisitions, leases, easement negotiations, and municipal land use applications before zoning, planning, and select boards. He can be reached at email@example.com. NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
IS YOUR HEADSHOT A BLAST FROM THE PAST? SOME SIGNS THAT IT’S TIME FOR AN UPDATE
icture this: You’re scrolling through your old photos, and boom! There it is—the hilarious headshot from the era of questionable fashion choices. But hold on tight, because that embarrassing photo isn’t just a relic of the past—it’s still representing you professionally. Unless you’re aiming for a career in a ’90s boy band or a hairspray commercial, using a headshot that screams “old school” is as effective as telling jokes to a bunch of mimes. Trust me, nobody wants to see that. Your headshot is your calling card in the professional world, and it’s time to send the right message. So, let me walk you through the signs that scream, “Get a new headshot, pronto!” You’ve Changed, Baby! I highly recommend that you update your headshot at least every 2 to 3 years. Why? We all age like fine wine, don’t we? Well, yes. But if people can’t recognize you from your headshot because you’ve aged, changed your hairstyle,
or undergone a significant physical transformation, it’s high time to update. Your headshot should be an accurate representation of you today, not a younger version of yourself. Looking for a New Gig? Searching for a new job? When you are looking for a new job, you want to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date in every way. An outdated headshot is even worse than having no picture in your profile at all. It screams stagnation in your professional life. An updated headshot signals growth, adaptability, and relevancy—qualities that employers love. So, if you want to open doors to new opportunities, it’s time to upgrade that headshot and watch the magic happen. Who knows, a better headshot might just get you that dream job. What was I thinking? We’ve all made some questionable choices with our headshots. You know, those blurry, poorly lit, or awkwardly cropped photos that should have never seen the light of day. Remember that one picture where your ex was cropped or that wild shot taken at your friend’s epic wedding party a decade ago? Or those skin-smoothing filters taken
By Norman Jaillet Norman Jaillet Photography
Norman Jaillet Photography is a headshot specialist and facial expression coach located in Peabody. A member of The North Shore Chamber of Commerce, Jaillet can be reached at 978.979.8052 or https://www.normanjailletphotography.com/. 44
to the extreme? Having an unflattering profile image is like showing up to a meeting half-dressed— something we’ve all been guilty of during those endless Zoom calls. Your headshot should capture you and make you look like the best version of yourself on your best day. Is Your Expression Missing in Action? Is your headshot giving off that “deer in the headlights” vibe? Do you look miserable? Does it exude confidence, credibility, and approachability? It’s not just about looking good—it’s about showcasing the right message about your personal brand. So, make sure your headshot reflects the awesome professional that you are. That Doesn’t Look Like Me! Are you sure? We all have our opinions on how we look, right? Embrace your face. Let’s make sure our headshots actually resemble us. Ditch the expressionless stare and bring on the confidence. Work with an experienced headshot
photographer and expression coach. Your headshot should look natural, authentic, and showcase the real you. Maybe you’re worried that you’re not photogenic? I’ll let you in on a little secret …. YES … YOU … ARE! You just never had a great headshot photographer provide that little bit of direction to find the best angle of your face. Not sure which side is your best side? Go to the mirror. Maybe it’s your left, or your right or maybe you’re equally cool on both sides or ambi-facial as we call it. I’m Ready for My Close-up Mr.
DeMille. Any actors out there? Your headshot is your personal movie trailer. You may have the talent but do you have the headshot that gets you in the audition door? It’s imperative to keep that acting CV updated, along with your updated looks. So, there you have it folks. In the digital world, your profile image is often the first thing people see. So, let’s make sure it’s not the last. The time has come to bid farewell to that outdated headshot of yours. Embrace change, seize new opportunities, and reflect the amazing person you are today. And remember, when you finally update that headshot, revel in the fact that you are now a living, breathing version of yourself—no longer an outdated relic. Now go out there, level up your game and let your headshot do the talking! Because when it comes to making a killer first impression, we’re all fully dressed and ready to impress, right? Cheers to updating! I
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A healthy choice HSAs: THE BENEFITS OF INVESTING IN YOUR HEALTH AND WEALTH
By Patricia Beckwith Constitution Financial Partners
health savings account (HSA) can help maximize your savings and supplement your retirement income. While everyone has distinct financial goals, there is one thing we can all agree on: Your best investment will always be your health. That’s why getting to know HSAs as a powerful healthcare savings tool can help you in your long term financial planning. Created as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug and Modernization Act of 2003 and rapidly growing in popularity, health savings accounts are a taxadvantaged way for individuals to save for healthcare expenses.
KEY FEATURES OF HSAS
ELIGIBILITY Anyone with an HSA qualified high-deductible health policy (HDHP) is eligible; it is not dependent on an employer offering. There are no income limits affecting eligibility. The HSA belongs to the individual, not the employer. An HSA can be set up with any qualified trustee or custodian. As long as an individual has not enrolled in Medicare Part A or B, they are eligible and may contribute to an HSA. Once an individual enrolls in Medicare, they may no longer contribute to an HSA. There is also a requirement that they not have any other health coverage or an FSA, and they cannot be claimed as a tax dependent on anyone else’s tax return. See IRS Publication 969 for full requirements. CONTRIBUTIONS In 2023, individuals can contribute $3,850 to an HSA and families can contribute $7,750. An individual over 55 can contribute an additional
$1,000 catch-up contribution for a total of $4,850 in 2023. If a spouse is also 55 they can contribute an additional $1,000 to their respective HSA for a total family contribution of $9,750 in 2023. Anyone can make a contribution to an HSA on another person’s behalf and, per IRS HSA rules, the account holder is the one who claims the deduction. There are no limits on the amount that can be carried forward each year. For qualified individuals, HSAs are the only type of tax-preferenced investment account that enjoys the benefits of tax-deductible contributions, tax-deferred growth of earnings and tax-free distributions (for qualified medical expenses). This triple tax benefit may super charge your retirement savings! INVESTMENT AND WITHDRAWAL STRATEGIES Individuals can invest the funds in bank accounts, money markets, mutual funds and stocks. They may not invest in collectibles, art, automobiles or real estate. A common funding strategy is to contribute to a 401(k) to receive the full company match, if offered, then switch to fully fund the HSA before maxing out 401(k) contributions. In most cases, this provides the most tax efficient way for assets to grow. Withdrawals from an HSA for qualified medical expenses are tax free. Non-qualified withdrawals are taxable as ordinary income plus a 20 percent penalty tax, with the penalty waived for: those over age 65 those who are disabled if withdrawn as a non-spouse beneficiary after the death of the HSA owner If a spouse is the designated beneficiary of an HSA, it will be treated as the spouse’s HSA after the owner’s death and continue the preferential tax treatment (including future tax-free withdrawals). If you are nearing retirement, you will also be glad to know that an HSA can help cover healthcare costs that Medicare does not – along with dental, hearing and vision expenses. Did you know the average, healthy 65- year- old couple is projected to need $351,000 specifically for healthcare in retirement? With comparable – and in some cases, better – perks that a 401(k) or IRA, your HSA can help you save and prepare. Cheers to your health and wealth! I
Patricia Beckwith is a branch manager at Constitution Financial Partners, LLC; Raymond James & Associates, Inc. | Member New York Stock Exchange/SPIC. Patti is a member of The Chamber’s Managing Board of Directors. 46
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With balance and clarity, AI can be an effecive marketing tool By Robin Samora We live in a dynamic, everevolving world where Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t just a sci-fi dream anymore; it’s the heartbeat of modern business. Everywhere you look, AI is flexing its muscles — from predicting what customers might buy to handling timeconsuming, repetitive tasks that used to eat up your workday. Although AI is pushing boundaries across almost every industry, it isn’t flawless. Its charm lies not in perfection but in its ability to adapt, learn, and evolve. Ever try to explain the
subtleties of your last vacation to a computer? Just like that’s tricky, AI finds it difficult to understand the intricate nuances of human relationships. So far, no algorithm can genuinely understand human emotions or foster relationships like we do – and that’s a good thing. It’s easy to see how the evolution of AI is an ongoing journey, transforming jobs, work, customer service, data – and is well on its way to planning your next vacation. As it learns from you and your input, it gets better, more precise, and even more intuitive. It’s a digital apprentice that’s growing and learning at a phenomenal rate – and can even make you laugh, if you train it to. While tools like ChatGPT are impressive, they’re almost like ultra-smart
assistants waiting for your input. The quality of their output is equal to the quality of your input. It’s like baking – your cake’s taste depends on the ingredients you use. Sometimes, this “baking” can lead to unexpected results. As marketers, consistency and clarity are two of our mantras, so it’s important to create our brand’s voice, tone, and messaging – and align it with our audience’s expectations. If the AI content seems a bit “off,” it’s up to us to set it right. Think about your digital library and the new content you need to produce. AI supercharges the content creation process, acts as a springboard, and takes your ideas and (hopefully) turns them into beautifully crafted words — with time, patience, and the right prompts.
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You can rewrite a LinkedIn profile with the touch of a button. Create landing pages, social media posts, book outlines, proposals, scripts, titles, blogs, FAQs, and checklists to name a few. In a sense, AI is the wind in our sails – that will drive sales. Every day the marketing landscape is bursting with new AI tools, each promising to be the next big thing. Marketers of every level can get a dose of inspiration. Craft personalized email campaigns. Optimize content for search engines. Even transform lengthy articles into bite-sized social media snippets. And if you’re ever in a creative rut, AI is there to jazz things up, whether it’s brainstorming catchy taglines or—believe it or not—whipping up the perfect meatball recipe. Just be careful, it’s not your family secret! So, what’s on the horizon for AI in marketing and business? It’s a question that’s sparked many a debate.
Will AI overshadow us? Will it take our jobs? Not really. Think of AI as a savvy assistant, ready to tackle the mundane while you focus on the creative. While it might automate some roles, it’s also paving the way for exciting new ones— roles we never would have dreamed of a decade ago. If you want to leverage the power of AI in your marketing strategy, use this three-step process: Precision is Key: The clearer and more specific your instructions, the
more accurate the AI’s output. Feed it well-defined prompts, and it will serve you well. Review and Refine: Always, always review AI’s work. If it’s a topic outside your wheelhouse, bring in an expert for a second look. And fact check, please. Add the Human Touch: At the end of the day, remember to add your unique voice and personality into the content. It should resonate with your audience and not feel like it was written by a robot. AI isn’t just about the future; it’s shaping our present. Just remember to use these tools responsibly. Protect your personal information, stay updated with evolving trends, and be open to the unlimited possibilities AI brings to the table. And, if you ever come across an AIgenerated meatball recipe, remember, it’s got nothing on grandma’s secret blend! I
Robin Samora is a marketing and PR consultant with over 20 years experience. As a marketing partner with the Massachusetts Express Grants program, she delivers marketing and PR training that’s reimbursed by the government. Follow her newest media channel, the Marketing Mambo, on LinkedIn or schedule a call to get her favorite prompts on social media – and Greek meatball recipe. Robin is a member of The North Shore Chamber of Commerce.
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FROM THE CUBICLE MOVEMENT BREAKS, HEALTHY EATING ARE KEY FOR MEN’S HEALTH
By Francis Walsh YMCA Metro North Shore
n today’s fast-paced business focused world, health and wellness has taken a back seat for many professionals who find themselves sitting behind a computer for 8 hours a day. As a recent college graduate and soon to be student once again, I have observed the lack of support and education of living a healthy lifestyle while also being a member of the workforce. In the field of men’s health, physical well-being and strength are obvious concerns, but other factors such as mental health and nutrition should not be overlooked.
In a typical 9-5 job, you could be sedentary for 8 hours straight as you complete assignments and tasks from the comfort of your
cubicle. However, just because you don’t have to move does not mean you shouldn’t. Hours of staring at monitors and sitting hunched over a keyboard can lead to plenty of negative health effects, from diabetes to depression. So, let’s start at square one. How can you get up and move around more during the day? Movement breaks. Whether it is two minutes of touching your toes or 10 minutes of jumping jacks, the important thing is to take a break to move. If you have to, set a timer every 55 minutes so you have the last 5 minutes of the hour to get up and move. Zoom Mobile. Let’s face it, everyone has turned their camera off and muted themself on a Zoom or conference call and done other tasks while in the meeting. So why can’t that other task be getting your steps in? If you are
Francis Walsh is a personal trainer for the YMCA of Metro North, and a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut with a B.S. kinesiology and sports nutrition. 50
getting your work done throughout the day and staying attentive enough on the call, there should be no reason why you can’t pop in some headphones and take a few laps around the office park. Gamify it. Everyone loves some healthy competition, so why not compete against your co-workers who are likely having a similar dilemma to you? Whoever gets the least number of steps in by the time everyone leaves the office buys lunch on Friday, or if you don’t get 5,000 steps by lunchtime you have to bring in coffee the next day. Whatever you decide, make it fun and inclusive so everyone can benefit from the new office fitness crew.
An obvious, but difficult lifestyle change you can make, is to keep a healthy diet. One of my favorite sayings is, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” You could run 5 miles a day, but if you’re eating two donuts, a burger and a milkshake every day those 5 miles don’t mean too much. On top of this, you may not be training much at all as discussed previously, which only exacerbates the importance of a good diet. Keep it simple. The key to any diet is consistency. The easiest way to make sure you are consistent is to keep your diet simple. If you make your lunch for the next day every night, and it takes you 45 minutes to prepare it and another 15 to clean up, you’re not going to want to continue to do it. Focus on whole foods that are simple to work with and avoid the foods that you know you cannot resist while they are in your house. Eating Out. Going out to eat is one of the most challenging issues to navigate for someone trying to lose weight or stick to a healthy diet. It is difficult
to browse a menu with no nutrition facts or labels, and it can make you feel hopeless. Once again, stick with whole foods and try to avoid any heavy sauces or fried foods. Alcoholic beverages are also one of the more calorically dense items on the menu. They contain no nutritional value; try to avoid those if you can. However, everyone needs balance so make sure to enjoy the night out with your friends and family. Enjoy it. If you want the cookie, eat the cookie. There is nothing worse than seeing food and thinking to yourself just like a robot would, “bad food -> cannot eat”. The 80/20 diet is a popular way of eating that represents about 80% of “healthy” foods while about 20 percent of the food you eat is “unhealthy” or at least a little but less healthy and more enjoyable to you than the 80 percent.
Ahhh, we have come to the topic every guy is afraid to talk about - the intimidating conversation of mental health. There is no reason this must be intimidating and hopefully over time you can also see why prioritizing mental health in the workplace can lead to a healthier and more productive employee. Take a break. Just like with physical activity, it is important to take a break from work for your mental wellbeing. Hours turn into days, which turn into years, and if you are doing the same job in the same office for this long it leads to burnout and decreased performance in the office. You are given vacation days for a reason. Do not try to be the office hero. Use your days off. It’s OK to not be OK. That’s a fact. Like the old saying states, “The first step to dealing with a problem is admitting that
you have a problem.” This is often the toughest battle you will face, especially in men. However, once you get over this hump, help is readily available, and you will feel in control once again. Talk about it. Once you have admitted to yourself that you need to work on your mental health, it is important to speak to someone that will listen, anyone. It could be your boss, lifelong best friend, a therapist, or in my case, your very attentive and concerned mother. Whoever this person is to you, they can be your rock and help you get out of this situation and come out stronger on the other side. Whether it is getting your steps in for the day, eating your meal-prepped chicken and rice from the night before, or talking to someone about what you are going through, people in the workforce cannot ignore their health and wellbeing anymore, especially with the variety of ways to improve it. Start with small changes that you are comfortable with, can stay consistent with and build on top of this. Nothing is more important than your own health, so stop putting it on the back burners and kick it into action! I
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ignity, respect, and healthy food for our Salem and North Shore neighbors. Recent data shows that one out of every three Massachusetts families struggles with food insecurity, and more than half of them turn to places like food pantries for help (Greater Boston Food Bank, 2023 Mass. Survey). These families are forced into making tough decisions, like choosing between having enough food or paying for their home, utilities, or medical care. Addressing this need for food security is at the core of The Salem Pantry’s mission: to work collaboratively to empower our diverse local and regional communities by ensuring the essential right to convenient and reliable access to healthy food. Pantries have been part of our foundation to address food insecurity and offer a sense of relief for families facing financial and other societal challenges. The conventional pantry model was built to provide families with emergency relief; however, the need has become increasingly more chronic for vulnerable members of our community. Additionally, the percentage of our community facing food insecurity continues to expand. In order to meet this rising need, The Salem Pantry takes a holistic and collaborative approach to providing food security. This includes building relationships with pantry guests, collaborating with Greater Boston Food Bank and local farm and wholesale partners. We also work creatively with institutional and non-profit organizations, advocating and partnering with our elected officials, and seeking ongoing support from our North Shore business community. A harsh reality of addressing food insecurity is that a considerable number of individuals in need of pantry services are reluctant to accept assistance. The stigma linked to seeking support, particularly from a food pantry, can directly affect someone’s sense of self-worth. Recognizing this, The Salem Pantry aims to create a pantry experience that is different from the conventional model. Our approach involves creating spaces that are respectful and inviting, where our guests feel dignified and
AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO NOURISHING THE COMMUNITY
By Kia Fernandes
Salem Food Pantry
comfortable. This opens a new door for many food insecure families who have not previously accessed food pantry services and keeps the door open for those battling with the lingering need for food. At the heart of The Salem Pantry’s mission is the belief that everyone deserves high-quality food. Often, pantry services can remove a person’s control over what they can offer to their families. Through our partnerships with local farms and wholesale partners, we can provide food that is well-balanced but also tailored to our guests’ specific needs and culturally aligned to the community we serve. This includes a large selection of fresh produce, regularly available dairy and egg products, protein options and prepared meals. By forming strong relationships with our guests, we make sure their opinions are reflected in the food choices we offer. As more members of our community participate in The Salem Pantry’s programs, our focus on high-quality food ensures that every guest gets the most out of every visit. The Market, our first brick-and-mortar
location, opened in April and has redefined a visit to the food pantry. In addition to offering a dignified experience and high-quality food, The Market prioritizes meeting people in a way that best meets their needs. By extending our service hours to weekends and evenings, we provide more opportunities for food access to the 900 families who visit The Market each week. In addition to our brick-and-mortar space, we work with our many partners to reach more community members through our mobile pantry program. The mobile pantry program reaches into areas where pantry services are most needed and allows families to conveniently receive support, right near their homes. This long-running program has an exciting improvement this fall through the addition of The Truck. The Truck, a mobile pantry on wheels equipped with refrigerated storage and a market style design, will significantly enhance the efficiency of our food distribution and allow us to reach even more families. The Salem Pantry continues to transform our approach to providing food, adapting to changing times. Fostering strong relationships with our North Shore business community is vital to be able to provide innovative and better service to our residents. Supporting The Salem Pantry means helping to provide real solutions to a problem that continues to grow. For more information on The Salem Pantry and to learn how your business can join us to support food security throughout our region, visit www.thesalempantry.org. I
Kia Fernandes is the marketing and communications coordinator for The Salem Pantry. 52
To alleviate cancer’s toll, look to manual therapy I
t seems like we all have had cancer touch us in some form or another, either directly or by way of someone we care about. The CDC has estimated that in 2023 roughly 2 million people in the United States will have had some form of cancer. It’s devastating news creating a downward spiral of emotions. If it’s a slow-growing cancer, then a “watchful-waiting” or surveillance approach is used until the cancer becomes more threatening. An invasive, aggressive type will warrant immediate scheduling with an oncologist. They, in turn, connect By Michealina the patient to a team of different Frackleton disciplines (ex: a nurse navigator, radiologist, rehabilitation and social InterPathway services) to help transition through Wellness this challenging time. The foundations of treatment are surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and immunotherapy. The oncologist will explain the impact from the prescribed treatment(s). A recommendation to those who are newly diagnosed, bring someone with you on your visits to help take notes so you can have an opportunity to process the information at a later time. Let’s look at a few of these interventions and what is expected to occur during and after treatments. If surgery is needed, they will remove the cancer. But, the surgeon will take a little more than the cancerous tissue and use the surrounding “healthy” tissue to check that none of the cancerous cells have spread. Lymph nodes are also removed. They too are evaluated to establish if cancer has traveled or metastasized into other regions. Chemotherapies may be used as the individual treatment or a component of adjuvant (in combination) therapy. Some of these chemos have the potential to create serious systemic side effects, even cardiomyopathy (an injury to the heart’s ability to efficiently pump blood). ChemInduced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN alters nerve sensations causing numbness and/or pain), nausea, loss of nails and/or hair, infections and blood clots can also occur. Speak with your oncologist to learn if manual therapy would be appropriate for you. It’s important to work with a therapist who has been properly educated in oncology, and has the awareness to observe these cautionary conditions. A trained therapist will know how to safely improve the effects like anxiety, pain, fatigue and nausea without causing harm.
Radiation functions to change the cell’s environment and ensure cancer cells cannot survive. But these changes impact the healthy cells too. The radiology team provides information on how to best manage your side effects during treatment. These measures are to prevent further damage to the soft tissue. Radiation fibrosis is the residual outcome post treatment. It limits the flexibility of the soft tissue within the field of radiation. Damage to deeper organs may occur and impact the quality of life of the patient. As necessary as each one of these treatments are to the patient’s survival there are significant tolls to the person’s physical, emotional, and spiritual health impacted with this life-changing event. So how can these be mitigated? Massage and Manual Lymphatic Drainage are two tools that address the challenges that come from cancer. Especially pain! The use of appropriate pressure and skin traction help calm the sensory nerve endings and decrease anxiety. After these treatments, it’s expected that the patient will experience some range of these symptoms. This will include pain, swelling, restriction of motion, fatigue, and change in organ function. Once the body has healed well, usually 8 weeks, from either the surgery or radiation, then manual therapy can be very instrumental. It can relieve the pain and the use of passive range of motion will enhance joint movement. Myofascial techniques will address the restrictions of scar tissue. A little known side effect to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation is Lymphedema. It is most associated with breast cancer, but actually any other cancer that is treated with these therapies are at risk. Risk factors increased with interruption of lymphatic vessels and the number of lymph nodes, the person’s weight, radiation, age and race. The gold standard of lymphedema is Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) which comprises Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), compression bandaging, skin care and exercise. MLD will ramp up the lymphatic fluid movement and direct it through alternative pathways away from the blockage. Skin care will help protect skin as the first line of defense of infections, Using compression bandages will reduce the volume of the swelling and exercise will initiate the muscle pump action keeping fluids moving. The overall purpose of manual therapy is to return the patient to their previous baseline of normalcy and to learning self care techniques to maintain their well being. I
Michealina Frackleton PTA, CLT, LMT, CPT, CES, NCBTMB, NLN Expert Clinician, is the founder of InterPathway Wellness in Amesbury. She is a member of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
Gen Z By Lesley Tracy
Changing Behaviors Consulting
he spotlight continues to shine bright on Gen Z as many members of older generations speculate and question on how to better relate to their younger colleagues and peers. Born between 1997-2012, members of Gen Z are unlike any other since they are digital natives. They were raised on devices since birth - in contrast, Millennials (1981-1996) experienced a period of living without devices. Other factors that set Gen Z apart include a preponderance and recognition of mental health issues and anxiety about the future - global warming, disruption caused by COVID, and disproportionate levels of debt due to education. The most significant business pain point caused by Gen Z (and Millennials) is the frustration and cost of retaining them. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests replacement costs can be as high as 50 to 60 percent of their salaries. For example, if an employee makes $60,000 a year, expect the replacement cost to be $30 to $45K. Below are six suggestions to increase your understanding of the needs of Gen Z and actions you can take to help them succeed.
Many Gen-Zers have never worked and need considerable guidance and structure during their first jobs. A friend of mine lamented about an intern who waltzed into work late, latte in hand, directing her attention to her phone. Before you are ready to pull your hair out, start the relationship with a frank conversation about expectations. Discuss their expectations and your own. Think of this as a contract.
This generation wants to be developed, which means learning new skills, having new experiences, and growing rather than stagnating in a repetitive role. Development can include training (it can be homegrown, such as Lunch and Learns, where a group reviews a leadership book). Or
if someone is doing a repetitive job, move them to other areas, even in a minor role. Inspire them with a project to lead or instruct them to improve processes in the job that they do every day. I know of a large company that extends a leadership program to new hires with the understanding that when employees learn leadership skills, they are better employees. This organization is promoting its values and remediating some of the deficiencies that Gen Z employees may have, particularly in soft, yet critical, skills. Another essential development tactic is mentoring, including reverse mentoring (where the organization’s senior members receive coaching on technology from Gen Z). Mentoring builds knowledge, relationships, and a sense of belonging.
If it takes years to progress to the next level (and Gen Z is very eager to contribute and progress), develop substeps (career ladders), in order to create forward movement. These should be transparent to everyone. Some companies make the whole performance review process transparent with clear criteria for promotion to the next level, minimizing personal bias. In this way, both the employees and the leaders know the parameters for promotion. Transparency is involved in other areas in terms of information sharing. For example, Gen Z wants to feel that they are making a meaningful contribution, and one way to do this is to communicate how their job fits into the organization’s larger mission.
Managers instruct employees on what to do and how to do it. Enter Gen Z, who frequently viewed their parents as friends and played a role in decision-making within their families, altering expectations of their place in the workplace hierarchy. Gen Z wants their leaders and managers to care about and know them, and to demonstrate interest in their careers. In addition, Gen Z desires face-to-face communication despite their background as digital natives.
MENTAL HEALTH AND LONELINESS
Lesley Tracy is the owner of Changing Behaviors Consulting in Marblehead, and is a member of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at Lesley@changingbehaviorsconsulting.com. 54
Much attention is focused on mental health, particularly since COVID-19. The taboo around the topic is slowly evaporating as Gen Z seeks help to overcome anxiety, depression, and loneliness in the face of stressors and uncertainties in the world today. Psychiatrist.com surveyed over 1,000 Gen Z, ages 18 to 24, and this is what they found: 85 percent of respondents say they are worried about the future. Nearly 90 percent of Gen Z say they do not feel set up for success, and 75 percent believe they are at a disadvantage compared to the older generations. The most common diagnosis for the younger generation is anxiety, followed by depression, ADHD, and PTSD. 42 percent of Gen Z have received a mental health diagnosis. One in five are in therapy. About 20 percent of Gen Z has been to therapy, and 60 percent are on medication to help manage their mental health. In the workforce today, loneliness has been identified in all generations. It is a driving force of depression and anxiety, representing an internal negative and critical belief system directed towards oneself, contributing to low productivity. A devastating effect of loneliness is when the inner critic starts
a feedback loop (I am not likable, I am destined to be alone, and something is wrong with me). Due to changing work conditions (in-person, remote, and hybrid), leaders and managers need to create social and group project opportunities to reduce loneliness so that people build bonds with co-workers to enhance their well-being and productivity.
SPOTLIGHT ON MIDDLE MANAGEMENT
Most employees leave their jobs because of poor managers. This behavior can include ignoring good work and just focusing on the errors, a lack of engagement, subpar management skills, poor communication, and negativity. Innovative organizations emphasize Emotional Intelligence for their managers and leaders in response to Gen Z, who desire competent, empathetic, and engaged managers and leaders. Too often, a terrific salesperson or technical person is promoted into management as a reward, only to be a poor fit for the role. While other generations might have been more tolerant, Gen Z is not, and many of them leave for a better work-life elsewhere. Managers interested in learning more about coaching younger professionals are encouraged to reach out to me to talk more. I
Important changes to FAFSA that families need to know By Brad Small Solomon Private Wealth
he Department of Education has described the recent changes to the FAFSA as the “most ambitious and significant redesign of the federal student aid application in decades,” aiming to create a more streamlined and user-friendly experience. As you may be aware, the FAFSA form is crucial for students applying for federal student aid, including grants, work–study funds, and loans. Even if you believe your family’s income disqualifies you, it is still recommended that your child submit a FAFSA form each year to provide financial flexibility. Additionally, the information provided on the FAFSA form is used by states and certain private aid providers to determine eligibility for additional assistance. NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
Typically, the FAFSA form becomes available on Oct. 1 of each year. However, for the 2024–2025 school year, the form will not be available until December 2023 due to the proposed changes. Once released, we recommend completing the FAFSA as soon as possible, as some states and colleges award funds on a first-come, first-served basis. The new FAFSA form from the Department of Education will have 46 questions, less than half of the previous 108 questions. In addition to this change, there are several other adjustments, including: The Expected Family Contribution will now be known as the Student Aid Index. Families with multiple children in college will no longer receive a discounted Student Aid Index. Small business owners and family farms will no longer be able to exclude certain assets from the eligibility calculation. In the case of divorced parents, the parent who has spent the most money on the child will complete
the FAFSA. Contributions made by grandparents and others from qualified college savings plans will no longer be taxed as the child’s untaxed income. The financial aid formula will be more generous to lower-income students. While covering the costs of higher education for your children or grandchildren may seem daunting, proper preparation can make it more manageable. It is important to remember that few students pay the full sticker price because college is expensive. Although college costs have doubled over the past 30 years, so have the financial aid packages and merit scholarships offered by colleges to students. If you would like to learn more about how to start preparing for college costs, please feel free to contact us. We have illustrations that show the advantages and disadvantages of various college-saving options. Brad Small is the founder and CEO of Solomon Private Wealth. He is on the Chamber’s Board of Directors. 55
The benefits of pet ownership ...AND HOW TO KEEP THEM HEALTHY
t’s no big secret that pets make our lives better! Anyone who has the privilege of caring for a pet understands the health benefits of having them in our home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), studies have shown that pet ownership can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, feelings of loneliness, and symptoms of PTSD, among other health benefits. As a veterinarian, I see the positive By Christie impacts of pet ownership every single D’Andrea, day. So many of our clients commuDVM nicate with our team or leave Google reviews about how their pet makes them Veterinary feel. Urgent Care Knowing this, it can be very stressful Center when our pets are sick. Our furry friends can’t communicate with us when their stomach isn’t feeling well, or if they are suffering from an ear infection, or if something more serious is happening. We, as owners, have to go by the actions of our pets to tell if something is off. That’s why it’s important to have a good understanding of the things you can do and the places you can go when you believe your pet needs to see a veterinarian. First and foremost, establish a primary care veterinarian. General practice veterinarians will help you with the long-term care and management of your pet’s overall health. You can get your pet’s annual wellness exam and updated vaccinations through your primary care veterinarian and they are best to manage weight, nutrition, and any long-term diagnoses. Understand what is an emergency and not an emergency, and know where to go. For very serious injuries and illness (i.e. hit by a car, major accident or large bite wounds, inability to stand or walk) please go to a 24/7 emergency medical center just like going to the hospital for yourself. For tummy troubles, ear and skin issues, UTIs, minor injuries, limping/lameness or anything that is nonemergent, you can utilize urgent care, like our location in Saugus. If you’re unsure, urgent care can help you find answers that same day. We can also be an option for
wellness exams if you’re having trouble getting into your primary care veterinary office or need a vaccine urgently for travel or boarding. Get pet insurance. Most major insurance companies have options for your pet, and when you really need it, it can come in handy. Ask your employer if they offer pet insurance as part of their benefits package. You can also purchase pet insurance independently. Shop around to get an understanding of what options are best for you and your pet. Consider your pet’s breed and age as these will affect cost. It is best to get pet insurance when your pet is healthy. The first few months of life are best, but anytime is better than never. I often see people in difficult positions. When advanced medical care is available, but very expensive, insurance lessens the pressure and burden of the medical costs on families. It allows us to provide the best care available without having to compromise that care based on cost. Business owners, talk to your insurance provider about including pet insurance as a benefit. It’s a great perk and recruiting tool! Understanding the veterinary landscape can be stressful. But with the basics, really knowing what to do in case your pet isn’t feeling well will benefit not only your pet, but you as well. If you have any questions you can always visit us at veturgentcare.com or at our Saugus location. I
Dr. Christie D’Andrea, DVM, is the founder of Veterinary Urgent Care Center. VUCC is a member of The North Shore Chamber of Commerce.
Creating a work wardrobe, piece-by-piece By Stephanie Scanlon Cabi fashion stylist
t cabi, we know that clothes can change lives. We bring style, confidence, and connection through personalized fashion experiences that celebrate us as individuals and as a community. Cabi showcases the season’s timeless, classic pieces inspired by the icons we look up to and their sophisticated, charming, and playful style.It empowers us as friends, supporters, entrepreneurs, to express our most authentic, iconic selves. Cabi was founded by 10 women 20 years ago in California. It has a major presence now in the United States, Canada and England. Not only were the quality and design of the clothes impressive but the philanthropic goals of cabi were inspiring. Their mission included giving back through the Heart of cabi Foundation. The company donates items during disasters here and abroad, and helps a woman entrepreneur receive an open door through building her business, and ending generational poverty (in partnership with Opportunity International). When I started my cabi business, a small business loan was awarded to a woman in the Phillipines to start a grocery store in her neighborhood. As an independent cabi stylist I have had the opportunity and privilege to work with women in achieving their best selves. Cabi’s motto is “affecting lives through relationships.” I started out 15 years ago hosting a neighbor’s first cabi event. We gathered and had so much fun, friendship and fashion. The clothes offer something for everyone. My focus has been working with women 40 and older. However my oldest client is 95, and my youngest is 33. I had an initial career in Social Service and then transitioned to software development. When my twins were born prematurely, I was able to take a respite and care for their special needs. Throughout the years I have supported friends with
their cabi business, but when COVID entered our lives, there was a change in me to pursue something that I was passionate and excelled at. Two and half years ago, I became a cabi independent stylist. Each season, I donate my services to causes near and dear. Some of my past initiatives have been the Ellie Fund during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Marblehead Harbor Rotary Club and the Philoptochos Women’s Group. Last summer, I attended an open house at the North Shore Chamber for new members. There, I was introduced to their intern, Elise Firth Gonzalez, a recent Salem State University graduate. I was struck by her quiet manner, grace and interest in all who attended. She was enthusiastic and ready to make connections. I decided that I would donate a new outfit to Elise, as my seasonal cause, to help her prepare for job interviews and her first professional job. Elise and I met to discuss her career goals and personal style. We decided on a cobalt blue and black pants suit and blouse with great style and versatility that would work to create professional Elise Firth Gonzalez, and personal possibilities. The blazer left, and Stephanie can be paired with a sheath dress for a Scanlon more dressed up look as well as pairing a white tee shirt and jeans for a more casual look. This outfit provides the foundation for a Capsule Collection that can be built upon with additional basic essential pieces. For young professionals who need to build their work wardrobe, a blazer and pantsuit are staple items for your closet. These versatile items can be turned to again and again, and paired with different accessories. A basic collection can start with five pieces that can be built upon as your budget allows. These items are three blouses/tops and two bottoms. Depending on your work/personal lifestyle, start with a white shirt, a black or navy sweater, a simple tee shirt ( white always works), black trousers and a pair of jeans. It’s not quantity but quality. Identifying exactly which pieces in your closet will pull double duty to create the perfect capsule wardrobe is a skill that takes time. Each item in every cabi Collection is designed to go the distance, easily pairing back not only to the rest of the current Collection but also to pieces from former seasons as well. The best of both worlds! With the collaborative team of Alejandra Kough from Rouge Cosmetics in Salem and photographer extraordinaire Louise Michaud also from Salem, a photo shoot was created to show off Elise’s new look. I
Stephanie Scanlon is a fashion stylist for Cabi, and a member of The North Shore Chamber of Commerce. NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
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Groom Construction was recently honored by the Boston Real Estate Times as the Construction Firm of the Year. B o s to n Re a l Estate Times is New England’s largest commercial real estate digital, print and video media. Groom Construction was founded in 1979 and incorporated in 1985 by the Grooms, Tom, Dave and Dwight, along with fellow principal Scott Faulkner.It remains a family-owned, full-service general contracting firm, offering preconstruction, construction management, design-build and general construction services throughout the United States. What began more than four decades ago as a residential firm quickly evolved into a national general contracting business synonymous throughout the Greater Boston area and now nationally, with the highest levels of construction excellence, quality and integrity. From high-profile university work to medical facilities, affordable housing to luxury condominiums, recreational facilities, banking, and national retail work, Groom Construction continues to align itself with customers who are looking for long-term relationships and future-forward partnerships. Baker Newman Noyes (BNN), a nationally recognized top 100 accounting and advisory firm, has announced three senior-level promotions in its Boston and Woburn offices. The promotions highlight managers and senior managers in the firm’s tax, assurance, and operations departments. “Supporting the growth and development of our people is a top priority,” said Dayton Benway, Managing Principal at Baker Newman Noyes. “These promotions are just one way we can recognize the great work of our employees and invest in their professional growth. Each of the individuals promoted this summer demonstrate excellent client service, a collaborative spirit, compassion, and a desire to continue to develop and innovate. I am proud to work alongside them and look forward to great things from each of them as 58
their careers continue to grow. ” Zachary Smargon, CPA, MSA, of South Boston, has been promoted to Manager in the assurance practice. Smargon has experience in the completion of annual audits for professional services, commercial, technology and nonprofit companies. Smargon earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting, and his master’s degree in accounting from The University of New Hampshire. Samantha Troegner, of Portland, Maine, has been promoted to Advisory Consultant in the assurance practice. Troegner specializes in delivering auditing services to both public and private companies in the biotechnology and life sciences industries. She has a particular focus in the area of internal controls, serving some of our largest internal control compliance engagements, specializing in detailed Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) testing. Troegner earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine. The following employees in the Boston office were also promoted: Kirsten Dionne, CPA, MSA, has been promoted to Senior in the assurance practice; Taylor Fredericks has been promoted to Senior in the business technology advisory practice; and Kyle Walsh, MSA, has been promoted to Senior in the assurance practice. Amanda Auriemma, C PA , of Wakefield, has been promoted to Manager in the assurance practice. Auriemma has experience providing audit services to clients in the commercial industries, banking and financial institutions, as well as a variety of benefit plans. In addition to serving clients, Amanda is a member of the BNN Training Committee, BNN Intern Planning Committee and BNN Women’s Steering Committee. She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
The following employees in the Woburn office were also promoted: Theresa Davis has been promoted to Billing Specialist in the operations department; Michael Famiglietti, CPA, has been promoted to Supervising Senior in the tax department; Kaitlin Marques has been promoted to Senior in the assurance practice; Athina Rodriguez, MBA, has been promoted to Supervising Senior in the tax practice; and Daniel Sheldon has been promoted to Senior in the tax practice. Matt Marmen, senior vice president in Salem Five’s Commercial Banking Division, has received the prestigious “Massachusetts Banker of the Year Award” from Bay Colony Development Corp. Bay Colony, a Certified Development Company (CDC), based its annual Award of Excellence on the number and amount of U.S. Small Business Administration 504 Loans issued during its 2023 fiscal year, which ended June 30. “Matt has been great to work with over the years, along with the rest of the commercial lending team and community business banking team at Salem Five,” said Erik Adams, executive vice president at Bay Colony. As a CDC, Bay Colony’s purpose is to stimulate economic development through the creation and preservation of jobs by providing healthy companies with fixed asset financing at affordable rates and reasonable terms. It’s a private non-profit corporation that works with bank loan officers, accountants, real estate brokers, attorneys and their clients to identify and structure the most beneficial financing program appropriate to the needs of the project. “Matt’s annually one of our top performers and has been a leader in partnering with Bay Colony to provide financial solutions for his customer base. Matt and the Bank have had a great working relationship with Bay Colony for many years, so it’s no surprise that his successful collaboration with them was recognized by the organization,” said Kevin Rourke, who leads the Commercial Banking Division at Salem Five. IMPACT MAGAZINE
We Are Banking on a Cure. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But for survivors, it is every single day. We celebrate those who have shown and continue to show courage and perseverance in facing cancer head on.
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Consultative sales training: The way to grow By Bobbie Antinarelli OpenDoor Sales Consulting & Training
very day, each of us is selling. This occurs whether we’re influencing our children to make better choices, making our own purchasing decisions, or growing our businesses. This requires probing questions, active listening, and thoughtful responses (and pauses) as we negotiate toward consensus. The communication skills required in the consultative sales approach offer value in work and in life. Not everyone buys this selling analogy due to disappointing, experiences with salespersons. These professionals were likely trained mostly in product knowledge and that if they had any sales training, it followed strict features and benefits rather than a consultative sales process.
Lay groundwork for sales success with structure, process, and a common sales language. Align communications to have consistent messaging. Initiate a prospecting program to generate leads to build a sales pipeline. Track opportunities in a customer relationship management system (CRM). Gather data that will help the leadership to assess performance, project revenue, and identify training needs.
Here’s where the difference lies. From the start, features and benefits salespersons focus on highlighting the full scope and advantages of their product or solution. Consultative salespersons build relationships and engage prospective clients in a dialogue to determine their needs and challenges. They communicate the value of their product or solution within the context of the interests and requirements they have taken time to learn. In my 25-plus years of sales experience with startup companies and those at critical growth phases, I learned the importance to implement structure and process to prospect for leads, track progress, and monitor success. Following a consultative sales process builds solid business relationships and lays the foundation for ongoing engagement and client retention and growth. As you consider implementing sales training to support your growth initiatives:
Commit to a relationship-centric, consultative model of selling rather than features and benefits model. Recognize the value to equip your sales persons with the communication skills and confidence to develop and nurture business relationships built on mutual trust and candor. This will enable them to have candid and challenging conversations (think, budgets!) that are required to close business.
Consider sales training as a key part of professional development. It’s helpful and effective not only for professionals for whom selling is their primary role, but also for those who support sales endeavors. Require that training is interactive and meets participants ‘where they are’ in terms of their roles and skill levels. Formalize these processes to build and enhance onboarding programs for new hires. I
Bobbie Antinarelli is an approved vendor for Commonwealth Corporation’s Express Program. Her prospecting and sales programs are reimbursable for Massachusetts companies. She is a member of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
Whole Wellness: It’s more than physical health By Courtney R. Lillie Soul Warrior Consulting
eing considered “well” can be challenging, for various reasons. Often, we are limited by focusing on just one portion of wellness. We aren’t viewing wellness from the macro-perspective. Many people believe that wellness is simply working out and eating well. But this
is just one small piece of wellness. If you want to feel good, we must take a step back and learn about wellness in a holistic way. In short, all eight aspects of wellness are important to live a balanced, whole life. So, what are the eight aspects of wellness? Physical Wellness Emotional Wellness Financial Wellness Occupational Wellness Environmental Wellness Social Wellness Intellectual Wellness Spiritual Wellness Some of these you might have heard of before, like physical and emotional wellness. Others might not be as familiar to you, like occupational or financial wellness. Wherever you are in your knowledge about holistic wellness is right where you’re supposed to be. We are always learning new things every day if we’re open to it (this is part of intellectual wellness). It’s important to note that many activities can touch many different aspects of wellness. For instance, if you regularly meditate this can touch emotional, intellectual, and spiritual wellness. Lifting weights can be
Courtney Lillie is an Intuitive Energy Healer and Reiki Master at Soul Warrior Consulting in Danvers. 62
physical and emotional wellness. Journaling can get into all aspects of wellness depending on what you’re writing about that day. With this in mind, let’s consider each aspect of wellness.
to manage it, building good credit, understanding your employee health benefits, and understanding your retirement options.
Physical wellness is the most wellknown aspect. It also can be the most misunderstood because many people view it on a very basic level as physical movement and eating healthy. Physical wellness means taking care of our physical bodies in whatever way feels good for you. Contrary to popular belief, physical wellness is not just working out and eating healthy. It also includes making sure you are hydrated enough, getting enough sleep, going to your preventative health appointments, managing your stress in a healthy way, and making sure you have good sexual health practices.
Occupational wellness is all about your career. It’s about your ability to explore various career options and find ones that you enjoy the most. It isn’t solely about the career you have currently, but also how you want to grow and change within the career path that you choose. It also includes finding the place or type of employment where you are able to express yourself, your ideas are heard, and your creativity is respected and utilized. Some ways that we can work on our occupational wellness are engaging in work that is interesting, having work-life balance, communicating and collaborating with others, and feeling inspired by your work.
Emotional wellness is another aspect that many people are familiar with and know there are many ways to positively increase it. Emotional wellness is being able to manage our emotions and adapt to the changes that life inevitably throws our way. This can include being aware of our emotions, being able to talk to others about your emotions, having a strong support system, setting appropriate boundaries with yourself and others, being able to relax and be present, and feeling content.
Environmental wellness is about our connection to the world around us. It helps us to connect with nature and stimulate healthy environments that surround us. This is one aspect of wellness that brings about community because taking care of our environments is sometimes bigger than just us. Some things that contribute to our environmental wellness are conserving energy, recycling, enjoying time in nature, creating an atmosphere that feels good to you, and learning about what types of environments you tend to thrive in.
Financial wellness is your ability to understand basic finances and making financial decisions that allow you to secure your future and enjoy life in the present. It is understanding the soul of money, sharing your assets with others (through philanthropy or investing), and helping those in need. Having a successful relationship with money is crucial in understanding behavior related to spending and saving. Interestingly, financial wellness is an integral part of the deep human connection. This is an area of wellness that may not be on everyone’s radar, but it can be one of the most important ones! Financial wellness includes things such as creating and managing a budget, learning about your debt and how NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG
Social wellness is another aspect that is bigger than us because it’s about community. It is defined as being able to build and maintain relationships and support networks. This area of wellness really helps us to understand that balancing our lives is really a team effort. Balanced social wellness can include reflecting on your social needs, keeping in touch with others, joining a group or club, volunteering in your community, active listening, and knowing your social limits.
Intellectual wellness grows as we are lifelong learners. It is being open to finding new ways to expand our knowledge about ourselves, others,
and whatever interests you. Some ways that we can improve our intellectual wellness are learning a new language, reading for fun, working on puzzles, playing games, playing a musical instrument, and creative writing or free writing.
Spiritual wellness is sometimes misunderstood. It is finding meaning and purpose in life and connecting with ourselves in a spiritual way. This may or may not include a religious aspect. We can improve our spiritual wellness by reflecting on our purpose, spending time in solitude, finding meaning in life, expressing gratitude, doing inner work such as working with your inner child or doing shadow work, feeling connected to a higher power whether that is your highest self, a mythical being, or a religious being. To be balanced in our wellness and in our lives, we should touch each of these aspects of wellness regularly. It can be simple and effortless if we believe it can be. Here are some more that we can utilize to be efficient in our self-care: Yoga (physical, spiritual, emotional) Meditation (spiritual, emotional, intellectual) Reading (intellectual spiritual, emotional, occupational) Walking (or running, jogging, or simply being) in nature (spiritual, physical, emotional, environmental) Learning how to effectively set boundaries (social, emotional, intellectual, occupational) Taking time for rest (physical, emotional, occupational, spiritual) Spending just a few intentional minutes per day on activities associated with our holistic wellbeing could be exactly what we need to feel connected to ourselves again. Any of these ideas can be added to your daily or weekly routines. For instance, you can try saying positive affirmations while making your morning coffee, practicing gratitude while brushing your teeth, listening to an audiobook or podcast on your commute, taking a friend along to your weekly yoga class, or meditating while out for your walk. I 63
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with the expectation that they would need it as they grew, and they would grow quickly. However, that has led to problems in the current market. Ogasapian says that for “lab/R&D tenants, economic market conditions have deferred expansion needs and, in many cases, caused users to put a portion of their space on the sublease market.” In some cases, nearly half a property’s square footage is up for sublease. In amendments and new leases, Ogasapian recommends that lab landlords “focus on tenant credit and annual increases in any new lease or renewal” as the rental rate over the
Going into the COVID era, lab space tenants frequently leased more space than they needed at signing,
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their asset type and geography. With lots of new construction in greater Boston and strong demand for industrial space throughout the region, Ogasapian says that for industrial spaces, “the renewal provision should reflect that the valuation take into account lease comps for area buildings not only of a similar type, but year built as well.”
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term will typically be “a function of the improvement costs.” Given the issues lab tenants are facing, they should look carefully at their lease terms governing subleases, particularly how they share profits with the landlord. Per Ogasapian, lab tenants “that look to sublease will typically build out entire premises and set aside a position of that as a mix of furnished and built lab with some office. The rental rate typically does not include any furniture, fixtures, and equipment and therefore should be accounted for as reasonable transaction costs not to be shared as profit.” I
Answers to your most common Social Security questions By Brad Small Solomon Private Wealth
ocial Security, the program you may have spent a lifetime paying into, is designed to offer stability, supplemental income, and other valuable benefits that can play a role in your overall financial strategy after you retire. However, the complexity of these benefits tends to generate several frequently asked questions. Here are a few high-level answers to some of the most common questions we’ve received. When Can I Start Collecting Social Security Benefits? You have the option to claim Social Security as early as age 62. However, your monthly Social Security retirement benefit could be larger by staying in the workforce longer. If you wait until your full retirement age (which varies from 66 to 67, depending on your birth year), you can receive 100% of your monthly retirement benefit. An added advantage of delaying beyond your full retirement age is that the Social Security Administration increases your benefit by up to 8 percent for each year you wait (up to age 70). How Does Social Security Impact My Retirement Cash Flow? While you may have a variety of sources of income to tap into during retirement, Social Security should not be overlooked when preparing your distribution strategy. Here’s a hypothetical example that outlines what it might take to replicate the income you could receive from Social Security: Assuming an annual benefit in 2023 of $30,000, you’d need to invest approximately $1,000,000 in an investment vehicle that yields 3% to generate that type of income. Remember, this is a hypothetical example used only for descriptive purposes. It’s not representative of any specific investment or combination of investments. It’s used to describe the cash flow potential of a Social Security benefit.
Is Income From Social Security Taxable? Social Security benefits are taxable, and the rate is based on your income. The Congressional Research Service found that the percentage of all tax returns with taxable Social Security benefits reached 33% in 2017 (the most recent data available). This percentage is expected to increase to more than 50% by 2046. In 1999, fewer than 8% of all taxpayers reported taxable Social Security benefits. When Should I Start Taking Benefits? Deciding when to begin taking Social Security is a critical decision and one of our most common questions. It may seem straightforward, but it’s more complex than it looks. You’ll want to consider your employment status (if you’re still working), your health, and if you’re married and if your spouse anticipates drawing benefits. This is an important decision, so we’re here to help you better understand how Social Security plays a role in your overall retirement distribution strategy. If you or anyone you know have questions about Social Security and its role in your retirement strategy, we’d love to schedule a time to discuss the specifics of your situation. Our team is passionate about helping clients understand Social Security and highly experienced in showing individuals and families how they can make informed decisions that can positively impact their financial future. I
Brad Small is the founder and CEO of Solomon Private Wealth and a member of The Chamber’s Board of Directors.
YOUR IMPACT DAVID EIDLE, Senior Vice President/Regional Manager/ Massachusetts Business Banking for M&T Bank
‘I took every opportunity that was given to me’ By Katie Lovett Your Impact Growing up in Poughkeepsie, New York, and later, as a student at Marist College, Dave Eidle figured he would enter a career where he could foster his mathematical abilities. “I was thinking of maybe teaching,” he recalls. But, life had other plans. One night after graduating from Marist in 1985, he met a girl who was a senior at Vassar College. She was from Everett and her name was Ivy O’Keefe. Dave spent that summer in Massachusetts, staying with a friend who was in graduate school at UMass Amherst, and worked at a house painting job. He didn’t love the job, but he loved that it let him be closer to Ivy. Growing tired of painting houses, Dave pursued an opportunity at Bank of New England to enroll in their credit training program. That training program was intense, Dave remembers, and participants rotated through three different departments before being placed at the end in the area where they showed their strength. For him, it was loan operations, which wasn’t a surprise given his aptitude for numbers. Nearly four decades later, Dave and Ivy recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary, and he is enjoying a laudable career as the Senior Vice President, Head of Business Banking, Massachusetts, at M&T Bank. Dave’s 38-year career in banking has spanned across a number of different institutions and different areas. He followed the advice and leadership of his mentor, Pat Sullivan, who took Dave under his wing when they first crossed paths at Sovereign Bank 20 years ago. Soon, Dave was Pat’s right-hand man at Legacy Banks in Pittsfield, where Pat 66
had been appointed as President & CEO. Dave commuted several days a week from his family’s home in Middleton to gain the experience of helping Pat run a publicly traded bank. When the bank was sold to Berkshire Bank, Dave stayed on as an executive before seizing an opportunity to become the Chief Operating Officer at Everett Bank. He was tasked with growing the bank, which was operating out of one location in Everett and losing its core customer base to the North Shore communities. After five successful years in Everett, Dave was again approached by Pat, who was the Massachusetts President for Peoples United Bank, now M&T Bank. Pat presented Dave with an opportunity to build a Business Banking team on the North Shore from scratch. That was 6 years ago and that opportunity has grown into Dave’s current role as Head of Business Banking for M&T Bank, the 20th largest bank in the country. “It’s been an amazing journey,” Dave says. “I took every opportunity that was given to me. I come from a family who deeply valued education and instilled in me a strong work ethic. I was also very fortunate to latch onto some pretty smart people along the way.” Today, Dave aspires to be that mentor for young professionals. When he was approached by Karen Andreas with the Chamber’s vision for a young professional’s program, and asked to sponsor it, Dave didn’t hesitate. He immediately committed M&T to become the Chamber’s Platinum Sponsor for the Emerging Leaders. “It really resonated with me,” he says. “I wouldn’t have the career I have without mentors, networking, and people guiding me along the way.” At M&T, Dave strives to encourage and educate his younger staff. When he and his colleagues are long retired, Dave says, it will be that group who he wants
to see take the helm. He wants them to grow and succeed in their careers, but more importantly he wants them to stay here and not move elsewhere. “The North Shore is such an incredible area to live, raise a family and work, and I have been so blessed to be able to do all three,” Dave says. What skill do you consider to be your greatest asset? Being a good listener. What quality do you admire most about yourself? Loyalty. I believe my loyalty has had a huge impact on my career and success. What makes a good leader? Someone who projects confidence, is a good listener, is empathetic and an effective communicator. What brings you joy? Seeing my team succeed and my employees grow in their roles. What advice would you give to young professionals just starting their careers? Put the time in, work hard, ask questions if you don’t understand something, be visible and most importantly, find a mentor. What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you? I rowed Division 1 Crew at Marist College. How do you make an impact? By being a passionate leader and collaborator who creates a culture of transparency where people can thrive by empowering them to take ownership of their roles. I IMPACT MAGAZINE
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