North Shore Chamber of Commerce Impact Magazine - June 2022

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North Shore Chamber of Commerce  IMPACT MAGAZINE  June 2022 • Volume 2, Edition 2

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JUNE 2022

— Ta


There’s only one way to run your business.

Your way.

A bank is a bank until you walk into our bank. At People’s United Bank we take pride in being leaders in the communities where we live and work. Whatever your business goals may be, People’s United Bank can help you go even further. We’re a full-service bank with the resources of a large bank and the personalized service of a local bank. We welcome the opportunity to talk to you about how your business could benefit from our relationship-based approach and share insightful information about your industry.

Let’s Talk. David Eidle SVP, Business Banking 978-624-1088

©2022 People’s United Bank, N.A. | Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender


Serving the health insurance needs of GIC members for over 30 years Introducing the UniCare heart — a reminder of what matters most. For self-funded plans, claims are administered by UniCare Life & Health Insurance Company. © 2000-2020 UniCare.





Connect with us Reader and advertiser services  Tell us your story 

Impact Magazine is focused on highlighting the work of The Chamber’s member businesses through articles written by our team to columns penned by our members themselves. Contact Editor Sonya Vartabedian with your story ideas at 978-774-8565, Ext. 103.

 Share news and photos 

Launching a new product? Introducing a new service? Celebrating a milestone or achievement? Welcoming a team member? Send your press releases, along with high-resolution (300-dpi, jpgformat) photos, to sonya.vartabedian@ to feature in an upcoming issue.

 Advertise with us 

Impact Magazine is distributed in print to Chamber members and others across the North Shore. It’s also available online to thousands more as an e-edition. We offer a variety of advertising opportunities, and can create a focused campaign that best suits your needs. Contact Cheryl Begin, director of sales and marketing, at 978-774-8565, Ext. 101, or cheryl.begin@

 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. Contact Cheryl Begin at cheryl. to join.

 Give us your feedback 

If there’s something you’d like to see in our pages, let us know. If there are areas we can improve on, we want to hear that, too. Your input will ultimately drive our future and allow us all to make an impact together.

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NORTH SHORE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 5 Cherry Hill Drive, Suite 100 Danvers, MA 01923 978-774-8565


Promoting a summer of hope and gains


elcome summer, my favorite time of year. We’re blessed to live here on the North Shore, where there’s no shortage of beaches, restaurants, boutiques and breweries. Not sure about you, but I’m ready for some golf, outdoor dining and shopping in our trendy downtowns. That said, I’m also bracing for much higher prices and longer waits, as businesses continue to deal with skyrocketing costs for everything from paper plates to chicken, and significant staffing shortages. Inflation has reached a 40-year high, and we’re feeling the pain. The good news is that we’re expecting a very busy summer here on the North Shore, with many residents planning for stay-cations. The soaring price of gas will keep many close to home, opting to shop and eat local rather than travel far away. Our summers are short, so we must make the most of them. And, the state must do more to ensure our business community thrives during this very important revenue season. The state is flush with billions of unexpected tax revenue, which should be reinvested specifically to help those businesses — namely restaurants and retailers — that suffered tremendously due to government-imposed COVID mandates. As Jon Hurst points out in this issue of Impact, the state should invest in promoting destinations like the North Shore to both residents and tourists. Hurst, of the Retail Association of Massachusetts,

also calls for muchneeded tax cuts, saying “the state should make it a priority to put dollars back in the pockets of taxpayers — who are our most important consumers.” The Chamber is hard at work advocating for you, Chamber our members, on President issues such as tax and CEO relief, which affect your bottom line and quality of life. We’re active on much-needed unemployment reform, energy policy and transportation solutions. We want our employees to afford housing here, have access to outstanding education and training, and have the means to get to and from work. Rest assured that your Chamber’s professional staff and Board of Directors are tireless champions for you, our member businesses. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to let us know your opinions and concerns. We are here to help. I hope to see you soon, perhaps at our July 18 golf tourney or on the Beauport’s deck at our July 28 after hours. I’m looking forward to a busy, fun and rewarding summer here on the North Shore. Thank you for your valued Chamber membership. I

Karen Andreas

Karen Andreas is president and CEO of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. Call her anytime at 978-774-8565, Ext. 105, or email IMPACT MAGAZINE



PEAK SEASON Tourism and the regional economy Summer brings high hopes for the hospitality and retail industries on the North Shore as they seek to attract visitors and locals alike. We highlight what’s at stake for the business community amid labor shortages, rising costs and supply challenges.

HOSPITALITY Solutions to staffing woes are essential for the hospitality sector to fulfill the demands of an eager clientele. By Will Sinatra. Page 6


TALENT PIPELINE The Advanced Manufacturing Training Program aims to create a skilled workforce. By Beth Francis. Page 12

JUNE 2022


SONYA VARTABEDIAN sonya.vartabedian@ Director of Sales & Marketing

ROBYN PREGENT robyn.pregent@ Administrative Coordinator

KAY EISENSTEIN kay.eisenstein@ Interns

ELLIE MURPHY Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina JONATHAN PELLERIN Bertolon School of Business, Salem State University Creative Design



SOCIAL MEDIA: Your 2022 guide to all things social media. By Michael Sperling. Page 14 CYBERSECURITY: Protecting your business from cyberattack calls for a team approach. By Jason W. Dallas. Page 15

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS: Plan ahead to find the right buyer — at the right price. By Michael A. McEntee. Page 30

KAREN E. ANDREAS karen.andreas@

Operations Manager

Businesses need the support of consumers, the state to capture critical tourism dollars this summer. By Jon Hurst. Page 8

RETIREMENT PLANNING: A primer on selecting the right plan for your business. By Patti Beckwith. Page 28

President and Chief Executive Officer

CHERYL BEGIN cheryl.begin@


HONOR SCHOLARS 2022 Celebrating the top 5 percent of the North Shore’s high school graduates. Page 18

DOLLARS AND SENSE Credit for Life Fair prepares students for a future of financial wellness. Page 24

CONFIDENCE BOOST Appreciating your value and true worth are paramount to success. By Bernadette Butterfield, Thrive. Page 32

PEOPLE POWER A belief in its employees has been the foundation for CM&B’s success for 30 years. Page 36



PLANNER: Mark your calendar for a host of Chamber happenings. Page 4 NEW MEMBER WELCOME: Look who is joining our growing network. Page 40 BRIEFCASE: Check out the latest news from our Chamber members. Page 42 FACES & PLACES: Catch a glimpse of some recent Chamber events. Page 44 YOUR IMPACT: Ahora Inc. CEO and co-founder Samanda Morales is committed to empowering others to achieve their dreams. Page 48 ON THE COVER: Visitors fill the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall area in downtown Salem on a late spring day. Photo by Jonathan Pellerin 3


For a complete Chamber calendar and details on signing up for any of our events, visit




Annual Summer Golf Outing

Enjoy a day of golf, boxed lunch, awards dinner, prizes, raffles and networking at one of the region’s top private courses. All levels of play are welcome for this fun day on the links. Ipswich Country Club 148 Country Club Way, Ipswich Noon-6 p.m.



Business Insight Breakfast Forum




More details to come. Hawthorne Hotel 18 Washington Square West, Salem 7:30-9 a.m.

Red, White & Blue Party Hosted by Thrive

Show your patriotism and celebrate America while Networking for a Cause with Thrive on the oceanside terrace of the Beauport Hotel. Thrive will be collecting items to assist veterans in the region. This event is sure to be a summer highlight. Beauport Hotel 55 Commercial St., Gloucester 5-7 p.m.




Second Annual Diamond Awards

Join us as we celebrate the achievements of extraordinary women in business on the North Shore at our second Diamond Awards Breakfast. Kernwood Country Club 1 Kernwood St., Salem 7:30-9 a.m.






Chamber Annual Dinner Save the date for our annual event honoring the Chamber’s Distinguished Leaders, celebrating the year’s accomplishments and highlighting plans for 2023. Danversport 161 Elliott St., Danvers 5-8 p.m.

Thrive Speaker Luncheon

The Chamber’s initiative to empower women in business to succeed personally and professionally hosts its quarterly luncheon program. Stay tuned for an announcement on our prominent special guest speaker. Spinelli’s Route 1 South, Lynnfield 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 5



... WITH A SIDE OF PATIENCE By Will Sinatra MassHire/North Shore Workforce Board Our thoughts turn toward lobster rolls and iced tea as summer warms the air. It’s time to go whale watching on Cape Ann, visit a museum in Salem, or enjoy a simple evening at your favorite Peabody restaurant. The hospitality industry provides us with the means to revel and make merry. This summer, however, we’ll continue to notice a difference at some of our favorite establishments — namely, longer wait times and higher prices. Inflationary forces and labor shortages continue to

impact the industry. Inflation is a problem throughout the country as fuel, food and goods continue to rise in cost. The Federal Reserve can fend off domestic inflation by slowly raising the interest rate paid on reserve balances. But is does little to control inflationary costs caused by forces outside the United States, such as the war in Ukraine and an uneven global pandemic recovery. Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat and the war has disrupted the country’s exports and current growing season. Meanwhile, India has banned all wheat exports in response to predicted wheat shortages. Both actions have inflationary effects on food costs here in the U.S., as the market responds to a limited supply. The net effect is that we see higher costs at the grocery store and restaurants.

Will Sinatra is an economic consultant for MassHire/North Shore Workforce Board. 6



Let’s take a closer look at employment statistics. The most recent stats from the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development show there were 3.64 million jobs in Massachusetts in April. This is up 20 percent from the height of the pandemic — with 602,700 new jobs added statewide since April 2020. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic caused huge disruptions, especially in the hospitality industry, which is now busier than ever, yet still trying to fill many open positions. Specifically, the hospitality industry added 181,000 jobs since the height of the pandemic in April 2020, with 328,400 total employed as of this April. The North Shore’s statistics mirror the trends throughout the state. During the past 90 days, there were 1,626 hospitality job openings posted online on the North Shore, with more than 30,000 across the state. The top hospitality postings for the North Shore are: Waiters and waitresses: 178 postings Food preparation workers: 153 postings


Jonathan Pellerin photo

Next to fall, summer is the busiest season for the Salem Witch Museum.

Food service managers: 147 postings Restaurant cooks: 82 postings Food preparation supervisors: 81 postings Yes, we’re all waiting longer for our lobster rolls because the hospitality industry is still trying to fully staff their establishments.


Massachusetts is also in the midst of an overall labor shortage. The working-age population in Massachusetts — ages 15 to 64 — declined by about 14,000 workers from 2020 to 2021. This was preceded by nearly a SEE PAGE 10


Capturing the consumer



he summer season is here and with it comes the opportunity for businesses to boost sales from our resident consumers and tourists. Unlike the last two years, government restrictions are gone. Yet, severe challenges still remain from damaging inflation, product deficiencies and staffing shortages. It’s clear that consumers and tourists


are returning to the region. Yet, how long they can continue to spend and contribute to local sales is uncertain, given their dollars simply aren’t going as far as they did even one year ago. The retail sector across the Commonwealth employs over half a million residents. These workers operate out of approximately 70,000 locations small and large — from Main Street shops, cafes and fine dining establishments to larger businesses located in regional shopping and dining destinations. Those sellers serve consumers, and those consumers represent 70 percent of the economy. Most of our consumers are local residents. But in many regions, it is the visitors who can make

or break the profitability of the business community. Tourism is an important part of the retail sector on the North Shore, as it is on Cape Cod and the islands, in Boston and throughout the Berkshires. Likewise, the retail sector represents an important contributor to the entire tourism industry, as shopping and dining are consistently the most frequent activity of visitors. Attractions and lodging are often viewed as the backbone of the tourism industry. But without robust local dining and shopping options, there will be fewer visitors and they will have less of an impact on our consumer-driven economy. Like our local stores and restaurants, hotels, museums, arts venues and other attractions have been through a twoyear period like no other in memory. From government-imposed shutdowns and severe restrictions, to messaging that dampened consumer spending and investment, small businesses serving tourists have been hit with lower sales, followed by increasing costs. The consumer goods and services


sectors have recently seen double-digit percentage increases in payroll and benefit costs, shipping costs, inventory wholesale prices, utilities and other operational expenses. Every small business is facing the tough dilemma of how much of those higher costs they can pass on to their local customers and tourists, without dampening sales and profitability. Consumers are starting to show signs of being tapped out due to higher gas, food and other costs, coupled with concerns with lower 401k values and Courtesy photo higher interest rates. They’re losing The Hawthorne Hotel in downtown Salem confidence. Although family vacations has welcomed guests to the region every will likely continue through the sumsummer for nearly a century. mer given pent-up demand from the pandemic, there are signs that consumers are buying down on goods as prices targeting both out-of-staters and our have increased and disposable income own local consumers. has dropped. The state should invest in advertising The Retailers Association of Massaefforts to promote destinations with chusetts counts hundreds of members unlimited shopping, dining and enteron the North Shore that rely on tourtainment opportunities. 1 3/10/22 12:16 PM ism to drive their local economies. In CAST_NSC22.pdf In addition to working to woo contimes when consumer confidence is ratsumers, the state should also make it a tled, travel distance is often curtailed. priority to put dollars back in the pockIt becomes all the more important ets of taxpayers — who are our most that marketing efforts are increased, important consumers. Tax cuts would

be a timely investment that would help both families and our consumer-serving small businesses. This August, Massachusetts will celebrate our annual Sales Tax Holiday. The initiative generates hundreds of millions in local sales in exchange for a very small two-day sales tax suspension. We should promote this year’s event as an important investment in pushing back against inflation and giving tourists another reason to visit this summer. Additional tax cuts — such as Gov. Charlie Baker’s comprehensive proposal that benefits taxpayers at all stages of their lives — would keep hundreds of millions of tax dollars in the pockets of our families. Those dollars can, in turn, be spent at small businesses and destinations across the state. Now is the time to reinvest some of the billions of dollars of the state tax surpluses back in families and small businesses. Our elected leaders should show their support of tourism and Main Streets by allowing the state’s consumers to decide how best to spend their hardearned tax dollars for their families. I Jon Hurst is president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.









at the Peabody Essex Museum Give your company, employees, and clients the opportunity to experience the museum’s captivating and dynamic exhibitions, attend unique events and programs and receive exclusive behind-the-scenes access. 161 Essex Street | Salem, MA |



By the numbers The hospitality industry is by far among the lowest-paying sectors on the North Shore. Here are employment and wage statistics for the North Shore by industry: Weekly Employed Wage Professional/Technical Services 8,127 $1,904 Manufacturing



Educational Services 15,450

$1,193 Jonathan Pellerin photos

Health Care/Social Assistance 34,257 $1,094

Chamber Board of Director member George Carey, owner of both Finz Seafood & Grill and Sea Level Oyster Bar in Salem, has said hiring staff remains one of his biggest challenges.




Source: Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, Employment and Wage Data, June 2021



decade of slowing and stagnating working-age population growth. Fewer workers means that companies are competing for employees. The

companies that offer the best compensation and work/life balance will have the greatest opportunity to employ the most sought-after employees. The North Shore’s high-wage industries offer an average $1,500 weekly


pay. These companies are vying for workers alongside the hospitality industry, which pays an average $544 weekly wage.


How can we alleviate employment challenges now that there is increased competition for workers? We can look toward teens, retirees and immigrants to fill the gaps in the labor supply. The North Shore labor force participation rate was 66.5 percent in 2019, which is the most recent data available from the U.S. Census Bureau. Teens ages 16 to 19 accounted for 46 percent of that total, with mature workers making up 30 percent. There appears to be an opportunity to encourage further labor-force participation from each group to fill industry staffing niches. Another possible solution to the staffing shortage is increased immigration, which has stagnated in Massachusetts. The number of legal permanent residents (green card holders) in Massachusetts was 340,000 in 2021. This number has remained the same for the past nine years, according to the Department of

Located on historic Pickering Wharf, the Salem Waterfront Hotel caters to a tourist and function crowd all summer long.

Homeland Security. Developing strategies to restart the immigration pipeline to Massachusetts would help alleviate staffing shortages with ready-to-work laborers. In the meantime, we will need to bring

our patience with us when we dine out as the hospitality industry works toward getting fully staffed. How long we are ultimately kept waiting rests with us as we work together to create solutions to the staffing shortage. I

Your Hard Work Changes Lives We are inspired by the courage, compassion and dedication of our colleagues caring for patients and promoting health in our communities. For all the ways you go above and beyond every day,

thank you.






By Beth Francis Essex County Community Foundation


hanks to a collaborative workforce development initiative launched on the North Shore in 2019, an estimated 305 newly trained workers will enter the advanced manufacturing workforce by the end of the year. These workers will help close hiring gaps for area companies challenged to fill open jobs. Several factors — including an aging labor force, misconceptions about the manufacturing industry and a lack of training in the now highly technical field — have threatened the employment pipeline for the nearly 500 manufacturing companies doing business on the North Shore. Nationwide, manufacturing skills gaps could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030, according to a 2021 study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute — the workforce development and educational partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. But locally, the Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program has been changing the tide in an industry flanked by innovation and technology. AMTEP is a systems-change effort that aims to train 900 adult learners and high school students by 2025. It is focused on ensuring a ready-to-work pool of skilled labor for local manufacturing companies. At the same time, it provides the promise of good wages, career growth potential and a path to a stable financial future for unemployed or underemployed workers in our region. “This training movement on the North Shore is colossal and proudly leading the state’s pipeline initiatives,” says Kate O’Malley, AMTEP program manager at the MassHire North Shore Workforce Board, the backbone organization of these efforts. “It’s growing our advanced manufacturing workforce

Courtesy Essex County Community Foundation

At Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School, adult learners receive hands-on training through the Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program.

on the North Shore, and it is supported by open and highly motivated partnerships that are paramount to our region’s economy and sustaining a vibrant industry for the long term.” Participation in AMTEP is free. The program offers more than 400 hours of technical training, accessible and flexible schedules and post-graduate support, including job placement opportunities facilitated by MassHire. More than 80 percent of AMTEP students secure jobs after completing the program. “AMTEP is helping to fill a void of trained manufacturing staff for the industry as well as providing a career path for these trainees,” says Charlie Anastos, vice president of operational excellence at Harmonic Drive, LLC, a Beverly company that manufactures gearheads, gear component sets and servo actuators. “Successful graduates from these programs have demonstrated their commitment to their craft, which, in turn, minimizes the risks to their future employers. We as employers can be comfortable knowing that these candidates are worth the investment in their future development.” AMTEP is funded by the GE Foundation, with fiduciary and strategic support provided by Essex County Community Foundation and critical infrastructure investments from the state. “But the list of partners that makes AMTEP successful is long,” says Stratton Lloyd, Essex County Community

Beth Francis is president and CEO of Essex County Community Foundation. 12


Learn more For details of the Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program, email program manager Kate O’Malley at Foundation’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “And by focusing on collaborative improvements across the entire system, including capacity expansion at area technical schools, maximizing enrollment through outreach and by bringing local employers into the fold, we’re creating a training and hiring process that we can adapt to the evolving needs of local workers and employers.” Among those partners are North Shore Community College and Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School, which offer training opportunities through the program. The end goal is about creating a sustainable solution. “The AMTEP program is one key to long-term manufacturing success in

the region,” says John Flinn, vice president and general manager of Innovent Technologies. The Peabody-based precision machining company has relied heavily on the machining, welding and electromechanical assembly training programs. Of the 106 students who completed AMTEP training in 2021, 61 percent were students of color, 13 percent were women and 55 percent were over the age of 30. The average starting wage was $22 per hour. “I have gained many opportunities from this program: education, experience and, most important, networking,” says Jonathan, a 2021 graduate of the Essex Tech Adult Machining Program. “AMTEP has given me more opportunities to seek and explore as well.” Students that have participated in the program say they now have the ability to live comfortably, support their families and have a fulfilling and rewarding career with room to grow. “Never think you’re too old or not smart enough to learn something that can drastically change your life for the better,” says Toccara, who also graduated from the Essex Tech Adult

Partners in training Here are some of the participants in the Advanced Manufacturing Training Expansion Program that make the initiative possible: GE Foundation North Shore Community College Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School Lynn Vocational Technical School Gloucester High School CTE(Career/ Vocational Technical Education) E-Team Machinist Training Program MassHire North Shore Career Center MassHire North Shore Workforce Board North Shore AMTEP Industry Advisory Committee Northeast Advanced Manufacturing Consortium Municipalities of Salem, Lynn and Gloucester State of Massachusetts Area employers Essex County Community Foundation Machining Program in 2021. “As long as you stick to the program, it will be the best decision you ever made.” I

Strong Lines. Strong Ties.

Connolly Brothers, Inc. is a construction management firm serving private commercial, industrial, and institutional clients. A five-generation family business established in 1880, Connolly is based in Beverly, Mass. and operates throughout the New England region. For more than a century, clients have turned to Connolly to handle all aspects of their construction projects, from planning and design to real estate development. More at

152 Conant St., Beverly, Mass. 01915 NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG

978-927-0053 13




By Michael Sperling Sperling Interactive


ore than half the world — approximately 4.62 billion people — is using social media regularly. In the last 12 months alone, 424 million new users have come online. On average, those users spend two hours and 27 minutes a day scrolling and reading. These statistics show how powerful social media can be as a marketing tool for your business in 2022. So what’s the best way to capture your audience? Start with a strategy.

Before you jump into creating posts for your business, it’s important to take some time to strategize, including asking yourself three key questions.

What’s your ultimate goal?

Is your campaign focused on general marketing? Do you want to increase brand awareness or generate leads and sales? Are you looking to grow your brand’s audience, boost community engagement or drive traffic to your site? Once you have a better sense of what you want to accomplish with your social media campaign, you will be better able to determine where to direct your energy.

Which platforms are best for your business?

There are five major platforms, each with their own demographics, content model and algorithms. TIKTOK TikTok currently has 755 million monthly users, primarily under the age of 45. TikTok is entirely video-based, with posts typically one to three minutes long. While the platform started with videos of singing, dancing, traveling and comedy, it has begun to include more informative and serious content. Your business could use this platform to conduct team introductions, provide behind-the-scenes videos, SEE PAGE 16

Michael Sperling is CEO and owner of Sperling Interactive. He is a member of The Chamber’s Board of Directors. 14





By Jason W. Dallas iCorps Technologies


he Trojan horse is said to have been a tactic used by the Greeks during the Trojan War to enter the city of Troy and win the battle. Metaphorically, a “Trojan horse” has come to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place. Today, “Trojan horses” lurk in every facet of our digital world, waiting for the opportunity to create havoc on unsuspecting victims. The largest cybersecurity risk a business has is also a resource without which it cannot succeed — its people. In fact, 52 percent of organizations admit their people are their biggest weakness when it comes to cybersecurity, according to Kaspersky Labs. Verizon concluded in its 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report that 85 percent of security breaches involved a human element. These breaches could be caused by malicious intent, but also could simply result from employees’ carelessness or their lack of knowledge. For example, 20 percent of breaches in 2021 were initially caused due to compromised credentials, according to an IBM report, reenforcing the importance of strong passwords and multifactor authentication. The statistics highlight the importance for organizations of all types to implement cybersecurity awareness training for their entire team. The training serves to help educate and empower employees to lower an organization’s risk profile by detecting and avoiding obvious and common threats. There are numerous benefits to equipping your team with the insight and knowledge to help protect against attacks.


Being informed creates a better organizational culture. By establishing cybersecurity as a priority, employees can help keep each other accountable for best practices and support each other in technology use. Employees can be proactive in identifying suspicious phishing attempts, whether it be dubious links, impersonation emails and other threats. Heightened awareness benefits employees in their professional as well as personal lives, from increased employee morale to satisfaction and retention.


A Ponemon Institute study showed that 31 percent of consumers said they discontinued their relationships with an organization following a data breach, while 65 percent said they lost trust in the entity after being affected by one or more breaches. Our customers and clients are becoming increasingly aware and concerned about cybersecurity risks, according to KPMG, a multinational professional services network. As they become more knowledgeable, organizations must respond by implementing tools and technologies that prove their resiliency to threats. When potential customers see that you are taking a more proactive approach with your cybersecurity posture, they will be more likely to do business with you.


Cybersecurity incidents don’t just harm valuable data. They can affect other resources such as time, money and SEE PAGE 16

Jason W. Dallas is cybersecurity manager at iCorps Technologies. NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG



showcase current trends and highlight your aesthetics. One of the keys to a successful TikTok video is to use trending music and sounds that are already popular on the platform. INSTAGRAM Instagram has over 1 billion users every month, with the demographics evenly split between men and women. The age group that most commonly interacts with Instagram is 18- to 45-year-olds. Businesses can post Instagram stories, reels or posts, which are generally videos or images of your company. Don’t forget to keep the filters and style of photography consistent to build your brand awareness. Instagram prioritizes several signals in its algorithm, including post popularity (likes and comments), information about the poster, user activity and interaction history. It tries to understand what you might be interested in based on how many posts you like and what kind of content you most engage with. LINKEDIN LinkedIn has over 722 million registered users, 15 percent more males than females. Its largest demographic is middle-aged professionals. Many businesses use their LinkedIn professional profiles to post businessrelated content, videos regarding services and products, and promotion of blogs. The biggest difference with LinkedIn is that while you want to keep things short on other social channels, LinkedIn allows for long-form content. FACEBOOK Facebook, which launched in 2004,


even reputation. Should a breach or other security incident occur, it can be costly and take time to repair and reinstate normal business operations. The average total cost of a ransomware breach in 2021 was $4.62 million, according to IBM’s Cost Of A Data Breach report. “From 2020 to 2021, the cost of a breach increased by 10 percent,” the report stated. “It takes an average of 287 days to identify and contain a breach, and breaches only get more costly as time goes on.” 16

boasts 2.9 billion monthly active users. As Facebook has aged, so has its regular users. While most 18- to 29-year-olds have a Facebook profile, its users are primarily age 50-plus. Typical content on Facebook includes product photos, videos such as behindthe-scenes style content, trending topics in your field, blog posts, branded graphics and infographics. The Facebook algorithm has changed drastically over the years. Currently, the algorithm uses three main ranking signals to show each user the stories and posts that are meaningful to them. These signals are based on who posted the items; you are more likely to see posts from companies and people you have interacted with in the past. The type of content you see will also be determined by what you have previously interacted with. If you interact with videos, for example, you will see more videos. Lastly, interactions will prioritize what you see. More engagements mean that certain posts get prioritized. TWITTER Twitter has 217 million daily, active users — with slightly more males (56 percent) than females (44 percent). The largest age group using Twitter is 18- to 29-year-olds, followed by 13- to 17-year-olds. Businesses have many options for what to Tweet. They can offer updates on their business, engage audiences by using polls, share blog links and post the all-popular GIF. The one caveat, though, is that Twitter has a 280-character limit. Since Twitter users can toggle between two different timelines — Home or Latest Tweets — it uses

Cybersecurity awareness training should therefore be viewed as an investment to avoid larger costs in the future.


Regulated businesses, including those in the health care and banking fields, have specific compliance-related cybersecurity requirements. While unregulated businesses may not be mandated to adhere to certain standards, anticipated changes on the federal, state and local levels are expected to significantly impact their cybersecurity protocols in the coming future.

multiple algorithms to determine all aspects of how content is served. To increase your Twitter reach, try posting in the morning (Mondays and Thursdays are best), be present regularly on Twitter and use tags, videos, photos and GIFs.

How do you measure success?

Each of the platforms has an analytics tool that allows you to see how many people are viewing and engaging with your social content. It is important to check those analytics regularly to see what is working and what is not. If you find things are not working, you may want to adjust your content to better reflect your audience or try posting at different times. Each platform also has the opportunity to use ads to expand the audience who sees your content. A mixed organic and paid strategy can help lead to more views and engagement for your business. And that’s the ultimate goal. I

There is no doubt that a security awareness program is a good move for an organization. All of the benefits of security awareness training can work together to minimize risk and enable your employees to make better and more informed decisions. By offering — and potentially even mandating — cybersecurity awareness training, every employee will be on the same page on how to protect your organization. And knowing your employees are aware, prepared and focused on preventing a cybersecurity incident improves an organization’s confidence. I IMPACT MAGAZINE

We are

CURIOUS MINDS dedicated to HUMAN PROGRESS Today more than ever, a changing world drives us to explore, innovate, and collaborate

From developing novel cancer treatments and providing products critical to the fight against Covid-19, to making windows and displays more energy efficient, we are committed to making a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day. We are proud to be part of a global company that has endured for more than 350 years. From its humble beginnings as the Angel Pharmacy in 1668, today the businesses of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany employ around 60,000 people, including more than 3,000 Massachsetts-based colleagues, who live and work in 66 countries around the world. Our passion for science and technology is what inspires us to find solutions to today’s toughest challenges and create more sustainable ways to live for generations to come. Learn more about and join our team.

The businesses of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, operate as EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma, and EMD Electronics in the U.S. and Canada. © 2022 Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and/or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved. EMD Serono, MilliporeSigma, EMD Electronics, and the vibrant M are trademarks of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, or its affiliates. 38733




‘Put forward your best to get the most out of life’


ur ever-changing world keeps challenging us all in the way we educate, learn, work and stay connected. Honor Scholars, you have all proven your resiliency and ability to overcome great challenges. All of you should be very proud. You each have the potential to do great things, and your futures are very bright. I wish each of you the best as you go forward to define what success means for you, enjoy the work of striving to attain it, and then experience the deep satisfaction of achieving it. I’ve found that the good memories you will hold throughout your life are of the things that you did and the chances you took, not of the risks averted or the times you played it safe. So, I encourage you to get outside your comfort zones. Push yourselves to learn and experience new things so that you can discover new interests and passions and live life to the fullest. TIM COLLINS President and CEO EBSCO Information Services


Keynote speaker Tim Collins shares his “6 Principles for Success in Your Life” at this year’s North Shore Honor Scholars Dinner.


North Shore’s shining stars

Honor Scholars tradition celebrates region’s top high school graduates


he North Shore Chamber of Commerce c e l e b ra t e d t h e success of the region’s leading high school seniors May 12 at its annual North Shore Honor Scholars Dinner. The longstanding tradition spotlights the academic achievements of the top 5 percent of graduating seniors from 35 public and private high schools across the region. In all, 343 seniors were recognized with certificates of achievement. Close to 700 guests — including family members, school officials and representatives of the business community — attended the Honor Scholars Dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Danvers. EBSCO Information Services, based in Ipswich, the leading for-fee Internet research services in the world, was the event’s premier sponsor. Tim Collins, CEO and founder of EBSCO Information Services, drew on his own personal experiences in delivering the keynote address. He outlined his “6 Principles for Success in Your Life”: Balance thinking and doing; Stay positive; Be your word; Help others; Be driven; and Minimize regrets. Collins shares those principals in an inspirational book for young adults called “64U: Six For You” that he provided to every Honor Scholar in attendance. ​School principals, assistant principals, guidance counselors and other school officials assisted the Chamber in recognizing their students as they received their certificates. Karen Andreas, president and CEO of the North Shore Chamber, served as emcee. The Honor Scholars celebration began NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG

in 1968 when the honorees were only Beverly High students, because the Chamber served only the city of Beverly. Today, with the growth of the Chamber, the event has grown to encompass the entire North Shore. The 2022 Honor Scholars Celebration recognized students from Beverly High School, Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, Clark School in Rowley, Covenant Christian Academy in Peabody, Danvers High School, Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical High School in Hathorne, Gloucester High School, Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School, Ipswich High School, Landmark School in Beverly, Lynn Classical High School, Lynn English High School, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute, Lynnfield High School, Manchester Essex Regional High School, Marblehead High School and Masconomet Regional High School in Boxford. Also, New England Academy in Beverly, Newburyport High School, North Andover High School, North Reading High School, Northeast Metropolitan Regional Vocational High School in Wakefield, Peabody Veterans Memorial High School, Peabody P.R.E.P. (Peabody Personalized Remote Education Program), Pingree School, Rockport High School, St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, St. Mary’s High School in Lynn, Salem Academy, Salem High School, Saugus High School, Swampscott High School, Triton Regional High School in Byfield, Waring School in Beverly, and Winthrop High School. Congratulations to the 2022 Honor Scholars for their accomplishments, to their families for the support and guidance they provided, and to all educators and community leaders who invested in nurturing this future generation of leaders. I



As president and CEO of the Institution for Savings, I congratulate all students being honored tonight for graduating in the top 5% of your class. Only 345 students on the North Shore have achieved this. We are proud of you all — the very best of luck in the future!’ Mike Jones, President/CEO, Institution for Savings

On behalf of North Shore Bank, I would like to congratulate all of tonight’s honorees for their momentous achievement. We’re proud to participate in this wonderful occasion of recognition. Your diligent work, enthusiasm and devotion to excellence has paid off, and we wish you much success in your future endeavors.’ Kevin Tierney, President/CEO, North Shore Bank

On behalf of everyone at UniCare, it is my great pleasure to wish this year’s Honor Scholars a heartfelt congratulations for a job well done. You have a bright future ahead, and we are excited to watch you do great things. Stay focused, continue to work hard, and achieve the impossible!’ David Morales, General Manager, UniCare





Photos by Mike Dean

On behalf of the 2,100, deeply committed Eastern Bank employees who I represent, congratulations on being named a 2022 Honor Scholar. To achieve top 5% status in your class is a truly extraordinary feat that required discipline, acumen and consistency. As a parent of a 2015 North Shore Chamber Honor Scholar, I can attest to how proud your parents, families and friends are of you. Best of luck in the future, and please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us at Eastern Bank along the way.’ Paul Kurker, Senior Vice President, Eastern Bank

Congratulations on this amazing achievement. As you take the next step on your journey, remember you have the potential to be anything you strive to be. All you have to do is believe that you can and keep aiming higher, be patient while you work and, most importantly, always be kind.’ Tom Sands, President and CEO, Beverly and Addison Gilbert hospitals





On behalf of Windover Construction, congratulations to all the 2022 Honor Scholars! The satisfaction of doing your best is a great reward, and you are so very deserving of tonight’s spotlight. Yours is an accomplishment to applaud and one which will inspire future generations of students for many years to come.’ Hannah Ginley, Chief People Officer, Windover Construction

Since 1988, the Mr. & Mrs. L. Dexter Woodman Scholarship has helped young people attend college in honor of Dexter and Gini Woodman’s legacy and memory. Since its inception, we have awarded over $803,999 in scholarships to over 180 students as well as made donations to many organizations that support education.’ Mr. and Mrs. L. Dexter Woodman Scholarship



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Courtesy photos


Members of the business community volunteer at this year’s Credit for Life Fair to teach high-schoolers the basics of financial management.


By Ellen Small Davis Impact contributor



ow do you pay your portion of the rent and utilities, purchase a monthly train pass, make a payment on student loans, buy a gym membership and still have enough money to treat yourself to that morning mocha latte with oat milk? Nearly 1,000 juniors from 13 high schools across the North Shore discovered the answer to that question at the 12th annual Credit for Life Fair this May at Masconomet Regional High School in Boxford. The free Credit for Life program is an interactive experience organized and underwritten by the Institution for Savings. Its goal is to help the region’s high school students develop lifelong personal budgeting skills to survive financially in the everyday world, according to

Mary Anne Clancy, the bank’s senior vice president of marketing and communications and the architect of the program. “We were seeing young customers who didn’t know how to manage their money, apply for a loan or understand the costs associated with applying for a mortgage,” Clancy says. “This was a good role for the bank to play. We are creating a better bank customer.” The program was first created in partnership with Ipswich, Triton Regional and Newburyport high schools. In recent years, they have been joined by Beverly, Swampscott, Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester Essex, Hamilton-Wenham, Masconomet, Amesbury, Pentucket Regional and Georgetown high schools. Massachusetts may be at the top of nationwide rankings for education, but IMPACT MAGAZINE

surprisingly, it is one of only a handful of states that does not require financial education to graduate from high school. In fact, according to the Massachusetts Financial Literacy Fitness Report, the state has failed to ensure all students have access to critical financial knowledge needed to succeed in life. Clancy, who sits on The Chamber’s Board of Directors, has been working with elected officials in hopes of making financial literacy mandatory in the Bay State. Credit for Life was designed and developed because the reality is that poor personal financial decisions have real life consequences, like crippling debt. The Institution for Savings’ program has garnered believers with each passing academic year. It has earned high praise from FDIC field supervisor Rodi Adema, a recurring volunteer at the fair. “The level to which this bank has taken this event is outstanding and unequaled by any other event I have attended,” Adema says. When the Institution for Savings was forced to cancel the 2020 Credit for Life Fair because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it pooled resources with seven other banks to create a virtual experience using an interactive website. High school juniors clearly embraced the idea as more than 2,200 tapped into in the spring of 2021. This year, Credit for Life organizers further expanded the program to include a mobile app for students to use at in-person events. Financial literacy: Yup, now there’s an app for that. Here’s how the program works. In preparation for the Credit for Life Fair, every student attends an orientation session and downloads the free Credit for Life app. The students then assume the persona of a fictional 25-year-old — complete with a career, salary, savings account and credit score. They must then decide how to live life while living within a budget. At the fair, each student selects a profession and avatar for their profile and receives a “passport” they carry as they navigate life. They are then sent on their way to booths that require them to make choices in such areas as education and training, food and nutrition, health and NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG

wellness, housing, furniture and utilities, transportation, charitable giving, lifestyle, recreation, part-time jobs and future plans.

Using their salaries, savings and credit card, the students purchase everything they need to live. They employ the app to calculate all their purchases and 25

Did you know?

Business leaders prepare to distribute water bottles to students who “invest” in their health and wellness as part of their spending during this year’s Credit for Life Fair.

track their spending. Moving from booth to booth, they are quizzed and counseled by volunteers who then stamp their passport. This year, a new Money Smarts booth taught students how to write checks, manage mobile payment apps like Venmo and PayPal, utilize credit, and navigate the possible risks of Buy Now, Pay Later offers. Throughout the fair, the students faced real-life budget busters, like a car needing repairs or a pet requiring a veterinarian visit. They were forced to incorporate the unexpected expenses into their budgets — always with the mindset of living within their means. More than 100 volunteers from the community, including bankers, teachers, insurance agents and physicians, were on hand this to assist the students in making sound financial decisions. Among the volunteers were Karen Andreas, The Chamber’s president and CEO, and Darren Ambler, immediate past president of The Chamber’s Board of Directors and principal at One Digital Health and Benefits. The fair culminated with the students passing in their completed passports for review. Clancy says participating students garner an eye-opening experience of what it takes to manage money. “It’s empowering for them to make good financial choices,” she says. “I like to think they all walk away with just one thing they didn’t know before.” Michael J. Jones, Institution for Savings president and CEO, says the fair is designed to give students the tools to be proactive about their financial futures While the event takes a significant amount of staff time and funds, Jones believes it is well worth it. “Recent statistics indicating that 26

students are leaving high school with severely limited financial knowledge and skills are concerning, and this event is one way that we can help change that,” he says. “As a mutual savings bank, a key component of our mission is to focus on the long-term future not just of the bank, but also of the communities we serve and to improve the quality of life for all those within those communities. “This event has been overwhelmingly successful here and in other regions at helping high school students navigate the myriad of financial decisions they will need to make as they go off into the world of work or college.” I

More than half of American families can’t cover a $1,000 emergency expense with savings. The average consumer debt in Massachusetts, at $115,671, is the highest among New England states. Less than 5 percent of students in Massachusetts are guaranteed to take a personal finance course. Despite the fact spending habits form as early as 7 years of age, barely one-quarter of the school districts in Massachusetts teach financial literacy in middle/elementary schools. One in five American 15-year-olds don’t understand basic financial concepts, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Young adults who receive financial education are less likely to carry credit card debt and are more likely to apply to and receive college grants and financial aid.

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By Patti Beckwith Constitution Financial Partners


t’s no secret that it’s been challenging to attract and retain qualified employees in this difficult labor environment. An excellent way for businesses to compete for a shrinking workforce is to offer a retirement plan as a workplace benefit. Retirement plans not only help both employees and business owners save for their futures, but they are an effective way to build goodwill with staff and create a professional culture for your organization. As an employer, there are many retirement plan options to consider, each with different costs, deferral amounts and eligibility requirements. Generally speaking, a retirement plan can offer significant tax advantages because contributions are deductible in the year they are made and they are not taxed to the employee until distributed from the plan. In addition, money in a retirement plan grows tax-deferred. Retirement plans are usually either IRA-based (Individual Retirement Accounts) or “qualified,” such as 401(k)s, profit-sharing plans and defined benefit plans. Qualified

plans are generally more complex and expensive to maintain than the IRA-based plans. Which plan is best for your company? Consider your goals. Are you seeking to maximize the amount you can save for your own retirement? Do you want the plan to be funded by employer contributions or employee contributions? Perhaps both? Would you like to give employees the option to make pre-tax and/or Roth contributions? Are you interested in having the flexibility to skip employer contributions in some years? Is your priority finding the plan with the lowest costs? Or easiest administration? Let’s look at the basic structure of popular types of plans.


A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA plan can be established for you and each of your eligible employees. Eligible employees must be 21 years old, have worked for three of the last five years and earn at least $650 a week. The business owner contributes a uniform percentage for each employee, including themselves, limited to the lesser of 25 percent of pay or $61,000 (for 2022). The SEP-IRA offers the flexibility to change the contribution amount every year. Most employers, including the self-employed, can establish this low-cost, easy-toadminister type of plan.


A Simple IRA is appropriate for businesses with 100 or fewer employees. Unlike a SEP-IRA, where the company fully funds the plan, a Simple IRA allows eligible

Patti Beckwith is branch manager of Constitution Financial Partners. She sits on the Managing Board of The Chamber’s Board of Directors. 28


employees to make pre-tax contributions of up to $14,000 of their compensation in 2022 ($17,000 if age 50 or older). The employer can elect to match employees’ contributions dollar for dollar, up to 3 percent, or make a fixed contribution of 2 percent of compensation. (The 3 percent match can be reduced to 1 percent in any two of five years.) An eligible employee must have earned $5,000 or more in any two prior years and is expected to earn at least $5,000 in the current year. Like the SEPIRA, the setup and administrative costs of a Simple IRA are comparatively low.


The 401(k) plans allow employees to make pre-tax and/or Roth contributions of $20,500 ($27,000 if age 50 or older) in 2022. Generally, each employee with a year of service must be allowed to contribute to the plan. The employer can also make contributions, either matching or discretionary profit-sharing contributions. Combined employer and employee contributions for any employee cannot exceed the lesser of $61,000 (plus

catch-up contributions of up to $6,500 for employees 50 and older) or 100 percent of the employee’s compensation. If employer contributions are immediately “vested” (that is, belong to the employee), two years of service can be required. The 401(k) plans are more complicated to set up and administer and can be more costly. These types of plans are required to perform “testing” each year to ensure that benefits are not disproportionately weighed toward more highly compensated employees. These testing requirements can be waived if a “safe harbor” or a Simple 401(k) plan is adopted. A “safe harbor” plan has different employer matching requirements than a traditional 401(k). A Simple 401(k) has other benefits, but lower deferral amounts and, as a result, is not as popular.


A defined benefit plan is a qualified retirement plan that guarantees employees a specified level of benefits at retirement (for example, an annual benefit equal to 30 percent of final average pay). In general, defined benefit plans are too expensive and complex for most

businesses. However, they can provide the largest benefit of any retirement plan and therefore allow the largest deductible employer contribution. As a result, they can be attractive to businesses that have a small group of highly compensated owners who want to contribute as much as possible on a tax-deferred basis. As an employer, you have various options to help you and your employees save for what could be a very comfortable retirement. Selecting the plan that not only works best for you, but provides an attractive benefit to your employees may increase your value in competing for a shrinking workforce. I 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. Investments, account types, and strategies mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. Matching contributions from your employer may be subject to a vesting schedule. Please consult with your financial advisor for more information.

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By Michael A. McEntee A Neumann & Associates


fter spending a major portion of your life building a successful business, you have made the decision that you are ready to sell and reap the rewards of retirement. Several critical questions must now be answered: How much is my business really worth? How do I maximize my sale price? How do I find the right buyer? In the great majority of cases, the answer to all of those questions can be found by engaging a skilled mergers and acquisitions advisor. Over the years, you and your accountant have made every effort to lower reportable income, thereby minimizing the amount of taxes you pay. In part, this could have been accomplished by depreciating the value of machinery, vehicles and other hard assets that, in reality, have a much higher current market value. You may have also written off expenses through the business that a future buyer might not incur. Your financials will need to be recast, adding back items to properly reflect the current value of your company’s assets and receivables and to exhibit maximum cash flow. This information can then be used by an independent valuation provider to accurately calculate the current fair market value of your company. Is a valuation really necessary? Yes. The most obvious reason is that you need to have a realistic expectation of what the bottom line will be should you decide to proceed with a sale. Even if you are only thinking that you might sell in the next couple of years, a valuation provides invaluable information in formulating your future financial plans. A valuation also provides hard facts to use in response to buyers who show interest in your company, but at less than fair market value. If you do decide to proceed with a sale, any transaction over $1 million will likely entail some form of secondary financing. Without a valuation, a buyer’s lender will not know the

value of your business, which must serve as collateral for the loan. The buyer would then have to begin the valuation process on his or her own, creating what could be a costly delay. Small business lenders readily accept these unbiased independent valuations, accelerating the speed of a transaction. Will my competitors and my employees know if I decide to sell my business? The answer should be unequivocally no. Confidentiality is of maximum importance. Knowing that your business is for sale could lead key employees facing employment uncertainty to seek positions elsewhere. If customers, suppliers and even competitors perceive that your business will not be there for the long term, their actions could negatively impact operations during the time it takes to complete a transaction. A reputable mergers and acquisitions advisor will keep all client engagements strictly confidential and make sure potential buyers do not see any of the seller’s specific information until they have signed a confidentiality agreement and are fully pre-qualified to purchase that business. Having the right advisor handling the sale of your business also allows you to focus your attention where it needs to be: running your business without unnecessary distractions until a sale is consummated. Interest rates are rising, but they are still at historically low levels. Presently, there is a diverse group of buyers in the market. This includes individuals searching for a business they can run, existing companies wanting to expand their current activity and private-equity funds looking for well-run businesses that they can add to their portfolios. An experienced mergers and acquisitions advisor will ensure that you maximize the proceeds from the sale of your company by promoting it to the greatest number of buyers, in complete confidence and at an established fair market price. I

Michael A. McEntee is the New England Managing Director for A Neumann & Associates LLC, an East Coast-based mergers and acquisitions advisory firm. 30



INVESTS Eastern Bank is committed to recognizing the good in our communities and celebrating the work of

NORTH SHORE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Eastern takes pride in its outspoken advocacy and community support that includes $240 million in charitable giving since 1994.



Banish the insecurities that reside within By Bernadette Butterfield Thrive Steering Committee IMPOSTER SYNDROME (noun) 1. The persistent inability to believe that one’s success is deserved or has been legitimately achieved as a result of one’s own efforts or skills.


o matter how much evidence there is that we’re successfully navigating our lives, jobs and relationships, many of us hold false beliefs that we aren’t actually as capable or smart as others think we are. My first introduction to imposter syndrome was when I, myself was diagnosed. Venting anxiety and insecurity on my return to the workforce after raising children, with new technology to learn and a new identity to build, it was my son, Christopher, who said with a smile, “Mom, you have imposter syndrome.” Best-selling author and clinical psychologist Susan Albers, Psy.D., describes imposter syndrome as “the feeling that everyone else knows exactly what they’re doing, but you feel lost.” People with this condition, Albers says, devalue themselves and their expertise. Lisa Orbé-Austin, a New York City-based psychologist and career coach, explains that anytime you’re in a new

role, facing a set of challenges or simply out of your comfort zone, there’s a lot of pressure to perform well. Feelings of “not good enough” have only been further amplified by the many challenges brought by the pandemic, particularly for women. Caring for families, navigating online learning for school-aged children, having to leave the workforce altogether due to lack of child care, working from home and other new realities have placed an enormous burden on women and have heightened stress and anxiety, leading to more “imposter” moments. The mention of imposter syndrome resonated with guests at Thrive’s May breakfast focused on “Finding Your Voice: Empower Yourself with Communication Tools.” Many in attendance acknowledged having experienced instances of selfdoubt, setting off a candid conversation and informal therapy session with the audience. It was eye-opening to hear the number of strong, accomplished women reveal times when fear and feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt had crept into their minds. “Internally, we all feel doubts, apprehensions, ambivalence and insecurities,” explains David Dunning, a

Bernadette Butterfield is vice president of business development for Groom Construction. She is a member of the Thrive Steering Committee and sits on the Managing Board of The Chamber’s Board of Directors. 32


University of Michigan psychology professor who researches human misbelief and self-doubt. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, he says. It’s just that we don’t typically reveal those doubts to other people — and they don’t typically reveal theirs to us, Dunning explains. Therefore, we don’t see that others are experiencing the same issues we are, he says. Building self-confidence was a central theme at the “Finding Your Voice” breakfast in May at Root in Salem. Panelists Samanda Morales, CEO and co-founder of Ahora Inc.; Karen Nascembeni, general manager of North Shore Music Theatre; and Janet Santa Anna, CEO and co-founder of The Resource Connection Inc., focused on public speaking, mastering difficult conversations and self-advocacy. The trio offered solid advice — illustrated through their own personal stories and career paths — to empower the audience and help us all move beyond those “imposter” moments. Their tips included: Know yourself. Recognize both your strengths and your weaknesses, then celebrate your strengths and identify ways to improve those areas that challenge your confidence. Seek out mentors. Connect with advocates who will support and guide you on your journey. Be authentic. Stay true to yourself and honest with others. When it comes to public speaking, being authentic is a great way to connect with the audience and banish your own stage fright. Be compassionate. Show compassion to both yourself and others. Use fear to empower and inspire. Instead of being immobilized by fear, let it serve to kick-start your personal and professional growth. Flip the script. Convert challenges into opportunities. Thrive’s mission is to empower and support women in business at every stage of their lives and careers. Its members, along with the larger membership of The Chamber, represent a wide range of industries on the North Shore. Together, they offer a wealth of knowledge and a built-in support system that we can all avail ourselves of. Stay tuned for more information on Thrive’s new Mentorship Program as well as upcoming events and initiatives. I NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG


A show-stopping good time North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly set the stage for Thrive’s April Networking for a Cause event. The evening included a preview of the season ahead from NSMT General Manager Karen Nascembeni, a Chamber board member, and light bites from REV Kitchen & Bar in Beverly. Guests generously donated nearly 100 scarves and hats to support the patients of Mass General/ North Shore Cancer Center in Danvers.





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Elisif Photography photo

CM&B’s new 30,000-square-foot headquarters in Cherry Hill Park in Beverly aims to celebrate and inspire the employees who have led the company for its 30 years.



n 1992, in the midst of a sluggish recovery coming out of the recession, Kevin Puopolo left his leadership position at one of the world’s largest design-build firms to start Construction Management & Builders, Inc. (CM&B). His North Shore company was long on goodwill, but did not have its own track record of building multi-million-dollar projects. What it did have, however, was a team whose members had impeccable

credentials and a shared belief that dedication to operational excellence would set them apart from their numerous competitors. Today, as CM&B celebrates its 30th anniversary, annual revenues exceed $200 million, and it has completed over 1,000 projects for Fortune 500 companies and others totaling $2 billion. Beyond its impressive client retention rate earned through meticulous project planning and execution, CM&B has boasted an EMR (safety rating) in

By Carol Savage




Celebrating 30 Years As a Family-Owned, North Shore Business Boston | | New York



the “superior” threshold for the past five years. CM&B employs more than 80 employees locally and is considered a leader in several building sectors, including retail, high-end food/grocery, hospitality and automotive and has a growing presence in the science and technology, academic and several other industries.


With offices in Beverly and New York, CM&B operates primarily in the Northeast, from Maine to New Jersey, and has done work in 22 states as far afield as California. But the North Shore remains its home base. “Early on, when I started the company, I decided I wanted to work close by so I could spend as much time with my family as possible,” says Puopolo, who grew up in Hamilton and now lives in Beverly. “Today, many of our employees — more than 70 percent — live on the North Shore for much the same reason.” The firm has hundreds of local projects in its portfolio, including the Liberty Tree and North Shore malls,

Elisif Photography photo

From left, Executive Vice President Tim Puopolo, founder and CEO Kevin Puopolo and President Sean Fahy work together to run CM&B like a family business.

Endicott College, Salem Hospital Mass General Brigham, and Boston Private Bank. The company has also built North Shore facilities for major national retailers and grocers, including L.L.

Bean, Nordstrom Rack, Star Market, Shaw’s and Whole Foods Market, as well as many auto dealerships for Village Automotive Group (Volvo), Kelly Volkswagen and Herb Chambers Chevrolet.

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Beyond its resume, CM&B has also built something far more powerful over its three decades: its people. Of the original 20 employees hired in the first two years, all remained with the company for more than two decades. Three senior project superintendents who retired in recent years spent their entire careers with CM&B and several continue to work as consultants for the company. Puopolo says CM&B’s proclivity for retaining employees is due to its inherent belief in its people, so much so that the company’s tagline — “People. Building.” — is one of its core values. Investing in people to make them the best they can be is a central tenet of CM&B. “You don’t earn a reputation for being the best at what you do for Fortune 500 companies and others by merely talking about it,” Puopolo says. “We’ve worked very hard at building a base for operational excellence and imbuing it in everything we do — and in everyone who works here. It’s part of our DNA.” CM&B recently strengthened its foothold in the region, moving from its leased location in Danvers to its newly renovated, 30,000-square-foot headquarters in Cherry Hill Office Park in Beverly. Though new to the park, CM&B is well acquainted with its neighbors, having built for many of the tenants, including Aero Manufacturing and Freudenberg Medical. The move was necessitated by expanding market opportunities and growth. Prepared with this new facility to support future growth, Puopolo and the CM&B team look forward to continuing to exceed their clients’ expectations while maintaining the firm’s core values and impressive work ethic. “I’ve loved every day at CM&B,” says CM&B President Sean Fahy, who has spent his entire 30-year career at the company. “It’s run like a family business, and our people are great communicators. “One of our biggest clients recently said it best: ‘They take the guesswork out of the process on everything they do.’ When you’re building highly complex structures and systems, there’s no greater compliment.” I Carol Savage is a North Shore-based PR, marketing and communications strategist. NORTHSHORECHAMBER.ORG



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Fitness studio Joey Dimare Managing partner 100 Independence Drive, Suite C8, Danvers 978-972-3131 danvers-ma

Farquhar & Black Insurance Agency Inc.

Insurance broker Diana Breed Human resources and accounting manager 45 Traders Way, Building 10, Unit A, Salem 781-599-2200

GMC Danvers

Automotive Jeff Clickstein General manager 80-84 High St., Danvers 978-774-0040

Golf Lounge 18

Indoor golfing facility Christopher Botti Director of business development 210 Andover St., Peabody 978-595-1835

Intelligent Leadership Executive Coaching

Leadership coaching Deane Gyllenhaal Certified executive coach 44 Boyles St., Beverly 40



Commercial cleaning company Rich Kostandin Vice president of sales 49 Lowell St., Peabody 617-935-0246

MRG Construction Management

Commercial construction management and general contracting Matt Genzale President 3 Centennial Drive, Suite 150, Peabody 978-587-3099

North Shore Nissan

Car dealership Thomas Solone Executive manager 24A Commonwealth Ave., Danvers 978-344-6900

NRL Mortgage

Loan service Jim Tracy Senior project coordinator 1 Maple St., second floor, Danvers 978-209-1021

PKM General Contracting

Roofing and general contractor Patrick Mayombo President and CEO 35 Village Road, Suite 100, Middleton 978-798-5047

Red Stapler IT Consulting LLC

Information technology company Allison Mascolo Owner 120 Washington St., Salem 617-982-2666

The Graphic Group

Printing service Lori Michaud Director of sales and marketing 203 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington 781-229-1500

Tremont Strategies Group

Strategic, bipartisan government relations firm Michael Bergan Partner 1 Beacon St., 16th floor, Boston 617-236-5830


Cloud-based HR company Cam Nekoroski Sales consultant 35 Lomasney Way, Suite 1706, Boston. 978-766-7004

Twin Oaks Rehab and Nursing Center LLC

Nursing Home & Rehab Kathleen Hitchcock Director of admissions 63 Locust St., Danvers 978-777-0011

VRtical Media

360 photography and virtual tours Jay Salois Owner 120 Washington St., Suite 202, Salem 413-537-4124





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Stephanie Patel, MD, MBA, has been named the new president and CEO of Care Dimensions, succeeding Patricia Ahern, a former member of Stephanie The Chamber’s Board Patel, MD, MBA of Directors who retired after five years of company leadership. Patel previously served as chief medical officer at Care Dimensions since 2006. She assumed her new role on June 3. Board certified in hospice and palliative care medicine, family medicine and as a hospice medical director, Patel is a graduate of Temple University School of Medicine and holds an MBA from UMass Lowell. She is a nationally recognized leader in hospice and palliative care. Care Dimensions is the largest hospice and palliative care organization in Massachusetts. Justine Caron has assumed the role of North Shore Community College’s inaugural chief people and culture officer Caron is a human Justine Caron re s o u rc e s p ro fe ssional who has worked in multiple higher education institutions over the past 20 years, including two Massachusetts community college system institutions. She most recently was the executive director of human

Salem Five Bank and New England Sports Network have forged a multiyear naming rights sponsorship for NESN’s signature studio in Watertown, now named the Salem Five Studio. The partnership follows last year’s complete redesign of the state-of-the-art facility to create a fully customizable studio experience for NESN’s millions of viewers. Salem Five has two permanent brand fixtures within the studio space, alongside a digital ribbon on the largest LED monitor. The bank will be prominently featured in all NESN studio shows, which include pre- and postgame coverage of away Red Sox and Bruins broadcasts and intermission coverage for Bruins away games. Salem Five’s engagement with NESN extends across the physical studio, NESN’s Red Sox and Bruins programming and NESN’s social media channels. Salem Five will be incorporated into weekly in-game features on NESN’s telecast of Red Sox and Bruins games, too. resources at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Caron earned her MBA from Anna Maria College in Paxton with a business




administration concentration. She holds a Society of Human Resources Management Certified Professional certification. She is a past member of the YWCA of Northeastern Massachusetts, where she served on the Board of Directors. Sandy Rochon i s Northern Essex Community College’s new director of career services. A 1996 Northern Essex business graduSandy Rochon ate, Rochon served on NECC’s Alumni Advisory Board for the past five years. She IMPACT MAGAZINE

has also been a volunteer for the college’s mobile food markets. Most recently, Rochon worked as the assistant director of career services at Salem State University, where she provided career development, career counseling and support to students and alumni. She has also worked in career services for MassHire, Clark University in Worcester and the state Department of Training and Development and has served as the coordinator of alumni relations at North Shore Community College in Danvers. Rochon received her associate degree from NECC before earning her bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in business from Salem State.

Mark Ventola

M a r k Ve nto la , a shareholder of Sheeh a n P h i n n e y, w a s recently installed as president of the Justinian Law Society of Massachusetts. The Justinian Law S o c i e t y s t r ive s to

recognize the contributions of ItalianAmericans to the law and to preserve the traditions of Italian culture. Ventola is co-chair of Sheehan Phinney’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. He has been recognized by New England Super Lawyers and Martindale Hubbel, both for his work in employment law, and was named one of Boston’s Top Lawyers by Boston Magazine in 2021. Ventola received his law degree from Boston University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts from Boston College. He is admitted to practice in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Braden Monaco, managing partner at Blue Horizon Benefits in Danvers, was named a finalist in the 2022 Broker of the Year competition by BenefitsPRO. Monaco was one of five finalists who, according to BenefitsPRO, represent the vanguard of benefits advisors leading the way into the future. Monaco founded Blue Horizon Benefits with Andrea Flynn and Chris Morin in 2016. The company places a heavy emphasis on technological solutions

Braden Monaco

for clients that address immediate benefits matters and improve efficiencies that will later realize savings. Monaco is a graduate of Endicott College in Beverly and serves on the boards of the YMCA of the North Shore and the Associated Builders and Contractors Future Leaders. I

DIANE CARNEVALE - ARTIST Child Portraits Instagram @Diane_Carnevale


Think a million images on your iPhone are enough to memorialize your child’s sweet baby face with missing teeth, or an unruly cowlick? Consider commissioning Diane to paint a watercolor portrait instead. Not only can a commissioned portrait be framed and hung in a place of prominence in your home to be passed on for generations (unlike those iPhone snapshots that are on your computer), but a painted portrait can capture the exact thing you remember most about your child before he or she disappears into the haze of adolescence. Plus they make great gifts. Reasonably priced with quick turnaround times, Diane’s portraits capure the bliss of your little one. Consider commissioning a portrait before your child is all grown up!




BUSINESS INSIGHT BREAKFAST FORUMS May 4, The Essex Room at Woodman’s in Essex

Amy Sweeney photos

Economic update featuring Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy



April 6, Salem Waterfront Hotel

Cybersecurity panel featuring Nate Gravel, GraVoc Associates Inc.; Jeff Lauria, iCorps Technologies; and Barbara Minkwitz, CFE, Eastern Bank.

Complimentary 7 Day Trial Membership for You and Your Company





EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE April 13, Boston Marriott Peabody

CPR training led by When Seconds Count of Salem and its CEO and founder Shawn Lerner.

The North Shore’s premier homebuilder and remodeling company – Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

11 Sylvan St., Suite 2, Danvers, MA 01923 ~ 978.887.1188 ~



BUSINESS AFTER HOURS April 26, Golf Lounge 18, North Shore Mall, Peabody New Chamber member Golf Lounge 18 treats business professionals to a well-played round of networking at its new facility.

Patricia B. Beckwith, CFP®, AEP®, RICP® Office 978.777.5500 Cell 978.578.2792 85 Constitution Lane, Ste 100E Danvers, MA 01923 Helping Clients Pursue Financial Life, Liberty & Happiness

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. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CeRtIFIed FINANCIAl PlANNeR™ and CFP® in the U.S.





‘Be persistent and be accountable’ By Sonya Vartabedian

Who inspires you?

The Chamber Samanda Morales was 14 when she and her sister left their native Dominican Republic and came to the U.S. to live with their mother. She arrived in New York in late 1991 with her papers in a yellow manila envelope and little else. She knew no English. Her family proceeded to move seven times in five years. What she learned and embraced has proven invaluable — a strong work ethic and an understanding of the importance of education. Both had been instilled in her at a young age by her father, who was one of 15 children and served in the military in the Dominican Republic. “I was always very inspired and motivated to do well,” she says. “I didn’t want to stay in the situation I was in when I came to the United States. “I used to play scenarios in my mind that I was in a business meeting. That’s how I imagined myself ... that I was going to be successful. I knew education and hard work were going to enable me to do that.” At Malden High School, the lack of a bilingual education program played to her advantage, forcing her to learn English as quickly as possible. She graduated on time and two years later, she enrolled in Salem State University to study business administration. Morales went on to work in the financial services sector for the next 25 years, with positions at both Bank of New York Mellon’s Global Institutional Accounting & Risk Solutions Department and State Street Corporation in the Mutual Fund Custody Department. Last year, she co-founded Ahora Inc., a social enterprise organization that empowers individuals and families in their journey toward self-reliance and wealth generation. A Certified Personal Finance Consultant and angel investor and entrepreneur, 48

“My husband, David, has been a strong supporter and inspiration. He’s taught me how to embrace being comfortable in uncomfortable situations. He’s one of the people who challenges me and keeps challenging me to be my best self not only professionally, but personally.”

Samanda Morales

she is committed to helping individuals and families achieve the American dream. The mother of two also cares greatly about serving the community, a trait she acquired from her own mother. She is a member of The Chamber’s Thrive Advisory Council and serves on the board of Bethany Congregational Church in Lynn. She was recently appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to the Board of Trustees of her alma mater — Salem State University. “I strongly believe in the opportunity that America offers,” she says. “I went from a first-generation immigrant knowing no English to now having a business career and being an entrepreneur. That doesn’t happen everywhere. Opportunities exist here if you’re willing to work for them.” What motivates you? “I truly have a strong desire to help others and empower them to do the things that I know they’re able to do. If they’re given the tools and education to do so, they can improve their financial situation and therefore improve their lives. Just as I was offered a pathway and opportunities to empowerment for a prosperous future, I want to do the same for others.”

What advice would you give a young professional? “Be persistent and be accountable. Persistence is really important. When you knock on a door and it does not open, don’t give up. Move on to the next one. And be accountable for your actions. No one is going to give you something without working for it.” What’s one lesson you try to impart on others? “I want to counteract all the negativity and darkness that bombards people, especially young adults and the youth. I try to teach my kids not to focus on the problem, on the negative, but to look for the solution. If you continue to drown in the problem, you’ll never give yourself the opportunity to find the solution.” What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you? “I host a Bible study group on Thursdays for women. It’s part counseling and part mentorship, too. It’s good to be part of a group where we see each other as sisters. When I go through situations, they’re rooting for me, supporting me and praying for me.” How do you make an impact? “I try to do the right thing and serve others in everything I do. That’s the impact that I like to make. It’s not about me and what I can get out of it. It’s how I can help others.” I IMPACT MAGAZINE

There’s only one way to run your business.

Your way.

A bank is a bank until you walk into our bank. At People’s United Bank we take pride in being leaders in the communities where we live and work. Whatever your business goals may be, People’s United Bank can help you go even further. We’re a full-service bank with the resources of a large bank and the personalized service of a local bank. We welcome the opportunity to talk to you about how your business could benefit from our relationship-based approach and share insightful information about your industry.

Let’s Talk. David Eidle SVP, Business Banking 978-624-1088

©2022 People’s United Bank, N.A. | Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender


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North Shore Chamber of Commerce  IMPACT MAGAZINE  June 2022 • Volume 2, Edition 2

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JUNE 2022

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