A group of Westford Business Association members listen intently to a speaker. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

New Executive Committee Announced for Westford Business Association

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Sarah Fletcher was named 2017-18 president of the Westford Business Association. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

Sarah Fletcher was named 2017-18 president of the Westford Business Association. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

 

The Westford Business Association announced new officers for 2017-18 and provided a platform for two guest speakers offering services to the regional business community.

Making up the new executive committee are Sarah Fletcher, president, Michael Auth, treasurer, Tom Courtney, secretary, Wendy Baker, vice president of membership, Marcia Macres and Karen McCloskey as co-vice presidents of communication. Gary Lavelle will sit on the committee as immediate past president.

Gulshan Kumar, owner of the Rangoli Grill in Westford, addresses his fellow Business Association members. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

Gulshan Kumar, owner of the Rangoli Grill in Westford, addresses his fellow Business Association members. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

“I’m sure like me you’ve asked yourself what’s the value in joining the Westford Business Association…” said Fletcher. “The value in joining is in showing up and in participating. When you show up you get free events…maybe free food, but every now and then you may get a new customer or client.”

Tom O'Donnell, iHub director. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

Tom O’Donnell, iHub director. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

Fletcher added that the organization is a good resource.

“When you do participate consistently over time, the Westford Business Association will become a referral source,” she said. (Scroll past the video for the rest of the article.)

Tom O’Donnell director of UMass Lowell’s iHub was the first of two speakers. The incubator facility supports a variety of early-stage, technology-based startups, including cleantech and robotics.

“Hopefully, if we do our job correctly,” he said, “And we not only provide the support but connect them  to the community that once they grow beyond our ability to support them with the space we have…that when they grow and expand…they stay local.”

Peter Farkas, exeuctive director of the Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

Peter Farkas, exeuctive director of the Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

Peter Farkas, executive director of the Greater Lowell Workforce Development Board, was also a guest speaker for the evening. The GLWDB is a collaborative uniting employers, educational institutions, labor groups, municipal and state officials, and community-based organizations that are supporting the local workforce development system.

“Our main purpose is to make sure we’re utilizing public dollars properly,” he said. “One of the things we do is organize partnerships around industry. A lot of it is labor market driven. So we’re looking at where is the demand currently in the region and in the future.”

A group of Westford Business Association members listen intently to a speaker. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

A group of Westford Business Association members listen intently to a speaker. PHOTO BY JOYCE PELLINO CRANE

The Business Association lists 68 Westford businesses on its site. Its mission statement says the organization is “is committed to the growth and vitality of Westford businesses in partnership with the Westford Community.”

“You are part of what makes Westford great,” Fletcher said. “And together we contribute to the overall vitality of our own organization and also to Westford.”

UPDATE – iHub’s connection to UMass Lowell was added on Nov. 20.