Welcome to CROSSROADS NEWS!
It's time to say goodbye to 2019! This is the final issue of Crossroads for the decade! We hope to catch up with you in January 2020. Fun at Five at The Duck with Dream Vacations sponsoring happens on the evening of January 14th. Grow your business! The Mass Office of Business Development will hold office hours at the Chamber on January 16th. Give us a ring if you'd like to make an appointment, the information is below. Our Annual Meeting with Dr. Charles Steinberg takes place at The Barn at Wight Farm on January 22. Please RSVP by January 15 if you are planning to attend.
We wish you a very happy new year filled with warm and lasting memories. Thank you for all your support this year! We look forward to working with you in 2020!
CROSSROADS is here to share your news and events! Thank you for emailing us your press releases, links and photos for inclusion in
We love to share your events with our readers. Keep posting your happenings to our online events calendar so we can share them with our nearly 900 subscribers!
New Year's Holiday Hours:
The Chamber office will close at 2:00pm this afternoon (December 31) and remain closed on New Year's Day. We will be open on Thursday, January 2 from noon to 5pm. Closed on Friday, January 3 for staff vacation.
NETWORK WITH YOUR CHAMBER
Fun at Five!
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
502 Main Street, Fiskdale, MA, 508-347-2321
New Year Networking!
For more than 30 years, the loft in an antique barn has housed one of Sturbridge's favorite restaurants, long known to locals as "The Duck." This perennially favorite restaurant has always been a special place to indulge in a choice-cut steak, enjoy a fantastic seafood special, bite into a mouth-watering cheeseburger, or delight in a signature cocktail at the now-famous sunken bar, The Duck always has something for everyone. In 2017, The Duck was fully renovated and now features, in addition to the aforementioned items, a focus on local and specialty micro brews, pouring from a "state-of-the-art" tap system. Customers old and new have been enjoying the new Tap Room that has also been opened up to the main dining room. With the addition of sliding barn doors, the Tap Room can also be used for private events. The Duck continues to be a place to listen to live music, featuring talented local musicians Thursday through Saturday nights. Come by and check out the new Duck and sample some great food from The Duck's innovative culinary team with an awesome local microbrew.
You could win Gift Certificates to Table 3 or a Summer Beach Bag of goodies and a $100 Gift Certificate, thanks to our host and sponsor!
Register for Fun at Five by email or phone.
Cost is $12 for Members who pre-register,
$15 at the door, or $20 for non-Members.
Fun at Five Sponsor!
We do the vacation planning for you, finding and creating memories that exceed your every desire, but not your budget. You can be confident that your vacation will be perfectly planned, hassle-free, and filled with moments you'll never forget.
Patti Wilmot & Joe Fitzgerald
800-267-1858 Warren, MA
Mass. Office of Business Development: Office Hours at the Chamber
Meet with State Officials to Discuss How to Grow Your Business
We are very pleased to announce that on
Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 10:00AM-1:00PM we have state leaders available at the Chamber of Central Mass South to meet with you to discuss your specific business needs as well as state-provided resources that may be available to meet those needs.
Meet with the following State Officials to Discuss How to Grow Your Business:
Kevin Kuros, Business Development Massachusetts Office of Business Development
- Overview of State's Economic Development Incentive Program
- Information regarding other State programs to benefit businesses, such as: Mass Life Sciences Center, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, Workforce Training Fund, MassEcon, MassCEC
Kelly Arvidson, VP, Business Development MassDevelopment
- Overview of financing programs available through MassDevelopment for manufacturers, non-profit organizations and developers of rental housing
PS: WE WILL BE CONTACTING ALL OF OUR M2M DISCOUNT PARTICIPANTS SOON TO VERIFY INCLUSION OF YOUR DISCOUNT IN THE M2M PROGRAM FOR 2020.
CHAMBER OF CENTRAL MASS SOUTH
JANUARY 22, 2020
THE BARN AT WIGHT FARM
420 MAIN ST, STURBRIDGE
DR. CHARLES STEINBERG
PRESIDENT OF THE WORCESTER RED SOX
11:00-11:30 REGISTRATION & MINGLING
12:15 DR. CHARLES STEINBERG
12:45 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
GARDEN SALAD SERVED WITH
ROLLS & BUTTER
NOT YOUR AVERAGE CHICKEN CORDON BLEU with SUPREME SAUCE
SEASONAL RAVIOLI (VEGETARIAN OPTION)
APPLE CRANBERRY CRISP
$30 PER PERSON FOR CHAMBER MEMBERS (TABLES OF 8 FOR $225)
$40 FOR NON-MEMBERS
(TABLE OF 8 FOR $320)
PLEASE RSVP BY NOON ON
JANUARY 15, 2020.
BY CALLING 508-347-2761
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSOR:
Spotlight on Tuscany
September 30 - October 8, 2020
9 Days, 10 Meals
Get away with your Chamber as we offer this 9-day trip
to Tuscany in Fall of 2020!
We will be hosting a presentation about this trip for anyone who is interested in learning more on January 29, 5:00pm at The Chamber offices. Please RSVP by noon on January 29 if you will attend.
The trip includes a single hotel stay (Hotel Ercolini) from which you will visit Montecatini Terme, Florence, Lucca, the World War II Gothic Line, Pisa, take a cooking class, Siena (choose to visit a gothic cathedral or take a guided tour through a Siena neighborhood), take a Winery Tour, visit a Cheese Farm
and San Gimignano.
You can also find pricing and more details.
For more information or to book, please contact
Patti Wilmot or Joe Fitzgerald at
(800) 267-1858 or (413) 668-6202
Present a Brown Bag Seminar, Host or Sponsor Fun at Five in 2020
The Chamber's Education Committee is currently planning our schedule of Brown Bag Seminars for the first half of 2020. Typically
1-hour long, these seminars are intended to attract intimate audiences of 5-30 people. Seminars are held at the Chamber office on the 4th Tuesday of the month at noon.
Presenting a Brown Bag Seminar is a great way to shine a spotlight on your business and the services you offer. You create the lesson plan, we do the rest including creating the invitations and promoting your seminar.
We are now planning for the months of
February, March, April, May and June. If you are interested in sharing your expertise with your fellow Chamber Members while promoting yourself and your business, we would love to hear from you!
Just drop Alix a line with the topic you would like to present and your preferred month to get the ball rolling!
Email Alix at email@example.com
Host or Sponsor a Fun at Five
The Chamber is also planning its schedule of monthly networking events for the year. If you are interested in hosting or sponsoring a Fun at Five, contact Alix and she'll give you all the details. Our next opening is March's Fun at Five.
Call or email Alix for more info. 508-347-2761
Retail Association of Massachusetts Recognizes Chamber Members
We were pleased and excited to see two Member businesses of the Chamber of Central Mass South recently received major awards from the Retail Association of Massachusetts (RAM). You can take a look at the November/December issue of
The Retail Review at this link
"Awarded for continuously providing patrons with exceptional service, menu selection, and a pleasurable overall experience..."
Peter and Cedric Daniel opened Rapscallion Brewery & Taproom in Sturbridge in 2013, a relaxed and fun venue featuring their signature Rapscallion Honey. In 2015, they opened their restaurant, Rapscallion Table & Tap in Acton and, in 2018, Rapscallion Kitchen & Bar in Concord. Rapscallion is known as a terrific venue for live music featuring the freshest foods and brews from folks who are strong supporters of our local farms and our community. Congratulations to Peter, Cedric and their amazing staff for this award. You can read more and see the photos on page 5 of
The Retail Review
"A fixture in our community."
Founded in 1946 by John and Bernice Klem, Klem's as we know it today began as a tractor repair shop in Hardwick, MA. With an incredible array of products, Klem's now stocks over 100,000 items "from gourmet food to lawn mowers." Klem's is a strong supporter of many community services programs and local non-profits and also offers events throughout the year from beekeeping and poultry seminars to DockDogs, and their charity car show series. We are so grateful for their support of our Chamber and our community and take great pleasure in congratulating Klem's President Jessica Bettencourt and her entire team for this amazing distinction. See more on page 6 of
The Retail Review
TLGV Awards $3,000 Grant to Oxford for Protection of Carbuncle Pond
The Last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) has awarded the Town of Oxford a $3,000 grant from its Heritage Transaction Fund to assist in the purchase of a 1.23-acre parcel adjacent to an existing town recreation area.
Oxford has made significant investments in the last two years to its recreation area on Carbuncle Pond. The property being purchased allows the town to protect more of the pond's shoreline while expanding opportunities for fishing, swimming and kayaking or canoeing.
TLGV's Heritage Transaction fund was created to support projects permanently protecting significant historic properties or structures, agriculture or forested lands, important wildlife habitat or open spaces suitable for passive, nature-based recreation. The grant funds can be used for closing costs such as filing fees, title work, attorney fees, surveys, appraisals and other costs associated with projects that are "nearing the home stretch" but need additional funds to complete the deal.
"We're pleased to support the Town's efforts to protect Carbuncle Pond," said Lois Bruinooge, executive director of TLGV. "If Oxford did not purchase this property, it could have been developed and the opportunity to protect the pond's shoreline would have been lost."
The Last Green Valley is a National Heritage Corridor - the last stretch of dark night sky in the coastal sprawl between Boston and Washington, D.C. The Last Green Valley, Inc. works for you in the National Heritage Corridor. We help you to care for it, enjoy it and pass it on.
North Brookfield Savings Bank Announces Digital Banking Learning Lessons
Lessons focused on life-simplifying digital banking products
As a part of their commitment to their core values, North Brookfield Savings Bank frequently offers educational resources and learning opportunities to empower customers and help them to ultimately have the best possible financial experience. The Bank recently announced their upcoming learning opportunity, Digital Banking Learning Lessons, in an effort to introduce and help customers to understand the life-simplifying digital banking services they can take advantage of through the Bank.
The North Brookfield Savings Bank Digital Banking Learning Lessons are being held throughout January and February 2020 and are scheduled at each branch location to make the lessons accessible to all current and future customers.
Experienced and friendly Bank representatives will be available for lessons, personalized demonstrations and will cover the topics of online banking, bill payment, mobile banking app, mobile check deposit, eStatements and direct deposit.
"It is important for us as a local community bank to be available as a financial learning resource for our customers and communities, which is why we are launching our Digital Banking Learning Lessons," said Patty Ostrout, NBSB Senior Vice President of Retail Banking. "We are happy to help simplify our customers' already busy lives by introducing them to all of the valuable tools that come along with our collection of digital banking services. Overall it is our hope this will eliminate some of the stress that can be associated with handling their finances."
Digital Banking Learning Lessons will take place on the following listed days during banking hours. To schedule a private lesson contact Cheryl Orne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-637-7401.
Thursday, January 16:
North Brookfield Branch, 9 Gilbert Street
Thursday, January 23:
East Brookfield Branch, 100 West Main Street, Rt. 9
Thursday, January 30:
West Brookfield Branch, 128 West Main Street, Rt. 9
Thursday, February 6:
Ware Branch, 40 Main Street, Rt. 9
Thursday, February 13:
Belchertown Branch, 4 Daniel Shays Highway
Thursday, February 20:
Palmer Branch, 1051 Thorndike Street
Thursday, February 27:
Three Rivers Branch, 2060 Main Street
If you are not able to make any of the scheduled Digital Banking Learning Lesson days, no problem!
Anyone can contact any North Brookfield Savings Bank branch location to schedule a private lesson when it better suits their schedule.
North Brookfield Savings Bank's established core value of "Commit to Excellence" concentrates on elevating everyone up through growth and learning for success. In addition to this most recent outreach effort, the Bank provides various other helpful educational opportunities to customers, employees and community members. To view the Bank's upcoming educational opportunities visit NorthBrookfieldSavingsBank.com/Blog.
TLGV Awards Community Enrichment Grants
The Last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) awarded almost $60,000 in grants as part of its largest funding program in more than a decade. More than 20 organizations and communities applied for the Community Enrichment Grant Program.
"The diversity and far reaching impacts of all the applications was exciting to see," said Lois Bruinooge, executive director of TLGV. "We were able to fund eight projects and believe they will benefit not only the immediate communities they are in, but the entire Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor for many years to come."
TLGV offered the grants to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of its National Heritage Corridor designation. Projects aimed at conserving, celebrating or enhancing The Last Green Valley's significant natural and historic resources or promoting economic development such as tourism and outdoor nature-based recreation, were eligible for the funding.
TLGV is a member-supported non-profit charged with stewardship of the unique agricultural, natural, historic and cultural resources of one of the nation's oldest national heritage corridors, The Last Green Valley.
Recipients of the grants are:
The Community Food Collaborative in Sturbridge, MA
received $6,000 for enhancements to make the community garden more efficient and productive. The garden ensures a food pantry in Southbridge can offer fresh produce to Sturbridge and Southbridge residents in need.
Killingly Intermediate School in Killingly, CT
received $3,424.48 for the creation of three nature trails on the school property. The trails will be part of a larger curriculum-based initiative on ecosystems and forest health.
The Town of Mansfield, CT
received $7,500 for trail work, including signage, improvements and a trail guide, on its new Simpson-Wood Preserve. The town will be working with Boy Scout Troop 56 and students from EO Smith High School on improvements to the property. The preserve also connects to the town's 35-acre Mt. Hope Park.
Pierce Care in Brooklyn, CT
received $10,000 for a light pollution reduction program at its Creamery Brook Retirement Village. The grant will help fund replacement of fixtures which create significant sky glow on the 12-acre campus.
Union School in Union, CT
was awarded $9,747 for its Union United effort on the school grounds. Effort have been underway for several years to make Union School both the educational and community center of Connecticut's smallest town by population. The grant will fund enhancements to outdoor classroom space, an outdoor gathering space and the creation of a community garden.
Windham County 4-H Foundation in Pomfret, CT
was awarded $10,000 for dam repairs. The dam is essential to the maintenance of the 4-H Camp pond on its 265-acre property. The pond is the center of activity during summer camps and is integral in the programming of the Ragged Hill Environmental Science programs.
The Windham Region Community Council in Willimantic, CT
received $10,000 for is Thread City Family Garden Outdoor Classroom. While the council and its GROW Windham effort are the applicants, it is truly the Windham Youth Core, a high school leadership group, that is leading the effort to build outdoor classroom and gathering space at their existing half-acre Thread City Family Garden.
The Town of Thompson, CT
was awarded $2,500 for its Garden by The River Project at 65 Main St. The garden is phase one of a long-term vision to reclaim the property and rehabilitate a historic building there. The garden will include installation of a rain garden and a community garden.
All grants must be matched 1:1 by cash or in-kind contributions. The grants for the eight projects will translate into almost $200,000 of additional benefits to the region.
The Community Enrichment Grants were the last of several funding opportunities offered by TLGV to organizations and municipalities in The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor. A total of $75,000 in grants were awarded this fall.
The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor is the last stretch of dark night sky in the coastal sprawl between Boston and Washington, D.C. The Last Green Valley, Inc. works for you in the National Heritage Corridor. Together we can care for it, enjoy it and pass it on!
North Brookfield Savings Bank Invites Teens and Parents to
FREE Financial Literacy Course at Palmer Public Library
FREE 5-week Financial Literacy for Teens & Parents program presented by North Brookfield Savings Bank for 5 Tuesdays beginning January 7th, 2020.
North Brookfield Savings Bank knows the important of setting a strong foundation of financial knowledge and how starting that foundation from a young age can increase a person's overall lifetime financial success. That is why it has always been their mission to provide financial education resources to the youth of their local communities through their Financial Literacy Programs and School Banking programs.
North Brookfield Savings Bank, in conjunction with the Palmer Public Library and Top Floor Learning, Inc., is inviting all teens and parents to attend a FREE 5-week Financial Literacy for Teen & Parents program which will take place for 5 consecutive Tuesdays, from 4:30-5:30PM, beginning January 7th in the Palmer Public Library Community Room. Each week will include a lesson plan covering designated financial topics such as personal finance, the importance of saving, learning about credit, further education, careers, and renting verses owning a home. North Brookfield Savings Bank will have Jennifer Plassmann, Palmer Branch Manager and Top Floor Learning Board Member and Joe Ribeiro, North Brookfield Supervisor and IRA Specialist teaching the program to attendees.
Financial Literacy for Teens & Parents
Palmer Public Library, Community Room
5 Tuesdays from 4:30 - 5:30PM
Tuesday, January 7
Tuesday, January 14
Tuesday, January 21
Tuesday, January 28
Tuesday, February 4
"North Brookfield Savings Bank is happy to welcome teens and their parents to register for this useful, informative but digestible 5-week Financial Literacy program to build on your teen's financial knowledge foundation," said Patty Ostrout, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking. "Our relationship with our community members and customers is far beyond transactional. We are a dedicated and engaged banking partner and we are proud to be a resource of empowerment for the next generation of our communities."
North Brookfield Savings Bank provides various educational opportunities for customers and community members which can be viewed on the Bank's website at NorthBrookfieldSavingsBank.com/blog. Through these opportunities the Bank stays true to their "Commit to Excellence" core value by delivering support for growth, learning and continued success.
If you would like your local organization or school to have a Financial Literacy Program with North Brookfield Savings Bank please contact
Cornerstone Bank Contributes to Cops 'N' Kids & Lions Toy Driv
Cornerstone Bank employees and Southbridge Police Officers pose with donations recently made to the Bank's annual toy drive. Pictured here (L to R) are Business Development Sales Manager Carly Wilson, Teller Arielle Brackett, Customer Service Sales Manager Christina Abbotts, Business Development Sales Manager Andrew Philbrook, Deputy Chief Jose A Dingui, and fellow members of the Southbridge Police Department.
Cornerstone Bank, its employees, and customers worked together this holiday season to donate toys in support of the Cops 'N' Kids & Lions Toy Drive. Cornerstone Bank was also proud to donate an additional $1,500 to three different toy drives throughout Central MA, of which $500 was donated to the Southbridge Police Department's Cops 'N' Kids & Lions Toy Drive.
The mission of the Cops 'N' Kids & Lions Toy Drive is to help bring Christmas to deserving children in our area by collecting and distributing new, unwrapped toys. Branches of Cornerstone Bank served as drop-off locations for the program from November 25th through December 17th. Additionally, Bank employees donated toys, as well as helped organize the donations made by the community.
"We're always looking for ways to be a part of the communities we serve, and this toy drive is a great way to do that," said Cornerstone Bank President & Treasurer Todd M. Tallman.
The Bank is proud to participate in this program and once again, its customers and employees came through with an abundance of great toys.
About Cornerstone Bank: Cornerstone Bank is an independent, mutual savings bank serving the residents, businesses, and communities throughout Central Massachusetts from offices in Charlton, Holden, Leicester, Rutland, Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge, Warren, Webster and Worcester. Deposits are insured in full by a combination of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Depositors Insurance Fund. The Bank is an Equal Opportunity Employer, Equal Housing Lender, and SBA Preferred Lender. For more information, visit online at cornerstonebank.com, on Facebook or call 800-939-9103.
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This is not an offer to make a loan or to make a loan or any particular terms. All loan applicants must qualify under underwriting requirements and satisfy all contingencies of loan approval. Rates and terms subject to change without notice. NMLS ID #71655 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)
"Enter this new year with a gratitude for this new chance to create your dreams."
260 West Main Street, Route 9, West Brookfield, MA
Rich with history, the
Salem Cross Inn
is a restored 18th century farmhouse
nestled on 600 acres of New England countryside.
A Wedding Wire Couples' Choice Award
The Knot Best of Weddings Award recipient for 2019.
Fireplace Feasts in January!
January 3, 17, 19, 24, 26 & 31
Take a trip back in time and enjoy our 1700's colonial inspired feasts,
prepared on the open hearth of a great fieldstone fireplace.
See more and make your reservations
or call Salem Cross Inn at (508) 867-2345
for updates (including weather), event photos and future menu postings!
Open Full Schedule:
APRIL 4-DECEMBER 30, 2019
Tuesday to Friday (Lunch & Dinner) - 11:30am to 9:00pm
Saturday (Dinner) - 5:00pm to 9:00pm
Sunday (Dinner) - 12 Noon to 8:00pm
Tuesday to Friday (Dinner) - 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Site Builder Saturday - Build A HomePage Demo Facebook Live
January 4, 2020 from 11am to 12pm
Location: VIRTUAL -- FACEBOOK LIVE
508-320-7832 Becky Bruso
We will be LIVE on January 4, 2020 streaming this session on Facebook
at 11 a.m. (eleven a.m.)
The session will be recorded but the benefit of being live is that we will hold a Q&A session where you can ask your website building questions!
The demo is best suited for those interested in building their own websites!
We will feature our Website Builder Tool in this free demo!
Hope you will be able to make this exciting event!
How to Successfully Negotiate Your Worth
January 15, 11:45am-1:00pm, The Publick House
Gain confidence and improve your negotiation style with these tips to help you better identify and articulate your worth.
Guest Speaker Rachel Ferreira, Director of the Institute for Women's Leadership, Nichols College.
Before she started working at Nichols College 6 years ago, Rachel Ferreira's focus was on human rights and access to education working in the non-profit sector. In her current role as Director of Nichols College's Institute for Women's Leadership, she works to bring awareness and advocacy to the issues that face women in their professional lives, acts as a resource for female students at Nichols, as well as engaging both men and women in the conversation to bring about change in the wage gap, underrepresentation in leadership, and confidence gap, in addition to other topics addressing women in the workplace.
$20 Members, $30 Non-members. Advance registration required:
Village Toastmasters Weekly Meetings
Thursday Evenings, 7:00-8:15pm
CHAMBER OF CENTRAL MASS SOUTH CONFERENCE ROOM
46 Hall Road, Sturbridge
Village Toastmasters is a local group focused on helping its members improve their public speaking and leadership skill while building confidence in their abilities.
As of Thursday, April 27, 2017, Village Toastmasters will meet every Thursday from 7:00-8:15 pm
at the offices of the Chamber of Central Mass South, located at 46 Hall Road, Sturbridge.
Guests are always welcome!!
Please arrive 15 minutes early (6:45pm) as meetings start promptly.
Click on the image to browse our catalog of Coggno training courses!
We Welcome Interesting Goodies for our Welcome Baskets!
The Chamber has teamed up with the Center of Hope to create gift baskets to welcome new members to the Chamber of Central Mass South. The Chamber presents our new members with gift baskets that will not only have a monetary value but also to give the recipient an opportunity to learn more about other Chamber members and their services. These baskets make a terrific first impression and are a great way to introduce your business to new prospects. Can you help us fill these baskets with interesting goodies?
We are always seeking interesting, practical items to include in our welcome baskets. We welcome your contributions of items like modest gift certificates, discount coupons, items with your company's logo like piggy banks, thumb drives and coffee mugs, free trial items, small items your company manufactures or whatever else might promote your company and be a value to our new members.
We are looking to assemble about a dozen baskets at a time so that time sensitive material will not be out of date when received. If you would like to donate items for this program, please drop them off at the Chamber office or give us a call to arrange pick up your donated items. Contact Alix at 508-347-2761 or e-mail email@example.com if you have any questions or to arrange a pickup. Thank you for your contributions!
Important Dates to Save!
The Antiques Collectibles Show at The Sturbridge Host
January 4: Site Builder Saturday with Becky Bruso
January 14: Fun at Five at The Duck
January 15: Woman in Business: How to Successfully Negotiate Your Worth
January 16: MOBD Office Hours at The Chamber
January 17: Evening of Illumination at OSV
January 22: CMS Chamber Annual Meeting at The Barn at Wight Farm
VISIT US ONLINE FOR LOCAL EVENTS AND MORE