CEO Corner
President Biden and Vice President Harris have been in office for just over a month. Every day the Administration holds scheduled press briefings, there are readouts of Presidential phone calls and meetings, comprehensive policy proposals, personnel appointments, executive actions and national security briefings. What there isn’t is drama, crazy tweets or childish name calling. It is just government at work, a presidency returned to normal.

President Biden took over at a time that is anything but normal. He said in his Inaugural Address:

“This is a time of testing. We face an attack on democracy and on truth. A raging virus. Growing inequity. The sting of systemic racism. A climate in crisis. America’s role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with the gravest of responsibilities. Now we must step up. All of us.”

What we’ve seen to date is an Administration that has been hard at work for all of America from day one. The White House daily briefings focus on the economy, pandemic response, vaccine rollout, helping families, saving and creating jobs, rebuilding infrastructure, safeguarding our national security and regaining the trust of our allies on the world stage. In other words, our elected officials are focused on the tasks at hand and doing what we expect from them. Normalcy. 

When disaster struck Texas and the surrounding states – red states – the new Administration didn’t dwell on Texas’ local politics that created a power grid susceptible to failure, just people who desperately needed help. The Biden Administration’s response – declare a disaster and provide federal aid where it was needed.

In a somber and prayerful candlelit ceremony the President and Vice President last week remembered and honored more than 500,000 U.S. citizens whose lives have been lost to COVID-19 – the highest death toll of any nation in the world. Being the consoler-in-chief is also part of a president’s job requirements. It is a quality Americans have sorely missed over the last four years.

President Biden’s depth of character has its non-public moments too. When 97-year-old former Senate Republican Majority Leader and presidential candidate Bob Dole was recently diagnosed with stage-4 cancer, President Biden visited with him personally out of respect and compassion – not politics. From there President Biden went to church.

As a New Englander, I am proud to see our region represented so impressively in the Biden-Harris Administration and in Congress. I am especially honored to see Boston Mayor Marty Walsh tapped as the next Secretary of Labor. There is a lot to be done and it is good to see so many friends in government answering the call.

There is a lot to be done and it is refreshing to see so many qualified and experienced individuals answering the call.

As always, I hope you enjoy the client updates and agency news insightful. I hope you and your families continue to be healthy and safe.

Best,
Tom

Member-Directed Funding for FY2022 Federal Appropriations
Since last fall, there have been discussions on both sides of the aisle about Member-Directed Funding also called “earmarks” returning for the 117th Congress.

O’Neill and Associates will work with clients to identify the appropriate request to present to a congressional office, prepare briefing materials, help navigate clients through the process and integrate an array of relationships to ensure clients’ voices are heard by their congressional delegations.


2021 Congressional Calendar
Click the image to view the 2021 Congressional Calendar in full
Ember Gardens Case Study- Cannabis Retail Licensing
Ember Gardens is an Adult-Use Marijuana Cultivator, Product Manufacturer and Retailer. Located on Newbury Street in the city of Boston, Ember Gardens faced opposition to receive licenses for their retail location on Boston’s renowned Newbury Street.

Read more about the case study below:
Ember Gardens Case Study - Cannabis Retail Licensing -...

Even with Mayor Walsh's support, several offers of concessions and a commitment to area businesses, Ember Garden's hearing before the Boston Cannabis Board (BCB) was deferred due to continued neighborhood opposition as well as opposition from the ...

Read more
www.oneillandassoc.com
United Solutions
When United Solutions, a 100+-year-old plastics manufacturing company headquartered in Leominster, Mass., underwent a change in ownership and leadership (for only the second time in the company’s history), it turned to Seven Letter to develop a new website to better represent the company’s brand and products for consumers and retail partners. United Solutions makes plastic storage and organization totes, outdoor trash and recycling bins, and paint and work buckets for households and industry. It’s also a licensed manufacturer for Rubbermaid® Roughneck® totes, Cleverstore™ Clears and ActionPacker® storage boxes. 

Once the website was launched, United Solutions engaged Seven Letter to help tell its story of growth and resilience over the past two years under new ownership. Investments in the production facilities and in the workforce are driving the success of United Solutions. The company plans to hire 100 full-time workers this year and launch an exciting array of new consumer products, including an eco-friendly line of totally recycled and recyclable plastic totes and containers. 

The positive outlook and projected growth this year of United Solutions has resulted in several news stories generated by the Seven Letter United Solutions team, including Morningstar/Dow Jones, as well as local media such as the Sentinel and Enterprise

The Seven Letter team also created a richer social media presence for United Solutions by developing new accounts on Twitter and Instagram, and populating their other accounts with unique content to drive users to the company’s website. The Seven Letter team is currently producing a video that highlights the company’s exciting career opportunities for use in virtual career fairs as well as on its digital channels.
United Solutions is positioned to experience another banner growth year in 2021. With the help of Seven Letter, the word is getting out as this traditional plastics manufacturer brings on new people, implements new processes, and launches new products that will all contribute to the future success of the company.  
New Women-Owned Business Expands Choices for Housing Relocation Services

HousingToHome Offers Knowledge and Expertise to Logistical, Community Engagement Challenges Related to Housing and Commercial Relocation
Hannagh Jacobsen and Katie Provencher, Co-Founders, HousingToHome
Property owners, managers, developers and others in need of expert support during a housing and commercial relocation now have a new option with the launch of Seven Letter ONA client, HousingToHome (HTH). A newly launched, women-owned real estate start up, HousingToHome works with owners, developers, property managers, and others going through the rehabilitation and relocation process.

“Every year, housing professionals decide to renovate public housing and affordable housing developments across the country, which is good news because it means that millions of residents in lower income communities are able to live in upgraded units,” said Katie Provencher, HousingtoHome’s Cofounder. “But they often need support in managing both the logistics and the well-being of the residents. HousingToHome is offering services that will help both owners and managers and as importantly, the residents, as they grow that process.”

Housing and commercial relocation is usually triggered when either public housing or affordable housing undergoes a rehabilitation or demolition process, which means renovation or upgrading of older housing stock. These efforts, which are required to follow federal, state, and local regulatory rules, often entail moving individuals and families to temporary or permanent housing. Many building owners or property managers turn to housing relocation professionals both to manage the logistics but also to ensure that residents – most of whom live in low-income households – are a part of the process.

“HousingToHome will not only provide the kind of logistics support for temporary and permanent relocation during a rehab or renovation process, the company will also put the needs of residents first. We are committed to ensuring that they have both knowledge of the process and that our services will help to make their relocation as stress-free as possible,” said Hannagh Jacobsen, HousingToHome’s Cofounder. 
HousingToHome services will include:
●     Resident Engagement – HTH designs and implements a range of resident engagement work to support them through the transition and assist connecting them to resources.
●     Relocation – HTH will help to execute all types of relocation including temporary, occupied/resident in-place, permanent, and commercial relocation as well as consulting services. The company can handle all or partial aspects of relocation including staffing, training and supervising an on-site relocation team.  
●     Community Building – HTH can assist community building services such as resident association organizing, community asset mapping, and property crisis response, among others.
●     Consulting - HTH provides consulting services to clients with a variety of needs for resident engagement, relocation, and community building all along the relocation process.

“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, many property owners and developers are moving forward with their rehabilitation processes, and need assistance to move their projects forward and keep residents safe and healthy,” said Provencher. “We offer them a new option to making their relocation processes smooth for all involved.”

You can learn more about HousingToHome, and co-founders Katie Provencher and Hannagh Jacobsen, at the company’s website at www.housingtohome.com. And please follow HousingToHome at LinkedIn and on Twitter.
 
Newsletter Spotlight: Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Career Views Podcast
What kind of assistive technology is available to Blind and Low Vision employees in the workplace? What’s the best way to dispel employer myths about hiring and working with individuals who are Blind and Visually Impaired? And how will autonomous vehicles potentially help these individuals with low vision in the workforce?

These are the kinds of questions and more answered in the Seven Letter-produced podcast, Career Views by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB). MCB is a state agency that services individuals in Massachusetts who are legally blind by providing access to employment opportunities and social rehabilitation with the goal of increasing independence and self-determination. 

One important initiative of MCB is the Vocational Rehabilitation (or VR) services it provides individuals in the blindness community. MCB assists individuals in creating career pathways, offers assistive technology support, and continued collaboration as their employment circumstances change, among other services. In 2020, MCB determined that developing a podcast series on VR services would be a good way to educate the community on the many ways that MCB helps individuals who are Blind and Visually Impaired, as well as inclusive employers. The series was funded via federal reallotment from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), which allowed MCB to establish a podcast dedicated to encouraging individuals with disabilities to build successful careers. 

In conjunction with MCB leadership, Seven Letter helped to develop the topic areas for each podcast episode, advised on the episode format, made suggestions for the podcast’s name, created the podcast logo, conducted interviews, provided production services, and secured the podcast’s inclusion on multiple popular audio platforms. Seven Letter produced more than 20 episodes on MCB’s behalf, almost half of which they have released. For more information on why MCB decided to develop the Career Views podcast, you can listen to the interview we conducted with MCB Commissioner David D’Arcangelo at the OA on Air podcast. And you can listen to all of the Career Views episodes released to date at their Soundcloud site


If you are interested in learning more about Seven Letter’s podcast capabilities, please contact us at marketing@oneillandassoc.com
Stay up to date with the latest OA on Air Podcast episodes:
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