January - In This Issue:

Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board
*Brian Johnson

Past Chairman of the Board
*Dana Bottorff
G.T. Reilly & Company

*Cynthia Peterson
Brigham and Women's/Mass General Health Care Center

*Jim Kivlehan
Blue Hills Bank

General Counsel 
*Thomas Flaherty
Bacon Flaherty LLC

*Thomas O'Rourke

Previous Past Chairman
*Peter McFarland
The Allied Group

Shawn Alexander
Universal Technical Institute

Kim Bassett
Norwood Hospital 

Todd J. Chipman, MST
John T. Chipman & Co., CPAs

John Decker
Dedham Savings

James Donellon
Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP

*Robert Ferrini

*Alisia St. Florian
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP

Jim Forrest
Dedham High School

Steve Forrest

Adam Goodrich
Marathon Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine 

Rhonda Kale
Bank of Canton 

*Nancy Levine
Residential Mortgage Services

Jon Levy
American Holt Corporation

Mark LoVoulo
Liberty Mutual Insurance

*Member of the Executive Committee
W elcome 
New Member!

Member News

G.T. Reilly & Company announces promotions
MILTON, MA-G.T. Reilly & Company has announced the promotions of two professionals on its staff:
Zachary T. Payne was promoted to Senior Tax Accountant. Payne received his Bachelor of Science in Business, Concentration: Accounting from Eastern Nazarene College in 2014, and joined G.T. Reilly in 2015. He was previously employed with State Street Bank. He lives in Duxbury.
Peter J. Catal was promoted to In-Charge Accountant & Auditor. Catal joined the firm in June 2016 after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Stonehill College. He lives in Norton.
G.T. Reilly & Company is a full-service accounting and consulting firm whose clients include corporations, individuals, closely-held family businesses, multi-national companies, nonprofit organizations and financial institutions. The firm offers accounting, auditing and tax services, as well as management consulting and estate planning.
From the President
U.S. Chamber's Take on the New Tax Code
The new tax code signed into law last month will mean different things to different businesses, families and individuals.  The Chamber has many qualified CPA firms that can help you navigate the new system and learn what it means to your situation.

The following article gives the perspective of Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce, on what it means to the business community.

Tom O'Rourke, President and CEO

On New Year's Day, the American people awoke to a new tax code and a brighter economic future. Increased business optimism, higher wages, and holiday bonuses were among the immediate effects of the tax ref
orm legislation signed into law on December 22. But the greatest impact will become clear over the long term: a stronger, more innovative, and faster growing American economy.

In the more than 30 years since Congress last reformed the tax code, the economy has transformed dramatically with a greater emphasis on global commerce and digital technologies. Our outdated tax laws were a drag on our ability to innovate and adapt to these changes. Businesses were subjected to some of the highest tax rates in the developed world, were punished with double taxation when they participated in the global economy, and were unable to expense much of the investment needed to grow and innovate. All of that ended with this much-needed reform.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce fought for years to accomplish many of the changes President Trump signed into law last month. While the final bill isn't perfect, it represents the kind of bold and forward-looking reform we need on both the individual and business side of the tax code. It cuts rates for businesses of all kinds, allows for full expensing of investments, and establishes an internationally competitive tax system.

What does this mean for the big picture? It means growth: in the short term and long term. In the short term, with more cash in businesses' coffers and more hope for the future, many companies are taking immediate and extraordinary steps to benefit workers. Some, including AT&T and Sinclair Broadcast Group, announced generous bonuses to thousands of employees. Others, such as Wells Fargo and Washington Federal, announced permanent raises. And others, such as Boeing, pledged investments in their communities, workplaces, or workforces.

Tax reform's greatest impact goes far beyond these immediate steps, manifesting itself in more business investment, increased capacity, better jobs, rising wages, and a more competitive and successful American economy. The Chamber was proud to lead the business community's efforts to overcome the doubters and pass tax reform. We worked with lawmakers, coordinated with state and local chambers around the country, ran advertisements, and much more.

It is our sincere hope and firm expectation that this new year and new tax code will bring success and prosperity to all Americans-from entrepreneurs to workers to our great global competitors to the small businesses that form the bedrock of their communities.
Save the Date - Annual Meeting January 25th
Mark it down, the Chamber's Annual Meeting and Awards Breakfast will be held on Thursday, January 25th at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood.
Our guest speaker is Jay Ash,  the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Secretary Ash is responsible for directing and executing Governor Charlie Baker's agenda on housing and community development, job creation, business development, consumer affairs, and business regulation. 

In addition to electing new directors and officers we will also recognize members with our annual awards presentations.

Thursday, January 25, 2018
7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Four Points Sheraton
1125 Providence Highway
Norwood, MA

Monthly Member Video Spotlight 
Click image above to view

This month's spotlight is on Lydon & Murphy Insurance.  Click above to hear what owner, Jeff Lydon has to say about their services!
Norwood Video is located within the Chamber office and Darryn Carroll would love to hear from Chamber members regarding complimentary video projects for the Chamber. Reach out to Darryn at or call 781-686-5293. 
Ring in the New Year with These Networking Opportunities
Noon Networking

Join us at the Texas Roadhouse in Walpole for our next Noon Networking meeting.  
This structured networking event will help you expand your network by connecting with other Chamber members over a delicious lunch.
Bring your business cards and your appetite.  We'll do the rest.

Texas Roadhouse
Providence Highway
Walpole, MA
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 PM

Growing Your Personal Wealth
Growing Your Personal Wealth: Strategies for Professional Women, a n information-packed panel discussion presented by the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce
Women's Leadership Alliance

5:30 pm - Registration & Networking
6 pm - Panel Discussion & Q & A
Cash bar & light hors d'oeuvres
Courtyard Marriott
64 University Avenue
Westwood, MA 
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
5:30 - 7:30 pm

Business After Hours
Join us on January 18 at our next Business After Hours!

We will celebrate the grand opening of the region's newest hotel with a Ribbon Cutting and tours of the property.

The event will feature great networking including plenty of food and drink.   

Fairfield Inn & Suites
630 Providence Highway   
Walpole, MA 
Thursday, January 18, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Iceland - A Land of Fire and Ice 
Ready to cross Iceland off of your bucket list?

Join  us from October 7-13, 2018 for 7 days and 5 nights including hotels, meals, day trips and airfare from Boston for just $2,599.

This trip is open to members, employees, friends and guests, so please feel free to share this information.

Join us on our tour to Iceland, a land of geysers, glaciers, volcanoes, epic sagas, heroic legends, and rich history.

Iceland is an otherworldly place where forces of nature have created a landscape that allows you to swim in geothermal heated pools, trek across a mossy lava filed, or  drive over an icy glacier all in one day. You will be enchanted by the striking and raw beauty of this extraordinary and geologically young island. The local cultural life is equally rich, from medieval sagas to contemporary novels. The effortless style of the local people is simply mesmerizing, as is their friendly and self-reliant spirit.

Member Benefit of the Month:
Get Connected with the Ambassadors
Seated: Steve Sorkin, Norwood Printing, Valerie Rolli, Blue Hills Bank, Mark LoVuolo, Liberty Mutual.  Standing: Arif Bhimani, Middlesex Bank, Paula Burke, Bank of Canton, Peter Ellis, ServPro.
Customer feedback is crucial to any business.  Obtaining it however, can often be a challenge.  

For the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce, that is where the Ambassadors come in.  Our team of dedicated volunteers serve an important role in soliciting member feedback.  Each year they reach out to every member of the Chamber to ask a few questions in order to make sure that your voice is being heard and that the Chamber is providing value to your business.  

When you get a call or an email from a  member who identifies themselves as a Chamber Ambassador, please take a moment to share your thoughts with them.  Soon they will be sending out feedback surveys electronically in order to make the process even easier.

Additionally, the Ambassador Team informs new members on how to maximize their membership by delivering new member packets and inviting them to upcoming Chamber events.  Also, look for them at our member events and they will introduce you to other members and make you feel welcome.

Final Regulations & FAQ's Released on New Employer Health Care Tax

The MA Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has issued a set of guidance documents and regulations on the new employer health care tax to be implemented through an increase in the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC), set to take effect on January 1.  The regulations and FAQ's are available on the DUA website at

The Governor and the Legislature included in this year's state budget a temporary increase in the EMAC for all employers with 6 or more employees, and an additional tax/assessment on employers with employees on public health assistance.  The EMAC is an existing tax that most employers now pay as part of their unemployment insurance taxes.  EMAC funds are used to pay for subsidized health care for low-income residents of the Commonwealth.  The current EMAC contribution rate is 0.34% of wages, up to the annual wage cap of $15,000, with a potential maximum cost of $51 per employee per year.  For the wages paid in the years 2018 and 2019, the EMAC contribution will increase to 0.51% up to the annual wage cap of $15,000, which increases the potential maximum cost per employee to 
$77 per employee per year.
The additional tax/assessment on employers with 6 or more employees whose non-disabled employees obtain health insurance either from Medicaid/MassHealth (excluding the premium assistance program) or subsidized coverage through the MA Health Connector, is 5% of annual wages for each non-disabled employee, up to the annual wage cap of $15,000, for a maximum of  $750 per employee per year

The liability of employers subject to the EMAC Supplement begins on January 1, 2018.  
Education News and Survey from MBAE
Dear MBAE Affiliate:
Happy New Year!  We look forward to working with you in 2018, and are excited to let you know that we are planning to provide more district-specific resources for you in the year ahead! 
Right now, we all have an opportunity to influence new district and school report cards being re-designed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Everyone deserves to know how their schools are doing.  Unfortunately, education data is often hard to find, full of confusing jargon, and lacks a coherent bottom line.   We encourage you to respond to the survey DESE is using to gather feedback from education stakeholders on what data is important and how it can be more user-friendly.  You may also want to share this survey link with your members so that they can respond as well, although the deadline is next week - Friday, January 12. 
Here are some suggestions for questions that may be open-ended or confusing:
  1. 1.       Choose OTHER and write in that you are an employer, or business leader.
    1. We suggest ranking outcome measures higher than inputs that may be informative but are not indicators of school or district performance.
    2. This question asks for information you find missing from the current report card that you would like to add.   MBAE is calling for the following:
  •        Clear explanation of accountability and assistance levels - what does that mean for our district?
  •        Explanations of why measures matter.  For example, what is "chronic absenteeism" and why is that important? 
  •        Context may be necessary for some of this data to be understood.  Averages for measures like SAT scores are not meaningful without knowing percentage of students who take the test and other factors. 
  •        Data that shows how successful students are after high school graduation should go beyond enrollment figures and include factors such as percentage required to take remedial classes before earning credits in college; or those enrolling in postsecondary study but failing to earn a degree or credential within the minimum time period, or 150% of that or even 200% of that amount of time.
Linda M. Noonan, Executive Director
Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education
400 Atlantic Avenue,  Boston, MA 02110
617-737-3122;  Cell 781-801-2287
Neponset Valley Video Released!
Check out our newly released video highlighting the Neponset Valley region as a place to live, work and play!
Thanks to New Outlook Homecare for sponsoring the video.

Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce
520 Providence Highway, Suite 4
Norwood, MA 02062
(t) 781.769.1126 (f) 781.769.0808