March - In This Issue:

Board of Directors
Chair of the Board
*Cynthia Peterson
Brigham and Women's/Mass General Health Care Center

Past Chair of the Board
*Brian Johnson

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

*Jim Kivlehan
Blue Hills Bank

General Counsel 
*Thomas Flaherty
Bacon Flaherty LLC

*Thomas O'Rourke

Previous Past Chair
*Dana Bottorff
G.T. Reilly & Company

Shawn Alexander
Universal Technical Institute

Kim Bassett
Norwood Hospital 

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

Susan Cwieka
New Pond Village

*James Donellon
Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP

*Robert Ferrini

Jim Forrest
Dedham High School

Steve Forrest

Rhonda Kale
Bank of Canton 

Paul Kouri
Keller Williams 

*Nancy Levine
Residential Mortgage Services

Jon Levy
American Holt Corporation

Mark LoVuolo
Liberty Mutual Insurance

Najwa Murphy
Fairfield Inn & Suites

*Member of the Executive Committee
W elcome 
New Members!

Member News

Rotary to Host 
"Hire a Vet" Breakfast

The Neponset Valley Sunrise Rotary is sponsoring a breakfast to assist veterans seeking employment to meet with potential employers.

Wednesday, March 21 at 7:30 am at the MIT Endicott House, 
80 Haven Road, Dedham.

Please RSVP to John Gorham 

Veterans bring résumés / Business cards ready for Interview!
Small Businesses Love Tax Reform and are Bullish on the Economy
(The following is used with permission from the U. S. Chamber of Commerce)

Small businesses are pumped about the economy.

The Q1 Metlife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index shows a surge in confidence, moving up more than three points to 66.3.

It's the biggest jump in the Index since it was launched in 2017.

The Index found a big leap in small business optimism towa rds the national economy-up 17 percentage points (55% vs. 38%) since Q4 2017. For the first time, the Index shows small businesses are more confident in the national economy than their local economies (46%).
A lot of this increased economic confidence could be d
ue to   last December's tax reform, which small businesses love:
  • 54% think it will help the national economy.
  • 47% think it will help their business grow, versus 23% who think it will hurt.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cut taxes on businesses of all sizes and forms to spur investment, innovation, and boost economic growth and wages.

In response, companies-including small businesses-are taking advantage of the improved tax environment.

"The 20% discount on taxation of S-corp pass-through income will allow us to keep more money in the business, which will then in turn allow us to invest in more machinery and warehouses," Doug Renfro President of Renfro Foods in Fort Worth, TX, told Above the Fold. "Ultimately, also, the ability to have increased profits will allow us to continue to provide outstanding benefits for our employees and their families, despite ever-rising health insurance costs."

Renfro Foods isn't alone. Ever since tax reform became law last December,  companies all across the country  have announced employee bonuses, new plant and equipment investments, and donations to local community institutions.
Some other observations:
  • 90% of small businesses expect a good year in 2018.
  • Nearly one-third (32%) plan to hire more workers this quarter. That's up from 27% in Q4 2017.
  • 39% plan to invest profits in their business. Much of that will go to higher employees' pay, investing in training, and hiring more workers.
"The optimism of our nation's small businesses illustrates how much of a home run passing pro-growth tax reform has already been for U.S. workers, job creators, and the economy," said Neil Bradley, U.S. Chamber executive vice president and chief policy officer. "National policies like regulatory relief and tax reform are giving small businesses new hope and a greater ability to invest in their business and workers, which translates into positive growth at the community and national level."
Senior Editor, Digital Content
U. S. Chamber of Commerce
Dedham Celebrates 10 Years of Growth
Local community and business leaders joined in the celebration at Blue Ribbon Barbecue which also highlighted many of the new developments occurring in Dedham Square recently. 
Lieutenant Governor, Karyn Polito addresses community and business leaders at the grand opening of Blue Ribbon Barbecue in Dedham Square. 

photos courtesy of  Kerry Hawkins
Experience The TASTE of Neponset Valley!
Get ready to Experience The TASTE of Neponset Valley!

Formerly known as Flavors, The TASTE is a newly re-imagined take on the biggest and tastiest food and beverage event in the region.

Here's a little of what's new:
  • A new name - Experience The TASTE of Neponset Valley
  • A funky new venue - The Norwood Space Center - 15,000 s.f. of space in a refurbished mill building
  • An expanded marketing campaign with new media partners and a social media campaign - #bitesbeerandwine
  • Reduced ticket prices to encourage greater attendance
Participating Vendors include...
Blue Ribbon Barbecue Davio's
Castle Island Brewing Vinovations
Tavolino Wegmans
Bertucci's Yankee Spirits

Thursday, March 22
Norwood Space Center
83 Morse Street, Norwood
5:30 - 8:30

4-pack $100
Single ticket $30 ($40 after March 8)

Wine Sponsor:  
Media Sponsor:  

Monthly Member Video Spotlight 
Click image above to view

This month's spotlight is on the Courtyard by Marriott.  Click above to hear what Caitlin Fryer has to say about their new hotel located at University Station in Westwood!
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. 
Check Out These March Events of Interest


Please join us for breakfast and a conversation with local stakeholders about bridging the transportation gaps in the Neponset Valley region. We are bringing together people who want to share information with a goal of identifying the mobility challenges and unmet transportation needs in our communities. During the event we will look at ways to improve transportation options for everyone.

We will discuss commuting in the region including: local transit services, improving options for the reverse commute, last mile/first mile connections, urban to suburban commuting, and employer-based transportation programs.

Thursday, March 8, 2018           
7:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Gillette Stadium
1 Patriot Place
Foxborough, MA

The Three Rivers Interlocal Council (TRIC)
would like to invite you to the annual
TRIC Legislative Breakfast!

This year's legislative meeting will also be co-hosted by Representative F. Jay Barrows whose district includes Foxborough.

The legislative breakfast is an opportunity for TRIC members (and Chamber members) to hear more about the accomplishments and priorities of the subregion's legislative delegation, as well as for members to share their ideas, questions, and concerns.

MAPC will also present its legislative priorities for the upcoming year. Legislators, municipal staff, local elected officials, and representatives from our partner organizations that also work on regional planning efforts are all welcome.

Friday, March 9, 2018
8:00AM - 10:00AM 
Gillette Stadium 
1 Patriot Place
Foxborough, MA

Please RSVP by Tuesday, March 6 at 5PM if you are attending.

Member Benefit of the Month:
NVCC Mobile App
Did you know you can access the main elements of the Chamber website at anytime from your smartphone?

Simply type in on your device and it will bring you to the Chamber webpage.  Once there an icon like the one on the bottom right will appear.  It says "To bookmark this page tap + and then 'Add to Home Screen'."

That will then bring you to the mobile app which allows you access to popular features like registering for events, accessing member coupons and searching the membership directory.  

From then on, anytime you need to access these tools, you will have the Chamber icon right on your phone for one-touch access.

Try it now.
MBAE Seeks Employer Input on Schools
Dear Member,

We have an opportunity to let the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) know about your workforce needs! 

The information is essential to make sure that the state prioritizes in-demand credentials that are valuable to Massachusetts employers as it as it prepares students for the jobs you need to fill. The Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education is working with DESE to get input from companies in every sector, of every size from all across the Commonwealth. Please take this three-minute survey by March 28, 2018.

AG Issues Guidance on Equal Pay Law
On July 1, 2018, an updated equal pay law will go into effect in Massachusetts, providing more clarity as to what constitutes unlawful wage discrimination and adding protections to ensure greater fairness and equity in the workplace. 

Yesterday, the Attorney General's Office issued guidance and online resources to assist employers in complying with the law.  Please see the press release below.  

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, m eals, 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.

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