Experience North Central at Red Apple Farm

Johnny Appleseed Trail Association and Chamber offer new experiential networking series

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association (JATA) and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the launch of their newest networking program, Experience North Central!  This new quarterly series offers guests a unique opportunity to experience local businesses and attractions while networking with other like-minded professionals.  The first session will be held from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Thursday, September 28th, 2017 at Red Apple Farm located at 455 Highland Avenue, Phillipston, MA.

Each session of the Experience North Central will offer a non-traditional networking opportunity with a fun, experiential learning twist.  The first edition of the new series hosted by Red Apple Farm will feature a farm tour, discussion with the fourth generation owner and operator, Al Rose, and the hands on experience of making and eating Red Apple’s famous cider donuts!  Red Apple Farm will also offer farm oriented refreshments and a cash bar during the event.

“We’re excited to launch this unique new event series as a way to help connect members through these fun shared experiences,” said Roy Nascimento, President of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association.  “Experience North Central is a great way to meet other professionals and leaders in the community while also promoting the great attractions and businesses that we have to offer here in the region.”

The 105 year old Red Apple Farm opened in 1912 with beginnings in wholesale apples.  Now a destination for everything autumn oriented, Red Apple Farm has three locations: the Farm, Wachusett Mountain, and the City of Boston: opening one of the largest stalls at Boston Public Market two years ago.  Their famously delicious cider donuts are made daily and sold at each location.

The next Experience North Central is scheduled for October 18th with a beer tasting at Moon Hill Brewing and will include a discussion of the micro-brew industry with owner Rick Walton and their head brewer.  Upcoming Experience North Central events will offer behind the scene tours of local companies and attractions; and other interactive and experiential networking events.

The cost of the September event is $15 for Chamber and JATA members and $25 for non members. For registration, please visit www.northcentralmass.com or contact Maria McCaffrey at 978.353.7604 x. 235 or mmccaffrey@northcentralmass.com


Getting to Know Your Chamber Scheduled for Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will host “Getting to Know Your Chamber” on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, 860 South Street, Fitchburg, MA.  This presentation is designed to help new members navigate the perks and programs of Chamber membership, but is equally valuable for current members who want to get the most value from their membership, or those interested in learning if chamber membership is right for them.

Chamber staff will explain the many benefits and programs of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce including networking events, government affairs, educational workshops and seminars, advertising opportunities and health insurance, to name just a few.  There is no cost to attend the “Getting to Know Your Chamber” meeting, but pre-registration is required.  Register online at www.NorthCentralMass.com/news/calendar-of-events/. For more information or to register visit www.NorthCentralMass.com/news/calendar-of-events/ or contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235.

Business owners unable to attend but interested in learning more about Chamber membership may contact Jeff Ardis, Manager of Member Services and Business Development or David Ginisi at 978.353.7600 or by sending an email to jardis@northcentralmass.com or dginisi@northcentralmass.com to schedule a one-to-one meeting.

2017 North Central Massachusetts Congressional Luncheon Scheduled for October 6, 2017

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is hosting the Annual North Central Massachusetts Congressional Luncheon on Friday, October 6, 2017 featuring the Honorable Jim McGovern, United States Representative for the Second Congressional District and the Honorable Niki Tsongas, United States Representative for the Third Congressional District of Massachusetts.  The program runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Great Wolf Lodge, 150 Great Wolf Drive, Fitchburg, MA.

This event will provide Chamber members the opportunity to hear directly from members of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding business issues and critical matters facing the nation.  Attendees will also be afforded the unique opportunity for networking and questions with members of North Central’s federal delegation.

Currently serving his eleventh term in Congress, Congressman Jim McGovern serves as the second ranking Democrat on the powerful House Rules Committee, which sets the terms for debate and amendments on most legislation; and a member of the House Agriculture Committee.  In 2014, McGovern was named Democratic Ranking Member on the House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Nutrition.  The Subcommittee’s jurisdiction includes policies and statutes relating to nutrition, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and domestic c


ommodity distribution and consumer initiatives.

Before his election to Congress, McGovern spent 14 years working as a senior aide for the late U.S. Representative John Joseph Moakley (D-South Boston), former dean of the Massachusetts delegation

and Chairman of the House Rules Committee.  He was born in Worcester, the son of two successful small business owners.  His two sisters are elementary school teachers in Worcester’s public school system.

McGovern earned his Bachelor of Arts (‘81) and Masters of Public Administration (‘84) degrees from The American University, working his way through college by serving as an aide in the office of U.S. Senator George McGovern (D-SD).

Congresswoman Niki Tsongas was elected to the United State House of Representatives in a 2007 special election, becoming the first w

oman in 25 years to serve in Congress from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  She represents the Massachusetts Third District (which had previously been known as the Fifth District until 2012).  Tsongas holds the same seat that was held three decades earlier by her late husband, former Congressman, U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Paul Tsongas.  Her Congressional district spans across portions of Essex, Middlesex and Worcester counties.

Tsongas serves as a senior member on the prestigious House Armed Services Committee, and having previously served in a leadership position as the top Democrat on the subcommittee for Oversight and Investigations.  Tsongas also serves on the Natural Resources Committee, which formulates federal policy related to domestic energy production, National Parks, and the environment.  In 2015, she was named to a leadership role as the top Democrat on the Federal Lands Subcommittee.  She also serves on the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee.  Recently Tsongas was elected by her peers to serve as the highest ranking Democrat on the largest HASC subcommittee, the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee.

Prior to being elected to the House of Representatives, Tsongas served as a Dean at Middlesex Community College, practiced law, and raised her three daughters all in the region she now represents.

Tsongas will not seek re-election in 2018.

Make sure that you reserve your spot early to hear from our congressional delegation on the many critical issues facing the business community in Washington D.C.

Pre-registration is required and easy. Simply call the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235, email mmccaffrey@northcentralmass.com or register online at www.northcentralmass.com.  The cost is $35 for members and $55 for non-members.

September Edition of Good Morning North Central features Fitchburg and Leominster Mayors

 The next edition of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber’s popular Good Morning North Central breakfast series is scheduled for Friday, September 22, 2017 from 6:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton, 99 Erdman Way, Leominster, MA.  The September edition is sponsored by Apex Properties.

 The Good Morning North Central series is a high-profile, fast-paced and educational breakfast program geared towards executives, senior managers, professionals and business owners.  Each of the programs has a business-oriented focus and features popular speakers to present on topics of interest to local businesses.

The featured speakers for the September edition are Mayor Dean Mazzarella of Leominster and Mayor Stephen DiNatale of Fitchburg being interviewed by guest Kelli Rooney of HealthAlliance Hospital. Both Mayors will be discussing partnerships and initiatives in the Twin Cities, including the 3.8 mile Rail Trail and economic development. The

program also includes an economic development presentation by Tricia Pistone of Re-Imagine North of Main.

Mayor Dean Mazzarella was elected Mayor of Leominster in 1993 and was sworn in January 3, 1994. Prior to his run for Mayor, Dean was a ten-year veteran of the Leominster Police Department and has been a small business owner in the City for a number of years. Mayor Mazzarella’s philosophy on building a strong community is based on a total quality of life for the people who live and work in Leominster. In the past few years, the Mayor has highlighted the importance of small businesses, concentrating more on those located in the downtown area. He also has demonstrated the importance of a strong school system while being the Chair of the Leominster School Committee by building new schools and upgrading existing schools. Mazzarella now looks forward to bringing in new businesses and building the Leominster economy.

Mayor Stephen DiNatale was sworn in as Mayor of Fitchburg January 4, 2016. Stephan has been a resident of Fitchburg for over 35 years. Mayor DiNatale served in the United States Navy for four years as an Operations Specialist 3rd Class Petty officer. He then graduated from Fitchburg State College in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. DiNatale was employed with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections and then spent ten years with Wang Laboratories Corporation. He then returned to state employment serving 15 years with the Massachusetts Department of Correction, the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Board, and the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Forensic Division. Prior to his run as Mayor, he served five years on the Fitchburg School Committee, three years as the Councilor at Large for the Fitchburg City Council, and served nine years as a Massachusetts State Representative for the Third Worcester District.


Following the presentation by the Mayors, Tricia Pistone, Vice President of Re-Imagine North of Main, will present on revitalizing Fitchburg and partnerships within the community. ReImagine North of Main is a partnership – of local businesses, government, nonprofits, and residents of Fitchburg – committed to making an impact and improving the quality of life in the neighborhood where future residents and businesses want to live, work, and invest.


The cost is just $25 for Chamber members/$40 non-members and includes a breakfast buffet. Season Tickets are also available for purchase.  Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact the Chamber at 978.353.7600 ext. 235 or visit www.northcentralmass.com.


The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation and Hometown Bank are holding two business workshops on September 28, 2017 aimed at assisting potential and existing entrepreneurs.

These free workshops are approximately two and a half hours each and are being held in partnership with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center, SCORE, NewVue Communities, City of Leominster and the City of Fitchburg.  Both workshops will be held at the North Central Massachusetts Chamber office, 860 South Street, Fitchburg, MA.

Session I: Fundamentals in Planning, Preparing, and Financing Your Business will run from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and will focus on evaluating and understanding the fundamentals of owning one’s own business.  Information on how to get started, where and how to get financing and the loan application process will be presented.  Registration begins at 8:00. Continental breakfast will be provided for all participants.  Presented by Bob Aspell, SCORE

Session II: Understanding the Purpose of Financial Statements and How They Can Help Determine the Health of Your Business will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will focus on understanding a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement.  The workshop will also explain how a small business owner can anticipate financial needs in order to operate his/her business more efficiently.  Registration begins at 11:30. Lunch will be provided for all participants. Presented by Robert C. Alario, CPA


To register, please contact Sandie Cataldo at 978.353.7607 ext. 232 or SCataldo@northcentralmass.com.  You may also register online at www.northcentralmass.com/calendar-of-events North Central Massachusetts.

North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce to Host Legislative and Candidates Reception

Premier networking event connects elected officials with community leaders

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce will host its Legislative and Candidates Reception on September 14, 2017 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Chocksett Inn on 59 Laurelwood Road in Sterling, MA. The event is intended to offer the region with an upscale networking event that connects business and community leaders with the region’s elected officials, as well as those seeking public office.

“This is a great opportunity for our business and community leaders, as well as our public officials to gather for an evening of networking and collegial discussion,” said Roy Nascimento, President and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “We look forward to joining our legislators at a unique venue like the Chocksett Inn.”

The Legislative and Candidates Reception is one of the Chamber’s premier events of the season, with over 125 federal, state, and local elected officials invited. Mount Wachusett Community College is the premier sponsor for the event. “At Mount Wachusett Community College, we understand the importance of engaging with the region’s business and legislative communities. These connections and insights help guide the college in various areas such as programming and outreach,” said MWCC President James Vander Hooven. “It is vital for our region’s business leaders, legislators, and policy-makers to meet and network so that they can engage and learn from each other. I am happy to support this important event.”

“Gaining access to legislators and those who seek public office is just as important for small business owners as it is for CEOs in the region,” said Ken Gurge, Esq., Chamber Board Member and Chair of the Government Affairs Committee. “This will be a tremendous opportunity for anyone with passion for North Central Massachusetts.”

Government affairs and public policy advocacy is a key component to the Chamber’s efforts to promote a healthy and active business climate throughout the region. Recognizing that the business community and legislators are partners in economic vitality and growth, events like these align well with the Chamber’s mission.

Sponsored by Mount Wachusett Community College, the event will feature an open bar and gourmet appetizers and hors d’oeuvres. Cost for members is $20 and non-members is $30. Registration is available online at www.northcentralmass.com. Please contact Maria McCaffrey at 978.353.7600 ext. 235 or mmccaffrey@northcentralmass.com  for more details.

As of September 5th, the following legislators and candidates have confirmed their attendance:


 Confirmed legislators:


Senator Jamie Eldridge, Senator of Middlesex and Worcester Districts
Representative Kim Ferguson, Representative of 1st Worcester District
Representative Stephan Hay, Representative of 3rd Worcester District
Representative Harold Naughton, Representative of 12th Worcester District
Representative Jon Zlotnik, Representative of 2nd Worcester District
Sheriff Lewis Evangelidis, Sheriff of Worcester County
Kathleen Reynolds-Daigneault, Worcester Northern Register of Deeds
Mayor Stephen DiNatale, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Susan Chalifoux-Zephir, City of Leominster – Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District
Councilor David Cormier, City of Leominster
Councilor Pauline Cormier, City of Leominster
Selectman James DeLisle, Town of Westminster
Councilor Marcus DiNatale, City of Fitchburg
Councilor Claire Freda, City of Leominster – Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District
Selectman Mark Grasso, Town of Lancaster
Councilor Amy Green, City of Fitchburg
Selectwoman Cindy King, Town of Townsend
Councilor Michael Kushmerek, City of Fitchburg – Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District
Councilor James Lanciani, City of Leominster
Selectman Walter Sendrowski, Town of Lancaster
Selectman Stanley Starr, Town of Lancaster
Selectman Jamie Toale, Town of Lunenburg

Councilor Dean Tran, City of Fitchburg
Selectman Wayne Walker, Town of Westminster
Town Administrator Ross Perry, Town of Sterling

Confirmed Candidates:


Robert K. Massie, Gubernatorial Candidate
Jeffrey Sossa-Paquette, Candidate for US House of Representatives – Second Congressional District
Thomas F. Ardinger, Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District
Michael Mahan, Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District

Louis Marino, Candidate for Senate, Worcester/Middlesex District

Andrew Couture, Candidate for City Councilor/Councilor-at-large – City of Fitchburg

Heather De Jesus, Candidate for City Councilor/Ward 6 – City of Fitchburg
Marisa Fleming, Candidate for City Council/Ward 5 – City of Fitchburg
Michael Hurley, Candidate for City Councilor/Councilor-at-large – City of Fitchburg
Cheryl Maguy-Stewart, Candidate for City Council/ Ward 2 – City of Fitchburg
Brandon Robbins, Candidate for City Council/Councilor-at-large – City of Leominster
Sam Squailia, Candidate for City Councilor/Councilor-at-large, City of Fitchburg
Elizabeth Walsh, Candidate for City Councilor/Ward 6 – City of Fitchburg
Isabelle Alera, Candidate for School Committee/Ward 3 – City of Leominster

Joshua Klaus, Candidate for School Committee/Ward 3 – City of Leominster

North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation & ReImagine North of Main Collaborate to Attract and Diversify Neighborhood Businesses

The North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation and ReImagine North of Main have announced that they are collaborating on an effort to expand financing to entrepreneurs and existing small businesses in the North of Main neighborhood in the City of Fitchburg. ReImagine is providing a grant of $25,000 for a loan loss reserve that will be leveraged with capital from the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation to provide micro-loans of up to $50,000.  The fund will be focused upon assisting ventures which seek to locate or are already located in the North of Main neighborhood, with priority given to the Main Street commercial district.  This project supports existing efforts around revitalization of the downtown business district and helps stimulate new entrepreneurism and investment in the North of Main.

Eligible loan participants may include any existing venture or new venture that proposes to add value and diversification to the business climate of the North of Main neighborhood and/or create jobs in the community.  Special consideration will be made to restaurants, specialty foods, shoe and apparel stores, art galleries, entertainment coffeehouses, and creative-based businesses including graphic design, music and video production.  Loans made can be used for working capital, leasehold improvements, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, and refinancing of business credit card debt. The interest rates are flexible, but generally close to the current fixed market rate.

The organizations anticipate that the collaboration will support 3-6 loans to North of Main businesses that will mitigate lender risk and reduce borrowing costs for businesses and create 1-2 new businesses on Main Street through start-up costs supported by the fund.

“We are excited to partner with ReImagine North of Main to expand economic opportunity in the community,” said Roy M. Nascimento, IOM, President and CEO of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce. “This collaboration will allow the North Central Massachusetts Development Corporation the ability to provide more microloans to small and emerging businesses and support collective efforts in the community focused on economic development.”

The collaboration also seeks to engage with the private sector and municipal plans to connect financing resources with opportunities in and around the North of Main to improve entrepreneurship.

“Fitchburg’s downtown, through the many efforts of our City, community partners, and the business community, is on the rise thanks to coordinated efforts like this,” said Patricia Pistone, ReImagine North of Main Coordinator and Vice President of Planning at Montachusett Opportunity Council.  “We hope these funds can be used to further investment in Main Street by attracting unique new businesses. ReImagine North of Main is very excited to be a part of an opportunity that will contribute to the long-term success of the City and, more importantly, its residents.”

The funding originated from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Working Cities Challenge Initiative, a grant program designed to advance collaborative leadership in smaller, postindustrial cities to transform the lives of their low-income residents. ReImagine North of Main received $150,000 in tactical funds to support strategies to support the revitalization of the downtown area and surrounding neighborhood.

This financing initiative was developed to support the City of Fitchburg’s efforts to support downtown revitalization. Tom Skwierawski, the City of Fitchburg’s Executive Director of Planning and Community Development, stated that “Fitchburg is a place that cultivates entrepreneurship, a place where prospective businesses feel they can make their dreams a reality. We will continue our efforts to become more business-friendly and are happy to join with committed partners—like ReImagine and the North Central Massachusetts Chamber—who, through programs like this, will help us make it happen.”

For additional information or to inquire about a loan, please call 978.353.7607 or visit www.choosenorthcentral.com

Music Schedule Released for the Appleseed Country Fair

The Johnny Appleseed Trail Association just released the music schedule for the 6th Annual Appleseed Country Fair. Running the full length of the fair we will have music on stage that ranges from blue grass and fiddlers to hard and 90s rock. Saturday and Monday will feature bands from all over New England, while Sunday is reserved for our fiddlers. Our FiddleFest is quickly turning into one of the biggest fiddle competitions in New England. Last year we had 27 fiddlers with ages ranging from 5 to 68, and we are expecting bigger numbers for this year!

“We are excited to bring back the music tent again this year” said Roy Nascimento, President of the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association. “Our bands set the mood as people flock to the farm from all over New England for some old fashioned country fun.”


Saturday September 2, 2017


10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Fern and Friends

Fern has been a familiar face in the local music scene for over 20 years. She coordinates the music for all the festivals at the Red Apple Farm. Her passion is to help the local music scene to grow by introducing new talent as well as keeping the local “legends” we all know and love up on stage!


11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Jared Moore

Jared holds a place in the Hard Rock scene in New England. He will be setting down his bass to perform some familiar classic tunes as well as some originals on his guitar!


11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Grin Whistle

Grin Whistle is a Massachusetts-based folk band infusing bluegrass, Americana and roots rock with artful storytelling. They keep emphasis on eclectic and high-energy live performances by melodically combining delicate storytelling with foot-stomping grooves.


1:00 p.m. -1:45 p.m. Ray Hendricks

Local singer songwriter Ray is definitely a Red Apple Farm favorite


2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Green Sisters

Their music ranges from Celtic, bluegrass, barbershop and blues to originals.  It is no wonder why the Green Sisters have become a local favorite!


4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Mrs. Henry and the Sweet Bourbon Daddies

Back by popular demand, these folks share their love with some good old time back porch music. This year’s featured guests are sure to bring the house down with a foot stompin’ hootenanny, like no other!


Sunday, September 3, 2017


10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Wootan Firebox

First Time at the Farm…these guys will get your feet stomping and will have you geared up and ready for the Fiddlers!


1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Fiddle Contest

Contestant check in starts at noon

Cash Prizes Awarded. No Registration Fee to Participate.

The 3rd Annual FiddleFest, one of the most popular musical segments of the Appleseed Country Fair returns on Sunday, September 3rd.  FiddleFest is one of the largest fiddle competitions in New England and promises to be a lot of fun!


This is a North American Fiddlers Judges Association (NAFJA) sanctioned Fiddle Contest. NAFJA has been providing skilled judging for fiddle contests throughout New England and other parts of the Northeast since 1977. It is most important to have judges whom the fiddlers can trust to provide knowledgeable, fair and unbiased adjudication. Because of their training and experiences, NAJFA judges can do just that.


Monday, September 4, 2017


10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Mike Martin

Mike Martin has been singing and playing guitar for about a year, and plays mostly 90s rock.


12:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. The Stone Line

Members are Jen Spingla and Jason Duda of Violet Maze, Doug MacLeod of The Barrett Anderson Band, Joshua Hill of Grin Whistle


2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Andy Fichtel / Scotty Monette Duo

These two guys will no doubt keep you smiling and grooving! You will find them sitting in with in several different bands and working with the best musicians around! Don’t miss them!


For more information check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/1282705238435317 or by visiting at www.appleseed.org/event/6th-annual-appleseed-country-fair/.

6th Annual Appleseed Country Fair Scheduled for September 2, 3 and 4, 2017

On Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 the 6th Annual Appleseed Country Fair will kick off! The fair will be held at Red Apple Farm located at 455 Highland Avenue in Phillipston, MA and the hours will run from 10am-6pm on the 2nd, 10am-5pm on the 3rd and 10am-4pm on the 4th.

The Appleseed Country Fair will feature over 50 vendors that range from artisans and crafters to food, beer and wine. There are even vendors just for the kids like face painting and marshmallow shooters! Speaking of the kids we will have a brand new kid’s area that will feature crafts, activities, animals and a rock climbing wall.

Live music will be entertaining the crowds all weekend and on Sunday we will be holding our 3rd annual FiddleFest, one of the largest fiddle competitions in New England. Last year we had 27 fiddlers with ages ranging from 5 to 68, and we are expecting bigger numbers for this year!

Also, the fair is bringing back the Human John Deere Tractor Pull Competition! Competitors will be pulling full sized farm tractors with nothing but their own strength. Tractors will range from garden tractors for the kids to massive full size tractors for the adults who really want to test their strength. On Monday, the fair will also feature a display of World War II era vehicles and memorabilia, including a tank!  On Saturday and Sunday, RC Excitement will host remote control car races throughout the day for fairgoers.

We would like to thank our sponsors, Red Apple Farm, The Gardner Ale House, CrossFit 696, The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, and Padula Brothers – John Deere for making this event possible.

There will be a $10 per car parking donation with all proceeds going to the Athol Firefighters Association, Phillipston Firefighters Association and the Johnny Appleseed Trail Association.

For more information check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/events/1282705238435317 or by visiting at www.appleseed.org/event/6th-annual-appleseed-country-fair/.


Mark Freeman, President of Steel-Fab, Inc. has been elected Chairman of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for 2017-18. The announcement was made at the chamber’s Annual Business Meeting on June 15, 2017.


Headquartered in Fitchburg, Steel Fab, Inc. is a national leader in the design and manufacture of water control gates, gate operating systems, and fixed cone values for the hydro power industry.  The company was originally founded in 1966 as a supplier to GE for their power generation products, but has evolved over the years to support a variety of industries ranging from energy to defense.


Mr. Freeman joined the family owned and operated business thirty years ago, after working for State Street Bank.  He became President in 2005 and under his leadership the company has continued to grow over the years.  In addition to his involvement with the Chamber, Mr. Freeman is a member of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the American Welding Society, and the National Hydropower Association.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Bentley College.


Mr. Freeman has served on the Chamber’s Board of Directors for several years and has held several leadership positions including Vice Chair and Treasurer.  He has also served on the Chamber’s Manufacturing CEO Roundtable and has been a champion of the Chamber’s efforts to promote manufacturing careers and to better connect employers with schools in the region.  As the Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, Mr. Freeman will work with the Board, Chamber staff, and membership to champion the Chamber in its mission to serve the region’s business community.


“Mark has proven himself to be a tireless leader on many issues of interest to the business community in the region,” noted Roy Nascimento, Chamber president & CEO.  “We look forward to continuing to work with him to advance the interests of our members and promote a strong business climate in North Central Massachusetts.”


He succeeds Tony Mercadante, managing partner of Mercadante & Mercadante, CPAs, who now moves to the position of Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors.


“It is an honor and privilege to have been elected Chair of the Chamber, an organization that plays an important role in supporting businesses of all sizes in North Central Massachusetts,” expressed Mr. Freeman, “I am excited to continue Tony Mercadante’s efforts and work to make sure the Chamber remains a strong resource for the local business community.”


In the same election, Stephen Mullaney Jr., PE, president of S.J. Mullaney Engineering, Inc. was voted Vice-Chairman and director Deborah Weymouth, president of HealthAlliance Hospital, Inc. was elected to the position of Treasurer.


New board members elected for a three-year term were Henry Tessman, general manager of Great Wolf Resorts and Dr. James Vander Hooven, president of Mount Wachusett Community College.  In addition, Matthew Fournier, president of Elite Construction & Design was elected to serve a one year term on the board.


Continuing current terms on the Board of Directors are Neil Abramson, ECI Stores; Will Aubuchon, IV, W.E. Aubuchon Company; Wayne Canty, Heat Trace Products; Steve Duvarney, Duvarney Jewelers; David Duval, Protective Services; Ken Gurge, Law Offices of Kenneth W. Gurge; Dr. Richard Lapidus, Fitchburg State University; Anne Leader, Vision Payroll; Christopher McCarthy, Fidelity Bank; and Steve Rocheleau, Rocheleau Tool & Die, Inc