Neal, Business Organizations Sponsor Export Forum
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Small-business development organizations and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal are sponsoring a forum on how local companies could benefit from exporting their products.
The Pittsfield Export Forum on Tuesday, Jan. 29, will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza will feature two panel talks, followed by a luncheon with the congressman.
The forum sessions are free and open to all area businesses.
Neal will join the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce for a luncheon following the forum at the Crowne Plaza at noon in the ballroom; the cost is $35. Register for the luncheon here.
Neal will address the current fiscal situation, tax reform, exports, the recent AMT fix and energy independence.
The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network is encouraging those who currently export and those who are considering exporting to attend the event.
The panels will include business exporters from Western Massachusetts who will share their success stories. The forum also will feature an overview of a broad range of programs available to help companies with their international business efforts, including the opportunity of grant money available to small businesses to export. Following the presentations, participants will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with government officials and local businesses to answer specific export questions.
Welcome Remarks - Congressman Richard E. Neal
Tom Gradel, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment
Paula Murphy and Ann Pieroway, Massachusetts Export Center
John Joyce, Small Business Administration
Melissa Branzburg, U.S. Department of Commerce
Keith Girouard, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network
Mike Supranowicz, President & CEO, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce – Moderator
Mike Tweed-Kent, Vice President & General Manager, General Dynamics
Virginia DuBois, Inside Sales Manager, Interprint
Josh Levine, President, LympheDIVAs
Lyn Biasin, Supply Chain Manager, Onyx
Michael Hopsicker, President & CEO, Ray Murray, Inc.
Sponsors are Neal, Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network's Mass Export Center, Associated Industries of Massachusetts, CONECT, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment and the Small Business Administration.
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SABIC Unveils Plastics Technology for Secure IDs
The polycarbonate film simplifies adding security features ID cards to combat identity theft and counterfeiting. The technologies are advances on SABIC's Lexan Secure ID film portfolio introduced several years ago.
"Identity theft and the risk of counterfeiting call for increased functionality and innovation in electronic ID card design," said Lennard Markestein, global marketing director for Innovative Plastics' Specialty Film & Sheet. "These two new Lexan film technologies are critical additions to our ID card film portfolio, providing our customers significantly higher productivity in card production while incorporating a laser-engravable layer and a brand-new option to create more sustainable cards with longer useful life of the ID cards.
Lexan SDCX has a core layer of white opaque or transparent Lexan film with a clear, laser-engravable cap layer. Lexan SC92E hard-coated film for card overlays surpasses standard PC film in durability, including scratch and chemical resistance, helping to extend useful life and reduce resource consumption.
As more sophisticated security features are incorporated into the latest electronic ID cards and documents, additional layers are required to construct them. Lexan SDCX films also provide outstanding resistance to heat and frequent bending
Potential applications for these new SABIC films include electronic ID cards, military, government and police ID cards, passport data pages, green cards, driver licenses and border crossing cards.
Read the full press release here.
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SABIC Plastics Investing in ChinaPITTSFIELD, Mass. — Saudi Basic Industries Corp. is making significant investment in China.
Its Innovative Plastics division, headquartered in Pittsfield, has made its third Chinese engineering thermoplastics investment this year.
The plastics division, Chongqing Xiyong Micro-electronics Industrial Park, and the Chongqing Economic and Informatization Commission announced on Thursday a memorandum of understanding in which SABIC would establish an engineering thermoplastics compounding plant in Chongqing.
"We are in China, for China. In the more than 30 years we've operated in this region, we've cultivated long-term customer relationships that have helped make SABIC the first supplier many of the world's leading [orginal equipment manufacturer] call when designing their customers' innovations," said Charlie Crew, executive vice president, head of SABIC's Innovative Plastics business."
Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan said, "This compounding plant in Chongqing Xiyong Micro-electronics Industrial Park is SABIC's third investment in China in 2011 to further enhance the electronics industry."
Today, SABIC in Asia has 41 offices, nine manufacturing sites and five Technology & Innovation Centers across 12 key Asian countries servicing a portfolio of customers across diverse industries.
Innovative Plastics strategic business unit is a multibillion-dollar leading, global supplier of engineering thermoplastics.
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Pittsfield's Whole Life Pet Products ExpandsPITTSFIELD, Mass. — Whole Life Pet Products is expanding in scope and size.
The company, established by John Gigliotti in 2005, is moving from Hawthorne Avenue into a 10,000 square-foot building at 1520 East St. and investing $300,000 in a high-tech freeze dryer to make its all-natural pet treats.
Gigliotti says Whole Life Pet treats are the world's first "Farm to Friend" treats for dogs and cats. The fresh ingredients used in the company's products are sourced from farmers and fisherman with whom Gigliotti directly works and are produced in small, fresh batches that are micro-tested for quality and safety at a level he says is "unprecedented in the pet treat industry."
"I am thrilled that my Berkshire-based company has grown to the point that expansion was necessary in order to fulfill our goals and sales on a national and international level," said Gigliotti, who had more than 20 years experience in the natural pet food industry before founding Whole Life. "I could not be happier to be bringing a very specialized manufacturing process to the area."
The products are made from human-quality, free range and organic meats and are freeze dried. The company plans to launch an organic product line of pet treats scheduled in early October.
The move will consolidate manufacturing, shipping, sales and marketing under one roof. Whole Life employs six full-time staff and recently hired a national director of sales and marketing.
"This expansion would not have been possible without the support of the Berkshire Opportunity Fund," said Gigliotti. "In addition to providing funding, the business mentoring I've received from the BOF's general partners has been an invaluable asset to me in managing the growth of Whole Life Pet. At the end of the day, it's all about aligning yourself with the right people and BOF has proven to be exactly that."
Whole Life Pet Products will host an open house on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 11 to 3. Dog owners are invited to bring their pets and the opening celebration will include tours, free samples, a free rabies clinic for dogs from 11 to 1 courtesy of Dr. John Reynolds of the Pittsfield Veterinary Hospital, dog adoptions through the Berkshire Humane Society, and complimentary apple cider and doughnuts from Bartletts Apple Orchard. A professional photographer will take photos of owners and pets for a small fee.
For more information contact Whole Life Pet Products at 877-210-3142 or at www.wholelifepet.com and www.facebook.com/wholelifepet.
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Excelsior Brings Greeting Card Co. To North Adams
Photo courtesy of ExcelsiorOatmeal Studios' owners Joe and Helene Massimino sold the Vermont company to Excelsior. To the right is new owner David Crane with new General Manager Joseph Gallagher.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Excelsior Printing Co. will bring its newly acquired business to the city.
The Roberts Drive printing company announced Tuesday that it purchased Oatmeal Studios of Rochester, Vt., and will bring the inventory and warehousing to the city, which could translate into local jobs.
"The founders wanted to retire. We were in negotiations for about a month and finalized the deal last week," Julianne Fruscio, Excelsior's business development and marketing coordinator, said on Tuesday.
Excelsior has been printing Oatmeal Studios' greeting cards for more than 20 years. Oatmeal's sales team will be offered positions first and unfilled jobs could be filled locally. Additionally, Excelsior hired Joseph Gallagher to be the general manager to develop even more products and expand into other markets.
"We're really hoping to develop the brand Oatmeal more," Fruscio said. "It's a new direction for us because we are now specializing in greeting cards."
Though Excelsior has the ability to do its own design work, it will continue using Oatmeal's database of freelancers to design the cards. Oatmeal also accepts submissions on a daily basis, Fruscio said.
Oatmeal Studios was founded by Helene and Joe Massimino and has been creating and distributing greeting cards and notepads for more than 30 years. The greeting cards are printed with vegetable-based inks on recycled paper.
"We think it's a great fit," said Joe Massimino in a press release. "Excelsior has been a part of Oatmeal Studios almost from the beginning and they have a stationery pedigree of their own that will serve Oatmeal Studios’ customers well into the future."
In 2005, Excelsior separated from Crane & Co. and, in 2008, made a similar acquisition of SeedPrint. Excelsior now prints and ships seed packages while doing minimal design work.
Crane purchased the Excelsior companies — Excelsior Printing and Excelsior Process & Engraving — in 1970. Crane moved Excelsior Process & Engraving to the Robert Hardman Industrial Park in 1985 and then announced that it will close the Curran Highway location last year.
Excelsior Printing Co. on Roberts Drive was purchased by David W. Crane in 2005.
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