IT Small Business Incubator
The State of Massachusetts has introduced a new program to help simplify contracting with the Commonwealth for small IT businesses…

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s procurement department, the Operational Services Division (OSD), in partnership with MassIT, invites small IT professional services companies to participate in the IT Small Business Incubator Pilot, which aims to reduce barriers to doing business with the Commonwealth, expedite contracting, and increase access to innovative services.

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Please visit the website through the link above to find out if your business qualifies and what you need to do to participate.

What Types of Services Qualify?

The types of services they are looking for include:

  • Applications/systems design and development;
  • Software and systems integration;
  • Information technology planning; and
  • Other intellectual work performed by IT professionals.

 

When is the deadline to respond?

While there is no set deadline for response, the Commonwealth is planning to guide the first cohort of Pilot participants in July.

Woburn’s 375th Anniversary Celebration

2017 will be a year of celebration marking Woburn’s 375th Anniversary since it’s incorporation as a City. This milestone provides an extraordinary opportunity to recognize the rich heritage of this great City and the significant contributions of the men and women who have gone before us.  A committee has been working hard over the last several months to organize a variety of events throughout the year to commemorate this historic milestone.

Historic & Interfaith Celebration

Woburn’s 375th Anniversary celebration will kick off with an Historic and Interfaith Celebration to be held on Sunday, January 8, 2017, at 2 p.m. in the First Congregational Church, followed by light refreshments downstairs at the church. The kickoff event’s keynote speaker is U.S. Senator Ed Markey, who has represented the people of Woburn in local, state and federal government throughout his legislative career. The celebration will feature a local children’s choir led by Lynn Burns (Music Director at St. Charles), and High School Choral Group, Mishawum Choral Society, and a Community Choir, led by Brian Gilbertie (Music Director of the Mishawum Choral Society and Woburn High School Choral Group).  The ceremony will also include a recreation of the 1642 installation of Rev. Thomas Carter, the first minister of Woburn.

Year Long Celebration

The 375th Celebration Committee has planned a year long celebration that includes a Winter Family Festival & ice Hockey Classic, Battleroad Clean Up & Rededication, an Anniversary Gala and much more. Please visit the website to learn more about the planned events, history of Woburn and to donate.

375th Events

Get In Shape For Women

 

The Women of Woburn will be having their January luncheon at Get In Shape For Women on 1/18 from 12 to 1:15. Join our fun group of professional women from all walks of life for an engaging and enjoyable afternoon. Our host is Christine Sacchetti, owner of Get In Shape For Women here in Woburn. Christine is dedicated to helping women transform their lives. Her success stories will motivate and inspire us to hang tough with our New Years Resolutions.

Learn more about the Get In Shape’s small group personal training philosophy

HERE

Get in touch with Christine and hear about special events, promotions, recipes and fitness tips at her Facebook Page

HERE

Women of Woburn

The Women of Woburn is a professional women’s networking group that meets monthly for lunch and is designed to foster relationships both personal and professional. We meet monthly at member businesses for lunch, casual networking, business education/development and fun. Our mission is to offer women a balanced approach of networking, internal development, attention to important issues, and the comfort to share their ideas through a luncheon hosted by a different member each month. We’d like to leverage our contacts from the Woburn Chamber of Commerce and create a fun and professional environment of resources, friendships, and opportunities to help meet the challenges of women in business. The Woburn Chamber of Commerce seeks to serve our members in many ways and offer networking opportunities specific to your personal and business needs.

Space is limited! If you can join us, please RSVP as soon as possible.

RSVP

Annual Meeting Wrap Up
On December 6th the Woburn Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Meeting at the Crowne Plaza. The meeting included a panel discussion on the new Marijuana legislation and it’s potential impact on the city and businesses. Participating in the panel were Adam Hamel from McLane Middleton, Mayor Scott Galvin, Police Chief Robert Ferullo, and Substance Abuse Coordinator Richard Jolly. It was an interesting and lively discussion. We deeply appreciate all of our panel members for taking the time to participate and add their voice to the discussion.

Humanitarian Award

Every year at our Annual Meeting we award a member with the Humanitarian Award. This member may be a business that consistently steps up to support charitable causes or someone who has gone to extraordinary lengths to be generous through the course of the year. This year we chose to honor John Casey of Locks and Keys. John is someone who qualifies as a Humanitarian for many reasons as he quietly and unceremoniously contributes in many ways to those in need. This past year, however John’s generosity was recognized by many in the community. After the downtown fire that destroyed several Main Street businesses, John reached out to P&M Locksmiths to offer his own space and equipment until they were able to find a new space. Thank you John Casey for being an example of Humanitarianism for all of us in 2016.

The award was presented by State Representative James Dwyer and City Council President Richard Haggerty.

Holiday Celebration

Following the formalities of the Annual Meeting, our Holiday Celebration kicked off at Scoreboards. We were treated to a delicious meal which included a pasta station and a carving station. It was wonderful to have time to catch up with everyone and to meet new members. Our membership grew steadily throughout 2016 and it is great to see our more seasoned members welcoming the newer ones into the association. Our New Member Spotlights are a fun way to introduce new people and businesses to the association. Please watch your email for these spotlights and you will have something to talk about when you meet our new members at events.

Silent Auction for The Council of Social Concern

A silent auction was held to benefit the Council of Social Concern as part of our Holiday Celebration. The Woburn Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping businesses find ways to give back to the Woburn community. Our members make a positive impact by continuously stepping up to support Woburn charities, scholarships, sports teams and community events. The Council of Social Concern provides much needed services to those most in need in the Woburn. Our silent auction raised over $2,500.00 this year. Thanks to all of those who gave so generously!

We send a great Thank You to all of our donors:

Boston Appliance
Crowne Plaza Boston/Woburn
Get In Shape For Women
Fitzgerald Tile
Drains By James
Dance Studio 665
Residence Inn by Marriott
Courtyard Woburn
Hilton Hotels & Restaurants
Boston’s Best Coffee
Burke Distributors
Woburn Bowladrome
Budweiser
Holiday Inn Express
Martignetti Companies
Micros Northeast
Champion Cleaners
Connoisseurs Products Corp.
Dave & Busters
Dunkin Donuts (RVN Corp.)
Advantage Sports Medicine
Team Logic IT
K&N Oil Service
Marketing Advisory Network
Patriot Financial group
Taste of Brazil
The Great Mandarin
Waxy O’Connors Irish Pub
Atlantic Plywood
Colorworks Paint & Ace Hardware, Inc.

Introducing AGI, American Graphics Institute

American Graphics Institute provides organizations and individuals with training and support for design, marketing, and publishing technologies such as Adobe Creative Cloud, UX Design, HTML, HTML5, Javascript, Google Analytics, WordPress, etc. We have provided training to over 50,000 clients include 90 of the Fortune 100 companies in technology, publishing, financial services, advertising, creative services, and retail sectors. American Graphics Institute offers training at our main campus in Woburn, as well as online classes and on-site training at your company. In addition to classes, we also offer customizable certificate programs and can help a business find a marketing or design professional with no cost to the local company.

American Graphics Institute is located at 120 Presidential Way in Woburn. You can learn more about their courses at www.agitraining.com or call them at (781) 376-6044.

Small Business Grants for Education

Small businesses in the area may be eligible to participate in no-cost courses through grant funding awarded to American Graphics Institute. Courses range from popular Adobe tools such as Photoshop and InDesign to UX Design and Google Analytics. Details on the courses and grant funding are on the AGI website at https://www.agitraining.com/workforce-training

Jennifer Smith and Chris Smith

Jennifer and Chris Smith started American Graphics Institute 20 years ago. They are co-authors of Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies and have each published more than 10 books on digital design technologies. While Jennifer teaches courses in design tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator she spends most of her time teaching User Experience (UX) design workshops which help organizations to structure and organize websites and apps in ways that make them easier to use. “Many people think building a website or app simply requires coding skills. To be successful they need to be well thought-out. UX Design is the process of researching, planning, organizing and presenting information. It’s more of a process and way of thinking, so I end up working with everyone from web programmers to project managers to business owners,” describes Jennifer.

Chris focuses his efforts primarily on web analytics and Google Analytics. With this he helps businesses understand who visits their website, how they found it, and what content is most popular. “With Google Analytics we can help businesses understand what marketing efforts are working and what content is most popular. This helps them fix problems and concentrate efforts on those areas that are more successful. For example, we can identify if a website is not performing well for a specific category of users, such as those on mobile devices, or even by demographic data. This lets businesses and organizations take a more strategic approach to marketing efforts,”  Chris explains.

Jennifer, Chris and the Guide Dog Foundation

For the past two years Chris and Jennifer have been raising puppies for the Guide Dog Foundation. The Foundation gives seeing eye dogs away at no-cost to the visually impaired. Raising a puppy involves everything from socialization and early training of the dog. The puppy is in the AGI office and classrooms with Jennifer and Chris, learning how to behave in a work environment. After approximately one year the dog moves on to guide training at the foundation before being paired with someone that needs them. AGI also teaches classes in web accessibility, helping organizations understand how to create websites that meet the needs of those who may have impairments. Because AGI has worked with foundations for the blind they learned about the Guide Dog Foundation’s need for help in raising puppies. They are now raising their second guide dog puppy.

Here is a picture of Annie, their most recent graduate.

annie-agi

Young Professionals

The Young Professionals recently celebrated “Novemberfest” at the Lord Hobo Brewing Company. With over 80 attendees, the event was a rousing success. Lord Hobo hosted the group in their spacious tap room which serves samples of their freshly brewed IPA’s. The founder, Daniel Lanigan graciously took the group on a tour of the brewery and explained the brewery process. Daniel has exciting plans for the Woburn location to add an eatery to the brewery. We are certainly looking forward to that! The Young Professionals meet quarterly to provide the young and the young at heart with the opportunity to network and enjoy fun activities.

 

Daniel Lanigan, Lord Hobo Brewing Company

Photo Credit for all Photos to Joe Brown Digital Photography

Thank You Lord Hobo
On behalf of the Young Professionals in particular and the Woburn Business in total, we Thank Lord Hobo for so graciously hosting our group. We all enjoyed a night of fun and festivities with samples of the fine products crafted by Lord Hobo and food by a food truck from Yumm Bai it was a great evening of fellowship.

Thomas Stirling, Woburn Chamber of Commerce President

Novemberfest at Lord Hobo Brewery

Get Back to the Brewery for their Toy Drive

Lord Hobo is hosting a toy drive for Toys for Tots on December 10th. The details are available at HERE. In true Hobo style this will be a toy drive like no other. Make plans to stay for a while, hang out, sample some beer and have a bite.