, Newburyport, MA

November 15, 2011

Business News in Brief

Strickler joins First Financial Trust

Thomas L. Strickler of Newbury has joined First Financial Trust, N.A., a subsidiary of The Savings Bank, as vice president, development officer. First Financial Trust, headquartered in Newton with offices in Wakefield and Leominster, specializes in investment management, financial planning trust administration and corporate profit sharing plans. Strickler will be associated with the Wakefield office.

Before joining First Financial Trust, Strickler was an exclusive agent with Horace Mann, an insurance company offering financial services and insurance products to the nation's education community. Prior to Horace Mann, he was associated with ChipX of Newburyport as senior director for sales for eastern U.S. and Europe. In addition to his experience in new business development, Strickler has served as a trustee for the Institution for Savings based in Newburyport since 2005.

November Breakfast series Thursday

The Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry announced that the November Breakfast Speaker Series will be held on Thursday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Mission Oak Grill, 26 Green St. The event will be sponsored TD Bank. Members and non-members are invited to join Mayor Donna Holaday for important city, regional and post election updates. Registration is required and admission is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. For more information, visit their website at

December Breakfast series

The Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry announced that the December Breakfast Speaker Series will be held Dec. 2, 7:30 to 9 a.m., at The Phoenix Room, 19 Inn St. The event will be sponsored by Provident Advisory Group. Jeff Knight, head of Global Asset Allocation, Putnam Investments, will inform chamber members at this annual economic update from a global, national and local perspective. Registration is required and admission is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. For more information, visit their website at

Mechanica principal speaks at conference

Ted Nelson, CEO/strategy director at Mechanica, recently spoke at the Build@Inc Northeast Conference held at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J. Nelson unveiled breakthrough insights and advice from the "Branding Forward Project," revealing how dramatic changes in technology and in the competitive landscape is transforming marketing and brand development today — and how top management teams can reinvent the ways they create advantage as a result. Additionally, Nelson described how a CEO's and a top team's success can be measured by their ability to create and establish a coherent brand that communicates what the organization is about. And he explained how to build an internal collaborative team process that not only helps create that brand, but also that can point the organization toward how to adapt for the future.

Bloom hired as Net Atlantic's new product manager

Net Atlantic Inc., an email service provider located in Salem, announces that Stevan Bloom has joined the company as senior product manager. Bloom brings over 25 years of computer, software and small business consulting expertise to Net Atlantic and has previously held management roles at First Return, Symantec and Citrix. Bloom's role at Net Atlantic is to assist in growing the business through key product strategies, voice-of-the-customer feedback and pragmatic execution. A resident of West Newbury, Bloom is also involved in environmental and community-oriented organizations, including the Newburyport CleanTech Center, where he acts as a managing director, and BOATCAMP, where he is a board member.

Cebula design wins two awards at Greater Boston PRISM Awards

Cebula Design Inc., a Newburyport-based interior design firm, took home two top honors at the Builder's Association of Greater Boston 2011 Prism Awards. The event took place on Oct. 19 at the House of Blues in Boston. Fellow nominees included the foremost companies of New England's interior design, architecture and building industry. CDI won the gold award for best interior design: living area (bedroom) private residence, for a master bedroom suite located in Marshall, Va. Later in the evening, the firm received a second gold award for best interior design: living area (living, dining, or family room) private residence. This award was presented for a Windham, N.H. living room finished with frequent collaborators, TMS Architects of Portsmouth. At the previous awards, presented in 2009, CDI won gold in the same category, for a Dover, N.H. living room.

Fowler Chiropractic goes digital

Dr. Paul J. Fowler, chiropractor, in conjunction with Gateway-DR, announces the addition of digital X-ray to Fowler Chiropractic Office, Amesbury. The system, designed by Naomi will allow Fowler and his patients to view images in 20 seconds, providing real time feedback to the patient and the doctor as well. The Tiger Software package allows Fowler to review scoliosis angles and assess spinal curvatures. Dr. Fowler can be reached at 978-388-2170 and at www.

Amesbury Chamber of Commerce annual meeting

Business leaders and residents attended the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce & Industrial Foundation's 14th Annual Meeting on Thursday, Nov.3, at the Amesbury Sports Park. Secretary Gregory Bialecki, Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, delivered the keynote address at the dinner and business meeting.

Accepting her second term as chair of the board of the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce, Anne Bonaventura of The Provident Bank, began by recognizing former executive director Bill Piercey, and thanking him for his leadership and many accomplishments over just nine months. She added that a search to find a replacement is underway. She then overviewed the Chamber's past accomplishments and future goals, acknowledging the organization's challenges and its successes.

Pledging her and the Board's commitment to work as diligently to ensure the Chamber serves all members, Bonaventura highlighted new and continuing initiatives, including developing creative ways to draw shoppers to retail businesses; building on the success of the Fall Business Expo to connect members with each other and residents; and creating industrial and nonprofit committees to share resources and best practices on their unique business challenges.

Board Treasurer Paul Gagliardi presented Bonaventura with the "Board Member of the Year Award" for her dedication and numerous hours spent on behalf of the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce over the past year.

During the business meeting, the following individuals were elected as officers of the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce & Industrial Foundation, the Alliance Charitable Foundation, and Amesbury Industrial Foundation for a period of one year: Anne Bonaventura, The Provident Bank, chair; Barbra Vogel, Ovedia Artisan Chocolate, vice chair; Paul Gagliardi, Healey, Deshaies, Gagliardi & Woelfel, treasurer — Amesbury Chamber of Commerce & Industrial Foundation/Alliance Charitable Foundation; Rick Bartley, Bartley Machine Company, treasurer — Amesbury Industrial Foundation; and Tom Streep, Edward Jones, clerk/corporate secretary. Serving three-year terms as members of the corporations are: Wayne Barbaro, Amesbury Chair Company; Anne Bonaventura, Barbra Vogel; and Dave Mansfield, The Provident Bank. Serving a two-year term is Paul Gagliardi; and serving a one-year term is Peter Corrigan, Shaheen Bros.

State Rep. Mike Costello introduced keynote speaker, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki. Bialecki highlighted projects in Amesbury that highlight his and the governor's commitment to supporting growth and development in the commonwealth, including a recent $1.25 million state grant for the Lower Millyard renovation project.

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