Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce
Business Connection
December, 2011
Happy Holidays!
In This Issue
New Members
From the President
Upcoming Events
NVCC Supports Vets for Hire
Annual Meeting
Member Spotlight


New Members  




Member Affinity Programs


You can save hundreds of dollars by taking advantage of our Member Affinity programs.  Just click on the links below for details. 


















2011 Chairman's Circle


Gold Sponsors


Needham Bank 
bank of canton logo
Silver Sponsors

dedham savings


MHTL logo


Rising Star

wluka logo


Board of Directors


Chairman of the Board
*Anthony F. Caruso

Bank of Canton


*Kevin Hallinan



*Mike Moran
Dedham Institution for Savings


General Counsel
*Sabina T. Herlihy, Esq.
Law Offices of Sabina T. Herlihy


Immediate Past Chairman

*Steve Fradkin

The Wizard of Adz


Previous Past Chairman

*Peter Chase

Truelove, Dee & Chase, LLP


*Thomas O'Rourke

Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce


Dana Bottorff

G. T. Reilly & Company


 Michael Cecere, CPA

Gray, Gray & Gray, LLP


Paul Chaggaris
Walpole Cooperative Bank


Linda Dillon
Century 21/Access Properties - Dillon


Kathy Ekberg


Debbie Ellis



Pierce Haley, Esq.
Serlin|Haley LLP


Jackie Halfond

Christina's Fireside Grille


Chris Herlihy



John Holiver
Norwood Hospital


Brian Johnson

Doc Shredding Corp.


Beth Rosenberg King
Wells Fargo Advisors


Willard Krasnow, Esq.

Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP


Nancy Levine

NationStar Mortgage


*Peter McFarland

The Allied Group


*Mary Raczka

HESSCO Elder Services


Peter Rice

Eastern Bank


*Katherine Touafek

School to Careers Partnership


Monty Vaughn
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP



*David P. Wolicki, Esq.
Law Offices of David P. Wolicki



*Member of the Executive Committee




Did you know that the Chamber offers FREE business counseling services at our offices?  


The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network (MSBDC) provides free and confidential business advisory services.  For more information on the MSBDC or to make an appointment to meet with a counselor at the NVCC Office, visit their website or call (508) 673-9783.

NVCC offers free SCORE COUNSELING at the NVCC office on Thursdays, by appointment. 


To register call (781) 769-1126. 

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View our profile on LinkedIn


Follow us on Twitter


View our videos on YouTube


From the President


Thank You NVCC


Tis the season of Thanksgiving and the season of giving. I hope that you all had an enjoyable holiday weekend and were able to take at least a short break from the good work that you do every day.


I wanted to share some information this month about communities that are actually thankful for their local Chambers of Commerce. This year has seen its share of natural disasters from tornadoes in the south and even in Tom. New picwestern Massachusetts to flooding in the Midwest to a freak snowstorm in October. Throw in a few hurricanes and an earthquake over the past couple of years and nearly every state in the country has been impacted in some way.


Unfortunately, many of these disasters have resulted in billions in property damage and in the worst cases, loss of life. The human toll is well documented and recovery efforts for homeowners often receive lots of publicity and high priority, as they should. However, what often goes unnoticed is the impact on local businesses when these events occur. In more cases than not, when the business community is damaged, it is the local chamber of commerce that is called upon to act as the facilitator to help make things right again.

Most people don't think of the chamber in this light until something bad happens. Then all eyes turn toward the chamber of commerce.


More than ever chambers are sharing stories of how they have handled these new responsibilities so that our collective capacity to deal with them is increasing.


I am currently serving as the president of the Massachusetts Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE). In that role I have been on over a dozen conference calls with state officials, business organizations, and emergency management personnel in the wake of last year's MWRA water main burst and this year's tornadoes and the recent October snowstorm.   In each case a chain of command and a line of communications was established with one goal in mind - getting businesses back on their feet as quickly as possible. The chamber can play several roles in this effort. We have an ear to the ground and know what issues are facing those businesses that have been damaged. We are connectors that can direct them to the best resources for aid, financial assistance, temporary space, etc.


There are many examples of chambers of commerce in other parts of the country that have come to the aid of their local business community in times of need. Here are a few:

  • Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce - helped create a bridge financing program for businesses following flooding in 2008. Checks were issued in weeks to local businesses, before any other aid or insurance payments.
  • Hancock County (MS) Chamber of Commerce - created and administered a Community Development Block Grant program following Hurricane Katrina. Set up a low-interest loan program for impacted businesses ranging from $5,000 to $150,000.
  • Joplin Area (MS) Chamber of Commerce - established a Business Recovery Fund and raised over $50,000 in the first 24 hours.
  • Bismarck-Mandan (ND) Chamber of Commerce - organized a sandbagging event that resulted in nearly 500,000 sandbags being filled and set up along the banks of the Missouri River to prevent additional flooding in the business district this summer.

Additionally, in these and many other cases, chambers from around the country stepped up to help those impacted by joining those chambers and/or organizing local relief efforts to send money, food, or whatever resources were needed.   Through our nationwide network, we all help each other when disaster strikes.


Chambers of Commerce don't charge a fee for "being there." We don't highlight this in our "top ten reasons to join" lists. It's just what we do. I truly hope that our chamber will never have to play this role in our communities, but isn't it nice to know that if needed, we are here?


Tom O'Rourke

President & CEO


 Thank you!



It was a night of joy and merriment at the Holiday Kick-off at Bar Louie on Thursday, November 30.  


A special thank you to our members who donated a toy for Toys for Tots. Your generous gift will bring smiles to needy children throughout the Holidays!

Upcoming Programs 
Monday, December 5
Quickbooks Year-End Summary
NVCC Office
190 Vanderbilt Avenue
Norwood, MA
Thursday, December 8
Business Killers Workshop
NVCC Office
190 Vanderbilt Avenue
Norwood, MA
Tuesday, December 13
Afternoon Networking * Special beer tasting and gift baskets for everyone who attends!
Jasper White's Summer Shack
850 Providence Highway
Dedham, MA
Thursday, January 5
HR-Council - Hiring Practices and Procedures
NVCC Office
190 Vanderbilt Avenue
Norwood, MA
Wednesday, January 11
Noon Networking
Christina's Fireside Grille
2 Washington Street
Foxboro, MA
Thursday, January 19
Annual Meeting
Showcase Live
Patriot Place
Foxboro, MA




Easy registration  for these beneficial programs


NVCC Supports Vets for Hire 


Scores of veterans seeking employment descended on the Employment and Training Resources Center in Norwood Tuesday, November 29, to meet with local employers who have stepped up for veterans.

"Vets for Hire," a joint effort between the Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Employment and Training Resources Center was geared toward matching veteran-friendly employers with local veterans looking to get back into the workforce. 

Charlie Duqette, Veterans Representative at the Norwood Career Center welcomes Jonathan Ortiz, a Marine Corps veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"In 2010 the nationwide unemployment rate was 11.5%, with the rate as high as 26.9% for those veterans between the ages of 18-24. However, many of these veterans bring critical useful skills to the job market that could be beneficial to almost any company," said Chamber president, Tom O'Rourke.




The Chamber would like to recognize and thank those members who stood up for veterans by participating:

Bank of Canton

Edward Jones Investments - John Gardner


Norwood Hospital

Rudolph, Friedman, LLP

Waste Management 



8 Steps to Hosting a Successful TweetChat

Posted by Maurice Rahmey


A TweetChat is a virtual meeting or gathering of people on Twitter to discuss a common topic. Companies like Cisco and FedEx have hosted their own TweetChats to engage with their audiences on a more personal level, and it's a great inbound marketing tactic for your social media strategy.

For B2B companies, hosting TweetChats are an amazing way to get a better understanding of your fans, customers, and leads while also allowing you to grow your Twitter reach. But hosting a TweetChat also requires some thorough planning in order to be successful.

Below are 8 steps you can take to plan a TweetChat for your business and ensure it's a success.

Step 1: Monitor other chats and fill a void. Before you even think about starting your own TweetChat, it's important to take note of how other groups are conducting their chats. How do they interact with their followers? What are they discussing, and what types of questions are they asking? Monitoring other TweetChats will also allow you to refine your choice of topic for your own chat. Try to identify a topic in your industry that is getting talked about a lot but hasn't been represented yet in a formalized TweetChat. This is a great way to choose an appealing topic that generates interest from your target audience. There's a great Google Doc you can access to determine what other TweetChats are out there. Attend a few that interest you, and learn from what worked and what didn't.

Step 2: Determine your topic and make it the theme of your chat(s). You may either decide that you want to run a one-time Twitter chat or that you'd like to host one every week. Either way, it's important to have a common theme to guide your chat. For example, FedEx's TweetChats are always about some issue related to small business trends and issues. They stay core to their focus throughout the chat and don't segue to other issues that don't relate to their core theme. Make sure that when you pick your topic, you stick with it throughout the chat. This keeps things focused and organized.

Step 3: Choose your hashtag. Now that you have your TweetChat topic/theme figured out, the next step is to pick a hashtag so people can follow your chat. You may want to use your corporate name in the chat, but it's more important to make sure that the hashtag reflects what the chat is about. People want to get a sense of what they'll be participating in -- be straightforward with them. And if you're hosting a weekly chat based on a particular theme, consider making the hashtag more general so it can be used for future chats. For example, HubSpot's TweetChat tomorrow is about how Google+ fits into a business' inbound marketing strategy, so we appropriately chose the hashtag #InboundChat.

Step 4: Pick a date and time. It's important for you to choose the timing for your TweetChat based on what's accessible to both you and your followers. Try to find a time that doesn't conflict with another chat that may overlap with your specific topic. For example, if you noticed that there is a #SocialMediaChat, you probably wouldn't want to schedule your #FacebookChat to occur at the same time.

Step 5: Create engaging questions for discussion. Now that you have your topic, date, and time nailed down, think about the needs of your prospects and customers and what questions related to the topic they might want answers for. It's important to create questions and discussion points ahead of time that you can use to help facilitate conversation during your chat. For example, think about asking your followers which tactics they use, what's the one biggest problem they face, or what they think will be a solution to an industry problem. It's important to make sure your questions can allow for some great engagement and interaction between your TweetChat attendees.

Step 6: Bring in guest tweeters to help you host your chat. If you want to make your TweetChat a "must-participate," a great way to entice your followers is by asking an industry expert to join the chat from their personal account. These guest tweeters can be from outside your company or they can be your business' executives. Promoting that an industry expert will also be participating in your chat is a great way to add credibility to your chat and topic you'll be discussing. It's also a great way to encourage others to participate in your chat.

Step 7: Get the word out. After you have your chat organized and ready to go, it's time to promote it! Write a blog post about it, promote it to followers in other social networks, and tweet about the chat, its hashtag, and when it's happening. Make sure people know that you're organizing a TweetChat. If you want to attract key people in your industry to participate, go the extra mile and invite them personally, explaining how you think their insight on the topic would make for a truly valuable and engaging TweetChat.

Step 8: When the chat ends, your work is still not done. After you finish your chat, participants may still use your hashtag to engage in conversation, especially if you chose one that is more general. Make sure you're still monitoring this discussion. It can help you identify followers who may be more qualified leads, and the discussion that sparks may even give you an idea for your next TweetChat!

TweetChats can be a powerful tool for creating engagement and growing the reach of your Twitter account. These steps will help you on your way to becoming a TweetChat superstar!

Read more





Annual Meeting


Join us in celebration of you, our member, for a night of glitz, glamour, and amazing food at the Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on January 19, 2012 at Showcase Live in Foxboro with special guest speaker, John Harthorne, founder and CEO of MassChallange.


Showcase Live

Patriot Place

Foxboro, MA


Thursday, January 19

$50 Members, $60 Non-Members, $350 Tables of 8 (Members), $400 Tables of 8 (Non-Members)  $250 VIP Table of 4 up front.

Easy registration


Sponsorships of $2500 and $1500 are available. Please call

Cristoff at 781-769-1126, or email for details.


Please help us nominate deserving receipents!


Nomination Form


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Member Spotlight



Wluka Commercial Real Estate's specialty ...

  • Assisting small to mid-size business owners identify the best location for their business
  • Identify & procure tenants for property owners to fill the vacancies in their buildings
  • Represent landlords by identifying the tenants and buyers who would best suit their property
  • Represent buyers on their behalf in their search for locations to position their business
  • Assist religious organizations & non profits in finding their locations
  • Medical, office, industrial, retail, restaurant, land
  • Sales & leasing


What is the process?


We gain an understanding of our clients broad and specific business needs, number of employees and their relationship to various potential new properties. We consider the size, type, quality, clear heights, loading requirements, amenities and other criteria and of course, the budget needed to support our client's business. This takes knowledge of the market, diligence, patience, creativity and ... a proven successful track record.


Our clients range from individual, family run 'mom & pops" to major national retailers, franchisors, franchisees and developers. No lease or purchase is too small or too large ... from a single office, a multi tenant retail, office & industrial center, schools, religious organizations to locating sites for large shopping centers and medical suites.

Business is good ... Nancy is working on her 26th transaction this year.


Nancy's great strength is in the level of service she provides to business owners, tenants and buyers.


Listing Services: Costar, MLSPIN, Loopnet, MASS-CIE, CCIM.

Memberships: Realtors Commercial Alliance, Past Chair/Current Ambassador - Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce, Board member of Hunakai Studio.


Our success is based on repeat business and referrals ... we thank you for your confidence in Wluka Commercial Real Estate for more than 25 years and look forward to working with you in 2012.



Nancy Wluka

Wluka Real Estate, Corp.



Business Killers workshop 


The BusinessKillers® name refers to the six common mistakes that business owners make that could compromise their business and personal finances. This program is extremely effective in helping a business owner identify, anticipate and avoid these pitfalls.


Each of the six modules dramatizes a critical mistake in planning or perception, and the impact on the owner's person l financial future. It is an interactive workshop that lets you examine your own situation using an entertaining presentation format. All six topics can be covered in less than 90 minutes.


This is a video-based program, showing six different modules, designed to help business owners make sure they have engaged in the proper planning to make sure their business is protected in case of any unforeseen events and to how to maximize their opportunities for the future.

Sponsored by the law offices of Truelove, Dee & Chase, LLP


NVCC Office

190 Vanderbilt Avenue

Norwood, MA

Thursday, December 8


More information

Easy registration


Reach thousands of business owners by advertising with the chamber. 


Rates and information 

Neponset Valley Chamber of Commerce

190 Vanderbilt Avenue

Norwood, MA 02062

(781) 769-1126