Welcome! Login | Register
 

10 Great Things to do in Worcester This Weekend - November 17, 2017—10 Great Things to do in Worcester This…

Worcester Man Arrested After Robbing Colony Farms Market With Knife—Worcester Man Arrested After Robbing Colony Farms Market…

Finneran: An American Soldier—Finneran: An American Soldier

Holy Cross Edges Harvard 73-69—Holy Cross Edges Harvard 73-69

Worcester Chamber Music Society to Host Christmas Concert—Worcester Chamber Music Society to Host Christmas Concert

Two Injured Following Car Crash in Worcester—Two Injured Following Car Crash in Worcester

MA Adds 4,800 Jobs in October, Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.7%—MA Adds 4,800 Jobs in October, Unemployment Rate…

Gilpin Named Superintendent & Colonel of MA State Police—Gilpin Named Superintendent & Colonel of MA State…

DUI Checkpoint in Worcester County This Weekend Nov. 18 & 19—DUI Checkpoint in Worcester County This Weekend Nov.…

Worcester Fire Department to Unveil New Rescue Vehicle—Worcester Fire Department to Unveil New Rescue Vehicle

 
 

Whitcomb: Private Commuter Trains; Go, Giovanni, Go! We’ll Take Menhaden; The Next Recession

Monday, November 06, 2017

 

Robert Whitcomb

“It was modern-day media, and social media, that kept pushing people further right and further left. People started to figure out … they could choose where to get their news. And so what do people do? They choose places they agree with, reinforcing the divide.”

 

-- John Boehner, former House Speake, and an Ohio Republican

 

 “Keep this in mind: The solution to every human problem contains within itself the seeds of a new problem.”

 

-- George Mitchell, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, and a Maine Democrat

 

xxx

 

Regarding the rather tropical-style storm we had last Sunday and Monday: Do the radio talk-show and other complainants about lost electricity realize how difficult it is to clean up after any big storm, especially when summery (up to now) weather has left most leaves on the trees and so especially vulnerable to being blown over or losing big branches?

 

Unlike in much of the developed world, we in New England don’t usually bury our electric lines underground in heavily wooded areas. Further, in perhaps another sign of America’s crummy infrastructure maintenance,  some electric utilities don’t do a very good job cutting back branches that could easily come down on wires even in relatively mild storms.  

 

National Grid

They should step up inspection and trimming operations,  especially in the summer, before tropical storm and snowstorm/ice storm seasons.  And state and municipal agencies could do more to monitor locations where trees pose the worst threats to lines, alert the utilities and in some cases do the trimming themselves. But in anti-tax America, how much are citizens willing to pay the added costs that this might entail? This takes more manpower.

 

Perhaps the storm will boost solar-panel installations.  It should. There are several ways in which you can obtain electric autonomy from the likes of National Grid and Eversource by installing a photovoltaic system. The most reliable system is one connected to batteries, which will provide you electricity (for a while) even at night.

 

Please hit this link for pithy descriptions of your solar options to avoid what happened to so many people in New England as a result of the Oct 29-Oct. 30 tempest:

 

By the way, I heard a National Grid spokesman (a brutal job after a storm) say on the usual whineathon WPRO radio talk show that the storm was more intense than predicted. No, it wasn’t! The National Weather Service was remarkably accurate about the storm’s timing and intensity.

 

As for whether the cleanup was slower in Rhode Island than in  Massachusetts and Connecticut: Maybe, but I heard the same sort of complaints from talk-show callers in those states about slow repair work there as I did from Rhode Islanders about power restoration in the Ocean State. This storm hit a very wide area. It would be nice to get some solid state-by-state comparisons of repair-work speed. Anyway, when you’re cold, your appliances don’t work and you can’t recharge your cellphone (“I have a cellphone, therefore I am’’) patience fades fast.

 

 

xxx

 

In further acceptance that southern New Hampshire is part of Greater Boston (as is northern Rhode Island), Nashua, N.H., Mayor James Donchess has proposed doing a deal with Boston Surface Railroad Co. to provide commuter service from Nashua and Bedford, N.H., to Lowell, Mass., where passengers could link up with the MBTA. The only passenger rail service that the Granite State has now is Amtrak’s Downeaster, which connects Boston and Brunswick, Maine (via Portland), with stops at Dover, Durham and Exeter.

 

Mayor Donchess says the service would be a public-private partnership.

 

Some readers of past columns might remember that Boston Surface Railroad plans to open  a commuter rail line connecting Providence and Worcester,  with service now expected to start in the summer of 2019.

 

Great stuff!

 

xxx

 

Gio Feroce

At least for the entertainment value, I very much hope that former Rhode Island Republican state representative and TV personality Joe Trillo and Giovanni Feroce, the entrepreneur and former state senator, both run for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. They’re both flamboyant and fun to listen to and both  are backers of Donald Trump. Mr. Feroce, in particular, shares some of the President’s entrepreneurial over-the-top risk-taking, including extensive exciting experience and a love of living large, with lots of glitz. Who knows how much of that is materialism and how much is performance art to display his confidence?

 

The other possible GOP nominees, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan, are not overflowing with public charisma. Mr. Feroce has  by far the most charisma of the four, but more personal baggage than a luggage company.

 

Gov. Gina Raimondo is rather unpopular, in my view partly because she has trouble transporting the warmth she shows in small groups to broad forums. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, however, can do the warmth thing in small and very large groups. He’s the country’s most popular governor now.

 

Exasperating problems with Rhode Island’s Unified Health Infrastructure Project for human-service benefits will continue to bedevil Ms. Raimondo’s re-election bid. The governor got a $58.6 million credit from Deloitte Consulting for its screwing this up, but the failure early on get a handle on this mess will hurt her politically, although such system disasters are fairly common around America. Of course, benefits recipients have been hurt much harder than the governor.

 

Deming Sherman, can he clean-up UHIP

So last week, U.S. District Judge Will Smith named very highly respected Providence lawyer Deming Sherman to oversee cleanup of the mess as special master. Mr. Sherman, who knows Deloitte well, will bring a lot of expertise and credibility to the situation.

 

Ellen Liberman wrote a very useful story about the fiasco in the September 2017 issue of Rhode Island Monthly. Among her remarks:

“Catastrophes {such as with UHIP} are more common than people realize. According to a 2016 annual global survey of IT implementations by the Standish Group, a software project management consulting company, 29 percent of projects are successful, 54 percent are challenged — behind schedule, over-budget and under-performing — and 17 percent are outright failures. The bigger the scope, the more likely the failure. Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Massachusetts are among the states that have suffered major benefits-related IT failures. Kentucky’s new benefit system, Benefind, also designed by Deloitte, similarly crashed and burned when it went online in February 2016.’’

Ms. Liberman also reported:

State Rep. Patricia Serpa,  (D.-West Warwick), chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight, said: “The auditor’s report found that [the contract with Deloitte] was poorly written, poorly overseen and poorly executed. They [the state] were warned against the implementation because the system was not ready. Not only did they implement it, they displaced all of the most senior workers with the wealth of experience. We pulled all the plugs to make sure this was a failure.”

 

But I think that the governor’s Rhode Works transportation-infrastructure-repair program and accompanying truck tolls will help her in her campaign.  Rhode Islanders are noticing as they drive up and down the Northeast Corridor that highway tolls are the norm and that the states that have such tolls have much better roads and bridges than does Rhode Island.  It might also finally sink in that trucks do most of the damage to our roads and bridges; it's only fair that truckers pay more to repair the massive damage they do. And it won’t bankrupt them to cross tiny Rhode Island. (Connecticut, by the way, which dropped highway tolls years ago, will probably bring then back in a year or two.)

 

The dramatic new construction projects in downtown Providence might help her too, by communicating the sense that the state is  growing more prosperous and, well, important.

 

But what happens if former Gov. Lincoln Chafee runs against her in the primary?

 

xxx

President Donald Trump

President Trump has been an expert operator of smoke machines during his entire career as a crooked businessman, “reality TV’’ star and demagogic politician.

 

He and his accomplices have done much with the weapon of false equivalency. The latest is trying to make Hillary Clinton look like a crook regarding the purchase  in 2010 by Rosatom, the Russian nuclear agency, of  a piece of the Canadian company Uranium One, which held rights to some U.S. uranium deposits. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States cleared the deal with a laborious process of vetting.

 

As has been widely reported, the Trump gang, including their spokespeople on Fox News, cooked up a conspiracy theory that because Uranium One had donated funds to the Clinton Foundation, mostly before the  2008 presidential election, that Mrs. Clinton somehow pushed the deal through. Fox & Friends, et al., alleged that this would mean that America would export a lot of uranium to a nation that even back then was  widely considered (though not by the Trump gang) more foe than friend.

 

No, she didn’t push through the deal, which she didn’t control. And it was and is illegal to export the uranium anyway. And as secretary of state, she harshly criticized the regime of Russia’s cold and murderous dictator Vladimir Putin.

 

Her campaign also hired an opposition-research firm to do a dossier on the Trump gang’s collusion with Russia.  Sounds like a good idea, especially given the contacts between the Trump Organization going back more than two decades.

 

What seems clear is that the Trump mob collaborated very closely with Putin’s regime to wreak havoc in the Clinton campaign. It won Trump the Electoral College. (I myself wrote in Jim Webb’s name on the November ballot.)

 

For  a handy review of how the Kremlin’s folks used social media to sow division and help elect their boy Trump, please hit this link:

 

Despite the fact that Trump’s, er, colorful, career leaves Hillary Clinton’s looking like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (look her up), the Russians only pushed anti-Clinton stuff.

 

This quote from Donald Trump Jr. in 2008 may explain some of Trump’s affection for the Kremlin: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” (Contacts between the Trump mob and the Russians go back to about 1990.)

 

It’s too early to know how much of this involves out-and-out treason.

 

 

xxx

 

Speaking of history, John Kelly, the slowly imploding White House chief of staff, said the other day that the “lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War.’’ Maybe they should have agreed to free half the slaves over, say, 50 years to avoid the war? But actually, in 1860, Southern leaders wanted to expand slavery through the Southwest.

 

He also called Gen. Robert E. Lee: “an honorable man who gave up his country to fight for his state.” And that “men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand.’’

 

Ulysses S. Grant had it right:

 

“As soon as slavery fired upon the flag it was felt, we all felt, even those who did not object to slaves, that slavery must be destroyed. We felt that it was a stain to the Union that men should be bought and sold like cattle.’’

 

And on the very dignified Robert E. Lee: His “cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.’’

 

Appropriately, the heart of the Trump country is the Confederacy.

 

 

xxx

 

There was a hopeful story the other day on WNPR, in Connecticut, about  a resurgence of fishing stocks of menhaden in Long Island Sound. Menhaden are small fish eaten by a wide range of larger ones, such as tuna, bluefish and stripped bass, and thus an important part of New England’s fishing industry.

 

The resurgence is the result of the decision of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to set a cap on the harvest of menhaden. Fishermen complained about the cap but menhaden had almost disappeared from the sound. Now they’re back and so are the tasty predator fish that eat them. Three cheers for fishing limits.

 

 

xxx

 

Stock and other economic indices have been rising for years in the U.S. and in much of Europe and Asia, whether they have right- or left-wing governments. The economic expansion is getting very old. Eventually the markets will tank and we’ll have another recession. (My guess is that it will start next year, but it’s impossible to predict booms and busts with any precision. Too many variables.)

 

 

Maybe a world credit crunch will start the crash, or an unexpected string of lower corporate earnings, a Russian invasion of another European nation, a war with North Korea,  the popping of the Chinese property bubble, Chinese aggression aimed at controlling the trade routes through the South China Sea, a Chinese, Russian or North Korean assault on Western electrical grids. The list goes on. Then what?

 


Deutsche Bank analysts have warned:

 

"With Government debt levels spiking since the last recession, are politicians able to act as aggressively as they might need to {when the next recession comes}?"

 

Recession?

"Could the next recession be the one where policy makers are the most impotent they’ve been for 45 years or will they simply go for even more extreme tactics and resort to full on monetization to pay for a fiscal splurge? It does feel that we’re at a crossroads and the next downturn could be marked by extreme events given the policy cul-de-sac we seem to be nearing the end of.’’

 

What makes prospects more exciting is that the U.S. may soon substantially expand its debt with big tax cuts.  That’s not to say there aren’t some very good things in the GOP tax plan announced last week, especially cutting back the mortgage-interest deduction. There are also some very bad things, such as getting rid of the estate tax. More to come, such as the fact that the tax bill would most benefit outfits like the Trump Organization.  Surprise!

 

In any event, Americans are undertaxed for the public services and infrastructure they say they want.  The United States of Wishful Thinking.

 

xxx

 

In another sign of the Manhattanization of downtown Boston, Dell Technologies founder and CEO Michael Dell reportedly plans to buy a penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences tower for up to $40 million.

 

xxx

 

Providence needs an honest but somewhat fascistic mayor to address its issues – a sort of Rudy Giuliani before he went off the rails after he left office. Or a Michael Bloomberg. A tough leader.

 

xxx

 

“The apples are everywhere and every interval, every old clearing, an orchard. You pick them up from under your feet but to bite into them, for fellowship, and throw them away; but as you catch their young brightness in the blue air, where they suggest strings of strange-colored pearls tangled in the knotted boughs, as you notice their manner of swarming for a brief and wasted gayety, they seem to ask to be praised only by the cheerful shepherd and the oaten pipe.’’

-- From “New England: An Autumn Impression’’ (1905), by Henry James

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: In an earlier version referenced that Feroce had a bankruptcy - he has not and we apologize for the error.

 

Related Slideshow: Worcester’s 25 Wealthiest and Most Influential

Prev Next

#25

Mel Cutler - CIO and Founder of Cutler Capital Management

 

Not only did Cutler found Cutler Capital Management, but he also is the founder of two banks - Flagship Bank & Trust and Madison Banc Shares.

Cutler Capital Management has $325 million in assets.The Melvin S. Cutler Charitable Foundation has more than $8 million in assets. He has been influential in business and in philanthropy for decades.

Prev Next

#24

Bernie Rotman, Rotman's Furniture

 

Rotman has been in the family business for 35 years - with Rotman's Furniture in College Square - a landmark next to I-290.

He and his brother Barry have been running the business taking over for their parents Murray and Ida.

In the 1990's, Rotman's Furniture seemed like it was the only furniture store. In the day they dominated advertising - their TV spots ran in Providence and Boston markets.  Today, with Bob's and Jordan's in the market it is a lot more competitive.

In the early 1990s, Rotman’s partnered with the Central Mass Housing Authority (CMHA) to work with Donations Clearinghouse to donate used furniture to families in need. The family has been a major supporter for Walk for Homeless.

Prev Next

#23

Charles and Janet Birbira - Owners of Beechwood Hotel

 

In 2015, the Birbiras invested in a multi-million dollar renovation of the Beechwood Hotel to make it more luxurious and upscale.

It’s already the most luxurious in Worcester - they’re aiming for the entirety of the remaining state west of Boston.

The Ceres Bistro cost was $9 million to add to the hotel back in 2010.

Prev Next

#22

J. Robert Seder - Lawyer

 

In 2014, Seder was named the Worcester Corporate Lawyer of the Year. He was also named in 2014 as one of the Best Lawyers in America for Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorginzation Law.

He owns property in Worcester totaling nearly $6 million.

A partner at Seder & Chandler Law, Seder is also the former chair of the Worcester Business Development Corporation.

Prev Next

#21

David Fields - Managing Partner, Wormtown Brewery

 

Former owner of Consolidated Beverages, Fields recently sold the company (which he and his father spent millions on ten years ago) to Quality Beverage.

Fields now solely focuses on Wormtown Brewery which just opened on Shrewsbury Street in March. Fields owns majority interest in the company - using the millions he made in the Consolidated Beverages sale to invest into Wormtown.

Fields is one of the youngest on the GoLocalWorcester list of the 25 Wealthiest and Most Influential.

Prev Next

#20

Sue Mailman - President and CEO of Coghlin Electric

 

President and Owner of Coghlin Electric, Mailman is arguably the most talented businesswoman in Central Massachusetts. Mailman serves on a range of community focused boards and is the Chair of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Board. 

Mailman is savvy and responsible for a business that is now part of WESCO Distribution, Inc. - a $3 billion concern.

She is the 4th generation leader of a company over 130 years old.

Prev Next

#19

Tony Tilton - Director of Fletcher Tilton Law Firm

 

With roots in Worcester dating back 190 years, Fletcher Tilton is the 9th oldest law firm in the nation and is one of only five of the top 50 law firms in Massachusetts not located in Boston. 

The firm is responsible for multiple private trusts and foundations, and Director Tony Tilton oversees 20 private family foundations and handles nearly a half a billion dollars in assets.

In Worcester, if any charity is seeking donations - they typically have to go through Tilton. He and his partner, Warner Fletcher, decide where most of the charitable money in the city goes.

He is enormously responsible for raising the $7.5 million for the new Boys and Girls Club clubhouse nearly 10 years ago. Tilton is also Treasurer of Cape Cod Healthcare. 

He has honorary degrees from both Clark and Assumption.

Prev Next

#18

Mark Fuller - Chairman of THE GEORGE F. and SYBIL H. FULLER FOUNDATION

At the end of last year, the Fuller Foundation had assets of nearly $55 million. The foundation awarded more than $3.6 million in grants ($2.9 of which went to 69 capital grants to local colleges and organizations).

Fuller is also Vice President of Benefit Development Group in Worcester and Treasurer of the Barton Center for Diabetes Education.

Prolific in his energy and focus to serving the community.

Prev Next

#17

John Spillane - Attorney at Spillane and Spillane, LLC
 
Spillane’s father earned $55.6 million in payout in 2007 following the sale of Commerce Group, Inc. in 2007 to the Spanish firm Mapfre SA.

Commerce’s specialty is providing insurance through the AAA’s 100 million members.

Spillane is an attorney at Spillane and Spillane, LLC at the Worcester office. He served as co-chair of the United Way' campaign in 2013. 

Prev Next

#16

Mary DeFeudis - Philanthropist 
 
DeFeudis sits on the Hanover Theatre board of directors and was instrumental in raising the $31 million needed to renovate the theatre. DeFeudis also contributed $1 million to the Hanover Theatre project.

DeFeudis is the Chairwoman of Worcester Sharks Charities and a member of the UMass Medicine Development Council.

DeFeudis has provided a full scholarship annually to a student at Worcester State University.

She may be the community's most active philanthropist.

Prev Next

#15

Frank Carroll - Businessman

Frank Carroll founded the Small Business Service Bureau in the 1960s, a company designed to help and advocate for small businesses across the country. SBSB has grown into one of the largest small business groups in America.

Carrol's been helping people in Worcester ever since.

Carroll raised $1 million to build a Korean War Memorial in Worcester and was instrumental in the building of a hospital for American soldiers from Worcester County in Vietnam.

Carroll hosts a show at the Hanover Theatre to raise money for the St. John's Church Food for the Poor Program.

Prev Next

#14

David R. Grenon - E-C Realty President

Grenon scored $22.5 million in profit shares following the sale of Commerce Group, Inc. to MapFre in 2006.  Grenon serves on the Board of Trustees for Massachusetts Biomedical Initiative. He is also a Trustee of Assumption College.

Grenon is the President of E-C Realty Corporation. Previously, he was the founder, President and CEO of Protector Group Insurance Agency - which was sold three years ago with annual revenues of $13.6 million.

Grenon runs a charitable trust in his name that holds $312,864 in assets.

Prev Next

#13

Neil McDonough - President and CEO of FLEXcon

McDonough and his family have run FLEXcon for 60 years and the manufacturer of pressure-sensitive films and adhesives has grown to be a mega company. 

The global firm employs a reported 1,300 employees around the world. The private company has gotten more active in Worcester - with community sponsorships and earlier this summer, McDonough spoke at the DCU Center as part of the Worcester Research Bureau’s Acting Locally Panel. 

in 2009, McDonough was named the Worcester Business Journal's Big Business Leader of the Year.

However, the company’s reach is global with manufacturing and sales offices on nearly every continent on the globe.

Prev Next

#12

Joe Salois - CEO, Atlas Distributing

Salois is President and CEO of Atlas Distributing in Auburn. He serves as the Director of Fidelity Bank and is a Trustee of Saint Vincent’s Hospital.

Speaking of influential, Salois was named to Governor Charlie Baker’s Economic Transition Team last December and Atlas played host to a Central Mass Delegation of Senators and State Reps in March.

He has a big impact on business, government and the community.

Prev Next

#11

Mike Angelini - Chairman of Bowditch & Dewey

Angelini is known to be a lawyer's lawyer.  He was named one of the 2015 Best Lawyers in America by Best Lawyers, Angelini is known as one the nicest and down-to-earth guys in Worcester.

Angelini serves on the board at MassPort and is chairman of the board of Hanover Insurance. He, along with Sue Mailman of Coghlin Electric and Becker College President Robert Johnson, were instrumental in re-recruiting Ed Augustus to be City Manager in Worcester.

With Angelini at the helm of the firm, Bowditch & Dewey has been able to both expand the firm’s Boston presence and continue to prosper in Worcester.

Prev Next

#10

Regan Remillard - Haven Country Club

Another big winner in the sale of Commerce lands on GoLocalWorcester's Wealthiest and Most Influential - the son of a prominent business owner who achieved success in his own right.
 
As the Boston Globe reported at the time of the Commerce sale, “Arthur J. Remillard Jr., who ran the company until his retirement in July 2006, will be paid $26 million for his 710,000 shares, while his children, Arthur III and Regan, will receive $43.6 million and $15.9 million, respectively. Arthur III and Regan are both members of the Commerce board.”

In 2012, the younger Remillard purchased the Haven Country Club in Boylston (formerly Mount Pleasant Country Club).  At the time of the rebranding of the golf course, Regan issued a forward-looking statement, “I see this as a club whose star is rising.  We’ve taken the traditional country club model and updated it a bit, to better fit the way people live today … A club should be someplace where you can have fun and feel at home. That’s the vision here.”

The Regan Remillard foundation has more than $500K in assets - while the Remillard Family Foundation has nearly $2 million.

Prev Next

#9

M. Howard Jacobson - Vice Chairman of WGBH Educational Foundation Inc

 
Jacobson serves as the Chair of the Board for the Boston Market Corporation and the Wyman-Gordon Company. He is the Vice Chairman of WGBH Educational Foundation Inc. and a Trustee of WPI.

Jacobson served as Senior Advisor and Consultant at Private Advisory Services of Bankers Trust Private Bank from 1991 to 2001. 

Prior, he served as the President and Treasurer of Idle Wild Foods, Inc. until 1986.

Like many on this list, he is also on the UMass Medicine Development Council.

Prev Next

#8

Valentin Gapontsev - Fiber Optics
 

There are people who are wealthy on this list and then there is Gapontsev.

Gapontsev, the father of the fiber-optic laser industry, is the only billionaire on this list because he's the only billionaire in Central Massachusetts. Thanks to lasers, his net worth is $1.24 billion.

This genius Russian and Worcester resident is the founder of IPG Photonics - located in the town of Oxford.

According to Forbes Magazine, he is #1533 on the Forbes Billionaire list globally.

Prev Next

#7

Ralph Crowley Jr - CEO of Polar Beverages
 
Crowley runs Polar Beverages - a foundation in Worcester and a company the city is proud to hang its hat on. Polar Beverages is valued at nearly $500 million and Crowley is largely responsible for it. He's modernized the Seltzer water industry with numerous flavors and engages his customers to perfection.

Crowley made an attempt to purchase the T&G in 2009, but was snubbed by New York Times - who sold it  to John Henry (who sold it again within months). The Crowley family also owns Wachusett Mountain and the nearby Wachusett Village Inn.

EDITOR'S NOTE - We previously published a photo of Chris Rowley rather than Ralph. This has been corrected and we apologize for the error.
Prev Next

#6

Robert Branca - Developer and Food Services 

 

Branca is a philanthropist, developer and Dunkin’ Donuts mogul.

He is a national leader in the Dunkin’ franchise structure

In Branca's family, nearly 700 Dunkin Donuts are owned - with him owning 60 DD franchises. 

Branca is the Chairman of the Dunkin' Donuts Franchise Owners Political Action Committee and Chairman of the Dunkin' Donuts Regional Advisory Council of all Dunkin' Donuts franchisees in the Northeastern U.S., and is the Vice Chairman of the Washington-DC based Coalition of Franchisee Associations.

Branca's company owns 72 and 60 Shrewsbury Street - the home of Volturno, Sweet and Wormtown Brewery.
 
Together, both buildings are valued at more than $3 million. 

Prev Next

#5

Barry Krock - Real Estate
 
The DCU Center (former Worcester Centrum) was nearly named the Krock Arena. The Krocks have been a power in banking and real estate in the city for decades.

The Krock family owns 11 pieces of property in Worcester (worth multiple millions) including three parking lots across from the Worcester Courthouse and the building that formerly housed the Irish Times (worth $1.5 million total between the three lots and building).

Krock used to own the Commerce Bank Building before he sold the building for $4.5 million to David “Duddie” Massad in 2010  - for $400,000 less than its estimated value - after turning down offers of $21 million, $11 million, and $10 million.

For one perspective on the Krock family, check out Unlocking the Krocks.

Prev Next

#4

Allen Fletcher - President of the Greater Worcester Land Trust

Up until 2008, Fletcher owned Worcester Magazine — once a top level alternative weekly newspaper. He, along with his brother Warner, inherited a tremendous wealth and he's utilized that money to make his own impression on Worcester.

Fletcher's money is part of what's behind the Canal District revitalization and he serves as the President of the Greater Worcester Land Trust - a non-profit organization that serves to protect the land of Worcester.

Prev Next

#3

Warner Fletcher - Director of Fletcher Tilton

Fletcher maybe the most influential person in philanthropy in Central Mass.

Fletcher is the chairman of three charitable trusts in Worcester - including the two largest - George I Alden Trust, Stoddard Charitable Trust and Fletcher Foundation.

Last year alone, the Alden Trust gave $9.5 million in charitable donations - including a $3 million future payable donation to WPI. The Stoddard Trust has more than $70 million in assets and gave more than $3.5 million last year in charitable donations.

Fletcher, along with #6 on this list, Tony Tilton, run Fletcher Tilton Law Firm - which oversees 20 private family foundations and handles nearly a half a billion dollars in assets.

Prev Next

#2

David "Duddie" Massad - Chairman of Commerce Bank


A Grafton Hill product, Massad owned several car dealerships including Diamond Auto Group, Emerald Chevrolet Oldsmobile, Duddie Motors and the largest Hertz franchise in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

Massad serves as the Chairman of Commerce Bank in Worcester - a company he purchased from the Krock family - that has over $1.7 billion in assets and 250 employees according to the bank. 

In 2005, he donated $12.5 million for a new medical facility at UMass Memorial Medical Center's Lake Avenue campus.

He was indicted for fraud in 2008 - but was ultimately proven innocent.

Prev Next

#1

Fred Eppinger - CEO and President of Hanover Insurance

Eppinger may be the most able chief executive in central Massachusetts. His leadership in growing Hanover Insurance and his activism in the community is unmatched.

The company is trading 33% higher in the past year.

Eppinger, a Holy Cross graduate, made more than $5 million in compensation in 2014 as CEO and President of Hanover Insurance. 

Eppinger also has $28 million in options through Hanover. Eppinger has been with Hanover since 2003 - when it was called Allmerica and had lost $306 million. Since then, Eppinger has turned Hanover around as a business and the company has donated millions towards the Hanover Theatre, Hanover Field, and UMass Memorial.

He oversees more than 5,000 employees.

 
 

Related Articles

 

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

 
Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox