Saturday, February 14, 2009

Industry: Moseley Group

Continuing our series on local companies based in Franklin, I find the Moseley Group with this press release that is the most social media friendly I have seen to date.

Way to go Moseley Group!

FRANKLIN, MA – The Moseley Group, a leading food and beverage industry consulting firm, was chosen Thursday by the Governor’s Task Force on the Economic Sustainability of Maine’s Lobster Industry to help strengthen and improve the state’s leading fishery.

The Task Force, formed last fall after a sharp decline in lobster prices, chose The Moseley Group following a thorough review of more than a dozen proposals from marketing and consulting firms from across the country. Task Force members cited Moseley’s depth of experience in working with internationally known brands and products, such as Coca-Cola, Ocean Spray, Juan Valdez, McCain, Nestle and others, as a key factor in their choice.

Kristen Bailey, a vice-president at Moseley, will be the lead consultant on the project. A Maine native, Bailey is the former executive director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council and was the architect of the Certified Maine Lobster program that was aimed at preserving markets and strengthening the Maine lobster brand. She operates offices in Portland, Maine and Franklin, Massachusetts.

“Working with Maine’s lobster industry is very rewarding and meaningful to me,” she said. “Our firm looks forward to utilizing our experience with other industries to help strengthen and improve the economic model of Maine’s lobster industry.”

The initial discovery phase of the project will begin with an industry panel
meeting in Portland, scheduled for February 26.
For more about the Moseley Group check out their web site here.

For what their social media ready press release looks like visit here.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

"The unknown is killing us right now"


Losing two good police officers is a difficult reality for Police Chief Stephen Williams, but seeing them wait in line for unemployment checks would be even worse, he said.

So he's feeling relief that two officers who hired here from North Attleborough in the last two years have landed jobs on the Walpole force.

Williams said he knew Walpole was looking for officers, so he helped get Eric Zimmerman and Robert Kilroy hired there.


"I don't think anybody anticipated what happened to the economy, or that it would happen as fast as it did," Williams said, adding that he was still trying to restore his force of 46 back to the 50 officers he had in 2000.

Foreseeing the layoffs he would have to make this year because of the town's projected $5 million budget shortfall, Williams said he decided to be proactive to take care of his force.

"Do I feel better these officers (did not face unemployment)? Yes, absolutely I do," Williams said. "It's a win-win for us both. I feel better they were not laid off, and Walpole gets two good officers with several years' experience."

As someone who has had personal experience observing job reductions and then been finally affected by one, good people are the most flexible to move and generally the earliest to leave. I believe that to be the case here. There is likely to be more of the real Franklin "brain drain" before the numbers settle out and we really know what will happen.

Read the full article about two of Franklin's finest moving on in the Milford Daily News here

Baloney or otherwise, help is needed


Franklin Food Pantry workers, who have spent the last 20 years trying to feed the thousands of hungry people in town, are on edge.

In a few months, they will be kicked out of their space in the basement of the new museum at 80 West Central St., said Food Pantry Executive Director Linda Pouliot.

They are afraid. They are irate. And, Pouliot said, they are ready for a battle if that's what it takes to stay in town.

"We are not going out in a whimper - if we go out, we go out with a bang," said Pouliot, ready to lead the charge on behalf of the 2,178 people who benefit from the pantry.

Pouliot and her colleague, Michelle Reid, who works with pantry operations and outreach, believe their new neighbors upstairs, the Historic Commission, are snubbing their impoverished clients.

The notion that either the commission or town officials want to push the pantry out of the building to keep the poor away is "just baloney," said Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting.

Read the full article about the Food Pantry's efforts to find a new location within Franklin in the Milford Daily News here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"You can't just sit around at home"

If a layoff can happen to the president of the local Rotary chapter, it can happen to anyone.

"We're in a crisis," said Ken Masson, who heads the Merrimack Valley Rotary Club and lost his job in December, several months after his employer, Massbank Corp., was bought out by Eastern Bank Corp. "With 11 million people in the US without a job, going through hardships, that's a crisis."

Increasing unemployment across Greater Boston prompted the former service marketing director to call on his fellow Rotarians to consider a twist on one of their organization's core missions, vocational service, by helping out the laid-off workers in their own backyards.

"You think of Rotary coming to the rescue of people who have polio or need water in developing countries, but there are things we can do right here," Masson said.

You can continue reading the article in today's Boston Globe here.

Yes, being without a job can happen to anyone. For the job search notes that I have compiled from my own experience follow this link here. If you want to compare notes and network, please feel free to contact me via comment or email.

Industry: Bank merger proceeds

Benjamin Franklin Bancorp's proposed merger with Rockland Trust, one of the state's largest community banks, is nearing completion.

Shareholders of Benjamin Franklin approved the deal yesterday, while their counterparts at Rockland Trust's parent company, Independent Bank Corp., are scheduled to vote tomorrow. State regulators held a hearing this week and will likely decide in the near future on approving the deal. If all is approved, Benjamin Franklin Bancorp's name would be changed to Rockland Trust.

The all-stock deal is a rarity in the financial sector these days, the banks merging by choice rather than necessity. It would create a 72-branch company with about $4.5 billion in assets.

Read the full article about the merger of Ben Franklin Banking in the Milford Daily News here.

"We need to think of ourselves as part of a community"


Town Council is considering approving a $1.34 million capital plan proposed by the Capital Subcommittee that has been endorsed by the Finance Committee and Town Administrator Jeffrey D. Nutting.

Franklin has $1.45 million for capital items, Nutting said, noting the Capital Subcommittee advised transferring the sum from free cash and $50,000 from a new gift account. The plan would leave $84,000 in the free cash account, Nutting said.

"While we all know these are difficult financial times, it is recognized that if we do not fund a capital plan, the problem gets much worse in the next fiscal year," Nutting said.

Read the full article on the proposal for the capital budget in the Milford Daily News here The capital budget will likely be considered for a formal vote at one of the March meetings.

Industry: RokkSoft partners with VocalEZ

From the PR news wire today, we find out about RokkSoft.

Franklin, MA, February 11, 2009 --( RokkSoft Solutions Corp has partnered with VocalEZ LLC to expand the distribution of the VocalEZ voice recognition medical dictation transcription service.

VocalEZ wraps an integrated work flow around voice-enabled software and web technologies to provide a simple, cost effective dictation transcription platform that is scalable from a single dictator to a large clinic or integrated hospital system, resulting in cost savings of 50 percent when compared to traditional transcription methods.

RokkSoft will offer the VocalEZ medical dictation transcription system in a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) model to physician practices and medical clinics. Medical practices of all sizes are confronted with escalating costs. Because VocalEZ is a pay-for-use service, administrators are now equipped with a solution that dramatically reduces monthly expenses, without requiring a major capital outlay.

VocalEZ fundamentally changes the way the transcription industry provides clinical documentation by creating significant enhancements and savings through the entire process. This HIPAA-compliant solution delivers more accurate, timely and integrated medical documentation.

VocalEZ has created a solution that allows every physician practice to enjoy the same benefits that had previously only been available to the largest groups and hospitals. By focusing on the needs of this largely overlooked segment of the healthcare market, the partnership with RokkSoft is an indication of the VocalEZ commitment to improved patient care while driving down costs.


About RokkSoft

RokkSoft Solutions Corp represents companies that provide medical practices and businesses with industry-changing technology applications to improve productivity and drive down operating costs. These applications are delivered in a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) model to minimize required startup resources and eliminate capital expenditures. This enables clients to quickly realize ongoing cost savings.

For more information, please visit

From PR.Com here

Town Council Mtg Smry 02/11/09

The summary of posts covering the Town Council meeting on 2/11/09

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Live reporting - council comments

Zollo - budget season coming and it will be the most challenging for the town. It will require sacrifice from everyone in Town. My hope is that all affected parties will work together in a spirit of unity. To think outside the box. At some point as a town, we have to decide what our budget will represent. Regardless with what is passed, this should bring us closer together.

Pfeffer - The Capital Committee has looked long and hard at the capital. There is a cost to not spend the capital. The Town has paid that price before.

Whalen - The original capital amount was in the neighborhood of 8 million dollars and we are now looking at a vetted amount just over 1 million.


Live reporting - Town Admin

The Franklin Food Pantry is looking for space. When the renovation on the old municipal building occurs later, they will need the space. They serve approx. 18 communities but most of them are from Franklin, so they would like to remain in Town.

Falling investment income, excise taxes, etc. will result in below level revenues for the first time in several years.

Live reporting - Legislation for action

  1. Resolution 09-05: Confirmatory Order of Taking Cross and King Street - approved 8-0
  2. Resolution 09-07: Appropriation – Public Facilities Salaries - approved 8-0
  3. Resolution 09-08: Appropriation – Title and Deed Research - approved 8-0
  4. Resolution 09-09: Appropriation – Survey on 30+ Acres on Pond Street - moved to March 4th meeting
#1 - a small parcel of land was left off the prior Four Corner transactions, this cleans up that situation in order to move forward with the Walgreens proposal.

#2 - house cleaning on the accounting, when the department changes took place 5 were planned for, only four actually moved.

#3 - money needed to clear title and ownership for town owned land that has been accumulated over time. The company has already been doing the work, this amount allows them to finish what is in their queue.

#4 - again to clear title and survey for the land. The Town did get State approval for the 40-D priority development for this land. The approval comes with a grant to help improve the planning and permitting process.

Live reporting - Town Council 2/11/09

Attending: Whalen, Mason, Vallee, Bartlett, Feeley, Pfeffer, McGann, Zollo
Missing: Doak

A. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - January 7, 2009 approved 8-0





F. HEARINGS - none


  • Use of Town Property Bylaw
Discussion on intent and minor revisions, language can be cleaned up and improved.
  • FY 2009 Capital Plan
The Capital sub-committee and Finance Committee have their recommendations.
Will bring this back in March for formal vote, only for discussion tonight.
Feeley requested to bring the ladder truck and the DPW lawn mower before the Council for a formal vote for next meeting rather than waiting.

"He slept with his eyes open"

Gallery218: Victor Pisini - Portrait

“He would sleep with his eyes open while posing.” Victor Pisini said as he talked about Shaney Ward, the model for one of his paintings now on display at Gallery 218. “He was a tiny fireman. He would stand only about four foot five inches tall. It was good for us painting to have him sleep with his eyes open. I did that painting about 1957.”

Allison Sherlock explained that one of the two paintings she had in the show was from her “post-stick” period. Her Art teacher at Assumption referred to it that way for an exercise she had Allie do in class. She had Allie paint with her brush taped to the end of a four foot stick. You try doing that. It is not easy to manipulate the brush holding it from such a distance.

Gallery218: Sherlock, Pisini deep in discussion

Victor complained that he used to be able to find subject matter to paint in the daily news paper. “You can't find that any more. The pictures are all about war, and accidents. I used to be able to find a woman working in a field, or a grandfather holding a child, or someone leading a horse. I could then go and paint from that picture.”

“Imagine that, a real discussion about art right here in Franklin,” remarked Rosanne Walsh as she caught part of the conversation between Allison and Victor. This conversation almost covered the extremes amongst the alumni represented. There are works from the Class of 2008 but Victor was from the Franklin Class of 1947 and Allison was from the Class of 2004.

There is quite a range in the type of work featured in this Alumni Show at Gallery 218. There are oil paintings, ceramics, photography, prints, mixed media and an animated video being shown on DVD. Something for everyone.

Refreshments were served in the cafeteria while Andrew Barry played some background music on his electric guitar. Andrew, a senior at Franklin High has already been accepted at Franklin Pierce College but is waiting to hear from Emerson and Berklee. He would like to pursue studying music and those are his #1 and #2 choices.

Gallery218: Victor Pisini views the gallery

Victor's second painting is more recent. He completed a “Meditation” about a year ago. Mike Caple had stopped by the Pisini Shoe Store to pick up the two works for the show. Victor was grateful that he did. “We need more art here in Franklin. Whenever I traveled, I would find the art community. They were very nice people. They were always helpful.”

I think that given the expressive nature of art, given the creativity found in art, Franklin can use more art as we approach this budget season. Stop by Gallery 218 to view the Alumni show. It will be worth your time and may help Franklin's future.

A photo slideshow of Gallery 218 on opening night is available here

Pictures and Slides added

The picture of the panel presenting on the Literacy initiative was added to that posting here

The picture of Peter Light and John Koch was added to that posting here, along with the presentation slides that they used for Advanced Placement Access.

The slides that Peter Light used for the High School Improvement plan were added to that posting here.


Gallery 218: Alumni Show

Gallery 218 located near the cafeteria at Franklin High School is now featuring the works of FHS Alumni. This slide show captures some of the activity at the opening on Tuesday evening.


Updated 2/26/09 - The show will continue to feature Alumni art until Mid-April, 2009.