Strategic Partners

Our Strategic Partners provide educational, financial and advisory support to the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley. Their presentations at our events aim to make business owners more astute about many issues that challenge all businesses. They support the non-solicitation environment that we have created for continuing professional education. We are proud to have these expert advisors as our sponsors and partners.


The word “AXiA” translates from Greek to mean “value, capable, merit, worth and worthiness”.  Our philosophy of doing business is centered on these attributes.  We create value for our clients by employing wisdom, knowledge, and creativity.  We work capably having the fortitude to always put the customer’s best interest first. We continually provide the services worthy of being a ‘class act’.  While AXiA may be a word foreign to some, it has become meaningful to those doing business with AXiA Insurance Services.  The AXiA Group’s main goal is not to solely get our clients the best rates, we strive to provide them with the most appropriate and best coverage, at the best rate.Our Customer Service Representatives pride themselves on taking the time to go over each individual client’s needs, explaining their coverage and making the best recommendations about insurance choices. 

Bacon Wilson

For more than a century, Bacon Wilson has been a trusted resource for individuals, families, businesses, and municipalities in search of strategic, personalized legal services. The professionals at Bacon Wilson have been recognized for legal excellence and for dedication to our community. More importantly, our dedicated attorneys and record of results have earned the trust of clients throughout Western Massachusetts and Northern Connecticut. Bacon/Wilson: Counsel and Service When Life Gets Legal. Julie Dialessi-Lafley is available at 413.781.0560

Business West

our new media partner! Founded in 1984 as The Western Mass. Business Journal, BusinessWest is the region’s most respected business publication, featuring timely, informative, entertaining articles that essentially turn a mirror to the region’s business community, the people and institutions that define it, and the issues confronting it. In recent years, BusinessWest has moved well beyond its printed publication with a highly interactive Web site, participation in numerous networking, education-oriented, and fund-raising events across the region, and the introduction of its own signature events.These include 40 Under Forty, an annual program that recognizes the rising stars in the local business and nonprofit communities; and Difference Makers, where individuals and organizations, chosen by the magazine’s staff, are honored for the contributions within the community. Looking forward, BusinessWest will continue to develop new and exciting ways to serve the region’s business community, and, to borrow the name of its newest signature event, make a real difference in Western Massachusetts.

Charter Oak

Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services is an award winning, growth orientated and full services financial services organization. Total assets under management surpass $2.75 billion and for the past eight years achieved an average compound growth rate of 27% per year. The firm has won MassMutual’s prestigious Chairman’s Trophy Competition each of the past eight years. Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services provides life insurance, annuities, disability income insurance, long-term care insurance, retirement planning products, business continuity planning, executive fringe benefits and employee benefit program. The firm also specializes in Retirement and Investment planning. Charles Epstein, CLU, ChFC, FBS (413-734-6418) and Pete Novak, General Agent of Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services (413-781-6850) are available to answer questions.


Epstein Financial Services With over 23 years of experience, Epstein Financial Services has provided family business owners proven tools, techniques and products to help retire with greater financial security, reduce income and inheritance taxes, and transition a business to the next generation. Our uniquely effective service, The Family CFO ® Process, gives a clear picture of one’s financial future, with increased financial independence and reduced anxiety. Our personalized “Crystal Ball Experience ®” provides business owners greater simplicity, focus and balance in their financial affairs. Charles D. Epstein, CLU, ChFC, is one the first certified Family Business Specialists in America; is a member of the Top of The Table, representing the top one half of one percent of financial services professional in the world; and is one of the original founders of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley. Charles can be reached at 1-877-9FAM-CFO or 413-734-6418


Giombetti Associates In business for over 20 years with with a national/International client base of over 250 companies , Giombetti Associates is a management consulting firm known for increasing productivity and profit through people. Specialties include Leadership Development, Pre-employment Assessment, Team Building, Management Training, and Conflict Resolution. Hiring the “right” person is assured with the Giombetti’s trademarked assessment process, Performance Dynamics. Giombetti is resolute about its highest credo: “Within each individual lies untapped potential. Our job is to identify and develop this hidden talent. Once leaders emerge, effective teams evolve. Challenges become accomplishments and profitability grows.” Ross Giombetti is available at (413) 566-3863.

Johnson and Hill

Johnson & Hill is locally owned; it makes a difference in the way we do business. We live and work in the communities we serve. Personal integrity and trust are among our most important assets. People learn first hand that they can depend on us. Central to our mission is providing the highest quality staffing services to our clients, working associates and candidates. Our commitment to exceptional service and performance starts from within. Johnson & Hill is a woman-owned, SOMWBA-certified business, dedicated to serving the region. Our staff adhere to the utmost in professionalism when interacting with clients and candidates. We have built our reputation by providing exceptional service to our clients and employees. And, for more than 16 years, we have worked hard to develop long-term relationships with hundreds of businesses in the area. We’re so sure that we will understand your company better than any staffing service you may have used in the past, we offer a satisfaction guarantee. Our corporate and personal values include giving back. We strive to improve the social, economic and environmental well being of our community through our volunteer efforts and financial contributions. Our team members volunteer their time working for local, community organizations, including: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Children’s Study Home, American Cancer Society, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and many others. Contact Andrea Hill at or Tiffany Appleton at


Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. is the region’s largest independently owned accounting and consulting firm, based in Holyoke, Mass. Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. was formed by the merger of Meyers Brothers, P.C. and Joseph D. Kalicka & Company, LLP, in Jan. 2004. Both firms began service to the region in 1948. The Firm is a member of the CPAmerica affiliation of privately owned accounting firms. Through this affiliation, they have access to national firm resources with the attention of a local firm. The Firm specializes in serving closely-held family owned businesses and prides itself with providing timely and personalized service to its clients. More info at Kris Houghton, Kevin Hines and Howard Cheney are available at (413) 536-8510.

Peoples Bank

PeoplesBank is a leader in innovation, corporate responsibility, environmental sustainability, and employee engagement. Our three LEED® certified offices are environmentally friendly, and we have financed more than $145 million in wind, hydroelectric and solar energy projects. As the largest community bank in the market, we have a unique ability to help the communities we serve through volunteer efforts and millions of dollars in donations to charitable and civic causes. Our associates devote an average of 6,000 hours to volunteer work each year, and 48 of the bank’s officers serve on the boards of directors and committees of 115 nonprofit organizations in the area. As a mutual bank, PeoplesBank is responsible to its depositors, employees and the community. This organizational structure allows us to focus on the long-term viability of the bank and the best interests of our customers. For more information, contact Matt Bannister First Vice President, Marketing & Innovation