Bay Path students recognized for entrepreneurial spirit
Brandy Deveno ’09
was among this year’s winners for her business Deveno Interior Designs
. Deveno’s business is an interior design firm that specializes in residential and commercial projects, and provides design services, such as custom interiors, consultation, remodeling projects, and new construction. The firm assists with the selection and purchasing of furnishings, fabric selections, and accessories, and they work with realtors and home owners in staging homes for sale as well as model homes. Deveno Interior Designs is dedicated to creating distinctive and functional environments that reflect the individual needs and design goals of their client.
After seeing many of her insurance customers struggle with affordable housing, Deborah Darling Raphael ’10
knew her business Building U Solutions
could help them. Raphael consolidated several of her successful smaller businesses to launch Building U Solutions as her new umbrella company. Her clients can now purchase supplemental insurance, including accident, disability, long term care, and life insurance, as well as debt consolidation and mortgage loans. Most importantly, her new venture offers the sales and installation of prefabricated homes to would-be homeowners in the western Massachusetts area. Her clients can choose from contemporary and traditional homes from the variety of blueprints she has available for viewing. She ships her pre-constructed homes from Georgia, and works with a team of contractors to take all steps necessary to get her clients into their new Western Massachusetts homes. The Life of Josie M.
is a successful, online blog created by Amy Perrault G ’09
. Targeted at the single, 30-something girl, it seeks to offer readers a welcoming space, where they can share stories that connect and reconnect old and new friends, and create a unique, online culture for single women to escape the coupled world. The Life of Josie M. has already gained a nationwide readership that includes nearly 4,900 blog visits. The blog features click-through advertisements, where the reader can shop for related items from nationwide retailers. The Life of Josie M. is a place where single girls of the world can share, laugh, cry and vent—and, perhaps shop.
For the past few years, MassReady
has provided emergency management consulting services to underrepresented, but vital, community partners such as public health departments, health care facilities and schools by coordinating disaster planning and developing drills for them in the communities they serve. Joshua Shanley ’08
launched MassReady in response to a need in Longmeadow for emergency preparedness. The business provides knowledge and systems to coordinate planning, facilitation, and documentation of disaster-based exercises according to specific standards developed by federal and health care organizations to assure compliance with grants and maintain critical, accreditation status, while providing feedback and recommendations to administrators and line staff on how to improve their plans and procedures. Gayle Hsiao ’06
launched TSE Solutions
to enable many individuals in the United States to change their careers and their lives with proper training in entrepreneurship and small business ownership. TSE (Team Supported Entrepreneurship) Solutions matches entrepreneurs with disabilities with individuals who can help them with the day-to-day operations of their businesses. Hsiao successfully tested her model, resulting in new businesses owned by people with disabilities in Western Massachusetts, and the model has subsequently been applauded and adopted by multiple agencies. The New England Business Associates Business Consulting Center has contracted her company to serve people with disabilities in building and growing profitable new businesses, and her company’s model has earned a commendation from former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Salvatore DiMasi and a citation from Michael Knapik and William Welch of the Massachusetts State Senate.
The five recipients were among the 23 Bay Path students and recent graduates who have launched or have planned to start new businesses this year. Each recipient will receive a cash award ranging from $500 to $2,000.
The Entrepreneurship Initiative is one of several initiatives supported by the philanthropy of Longmeadow, MA resident and businessman, Harold Grinspoon. For more information about Harold Grinspoon Foundation initiatives, visit www.hgcf.org