Welcome Message From Kim Garcia, Chapter 85 President
When most people think of Massachusetts they immediately think of the massive city of Boston with its rich history and packed highways, but if you travel about an hour and half west you will find yourself in a very different landscape—one with quiet little towns nestled in mountain ranges, acres and acres of farmland and some of the best leaf peeping in New England! 

While we boast about being the birthplace of basketball, there are some other interesting facts about our little corner of the State that could be very interesting to Facility Engineers. Not only do we have 22 Universities with over 100,000 students but we also manufacture firearms, chemicals and resins, hand tools and saw blades, specialty papers, weapon control systems for defense applications, power transmission and motion control products, plastic products, electrical wire, medical devices, rail cars (for Boston), golf balls, toys and even games. We are also home to one of the largest life and health insurer’s in the country and TEN hospitals. 

Having all of these facilities in our reach has allowed Chapter 85 to become as successful as it is today. Our Chapter members come from a large cross section of companies that serve these facilities. Not only do we have representatives from the manufacturers listed above but we also have members from the engineering firms, mechanical and electrical contractors, equipment suppliers and utilities that serve them.

Of course, having a successful Chapter doesn’t happen by itself or even overnight. Our Chapter has had a legacy of hard working volunteers that have kept everything going month by month- keeping our members engaged and active. The Board of Directors for Chapter 85 has a well-balanced and diverse group that range in career experience. We have members that have under ten years of experience working together with members that have retired and continue to volunteer their time and knowledge. It is truly a Chapter where the spirit of mentorship is alive and thriving! 

We have seen continuous success with a handful of our annual meetings that our members look forward to every year. Our year will typically start off with a utility presentation where the local utilities will highlight and discuss their incentive programs giving our members information on how to take advantage of the programs that will help them realize electric and fuel savings. This year we had presenters from Columbia Gas, Eversource, Balanced Rock Energy and Compressed Air Technologies.

During the spring we like to have local plant tours that give our members insight into how other facilities operate. Earlier this year, we visited Blake Equipment in East Windsor, CT and learned about water treatment in industrial facilities and toured their geothermal system. This spring we will be visiting Duro-Last, a manufacturer of single-ply PVC commercial roof systems. Last year, we visited Kaman Corporation in Bloomfield, CT and toured their aerospace and industrial parts manufacturing facility. We also attended a Springfield Thunderbirds Hockey game and got a behind the scenes tour of the MassMutual Center.

The fall is traditionally the busiest time of year for us with our Annual Brewery Tour, Golf Tournament and Tabletop Trade Show. Our Brewery Tour is one of the favorites among our members and this past year was no exception. Since there is no shortage of local microbrews, we never have an issue finding a place to tour! Last fall we had the privilege of visiting BroadBrook Brewery in East Windsor, CT where we got to sample their wonderful brews and learn about their brewing process. We have visited other breweries such as Iron Duke Brewing and Amherst Brewing as well! 

Our Annual Golf Tournament that sponsors our Scholarship is certainly one of the highlights of the year! For the past three years, we have held it at The Orchards in Hadley, MA. The course is a Donald Ross designed course and draws a very large attendance from our group. This is the main source of funding for our scholarship and is successful every year!

Our Tabletop and Trade Show is held every year at the Knight of Columbus in Chicopee, MA. This show allows over 40 vendors to display their products and services to the local facility engineering community. This show is very well attended by vendors, customers and members and offers an awesome buffet with so many opportunities to network! This is also when we proudly present our Annual Scholarship to the well deserving student that is selected by the Scholarship Committee.

I am so very proud to be a member of an outstanding Chapter that includes a group of Board Members that love being a part of this community and enjoy giving back!