Tony Dobrowolski: Prom is the new Christmas


A few notes from being out and about in the Berkshires.

Steven Valenti may be headed for a new career as an author.

The owner of Steven Valen ti's Clothing for Men in Pitts field recently wrote a letter to the editor of MRket place, a Connecticut-based trade mag azine, describing how well his business had done during prom season this year.

He had written to the magazine before, and never re ceived a response. But this time editor Karen Alberg Grossman liked Valenti's letter so much that she decided to publish it in the magazine as an editorial.

"Within five minutes after I sent it she called me and said I loved it," Valenti said. "It's not a letter, it's a feature. I said, ‘wow', I didn't expect to be called back so fast."

Valenti's submission titled, "Prom Season: The New Christmas, how to grow your sales and your customer base" was published as a full-page guest editorial in this month's issue of MRketplace, next to a large color photo of the author himself.

"When she sent it back to me I was floored," Valenti said.

Could this be the beginning of a new career?

"If you write a couple of more, I'll put you on the payroll," Valenti said Alberg Grossman told him. "You never know. Maybe I can help other stores along the way. I appreciate her generosity and her giving me a shot."

According to Valenti, MRket place is known among retailers as "the bible" of the menswear industry.

"It lets us know what's new, what's being sold, and what's coming down the pike," he said.


Interested in helping shape the future of the state's economy?

Associated Industries of Massachusetts is seeking input in developing a new initiative titled, "The Blueprint for the Next Century." It's a plan to create jobs, prosperity and long term economic growth in the commonwealth.

AIM is interested in creative and compelling ideas that employers may have to improve the state economy.

To that end, AIM will be holding eight meetings/network receptions across the state in September and Octo ber, including a session at the Crane Model Farm in Dalton on Thursday, Sept. 11. The hours are 4 to 6:30 p.m.

The sessions are by invitation only and held in private, so any comments employers make will be held in confidence. Attendees will also participate in a moderated discussion and have the opportunity to network with other business leaders.

The other session closest to the Berkshires will occur on Thursday, Sept. 4, at the Storrowton Tavern in West Springfield. The hours are also 4 to 6:30 p.m.


***, a national on line career network that connects job seekers with employers, has selected the Pittsfield metropolitan area first among the top 50 metro areas in the country to find a job.

The website ranks top metro areas by comparing the number of job postings on for each region to the Bureau of Labor Statistics civilan labor force numbers, according to vice president of marketing, Joe Weinlick.

The latest rankings compare labor force numbers for the second quarter of 2014 to the same time period last year. According to’s rankings, Pittsfield moved up 22 spots from the last quarter.

The state considers the Pittsfield metro area as consisting only of Berkshire County.

A quick perusal of roughly 20 health care and medical job postings for the Pittsfield area by The Eagle on its website this month found two positions in Berkshire Coun ty. Others were found in New York's Capital Region, muni cipalities in the three other counties of Western Massa chu setts, Bennington, Vt. and Canaan, Conn.

Tony Dobrowolski is the business editor of The Berkshire Eagle. He can be reached at


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions