Movers & Shakers Award Honorees 2021 – nshoremag.com

Northshore magazine honors top business leaders in our community. 
What does it mean to be a mover and shaker? For these North Shore business people and entrepreneurs it means many things: Providing jobs, building communities, feeding people delicious food, and contributing to worthy causes, to name a few. But no matter what their business cards say, they all have one thing in common: A drive to make the place they call home better. Read on to meet Northshore magazine’s top movers and shakers. 

Chairman and CEO of Cummings Properties, LLC
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license partner of Engel &  Völkers By the Sea and Engel & Völkers Concord
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CEO of Kevin Anderson & Associates
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CEO and Realtor, J Barrett & Company 
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CEO of Eliassen Group 
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CEO and Principal, Matter 
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CEO/owner of Stem
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Owner and creative director, Interlocks
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New England market executive, commercial banking, City National Bank, an RBC Company
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founder, Lark Hotels 
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CEO and founder, Tuscan Brands
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CEO and owner of Lupoli Companies
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co-CEO of Royal Jewelers
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CEO and founder of Davio’s Restaurants
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Scott Faulkner, Secretary,
Principal, Groom Construction

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Chairman and CEO of Cummings Properties, LLC
Helming the commercial real estate company Cummings Properties not only allows Dennis Clarke to help local businesses thrive, but also to serve as a trustee for the Cummings Foundation, which has awarded more than $280 million in grants to Greater Boston nonprofits. “I think what inspires our company is community building,” he says. “We’re building communities where businesses can cluster but also are fully invested in those communities.”
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License Partner of Engel & Völkers By the Sea and Engel & Völkers Concord 
For Karen Hanson, working in real estate is about so much more than buying and selling property. “Our clients aren’t just buying pretty houses. They are also choosing a space for their life to unfold,” she says. “First steps, new jobs, heartbreaks, blending families…all of it. To be invited into that process is very special, and I am proud that we have created a company that celebrates that belief.” 
She and her colleagues aren’t only devoted to helping people find their family homes but also to making sure the communities around those homes are the best they can be. “It is also important to all of us at E&V that we be a helpful part of their communities. We all try to do our part to support the places where we work and raise our own families,” Hanson says.
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CEO of Kevin Anderson & Associates
As CEO of a company that works with authors, agents, and publishers to bring books to life, Kevin Anderson As CEO of a company that works with authors, agents, and publishers to bring books to life, Kevin Anderson naturally has shelves filled with well-loved books by authors like James Joyce, Marcel Proust, and Cormac McCarthy. “I like reading that really shows what it means to be human,” he says. Perhaps that’s why as a business owner, he values curious, talented people who give honest feedback to make things better. “You can have really great ideas and processes,” he says.
But it’s even more important to have great people to implement those ideas and processes, do the work at a high level, and help the team figure out how to do things better all the time. “I’ll take people over process any day,” he says.
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CEO and Realtor, J Barrett & Company 
With 150 agents in six offices, J Barrett & Company is the largest independent real estate brokerage in the With 150 agents in six offices, J Barrett & Company is the largest independent real estate brokerage in the county, and though watching that ground-up growth has been satisfying, CEO Jon Gray says his biggest inspiration comes from watching agents grow, both personally and financially. He recalls one agent whose background was in hospitality before deciding to pivot to real estate. So, she got her license, went through their training program and “in her first year she made a very healthy six figure income,” Gray says. He loves helping agents like her and others grow their businesses and their lives. “It’s so enjoyable to watch that happen for somebody,” he says. “For a lot of people, it can be life changing.”
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CEO of Eliassen Group 
While at the helm of strategic consulting and talent firm, Eliassen Group, Dave MacKeen has led the company through private equity partnerships and several acquisitions to help create a business that’s a leader in talent solutions, life sciences consulting, cloud services, risk management, and more. Throughout all the growth and evolution, MacKeen’s inspiration remains Eliassen Group’s purpose: To positively impact the lives of their employees, clients, consultants, and the communities in which they operate. He does that not only at work but also by serving on several boards, including the Bentley Executive Club, Endicott College Board of Advisors, Trustee Associate of St. John’s Prep, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
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CEO and Principal, Matter 
Lots of things inspire Scott Signore. His hard-working, passionate colleagues; clients who recognize and Lots of things inspire Scott Signore. His hard-working, passionate colleagues; clients who recognize and appreciate Matter’s art-meets-science approach; a fun, joyful, and high-energy work environment; and “a fully vaccinated world.” But perhaps most inspiring is the way he and his wife, Jenna, support Anna Jaques Hospital. “It’s the very least we can do for such a valued and cherished institution that provides so much to our community here on the North Shore,” he says. He carries those inspirations into his work life, too, always looking for ways to make things better. “Matter is a fun, high-energy and rewarding place to be. To overcome challenges in the workplace, I get together with my staff—who are among the smartest and savviest professionals in their category—and identify solutions,”” Signore says. “We share ideas and talk topics through. We don’t dwell on the challenges, but we get aggressive and creative and move forward, together. We thrive on overcoming challenges.”
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Owner and creative director, Interlocks
“Above all else, be kind,” says Ginny Eramo. That personal motto has guided her throughout life, whether it’s “Above all else, be kind,” says Ginny Eramo. That personal motto has guided her throughout life, whether it’s serving on the Anna Jaques Hospital board of trustees, providing creative and cutting-edge salon and spa services to clients at Interlocks in Newburyport or giving local organizations like the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center. In fact, she says that right now, frontline workers are her “heroes.” “I’m so mindful and appreciative of people who are providing healthcare and enabling us to keep doing what we love to do,” she says. Her focus on kindness also inspires her creativity, which she hones with daily morning walks on Plum Island. “It has become a cherished morning activity,” she says.
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CEO/owner of Stem 
Caroline Pineau’s adult-use cannabis dispensary Stem in Haverhill offers something for everyone in a safe, welcoming environment that honors and celebrates the diversity and individuality of its team, customers, and community. “I think by letting our employees be their authentic full selves, it creates a space where we welcome you as you are,” she says. In fact, she says that’s been something she conceptualized from the verybeginning. “Seeing that come to fruition through our team here…that has been the most gratifying experience,” she says. “We have a wonderfully loving, diverse, creative, and thoughtful group of employees, and that really is the essence of our brand.” That comes through in the customer service experience, too. “Whatever your experience with cannabis, we strive to be the store that you call home, where you feel comfortable shopping.”
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New England Market Executive, Commercial Banking, City National Bank, an RBC Company 
Nathan Pusey loves the feeling of building something out of nothing and gets immense joy in helping others do  Nathan Pusey loves the feeling of building something out of nothing and gets immense joy in helping others do that. “We really help companies achieve their dreams.” Pusey himself once dreamed of being an opera singer, and now, his commercial banking role allows him to support organizations like the Wang Theatre and Emerson College by sitting on their boards. He also takes pride and happiness in helping struggling institutions, such as those focused on the arts, raise money, enable arts education in schools and find long-term success in the market. “I can drive some of the wealth of the bank to support these institutions,” he says.
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CEO and Founder, Tuscan Brands
As CEO, founder, and “chief food taster” of Tuscan Brands, Joe Faro loves to create things, from the ambitious Tuscan Village in Salem, New Hampshire, to the elegant Tuscan Kitchen and Tuscan Market. That creativity and love of Tuscan culture comes from his mom and dad, who Faro admires for their immigrant journey, work ethic, and generous spirit. He says that generosity and openness not only created a beautiful business (his parents founded Joseph’s Trattoria Bakery Café in Haverhill) but also a home where everyone was welcome all the time. “Even if they worked 15 hours, you’re still welcome,” he says. “I don’t know if I would be who I am, if they weren’t who they are.”
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Founder, Lark Hotels 
Lark properties deliver a boutique experience that’s imbued with a strong sense of place and emphasizes “service without pretense,” says Robert Blood. So, it should come as no surprise that travel is Blood’s greatest inspiration, whether he’s traveling solo or with his wife and kids. “It can be anywhere,” he says. “It could be California, it could be France, it could be day trip to Kennebunkport. It’s where I get most of my ideas and inspiration.” It’s also no surprise that it’s special experiences, rather than things, that make Blood the happiest. That’s especially true considering how restricted travel has been in the past 18 months. “The experiences we have together as a family are really the most prized possessions I have,” he says.
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CEO and Owner of Lupoli Companies
From a young age, the idea of being a “social impact entrepreneur” has appealed to Salvatore Lupoli, whose company is a pillar of communities like Lawrence and Haverhill. His father predicted he’d make a difference in people’s lives and “not a day goes by” that he doesn’t think about that. Today, he’s still inspired by “the ability to create change when nobody else sees change,” he says. “To create an opportunity where nobody else sees opportunity.” He also feels the same way about creating opportunity for his employees, some of whom have been with the company for 30 years. “Thisorganization has been responsible for sending their children through college. I see their life, I see food on their table, I see houses being paid for,” Lupoli says. “I see an idea, a concept, a dream that I had when I was 17 years old has not only come to fruition but has created great change in people’s lives.”
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Co-CEO of Royal Jewelers
Steven Leed, co-owner and co-CEO of Royal Jewelers along with his sister, Paula Leed, has what he describes as Steven Leed, co-owner and co-CEO of Royal Jewelers along with this sister, Paula Leed, has what he describes as a “pretty simple” motto: “There are not problems, only solutions,” he says. “And as an entrepreneur when you come to a barrier, you find a way over, under, or around. And sometimes these solutions create opportunities.” For instance, although the pandemic has proved to be hugely challenging, they turned it into an opportunity to provide more personalized, one-on-one service to its loyal customers. Their customer outreach included everything from Zoom consultations to personal deliveries. “It was a very safe, sort of white-glove delivery service,” Leed says.
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Secretary, Principal, Groom Construction
For more than 40 years, Groom Construction has seamlessly blended top-notch work with a deep commitment to bettering the region. The compnay frequently collaborates and partners with non-profits to tackle issues like affordable housing/homelessness, addiction, and the needs of disadvantaged youth. For Scott Faulkner that commitment runs deep. “The biggest lesson I have learned in life is that if you treat people fairly, with dignity and respect, the same will come back to you,” he says.  
David Groom, Treasurer, Principal, Groom Construction: David Groom is inspired by the people he meets who work so hard to make the world a better place, especially those “individuals who dedicate their careers to addressing and implementing successful and quantifiable solutions to complex challenges in the world we all live in.” And he’s seen this work in action. “I am particularly inspired by the results we’ve witnessed when private comes together with nonprofits to solve these critical societal issues,” he says. 
Dwight Groom, Vice President, Principal, Groom Construction: As a business leader and decision-maker, Dwight Groom understands that it’s easy to second-guess yourself. But procrastination isn’t a great solution. “If I’m ever doubting a decision that I’m contemplating or a stance that I’m taking, I reach out for opinions to others who I respect or who I know are knowledgeable on the topic,” he says. “While it’s good to have self-confidence, it’s also good to have the humility to realize what you don’t know.”
Tom Groom, President, Principal, Groom Construction: As president and principal of Salem-based Groom Construction, Tom Groom and his partners have built a full-service, multi-faceted company that’s grown exponentially since it was founded in 1979. Today, their work spans the commercial, residential, retail, academic, corporate, and nonprofit sectors, and after four decades, it’s still a family-owned firm. When asked what he’s most proud of, Tom’s answer reflects that family focus: “I am most proud of my kids and their growing list of accomplishments.”
CEO and Founder of Davio’s Restaurants 
Steve DiFillippo has done his best to surround himself with good, fun, philanthropic people, and Davio’s diners can certainly feel that ethos. People love the Northern Italian steakhouses not only for the food, but also for its great service, which he calls “the Davio’s way.” “The food is important, don’t get me wrong, but if you go to a place and they’re not nice, I don’t care how good the food is,” he says. It’s something he learned from his parents. Something else that came from his family is his love of cooking. He spent time making dishes like meatballs, eggplant parmesan, fresh pasta, and sausage with his mother and grandmother, which he admits wasn’t “fashionable” for a boy in the 70s. But without that time in the kitchen together, “I probably wouldn’t be here today. It really changed my life.”  
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