Gardner Mayoral Candidates offer Economic Development Plans to WBI

The Global Pandemic has effected the community of Gardner in a myriad of ways.  However, it will not limit the Wachusett Business Incubator from influencing the dialogue during our Mayoral Special Election.  By some measures this election, the result of the resignation of recently elected Mark Hawke presents a significant opportunity to change the political discussion and the long-term direction of our wonderful city.

The intent of the Board Of Directors of the Wachusett Business Incubator and that of its staff is to focus attention on the capacity, both now and into the future of each candidates abilities as they relate to economic development.  In lieu of a live forum or debate which would have taken place April 2, 2020 we’ve made the decision to provide a written record, drafted from each of the candidates themselves and sourced from a set of questions we provided to each candidate.  The order in which they appear in this blog article is the order in which we received their answers.  No editing was done to their responses, offering our readers a full account of each candidates approach. 

We implore you to take the time to carefully review each of the candidates thoughts and ideas as they relate to economic development.  There is perhaps no other set of parameters that can have more of an influence on Gardner’s future; whether we can properly finance new schools, better opportunities for the working class, more potential for entrepreneurship, for culturally significant amenities; nothing will become reality for the long-term without the means for financing it. Read more

What is WBI Doing to Address Our Global Health Crisis

The on-going natural crisis we’re experiencing cannot be controlled by any human forces.  But its unfolding has us asking some very important and fundamental questions.  

Is our increasingly privatized approach to systems such as healthcare and food distribution effective?

Are our major energy, food and materials distribution systems resilient in the face of a major pandemic or other natural disaster?

Do we have the social and cultural strength to cope with a multi-staged, complicated natural phenomenon like the one we face?

What role does our financial system play in helping or hurting our capability to properly care for the global population?

Since the pandemic began the WBI has shifted much of its human and financial capital to better focus on the task at hand.  This was not entirely a challenge for us; much of our core programming like the Leadership Candidate Program, our classes and our other amenities are designed to address economic development issues that have only been exacerbated by the current crisis.

Here’s a rundown of our efforts to date.  We offer through these a look into what’s to come in the months and years ahead. Read more

Creativity —— Fulfillment——Bliss

You were born with wings. Why Prefer to crawl through life? -Rumi

Early Morning, 31 March, 2020


During a recent session with one of our Leadership Candidates we talked about what it means to find deep fulfillment through life’s work.  We’re all striving for meaning in an environment temporarily out of our human control.  Proving Mother Nature is inf fact, always in control.  

We spend a large amount of our time engaged in our work.  The Farmer to his plough, the computer technician to her servers, the artist to his canvas.  In our world of false idols how do we ensure that the time spent engaged in our work is truly our life’s work? 

Surely for some entrepreneurship presents the meaningful life that we all seek, does it not?  Then why do so many entrepreneurs face the same emotional or social issues that employees experience? Perhaps there are more fundamental mysteries in play that determine if you find true fulfillment. 

The Whole Business of Man is the Arts, & All Things Common

— William Blake

First To Consider

I believe one of the first key considerations that entrepreneurs, really all people need to embrace is the idea that you are CRAFTING your work, your life hand-in-hand throughout your journey on this sphere we call Earth. 

In this scenario, we are ALL artists crafting ourselves; bringing a level of creativity and soulfulness, a modicum of quality to everything we do.  Whether we’re talking about a fine or an applied art. 

At the WBI we have two important factors that we measure all of our decision-making and experience-making against.  Does what we’re about to embark on exemplify stewardship (of our community and of ourselves) and craftsmanship?  

The Artist Work

The first work of the artist is herself.  By living, by leading with purpose, mindfulness and a desire for craftsmanship the artist finds meaning in an authentic kind of creativity.  The kind that comes from deep within us.  Can’t get any more real than that!

When your life’s journey begins from this starting point every decision you make and every action you take may radiate joy and soul.  In short, your path and that of the people you lead will be the right one, even with a few bumps along the road. 

Creativity —— Fulfillment——Bliss

** I highly recommend the book ‘Zen and the Art of Making a Living’ by Laurence G. Boldt.  

Scott M. Graves is Executive Director of the Wachusett Business Incubator and founder of The New England Playhouse and Arts Innovation Center, an independent music education  company in Massachusetts.  Find out how you can benefit from the WBI’s Leadership Candidates Program.

Contact Scott here

Join Us to Determine ‘What Comes Next?’


“Hi There,

I’m Scott M. Graves and I am the executive director of the Wachusett Business Incubator.  Our team, which is made up of our staff, our mentors and our board of directors are, like you a part of this region.  In a deeper sense we are a part of our global community of humans and other sentient beings.  Like you all at home, we’re all thinking about what just happened, what we are to do about it, and what comes next.

In the weeks and months ahead I hope to share thoughts with you.  I hope to share perspective with you.  I hope to empower my neighbors by playing my small part in all this.  Not because  we have all the answers here, but because we a part of you just as you are a part of us.

In the decades I spent as a performing artist I had the privilege of making music with many extraordinary human beings.  Many of those players fought in the war or in Korea.  Or they participated in the civil rights movement.  They lived Jim Crow, they lived in many ways, a totally inconceivable reality to ours.  Those moments forced many of them to rise to the occasion.  And by all measure, from the stories they imparted on me, rise they did in magnificent ways.

Now it appears to be our turn.  So it is I charge you, my friends and neighbors just as I charge myself.  What is it we will do, in the here and now that will make the inconceivable do-able.

In June 1994 Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the president of a newly re-constituted Republic of South Africa.  Now his is an extraordinary story.  I watched as a teenager that morning as he made his speech to his people and to the world.  It was by all measure a remarkable speech.  One moment really stood out for me and I think it is appropriate to leave you with his words, taken from the lips of another remarkable human, the US Civil Rights leader Maryanne Williamson,”

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.  We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and famous?’  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us.  And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”