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UMassFive's Interview with B Strategic Communications Elena Sharnoff

- Community

What brought you to the Valley?

A friend already lived here, and I fell in love with Northampton. It seemed like it was home right away. I then ended up getting my PhD at UMass Amherst!

What do you like about being a member at UMassFive?

I really love how Credit Unions are about community and are about their membership rather than banks. UM5 is really committed to our community and bringing our community together.

Later in the conversation she said this:

I really love working with people and the businesses in my community. That’s why I bank with UMassFive, because of their similar commitment to the community. Through my business, I help small businesses and non-profits to expand their own community and to thrive. 

Where can we find you when you’re not working on your business?

Taking long walks and hikes, traveling, yoga, meditation, reading, cooking and entertaining. 

Is there any advice you would give someone who wants to start their own business?

Choose something you really love doing because that’s what will get you out of bed. Find a network of people you can trust. Do a lot of networking to meet people to be part of your larger business circle.

People often feel that they can build a website themselves, or that it’s going to cost too much money (to hire someone to design it). But a well-built site is critical for success. It’s a skill that I have and want to share with other people. Don’t short change your website because it should act as your primary hub for your business. It should be the best that it can be. 

Tell us about your business.

B Strategic Communications works with clients on their website design and strategic messaging. We work together to make sure that the message of your business is reflected. I bring deep internal knowledge to make sure communication vehicles work as well for google as they do for your clients. 

I think that websites should be highly attractive and user-friendly on the public facing side, and highly functional on the backend. 

What gets you most excited about your business?

What makes me most passionate is helping people. Really strong communications and a well-designed website help people think about the big picture, and that’s what gets me most excited about working on a project or with a client. I know that I’m going to be providing some real help and support.