Business Leader, Serial Entrepreneur to Break Ground on a Collaborative Building in Hadley
New space will house initiatives that benefit adults and youth through training and holistic modalities
HADLEY—A coach, leader, and serial entrepreneur with longtime experience in the healthcare industry is building a $1.5 million creative collaborative in town with a goal of uniting area businesses and their professional development initiatives with healing modalities for adults and youth.
Andrea Bordenca said Teagno Construction will break ground on the Venture Way Collaborative Building at 200 Venture Way on Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. Bordenca hopes her new project will provide a training ground for area leaders and high school and college students.
Representatives from the interconnected businesses that will occupy the new building will be present at the event, including DESCO, a healthcare emergency field service response organization, and the U.S.-based branch of the Institute for Generative Leadership (IGL). Bordenca serves as CEO and chairperson of DESCO and is CEO of IGL.
“The methodology at IGL is what helped DESCO grow, thrive, and innovate,” Bordenca said. “Our programs offer a personal learning and leadership coach to increase quality of life and deepen professional and personal relationships.”
IGL will have a 1,000-square-foot classroom in the new building and will offer educational opportunities to support the community in body-based practices that increase physical, mental, and emotional health. Said Bordenca, “I have been a practitioner of this methodology for 20 years and have been able to overcome issues associated with ADHD, bipolar disorder, social anxiety, and addiction.”
Clients served by various businesses to be located at Venture Way Collaborative will also be at the groundbreaking, along with: representatives from Teagno Construction, the building’s contractor; Kuhn Riddle Architects, which is preparing designs; and Florence Bank, which is providing a share of the project funding. Also in attendance will be Peter Daigle, president of the Connecticut Central Service Association, and Danielle McGreary, vice president of Healthcare Technology Management for AAMI, an organization committed to advancing safety in health technology.
“I’m bridging the gap between the increase in depression, suicide, and anxiety among younger populations and the health and vitality of corporate cultures and healthy businesses,” Bordenca said, noting the Venture Way Collaborative Building will offer classroom space, as well as hands-on learning/workshop space for DESCO. “My way of bridging that gap is by bringing social-emotional learning to young people so they can learn the essential life skills of communication and self-awareness, so when they are our employees and leaders of the future, they have basic, foundational life skills.
“I’m motivated by having healthy people in healthy organizations and see this as an opportunity for us to train and retain western Massachusetts talent,” Bordenca added.
These businesses will be housed in the new building:
- DESCO (Diagnostic Equipment Service Corporation), which responds to emergencies primarily in the healthcare industry but also in controlled lighting and hospitality. If a piece of equipment breaks in an operating room, for instance, or an ice machine fails in a restaurant’s kitchen, DESCO has teams that respond, Bordenca said. We also install advanced lighting controls in schools, stadiums, libraries, and department stores. DESCO has locations in 17 states, and the Hadley building will become its home base. The company has 60 employees and serves businesses across the country. “We provide training and education,” Bordenca said. “The technology is always evolving, and the future is very bright in our field, yet many don’t know that this exists. I see having DESCO headquartered in Western Mass can serve to increase visibility and will provide hands-on opportunities in our 750-square-foot workshop space.”
- IGL, which is committed to bringing leadership skills to adults through stress physiology and self-care practices.
- Lead Yourself Youth, an initiative Bordenca created in 2016 that adapts IGL curriculum so it is relevant for educators and adolescents. “We have also provided educational programming to kids as young as 5,” she said. “We bring awareness and choice about life decisions, standards, relationships, and self to youth for resilience and dignity.” Bordenca’s partner at Lead Yourself Youth is Sara Vatore.
- Somasynthesis, which is led by Vatore; she works with adolescents, educators, and professionals to break the cycles of burnout through integrating nervous-system education and applied practices to ease tension and create spaciousness. Vatore will be at the groundbreaking.
- The Women’s Collaborative, co-founded by Bordenca and Gina Fasser, of Belchertown, is a group of women in the Pioneer Valley who come together to talk about who they are and what’s possible in terms of goals and achievements. They are always welcoming new members.
Bordenca’s interest in merging leadership with holistic health techniques began 20 years ago; she suffered with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and alcoholism and took part in a leadership and learning program with IGL. She held a managerial position at that time and was interested in professional development.
“I was 24,” she recalled. “The programming provided me with an individual coach who helped me develop practices for understanding how to navigate stress by rewiring my nervous system. I got in tune with my emotions, and instead of numbing them, I learned how to be more effective in managing my energy, and the mood and energy of my team.”
The practices also indirectly helped Bordenca’s teenage son overcome his anxieties. “This is something we need to institute in the public school systems,” she said.
Bordenca is interested in collaborating with leaders from area high schools, community colleges, colleges and universities, and with those at organizations such as Girl and Boy scouts, Girls Inc., and boys and girls clubs. Those interested in her work or the Venture Way Collaborative Building can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There is an increase in depression and anxiety among younger populations,” Bordenca said. “Many find jobs or go to college in the hope of working harder to get to some successful outcome without having a clear idea of what personal success looks like. They sometimes find that anxiety and depression mount and lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms. Most don’t have the skills to navigate stress and pressure because it is not yet built into our public schools’ curriculum.”