Wellesley resident and educational consultant, John G. Gray, M.Ed., has opened a new office on Grove Street in Wellesley Center. John Gray Educational Consulting specializes in day and boarding schools, as well as college placements for families and their children. Gray has over 25 years of experience as an educator, administrator, and consultant, and he is well versed in helping families navigate the complexities of applying to the right list of schools. To learn more visit www.johngrayconsulting.com or call 781.263.7277. 

Crossroads Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the needs of the MetroWest community, announced that it has awarded two organizations with 2009 Fund for Wellesley grants.  The Wellesley Council on Aging (COA) will receive a grant of $20,000 to fund the enhancement and expansion of its volunteer services program, and the Wellesley Health Department will receive $15,000 for suicide prevention outreach. The Fund for Wellesley was established in 2008 as an endowment of Crossroads Community Foundation. 

From Chestnut Hill to Linden Square, Elle Boston is now celebrating its third year in business. The store’s mission is to provide women with beautiful dresses (casual, formal, cocktail, evening), everyday wear, one-of-a-kind artisan gemstone jewelry, and exciting accessories. Mother and daughter owners, Kathleen and Julia Warner, created Elle Boston as a place for all ages to shop and find something special. Located at 180 Linden Street in Wellesley. 781.416.9800. www.elleboston.com 

Susan Tepper of Wellesley has teamed up with Internet CEO Moms and partnered with an award winning 25 year-old International Wellness Company that develops, manufactures and sells over 350 of the world’s leading wellness products for home and family. Customers can order household and personal care items directly from the factory and have them shipped to arrive at the front door. Call 781.228.1335 or visit http://www.switchingstores.com/healthyproducts  to save and/or have the opportunity to work from home. 

First Commons Bank, N.A., a nationally-chartered, FDIC-insured, full service community bank, reported that its assets grew to more than $42 million during its first quarter of operations ending September 30, 2009.  The bank started operating on July 22, 2009 and is dedicated to serving the banking needs of small to mid-size businesses and individuals in Newton, Wellesley, Waltham, and metropolitan Boston.  It is headquartered at 719 Beacon Street in Newton.  Visit www.firstcommonsbank.com.

TIBMA design/build received two Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.  The Needham-based design and construction firm won a “Gold” for a whole home remodel of a condominium in Newton, and a “Silver” for a kitchen renovation in Needham.  TIBMA stays on the cutting edge of the latest building and design trends and specializes in kitchens, baths, and additions that have kitchens and baths as their main features.  www.tibmadesignbuild.com

Wellesley resident Tom Fitzgerald has joined the Skelly Insurance Agency of Boston as a licensed insurance agent and Senior Vice President of property and casualty risk managment for both commercial and personal lines accounts.  With over 25 years of sales, marketing, and account management experience servicing a variety of industries and clients, he specializes in reducing a client’s total cost of insurance through an aggressive and collaborative risk management program.  He can be contacted at fitzgerald@skellyinsurance.com.

S+H Construction, Inc., of Cambridge, one of the greater Boston area’s premier residential renovation and custom home building companies, received the 2009 Silver PRISM (Prestigious Results in Sales and Marketing) Award in the category of “Residential Renovation Over $750,000” in recognition of a whole  house renovation in Cambridge.  The PRISM Awards pay tribute to  housing industry professionals for excellence in new construction, remodeling, design, sales, marketing, and other categories directly related to the building and construction industry.

Jan Gleysteen, AIA of Jan Gleysteen Architects, Inc., along with Wellesley resident Cynthia Curtis, were recently featured on NECN’s Dream House for Curtis’s newly designed “green” house.  Curtis’s new home, which started out with the intent of being designed with green features, went on to become the Town of Wellesley’s first LEED-certifed private residence.  Jan Gleysteen Architects, Inc. specializes in architecture and interior design of private residences and offers a strong focus in energy efficiency.  www.jangleysteen.com

Woodmeister Master Builders has been named one of the “Top Places to Work in Massachusetts” in the second annual employee-based survey project from The Boston Globe.  “Top Places to Work” recognizes the most progressive companies in the state based on employee opinions about company leadership, compensation and training, diversity/inclusion, career development, family-friendly flexibility, and values and ethics.  Woodmeister encompasses the entire scope of luxury custom home construction and renovation projects, custom cabinetry and interiors, and comprehensive lifestyle management services.  www.woodmeister.com

Mariette Barsoum, owner of Divine Kitchens, is opening a second showroom in Wellesley’s Linden Square Wellesley (their first is in Westborough). The award-winning design/build firm specializes in kitchen and bath design and recently won two “Contractor of the Year” awards from the National Association of Remodeling Industries. Environmentally and socially conscious, Divine offers an assortment of green design solutions and provides free use of their showrooms to local non-profit organizations for events and fundraisers. For more information visit www.divinekitchens.com

Architect Erin Reilly, of Personal DAY Design Architecture Yoga, designed the front porch covering for WellesleyWeston Magazine’s Fall 2009 cover house.  The portico was part of a larger project that included a kitchen renovation and addition. For more information, visit www.personalDAY.net.   

Isabel Harvey opened its Wellesley location this past October.  Located at 200 Linden Street, Isabel Harvey carries a full line of chic jewelry, trendy handbags, and gift items for all occasions.  Owners and sisters Kimberly and Alexis launched their business in 2005 with their online boutique, www.isabelharvey.com. In May, 2009, they left the corporate world to open a shop on Nantucket and have since expanded their collection to the Wellesley location.   

The Weston Friendly Society of the Performing Arts is presenting the popular musical Carousel featuring many local performers.  Part of the proceeds goes to local charities.  Performances will be at the Weston Town Hall Theatre, April 11th, 16th, and 17th at 2:00 pm, and April 10th and 17th at 8:00 pm.  For more information visit www.westonfriendly.org.

Studio 5 Pilates has expanded to accommodate small group training (two to five clients per group) with a new studio across the hall from its current location at 316 Washington Street in Wellesley Hills.  Group sessions are50 minutes long, and stretching and mat work are encouraged before and after each session.  Studio 5 Pilates offers rehabilitative and preventative forms of exercise to enhance athletic performance and everyday quality of life. Call 781.431.0055, ext. 5, or go to Studio5Pilates@mac.com.

Qdoba Mexican Grill, a fast-casual restaurant known for its fresh cuisine, was recently honored as “Corporate Partner of the Year” by the American Red Cross for its commitment to supporting the organization’s effort to provide lifesaving blood to patients in need.  Wellesley resident Jeff Ackerman, President and CEO of Chair 5 Restaurants, the Massachusetts Qdoba franchisee, accepted the award.  Over the last year, Qdoba has supported a number of American Red Cross events and initiatives. 

Thomas Matthews of the Tom and Joanne Team at Prudential Wilmot Whitney Real Estate in Weston, recently had conferred upon him the designation of Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI).  The GRI designation signifies 90 hours of advanced in-class real estate education.  Realtors who have passed the GRI examinations are recognized as having attained one of the highest professional levels in residential real estate.  Tom and Joanne can be found at www.prudentialwhitney.com or at www.tomandjoanneteam.com

Breast cancer patients looking for a natural burn cream to protect their skin from the effects of radiation can now purchase My Girl’s Radiation Cream at oncology boutiques, all-natural stores, and pharmacies.  “Our goal is to make the cream available locally so patients can pick up their oncology medications and find an over-the-counter, natural burn cream that protects their skin during radiation,” says Theresa Keresztes, a Wellesley resident and founder of My Girl’s Radiation Cream.  Visit www.radiationcream.com 

Debi Benoit, Vice President with Coldwell Banker, launched her new column, “Real Talk about Real Estate,” in the Winter 2009-2010 issue of WellesleyWeston Magazine. Debi’s column will offer advice to buyers and sellers to help them navigate the challenges of today’s real estate market and offer tips on making the selling and/or buying of a home less stressful and more successful.  E-mail Debi any questions you would like to see addressed at debibenoit@aol.com and visit www.debibenoit.com.  

The Wellesley Centers for Women kicks off its spring lunchtime seminar series on March 4th with “Ticket Office Sexism: The Gender Gap in Pricing for NCAA D1 Basketball.” Future programs focus on a range of topics, from “the neuropsychology of change” to findings from a study of a boys’ empowerment group. These Thursday seminars are free and open to the public. See the full line-up at www.wcwonline.org/calendar.

Pakizeh, the owner of Panoply Day Spa in Wellesley, has recently added master hairstylist, makeup artist, and eyelash extension specialist Mary D. Nicolazzo to her team.  Panoply is also introducing spa parties for children ages five to fifteen. Customers can choose whether to hold the parties at home or at the spa. For more information, contact Panoply Day Spa at 781-237-8887.

Dean Behrend’s “Home of Distinction” in Wellesley raised funds to benefit RFK’s Children’s Action Corps.  C & T Paint & Wallpaper, with stores in Wellesley, Natick, and Dedham, provided the paint used in the home, Benjamin Moore’s “Aura,” an environmentally-friendly paint with low odor and VOCs. C & T Paint & Wallpaper’s Natick designer showroom, which specializes in designer wall coverings, fabrics, window treatments, and upholstery, designed one of the bedrooms in the home. J. Todd Galleries provided the artwork that was displayed throughout the home.  

Mary Ellen Fillo of Fillo Financial LLC recently attended the National Association of Tax Professionals 2009 seminar, “Beyond the 1040” which focused on “To Roth or Not.”   Fillo Financial provides tax planning and offers access to comprehensive financial planning through its partnership with Capitol Financial Advisors (CFA), a Registered Investment Advisor with securities offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, member FINRA/SIPC.  To learn more about CFA, visit www.capitolfinancialadvisors.com, or call 781.237.5205 for a complimentary comprehensive financial evaluation. 

The Wellesley-Weston PMC Kids Ride will be held on Sunday, June 6 on the Babson College and Olin College campuses in Wellesley.  Last year more than 600 riders ages three to thirteen raised almost $140,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute by riding and raising money with lemonade stands, car washes, chores, and letter-writing campaigns. Last year’s ride sold out, so help your children register online starting April 1 for the 4th Annual Wellesley-Weston PMC Kids Ride.   For more information visit kids.pmc.org

Wellesley College President H. Kim Bottomly recently announced the appointment of Lisa Fischman as the Ruth G. Shapiro ’37 director of the Davis Museum and Cultural Center.  Dr. Fischman, who took up her appointment on February 1, has served as chief curator of the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson and gallery director at the Atlanta College of Art.  Trained as an Americanist, Fischman’s area of concentration is investigating the relationships among the fine arts, material culture, design, and popular culture. 

Debi Benoit, Vice President with Coldwell Banker, held her annual holiday toy drive with the help of Kristine Beimford and Wyndham Flaherty.  Guest of honor Matt Light of the Patriots was on hand to autograph footballs for the Patriot fans in attendance and, once again, a record number of toys were donated to Mass General’s Hospital for Children.  Debi thanks all who donated so generously and made the evening such a success. Vist www.debibenoit.com or e-mail Debi at Debi.Benoit@NEMoves.com.

Classic Cars and Byways is proud to celebrate completion of its first season of providing self-drive rentals of fine classic sports cars from the 1950s and 60s. The company introduces to New England a business model long established in Britain, but still uncommon here. A 1957 Speedster and 1966 Mustang convertible have both proved popular for weddings and for special birthday and anniversary celebrations.  For more information call 617.291.5405 or visit www.classiccarsandbyways.com

Wendy Wheeler of Osterville has opened a new store location in downtown Weston. Savvy shoppers can expect to find Wendy’s signature cashmere styles and sophisticated fashions in a dynamic atmosphere. Candace Evans of Weston brings 20 years of experience as a makeup artist to The Candy Bar at Wendy Wheeler and offers a fine selection of cosmetics and skin care to satisfy every beauty need. Visit Wendy Wheeler and The Candy Bar at 411 Boston Post Road and www.wendywheeler.com

CMC Systems, Inc. is celebrating their 20th year of providing customers with a variety of media solutions for the home. Their services range from flat panel televisions, to whole house music systems to home theatres.  To learn more about CMC Systems, visit them online at www.cmcsystems.net or call 508.785.2112 to view their new showroom located in Dover Center, behind Dover Market. 

Bonsoir, located at 90 Central Street in Wellesley Center, offers more than thirty lines of bed linens to fit any budget.  New linen lines include Ann Gish, Garnier Thiebaut, Ankasa, and Company C.  Bonsoir also offers bath and table linens, down products, bath accessories, personal and home fragrances, robes, and fine home and hostess gifts.  Customers can take advantage of an “on approval” program and take samples home to allow for more confident choices. 

D.B. Stock Antique Rugs of Wellesley was recently featured on NECN’s New England Dream House along with interior designer Elizabeth Brosnan Hourihan of Carpenter & MacNeille Interiors.  Hourihan spoke about how antique rugs are selected and incorporated into interior design schemes and collaborated withDouglas and Helen Stock identifying the history and design of the antique rugs highlighted on the show.  D.B. Stock specializes in high-quality Persian and Caucasian rugs and carpets, and Carpenter & MacNeille Interiors specializes in residential interior design. 

 British Select Antiques (508.479.4934), and French Antiques Direct (508.878.6270), both located at 25 Washington Avenue in Natick, have received new shipments of fine period furniture and accessories. Their combined showrooms offer 3,500 square feet of eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth century furniture and unique home accessories in room settings.

Wellesley resident Jacalyn Gould has recently launched Jacalyn Gould Landscape Design, bringing more than a decade of experience in the New England area to her clients.  Gould’s goal is to create landscapes that are timeless and convey a sense of place, and she offers clients individualized attention throughout the design process. Services include master planning, design and implementation, and continue well after project completion to ensure the sustainability of each garden.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 781.235.2776 or visit www.jacalyngould.com.

 Well-known designer Ray Wiese recently launched Sherborn Kitchens, a company dedicated to providing fine cabinetry, hardware, and fixtures for the home.  Whether you are currently working with The Wiese Company or already have a quality build firm, this Sherborn-based business offers handpicked cabinetry lines, distinctive hardware selections, and an award-winning team of professional designers who work closely with clients to ensure careful and timely selections of everything from appliances and fixtures to tile, countertops, and paint. Call 508.655.1100 to schedule an appointment. 

Three members of the Mitchell Construction Group team are now Certified Green Professionals (CGP) after completing an educational program administered by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  The curriculum incorporates training by leading building industry practitioners and academics on a range of topics, including strategies for incorporating green building principles into homes using cost-effective methods of maintenance and good indoor air quality.  Visit www.mitchcogroup.com or call 508.359.7904. 

Stacy Rubin is the lash specialist at Forever Young Laser & Skin located at 204 Worcester Street in Wellesley.  Stacy has an extensive background as a makeup artist for YSL and has an obvious eye for fashion. In September, Stacy modeled for Dana Farber’s annual fashion event “Find a Cure,” hosted every year by Saks of Boston.  Call 781.974.9284 to schedule an appointment or visit www.frvryoungskin.com

A.M. DePrisco celebrated 30 years in Wellesley on December 4th, 2009.  Albert and Amy DePrisco hosted the catered holiday party which benefited the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Visit www.amdeprisco.com.

Weston High School’s Career Day will be held at the high school on Wednesday, April 7th.  Professionals from a wide variety of career areas will visit and enlighten students about the possibilities available to them beyond high school and college.  The entire student body participates, and the event is one of the highlights of the school year.

Yummie Tummie designer and celebrity stylist Heather Thompson visited Potpourri Designs in Wellesley this past December for a special event.  Thompson shared how her fashion design expertise and celebrity styling insights contribute to the creation and design of her new shapewear collection. 

Members of the Perot Systems staff of Wellesley stopped by Franciscan Hospital for Children to give the children and staff a special treat, with a ‘just because’ ice cream party with all the fixings. Franciscan Hospital for Children, located in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, is the largest pediatric rehabilitation facility in New England. Programs and services offered address the medical, behavioral and educational needs of children. For more information on Franciscan Hospital for Children please visit www.franciscanhospital.org 

The Beth Urdang Gallery recently opened in Wellesley Center at 16 Grove Street.  The original Bostongallery, established in 1989, is highly regarded with an international reputation.  The new Wellesley gallery showcases an outstanding assemblage of artists from the Boston area, New York, and California, with occasional theme shows encompassing works from 1915 to the present, and exhibitions by well-known artists such as Alex Katz and Roy Lichtenstein.  Visit www.bethurdanggallery.com for more information. 

The American Cancer Society will hold its fifth annual Key Gala Thursday, March 4th at 6:00 pm at the House of Blues. This year’s event, themed “Hope is in the House,” benefits the AstraZeneca Hope Lodge Center in Boston, a program of the American Cancer Society. In its first year, the Lodge has provided free temporary residence to more than 700 cancer patients and family members. For more information or for tickets, contact Caitlin Bell at 508.897.4323 or caitlin.bell@cancer.org .

On Sunday, March 7th from 9:00 am until 12:00 pm, the American Cancer Society will host Spin forHope™ – a three-hour indoor cycling event that will take place simultaneously at participating health clubs around New England. Participants can register as an individual and cycle for the entire three hours, or form a team of two or more people and take turns cycling. For more information, call 1.800.227.2345 or visit cancer.org/spinforhope.

Drs. Ali and Ali of Wellesley Dental Group are tweeting and blogging dentists. Embracing many of the new forms of social media, including Twitter and Facebook, they are able share breaking dental and health news with patients and followers, as well as raise awareness about local events, community organizations, and fundraisers.  You can find Drs. Ali and Ali on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wellesleydental and read their blog at www.wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog.

La Residencia, a day spa located in Newton Upper Falls, recently debuted their newest treatment, “24-Karat Gold Facials.”  A popular treatment in Los Angeles, gold is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Scientists say the soft metal is quickly absorbed deep into the skin to brighten, firm, reduce wrinkles and rid the skin of toxins. La Residencia’s treatment involves 15 steps, and uses a variety of masks, moisturizers and serums.  For more information, visit www.laresidenciaspa.com

RW Interiors, a leading interior design firm based in Needham, Massachusetts that specializes in residences and small offices, received the First Annual International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) New England Designer Showcase and Recognition Award in the category of “Best Bedroom.” Sponsored by IFDA and Design New England Magazine, the first Annual IFDA Designer Showcase Awards celebrates exceptional interior design by an individual or firm.  For more information call 781.449.7407 or visit www.rwinteriors.net.

Rob Nahigian, FRICS, SIOR, CRE of Auburndale Realty Co. in Newton,  spoke at the Massachusetts Association of Realtor’s (MAR) State Convention   and at the National Fall Convention of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors in Toronto. At the MAR State Convention, Nahigian’s  programs were directed towards residential and commercial brokers who are beginning to deal with commercial real estate. He has been a frequent speaker at national and international real estate conventions over the last 30 years. 

Ming Tsai, owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, shared his thoughts about cooking, hospitality, and community service when he delivered the commencement address at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) this past November.  An Esquire magazine “Chef of the Year” and James Beard Foundation “Best Chef in the Northeast,” Tsai also won an Emmy Award for East Meets West with Ming Tsai on the Food Network, has written three cookbooks, and has developed an eco-friendly line of bamboo kitchen products. 

The Classic Group, Inc., architects and builders located in Lexington, received a Silver 2009 “Contractor of the Year” (CotY) Award – Eastern Massachusetts Region – in the “Interior Residential Specialty” category for the transformation of an empty space above a multi-car garage into a multi-purpose, music-themed room. The annual CotY competition, sponsored by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), is renowned for recognizing exceptional achievement in remodeling and construction. For more information, call 781.761.1200 or visit www.theclassicgroup.com

Babson’s Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program brings business leaders, entrepreneurs, Babson alumni, and parents together for a training session in developmental coaching. Coaches and undergraduate students participate in a coaching session during which teams of students discuss their solutions to business cases. CLTP provides students with developmental coaching on their leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills. This is an opportunity to enhance your professional skills, network and mentor a college student.  To learn more, visit www.babson.edu/coach or call 781.239.4440.