In 1984, Mary Ellen Scott and her late husband, Jay Canavan, launched United Personnel, a staffing company with deep roots in the Pioneer Valley. The company was soon recognized as a source of staffing and employment solutions for scores of local companies and thousands of employees.

Thirty years after its founding, Mary Ellen and Jay Canavan’s daughter Tricia leads the company as president, while her sister Andrea retains a position on the company’s board. Mary Ellen continues to serve as chairman emerita.

Realizing that excellence means different things to different people, it is always our objective to:

  • Provide great opportunities to all of our candidates, matching their skills, aspirations, and cultural and scheduling preferences with jobs they’ll love.  
  • Partner with clients to improve all aspects of human resource management, including training, retention, compliance, and efficiency
  • Identify and place highly skilled candidates with the area’s top employers

Headquartered in downtown Springfield, United Personnel offers staffing support services throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. Additional offices are located in Northampton, MA, Pittsfield, MA, Chelmsford, MA, Hartford, CT and New Haven, CT.

Diversity Mission Statement

At United Personnel, diversity is a part of our heritage and our future. Since our founding as a woman-owned business in 1984, we have prioritized partnerships with many different constituencies in our community, including Regional Workforce Investment Boards, Friends of the Homeless, Partners for Community, Springfield Business Leaders from Education, and dozens more. Our goal is to be an inclusive workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the communities we serve. There is more work to be done, but with the help of our employees, our candidates, our clients and community partners, we can ensure equity for all. #United4Equity.

Leadership Team

Tricia Canavan

Tricia Canavan


As company president, Tricia provides United Personnel with strategic direction, staff leadership, and guides our community involvement. Beyond her lifetime association with United Personnel, Tricia has extensive recruitment experience working with national staffing agencies.

In addition to her responsibilities as company president, Tricia serves on several nonprofit boards, including, the Springfield Public Forum, the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Business Leaders for Education, the Associated Industries of MA and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts.

Dave Mazzucco

Dave Mazzucco

Chief Financial Officer

As CFO, Dave is a key member of United Personnel’s executive management team. His responsibilities include managing and controlling all financial related activities at United Personnel including the development and management of budgets, preparation of financial statements and company reporting. In addition to his accounting and finance oversight responsibilities, Dave offers broad management, internal control and strategic advice to United’s management team.

Dave brings over 30 years of experience in accounting and finance, including work in the staffing industry, to the United team. He holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Hartford.

Jennifer Atwater

Jennifer Atwater

Vice President of Enterprise Operations

Jennifer has over 20 years of staffing experience primarily focused on local and regional large industrial account management including recruitment, retention, staffing needs analysis, safety and workers compensation.

In addition she serves on the Board of Directors for Riverside Industries and Ella Clark Home for the Aged.

Jennifer Brown

Vice President of Business Development

Jennifer manages all operational aspects of our Springfield office, which serves Hampden County, parts of Hampshire County, and northern Connecticut. In this role, Jennifer supervises candidate recruitment, client relations, staffing support, and quality assurance. While she serves all industries, her area of focus is in administrative and professional placements.

Jennifer is a member of the Human Resource Management Association and the Human Resource roundtable with the Employers Association of the NorthEast. She is also a Certified Staffing Professional through the American Staffing Association and is a member of the Dress for Success Board of Directors.

Mim Zayas

Mim Zayas

Vice President of Operations

As VP of Operations, Mim oversees multiple aspects of United Personnel's Springfield and Northampton offices. Mim began working in the staffing industry in 1995 and has had the opportunity to recruit for both temporary and direct hire employment positions.  Throughout her career, Mim has overseen both light industrial and professional recruitment and placement services as well as vendor managed services programs in various sectors, domestically and internationally.

During a brief break from the staffing industry to raise her children, Mim has had the opportunity to work with students on the autism spectrum and remains committed to their academic and social success.  Mim is also a board member for the Chicopee Chamber, sits on their Executive Committee, serves on the Board of Directors for Valley Opportunity Council as well as the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Staffing Association.

Donna Goncalves

Donna Goncalves

Assistant Vice President of Operations

Donna is our Assistant VP of Operations and has been with United Personnel since 2016. In her current role, she leads the day to day operations of our offices in Northampton and Springfield and utilizes her years of managerial experience to oversee operational and fulfillment strategies for service, delivery, and recruitment.

As a member of United Personnel’s Safety Committee, Donna also helps ensure that all of our employees are working in a safe environment and adhering to our Safety First mantra.

Brandon Houston

Director of Client Services

Brandon Houston is leading the expansion of United Personnel’s Information Technology Division. Brandon has over 10 years of human resources experience, with a specialty in sales and recruitment within the IT industry. In his current role he will be responsible for driving sales while overseeing operational deliverables.

He holds his BA in political science from the University of Tennessee and now resides in Connecticut. He oversees our Connecticut offices and is actively involved with the Greater New Haven Chamber and Metro Hartford Alliance.

Jennifer Marrapese

Jennifer Marrapese

Director of Search Services

Jennifer Marrapese is the Director of Search Services for United Personnel, where she focuses on business development and search services for the nonprofit community in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut, and executive search for their professional division. She also serves as co-chair of the United Personnel Diversity Committee.

She serves on the Boards of Directors for the Center for Eco-Technology and Camp Howe and on the Deerfield, MA Local Cultural Council, and is a former board member of Big Sisters of Rhode Island.


Over the past 30 years, United Personnel and its leadership have received a number of honors, including:

Businesswoman of Distinction Award, Mary Ellen Scott, Pioneer Valley Girl Scouts
Inner City 100 List, Inc. Magazine
List of 500 Fastest-Growing Privately Held Companies in America, Inc. Magazine
Small Business of the Year, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
Super 60 / Fabulous 50 Award, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
Top 100 Woman-Led Businesses in Massachusetts, Babson College / Commonwealth Institute
2018, 2019 & 2020 Best of Staffing, Talent Satisfaction, ClearlyRated
2018, 2019 & 2020 Best of Staffing, Client Satisfaction, ClearlyRated


Good matches are our priority. For that reason, we have a comprehensive follow-up process in which we will check in with you after their first day, first week, 30 days, and throughout our employee’s assignment. If at any point you are not entirely satisfied with our placement, we are prepared to present a new candidate who will meet your needs. In fact, for many industries, we offer a Right Fit Guarantee that ensures we find a great match.

If you would like to hire a member of United Personnel’s staff, there is no additional fee if they have completed at least 600 hours of work at your site. If you choose to hire them prior to their meeting this threshold, please call or email us for a quote. We always appreciate a notice of two weeks.

Staffing large volume accounts is one of our specialties. Our planning process includes a detailed needs assessment to ensure we provide staff that meet the technical and qualitative skills your company needs. We also offer an array of post-placement services to support your human resource department including on-site management of your account.  Training, risk-mitigation, and compliance issues are all core considerations when staffing a large volume account.

You can find an overview of our standard pre-employment screening process here. However, we tailor our screening processes to meet the needs of our clients, address skillsets specific to their industry, and ensure a cultural match.

United Personnel is happy to arrange a pre-placement interview of top candidates as part of our placement process.

We provide staffing in Hampshire, Hampden, Franklin, and Berkshire counties in Western Massachusetts as well as northern CT.

Our clients range from small local businesses to Fortune 500 companies. We have the capacity to staff a single executive position or provide on-site human resource support for large projects.

Our extensive reach in the local employment market as well as regional and national sourcing allows us to provide executive candidates with the quantitative skills you require — but who will also match your company culture and provide the soft skills critical to long-term success.

Recent executive placements include:

  • vice president of development and marketing
  • chief financial officer
  • human resource director
  • information technology director

We serve a wide variety of industries; however, we specialize in staffing the following environments:

  • professional
  • administrative
  • medical offices
  • light industrial
  • manufacturing
  • administrative and professional staff
  • hospitality