Each day, United Personnel connects more than 700 people with great jobs throughout Western Massachusetts and beyond. From temporary and contract work to direct hire placement, we provide clients with staffing solutions in a variety of industries and fields, including:

  • administrative
  • professional
  • accounting
  • light industrial
  • manufacturing
  • medical office
  • hospitality
  • technology
  • dental
  • nonprofit

For more than 30 years, United Personnel has developed a deep knowledge of the local employment market. Our close partnerships with some of the area’s largest employers, as well as smaller local businesses, result in great matches for employers and candidates alike.


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.

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 Baystate Health Foundation, the Springfield Public Forum, the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Springfield Business Leaders for Education and the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board.

Daphne Phalon

Daphne Phalon

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Daphne is involved in all aspects of the business including operational strategy, recruitment processes and compliance and serves on United’s executive team.  She has more than 15 years in the staffing industry and provides expertise in human resources, workers’ compensation and safety.  Daphne holds various certifications including her SPHR (Senior Professional in Human Resources), CSP (Certified Staffing Professional) and SHRM-SCP (Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional).  Daphne is an active member of the America Staffing Associations Safety Committee, ASA/OSHA Alliance Taskforce, and Worker’s Compensation Committees.  Daphne also serves as an Officer on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Staffing Association.

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

In addition to overseeing operations for our Easthampton and Pittsfield offices, Jennifer is United Personnel’s liaison to key clients in this market. She supervises staffing and recruitment activities for both branches and is responsible for all large project management within these markets. Jennifer brings to the United Personnel team experience recruiting great talent nation wide.

She has served as a member of the Easthampton Chamber Board of Directors, the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, and several other local civic organizations.

Mim Zayas

Mim Zayas

Vice President of Operations

As Assistant VP of Operations, Mim oversees multiple aspects of United Personnel's Springfield office, which serves Hampden County, parts of Hampshire County, and northern Connecticut. 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.  She is knowledgeable about applicant tracking systems including VMS applications.  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 member of the Chicopee, MA Chamber Board of Directors.

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.

Nancy Scirocco Nesbitt

Nancy Scirocco Nesbitt

Vice President of Business Development, Connecticut

Nancy brings over 25 years of management, client support and economic development experience to her position with United Personnel. In her role, Nancy works with employers, workforce and industry groups to facilitate the placement of top-notch talent throughout the Connecticut area.  

Nancy has an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a BA from the University of Connecticut.  She currently serves on the board of directors for the Connecticut Governor’s Task Force on Justice for Abused Children and the advisory board for the New England’s Knowledge Corridor. Previously, she was a member of the boards for the Connecticut Women’s Council, Special  Olympics Connecticut, the WALKS Foundation, and InternHere.com.

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 Information Technology 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 is involved with the Metro Hartford Alliance and HYPE.


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 Best of Staffing, Talent Satisfaction, Inavero
2018 Best of Staffing, Client Satisfaction, Inavero