Home 2014 September
Daily News

HADLEY — Valley Vodka Inc., a Western Mass.-based company founded by Paul Kozub in 2005, announced the purchase of its new world headquarters on Route 9 (146 Russell St.) in Hadley, the former St. John’s Catholic Church. State Sen. Stan Rosenberg will be touring the building on Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.

“For the past nine years, we have been operating out of an old potato barn in Hadley. With the continued growth of V-One Vodka, we needed more space,” said Kozub. “ I have lived in town for 12 years and have seen the St. John’s church vacant since I moved here. I had always thought that this would be the perfect location for V-One’s world headquarters. We purchased the property a month ago, and since then we have begun cleaning the building, since it has been vacant for more than 20 years.”

Since V-One’s launch in September 2005 in 10 local liquor stores, it has expanded to more than 1,000 locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut. V-One Vodka has won some of the most prestigious liquor-tasting awards in the world, including the Double Gold at the World Spirit Competition in San Francisco in 2010.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — DevelopSpringfield announced that it has awarded a $40,000 grant for facade improvements to 1525 Main St., the new downtown location for New England Public Radio (NEPR). The grant is made possible under DevelopSpringfield’s Corridor Storefront Improvement Program, which provides grants of up to $10,000 per storefront for exterior improvements to first-floor businesses located on State and Main streets in Springfield.

Improvements to this space included renovations to multiple storefronts to accommodate fit-out of the new headquarters and studios in Springfield. The recently awarded funds were used to revitalize and repair the existing façade and included new windows, doors, and frames, along with reconstruction of some existing window fixtures. NEPR celebrated its grand opening in September.

“DevelopSpringfield is proud to partner with NEPR by supporting façade improvements to their new facility on this important Main Street corridor,” said Jay Minkarah, president and CEO of DevelopSpringfield. “The improvements have made a tremendous visual impact and highlight the vibrancy of our downtown.”

DevelopSpringfield’s Corridor Storefront Improvement Program was established in 2009 to enhance the visual appeal of State and Main streets while providing assistance to businesses making investments in these two key corridors within the city. For more information on the Corridor Storefront Improvement Program, visit www.developspringfield.com and click on ‘programs,’ or contact Minkarah at (413) 209-8808 or [email protected].

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The latest survey from the Western New England University Polling Institute finds the race for governor of the Bay State to be a dead heat. Republican Charlie Baker leads Democrat Martha Coakley by one point among likely voters and also by one point among the larger sample of registered voters in the telephone survey, conducted Sept. 20-28. But the race is in flux, with 41% of likely voters who expressed a candidate preference saying they could change their minds before Election Day on Nov. 4.

The survey of 416 likely voters found Baker with support from 44%, while 43% said they would vote for Coakley if the election were held today. Independent candidates Evan Falchuk and Jeff McCormick each received backing from 2% of likely voters, and independent candidate Scott Lively won support from 1%. Another 7% said they are undecided. The margin of error for the sample of 416 likely voters is plus or minus five percentage points. The margin of error for the larger sample of 536 registered voters, which includes the likely-voter sample, is plus or minus 4%.

The results in the race for governor reveal a much closer contest than previous surveys from the Polling Institute, which found Coakley with a 20-point lead over Baker among registered voters last October, and a 29-point lead among registered voters in a survey conducted March 31 through April 7. Coakley, currently the state attorney general, and Baker, a former healthcare executive who served in the cabinets of two Republican governors, won their parties’ nominations in primary elections Sept. 9.

“With the campaign in full swing now, it is anybody’s race between the two frontrunners,” said Tim Vercellotti, director of the Polling Institute and a professor of political science at Western New England University.

The Polling Institute also asked voters about their preferences in the race for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Incumbent Democrat Ed Markey, who won the seat in a special election in June 2013 and is seeking a full six-year term in November, leads Republican Brian Herr, a former selectman from Hopkinton, by 22 points among likely voters, 56% to 34%.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital will host a benefit tea and lecture for the Cooley Dickinson Nurse Development Program on Thursday, Oct. 2, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Smith College Conference Center, featuring author, historian, and scholar Judith Lissauer Cromwell.

Cromwell, author of the book Florence Nightingale, Feminist, will lecture on Nightingale’s story from a post-feminist perspective. Community members are invited to learn about Nightingale, a nursing pioneer, and support their local community hospital.

Cromwell, who lives in New York City, is excited to bring her work to Northampton and Cooley Dickinson. Her personal experience, both as a magna cum laude graduate of Smith College and as a 20-year veteran of corporate America, enriches the perspective she shares in her book.

Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased online at www.bit.ly/cdhgiving, as well as at Coopers Corner/State Street Deli, Broadside Book Store, and Amherst Books. For more information, call the Cooley Dickinson Development Office at (413) 582-2255.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank was recently named by the Boston Business Journal as one of Massachusetts’ most charitable companies at the publication’s annual Corporate Citizenship Summit in Boston on Sept. 10.

The Boston Business Journal is one of the leading sources for business news, research, and events in the Greater Boston area. Each year the magazine honors a select list of companies for their charitable work in the community. Berkshire Bank ranked 40th for total financial contributions with more than $1.1 million donated in Massachusetts alone, and ranked fourth for its employee volunteer efforts. Berkshire Bank joined a select list of statewide, national, and international companies honored at the summit.

The award recognized Berkshire Bank and Berkshire Bank Foundation’s philanthropic investments in the community through their charitable grants, corporate giving, in-kind donations, and employee volunteerism through the bank’s award-winning X-TEAM volunteer program. Annually, Berkshire Bank and its foundation award $2 million to community organizations, as well as scholarships to high-school seniors with a record of academic excellence and financial need. In addition to financial support, the X-TEAM provided employees with paid time off to volunteer during regular business hours. In 2013, 70% of Berkshire Bank’s employees donated in excess of 40,000 hours of service to benefit community organizations across the company’s service area.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Grove Property Fund, owner of the Longmeadow Shops, announced that it has altered its concept plan for a proposed expansion of the Longmeadow Shops to incorporate more parking spaces and improve overall circulation of the existing parking lot.

The proposal, which seeks a zoning change on a 1.89-acre parcel owned by the Longmeadow Shops, calls for an additional 21,096 square feet of shared retail space. Based on the proposed expansion, town requirements call for the development to add an additional 139 parking spots for a grand total of 593 spaces. At previous Planning Board meetings, Grove Property Fund and the project’s architect, Phase Zero Design, presented plans that achieved 88% of that parking requirement.

“The message was clear to us at the previous Planning Board meetings that additional parking spaces and improving the overall circulation of the parking lot were top priorities,” said Steve Walker of Grove Property Fund. “Our team was able to reconfigure the existing parking lot to improve the overall circulation, eliminate dead-end parking rows, and ultimately add 139 parking spaces, which brings us to 100% compliance.”

The new plan delivers a grand total of 593 spaces to be shared among the existing tenants and new proposed retailers. The proposed retail space would be divided by three tenants and would include a drive-thru pharmacy location. The footprint of the expansion would not extend beyond land that is owned by the Longmeadow Shops.

The petition to change the 1.89-acre area to a business-zoned parcel is one that requires a two-thirds favorable vote at Longmeadow’s fall town meeting. The meeting will be held on Nov. 18 at the Longmeadow High School gymnasium. The Planning Board has also tentatively set a date of Oct. 29 for a public hearing on the matter to seek further public comments.

“We have solicited feedback from key stakeholders in town, our neighbors, and our tenants, and we feel that we have put together a plan that is very sensible,” said Walker. “The proposal maintains the charm and character of the Longmeadow Shops, improves parking, and enhances the overall makeup and strength of the shops for years to come.”

Grove Property has estimated that the proposed expansion would bring an additional $70,000 to $80,000 in additional tax revenues annually. Grove Property purchased the Longmeadow Shops in 1994.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The 24th annual SIDS Race For Life, in memory of Barry Metayer Jr., is being held on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 11 a.m., with runner registration at 9:30 a.m. The five-mile road race and 3.5-mile fun walk will begin and end at the John Boyle O’Reilly Club on Progress Avenue in Springfield.

The accompanying food-truck festival is the first of its kind in the area, and for the past three years, the trucks have been as big a draw as the race. This year is no exception. A new lineup of trucks will be on hand to feed hungry runners and spectators. In addition to local favorites such as Log Rolling, Bruiser’s BBQ, and MJ’s, the Cupcake Brake will be coming from New Haven with custom desserts, and Felix’s Baked Potatoes will be serving up its superb spuds. Chanterelle’s will serve farm-to-table soups and salads, and the Simply Divine truck will be peddling gourmet grilled-cheese sandwiches.

The SIDS Race for Life is made possible by a wide roster of generous sponsors, led by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Williams Distributing, Darby O’Brien Advertising, and Baystate Health. All proceeds from the race will benefit the Massachusetts Center For SIDS. Further information about registration, routes, and more can be found at www.sidsrace4life.com.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Medical Center (BMC) has been designated a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery (COEMIG) by the American Assoc. of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL), the leading association of minimally invasive gynecologic surgeons, and Surgical Review Corp. (SRC).

In addition, Drs. Daniel Barraez-Masroua, Andrew Beckwith, Robert Benner, Herbert Kantor, and Cassandra Service have earned the prestigious COEMIG designation. They are members of the BMC medi-cal staff and practice with Berkshire Ob/Gyn Associates.

“The COEMIG program recognizes hospitals and surgeons that demonstrate an unparalleled commitment and ability to consistently deliver safe, effective, evidence-based care,” said Kantor, chairman of Maternal Child Health for BMC. “The program is designed to help minimally invasive gynecologic-surgery providers to continuously improve care quality and patient safety. I am proud that we have achieved this designation, which results from our commitment to working together as a team to deliver the highest-quality care for our patients.”

The COEMIG program was developed by AAGL and SRC to focus on improving the safety and quality of gynecologic patient care and lowering the overall costs associated with successful treatment. The program is designed to expand patient awareness of, and access to, minimally invasive gynecologic procedures performed by surgeons and facilities that have demonstrated excellence in these advanced techniques. To earn the COEMIG designation, BMC provided information on all aspects of its minimally invasive gynecology program and processes, including data on surgical outcomes.

“The COEMIG program fosters quality improvement in minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, and participation has focused our team on exceeding clinical benchmarks and guidelines,” said Kantor. “Most importantly, our commitment to excellence improves the health and well-being of our patients.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — WGBY announced that development professional and BusinessWest 40 Under Forty alumna Monica Borgatti has joined the public television station as major and planned giving officer.

Borgatti, a Western Mass. native, has years of experience working with not-for-profit organizations in the region. Most recently, she worked as senior philanthropic service administrator at U.S. Trust in Glastonbury, Conn. Prior to that, she was development manager at the Center for Human Development in Springfield and resource development and communications director at Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity.

In 2011, Borgatti was named one of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty, a celebration of young business and civic leaders in the Pioneer Valley. She is active in the community, serving as president of Women in Philanthropy of Western Mass. and as a committee member for the Women’s Fund of Western Mass. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in non-profit management and philanthropy from Bay Path University.

“Major and planned giving provides vital and growing revenue for WGBY,” said Rus Peotter, the station’s general manager. “Monica’s knowledge, experience, and networks are terrific assets that she brings to support WGBY’s work throughout our service area.”

WGBY also announced that Jodi Fallon Fern, who joined its major and planned giving department in 2002, has been promoted to director of major and planned giving, replacing Laurie Leichthammer, who left WGBY in May 2014 when she and her husband relocated to New Hampshire.

Daily News

BOSTON — The Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices in Chicopee, Longmeadow, and Westfield announced that Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New England has been ranked as one of the top corporate charitable contributors in Massachusetts by the Boston Business Journal.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage was the only residential real-estate brokerage firm to be recognized. The company was honored during the 9th annual Corporate Citizenship Summit, which was held at the Westin Copley Hotel in Boston and attended by approximately 700 guests representing a wide range of nonprofit organizations as well as local and national companies with a presence in Massachusetts.

“Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage knows that supporting local charitable organizations is vital, and giving back to our communities is part of our culture,” said Pat Villani, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in New England. “I am very proud of our employees and affiliated sales associates who continue to demonstrate their generosity through their volunteer efforts and contributions to our charitable foundation.”

Sales associates and employees raise funds for local housing-related causes by donating a portion of their sales commissions and paychecks to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares, the company’s charitable foundation. They also host fund-raisers and volunteer at local community organizations.

The primary purpose of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares is to raise funds to provide financial assistance to housing-related causes in the communities where Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has a presence. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares is the New England chapter of the Realogy Foundation.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is the largest residential real-estate brokerage company in New England. With more than 4,000 sales associates and staff in more than 80 office locations, the organization serves consumers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is part of NRT LLC, the nation’s largest residential real-estate brokerage company.