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HOLYOKE — PeoplesBancorp, MHC, the parent company of PeoplesBank, both of Holyoke, and First Suffield Financial Inc., the parent company of the First National Bank of Suffield, both of Suffield, Conn., jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement for PeoplesBancorp to acquire First Suffield Financial and PeoplesBank to acquire the First National Bank of Suffield. The parties anticipate the transaction will close in the fourth quarter of 2018 or the first quarter of 2019.

Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of First Suffield Financial Inc. will receive $12,001.85 in cash per share, representing a total transaction value of approximately $60 million. The merger consideration represents approximately 202% of the First National Bank of Suffield’s tangible book value at March 31, 2018. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of state and federal regulatory approvals and approval by the shareholders of First Suffield Financial Inc.

“We see this as a tremendous opportunity,” said Tom Senecal, president, CEO, and chairman of the board of PeoplesBank. “The strategic fit between the organizations is compelling, and the compatibility of our award-winning corporate cultures should make for a seamless transition for our associates and our customers. The addition of an existing, successful branch network in Northern Connecticut to our strong presence in the Pioneer Valley will allow us to offer our products and services to a wider audience, while deepening our commitment to the region as a whole.”

Added Joseph Greco, president and CEO of the First National Bank of Suffield, “since our organization in 1864, the First National Bank of Suffield has successfully served our customers and the local communities. We recognize banking is a rapidly changing industry, and to ensure our customers’ needs are fulfilled, while not losing our commitment to the communities we serve, we are merging with PeoplesBank and know that it is an organization which shares our commitment to service and community banking.”

In 2017, PeoplesBank donated almost $1 million to area nonprofits. Its employees devoted more than 15,000 hours to volunteer work over the past two years, and 48 of the bank’s officers serve on the boards of directors and committees of 115 nonprofit organizations in the area. Upon completion of the transaction, PeoplesBank will expand its community-development efforts in Suffield and the surrounding Connecticut communities.

The combined organization will have approximately $2.8 billion in assets and $1.9 billion in deposits. Upon completion of the transaction, one current member of the board of directors of First Suffield Financial will be appointed to serve as a member of the board of trustees of PeoplesBancorp and the board of directors of PeoplesBank. Following completion of the merger, the current branches of the First National Bank of Suffield will remain open and will conduct business under the trade name First Suffield Bank, a Division of PeoplesBank.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — With 600 juggling enthusiasts from all over the world coming to Springfield July 17-22 for the 71st International Jugglers’ Assoc. (IJA) Annual Festival, expect to see plenty of exciting sights on the city streets. Meanwhile, the area’s hoteliers, restaurateurs, and retailers are expecting to see excitement in their cash registers. That’s because the six-day convention is projected to have an economic impact of $1,015,545, according to the Western Mass Sports Commission, a division of the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“We are absolutely delighted to host an international event like the IJA for 2018,” said Mary Kay Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB). “The organizers are expecting 600 attendees, and two of our largest downtown hotels have 1,100 room-nights booked as a result. This represents a strong economic shot in the arm for these properties. And we anticipate upbeat business at area eateries and shops as well. It’s a fun, terrific event to have coming into Western Mass.”

The IJA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting jugglers, and is run by an all-volunteer staff. Its membership roster includes professional and hobbyist jugglers from five continents. As part of its multi-day festival, several public events will be held. The Welcome To The Juggle Show, slated for today, July 17, at 8 p.m. at Symphony Hall, features talent and humor from American and international performers. The Cascade of Stars (Saturday, July 21, at 8 p.m. at Symphony Hall) is a highlight of the IJA festival. This performance showcases top-notch juggling and circus talent from around the world.

“The Cascade of Stars is the final theater show of the festival, and I want to mention that it will be a fabulous night of family entertainment,” Wydra said. General-admission tickets are available through the Symphony Hall box office at (413) 788-7033. Massachusetts residents receive 20% off tickets to all shows.

Other opportunities to view world-class jugglers in action include:

• International Youth Juggling Championship & Showcase on Wednesday, July 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Symphony Hall. This prestigious stage competition is open to competitors under 18 years old.

• The Renegade Show on Wednesday and Thursday, July 18-19, starting at 11 p.m. at Theodores’ on Worthington Street in Springfield. Admission is free.

•International Team and Individual Juggling Championships on Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Symphony Hall. This prestigious international competition features top-level entertainment and offers medals and prize money for juggling performances.

• Appearances at the Downtown Farmer’s Market at TowerSquare Park in Springfield on Friday, July 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

• Numbers Championships on Friday, July 20 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the MassMutual Center. This is a competition to see who can successfully juggle, individually and in teams, the greatest numbers of balls, clubs, rings, and bounced balls.

• Joggling. On Saturday, July 21, from 8 a.m. to noon, jugglers will jog around the Springfield College track while juggling.

MassMutual Center’s Exhibition Hall will be open 24 hours a day during the festival for practice.

Daily News

GREENFIELD — The duMONT Co. and Hassay Savage Co. announced the promotion of Cynthia Cote to president of both companies. Cote joined duMONT with new ownership in 2016 as the company’s chief financial officer.

Both duMONT and Hassay Savage companies are leaders in linear industrial broaching technology. In 2018, the companies will break ground on a new manufacturing facility to prepare for additional growth through research and development as well as acquisition.

In addition to her accomplishments in manufacturing, Cote and her husband own and run a construction company and a real-estate management company in Shelburne Falls.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Glendale Ridge Vineyard will host Sunset & Vines, an annual fundraising event for the Northampton Survival Center, on Saturday July, 21 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at 155 Glendale Road in Southampton.

This family-friendly benefit features music by both the Johnny Memphis Band and the Gaslight Tinkers. Food trucks include the Bistro Bus, 850 Artisan Pizza, and Bart’s Ice Cream.

Tickets cost $15 in advance at sunsetandvines2018.brownpapertickets.com, and $20 at the door. All admission costs go directly toward purchasing food for clients who visit the pantry. Children age 12 and under are free. Enjoy a mini-Tanglewood experience by bringing a blanket or chairs and a picnic if you choose. The rain date is Sunday, July 22 from 5 to 7 p.m.

Established in 1979, the Northampton Survival Center is dedicated to improving quality of life for low-income individuals and families throughout Hampshire County by providing a stable and reliable source of free, nutritious food all year long. With pantries in Northampton and Goshen, the center is open every weekday, and each day distributes more than 3,000 pounds of food to between 90 and 100 of its neighbors in need. The center serves about 4,200 clients over the course of the year, a third of whom are children.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Human Service Forum will hold its first annual Human Services Job Fair on Wednesday, August 22 from 2 to 6 p.m. at La Quinta Inn & Suites, 100 Congress St., Springfield.

This event is free and open to the public. Job seekers of all experience levels are invited to attend, and many bilingual positions are available. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with more than 25 local nonprofit organizations currently looking to fill a wide range of openings.

Employers are involved in a variety of fields including behavioral health, elder care, developmental disabilities, children and families, education, housing and homelessness, addiction recovery, and more. Nonprofit employers are recruiting in many departments, including administrative, direct care, management, human resources, maintenance and operations, finance, and information technology. Visit www.humanserviceforum/jobs for a list of open positions at nonprofit organizations in Western Mass.

Daily News

EASTHAMPTON — Legacy Counsellors, P.C. is a local law firm that specializes in estate planning, elder law, and business-succession planning for individuals and families throughout the country from offices in Easthampton and Bloomfield, Conn.

In June, Legacy welcomed Chelsea Reilly as a member of the support staff. She has previous experience in wealth management, and has also worked as a graphic designer and an English professor.

Reilly’s hire continues a pattern of growth at the 24-year-old firm. Attorneys Christopher Roy and Jennifer Levesque joined the practice in 2015 and 2016, respectively. They focus their practices in the areas of estate planning, elder law, tax planning, estate administration, and Medicaid planning. Both are frequent speakers at in-house seminars as well as seminars hosted by National Business Institute and various financial institutions located in and around the Pioneer Valley and Hartford County.

Since 2016, Emily Sorbi has provided Legacy’s attorneys and clients support in the areas of document management, marketing, and funding. Thomas Topper, hired in 2017, contributes support in the areas of trust tax return preparation and review, LLC transaction analysis, and internal process improvement.

Those work with veteran support staff Christine Biegner and Russell Rososky, and all are led by founder and President Kevin Quinn, who is also the founder of Wealth Strategies Institute, LLC, which provides continuing education to CPAs, CFPs, attorneys, development officers, and insurance professionals throughout the country.

Daily News

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — KeyBank recently announced the addition of new retail leaders in markets across Connecticut and Massachusetts. Locally, Brandon Ojakian joined KeyBank with the title of vice president and area retail leader in the Northern Conn. and Western Mass. markets.

Ojakian has 20 years of experience in the banking and finance industry. He joins KeyBank from Santander Bank, where he served as a district executive leading branch teams in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Prior to Santander, he led several retail regions for Citizens Bank.

In his role with KeyBank, he provides leadership to branch teams serving customers in the Windsor, South Windsor, East Windsor, and Enfield branches in Connecticut, and the West Springfield, East Longmeadow, Feeding Hills, Holyoke, Ludlow, Riverdale, Southwick, and Westfield branches in Massachusetts. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Albertus Magnus College.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — In late July, Thornes Marketplace will refurbish and expand an historic window assemblage, installing six new stained-glass window panels designed by a local artist on the Chestnut Staircase behind Share coffee shop.

Heather McLean, owner of Dragonfly Stained Glass Studio in Easthampton, was commissioned to design the panels, which are part of an elaborate, two-and-a-half-story window grouping.

Each new arts-and-crafts-style panel created by McLean is identical, measuring four feet high by two feet wide. They combine bold orange squares with deep blue edging and long, vertical, pale-yellow highlights, and all six windows together will fill a space that is roughly eight feet high by six feet wide.

Above McLean’s stained-glass windows, three tiers of windows original to the building — one overarching transom window and two tiers of oblong windows — will be cleaned, painted, and reinstalled to further refresh the entire collection.

McLean’s panels replace three original stained-glass windows that could not be restored; they will be cleaned, refurbished, and hung in the building at a later date as an art sculpture, said Jon McGee, Thornes facilities manager.

Over the past 10 years, Thornes has taken on a series of major renovations to improve and enhance the eclectic shopping center, including the recreation by a Vermont artist of stained-glass window panels along the Grand Staircase a few years ago.

“We really liked the way it looked. We felt like we were adding to the historic authenticity of the building,” said McGee, noting that, when Thornes leaders got ready to refresh the Chestnut Staircase assembly, they preferred to work with a local artist.

Familiar with McLean and her work, Marketing Manager Jody Doele referred McLean to McGee and Richard Madowitz, Thornes owner and property manager.

Installation of all new window panels is expected to occur in late July and will not disrupt business. Shops will be open and accessible during normal business hours; visitors are encouraged to use the main staircase.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Google continued its Grow with Google tour in Springfield last week by announcing a sponsorship for FutureWorks Career Center totalling $100,000. The sponsorship will help FutureWorks deepen its available resources to prepare active job seekers with the digital skills necessary to obtain jobs and succeed in the workforce.

FutureWorks will deploy Google’s Applied Digital Skills Curriculum its diverse group of youth and adult job seekers over the course of a year. Some of its staff will also be trained on Google for Jobs and teach active job seekers how to use the online platform to streamline their job search.

“I am very pleased that Google has brought its exciting Grow with Google initiative to the city of Springfield. This digital training program will benefit many small businesses, job seekers, and students in Western and Central Massachusetts,” said U.S. Rep. Richard Neal.​

Launched in October 2017, Grow with Google is the tech company’s new initiative to help create economic opportunities for Americans. The project is an extension of Google’s long-standing commitment to making information and technology accessible to everyone, and focuses on providing digital skills and learning opportunities to communities across the U.S.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — This week, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GHSFH) will celebrate the end of its 30th anniversary, in partnership with the Home Builder’s Blitz program, by building a house to honor the visionary leadership of GSHFH’s past 30 years, including York Mayo, Bob Perry, Bruce and Ruth Pierce, George Burtch, Pastor Led Baxter, First Church in Ludlow, Ellen Freyman, Bill Mazeine, Neil Swinton, Walt Tomala, Jennifer Schimmel, Jason Tsitso, Karen Carlson, and Steve Gelling.

The house, located at 963 Sumner Ave. in Springfield, will be constructed in one week — specifically, exterior complete with interior drywall finished. This build is made possible with the help of habitat partner families, local construction companies, and hundreds of volunteers from the local community, as well as Guatemala. Funding was made possible, in part, through the Beveridge Family Foundation, the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, the Perry family, the Mayo family, the Lyons family, TNT General Contracting, and many more partners (for a full listing, visit www.habitatspringfield.org).

The Legacy Build Week activities at 963 Sumner Ave. kicked off on July 14 with the wall raising. The build will continue throughout the week from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, July 21 at 4 p.m., a celebration will take place, kicking off the 31st year with a proclamation from City Councilor Kateri Walsh, along with the blessing of three Springfield homes and their families, including 37 Bristol St., 1512 Dwight St., and 963 Sumner Ave. An ice-cream social and a tour of 963 Sumner Ave. will conclude the ceremony.