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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — BusinessWest is looking for nominees for its fourth Continued Excellence Award, and will accept nominations through Monday, May 14. The winner of the award will be unveiled at the magazine’s 40 Under Forty gala on Thursday, June 21.

Three years ago, BusinessWest inaugurated the award to recognize past 40 Under Forty honorees who had significantly built on their achievements since they were honored. The first two winners were Delcie Bean, president of Paragus Strategic IT, and Dr. Jonathan Bayuk, president of Allergy and Immunology Associates of Western Mass. and chief of Allergy and Immunology at Baystate Medical Center. Both were originally named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2008. Last year, the judges chose two winners: Scott Foster, an attorney with Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas (40 Under Forty class of 2011); and Nicole Griffin, owner of Griffin Staffing Network (class of 2014).

“So many 40 Under Forty honorees have refused to rest on their laurels,” said Kate Campiti, associate publisher of BusinessWest. “Once again, we want to honor those who continue to build upon their strong records of service in business, within the community, and as regional leaders.”

Candidates must hail from 40 Under Forty classes prior to the year of the award — in this case, classes 2007-17 — and will be judged on qualities including outstanding leadership, dedicated community involvement, professional achievement, and ability to inspire. The award’s presenting sponsor is Northwestern Mutual.

The nomination form is available at businesswest.com/40-under-forty-continued-excellence-award. For your convenience, a list of the past 11 40 Under Forty classes may be found at businesswest.com/40-under-forty/40-under-forty-past-honorees.

Daily News

SOUTH HADLEY — The South Hadley and Granby Chamber of Commerce will host an educational breakfast on “Cybersecurity for Businesses” on Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 a.m. at Loomis Village, 20 Bayon Dr., South Hadley.

Every day sees millions of attempts against companies to compromise data. Attacks like phishing and ransomware can be prevented with simple steps and employee education. This presentation will discuss best practices in an online world to help protect one’s business. Presenters are Joe Zazzaro, senior vice president of Information Technology at PeoplesBank, and David Thibault, the bank’s first vice president of Commercial Banking.

The event is sponsored by The Loomis Communities. The cost is $10 for chamber members and $15 for non-members. To register, call (413) 532-6451 or e-mail [email protected].

Daily News

BOSTON — Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), the statewide employer association, announced five senior-management promotions designed to ensure the future growth and vibrancy of the organization.

“These promotions are well-deserved and position us, as an organization, to achieve our policy objectives, growth strategy, and financial targets,” said Richard Lord, president and CEO of AIM, which represents the interests of 4,000 Massachusetts employers across multiple industries.

Robert Paine was promoted to executive vice president, Membership, Sales & Marketing. As head of the newly formed Membership, Sales and Marketing team, melding groups focused on sales and engagement, marketing, community, and events, he is responsible for growing AIM membership and developing initiatives targeted toward both existing and new markets. He manage membership, sponsorship, and event sales; marketing (including the AIM website), member-interest councils, and member benefits. He also leads the AIM mission sales team and co-leads the team overseeing AIM’s association-management and customer-relationship-management systems.

Christopher Geehern was promoted to executive vice president, Public Affairs & Communication. He will develop and execute communication strategies and initiatives to support the policy and growth objectives of the organization. He will direct all public-policy and organizational communication such as white papers, op-eds, speeches, letters, and blogs. He is the chief public spokesperson for the organization and will manage all public relations, including interactions with the news media. He will also manage the AIM board of directors and executive committee and serve as clerk of the corporation.

Cindy Lyman was promoted to executive vice president, Finance (CFO), and COO. She will broaden her current role and responsibilities as executive vice president of Finance (CFO) to include all operations of the organization. She is responsible for executing AIM’s short-term and long-term business strategy, promoting the organization’s culture and vision, and achieving financial and operational goals. She will continue to be responsible for managing the AIM annual budget and all matters business and financial.

Kristen Rupert was promoted to senior vice president, External Affairs. Having led the AIM International Business Council since 2005, she will expand her role by creating opportunities for collaboration among AIM and external business and community organizations. She will pursue alliances that advance the public-policy agenda of Massachusetts employers and help those employers navigate increasingly complex economic issues.

Kyle Pardo was promoted to vice president, Consulting Services. She will be responsible for assisting AIM-member employers in the areas of compensation, pay equity, healthcare, and affirmative action. She also oversees the development and implementation of AIM’s wage and benefits surveys.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College named Chris Hakala director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship. The newly created academic-affairs position was developed through the college’s strategic planning process, and the center strives to foster intellectual engagement across the curriculum through evidence-based programs and services that increases collaboration, communication, and community to promote the enhancement of student learning.

“I am excited to join Springfield College and work with such an exceptional group of faculty and students,” said Hakala. “My hope is to turn our Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship into the premier center in the area. I believe we have all the pieces in place to do this, and our faculty and students will benefit so much from the increased conversations around excellence in pedagogy.”

Hakala brings more than 20 years of experience as a faculty member at various institutions in higher education. Most recently, he served as executive director for the Center for Teaching and Learning at Quinnipiac University. Before joining Quinnipiac, he taught psychology at the University of New Hampshire, Gettysburg College, Lycoming College, American International College, and Western New England University, where he served as director of the Center for Teaching and Learning from 2009 to 2014.

Hakala earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Castleton State College, and his master’s degree and PhD in psychology from the University of New Hampshire.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Single-family home sales rose by 27.4% in the Pioneer Valley in February compared to the same time last year, posting big gains in all three counties, while the median price rose 8.3% to $194,900, according to the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley.

In Franklin County, sales were up 36.4%, while the median price shot up by 45.8% from a year earlier. In Hampden County, sales were up 23.6%, while the median price was up 7.9%. In Hampshire County, sales rose by 27.7% from February 2017, while the median price was up 16.8%.

Daily News

GREENFIELD — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County will present Bowl for Kids’ Sake, the mentoring organization’s biggest annual fundraiser, on Friday, April 13 at Shelburne Falls Bowling Alley and Saturday, April 14 at French King Entertainment Center in Erving, both from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“This event is not about bowling — it’s about community coming together to support Franklin County youth who are most in need of a mentor,” said Jennifer Webster the agency’s executive director.

This year’s Bowl for Kids’ Sake theme is “Star Wars – Be the Force for Us!” Costumes are not mandatory but are encouraged.

The 51-year-old, donor-funded organization challenges everyone — mentors and mentees, their friends and families, business people, community leaders, and others who may not have time to mentor, but still support Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission — to join Bowl for Kids’ Sake and help change the life of a child. This year, the agency aims to raise $40,000.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County is a 100% donor-supported youth-mentoring organization that relies on the success of events like Bowl for Kids’ Sake in order continue the work of providing carefully screened and professionally supported mentoring relationships to kids who need it most. For further information, visit www.bbbs-fc.org or call (413) 772-0915.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Karrah Smith, owner of Something to Talk About Boutique, was recently named Business Owner of the Year by the Assoc. of Black Business Professionals, and was awarded a certificate by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Boston last month.

Smith, a 24-year-old Springfield native, received her associates degree in criminal justice from Holyoke Community College. However, her passion for fashion took center stage in 2015 when her beloved older cousin, Diane Evans, original owner and founder of Something to Talk About Boutique, passed away from pancreatic cancer, leaving the store, located on the street level of Tower Square, to Smith and her mother, Stephanie.

Smith took over the store in Evans’ memory and never looked back. “I have always loved fashion,” she said, “and my goal is to grow the business, while continuing to give back to my community.”

Smith has given back in multiple ways, including donating proceeds from fashion shows to local charities. She also works with other young women, giving them pointers on how to run a business.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Nicholas Grimaldi has become a partner at Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP, while Peter Lane has been named of counsel in the law firm.

Grimaldi joined the firm in 2014 and has more than 18 years of experience as a lawyer. His practice will continue to focus on representing individuals, businesses, and financial institutions in corporate transactions, real estate and secured lending, entertainment and interactive media law, creditor’s rights, and commercial matters. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the Boston University School of Law.

Lane has 10 years of experience representing individuals and businesses in civil and criminal litigation, including commercial litigation, landlord-tenant law, criminal defense, and civil rights. He is a graduate of Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School.

Daily News

BOSTON — Local unemployment rates increased in 14 labor-market areas, decreased in one, and remained the same in nine labor market areas in the state during the month of February, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported.

Compared to February 2017, the rates dropped in 22 labor-market areas, increased in one, and remained the same in one labor market area.

Seven of the 15 areas for which job estimates are published recorded a seasonal job gain in February. The largest gains occurred in the Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Springfield, Worcester, and Peabody-Salem-Beverly areas.

From February 2017 to February 2018, 12 of the 15 areas added jobs, with the largest percentage gains in the Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury, Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Leominster-Gardner, and Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead areas.

In order to compare the statewide rate to local unemployment rates, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the statewide unadjusted unemployment rate for February was 4.0%.

Last week, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported the statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.5% in the month of February. The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate showed a 13,700-job gain in February, and an over-the-year gain of 39,100 jobs.

The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates.

The estimates for labor force, unemployment rates, and jobs for Massachusetts are based on different statistical methodology specified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — BusinessWest is looking for nominees for its fourth Continued Excellence Award, and will accept nominations through Monday, May 14. The winner of the award will be unveiled at the magazine’s 40 Under Forty gala on Thursday, June 21.

Three years ago, BusinessWest inaugurated the award to recognize past 40 Under Forty honorees who had significantly built on their achievements since they were honored.

The first two winners were Delcie Bean, president of Paragus Strategic IT, and Dr. Jonathan Bayuk, president of Allergy and Immunology Associates of Western Mass. and chief of Allergy and Immunology at Baystate Medical Center. Both were originally named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2008. Last year, the judges chose two winners: Scott Foster, an attorney with Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas (40 Under Forty class of 2011); and Nicole Griffin, owner of Griffin Staffing Network (class of 2014).

“So many 40 Under Forty honorees have refused to rest on their laurels,” said Kate Campiti, associate publisher of BusinessWest. “Once again, we want to honor those who continue to build upon their strong records of service in business, within the community, and as regional leaders.”

Candidates must hail from 40 Under Forty classes prior to the year of the award — in this case, classes 2007-17 — and will be judged on qualities including outstanding leadership, dedicated community involvement, professional achievement, and ability to inspire. The award’s presenting sponsor is Northwestern Mutual.

The nomination form is available at businesswest.com/40-under-forty-continued-excellence-award. For your convenience, a list of the past 11 40 Under Forty classes may be found at businesswest.com/40-under-forty/40-under-forty-past-honorees.