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Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Community College (BCC) has been awarded $5.5 million for a major project that will transform the first floor of the Field Administration building into a One Stop Student Success Center.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced this award on July 10 at Westfield State University. Baker launched a capital investment plan for public higher education and encouraged the submission of proposals that would benefit the Massachusetts economy and support student success and completion.

The governor’s plan includes $190 million in FY19 for public higher education. BCC was selected as one of six projects for higher-education institutions across the Commonwealth.

The One Stop Student Success Center concept was conceived in 2015. It will transform the student experience by making the entire admissions and enrollment process easier. The project will renovate the first floor of the Field Administration building, which currently houses Enrollment Management, Advising, Career and Transfer services, Financial Aid and Student Accounts, and Admission and the college registrar.

“The vision for this project was to create a comfortable and inviting central location where students and community partners have all of their college service needs met efficiently in one place,” said Ellen Kennedy, BCC president. “Receiving the funding for this project is an exciting opportunity for both the college and the Berkshires. We will continue to expand our efforts to reimagine not only our buildings and grounds, but also, most importantly, how we can best serve our students so they thrive in the local and statewide economy.”

BCC is currently completing $34 million in campus projects for the renovation of Hawthorne and Melville halls, including a connector with upper and lower courtyards, paving of the parking lots and access roads, and installing a community turf field for football, soccer and lacrosse.

“When we originally designed the One Stop Student Success Center, we were focusing on student engagement, retention, and graduation rates,” said Adam Klepetar, vice president of Enrollment Management. “The One Stop will do this by making the first floor of Field a student-facing space — a welcoming environment with all key onboarding offices located in one central place — while also creating opportunities for office efficiencies and providing collaborative workspaces for community-based partnerships.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield detailer Paul Frasco of Pro and Local Mobile Detailing has been handpicked for the second year by master detailer Renny Doyle to the 15th annual Air Force One Detailing Team. Frasco and 64 other professional detailers from around the nation will visit Seattle’s Museum of Flight July 15-22.

They will continue their annual cleaning and preservation of the first Air Force One on display at the museum, but they will also take their first shot preserving the museum’s newest acquisition, a Boeing B-52G Stratofortress bomber known as Midnight Express. Built in 1960 as a nuclear-armed Cold War platform, it was used extensively during the Vietnam War, and was active during Operation Linebacker II in December 1972, which led to the release of 591 prisoners of war in 1973.

Frasco is trained and certified by the International Detailing Assoc. and by Doyle’s Detailing Success. He makes the weeklong commitment on a voluntary, pro bono basis.

Doyle has spent 15 years restoring the historic presidential jet to its original glory. The plane was a flying Oval Office for Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. It was in distressed condition when Doyle was first approached by the Bush administration in 2003 to put his skills to work to save it. It took more than a decade to fully restore the brilliance of the paint and clarity of the bright work (aluminum). Until 2016, the plane lived outdoors on the tarmac, exposed to the elements, requiring a robust annual cleaning, polishing, and protection for its paint and aluminum.

These past two years, the plane has found a home under the museum’s new, open-air Airpark Pavilion. Although it is mostly protected from the elements, it is still exposed to the region’s damp climate and extreme temperatures, requiring a rigorous cleaning, polishing, and application of a paint sealant to protect it from year to year.

Also on the agenda this year is polishing the B-29 Super Fortress, a WWII bomber the team began restoring in 2011; cleaning and polishing the first-ever Boeing ‘Jumbo Jet’ 747; polishing the supersonic Concorde Alpha Golf, which they have been working on since 2014; and numerous other priceless aircraft on exhibit at the Museum of Flight.

“Cleaning something as big as a jet airplane has its challenges, but when you are cleaning aircraft valued at hundreds of millions of dollars and that have such historical significance in aviation history, it requires unique skills and knowledge of paint and bright work not found in most detailers,” Doyle said. “The first time I laid eyes on Air Force One 15 years ago, I doubted whether it could be saved — that is how challenging the project was; however, I see what Paul has done, and I know what he can do. He is one of the best of the best.”

Added Frasco, “to see Air Force One shining in the sunlight from year to year is a testament to our commitment, hard work, and skill. I am proud to be a part of this project the past two years, and I am excited about tackling that B-52 this year. I look forward to many years ahead as a caretaker of aviation history.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The deadline to nominate an individual or organization for the second annual Healthcare Heroes awards has been extended one final time, to Friday, July 13, at 5 p.m. To nominate someone, visit healthcarenews.com or businesswest.com, click on ‘Our Events,’ and proceed to ‘Healthcare Heroes.’

This recognition program involving the Western Mass. healthcare sector was launched last spring by HCN and BusinessWest. The program was created to shed a bright light on the outstanding work being done across the broad spectrum of health and wellness services, and the institutions and individuals providing that care.

Nomination categories include ‘Lifetime Achievement,’ ‘Emerging Leader,’ ‘Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider,’ ‘Innovation in Health/Wellness,’ ‘Health/Wellness Administrator,’ and ‘Collaboration in Healthcare.’ Winners will be profiled in both magazines in September and feted at the Oct. 25 gala at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden.

Healthcare Heroes sponsors include American International College (presenting sponsor), National Grid (partner), and supporting sponsors Renew.Calm, the Elms College MBA program, and Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health Of New England.

Daily News

WESTFIELD — Gov. Charlie Baker announced during his visit to Westfield State University’s campus on Tuesday that the university will receive a $21.25 million investment from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to renovate its oldest building, Parenzo Hall. The funding to Westfield State is made possible by H.4549, “An Act Providing for Capital Repairs and Improvements for the Commonwealth,” a bill ceremonially signed by Baker during the campus visit.

Through the Parenzo Hall renovation project, the university aspires to transform the dated building into a state-of-the-art hub for student success and workforce development. In addition to optimal space utilization, renovations will create two new centers: the Center for Innovation in Education and Industry Partnerships and the Center for Student Success and Engagement. In addition to benefitting Westfield State students, the centers are intended to have far-reaching impact beyond the university’s physical campus.

“The educational and community collaborations that will grow in this newly renovated facility will have a boundless impact on our students, local high-school students, and members of the surrounding communities and businesses beyond our Westfield campus,” said President Ramon Torrecilha. “Westfield State University is greatly appreciative of this vital state investment. The enhancements and new programs made possible with this funding will enable us to further improve accessibility to high-quality, affordable public higher education in Western Massachusetts.”

According to Torrecilha, nearly 94% of Westfield State students are Massachusetts residents, and the majority go on to build their lives and careers in the Bay State following graduation.

Overall, H.4549 authorizes approximately $3.9 billion to address the Commonwealth’s statewide capital needs, including higher-education campuses, health and human services facilities, state office buildings, public-safety facilities, and courts. The bond bill authorizes $950 million for public higher-education investments.

“This plan marks a critical turning point in the Commonwealth’s approach to capital funding for public higher education,” state Education Secretary James Peyser said. “Our goal is to maximize the use and functionality of existing spaces, align programs to meet regional and statewide workforce needs, strengthen partnerships between higher education and private-sector employers, and encourage more creative and efficient use of existing spaces.”

Parenzo Hall has not undergone major renovations since its opening in 1956. The renovation project is consistent with the Baker-Polito administration’s approach to capital investment that emphasizes repairing and modernizing existing assets, while ensuring that spending is always maintained at an affordable level. Nearly matching the state’s $21.25 million investment, Westfield State will invest nearly $20 million of university funds into the project, which has a total cost of $40 million.

Parenzo Hall’s Center for Innovation in Education and Industry Partnerships will leverage technology to serve as a nexus for innovative collaboration in Western Mass., partnering with K-12 school districts, community colleges, and industry partners. It will teach students and community partners how to engage productively in online hybrid environments that increase flexibility for students, facilitate co-enrollment, expand course choices, and provide a bridge to employment.

The Center for Student Success and Engagement will address the student-outcome goals of the Vision Project (increasing retention and graduation rates while reducing the achievement gap). The project will also address the continuing decline in the number of working-age adults. The center will increase student preparation for advanced learning and support exploration of career pathways in elementary and high schools to prepare them for on-the-job training. New and in-demand certificate programs, as well as advanced study options, will be offered to its business partners, utilizing technology.

According to Torrecilha, the two new Centers will be linked to offer students the opportunity to engage with industry professionals, work on real-world application of their knowledge and skill sets, and explore career opportunities.

“As a graduate of Westfield State, I know how valuable the university is to students from the 2nd Hampden and Hampshire district and throughout the Commonwealth alike,” said state Sen. Donald Humason Jr. “I am pleased that this bond authorization will make important improvements to the infrastructure of the campus, ensuring this important resource will be available for students for years to come.”

Added state Sen. John Velis, “I am thrilled that Westfield State University and other state colleges are receiving these funds. Investing in the facilities at these schools shows the Commonwealth’s continued commitment to improving public higher education. Keeping the buildings up to date is essential to ensuring that our public colleges and universities remain at the forefront of technology, innovation, and creativity. These funds will have a real and substantial impact on the success of students, faculty, and the institutions as a whole.”

Daily News

HADLEY — Greenfield Savings Bank (GSB) announced four team members for its new Hadley office: Hector Toledo, Jocelyn Walsh, Jacqueline O’Connell, and Joseph Dallair.

Toledo has been named office manager of the new Hadley office. He joins Greenfield Savings Bank with 28 years of experience in banking. In his role as manager, he will concentrate on business development, in addition to managing the operations of the Hadley Office. Among his volunteer roles for numerous local nonprofit organizations, Toledo is a board member and chair of the finance committee of Baystate Health and a member of the board of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. He has previously chaired the board of Springfield Technical Community College and served as a board member of both the YMCA of Greater Springfield and the United Way of Pioneer Valley.

Walsh has been promoted to the Hadley office as a super banker. GSB super bankers are customer-service professionals who can assist customers with a wide range of banking services, including account openings, online and mobile banking, as well as account transactions. Before joining the staff in Hadley, she worked for GSB at the Shelburne Falls office for more than two years.

O’Connell has joined the staff of the Hadley office as a super banker. She has worked for GSB for more than three years at the Amherst office on University Drive.

Dallair has joined the staff of the Hadley office as a teller. Prior to joining the team at Greenfield Savings Bank, he worked for three years in customer-service positions in other industries. He began working at GSB in 2017 as a teller in the Greenfield office.

Daily News

GREENFIELD — MassDevelopment has issued a $1.9 million bond for CJBW Stamp, LLC, the real-estate arm of Valley Steel Stamp, which will use bond proceeds to construct a 17,500-square-foot building in the Greenfield Industrial Park that the company will then lease.

The new building will be next to an existing 27,500-square-foot building that Valley Steel Stamp also leases and has reached full capacity. When completed, the new building will accommodate additional equipment needed to fulfill customer orders. The project is expected to create nine jobs and support 13 construction jobs. GSB Securities Corp., an affiliate of Greenfield Savings Bank, purchased the bond.

“For more than 40 years, Valley Steel Stamp has been a key part of the Western Massachusetts tradition of high-quality precision machining, and this company has grown to become a major player in the sector,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment is pleased to support Valley Steel Stamp as it once again takes steps to further expand operations here in the Commonwealth.”

Valley Steel Stamp was founded in 1971 by William Capshaw as a two-man operation that produced custom-made steel-marking stamps. Over the years, William’s son, Steven, has expanded and diversified the company’s product line to now include general machining and tooling for customers in the aerospace, defense, and firearm industries. Valley Steel Stamp’s facility in Greenfield is a world headquarters for more than 50 highly skilled precision machinists serving over 300 companies in 10 countries. MassDevelopment previously issued bonds to support the purchase and expansion of this facility in 2008 and 2012.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank distributed more than $22,000 in scholarships to high-school seniors who graduated this year from Monson, Ware, and Wilbraham/Hampden high schools and Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

“As a community bank, we are committed to helping local families save, prepare, and pay for higher education,” said Steve Lowell, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank. All of the students were invited to the bank’s corporate headquarters for a celebration, where Lowell spoke to them about their future and congratulated each one on their hard work and accomplishments.

The scholarships were presented to students selected by their school who have demonstrated academic success and have an interest in pursuing a higher education. Monson Savings Bank congratulates the students from the following schools who were selected to receive the 2018 scholarships: Isabela Ferraro, Grace Pettenqill, Bianca Pio, Lisa Cavanaugh, Serina Bowen, Hannah Hicks, Cienna Moriarty, Benjamin Pagliaro, Macauley Rouette, Ethan Hill, Kaitlyn Rousseau, and Nigel Opoku-Achampong.

Daily News

FLORENCE — In the Northampton hamlet of Florence, craftspeople have been working to transform a large section of steel salvaged from the World Trade Center in New York City into a remarkable tribute to first responders who gave their lives saving others on Sept. 11, 2001. Today, July 10, at 11 a.m., supporters of Springfield’s September 11th Monument will visit Salmon Studios at 28 North Maple St. in Florence for a special preview of the memorial.

The World Trade Center artifact, given to the Spirit of Springfield by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is one of the largest steel remnants of the devastating terrorist attack. It is significant in size and meaning, and its use in this memorial will be unique among the nation’s 9/11 tributes. The monument was designed by Modvic and is being fabricated by Salmon Studios. The nine-and-a-half-foot-tall I-beam will stand vertically in front of a bronze wall which will have the names of first-responder heroes engraved on it. At night, the artifact will cast the shadow of the Twin Towers on the wall and names.

Members of the fundraising committee, chaired by Frank Colaccino, president of the Colvest Group, will be joined by Officer Joseph Gentile, president of International Brotherhood of Police Officers Local 364, and Lt. Drew Piemonte, president of the International Assoc. of Firefighters Local 648.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno serves as the honorary chair of Springfield’s September 11th Monument committee. It is co-chaired by  John Barbieri, Springfield Police commissioner, and Bernard Calvi, Springfield Fire commissioner. Members of Springfield’s September 11th Monument fundraising committee are Colaccino; Matthew Bannister, PeoplesBank; Anthony Cignoli, A.L. Cignoli Co.; Charlie Arment, Charlie Arment Trucking; Sheila Doiron, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts; Dennis Duquette, MassMutual Foundation; Jason Freeman, Six Flags Entertainment Corp.; Kyle Houser, Val-Pak Western Massachusetts; Paul Phaneuf, St. Pierre-Phaneuf Funeral Chapels; Jason Rucker, MGM Springfield; Chris Russell, Springfield Business Improvement District; and CMSgt. Maryanne Walts, 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base.

Daily News

FLORENCE — Florence Bank promoted Jeremy Melton to the position of first vice president/Risk Management, Compliance and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) officer.

Melton joined Florence Bank in 2012. Prior to his recent promotion, he served as vice president/Risk Management, Compliance and CRA officer. Melton supports his community as the board chair and finance/audit committee member at Tapestry. He also serves as a board member for the Western Massachusetts Compliance Assoc.

“We are thrilled to see Jeremy’s career progress with the bank as he begins his new role as first vice president,” said Florence Bank President and CEO John Heaps Jr. “His exemplary performance and expert knowledge continue to make him an integral asset.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College announced that Patrick Love will serve a two-year interim appointment as vice president for Student Affairs and program director of the Student Personnel Administration (SPA) program, effective Aug. 6.  The college will resume a national search for both positions in 2020.

Love will serve as a member of the president’s leadership team in his role as VP for Student Affairs and will work closely with the leadership of the Division of Academic Affairs in his role as SPA program director.  “This appointment presents a unique opportunity to advance two important areas for Springfield College, and the college is fortunate to have a leader of Dr. Love’s caliber and expertise,” said Mary-Beth Cooper, Springfield College president.

Love brings to Springfield College a career in higher-education leadership and teaching, spanning managerial work in student affairs and academic affairs, and as a professor in Student Affairs. He is a lifelong educator who focuses on growth, development, and transformation.  He is also an experienced writer, author, speaker, coach, and trainer on leadership and management development.  He has consulted with or spoken at more than 40 colleges and universities, was a tenured professor at two research universities, and is nationally known for his innovative approaches to management as well as a commitment to student education and development.  He is active in both the American College Personnel Assoc. and the National Assoc. of Student Personnel Administrators.

Love is a forward thinker who will bring unique perspectives to Student Affairs and to Student Personnel Administration programming, Cooper said. Most recently, he was executive in residence at Bowling Green State University, serving as senior lecturer. Previously, he was vice president for Student Affairs at New York Institute of Technology, associate vice president for Student Affairs at Rutgers University, associate provost for Student Success at Pace University, co-director of the Higher Education Program at New York University, and director of the Master’s Higher Education Program at Kent State University.