Home Articles posted by BusinessWest Staff (Page 459)
Bankruptcies Departments

The following bankruptcy petitions were recently filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Readers should confirm all information with the court.

Akca, Fahri
628 College Highway
Southwick, MA 01077
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/03/15

Bancroft, Jessica A.
6 Royalston Road
Phillipston, MA 01331
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 09/30/15

Bezio, Kevin M.
124 Highland Ave.
Athol, MA 01331
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 09/30/15

Bilton, Mark A.
43 Meadowbrook Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 10/13/15

Bonanno, Christopher T.
5 Maple St.
Southwick, MA 01077
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 09/30/15

Brignoni, David
a/k/a Brignoni-Nieves, David
72 Kearney Ave.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/08/15

Bryden, Christopher L.
Bryden, Christina M.
61 Dickinson St.
2nd Floor
Chicopee, MA 01020
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/15/15

Burns, Robert F.
44 Daniel Dr.
Leominster, MA 01453
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/02/15

Cameron, Lucretia D.
1259 Plumtree Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 10/08/15

Churchill, Michael J.
Churchill, Rachel L.
26 East Road
Hawley, MA 01339
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/02/15

Coleman, Erin S.
111 Paige Hill Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/02/15

Creative Touch
Dawson, Colleen
346 College Highway
Southhampton, MA 01073
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/08/15

Delaney, Wendy J.
a/k/a Delaney King, Wendy
452 West Pelham Road
Amherst, MA 01002
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 09/30/15

Forsyth, James M.
19 Revere St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/05/15

Hartmann, Paige I.
10 Holland Road
Wales, MA 01081
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 09/30/15

Hill, Sean E.
85 Franklin Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/15/15

Jones, Icie B.
a/k/a McMullen-Jones, Icie B.
211 Crane Hill Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/13/15

Keeler, Allan E.
22 Manor House Court
Holyoke, MA 01040
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/10/15

Kelley, Kristopher R.
47 Richelieu St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/03/15

Larson, Frank T.
Larson, Kathleen P.
a/k/a Proulx, Kathleen
a/k/a Kate Larson
21 Sterrett Dr.
Southwick, MA 01077
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 10/05/15

Latini, John
19 Wilson St.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/08/15

Lemke, John
53 Corey Colonial
Agawam, MA 01001
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 10/14/15

Lord, Janet Irene
35 Robert St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/09/15

Marshall, Robert J.
93 Grochmal Ave., Lot 40
Indian Orchard, MA 01151
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/10/15

Martinez, Angel
83 Ontario St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 10/13/15

McGuigan, John M.
43 Lakewood Dr.
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/08/15

Monopoli, Leanne F.
a/k/a Josephson, Leanne F.
a/k/a Farr, Leanne F.
P.O. Box 1435
Ware, MA 01082
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 09/30/15

O’Hare, William J.
O’Hare, Susan A.
a/k/a Gosselin, Susan A.
54 Mountainview St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/06/15

Perry, Ivan J.
Perry, Marie E.
a/k/a Perry, M. Ella Anita
315 Ridge Road
Athol, MA 01331
Chapter: 13
Filing Date: 09/30/15

Perry, Kimberly A.
a/k/a Sullivan, Kimberly A.
1362 Massachusetts Ave.
North Adams, MA 01247
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/01/15

Rivera, Gisela
37 Woodrow St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/15/15

Rodriguez, Graciela
147 Beech St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/07/15

Rose, William W.
87 James St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/06/15

Sanocki, Henry S.
19 Pine St., Apt. A
Easthampton, MA 01027
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/07/15

Sickler, Suzanne Hunt
6 Treehouse Circle Apt. 3
Easthampton, MA 01027
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/15/15

Sinopoli, Jessica M.
450 Greylock St.
Lee, MA 01238
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/08/15

Slate, Wiona S.
22 South Long Yard
Southwick, MA 01077
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/15/15

Torres, Elis Z.
391 Tokeneke Road
Holyoke, MA 01040
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/08/15

Vasquez, Alex
21 Bowers St., Apt 306
Holyoke, MA 01040
Chapter: 7
Filing Date: 10/15/15

Agenda Departments

SRC Government Reception

Nov. 19: The Springfield Regional Chamber will hold its annual Government Reception from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Carriage House at Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Sponsored by Baystate Health and Comcast with support from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and Westfield State University, the reception provides business and community leaders with the opportunity to meet socially with local, state, and federal officials following the end of the formal legislative session. Last year, more than 200 people attended the event, including members of area select boards and city councils, as well as state representatives and senators. Reservations for the event are $50 for chamber members and $70 for general admission. To reserve a spot, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or e-mail Sarah Mazzaferro at [email protected]

Neuroscientist to VisitSpringfield College

Nov. 19: The Springfield College Center for Wellness Education and Research (CWER) will host world-renowned neuroscientist and nutrition and diet expert Nicole Avena at 7 p.m. in the Fuller Arts Center. Avena’s presentation, “Why Diets Fail: Because You’re Addicted to Sugar,” will focus on years of research showing that sugar is addictive, and present a science-based plan to stop cravings. The event is free and open to the public. Author of more than 50 scholarly journal articles, Avena’s research suggests that overeating of palatable foods can produce changes in the brain and behavior that resemble addiction, findings that have jump-started an entire new field of exploration and discovery related to the obesity epidemic. She has presented her research to an array of audiences, including pharmaceutical companies, diabetes-prevention groups, food-industry marketing executives, nutrition groups, and obesity-education groups, and has contributed to articles in Men’s Health, Psychology Today, Bloomberg Businessweek, and WebMD. The New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Assoc., and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have honored her research achievements. Housed in the Springfield College School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, CWER’s mission of is to serve as the region’s pre-eminent source for best practices in nutrition and physical-activity programming for young people.

Briefcase Departments

Difference Makers Nominations Due Nov. 20

WESTERN MASS. — Do you know someone who is truly making a difference in the Western Mass. region?
BusinessWest invites you to nominate an individual or group for its eighth annual Difference Makers program. Nominations for the class of 2016 must be received by the end of the business day (5 p.m.) on Friday, Nov. 20. Nominations can be completed online HERE and clicking ‘Our Events.’ Difference Makers was launched in 2009 as a way to recognize the contributions of agencies and individuals who are contributing to quality of life in this region.

Four Nonprofits to Share Space at GCC’s Downtown Center

GREENFIELD — Four nonprofit organizations that serve Western Mass. will share office space at Greenfield Community College’s Downtown Center as a base for building stronger relationships with the people and organizations of Franklin County. The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, Leadership Pioneer Valley, and the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts will each staff the office one day a week. “In general, the idea behind this partnership is that we are stronger together,” said Katie Allan Zobel, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Mass. (CFWM). “We’re all better, more effective, and more well-informed when we can share our resources, information, and energy.” She noted that the Community Foundation has had an office at the GCC Downtown Center since January 2014. “GCC President Bob Pura generously provided us with a space where we could hold regular office hours, offer training opportunities, and have donor conversations that would be more convenient for those we served in the Upper Valley. This has resulted in many, many more conversations and, thus, more learning about the specific issues and needs in Franklin County.” Allan Zobel continued, “we realized that other organizations serving the Pioneer Valley without offices in Franklin County might also benefit from using this space. Since the CFWM was only using the office one or two days a week, it seemed obvious that others could benefit from sharing the space with us. Bob agreed. After several conversations, the groups selected days of the week each would hold office hours and one day a month when all the groups would gather to update each other on work and to explore possible collaborations.” Pura, applauding the new collaboration, added, “this is a win for each organization, a win for the community, and especially a win for those who will benefit directly from this collaboration. As I have said on many occasions, this community is a best practice for collaborations, and this adds to that body of evidence.” Lora Wondolowski, executive director of Leadership Pioneer Valley, noted that “Leadership Pioneer Valley is committed to the whole region, but having a primary address in Springfield can be offputting for those in Franklin County. We look forward to expanding our presence in the community and to getting beyond the traditional boundaries that separate Western Mass. counties and organizations. I believe there is power in this collaboration that will be greater than the sum of what each organization is doing individually.” Added Rick Sullivan, president and CEO of the Economic Development Council, “it is important to have a physical presence in Franklin County and to build working relationships with the leaders, businesses, and citizens of the County. Bob Pura has been very helpful in providing this opportunity for our four organizations to have a base in Franklin County.” Finally, Elizabeth Barajas-Román, CEO of the Women’s Fund, said that “Franklin County residents can teach us a lot about how to work together for greater impact. This partnership with like-minded organizations is a terrific example of how we are deepening our understanding of the region and each other.”

EANE Announces Findings of Salary & Budget Survey

AGAWAM — The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast announced its findings from the 2015-16 Salary & Budget Survey, with close to 100 companies participating from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The survey results include numerous breakout reports to meet employers’ diverse data requirements for compensation planning, including salary and pay increases based on industry segment, job category, and more. The survey addresses salary increases for the period of July 2014 to June 2015, and also forecasts salary changes for July 2015 to June 2016. Overall, manufacturing employers participating in the survey indicated employees received, on average, a 2.7% increase for 2014-15, while non-manufacturing participants averaged a 3.0% increase. Both categories are holding steady with the forecast for pay raises. Manufacturing participants projected an overall 2.8% increase for 2016, while the non-manufacturing group forecasted a 2.6% increase, on average. Factored into the data are companies that reported there would be no increase or decrease. “Given the multitude of other factors competing for funds — from healthcare and other benefit costs to capital investments — it is not surprising to see limited increases,” said Mark Adams, director of HR Solutions for the Employers Assoc. “That said, we know that employers want to give raises to keep top talent.” For a full summary of results, visit eane.org/salary-budget-survey-results.

Redevelopment Authority Approves Two Proposals

HOLYOKE — The Holyoke Redevelopment Authority (HRA) board reviewed and accepted two private investment proposals at its Oct. 21 meeting, directing Planning & Economic Development staff to negotiate and finalize agreement terms over the next few weeks in accordance with the city’s Urban Renewal Plan (URP) titled “Connect. Construct. Create. — A Plan for the Revitalization of Center City Holyoke.” The first proposal, by WinnDevelopment, would create approximately 100 units of mixed-income housing for rent at 216 Appleton St., with on-site parking on the first level of the building, community space, and on-site leasing offices for tenants. The development concept for the property will seek funding through historic preservation and housing tax credits over the next two years, which Winn has abundant experience securing for similar mill-redevelopment projects throughout Massachusetts. The project is estimated to represent a $38 million investment. The second proposal, submitted by Bueno y Sano/Good & Healthy Inc., intends to temporarily lease land between Main and Race streets along the second-level Canal Walk to establish a mobile-food-truck operation that would produce a new line of smoked-meat menu items, for sale both on site and at its stores in Northampton, Springfield, West Springfield, Amherst, and Acton, as well as Burlington, Vt. Bueno y Sano is a Western Mass.-based, family-owned restaurant business serving burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and salads. The operations are expected to be set up during the spring of 2016. “We’re happy to be part of the excitement in Holyoke,” said Bob Lowry, owner of Bueno y Sano/Good & Healthy Inc. “There is a strong sense of possibility and purpose. That is a great combination.” Mayor Alex Morse praised the Redevelopment Authority for its actions, noting that “the success in attracting projects like these isn’t a coincidence. It takes many years of aggressive marketing and hard work to make sites ready for private interest and successfully execute the city’s Urban Renewal Plan. I thank WinnDevelopment and Bueno y Sano for their interest to invest here and look forward to welcoming them to Holyoke.”

Company Notebook Departments

MassMutual Reports Record $1.7 Billion Dividend Payout

SPRINGFIELD — MassMutual’s board of directors approved an estimated dividend payout of $1.7 billion for 2016 to its eligible participating policyowners — a nearly $100 million increase over 2015, and the fourth consecutive year it has reached a new record. The 2016 payout also reflects a competitive dividend interest rate of 7.1% for eligible participating life and annuity blocks of business, maintaining the same rate as both 2014 and 2015.  “Today is a special day where the commitment we’ve made our policyowners is brought to life through our annual dividend payout,” said Roger Crandall, MassMutual’s chairman, president, and CEO. “Through nearly our entire history, our policyowners have received an annual dividend regardless of what is happening in our world — whether it’s through world wars, pandemics, market crashes, and most recently, a historically low interest-rate environment where even three-month Treasury bills are yielding zero percent.” While dividends are not guaranteed, MassMutual has consistently paid them to eligible participating policyowners since the 1860s. The 2016 dividend marks nearly two decades that the company has consecutively announced an estimated dividend payout exceeding $1 billion. “As a mutual company, operating for the benefit of our policyowners and members, we are thrilled to share our collective and cooperative success,” Crandall said. “Our consistent payment of dividends is proof of the enduring financial strength and stability we provide, as well as the resiliency of our long-term strategy.” Among the key contributors to MassMutual’s dividend payout are its retirement-services and international insurance businesses, as well as its asset-management subsidiaries, such as Babson Capital Management LLC, Baring Asset Management Limited, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC, and OppenheimerFunds Inc. The estimated payout also occurs at a time when the company’s financial-strength ratings are among the highest in the industry and its total adjusted capital as of June 30, 2015 — a key indicator of overall financial stability — surpassed $17 billion for the first time in the company’s history. Of the estimated $1.7 billion dividend payout, an estimated $1.65 billion has been approved for eligible participating policyowners who have purchased whole life insurance. MassMutual had its ninth consecutive record year of growth in whole-life policy sales in 2014 with $418 million, and sales of whole life continue to be strong through the first three quarters of 2015. In addition to receiving the dividend payouts in cash, other ways whole-life insurance policyowners may use the dividends include paying premiums, buying additional insurance coverage, accumulating at interest, or repaying policy loans and policy-loan interest. “Whole life insurance enables people to plan for both the expected and unexpected events in their lives, whether it’s leaving a legacy for loved ones or using cash value to help fund a college education or fill an income gap in retirement,” said Michael Fanning, executive vice president and head of MassMutual’s U.S. Insurance Group. “We have provided millions of people with financial resources they can use to chart a course through these turbulent times, further proof that, whether bulls or bears are driving the market, policyowners have received their dividend payout from MassMutual.”

Bacon Wilson Selected Among U.S. News Ranking of Best Law Firms

SPRINGFIELD — Bacon Wilson announced the firm’s inclusion in the 2016 “Best Law Firms” rankings published by U.S. News – Best Lawyers. The full-service firm has been recognized with a Tier 1 Metropolitan designation for Springfield. Firms are selected for professional excellence, with tier rankings based on a meticulous assessment process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations as well as peer reviews from leading attorneys in their fields. Achieving a Tier 1 ranking indicates both quality law practice and expansive legal knowledge. This marks the sixth consecutive such honor for Bacon Wilson. Additionally, in August, four partners were named to the Best Lawyers in America 2016 list: Paul Rothschild, Stephen Krevalin, Michael Katz, and Jeff Fialky. Bacon Wilson’s managing partner, Stephen Krevalin, noted that the latest award is “among the most significant in our field. We are pleased and gratified to be counted among the 2016 Best Law Firms. For me, Bacon Wilson’s inclusion in this publication highlights the outstanding skills of our attorneys.” Bacon Wilson, P.C. is one of the largest firms in Western Massachusetts, with a total of 42 lawyers and approximately 60 paralegals, administrative assistants, and support staff. The firm’s main office is located in Springfield, with regional offices in Northampton, Amherst, and Westfield.

Holyoke Medical Center Breaks Ground on New ED, Office Building

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) broke ground recently on construction for a new, state-of-the-art Emergency Department that, when completed, will expand the current space from 8,500 square feet to approximately 22,000 square feet, as wel as a new, 16,000-square-foot medical office building. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2017. The Emergency Department will feature a new Crisis Center for Psychiatric Services, 40 treatment areas, multi-patient trauma rooms, advanced life-saving equipment, and a patient-navigation service. This will allow HMC to treat patients in a more efficient and dignified way. The medical office building will house a host of new services, including a comprehensive weight-loss center, sleep-apnea clinic, and other multi-specialty physician practices. These expanded services will address the current and emerging community health needs of Hampden County, including the sharp rise in obesity and diabetes rates, while also creating new jobs in Holyoke. “Today’s groundbreaking represents our strong commitment to providing tens of thousands of patients in the Pioneer Valley with access to convenient and compassionate life-saving care,” said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems Inc. “HMC’s new Emergency Department and medical office building will offer the latest in medical technology, a broader range of emergency services, and highly skilled clinicians dedicated to serving our community.” Funding for the project is provided partially by the Commonwealth’s Health Policy Commission (HPC), through Phase 2 of the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization, and Transformation Investment Program, also known as CHART, which aims to promote care coordination, integration, and delivery transformation to enhance Massachusetts community hospitals’ delivery of efficient and effective care. The $3.9 million grant supports the integration of new behavioral-health services in the Emergency Department. “Our partnership with community hospitals is a critical part of HPC’s efforts to achieve the Commonwealth’s cost-containment and quality-improvement goals,” said David Seltz, executive director of HPC. “CHART hospitals were issued a challenge: propose initiatives that will put you on a path of transformation, while meeting the critical health care needs of your community. Today, I’m pleased to report that HMC exceeded that challenge. We look forward to continuing to partner with the Holyoke community to build a more coordinated and affordable healthcare system.” HMC’s award was the highest award for a single hospital in CHART Phase 2. HMC will leverage an innovative, multi-disciplinary high-risk-care team, known as the Behavioral Health Emergency Care Service, to support all patients with behavioral-health conditions in the Emergency Department. At the same time, this coordinated initiative will introduce robust care navigation in partnership with community-based organizations to ensure that patients receive targeted interventions, including those necessary to address the high incidence of complex, challenging social issues, and are referred to the right services for successful follow-through on individualized care plans. A portion of this investment will also support HMC’s efforts to redesign its Emergency Department, and will create a separate healing and therapeutic behavioral-health space in the emergency room designed to reduce patient anxiety, streamline patient flow, and improve overall quality of care in a safe and secure environment. Additional financing partners for the total project budget of $22.8 million include Valley Health Systems, MassDevelopment, People’s United Bank, JPMorgan Chase, and A.I. Wainwright. Last year, more than 42,500 patients visited Holyoke Medical Center’s Emergency Department, and the department will continue to serve the Greater Holyoke community throughout the construction phase of the project.

Country Bank Supports Local Senior Centers

WARE — Country Bank has been assisting local senior centers since 2011 with an annual donation of $2,000 each. This gift assists them with some of the expenses that may not be covered within their regular budget. A total of $166,000 has been donated over the last five years to local senior centers. “We have heard stories of our gifts helping to fund events such as veterans breakfasts, helping to put in a new floor, or, most recently, to assist with transportation costs to out-of-town medical appointments,” said Shelley Regin, senior vice president. “One director explained that many seniors may forgo important medical appointments due to the difficulties involved with public transportation or their fear of driving in unfamiliar areas such as Springfield. We are so pleased that we can help in this way.” Country Bank serves Central and Western Mass. with 15 offices.

HAPHousing Recognized as NeighborWorks Green Organization

SPRINGFIELD — HAPHousing has been recognized as a NeighborWorks Green Organization for its comprehensive commitment to sustainable operations. To achieve this designation, HAP was required to demonstrate adherence to a set of green business practices across its operations and all of its program areas.
This is the fourth consecutive year that NeighborWorks America has recognized member organizations for their efforts to create healthier, energy-efficient environments for homeowners, renters, community residents and employees. To date, 81 of the 240 organizations in the NeighborWorks network have achieved this designation. HAPHousing’s green initiatives and programs include ensuring that its housing developments and offices are energy efficient, and distribution of information on energy conservation to clients, residents, employees, and the public. According to Peter Gagliardi, President and CEO of HAPHousing, “An increasingly vital part of our work in developing affordable housing in the region is the building and maintaining of sustainable projects and practices that are environmentally friendly. We take this designation seriously and with pride in our mission to build healthy communities where people thrive.”

STCC to Offer Certified Fiber Optics Technician Courses starting Dec. 7

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) Workforce Development office will offer three Certified Fiber Optics Technician Courses starting Dec. 7.
The courses will cover a variety of topics for both those new to the field and experienced technicians. The Fiber Optic Training class combines theory and hands-on activities to prepare students to take the Certified Fiber Optic Technician exam sanctioned by the Fiber Optics Association. The exam is administered and graded during the final class.
Students will learn how to identify fiber types; recognize various connectors used in fiber installation; and install, terminate, splice, and properly test installed fiber cable to existing standards. The program explores the history and future of fiber optics and fiber optics capabilities, and basic testing and troubleshooting.
Anyone interested in becoming a Certified Fiber Optics Technician is highly encouraged to sign up. The course fee includes study materials and text book, a CD, exam fees, plus a one year membership to Fiber Optics Association. In addition, STCC will offer Certified Fiber Optic Specialist Outside Plant (CFOS/O), Certified Fiber Optics Splicing Specialist Course (CFOS/S) and Certified Fiber Optics Specialist in Testing & Maintenance (CFOS/T).

Chamber Corners Departments

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.amherstarea.com
(413) 253-0700

• Nov. 18: After 5, 5-7 p.m., at Arrha Credit Union, 140 Russell St., Hadley. Join the chamber and enjoy appetizers and beverages with colleagues.
• Dec. 2: Ribbon cutting and grand opening, noon, at Advanced Auto Parts, 346 Russell St., Hadley. The chamber will welcome one of its newest members. Advance Auto Parts will offer 10% off for its grand opening.
• Dec. 4: Merry Maple, 3-6:30 p.m., Amherst Town Common. Serving hot chocolate provided by the Works as well as a face- painting station. There will be arts and crafts in the Town Room at Town Hall, as well as cider doughnuts and hot apple cider served on the common. The Amherst Middle School chorus will perform on the front step, tree lighting, and the UMass marching band will escort Santa in a fire truck.
• Dec. 9: Holiday Party, 5-7 p.m., at PeoplesBank, 56 Amity St., Amherst. Join the chamber and enjoy appetizers and beverages with colleagues.

GREATER CHICOPEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.chicopeechamber.org
(413) 594-2101

• Nov. 18: Salute Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., at the Collegian Court Restaurant, 89 Park St., Chicopee. Sign up online at www.chicopeechamber.org.
• Dec. 3: Holiday Party, 4:30-6:30 p.m., at the Collegian Court Restaurant, 89 Park St., Chicopee. This event is free for members.
• Dec. 16:  Salute Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., at the Castle of Knights, 1599 Memorial Dr., Chicopee. Sign up online at www.chicopeechamber.org.
• Dec. 17:  Mornings with the Mayor,  8-9 a.m., at Chicopee Industrial Contractors, 107 North St., Chicopee. This event is free for members.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.easthamptonchamber.org
(413) 527-9414

• Dec. 3: Holiday tree lighting and visit from Santa, 6:30-8 p.m., at Pulaski Park, Easthampton.
• Dec. 4: Greater Easthampton Chamber Snow Ball, 6-11 p.m., at the Garden House, Look Park. An old-fashioned, elegant, holiday affair. Sit-down dinner featuring Meyers Catering, live music, and dancing featuring Maxxtone. Dress in style, black tie optional.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.explorenorthampton.com
(413) 584-1900

• Nov. 4: November Arrive @ 5 Open House, 5-7 p.m. Hosted by Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust  St., Northampton. Cost: $10 for members.
• Dec. 2: December Arrive @ 5, 5-7 p.m., at Hampshire Council of Governments, Northampton. Sponsored by Applied Mortgage. Cost: $10 for members.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com
(413) 787-1555

• Nov. 19: Springfield Regional Chamber Government Reception, 5- 7 p.m., hosted by Carriage House, Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Meet socially with your local, state, and federal officials. Cost: $50 for members, $70 for general admission. Reservations may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com.
• Nov. 24: Springfield Regional Chamber Pastries, Politics and Policy, 8-9 a.m., hosted by TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main St., Springfield. Featuring Hampden Country District Attorney Anthony Gulluni. Sponsored by the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County. Cost: $15 for members, $25 for general admission. Reservations may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com.

Departments People on the Move
Robert Kolb

Robert Kolb

Country Bank President and CEO Paul Scully announced that Robert Kolb has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial & Retail banking officer. A banking professional with 33 years of industry experience, Kolb has been with Country Bank since 2012 as senior vice president, chief commercial banking officer. Before coming to Country Bank, Kolb worked at TD Bank as its Rhode Island market president. Prior to that, he held the same position the bank’s Central and Western Mass. divisions. “Since joining our team, Bob has brought an outstanding level of leadership to the bank,” said Scully. “He has completely embraced the unique mission of community banking, while helping us benefit from the insights he gained while working at a respected, larger institution. His contributions have helped both our employees and our customers, and his proven approach has become the cornerstone of our commercial-lending success.” Kolb serves on the Ware Business and Civic Board.

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Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso has been named a member of the 2015 Chairman’s Council of New York Life. Members of the elite Chairman’s Council rank in the top 3% of New York Life’s sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. Deliso has accomplished this level of achievement after 30 years in the financial-services industry. Her passion for finance and strategic planning led to the creation of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services in 2000. She began her career in corporate accounting in Tampa, Fla., where she consulted with small-business owners on financial operations and maximizing performance. Deliso has been a New York Life agent since 1995, and is associated with New York Life’s Connecticut Valley General Office in Windsor, Conn. She serves on many boards in her community, including the Baystate Health Foundation and Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse, and is chairman of the board of the Community Music School of Springfield. She is past chairman of the board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield, past board member of AAA Pioneer Valley, and past trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and the advisory council at Bay Path University.

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William H.W. Crawford, IV, CEO of United Financial Bancorp Inc. and United Bank of Glastonbury, Conn., announced that Rick Renaud, private mortgage banker for United Bank, has been elected to the 2016 Board of Directors of the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Central Massachusetts (HBRACM).
The HBRACM Board of Directors is made up of various leaders from the area’s homebuilding and remodeling industry, including building contractors, suppliers and subcontractors. It also includes those who provide professional services to the home building industry such as designers, engineers, legal professionals and lenders. Renaud is part of United’s greater Boston-based loan production office led by Jim Picciotto, vice president and Eastern Mass. Sales Manager. Renaud, who has 15 years of experience in the banking industry, joined United Bank in April 2012 and is based at the bank’s Chadwick Square branch in Worcester.

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Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. announced the following:
• Shawn Howard will lead investment strategies for the bank as its new Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Officer, Senior Portfolio Manager. Howard has more than 20 years of financial experience, with nearly 16 years in the asset-management space as a portfolio manager; he was most recently at TD Bank in the Private Client Group in Springfield, where he managed investment portfolios for high-net-worth individuals, nonprofit organizations, and institutional clients. He served in a similar capacity at Evergreen Investments and Mellon Private Asset Management Companies. Barney, a certified financial planner for more than 30 years, has rejoined the Berkshire Bank Wealth Management team after retiring in 2011. Prior to his retirement, he led the team for 17 years, growing the division to almost $700 million in assets;
• Tom Barney, First Vice President, Wealth Advisor, has joined the Wealth Management team. Barney previously served as vice president for Fleet Investment Services in Hartford, Conn., as well as vice president and private banker for Bank of Boston in Pittsfield, Springfield, and Hartford. He was on the board and served as president of the Estate Planning Council of Hampden County; and
• Colleen Lussier, Vice President and Wealth Advisor, has also joined the Wealth Management team. Lussier also joins the bank from TD Bank, where she was a wealth advisor for more than 16 years. Her expertise is concentrated in areas of trust and estate planning, business succession, and contract law. She is a certified trust and financial advisor and a registered financial consultant. She will assist in developing client relationships as well as trust and estate administration.

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Christopher Nadeau

Christopher Nadeau

The independent accounting firm Whittlesey & Hadley, P.C., announced that Christopher Nadeau, CPA, has been appointed manager, joining the firm’s Holyoke office. Nadeau brings more than 10 years of experience in private and public accounting with a practice concentration in assurance, compliance, tax and advisory services to closely held businesses, professional/medical practices and the nonprofit sector —the firm’s largest niche focus. Most recently, he served as assistant controller for Worcester Envelope Company. Nadeau received his master of science in accountancy and Bachelor of Science in business management and accounting from Westfield State University, where he is currently an adjunct professor and member of the university’s Accounting Mentoring Program. He currently holds memberships with the Mass. Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the Springfield/Hartford Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants.

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Chris Martin

Chris Martin

Tom Roberts

Tom Roberts


Ayre Real Estate Co. Inc. announced the following:
• Chris Martin recently joined as a Licensed Sales Associate. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Western New England University, served in active duty for eight years in the Army, and is now a current member of the U.S. Army Reserve. He has a strong background in investment properties, formerly working as a senior partner in a real-estate investment group in Memphis;
• Tom Roberts has joined Ayre as a full-time real-estate sales associate. An Agawam native who started his real-estate career in 2003, he moved to the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area before returning to Western Mass.

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Amy Royal

Amy Royal

Royal LLP, a woman-owned, boutique, management-side labor and employment law firm, announced that Amy Royal, principal and founding partner of the firm, has been honored as one of New England’s Super Lawyers and has been included in the 2015 issue of New England Super Lawyers magazine. Super Lawyers consists of attorneys throughout New England who are nominated by their peers as outstanding lawyers, and each nomination undergoes an extensive selection process. With nearly 15 years experience, Royal has successfully defended employers in both federal and state courts as well as before administrative agencies in a variety of areas of employment law, including employment discrimination and sexual harassment, unfair competition, breach of contract and wrongful discharge claims, workers’ compensation, and Family and Medical Leave Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and Fair Labor Standards Act violations, with a special emphasis on wage-and-hour class actions. Royal regularly advises non-union clients on maintaining a union-free workplace and performs other preventive work such as wage-and-hour-law compliance, record-keeping audits, drafting of employee manuals and affirmative-action plans, and management training. In addition, she assists unionized clients during contract negotiations, at arbitrations, and with respect to employee grievances and unfair-labor-practices charges. Royal’s accolades also include Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s 2012 Top Women of Law award recognizing her as a top woman lawyer in Massachusetts, as well as BusinessWest’s prestigious 40 Under Forty award recognizing her for outstanding leadership in the Pioneer Valley business community.

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Drew DiGiorgio

Drew DiGiorgio

Drew DiGiorgio was appointed President/CEO of Consolidated Health Plans Inc. (CHP), effective Sept. 9, by the Berkshire Hathaway Board of Directors, including CHP founder Kevin Saremi. DiGiorgio has served as CHP’s president since 2013, and was previously director of Sales and Marketing. He began his career at CHP in 1995, shortly after receiving a bachelor’s degree in Business from Framingham State University. In his new role as CEO, DiGiorgio will provide oversight of the company, reporting to the Board of Directors. He will continue expanding CHP’s business services to best meet the needs of clients and customers, with a focus on quality service. CHP is an industry-leading claim administrator providing affordable health insurance and special risk solutions for thousands of policyholders worldwide. CHP offers student health and accident plans; employee health and dental plans; FSA and HRA administration; and participant accident insurance and back-room claim administration for carriers.

Departments Picture This

Send photos with a caption and contact information to:  ‘Picture This’ c/o BusinessWest Magazine, 1441 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103 or to [email protected]

 

Men of the Year

As part of the Together is Better Campaign, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts celebrated its inaugural Men of the Year Award recipients and finalists at an event last month at Twin Hills Country Club. The award honors men from the region who, in their professional or personal lives, have made significant contributions to ensure economic and social equity for women and girls.

BusinessWest Associate Publisher Kate Campiti

BusinessWest Associate Publisher Kate Campiti presents the award in the ‘Legacy’ category to Robert Perry, retired partner for Meyers Brothers Kalicka

Waleska Lugo-DeJesus

Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, director of the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley, presents the award in the ‘mid-career’ category to David Sullivan, Northwestern district attorney

State Auditor Suzanne Bump

State Auditor Suzanne Bump presents the award in the ‘emerging’ category to Anthony Gulluni, Hampden County district attorney

Buffy Mayo

Buffy Mayo, widow of Lifetime Achievement Award winner York Mayo, talks with Sullivan, left, and Edward Nunez, assistant vice president of Business Development for Freedom Credit Union, and a finalist in the ‘mid-career’ category





Noble Ball

Baystate Noble Hospital


Baystate Noble Hospital held its 51st Noble Ball on Oct. 17 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The Motown-themed event was co-chaired by the Queenin Family (pictured at left, from left): Jon and Lisa, Kevin and Barbara, Janine and Jay.

700 guests attended the black-tie event

More than 700 guests attended the black-tie event, which featured live entertainment from two bands, silent and live auctions, a formal dinner, cocktails, dancing, and more. The 2016 Noble Ball chairs (pictured at right, from left) were Ali and Mandana Salehi, 
Serena and Marc Lichwan, and Julie and Nabil Hannoush.





Grand Old Game

The Western Mass. Relics’ Softball League is a summer recreational slow-pitch league founded in 1994 with the idea that playing ball is fun, healthy, and a good way to maintain friendships. The Relics “80s Team,” sponsored by Savage Arms, competed in the Cape Cod Senior Softball Classic in September

relics

Standing, left to right: Ken Cook, Frank Sousa, Leo Quinn, Phil Thibodeau, Art Brockelman, Dick Hastede, Coach Ed Gagnon, and Bob Brennan; in front, left to right: Lou Massoia, Frank Bernini, Bob Schoolcraft, and Don Holcomb.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Human Service Forum (HSF) will welcome attorney Steven Schwartz, litigation director for the Center for Public Representation, on Wednesday, Nov. 18 for a presentation titled “The ADA: Successes and Challenges for Ensuring Full Equality.”

This past July, America marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the landmark civil-rights law designed to promote full citizenship and equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities. But how much has that promise been realized? Like most visionary laws and social reforms, only somewhat. In certain arenas, like equal employment opportunities, the past quarter-century has been marked by a series of disappointing Supreme Court decisions, consistent (more than 90%) court victories for employers who refuse to hire or accommodate employees with disabilities, and even a major legislative initiative to amend the ADA to rebalance the legal landscape.

In other areas, and especially with respect to the historical segregation of persons with significant disabilities, the ADA has radically restructured the provision of public services in many state systems, and created a warning signal to those states which refuse to integrate their public and private programs.

Both of these trends are likely to continue for the next decade, with new targets for the ADA’s integration mandate and, most importantly, a profound cultural change in public awareness of the contributions of citizens with disabilities in all aspects of community living.

The event will take place from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The cost is $25 for HSF members, $30 for non-members. Online registration is available at www.humanserviceforum.org.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums’ monthly tour and lecture schedule continues in December with the popular Museums à la Carte lectures, which take place each Thursday at 12:15 p.m. in the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.

Admission is $4 ($2 for members of the Springfield Museums); visitors are invited to bring a bag lunch (cookies and coffee are provided). For more information about Museums à la Carte, call (413) 263-6800, ext. 488. This month’s lectures include:

• Dec. 3: “Secrets of Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin of the Rocks Revealed.” Andrew Linnell, author and lecturer from the University of Michigan, unlocks the riddles of da Vinci’s two mysterious paintings of the Virgin Mary.

• Dec. 10: “Cabinets of Curiosity: Historical and Contemporary Interpretations.” Heather Haskell, director of the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts and the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, provides historical context for the current exhibit at the George Walter.

• Dec. 17: “The Star of Bethlehem: Investigating an Ancient Mystery.” Richard Sanderson, curator of Physical Science, Springfield Science Museum, and Jack Megas, planetarium educator, Springfield Science Museum, explore one of history’s most enduring mysteries.

No à la Carte lectures will be held on Dec. 24 or Dec. 31.

As part of the Museums’ members-only Continuing Conversations series, museum docents Deena Maniscalchi and Pat McCarthy will also lead a guided gallery discussion at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum following the Dec. 10 lecture.

On Friday, Dec. 4, the Springfield Science Museum’s large rooftop telescope will be open for public skygazing at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Stars Over Springfield observatory series. These programs are organized by the museum and the Springfield Stars Club, and take place on the first Friday of each month. Each event features an introductory talk on topics such as space exploration, seasonal sights of the night sky, current astronomical research, or upcoming events like eclipses or comet appearances. This month’s featured speaker will be Alan Rifkin, Springfield Stars Club president, whose talk is titled, “Astronomy Gifts: All I Want for Christmas or Chanukah Is…”

Stars Over Springfield programs are best suited for families with children ages 8 and older; however, younger children are also welcome. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children 17 and under. These programs are held rain or shine. If it is cloudy, a planetarium show will be presented in place of telescope viewing. For information about astronomy programs at the museum, call (413) 263-6800, ext. 318.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Thanks to a recently awarded grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Bay Path University will undertake a three-year project aimed at increasing the academic success, engagement, and retention of undergraduate women enrolled in bachelor’s-degree programs in biology, forensic science, and cybersecurity, particularly those students from underrepresented groups. The grant, totaling $300,300, will be awarded over a three-year span.

The funding provides resources and programmatic support for student tutors and mentors, materials and stipends for student research, student travel, and guest speakers. In addition, funding was allocated for upper-level course redesign and faculty professional development around mathematics.

“Providing access and support to women entering careers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields is one of Bay Path’s highest priorities,” President Carol Leary said. “This grant will help us nurture essential skills critical for future scientists, chemists, and biologists, ultimately increasing the representation of women in these valuable professions.”

The project will strengthen STEM curricula at Bay Path, expand peer academic support, and broaden student participation in high-impact practices. These practices include early student research, mentoring by faculty and STEM professionals, academic enrichment, and career exploration through internships and other experiential learning opportunities. Project activities will be coordinated through a new academic center at Bay Path University, called the Center of Excellence for Women in STEM.

Through the support provided by NSF, Bay Path faculty will implement and extend recommendations for effective teaching in the biological sciences defined by the Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education Initiative, an initiative of the American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science. This initiative is being further advanced through the work of faculty fellows nationwide as part of the Partnership in Undergraduate Life Science Education (PULSE).