Company Notebook

News and notes about area businesses February 6, 2017

Bay Path Launches Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling

LONGMEADOW — The need for genetic counselors keeps growing; there are just 4,000 certified genetic counselors in the country today, or one for every 80,000 Americans. To respond to this need, Bay Path University has launched a new master of science program in genetic counseling, naming Nancy Steinberg Warren program director. “I am excited to help launch Bay Path’s genetic counseling graduate program,” Warren said. “By taking advantage of current instructional technology through hybrid course delivery, students from varied backgrounds will have maximum accessibility and flexibility to become genetic counselors in 21 months. Graduates will be poised to fill future clinical, research, and laboratory-based roles in this growing field.” The program is a hybrid of on-ground and online learning that will prepare graduates for careers in the burgeoning field of genetic counseling. As a profession, genetic counseling is the process of helping people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. The program will accommodate students in the university’s East Longmeadow graduate health science facility, the Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center. Online courses and hands-on field-work experience in nearby genomic laboratories will further prepare students for the growing list of jobs available in the industry. Warren comes to Bay Path with more than 30 years of experience in genetic counseling. Her primary expertise has been in education and training of students, healthcare professionals, and the public. She developed and directed the genetic-counseling graduate program at the University of Cincinnati for two decades, and she was interim director of the Long Island University Genetic Counseling Program in 2013. She has held many leadership roles in the field, including serving on the board of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) and the American Board of Genetic Counseling. Warren is credited with developing a web-based cultural and linguistic competence toolkit for the genetic-counseling profession and an online case-module series approved for continuing education, the Genetic Counseling Cultural Competence Toolkit, available at geneticcounselingtookit.com. In 2013, she was further recognized as a thought leader in the field as the first recipient of the NSGC Cultural Competency Award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a master’s degree in human genetics from Sarah Lawrence College.

Square One Awarded Mutual Impact Grant by MassMutual

SPRINGFIELD — Square One has been awarded a $100,000 grant by MassMutual through the company’s Mutual Impact community-investment program. Mutual Impact is funded by MassMutual employees through the company’s annual employee-giving program and matched by the MassMutual Foundation, a dedicated corporate foundation established by MassMutual. This is the second year that Square One has received a Mutual Impact grant. “We are so incredibly grateful to the MassMutual team for their belief in our mission and long-standing, generous support for our work,” said Kristine Allard, chief development & communications officer for Square One. “The funds we receive through this grant will support over 1,000 children and families who rely on Square One for innovative literacy programming.” The Mutual Impact program is completely driven by MassMutual employees. Employees choose cause areas and nonprofit organizations to receive funding, make donations which are matched dollar-for-dollar by the MassMutual Foundation to fund grants, and volunteer in support of the organizations they select. Selected nonprofits have demonstrated excellence in their organization, volunteer opportunities, and community impact. “Corporate responsibility and community involvement are part of our DNA, and we take great pride in helping people in the communities where we live and work secure a better future,” said Dennis Duquette, head of Community Responsibility with MassMutual and president of the MassMutual Foundation board of directors. “Square One tirelessly devotes time and energy in support of families in our local community, and we are pleased to support them through the Mutual Impact program.” Mutual Impact grants were awarded to 21 nonprofit organizations for programs that fit within specific cause areas, including early-grade reading proficiency, food security, violence prevention, family economic self-sufficiency, returning veterans, successful advancement in school, child hunger, and education.

Comcast Donates Computers to CHD Residential Program

SPRINGFIELD — The Center for Human Development (CHD) announced that Comcast has made a donation of 25 Dell Latitude laptop computers with an estimated value of $5,000 to its Caring Together residential programs. “Comcast is committed to digital literacy,” said Dan Glanville, vice president of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Comcast’s Western New England Region, which includes Western Mass. “We want the next generation of young people to be literate, use computers, and understand the resource that computers can be in their lives. Since CHD Caring Together Residential Programs focus on improving the lives of some of our community’s most vulnerable young people, we hope that these laptops can help make a crucial difference in their lives today and for their future. It is truly inspiring to learn of some of the successful stories of these youth, especially considering the challenges they have faced in their life’s journey.” The laptops will be distributed among the eight CHD Caring Together residential treatment group home locations in Western Mass. Caring Together serves youth who struggle with issues related to trauma, abuse, depression, self-harm, and substance use, among others. CHD’s on-site teams provide the youth with integrated mental-health, occupational-therapy, and nursing services, combined with direct-care staff members who are specially trained and included in the treatment plan. Referrals to all Caring Together residential treatment group homes are made through the state Department of Children and Families or Department of Mental Health. “Just about everyone these days has a phone, but the young people we serve through Caring Together do not typically come from homes where computers were either available or seen as a learning resource,” said Kimberley Lee, vice president, Office of Advancement at CHD. “The youth we serve are at transition age and may soon be living on their own, so helping them develop independent living skills is truly critical. Comcast understands the breadth and scope of CHD’s work, and their people determined that CHD Caring Together would be a prime and relevant partner to receive these donated laptops. We could not be more excited.” According to Lee, having computers on site at Caring Together programs will provide great tools to help the residents get organized with homework and research projects at school, access learning resources such as Kahn Academy, improve financial literacy and money-management skills, apply for employment, register for SATs and scholarships, complete applications for higher education, and more. “It’s important to understand that state contracts and federal funds that help pay operating expenses for Caring Together are highly prescriptive and cannot be used for things like computers,” said Lee. “This generous donation by Comcast will help CHD made a crucial difference in the lives of youth who can benefit greatly from the resources available through digital literacy.”

NetLogix Scores 99.4% Customer-satisfaction Rating for 2016

WESTFIELD — NetLogix engaged a third-party monitoring system, SmileBack, in 2016 that allows customers to rate their satisfaction with each service event. In 2016, NetLogix received an extremely favorable customer satisfaction rating of 99.4%. This is an aggregate rating over thousands of service events from clients. “We are honored that our clients are happy with the services we provide,” said Marco Liquori, CEO of NetLogix. “We continue to listen to our clients to understand and deliver the best customer experience and IT services in the region.” NetLogix posts on its website the rolling, 90-day customer-satisfaction (CSAT) scores. SmileBack also recognized NetLogix in its Dec. 21, 2016 blog as being a standout with the highest net CSAT score achieved in 2016. NetLogix is one of thousands of service providers that use the service. Headquartered in Westfield, NetLogix is a network-management, cloud, and systems technology integrator providing end-to-end solutions that ensure business integrity for small, medium, and enterprise-level clients.

Berkshire Bank Receives Three Davey Awards

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank announced it has received three Davey Awards for advertising design. The bank received silver awards for “2015 Berkshire Hills Bancorp,” an annual report; “Firestone Financial, a Berkshire Bank Company,” a brochure; and “What’s Your Game Plan?” direct sales support collateral. The Davey Awards honor the best creative products in design, web, video, mobile, advertising, and social media from small agencies all over the world. Endorsed and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, the Davey is an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a host of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms. For more information on the Davey Awards, or to read the full listing of all 2016 winners, visit www.daveyawards.com.

Valley Blue Sox Announce 2017 Schedule

SPRINGFIELD — The Valley Blue Sox recently announced their 2017 schedule. As was the case in 2016, the Sox will play a 44-game slate, with their home opener set for Thursday, June 8 against the Winnipesaukee Muskrats at 6:35 p.m. at MacKenzie Stadium in Holyoke. The Blue Sox have 10 home games slated for the month of June and 12 scheduled for July. The full schedule is available at www.valleybluesox.com. “The biggest and most important thing is that all but three home games this season will be played on a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday,” said Blue Sox President Clark Eckhoff. “That maximizes the accessibility for fans — they won’t have to worry as much about school nights, getting to work the next day, and the like. They can come out and do what they’re supposed to do at a baseball game — and that’s have fun with their families.” The Blue Sox will kick off 2017 on the road on Tuesday, June 6 versus North Adams. It’s the first time the Blue Sox have opened on the road in four years. “You know the home opener is coming no matter what — but it’s always nice to have those few extra days to get things ready the way you want them to be,” said Blue Sox General Manager Hunter Golden. “For the fans, the slightly later start date will just mean a better experience right out of the gate.” The Blue Sox promotional schedule will also be released in the coming months, Eckhoff said. “We’ve got some really exciting things on tap. Some staples like Star Wars night and Friday night fireworks will be back — and we’ve got about five new promotions that we think the fans will get really excited about.” Individual game tickets will go on sale starting March 1 and will cost $7 for adults and $5 for kids and seniors. Season tickets, flex packs, and group tickets are already on sale, and can be purchased either online at www.valleybluesox.com or by calling the Blue Sox ticket office at (413) 533-1100.

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