The Dowd Insurance Agencies announced that David Griffin Jr. has been promoted to Vice President. Griffin is based out of the Holyoke office and works with the other branches based in Hadley, Southampton, Ludlow, and Indian Orchard. “The Dowd Insurance Agencies is the oldest family-owned agency in Massachusetts,” said David Griffin Sr., “and I am very proud that my son has chosen to continue that legacy of family leadership. We look forward to the future with a strong management team in place. Now a part of that team, Dave earned his place by honing in on his sales and customer-service skills and adding responsibilities that benefit our internal team and our customers.” Griffin began his role as vice president this past December and looks forward to continuing to grow the organization through new-business development, strategic initiatives, operational efficiency, and managing the firm’s use of technology. “Dave has grown considerably in his evolving role here at Dowd,” said John Dowd Jr., president and CEO of the Dowd Insurance Agencies. “While sales is his primary function, his aptitude and enthusiasm for technology has been a welcome skill set for our agency, and he is now in charge of IT here at Dowd. Dave has demonstrated a command of these responsibilities in a relatively short period of time. We decided it was time to make him an officer of the corporation where he can interact regularly with senior management and help manage the overall direction of the agency going forward.” David Griffin Jr. has been a member of the Dowd team since June 2009. He began his career in the insurance industry as a property and casualty underwriter for Liberty Mutual with stops in Schaumburg, Ill. and Charlotte, N.C., before coming back to Western Mass. He is a 2007 graduate of Bentley University in Waltham, where he earned his degree in finance, and he received his designation as a certified insurance counselor in 2014. Currently, Griffin is an active member of the community, serving on the boards of directors for the Holyoke Rotary Club, the Sisters of Providence Health System (foundation board), and Wistariahurst. Additionally, he also supports the United Way of Pioneer Valley as a member of the resource development committee.
United Personnel announced the recent promotion of two staff members: Sarah Knowlton and Molly Desroches. Knowlton, formerly a junior recruiter and administrative coordinator for the Professional Staffing Division in Springfield, has been promoted to the Light Industrial Staffing Division’s Recruiter position. She has been with United Personnel for two and a half years. In her new role, she will work on the candidate pipeline for some of United Personnel’s largest clients. Knowlton is currently enrolled in the business administration program at Holyoke Community College in pursuit of her associate degree. Desroches, formerly a Light Industrial Staffing senior recruiter, has been promoted to staffing consultant for United Personnel’s Professional Staffing Division. Desroches, hired the same day as Knowlton, will serve as a resource for United Personnel’s clients and candidates, overseeing contract and direct-hire placements. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Bryant University. She is captain of a Holyoke recreational soccer team and an ambassador for the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce. Both Knowlton and Desroches serve on United Personnel’s social-media team, leveraging their human-resources knowledge to create content for various social-media platforms. “The United team is proud to see two colleagues earn promotions as part of our ‘promote from within’ policy,” President Tricia Canavan said. “We look forward to the innovation and creativity they will bring to their new roles.”
Unemployment Tax Control Associates Inc. (UTCA), a national unemployment-insurance service provider based in Springfield with an office in Boston, announced the promotion of Meghan Avery to Director of Operations. Avery draws expertise from her undergraduate studies at Hofstra University and brings nearly a decade of professional experience to UTCA, six of which were gleaned in-house. She joined the team as senior analyst in 2011, quickly advancing to lead analyst and then Client Services manager, before her most current promotion. As director of Operations, she will oversee client services and all aspects of the claims department, management education, and sales functions. She will manage key areas of the operational budget and employee development. Additionally, liaising with the CEO and director of Finance, she will be tasked with deliverables related to the company’s financial objectives, profitability, and alignment of corporate strategic goals. “Meghan’s promotion is certainly well-deserved. In addition to commendable qualifications and experience, she has demonstrated success in-house relative to operational performance,” said Tim Phelan, chief legal counsel and vice president of Client Services. “Drawing on her expertise in the cost-management area of our business, Meghan’s talents have supported the growth of UTCA, furthering the company’s ability to effectively speak to our value proposition. She is a rising star at UTCA and embodies our mission of providing the best service in the industry focusing on the client, first and foremost.”
Ruby Pontbriand has joined the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley as its Marketing and Communications Director. She brings more than five years of experience, having previously served as a corporate marketing communications specialist at MAPFRE Insurance in Webster. Previous positions include front office manager and sales director at the Hampton Inn in Sturbridge. For two years, she served as a peer advisor at the Worcester State University Academic Success Center. Pontbriand is a 2011 magna cum laude graduate of Worcester State University with a major in communications and a concentration in public communications, with a minor in theatre. Additional staff changes announced by the 1,600-member trade association include the following title changes for current staff: Laura Herring from education coordinator to director of operations, and Kim Harrison from membership and outreach coordinator to membership and meetings coordinator.
David Horgan was recently named Director of Advertising for Pride Markets. His focus has been launching the Pride 100 anniversary celebration, with outreach through television, radio, MassLive, and a newly launched website. His experience includes creating the early Gary Rome and Marcotte Ford TV campaigns, as well as election commercials for more than 30 winners, including U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and state Sen. James Welch. Previously, Horgan was director of Marketing for 1st Alliance Lending in Hartford. As part of the ongoing Pride Gives Back program, he teaches media and filmmaking to inner-city children at the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts on Wednesdays.
NetLogix recently welcomed Jenny Aldrich as Business Development Representative. Aldrich brings a background in a variety of technology organizations, ranging from IT network planning, security, and management, as well as SaaS business applications. Leveraging her experience with medical and insurance business systems will be a benefit to NetLogix’s new clients. Over the years, she has seen firsthand where IT networking solutions have provided stability, security, and growth to companies in the legal, medical, insurance, nonprofit, manufacturing, distribution, banking, and engineering fields. “I really enjoy helping companies focus on their ‘top line’ by delivering effective technology solutions,” Aldrich said. “I have worked for large, small, and tech startup companies, and one thing stays consistent: you have to really love your clients’ business as much as they do.” Added Marco Liquori, NetLogix CEO, “I am extremely excited about the opportunities that Jenny can create for NetLogix. The addition of a dedicated resource for new clients is a key to our success.”