People on the Move

John Dowd Jr.

John Dowd Jr.

Dennis Fitzpatrick

Dennis Fitzpatrick

Diane LaCosse

Diane LaCosse

James Wall

James Wall

John Dowd Jr., Dennis Fitzpatrick, Diane LaCosse, and James Wall were recently named to the board of the Sisters of Providence Ministry Corp. (SPMC). SPMC functions as the holding company for Providence Place Inc., Mary’s Meadow at Providence Place Inc., and Providence Ministries for the Needy Inc., all in Holyoke; and Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center in Westfield. The Sisters of Providence executive council serves as the corporation’s members on the SPMC board and as corporation officers; they include Sr. Kathleen Popko, president; Sr. Mary Caritas Geary, vice president; and Sr. Senga Fulton, secretary/treasurer. Dowd is president and CEO of the Dowd Insurance Agencies, and has served on numerous boards, including the Sisters of Providence Health System (SPHS) and foundation board, NUVO Bank & Trust, and CityStage and Symphony Hall. Fitzpatrick is president of the O’Connell Companies and former board chair of Brightside for Families and Children, SPHS, and Catholic Health East, of which SPHS was a founding member. LaCosse is senior vice president of United Bank’s commercial banking division in West Springfield and a member of the Providence Place/Mary’s Meadow board and finance committee. She is a volunteer for the WestMass Eldercare Money Manager Program, an associate of the Sisters of Providence, and formerly served on the Brightside for Families and Children Board. Wall retired in 2012 as global managing director of talent and chief diversity officer for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., U.S. He currently serves on two boards of trustees: as vice chair of American Management Assoc. International, NYC, and chair-elect of Providence Ministries for the Needy Inc. in Holyoke.

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Mark Wysk

Mark Wysk

Guardair Corp., the largest U.S. manufacturer of OSHA-compliant safety air guns and pneumatic vacuums, announced the hiring of Mark Wysk as the new director of Global Supply Chain. Wysk brings 30 years of industrial purchasing management experience, including international sourcing, tool-industry knowledge, and materials expertise. In his new role at Guardair, he will support manufacturing through innovative sourcing strategies and optimizing cost-saving opportunities in conjunction with annual operating plans. His focus will be on building and strengthening partnerships, providing true strategic relationships. “Mark’s expertise in improving productivity, quality, and efficiency of supply-chain operations is a tremendous asset as we continue to grow,” said Tom Tremblay, president of Guardair Corp. “We are thrilled to have him join our team.” Wysk was most recently the corporate director of Procurement at Simonds International. Prior to that, he held the position of senior manager of Global Sourcing for Lenox. He holds a master’s degree in engineering management and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, both from Western New England College. He currently serves as president of the Institute for Supply Management of Western New England and has published articles in Supply Chain World and Cutting Tool Engineering.

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Tom Schiff

Tom Schiff

Tom Schiff, the founder and executive director of Phallacies Inc., will receive an Innovative Initiative Award in March for his work with the nonprofit, which helps men create healthy masculinities through dialogue and theatrical performance. Schiff will receive the honor in person from the Men and Masculinities Knowledge Community of the National Assoc. of Student Personnel Administrators at the organization’s 100th annual conference in Philadelphia on March 3-7. The honor comes as Schiff is poised to begin to expand the organization in the region to reach and impact a broader audience of men of all ages. Phallacies Inc. provides leadership development, health education, and violence prevention for men via dialogue and innovative educational theater. It was born four years ago through Schiff’s work as a health educator at UMass, where he also founded the Men and Masculinities Center. Through Phallacies, people who identify as male between the ages of roughly 19 and 35 engage in a dialogue about masculinity and the intersections with other identities, health, violence, and relationships, and then create performance pieces as educational and thought catalysts to encourage changing the cultural scripts about masculinities. Performances take place at colleges, human-service organizations and forums, conferences, and local high schools and middle schools. Men who are involved include teachers, staff from youth and human-service agencies, and medical students. “They’re interested in getting support for themselves about how to be healthier as a man — physically, emotionally, and psychologically — and to find support for that. They are trying to rethink what it means to be a man in the world,” Schiff said. “People also get involved because they’re interested in violence prevention. Men need to speak up and speak out about these issues to help support more men and boys in creating healthy masculinities.” Schiff holds a doctoral degree in organization development from UMass, a master’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, and a bachelor’s degree in history with certification in secondary social studies from the State University of New York at Cortland.

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The board of directors at Pioneer Cold announced that Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bryan Hedge has been elected president. He joined Pioneer in 2007 as vice president of Operations, and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2012. Hedge will be responsible for all areas of Pioneer, including customer and employee satisfaction. A major part of his job will be to set priorities in strategy, asset utilization, and revenue growth, and to ensure operational excellence across the company. As COO, Hedge was the operations leader and delivered consistent improvement in all areas, including safety, capacity planning and utilization, customer satisfaction, and productivity. As a result, Pioneer achieved industry-best operational metrics as benchmarked against industry standards. Hedge came to Pioneer from Sleepy’s, where he was vice president, Logistics. Prior to that, he was vice president, Business Operations at CIS in Lenox. He also held executive-level supply-chain-management roles at Save-A-Lot Foods, Performance Food Group, and Springfield Foodservice. He spent 20 years with TruServ Corp., where he was consistently promoted to roles with increasing responsibility. Hedge is an active member of the International Assoc. of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) and serves as a member of that organization’s supply chain operations committee. He also currently serves as treasurer of the North Atlantic Chapter of the IARW. He is also a member of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. Pioneer Cold also announced two more promotions, with Susanne Gagnon becoming director of Operations and Michael Carr becoming Customer Service manager. Gagnon served most recently as Customer Service and Transportation manager. She came to Pioneer in 2004 as a Warehouse manager and was promoted to Customer Service manager in 2006. Prior to joining Pioneer, she was with C&S for 10 years and was promoted to roles with increasing levels of responsibility, working on the ‘SWAT Team’ setting up and opening new distribution centers for three years, and was promoted to Warehouse supervisor, where she spent her last two years. Carr joined Pioneer in 2003 as a Customer Service representative. In 2007, he was promoted to senior Customer Service representative and has spent the last 11 years in that role. Prior to joining Pioneer, he was a route sales/DSD delivery driver for a magazine and book distributor.

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Dr. Angela Belmont

Dr. Angela Belmont

Cooley Dickinson Health Care President and CEO Joanne Marqusee announced the appointment of Dr. Angela Belmont as vice president, Patient Care Services and chief Nursing officer (CNO). “In her new role, Angela provides leadership, oversight, and support of our leaders in the Patient Care Services division at Cooley Dickinson Health Care,” Marqusee said. “Angela is responsible for advancing our dyad program of nursing and physician collaboration, and partners with our Chief Medical Officer Dr. Estevan Garcia to focus on quality and patient safety. In this regard, Angela will help us to drive improvements in patient satisfaction and nursing practice at Cooley Dickinson.” A successful nurse administrator with more than 30 years of experience, Belmont has held progressively responsible leadership positions in acute-care hospitals throughout her career, including more than 20 years with Faxton-St. Luke’s Hospital, a 370-bed acute-care hospital in Utica, N.Y. Prior to joining Cooley Dickinson, Belmont was assistant vice president of Nursing for Mohawk Valley Health System, a community healthcare system with more than 4,000 employees that serves patients throughout three counties in upstate New York. In this role, she led efforts to significantly improve patient-care services and outcomes across the two hospital campuses. Belmont earned both her bachelor’s degree in Nursing and master’s degree in nursing administration at the State University of New York, and her doctorate in nursing practice in system leadership from Rush University in Chicago.

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Brittany Weiss, associate director of International Admissions at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, has joined the all-volunteer board of directors for the International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI). “We are very pleased to have Brittany as part of the ILI family,” said Eric Wirth, ILI board president. “Her extensive academic and professional background around the world and here at home will go far in supporting our work, including high-quality language instruction and teacher training, free English classes for immigrants and refugees, and volunteer opportunities throughout the Pioneer Valley.” Weiss has considerable experience abroad in Asia, Latin America, the United Kingdom, and Europe. Prior to joining Stoneleigh-Burnham, she was Admissions associate at the American International School of Budapest in Hungary, where she worked with students and families from more than 60 nationalities. Earlier, she served as assistant director of Alumni Engagement at her alma mater, Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, and as a resident faculty member at Emma Willard School in Troy, N.Y. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Siena College and a master’s degree in educational administration and policy studies from the University at Albany.

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The Melha Shriners, a philanthropic organization based on fun, fellowship, and Masonic principles, announced the official election and installation of their potentate (president) and his Divan (executive board). At its annual meeting, the Melha Shriners presented the potentate’s fez to Glenn Surprenant, the 108th top-ranking Shriner in Western Mass. as the organization enters its 120th year. A lifelong resident of Western Mass., Surprenant graduated from Classical High School and later pursued his passion for laboratory sciences. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from American International College in 1976, he became a registered medical technologist in Laboratory Sciences and is currently the director of Radiology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. In 1976, Surprenant married Diane Ruggeri, an assistant nurse manager, Labor & Delivery for Baystate Medical Center. After many years of observing other members of his family join the Masonic fraternity and then the Shrine, Surprenant was raised a Master Mason in the Indian Orchard Lodge in February 2006 and joined the Melha Shriners in March 2006. He has been an active member and past president of the Hadji Unit in 2014. During parades, he can be seen driving one of the brightly colored Jeepsters. Surprenant’s journey toward becoming the head Shriner in Western Mass. began in 2014 when he was appointed to the Divan line. The fellowship he espouses is seen throughout the Shrine and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield, as his cousin, Al “Poppy” Surprenant, is a member of the clown unit; his brothers, Joseph and Gary Surprenant, are both board of governors members at the hospital; and his son, Andrew, is president of the Melha Oriental Band Unit. The First Lady’s project, titled “Nursing Education: Making a Difference for the Kids,” will raise funds to provide items not normally allocated in a hospital budget; these educational items will assist the nurses in the transition to acute pediatric rehabilitation care. Said First Lady Diane, “I’d like to add more educational items that will help the staff to do even greater things than they are doing now. My hope is that my project will provide additional tools and the necessary training to expand the high-quality care the children receive here in Springfield.”

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Kayla Drinkwine

Kayla Drinkwine

Kayla Drinkwine joined Webber & Grinnell Insurance as commercial lines marketing manager. She will be responsible for quoting, negotiating, and placing the agency’s larger commercial accounts with the various insurance carriers represented by the agency. Drinkwine started her career at Phillips Insurance Agency in Chicopee. Starting as the office receptionist, she moved quickly to personal lines customer service representative and then to commercial account manager. She maintains her construction risk and insurance specialist (CRIS) and certified insurance service representative (CISR) designations from the Massachusetts Assoc. of Insurance Agents.

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