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Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2021 Chairman’s Council of New York Life. Members of the Chairman’s Council rank in the top 4% of New York Life’s more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. Deliso has accomplished this level of achievement for 10 consecutive years.

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 is a member of Nautilus Group, an exclusive advanced-planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies.

She is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that help position clients for a solid financial future. She has been working in the financial field for more than 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry.

A certified financial planner, Deliso has developed an expertise in assisting business owners and individuals protecting and securing their and their family’s future. Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash-flow planning, risk management, investment, retirement, and estate planning. She is committed to customizing financial plans for each person’s unique situation.

Deliso currently serves on and has held chairman of the board positions at Baystate Health Foundation and the Community Music School of Springfield. She is also a former board member of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse, a former trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and a member of the Bay Path University advisory board.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso of the Connecticut Valley General Office of New York Life, an agent since 1995, has received the Agent of the Year Award for 2020. This award recognizes the agent who has achieved the top production among all agents at the company’s Connecticut Valley General Office.

“We applaud Jean for this achievement,” said Steven Solonch, managing partner of the Connecticut Valley General Office. “Being acknowledged as the Agent of the Year is a significant accomplishment. She received this recognition for her ability to meet the financial needs of families and businesses in the Western Massachusetts/Southern Connecticut area.”

Deliso has developed an expertise in helping business owners and individuals protect and secure their own and their family’s future. Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash and risk management, retirement, and estate planning. She is committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment.

She is a Nautilus Group member agent, an exclusive advanced-planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies. Her access to this exclusive resource enables her clients to benefit from the group’s collective experience and insightful solutions as they apply to the protection, accumulation, and distribution of wealth to individuals, families, and business owners throughout the country.

Deliso has also been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1999. 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.

Active in her community, she currently serves on the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and is the immediate past chairman. She also serves on and is the past chairman of the board of the Community Music School of Springfield and is the past chairman of the board of YMCA of Greater Springfield. She is a graduate of Bentley College.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2020 Chairman’s Council of New York Life. Members of the 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. She has accomplished this level of achievement for nine consecutive years.

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 is a member of the Nautilus Group, an exclusive, advanced planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies.

She is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that help position clients for a solid financial future. She has worked in the financial field for more than 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry.

Deliso has developed an expertise assisting business owners and individuals protecting and securing their and their family’s future. Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash and risk management, investment, retirement, and estate planning. She is fully committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment.

She currently serves on and has held chairman of the board positions at Baystate Health Foundation and the Community Music School of Springfield. She is also a former board member of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse, a former trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and a former member of the Bay Path University advisory board.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2019 Chairman’s Council of New York Life. Members of the Chairman’s Council rank in the top 3% of New York Life’s elite sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. She has accomplished this level of achievement for eight consecutive years.

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 is a Nautilus Group member, an exclusive, advanced planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies.

She is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that help position clients for a solid financial future. She has been working in the financial field for more than 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry.

Deliso has developed an expertise in assisting business owners and individuals protecting and securing their and their family’s future. Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash and risk management, investment, retirement, and estate planning. She is committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment.

Deliso currently serves on and has held chairman of the board positions at Baystate Health Foundation, the Community Music School of Springfield, and the YMCA of Greater Springfield. She is also a former board member of Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse, a former trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and a member of the Bay Path University advisory board.

Women of Impact 2019

Principal, Deliso Financial Services

She Helps People — and the Community — Get Where They Need to Be

Jean Deliso likes to say she is part financial advisor, part therapist.

This description of her work as owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services in Agawam sums up not only what she does, but how she does it. Indeed, while the primary objective of her job is to provide financial advice to her clients, she is also committed to forming a personal relationship with each individual who sits in front of her in order to better understand exactly where they are financially and where they want to be — and help them get there.

This is especially true with women, a rewarding niche, if one chooses to call it that, for Deliso, who has, over the course of her 25-year career in this field, become a specialist in empowering women and positioning them for a solid financial future, as well as during times of transition, such as divorce and widowhood.

“I spend a lot of time trying to speak to women because I want them to not be afraid and get educated so they understand that the decision they make, or the lack of the decision they’re making, is going to make a difference in their lives,” Deliso told BusinessWest. “We deserve equality, but we as women need to believe that we deserve equality.”

But helping women — and all her clients — chart a course for a lifetime of financial stability is only one of many reasons why Deliso has been chosen as a Woman of Impact for 2019.

She is also heavily involved in the community, especially with groups and causes that impact children and families. She currently serves as chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation, and is immediate past chairman of the Community Music School, for example, and is also past chair of the board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and past trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Mass.

Meanwhile, as the daughter and granddaughter of entrepreneurs (more on that later), and a successful one herself, she is also a mentor to young entrepreneurs, especially women, through work with Valley Venture Mentors.

Talking about the various aspects of her life — her work, her involvement in the community, and her family life — Deliso said they all connect and flow together.

“Most people in life think they have it figured out and that they’re all set, but the reality is, they’re not. We’re all very busy people, and, because of that, we don’t take care of ourselves.”

“Some people are different at work than they are at home, but I’m the same way throughout,” she said. “I’ve really identified that my effort in my business matches what I do in the community, and matches who I am. All three components are aligned.”

Together, they make her a true Woman of Impact, as noted by Scott Berg, vice president of Philanthropy at Baystate Health, executive director of the Baystate Health Foundation — and a client of Deliso Financial Services, one of her several people who nominated her.

“Jean is an outstanding person, both professionally and personally. She has built a successful business focused on helping people reach their financial goals,” he wrote. “I believe the key to Jean’s business success has been her unwavering dedication to the community; she is a person, both in business and in the community, who leads by example.”

On-the-money Advice

Deliso told BusinessWest that her strong work ethic, commitment to the community, desire to help others, and, yes, leadership by example are all what she calls family traits.

Indeed, she said she grew up in a family of entrepreneurs — her grandfather, Joseph Deliso Sr., founded HBA Cast Products, later run by her father — who made a point of donating time, energy, and talent to the community.

Her grandfather was one of the founders of Springfield Technical Community College, and his name is on one of the academic buildings on the historic campus.

Jean Deliso doesn’t have any buildings named after her — yet. But she is certainly following the lead of the generations before her when it comes to being an entrepreneur and giving back.

“My work at the YMCA, the Community Music School, and Baystate is all about helping children and helping those in this community who are not as fortunate as I was growing up,” she said. “I had wonderful parents, great role models, and grew up in an entrepreneurial family who were community-minded and taught me that hard work, dedication, giving back, and being kind to others was the way to live.”

With regard to entrepreneurship, Deliso said she knew early on that she wanted to work for herself, and she’s been doing that for 20 years now. After working in the family business in Florida, she relocated to Western Mass., where she consulted with small-business owners on financial operations and maximizing performance. She then segued into financial planning and has become a regional leader in that field.

Jean Deliso, seen here speaking with attendees at a Baystate Health Foundation event, has continued a family tradition of being active within the community.

She has been a New York Life agent since 1995, and is associated with the company’s Connecticut Valley General Office in Windsor, Conn. She is currently enjoying her seventh year as part of New York Life’s Chairman’s Council, ranking in the top 3% of the company’s sales force of more than 12,000 agents.

While such honors and accolades are rewarding, Deliso finds it more rewarding to assist individual clients, guide them through what can be a very difficult process at times, and help them make the right decisions to set them up for a financially stable future.

“Most people in life think they have it figured out and that they’re all set, but the reality is, they’re not,” she said. “We’re all very busy people, and, because of that, we don’t take care of ourselves.”

This is particularly true with women, she noted, adding that they often outlive their husbands and, too often, are not involved in the family’s financial planning.

“I like to educate women because I cringe when I hear the words, ‘oh, I’ll let my husband take care of that,’” Deliso said. “The value of a woman is so important, and I think we, as women, undervalue ourselves a lot.”

So, Deliso and her “small but mighty staff,” as she describes it, helps clients set goals and objectives, and then assists them with getting from point A (where they are) to point B (where they want to be, up to retirement and then through it).

“I will find the disconnects from where they are versus where they want to be, and I help them build this bridge to get them to where they want to be,” she said, adding that this sometimes includes asking difficult questions.

“She is a believer in developing positive assets for youth — whether through improved medical care, quality programs for children before, during, and after school hours, or gaining self-awareness through the power of music.”

These include ‘have you thought of the what-ifs?’ and ‘are you prepared?’

All too often, the answers the answer to those questions is ‘no,’ she went on, adding that she has a passion for turning ‘no’ into ‘yes.’

Balance Sheet

To get this point across, Deliso summoned a case from very early in her career — new clients who provided a critical lesson in being ready for one of those ‘what ifs.’

A young couple in their 30s had two young children and wanted to buy a house. Deliso sat down with them and talked about their goals and asked them those difficult questions mentioned above, especially the one about what would happen if something happened to one of them.

The couple decided they wanted college taken care of for their two children, and also wanted to take care of their mortgage. So, Deliso put them on a savings plan, bought them life insurance, and got them on track to start saving money.

Two years after she started working with this couple, she got a call from the husband: his wife passed away at the age of 32.

His first question, Deliso recalled, was ‘how am I going to do this?’ Her quick answer was that he could do it because of the plan she put in place for him.

“From that moment, those two children went to college because we put money aside for that college education,” she said. “We paid off most of the mortgage because I made sure that that family would be fine if one of those incomes went away, and that’s exactly what happened. This was so powerful that it cemented me in this career.”

Likewise, her family’s deep commitment to the community cemented in her the need to get involved and stay involved. And, as noted, this involvement often involves institutions and initiatives with missions focused on families and children.

Berg summed up this commitment in his nomination of Deliso.

“In addition to impacting the lives of her clients, she has influenced, both directly and indirectly, countless lives through her volunteer efforts at the Baystate Health Foundation, the YMCA, and the Community Music School,” he wrote. “As can be seen in the agencies with which she has given so much time, she is a believer in developing positive assets for youth — whether through improved medical care, quality programs for children before, during, and after school hours, or gaining self-awareness through the power of music. This dedication to our youngest community members is truly an investment in the next generation of our community’s leaders.”

Elaborating, Berg noted that how Deliso serves the community is as important as where she trains those efforts, specifically with enthusiasm that is contagious and strong leadership.

“When Jean presents to the Baystate Health Foundation board of trustees, she strives to make her words resonate, to encourage introspection, and to promote enthusiasm,” he wrote. “Her passion is a reminder to all trustees why they have chosen to commit themselves to moving the foundation mission forward and the true impact it has on its beneficiaries. Jean is exactly what you would want in a leader.”

Her leadership skills were recognized, and applauded, by the Professional Women’s Chamber, which named her Woman of the Year in 2013.

Investments in the Community

As noted, there were several nominations for the Woman of Impact honor with Deliso’s name on them. Collectively, they do a fine job of explaining why she was chosen.

In hers, Judy Moore, director of Client Management at Deliso Financial, noted that working for Deliso has given her an inside look at all the hard work she invests in order to ensure her clients get the best service possible.

“Working for her for 11 years, I can attest to the fact that her high level of professionalism and ethics is astonishing, and her clients reap the benefits of that on a daily basis,” said Moore. “She never tires of giving back to the community and making lives better through her various work, both professionally and altruistically.”

Those sentiments effectively sum up both Deliso’s life’s work and her commitment to the community. In both realms, she always has one eye on today, and the other on tomorrow.

“What I do for a living makes a difference in people’s lives,” she said. “If I can make an impact on someone’s life, that’s a good day.”

Kayla Ebner can be reached at [email protected]

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso, CFP has been selected for membership in the Nautilus Group, a service of New York Life. The Nautilus Group is a planning resource comprised of financial professionals experienced in taxes, law, life insurance, accounting, and charitable giving.

Deliso’s access to this exclusive resource enables her clients and their other financial advisors to benefit from the group’s collective experience and solutions as they apply to the protection, accumulation, and distribution of wealth to individuals, families, and business owners throughout the country.

Deliso is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that position clients for a solid financial future. Her 30-year experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash management, risk management, investment, and retirement planning. She has developed an expertise in assisting business owners with protecting and securing their future. She is also fully committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment.

She has been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1999. Members of the 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 currently serves on and is past chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and the Community Music School of Springfield. She has also served on the board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2018 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. She has accomplished this level of achievement for seven consecutive years.

Deliso is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that help position clients for a solid financial future since 2000. She has been working in the financial field for 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry. She is a graduate of Bentley College.

Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash management, risk management, investment planning, and financial preparation for retirement, as well as times of transition such as divorce or widowhood.

Deliso has been a New York Life agent since 1995 and is associated with New York Life’s CT Valley General Office in Windsor, Conn. She is currently chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and is a board member 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 a past trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and the advisory council at Bay Path University.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2017 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 for six consecutive years.

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 CT Valley General Office in Windsor, Conn. She is currently chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and a board member 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.

Deliso Financial and Insurance Services is not owned or operated by New York Life Insurance Co. or any of its affiliates.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2016 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 for five consecutive years.

Deliso’s 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. She has been a New York Life agent since 1995 and is associated with New York Life’s Connecticut Valley General Office in Windsor, Conn.

Deliso 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.

Deliso Financial and Insurance Services is not owned or operated by New York Life Insurance Co. or any of its affiliates.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean M. Deliso, CFP, from the CT Valley General Office of New York Life, recently joined a select group of agents who are authorized to offer AARP members a range of financial solutions through AARP life insurance, annuity and long-term care options from New York Life. To become part of this group of agents, Deliso followed a certification process established by New York Life, which includes extensive training on products and regulations, education on evaluating client needs, state licensing and a commitment to service.

AARP Services, AARP’s for-profit subsidiary, provides quality control over the certification process and training.

Deliso, is president/owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing in comprehensive planning designed to help position clients for a solid financial future. Her extensive experience in several areas has helped lead to a reputation for certain specializations, such as assisting people in planning for their financial future, particularly in preparation for retirement as well as in times of transition such as divorce or widowhood.

After graduating from Bentley University, Deliso spent seven years in the public accounting profession before transitioning to Financial Services in which she has been working for more than 20 years.

New York Life has been offering AARP-branded products to AARP members since 1994. Since then, the relationship has grown to include a portfolio of annuity products (added in 2006) and now most recently long-term care options in [2016].

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso, CFP, from the Connecticut Valley General Office of New York Life, is now authorized to offer AARP-branded life insurance and lifetime-income annuity products to AARP members. It is the first time these group-life-insurance products are offered by authorized-to-offer agents.

Deliso is among a select group of New York Life agents who became authorized to offer her clients AARP Guaranteed Acceptance Life, AARP Level Benefit Term, and AARP Permanent Life Insurance, all from New York Life and New York Life’s Guaranteed Lifetime Income Annuity. She is a licensed insurance agent and passed courses specific to AARP.

Deliso has been a New York Life agent since 1995. 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.

Since 1994, AARP group-life products from New York Life have been available via direct mail to AARP members. The company has also been the provider of group lifetime-income annuities to AARP members since 2006.

Daily News

AGAWAM — 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.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso, president of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services and a 20-plus-year veteran of the financial-planning profession, recently earned one of the premier designations in financial services as a certified financial planner (CFP). This certification is generally recognized as the highest standard in personal financial planning.

Deliso is committed to educating individuals about their finances and has helped them take control of their unique situations since she has been in practice. Achieving this certification, she said, further heightens her ability to help lead her clients to personal success and financial freedom. She works with many business and high-net-worth individuals providing retirement and estate planning. She also assists women in planning for their financial future, particularly in times of transition such as divorce or widowhood.

The CFP Board holds its members to the highest degree of ethical standards and professional conduct. As a designated certified financial planner, Deliso promises to uphold this high level of conduct and ensures that her clients will receive the most extensive and comprehensive level of financial planning. The CFP Board was founded in 1985 as a nonprofit organization that serves the public interest by promoting the value of professional, competent, and ethical financial-planning services, as represented by those who have attained CFP certification.

Established in 2000, Deliso Financial and Insurance Services is a complete financial-services agency; however, Deliso’s extensive experience in several areas has led to a reputation for certain specializations.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Jean Deliso has been named a member of the 2014 Chairman’s Council of New York Life. Members of the elite Chairman’s Council rank in the top 3% in sales achievement among New York Life’s elite sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents.
 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.

Deliso began her career in corporate accounting in Tampa, Fla., where she consulted with small-business owners on financial operations and maximizing performance. She 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 Pioneer Valley AAA Auto Club and Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse, and is currently chairman of the board at the Community Music School of Springfield. She is a past chairman of the board at the YMCA of Greater Springfield and a past trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and the Bay Path College Advisory Board.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Deliso Financial and Insurance Services announced that Nicole Stuart has joined the firm as practice coordinator. She will be responsible for providing service to Deliso’s clients as well as performing day-to-day administration and operational functions for the firm.

“I am excited and proud to join the Deliso Financial & Insurance Services team,” Stuart said. “Their reputation demonstrates the level of quality resources and service standards that align with my goals to execute the most advantageous and expedient financial solutions for our clients’ needs.”

Stuart attended Bay Path University, where she received an MBA in entrepreneurship and innovative practices. She brings more than 20 years of professional experience in finance, banking, and bookkeeping.

“Nicole’s background and experience will complement our core service offerings,” said Jean Deliso, CFP, president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services. “She is client-focused, and her enthusiastic personality and strong organizational skills are a perfect fit with the rest of our team. We look forward to her support in our efforts to expand our capabilities and becoming an integral part of Deliso Financial & Insurance Services.”

Deliso is a registered representative offering securities through NYLIFE Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a licensed insurance agency, and a financial adviser offering investment-advisory services through Eagle Strategies LLC, a registered investment adviser. Deliso Financial and Insurance Services is not owned or operated by NYLIFE Securities LLC or its affiliates.

People on the Move
Caitlin Trites

Caitlin Trites

Bill Kemple

Bill Kemple

Trina Moskal

Trina Moskal

The Wealth Transition Collective Inc., a values-based, full-service financial-planning firm in Holyoke, recently announced personnel news regarding three team members. Caitlin Trites recently passed the Securities Industry Essentials and Series 6 exams and has been promoted to registered client relationship manager. She has 13 years of financial-services industry experience. Bill Kemple was recently awarded Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor designation. CPFA designees are financial professionals that demonstrate expertise and experience working with qualified retirement plans. During the CPFA certification, candidates spend two months learning about fiduciary services for qualified retirement plans. Kemple recently celebrated his one-year anniversary with the Wealth Transition Collective and brings more than 13 years of financial-services experience helping individuals, families, and small business owners oversee their fiduciary affairs. Trina Moskal has joined the firm as a Medicare planning specialist. She will be responsible for new business development as well as working with firm clients on their individual Medicare and Social Security planning needs in the pre- and post-retirement life stages. Moskal has held a number of leadership positions in the healthcare community, and earned a master’s degree in healthcare management from Bay Path University.

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Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2021 Chairman’s Council of New York Life. Members of the Chairman’s Council rank in the top 4% of New York Life’s more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. Deliso has accomplished this level of achievement for 10 consecutive years. 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 is a member of Nautilus Group, an exclusive advanced-planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies. She is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that help position clients for a solid financial future. She has been working in the financial field for more than 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry. A certified financial planner, Deliso has developed an expertise in assisting business owners and individuals protecting and securing their and their family’s future. Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash-flow planning, risk management, investment, retirement, and estate planning. Deliso currently serves on and has held chairman of the board positions at Baystate Health Foundation and the Community Music School of Springfield. She is also a former board member of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse, a former trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and a member of the Bay Path University advisory board.

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Two employees who have been coordinating UMass Amherst’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic since March were recently honored by Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy for their efforts. Ann Becker, campus Public Health director and a clinical associate professor in the Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, and Jeffrey Hescock, executive director of Environmental Health and Safety and Emergency Management, were awarded the Chancellor’s Medal at a recent tribute dinner. Hescock and Becker are the co-directors of the university’s Public Health Promotion Center (PHPC), which has been the home to the UMass COVID testing and vaccination programs. The Chancellor’s Medal is the highest honor the campus bestows on individuals, and is given for exemplary and extraordinary service to the university. Becker and Hescock had worked together before the pandemic on urgent issues of campus public health and safety, including their successful effort to stem a campus meningitis outbreak. When COVID-19 hit, they once again combined their respective expertise in public health and emergency management to quickly develop a response strategy for the campus, including the establishment of the PHPC, which became one of the largest asymptomatic COVID testing resources in the Commonwealth. They continually evolved the PHPC from a testing site to a vaccination clinic as well.

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Jenna Rahilly

Jenna Rahilly

Florence Bank appointed Jenna Rahilly to serve as vice president and Human Resources Operations director. She is a 23-year veteran in the banking industry with 28 years of professional human-resources experience. Rahilly most recently served as vice president of Human Resources for a local credit union. Her duties included the overall management of the credit union’s human-resources function, which encompassed the development and implementation of policies related to employee relations, organizational development, recruitment, compensation and benefits, training, and human-resources compliance. Rahilly studied at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English.

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Eric Frazier

Eric Frazier

Eric Frazier joined OMG Roofing Products as the market manager for its growing line of roofing adhesives. In his newly created position, Frazier is responsible for developing marketing strategies and sales-execution plans for the adhesive-product category, including OMG’s popular line of OlyBond500 adhesives. In this capacity, he will work closely with product management, marketing communications, as well as the field sales team to deliver adhesive solutions to OMG customers. He reports to Adam Cincotta, vice president of the Adhesives & Solar Business unit. Frazier has extensive experience in brand and product-line commercialization as a product marketing manager. He comes to OMG from Techtronic Industries of Anderson, S.C., where he spent more than six years, most recently as group product manager responsible for leading product development and marketing efforts within its Ryobi and Hart brands. He holds a master’s degree in marketing from Southern New Hampshire University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I.

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Professor Jennifer Taub of the Western New England University School of Law has recently been elected to the American Law Institute (ALI), the leading independent organization in the U.S. producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. The organization includes judges, lawyers, and law professors from the U.S. and abroad, selected on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law. Taub will join 24 new members from across the country to advance the ALI mission to clarify the law through restatements, principles, and model codes. At WNE School of Law, she teaches civil procedure, white-collar crime, and other business and commercial law courses. A legal scholar and advocate, she is devoted to making complex business-law topics engaging inside and outside of the classroom. Her scholarly research and writing centers on corporate governance, banking and financial market regulation, and white-collar crime. Similarly, her advocacy is focused on ‘follow the money’ matters, promoting transparency and opposing corruption. Her book, Big Dirty Money: The Shocking Injustice and Unseen Cost of White Collar Crime, was published in 2020 by Viking Press. Penguin Books published the paperback edition of Big Dirty Money last month with a new subtitle: Making White Collar Criminals Pay, with a new preface and epilogue updates.

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Andrea Kwaczala, assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering (BME) in the Western New England University College of Engineering, has been named a 2021 Woman of Innovation for her efforts in post-secondary academic innovation and leadership by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. Kwaczala was among 11 exceptional Connecticut women recognized for their achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the 17th annual Women of Innovation awards held virtually on Oct. 14. Women of Innovation finalists are nominated by their peers, co-workers, and mentors and are selected based on their professional experience, history of innovation, ability to think creatively and solve problems, and demonstration of leadership. The Post-Secondary Academic Innovation and Leadership award is granted to a woman working in the post-secondary academic setting who has created and fostered STEM programs in curriculum development, student research, and teacher-student collaborations. Each finalist has secured outside funding to support her work and/or received peer recognition for her leadership and innovation. The prestigious awards were earned by women innovators, role models, and leaders in STEM disciplines. They were selected from a field of 26 finalists — the scientists, researchers, academics, manufacturers, student leaders, entrepreneurs, and technicians who are catalysts for scientific advancement throughout Connecticut.

People on the Move
Nadzeya Shkoda

Nadzeya Shkoda

Jonathan Cohen-Gorczyca

Jonathan Cohen-Gorczyca

Melanson announced the promotion of two of its newest managers: Nadzeya Shkoda, CPA, and Jonathan Cohen-Gorczyca, CPA. Shkoda has been in the accounting profession for almost a decade and is a part of the Governmental Services team out of the Greenfield office. She joined Melanson in 2014 and works on approximately 15 municipal audits annually. She enjoys participating in the Governmental Accounting Standards Board group and how auditing presents new challenges each day. She received a master of science in accountancy degree at Westfield State University in 2011. She holds memberships with the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Cohen-Gorczyca has been working at Melanson for more than nine years. As part of its Commercial Services team in Greenfield, he advises businesses and individuals on tax, management, compliance, and other accounting and planning matters. Over the last year, he has been particularly focused on helping clients with their Paycheck Protection Program loans. He received his master of science in accountancy degree from Western New England University in 2013 and is a member of MSCPA and AICPA. He also serves on the board of trustees for the Greenfield Public Library as well as his condo association.

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Alan Tabin

Alan Tabin

Local home builder and developer Alan Tabin, announced he has joined B & B Real Estate in Holyoke as a licensed real-estate agent. Tabin has been active in the real-estate industry throughout his adult life. As co-owner of Home Improvement Associates, LLC, he grew a successful construction business over three decades. His expertise as a builder includes custom homes, investment property, rehabbing, and residential and commercial renovations. His experience in real-estate development includes a residential subdivision of new homes and a 25-unit condominium project in South Hadley known as Jacob’s Edge. “I am excited to offer my unique expertise as a builder to home buyers, sellers, and potential investors,” Tabin said. “My knowledge of construction, local building resources and contacts, and the real-estate market can be valuable to anyone wanting to buy, sell, or invest in real estate.”

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Nicole Stuart

Nicole Stuart

Deliso Financial and Insurance Services announced that Nicole Stuart has joined the firm as practice coordinator. She will be responsible for providing service to Deliso’s clients as well as performing day-to-day administration and operational functions for the firm. “I am excited and proud to join the Deliso Financial & Insurance Services team,” Stuart said. “Their reputation demonstrates the level of quality resources and service standards that align with my goals to execute the most advantageous and expedient financial solutions for our clients’ needs.” Stuart attended Bay Path University, where she received an MBA in entrepreneurship and innovative practices. She brings more than 20 years of professional experience in finance, banking, and bookkeeping. “Nicole’s background and experience will complement our core service offerings,” said Jean Deliso, CFP, president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services. “She is client-focused, and her enthusiastic personality and strong organizational skills are a perfect fit with the rest of our team. We look forward to her support in our efforts to expand our capabilities and becoming an integral part of Deliso Financial & Insurance Services.”

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Josh Kelly

Josh Kelly

Brent Fournier

Brent Fournier

Elli-Ann Oskar

Elli-Ann Oskar

OMG Inc. recently promoted Josh Kelly to senior vice president for Business Development and Brent Fournier to director of Procurement. Meanwhile, OMG Roofing Products hired Elli-Ann Oskar as Sales and Marketing assistant. In his new role, Kelly will focus on strategic growth opportunities, including mergers and acquisitions, product development, licensing, as well as strategies to expand OMG’s business. He started with OMG in 1991 as a project coordinator and has held several positions within the roofing division, including key account manager, vice president of Marketing, general manager, and, most recently, vice president of Product Development and Innovation. Kelly is a member of the Single Ply Roofing Industry trade association, a past president of the Roofing Industry Alliance, and a current member of the board of directors for the National Roofing Contractors Assoc. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and an MBA from Western New England University. In his new role, Fournier will develop and implement procurement strategies that meet OMG’s customer demands by focusing on customer service, reduced supply-chain risk, as well as stronger supply partnerships across the value chain. Fournier started with OMG as part of the Tiger Claw acquisition in 2011, as a service delivery manager, and was promoted to manager of Purchasing in January 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Connecticut State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. In her new role, Oskar is responsible for a wide assortment of administrative functions to support the sales and marketing teams, as well as the company’s key account managers and Customer Service department. Prior to joining OMG, she was a Business Development assistant at Teracode. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Westfield State University.

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The Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts (GSCWM) elected eight new members to board of directors at its virtual annual meeting on June 23. The new board members, all of whom will serve a two-year term, include Carla Carten, executive director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy for Mass General Brigham Health Care; Ella Grant, senior Girl Scout and student at Tantasqua Regional High School; Lisa Greene, director of Patient Accounts/HIM for AdCare Hospital of Worcester; Kate Kane, Wealth Management advisor for Northwestern Mutual; Shirley Konneh, assistant director at the Center for Career Development at the College of the Holy Cross; Laura Marotta, co-founder and executive director of Creative Hub Worcester; Roberta McCullough-Dews, director of Administrative Services within the Office of the Pittsfield Mayor and Public Information officer for the City of Pittsfield; and Addison Witkes, senior Girl Scout and student at Wachusett Regional High School. “I am pleased to welcome, and thrilled to have the privilege to serve on the board with, these new members,” said Joan Bertrand, GSCWM board president. “They are dynamic individuals with diverse talents and experiences to help oversee the operations of the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts and further our mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”

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Lisa Cohen

Lisa Cohen

Health New England announced the recent appointment of Lisa Cohen to the role of vice president of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. In this position, Cohen is responsible for leading Health New England’s financial strategy, accounting, actuarial, underwriting, and financial reporting, ensuring its ability to provide cost-effective healthcare coverage while maintaining high-quality member care. Cohen joins Health New England’s executive leadership team and reports directly to Richard Swift, president and CEO. Cohen comes to Health New England from Fallon Health in Worcester, where she was vice president of Financial Planning and Accounting Operations, and served as interim chief financial officer in 2019. Prior to Fallon Health, Cohen was chief financial officer for Ascentria Care Alliance. She also served as chief financial officer at the PACE Organization of Rhode Island. Cohen earned her bachelor of science in accounting and MBA degrees from the UMass Dartmouth. She has been a member of the American Institute of CPAs for more than 20 years, and maintains active certification as a certified public accountant and certified global management accountant.

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Lara Sharp

Lara Sharp

Lara Sharp has been named dean of the School of STEM at Springfield Technical Community College. Sharp’s professional experience includes six years at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, Fla., as the program director for Engineering, Manufacturing and Building Arts, and also serving as the acting dean of Natural Sciences, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Building Arts. From 2013 to 2015, she was at the Corporate College of Polk State College in Winter Haven, Fla., managing National Science Foundation and Department of Labor grants in advanced manufacturing and engineering technology. Sharp spent more than 11 years teaching chemistry, natural science, and engineering to high-school students at various locations. Sharp also brings industry experience, having worked at Specialty Minerals Inc. as a process engineer and an operator technician as well as an educational consultant for PASCO Scientific. She has been recognized for her outstanding teaching as well as her community engagement, including a STEM Woman of the Year Award from Girls Inc. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

People on the Move
Beth Zapatka

Beth Zapatka

Springfield College announced that Beth Zapatka has been hired as the new vice president for Institutional Advancement, following a national and competitive search. Zapatka comes to Springfield College from Yale University, where she served as associate dean for Development and Alumni Affairs for the Yale School of Nursing. She will join the President’s Leadership Team on July 1 and oversee all institutional-advancement efforts, including the departments of Advancement Services, Alumni Relations, and Development. In a nine-year career at Yale, Zapatka held numerous roles that created a well-rounded set of experiences in institutional advancement that are directly transferable to Springfield College. In her most recent role in the School of Nursing, her accomplishments include securing significant new resources — nearly tripling contributions to the school — overseeing a rebranding campaign, building university-wide collaborations, broadening the use of social-media platforms, and reinvigorating the alumni and advisory boards.

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Slandie Dieujuste

Slandie Dieujuste

Springfield College announced that Slandie Dieujuste has been hired as vice president for Student Affairs. She is currently vice provost for Student Affairs and dean of students at Massasoit Community College, a position she has held since 2018. She will start her new role at Springfield College on July 1. Dieujuste will join the Springfield College President’s Leadership Team and play a key leadership role in fostering a sense of inclusion and engagement in a diverse and vibrant community. Working with students, faculty, and staff, she will be responsible for developing a comprehensive co-curricular vision for life on campus. Prior to her current role at Massasoit Community College, Dieujuste was associate vice provost for Residence and Greek Life at Illinois Institute of Technology. She also held student-affairs leadership positions at Governors State University, Jackson College, Saint Mary’s College, and Northeastern University. She received her PhD in higher education administration from Andrews University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston College. Dieujuste will lead the Springfield College Division of Student Affairs, which includes the following offices and programs: Spiritual Life, Community Standards, Alcohol and Other Drug Education, Dean of Students, Student Orientation Programs, Career Center, Counseling Center, Housing and Residence Life, Student Activities and Campus Union, Campus Recreation, Center for Service and Leadership, and the Health Center.

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Western New England University announced the appointment of Basil Andrew Stewart as vice president for Finance and Administration after a comprehensive national search. Currently, he is vice president for Finance and chief financial officer for Lasell University and assistant treasurer and chief financial officer of Lasell Village in Newton. At Western New England, Stewart will serve as the chief financial officer for the university. Stewart will be responsible for the university’s finance and budgeting, internal audits, facilities management and construction, campus police, risk management, information technology, and auxiliary services. As CFO, he will serve as chief advisor to the president on financial and administrative matters and will have administrative responsibility to the board of trustees by providing administrative support to its finance, audit, and investment committees. Prior to his current post, Stewart served as chief financial officer and senior vice president for Finance and Administration at Merrimack College and held controller posts at such prestigious institutions as MIT, Northeastern, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Smith College, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. He held auditing posts for the Gillette Co. and Coopers & Lybrand. He earned his MBA and a BBA in accounting from UMass Amherst. He is a board member of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education and Boston Senior Home Care Inc. and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Inc. and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants Inc. He holds designations as a chartered global management accountant and certified public accountant. Stewart, who joins Western New England University in June, succeeds retiring Vice President for Finance and Administration Richard Wagner, who also served as director of Institutional Leadership and Planning for 18 years.

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Alex Fullerton

Alex Fullerton

Kristina Smith

Kristina Smith

Christina Reynolds

Christina Reynolds

Tara Sanderson

Tara Sanderson

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union announced four recent promotions. Alex Fullerton has been promoted to assistant vice president of Loan Operations. In this new role, he is responsible for providing leadership, oversight, and direction for all consumer-lending activities. Fullerton has been with the credit union for nine years and has held numerous roles, beginning as a teller, and most recently a supervisor of the Debt Solutions department. Kristina Smith has been promoted to assistant vice president of Retail Administration. Transitioning from overseeing retail branches, she now supports frontline teams to help plan and implement organizational growth projects; manage retail policies, procedures, and training; as well as assist with retail programs to ensure operational efficiencies are maintained. Beginning as a part-time teller after graduating from UMass Amherst, her assorted roles at the credit union over the past 12 years have prepared her for this new position. Smith’s UMassFive career includes working as the assistant to the former president/CEO manager of the Mercy Medical Center branch and senior branch manager in Hadley. Christina Reynolds has been promoted to Card Services manager. She began her career at UMassFive 10 years ago as a part-time online banking specialist in the Contact Center, eventually taking on other various branch assignments, including most recently the Northampton branch manager position. In her new role, she oversees the Card Services department, ensuring debit- and credit-card quality control and audit processes are in place while also maintaining policies to maximize efficiency and service to members. Tara Sanderson has been promoted to loan servicing manager. She began her career at UMassFive in December of 2017 as a loan servicing specialist. She was promoted to senior loan servicing specialist in mid-2019, shortly followed by a promotion to loan servicing supervisor. In her new position as loan servicing manager, Sanderson oversees both the loan-processing and loan-servicing aspects of lending to ensure compliance and maximize efficiency and service internally as well as for UMassFive members.

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Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso of the Connecticut Valley General Office of New York Life, an agent since 1995, has received the Agent of the Year Award for 2020. This award recognizes the agent who has achieved the top production among all agents at the company’s Connecticut Valley General Office. Deliso has developed an expertise in helping business owners and individuals protect and secure their own and their family’s future. Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash and risk management, retirement, and estate planning. She is committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment. She is a Nautilus Group member agent, an exclusive advanced-planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies. Her access to this exclusive resource enables her clients to benefit from the group’s collective experience and insightful solutions as they apply to the protection, accumulation, and distribution of wealth to individuals, families, and business owners throughout the country. Deliso has also been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1999. 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. Active in her community, she currently serves on the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and is the immediate past chairman. She also serves on and is the past chairman of the board of the Community Music School of Springfield and is the past chairman of the board of YMCA of Greater Springfield. She is a graduate of Bentley College.

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Cynthia Malinowski

Cynthia Malinowski

Florence Bank named Cynthia Malinowski as this year’s Community Support Award winner. Malinowski, vice president and branch manager of the downtown Northampton office, joined Florence Bank in October 1999 and has 33 years of banking experience. The Community Support Award was established by the bank in 1997 as a means of formally recognizing employees who are active participants in community events and donate their personal and professional time to local not-for-profit organizations. Each year, the award recipient can select a nonprofit organization of his or her choice, and the bank will donate to that organization. At Malinowski’s recommendation, Florence Bank will donate $500 to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The mission of the Food Bank is to feed neighbors in need and lead the community in ending hunger. Malinowski serves as an active member of the Greater Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce. She is also involved with the Easthampton Helping Hand Society and occasionally volunteers at the Easthampton Community Center.

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Kelly Partridge, founder of the philanthropic clothing boutique Contribution Clothing, recently published her first children’s book. How Owls Become Wise, a story that focuses on bullying and self-correction, is available for purchase online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Walmart, with 10% of the book’s proceeds to benefit Unify Against Bullying. Contribution Clothing empowers women and supports the community through monetary donations to Western Mass. nonprofit organizations. Partridge has worked with Unify Against Bullying since the inception of Contribution Clothing and, when she decided to write a book about bullying, knew she wanted to use it as a way to show her support for the Unify mission. “Bullying is a topic that everyone has experienced one time or another in their lives, and I really wanted to bring awareness to it,” Partridge said, adding that she understands how victims of bullying feel, and she hopes her book can help both those who have experienced bullying and those who have inflicted it. To bring her story to life, the first-time author teamed up with illustrator Stephanie Hider, whom she met through a children’s book networking group.

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Greg Landry

Greg Landry

Freedom Credit Union recently welcomed Greg Landry as a mortgage loan originator in its West Springfield branch. “We’re delighted to have Greg on our lending team,” Vice President and Chief Loan Officer Jeffrey Smith said. “In a way, it’s like he’s coming home, as he previously worked at West Springfield Federal Credit Union before it merged with Freedom in 2019. He has a long history in this community and is the perfect person to help our members in the area become homeowners.” A graduate of Framingham State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Landry has worked as a mortgage and home-equity loan originator for more than 24 years.

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All States Transport Inc. recently welcomed Bill Shibley, former president of Zip Carriers in Westfield. He comes to AST with 41 years of experience, including 26 years at Zip Carriers. When the owner of Zip Carriers announced his retirement early this year, Shibley was looking to merge the firm’s longtime client base with a local transportation broker, and AST was his first choice. “We’ve been friendly competitors for years, and AST has always had a great reputation,” Shibley said. “They’re very well-established, and it’s a similar culture to Zip Carriers — family-run, with a focus on excellent customer service. I’ve had some of my clients for almost 30 years. I couldn’t drop the ball. I knew I could count on AST to provide the same level of support, service, and expertise that I’ve always delivered. At 66, it’s a little funny to be starting out at a new place, but so far, so good.” All States Transport Inc. is a domestic freight broker and international freight forwarder offering customized shipping solutions across road, rail, ocean, and air.

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Andrew Harris

Andrew Harris

VHB recently welcomed Andrew Harris as senior project manager and senior geologist for its Connecticut Site Investigation & Remediation (SI&R) practice and the Southern New England markets. Harris brings extensive experience working with industrial and commercial clients to assess and remediate brownfield and legacy properties across the Upper Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England. His environmental and redevelopment projects span the full project life cycle from initial due diligence and hazardous-building materials assessments, decommissioning, and demolition to remedial design, construction, and site closure. He has vast knowledge in assessing and remediating asbestos, lead, PCBs, petroleum, VOCs, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. In 2014, Harris was a member of the active working group for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to develop the department’s Guidance Document on Calculating the 95% Upper Confidence Level. In addition to being a licensed environmental professional (LEP) in Connecticut, a professional geologist (PG) in New Hampshire, and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design 2.0 accredited professional (LEED 2.0 AP), Harris is also adjunct faculty at the University of Connecticut, teaching a class on how to conduct ASTM phase I and II environmental site assessments in Connecticut. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in geology from Ohio Wesleyan University and his master’s degree in geoscience from the University of Connecticut.

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Dennis Shockro

Dennis Shockro

Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown

Continuing a period of unprecedented growth, Pixel Health, a five-company, national healthcare-consulting ecosystem, appointed two seasoned IT professionals to fill new brand-level operations manager roles. Former Yankee Candle Chief Information Officer Dennis Shockro assumes the role of director of Operations at engineering consultancy VertitechIT. IT managed-services industry manager Jennifer Brown joins baytechIT as senior director of Operations. In addition to Yankee Candle, Shockro held senior operational roles at Brookstone and Northern Tool and Equipment. Brown has more than 20 years of customer-focused and technical experience, both in the human-services and IT managed-services industries. Pixel Health companies VertitechIT, baytechIT, Nectar Strategic Consulting, akiro, and Liberty Fox Technologies work with health systems, hospitals, clinics, and medical practices across North America. VertitechIT is the leading certified HIMSS Analytics INFRAM consultant in the world. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began a year ago, Pixel Health has expanded its overall workforce by approximately 40% across its U.S. operations.

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Kayombo Kamawu

Kayombo Kamawu

Kayombo Kamawu, a longtime administrator and advocate in the human-services field, was recently tapped by Pathlight to join its leadership team as vice president of Residential Supports. Prior to joining Pathlight, Kamawu served as vice president of Adult Services at the Kennedy-Donovan Center, where he was responsible for residential, day, and community Services, including shared living, family-support centers, and individual/supported living. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer and management information systems. Kamawu has also served in various leadership capacities in community-based day supports, employment, and day habilitation service lines. He prides himself in developing strong teams and enjoys the hands-on experience gathered while working with those teams. Pathlight, established in 1952, is a pioneer in services for children, teens, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the four counties of Western Mass.

People on the Move

Attorney Meaghan Murphy recently joined Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., a labor and employment law firm serving employers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Murphy has more than six years of experience in general litigation and labor and employment law. She will advise clients regarding all employment-related matters, including, but not limited to, compliance with state, federal, and local laws, and discipline of employees. She will also create workplace policies for clients and represent them in various forums, including at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, government agencies, and in state and federal court. Murphy is a graduate of Amherst College and received her law degree from Western New England University School of Law. She was named to the Super Lawyers Rising Star list in 2018 and 2019. She has also been an active volunteer with Hampden County Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2018.

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Peter DePergola II

Peter DePergola II

Elms College announced the appointment of Peter DePergola II, associate professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities, as executive director of the newly created St. John Paul II Center for Ethics, Religion, and Culture (CERC). DePergola is also associate professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the director of the Bioethics and Medical Humanities program at Elms. CERC was launched on Oct. 13 to increase engagement and discourse on the most pressing and complex questions related to ethics, religion, and culture in today’s society, and to lead the regional community in thoughtful, engaging dialogue. A $1 million naming gift from an anonymous donor and two six-figure contributions from Carolyn Jacobs, and B. John (Jack) and Colette Dill and family helped the college establish the center. In addition to his appointment as CERC executive director, DePergola has been named the Shaughness Family Chair for the Study of the Humanities, which is the college’s only endowed chair. The Shaughness Family Chair was funded in 1994 by the late L. Stella Shaughness, and the endowment income is to be used to promote academic excellence by supporting teaching, publishing, and/or research in the humanities. At Baystate Health, DePergola serves as chief ethics officer, senior director of Clinical Ethics, chief of the Ethics Consultation Service, and chair of the ethics advisory committee. He also holds secondary academic and research appointments at UMass Medical School, Sacred Heart University, the American Academy of Neurology, and TEDMED. A professional member of several international academic societies and associations, DePergola earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies at Elms College, his MTS in ethics at Boston College, and his Ph.D. in healthcare ethics at Duquesne University. He completed his residency in neuroethics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, his fellowship in neuropsychiatric ethics at Tufts University School of Medicine, and his advanced training in neurothanatological ethics at Harvard Medical School.

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Nikki Burnett

Nikki Burnett

Nikki Burnett, executive director of Educare Springfield, the nation’s 24th Educare early-education center, has been appointed to a number of national Educare-related boards, including the Educare Learning Network (ELN) collaborative fundraising advisory board, which finds opportunities for greater financial sustainability of the ELN through enhanced fundraising programming. Burnett, the first executive director of Educare Springfield, has also joined the Red Nose Day advisory board, which provides guidance over the grant from Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day Fund on behalf of the ELN. Burnett has also joined the Educare Policy Work Group, which guides and supports the collective network’s engagement in early-childhood policy and advocacy, and the Educare Learning Network steering committee, which informs the direction of the annual meeting. Locally, Burnett has also joined a number of local serving boards, including the board of trustees of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, as well as the boards of Holyoke Community College Foundation and Dress for Success. Burnett earned her undergraduate degree in leadership and organizational science from Bay Path University. She will be completing her master’s degree in leadership and negotiation from Bay Path in 2020. Before joining Educare, she served as regional vice president of Multicultural Initiatives for the American Heart Assoc., where she worked throughout the New England region to build capacity and support revenue generation around community health and education initiatives. She has more than a decade of leadership experience and, prior to her position with the American Heart Assoc., worked at Baystate Health as education coordinator of Cardiopulmonary Services. At Baystate, she managed three cardiology fellowship programs. Burnett also has been actively involved in other community organizations in Springfield and in the region, having served on the board of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, the Baystate Health community benefits advisory board, and Live Well Springfield, an organization that promotes a culture of health in Springfield.

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For the second time in the award’s history, the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts’ trustees of the Order of William Pynchon have Pynchon Medal recipients amidst a global pandemic. Slated to receive the Advertising Club’s Pynchon Medal at an October 2021 event are two local residents. Elizabeth Wills-O’Gilvie is a longtime community activist for good nutrition and healthy eating, and a tireless advocate for Gardening the Community and the Springfield Food Policy Council, to name just a few initiatives she supports. Janine Fondon serves as co-founder of Unity First, a distributor of diversity-related e-news, chair of the undergraduate Communications department at Bay Path University, and a writer, communicator, and professor focused on amplifying the diverse voices throughout the Pioneer Valley and around the U.S. through inclusion and equity initiatives. This year’s recipients were chosen from a pool of nominations for the award received earlier this year by the Advertising Club. All nominees are researched by the trustees, who then deliberate before selecting final recipients. All Pynchon medalists are chosen by unanimous decision of the Pynchon trustees, who are the current and five past presidents of the Advertising Club. Pynchon trustees for 2020 are Jillian Gould, Teresa Utt, David Cecchi, Mary Shea, Scott Whitney, and current Advertising Club President Brenda McGiverin. The official presentation of the Pynchon Medal and celebration will take place in the fall of 2021 in concert with the following year’s recipients. When confirmed, event details and ticket information will be available at adclubwm.org or by calling (413) 342-0533.

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Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2020 Chairman’s Council of New York Life. Members of the 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. She has accomplished this level of achievement for nine consecutive years. 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 is a member of the Nautilus Group, an exclusive, advanced planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies. She is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that help position clients for a solid financial future. She has worked in the financial field for more than 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry. Deliso has developed an expertise assisting business owners and individuals protecting and securing their and their family’s future. Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash and risk management, investment, retirement, and estate planning. She is fully committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment. She currently serves on and has held chairman of the board positions at Baystate Health Foundation and the Community Music School of Springfield. She is also a former board member of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse, a former trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and a former member of the Bay Path University advisory board.

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MassDevelopment announced that, after three years as president and CEO, Lauren Liss will step down from this position at the end of the calendar year. Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who serves as chairman of the board of directors of MassDevelopment, will lead the search for the next head of the state’s finance and development agency. Before taking the reins at MassDevelopment in 2017, Liss held leadership positions in both the private and public sectors, including commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and a partner in a Boston law firm. In fiscal year 2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects, generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units. As president and CEO, Liss expanded its work in gateway cities through an array of finance programs and real-estate services, such as the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) and Commonwealth Places program, and oversaw tremendous growth at Devens, MassDevelpment’s iconic mixed-use redevelopment of the former Fort Devens. This year, under Liss’ leadership and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MassDevelopment pivoted programs and tools to support small businesses in some of the state’s hardest-hit communities and aid in economic recovery. These efforts helped to stabilize businesses in TDI districts and created crowdfunding opportunities for community partners to prepare public spaces and commercial districts to safely serve residents and visitors. MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth.

Wealth Management

A Seeming Disconnect

By Jean M. Deliso

Have you wondered how the S&P 500 stock-market index has been trading at near all-time highs when, in the second quarter, S&P 500 corporate earnings were down compared to the first quarter of 2020, daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. are currently stable or declining, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July unemployment report showed more than 16 million unemployed Americans, with an unemployment rate of 10.2%?

That question is a good one, with the seeming disconnect between what the stock market has been doing and what we are seeing in the news and the U.S. economy. No doubt the stock market was arguably pricing in what the economy will look like a year from now and what the market sees as significant pent-up demand, a fading pandemic-induced economic impact, and a wall of liquidity coursing its way through capital markets.

The real question is whether investors should be concerned about the U.S. stock market hitting all-time highs with the economy still bruised and slowly recovering. Could this mean a crash or major correction is coming?

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

“There is a chance the economy one year from now will be in better shape than it is today — or it may be worse. But being a participant in the market for the long haul means participating in the growth and losses that happen between now and then, and always focusing on your investment time horizon.”

No one truly knows the answer to that question. But we know that market corrections and bear markets are normal and common; we just don’t know when they will arrive or how long they will last. And if anyone tells you ‘with certainty’ when a market downside is coming and how long it will last, you might want to run the other way.

When thinking about where the markets and economy could go in the next year and beyond, it’s useful to break it down by key categories:

Economics. The pandemic-induced recession has been steep and ugly. But there is a good argument that the worst of the crisis could be behind us. Manufacturing and service activity have rebounded, the housing market has seen very solid activity, and spending has outpaced expectations, according to the Washington Post.

Earnings. Second-quarter earnings were bad, plain and simple. But at the same time, earnings were not as bad as the double-digit expectation of Wall Street, and clearly stocks love positive surprises. Will earnings continue to improve going forward? That is the question — and we all hope the answer is ‘yes.’

Interest Rates. Overnight rates in most developed countries are near historic lows, meaning borrowing costs and financing costs are highly attractive for businesses and individuals that can obtain loans. The Federal Reserve also signaled plans to keep interest rates near zero for years; these actions make equities attractive by comparison.

Inflation. The amount of global stimulus is massive; the total global fiscal and monetary stimulus being deployed amounts to approximately 28% of world GDP, according to the Wall Street Journal. This ‘wall of liquidity’ makes inflation seem more likely in the coming years and will be a factor to watch.

Sentiment. Consumer and investor sentiment is improving in the wake of the pandemic, but may sour as the election nears.What’s the bottom line for investors? The nature of bull markets is that we can expect the stock market to reach new highs over time. This is what history has told us to expect every time. That said, I would caution against seeing an all-time high in the S&P index as a reason to go completely defensive. When setting a long-term investment strategy, it is important to consider how the economy may grow or contract in the next six, 12, or even 18 months, and how that plays into your personal goals and objectives. If your retirement date is close, it is always prudent to review how much safe money you may need to weather an unexpected storm.

There is a chance the economy one year from now will be in better shape than it is today — or it may be worse. But being a participant in the market for the long haul means participating in the growth and losses that happen between now and then, and always focusing on your investment time horizon.

Jean M. Deliso is a registered representative offering securities through NYLIFE Securities, LLC (member FINRA/SIPC), a licensed insurance agency. Deliso Financial and Insurance Services is not owned or operated by Eagle Strategies, NYLIFE Securities, LLC, or any of their affiliates.

Banking and Financial Services

Volatility Is the Order of the Day

By Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

The market has acted like a roller coaster in recent months, up one day, down another — but where will it end up?

Most investors tend to get unsettled and concerned by such market conditions, and if you are in that group, now is the time to speak to your financial professional to ensure that your investment allocation is consistent with your financial goals. Those investors with a near-term retirement timeline generally should be more focused on preservation of capital. Those with multiple years or even decades before retirement can take a longer perspective as they have more time to wait out market volatility.

All investors should remember to be calm. The worst mistake in this market, or any market, is to try to time the ups and downs. Granted, this volatility can be unnerving, but it’s the price we pay for the potentially greater returns from investing in equities.

In the past 20 years (2000 to 2020), there have been at least two major bear markets with short-term losses in value around 50%, yet it’s also true that, from Dec. 31, 2002 to Dec. 31, 2018, the S&P 500 stock index tripled in value.*

Zacks Investment Management, one of the portfolio managers I work with, produced a white paper listing four reasons to expect more volatility in 2020. I think it’s worthwhile to share some of these highlights:

Reason 1: We cannot ignore history. Over the past 38 years, the S&P 500 has had corrections; they are frequent, and they are the norm.

Reason 2: Low volatility generally gives way to high volatility. From October 2019 to January 2020, the S&P index experienced an unusually low level of volatility. From a historical perspective, such periods of low volatility tend to give way to periods of high volatility. We saw examples of this type of market behavior prior to January 2018 and October 2018.

Reason 3: Stock buybacks are on the decline. Stock buybacks are a corporation’s main tool for reducing outstanding supply of shares, and thereby boosting shareholder value. Stock buybacks were down in 2019, with more declines expected in 2020. Fewer buybacks could mean a tougher road for corporations exceeding their earnings per their share targets. This could make investors jittery.

“The bottom line is that volatility can be a good thing for equity markets, sometimes unsettling but it is normal and to be expected.”

Reason 4: It’s not a straightforward election year. This does not necessarily refer to a political outcome, but more concerning is alleged foreign interference, and potential contested results, civil unrest, and other extraneous factors that might lead to a period of political instability.

 The bottom line is that volatility can be a good thing for equity markets. Though sometimes unsettling, it is normal and to be expected. I tend to agree with Zacks that the S&P 500 index is due for a correction this year on par with the historical averages after several years of increases. We could experience a correction in the 10% to 15% range.

Let’s remember that dollar-cost averaging can be a great tool in managing short-term volatility as well. While no one can predict the future, and the past is no guarantee of future results, historical performance has shown that market downturns can offer attractive investment opportunities, and dollar-cost averaging can help in this regard.

Remember, though, that dollar-cost averaging does not ensure a profit and does not protect against loss in declining markets. It involves continuous investing during a period of fluctuating price levels. To maintain such a strategy, investors should consider their ability to continue investing through differing market conditions.

This article would not be complete without mentioning continuing concerns about COVID-19. As a society, we don’t know enough about it yet to understand how pervasive it will become and how long it will impact the markets. It’s too early to assess the ultimate impact of the virus. Headlines continue to focus on the spread of the virus and those who become ill; however, one should keep in mind that most people who have contracted the virus have gone on to make a full recovery.

Weaker global growth does not often mean recession in the U.S., and the consumer remains a strong factor against a U.S. recession. Lower rates may further boost the housing market, and both manufacturing and wholesaling inventories are at high levels in the U.S., which could mitigate supply-chain disruptions from Asia. More accommodative monetary policy could serve to calm the financial markets and minimize the economic and psychological impacts.

From a financial perspective, it’s important to maintain a diversified portfolio for times like this, and in panicked environments, it’s imperative to keep a level head rather than simply react. Those investors with longer time horizons should try and remain calm and patient when volatility takes hold.

A well-designed financial allocation consistent with your risk tolerance and investment goals is the key. Investors tend to make short-term decisions with long-term assets, but it is important to keep a long-range approach with your money and stick to your investing goals.

For the shorter-term investors, now is a good time to connect and review your plans with your financial professional. Double-check to make sure that your goals and objectives are still in line with your investments. Also, it is important not to stay passive on the sidelines, as investors we need to be engaged in the process and be a full participant in the process.

Jean M. Deliso, CFP is a financial advisor offering investment advisory services through Eagle Strategies LLC, a registered investment adviser, and is a registered representative of and offers securities products and services through NYLIFE Securities LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a licensed insurance agency. Eagle Strategies and NYLIFE Securities are New York Life companies. Deliso Financial & Insurance Services is not owned or operated by NYLIFE Securities LLC or its affiliates. Neither Deliso Financial & Insurance Services nor Eagle Strategies LLC or its subsidiaries and affiliates provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult your own tax, legal or accounting professional regarding your particular situation.

*Source: Standard & Poor’s 500 index, 12/31/18. Average annual returns are based on the S&P 500 Index from 12/31/02 to 12/31/18. Large-capitalization stock performance is measured by the S&P 500 index, an unmanaged index considered to be representative of the U.S. stock market. Prices of common stocks will fluctuate with market conditions and may involve loss of principal when sold. Results assume reinvestment of all distributions, including dividends, earnings, and expenses, and are not indicative of any past or future returns of any investment. It is not possible to invest directly into an index. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Women in Businesss

Scenes from the Dec. 5 Event

More than 450 people turned out at the Sheraton Springfield on Dec. 5 for BusinessWest’s second annual Women of Impact luncheon. Eight women were honored for their achievements in business and in giving back to the community. The keynote speaker was Lisa Tanzer, president of Life is Good. This year’s honorees are (pictured, left to right):

• Katherine Putnam, managing director of Golden Seeds;

• Carol Moore Cutting, president, CEO, and general manager of Cutting Edge Broadcasting;

• Lydia Martinez-Alvarez, assistant superintendent of Springfield Public Schools;

• Mary Hurley, Massachusets Governor’s Councilor;

• Ellen Freyman, partner at Shatz, Schwartz & Fentin;

• Tricia Canavan, president of United Personnel;

• Jean Deliso, principal with Deliso Financial Services; and

• Suzanne Parker, executive director of Girls Inc. of the Valley.

The Women of Impact program was sponsored by TommyCar Auto Group and Country Bank (presenting sponsors), Comcast Business and Granite State Development (supporting sponsors), New Valley Bank & Trust (speaker sponsor), and WWLP 22 News/CW Springfield (exclusive media sponsor).

People on the Move

Deborah Bitsoli

Deborah Bitsoli has been named president of Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates, effective Dec. 2. In this role, she will be responsible for the operational performance of Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates; provide leadership in the execution, management, financial performance, and oversight of all operations; and explore opportunities for growth through strategic development initiatives. Bitsoli joins Mercy with over 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry and has spent the last 18 years in leadership roles. Most recently, she served as president of Morton Hospital, a 110-bed facility in Taunton. Prior to her tenure there, she was chief operating officer and executive vice president at Saint Vincent Hospital, a 270-bed facility in Worcester. She holds an MBA from Babson College in Wellesley and a bachelor’s degree in accountancy with a management minor from Bentley University in Waltham. She is a certified public accountant in the state of Massachusetts and a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

•••••

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2019 Chairman’s Council of New York Life. Members of the Chairman’s Council rank in the top 3% of New York Life’s elite sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. She has accomplished this level of achievement for eight consecutive years. 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 is a Nautilus Group member, an exclusive, advanced planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies. She is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that help position clients for a solid financial future. She has been working in the financial field for more than 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry. Deliso has developed an expertise in assisting business owners and individuals protecting and securing their and their family’s future. Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash and risk management, investment, retirement, and estate planning. She is committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment. Deliso currently serves on and has held chairman of the board positions at Baystate Health Foundation, the Community Music School of Springfield, and the YMCA of Greater Springfield. She is also a former board member of Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse, a former trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, and a member of the Bay Path University advisory board.

•••••

Bacon Wilson announced that three attorneys have been named to the 2019 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list of top attorneys in the Commonwealth, and two have been named to the 2019 Massachusetts Rising Stars list of up-and-comers. They are: Michael Katz (selected to Super Lawyers from 2004 to 2019), bankruptcy; Hyman Darling (selected to Super Lawyers from 2005 to 2019), estate planning and probate; Paul Rothschild (selected to Super Lawyers from 2004 to 2019), general litigation; Thomas Reidy (selected to Rising Stars from 2015 to 2019), land use/zoning; and Meaghan Murphy (selected to Rising Stars from 2018 to 2019), employment and labor. Identified by a research team at Super Lawyers, the attorneys are selected for background, professional experience, achievement, and peer recognition. There is no opportunity to pay for a listing. Only 5% of New England’s lawyers are Super Lawyers. Rising Stars are under age 40 or have been practicing law for less than 10 years. Fewer than 2.5% of New England lawyers were named Rising Stars.

•••••

 

Yvonne Cruz

Dietz & Co. Architects Inc. announced the addition of Yvonne Cruz, RA to its staff as a senior project architect. Cruz holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Pratt Institute, School of Architecture in Brooklyn, N.Y. and is a licensed architect in New York and Connecticut. She brings more than 20 years of experience to Dietz & Co., having worked for firms in New York City throughout her career. She has worked on an array of residential projects as well as many hotel and restaurant projects. She brings to the firm a commitment to high-quality design and a passion for mentoring junior staff members.

•••••

Three new members have been elected to serve three-year terms on the Bay Path University board of trustees: Pia Sareen Kumar, Rodger Metzger, and Jeanette Weldon. Kumar is co-owner and chief strategy officer for Universal Plastics Group. A graduate of Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an MBA, she previously worked at JPMorgan Chase and American Express, leading business-development initiatives and managing strategic partnerships. Kumar serves on the boards of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, and the Springfield Technical Community College Foundation. She is also a member of the Women President’s Organization and is a reader and school sponsor with Link to Libraries. As president and chief investment officer of Hooker & Holcombe’s Investment Advisory Group in Bloomfield, Conn. Metzger serves as the client relationship consultant for the group’s largest and most sophisticated clients. He is also responsible for directing the asset-allocation and fund-research efforts and chairs the investment committee. Prior to joining the firm, he was with Hartford Investment Management Co., a subsidiary of Hartford Financial Services Corporation. Metzger earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Lawrence University and an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Hartford. He serves as an advisory council member for Legg Mason Client Solutions, in addition to memberships with the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Hartford. He devotes time as a consultant and board member for various organizations in Connecticut. Weldon, managing director for Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority, is a public finance professional who has been involved as either issuer or financial advisor on more than $10 billion in transactions for state and local governments and their issuing authorities. She previously served as chief financial officer at Windham Hospital and as senior managing director for P.G. Corbin & Co. Weldon earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Columbia University. She currently serves on the boards of the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority and Northeast Women in Public Finance.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELDBusinessWest will honor its second annual Women of Impact today, Dec. 5, from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the Sheraton Springfield, One Monarch Place, Springfield. The event is sold out, and media coverage is welcome.

This year’s honorees are:

• Tricia Canavan, president of United Personnel, is a highly successful businesswoman, but she has an impact in many ways, especially in her various efforts to help ensure that individuals possess the skills they need to succeed in the workplace;

• Carol Moore Cutting, president, CEO, and general manager of Cutting Edge Broadcasting, is a successful businesswoman and a role model for women of color across the region. She also epitomizes the hard work, sacrifice, and ability to overcome adversity that is necessary to succeed in business — and in life;

• Jean Deliso, principal with Deliso Financial Services, is also a successful business owner and has spent her career helping individuals, and especially women, become empowered when it comes to financial planning and securing a solid future;

• Ellen Freyman is an accomplished business lawyer, but she would be the first to say the biggest impact she is making concerns helping others, especially women and minorities, get involved in their communities and make an impact themselves.

• Mary Hurley has been a life-long public servant and has made an impact at every stop in her career — as a lawyer, a Springfield city councilor, mayor of the city, District Court judge, and, most recently, as governor’s councilor. At each stop, she has impacted lives in countless ways;

• Lydia Martinez-Alvarez, assistant superintendent of schools in Springfield and the first Hispanic woman to hold that post, is being impactful in many ways, from helping to ensure students can succeed in the workplace after they accept their diplomas to serving as a role model for young women, and especially Hispanic women;

• Suzanne Parker, executive director of Girls Inc., has transformed that agency into a powerful force when it comes to empowering young women and enabling them to seize career opportunities. As a mother and master of the art of balancing life and work, she is also a role model to those girls across the region; and

• Kate Putnam, managing director of Golden Seeds and a successful businesswomen in her own right, is making an impact in several ways, but especially in her efforts to mentor entrepreneurs, and especially women entrepreneurs, helping them attain much-needed capital and grow this region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The Women of Impact Awards Luncheon welcomes Lisa Tanzer, president of Life is Good, as keynote speaker. The Women of Impact program is sponsored by TommyCar Auto Group and Country Bank (presenting sponsors), Comcast Business and Granite State Development (supporting sponsors), New Valley Bank & Trust (speaker sponsor), and WWLP 22 News/CW Springfield (exclusive media sponsor).

Features

‘Passion and Purpose’

Lisa Tanzer says it took her a while to find work she was truly passionate about. But it was well worth the wait and the effort.

“It took me a long while to get here, but I learned along the way that I need to be working every day on something I’m excited about and passionate about,” she said. “You need to do what you love every day and find a way to put passion into what you do.”

This, in a nutshell, is the message Tanzer, president of Life Is Good — a lifestyle brand that now generates more than $100 million in annual revenue and also operates the Life Is Good Kids Foundation — intends to leave with attendees at BusinessWest’s second annual Women of Impact luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Sheraton Springfield.

In a phone interview, Tanzer told BusinessWest that Life Is Good provides her passion and purpose not merely because of what it sells or how much it sells, but because of how it spreads the “power of optimism,” as she put it.

Elaborating, she said ‘Life Is Good,’ the slogan placed on a T-shirt along with a smiling face by brothers Bert and John Jacobs as a last-ditch effort to stay in business, has received a great reaction from the public.

“People from all sorts of demographics started resonating with the brand,” she explained. “In the early days, they started to get letters from people who were wearing ‘Life Is Good’ who were facing terrible adversity — illness or loss of a loved one.

“They connected with the positive message of Life Is Good and realized there was more depth to the brand than ‘hey, life is good, enjoy the beach, enjoy the outdoors,’” she went on. “People really needed optimism in their lives and started to understand the power of optimism. So the company became more mission-driven.”

Tanzer’s keynote address will be one of many highlights at the second annual Women of Impact Luncheon, which will honor eight women who are making an impact in different ways. They are:

• Tricia Canavan, president, United Personnel Services;

• Carol Moore Cutting, president, CEO, and general manager, Cutting Edge Broadcasting;

• Jean Deliso, principal, Deliso Financial Services;

• Ellen Freyman, partner, Shatz, Schwartz & Fentin;

• Mary Hurley, Massachusetts Governor’s Councilor;

• Lydia Martinez-Alvarez, assistant superintendent, Springfield Public Schools;

• Suzanne Parker, executive director, Girls Inc. of the Valley; and

• Katherine Putnam, managing director, Golden Seeds.

Tanzer, who speaks to a wide variety of audiences on many topics each year, will bring a broad range of corporate experience to the podium at the Women of Impact event. Indeed, she has more than 25 years of consumer brand experience, working for powerhouse brands such as Hasbro, Staples, Gillette, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Fast Facts

What: The Second Annual Women of Impact Gala
When: Dec. 5, 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Where: Sheraton Springfield, One Monarch Place
Keynote Speaker: Lisa Tanzer, president of Life Is Good
Tickets: $65 (tables of 10 available)
For More Information: Visit HERE or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Starting very early in her career, though, she started working with nonprofits, especially one founded by a high-school classmate called Project Joy, which helped homeless children find purpose and connection through play.

The talk Tanzer will give at the Women of Impact Luncheon concerns how she determined long ago that she wanted to blend work in the corporate world with “making people happy and providing joy in people’s lives.” And while it was a rather circuitous route and there was a good deal of serendipity along the way, she found all of what she was looking for at Life Is Good.

To hear the full story, you’ll need to be at the Sheraton on Dec. 5. And you should be there to salute the eight outstanding honorees who make up the Women of Impact class of 2019.

The Women of Impact program is sponsored by Country Bank and TommyCar Auto Group (presenting sponsors), Comcast Business and Granite State Developing (supporting sponsors), New Valley Bank & Trust (speaker sponsor), and WWLP 22 News/CW Springfield (media sponsor).

For more information, or to order tickets, call (413) 781-8600, or go HERE.

Cover Story Event Galleries Women of Impact 2019

Scenes from the Dec. 5th Luncheon

 

This is the second class of Women of Impact, a new recognition program created by BusinessWest to recognize individuals who are making a difference in this community and tell stories that need to be told.

This is a diverse class of winners, in every sense of that phrase, but especially when it comes to the manner in which they’re making an impact, whether it’s through public service, turning around a nonprofit, connecting individuals with opportunities to serve their communities, managing a school system, mentoring entrepreneurs, helping individuals and families find financial security, running a successful business, or donating time and talent to area nonprofits and institutions.

Join us as we celebrate them on Dec. 5 at the Sheraton Springfield. We invite you to come and applaud these truly impactful women.

Photos by Dani Fine Photography

The Women of Impact for 2019 are:

Tricia Canavan

President, United Personnel Services

Carol Moore Cutting

President, CEO, and general manager, Cutting Edge Broadcasting

Jean Deliso

Principal, Deliso Financial Services

Ellen Freyman

Partner, Shatz, Schwartz & Fentin

Mary Hurley

Massachusetts Governor’s Councilor

Lydia Martinez-Alvarez

Assistant superintendent, Springfield Public Schools

Suzanne Parker

Executive director, Girls Inc. of the Valley

Katherine Putnam

Managing director, Golden Seeds

Event Information

Date: Thursday, December 5, 2019
Time: 11 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Tickets: ON SALE NOW $65/person; $650/table of 10
Location: Sheraton Springfield, One, Monarch Place, Springfield, MA 01144
For more information: Call (413) 781-8600 x100 or email at [email protected]

 

THE 2019 WOMEN OF IMPACT AWARDS LUNCHEON IS SOLD OUT

Keynote Speaker

Lisa Tanzer, president of Life is Good, has over 25 years of consumer brand experience. Prior to becoming president, Lisa served as the company’s head of Marketing after spending over 20 years on the board of directors of the Life is Good Kids Foundation. She’s held executive positions in the entertainment, ecommerce, and education sectors. Earlier in her career, Lisa held marketing and strategy roles at Hasbro, Staples, The Gillette Company, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She received her BA from Tufts University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Co-emcee

Taylor Knight joined 22News in July of 2018 as a multimedia journalist. Currently, Taylor is the co-anchor of the 22News weekday morning newscasts and a reporter for the 22News I-Team.  Before arriving in Springfield, Taylor was a reporter for FiOS1 News in New Jersey. Taylor began her career as a multimedia journalist in Connecticut, covering news and sports in Fairfield County.  Taylor earned her B.A. in broadcast journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia. During college, she interned at WFSB in Connecticut and NBC Sports Philadelphia. In her free time, Taylor enjoys spending time with her dog, running, and watching the Philadelphia Eagles. She is excited to now be “Working for You!”

Presenting Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Speaker Sponsor

Exclusive Media Sponsor

Opinion

Editorial

When BusinessWest decided a few years back to create a new recognition program to honor women in this region, the next big decision involved assigning a name to this initiative.

‘Women in Business’ would have been the obvious choice, and publications with similar missions and audiences have gone that route. But that would be short-sighted, and it would leave out a good number of women who are making a real difference in this community.

‘Women Leaders’ is another option, and it would certainly work, because these are the individuals that this program was created to identify — and celebrate.

But we chose ‘Women of Impact’ for a reason. When we hear that word ‘impact,’ we think of people who are influencing this region in some way, creating positive change, improving quality of life, and moving the needle on many of the important issues facing society. And while doing that, they may also be very successful in business as well.

We also chose ‘Women of Impact’ because there are countless ways to make an impact in this region — each one of them important in its own way. It was and is our desire to show the variety of ways that people, and especially women, can be impactful. We were quite successful with this assignment in our first year, 2018, and we can say the same for the class of 2019. The stories for this year’s class are unique:

• Tricia Canavan, president of United Personnel, is a highly successful businesswoman, but she is having an impact in many ways, especially in her various efforts to help ensure that individuals possess the skills they need to succeed in the workplace;

• Carol Moore Cutting, president, CEO, and general manager of Cutting Edge Broadcasting, is also a successful businesswoman and a role model for women of color across the region. She also epitomizes the hard work, sacrifice, and the ability to overcome adversity that is necessary to succeed in business — and in life;

• Jean Deliso, principal with Deliso Financial Services, is also a successful business owner and has spent her career helping individuals, and especially women, become empowered when it comes to financial planning and securing a solid future;

• Ellen Freyman is an accomplished business lawyer, but she would be the first to tell you the biggest impact she is making concerns helping others, especially women and minorities, get involved in their communities and make an impact themselves.

• Mary Hurley has been a life-long public servant and has made an impact at every stop in her career — as a lawyer, a Springfield city councilor, mayor of the city, District Court judge, and, most recently, as governor’s councilor. At each stop, she has impacted lives in countless ways;

• Lydia Martinez-Alvarez, assistant superintendent of schools in Springfield and the first Hispanic woman to hold that post, is being impactful in many ways, from helping to ensure students can succeed in the workplace after they accept their diplomas to serving as a role model for young women, and especially Hispanic women;

• Suzanne Parker, executive director of Girls Inc., has transformed that agency into a powerful force when it comes to empowering young women and enabling them to seize career opportunities. As a mother and master of the art of balancing life and work, she is also a role model to those girls across the region; and

• Kate Putnam, managing director of Golden Seeds and a successful businesswomen in her own right, is making an impact in several ways, but especially in her efforts to mentor entrepreneurs, and especially women entrepreneurs, helping them attain much-needed capital and grow this region’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Eight stories. Far more than eight ways to have an impact on this region and the people who call it home. This is why we created a new recognition program and why we chose this name. And that’s also why the class of 2019 is worthy of celebration.

Wealth Management

Stay the Course

Jean Deliso, CFP said she started calling her investment clients several days ago to gauge how they’re feeling amid some growing turbulence for the economy — and on Wall Street.

As she talked with BusinessWest about this initiative, she paraphrased the message she would leave if she encountered voicemail. “We just want to check in to see how you’re doing. The market has done very well, but we’ve seen some volatility in the market, and want to know how comfortable you are. On a scale of 1 to 5 (with ‘5’ representing the highest level of anxiety), how are you feeling about volatility, because there’s a political environment going on, we have China going on. Are you comfortable that your assets are positioned well?”

Again, that was the gist of the call. Deliso, owner of Agawam-based Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, said the firm has contacted about half the investment clients, and so far, there have a lot of 1’s and 2’s and generally nothing higher than a 3. And she’s not exactly surprised.

She believes those numbers tell her she’s doing a good job of helping her clients not just invest, but create and execute a plan. It also means she’s done well explaining to people that volatility — and yes, the markets have seen some this year amid trade turmoil, interest-rate movement, the dreaded inverted yield curve, and recession talk — is part of investing and nothing to really be feared.

“It’s important to keep their timeline in mind and not panic,” said Deliso, adding quickly that matters change the closer one is to retirement. “If you have 20 years … take a long-term perspective, don’t panic, don’t sell, and learn to live with volatility, because you can benefit from it because there are opportunities.”

That last comment is a perfect segue to the three words investment managers and financial planners always summon at times like these, especially for people with a long time window — ‘stay the course’ — as well as the seven words they also put to frequent use — ‘you shouldn’t try to time the market.’

“My job is to make sure, when these clients go into retirement, or are in retirement, that they have peace of mind. I want to make sure they’re not going to be emotional when the market drops. I want them to be secure that they know that, if it drops, they’re OK.”

Karen Dolan Curran, MBA, CFP, a principal with the Northampton-based firm Curran & Keegan Financial, used both phrases, and turned the clock back to 2008, the start of the Great Recession, to get her points across.

“In 2008, most portfolios lost an average of 30% to 40% of their value,” she recalled. “But if you stayed in those portfolios, they fully recovered after close to 18 months; you had to play the cycle out. And if you tried to go or if you tried to time the market as to when to go and when to jump back in, most people failed — because the most challenging part is trying to figure out when to jump back in. Those who stayed did fine.”

Neither Curran nor anyone else we spoke with is predicting anything close to 2008 again. In fact, some are hedging their bets on whether there will be a recession, not only this year but next year.

“In 2008, most portfolios lost an average of 30% to 40% of their value. But if you stayed in those portfolios, they fully recovered after close to 18 months; you had to play the cycle out. And if you tried to go or if you tried to time the market as to when to go and when to jump back in, most people failed.”

“We don’t believe that recession is coming necessarily in the next 12 months,” said Curran, noting that, while there a number of matters contributing to tension nationally and globally, overall, the economy is quite solid and unemployment and interest rates remain quite low, and investors should keep this in mind moving forward.

Still, the dreaded ‘R’ word is being heard and read more frequently these days, and that’s one of the reasons why Deliso launched her survey, noting that it’s a good conversation to have and she has it at least annually with clients.

The results of her polling, as noted, show there is not a high level of fear, a reaction that seems to mirror what’s happening on Wall Street, where, despite some turbulence and uncertainty, the S&P is up nearly 20% (or was at press time; things can change quickly), and when most of those ‘fear/greed’ gauges are tilting more toward the latter.

Beyond that, the comments seem to indicate that she’s doing well with what she considers her primary assignment. And that is to take fear out of the equation for her clients, even at times, like this one, in some respects, when one might be tempted to show some fear.

“That’s how this practice works; we provide a tremendous amount of education,” she explained. “And we make sure clients are positioned well with fixed assets and investment assets, because when we set people up for success, there’s a balance between the two.

“My job is to make sure, when these clients go into retirement, or are in retirement, that they have peace of mind,” she went on. “I want to make sure they’re not going to be emotional when the market drops. I want them to be secure that they know that, if it drops, they’re OK.”

Curran said her firm works in much the same way, with an emphasis on financial planning, not simply investing. As a result, she said she rarely gets a ‘panic’ call from an investor when the market takes a tumble, as it’s done a few times this year, or even when it takes a hard fall, as it did in the fourth quarter of last year.

She told BusinessWest that her firm helps clients plan against the backdrop of what she called the ‘worst-case scenario,’ meaning what happened in 2008.

“We do a lot of stress-case analysis,” she explained. “Saying, ‘well, what is the basic assumed market return? What if the market fluctuates downward during a particular time? What if it is nothing but positive for a particular time?’ And in certain cases, we replay 2008 right at a point of retirement, because that is the worst-case scenario — the moment you retire and you draw on your investment, the market comes down.

“We do all those simulations with clients so, when there are swings, like that 800-point drop recently, we get few, if any, calls, because we’ve already considered the worst-case scenario,” she went on, adding that, when people retire, they have more free time and spend some of it watching — and worrying about — the markets and their investments. “We don’t want them to have those reaction swings.”

Thus, the firm, like Deliso’s, recommends that those entering retirement do so with six months or perhaps a year’s worth of cash reserves to draw on, rather than their retirement savings.

Curran said effective planning, not to mention a willingness to stay the course, or “play the cycle out,” as she called it, is critical in this environment where interest rates on CDs and other very conservative forms of investing are far too low to generate real returns.

“The new norm is that people can’t go to a conservative portfolio of bonds and cash in retirement and live comfortably,” she said. “They have to be in the market, and they have to feel the weight of the ebb and flow of the market and understand that, if they stay long enough, the market will give them a positive return.”

Deliso agreed and reiterated that a big part of her job is to remove fear from the equation through proper planning and an effective mix of investments and fixed assets.

That’s why she hasn’t had anything over a 3 yet from her phone poll, and why she isn’t expecting any, either.

— George O’Brien

People on the Move

Jill Monson-Bishop

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently welcomed Jill Monson-Bishop into the role of Community Development manager. She comes to the ACS with expertise in networking, relationship building, marketing, project management, and more. Prior to joining the American Cancer Society, Monson-Bishop was one of the opening-day team members at MGM Springfield, with responsibilities including internal communications and employee events. She also owns Inspired Marketing, now a consultative marketing agency, but at one time a full-service marketing and event-planning company serving clients such as Smith & Wesson, Adam Quenneville Roofing, and Northwestern Mutual. Previously, she was a radio personality in Western Mass. on stations such as WMAS, Rock 102, WHYN, and more. Community engagement has always been a priority for Monson-Bishop, who, over the years, has been involved with organizations such the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, Square One, YWCA, the Springfield Regional Chamber, the Drama Studio, and more. She is a graduate of Bay Path University with a MBA in entrepreneurial thinking and innovative practices, and she earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies at Westfield State University.

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Jeffrey Neumann

Valley Solar, LLC announced the appointment of Jeffrey Neumann as lead master electrician. Neumann started with Valley Solar in April 2019 and will oversee all electrical operations. Prior to working at Valley Solar, Neumann was the electrical foreman at Hampshire College from 2010 to 2019. There, he supervised a crew of four journeyman electricians and oversaw all aspects of the the college’s Electrical Department, including supervision of crews, planning, budgeting, installations, and maintenance of campus electrical systems. He also oversaw several solar projects while at Hampshire and has performed solar installations involving single-phase residential wiring as well as more complex three-phase commercial projects.

 

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Linda Morgan, an attorney with extensive experience in higher education, has been named vice president and general counsel at Springfield College, effective Aug. 26, President Mary-Beth Cooper announced. Morgan will provide legal counsel and guidance to the leadership of the college and will serve as secretary to its board of trustees. She will be a member of the president’s senior leadership team. Joining Springfield College with 13 years of service as a practicing attorney and more than six years in positions of senior-level organizational management and financial administration, Morgan is well-practiced in providing leadership to institutional compliance with laws and regulations pertinent to higher education, including the Higher Education Opportunity Act, Title IX, FERPA, HIPAA, and the Jeanne Clery Act. She provides experience in broad aspects of law and related matters, including contracts, agreements, litigation, legal investigations, dispute resolution, mediation, business formation, compliance, and management. She is admitted to the bars of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the State of New York, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Morgan most recently worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, providing expertise in areas of employment-law adjudication and related statutory interpretation. Her previous experience also includes service as associate dean for Gender Equity at Bard College, grant administrator within the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland, and an attorney in private practice. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland University College and a juris doctor from Western New England University School of Law. She has teaching experience as an adjunct professor at Holyoke Community College and Greenfield Community College.

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Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP has been selected for membership in the Nautilus Group, a service of New York Life. The Nautilus Group is a planning resource comprised of financial professionals experienced in taxes, law, life insurance, accounting, and charitable giving. Deliso’s access to this exclusive resource enables her clients and their other financial advisors to benefit from the group’s collective experience and solutions as they apply to the protection, accumulation, and distribution of wealth to individuals, families, and business owners throughout the country. Deliso is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that position clients for a solid financial future. Her 30-year experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash management, risk management, investment, and retirement planning. She has developed an expertise in assisting business owners with protecting and securing their future. She is also fully committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment. She has been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1999. Members of the 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 currently serves on and is past chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and the Community Music School of Springfield. She has also served on the board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

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Darcy Fortun

The Ad Club of Western Massachusetts recently recognized the Innovation Series with an award in the Video Series category. The Innovation Series is a documentary-style video series produced by Darcy Fortune, producer for Garvey Communication Associates Inc. (GCAi), for PeoplesBank. The series explored Valley Venture Mentors and some of its more unique entrepreneurial teams. The series was hosted by Matthew Bannister, first vice president of Marketing and Innovation for PeoplesBank. According to the bank’s website, the six-episode Innovation Series was designed and produced with the belief that PeoplesBank can not only be innovative, but help inspire innovation as well. The series garnered considerable media attention, with feature stories appearing in BusinessWest and several other area media outlets, as well as a sizable viewing audience. GCAi also distributed the Innovation Series through social-media channels, where it accumulated almost 400,000 total impressions, 100,000 engagement actions, and 90,000 video views at the time of the award. Fortune’s team included GCAi’s John Garvey as producer, Mary Shea as project manager, and James Garvey as digital dissemination manager. Matthew Derderian served as director of photography. Fortune is an experienced media professional and video producer, having served on assignment desks for both ABC and FOX News affiliates and developed videos and animations for GCAi clients including Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists, Cape Cod Cooperative Bank, MP CPAs, PeoplesBank, Peter Pan Bus Lines, and Winchester Savings Bank. She also just released two new pro bono videos for the Children’s Study Home and Wild Care of Cape Cod.

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Yvonne De Faoite

Elms College announced it will host an Irish Fulbright language teaching assistant (FLTA) during the 2019-20 academic year. Yvonne De Faoite of Limerick, Ireland, will teach Irish (Gaelic) language and culture. The Irish FLTA position is co-sponsored by the Irish Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts. De Faoite earned her primary teaching degree from Froebel College of Education in 2008. In 2012, she spent a year in Australia, where she gained international teaching experience. She recently completed a master’s degree in Irish immersion education from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. Prior to that, she completed a diploma in educational leadership in University College Dublin. De Faoite’s educational interests include immersion and second-language acquisition. As a Fulbright Irish FLTA, she will teach the Irish language and culture to Elms College students and to community members through the Irish Cultural Center. She will also take classes at Elms.

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Robert Burnell has been appointed executive chef of all dining venues at the Red Lion Inn. In his new role, Burnell oversees the day-to-day culinary operations of the main dining room, Widow Bingham’s Tavern, the Lion’s Den, and the seasonally open courtyard. In addition, Burnell will collaborate with Brian Alberg, vice president of Culinary Development, on all future food- and beverage-related development, including specialty menus for Red Lion guests and private parties. With nearly 20 years in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries, Burnell was previously executive chef at Gedney Farm in Marlborough. With a passion for clean cooking and eating, coupled with expertise in modern food trends, Burnell revamped menus to incorporate locally sourced items, along with gluten-free, vegetarian, and keto options for diners. He also strived to deliver exceptional client experiences for weddings, community events, and private dining. Additional hospitality experience includes five years as a property developer for Berkshire Hotels Group, during which he implemented construction projects for both hotels and restaurants.

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Sean Sormanti

Michael Tucker, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank, announced that Sean Sormanti has joined the bank as senior vice president – Human Resources. Most recently, Sormanti was director of Human Resources at Strategic Information Resources in Springfield. In his new role, he will be responsible for recruiting, planning, coordinating, and managing the activities of the bank’s Human Resources department. He will be based at 63 Federal St. in Greenfield. Sormanti has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine. He currently holds a professional in human resources certificate and is an active member of the Western Mass. chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.

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Joseph Baker

 

Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) announced that Joseph Baker has joined its team as vice president of Finance and Administration. He will oversee finances, investments, human resources, and operations for the $152 million foundation. Baker previously served in leadership roles at other community foundations for 13 years, most recently as vice president of Finance and chief financial officer at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. Before that, he was director of Finance and Administration at the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. He brings to BTCF a background in nonprofit finance and development, as the former head of a United Way and a nonprofit service organization. He also developed Danbury Children First, a parent-led community initiative. Baker earned his MBA from the Yale School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in economics and Spanish from Colby College.

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Bob Cummings has been re-elected to serve as president of the National Assoc. of Professional Benefits Administrators (NAPBA). A  NAPBA trustee since 2007, Cummings was first elected NAPBA president in 2015, and has been an instrumental force in the emergence of the consumer-directed healthcare industry over the past 20 years, orchestrating the growth of NAPBA as the primary compliance-standards and best-practice organization for third-party employee-benefits administrators serving the consumer-directed healthcare industry. As CEO and founder of American Benefits Group (ABG), a leading national employee-benefits administrator located in Northampton, Cummings has been a pioneer of the consumer-directed healthcare industry before the term even existed. ABG was one of the first administrators of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) in 1989 along with COBRA, billing-administration, and commuter-benefit accounts in the 1990s. When health savings accounts (HSA) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) were enabled under the Internal Revenue Code in 2002, ABG was one of the early leaders in administering consumer-directed healthcare plan designs. As pre-tax, account-based plans became a linchpin of most employer benefit-plan designs along with high-deductible health plans, NAPBA was founded to promote compliance and best-practice standards in the administration of pre-tax, account-based plans. All NAPBA member organizations are third-party administrators focused on the administration and service of employer-sponsored plans for consumer-directed pre-tax accounts such as FSAs, HSAs, HRAs, and commuter benefits, as well as COBRA administration services. Collectively NAPBA member organizations provide services to more than 30 million employee healthcare consumers nationwide.

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Richard Venne, president and CEO of Viability, announced longtime staffer Richard Horton’s promotion to vice president of Administration and Finance. Horton joined Community Enterprises, one of the nonprofits that merged to become Viability, in July 2008 as director of Community Staffing. Before joining Viability as a staff member, he had executed consulting work to revive and re-engineer the Community Staffing operations. Over the next decade, his role expanded, first becoming director of Financial Planning and then associate vice president of Administration and Finance. He is known throughout the organization for serving as project manager for the implementation of Viability’s electronic health record and outcomes-management system. Two years ago, during the merger of Community Enterprises and Human Resources Unlimited into Viability, he led the effort to bring the infrastructure of the organizations together, focusing on technology and facilities. Entering its third year as Viability, the agency’s focus is on the creation, integration, standardization, and improvement of systems and processes. In his new role, Horton will play a central role in helping achieve that goal.

Banking and Financial Services

The Scammers Are Out There

By Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Have you ever been scammed by someone or received a phone call attempting to pressure you to provide personal information or send money?

If you can say yes, have you thought about what your parents or grandparents might do in similar situations?

Senior citizens are frequent victims of these criminal activities. To help protect older family members and to safeguard yourself, everyone should be better informed about these schemes and how to help prevent becoming a victim.

Scam artists are everywhere, and they are here in Western Mass. Within the past 18 months, I personally had two different clients who were defrauded by a scam tactic that preyed on their love of their grandchildren and their innocence and confusion.

One was contacted and told their grandchild had been in an accident, he had seriously hurt someone, and he was going to spend many years in jail unless money was sent. In the other situation, it was claimed that a grandchild was in a friend’s car, which was stopped by the police, and they found drugs. The scammer stated that the grandchild was not guilty, but he would be charged unless the grandparent sent cash immediately to get him assistance in court.

Both victims were told not to tell anyone, otherwise the assistance would stop. And in both situations, the grandparents went to the bank or withdrew money from their investment accounts, converted it to cash, placed it an envelope, and sent it to these unknown addresses.

These situations are happening more often, and thus there is a pressing need to educate our senior citizens to be aware of these types of scams.

There is nothing more special than the love of a grandchild. These imposters are targeting and exploiting this love and affection.

There have been other articles written on this subject, but not everyone reads them. It is important to educate your parents or grandparents that these scams exist and that, if they ever receive a call where they are instructed to be silent, they should contact a trusted family member or the proper authorities immediately.

Not all children are comfortable talking to their parents or grandparents about these situations, but I highly recommend you do.

I’ve seen too many of these scams recently amongst my clients. As a certified financial planner, it’s my responsibility to help my clients manage their assets and finances and to help safeguard against risks to their financial well-being. If a suspicious phone call or request is unusual or confusing, it’s important for the recipient to question it and alert their loved ones.

Please speak to your parents and grandparents about these threats. If they receive such a call, have them talk to other family members or the police before providing any information to the caller. They should never send cash to someone they don’t know or if they don’t fully understand why it’s being requested. Have them call the grandchild on their personal phone number, and, most importantly, tell them never to send cash to anyone they don’t know.

Jean Deliso, CFP is a principal with Deliso Financial and Insurance Services; (413) 785-1100.

People on the Move

The board of directors of Big Y Foods Inc. announced the following changes to its senior leadership team, effective Jan. 1. These changes align with the enterprise’s expanding business activities and the dynamic shifts that are occurring within the supermarket, convenience, and retail liquor industries.

Donald D’Amour

Donald D’Amour

Donald D’Amour, current chairman and CEO, will transition out of his day-to-day responsibilities as CEO and will continue to serve as an advisor to the board in his new role as chairman emeritus. He was appointed to CEO in 1980 and in 1997 succeeded his father and co-founder, Paul D’Amour, as chairman of the board.

• Charles D’Amour

Charles D’Amour

Charles D’Amour, son of co-founder Gerald D’Amour, will continue as president, a position he has held since 2006. In order to allow for a smooth transition, he has been appointed CEO and will be responsible for helping to drive the overall strategic direction of Big Y along with the company’s vision and mission. In addition to providing overall leadership and oversight, key departments of Finance, Legal, Real Estate and Development, Employee Services, and Information Resources Technology will report directly to him.

• Michael D’Amour

Michael D’Amour

Michael D’Amour, grandson of Paul D’Amour and son of Donald D’Amour, was appointed to the position of executive vice president in 2014 and has added the role of COO, a position formerly held by Charles, to his roster of responsibilities. As COO, Michael will be responsible for all operating aspects of the company, including Sales, Operations, Distribution, and Supply Chain. He began his full-time career at Big Y in 1996.

Guy McFarlane

Guy McFarlane

Guy McFarlane, Big Y’s vice president of Fresh Foods since 2011, has been promoted to senior vice president of Sales and Marketing, where he will oversee sales and procurement, pricing, marketing, and data analytics. He will report to Michael D’Amour. McFarlane began his career at Big Y more than 23 years ago and has been in the supermarket industry for 41 years.

Richard Bossie

Richard Bossie

Richard Bossie, Big Y’s vice president of Operations since 2016, has been promoted to the new position of senior vice president of Operations and Customer Experience. Within this expanded role, Bossie will oversee all operational aspects of the company that impact the customer experience, including labor planning, inventory control and ordering, checkout and customer service, and retail asset protection, along with all operational aspects of Big Y Express Gas and Convenience Division and Table and Vine, Big Y’s flagship beer, spirits, and fine-wine store. He also will report to Michael D’Amour. Bossie began his career at Big Y more than 30 years ago and has more than 38 years of retail experience.

Nicole D’Amour

Nicole D’Amour

Nicole D’Amour Schneider, Big Y’s senior director of Store Operations (and granddaughter of Paul D’Amour and daughter of Donald D’Amour), has been appointed to the new position of vice president of Supermarket Operations, with specific focus on the daily operations of the supermarket division. Along with the five district directors reporting to her, she will continue to drive operational excellence throughout the chain. She reports to Bossie. She began her full-time Big Y career in 1999.

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Amelia Holstrom

Amelia Holstrom

Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. announced that attorney Amelia Holstrom was named a partner in the firm on Jan. 1. Holstrom, who has been with the firm since 2012, focuses her practice on labor law and employment litigation, including personnel policies and practices review, wage-and-hour compliance, and separation and severance agreements. Holstrom frequently speaks about employment-related legal topics for a wide variety of associations and organizations. She was selected by BusinessWest as a 40 Under Forty honoree in 2015 and received the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. Community Service Award in 2016. She is a member of the Massachusetts, Hampden County, and Connecticut bar associations; sits on the board of directors for Clinical & Support Options in Northampton and Girls Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts; and is an ad hoc member of the personnel committee for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

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Esther Rich

Esther Rich

Andrew Anderlonis, president of Rediker Software, recently announced that Esther Rich has been hired as the company’s new director of Support. Rich brings more than 30 years of experience in customer support, with more than 10 of those years spent in a management position. Before joining Rediker Software, Rich was the Customer Support manager for Farm Credit Financial Partners in Agawam. In her new role, Rich will lead and motivate her team to ensure they have the tools and skills required to provide the best customer service possible. She holds a business management degree from St. John’s School of Business.

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Laura Lefebvre

Holyoke Community College (HCC) hired Laura Lefebvre as its new director of Public Safety. Lefebvre, a seasoned investigator, has more than 30 years of law-enforcement experience, most recently as senior sergeant in the campus police department at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) in North Adams. She is the first woman to serve as chief of police at HCC. Lefebvre, 56, got her start with the Hialeah Police Department in Dade County, Fla. She began as a patrol officer in 1986, then one of only four women in the 450-person department. She worked in the juvenile sexual battery unit investigating child-abuse cases before becoming the first woman assigned to the robbery division. She later moved into homicide as a detective. Lefebvre retired from the Hialeah Police Department in 1999 and then moved to Western Mass. with her husband, Gary, also a retired police officer, and two small children, Spencer and Emily, now adults. She then spent a few years as an officer with the Hadley Police Department and a police lieutenant at Westfield State University. Before going to MCLA, where she was the first woman sergeant, she worked for 11 years as a fraud investigator for the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the insurance giant Unum. Throughout her career, Lefebvre has been a field-training officer, teaching at police academies in Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. She holds a bachelor’s degree from MCLA in interdisciplinary studies in business and sociology and will complete her master’s degree in education at MCLA this May.

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Wendy Fitzgerald

Wendy Fitzgerald

HUB International New England, LLC, a division of HUB International Limited, a leading global insurance brokerage, recently announced that Wendy Fitzgerald has re-joined HUB New England as a strategic account executive, responsible for all things personal (personal insurance/auto, home, condo, renters, and more). Her role will include handling new business and outreach, renewals, quoting, special projects, and providing support when needed to the Personal Lines team of experts. She will be based out of HUB New England’s East Longmeadow office. Previously, Fitzgerald had been with the HUB/FieldEddy Personal Lines team from 2008 to 2016.

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Mary Shea

Mary Shea

James Garvey

James Garvey

Garvey Communication Associates Inc., the most experienced independent Google Partner in the Springfield area, announced the 2019 certifications for its Google Ads strategists. Mary Shea, vice president of Digital Strategy, and James Garvey, digital marketing analyst, collectively have passed the Search, Display, Mobile, and Video exams certifying their advanced expertise in creating, managing, measuring, and optimizing these specific Google Ads products. The two GCAi marketing technologists also meet with a dedicated Google Ads representative every month to review and further increase the performance of client campaigns. GCAi earned its Google Partner Agency designation more than five years ago. Partner status requires that GCAi associates pass Google Ads certifications, that the agency meets the spend requirements across its managed accounts, and that it demonstrate performance by delivering strong client and company growth. Shea works out of GCAi’s downtown Springfield headquarters at Tower Square. Garvey works out of GCAi’s newest office at WeWork’s Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif.

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Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) announced that Rosemary Manu has joined the LPV team as the LEAP program coordinator. She will hold various responsibilities in this position, including assisting in the planning, coordination, and execution of Leadership Pioneer Valley’s nine-month leadership-development program, in addition to helping recruit future LEAP program participants. Manu returned to Springfield last spring after obtaining a master’s degree from George Washington University in international development studies with a concentration in energy. Prior to this, she earned her bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Connecticut. Most recently, she worked as a consultant for USAID Food for Peace, which provided her with monitoring and evaluation skills. She was responsible for evaluating and assessing the effectiveness of combining emergency assistance and resilience building. Manu also comes to Leadership Pioneer Valley with an extensive background in the UN Women in Bangkok, Thailand, in the Disaster Risk Reduction Department. This experience expanded her research and writing skills and led her to become passionate about helping to develop communities and individuals.

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John McAndrew, an Edward Jones financial advisor in Holyoke, has accepted an invitation to become a limited partner in the Jones Financial Cos., the holding company for the St. Louis-based financial-services firm. Edward Jones currently employs 45,000 associates in all 50 states and through its affiliate in Canada. This is the firm’s 17th limited-partnership offering in its 97-year history. The Jones Financial Cos. was created in 1987 to enable the firm to expand into new business areas while allowing it to remain a partnership. The Jones Financial Cos. owns Edward D. Jones & Co., LP, which operates under the trade names Edward Jones, EDJ Leasing Co., the Edward Jones Trust Co., and its international financial-services subsidiary, Edward Jones Canada.

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Marilyn Lopez-Haddad

Marilyn Lopez-Haddad

Pattie Hallberg

Pattie Hallberg

Meredith Wise, president of the Employers Assoc. of the Northeast (EANE), announced the addition of two new members, Marilyn Lopez-Haddad and Pattie Hallberg, to the EANE board of directors, effective Jan. 1, for three-year terms. Lopez-Haddad, vice president of Human Resources for the Seven Hills Foundation, joined that organization’s senior leadership team in 2008.  She oversees the HR office and Seven Hills Corporate College, and provides leadership in the areas of employee relations, recruitment and retention compensation and benefits, and learning and development. Seven Hills is an integrated health and human services network based in Worcester. Before joining Seven Hills, Lopez-Haddad worked for various municipalities in Connecticut as the head of HR, personnel, and labor relations. She also worked as a Social Security disability associate in Florida. Most recently, she worked as an adjunct professor at Clark University in Worcester, where she taught global talent development. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She was admitted to practice law in Connecticut and Massachusetts, is a certified executive and career coach, and has acquired the SPHR and SHRM-SCP certifications. Hallberg is CEO of Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts (GSCWM), headquartered in Worcester and Holyoke. She joined GSCWM as CEO in 2008 to lead the merger of the three Girl Scout councils into one organization with a commitment to developing girls’ leadership potential. Under her direction, GSCWM has emerged as a leader in Central and Western Mass. in advocacy for girls. She is a commissioner on the Hampden County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. She serves as a co-chair for the Investing in Girls Alliance in Worcester, and is a founding member of the advisory committee for the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact and an advisory board member of the Young Women’s Leadership Institute with the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts. She serves as a board member and member of the finance committee for New England Public Radio. She is a member of the Women’s Suffrage Celebration Coalition of Massachusetts and a member of the Western Mass Women Presidents’ Organization. She is on the advisory board of the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Nichols College and a volunteer for the Springfield Schools Read-Aloud Program. In 2013, she received the Outstanding Women in Business Award from the Worcester Business Journal.

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Executives and entrepreneurs who participate in business peer groups report it is their most valuable activity for exploring solutions and shifting paradigms, says Ira Bryck, director of the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley. A group that has been meeting for years, formerly as part of a global roundtable organization, is accepting new members and hiring Bryck as their facilitator and coach. The Impact Executive Peer Group meets monthly for much of a day, and each member gets monthly, personalized coaching from the facilitator. The group will grow to include a dozen leaders from medium and larger companies roughly between Worcester and the Berkshires, and Hartford and Brattleboro. The format will include members discussing their challenges with questions and suggestions, as well as a speaker series, with topics and presenters relevant to the needs of the group. Bryck has moderated roundtable groups for 25 years, and is taking on this project as part of the leadership succession the Family Business Center is undergoing.

•••••

Dena Hall

Dena Hall

Dena Hall, who has served as Baystate Health Foundation’s vice chair for the past two years, has succeeded Jean Deliso as the foundation’s chair. Hall — a graduate of UMass Amherst, the Massachusetts School for Financial Studies, and the National School of Banking and Finance at Fairfield University — is executive vice president, chief Marketing officer for Hometown Financial Group and its banks, bankESB, based in Easthampton, and bankHometown, based in Central Mass. She is also the president of the bankESB Charitable Foundation and a member of the board of trustees for the Springfield Museums and the Springfield Thunderbirds Foundation. A longstanding volunteer for Baystate Noble Hospital, Hall and her husband, Eric, chaired the 2009 Baystate Noble Ball, helping to generate vitally important funds in support of the hospital in Westfield. In her previous role as Western Massachusetts regional president of United Bank and president of the United Bank Foundation, she launched support for the innovative Acute Care for Elders Unit at Baystate Medical Center with a $50,000 grant from the bank. She continues to invite new funders to the hospital to consider supporting this program.

•••••

Ryan Nauman

Ryan Nauman

Country Bank announced that Ryan Nauman joined its Commercial Banking division as vice president of Commercial Lending. Nauman brings 20 years of experience in the industry. His knowledge of business banking comes from his prior commercial-service roles and his passion for partnering with business owners to make their dreams reality. Nauman has held various positions over the years as a credit analyst, portfolio manager, and, most recently, vice president, loan officer with Farmington Bank in the Commercial Real Estate department. He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Bryant College. He is a member of the Real Estate Finance Assoc. and the Hartford Community Loan Fund. Nauman is located at the bank’s corporate office in Ware and will assist customers in the Western Mass. and Connecticut areas.

•••••

The Vann Group announced that Patty Stefanelli has joined the organization and will lead its newly launched Performance Improvement Division. This division was created to help organizations in any industry work toward more sustained levels of operational excellence by embracing Lean thinking and continuous improvement. In her role, Stefanelli will be focusing on creating awareness of the benefits of these concepts throughout the Pioneer Valley. Before joining the Vann Group, Stefanelli worked for the city of Springfield in its Information Technology department, and as an independent consultant helping organizations with their operations and IT. She has extensive technical and business knowledge, as well as project-management experience. She has led large, organization-wide initiatives from ERP and time and attendance system implementations to Lean process improvement initiatives, such as streamlining hiring processes or the order fulfillment processes in shipping departments. She has an MBA, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification, and TWI Knowledge certification.

•••••

Paragus IT CEO Delcie Bean announced the addition of three new board members. On Jan. 1, Nicole Nakashian, Michelle Abdow, and Scott Webster joined Randy Krotowski, Scott Foster, and John Drake on the board of the fast-growing IT firm. Nakashian currently serves as executive vice president at InvestCloud Inc. She helped launch Agio, an IT managed-service provider, and was responsible for building a client-centric progressive culture in addition to growing and managing the operations. Abdow is founder and president of Market Mentors, LLC, a full-service marketing agency located in Western Mass. that provides a variety of services, including advertising, branding, media buying, graphic design, public relations, broadcast production, and event planning. Webster is currently head of WW Operations for Amazon Experts. He brings a versatile mix of financial, technical, and business expertise. He is passionate about driving innovation, strategic change, and operational efficiency across dynamic, internet-based businesses.

 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Dena Hall, who has served as Baystate Health Foundation’s vice chair for the past two years, has succeeded Jean Deliso as the foundation’s chair.

“Jean has left an indelible stamp on the foundation over the past two years, and we are incredibly proud of all that we’ve achieved together under her leadership,” said Scott Berg, vice president of Philanthropy for Baystate Health and executive director of Baystate Health Foundation. “We are grateful for the gift of Jean’s talents and thrilled that she will be passing the baton to someone as accomplished and committed as Dena.”

Hall — a graduate of UMass Amherst, the Massachusetts School for Financial Studies, and the National School of Banking and Finance at Fairfield University — is executive vice president, chief Marketing officer for Hometown Financial Group and its banks, bankESB, based in Easthampton, and bankHometown, based in Central Mass. She is also the president of the bankESB Charitable Foundation and a member of the board of trustees for the Springfield Museums and the Springfield Thunderbirds Foundation.

Through her leadership role on the Baystate Health Foundation board, as well as her contributions as a fundraiser, Hall has been instrumental to the growth of philanthropy at Baystate Heath, Berg noted.

A longstanding volunteer for Baystate Noble Hospital, she and her husband, Eric, chaired the 2009 Baystate Noble Ball, helping to generate vitally important funds in support of the hospital in Westfield. In her previous role as Western Massachusetts regional president of United Bank and president of the United Bank Foundation, she launched support for the innovative Acute Care for Elders Unit at Baystate Medical Center with a $50,000 grant from the bank. She continues to invite new funders to the hospital to consider supporting this program.

People on the Move
Brenda McGiverin

Brenda McGiverin

WWLP announced that Brenda McGiverin has been promoted to general sales manager of WWLP-22News, wwlp.com, and the CW Springfield. McGiverin has been with WWLP since 2007. She began her career at the media outlet as a digital account executive/new media coordinator. She was then promoted to digital sales director, where she led a sales team of seven account executives, and was responsible for generating and managing all digital revenue.  Most recently, she has served as local sales manager overseeing the entire local sales staff and coordinating all aspects of broadcast and digital sales. Outside of her responsibilities at WWLP, she is the board president of the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts, a member of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round board, and on the advisory committee for Providence Ministries. McGiverin is a graduate of Northeastern University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing and management. While attending Northeastern, she worked as a marketing coordinator for 8MinuteDating – Boston, and as a client services coordinator for MTV2-Y2M: Youth Media & Marketing Networks, the parent of College Publisher, the largest interactive network of online college newspapers in the U.S.

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Berdie Thompson

Berdie Thompson

Berdie Thompson recently joined the staff of Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts as the Development director. She previously served as the Charitable Gifts and Events coordinator for the Chicopee Savings Bank Foundation for 10 years. In addition, she has six years of fundraising experience and six years of office management in the nonprofit sector and a solid track record of meeting and exceeding fundraising goals. She brings with her a plethora of knowledge about fundraising from both sides of the table. Prior to her involvement in nonprofits, she was in the banking industry for 15 years.

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Suzanne Rosenberg

Suzanne Rosenberg

Michael Gay

Michael Gay

PeoplesBank recently appointed Suzanne Rosenberg as assistant vice president and manager for its West Springfield banking center, and Michael Gay as manager for its Amherst banking center. In her new position, Rosenberg aims to cultivate a customer-focused, engaging, one-stop resolution environment focused on identifying and providing solutions for all customers’ financial needs. She has 15 years of financial-services and banking experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Stonehill College in Easton. She formerly served as a volunteer for the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce and the Mashpee Boys & Girls Club. In his new position, Gay aims to provide a positive banking experience to both consumer and small-business customers. He has eight years of financial-services and banking experience. He attended Holyoke Community College and Franklin-Covey organizational training. He formerly served as a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Therapeutic Equestrian Center of Holyoke.

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Sr. Kathleen Keating

Sr. Kathleen Keating

The board of trustees of Elms College voted recently to grant the title of president emerita to Sr. Kathleen Keating in recognition of the lasting impact she has had on the college. Keating, a native of Springfield, was installed as the college’s seventh president in 1994. During her tenure, from 1994 to 2001, Elms College underwent extensive changes. In 1997, the college voted to admit male students to all programs of the college, which helped stabilize a declining enrollment. In addition, the college added four new undergraduate majors and one new master’s degree program. She more than doubled the school’s endowment from $2.3 million to $5.8 million and oversaw various campus-improvement projects, including the building of the Maguire Center. She also oversaw the establishment of the Irish and Polish Cultural Centers on the Elms campus. A 1952 graduate of Elms College, Keating received a master’s degree from Villanova University and a doctoral degree from Fordham University. She joined the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1953. She worked as a teacher at St. Joseph High School in North Adams and was assistant professor of History at Elms College from 1966 to 1975. She also served as chair of the college’s Division of Social Sciences. From 1975 to 1978, she was president of the National Assembly of Women Religious in Chicago, and she served as president of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield from 1979 to 1987. From 1989 to 1993, she ministered in Nicaragua as an associate member of the Maryknoll Sisters, working as a pastoral minister and a professor of English at the Jesuit University of Central America in the city of Managua. She received the Elms Distinguished Alumni Award in 1983 and a number other national and regional awards over the years.

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Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, announced that Tiffany Raines has been hired as assistant vice president and branch officer of the new Holyoke branch located at 170 Sargeant St. Raines brings more than 18 years of experience in banking, most recently serving as assistant vice president and banking center manager of PeoplesBank’s West Springfield banking center. In addition to 10 years as a branch manager and spending time managing the West Springfield, Amherst, and East Longmeadow offices, she also spent six years supervising the High Street and Hampden Street offices in Holyoke. Raines has a strong commitment to serving surrounding communities. She is a past board member of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Rotary Clubs of Amherst, Holyoke, and East Longmeadow. Raines is a graduate of Leadership Holyoke, which is an 11-week community leadership course designed to train and motivate people to volunteer in order to make a positive difference in their community. Along with Raines, Tenaya Read has been selected as assistant branch manager. Read joined the bank in 2004 and, over the last 14 years, has held the positions of teller, customer service representative, and, most recently, senior teller at the main office in Easthampton (36 Main St.). In addition, Nadean Eaddy has been selected as senior teller. Eaddy joined the bank this past May with 15 years of banking experience, 11 of which were in a supervisor role. She has been promoted from her current role as teller in the South Hadley branch.

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Susan Fentin

Susan Fentin

Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. announced that Susan Fentin, senior counsel, has retired from the active representation of clients after 20 years with the firm. Fentin joined Skoler Abbott in 1999 after serving as clerk to Judge John Greaney, associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and practicing for several years with the Labor and Employment department of a large law firm in Hartford, Conn. Her expertise in the niche market of employment law enabled her to quickly build a leadership role at Skoler Abbott. In just five years, she was made partner. Fentin graduated magna cum laude from Western New England University School of Law, where she was editor in chief of the Western New England College Law Review. She was the editor of the Massachusetts Employment Law Letter and teaches master classes on behalf of the publisher, Business & Legal Resources (BLR). She will continue to present occasional webinars to national audiences on behalf of BLR and is a regular presenter and keynote speaker for BLR’s annual Advanced Employment Issues Symposium. In addition, Fentin has a long history of supporting charitable organizations in Western Mass. She has served on the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts board of trustees, including three years as president; the Riverside Industries Inc. board of directors, including stints as vice president and president; and the WFCR Public Radio board of directors, where she also served as president. She currently serves on the board of directors for Greenfield Cooperative Bank and the Children’s Advocacy Center in Greenfield and is vice chair of the board of tribunes of WGBY Public Television. Fentin has been named a Super Lawyer since 2008, was one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Massachusetts in 2015, has been recognized as one of the top labor and employment attorneys in Massachusetts by the prestigious Chambers and Partners rating organization, and was honored as a distinguished alumna of the Western New England University Law Review.

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Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2018 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. She has accomplished this level of achievement for seven consecutive years. Deliso is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that help position clients for a solid financial future since 2000. She has been working in the financial field for 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry. She is a graduate of Bentley College. Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash management, risk management, investment planning, and financial preparation for retirement, as well as times of transition such as divorce or widowhood. Deliso has been a New York Life agent since 1995 and is associated with New York Life’s CT Valley General Office in Windsor, Conn. She is currently chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and is a board member 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 a past trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and the advisory council at Bay Path University.

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Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) announced that Amy Britt has joined the organization as the Leaders OnBoard program coordinator. In this role, she will be responsible for managing LPV’s board-development program, Leaders OnBoard. The program aims to increase and strengthen the skills and capacities of boards of directors. This program is intended to recruit and train people who are new to board service as well as seasoned board members, with the goal of inspiring and strengthening the leadership provided to the network of nonprofit organizations in the Pioneer Valley. Britt comes to Leadership Pioneer Valley with a background in communications, marketing, and event management. She worked for Tapestry, a regional public-health agency, for over 10 years, most recently as director of Communications, where she oversaw communications and marketing for the organization, worked with the Development department on fundraising campaigns and events, and supported the agency’s state and federal advocacy efforts. Britt graduated from Smith College with a bachelor’s degree in biology, and was selected as an American fellow in a U.S. State Department program focused on women’s health leadership in Brazil in 2012. She is a 2014 Leadership Pioneer Valley graduate.

•••••

Marjorie Weeks

Marjorie Weeks

The United Way of Pioneer Valley recently welcomed Marjorie Weeks as director of Resource Development. She brings more than 25 years of experience in fundraising and development as well as school administration. Weeks has done a considerable amount of counseling and coaching for area nonprofits. Much of her experience has been in the independent school world, including time with Academy Hill School and Wilbraham & Monson Academy. Weeks will spend the majority of her time re-energizing long-standing allies and inspiring others to support the essential work of the United Way of Pioneer Valley.

•••••

Kristen Coia, operations manager at Arrha Credit Union, was recognized by the Cooperative Credit Union Assoc. with its Young Professionals Award for being an upcoming, proactive professional. The association also recognized Arrha with the Excellence in Advocacy Award for promoting the interests of credit unions among its legislative, regulatory, and consumer audiences. The engagement in advocacy included many outreach efforts, such as Michael Ostrowski, Arrha’s president and CEO, visiting Washington, D.C., to be part of the ongoing credit-union industry legislative discussions, seeking approvals to fully utilize today’s advances in technology, providing financial literacy, and being part of the World Affairs Committee of Credit Union National Assoc. and its world arm, the World Council of Credit Unions, to lend aid and assistance to Puerto Rico’s credit unions. Ostrowski also traveled to Cuba to engage its government on establishing credit unions and, most recently, to Poland to assist its credit unions in regulatory advocacy with the Polish government.

•••••

Bailey Eastman

Bailey Eastman

Webber and Grinnell Insurance announced that Bailey Eastman, commercial lines marketing manager, was named the MAIA 2018 Young Agent of the Year. This award is given to young agents who have demonstrated career growth and success within their agency as well as significant involvement in the community to which their agency belongs. In addition to Eastman’s work ethic, she is dedicated to her community through volunteering. She is heavily involved with Look Park, has helped organize and run her own nonprofit dealing with child abuse, and serves in various other organizations and community events.

•••••

Ron Davis, a sales professional, business specialist, and founder of WAMF Consulting, has transitioned from president and CEO of the company to chief sales officer. This new position will allow him to offer a comprehensive approach to banks, credit unions, and corporations to support their sales and business-development needs.

After 40 years of selling software and services to financial institutions and corporations in the Northeast, WAMF Consulting was born. WAMF is an acronym for ‘winners are my friends.’ Davis has been recognized nationally, achieved President’s Clubs, and been a top sales performer and district leader. He is trained in major sales methodologies, SPIN selling, power messaging, executive presentations, Dale Carnegie, and strategic selling. Early in his career as an account executive for the Savin Corp., he sold a national contract to United Technologies, the world’s largest corporation at that time. Davis is certified in the Fair Credit Reporting Act and has a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in business, management, and economics. He has written marketing surveys which were implemented in corporate business plans and rolled out company-wide. He coined the phrase ‘lobby dynamics’ to help bank branch personnel sell more products and deepen the customer experience.

•••••

The management of Big Y Foods Inc. announced three new appointments at area Big Y World Class Markets. Samarra DeJesus was named bakery sales manager in Southwick, Trista Sabin was named deli sales manager in Lee, and Thomas Christensen Jr. was named meat/seafood sales manager in Rocky Hill, Conn.

WofImpact-LogoSQ

This Year’s Class to Be Celebrated on Dec. 8

BusinessWest has long recognized the contributions of women within the business community and created the Women of Impact awards four years ago to further honor women who have the authority and power to move the needle in their business, are respected for accomplishments within their industries, give back to the community, and are sought out as respected advisors and mentors within their field of influence.

See the 2022 Women of Impact Digital section HERE

The eight stories below demonstrate that idea many times over. They detail not only what these women do for a living, but what they’ve done with their lives — specifically, how they’ve become innovators in their fields, leaders within the community, and, most importantly, inspirations to all those around them. The class of 2022 features:

Come celebrate them on Thursday, Dec. 8, at a gala at the Springfield Sheraton. The Women of Impact program and event are sponsored this year by Country Bank and TommyCar Auto Group (presenting sponsors) and Comcast Business and Granite State Development Corp. and Smith Executive Education (supporting sponsors).

Fast Facts

WHAT: The fifth annual Women of Impact Gala
WHEN: Thursday, December 8, 2022
TIME: Doors open 5:45 PM

WHERE: Sheraton Springfield, One Monarch Place
TICKETS: $85 per person (tables of 10 available)

Go HERE to order your tickets!

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Go HERE or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Presenting Sponsors

Partner Sponsors

Nominate the Next Woman of Impact

Nominations for this year’s Women of Impact are CLOSED. Check back for next year!

For sponsorship information contact:
Kate Campiti 413.781.8600 (ext. 104)  [email protected]
Kathleen Plante 413.781.8600 (ext. 108)  [email protected]

Honorees Saluted on Dec. 9

Leader. Inspiration. Pioneer. Mentor.

 You will read plenty of words like these over the next eight profiles as BusinessWest introduces its fourth annual cohort of a program called, appropriately enough, Women of Impact.

 Appropriate, because these women aren’t only business successes and community leaders; they are, indeed, impactful — in ways that reverberate far beyond their office, their sector, and even this present time.

 These are compelling stories about remarkable women, and as you read them, you’ll quickly understand why BusinessWest added Women of Impact to its list of annual recognition programs four years ago. In short, these stories need to be told — or told in a different way than you’ve heard before.

Individually and especially together, they’re making this a much better place to live, work, raise a family, and run a business.

And they were celebrated on Dec. 9 at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel.

The 2021 honorees are:

• Jessica Collins

Executive director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts;

Elizabeth Dineen

CEO of the YWCA of Western Massachusetts;

Charlene Elvers

Director of the Center for Service and Leadership at Springfield College;

Karin Jeffers

President and CEO of Clinical and Support Options;

• Elizabeth Keen

Owner of Indian Line Farm;

• Madeline Landrau

Program Engagement manager at MassMutual;

• Shannon Mumblo

Executive director of Christina’s House; and

• Tracye Whitfield

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer for the town of West Springfield; and Springfield City Councilor.

2020 Women of Impact

2020 Women of Impact

• Tania Barber, President and CEO of Caring Health Center, who has led by example, with a servant’s heart, in both her healthcare career and in her ministry.
• Carol Campbell, President of Chicopee Industrial Contractors, who is using her influence to help other women find — and use — their voice.
• Helen Caulton-Harris, Health and Human Services commissioner for the city of Springfield, whose vision of a healthier community includes social equity.
• Patricia Hallberg, CEO of the Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts, who continues to be both a role model and advocate for women and girls.
• Andrea Harrington, Berkshire County district attorney, who set out to transform her region’s criminal-justice system and has done so, in myriad ways.
• Toni Hendrix, Director of Human Services at Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing, who has transformed organizations through empathy-based leadership.
• Christina Royal, President of Holyoke Community College, whose leadership has been tested and sharpened by the challenges wrought by a pandemic.
• Sue Stubbs, President and CEO of ServiceNet, who has grown her agency dramatically by recognizing needs and welcoming innovative ideas to meet them.

Presenting Sponsors

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Country Bank's 2020 Women of Impact Sponsor Video

Health New England's 2020 Women of Impact Sponsor Video

TommyCar Auto Group's 2020 Women of Impact Sponsor Video​

Supporting Sponsor

Media Partner

Social Media Partner

Meet Our Judges

Carol Moore Cutting

In 1999, Carol Moore Cutting, a 2019 Women of Impact honoree, launched WEIB 106.3 FM, the only locally owned commercial FM radio station in the Greater Springfield market, the only female-owned FM radio station in Massachusetts, and the only station in New England owned by a person of color. She’s also sponsored myriad cultural organizations and jazz festivals in the Pioneer Valley and beyond, while supporting non-arts-related nonprofits over the years as well.

Shelley Regin

As senior vice president of Marketing at Country Bank, Shelley Regin draws on 25 years of experience with that institution. She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management and holds the professional designation of certified financial marketing professional, as well as a certification in social media. She also serves as vice president of the New England Financial Marketing Assoc. and an advisory board member for the American Bankers Assoc. Marketing School.

Katherine Putnam

Katherine Putnam, another 2019 Women of Impact honoree, is managing director of Golden Seeds, a national investment firm that focuses on early-stage businesses that have women in management and leadership roles. While investing in some developing ventures, she spends most of her time advising and mentoring entrepreneurs, especially women, while working diligently to create strategies for helping women and minorities crash through the many barriers facing them as entrepreneurs.

2nd Annual Women of Impact Awards

2019 Women of Impact Honorees

 

Tricia Canavan, President, United Personnel Services

Carol Moore Cutting, President, CEO, and General Manager, Cutting Edge Broadcasting

Jean Deliso, Principal, Deliso Financial Services

Ellen Freyman, Partner, Shatz, Schwartz & Fentin

Mary Hurley, Massachusetts Governor’s Councilor

Lydia Martinez-Alvarez, Assistant Superintendent, Springfield Public Schools

Suzanne Parker, Executive Director, Girls Inc. of the Valley

Katherine Putnam, Managing Director, Golden Seeds

2019 Co-emcee

Taylor Knight joined 22News in July of 2018 as a multimedia journalist. Currently, Taylor is the co-anchor of the 22News weekday morning newscasts and a reporter for the 22News I-Team.  Before arriving in Springfield, Taylor was a reporter for FiOS1 News in New Jersey. Taylor began her career as a multimedia journalist in Connecticut, covering news and sports in Fairfield County.  Taylor earned her B.A. in broadcast journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia. During college, she interned at WFSB in Connecticut and NBC Sports Philadelphia. In her free time, Taylor enjoys spending time with her dog, running, and watching the Philadelphia Eagles. She is excited to now be “Working for You!”

2018 Women of Impact Event

More than 400 people turned out at the Sheraton Springfield on Dec. 6, 2018 for BusinessWest’s inaugural Women of Impact luncheon. Eight women were honored for their achievements in business and with giving back to the community. Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito attended and offered remarks on subjects ranging from advancements in STEM education to a host of bipartisan efforts at the State House. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno also offered remarks. The keynote speaker was Lei Wang, the first Asian woman to complete the Explorers Grand Slam.

See the 2018 Women of Impact Program Flipbook HERE

The 2018 Women of Impact Honorees:

• Jean Canosa Albano, assistant director of Public Services, Springfield City Library;

• Kerry Dietz, principal, Dietz Architects;

• Denise Jordan, executive director, Springfield Housing Authority;

• Gina Kos, executive director, Sunshine Village;

• Carol Leary, president, Bay Path University;

• Colleen Loveless, president and CEO, Revitalize Community Development Corp.;

• Janis Santos, executive director, HCS Head Start; and

• Katie Allen Zobel, president and CEO, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

2018 Women of Impact Honorees

Celebrating the 2018 Women of Impact

Scenes from the Women of Impact Event

More than 400 people turned out at the Sheraton Springfield on Dec. 6 for BusinessWest’s inaugural Women of Impact luncheon. Eight women were honored for their achievements in business and with giving back to the community. Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito attended and offered remarks on subjects ranging from advancements in STEM education to a host of bipartisan efforts at the State House. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno also offered remarks. The keynote speaker was Lei Wang, the first Asian woman to complete the Explorers Grand Slam.

Departments People on the Move
Amanda Sbriscia

Amanda Sbriscia

Holyoke Community College announced that Amanda Sbriscia has been hired as its new vice president of Institutional Advancement. Sbriscia will lead HCC’s fund-raising efforts as head of the HCC Foundation as well as oversee Alumni Affairs, Resource Development, and Marketing and Communications. She begins Oct. 30. “I am thrilled to be joining HCC at a very exciting time in its history,” Sbriscia said. “I look forward to connecting with our alumni, friends, faculty, and staff, and to engaging the community in our efforts to support students and build on the college’s excellent reputation.” Sbriscia  comes to HCC with more than 10 years of experience in education and fund-raising. Most recently, she has been serving as senior director of Advancement at Bay Path University, following her role there as director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations. Before Bay Path, Sbriscia worked in fund development for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts and as director of Annual Giving for Anna Maria College in Paxton. Her experience in higher education also includes work in major gifts, volunteer management, corporate sponsorship, and strategic planning. “We were fortunate to have four extremely qualified finalists to consider, and we put each of them through a full day of rigorous interviews,” said HCC president Christina Royal. “In the end, though, Amanda’s experience, presence, and passion really made her stand out. She has an energy that I believe will integrate fluently with our current campus leadership and help propel us forward as we begin to develop a strategic plan for the future of HCC. I’m excited that she will soon be here.” Sbriscia has served on the board of the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals and is a member of Women in Philanthropy and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield. She is also a classroom reader through Springfield School Volunteers. She is currently pursuing her doctor of education degree in organizational leadership from Northeastern University.

•••••

Jaime O’Connor

Jaime O’Connor

Waterford Hotel Group announced the appointment of Jaime O’Connor as director of sales at the Sheraton Hartford Hotel located inside Bradley International Airport. The Sheraton Bradley is managed by Waterford Hotel Group, a national hotel and convention-center management firm. As director of Sales, O’Connor is responsible for the total sales efforts for the hotel, as well as supervising sales-related personnel and implementing sales and marketing strategies to maximize profits while also maintaining guest satisfaction. O’Connor started her career in hospitality at the Sheraton Springfield in 2001. She quickly grew within the property, holding the positions of executive meeting manager and senior executive meeting manager, before joining Waterford Hotel Group as a sales manager at the Marriott Hartford in 2005. Most recently, she has been working as director of sales at the Sheraton Hartford South. “We are pleased to welcome Jaime back to the Waterford Hotel Group team,” said Karen Bachofner, vice president of Sales and Marketing at Waterford Hotel Group. “We look forward to working with her in this new role.”

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Valerie Krolicki

Valerie Krolicki

Valerie Krolicki recently joined Ayre Real Estate Co. Inc. as a full-time real-estate sales associate. She is a graduate of Hopkinton High School and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in education from Northeastern University in Boston. Krolicki is the daughter-in-law of the late Cynthia ‘Cindy’ Ayre, formerly of Ayre Real Estate and past president of the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley and Realtor of the Year.

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With the upcoming departure of DevelopSpringfield’s President and CEO Jay Minkarah, the organization has tapped Jeff Daley to provide consulting services on an interim basis to manage project oversight. Daley is founder and principal of CJC Development Advisors, LLC with more than 15 years of experience in real-estate development, construction project development, government relations, and public-private partnership development. He was formerly the Economic Development director for the city of Westfield, executive director of the Westfield Redevelopment Authority, and a member of the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority board of directors, in addition to roles on other nonprofit boards and advisory panels. “I am excited for the opportunity to assist the team at DevelopSpringfield to move their projects forward,” Daley said. “CJC Development Advisors has been engaged in development projects around the region, and I feel this is a perfect opportunity to help DevelopSpringfield through their transition on some very important projects.” Nick Fyntrilakis, DevelopSpringfield’s board chair, added that “we are pleased to have Jeff step in to help ensure the advancement of DevelopSpringfield’s projects. Jeff has a strong background in large-scale development projects, and I’m confident his experience will be invaluable to the organization as we look to begin a search for a permanent replacement for Jay Minkarah.”

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Claudia Pazmany

Claudia Pazmany

Claudia Pazmany was recently named director of Development & Marketing for Providence Ministries. “My guiding core philosophy is to honor the work of today but to bring people together in the form of support to enable a vision for tomorrow,” Pazmany said. “It exemplifies how I feel about the power of philanthropy and how it can transform communities. I hope to transform how we think about our most vulnerable in my new role here at Providence Ministries, and how we can all play a vital role in that transformation.” Pazmany is a community leader with more than 16 years of experience in professional fund-raising. Her business-development skills, combined with a long history in capital campaigns, philanthropy, community engagement, social media, and alumni relations, helped her build visionary and sustainable movements of giving. She continues to apply her leadership skills to creating a more just and equitable world. Pazmany has an MBA from UMass, served on the executive team as former director of Development at the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, is a graduate of the Women’s Fund’s Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact, and is currently a board member at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County.

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Morrison Mahoney LLP announced the election of six new partners, representing a range of practice areas including appeals, insurance coverage, construction litigation, professional liability defense, medical malpractice, fraud, transportation, and employment-law disputes.

“The election of so many highly qualified partners speaks volumes of the depth of talent that we have in all offices of Morrison Mahoney and quality of our mentoring and professional development,” said Managing Partner Scott Burke.

The new partners are:

Jeffrey O’Connor

Jeffrey O’Connor

Joseph Ciollo

Joseph Ciollo

Jeffrey O’Connor (Springfield), who focuses his practice on the defense of medical and legal professionals, healthcare law, employment litigation, and general liability defense;

Joseph Ciollo (Hartford, Stamford), who represents insurance companies, insureds, private businesses, attorneys, and other licensed professionals in matters involving automobile, homeowner, and property insurance coverage; insurance fraud investigation; general liability defense; automobile liability defense; bad-faith claims; subrogation; professional liability; and employment discrimination;

Christopher Davidson (Boston), who specializes in the defense of corporate clients involving claims of catastrophic injury or death in the context of construction-site accidents, product liability, premises liability, and transportation/trucking matters;

Larry Slotnick (Boston), who has successfully represented insures in a wide range of coverage and bad-faith disputes, both at the trial and appellate levels, and also represents businesses in commercial-litigation disputes;

Christopher Keenoy (New York), who focuses his practice on cases involving professional liability, construction defects, product liability, lead paint, trucking, and general liability; and

James McKenney (New York), who litigates complex commercial and civil matters, including healthcare and insurance-coverage issues, regulatory violations, Medicaid fraud claims, contract disputes, and civil RICO actions in federal, state, and appellate courts.

•••••

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2017 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 for six consecutive years. 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 CT Valley General Office in Windsor, Conn. She is currently chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and a board member 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. Deliso Financial and Insurance Services is not owned or operated by New York Life Insurance Co. or any of its affiliates.

40 Under 40 Cover Story The Class of 2017

Announcing the 11th Annual Top Young Business and Community Leaders in Western Massachusetts

40under40-logo2017aA year ago it was a first; now, it would have to be called a trend.

Women again outnumber men within the 40 Under Forty class of 2017, as the photos will reveal, although it’s quite close, actually. But who’s counting?

What people should be counting are the years and the numbers of area residents now in this special club, if you will. That would be 11 and 440, to be exact.

As the profiles (list of links to profiles below) reveal, each story of a 40 Under Forty winner is different and in some way unique, hailing from industries ranging from law to banking; from education to transportation; from media to healthcare — not to mention many others. Many are advancing the work of long-established businesses, while others, with an entrepreneurial bent, created their own opportunities instead of waiting for them to emerge.


40 Under Forty Class of 2017


But there are, as always, some common denominators, including excellence within one’s profession, a commitment to giving back to the community, dedication to family and work/life balance, and a focus on ‘what else’ they do in each of those realms.

The class of 2017 (go HERE for the PDF flipbook), its diversity, and its and individual and collective accomplishments will be celebrated at the annual 40 Under Forty Gala on June 22 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. A limited number of tables are available, but a number of individual seats and standing-room-only tickets are still available.

The gala will also feature the announcement of the winner of the third annual Continued Excellence Award, a recognition program that salutes the 40 Under Forty honoree who has most impressively added to their résumé of accomplishments in the workplace and within the community, as chosen by a panel of judges.

Speaking of judges, we thank those who scored the more than 150 nominations for this year’s 40 Under Forty competition (see story HERE). They are:

Ken Albano, managing partner of the Springfield-based law firm Bacon Wilson;
Jean Deliso, CFP, president and owner of Deliso Financial Services;
Samalid Hogan, director of the western regional office of the Mass. Small Business Development Center Network and member of the 40 Under Forty class of 2013;
Patrick Leary, partner at the Springfield-based accounting firm Moriarty & Primack and member of the 40 Under Forty class of 2017; and
Matt Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB.

Presenting Sponsors

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Sponsors


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isenberg

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Photography for this special section by Leah Martin Photography

Features

50 Shades of … Everything

Amy Woolf

Amy Woolf

Amy Woolf, a certified architectural color consultant, says color can, and very often does, affect people physiologically and psychologically. And for these reasons, it’s very important to pick the rights ones, especially in business. Indeed, the chosen colors should reflect the products or services being sold, and the people selling them.

Amy Woolf says colors have long had meaning, importance, and symbolism; that’s not a recent phenomenon.

Centuries ago, she noted, royals and those in the clergy wore purple because that was a rare, very expensive dye, and thus that color translated directly into money and power.

And while they are still relatively few in number, individuals have been putting the title ‘architectural color consultant,’ or words to that effect, on their business card for some time now, she went on. In fact, there is a trade group comprised of such professionals — the International Assoc. of Color Consultants (IACC) — that has chapters all over the world; the one in North America stages classes once a year in San Diego.

But in recent years, color has seemingly taken on more importance in architecture, office design, and business in general, she noted, listing as reasons why everything from the growing number of colors (or shades of them, to be exact), to high-definition television, which brings everything into sharper focus; from the proliferation of decorating shows on TV to an increased emphasis — in business and in marketing — on sending the proper message, in part through colors.

These would be the colors on the walls, the company logo, the home page of the website, the business card, the fleet of vans or trucks, and on it goes. But much of her work involves commercial and residential real estate.

“To me, the most important thing is to unravel how someone wants to feel in a space, and how we can choose a color that’s going to have the right physiological outcome and the right psychological outcome,” Woolf said while trying to quickly explain what she does and how she does it. “Because color really does have a physiological impact; it changes our heartbeat, it changes how we perceive temperature, those kinds of things.”

There is such a focus on color now that Woolf — whose business is based out of her home in Northampton — and others in this profession make a decent living from what could certainly be described as a solid mix of art and science, one with many variables and focus points.

Indeed, just listen to this description of a job she worked on recently involving a lengthy search for the right color for the exterior of a commercial building in Amherst.

“The building had been brown, and the client was expecting me to specify gray,” Woolf told BusinessWest. “The tenants are diverse, including light manufacturing, a Comcast office, and a martial-arts school. The color eventually chosen, which sits between the blue of the sky and the green of the trees, settles into the landscape nicely, but provides a much more welcoming first impression than brown or gray would have. Heaven knows the world is not lacking for more brown and gray buildings.”

Also consider this summation of her work to “break a tie” among leaders at Greenfield Savings Bank concerning the exterior color for the branch on King Street in Northampton; two browns and a gray were under consideration.

“Their goal for the architectural design was to help increase the sense of a “walkable, village-like feeling for King Street,” she recalled. “I suggested they do a 180 away from neutrals and go with an olive green instead. I encouraged them to break up the monotony of gray and brown so prevalent in the King Street corridor with something fresh and friendly.”

Like we said, it’s a blend of art and what is certainly now a science.

The exterior color chosen for this commercial building in Amherst

The exterior color chosen for this commercial building in Amherst “sits between the blue of the sky and the green of the trees,” says Amy Woolf.

And one of the key aspects of this work is working in partnership with the client, said Woolf, adding that the key words in those remarks above are ‘suggested’ and ‘encouraged.’

Indeed, Woolf says she doesn’t choose colors for her clients. She advises, explains the reasons behind this advice, and works to achieve buy-in. Ultimately, the client has to be more than comfortable with the decision, she said, and essentially own it.

“I explain to my clients why I’m choosing the colors I’m using,” she explained. “I’m as much a coach and a teacher; I don’t just come in and say ‘do this’ and ‘do this’; I’m always explaining why.”

For this issue, BusinessWest takes an in-depth look at the business of colors, or, more specifically, the art of picking the right ones.

No Black and White Issues

As she grabbed a large fan deck, this one created by Sherwin Williams, Woolf made an emphatic point about just how many colors there are to choose from by stopping in the ‘whites’ section.

It was not a short visit.

“Look at all of these whites,” she said as she flipped through the wheel. “And they all have a slightly different, subtle quality to them, and that’s where people get in trouble; they say, ‘I’m just going to paint white.’ But if it’s a pinky white, then they end up with pink walls.”

Helping people make sense of, and perhaps choose among, all those whites — and blues and greens and grays — is essentially Woolf’s stock and trade, only it’s much more complicated than looking at swatches and finding one that looks good, as she would explain in detail. Because ‘good’ is certainly a relative term in this discussion, and one with myriad meanings.

Other professionals involved in art, architecture, and interior design obviously work with clients on color selection, she noted, but this is all she does. She’s not sure if she’s the only certified color consultant in the 413 area code, but she does know that it wouldn’t take long at all to call the roll.

Nonetheless, hers is a vibrant business (that’s a technical term in many respects), and she quantified that by saying she’s generally juggling more than 20 clients at a time, with a healthy mix of residential and commercial, probably a little more of the former than the latter.

And her work, as she told BusinessWest, involves almost anything, design-wise and business-wise, that comes in colors. That includes flooring, window treatments, furniture, etc. (She noted that, when she mentions she’s a color consultant, many ask if this extends to fashion and coordinating one’s wardrobe; it doesn’t.)

“I liken it to an algebraic equation — everything’s a variable that all comes together in a certain way,” she said of most projects in both the commercial and residential realms. “As you tweak one thing, everything around it moves, so it’s good to look at it all at once.”

Like most of those who are certified architectural color consultants, Woolf was greatly influenced by the work of the late Frank Mahnke, who wrote the book on the subject — quite literally. It’s called Color, Environment & Human Response, and that name goes a long way toward explaining this profession.

Indeed, there are human responses to various colors, she went on, adding that these responses should help dictate which ones people, especially those in various businesses, should choose.

As she talked about all this, Woolf referenced the color chosen for the walls of her home office — called ‘cooking apple green.’

She chose it because she likes it and finds it comfortable to be in and around. But BusinessWest was among the very few people outside her family who have been in this office (Woolf obviously needs to do her work on location in almost all cases), so this played into the decision.

“This is just for me,” she said, adding quickly that it might be suitable in a traditional business office; that’s might.

“The important thing about color is that we do have these sort of prescriptive ways of talking about it — ‘this is good for business,’ or ‘this is good for a nursery,’ or ‘this is good for a bedroom,’” she explained. “But what that doesn’t really examine is the individual, personal relationship with color.

“For me, I find this green to strike the right balance between restful and having enough liveliness so that it’s somewhat energizing,” she went on, diving into the real science of her work. “But for someone who doesn’t really like green, it would be the wrong choice. So you probably need to think of it in terms of a bell curve — for a large number of people at the middle of the bell curve, this would be an acceptable color, but for some people who are maybe outliers, it wouldn’t work. The bottom line is that one needs to be careful not to generalize over colors that are ‘good.’”

For her new office in Agawam, Jean Deliso

For her new office in Agawam, Jean Deliso desired colors that make clients feel comfortable and convey a sense of trust.

So, just what goes into choosing the right color or colors, especially for a business setting? Woolf said it all comes down to how the client would like someone to feel in that space. Sometimes, that someone is the client themselves, but for a business that entertains customers, it’s more about how those individuals will feel in that space.

Business owners want that individual to feel comfortable, obviously, she went on, but often there’s more to it. In settings where the visitor might be anxious — a doctor’s office or any other place where delicate matters are discussed, for example — calming colors are required. Meanwhile, in most professional settings, like lawyers’ and accountants’ offices, colors that somehow generate trust and respect are preferable.

“In a commercial environment, you want to choose colors that send the appropriate message for the product or service being sold,” she said, adding that, while this sounds obvious, it is often an overlooked or underappreciated matter.

“I would never — OK, never is a big word … I would be unlikely to use trendy colors in an office or business environment where the message and the branding is that of solidity or trust,” she went on. “We talk about ‘IBM blue’ or ‘banking blue,’ the kinds of colors that create a sense of trust and reliability; we can use colors like that.”

And, as one might guess, there are, well, fine lines everywhere when one is talking about this subject.

Take yellow, for example. “It’s a very energetic color, it’s very buzzy; that’s why we paint school buses yellow, so we can see them,” she told BusinessWest. “But sometimes, people are sensitive to the level of energy in that yellow, and might think it’s overwhelming.

“In my training, we talk about this continuum of understimulation versus overstimulation,” she went on, “with understimulation being monotonous and boring in the environment, and overstimulation being so vivid, so bright, so much data that it becomes overwhelming and is too much. So what I want to unravel with my clients is, what does their environment call for in terms of that feeling?”

Hue and Cry

What this unraveling process has revealed throughout her career is that, while there are rules of sorts in this science and this business, they are not exactly hard and fast, and sometimes rules are made to be broken.

“The classic example is using a restful color in a bedroom,” she explained. “People want calming, soothing colors. But I did work for a physician who really wanted a wake-up call, so her bedroom is a soft orange, which flies in the face of those rules, or those shortcuts.”

One of those rules pertains to colors at opposite ends of the color circle, such as yellow/purple, red/green, and orange/blue. While celebrated artists liked to bring such contrasts together on a canvas, and doing so might work from a fashion perspective, it’s generally best to avoid such practices in a business setting, said Woolf.

“Color schemes that are high-contrast really don’t work,” she said. “Strong black and white, which arguably is trendy and in style in the architectural world, really creates eyestrain,” she explained. “My training says to keep the colors closer to the center and not to the extreme end of light and dark.”

However, strict adherence to the common practices of using all warm colors or all cool colors might not yield the kind of dynamic color scheme and interesting environment that results from working from both ends of the color wheel.

“You can do it, but do it just enough,” she said of contrasting colors, adding that this, in itself, is part of the art and science of this work. “That’s where the magic is.”

There are some other general guidelines to follow, she said, adding that it is wise, especially in a business setting, to focus on colors that work for that particular setting, meaning sending the right message, and not, as she noted earlier, colors that are ‘trendy’ at that given time.

Colors in that latter category now include turquoise and aqua, said Woolf, adding that, while they may be ‘hot,’ they still wouldn’t be suitable for a lawyer’s office. A pediatrician’s office? Well, probably.

However, businesses should look to avoid what she called “outdated” colors in order not to appear behind the times. Asked for examples, she listed dusty rose and Colonial blue.

“When we go to a doctor’s office, we want to feel like they’re up to date on everything — they’ve got the latest equipment and the newest science,” she explained. “If the color schemes are holdovers from the ’80s, you’re not really sending that message.”

conference room at Deliso Financial

Amy Woolf says the colors in the conference room at Deliso Financial were chosen to have a calming effect.

While talking about colors in the hypothetical can he helpful, Woolf said an actual project from her portfolio might help put matters in perspective. She was right.

BusinessWest accompanied her on a visit to Deliso Financial Services in Agawam. Jean Deliso, principal and financial advisor, most recently served the magazine as a judge for this year’s 40 Under Forty competition. This time, the assignment was to explain how Woolf helped her make over her new space in the office building on Meadow Street Extension, and, more specifically, how and why the colors now on the walls were chosen.

And she embraced it enthusiastically because the walls of this space, formerly occupied by a pest-control company, were white (which shade she doesn’t know), and she wanted to replace this blank canvas with something that “said something.”

“This is a great space, but it needed a transformation,” she recalled, noting that she was essentially moving across the hall and into a bigger office. “Everything was white, and it was soooo non-inviting, and I need to have something inviting, and I needed help to do that.”

Elaborating, she said she desired something that was “comfortable and non-intimidating,” which is understandable seeing that she works in financial services, dealing with a subject that the vast majority of people would prefer to not talk about. She also wanted to convey professionalism and trust, two character traits required of those handling such work.

She hired Woolf, who has also done work at her residence, and who set to work picking colors that would convey all that. For one wall, she chose a color called Wilmington tan, which is kind of like beige, but a little richer (“people think of beige as insipid, but this has a lot of depth to it”), because it has a calming effect.

For the back wall, the one a client would be looking at if he or she were sitting across Deliso’s desk from her, Woolf chose something called Newburyport blue.

Deliso likes the name — she’s a sailor (paintings of boats dominate her walls), and Newburyport is right on the water — but likes the color better. It complements the IBM blue on her business card — sort of — and that’s by design, said Woolf, who noted that Deliso had a much brighter blue (like the shade on her business card) on the walls in her old office. And that wasn’t exactly working, at least in her judgment.

“We toned the blue down a little bit,” she explained. “Because what looks great on letterhead doesn’t always translate into a comfortable wall color. We can use those brand colors as an inspiration, but you don’t, or shouldn’t, just pull it off a card and stick it on a wall.”

Elsewhere in the Deliso Financial suite, Woolf used Providence olive in the conference room, again to create comfort and a sense of ease among clientele who might be nervous upon entering, especially for the first time, and carefully positioned Deliso’s many awards and news clippings on what the client calls the ‘trophy wall,’ again to convey professionalism and generate confidence.

When asked if all this focus on color was worth the time and expense, Deliso issued an enthusiastic ‘yes’ that speaks to why Woolf’s schedule is pretty tight these days.

“My clients feel very comfortable here; they enjoy coming here,” she explained. “They feel great when they come here, and it’s a good experience, and I think the colors play a very big part in that.”

Positive Tones

In her next life, Woolf joked, she wants to be the one who gets to assign names to all those colors on the wheel — like ‘cooking apple green’ or even ‘Bedford Stuyvesant boiled chicken,’ the name one client attached to a wheat-like color she eventually chose for her summer home.

For now, though, she’s content to work with all those hues and, more to the point, help clients choose the right ones — like the color on that building that “sits between the blue of the sky and the green of the trees and settles into the landscape nicely.”

It’s rewarding work on a number of levels, one that has made for a colorful career to date, in every sense of that phrase.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

40 Under 40 Features

Editor’s Note: Again this year, five individuals have been chosen to score the nominations submitted for the 40 Under Forty competition. In keeping with past practice, BusinessWest has chosen two former winners to be part of this panel (and a third owns a 40 Under Forty plaque from the Worcester Business Journal). As always, BusinessWest has sought out individuals with experience in business and entrepreneurship.

Ken Albano

Ken Albano

Ken Albano

Attorney Kenneth J. Albano is the managing partner of Bacon Wilson, P.C., and a member of the firm’s corporate, commercial, and municipal practice groups.

In addition to his legal practice, he is very active in the local community. He is chair of the board of the March of Dimes Western Mass Division, and serves on the Board of the New England Chapter of the March of Dimes. Albano is also a board member with Behavioral Health Network, where he has served for more than 20 years. He also works with the American Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish, and the ALS Association.

In June of 2015, Albano was honored with the Mass. Bar Association’s Community Service Award in recognition of his exceptional volunteer work.

 

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services. She focuses on financial preparation for retirement as well as times of transition such as divorce or widowhood.

Deliso has been working in the financial field for 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry. She has been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying Member of the Million Dollar Round Table for the past 18 years.

She currently serves as chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation, and is immediate past chairman of the Community Music School of Springfield. She is also past chairman of the board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield, past board member of Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse, as well as past trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Mass. and the Bay Path College advisory board. She is a supporting member of the National Assoc. of Life Underwriters and the Hampden County Estate Planning Council.

Samalid Hogan

Samalid Hogan

Samalid Hogan

A 40 Under Forty winner in 2013, Samalid Hogan is director of the western regional office of the Mass. Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network. She has more than 12 years of economic-development and project-management experience.

In 2015, she was the consulting project manager for the Holyoke Innovation District on behalf of the MassTech Collaborative and Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. Previously, she was the senior project manager and brownfields coordinator at the City of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development. Hogan also served as a senior economic-development and policy analyst at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and founded CoWork Springfield, a networking organization and co-working space.

In 2016, Hogan was awarded a Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Spirit Award and recognized by the Massachusetts Latino Chamber of Commerce as a Woman Trailblazer and Trendsetter.

Patrick Leary, CPA

Patrick Leary

Patrick Leary

A member of BusinessWest’s inaugural 40 Under Forty class in 2007, Patrick Leary is a partner at Moriarty and Primack, an accounting firm with offices in Springfield and Lincoln, Mass., and Bloomfield, Conn., and directs accounting, auditing, and business-advisory services. His concentration is on closely held and family-owned businesses, as well as providing business-advisory services for a wide variety of industries.

He serves as the first vice chairperson of the Greater Springfield YMCA, chair of the board of directors of Human Resources Unlimited, a member of the of the board of directors and executive committee of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, treasurer of United Way of Pioneer Valley, and treasurer of the Colony Club.

Leary is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. He is licensed to practice public accounting in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

Matt Sosik

Matt Sosik

Matt Sosik

Matt Sosik began his career in banking with the FDIC in Holyoke. In 1997, he became the CEO of Hometown Bank in Webster, Mass. After serving in that capacity for nearly 17 years and growing Hometown Bank almost 1,000%, he accepted the role as CEO and president at bankESB in 2013.

Since his arrival, he has overseen two mergers and has more than doubled the size of the parent holding company to more than $2 billion.

Sosik is a member or former member of numerous nonprofit boards, including United Way chapters, the Rotary, and hospital boards. He was a 40 Under 40 honoree in 2001 with the Worcester Business Journal.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Professional Women’s Chamber (PWC) is seeking nominations for its Woman of the Year award. The award is presented annually to a woman in the Western Mass. area who exemplifies outstanding leadership, professional accomplishment, and service to the community.

This award has been given annually since 1954 and is publicly recognized as one of the most prestigious honors given to any citizen for distinguished service and selfless giving. The award’s first recipient was Julia Buxton, treasurer of Buxton Inc., founder of what is now known as the PWC and the first woman elected to the Springfield Chamber board of directors. Other past recipients include 2016 Woman of the Year Arlene Rodriguez, vice president of Academic Affairs for Springfield Technical Community College; Anne Paradis, CEO of MicroTek; Carol Campbell, president, CEO, and founder of Chicopee Industrial Contractors; the late Kitty Broman; the late state Sen. Iris Holland; Sr. Mary Caritas; retired Judge Nancy Dusek-Gomez; former state Sen. Gale Candaras; and businesswomen Arlene Putnam, Mary Reardon Johnson, Ellen Freyman, and Jean Deliso.

To be considered, candidates must be gainfully employed in a paid full-time position and live or work in the Pioneer Valley. Any woman in the Pioneer Valley may be nominated; no chamber affiliation is required. Nominee achievements can be representative of a lifetime of work or for more recent successes.

Nomination forms are available online at www.professionalwomenschamber.com or by contacting event committee chair Jenny MacKay at [email protected]. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 17.

Departments People on the Move
Matthew Gilmore

Matthew Gilmore

Epstein Financial Services recently welcomed Matthew Gilmore to the firm as a Retirement Plan Consultant. The firm has grown substantially over the past several years with a recent upsurge in new clients due to the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary ruling. Over the coming months, Gilmore will work closely with founder Charlie Epstein to ensure the firm’s extensive services and mission statement are reflected in Gilmore’s continued growth within the firm. Gilmore gained extensive experience as a MassMutual business development consultant, meeting with business owners, plan administrators, advisors, and third-party administrators to review, evaluate, and discuss a business’ 401(k) retirement plan and/or defined-benefit pension-plan options. He is an accomplished retirement-services consultant with eight years of experience with MassMutual and the Hartford, with regard to 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans, investment and cost analysis, and participant education. He recently obtained his Accredited Investment Fiduciary certification and is a graduate of Western New England University with a bachelors degree in business administration.

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The Gaudreau Group Insurance and Financial Services Agency announced the promotion of Melissa Cuzzone to Director of Employer Benefit Services. In her new role, Cuzzone will help keep clients compliant in today’s increasingly complex regulatory environment, in line with the firm’s focused approach on compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s regulations. The Gaudreau Group’s Employee Benefits division, which has the largest staff in the region, delivers results to clients with robust compliance programs and high-tech employer and employee software solutions to facilitate cost reduction, claims management, and employee wellness and communication. “The unique skillset Melissa brings to the table, in combination with the tools and services that she provides, such as ACA reporting guidance, benefit administration, and proprietary claims analytics, are extremely valuable to our clients,” said Jules Gaudreau, president of the Gaudreau Group. “Melissa helps our clients enhance their overall benefits programs, which results in an increased ability to attract and retain great employees. Results like these are the reason more and more businesses are trusting us with their accounts.” Cuzzone has been a member of the Gaudreau Group team since 2012, and has worked in the insurance and financial-services industry since 2004, gaining a broad range of experience, including employee benefit plans, life insurance, and personal insurance. She is a recent graduate of the Western New England University Mini-Law School and has co-chaired the Wilbraham Relay For Life.

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The Dowd Insurance Agencies announced that Jack Dowd will be joining the agency as an Account Executive. His addition represents the fifth generation of family to be employed at the Dowd Insurance Agencies. “It’s a real sense of pride that I feel welcoming my son, Jack, to the family business representing the fifth generation here at the Dowd Insurance Agencies,” said John Dowd Jr., president and CEO of the Dowd Insurance Agencies. “Not only is Jack continuing a legacy, but he has also spent several years working in the industry outside of the family business, gaining valuable skills and experience. I think he is a great fit for our company and will be happy in his new position. We’re all very excited to have him join our team.” Jack Dowd graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2011. He has held several positions with Goji Insurance in Boston, where he sold personal auto insurance and homeowner’s insurance. He was consistently ranked number one in sales throughout the entire company of over 120 salespeople, and was responsible for managing and training several sales teams. He is a licensed property and casualty insurance producer, has participated in the Quincy Mutual Group Commercial and Personal Underwriting Program, and is working to complete the Certified Insurance Counselors Program.

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Jean Deliso, CFP has been named a member of the 2016 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 for five consecutive years. Deliso’s 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. She has been a New York Life agent since 1995 and is associated with New York Life’s Connecticut Valley General Office in Windsor, Conn. Deliso 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. Deliso Financial and Insurance Services is not owned or operated by New York Life Insurance Co. or any of its affiliates.

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Sports Traveland Tours recently hired two new team members. Len Lucien serves as Chief Operating Officer and a minority partner at the 20-year-old travel organization, and Anthony Incampo serves as Project Sales Coordinator. Lucien previously worked at Square One in Springfield, where he served as vice president of operations for the nonprofit and, previously, as its vice president of finance. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Salem State University and an associate’s degree from Newbury College in accounting and business. Throughout his career, he has worked in various aspects of finance and operations, managing businesses of different sizes, with an expertise in startups and efficiencies. For 12 years, he worked in the transit industry. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Long Island University, Incampo worked with the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, coordinating events, offering customer service, working with athletes, and planning the opening ceremonies. He also worked in the front office of the New York Yankees from 1998 to 2002, doing everything from driving players to physician appointments to handling budgets and expenses for the team. He previously worked with Sports Travel and Tours from 2005 to 2010. He left to teach school-age children and to coach, but missed the traveling.

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