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Daily News

HOLYOKE — The Dowd Insurance Agencies will host a second blood drive in a series benefiting the Baystate Blood Donor Program. The drive will be held Friday, Oct. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Dowd Insurance Agencies parking lot, 14 Bobala Road, Holyoke.

Each year at Baystate Health, more than 5,800 patients receive more than 23,000 transfusions of blood products, which means local blood donations are critical. At the Baystate Blood Donor Program, 100% of all blood and platelet donations are used in Western Mass.

Blood donation is easy and convenient. Roughly one pint of blood is collected during each donation, which can save up to three lives. To be eligible, blood donors must be at least 17 years old, be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, and have photo identification. Donors are able to give blood every eight weeks.

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. is in need of blood. The blood type most often requested is type O because it can be transfused to patients of all blood types. While an estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, fewer than 10% actually do.

To schedule a time to donate, call Diane Cygan at (413) 437-1013 or e-mail [email protected].

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Cal Conniff will be honored by the New England Ski Museum (NESM) on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The event is open to the public.

NESM’s Spirit of Skiing Award is given to honor a skiing notable who manifests the motto, “skiing is not just a sport, it is a way of life,” attributed to ski pioneer Otto Schniebs. Previous winners include Olympic medalists Stein Eriksen and Penny Pitou, U.S. Olympians Tom Corcoran and Tyler Palmer, Killington Ski Resort founder Preston Smith, renowned ski instructor Herbert Schneider, and ski-show impresario Bernie Weichsel.

Conniff spent his professional life working for the betterment of the ski-area industry, managing the Mt. Tom Ski Area from 1968 to 1973. He put the small facility on the national map by developing extensive night skiing and one of the earliest snow-making systems in the country in the 1960s, two innovations that were soon emulated throughout the resort industry. During his tenure at Mt. Tom, Conniff targeted the youth market, introducing thousands to the thrill of downhill skiing through numerous school programs.

Conniff took over leadership of the National Ski Areas Assoc. in 1973, moving its offices from New York City to West Hartford, Conn. and ultimately downtown Springfield in 1978, where it remained until his retirement in 1990. He now lives in Wells, Maine.

Conniff was an accomplished ski racer in college and won the four-way combined championships for the American Armed Forces in Europe when he was stationed in Germany in the 1950s. A graduate of American International College (AIC), he hosted a TV show on WWLP called Skiers’ Corner. He was inducted into AIC’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011, and to the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1990. He is the former president of the New England Ski Museum, where an annual grants program was established in his name.

Tickets to the event, which starts at 5 p.m., cost $75 and available by calling the NESM at (603) 823-7177 or visiting www.skimuseum.com/events. Proceeds support the museum’s mission to preserve the history of skiing.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Melha Shriners will once again host the Shrine Directors Harvest Moon Ballroom Dance. The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 17 from 7 to 10:30 p.m. at the banquet facility located at 133 Longhill St., Springfield.

Ballroom dancing for all skill levels will be available. All are welcome to enjoy a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres while dancing the night away to the sounds of the Blue Skies Big Band, performing swing, waltz, polka, and more.

Tickets cost $30 and sell out quickly. For tickets or more information, call (413) 736-3647.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Kiernan Gulick-Sherrill, owner of Green Earth Computers, recently announced that the business is expanding by two technicians and moving from Amherst to Northampton in order to better serve clients in a much larger office space.

The move to 20A Crafts Ave. will provide a more central location for many customers and make it easier for Green Earth staff to schedule on-site visits with clients across the Valley, Gulick-Sherrill said. The location is also more spacious, allowing for additional retail space for refurbished laptops, cables, and accessories.

Green Earth has also welcomed two new technicians to the team in response to the growing demand. Greg Schwartz and Daniel Cottle are set to join the company at a grand-opening reception on Friday, Oct. 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. The grand opening, which is open to the public, will feature the first of many Green Earth gallery exhibits, this one by photographer Jonathan Sherrill, Gulick-Sherrill’s father, and will be a part of Arts Night Out. An artist’s reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m.

Schwartz has previous experience at a variety of tech companies, including TechCavalry and College Pro Computers, where he worked alongside Gulick-Sherrill.

Cottle is a Hampshire College graduate with more than 10 years of experience in computer and small-electronics repair. He previously worked in the Hampshire College Information Technology Department.

Green Earth Computers was created in 2009 and offers on-site and drop-off computer repair services as well as remote assistance. The business promotes sustainability and offers computer-recycling services. It also specializes in repair and replacement of computer screens and charge ports, as well as batteries.

For more information, call (413) 282-8324 or visit www.greenearthpc.us.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Lisa Pack of Holyoke Medical Center has been named Nurse of the Year by the March of Dimes Massachusetts Chapter in the category of Labor and Delivery. This is the third consecutive year a Holyoke Medical Center nurse has received this elite distinction.

“Lisa is highly deserving of this prestigious recognition,” said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of HMC and Valley Health Systems Inc. “Holyoke Medical Center prides itself on its exemplary team of professionals such as Lisa, who demonstrate consummate skill and deep compassion in providing critical nursing care.”

Added Pack, “I am humbled to be recognized by the March of Dimes to be chosen for this award. I feel blessed to be a member of the Birthing Center staff, where I have now worked for 22 years since it opened. It is a job I love and where we work as a team to support and empower women to have the birth they desire. I am also deeply committed to MotherWoman and postpartum depression, for which I facilitate a weekly support group at Midwifery Care of Holyoke.”

Pack will be honored at a reception in the Holyoke Medical Center lobby on Monday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.

The Nurse of the Year Awards is a statewide event that recognizes exceptional nurses, creates awareness of professional excellence, and promotes the future of the nursing profession, while helping to advance the mission of the March of Dimes. The selection committee reviewed applications in the categories of Advanced Practice, Community Health, Public Health, Education, Neonatal, Nurse Researcher, Administration, Pediatric, Family Medicine, Women’s Health, Student Nurse, Maternal/Newborn, Labor and Delivery, and Antepartum. More than 75 finalists emerged, and 17 were chosen to receive top honors in the various categories.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Dani Klein Williams, owner and lead photographer at Dani Fine Photography, was approached earlier this year by Amherst Media Publications about creating a book, set to be released in early 2016, focusing on the art and business of boudoir photography.

Covering an array of topics in keeping with this theme, the book will comprise practical business advice as well as the step-by-step photographic techniques used by a successful professional photographer. For updates and more information on the progress of this project, follow the studio on Instagram and Facebook.

Dani Fine Photography, a boutique photography studio based on the second level of Thornes Marketplace in Northampton, has been in business for more than 15 years. The all-female photography team offers every kind of photography but specializes in wedding, commercial/editorial, and boudoir photography. The studio is open Tuesday through Saturday each week for inquiries, sessions, and walk-ins.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The board of directors of the newly-formed Springfield Regional Chamber has elected officers to lead the organization: Daniel Keenan, chair; Patricia Canavan, vice chair; Barbara-Jean Deloria, treasurer; and David Parke, clerk.

“The leadership of our new organization is incredibly strong,” said chamber President Jeffrey Ciuffreda. “With their breadth of knowledge and experience, combined with the talent, commitment, and capabilities from the entire board, the Springfield Regional Chamber is poised for continued growth and to maximize the investment our members place in us.”

Keenan is senior vice president of government and community relations for the Sisters of Providence Health System. He has been a member of the chamber’s legislative steering committee since 2006, previously serving as its chair. He had served on the board of directors of the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield (ACCGS) since 2010, most recently as its vice chair. Prior to joining SPHS, he served six terms as a Massachusetts state representative, holding several key committee assignments, including vice chair of Insurance, Ways and Means, and Taxation.

Canavan is president of United Personnel. A member of the board of directors of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, she most recently served as its vice chair. Canavan also served on the ACCGS board for the past two years. Canavan lends her leadership to other boards of directors, including the Baystate Health Foundation, Springfield Public Forum, and the Northampton Chamber of Commerce.

Deloria is a senior vice president at Florence Bank. She was a member of the ACCGS board of directors since 2005 and served as its board treasurer since that time. She is a past president of the West Springfield Chamber of Commerce and Dress for Success Western Massachusetts and serves on the Mass. Small Business Review Board.

Parke is a partner with Bulkley Richardson and a member of its business and finance department, focusing on general corporate and business matters, mergers and acquisitions, and other transactional work. He served on the ACCGS board for the past nine years and, according to Ciuffreda, was instrumental in the formation of the Springfield Regional Chamber. He serves on Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Inc. and is past chair and current member of the Friends of the Homeless board of directors.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton Volkswagen, Country Nissan, and Country Hyundai announced the winners of the Summer Long Car Giveaway presented by TommyCar Auto Group. Trisha Slowinski of Colrain won a new Volkswagen Passat, Sarah Chase of Greenfield won a new Nissan Versa Note, and Theda Marinelli of Windsor, Conn. drove away in a new Hyundai Accent.

“I was shocked that I was the winner,” Marinelli said. “You never think anything like this would happen to you, and then it did. I am so thrilled that Country Hyundai had this giveaway, and I love my new vehicle.”

The giveaway, which ran from June 3 through Sept. 7, allowed customers to register at any of the three dealerships for their chance to win.

“We wish all of the winner congratulations and safe driving from everyone here at TommyCar Auto Group,” said TommyCar owner Carla Cosenzi. “The car giveaway was a great success for us, and we’re extremely happy with the overwhelming, positive response it received.”

Daily News

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker has formally appointed Greenfield Community College President Robert Pura to the newly established Economic Development Planning Council for the Commonwealth.

“It is an honor to be chosen as a member of the Economic Development Planning Council, and I want to thank the Baker-Polito administration for their confidence,” said Pura. “I look forward to working with Secretary [of Housing and Economic Development Jay] Ash and the council in planning for the future of the Commonwealth. I am especially appreciative of the governor’s desire to seek input and perspective for this important work from our community.”

The Council will convene its first meeting in October.

In addition to 37 years experience as a teacher and administrator in the Massachusetts community-college System, the past 15 as president of Greenfield Community College, Pura is also a graduate of a community college. As the first in his family to attend college and the child of an immigrant, he understands what a community-college education can mean to students. “Opening the doors to higher education to all who aspire to a better life for themselves and their families while at the same time maintaining high academic standards is the noblest mission in higher education,” he said.

Pura has chaired the Massachusetts President’s Council and served on its executive committee. He was a member of the working group on assessment of student learning for the state Department of Higher Education and currently serves on the Commission on Academic Student and Community Development for the American Assoc. of Community Colleges. He sits on the Baystate Health board of directors and the New England Assoc. of Schools and Colleges Higher Education Commission.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. announced the promotion of Richard Marotta to president of Berkshire Bank and Sean Gray to chief operating officer of the bank.

Marotta will be responsible for all aspects of administration, risk, and infrastructure, including people and systems, compliance, and credit. He has been serving Berkshire as executive vice president, chief risk and administrative officer since 2013.

Gray will be responsible for the operating teams of the bank, including retail, commercial, small business, home lending, wealth management, and insurance. He has been serving Berkshire as executive vice president, retail banking since 2010.

“Richard and Sean are results-driven, high-integrity leaders that have been integral to the growth of this company, and this promotion reflects their contributions. As we continue to execute on our strategic vision, their leadership and ability is increasingly important to our success,” said Michael Daly, CEO of the bank and the company.

Additionally, the bank promoted three executives — George Bacigalupo, Josephine Iannelli, and Linda Johnston — to senior executive vice president, while promoting eight others to the executive team, broadening the responsibilities of these leaders and creating a more effective operating structure. They are Michael Carroll, executive vice president, chief risk and credit officer; James Curran, executive vice president, regional commercial leader, Central Mass. and Connecticut; Mark Foster, executive vice president, regional commercial leader, Eastern Mass. and ABL; Tami Gunsch, executive vice president, retail banking; Scott Houghtaling, executive vice president, regional commercial leader, New York; Allison O’Rourke, executive vice president, investor relations and financial institution banking; Deborah Stephenson, executive vice president, compliance and regulatory; and Gary Urkevich, executive vice president, IT and project management.

“We are also recognizing the accomplishments of other current executives and expanding our overall executive team,” Daly said. “This reorganization is a natural extension of the strong growth Berkshire has experienced and positions us well for future growth and expansion. We believe the best way to accelerate our company’s progress is to empower the next level of leadership through more engagement and greater accountability. We’re proud of the bench we’ve built and our ability to promote from within. I have no doubt that this leadership team will drive Berkshire to new heights in performance, integrity, and culture.”