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BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that an additional 25 Massachusetts cities and towns have been designated by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as Green Communities, committing to an ambitious renewable energy agenda to reduce energy consumption and emissions. With today’s designation, more thanhalf of the Commonwealth’s municipalities have earned their Green Communities designation and 68% of residents live in a Green Community.

The 25 new Green Communities are now eligible for grants totaling $4,3 million to complete renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in their communities. Since the program began in 2010, DOER’s Green Communities division has awarded over $65 million in grant funding to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds.

“The Green Communities Program helps the state achieve a renewable energy portfolio, while preserving taxpayer resources,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With more than 68% of residents living in a green community, the program continues to be a successful model for state and local governments working together to achieve impactful progress and responsible savings.”

The 210 Green Communities range from the Berkshires to Cape Cod and are home to 70% of the state’s population in municipalities as large as Boston and as small as Rowe. All Green Communities commit to reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent each, and this new group of twenty-five cities and towns have committed to reduce their energy consumption amounting to savings of 296,968 MMBtus in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 2,302 homes, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 23,630 tons, equivalent to taking 4,975 cars off the road.

DOER awarded funding for projects in the following newly designated Green Communities:

Municipality                    Grant

 

Abington $164,900
Brimfield $134,500
Canton $158,315
Chester $130,170
Cummington $127,245
Douglas $145,940
Duxbury $139,705
Franklin $183,020
Grafton $157,485
Hinsdale $130,410
Lawrence $594,140
Leicester $158,800
Middleborough $197,655
New Braintree $127,285
Orange $159,830
Plainville $144,025
Royalston $129,365
Sharon $148,740
Shelburne $132,575
Southampton $138,595
Stoneham $169,615
Waltham $281,080
Webster $180,885
Wellesley $137,250
West Boylston $145,435

 

Daily News

BOSTON — The Mass. Department of Transportation announced that approximately $1 billion was invested in improving and upgrading roads, bridges, sidewalks, multi-use paths, and intersections across the state in calendar year 2017.

This $1 billion in capital investments included repairs and improvements to 386 bridges in 123 communities and improved road conditions in more than 155 cities and towns across Massachusetts. An additional $30 million was programmed through the Complete Streets and Municipal Small Bridge programs in order to support local transportation planning and community bridges not eligible for federal aid.

“The Baker-Polito Administration has focused on improving the reliability and resiliency of our transportation infrastructure to ensure that people throughout the Commonwealth are able to drive, walk, bike, or use public transit and reach the places they need to go,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “By investing in our roads, bridges, sidewalks, multi-use paths, and intersections, we can provide better options to travelers and allow them to utilize their preferred mode of transportation to reach their jobs, homes, businesses, and places that improve their quality of life.”

Among the notable construction project highlights from 2017 include is reaching the full beneficial use milestone for the $148 million I-91 Viaduct Rehabilitation Project in Springfield approximately eight months ahead of schedule. The majority of the work has now been completed and the lanes and ramps on I-91 have reopened.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Chestnut Acquisitions LLC, an affiliate of Davenport Properties, has acquired 151 Chestnut St. in Springfield.

The abandoned 70,000 SF building, severely damaged in downtown Springfield’s 2012 gas explosion, is part of the city’s planned Innovation District. Davenport, best known as MGM Springfield’s development partner, is also developer of Davenport Square on Main Street and owner of Springfield Plaza. Charles Irving, a principal of the company, began investing in Springfield in 1994.

The building at 151 Chestnut St. was built in 1916 for the Willys-Overland Motor Company and has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983. According to Charles Irving, “our intent is to celebrate this unique property. Willys is a treasured automotive name in Springfield and US history.”

Willys-Overland built similar buildings in Detroit, St Louis, and Toledo. Davenport’s interest in Chestnut St. was prompted by successful redevelopment of the Detroit structure. “Willys Overland Lofts” in Detroit features mid-size residential units with street level retail.

“This will be a truly transformative development for our downtown,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “The addition of market rate housing at the Willys Overland building will be a catalyst to future development and Davenport has been a well-respected developer not only in Springfield but throughout the country.”

The Horton Group of Connecticut joins Davenport as a partner in Chestnut St. Ken Horton is known for development and construction of office and residential properties. The company’s most recent project (The Residences at High Street in Guilford CT) received the Home Building Industry (HOBI) Project of the Year Award, the highest honor the organization bestows.

The business plan for 151 Chestnut St. is in development. “Our hope is to create a project similar in scope and spirit to Detroit,” said Juan Prieto (Davenport). “The challenge is calibration of Springfield’s market rents with project cost.”

On Jan. 4, Davenport is scheduled to meet with Springfield’s Historic Commission. At that time, the company will review initial plans and request Commission support for historic tax credits. According to Davenport, feasibility of redevelopment, beginning in 2018, is dependent on tax credits and other forms of assistance.

Given proximity of the new train station and transformation of downtown by MGM Resorts International, Davenport believes the Innovation District is the next step forward.

“We’re starting to see developers building off of the blocks that we put in place with Union Station and MGM Springfield,” said Kevin Kennedy, Chief Development Officer. “The area that was affected by the gas explosion is really the next frontier of development in our downtown, and Willys Overland can be the jewel of the neighborhood.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Michael R. Matty, President of D. J. St. Germain Investment Management, Co. Inc. announced the appointment of Mary Kay Hannon to client services associate.

Hannon has a strong working knowledge of client services and financial operations with over a decade of experience in those fields.

Prior to joining St. Germain, Hannon held similar duties and responsibilities at Pioneer Financial Group.
She is also a working artist with creations in ceramics and watercolor. Currently she has been focusing on botanical watercolor projects. She has also been active as a volunteer with the Williamsburg Cultural Council.

A graduate of the University of Hartford, Hannon also earned her MFA from Mills College, a small, prestigious liberal arts institution for women. The college is noted as being the first all-women’s four-year college west of the Rockies.

St. Germain is a privately held company specializing in investment management for individuals and institutions. Founded in 1924, St. Germain services national and international clients from two offices, one in Springfield, MA, the other in Lee.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — The Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. Charitable Foundation recently presented a grant for $5,000 to the United Arc in an awards ceremony in Pittsfield.

The Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. (MBA) announced that its foundation set new records in its annual year-end community grant season. The 43 grants in 2017 total $167,000, a record number and a record annual dollar amount. The foundation has now provided gifts totaling $2.3 million over its 21-year history.

The United Arc was nominated by Tony Worden, vice President of Commercial Lending for the Northampton Cooperative Bank Division of Greenfield Cooperative Bank, a member bank of the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc.

The United Arc supports people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in achieving the universal goals of inclusion, choice, and independence. The organization provides services to individuals and their families in Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and Worcester counties, and has a history of providing quality services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1951.

The foundation, supported by the 150 member banks of the MBA throughout Massachusetts and New England, is distributing the grants over eight geographic regions in the Commonwealth, giving awards to social-service agencies.

“We are thrilled to be able to give these gifts,” said William Parent, chairman of the MBA Charitable Foundation. “This foundation has done so much good work over the years, yet each gift-giving season we see more need. That’s why, each year, we rededicate ourselves to this effort to help in any way we can.”

In addition to the nearly $84 million a year given by Massachusetts banks to local charities, MBA member bank employees contribute thousands of volunteer hours across the Commonwealth.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — PeoplesBank announced the promotions and appointments of several key associates.

Donna Charette was promoted to first vice president, Finance. She previously served as vice president of Finance. She has more than 28 years of banking experience, and earned a Leadership Certificate at the New England School of Banking.

Christine Phillips was promoted to first vice president, Human Resources. She previously served as vice president, Human Resources. She has more than 15 years of human-resources experience, and earned a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst.

Tammy Bordeaux was promoted to vice president, regional manager. She previously served as assistant vice president, regional manager. She has more than 20 years of banking experience, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England University and an associate degree in business administration from Springfield Technical Community College.

Meghan Parnell-Gregoire was promoted to vice president, Business Lending Center manager. She previously served as assistant vice president, Business Lending Center manager. She has more than 15 years of banking experience, and earned an associate degree in mathematics from Holyoke Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

Catherine Snow was promoted to vice president, commercial credit officer. She previously served as assistant vice president, commercial credit analyst. She has more than 30 years of banking experience, primarily in credit-related functions, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University.

Paul Hillsburg was appointed assistant vice president, PeoplesWealth Advisory Group. He has more than 30 years of financial, sales, and business-development experience, and earned an associate degree in business management from Springfield Technical Community College. He holds Series 7 and Series 66 licenses.

Xiaolei Hua was promoted to assistant vice president, portfolio manager II. He previously served as assistant vice president, portfolio manager I. He has more than 11 years of banking experience, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA from Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

Matthew Krokov was promoted to assistant vice president, portfolio manager II. He previously served as assistant vice president, portfolio manager I. He has more than eight years of banking experience, and earned an MBA from American International College, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Westfield State University, and an associate degree in marketing from Holyoke Community College.

Timothy Wegiel was promoted to assistant vice president, electronic banking officer. He previously served as electronic banking officer. He has more than 12 years of financial-services and banking experience, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England University.

Cherlynne Mills was promoted to Business Banking officer. She previously served as assistant vice president, Consumer & Business Banking Center manager at the St. James Avenue office in Springfield, and has more than 30 years of banking experience. She attended Holyoke Community College and Elms College and is presently pursuing a degree at UMass through its University Without Walls program.

Jeffrey Reinke was appointed to operational risk officer. He has more than 16 years of operations and financial-services experience, and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in finance, from Western New England University.

Victoria Thompson was promoted to internal audit officer. She previously served as internal auditor. She has more than seven years of auditing experience, and earned a master’s degree in accounting and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting, from Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Healthcare today requires multi-dimensional leaders whose knowledge spans professional leadership, healthcare, science, and information technology. Coupled with the dynamic complexities of the healthcare system, increasing compliance regulations, technical advances, and higher costs, the demand for professionals who have expertise in both healthcare management and organizational leadership is rapidly rising. Medical and health service managers have strong career prospects, with projected employment growth of 17% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

To respond to this growing need, Bay Path University has launched a master of science (MS) degree program in Healthcare Management, now enrolling for February 2018.

“As with all of our programs, the curriculum for the MS in Healthcare Management supports the candidate in developing his or her skills in decision making, communication and presentations skills, interpersonal relations, and being an agent of change — all of which are needed for key level management positions,” said Liz Fleming, associate provost and dean, School of Education, Human and Health Sciences. “We are proud to add it to our increasing catalog of undergraduate and graduate certificates and degree programs in health-related fields that have been shown to result in immediate job placements upon completion.”

Healthcare administrators come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some may have direct patient-care experience, while others may have specialized in business, administration, public health, or a specific area of healthcare, including human resources. This program is designed for individuals with or without a related undergraduate degree who hope to shape the future of healthcare.

Bay Path University’s MS in Healthcare Management, led by Terry DeVito, aims to prepare graduates for leadership roles in both traditional and non-traditional settings and industries including healthcare organizations and facilities, consulting, law, insurance and government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare informatics and analytics. The program is designed to address the multi-dimensional complexities facing the 21st-century healthcare industry as it transforms into a business model while maintaining the humanistic needs of patients’ individual needs.

The curriculum is structured in a manner that embeds foundational information that prepares candidates for additional credentialing opportunities for professional career advancement. DeVito’s practice as a registered nurse, hospital administrator, and educator bring firsthand knowledge regarding quality in healthcare service delivery and the qualities required in leadership roles.

To learn more about this program, visit www.baypath.edu/healthcaremanagement.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Kimberly Santos of Springfield has joined the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV) as membership and meetings coordinator. She joins the association with several years of managerial experience in customer-success roles and training in operations management at Bay Path University.

Santos said she is excited to leverage her experience and commitment to strong customer service to support RAPV members and produce a wide roster of events for members to enjoy. She invites prospective members to reach out to her to learn more about joining the association at [email protected] or (413) 785-1328.

Daily News

BOSTON — Local unemployment rates decreased in four labor market areas, increased in nine areas, and remained the same in 11 labor-market areas in the state during the month of November, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported. Compared to November 2016, the rates were up in 24 labor-market areas.

Eight of the 15 areas for which job estimates are published recorded seasonal job gains in November. The gains occurred in the Springfield, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Worcester, Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, New Bedford, Taunton-Middleborough-Norton, Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, and Framingham areas.

From November 2016 to November 2017, all 15 areas added jobs, with the largest percentage gains in the Barnstable, New Bedford, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury, Springfield, and Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead areas.

In order to compare the statewide rate to local unemployment rates, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the statewide-unadjusted unemployment rate for November was 3.3%.

Last week, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported the statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% in the month of November. The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate showed a 6,700-job gain in November, and an over-the-year gain of 65,200 jobs.

The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates. The estimates for labor force, unemployment rates, and jobs for Massachusetts are based on different statistical methodology specified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Daily News

AMHERST — The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, which serves communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire through programs, grants, and service, announced the appointment of Nancy Garrabrants to its board of directors.

Garrabrants is the former associate dean of the Center for Agriculture at UMass Amherst, where she was responsible for the Nutrition Education and 4-H Youth Development programs. She was previously director and assistant dean of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass. She is an award-winning education professional with 32 years of in-depth expertise in agriculture from the business, academic, and youth-development sectors.

“With Nancy’s experience in strategic planning, youth development, and nutrition education, she will bring a fresh perspective to our already robust board, helping us to further define and meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Eric Schultz, president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and chair of the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation board of directors.

Garrabrants holds an associate degree in floriculture from the State University of New York at Cobleskill, and a bachelor’s degree in vocational education and master’s degree in plant and soil sciences, both from UMass.