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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — In order to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer, all Big Y Supermarkets will be donating proceeds from various departments throughout the store to 31 local breast cancer support groups throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. Since 2007, the chain has raised more than $1.7 million dollars for this cause. The program, “Partners of Hope” reflects the partnership, commitment and support of breast cancer awareness and research that is so vital for many. Last year, Big Y raised $234,885.

During the entire month of October, Big Y will donate a portion of the proceeds from both the floral and produce Departments. Additionally, Big Y will donate 5 cents for each Big Y, Top Care, Full Circle, Simply Done, Paws Happy Life, Pure Harmony, @Ease, Tippy Toes and Culinary Tours brand products (excluding random weight items) purchased between Oct. 5 and 11. The Big Y Butcher Shop will donate 10 cents from every pound of All Natural Angus Beef® and Big Y Smart Chicken® to breast cancer research during the entire month of October. Big Y Pharmacy & Wellness Center will also donate $5 for every flu shot given.

Big Y’s pink reusable, earth-friendly shopping bag highlighting the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign will also be available and every store will be promoting Partners of Hope pink ribbons for $1 from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 as a way of generating additional proceeds for local breast cancer organizations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Big Y’s dietitian team, Carrie Taylor and Andrea Luttrell, will devote a portion of their fall newsletter to cancer prevention. Look for the “Living Well Eating Smart” displays throughout the stores.

According to Big Y CEO, Donald D’Amour, “Breast cancer affects thousands of women and many men each year. We hope that this initiative will not only promote breast cancer awareness but also save lives through early detection and care.”


Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The city of Springfield has made its first investment in public art in years by allocating Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds — announced in the summer of 2016, and arriving this September. Two awards were made to local artists, one commissioning a sculpture and one commissioning a mural. The first is being delivered downtown today.

James Kitchen, previously known for his works throughout downtown including The Universe, will be delivering yet another interesting and unique sculpture for visitors, residents, and employees of downtown to enjoy. It is a giant monkey wrench, created by welding together monkey wrenches collected by the artist, as a tip-of-the-hat to Solymon Merrick, inventor of the monkey wrench who lived at 83 Maple St. in Springfield. DevelopSpringfield recently rehabbed the home, now inhabiting it as their offices. The monkey wrench sculpture will be delivered to the MassMutual Center main plaza today via crane, and will stay on display for the forseeable future. The city and the selection committee, including representation from the Cultural District and Transformative Development Initiative, hope that this piece will inspire those who walk by to remember Springfield is a hub of innovation not only in the past, but present as well.

Kitchen’s work will be unveiled alongside the second public art piece — a mural on the side of Gifford Locksmith on Lyman Street inspired by Milton Bradley. A ribbon-cutting celebration will be held in early October to showcase both investments in public art to create a more walkable and livable downtown. The city hopes to have similar success with its upcoming South End mural project, announced in August 2017.

The cultural district’s mission is to foster civic engagement and arts education in Springfield by creating and sustaining a vibrant cultural environment that positions the city as the cultural capital of the region. For more information, visit SpringfieldCulture.Org.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Chronicle of Higher Education has named American International College (AIC) one of the fastest growing colleges in the United States for the sixth time. Among private, nonprofit doctoral institutions, AIC placed fourth among the top 20 colleges and universities in the country with a 95% growth rate. AIC nearly doubled its enrollment over a 10-year span, 2005-2015.

In a categorical comparison to other colleges and universities in Massachusetts, AIC surpassed ninth-rated Worcester Polytechnic Institute as the only other college or university in the Commonwealth that placed in the private, nonprofit doctoral category.

“We believe that a college education is more than academic and intellectual growth,” said President Vince Maniaci. “At AIC, we are committed to the personal, spiritual, and professional development of our undergraduate and graduate students. We identify trends and develop programs that will provide our students with a foundation upon which they can build to reach their full potential with traditional, blended, and online program offerings. In this competitive and rapidly changing world, we make every effort to help our students compete successfully and are proud to be recognized for our efforts.”

Data collected for the Chronicle of Higher Education was based on fall enrollments of full-time and part-time students and included all U.S. degree granting programs with a minimum of a 500-student enrollment in 2005. Institutions are grouped by the 2015 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.


Daily News

EASTHAMPTON — On Sept. 30, Pioneer Valley Ballet (PVB) will welcome friends and supporters to its 2017-2018 season opening gala at 6 p.m. at Eastworks. The event won’t be in PVB’s studio, however, but down the hall at Easthampton Media’s new home.

Even before Easthampton Media moves into its new facility, PVB will offer its guests an early look at this new community space.

The gala will feature a cocktail reception, performances of new works, and desserts, with food and drink by Myers Catering. PVB’s leadership will introduce its 2017-2018 season, which features the organization’s 40th production of The Nutcracker. The production involves more than 250 dancers from towns throughout Western Mass., with performing parts ranging from enchanting snowflakes to the tiniest reindeer. These dancers perform alongside pre-professional students and guest artists from Boston, New York, and the Carolina Ballet.

This community event performs at Northampton’s Academy of Music Theatre from Dec. 8-10, and this year features the addition of a new family- and sensory-friendly performance.

The season’s springtime production will be the classic The Little Mermaid, performed at the Academy of Music on April 7, 2018. This full-length ballet showcases trained dancers from PVB as well as professional guest artists from around the region. Set to Camille Saint Saens’ musical score, this extravagant production is based on the well-known fairy tale by the Danish poet and author Hans Christian Andersen.

PVB is a non-profit, mission-based organization that began in Northampton in 1972 and quickly became known as the area’s finest ballet school. In addition to its mainstage productions, PVB offers a range of classes for children through adults, with a commitment to make ballet available to people of all ages and body types. Since 2006, artistic directors Maryanne Kodzis and Thomas Vacanti have brought the organization’s pre-professional ballet training program and performances into a new era.

For more information, visit www.pioneervalleyballet.org.





Daily News

CHICOPEE — Polish National Credit Union (PNCU) has made a $5,000 donation to CHD Disability Resources, a program that provides barrier-free competitive and recreational opportunities for individuals with physical disabilities or visual impairments. On Sept. 26, members of the credit union’s leadership team made a check presentation to Kimberley Lee, VP Office of Advancement for CHD, at PNCU headquarters at 46 Main St. in Chicopee.

“CHD is thrilled to receive Polish National Credit Union’s incredibly generous gift of $5,000 for our Disability Resources Program,” said Lee. “Every dollar of Disability Resources funding—100%—is raised through the generosity of individuals, families and organizations like PNCU. For almost a century, their community-minded organization has helped local families to become home owners and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Clearly, PNCU’s willingness to remove boundaries and obstacles is still very much a part of their mission. Their gift will make the many benefits of adaptive sports and recreation available to hundreds of local individuals with disabilities and their families.”

Polish Nation Credit Union was founded in 1921 with a small initial investment by 15 Polish immigrants who wanted to provide their community with a systematic method for savings and low-cost loans, said Sarah Jordan, Marketing Specialist for PNCU. “Our focus has always been on relationships, so it’s not surprising that most of our giving is targeted to help our local community prosper in all sorts of ways,” she explained. “PNCU has donated to CHD before, because we know how much their programs mean to people in need. This year we chose their Disability Resources program because we know so many family members, loved ones, customers, and neighbors with disabilities. We are pleased to provide funds that help pay for specialized equipment for adaptive sports like sled hockey, as well as family-oriented experiences like concerts and cookouts that enable everyone to interact regardless of ability. PNCU could not think of a better program investment to reflect our community commitment than CHD Disability Resources.”

Founded in 1921, Polish National Credit Union provides a full range of financial services to individuals, families and businesses. The organization operates eight Western Mass branches plus a satellite office at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.

CHD Disability Resources seeks to enhance the self-confidence, interactive skills and physical abilities of persons with disabilities by offering a variety of activities, such as competitive and recreational adaptive sports, family-oriented social gatherings and educational events.


Daily News

HOLYOKE – Holyoke Community College announced that   Amanda Sbriscia has been hired as its new vice president of Institutional Advancement. Sbriscia will lead HCC’s fundraising 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, 33, comes to HCC with more than 10 years’ experience in education and fundraising. 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, Mass. 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 Association 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.

Sbriscia is currently pursuing her doctor of education degree in organizational leadership from Northeastern University. In her spare time she is an avid runner and has completed four marathons and is planning to run this fall in the Newport and New York City marathons.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Kevin Kennedy, the City’s Chief Development Officer, announced that the MGM 95% Construction Design submittals are consistent with the commitments outlined within the city’s Host Community Agreement (HCA).

“As we move closer to the completion and grand opening of this unique urban development, I am pleased to be able to announce another milestone as the city accepts the 95% Construction Design submittals,” said Sarno. “Through this continued collaborative effort between the city of Springfield and MGM, the designs submitted remain consistent with what has been outlined within the Host Community Agreement.”

This determination of compliance is based on a detailed review of the submittal documents by a number of city departments, including the Office of Planning & Economic Development, Law Department, Building Department, Department of Public Works and the Casino Liaison Office. A full review of the 95% Construction Design documents was also completed by The Chicago Consultants Studio Inc., an urban planning consultant that has been used extensively by the City of Springfield throughout the casino design/review process.

“Based on a thorough review and engaged process over the past few months, we believe that MGM’s 95% Construction Documents continue to illustrate a high quality, attractive, and innovative design,” said Kim Goluska of the Chicago Consultants Studios Inc. “MGM’s cooperation with the city and its positive enhancements and completion of the key design components has resulted in a project that not only conforms to the HCA intent and requirements but also creates a new, truly innovative precedent for urban casino developments.”

As with the 50% Construction Design Submittals, one of the key aspects reviewed was the calculations of both retail and food and beverage floor areas. As noted in the summary report, the current program floor area calculations, as depicted in the plans, are consistent with the use commitments of the HCA. Other areas of review included building materials, program elements, landscaping, exterior lighting, signage, as well as other areas of design.

“With MGM Springfield nearing completion and the numerous other economic development efforts underway throughout the city, including the recent grand opening of Union Station, we are really starting to see the new Springfield take shape,” said Kennedy. “Our focus will continue to be on capitalizing on these larger transformative developments to help attract other private investment and jobs to the city of Springfield.”

Daily News

WESTBOROUGH — NiSource Inc., parent company of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) — North America in recognition of the company’s sustainable business practices and performance for the fourth consecutive year. NiSource is the second highest ranked U.S. multi-utility on the list.

On the local level, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts offers an energy efficiency program that is proving to be among the best in the country. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has ranked Massachusetts as first in the nation for the past three years. “Columbia Gas is also leading the way to develop measurement protocols to identify and prioritize gas leaks for repair, based on the significance of a leak’s environmental impact.  We are committed to serving our customers and communities with a natural gas distribution system that is safe, reliable and environmentally responsible,” said Steve Bryant, president.

The ranking reflects advancements NiSource made to its sustainability strategy in 2016 by outlining aggressive and achievable targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Supported by its existing business strategy and $30 billion of long-term infrastructure investment opportunities, these emission reduction targets are enabled through the retirement of 50 percent of the company’s coal-fired electric generation fleet and accelerated replacement of its natural gas distribution infrastructure.

“We take pride in our inclusion on this list because it recognizes our relentless focus on serving our customers in a way that is safe, reliable, environmentally responsible and sustainable,” said NiSource President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Hamrock “We’ve set our sights high and are making proactive environmental improvements that are in line with the needs of our customers.” By 2025, NiSource expects to reduce:

  • Nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions by more than 90% from 2005 levels;
  • Water withdrawal by more than 90% from 2005 levels;
  • Methane emissions from gas service and main lines by more than 50 percent from 2005 levels; and
  • Carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50% from 2005 levels.


Daily News

EAST LONGMEADOW — Strategic Alliances at Bay Path University will host “Negotiating Your Way to Success” with Dr. Joshua Weiss on Thursday, Oct. 5 and Friday, Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center, One Denslow Road, East Longmeadow.

In this workshop, participants will be challenged to rethink what they know about negotiation, understand why negotiation is a critical work and life skill, learn how to approach negotiation from a cooperative perspective, and be provided with practical tools and tips to put them on a road to negotiation boldness. Weiss will touch upon strategic approaches for dealing with all negotiations, the two primary models in negotiation and when to use them, the positional approach and the interest-based approach, and the three key dynamics in negotiation.

Weiss is a senior fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project (HNP), a subsidiary of Harvard University’s Program on Negotiation, a consortium comprised of faculty, staff, and students from Harvard, MIT, and Tufts University. He is also the co-founder of the Global Negotiation Initiative at the HNP. He is currently the director of Bay Path University’s MS in Leadership and Negotiation.

In addition, Weiss is the founder of Negotiation Works Inc., and consults for a number of Fortune 500 companies, the United Nations, and the U.S. government. He delivers negotiation and mediation training and courses, and is tasked with negotiation and mediation at the organizational, corporate, government, and international levels. He received his PhD in 2002 from the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.

“Negotiating Your Way to Success” is sponsored by Strategic Alliances at Bay Path University. Strategic Alliances is recognized by the SHRM to offer professional-development credits (PDCs) SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. This two-day learning experience offers 9.25 PDCs. Registration is $500 per attendee and is available by clicking here.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Recently, Freedom Credit Union supported the Center for Human Development’s (CHD) Disability Resources program with a $1,000 donation to help improve access for children and adults to age-appropriate social, emotional, and physical opportunities through adaptive sports and recreation.

According to President Glenn Welch, “Freedom Credit Union recognizes how important it is to invest in local programs like CHD’s Disability Resources. Delivering services and fostering a caring program that promotes positive social engagement, exercise, and education to people as young as 5 and as old as 60 are the core values of Disability Resources.”