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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Center for Human Development (CHD) has named Ben Craft its vice president of Community Engagement.

In the newly restructured position, Craft has been charged with deepening the nonprofit human services agency’s relationships in the communities it serves in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In the role, he will oversee strategic communications, marketing and development as well as community, government, and provider relations.

Craft brings a strong background in communications, engagement and advocacy to CHD, coupled with almost 10 years of experience in healthcare and public policy at a critical point in CHD’s growth and development.

 “We are excited to have Ben join us at a time when CHD is not only expanding our network of human services into more communities, but also at a time when we are playing a critical and growing role in the new model of care management, and connecting people with complex needs to more preventive and supportive services,” said Jim Goodwin, president and CEO of CHD. 

“Stronger relationships with our partners, collaborators, funders, and the community at large are absolutely critical to helping us further our mission of positively changing lives through our network of human services, and Ben’s technical grasp of the critical issues of healthcare along with his skills as a relationship builder, communicator, and connector will supercharge this effort,” Goodwin explained.

Craft, who grew up in East Longmeadow, started his career in New York at The Wall Street Journal and worked at the United Nations as a communications officer before returning home to Western Mass. in 2008 to work for Baystate Health, most recently as the Senior Director of Government and Public Affairs. He is a 1996 graduate of UMass Amherst.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Joined by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Paul Picknelly, president of Monarch Enterprises, Jeff Lomma of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce and other guests, a team of United Bank employees officially cut the ribbon to its new location   at 1414 Main Street- One Monarch Place on Thursday.

Earlier this year, the bank moved its branch from 115 State St. into the first floor of One Monarch Place, the signature office tower in Springfield. Thursday marked its ceremonial opening of the new branch location.

United Bank noted several reasons why they wanted to relocate to One Monarch Place, including creating a more modern, ergonomically-designed floor plan and optimizing space to enhance the banking experience for their personal, commercial and business banking customers.

The Monarch Place location has private offices for bankers to privately meet with customers, including offices for the Bank’s branch manager, financial advisor, mortgage banker and business banker who cover the Springfield market. The space provides better company branding opportunities due to everyday pedestrian traffic on the street level and among visitors and potential customers who work or utilize the amenities inside the building. The location also provides greater exposure among other neighboring businesses – including the new Starbucks that opened next door.

“United Bank’s commitment to first-class banking and community giving in the Greater Springfield market dates back to 1882. Today, we are celebrating another milestone that underscores our commitment to our customers who bank with us at Monarch Place, strengthening our community partnerships in Springfield and attracting new personal, commercial and business banking customers,” said William H.W. Crawford, IV, CEO & President of United Bank. “It’s the type of physical banking location that is more inviting to our customers and potential customers looking to bank with a local, established and reputable banking partner in downtown Springfield.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College President Dr. Mary-Beth A. Cooper is pleased to announce the appointment of Kathleen Martin of to the position of executive director of the Capital Campaign and Campus Strategy. Martin begins July 2.

The appointment marks Martin’s return to Springfield College, where she received both her doctorate in Physical Education with a Specialization in Sport Psychology and her Master of Science in Physical Education (athletics administration concentration). She also began her teaching career at Springfield College.

“We are delighted to welcome Kathy back home to Springfield College,” said Cooper. “Her extensive background in senior administrative roles make her an exceptional fit to lead strategic initiatives that are underway at Springfield College.”

Martin will be responsible for coordinating the overall strategic direction of the College’s capital campaign, strategic plan, and campus master plan. Through the development of strong collaborative relationships with the office of the president, the college’s senior leadership team and key stakeholders, Martin will serve as the primary lead, strategist, and coordinator of strategic initiatives.

Most recently, Martin served as vice provost and chief educational compliance officer and Title IX coordinator at Bay Path University. She also held the positions of director of Institutional Research and Special Projects, and assistant provost for Academic Affairs.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — As business use of drones continues to expand, Springfield Technical Community College will offer an introductory three-day course to train people to become pilots of the unmanned aircraft systems.

Intro to sUAS (small unmanned aircraft systems) will be taught on Saturdays — Sept. 8, 15 and 22 — between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at STCC.

The Federal Aviation Administration has released regulations that pave the way for expanded commercial use of the aircraft systems commonly called drones. As part of the guidelines, drone pilots are required to pass the FAA’s remote pilot knowledge test “Unmanned Aircraft — General” to receive an FAA remote pilot certification and be able to use drones for commercial purposes.

STCC’s comprehensive 18-hour ‘Intro to sUAS’ course provides hands-on skills training for aspiring business operators to fly drones safely and efficiently and helps them prepare for FAA certification. 

Goldman Sachs Research estimates the economic impact of sUAS technology to be $100 billion between 2016 and 2020. Much of this growth comes from the application of drone technology to existing industries, as well as emerging businesses yet to be created, their growth facilitated by the FAA regulations which went into effect in 2016. 

Industry applications include construction, agriculture, insurance, real estate, public safety, inspections, law enforcement, ecommerce, environmental conservation and mapping, to name a few.

“It’s the next transformative technology that will change how business is done for many industries,” said Elliot M. Levy, senior director for the Workforce Development Center at STCC. “We are offering the most comprehensive, up-to-date course material available so that members of our business community can be among those who are capturing this technology’s potential.”

STCC President John B. Cook said the drone course exemplifies the college’s effort to bring technology innovation to the regional workforce.

“This course focuses on one of the most innovative technologies today, and STCC is pleased to offer this unique workforce opportunity,” Cook said. “This training is ideal for people working in a wide range of fields.”


Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Experience the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder at Little House Family Day Saturday, July 14, at Storrowton Village Museum.

Wilder, best known for penning the Little House on the Prairie books, had adventures on the American frontier that have captivated the imaginations of children for well over 100 years, whether on the written page or via the popular television series based on her books.

Different 19th century activities will take place throughout the day, so guests can enjoy a whole day of fun or participate in a few favorites. 

Visitors can also play old-fashioned prairie games on the Village green, learn about foraging on the frontier, and make corn husk dolls. Bring your best detective skills because this year will include a new scavenger hunt and anyone who completes the hunt will receive a small prize.

The day’s special guest will be Laura Ingalls historical interpreter, Rosalie Silliman. She will give two presentations, including one in the Village’s one-room schoolhouse, for a taste of what Laura’s life was like as a schoolteacher.

“It’s an annual tradition to celebrate Laura Ingalls Wilder and her New England heritage here at Storrowton. Her ancestors hail from Corinth, Vt., and Grafton, N.H., which isn’t too far away. This event is now in its fourth year and a favorite for many of the families that return each year,” museum director Jessica K. Fontaine said.

Tickets for Little House Family Day are $8 in advance via storrowtonvillage.com (through 7/13/18) or $10 on the day of the event. All children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, visit storrowtonvillage.com/p/tours-and-events/little-house-family-day

Healthcare Heroes


2nd Annual Healthcare Heroes Awards

HERO (n.) a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

BusinessWest and Healthcare News have created Healthcare Heroes to honor those who live up to that word’s definition. This region’s health and wellness sector is large, diverse, and dominated by heroes of all kinds. They’re on the front lines, in the administrative office, the research lab, the neighborhood clinic, the family dentist’s office, the college health and science building. They’re making real contributions to the quality of life in our communities, and it’s time to recognize their efforts!

Event Date: Thursday, October 25, 2018
Event Time: 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
Location:  Starting Gate at GreatHorse, Hampden

Nominations can now be submitted for the 2018 Healthcare Heroes awards. Deadline for nominations is Friday, June 15 at 5 p.m., NO EXCEPTIONS. Winners will be profiled in the September 3 issue of BusinessWest and the September issue of Healthcare News. Winners will be invited to attend the “Healthcare Heroes” Awards gala scheduled for Thursday, October 25, 2018.

Click on one of the following categories to submit a nomination:


Presenting Sponsors

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Supporting Sponsors


Daily News

HARTFORD, CT – Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced today that ridership on the new CTrail Hartford Line passenger rail service exceeded 10,719 customers during its first full week of regular operations from Monday, June 18 through Sunday, June 24, during which full-fare tickets were required.

The service launched on Saturday, June 16, and was free for all riders on the first two days of operation.

“We know that it will take some time for this new rail service to grow to full maturity and become part of the everyday lives of Connecticut residents, but there is definitely an excitement about this long-overdue train service,” said Malloy. “At the end of the day, this transit service is about building vibrant communities that attract businesses, grow jobs, and make our state a more attractive place to live, visit, and do business.”

“I’ve spoken with scores of riders who have begun to use the Hartford Line and who are saying their commute has become much easier and less stressful,” CTDOT Commissioner James P. Redeker said. “With easy access and connections with our CTtransit buses, we are opening up all kinds of options for getting around Connecticut – whether you’re going to work, to school, or simply playing the role of tourist.”

Stations along the line from north to south include New Haven Union Station, New Haven State Street, Wallingford, Meriden, Berlin, Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks, and Springfield, Massachusetts. Trains run approximately every 45 minutes during the weekday morning and evening peak periods.

The Hartford Line connects commuters to existing rail services in New Haven that allow for easy connections to Boston, New York City, and beyond, including the New Haven Line (Metro-North), Shore Line East, Amtrak Acela and Northeast Regional services. CTtransit local bus service is also available at most stations along the line, and connections to the CTfastrak bus rapid transit system is available in Hartford.


Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Comcast today announced the appointment of Daniel Bonelli as vice president of Finance for the company’s Western New England Region, which includes more than 300 communities in Connecticut, New York, Vermont, Western Mass. and Western New Hampshire.

In this role, Bonelli will oversee all financial operations, including finance and accounting; warehouse and materials; information technology; facilities; security; fleet management; and environmental health and safety.

Bonelli began his career with Comcast in the Western New England Region in 2007 as a financial analyst. He quickly progressed to manager and then director before being promoted to Senior Director of Finance in 2014. In 2016, Bonelli relocated to the Philadelphia area where he served as senior director of Finance for one of Comcast’s largest regions that serves Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey and oversaw a team of 60. Over the span of his tenure, his responsibilities included financial oversight and operational support for technical and engineering operations; call centers operations, sales and marketing operations; administrative and personnel administration; and fleet management. 

“Dan has an outstanding background in finance and operations,” said Michael Parker, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Western New England Region. “His expertise in analysis, planning and execution make him the ideal leader to oversee our financial operations and we’re thrilled to welcome him back to Connecticut to join our regional leadership team.”

Bonelli graduated with a bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Central Connecticut State University.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Casting Crowns, an award-winning contemporary Christian Rock band, will perform at The Big E’s xfinity arena Sept. 16.

Made up of seven members, Casting Crowns holds the distinction of Billboard’s top selling act in Christian music with more than 11 million records sold worldwide. With their latest album, The Very Next Thing, Casting Crowns progresses in its journey to bring listeners closer to their faith.

Front man Mark Hall draws inspiration from real-life experiences. The local church is the heartbeat of the band and he maintains his more than 25-year role as the student pastor at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

All Casting Crowns band members remain active in ministry in the Atlanta, Ga., area and tour according to their local church commitments. Members include Megan Garrett, Josh Mix, Juan and Melodee DeVevo, Chris Huffman, and Brian Scoggin.

Daily News

On June 21, The Horace Smith Fund held its 119th Corporators’ Meeting and scholarship awards ceremony in the Carriage House at Storrowton Tavern for recipients, their parents and school counselors, and Corporators.

Wayne Webster, Chair of the Board of Trustees, announced that this year there were 30 Walter S. Barr Scholarship awards, with 25 given to graduating high school seniors and five given to recipients already attending college. The William R. Rooney Award was granted to one candidate who has had special needs. There were also six Walter S. Barr Fellowship recipients. Providing that students maintain at least a B average in college, each scholarship provides a total of $10,000 over four years and each fellowship provides $12,000 over three years.  Therefore, The Horace Smith Fund is pleased to have granted a total award of $382,000 to area students this year.

The Horace Smith Fund was established in 1899 by the successful and generous philanthropist Horace Smith.  He and Daniel Wesson were the founders of Smith & Wesson, located in Springfield.  Smith’s will provided that the residual of his estate, after several bequests to relatives and institutions, was to be used for public purposes at the discretion of his executors. They decided that it should be used to help deserving students finance their education.

The Walter S. Barr Scholarships and Fellowships are named for a West Springfield businessman, whose widow left the bulk of the family estate to The Horace Smith Fund in 1950. The William R. Rooney Award is named for a past Executive Director with a desire to assist special needs students.  All recipients must be residents of Hampden County.

The keynote speaker and dance performance artist was Jessica M. Baker of Southwick, a 2016 graduate of Point Park University and past recipient of the Walter S. Barr Scholarship.

Students were selected on a variety of criteria, including their test scores, class rank, extra-curricular activities, and a personal written account of why the student feels deserving of financial assistance.  Applications for next year’s awards will be available Sept. 15 on-line at www.HoraceSmithFund.org or by calling (413) 739-4222.