Daily News

EASTHAMPTON — CitySpace announced that Andrea Kunst will fill the role of capital campaign manager for the organization, and will guide the Transformation Campaign, a project to restore and create a flexible performing-arts and community space in Easthampton’s Old Town Hall.

Kunst brings 20 years of advancement experience, raising close to $30 million in funding for schools and mission-driven nonprofits.

“My interest was piqued for this position because the Transformation Campaign is an important project in a great community, and allows me to use a career’s worth of experience to help achieve the goal of an enduring renovated arts and performance space,” she said.

After being introduced to the field of development at a Jesuit middle school in Jamaica Plain, Kunst found her calling and has continued to support organizations with strong missions of meeting community needs. Prior to retiring from Boston public schools, she spent a decade as the director of Advancement for a competency-based alternative high school in Roxbury.

With a last name that translates to ‘art’ in German, she has worked extensively in many creative fields, including writing columns for Boston magazine, teaching technical writing at Boston Architectural Center, managing a jazz club in Cambridge, and serving as board chair for Dorchester Arts Collaborative during its successful opening of Dorchester’s first community art gallery.

In 2016, Kunst began Cushing Mill, a contracting company for schools and nonprofits in need of advancement services. In that role, she has worked for the Center for Health and Food Law Policy at Harvard University, Fields Corner Main Street in Dorchester, All Dorchester Sports and Leadership; Boston Green Academy in Brighton, and Boston Farms Community Land Trust. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications from Emerson College.

Daily News

NORTH ADAMS — Frances Jones-Sneed, emeritus professor of History at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), will moderate a 14-week virtual community read of W.E.B. DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folk, held by Clinton Church Restoration in Great Barrington. The community read will feature guest scholars who will discuss each chapter as well as enduring themes and concepts in African-American life and culture.

The community read begins on Tuesday, Oct. 13 aat 7 p.m. and runs weekly through Feb. 16, 2021, the week before DuBois’ birthday. MCLA Associate Professor of Psychology Ruby Inez Vega will be a featured scholar on Jan. 26.

This event is held by Clinton Church Restoration, which began in 2016 as a nonprofit effort to preserve the historic A.M.E. Zion Church in Great Barrington. Clinton Church Restoration’s mission is to restore the historic property for reuse as a heritage site and visitor center that interprets the life and legacy of DuBois, celebrates the rich African-American heritage in the Berkshires, and honors the church’s history. The nonprofit’s work was featured in Architectural Digest in June. In addition to being a noted historian and scholar, Jones-Sneed is a member of the board of Clinton Church Restoration.

Learn more about the series and the featured scholars by visiting clintonchurchrestoration.org/souls-community-read.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Kyle Sullivan, assistant vice president at John M. Glover Insurance Agency, recently celebrated his 10th anniversary at the firm.

John M. Glover has 19 offices in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii. Sullivan, a third-generation broker, has worked for the business with his father since 2010 in the Holyoke office.

Sullivan sells home, auto, and business insurance and became assistant vice president in 2016. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nichols College. To better assist his commercial customers, he also holds a commercial-lines coverage specialist certification through the Hartford School of Insurance.

Sullivan previously worked in the restaurant industry for 10 years, which gave him customer-service experience along with a unique perspective on insuring restauranteurs. He works with commercial clients who range from contractors, real-estate investors, and restauranteurs to the owners of car dealerships and auto-body shops.

“I work with clients to understand their business and recommend a coverage plan that provides the best protection,” he said.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — As World Mental Health Day was recognized last week, Holyoke Community College (HCC) announced it has joined the JED Campus network in support of student well-being and mental health.

JED Campus is a nationwide initiative of the New York-based Jed Foundation designed to help schools evaluate and strengthen their mental-health, substance-misuse, and suicide-prevention programs and systems to ensure that schools have the strongest possible mental-health safety nets.

HCC was also one of six schools nationwide selected for an inaugural scholarship from the JED Foundation to strengthen student-support programs promoting mental-health awareness and suicide prevention.

“This is a critical time for young people in our nation as they cope with the current pandemic, ongoing issues around racial equity, and the regular pressures of transitioning into adulthood,” said John MacPhee, executive director and CEO of the JED Foundation. “We believe that working with high schools, colleges, and universities to invest in real-life systems that strengthen mental-health safety nets and foster a community of caring for students is more important than ever. By joining JED Campus, HCC is demonstrating a commitment to the emotional well-being of its students.”

JED campuses embark on a multi-year strategic collaboration that not only assesses and enhances the work already being done, but also helps create positive, lasting, systemic change in the campus community. JED Campus advisors work closely with these schools through a collaborative process of comprehensive systems, programs, and policy assessment with customized support to build upon each institution’s existing structures.

HCC’s JED Campus team includes students, faculty, and staff. The $20,000 scholarship will remediate a large portion of the JED Campus fees.

“Mental-health concerns continue to rise among young people and college students, particularly now as we remain in the throes of a pandemic,” said Rachel Rubinstein, HCC vice president of Academic and Student Affairs. “As a Hispanic-serving institution, with students who are predominantly first-generation, low-income, or people of color, our students are particularly vulnerable to the health and economic effects of the pandemic, and the mental health of our regional communities is of profound concern to us. The foundation’s gift, along with the expertise and guidance of JED advisors, will help us make the sustainable change that is needed to support our students’ well-being and success.”

Special Coverage

The Clock Is Ticking

Jim Hunt

Jim Hunt, Eversource’s vice president of Regulatory Affairs and chief Communications officer.

Jim Hunt has one of those countdown clocks on his computer.

But unlike most of these mechanisms — which will tick down the minutes until a presidential debate starts or the months and days until the next summer Olympics will commence — this one has a very long end date. Or not so long, depending on who you’re talking with.

That would be 2030, the date by which Eversource Energy, which Hunt serves as senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs and chief Communications officer, intends to be carbon-neutral.

It’s an ambitious target, and therefore the next 10 years will certainly go by quickly as a result, said Hunt, noting that, while other utilities, especially those that are still vertically integrated and generate power as well as distribute it, have also set goals for carbon neutrality, most have set their clocks to 2050, 2040, or perhaps 2035.

“This is the most ambitious strategy for any utility in the country,” he told BusinessWest. “But we also have one of the strongest clean-energy and carbon-reduction policies from our state as well. So we think we can demonstrate to other utilities and to the world that, while these may be aggressive, they are attainable, and we’re going to meet them.”

Hunt met with BusinessWest late last month as part of a packed day of stops in the City of Homes. The schedule also included visits with other media outlets, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and Rick Sullivan, executive director of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council.

There was plenty to talk about, including Eversource’s pending acquisition of Columbia Gas operations in Massachusetts — an important deal that was due to receive final approval from the Department of Public Utilities as this issue was going to press — as well as COVID-19 and its impact on the region and the business community, and even a few power outages resulting from a storm that week.

“That last mile is always the roughest. It’s going to be a challenge to squeeze as much as we can out of facilities and out of our vehicles, but we’re committed to doing so because we need to lead by example.”

But the main topic of conversation — in part because Hunt couldn’t talk much about the Columbia Gas purchase until it was final — involved the company’s ongoing efforts to promote clean-energy use and reduce carbon emissions — including its own drive to become carbon-neutral.

It is an ambitious goal, said Hunt, and much will have to go right for it to be attained. Actually, the utility is already roughly 90% of the way there, he noted, but the last 10% will be the most challenging.

“That last mile is always the roughest,” he noted. “It’s going to be a challenge to squeeze as much as we can out of facilities and out of our vehicles, but we’re committed to doing so because we need to lead by example.

“If we’re going to help our region achieve its goals of 80% cardon reduction by 2050, if we’re going to be that clean-energy partner in energy efficiency, renewables, and other solutions for our customers and our state policy makers,” he went on, “then we think we can do more to go above and beyond and lead by example.”

increased reliance on solar and wind power

Jim Hunt says increased reliance on solar and wind power is just one of the ways Eversource has become a catalyst for clean energy.

 

To get there, the company, which serves 4 million customers in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire, will deploy a multi-faceted strategy that includes improving the efficiency of its facilities, reducing fleet emissions, replacing natural-gas mains to eliminate methane leaks, reducing line losses in the electric system, investing in renewable resources, and offsetting any remaining emissions with other earth-friendly emissions.

“We have a plan to do this,” he explained. “It’s about 2 million tons of CO2 that we need to reduce or offset, and we have people throughout our company working on that implementation strategy.”

For this issue, BusinessWest takes an in-depth look at Eversource’s ambitious carbon-neutrality goals and what it will take to reach them before the countdown clock on Hunt’s computer reads all zeroes, but also the many initiatives to help homeowners, businesses, municipalities, and the Commonwealth as a whole reduce their own carbon footprints.

Hour Town

‘Range anxiety.’

That’s a phrase Hunt summoned as he discussed why electric vehicles have not become as prevalent as some experts thought they might by this time — and in this place.

Range anxiety is just what it sounds like, he said, adding that some have a persistent fear that they could be on a long drive with no place to charge up. And this helps explain why, while the state has made significant progress in reducing carbon emissions and growing the ‘green economy’ in such realms as energy efficiency, cleaning up power plants, and bringing more solar and wind power onto the grid, the broad transportation sector is lagging behind in terms of overall impact.

“Roughly 43% of greenhouse-gas emissions in Massachusetts come from the transportation sector — the cars that are on our roads, the long-haul vehicles that are bringing commerce … that’s a real challenge,” said Hunt. “Great strides have been made to improve fuel economy, and we’re seeing more and more electrification of vehicles as a valuable solution.

“But while you can go buy an electric vehicle right off the lot, the challenge has been ensuring that there’s enough charging infrastructure throughout our roadway network,” he went on. “Not just in the urban core like Springfield and Boston and Worcester, but to get people to the more remote places, like those in Western Mass.”

“If you’re commuting to work, if you’re going to visit family, if you’re traveling to the Berkshires, you want to have that confidence that you’ll have a charge to get back home or to your destination.”

To this end, Eversource has created what it calls the Make Ready program, through which Eversource will pay the wiring infrastructure costs for thousands of new charging stations across the Commonwealth.

“We work with our customers who are interested in putting in charging stations but can’t pay the cost of that infrastructure,” he explained. “We’ll put in that infrastructure if they’ll agree to put in the charger and make it publicly accessible. This has been a great solution to deal with range anxiety — if you’re commuting to work, if you’re going to visit family, if you’re traveling to the Berkshires, you want to have that confidence that you’ll have a charge to get back home or to your destination.”

The Make Ready program, which has helped add thousands of charge points across the Commonwealth, including ones at the parking garages at Union Station and MGM Springfield, is just one of the ways Eversource has become a catalyst for clean energy, said Hunt, adding that perhaps the biggest component of this broad strategy is perhaps the simplest — helping both residential and commercial customers use less energy through higher efficiency.

solar panel and charging station

The Eversource solar panel and charging station in Westwood, Mass.

“We’ve been consistently ranked the number-one energy-efficiency provider in the nation,” he noted, due in large part to an effective partnership with the Bay State, which, along with California, traditionally has the strongest energy-efficiency policies in the nation, and Connecticut and New Hampshire as well. “We try to reach out to all our customers — residential, industrial, commercial, and communities as well — to espouse the values of energy efficiency; it really is the first fuel. If you can reduce your energy consumption, you’re cutting down on your own bill, but that also provides great benefits for the environment and clean-energy strategy.

“That’s the foundation of our clean-energy strategy,” he went on, adding that, for every dollar invested in energy-efficiency initiatives, the customer receives $3 return on that investment. And this is true across the board, whether it’s a residential customer that undertakes an energy audit and tunes up a furnace for the winter, or a commercial customer that installs more energy-efficient lighting.

Overall, Eversource invests $500 million in energy-efficiency initiatives, which yield $1.5 billion in benefits for those 4 million customers, while also contributing to sharp reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions, from more than 2.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2014 to roughly 800,000 tons in 2018.

Also contributing to those numbers are initiatives that help customers connect solar and other distributed-generation resources to the grid.

“We’ve made those investments to modernize the electric grid and make it ready for taking distributed energy, whether it’s solar or other distributed-energy resources,” Hunt explained, adding that the company also owns and operates some utility-scale solar operations, such as the one constructed on the brownfield site at the former Chapman Valve complex in Indian Orchard, a facility that he described as a model for the state when it comes to showcasing larger-scale solar energy and forging partnerships with communities to make such projects happen.

Elaborating, he said Eversource is currently working with the Massachusetts legislature to expand the cap on the solar capacity the utility can develop. Currently, that cap is 70 megawatts, and Eversource is at that number through the creation of several sites across the state.

 

Fueling Optimism

There are other components to this clean-energy strategy, said Hunt, listing windpower initiatives — the company is partnering with Orsted, the largest and most successful operator of offshore wind in the world, to develop up to 4,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity, reducing carbon emissions by millions of tons each year — as well as energy-storage steps that will reduce the need for fossil-fuel-powered generation, while improving power quality and reliability.

These are, of course, part of the company’s own efforts to become carbon-neutral. As noted, this strategy has a number of components, from divesting fossil-fuel plants to offshore wind and solar; from improving efficiency at its many facilities to making its own fleet of vehicles greener, although much work remains in that realm, as we’ll see.

“We’ve made those investments to modernize the electric grid and make it ready for taking distributed energy, whether it’s solar or other distributed-energy resources.”

These efforts, as noted, have put the company more than 90%, and perhaps even 95%, of the way toward its goal of carbon neutrality. But, as Hunt said, the last mile is traditionally the most difficult, although he believes the goal is attainable.

“We’re a leading energy-efficiency provider. We can reduce our consumption in the 150 facilities we own and operate in New England be more efficient with lighting and energy use, procure more clean-energy resources to power those buildings … we’re developing that plan; we’re building smarter buildings to get to net-zero-energy for the buildings we operate.”

As for the fleet, there are electric vehicles in that fleet, mostly lighter models, and there are charging facilities at all of Eversource’s facilities, he noted. But the heavier trucks, including those used to restore power when there are outages, are more difficult to convert to electric.

“But we’re looking at innovations, like hybrid vehicles that might be powered by diesel today, but might be powered down while they’re doing work, with the buckets running on electric only,” Hunt said. “When you think about how these vehicles have operated, they’ve had to be on and idling so you can run the power on that arm. Today, we’re investing in hybrid types of vehicles that we can power down.

“We’re not far off,” he continued. “There’s a lot of research and a lot of investment going into electrification of more heavy-duty vehicles; there will be a day when 18-wheel vehicles are powered electrically and run autonomously.”

Meanwhile, on the gas-business side, the company is working to tighten up its infrastructure, some of it built 100 or more years ago and now prone to leaks. And these efforts will grow in scope with the acquisition of Columbia Gas, which operates in Brockton, Lawrence, and Springfield and boasts some 330,000 customers.

“We’ll be making the same kind of investments in upgrading older infrastructure and reducing leaks in the Columbia Gas system,” he noted. “In making the decision to purchase those assets, we assessed all that, and we’re committed to achieving it. It will make our goal of carbon neutrality even more challenging, but we’re up to the challenge.”

Beyond infrastructure, Eversource is also looking into cleaner, more efficient natural-gas options.

“Natural gas is an important bridge to a clean-energy future,” he explained. “Our customers depend on it, and it’s a cleaner, more cost-effective fuel for home heating and thermal needs than oil or electric. But we’re exploring ways to inject cleaner natural gas — and that might be biogas from agriculture or, further down the road, injecting hydrogen gas into our natural-gas system to further offset methane use; we’re exploring those opportunities.”

 

Powerful Arguments

Returning to the matter of that countdown clock, Hunt said Eversource has set benchmarks for different points over the next decade, and will be developing a scorecard, as well as an offset strategy, for its quest for carbon neutrality.

“We’ve got nine years to get there, but in many respects, that’s right around the corner — that’s not far away,” he noted, adding, again, that the goal is ambitious, but reachable.

In short, a utility that has in many ways set the standard when it comes to energy efficiency and clean-energy use is looking to continue that tradition.

 

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

Coronavirus Technology

Remote Connections

Zasco Productions recently held a hybrid drive-in event

Zasco Productions recently held a hybrid drive-in event for a pancreatic-cancer organization — one way it’s filling the void with live events curtailed.

While most of the business world slowed gradually in March, or even ground to an eventual halt, the story was more dire for the events industry.

It just … stopped.

“When the whole country shut down, we were impacted immediately. We were one of the first business sectors to really feel the effects,” said Andrew Jensen, president of Jx2 Productions, noting that among the state’s first orders was barring large — and eventually even modestly sized — gatherings.

Within a day or two, he recalled, “we had no business left, just one or two things left for the rest of the year. Everyone freaked out. From weddings to live events to conferences to concerts, everything was gone overnight. It was non-stop with the phone calls. It was unlike anything I’ve ever felt. When there’s some kind of natural disaster or act of God, everything might be off for a while in one area, but never worldwide like this.”

After hunkering down for a while to get a sense of what was to come, it was time to get off the mat and figure out how to move forward in 2020. In Jensen’s case, like most players in his industry right now, that meant a shift to a new type of virtual, or online, event.

“Like any major shift in business, it’s a learning curve; it’s a challenge to make the transition from only live events with some streaming at them to all streaming events. It was definitely a shift not only in our business, but in the mentality of people asking to do them.”

“Like any major shift in business, it’s a learning curve; it’s a challenge to make the transition from only live events with some streaming at them to all streaming events,” Jensen explained. “It was definitely a shift not only in our business, but in the mentality of people asking to do them.”

The typical live gathering might include livestreams as a secondary factor, he said, mostly at higher-end events; smaller companies typically don’t bring in a secondary audience remotely. “We had to shift our mentality, and that was hard. Did we have redundancies and protocols in place? What if we lose somebody on the other end? How does that effect everyone?”

Michael Zaskey has been dealing with those questions, too, since the industry crashed to a halt in mid-March.

“We were the first to go, and we’ll be the last to come back in a traditional sense,” the owner of Zasco Productions told BusinessWest. “We knew pretty quickly that online and virtual events were going to be the norm for a while.”

At first, companies thought they could take a DIY approach, he added. “Initially, folks were trying to do things with Zoom and GoToMeeting. Those are awesome tools for meetings or small-group sessions, but not for producing events. You can have a board meeting or discussion over Zoom, but if you want to engage and entertain and create an experience similar to a live event, that’s not the right tool. You still need a production company.”

Jx2 Productions has boosted the technology in its control room

Jx2 Productions has boosted the technology in its control room, and out on the road, to meet the needs of a largely virtual event landscape.

The world is figuring that out. Based on projections from Grand View Research, virtual events will grow nearly tenfold over the next decade from $78 billion to $774 billion. And that puts a squeeze on businesses like Jx2 and Zasco.

“People figure a virtual event costs less than a live event because you’re not renting ballroom space, but on the production side, it’s just as expensive, or even more,” Zaskey said. “We’ve tried to be flexible with budgets, but we’re working with a very slim margin.”

It’s a challenge that will remain, at least in the short term.

“Obviously, it will be a long time before live events come back full force,” he added. “Virtual events will never replace a live event, which is so much about the networking, and people miss that. But in this time of pandemic and crisis, they’re viable solutions that allow people to connect and participate.”

 

Technical Concerns

The first thing people need to learn in this new landscape is the terminology, Zaskey said. “Like, when people started using the phrase ‘socially distant,’ I’ve always thought we say that wrong. We should be socially connected and physically distant. Or connected with technology.”

Likewise, people often mean different things when they say ‘virtual event.’ “People started throwing that term around, but it means something different for every person we talk to.”

That’s because, in his world, virtual events have often meant events that occur in a virtual space, like a corporate meeting in which the CEO stands on a virtual stage in front of a greenscreen, backed by a set created electronically, as if standing in a video game or virtual-reality environment. “What most people call a virtual event today, we use the term ‘online event.’ That’s more accurate.”

There are hybrid events, too, which mix in-person and remote elements. “Instead of 500 people in a room, maybe you have 20 smaller rooms with 25 people in each room, physically distanced, and connect those rooms electronically” — a good option even in non-pandemic times for large, national companies that don’t want to fly everyone to one location for an important gathering.

Zasco is also doing some drive-in events, like a recent pancreatic-cancer fundraiser in Connecticut that had been postponed from May. “We wanted to keep our audience engaged, so we did a drive-in event and spaced out the cars, with a large screen outdoors, and you could listen through FM radio.”

While short speeches were delivered on stage — again, in a distanced fashion — the biggest donors and benefactors attended live in their cars, with others able to watch through a webstream.

“We’ve done a number of those for nonprofits, schools, and corporations,” Zaskey said. “That’s been pretty successful. I’ve been impressed how good people have been about following the rules. People, by and large, are wearing masks and staying in their cars. I’ve been impressed, because people aren’t always known for following rules.”

“We’ve done a number of those for nonprofits, schools, and corporations. That’s been pretty successful. I’ve been impressed how good people have been about following the rules. People, by and large, are wearing masks and staying in their cars.”

One pressing issue at online and hybrid events, of course, is connectivity and having the redundancy and bandwidth to keep connections from going down. “We’ve had to think and engineer our way into … not necessarily new technology, but using it in new ways. It’s always changing and growing.”

Part of the challenge is communicating issues to attendees, he added. If a hotel ballroom loses power, all 500 people attending in person experience the same thing and know what’s going on. “If 500 people tune into a stream and lose power to the master control room, those 500 people have no idea what happened.”

Jensen agreed that technical concerns were paramount. “It was slightly challenging at the beginning for us tech people,” he said, adding that another challenge has to do with communication — not only with the crew, but with presenters who may be in different locations.

“We’ve done thousands of events over 20 years, and the process is different. We’d have a stage manager go on stage and hand someone a microphone. Now you have to make sure you have plenty of rehearsals and walk them through the process.”

Technology upgrades are a must as well, both for production companies and their clients. “A standard laptop camera and microphone don’t work — certainly it’s not high-enough quality. So we created ‘cases’ and sold a couple dozen to clients, and have some in own inventory. This allows them to have much better image and quality and make their event that much better. We all know a standard iPhone camera or computer camera is not that great.”

Like Zasco, Jx2 found a niche in drive-in events, like graduations. And because the company got into streaming at least 15 years ago, as it went mainstream, it wasn’t too difficult to shift focus to that side of the business this year. “We kind of already had a foot in the door.”

One upside to the current situation, Jensen said, is that it’s forced businesses to think differently about their events.

“It’s a chance for our clients to think outside the box and become OK with not doing things the standard way, the rinse-and-repeat event you’ve done for 10 or 20 years. You get used to doing things a certain way: guests arrive at this time, you do a cocktail hour, there’s a formula to every live event.

“Now, you’re trying to recreate something where the guests’ attention span is definitely lower because it’s virtual, and you’ve got a lower level of interaction from guests,” he went on. “You’ve got to make sure whatever you put on the screen will resonate with guests.”

Working creatively to achieve that goal, he said, can often spark inspiration for future events as well, even the live ones that will return … someday.

 

Optimistic Outlook

Zaskey is looking forward to that day.

“We’re pretty fortunate to be pretty busy, but the profit margins are not the same as they are for live events,” he said. “The entire industry is still struggling greatly.”

Much of the staff laid off in March has come back on a part-time basis as jobs are scheduled. “A lot of what we’re doing, we have to deeply discount, not just to be a good neighbor and help clients so they can pull out of this as well, but to keep our people working.”

One long-term concern is a possible ‘brain drain’ as the pandemic wears on, he added.

“The industry is at risk of losing talent, and that scares us a little bit. As people get desperate and wonder about the future, they might consider career changes. Maybe they’ll come back, but maybe they won’t — maybe someone has always wanted to be a chef, and decides it’s time to go to culinary school. When the world bounces back and live events come back, we need highly skilled people to work on them.”

And events will come back, Jensen said, if only because people desperately want to attend them. “Human nature is interactive; we want to see people, be with people, go to dinner, go on vacation. Most people aren’t homebodies. People over the summer couldn’t wait to go to the beach or go camping. You couldn’t buy a kayak.”

In the same way, “I think live events will come back massively once we get through this pandemic and the comfort level comes back up.”

In fact, Jensen predicts bottlenecks as venues book up quickly once they get the go-ahead from the CDC and state officials. “I think it’s going to be the end of ’21 into ’22 when events pick up fully. We’re a couple years out from full recovery. But people will be eager to plan these things.”

Zaskey agreed. “It’s still very, very tough, and it’s going to be tough for a long time,” he said, but he looks back to 9/11 for a possible parallel. Events suffered mightily after that tragedy as well, but 2002 through 2004 were Zasco’s biggest growth years.

“People wanted to get back to live events. And I think the same thing will happen when the pandemic is over. Getting to that point is the challenge.”

 

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Banking and Financial Services Coronavirus Special Coverage

Lending Support

Chuck Leach, president and CEO of Lee Bank.

Chuck Leach, president and CEO of Lee Bank.

Community banks love commercial lending, Chuck Leach says.

“It’s just good business for us — Main Street lending, that’s where we can have a nice give and take with customers. It’s kind of our wheelhouse.”

That’s all still true, even though 2020 has rocked that wheelhouse in unexpected ways.

“We’re not seeing the same commercial demand,” said Leach, president and CEO of Lee Bank. “It’s either risk aversion or businesses are waiting to see what happens.”

Or, in some cases, they’re extra liquid after taking advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other stimulus measures, as well as deferring payments on other bank loans, he added. “Put all that together, and they may not have borrowing needs right now, or they’re sitting on their liquidity until they see some clarity with the pandemic or the election or both.”

Clarity has been in short supply since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a widespread economic shutdown at the start of spring that continues to wreak havoc.

Michael Oleksak remembers the first few months of the year, of hearing occasional news about the novel coronavirus back in January, and much more of it as February crept along.

“I’d been asking myself for years, ‘what are we missing? What’s next?’ Because there had to be a ‘next.’ Who would have thought it would be a pandemic?”

“Then, from mid-March into April, everything was a blur. It just spiraled,” said Oleksak, executive vice president, senior lender, and chief credit officer for PeoplesBank, before discussing the PPP surge and other measures that followed (more on that later).

Blurring the picture further was the very uncertainty of what was coming. Having experienced several economic upheavals, from the bank failures of the early ’90s to the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000 and 2001, to the housing crisis in 2007 and 2008, he had no idea what the next crisis would be.

“I’d been asking myself for years, ‘what are we missing? What’s next?’ Because there had to be a ‘next.’ Who would have thought it would be a pandemic?

“This will be the fourth economic cycle I’ve been through, and every one has been different,” he added. “And this one is far different than the others. We’re not seeing a lot of new activity. I think everyone is kind of hunkered down, for lack of a better word, in survival mode.”

As Allen Miles, executive vice president at Westfield Bank, put it, “obviously this one was a lot different. You couldn’t see the train wreck coming; that’s the best way to explain it. It just got dropped on us.”

What happened next in commercial lending is an oft-told story recently, but one worth telling again. What will happen next … well, no one really knows. But banks will certainly take lessons from a challenging past seven months as that story takes shape.

 

Lending a Hand

Miles said Westfield Bank started reaching out to loan customers in February when coronavirus became a more widely reported issue. In mid-March, like other banks, it was actively sending employees home. And then the storm hit.

From mid-March into the start of April, “that two weeks was absolutely crazy because you had people looking for loan deferrals, and the bank examiners were very friendly to both the banks and borrowers to try to help these people out,” he recalled. “We were just trying to help our customers. You’re not worried about loan origination; you’re just worried about getting people through the unknown and the craziness.”

Michael Oleksak says new lending activity has been down

Michael Oleksak says new lending activity has been down because many businesses are “in survival mode.”

The first Monday in April, the bank received about 500 PPP applications, and about the same number the next day.

“We needed to get all hands on deck,” Miles told BusinessWest. “We were still waiting on guidance from regulators and the Treasury Department. We had people afraid for their livelihoods, their families, and everything. It was organized chaos.”

The bank got $185 million in PPP loans approved in that first round, what he called a “herculean task.” The second round, several weeks later, was much less chaotic. “That was more for the smaller businesses — a lot more applications, but smaller in dollar size. We were able to keep up with those because we’d been through it, and they weren’t as complicated.”

Oleksak said the PPP was a critical lifeline for a lot of people. “There was kind of a mass panic there wouldn’t be a round two, which put a lot of pressure on the banks and our customers, trying to rush to get them into a program that was not very well-defined from the outset,” he recalled. “Then round two came along, and everyone who needed funds was able to access them, and that made a big difference.”

Leach said the widely reported chaos was quite real, but the larger story was a positive one.

“For now, this has put a lot of capital in the banks and a lot of capital in businesses in our region and beyond. A lot of our customers are in good shape right now.”

“In spite of the controversy, and the people who thought they were making up the rules as they went along, I think the PPP was very functional,” he said. “We’re seeing a lot of customers well-capitalized right now, which is the untold story nationally.

“Maybe that changes and this is just a Band-Aid,” he added, due to the lack of clarity about the next few months, from fears of a second COVID-19 surge to the limbo status of further federal stimulus. “But, for now, this has put a lot of capital in the banks and a lot of capital in businesses in our region and beyond. A lot of our customers are in good shape right now.”

Lee Bank processed 348 PPP loans and has submitted more than 100 forgiveness applications, although some customers are waiting to see if the federal forgiveness guidelines change, specifically whether “they do a sweeping approach where everything under $150,000 is forgiven with a very, very simple forgiveness application.”

Again, borrowers want clarity. Still, Leach came back to the positive impact his bank was able to make with the PPP — and also with loan-payment deferrals for about 240 customers, with about $60 million deferred in total. “In a bank that has $400 million in total assets, you can see that’s a good chunk,” he said, adding that only a fraction of those customers requested a second deferral period.

Oleksak and Miles both reported similar trends, with requests for continued deferrals dropping after the first 90-day period.

“Thirty days before the first deferment was up, we contacted people, and 85% to 90% said, ‘we’re good, we’re not going to be looking for a deferral going forward.’ So that made us feel really comfortable,” Miles said. “With the PPP and the deferrals, it bridged the gap for customers.”

“We’re being very sensitive,” added Kevin O’Connor, Westfield Bank’s executive vice president and chief banking officer. “We’ve been very involved with them, understanding their needs and how the bank can work with them.”

While borrowers in the broad hospitality sector continue to struggle, for obvious reasons, most customers have come through the past seven months well with the help of PPP and loan-payment deferrals, Miles added. “The main ones hurting are the ones being affected by the phases and the rollouts — restaurants, bars. They’ll take a while to get back on their feet.”

 

Starts and Stops

That’s true in the Berkshires as well, Leach said, and restaurants in particular are worried about the onset of cold weather and an inability to seat more customers, due to both the state’s indoor-capacity restrictions and the reluctance among some patrons to eat inside restaurants right now.

But the region’s hospitality businesses have benefited in others ways during the pandemic; in fact, one bed-and-breakfast he spoke with did record business this summer.

Allen Miles says some loan customers are doing well

Allen Miles says some loan customers are doing well, while others, particularly in hospitality, continue to struggle.

“People left urban areas for a safer place, whether for weekends or longer,” he said, adding that some secondary homes became primary homes, while other people bought first homes in an area they felt was safer than, say, New York City. “Interest rates are obviously really low, but there’s also the fear factor of ‘wait, I’ve got to get out of this urban area.’ So there’s been a huge sense of urgency to buy in an area like the Berkshires.”

Unlike some lending institutions, Westfield Bank has seen healthy activity in loan originations recently, Miles said.

“The deferments and PPP money actually made some people stronger because it’s been cash preservation instead of cash burn,” he noted. “Usually for commercial lending, it starts getting busy after Labor Day. We weren’t sure if we were going to see that cycle again, but now it’s quite busy, and people are active. So that’s a really good sign.”

That activity is strong across the board, particularly in commercial real estate, where customers are refinancing for a lower rate or selling, he explained. “It’s a great time to sell — low interest rates, lower cap rates, people are going to pay you more for the property — so you’re seeing a lot of transactions going on right now.”

Commercial and industrial (C&I) loans are healthy as well, he said, adding, of course, that, “with anything related to hospitality or travel, the jury’s still out on that. The longer this [pandemic] hangs over us, the longer the recovery for them.”

At PeoplesBank, Oleksak said, many customers have been accumulating cash and paying down lines of credit, or shopping around to lock in better long-term rates on loans, which is a challenge for banks already facing flattened yield curves. “I think the depth of the crisis is a little bit masked by the amount of stimulus money in the market, from PPP, SBA programs, and deferments.

“The deferments and PPP money actually made some people stronger because it’s been cash preservation instead of cash burn.”

“Some individuals out there are suffering mightily, particularly restaurants and hospitality,” he added. “The other great unknown is, we don’t have a vaccine yet. Are we going to see another spike? People are trying to get back to normal here, but I’m not sure what the new normal is going to look like.”

He pointed to his own institution as an example. Between half and two-thirds of PeoplesBank employees are still working remotely, a trend being reflected across all geographic regions and business sectors.

As a result, “nobody really knows what’s going to happen with the office segment of the market, with so many people working from home. Will they go back at some point? Will companies decide they don’t need so much space, or does social distancing mean you have fewer people but still need more space? It’s a total unknown for us.”

It’s unfortunate that some industries, like restaurants, will likely see a slower return to health, O’Connor said, “but it’s good to see customer confidence in some areas coming back, even a little bit sooner than we would have expected.”

Miles agreed. “We’re very happy with what we’re seeing right now. It’s not behind us, but it’s not as bad as people anticipated. If activity is picking up and people are borrowing, they’re confident, which is good.”

 

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Community Spotlight

Community Spotlight

By Mark Morris

John Page and Claudia Pazmany

John Page and Claudia Pazmany say the chamber has stepped up its role this year in many ways to help businesses, including those in Hadley.

Before the pandemic, up to 80,000 cars would travel on Route 9 in Hadley each day, bringing workers, students, and customers to and through the town.

Known for its agriculture, proximity to the Five College community, and a robust retail corridor along Route 9, Hadley has been challenged, like all towns, since the arrival of COVID-19. But efforts by a group of town officials are meeting those challenges to keep Hadley viable today and well into the future.

David Nixon, deputy town administrator, said area colleges play an important role in the local economy. Hadley’s location is central to the Five College community, but Nixon actually sees it as a 30-campus community because that’s how many colleges are within an hour’s drive of Hadley.

While some campuses are open, others have stayed closed, and some are taking a hybrid approach, mixing on-site classes with distance learning.

“This has had an impact on local businesses,” he said, noting that less activity at the colleges, most notably UMass Amherst, which borders Hadley, adds to the struggles many businesses are facing as they try to comply with pandemic restrictions and stay afloat. “Right now, we are doing as much as possible to keep people safe and to support our businesses.”

Hadley officials have reduced licensing fees and expedited the process for businesses that are adapting to state COVID-19 guidelines. For example, when restaurants had to amend their food and liquor license permits to allow outdoor service, Nixon said the town was quick to respond to get the changes made.

“We’ve also expedited the inspections that are necessary when a business changes the footprint of their building,” he added, noting that cooperation among the town’s Planning Board, building inspectors, Fire Department, and Select Board ensured an easier process for the businesses involved.

Hadley is also one of seven communities benefiting from a $900,000 Community Development Block Grant to help microbusinesses stay afloat during the pandemic. Easthampton is the lead community on the grant, which allows businesses with five or fewer employees to apply for up to $10,000 in grant money.

David Nixon

David Nixon

“This project is also an opportunity to replace 100-year old sewer and water pipelines under Route 9. By doing this all at once, it will save taxpayers a lot of money.”

Also pitching in to help businesses is the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, which covers Hadley and other surrounding towns. Claudia Pazmany, executive director of the chamber, said the area has been fortunate in that the number of COVID-19 cases is lower than most parts of the state. To keep it that way, the chamber is now providing PPE, as well as printed posters and floor decals, that reinforce messages of social distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing. Available at no charge to chamber members, the signage is just one of the ways to help businesses get back on their feet.

“These are not business-saving techniques by themselves, but we hope to help our members reduce their costs as they open back up under the new guidelines,” she told BusinessWest.

 

Lines of Communication

The chamber has stepped up its role during the pandemic in other ways as well. “Our ability to advocate for and to market our businesses has become even stronger since COVID-19,” Pazmany noted, adding that it’s one of the few “silver linings” of these times.

The town and the chamber have been working together on a series of Zoom meetings with local businesses to hear their concerns and offer whatever help they can, she said. “We’ve been hosting these meetings to keep an open conversation between the town and businesses.”

One of the popular topics in the meetings has been the widening of Route 9, which is expected to start next year. The $26 million project will add travel and turning lanes to the road.

“This project is also an opportunity to replace 100-year old sewer and water pipelines under Route 9,” Nixon said. “By doing this all at once, it will save taxpayers a lot of money.”

Pazmany said the Route 9 widening has been in the planning phase for years, and once complete, the improvements will benefit all who use the roadway.

“Many people use the bus to go to work and school. Among other things, the widening project will provide much safer bus stops and allow buses to get more people moving in an efficient manner.”

The widening project will begin at Town Hall and go east for 2.6 miles to the intersection of Route 9 and Maple Street.

Business owners located along Route 9 have expressed concerns about the loss of business due to COVID-19 being followed up by a loss of business due to road construction. To alleviate that concern, the town has applied for an economic-development grant to market the Route 9 corridor. John Page, the chamber’s marketing and membership manager, said the idea is to position Route 9 as a great place to open a business.

“The grant would be about marketing and planning the future of Route 9 post-COVID,” he explained. “Hopefully, that’s coming sooner rather than later.”

As plans for the future of the town come into focus, Pazmany reminded everyone that Hadley has a great deal to offer right now.

“For those looking for a day trip, this is the time to come and visit,” she said, adding that, with the arrival of autumn, “Hadley will be at its most beautiful and picturesque in the next few weeks.”

She noted that many local restaurants participate in farm-to-table efforts with Hadley farms supplying many of the vegetables.

And, as more people take part in outdoor activities, the Norwottuck Rail Trail bike path has seen more riders than ever before, she said. The path runs completely through Hadley and features scenic views of farms and neighborhoods.

Hadley at a glance

Year Incorporated: 1661
Population: 5,250
Area: 24.6 square miles
County: Hampshire
Residential Tax Rate: $12.78
Commercial Tax Rate: $12.78
Median Household Income: $51,851
Median Family Income: $61,897
Type of Government: Open Town Meeting, Board of Selectmen
Largest Employers: Super Stop & Shop; Evaluation Systems Group Pearson; Elaine Center at Hadley; Home Depot; Lowe’s Home Improvement
* Latest information available

Nixon said the rail trail gives people another perspective on his town. “I often talk about the view of Hadley from Route 9 and the view from the bike path. They look like two completely different communities.”

 

Moving On

Two out of three building projects started last year in Hadley have been completed. The new Senior Center is complete and providing remote programs for residents. The new fire substation is also up and running, and the town library is close to completion.

As those projects conclude, Nixon is planning to wrap up his 15-year career with Hadley and retire on Dec. 31. To transition out of his role as town administrator, he has assumed the title of deputy town administrator while he helps Carolyn Brennan, the recently hired town administrator, transition into the job.

As someone who has been involved in municipal governments for more than 30 years, Brennan’s experience ranges from working with councils on aging in Amherst, Hampden, and East Longmeadow. She remains active as a selectman in Wilbraham, where she lives. Back when Brennan was a student at UMass, she lived in Hadley and worked at the Shady Lawn Rest Home.

Brennan said she’s glad to be back and described Hadley as being in great shape thanks to the town employees and Nixon’s management. “Having worked in other municipalities, I’m impressed with the all of the employees; they are real stakeholders in their community.”

She also appreciates having Nixon work with her while she gets acclimated to the job. “With David staying on until the end of the year, you couldn’t ask for a better transition plan for the town and for me.”

As for Nixon, he reflected on his career with Hadley and spoke of how rewarding it was to serve the town for 15 years.

“I’ll definitely miss the people,” he said. “I’m glad I was part of advancing our community a little further down the road.”

Healthcare Heroes

Amid the Crisis at the Soldiers’ Home, This Small Army Answered the Call

The Staff of Holyoke Medical Center

The Staff of Holyoke Medical Center

It was coming up to noon on Friday, April 4, and the staff at Holyoke Medical Center was frantically working to ready facilities there for the arrival of residents of the nearby Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, who needed to be relocated in the midst of a tragic COVID-19 disaster that would make headlines across the country.

Carl Cameron, HMC’s chief operating officer, who was overseeing that work, was on the phone with his boss, hospital President and CEO Spiros Hatiras, who was telling him that some promised National Guard personnel would likely soon be arriving from the Soldiers’ Home to help with the massive and complex undertaking.

Cameron’s response more than sets the tone for a truly inspiring story that most still haven’t heard, but certainly should.

“I told him that at that point not to bother,” he recalled. “Because we had our own army of people. And it was absolutely outstanding and amazing how that team came together and got this done.”

“We had our own army of people. And it was absolutely outstanding and amazing how that team came together and got this done.”

Indeed, HMC’s small army, which would grow in numbers in the coming days and weeks, as we’ll see, came together in every way imaginable to bring 39 residents of the home into a hospital that was in the early stages of the COVID-19 fight itself. An acute-care hospital, HMC was not in the business of providing long-term care. But, to borrow a phrase from hockey, it shifted on the fly, and essentially got into that business.

There was a learning curve — staff members were certainly not used to people in HMC’s beds making requests (better make that demands) for their favorite brand of beer — but they did learn, and they made the veterans/patients/residents feel at home at an extremely difficult time.

They decorated the hastily created living spaces with flags and red, white, and blue ornaments. They found the soldiers television sets. They provided much-needed information and comfort to those soldiers’ family members, many of whom had no idea where they were. They’ve helped a few of their guests celebrate 100th birthdays since their arrival. Outpatient physical therapists were taken off furlough to become veterans’ liaisons, helping the Soldiers’ Home residents with daily functions as well as helping them maintain connections with loved ones. Office assistants stepped in to assist with patient care.

Summing it all up, Hatiras said his staff came together, as perhaps never before, amid a crisis that tested the medical center on every level imaginvable — and earned the designation of Healthcare Hero for 2020 not only from BusinessWest, but from the Huron Studer Group, one of only four such awards that organization issued across the entire U.S.

Spiros Hatiras

Spiros Hatiras

“Everyone put their roles aside and said, ‘all hands on deck.”

“Everyone put their roles aside and said, ‘all hands on deck,’” Hatiras noted, summoning still more military language as he praised every department in the hospital, from Plant Operations to Communications to Environmental Services, for the specific roles they played. “And what we’ve learned, aside from all the bonding and being more comfortable in different roles, is that we’ve technically become much more astute. We’ve learned things from a technical standpoint that would allow us to respond to a second wave or other kind of pandemic, because now we’ve got it right; we know how to convert rooms under pressure, we know how to isolate people, we know how to shift things around, we know how to use alternative ways. We’ve learned so much by going through this.”

As several of those involved with this herculean effort talked with BusinessWest about it, much of the discussion focused on that first day and night — and for a reason.

The hard work of setting up spaces for the soldiers — an outpatient cardiac-services unit and a maternity unit that has seen declining volume for several years — had been completed by mid-afternoon — as noted, without the help of the National Guard.

As he talked about the mad dash to get the rooms ready, Angelo Martinez, a member of the Plant Operations team, spoke for everyone in the room when he spoke of those who be staying in those rooms.

“At end of the day, I was tired, but it was a good feeling,” he said. “Because these veterans did a lot for us, and we owe them for all they’ve done.”

Those units were ready by 3 p.m., the end of a shift for many of those involved. But just about everyone stayed until those soldiers finally started arriving by van in the early evening. And they stayed on until the last of them arrived around midnight. And still they stayed on until the soldiers were settled into their new quarters.

Kaitlyn Nadeau, a surgical technologist, was one of them. She told BusinessWest she was unaware that the hospital was taking on the veterans because it had been a busy day in the operating rooms. When she learned, around 3 in the afternoon, she and others went about setting out a welcome mat.

Korean War Veteran Richard Madura, seen here with recreational therapist Mary Argenio, is one of 39 veterans who found a new home at Holyoke Medical Center.

“We made hearts to put on the walls because … it’s a basement, and it’s white walls, and it’s kind of scary when you walk in,” she explained. “So we decorated it like we were going to stay there. Because if it were my grandparents coming in … most of these people are confused as is, and they’re coming to this facility they’ve never been to.

“So we decided we were going to stay there,” she went on. “Hours went by, and they still hadn’t arrived because it’s quite the process to get them here. Finally, I said, ‘let’s get more people down here.’ My boss just started grabbing people from everywhere; people from the command center showed up, and managers from other departments, and CNAs … everyone just came together, including people I’d never met before in my life, to welcome them here and get them settled in.”

This coming together as a team during that first 24 hours or so set the tone, but it was really only the first chapter in a story that, seven months later, is still being written.

Indeed, soon after the veterans arrived, some began showing signs of the virus, meaning more space would have to be readied for these guests, and single rooms would be needed to slow and hopefully stifle any spread.

Also, the hospital, and especially its nursing staff, had to pivot to providing long-term-care services.

“Being an acute-care hospital, we’re not normally planning things out for long-term-care residents,” Nurse Manager Christina Straney said. “But many of our nurses have worked in long-term care, so they stepped up and said, ‘let me take this, let me run with this, let me show you what we do in nursing homes and how we care for patients.’”

Meanwhile, some of the certified nursing assistants had worked at the Soldiers’ Home and recognized some of the patients, she went on, adding that this helped create a fluid, almost seamless transition for the veterans.

Likewise, the furloughed physical therapists stepped into their new roles as veterans’ liaisons, a role that came about out of necessity, Hatiras explained.

“We had the matter of individual preferences,” he said. “I would get on a Zoom call, and I would have family members say, ‘remember, Ed doesn’t eat eggs, and he doesn’t like mayo, and he takes his tuna fish this way, and he likes his newspaper every morning’ … and I’m like, ‘whoa, how am I going to remember all this stuff?’”

The solution was to assign liaisons to each of the veterans. Jeff Ferriss is one of them. He was furloughed on a Friday and called back to work the following Monday to serve in this unique role.

“My father was a veteran — he spent 20 years in the Air Force. My brother spent four. And I’m also a veteran — I was in the National Guard and the Air Force Reserves,” he said. “So this was the perfect transition for me; I was happy to come back and help out. Our job was to keep the family members informed, but being therapists, we tried to goad them into therapy too. Some of them may not have wanted to do that, but over time, they needed to — they were stuck in their rooms, and we were trying to keep their minds going and keep them going physically. It’s been an honor to serve these people.”

Veterans like Richard Madura. A Korean War vet, he will tell you (without much prodding, by the way) that, through his 85 years, he’s been fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time — on most occasions.

Indeed, the long-time Chicopee resident arrived in Korea just as the truce between the warring factions was being signed. And when it looked like he was ticketed for taking up a gun and maintaining the peace along the DMZ, an officer who noticed on his résumé that he had musical experience and had been part of some polka bands, let him take up a clarinet in an Army band instead. To make a long story shorter, his band entered a string of talent contests, ultimately won first prize, and wound up on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Madura told BusinessWest that this habit of being in the right place extends to his current, but certainly not permanent, mailing address at Holyoke Medical Center.

“They take really good care of you here,” he said, not wanting to compare the facilities to those he left just up the hill at the Soldiers’ Home, although he did hint that the desserts are better — and larger — at HMC. “I’m fortunate to be here; we all are.”

Indeed they are. A small army answered the call last April, and it is still answering the call, making the staff at HMC a true Healthcare Hero in a year when there are many to celebrate.

 

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

Healthcare Heroes

His Efforts to Coordinate the Region’s Pandemic Response Saved Lives

Mark Keroack

Mark Keroack

Dr. Mark Keroack doesn’t feel like a Healthcare Hero. But he’ll gratefully accept the honor on behalf of everyone who does deserve the award.

In his estimation, that’s a lot of people.

“Whenever some new challenge comes up, it’s been our tradition to step up and play a leadership role in Western Mass.,” said the president and CEO of Baystate Health. “I wish I could convert my award into an ‘unsung heroes award.’ So many things happened behind the scenes to enable us to step up.”

And so many people stepped up. Like Dr. Sarah Haessler, an epidemiologist who has long had a keen interest in emerging infections. “She got us to construct an ebola-treatment unit in 2014, and she put together a small team of people interested in unusual infections,” Keroack said. “That team reassembled this year, in early January, when they started issuing alerts looking out for anyone traveling from China.”

Or Dr. Lauren Westafer, an emergency medicine physician who helped determine, early on, that not rushing to place patients on ventilators actually decreased COVID-19’s mortality rate. “We were far ahead of the curve on that,” Keroack said.

Or Baystate Medical Center President Nancy Shendell-Falik, a former nurse who understands patient flow, he said, noting that Baystate, on an average day, has about 720 patients, but was able to open up hundreds more beds by postponing elective surgeries and finding other creative ways to open up space and redeploy staff.

Or Dr. Andrew Artenstein, the system’s chief physician executive — and, like Haessler, an infectious-disease expert — who led Baystate’s Incident Command Center. In addition to his day-to-day role coordinating the system’s pandemic response, he drew national attention after penning an account of a rendezvous at a small mid-Atlantic airport, where he and his team brought a $3 million check to purchase a large shipment of face masks and N95 respirators — and were temporarily accosted by the FBI.

“We realized we were on our own,” Keroack said of those early days, noting that the health system also received PPE donations from the construction trades and local manufacturers, who had shifted to making such equipment. It was a lesson to the region that local players could produce what they needed and not have to depend on a fractured global supply chain.

“I wish I could convert my award into an ‘unsung heroes award.’ So many things happened behind the scenes to enable us to step up.”

But he mostly applied the ‘hero’ designation to every frontline provider who continued to push past their health and safety anxieties and do their jobs. “They were able to do the right thing in spite of their fears, and are heroes in my book.”

That book includes story after story of collaborations Baystate forged in support of prompt community outreach, testing, education, and information, all with the goal of limiting the spread of COVID-19 and helping make Massachusetts — one of the hardest-hit states in the pandemic’s early days — an eventual model of how to control it.

On the local level, Keroack participated in Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno’s weekly COVID-19 press briefings, leading the mayor to note that “Dr. Mark Keroack’s leadership and medical insight has truly been a great benefit for our city of Springfield as we have worked together to defeat and mitigate the spread of this virus.” Baystate also tested the homeless population and expanded testing to key neighborhoods in the city at the request of the state and local officials.

Keroack also convened calls with Westfield Mayor Don Humason regarding clusters of positive cases in Westfield’s Russian community and possible spread beyond its borders. Meanwhile, he conducted weekly calls with the Western Mass. legislative delegation and other area hospital CEOs, while crafting a plan with state officials on how Baystate would provide surge beds for the region.

“I set up an independent command center, and every day at 7:30, we’d call a group of people who included hospital presidents, heads of medical groups, people from infection control, supply chain, finance, communications … 15 people got on the Zoom meeting every day,” he said, adding that information from those sessions would be distributed as a bulletin at 11 a.m. “It was the most widely read thing at Baystate. Everyone knew every day where we were.”

Mark Keroack (right) and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal take part in an outdoor roundtable on COVID-19 issues in the spring.

Keroack also served as the only Massachusetts hospital CEO appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to the state’s Reopening Advisory Board. “The Reopening Massachusetts plan needed to balance restarting commerce while avoiding a surge of virus cases,” said Mike Kennealy, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. “Dr. Keroack’s medical expertise and healthcare-sector experience, and his perspective as a resident of Western Massachusetts, helped to ensure those dual objectives were addressed.”

For his part, Keroack praises the state’s phased approach, which has understandably been frustrating to business owners.

“We’re using data to move from one phase to another, and we’ve had good coordination between authorities and scientists, as opposed to some states, where they butted heads with each other,” he added. “In Massachusetts, there hasn’t been any daylight between what science is telling us and what local and state officials are saying.”

If there was an unseen ‘hero’ amid all the named ones, Keroack suggested it may have been a public that understood its role, and today still largely adheres to guidelines around social distancing, mask wearing, and other protocols.

“I’m proud of how we worked together and came together as a community,” he told BusinessWest. “Parts of the country were at loggerheads, fighting with each other about masks, getting their hackles up about personal liberties. I look at that craziness and think, thank God we didn’t have to go through that.”

On the other hand, the community’s responsibility was clear. “We had the advantage of knowing what happened in Italy and New York, so we didn’t have to twist people’s arms to take this seriously. The public understood the issue around shutting down.”

At the same time, he’s proud of Baystate’s role in working with local boards of health and the Department of Public Health around contact tracing. “In six months, from the announcement of the first case, we have gone from having to beg to get a person tested to being a regional testing center that does 1,000 tests a day,” he said, with the total tests approaching 100,000 toward the end of September.

About a third of those tests, he added, have not even been Baystate patients, but patients from other hospitals and folks living at nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and homeless shelters. “We got outside the walls of our own system into the community and really played a role in public health.”

While the pandemic is far from over, Keroack already recognizes some of the changes that might emerge from it, from an expanded role for telehealth to a better understanding of where society’s safety nets have proven inadequate.

“This has kind of exposed some of the shortcomings of our healthcare system and of our social support system, like the number of people in this country who don’t have paid sick time, and go to work even when they’re sick,” he said.

Some of the long-term impacts of COVID-19 are still emerging, he added, but Baystate — and the team of heroes with whom he insists on sharing his honor — will continue to, as he said, step up and play a leadership role.

“Every time a pandemic hits society, people who live through it are changed forever. That’s true of every pandemic throughout history,” Keroack said. “We’ll look at the world differently in terms of healthcare as a right, or childcare and sick leave — we’ll look at these issues very differently than we would have just a few years ago. At least, I hope we will.”

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Healthcare Heroes

They Moved to the Front Lines at the Height of the Pandemic

Lydia Brisson was out for a hike with her young son on the mountain behind their home late last March. The objective was to get some exercise, but for Brisson, there was another purpose to this trek.

Indeed, while walking, she was also talking … and trying to prepare her son for the very real possibility that she might soon have to go on the road, if you will, and move from behind-the-scenes work as a clinical liaison for Berkshire Healthcare Systems (BHCS) to the front lines of an emerging pandemic.

And within minutes after returning to the house, her cell phone rang.

On the other end was Lisa Gaudet, vice president of Business Development & Marketing for BHCS, who was asking if she would be willing to pack up, travel across the state, and serve for an indeterminate amount of time as a floor nurse at BHCS’s long-term-care facility in Danvers, on the North Shore.

Lydia Brisson

Lydia Brisson

“Then, families are calling constantly because they want to know if their loved ones are OK; things were changing day to day and even moment to moment.”

Brisson didn’t hesitate in responding with a solid ‘of course,’ and that same response was also given by Christopher Savino and Emeline Bean, Western-Mass.-based BHCS clinical liaisons who got similar calls from Gaudet.

Soon, the three would be together in Danvers — out of their territory, away from their families, and smack in the middle of a crisis; there were nine active cases at the facility on the Saturday when those calls were made, several staff members had become ill, and many others had stepped away from their roles or refused to come to work.

As executive leaders at BHCS worked every possible lead and angle to find more nursing staff, Gaudet put out calls to these three members of her team who were nurses. They all said ‘yes,’ but admitted to having no real idea what they were getting themselves into.

So began a truly inspiring story, one that would bring these three closer together — or even closer, in the case of Savino and Bean, who went to high school together and worked side by side. Over the course of a dozen or so days in Danvers, they would get well-acquainted with Bagel World, become very tired of pizza, recall crying in the shower after watching one of their patients — a phrase that takes on special meaning, to be sure — die from COVID-19; vividly remember taking phone calls from family members desperate for information about a loved one, and come to really appreciate some rest at the Residence Inn in Peabody after 15- or even 18-hour shifts.

Christopher Savino

Christopher Savino

“Berkshire’s mission and values state that we’re here to serve the population that needs us, and that was a population that needed us. We’re clinical liaisons, but we’re also nurses; we went to nursing school for a reason.”

As the three talked about their experiences with BusinessWest at BHCS’s facilities in the Cubit Building in Holyoke, they all stressed that, for them, volunteering for this assignment was a no-brainer; saying ‘no’ wasn’t something that really entered their mind — although, as clinical liaisons, a role in which they focus on evaluating patients for placement at one of BHCS’s facilities, they are a long way from the front lines.

“I didn’t really give my husband much of an option,” said Bean, who has a young child herself, as she recalled that phone call from Gaudet. “The need was there, and this is why you take that oath.”

Savino agreed. “Berkshire’s mission and values state that we’re here to serve the population that needs us, and that was a population that needed us. We’re clinical liaisons, but we’re also nurses; we went to nursing school for a reason.”

Those nearly two weeks on the road were learning and growing experiences on every level imaginable, they said, adding that they will never forget any of this, but especially what they encountered upon arriving.

“There were nurses who wanted to hug us — but couldn’t — because they were desperate for help,” Bean recalled. “And there were scared people; everyone was like, ‘what do we do?’ The state was changing guidelines every day.”

Emeline Bean“This was completely different from what we did every day. And it’s given me a new and different perspective on my job. Since we were on the outside in our day-to-day work, this experience reminded me of what those on the inside are challenged with on a day-to-day basis, when all the cards are stacked against you.”

Savino noted that he and Bean, who followed each other to Danvers, arrived a day ahead of Brisson. Their first assignment was the dementia unit.

“You take a dementia patient — they don’t really know already what’s going on,” he told BusinessWest. “Now you tack on a mask, goggles, and essentially you look like a Ghostbuster that’s coming at them with medications, oxygen … they were terrified. They had no idea what was happening, they couldn’t leave their rooms — it was a very difficult situation.”

And while tending to patients, the three were also trying to assist families, who were often desperate for information about their loved ones.

“We were going into an extremely sad situation — there were a lot of unknowns,” Brisson said. “And then, families are calling constantly because they want to know if their loved ones are OK; things were changing day to day and even moment to moment.”

Savino agreed. “Our first day on the dementia floor, I remember getting a call; a patient’s daughter called and said, ‘how’s mom?’ I said, ‘she’s still negative … I haven’t gone to see her yet, but I’ll get there.’ She ended up testing positive 24 hours later and dying a day after that. I remember just breaking down in the shower.”

The three went over as a team, and they recall supporting each other, and others they were working with, throughout their assignment away from home.

“Every night, the three of us would have dinner together,” Savino said. “Every single night, we would decompress. If one of us had an overnight shift, one of the others would get food and leave it outside that person’s door. We had each other, thankfully.”

When asked to put the experience in perspective and talk about how it impacted them and perhaps changed them, the answers were provocative.

“This experience fueled my fire,” said Brisson. “My real passion is direct-care nursing, and although my boss may not want to hear this, it did make me realize that that’s where I will make the greatest difference and help the most people.”

Added Savino, “we all became nurses for a reason — putting everyone else’s life before our own. This experience just reinforced why I became a nurse and why, no matter what, even if I’m in administration, I will always keep my nursing license.”

For Bean, the experience was somewhat different in that she had been at the bedside before. But those 12 days still had an impact on her, professionally and personally.

“It brought me back and made me miss that aspect of nursing,” she told BusinessWest. “This was completely different from what we did every day. And it’s given me a new and different perspective on my job. Since we were on the outside in our day-to-day work, this experience reminded me of what those on the inside are challenged with on a day-to-day basis, when all the cards are stacked against you.”

Returning to that day last March when she got that phone call, Brisson recalled a conversation afterward with her husband, who was naturally concerned and tried to convince her this was not her job and she didn’t have to go.

She recalled that she agreed — to the extent this wasn’t exactly within her job description at that specific moment in time. But as for not having to go … she respectfully disagreed. This was a big part of her job, a big reason why she chose this profession.

Her argument didn’t exactly persuade her husband, but it clearly explains why she, Bean, and Savino are all Healthcare Heroes.

 

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

Healthcare Heroes

At a Time of Crisis, Collaboration Was Key to Meeting the Most Pressing Needs

Peter Reinhart, director of IALS.

Peter Reinhart, director of IALS.

In mid-March, when much of the U.S. was starting to hunker down, Peter Reinhart had a feeling he wouldn’t be — and neither would many of the people he works with.

“We didn’t want to be sitting at home watching this pandemic unfold without doing something,” said Reinhart, director of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) at UMass Amherst, a facility launched in 2013 with the goal of accelerating life-science research and advancing collaboration with industry to shorten the gap between scientific innovation and technological advancement.

COVID-19 presented a unique opportunity to do exactly that, under time constraints that truly meant something, because people were dying every day. Take, for example, the work at IALS to develop a low-cost face shield for rapid production.

“We are a platform organization that caters to all departments on campus — nursing, computer science, natural sciences, public health, engineering,” Reinhart said, naming just a few. “Because our institute creates an interface across all these different organizations that are usually siloed, it’s much easier for us to pull together nursing staff, molecular biologists, and engineers, and say, ‘we need to make face shields in the next seven days. How can we do it?’ And they did.”

It took a few tries to get the design right, but the team eventually partnered with K+K Thermoforming of Southbridge to fabricate and distribute 81,000 face shields throughout the region. About 50,000 more followed in a second batch, all able to be shipped flat, 300 to a box, and assembled in 20 seconds by the user. Partly because of the logistics of billing and partly because the need was so pressing, IALS essentially gave the shields away.

“The differentiator between UMass and every other organization I’ve ever worked at — in both industry and academia — is this spirit of collaboration,” Reinhart told BusinessWest. “I’ve been at organizations where it’s very hard to get collaborations working across departmental boundaries. It’s much more self-contained, focused on individual greatness as opposed to collective greatness. That’s the difference I see at UMass Amherst — people across organizational boundaries will jump in and help you.”

When the pandemic hit, IALS’ culture and understanding of interdisciplinary work was especially valuable, and eight or nine response teams began working on individual projects, he explained, “some with greater and some with lesser success, but all of them with the best of intentions: to make a difference with the problems that were facing us as a society, using whatever resources we could apply to them.”

“We didn’t want to be sitting at home watching this pandemic unfold without doing something.”

One early project took aim at a worldwide mask shortage. Not all face masks can be safely sterilized and reused, but Professor Richard Peltier’s team demonstrated that hydrogen-peroxide sterilization for N95 respirators does, in fact, work. Using state-of-the-art pollution instruments to measure whether microscopic particles can pass through the mask after it’s sterilized, the results showed no real difference in filtration between a new mask and a sterilized one.

In another project, Baystate Health resident physician Dr. Mat Goebel and respiratory specialist Kyle Walsh contacted the College of Engineering for help with ventilators. Regular, 10-foot ventilator cables were on extreme back order, and longer cables, which would provide added safety to staff by increasing distance and reducing the need for PPE, did not exist. UMass engineers were able to fabricate a 50-foot cable that was compatible with Baystate’s ventilators, and contacted Michigan-based Amphenol Sine Systems, who agreed to design and fabricate the longer cables.

“It’s a really intriguing model,” Reinhart said of the collaboration that went into each project. “It could be a model of the future, to allow interdisciplinary work to function on a campus that by necessity has these organizational boundaries.”

Another team set up local production of viral transport media (VTM) for COVID-19 clinical testing. As testing ramped up nationwide, the solution used to keep COVID-19 samples safe during transport was in short supply, and local hospitals contacted Reinhart for help.

Peter Reinhart with some of the equipment

Peter Reinhart with some of the equipment that can process thousands of COVID-19 tests every day on the UMass campus.

Within one week, IALS had produced, tested, and distributed enough VTM to test 600 patients, before scaling up production and delivery to meet the needs of frontline workers across the state. The campus has enlisted more than 60 volunteers who produce, test, package and distribute VTM, and have provided hundreds of thousands of vials to seven regional hospitals and healthcare facilities and the Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Command Center.

“That project has grown because the need was much larger than anticipated,” Reinhart said. “It was good to see we had so many people prepared to put in their time to help, and great to see that people who had run out of the ability to test were back doing testing. We ended up doing a good thing.”

The latest project is a high-throughput testing facility where IALS can generate up to 5,000 COVID-19 tests per day, enough to have all students, staff, and faculty tested at least once a week.

“We hope this becomes a regional resource that serves the community with rapid testing,” he said, noting that a regional testing bureau charges between $120 and $160 per test, or between $2 million and $3 million per week at the volume UMass can now conduct in-house.

“Imagine what that does to your campus finances,” he went on. “We can do it at 10 cents on the dollar if we do it ourselves. Obviously, you need a major investment in staff, space, and equipment, but once we’ve made that investment, we can do much less expensive tests, they’re completely under our control, the turnaround time is super fast, and we can quickly put people into quarantine and do contact tracing.”

“The differentiator between UMass and every other organization I’ve ever worked at — in both industry and academia — is this spirit of collaboration.”

As time goes on, Reinhart said, IALS — and all the departments at UMass with which it collaborates — will continue to look for places it can make a difference. One ongoing effort involves the development of a clinical testing lab that can identify individuals with antibodies that can neutralize the COVID-19 virus. “Students can donate a sample, and we’ll tell them whether we’re making antibodies or not.”

These efforts to address the COVID-19 crisis — and other projects yet to be determined — will continue, he added, because the pandemic is “far, far, far from over.”

While Western Mass. has been fortunate with its infection numbers, the virus is still spreading at the same rate it was in March, he went on, and a combination of the upcoming flu season and “PPE fatigue,” among other factors, may yield a second spike of some kind. “I think we’re in for a period of increasing difficulties.”

That said, it’s been an immensely gratifying seven months at IALS.

“Everything was gloom and doom, everyone was at home, and it seemed that every news item you picked up was another downer on how dire things were,” he recalled of the situation back in March. “Creating a few feel-good stories and giving our students and faculty a chance to contribute to something positive was very helpful to them. I know it was for me.”

But it’s not how these dozens of unsung individuals feel personally that makes them Healthcare Heroes. It’s the difference they’ve made in the fight against a virus that has proven a persistent, resilient foe.

“We weren’t good at logistics; we were engineers,” Reinhart said of efforts like distributing those tens of thousands of face shields. But that effort demonstrates collaboration, too. “It was exciting. People were excited about throwing their weight behind a project that had immediate impact.”

Impact that will only continue as a truly challenging 2020 turns an uncertain corner into 2021.

 

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

 

Healthcare Heroes

This Administrator Has Become a Calming Voice in the Midst of the Pandemic

Maggie Eboso

Maggie Eboso was in the grocery store when the first text message came in on the evening of March 26.

Soon, there were three more, and as her phone kept pinging, it became increasingly clear that her job as Infection Control coordinator at Mercy Medical Center was about to change substantially, and that she and the hospital were entering uncharted waters.

Indeed, the first suspected COVID-19 patients — two young women who had recently returned to the area from China — had arrived at Mercy, and there were questions that needed to be answered. Lots of them.

So began an ultra-intense period that has tested Eboso in all kinds of ways, but also taken her career to a new and different plane, one in which she has emerged as a Healthcare Hero.

Those frantic first days would set the tone for the weeks and months to come, during which Eboso would take on a number of responsibilities, many of them new — from coaching staff on the proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to helping all those at the hospital navigate a rough sea of changing guidelines and constantly changing information; from advocating for adequate supplies of PPE and working with colleagues to be good stewards of that precious equipment to providing a much-needed sense of calm amid a crisis unlike anything Mercy had seen before.

Her work during the early stages of the pandemic took her to every corner of the hospital, and also far outside its walls. Indeed, she taught PPE donning and doffing, hand hygiene, and infection-control practices to staff at the Hampden County Correctional Center in Ludlow.

Summing it all up, she said this has been a learning experience — one that is very much ongoing, and one that has helped her personally and professionally in innumerable ways.

“I’m a better nurse, and I’ve grown my knowledge base,” she explained. “And I now have a closer working relationship with many of the people here. Initially, I was joking that, when COVID is done, I’m going to change my cell-phone number and disable Halo [a messaging system used in healthcare] on my phone, because of all those calls I was getting. But through all those conversations and close meetings, we’ve become closer and have stronger relationships.”

Turning back the clock several years, Eboso said she took a somewhat winding route to her role as Infection Control and Prevention coordinator.

She came to this country from Kenya with the intention of studying business, but quickly segued into healthcare at Springfield Technical Community College and soon landed a summer internship at Mercy. When it was over, she was asked if she wanted to stay on as a nurse’s aide, and replied with a strong ‘absolutely.’ In many ways, she’s never left.

She went from nurse’s aide to nurse to clinical nurse supervisor to administrative nursing supervisor on weekend nights, a position that was eventually eliminated in 2015, prompting her to leave the Mercy system for close to a year.

She was offered a chance to return, and remembers the vice president of Nursing offering her her pick of positions.

Eboso chose Infection Control, something she had never done before, but intrigued her. She recalls her husband noting she was a quick study and saying, “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say ‘yes’ —then learn how to do it later.” He also sent her an inspirational quote from Richard Branson to the same effect.

But no words, from her husband or Branson, could likely have prepared her for what her role became starting early this year, and especially after she started receiving those texts in the supermarket.

“The biggest thing that we saw with this whole thing was the fear. We were all thinking, ‘yes, we’ll take care of you, and we’ll treat you,’ but at the end of the day, we all had families and children that we were going home to. So while, yes, we all signed up for this, and this is what we do, people were still afraid — they wanted assurances that they could do their jobs and still go home and not bring this back to their families.”

They came from the Emergency Department director, the ED charge nurse, and the nurse tending to the patient directly. She put the shopping aside, was at the hospital in 10 minutes, and began addressing a situation that would become a microcosm of all that would come over the ensuing weeks and months.

“We had to call the Department of Public Health and get approval for testing because hospitals couldn’t do the testing themselves,” she explained. “So it was now calling the epidemiologist, waiting for a call back, talking to the physicians and nurse, looking at the patient, and waiting for DPH to call you back.”

Maggie Eboso’s work during the pandemic

Maggie Eboso’s work during the pandemic took her to every corner of Mercy Medical Center — and far beyond its walls.

“Information was changing almost every day,” she went on, while discussing what those first few weeks and months were like. “So as you’re building systems into your computer, you’re writing policies and going out in front of your staff to educate them on the new and updated information — and that was happening sometimes several times a week.”

One of her primary roles focused on educating staff on how to use PPE and become good stewards of that equipment, but also to help them separate fact from conjecture or assumption on what equipment was needed and, above all, how to keep themselves and their families safe from infection.

“The biggest thing that we saw with this whole thing was the fear,” she explained. “We were all thinking, ‘yes, we’ll take care of you, and we’ll treat you,’ but at the end of the day, we all had families and children that we were going home to. So while, yes, we all signed up for this, and this is what we do, people were still afraid — they wanted assurances that they could do their jobs and still go home and not bring this back to their families.”

And the onslaught of information coming from the media certainly didn’t help, she went on, because this information was often contradicting what she and others were telling staff members.

“When we told them, ‘all you need is a regular mask,’ they’d see people on TV wearing haz-mat suits, and they would ask, ‘why are they wearing haz-mat suits, and all you’re giving us is a mask?’ she recalled, adding that was this was just one of many “clashes and contradictions,” as she called them, that had to be dealt with.

“We had to call the Department of Public Health and get approval for testing because hospitals couldn’t do the testing themselves. So it was now calling the epidemiologist, waiting for a call back, talking to the physicians and nurse, looking at the patient, and waiting for DPH to call you back.”

While taking on this role of educator within the medical center, she also carried it out within the community as well, including several visits to the correctional facility in Ludlow, where she provided lessons in everything from how gloves provide a false sense of security — that’s why hand washing is still very important — to how to don and doff PPE.

Today, one of her concerns involves battling complacency and what she and many others are now calling “battle fatigue” — both inside the medical center and within the larger community.

She used the nurses’ lounges at Mercy as an example. “People are tired … people want to celebrate a birthday with a cake or share a pizza; they want to eat lunch with their friends,” she explained, adding that it’s part of her job to keep these employees diligent — and safe — by keeping the numbers down in those lounges and making sure there is adequate social distancing.

She joked that people are wary of even thinking about letting their guard down because, if and when they do, “Maggie will be walking in the door at just that moment.”

That mindset, real or not, is just one of many ways of explaining why she has become a Healthcare Hero during this very challenging year.

 

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

Healthcare Heroes

She Became a Guiding Light at a Time of Pain and Darkness

Rabbi Devorah Jackson

Rabbi Devorah Jacobson

Rabbi Devorah Jacobson came to JGS Lifecare as its director of Spiritual Life in 2001. And, for the first 19 years or so, she came to work each day knowing exactly what her job was and how it would be carried out.

But when the COVID-19 pandemic reached this facility last March … well, she still knew what her role was, but she had to continually revisit that question about how to carry it out, because the answer had the potential to change seemingly every day.

“Every day, I would ask, ‘what does it mean to be a chaplain in a long-term facility during this time?” she told BusinessWest. “In the midst of the pandemic, when many of our residents are sick, many are going to the hospital, and many are dying, and staff are being called upon to work long hours and do things they weren’t necessarily doing before, like post-mortems, and where they’re risking their own health and lives every day they walked into the building … I’m observing all this and asking myself, ‘what is my role as the spiritual leader of this institution?’”

To say she would find new — and impactful — ways to answer that question would be an understatement.

Indeed, over the course of the past seven months, Jacobson has been a source of comfort to a number of constituencies, including staff members, residents, and their families. And she has done this through a number of means, everything from donning PPE and visiting sick and dying residents with COVID to rallying community organizations to send staff members meals of gratitude; from enlisting crisis therapists and mental-health counselors to offer staff free confidential counseling to creating prayer and inspiration cards for spiritual support; from helping raise awareness and funds for JGS’s Employee Assistance Fund to moving furniture, on at least one occasion.

“I’m part of the team,” she explained. “And I made a pretty quick decision — to be truly part of the team, 365 days a year, we do what we’re called upon to do.”

It is sentiments like this that prompted Susan Halpern, vice president of Development and Communications for JGS, who nominated Jacobson, to write that “our heroes are people we look up to and admire for their extraordinary actions and achievements. They are people we wish to emulate. Devorah’s countless acts of caring and loving-kindness, her concern for others, her efforts seeking justice for all, make her a standout candidate for the prestigious Healthcare Heroes award.”

“I’m part of the team. And I made a pretty quick decision — to be truly part of the team, 365 days a year, we do what we’re called upon to do.”

Indeed, as she talked with BusinessWest at a small table outside the Julian J. Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home — a nod to the precautions being taken to keep all those inside the facility safe — Jacobson repeatedly pointed toward the building and said, “the real heroes are in there.”

She was referring to the frontline workers who confronted a ferocious outbreak of COVID-19 in the early spring that would ultimately claim 66 lives and leave staff members fearful of what might happen to them, but still committed to carrying out their jobs.

In many ways, she pivoted within her role, from spending the bulk of her time with residents and families — handling everything from Jewish programming to pastoral care, including one-on-one visits — to now devoting most of it to those staff members fighting the COVID battle but also confronting the many other issues of the day.

A plaque has been placed outside the Julian J. Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home

A plaque has been placed outside the Julian J. Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home to honor those residents of the facility who lost their lives to COVID-19.

“Yes, I was continuing to meet with residents, although they were very frail and very sick, and yes, I was continuing to be in touch with family members, because they were unable to come into the building — I was able to give them a sense of how their loved ones were doing,” she recalled. “But much of the focus shifted to the staff.”

And it has remained there, months after the height of the tragedy, because the need remains — and is significant.

“I was just involved in a conversation with a nurse,” she said while speaking with BusinessWest. “She took me aside and said, ‘now that COVID has passed, many of us are dealing with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder]. I’m not sure what kind of help we need, but we need some help.’”

She has been providing such help, and in several ways, one of them being help in securing counseling for the many staff members impacted by the crisis.

“It was quite clear, as I was visiting the units and talking to staff, that there was a lot of trauma,” she recalled. “So what I wound up doing, with the help of a lot of great friends in the therapy world, was put together a therapy initiative for our staff. I had a list of about 30 mental-health counselors, trained in trauma and crisis counseling, who made themselves available for phone, Zoom, or otherwise, to be available for up to six hours, for free.

“I started making matches,” she went on, adding that maybe 20-25 staff members took advantage of the program. “Some of these people got sick, so for some of them, it was when they got back and had gone through all they had gone through with their own illness.”

Each day, she would arrive at the facility and ask herself how she could carry out her role, how she could help. And seemingly each day, there was a different answer.

It might be creating a new prayer and inspiration card — one of them says simply, “be the change that you wish to see in the world.” In response to George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement, she held an all-campus moment of silence and urged individuals and the organization as a whole to seek ways to defeat bigotry and racism. In response to an on-campus arson attempt, she spoke up against hate crimes and anti-Semitism. On more than a few occasions, she helped box up the belongings of residents who had died as a result of COVID-19.

While Jacobson’s recollections of the past seven months and thoughts about her work certainly resonate, comments from others about the comfort and support she provided speak volumes about her impact during this time of crisis.

“My only regret was that I could not hold my mother’s hand. Devorah held her hand for me. She let me say goodbye to my mother … she was there to bridge the gap. It is because of Devorah that my journey was so peaceful.”

Halpern forwarded this comment from a family member: “Devorah went in to see my parents every day and she called me every day to give me updates. My only regret was that I could not hold my mother’s hand. Devorah held her hand for me. She let me say goodbye to my mother … she was there to bridge the gap. It is because of Devorah that my journey was so peaceful.”

Halpern also shared an e-mail from Lola White, an LPN and unit manager at the Leavitt Nursing Home, which was sent to her unsolicited. “Throughout this pandemic,” it read, “Devorah has always been there and ready to help in any way she could.

“One day, I was attending to a resident who lost the COVID battle,” it continued. “She immediately asked me, as she always did, if I was OK. Next thing I know, she was suited and booted, by my side, helping me. Before she helped me, I felt defeated. Her acts of compassion for me and every other staff member in the facility made it easier to cope … She set up meals, counselors, and even called and texted staff that were out sick or had a sick family member … I am looking for a way to thank her for everything.”

Needless to say, many people share that sentiment.

 

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

Healthcare Heroes

This College Student Stepped Up and Passed an Important Test

Jennifer Graham

Jennifer Graham

Jennifer Graham enrolled in the pre-medical sciences program — with a minor in psychology — at Bay Path University with the long-range goal of becoming a doctor.

But the events of the past seven months have changed her outlook — and her career pursuit — in a very meaningful way.

“I now want to go into nursing school,” she told BusinessWest. “Dealing with COVID as a whole and seeing what we’re going through as a country, I just want to pursue nursing and help people more. Doctors don’t get that one-on-one all the time, that patient contact, as much as a nurse does. After working with COVID and seeing what people really go through with sickness and even death, I want to be there — I want to be there to support these patients, help them out, and make them feel better as an individual with what they’re going through.”

What prompted this change? Some time on the front lines of the pandemic as a home health aide working for O’Connell Care at Home, a part-time job that became far more than that when she returned from a cruise — yes, a cruise — during spring break in mid-March.

Upon coming back to Western Mass. from that voyage to the Mediterranean, her job with O’Connell changed in a number of ways — everything from how care was provided in the home during a pandemic to where.

Indeed, in addition to going into the homes of the clients assigned to her, she was one of the first (and one of the few) to volunteer to provide care to the homeless at an outdoor COVID-19 triage facility established to care for potential positive cases among the homeless.

When asked why she signed on for this risky, month-long assignment in the middle of a pandemic, she replied simply, “there was an obvious need, and I just thought I could help — I thought I could do my part.”

“After working with COVID and seeing what people really go through with sickness and even death, I want to be there — I want to be there to support these patients, help them out, and make them feel better as an individual with what they’re going through.”

These comments from Michael Hynek, an HR generalist at O’Connell who nominated her to be a Healthcare Hero, echo that sentiment and put her work during the pandemic in its proper perspective.

“Having an aide like her, who is willing to accept any challenge, is vital when servicing our at-risk members in the community,” he wrote. “She makes everyone feel welcome and safe when administering care. Jennifer also enjoys the opportunity to learn about healthcare in many unique settings. Working outside of a hospital or facility can be very challenging, but she has embraced every challenge that has come her way.”

Jennifer Graham says her experiences during the pandemic

Jennifer Graham says her experiences during the pandemic, especially her work with the homeless, has prompted her to change her career goals; her new ambition is to become a nurse.

COVID-19 has provided her the opportunity to learn on many levels, and about many things. And it has also given her a new perspective on everything from the homeless population to her own career aspirations.

To tell this story properly, we need to go back to end of that spring-break cruise, which started and ended in Gotham. Suffice it to say the world, and Graham’s world, were much different places.

“While we were in the Bahamas, my phone was going off like crazy, and I was thinking, ‘look what we’re going home to,’” she recalled. “When we docked, New York was a complete ghost town; they took our temperatures and asked us a series of questions; if you had a fever, you had to stay on the cruise ship for two weeks. But no one had a fever.”

As for Bay Path, the campus was now closed, and it would not reopen for the balance of the spring semester. “There were no labs, no nothing; everything was remote.”

Then there was her day job, as she called it.

Looking for something that would provide both a paycheck and some rewarding work in what was becoming her chosen field, she became intrigued by the comments of some friends who worked at O’Connell’s who told her it was a great place to work. She applied late last fall, and started in December.

By the following March, she had settled in; she had a few clients assigned to her and also filled in when a colleague was out.

When she came back from vacation, that world changed as well. She was still seeing many of the same clients she did before COVID struck, but now, the work was different. It now entailed social distancing, mask wearing, and being extra diligent when it came to keeping the client and family members — and herself — safe.

“It was quite challenging at first — having to wear a mask all day was … different, and it was a new environment,” she recalled. “But after a little bit, you got used to it. And for the clients, it was difficult for them, because it was hard for them to understand what you were saying. I was thinking, ‘now we have to think differently and respond to them differently. I have to be much louder and slow my words; clients don’t like the mask.’

“Having an aide like her, who is willing to accept any challenge, is vital when servicing our at-risk members in the community.”

“I’ve been double-gloving,” she went on, referring to the practice of wearing two sets of gloves in the homes of those clients she has to help physically. “In some cases, they tell you not to double-glove, because it’s easier for your gloves to rip, but double-gloving for me has been a life saver.”

The bigger, even more significant change came with her decision to volunteer for work at the triage center created to care for the homeless population, work that became almost full-time as the spring semester ended and her schedule opened up.

“Anyone who had the virus or felt they had the virus came into these two large tents — they were essentially living there,” she explained, adding that individuals were tested on site and placed in two categories: PUI (patients under investigation), and the “COVID side,” where residents were housed in designated quarters based on whether they tested positive or negative.

Elaborating, she said there was an intake process, testing, and then the aides would bring them into a tent, make up a bed for them, get them something to eat, and help in any way they could. “If they needed anything, we were there for them.”

While a few people volunteered for work at the triage center, Hynek told BusinessWest, Graham’s commitment stood out.

“She really stepped up the plate when it came to transitioning away from the elderly care and into the homeless care and serving that vulnerable population,” he noted. “She took on a brand-new challenge, and I don’t think a lot of people would step up to the plate in that situation.”

As noted earlier, this work was a learning experience on many levels, and it also changed her perspective on the homeless population.

“This experience changed my mind on how I look at them,” she explained. “Being younger, I would look at a homeless person and say, ‘why don’t you just get a job?’ Working with them completely changed how I felt; I got to understand what it’s like for them — how much of a struggle it is for them on a daily basis.

Graham is back in school now, taking classes remotely while returning to the Bay Path campus for labs. She still works at O’Connell at a part-time basis, taking care of a few clients and double-gloving as always. The COVID-19 fight is far from over, but she has already absorbed a number of lessons that have helped her grow personally and professionally and given her that new perspective on what she wants to do with her life.

If this was a test — and she would say it has been, on a number of levels — then she has certainly aced it, becoming, in the process, one of the many Healthcare Heroes of 2020.

 

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

Healthcare Heroes

Dedicated Team Rose to the Occasion and Took Care of Those in Need

The Nutrition Department at GSSSI

The Nutrition Department at GSSSI

Several areas at the Greater Springfield Senior Services Inc. facility on Industry Avenue in Springfield are still sporting St. Patrick’s Day decorations.

They were put up early last March, and they remain there … well, because those who put them up haven’t been back to take them down.

Indeed, as the pandemic closed in and the state-ordered shutdown went into effect just before that holiday, the vast majority of GSSSI’s 250 employees began working remotely — and they have remained off site. But for some, working at home simply wasn’t an option. That’s because it’s their job to essentially provide nutritious home-delivered meals, or HDMs, as they call them, each day.

This small team of 10 essential employees stayed on and weathered the storm, if you will, and devised and executed a comprehensive plan to ensure those who need these meals get them, even though the senior-dining sites that were in operation had to shut down due to restrictions on large gatherings, and all meals have to be delivered to the home or picked up at designated ‘grab-and-go’ sites.

The creation of that new grab-and-go program underscores just how quickly — and effectively — the Nutrition Department at GSSSI was able to respond to this crisis situation.

“We knew we couldn’t leave people behind. There were people in need, and we had to come up with a plan to get them their meals.”

Indeed, the initiative involved everything from securing new caterers, including one that could prepare medically tailored meals, to establishing the sites; from partnering with the PVTA to deliver the meals to putting in place the protocols needed to ensure that meals were picked up safely.

Doing all that might normally take four to six weeks, said Heather Jolicoeur, community coordinator for GSSSI and a member of that team. Instead, they did it all in under two weeks.

All that sounds difficult enough, but remember, this was carried out in the middle of a pandemic, so there additional challenges and assignments on top of those one might expect:

• One of the food resources was shut down due to COVID-19, forcing those at GSSSI to track down a reliable and appropriate food source for Kosher meal recipients;

• A corps of volunteers had to be assembled, with CORI checks run on each individual due to the nature of the work;

• Temporary Meals on Wheels drivers had to be hired to fill in for regular drivers who had pre-existing conditions and couldn’t safely deliver meals every day;

• New policies for delivering meals with the least amount of contact from the drivers were put in place, further complicating the process; and

• As the crisis continued, new needs emerged, and HDM recipients were soon also receiving toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other items, supplied by those in ‘chase cars’ following those delivering meals.

Jill Keough

Jill Keough

“Each one of us felt very responsible about whom we were serving‚ and we were responsible to one another. So we really took social distancing very seriously. Many of us didn’t go to the supermarket for months because we didn’t want to risk bringing the virus into work.”

“Every day, there are emergencies; every day, the conditions change; every day, new policies and procedures are developed, implemented, and changed,” said Jolicoeur, putting the accent on the present tense. “Every day, all 10 of us work together calmly and focused on serving as many seniors as possible.”

As they talked about their experiences and what it meant to be part of this effort, those who are involved gave some unique perspective on all that has transpired over the past seven months, and underscored why this group is part of the Healthcare Heroes class of 2020.

“We knew we couldn’t leave people behind,” said Jill Keough, executive director of GSSSI, as she summed up the situation that unfolded in mid-March and the Nutrition Department’s detailed, and imaginative, response to the problem — or problems, to be precise. “There were people in need, and we had to come up with a plan to get them their meals.”

Before getting to this plan, though, Mary Jenewin Caplin, the now-retired Area Agency on Aging director, set the stage. Before COVID-19, she explained, GSSSI served more than 900 clients who rely on HMDs each day. Prepared by caterers each day, the meals were delivered to some homes, but also to 14 senior-dining sites across the region, where clients could not only dine, but enjoy one another’s company and camaraderie.

When the pandemic struck, those dining sites had to close, for obvious reasons, but the need remained, and now, meals had to be delivered to the home, requiring the hiring of more volunteer drivers and new ways to get meals into the hands of those who needed them.

The plan that emerged came together very quickly, out of necessity, said Mike Young, an HMD supervisor, and it would have to incorporate a number of changes to how things had been done, but could no longer be done in the age of COVID.

“The biggest concern was that clients didn’t even want to open their doors anymore,” he explained. “We had to worry about how we would see them, how we would get them the meals, how would we keep the clients safe, how would we keep the drivers safe. Our drivers were used to going into someone’s house, putting the meal in the refrigerator, giving it to them on the couch, or putting it on the kitchen table. Now, we’re trying to get a driver to give them a meal, stay six feet apart, and maybe not even have the door open; there were a number of challenges to overcome.”

“None of the drivers could fit all that food into one car. We had some people call and say, ‘stop, I have no more freezer space”

Tracy Landry, another HMD supervisor, agreed, noting that, to keep both drivers and clients safe, a series of new protocols were put in place, including single-use plastic bags for deliveries, masks, hand sanitizer, and other steps.

“We had more meetings than you can imagine when we first this started,” she recalled. “Every day was different, and each day it seemed that there was a new challenge.”

Indeed, and as new challenges emerged, this small but dedicated team found ways to meet them. At the top of the list of challenges was keeping everyone safe, and for this team of 10, that meant taking extraordinary measures themselves.

“Each one of us felt very responsible about whom we were serving‚ and we were responsible to one another,” said Keough. “So we really took social distancing very seriously. Many of us didn’t go to the supermarket for months because we didn’t want to risk bringing the virus into work.”

As noted, one of the real concerns for the Nutrition Department team was keeping the drivers — most all of them older and in the high-risk category — out of harm’s way.

“My concern the whole time was the drivers — they’re all in that danger zone,” Young said. “Every day, they were asking, ‘what’s going on?’ You could tell they were concerned, and I was concerned for them. The last thing I wanted to see was someone catch something. To me, they’re the real heroes in this; they were out there every day doing it.”

At the height of the crisis, additional volunteer drivers had to be hired to handle what became larger deliveries, said Landry, noting that those at GSSSI were determined to help seniors stock up on frozen meals to make sure they had enough food in the home.

“None of the drivers could fit all that food into one car,” she explained, adding quickly that these efforts to help clients stock up were more than successful. “We had some people call and say, ‘stop, I have no more freezer space.’”

And, as noted, the help being provided soon extended beyond food. Indeed, as calls came in from the public asking how they could volunteer and help serve the seniors, some were pressed into service following the food-delivery vehicles in so-called chase cars stockpiled with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other items the client might need.

But food was the primary focus, said Kate Senn, Nutrition program director, adding that the creation of a grab-and-go program certainly helped GSSSI effectively meet that growing need. To put the matter in perspective, she noted that, in January, prior to COVID-19, GSSSI was providing 3,352 meals for congregate dining sites. In August, it was providing 4,581 meals via the grab-and-go program.

Those numbers help tell the story, but only a little. The tireless work and dedication to serving clients — while also keeping everyone safe at a time when similar programs in other states and other parts of this state had to shut down because of positive cases — are what really make this story happen.

The 10 that stayed behind have left the St. Patrick’s Day decorations up, perhaps thinking they will be appropriate in a few months again anyway. But more to the point, they just haven’t had any time.

They’ve been too busy getting HDMs to all those who need them. They’ve been too busy doing the work of true Healthcare Heroes.

 

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

Healthcare Heroes

This Administrator Provided a Steady Hand in Rough Seas

Helen Gobeil

Helen Gobeil

Helen Gobeil had recently relocated to Western Mass. from the other side of the state, and was looking for work.

She remembers seeing the small, as in small — maybe two lines — ad in the paper for an administrative assistant at Visiting Angels in West Springfield, a home-care provider, and becoming intrigued enough to apply — and prevail in that search.

She would eventually grow into the position and became adept at handling the many responsibilities within the job description, said her boss, Michele Anstett, president and CEO of the company, adding quickly that this was a good thing because all those talents would be needed when COVID-19 arrived in Western Mass.

Indeed, every aspect of this job, from recruiting caregivers to consulting with new clients; from matching caregivers with these clients to scheduling regular care and coordinating care in emergency situations, would become more difficult. Much more difficult.

And there would be new responsibilities added to that already-long list, including the daunting task of providing PPE for those caregivers and providing a compassionate ear to family members coping with something they would struggle to get both hands around.

Anstett summed up Gobeil’s work during this ultra-challenging time by describing her as a “hidden hero of COVID-19.”

By that, she meant she worked mostly, but not exclusively, behind the scenes and not on the front lines. But her contributions to what is an ongoing fight to carry on business in the middle of a pandemic, while keeping both employees and clients as safe as possible, are worthy of that adjective ‘heroic.’

“Not only has she handled this crisis with extraordinary competence and resilience,” Anstett wrote in her nomination, “she has remained a positive force in the lives of clients, their families, and caregivers.

“Not only has she handled this crisis with extraordinary competence and resilience, she has remained a positive force in the lives of clients, their families, and caregivers.”

“COVID-19 has not only presented physical challenges, but also mental ones, including severe anxiety and depression and exacerbating loneliness, isolation, and sleep problems, particularly in the senior population,” she went on. “To this end, Helen has not only served to protect the health of seniors across Western Massachusetts, but she has also given peace of mind to the families, seniors, and caregivers.”

To put these phrases ‘positive force’ and ‘peace of mind’ in their proper perspective, we turn back the clock to last March 23, when Gov. Charlie Baker imposed his lockdown. At Visiting Angels, staff members packed up and prepared to work remotely for what would be three months. But as they did that, Gobeil, in particular, had to develop detailed plans for providing care in the middle of a pandemic, at a time when people, and especially seniors, were wary about letting people into their homes.

For many, though, home care is an essential need, so they had to let people in. But before anyone went in, Gobeil and Anstett would conduct a risk assessment for both clients and caregivers within a given match.

“We would go down the list, and give each client a number — ‘1’ being the least at risk, and ‘3’ the highest,” Anstett noted, adding that there are more than 60 clients on average at any given time. “We would talk about each caregiver and each client and discuss how to keep them safe; if there was a facility that had COVID, we wouldn’t go into that facility.

“Helen stayed on top of all this,” she went on. “She would talk to every single caregiver and find out where they were going, where they had been, whether they had another job … and she would just cut it right down, every day.”

Helen Gobeil with Michele Anstett, president and CEO of Visiting Angels West Springfield.

Helen Gobeil with Michele Anstett, president and CEO of Visiting Angels West Springfield.

Meanwhile, there would be new protocols concerning cleaning within those homes and other steps to control the spread of the virus.

“These were things we did all the time,” Gobeil explained. “Caregivers just had to be extra, extra cautious about what they did.”

And she had to be extra cautious and extra diligent about who else was going into these homes. With that, she relayed a story that brings this element of her assignment into perspective.

“The daughter of one of our clients showed up from Florida — and that was an event,” she recalled. “She didn’t tell anyone she was coming, and went into the home to a bedbound client with our caregivers in the house. She didn’t quarantine — she went from the plane to this home.

“This was a 24/7 case, and we pulled out of that house immediately,” Gobeil went on. “I said, ‘it’s her or us; until she’s gone, we’re out!’ She went to a hotel that night and left the next morning. Another daughter went in and cleaned top to bottom.”

Beyond delivering some tough love in situations like that, she has also been providing some compassionate outreach to family members of clients, including one who had to cope with the death of a loved one at a time when the grieving process, like everything else, was made different by COVID-19.

“Often, I tried to bring them to a peaceful moment,” she explained. “In this woman’s case, her mother was dying, and she was very anxious about the whole thing. I said to Michele one night, ‘I’m going to see the client, and I’m going to take some time with the daughter,’ and I did. And after her mom passed, she came here, stood in the doorway, said said, ‘please tell me I can come in — I just owe you a big hug.’”

There have been myriad other tasks and challenges as well, including the matter of simply securing needed PPE for her caregivers. It was very difficult to procure items such as masks and gowns in the beginning, and it’s still a challenge, she said, adding that Visiting Angels and other providers have certainly been helped by Gowns 4 Good, the national effort to collect graduation gowns.

“As we started to get them in, the stories that accompanied them … they were incredible,” said Gobeil. “Notes from high-school graduates, class of 2020, including some from West Springfield, who couldn’t have their own ceremonies — they were heartwarming. We were crying.”

“Often, I tried to bring them to a peaceful moment.”

Meanwhile, another stern test, especially after the federal stimulus package was passed, was hiring caregivers. Indeed, many solid candidates for such jobs were in a position where they were making far more in employment than they could as a caregiver — so they stayed unemployed.

“In the beginning, we couldn’t get anyone to answer our ads,” she recalled. “But we made it through that rough patch, and now, a lot of people are eager to get back to work.”

One of her priorities now is to keep both her caregivers and their clients diligent as the pandemic enters its eighth month of impacting virtually all aspects of life as we know it.

Summing up what it was like — and is still like — she said, “it just multiplied the concern and the vigilance, and the stress was unbelievable, every day. And it is still like that. Every day.”

Coping with all this was certainly not in whatever job description was part of that tiny ad she saw more than a dozen years ago now. And it is certainly not what she signed up for.

But as this job changed with COVID, Gobeil rose to the occasion, accepting each new challenge with diligence and ample respect for her ultimate responsibility — the health and well-being of both her caregivers and clients.

Call her a ‘hidden’ hero if you like, but her hard work and dedication are certainly not lost on anyone she has been involved with during this pandemic.

 

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

Healthcare Heroes

While This Shelter’s Protocols Changed, Its Mission Never Did

The metaphor is an easy one to draw.

“If COVID was the invading army, all of us here — every one of us — had to set the wall and hold the wall and make sure folks were going to be safe,” said Keith Rhone, Operations director at Friends of the Homeless in Springfield, a program of Clinical & Support Options (CSO).

The reality, however, was much more complex. In its dorms, its kitchen, and places where clients meet therapists, clinicians, and other staff one on one, FOH was tasked, back in March, with implementing social distancing and a host of other protocols aimed at keeping everyone safe — both those delivering a broad range of services and those receiving them — while never shutting those services down.

That they did so, and how, makes the entire team true Healthcare Heroes.

“People have to gather here, so we’re potentially a hot spot. All the credit goes to the people who kept it from being that.”

“In some ways, we can’t do anything differently,” Clinical Director Christy O’Brien told BusinessWest. “We’re never going to shut down; we’re never not going to be here. Despite the social distancing we had to do, we’re never not going to be close to our people — not necessarily physically, of course, but we still need to know how they’re doing, how we can help, all those things. Where other places were forced to move to telehealth, that’s never going to work for us. The needs are still the needs.”

Those needs encompass not only shelter, but clinical services, such as mental-health and substance-abuse recovery coaching and therapy; housing — FOH has a number of lease-holding tenants; three meals a day; clothing and toiletries as necessary; transportation and delivery services; prescription pickups; case management … as Rhone put it, “the job here is whatever it takes.”

COVID-19 didn’t arrive at an ideal time, said Bill Miller, vice president of Housing and Homeless Services — not that there’s ever a good time for a global pandemic.

“We were coming out of a winter where we served more people and were more full than we had ever been in our history,” he recalled. “So it was a tough winter, and what the pandemic required was a complete shift in our mindset because our inclination and our mission has always been the same: how do we serve as many people as possible? So we wanted to continue to serve in the same way, but we had to adopt a whole new style.”

Among the changes, picnic tables and tents were erected outdoors — spaced apart — to accommodate distanced meal lines. Volunteers, who are instrumental in the service of FOH meals and other activities, were temporarily suspended. In the dormitories, some beds were removed, with overflow space employed in the dining room. Partitions went up, and guests were arranged head to toe when sleeping.

Some of the leadership team at Friends of the Homeless

Some of the leadership team at Friends of the Homeless, who had to quickly figure out new protocols in the spring while continuing to serve clients at the same level as before.

Additional temporary staff were hired to more regularly and thoroughly sanitize spaces, and hand-sanitizer stations were mounted throughout the campus. Dozens of donors and staffers designed and sewed homemade cloth masks so that each shelter guest would have reusable, washable masks.

Meanwhile, from the pandemic’s earliest days, before on-site testing became available, temperature screenings and interviews were conducted to alert the team to early signs, and as the situation progressed, Baystate and Mercy medical centers were quick to work with FOH on testing.

CSO also staffed and managed large tent facilities, which were erected in partnership with the city of Springfield and served as emergency accommodations in the event of positive cases (see the related story of another Healthcare Hero, page xx). When another shelter in the city needed to close due to guests testing positive, the CSO team was able to quarantine those who had been at risk and refer those who ended up testing positive to state-run MEMA isolation sites. FOH further assisted many of those individuals once their isolation periods were completed.

Why was all this critical? Simply put, while COVID-19 has swept through homeless populations in Boston, Worcester, and other cities, homeless individuals in the Greater Springfield region have been largely spared, thanks to the quick — dare we say heroic — work of the team at Friends of the Homeless.

“People have to gather here, so we’re potentially a hot spot. All the credit goes to the people who kept it from being that,” Miller said, adding that “there wasn’t one person who backed out, who wasn’t going to show up for work. We have a dedicated team who have been here for a long time. It was just incredible how everybody showed up.”

“I like the fact that we work in an environment that cares about people.”

It wasn’t lost on Miller that many people working at Friends of the Homeless fall into high-risk categories when it comes to COVID-19. “To have people come into work anyway is just striking.”

“Everyone came in and suited up and did the work,” added Delphine Ray, manager of Case Management Services. “They didn’t hesitate. This is our home away from home, and, by the grace of God, we managed to pull through.”

Dave Ware, men’s shelter manager, said he had many concerns about to manage the social-distancing aspect of the pandemic at FOH. “They really came together to figure out how to manage that in the dorms and kitchen. They came up with a good strategy to handle the social-distancing part.”

It wasn’t always a top-down strategy, Miller added. “There was a fad in business management some years ago — idea-driven organizations. That meant the ideas came from staff at all levels. That’s what we saw here. ‘What if we try this?’ ‘OK, let’s do that.’ Because this was something we’d never seen before, and we didn’t know what to do. And it ended up going well. Everybody was on high alert, and everyone had ideas.”

O’Brien also praised clients of Friends of the Homeless for taking the pandemic seriously and getting tested in the early days, before much was known about the virus and they were already preoccupied with some very real concerns, from mental health to lack of housing. “COVID wasn’t a primary concern for a lot of people. But they jumped on it when informed.”

He recalled warm moments, too, among upsetting ones — “incredible moments of humanity, seeing people come together in a time of crisis and fear. It was very genuine.”

That said, the need for the broad array of services provided by Friends of the Homeless to hundreds of people every day remains persistent, as does COVID-19 itself, as the cold weather approaches — not that those needs go away in the warmer months, Miller said.

“There may be peaks and valleys of needs; it’s not predicated only on cold weather. We used to see more of a lull in summer, but not so much anymore. And when times are hard economically…”

He didn’t have to finish that thought to register his point, which is, the tougher a community’s social and economic challenges, the more necessary FOH becomes.

“I like the fact that we work in an environment that cares about people,” Ware added. “When you look nationally and globally, you see so many people suffering, homeless, without food. We’re just a small place that takes care of those needs, but nationwide, so many people are suffering in this way. I’m proud to work in a place that takes care of people who need it. We’re one of the only places around here that does it on the level we do.”

As noted earlier, this is not an organization that can just shut its doors to the ‘invading army’ of COVID-19.

“We’re home for many people,” Miller said.

“And if we don’t do it,” O’Brien added, “who will?”

 

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Technology

Career Connections

To celebrate Massachusetts STEM Week, Oct. 19-23, Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) announced a week-long series of events.

STEM Week 2020 is organized by the Executive Office of Education and the STEM Advisory Council in partnership with the state’s nine regional STEM networks. It is a statewide effort to boost the interest, awareness, and ability for all learners to envision themselves in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and employment opportunities.

The theme for the third annual statewide STEM Week is “See Yourself in STEM,” with a particular focus on the power of mentoring.

Barbara Washburn, interim dean of the School of STEM at STCC, said the initiative represents an opportunity to learn about interesting and exciting real-world applications of STEM.

“We’re thrilled to participate in STEM Week again this year. We have several engaging live and recorded virtual events planned,” Washburn said. “As the only technical community college in Massachusetts, STCC is known for its high-quality STEM programs, and this is a chance to showcase them.

“We invite our students and the general public to participate in these free events,” she went on. “We particularly encourage people who are underrepresented in STEM to join us. They include women, people of color, first-generation students, low-income individuals, English-language learners, and people with disabilities. We want to show how everyone can see themselves in STEM.”

The following events will be held live through Zoom videoconferencing. For more information and to register, visit stcc.edu/stem-week.

 

• Monday, Oct. 19, 11 a.m. to noon: “Farming While Black: Uprooting Racism, Seeding Sovereignty.” Naima Penniman, program director of Soul Fire Farm, will give a talk about the importance and value of food production. The presentation will explore racism in food distribution, access, and other related topics. This is a collaborative event with HSI STEM, the Officer of Multicultural Affairs, the School of STEM, and the Urban Studies program.

 

• Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2-3 p.m.: “Know Where Your Food Comes From.” Speakers include Ibrahim Ali, co-director of Gardening the Community; Dr. Raja Staggers, assistant professor of sociology; and Jose Lopez-Figueroa, director of the Center for Access Services. The event features a panel discussion on the importance of food security, the prevalence of food deserts in our inner cities, the need to know where food comes from, and food access within the Greater Springfield community. This is a collaborative event with HSI STEM, Multicultural Affairs, the School of STEM, and the Urban Studies program.

 

• Wednesday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to noon: “Virtual STEM Careers Symposium.” Hosted by the STEM Starter Academy at STCC, this event features UMass Amherst professors and STEM industry leaders who will participate in an interactive symposium on STEM pathways and careers.

 

• Friday, Oct. 23, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: Dell Technologies will host a webinar about employees’ experience with the company.

STEM Week will also feature recorded presentations featuring faculty in specific STEM programs. The following are planned:

• Physics: “The Science of Sports and the Engineering Behind Sports Equipment.”

• Engineering: “Computer Application in Engineering”.

• Optics and Photonics: “What is Optics & Photonics?”

• Math: “The Mathematics Behind Bin Packing.”

• Manufacturing: “Extreme Precision: Splitting Hairs on a CNC Machine and Measuring Them in the Metrology Lab,” and a video created at Governors America Corp., an electronics manufacturer in Agawam.

• Robotics: A demonstration of a Fanuc robot functioning as a pill sorter with programmable logic controllers.

• Computers/IT: “What is Computer Systems Engineering Technology?”

 

While there is a concentration of events planned for STEM Week, STCC offers STEM-themed discussion and presentation for students and the public throughout the year. In early October, STCC STEM Starter Academy joined students and researchers from UMass Amherst, Florida International University, and other universities and organizations from across the globe as part of the International Assoc. for the Study of the Commons (IASC) Global Symposium on Commons Without Borders: Global Multiscale Ecosystem Frameworks. A playlist of the symposium’s presentations is available on STCC’s YouTube channel.

 

Banking and Financial Services

Seeking Relief

By Lisa White and Malik Javed

 

On March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, was signed into law. The Act has provided taxpayers with much-needed relief during this pandemic by establishing additional funding sources, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); by creating new tax credits, such as the Employee Retention Credit; and by significantly changing several existing tax provisions.

Lisa White

Lisa White

Malik Javed

Malik Javed

When reviewing what relief is available, taxpayers should consider all possible opportunities, including cost-segregation studies, which help identify misclassified Qualified Improvement Property (QIP); by reviewing current- and prior-year capital expenditures for retirements, dispositions, or repair deductions; and by considering accounting-method changes necessary to take full advantage of the new provisions in the tax law.

Two key changes to existing tax law within the CARES Act that provide cash flow for taxpayers include changes to the cost-recovery period for QIP and changes to the application and recognition of Net Operating Losses (NOLs).

 

Qualified Improvement Property

Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) is defined as any improvement made by the taxpayer to an interior portion of a commercial building as long as the improvement is placed into service after the building was first placed into service by any taxpayer. Additionally, QIP specifically excludes expenditures for the enlargement of a building, elevators or escalators, and the internal structural framework of a building.

Prior to the CARES Act, a drafting error in the tax law required QIP placed in service after Dec. 31, 2017 to use a 39-year tax life, making it ineligible for bonus depreciation. The CARES Act retroactively changed the recovery period for QIP to 15 years, thus making it eligible for bonus depreciation through 2026 (100% through 2022).

Taxpayers who want to take advantage of deducting the cost of improvements to real estate must segregate between interior and exterior improvements, as well as identify items excluded from QIP. Since budgets and design plans should be reviewed to identify these items, cost-segregation engineers can be engaged to assist with this analysis.

Tenant improvements often include items that are not eligible for QIP treatment. For example, HVAC costs in a retail shopping center might include both ductwork inside the building that is eligible for QIP and package units on the roof that are not eligible. Other examples include certain storefronts and interior seismic retrofits. When evaluating QIP, taxpayers should not assume all tenant improvements automatically qualify. Although QIP is now eligible for 100% bonus depreciation for federal income taxes, many states do not conform to bonus deprecation and require a 39-year tax life. For higher-taxed states, cost segregation can still make sense when interior improvements are significant.

Taxpayers who elected out of the business interest expense limitation under 163(j) are required to use a 20-year ADS life for QIP and are not eligible for bonus depreciation. In these cases, a cost-segregation study is greatly beneficial because the items segregated into personal-property categories do not get ADS treatment and are therefore eligible for bonus depreciation.

There is also an additional interplay with the business interest expense limitation provision. Part of the calculation to determine the amount of limited business interest expense for a given year includes determining the adjusted taxable income (ATI). This calculation favorably considers tax depreciation, but only for one more year. For tax years beginning after 2021, the deduction for depreciation, amortization, or depletion are not taken into account in calculating ATI. Thus, any bonus depreciation recognized on assets identified through a cost-segregation study will incrementally increase the ATI.

 

Net Operating Losses

Prior to the CARES Act, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) and other legislation severely constrained the ability to use net operating losses to lower tax liabilities. TCJA restricted carrybacks of NOLs generated in tax years after Dec. 31, 2017 and limited carryforwards to 80% of taxable income.

The CARES Act made two significant changes to NOLs that provides cash flow for businesses:

• Net operating losses (NOLs), which are generated in 2018, 2019, or 2020, can now be carried back five years. Businesses that paid federal income taxes in 2013 to 2017 may be able to claim a tax refund as a result of 2018, 2019, or 2020 NOLs. Procedurally, NOLs are carried back to the earliest of their five-year period and then to subsequent tax years. But taxpayers may elect to forgo the five-year carryback and carry NOLs forward.

• The CARES Act suspends the 80% limit on carryforwards, allowing NOLs to fully offset taxable income until the end of 2020. An NOL carryback can also free up unclaimed federal tax credits and other tax attributes from closed tax years. If the NOL carryback results in credits no longer being used in the closed year, these items are eligible to be carried forward. In addition, if credits or other tax attributes were missed on the original return (e.g. unclaimed Research Tax Credit), the taxpayer may determine the unclaimed credits in the closed year and carry them forward without having to amend returns.

The calculation of NOLs for tax years beginning in 2019 and 2020 may be greater because of changes in the CARES Act to Section 163(j). The changes allow certain taxpayers to increase their business interest expense deduction based on a higher percentage of adjusted taxable income. Taxpayers should also consider the impact of additional tax depreciation on shorter-lived assets eligible for bonus depreciation, such as QIP, that can be identified from a cost-segregation study. For tax years beginning in 2020, the CARES Act also allows taxpayers to substitute their 2020 ATI with 2019 ATI if it results in a more favorable NOL calculation.

In these unprecedented times, taxpayers should take advantage of the many tax opportunities provided in the CARES Act to maximize tax deductions. Reach out to a tax specialist to discuss how these changes may impact your tax situation.

 

Lisa White, CPA is a tax manager at Meyers Brothers Kalicka, focusing primarily on federal and state income-tax compliance and planning within the construction and real-estate industries. Malik Javed, CCSP is a principal at KBKG and oversees engineering operations for cost-segregation projects from KBKG’s Northeast practice.

Opinion

Editorial

 

Back in the spring of 2017, as BusinessWest and its sister publication, the Healthcare News, were preparing to launch a new recognition program focused on the region’s large and critically important healthcare sector, the magazines hosted a meeting with members named to an advisory board assembled to help guide the initiative off the drawing board.

The first question asked at that session concerned the name given to the program — Healthcare Heroes. “How do you define ‘hero?’” one panel member asked.

The reply was that the magazines wouldn’t be defining ‘hero.’ That task would fall to those nominating individuals, groups, and institutions, and the judges assigned the task of evaluating those nominations. In short, the answer to that question was ‘heroism is in the eye of the beholder — and there are heroes all across the broad healthcare sector in this region.’

Never has that sentiment been truer than during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Indeed, for this year’s program, the magazines opted not to use the traditional categories that have defined this program, such as ‘Caregiver,’ ‘Emerging Leader,’ ‘Innovation in Healthcare,’ and even ‘Lifetime Achievement,’ and instead seek general nominations involving those who in some way stepped up and stood out during this pandemic, on the theory that heroes came in all kinds of categories this year.

And we were right. Nominations were submitted for both individual EMTs and the CEOs of medical centers; for manufacturing companies that shifted their production lines to make PPE and individual home healthcare providers; for entire staffs at local hospitals and specific teams at area service providers.

Everyone nominated this year is a true hero, and the judges had a very difficult time deciding which stories were truly the best. But as the accounts  reveal, these judges did a commendable job.

These stories are, in a word, inspirational, and they clearly convey both the depth of the crisis and the determined, imaginative responses to it. These stories are touching, but they are also powerful in that they reveal the kind of dedicated, creative, and, above all, compassionate individuals working within the healthcare sector in this region.

The stories are all different, but the common theme is individuals, groups, and organizations seeing needs in the midst of this generational crisis, and rising to meet them, such as:

• The staff at Holyoke Medical Center coming together under very trying circumstances to take in residents of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home at the height of the tragedy there;

• Three patient advocates at Berkshire Health Systems leaving their behind-the-scenes jobs to become frontline nurses at a BHS facility on the other side of the state;

• Home health aide Jennifer Graham, a junior at Bay Path University, volunteering, when few others would, to work at emergency tents set up to care for the region’s homeless population;

• Baystate Health President and CEO Mark Keroack providing needed leadership to not only his institution, but the region and state as the pandemic reached this region last spring;

• The Nutrition Department at Greater Springfield Senior Services Inc., which creating new programs and protocols to ensure that hot meals were delivered to the area seniors who need them; and

• Rabbi Devorah Jacobson, director of Spiritual Life at JGS Lifecare, who stepped into the breach and provided needed guidance and support to residents, family members, and especially the staff members providing services at the height of the crisis.

These are just some of the stories in our special section introducing the Healthcare Heroes of 2020 that will resonate, possibly generate tears, and certainly leave you proud of this region and those individuals and institutions serving it.

Opinion

Editorial 2

Amid a tumultuous presidential election, the contentious plans to fill a Supreme Court seat, and continued upheaval on the broad matter of racial equality, additional stimulus measures to help individuals and businesses weather the pandemic have seemingly been pushed to the back burner, if not off the stove.

Indeed, while there are almost weekly pronouncements of optimism that a stimulus package may soon be passed, overall, there seems to be little actual movement toward getting a deal done, even as the pandemic shows no signs of easing and the announcements of massive job cuts — the latest from the likes of Disney and several of the major airlines — continue to dominate the business news.

In our view — and in the view of untold numbers of owners of businesses both large and small — this is no time to be taking our eyes off the ball. Despite some protestations to the contrary, COVID-19 is far from over, and help will be needed before there are more business failures.

That’s because … well, anyone can look at a calendar and see that there’s more trouble around the corner. Fall is here, and winter is right behind it. A second wave of the virus is predicted, and some would say it is already here. And while some states are actually loosening restrictions on what businesses can open and under what circumstances, the threat of another shutdown like the one that crippled this state’s business community looms large.

Despite some protestations to the contrary, COVID-19 is far from over, and help will be needed before there are more business failures

The harsh reality is that many, if not most, businesses have not come close to recovering the losses they’ve sustained over the past six to seven months. We’ve interviewed business owners across virtually every sector of the economy, from printers to restaurateurs to banquet-facility operators, and many are reporting that revenues are down 60%, 70%, or even 80% or more from last year.

And, as we said, winter is coming, which means restaurants that had been holding on, or nearly holding on, with outdoor dining will have to close those areas soon. It also means all events have to move indoors, which means, essentially, there can be no events. It means businesses and individuals that are hunkering down and reducing their spending in every way possible will only ratchet up those efforts even further.

In this climate, businesses, nonprofits, and, yes, individuals will need additional support. Individuals will need stimulus checks and unemployment benefits — perhaps not the additional $600 a week that has hampered efforts to bring people back to the workforce, but some assistance. And small businesses especially will need another round of Paycheck Protection Act support. Those checks bought business owners some invaluable time during the height of the crisis, and from all indications, more time is needed.

No one knows when the pandemic will actually subside and we can return to something approaching normal. What is now clear, at least to most observers, is that this won’t happen anytime soon. This business of printing money and incurring trillions of dollars in debt to help people and businesses through the crisis is at the very least unnerving and perhaps dangerous. But now that we’ve started down this road, we have to stay on this path and do what’s needed to minimize the damage from this generational catastrophe.

 

Company Notebook

bankESB Earns Recognition for Quality, Community Commitment

EASTHAMPTON — bankESB was recently honored for overall quality and commitment to the community. The bank earned the number-one spot for Overall Quality in Western Mass. in the 2020 New England Banking Choice Awards. The awards are presented annually by American Business Media, publisher of Banking New England, and are based on the results of the Rivel Banking Benchmarks, the largest and most comprehensive measure of banking customer experience in the world. The 2020 results are based on more than 11,000 interviews and 300,000 reviews of nearly 300 Massachusetts institutions. The bank also was named an honoree by the Boston Business Journal in its annual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards, a recognition of the region’s top corporate charitable contributors. The publication annually publishes this list to showcase companies that promote and prioritize giving back to their communities. Companies qualify for the distinction by reporting at least $100,000 in cash contributions to Massachusetts-based charities and social-service nonprofits last year.

 

Florence Bank Gives $10,000 to Amherst Survival Center

FLORENCE — Florence Bank recently donated $10,000 to the Amherst Survival Center, which connects residents of Hampshire and Franklin counties to food, clothing, healthcare, wellness, and community, primarily through volunteer efforts. Since mid-March, the Amherst Survival Center has focused its resources on food and nutrition programs, ensuring its ability to provide hot meals to go, daily access to fresh produce and bread, and full grocery shops from its food pantry in as safe a manner as possible. This summer, the center established a strategic plan to address the steady rise of food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their plan entails doubling the food provided by the food pantry while also expanding grocery offerings to roughly two weeks each month. Additionally, the center will expand its staff in order to implement evening and weekend hours and integrate deliveries into the schedule with a goal of delivering food to 1,000 to 1,500 area residents per month. These efforts have been fueled by generous donations like the one from Florence Bank.

 

ValleyBike Share Offers Discount to Area Students

PIONEER VALLEY — ValleyBike Share has begun offering a special discount to all area students with an .edu e-mail address. The pass costs $60 for an annual membership that includes unlimited 45-minute rides. ValleyBike Share is the all-electric-assist bike-share program of the Pioneer Valley, which includes Amherst, Easthampton, Holyoke, Northampton, South Hadley, Springfield, and the UMass Amherst campus. Students can use ValleyBike Share to explore the Pioneer Valley without a car. The electric-assist bikes can go from one town to another with ease within the system, which makes them perfect to use if a student has classes at any of the other colleges in the service area. To join, visit www.valleybike.org. ValleyBike is open from approximately April 1 to Nov. 30, weather permitting.

 

UMass Donahue Institute Wins $14 Million Contract

HADLEY — The UMass Donahue Institute has been awarded a five-year, $14 million contract to provide training and technical assistance to Head Start and Early Head Start programs for all six New England states. The grants allows the institute to continue to work with local Head Start programs on their educational, health, and family services as well as management systems to strengthen their ability to serve children and their families. Head Start and Early Head Start programs provide comprehensive services that support the development of children from birth to age 5, and their families, in centers, childcare partner locations, and their own homes. Early Head Start also provides services to pregnant women. Head Start and Early Head Start services include early learning, health, and family well-being. The contract was awarded by the Office of Head Start in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nationally, Head Start/Early Head Start is divided into 12 regions. UMass Donahue Institute will be the sole provider of training and technical assistance to Region 1, which includes Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The institute was first awarded the New England training and technical assistance grant in 2003.

 

Country Bank Recognized for Charitable Giving

WARE — The Boston Business Journal has once again named Country Bank an honoree in its annual 2020 Corporate Citizenship Awards, recognizing the region’s top corporate charitable contributors. The publication annually publishes this list to highlight companies that promote and prioritize giving back to their communities. During this year’s virtual celebration held on Sept. 10, 107 companies — a record number — qualified for the distinction by reporting at least $100,000 in cash contributions to Massachusetts-based charities and social-service nonprofits last year. This year’s honorees include companies from healthcare, technology, financial and professional services, retail, professional sports, and more. Country Bank, which ranked 60th, employs 209 staff members within Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties. In 2019, staff members actively promoted the bank’s mission of giving back to the communities they serve by volunteering more than 1,100 hours of community service.

 

AIC Receives High Marks for Teaching and Education Degrees

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) is ranked 17th among the top 50 colleges and universities for teaching and education degrees, as ranked by learn.org for academic year 2020-21. Established in 2003, learn.org provides free resources for students and working professionals to research potential schools and degrees by providing information on career opportunities and institutions of higher education that help individuals reach their goals, including school connections, scholarships, and online college planning for quality and affordable education. Citing AIC, learn.org highlights the college’s master’s programs, including its master of education in early childhood education and a master of education in middle or secondary education. The organization additionally notes that AIC offers a doctoral program with multiple tracks, the doctor of education in teaching and learning, and called attention to students’ ability to take part in a practicum or field-based research to ensure preparedness for future careers. The organization also credits the School of Education with employing “top-notch staff and faculty members, many of whom hold terminal degrees in their field.”

 

Square One Responds to Need for Remote-learning Support

SPRINGFIELD — As working parents continue to navigate the unchartered territory surrounding remote education, Square One is answering the call for help. The agency is now providing full-day remote-learning support for children in kindergarten through grade 5, in addition to expanded offerings for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Enrollment is available at three Square One early-learning centers in Springfield, as well as the agency’s network of home-based child-care providers who operate throughout the region. Through the generosity of funders, including the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and Square One’s corporate and individual donors, all locations are outfitted with the technology and staffing needed to accommodate each student’s remote-learning needs. All guidelines surrounding social distancing, cleanliness, and personal protective equipment will be strictly enforced. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided. For more information, parents are urged to contact the Square One enrollment office at (413) 732-5183. With the growing demand for programs and services at Square One comes a greater need for additional financial support. Donors are asked to support the Campaign for Healthy Kids by texting ABC123 to 4432, visiting www.startatsquareone.org, or e-mailing Kristine Allard, vice president of Development & Communication, at [email protected].

 

Berkshire Bank Foundation Contributes More Than $1 Million in COVID-19 Relief

PITTSFIELD — The Berkshire Bank Foundation announced that, due to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has contributed more than $1 million to collaborative efforts supporting nonprofit organizations responding to community-based needs. Guided by the foundation’s mission of investing in those living and working in its local communities, the total relief provided represents an additional $1 million over the foundation’s $3 million total annual grant budget. The organizations supported in the Pioneer Valley through Berkshire Bank Foundation’s contributions include the Mental Health Assoc. Inc., YMCA of Greater Springfield, the SCORE Foundation – Western Massachusetts SCORE, and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, among others. The foundation’s grants this year have supported community-based organizations to help local families in the areas of affordable and safe housing, food security, health supplies, students in distress, and assistance to small businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The foundation has also allowed nonprofits to utilize funds given for specific programs to help cover general operating costs and extended requirements and/or reporting deadlines where needed.

 

Beveridge Family Foundation Partners with Innovation Accelerator

WEST NEWBURY — The Beveridge Family Foundation provides support to nonprofits within Hampden and Hampshire counties. While continuing that critical work, it has started investing directly into social-impact projects and ventures. By leveraging its endowment, the Beveridge Foundation is significantly increasing the amount of funding it can deploy. Local organizations with proposals for economically sustainable programs can now apply for investments of up to $250,000. These proposals must be at the pilot stage or later and already have significant evidence of demand and viability. Innovation Accelerator trains nonprofits to develop high-impact social ventures. Alumni have gone from sticky notes on a whiteboard to live programs that have raised more than $1 million in seed funding. Each team that participates in the flagship accelerator program generates mission-aligned ideas, gathers concrete evidence, and receives direct feedback from the Beveridge Foundation and other funders.

 

Education Equity Focus of Grant to Holyoke Community College

HOLYOKE — When Holyoke Community College (HCC) unveiled its four-year strategic plan in 2018, one of its top priorities was increasing success rates of students of color. That aligned with goals established by the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education (DHE), which in the same year made equity the top policy and performance objective for the entire state public higher-education system. To support those ongoing efforts, the Lumina Foundation recently awarded the Massachusetts DHE grants worth $1.2 million, with half the money earmarked for six state colleges and universities, including HCC. HCC’s $100,000 award will be used to further the work of its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion task force and expand mentorship programs that focus on students of color. Through its Talent, Innovation, Equity, and Equity Institution grants, the Lumina Foundation seeks to dismantle systemic barriers to student success and degree attainment, particularly for black and Latinx students. Massachusetts was only the fifth state to receive grants from the Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation based in Indianapolis. Latinx students participating in HCC’s ALANA Men in Motion program show a fall-to-fall retention rate of 75%, compared to 45% for Latinx students not participating in ALANA, an academic support, mentoring, and counseling program for African-American, Latino, Asian, and Native American men. HCC’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion group focuses on making sure students of color succeed at the same rate as their white peers, using benchmarks such as retention and college completion rates.

 

United Way Distributes PPE to Area Nonprofits, Municipalities

SPRINGFIELD — As part of its COVID-19 response efforts, United Way of Pioneer Valley has distributed a round of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other COVID-19-related items to multiple area nonprofits and municipalities. Recipients of PPE to date include the Agawam Department of Public Health, Boys and Girls Club of Chicopee, Chicopee Food Force, Granville Fire Department, Granville Police Department, Granville Public Library, Link to Libraries, Lovin’ Spoonfuls, Ludlow Senior Center, Ministry en Motion, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, One Holyoke CDC, Quarry Hill Community School in Monson, Southwick Senior Center, Tolland Fire Department, and Westfield Senior Center. Distributions include various sizes of hand-sanitizer bottles, hand-sanitizing stations, disposable masks, gloves, face masks, face shields, cleaning wipes, and countertop sneeze guards. Donations also included hula hoops and pool noodles to help young children learn about social distancing.

 

People on the Move
Logan Anderson

Logan Anderson

Jessica Duffy

Jessica Duffy

Michelle Ozdarski

Mary Pomeroy

Mary Pomeroy

Jocelyn Walsh

Jocelyn Walsh

Anna Zadworny

Greenfield Savings Bank (GSB) announced the recent promotions of Logan Anderson, Jessica Duffy, Michelle Ozdarski, Mary Pomeroy, Jocelyn Walsh, and Anna Zadworny. Anderson been promoted to Customer Service Call Center representative. In her new position, she will work in the GSB Call Center, assisting customers with a wide range of account services, tracking voice mails, and returning phone calls. In addition, she will also work as one of the video tellers for the bank’s network of Teller Connect ATMs, which are ATM machines that provide teller service via a live video feed at select GSB locations in Franklin and Hampshire counties. Logan first joined Greenfield Savings Bank as a teller in September 2018. She is a 2017 graduate of Pioneer Valley Regional School. She has been an active volunteer at community events, including the Great Falls Festival in Turners Falls, the Relay for Life in Greenfield, and the Franklin County Fair. Duffy has been promoted to assistant office manager of the GSB South Deerfield Office. In addition to supervising the daily activities of the office and staff, she will also concentrate on business development and assist customers with a full range of banking services. Duffy first joined Greenfield Savings Bank in January 2017 as a teller and was previously promoted to the position of super banker. She has an associate degree in accounting from Greenfield Community College and is currently working on a degree at the Center for Financial Training. Ozdarski has been promoted to senior Bank Secrecy Act/anti-money laundering investigator and fraud analyst, responsible for monitoring, reviewing, researching, and analyzing transactions for potential money laundering or other illegal activity, such as terrorism financing and tax evasion. She is responsible for assisting customers with identity theft and other fraud-related issues. Ozdarski joined GSB in 1999 as a teller and the next year became the teller trainer. In 2008 she became the senior Operations specialist and recently held the title of BSA/ID theft manager. She earned an associate degree from Greenfield Community College in 1998. Pomeroy has been promoted to office manager of the Greenfield and the Shelburne Falls offices. As the office manager, she oversees the operations of both offices and staff development. In addition, she also works with customers on all aspects of their banking and lending needs, including mortgage origination. She first joined GSB in March 2019 as the assistant office manager of the main office in Greenfield. She most recently was the office manager of the Shelburne Falls office. Pomeroy has earned diplomas in consumer lending, general financial services, and advanced financial services, as well as certificates in introduction to financial services and credit analysis and consumer lending from the Center for Financial Training. She is currently enrolled in Cambridge College, working toward an associate degree in business administration. Walsh has been appointed assistant office manager of the GSB Shelburne Falls office. In her new position, she will oversee day-to-day office operations and assist customers with a full range of account and banking services. She first joined Greenfield Savings Bank in December 2015, starting as a teller in Shelburne Falls Office and later was promoted to a super banker at the Hadley Office. In 2019, she was promoted to assistant manager of the Hadley Office. Walsh has been a volunteer at a wide range of community events, including the WGBY Hadley Asparagus Festival, Shelburne Falls Moonlight Magic, and the Great Falls Festival. Zadworny has been promoted to assistant vice president and training and staffing manager. In her new position, she will be responsible for facilitating one-on-one and classroom training for employees with a focus on enhancing employee development, including product knowledge, internal systems training, and compliance course oversight. She will also be responsible for maintaining appropriate levels of staffing in all offices and will assist in maintaining vendor relationships, record keeping, and training budget oversight. In addition, she coordinates and oversees the external audit process. Zadworny joined GSB in 2012 as manager of its Northampton office. In 2016, she was promoted to office manager of the South Deerfield office, and in 2019, she was promoted to assistant vice president and office manager of the Greenfield office. She earned an associate degree in business management from Holyoke Community College and is currently pursuing a business management degree with a minor in leadership from Bay Path University. She graduated with honors from Babson College in the financial studies program. She serves on the boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County and as assistant treasurer of the Salvation Army of Hampshire County, and also volunteers for United Way of Hampshire County.

•••••

Michael Locke

Michael Locke

Bacon Wilson announced that attorney Michael Locke has joined the firm as an associate and a member of the real-estate team, focusing on matters of land use, planning, and zoning. Prior to joining Bacon Wilson, Locke served as a clerk in both the Massachusetts Superior Court and the Massachusetts Court of Appeals. He earned his juris doctor magna cum laude from New England Law School in 2018, and his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from UMass Amherst in 2015. He will be practicing primarily from Bacon Wilson’s Amherst location, working with real-estate and business clients throughout the Commonwealth.

•••••

Chris St. Martin, an associate at Bulkley Richardson, was named a 2021 up-and-coming lawyer by Best Lawyers in its new “Ones to Watch” category. This honor is given to attorneys who are earlier in their careers, recognizing them for outstanding professional excellence in private practice. St. Martin joined Bulkley Richardson in 2019 and is an associate in the firm’s litigation department.

•••••

Kristin Ferriter Hagan

Kristin Ferriter Hagan

Carolyn Jacobs

Paul Marchese

The board of trustees at Elms College has appointed three prominent figures — Kristin Ferriter Hagan, Carolyn Jacobs, and Paul Marchese — to serve on the board. Hagan graduated from Elms College in 1996, earning her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in psychology. Most recently, she served as director of Development for St. Mary’s Parish School in Westfield. In that position, she was responsible for all major-gift fundraising, grant writing, event planning, and community outreach. Jacobs is a social-work professor, spiritual director, and was Elms College’s 2017 commencement speaker. She is a dean emerita of the Smith College School of Social Work, where she taught for 35 years. She received her bachelor’s degree from Sacramento State University, her master’s degree in social work from San Diego State University, and her doctorate from the Heller School of Brandeis University, and also received training as a spiritual director from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Mind & Life Institute in Charlottesville, Va. Jacobs previously served on the Elms board of trustees from 2009 to 2018. Marchese is executive vice president of Business Development and Relationship Management at St. Germain Investment Management and has more than 35 years of experience in private banking, investment management, and financial planning. Prior to his tenure at St. Germain, he was vice president of Business Development for private banking at FleetBoston Financial Corp. He currently serves as vice chair of the board of trustees for both Mercy Medical Center and Mason Wright Foundation. He is a board member of Stanley Park of Westfield, Glenmeadow, and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. He also serves on the finance committees of Trinity Health Of New England and Pathlight. Marchese holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgetown University and an MBA in marketing from the Boston College Carroll School of Management.

•••••

The Children’s Study Home (CSH) announced the appointment of William Dávila as its new executive director. He brings 25 years of experience in nonprofit management and social services as a practitioner, manager, and senior-level administrator and executive, including his tenure as deputy executive director of CSH from 2006 to 2011.  He has extensive experience managing and overseeing residential programs, special-education private schools, foster care, outpatient clinics, and various case-management programs serving children and families. He currently serves on the boards of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, New England Public Media, and the Massachusetts Council on Gaming & Health. He obtained his bachelor’s degree at UMass Amherst, his master’s degree in social work at Boston College, and his doctorate of education at the University of Hartford.  He is also a licensed social worker in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.

 

Agenda

STCC Virtual Open House

Oct. 14-15: Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will hold its annual fall open house on two dates: Wednesday, Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Thursday, Oct. 15 from 1 to 3:30 p.m., in a virtual format. High-school students, adult learners, and their family members can log into Zoom and meet virtually with representatives from the college’s degree and certificate programs and departments. For information about registering to attend the virtual event, visit stcc.edu/apply/open-house. Open to the public, STCC’s open house is an opportunity for anyone thinking about becoming a student to learn more about what the college has to offer, including associate-degree and certificate programs, transfer opportunities, financial aid, athletics and student life, online learning, workforce-training options, high-school equivalency exam (HiSET), and classes for English language learners. Representatives from specific programs and departments will hold breakout sessions to speak with anyone who joins. For more information, contact the STCC Admissions Office at (413) 755-3333 or [email protected]. To apply to STCC, visit stcc.edu/apply. STCC is accepting applications for Fall Flex Term 2, which starts Oct. 28, and for the spring term, which begins in January.

 

Cannabis Career Training

Oct. 17-18: Holyoke Community College (HCC) and its new community partner, Elevate Northeast, are launching a revitalized cannabis career training program in October for those who want to work in the industry. The program, offered through the Cannabis Education Center, begins the weekend of Oct. 17-18 with two days of required core curriculum training over Zoom. The cost of the two-day core training session is $595. To register, visit hcc.edu/cannabis-core. Each day will be broken down into two sessions: 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 4 p.m. Each session will include presentations from cannabis-industry experts followed by a question-and-answer period. Students who complete the core training will then be eligible to register for spring 2021 classes in one of four cannabis-industry career tracks: cultivation assistant, extraction technician, patient-services associate, or culinary assistant. Dates for the spring career-track training sessions have not yet been announced.

 

Westfield State University Virtual Information Session

Oct. 19: The College of Graduate and Continuing Education (CGCE) at Westfield State University (WSU) will host a virtual information session for its master of education and master of arts in English programs at 6 p.m. on Zoom. These graduate programs are designed to accommodate both working teachers seeking professional licensure and new educators seeking initial licensure. The master of education programs include early childhood education, elementary education, biology, mathematics, history, moderate disabilities, and reading specialist. The non-licensure master of education has concentrations in history and vocational-technical. WSU also offers graduate English programs with initial or professional licensure, as well as a non-licensure track. WSU offers afternoon and evening courses during the fall, spring, and summer sessions as well as full-time or part-time matriculation options. Information session attendees will have an opportunity to speak with Outreach Team members and faculty about the program and its application process. The $50 application fee will be waived for information-session attendees. To RSVP, visit www.gobacknow.com. For more information, call (413) 572-8020 or e-mail [email protected].

 

Forest Park Zoo Virtual Trivia Night

Oct. 21: The Zoo in Forest Park will host its second Virtual Trivia Night at 7 p.m. The event will take place on Zoom. The game will consist of four Halloween-inspired categories, each containing 15 multiple-choice questions. Players can either use a smartphone or a second browser to submit answers during the game. To play, the zoo is recommending a $25 donation per player, but the event is pay-what-you-can. Proceeds will help mitigate the increased costs of animal care during the winter. Donations can be made at www.forestparkzoo.org/events-1/trivia-night. Pre-registration is required. E-mail Tyson at [email protected] to register a team. Players can opt to play as an individual or on a team of up to six people. Registration is capped at 50 teams. The zoo will award prizes to the top teams.

 

Unify Against Bullying Annual Fashion Show

Oct. 26: High-school students of all shapes, sizes, styles, ethnicity, and physical abilities from schools in Western Mass. and Northern Conn. will strut their stuff at a fashion show celebrating true diversity. In this unprecedented time, the Unify Against Bullying team has decided to stream the event free on Facebook Live for all to enjoy. One addition this year is an online auction where individuals can bid on prizes from the comfort of their home. The organization will also accept donations during the event to support their mission and the youth they serve. Delaney’s Market is offering a Unify meal package to order, pay for, and pick up curbside at one of four locations to make the event a party with family and friends. For information on streaming, sponsorship, and program advertising, visit www.unifyagainstbullying.org or call (413) 304-0668.

 

Bright Nights at Forest Park

bBright Nights at Forest Park will take place this year. Spirit of Springfield and the city of Springfield have developed protocols to provide a safe and festive event that has been a holiday tradition since 1995. They will be instituted during setup, breakdown, and during the event, and include masks, regular cleaning, online ticketing, and more. Restrooms will be for emergency use only, and the usual bustling gift shop, amusement rides, horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides, and visits and supper with Santa will not be available. This will help keep all visitors safe and socially distanced in their vehicles during the experience. Bright Nights at Forest Park is three miles of a unique holiday experience featuring more than 675,000 lights and iconic displays like Seuss Land, Everett Barney Mansion, Toy Land, Happy Holidays, Springfield, and so many more. It generates $15 million in economic impact annually and has created a lifetime of family memories in its 25-year history. It also promises to be one of the safest events, with families contained in their cars. Admission will be $23 per car weeknights, weekdays, and holidays. Discounted tickets will be available at participating Big Y World Class Markets for $16.50. Due to bus-capacity limitations in Massachusetts, admission for buses has been reduced to $100 for buses with capacity of more than 30 people. Vehicles with seating from 17 to 30 people will be charged $50 for admission.

 

Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.

CHICOPEE

The Prince Express Inc., 53 Elizabeth St., Chicopee, MA 01013. Nawar D. Khaleel, same. Trucking.

EAST LONGMEADOW

The Society of St. Vincent De Paul At St. Michael’s Parish Conference Inc., 128 Maple St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Toni Raczkowski, 37 Timber Dr., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Offers tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis.

Ahealthyhome199 Inc., 119 Industrial Ave., #352, East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Michael R. Sacenti, 24 Crescent Hill, East Longmeadow, MA 01028. Building remediation and maintenance services.

HOLYOKE

Viva Nation TV Inc., 723 Homestead Ave., Holyoke, MA 01040. Antos Stella, 15 Broad St., Suite 2606, New York, NY 10005. Multi-media production and distribution.

Absolute Quality Floor Refinishing Inc., 187 Walnut St., Holyoke, MA 01040. Frederick A. Tavares, same. Floor refinishing.

PITTSFIELD

Xonier Technologies Inc., 82 Wendell Ave., Suite 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Vijay Parmar, same. Computer software and IT services.

SOUTH DEERFIELD

The Lux Corporation, 16 Braeburn Road, South Deerfield, MA 01373. Matthew Carlson, same. Providing a social networking platform for individuals or organizations to promote events.

SOUTHWICK

USA Resurfacing Inc., 7 Shefton Dr., Southwick, MA 01077. James Robert Kingsbury, same. Concrete polishing, epoxy flooring.

SPRINGFIELD

The Eastern Band of Woodland Metis People Inc., 34 Cambridge St., Springfield, MA 01109. James Leo Lafleur, same. Native Americans helping others threw fundraising, tag sales, benefit dinners and donations

Transit Health Inc., 95 Frank B Murray St., Springfield, MA 01103. Jennifer Collins, 45 California Ave., Springfield, MA 01118. Community transportation to mental health services.

Vu Nguyen Inc., 836 Bay St., Springfield, MA 01109. Vu Nguyen, 230 Senator St., Springfield, MA 01128. Bottle and can redemption center.

William Gaudet & River Gaudet Inc., 834 Kinney St., Springfield, MA 01103. William Van Gaudet, 1220 Huntington Drive, Modesto, CA 95350. Bookkeeping and human resources consultation.

ABT Beauty Inc., 1704 Boston Road, Springfield, MA 01129. Thi Tai, 120 Marengo Park, Springfield, MA 01108. Nail salon and spa.

WESTFIELD

Ubuntu Community Resources Inc., 1029 North Road, PMB 160, Westfield, MA 01085. Patricia P. O’Garro-Ellis, 940 Enfield St., Enfield, CT 06082. Providing services for developmentally disabled people.

DBA Certificates

The following business certificates and/or trade names were issued or renewed during the month of September 2020. (Filings are limited due to closures or reduced staffing hours at municipal offices due to COVID-19 restrictions).

GREENFIELD

AT&T Authorized Retailer #9216
333 Federal St.
Prime Comms Retail, LLC

Classic Auto Sales & Service
370 Deerfield St.
Robert Hodgkins Jr.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
136 River St.
Camrac, LLC

Hope and Olive
44 Hope St.
James Zaccara

Kamal Clothing
47 Main St.
Muhammad Hamayun

Loudmouth Pro
111 Davis St.
Abigail Duquette

McIver Craftworks
10 Carol Lane
Peter McIver, Samantha McIver

New England Live Music.com
41 Canada Hill Road
Edward Wirt

Rent-A-Center
278 Mohawk Trail
Javier Ruiz

Told Video
95 School St.
Rebecca Rideout

Tranquility Salon
116 Federal St.
Jamie Bennett

LONGMEADOW

College Investments
18 Severn St.
Joseph Pacella

Custom Home Solutions/New England Screens
30 Wynward Road
David Hart

Edward D. Jones & Co., LP
175 Dwight Road
Stephanie Griffin

Fei’s Photo Studio
165 Prynnwood Road
Fei Zeng

Loveleigh Décor & Floral
87 Forest Glen Road
Jennifer Beeson

NORTHAMPTON

Quillback Consulting
36 Ward Ave.
Seth Atkinson

Rejuvenation Aesthetics
140 North Main St.
Paulina Samolewicz

She Minds Money
80 Damon Road, #2101
Katharine Iesiev

Simply Hair
110C Main St.
Melissa Duffy

Starbucks Coffee
303 King St., Suite E
Lisa Baker

Tiffany Hilton Pottery
221 Pine St., Studio 352
Tiffany Hilton

SOUTHWICK
Russell Cellular
587 College Highway
Jeff Russell

Silk Road Motor Cars, LLC
642 College Highway
Mohamed Abdul Cader

Sophisticated Productions
648 College Highway, Suite A
Melissa Tessier

WEST SPRINGFIELD

The Fellowshoip Club
745 Memorial Ave.
Charlie Santiago

Hair by Jessz
33 Westfield St.
Jessica Edinger

Keinath Auto Body Inc.
888 Main St.
Albert Keinath

Mamma Mia’s Pizzeria
1140 Memorial Ave.
Maria Alfarone

Michelle Johnston, Freelance Tutor
136 Connecticut Ave.
Michelle Johnston

Pretty Woman
245 Memorial Ave.
Hisik Kang

Punjabi Kitchen
88 Westfield St.
Kulwinder Kaur

Smith Oil
20 Roanoke Ave.
Laura Benoit

Stef Eastham
33 Westfield St.
Stephanie Eastham

Sunny’s Convenience
2260 Westfield St.
Neil Patel

Workstation for Hair
33 Westfield St.
Madison Carr

Workstation for Hair
33 Westfield St.
Carley Guilbeau

Bankruptcies

The following bankruptcy petitions were recently filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Readers should confirm all information with the court.

Alfredo’s Beauty Salon
Proietti, Alfredo R.
a/k/a Prioetti, Alfredo R.
535 Main St., Apt. 1
Great Barrington, MA 01230
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/01/20

Arasate, Louis Arazabal
99 Colonial Circle, Unit A
Chicopee, MA 01020
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/10/20

Archidiacono, Kyle Francis
Archidiacono, Samantha Ann-Marie
a/k/a Klein, Samantha
51 Hastings St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/31/20

Arroyo, Nancy R.
54 Simard Dr.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/02/20

Beaulieu, David J.
2415 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01129
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/14/20

Cape Ann Audio
McLean, Dennis Michael
McLean, Colleen Ann
PO Box 207
North Hatfield, MA 01066
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/01/20

Cooper, Linda M.
168 Osborne Road
Ware, MA 01082
Chapter: 13
Date: 08/31/20

Esile, Frank J.
400 Britton St., Apt 416
Chicopee, MA 01020
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/14/20

Flynn, Theresa Marie
35A Mountain St.
Haydenville, MA 01039
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/11/20

Goss, Richard W.
Goss, Kelly B.
185 Anvil St.
Feeding Hills, MA 01030
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/31/2020

Judd, William E.
a/k/a Judd, Bill
12B Spanish Court
Greenfield, MA 01301
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/14/20

Kowal, Lorie A.
143 Edgewood Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/09/20

Lafferty, Katharine R.
a/k/a Kopczyski, Katharine R.
57 Linden Ave., Apt. 1
Greenfield, MA 01301
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/14/20

Lessard, Jacqueline
268 Elm St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/11/20

Maggard, Nicole S.
a/k/a Pederzani, Nicole
35 Timberidge Road
Ludlow, MA 01056
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/31/2020

McCann, Ashley E.
4 Grove St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/03/20

McCarthy, Andrea S.
a/k/a Bates, Andrea S.
a/k/a McCarthy-Bates, Andrea S.
182 Fuller St.
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/04/20

McMahon, Jason T.
115 Williams St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/03/20

Moseman, Kristine Michele
15 Falmouth Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/04/20

Nieves, Dalia
765 Main St., Apt 3B
Springfield, MA 01105
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/01/20

Pleasant, Veronica
34 Sumner Ave., Apt. 314
Springfield, MA 01108
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/10/20

Ricard, Mark R.
PO Box 714
Bondsville, MA 01009
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/010/20

Ruland, Arthur Allen
Ruland, Judith Anne
160 Powell Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/15/20

Scott, Jeremy
9 Barnes St.
Ware, MA 01082
Chapter: 13
Date: 09/01/20

Shepardson, Kristen
P.O. Box 268
Barre, MA 01005
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/04/20

Shepherd, Adam Paul
P.O. Box 327
Wales, MA 01081
Chapter: 7
Date: 08/31/20

Sudyka, David B.
29 Westbrook Road
South Hadley, MA 01075
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/02/20

Thouin, Matthew T.
5 Sunset Rock Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Chapter: 13
Date: 09/09/20

Marie C. Tucker Graphic Design
Tucker, Dennis F.
Tucker, Marie C.
86 Pleasant St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/11/20

Woodman, Michael J.
Woodman, Michelle L.
67 Percy St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Chapter: 7
Date: 09/15/20

Real Estate

The following real estate transactions (latest available) were compiled by Banker & Tradesman and are published as they were received. Only transactions exceeding $115,000 are listed. Buyer and seller fields contain only the first name listed on the deed.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

ASHFIELD

837 Murray Road
Ashfield, MA 01330
Amount: $775,000
Buyer: Tracey A. Baptiste
Seller: 837 Murray Road TR
Date: 09/10/20

BUCKLAND

27 Stone Road
Buckland, MA 01338
Amount: $145,000
Buyer: Thomas C. Dame
Seller: Katelyn A. Litchfield
Date: 09/18/20

CHARLEMONT

23 Warfield Road
Charlemont, MA 01339
Amount: $242,000
Buyer: Katelyn A. Litchfield
Seller: McKenzie Property Mgmt. Inc.
Date: 09/18/20

COLRAIN

240 Reeds Bridge Road
Conway, MA 01341
Amount: $344,000
Buyer: William C. Pinder
Seller: James Cabral
Date: 09/15/20

32 White Road
Colrain, MA 01340
Amount: $600,000
Buyer: Douglas E. Williams
Seller: William J. Meyers
Date: 09/11/20

DEERFIELD

282 Conway Road
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $212,500
Buyer: Jolene B. Spencer
Seller: Warchol 2009 RET
Date: 09/10/20

79 Hillside Road
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Melissa Carpenter
Seller: Cynthia R. Custeau
Date: 09/10/20

103 Upper Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
Amount: $524,413
Buyer: Steven Beckwith
Seller: Jeffrey J. Benoit
Date: 09/18/20

ERVING

68 Mountain Road
Erving, MA 01344
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Helen Postema
Seller: Susan A. McNamee
Date: 09/10/20

GREENFIELD

269 Conway St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $190,500
Buyer: Vanessa VanStee
Seller: Jacqueline A. David
Date: 09/18/20

302 Deerfield St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Zoe Feldman
Seller: Jonathan D. Rosario
Date: 09/18/20

39 Fargo St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $312,000
Buyer: Randy Ross
Seller: Debra S. Roberts
Date: 09/16/20

629 Leyden Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $190,000
Buyer: Richard F. Gammell
Seller: John Schmid
Date: 09/15/20

361 Main St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $499,800
Buyer: Garden Block LLC
Seller: Garden Building LLC
Date: 09/09/20

22 Woodsia Ridge
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: John M. Richardson
Seller: Sheila B. Dupras
Date: 09/15/20

HEATH

192 Branch Hill Road
Heath, MA 01346
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: Maurice P. Depalo
Seller: Donald Gritzner
Date: 09/09/20

LEVERETT

330 Long Plain Road
Leverett, MA 01054
Amount: $640,000
Buyer: Justin Killeen
Seller: Jonathon P. Thompson
Date: 09/15/20

MONTAGUE

33 K St.
Montague, MA 01376
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: Ryan P. Doherty
Seller: Phillip Waldron
Date: 09/15/20

5 Poplar St.
Montague, MA 01301
Amount: $194,900
Buyer: Kristin H. McLaughlin
Seller: William R. Cowan
Date: 09/11/20

NEW SALEM

137 North Main St.
New Salem, MA 01355
Amount: $231,600
Buyer: Emily R. Rowell
Seller: Angela Madeiras
Date: 09/14/20

NORTHFIELD

127 Captain Beers Plain Road
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $339,000
Buyer: Joseph T. Burke
Seller: Robert H. Christmann
Date: 09/15/20

12 Highland Ave.
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $190,000
Buyer: Raymond C. Fiske
Seller: Sarah M. Fiske
Date: 09/09/20

66 Main St.
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $449,900
Buyer: James H. Burstein
Seller: Eugene Rice
Date: 09/09/20

474 Millers Falls Road
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $229,900
Buyer: John C. Lorentzen
Seller: Richard W. Nadolski
Date: 09/18/20

439 South Mountain Road
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $320,000
Buyer: Loren J. Samons
Seller: Timothy Bond-Wetherbe
Date: 09/18/20

290 Warwick Road
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Ashleigh Lovett
Seller: Rene M. Gadreault
Date: 09/18/20

ORANGE

Flagg Road
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $190,000
Buyer: Channel Z. Seismometry Inc.
Seller: Peter A. Gerry
Date: 09/17/20

83 Packard Road
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $117,000
Buyer: Timothy A. Bass
Seller: Chris A. Soucie
Date: 09/18/20

215 South Main St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Mitchell L. Krasco
Seller: Steven G. Jordan
Date: 09/18/20

150 West Orange Road
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Jacob B. Cooley
Seller: Lanny R. Neely
Date: 09/18/20

400 West River St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $222,400
Buyer: Dana L. Hardy
Seller: Erik Rousseau
Date: 09/10/20

SHELBURNE

3 South Maple St.
Shelburne, MA 01370
Amount: $415,000
Buyer: Britomart V. Serpe
Seller: Harriet H. Paine
Date: 09/15/20

34 Water St.
Shelburne, MA 01370
Amount: $140,000
Buyer: John E. Madocks
Seller: Barry L. Nye
Date: 09/11/20

SHUTESBURY

315 Locks Pond Road
Shutesbury, MA 01072
Amount: $279,900
Buyer: Bethany D. Rose
Seller: Michael McGrath
Date: 09/09/20

42 Shore Dr.
Shutesbury, MA 01072
Amount: $122,500
Buyer: Mary David
Seller: Shutesbury Health Club
Date: 09/18/20

 

SUNDERLAND

59 Kulessa Cross Road
Sunderland, MA 01375
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Carol S. Leblanc
Seller: Adam P. Small
Date: 09/15/20

WARWICK

199 Chestnut Hill Road
Warwick, MA 01378
Amount: $349,900
Buyer: Kyle T. Welsh
Seller: Brian C. Miner
Date: 09/16/20

40 South Holden Road
Warwick, MA 01378
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Clifford E. Carman
Seller: Rose M. Burnett
Date: 09/11/20

77 Shepardson Road
Warwick, MA 01378
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Katharine Oldach
Seller: Luanne Muzzy
Date: 09/10/20

WHATELY

Eastwood Lane #40
Whately, MA 01093
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: Andrew E. Pepyne
Seller: Jawk Inc.
Date: 09/17/20

HAMPDEN COUNTY

AGAWAM

23 Agnoli Place
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $273,000
Buyer: Stephanie J. Hurley
Seller: Kostiantyn Lavrynets
Date: 09/11/20

73 Bessbrook St.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Robert R. Renaud
Seller: Mary Arendt
Date: 09/11/20

27 Carr Ave.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $420,900
Buyer: Tuan D. Le
Seller: Viktor Savonin
Date: 09/17/20

23 Dover St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $314,900
Buyer: Timothy P. Burns
Seller: Sergey V. Melnik
Date: 09/14/20

52 Hamilton Circle
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $327,000
Buyer: Taunya Jasperson
Seller: Richard J. White
Date: 09/16/20

19 Highland Ave.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $195,000
Buyer: Stephanie M. Karrasch
Seller: Berard, Doris A., (Estate)
Date: 09/11/20

1336 Main St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Rene R. Trudell
Seller: Charles O. Degray
Date: 09/14/20

548 Mill St.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Gary M. Fusick
Seller: RLS RE Holdings LLC
Date: 09/18/20

550 Mill St.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Gary M. Fusick
Seller: RLS RE Holdings LLC
Date: 09/18/20

972 North St. Ext.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $321,000
Buyer: Alfredo Rossitto
Seller: Ashley M. Senatore
Date: 09/17/20

1048 North West St.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $319,900
Buyer: Danny Marsili
Seller: Roger H. Eaton
Date: 09/15/20

206 North West St.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $286,000
Buyer: Beth A. Smith
Seller: Edward F. Jones
Date: 09/17/20

170 Pineview Circle
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $249,900
Buyer: Christian Lesiak
Seller: Mary E. Breglio
Date: 09/18/20

62 Suffield St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: VIP Home & Associates LLC
Seller: Roy Properties LLC
Date: 09/08/20

24 Tina Lane
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Jeffrey Lazazzera
Seller: Whisperwood LLC
Date: 09/11/20

BLANDFORD

47 North St.
Blandford, MA 01008
Amount: $298,500
Buyer: Michael L. Thomas
Seller: Sandra J. Lortsher
Date: 09/18/20

BRIMFIELD

Marsh Hill Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Andre R. Gingras
Seller: Margaret A. Gingras
Date: 09/09/20

CHESTER

218 Route 20
Chester, MA 01011
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Judith L. Dulude
Seller: Kenneth G. Dulude
Date: 09/10/20

346 Skyline Trail
Chester, MA 01011
Amount: $366,000
Buyer: Paul Pospisil
Seller: William Monahan
Date: 09/18/20

CHICOPEE

141 Boulay Circle
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $227,000
Buyer: Annamaria Roberson
Seller: Mindy L. Durgin
Date: 09/14/20

993 Burnett Road
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Nicholas Ottomaniello
Seller: Wilmington Savings
Date: 09/08/20

163 Chapel St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $289,900
Buyer: Debra M. Burdeau
Seller: Matte, Cecile N., (Estate)
Date: 09/16/20

317 Chicopee St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $160,900
Buyer: Rebecca Harleigh-Burke
Seller: Patricia A. Ouimette
Date: 09/15/20

40 Dale Court
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Vadzim Loban
Seller: Elena Abashina
Date: 09/14/20

36 Daniel Dr.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $227,500
Buyer: James Austin
Seller: Kelly C. Dewall
Date: 09/18/20

68 Edbert St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $7,973,000
Buyer: Edbert Ventures LLC
Seller: Mall Apartments LLC
Date: 09/17/20

69-71 Edbert St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $7,973,000
Buyer: Edbert Ventures LLC
Seller: Mall Apartments LLC
Date: 09/17/20

25 Grace St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Amy Deauseault
Seller: CRA Holdings Inc.
Date: 09/11/20

114 Stedman St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Mohammad Shiban
Seller: Gladys Lizak
Date: 09/10/20

1241-1249 Granby Road
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $10,476,000
Buyer: Granby Ventures LLC
Seller: Townhouse Court Apts. LLC
Date: 09/17/20

386 Grove St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Peter A. Bilodeau
Seller: Lester J. Polchlopek
Date: 09/18/20

31 Ludger Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Shayna L. O’Connell
Seller: Erik R. Balser
Date: 09/18/20

145 Ludlow Road
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Edward Platt
Seller: Daniel J. Plouffe
Date: 09/17/20

Memorial Dr.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $700,000
Buyer: Metrolube Realty LLC
Seller: Maui RT
Date: 09/16/20

59 New Ludlow Road
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $4,751,000
Buyer: New Ludlow Ventures LLC
Seller: Partridge Hollow Apts. LLC
Date: 09/17/20

117 Parenteau Dr.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $331,000
Buyer: Phat Dang
Seller: Richard P. Mienkowski
Date: 09/15/20

218 Pondview Dr.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Luis A. Matias
Seller: Lisa A. Delmonte
Date: 09/18/20

22 Ralph Circle
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $370,000
Buyer: Brandon A. Haden
Seller: Sodi Inc.
Date: 09/18/20

69 Rimmon Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $203,000
Buyer: Angel M. Resto
Seller: Claude F. Dion
Date: 09/15/20

542 Springfield St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Matthew M. Jonah
Seller: Michael D. Erwin
Date: 09/16/20

27 Woodland Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Melanie Wilk
Seller: Walter A. Jedziniak
Date: 09/18/20

EAST LONGMEADOW

37 Dartmouth Lane
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $575,000
Buyer: Daniel L. McCreary
Seller: Robert J. Francoeur
Date: 09/15/20

59 East Circle Dr.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $282,500
Buyer: Jennifer Robb
Seller: Donald F. Edwards
Date: 09/17/20

109 East Circle Dr.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $285,000
Buyer: Anthony S. Marinello
Seller: Barry W. Ross
Date: 09/08/20

26 Edmund St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $360,000
Buyer: Bao S. Zhu
Seller: Thomas R. Nipps
Date: 09/10/20

49 Edmund St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $234,900
Buyer: Joshua Smith
Seller: Nancy J. Damario
Date: 09/09/20

42 Fernwood Dr.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $264,900
Buyer: Nancy D. O’Connor
Seller: Mary M. Hayes
Date: 09/16/20

15 Halon Ter.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $625,000
Buyer: Francis E. Delavergne
Seller: Michael A. Galietta
Date: 09/08/20

Hidden Ponds Dr. #6
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $154,000
Buyer: Peter Nham
Seller: Lost Sailor RT
Date: 09/14/20

31 High Pine Circle
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $489,900
Buyer: Natalia Seng
Seller: Donald C. Ryan
Date: 09/18/20

60 Highlandview Ave.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $378,900
Buyer: Jim F. Arroyo
Seller: Matthew C. Staples
Date: 09/14/20

16 Kibbe Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Henry Denis
Seller: Michael J. Evitts
Date: 09/16/20

118 Patterson Ave.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $163,500
Buyer: Shahid Ghuman
Seller: Marie V. Rosati
Date: 09/15/20

19 Peachtree Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $740,000
Buyer: Eric D. Hagopian
Seller: Vladimir Kulenok
Date: 09/15/20

55 Porter Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $297,000
Buyer: Joseph E. Pasquini
Seller: Warner M. Cross
Date: 09/11/20

306 Prospect St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Andrew R. Mailloux
Seller: Page, Virginia A., (Estate)
Date: 09/11/20

88 Ridge Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Eileen Speight
Seller: John D. Connor
Date: 09/11/20

41 Somerset St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $283,000
Buyer: Scott F. Mason
Seller: Page, Darrell R., (Estate)
Date: 09/10/20

62 Tufts St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01108
Amount: $215,500
Buyer: FNMA
Seller: Shela Wheeler
Date: 09/10/20

42 Westminster St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Jonathan B. Tobiasz
Seller: Carol S. Sleator
Date: 09/18/20

GRANVILLE

111 Cross Road
Granville, MA 01034
Amount: $360,000
Buyer: Anthony Caruso
Seller: Stephen M. Burzynski
Date: 09/17/20

708 Main Road
Granville, MA 01034
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Sara M. Conroy
Seller: Magdiel Villegas
Date: 09/09/20

HAMPDEN

77 Howlett Hill Road
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $255,500
Buyer: Joshua Markham
Seller: Betty M. Markham
Date: 09/16/20

Mountain Road
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $202,000
Buyer: Town Of Hampden
Seller: Russell W. Morton
Date: 09/09/20

58 North Monson Road
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Tracy T. Fleming
Seller: Mark A. Officer
Date: 09/15/20

HOLLAND

30 Butterworth Road
Holland, MA 01521
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Hunter Boody
Seller: David R. Bouley
Date: 09/10/20

28 Stony Hill Road
Holland, MA 01521
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Kevin S. Catir
Seller: Bradley Sulewski
Date: 09/17/20

HOLYOKE

78 Berkshire St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $217,500
Buyer: Erin J. Seibert
Seller: Lynette R. Winslow
Date: 09/11/20

6 Cherry Hill
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Jill M. Cloutier
Seller: US Bank
Date: 09/18/20

10 Harrison Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $176,000
Buyer: Wadamyl Rodriguez
Seller: Joanne H. Fogarty
Date: 09/10/20

294 Ingleside St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $145,000
Buyer: Aidan J. Benoit
Seller: Jahjan LLC
Date: 09/16/20

9-11 James St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Juan Colon-Alvarado
Seller: Gladysh Capital LLC
Date: 09/18/20

72 King St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $213,000
Buyer: Jessica L. Breite
Seller: Matthew D. Cyr
Date: 09/18/20

258 Linden St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Jorge Correa
Seller: Ott, Margaret, (Estate)
Date: 09/16/20

1106 Main St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: Patriot Living LLC
Seller: FNMA
Date: 09/10/20

12 Memorial Dr.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $197,500
Buyer: Andrea M. Lubold
Seller: Maria E. Lebeau
Date: 09/11/20

44 Norwood Ter.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Erin B. Brunelle
Seller: Sherrill J. Harris
Date: 09/18/20

252 Oak St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $115,000
Buyer: Danna Beltre-DeColon
Seller: USA HUD
Date: 09/10/20

Oxford Road
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $231,000
Buyer: Gary Dacunha
Seller: Noah P. Menard
Date: 09/11/20

167 Sky View Ter.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $168,500
Buyer: Angeline C. Caron
Seller: Jacqueline P. Fraser
Date: 09/18/20

LONGMEADOW

26 Arlington Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $294,000
Buyer: Nicole A. Kelly
Seller: Maureen A. Regan
Date: 09/11/20

140 Ellington St.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $579,900
Buyer: Allison A. Richards
Seller: Francis Cannizzo
Date: 09/18/20

200 Kenmore Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $365,000
Buyer: David Deshais
Seller: Carolyn Casella
Date: 09/11/20

37 Lincoln Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Rosinski Realty Inc.
Seller: Byung H. Kim
Date: 09/18/20

98 Longfellow Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $370,000
Buyer: Michael J. Evitts
Seller: Patrick Scully
Date: 09/16/20

1607 Longmeadow St.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Wilmington Savings
Seller: Alan Hobart
Date: 09/18/20

452 Maple Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Brendan Abad
Seller: Michael D. Penders
Date: 09/18/20

6 Massachusetts Ave.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Basim Hashim
Seller: Desmond Mullally
Date: 09/10/20

85 Pioneer Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $306,000
Buyer: Tracy L. Lyons
Seller: Michael R. Sullivan
Date: 09/14/20

50 Warren Ter.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $395,000
Buyer: Ethan Kendrick
Seller: Kenneth R. Blackmer
Date: 09/18/20

67 Warren Ter.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Stephanie L. Walker
Seller: Joan F. Carney
Date: 09/15/20

69 Western Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $550,000
Buyer: Lori A. Snyder
Seller: Ghulam Sheraz
Date: 09/18/20

326 Williams St.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $311,000
Buyer: Brianna Carey
Seller: David Castleman
Date: 09/10/20

LUDLOW

21 Acorn St.
Ludlow, MA 01109
Amount: $288,000
Buyer: Ryan C. O’Neil
Seller: Candy Martins
Date: 09/09/20

Autumn Ridge Road #43
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $134,900
Buyer: Nuno Costa
Seller: Whitetail Wreks LLC
Date: 09/15/20

123 Center St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Andrzej Lipior
Seller: Zygmunt Kania
Date: 09/10/20

193 Center St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $171,000
Buyer: Jaime Jacobs
Seller: FNMA
Date: 09/18/20

928 Center St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Miguel Ramos
Seller: Gary G. Decoteau
Date: 09/15/20

145 Coolidge Ave.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Sara Barroso
Seller: Joanne Barroso
Date: 09/11/20

19 Cross St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: Domjoe Properties Inc.
Seller: Anthony S. Marinello
Date: 09/08/20

1068 East St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Raul G. Fraga
Seller: Robert M. Severyn
Date: 09/15/20

42 Hampshire St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $210,800
Buyer: Dylan P. Pereira
Seller: John Portelada
Date: 09/09/20

120 Lakeview Ave.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $191,000
Buyer: Eric D. Hytnen
Seller: Pedro M. Dias
Date: 09/11/20

7 Maple St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Preston Bailey
Seller: Roxdot Rehabs LLC
Date: 09/18/20

Marias Way #3
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: Judith Chiasson
Seller: M&G Investors LLC
Date: 09/09/20

Marias Way #13
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: Michael J. Pio
Seller: M&G Investors LLC
Date: 09/10/20

347 Miller St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $468,000
Buyer: Amanda J. Winslow
Seller: Todd T. Bousquet
Date: 09/11/20

10 Nowak Ave.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $359,000
Buyer: Justin Babineau
Seller: Wayne J. Fournier
Date: 09/14/20

27 Stebbins St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Walter Peacey
Seller: Justin M. Babineau
Date: 09/14/20

263 Ventura St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $324,300
Buyer: Fernando J. DosSantos
Seller: Diane T. Greene
Date: 09/16/20

259 West St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Joseph R. Aldrich
Seller: Anthony Poehler
Date: 09/18/20

237 Westerly Circle
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $445,000
Buyer: Jennifer M. Dziedzic
Seller: Michael A. Breor
Date: 09/18/20

MONSON

77 Carpenter Road
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $365,000
Buyer: Donald Henderson
Seller: Derek J. Kusek
Date: 09/09/20

120 Fenton Road
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $385,000
Buyer: Barry W. Ross
Seller: Eric S. Belisle
Date: 09/11/20

Hovey Road
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $299,000
Buyer: Jesse E. Sugrue
Seller: Warka Associates LLC
Date: 09/09/20

63 Lakeshore Dr.
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $196,000
Buyer: Kim Thomas
Seller: Chad Yergeau
Date: 09/15/20

110 Maxwell Road
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $309,000
Buyer: Philip S. Roberge
Seller: Vicki D. Alfano
Date: 09/14/20

PALMER

1011 Hillside Dr.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Jeffrey A. Day
Seller: Jeffrey A. Day
Date: 09/17/20

42 Mechanic St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Shauna L. Ziemba
Seller: Richard E. Fulkerson
Date: 09/11/20

RUSSELL

45 Blandford Stage Road
Russell, MA 01071
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Russell Retail LLC
Seller: Joseph P. Sharkey
Date: 09/10/20

345 Dickinson Hill Road
Russell, MA 01071
Amount: $415,000
Buyer: Jon Lafreniere
Seller: Southeast Property Acquisition LLC
Date: 09/15/20

16 Park St.
Russell, MA 01071
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Robert Daniels
Seller: Jill A. Dube
Date: 09/17/20

60 West Main St.
Russell, MA 01071
Amount: $129,900
Buyer: Brigette K. Tichy
Seller: Mark E. Jensen
Date: 09/18/20

SOUTHWICK

30 Birchwood Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $247,000
Buyer: William R. O’Brien
Seller: Nikolette E. Lacey
Date: 09/18/20

5 Great Brook Dr.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $499,900
Buyer: Pamela Camerlin
Seller: Mihran A. Terzian
Date: 09/16/20

8 Ham Hill Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $181,000
Buyer: Jacob Cressotti
Seller: Cathy Bruce
Date: 09/16/20

22 Knollwood Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $145,000
Buyer: Alissa Phelps
Seller: Karen E. Saunders
Date: 09/09/20

8 North Lake Ave.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $155,000
Buyer: Kenneth B. Stone
Seller: Robert C. Leclair
Date: 09/18/20

14 North Lake Ave.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $155,000
Buyer: Kenneth B. Stone
Seller: Robert C. Leclair
Date: 09/18/20

392 North Loomis St.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Steven F. Bailey
Seller: Ronald Vandervliet
Date: 09/09/20

79 North Longyard Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Paul Breveleri
Seller: Jane F. Dame
Date: 09/17/20

14 Oak St.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $233,000
Buyer: Brittany Vaughan
Seller: Walter E. Drenen
Date: 09/14/20

15 Pineywood Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: James P. Banville
Seller: Jodie A. Alaimo
Date: 09/18/20

14 Powder Mill Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $239,000
Buyer: Neil D. Roache
Seller: Angelo Melloni
Date: 09/18/20

28 Tannery Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $333,000
Buyer: Nikolette E. Lacey
Seller: Dutch RT
Date: 09/18/20

73 Vining Hill Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Sheila Guay
Seller: William Kingman
Date: 09/15/20

10 Woodside Circle
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $264,000
Buyer: Tyler Guenette
Seller: Thurston Properties LLC
Date: 09/09/20

SPRINGFIELD

34 Amherst St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Miguel Ramos
Seller: 613 LLC
Date: 09/18/20

49 Armory St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $146,000
Buyer: Rachel F. Figueroa
Seller: Theresa M. Lavertue
Date: 09/18/20

12 Baird Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $262,000
Buyer: Shaun Jennings
Seller: Jamie K. Condon
Date: 09/18/20

70 Balboa Dr.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $191,000
Buyer: Jessica Wilk
Seller: Cesare A. Ciantra
Date: 09/18/20

40 Beauregard St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $197,000
Buyer: John Nieves
Seller: Tracy T. Fleming
Date: 09/15/20

61 Bellwood Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $226,000
Buyer: Jason Aponte
Seller: Daniel T. Beauregard
Date: 09/18/20

50 Bessemer St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Miriam Colon
Seller: Brian M. Rogers
Date: 09/18/20

20 Bloomfield St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $219,000
Buyer: Benjamin Vasquez
Seller: US Bank
Date: 09/11/20

718 Bradley Road
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $187,000
Buyer: Wesley F. Rodriguez
Seller: Linnzi A. Cofield
Date: 09/15/20

151 Breckwood Blvd.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $193,000
Buyer: Carlos J. DeLeon
Seller: 11RRE LLC
Date: 09/17/20

144 Bristol St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $223,500
Buyer: John N. Mbugua
Seller: Michelle Stuart
Date: 09/17/20

45 Bryant St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Angela L. Ortiz
Seller: Rafael P. Ortola
Date: 09/11/20

680 Carew St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $285,000
Buyer: A&H Legacy LLC
Seller: Armand M. Roy
Date: 09/09/20

274-1/2 Centre St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: John L. Charles
Seller: Siam Williams Investment Group LLC
Date: 09/11/20

43 Chalfonte Dr.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $344,000
Buyer: Reinaldo Santigao
Seller: W. Paul Lemieux
Date: 09/16/20

68 Chilson St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Dwayne R. Smith
Seller: Louis C. Sharp
Date: 09/11/20

28-30 Cleveland St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $172,000
Buyer: Aramis Marrero
Seller: Anna M. Rodriguez
Date: 09/09/20

82-84 Clifton Ave.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $126,500
Buyer: DNEPRO Properties LLC
Seller: Frank Oglesby
Date: 09/11/20

102 David St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $155,389
Buyer: US Bank
Seller: Roscoe G. Brown
Date: 09/16/20

102 Devens St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Jeanne Bousquet
Seller: Michael Manicki
Date: 09/11/20

36 Dickinson St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Alfred C. Leblanc
Seller: RBT Enterprise LLC
Date: 09/18/20

240 East St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: Ramon Santiago
Seller: CIG 4 LLC
Date: 09/11/20

57 Elaine Circle
Springfield, MA 01101
Amount: $385,000
Buyer: Luis R. Cotto
Seller: Grahams Construction Inc.
Date: 09/10/20

86 Eloise St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Allen Murray
Seller: Latasha Drungo
Date: 09/11/20

80 Farnsworth St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $143,000
Buyer: Rebecca Mailloux
Seller: Ida W. Page
Date: 09/11/20

134 Forest Park Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $259,000
Buyer: Magda M. Ahmed
Seller: Dean S. Ascioti
Date: 09/16/20

162 Fort Pleasant Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $575,000
Buyer: Houdini Realty LLC
Seller: Buena Vista Property LLC
Date: 09/18/20

5 Gates Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $265,500
Buyer: Padam L. Mohat
Seller: Douglas Johnson
Date: 09/08/20

109 Gilman St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Alan M. Urban
Seller: US Bank
Date: 09/18/20

Hanson Dr.
Springfield, MA 01101
Amount: $184,500
Buyer: Donna A. Fellion
Seller: Russell R. Lassonde
Date: 09/08/20

138 Harvey St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $151,000
Buyer: Margarett Lewin
Seller: Source 9 Dev. LLC
Date: 09/10/20

30 Hunter Place
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $155,000
Buyer: Juan Cardona
Seller: William Cruz
Date: 09/17/20

156 Kensington Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $235,900
Buyer: Jorge Calcano
Seller: Clarence H. Montgomery
Date: 09/11/20

15 Kingsley St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Christopher C. Landrau
Seller: Juan Santana
Date: 09/14/20

99 Lakevilla Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $117,000
Buyer: North Harlow 4 LLC
Seller: Elizabeth Cordero
Date: 09/18/20

30 Leete St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $162,500
Buyer: Rinaldi Pease Realty LLC
Seller: Amat Victoria Curam LLC
Date: 09/11/20

147 Leyfred Ter.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Jose A. Cruz-Colon
Seller: Nora L. Wiggins
Date: 09/10/20

144 Lloyd Ave.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Stephanie L. Parnin
Seller: Brian J. Staples
Date: 09/11/20

23 Lucerne Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $191,000
Buyer: Walter O. Cruz-Rivera
Seller: Christine M. Jalbert
Date: 09/11/20

139-143 Main St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $127,000
Buyer: Stephen Nemphos
Seller: Yellowbrick Property LLC
Date: 09/14/20

1252 Main St.
Springfield, MA 01103
Amount: $285,000
Buyer: Charlou Realty LLC
Seller: Claudette I. Ravosa
Date: 09/18/20

46 Mapledell St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $218,000
Buyer: Ruth Jackson
Seller: Home Staging & Realty LLC
Date: 09/09/20

63 Margaret St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Ruel R. McGregor
Seller: Lupine Properties LLC
Date: 09/17/20

115 Merida St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $166,000
Buyer: Meghan K. Flowers
Seller: Mary J. Vaughn
Date: 09/08/20

67 Middlebrook Dr.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Devan Longtin
Seller: Gerard Belanger
Date: 09/15/20

131 Miller St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $194,000
Buyer: Jessica L. Martin
Seller: Stephen F. Powell
Date: 09/15/20

107 Naismith St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Wai Y. Cheng
Seller: Neidy Cruz
Date: 09/10/20

74 Ontario St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Elizabeth Jaquez
Seller: Michael V. Kulisz
Date: 09/16/20

26 Paramount St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $257,000
Buyer: Veronica Z. Velez
Seller: Giovanni Cotto
Date: 09/17/20

98 Park Road
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Matthew S. Dupont
Seller: Derrick A. Capers
Date: 09/14/20

79 Patricia Circle
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $237,000
Buyer: Darriel Alicea
Seller: Kurt M. Zimmerman
Date: 09/08/20

800 Plumtree Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Chelsea R. Finn
Seller: Winston P. Palmer
Date: 09/15/20

1617 Plumtree Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $251,000
Buyer: Juan M. Garcia
Seller: Peter J. Houser
Date: 09/18/20

146 Powell Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $198,000
Buyer: Miran Krasevac
Seller: April C. Austin
Date: 09/18/20

119 Prentice St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $195,000
Buyer: Michael P. Counter
Seller: Linda A. Jones
Date: 09/15/20

44 Quentin Road
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Kristen M. Tirado
Seller: Ernest A. Airoldi
Date: 09/10/20

15 Redstone Dr.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $188,000
Buyer: Grace Atkins
Seller: Joshua T. Smith
Date: 09/09/20

1859 Roosevelt Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Amanda-Lee Camacho
Seller: Jorge Camacho
Date: 09/15/20

68 Roy St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $117,000
Buyer: Victoria Long
Seller: Jessen FT
Date: 09/11/20

236 Russell St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $322,500
Buyer: Robert D. Escalante
Seller: George L. Johnson
Date: 09/18/20

18 Santa Barbara St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $132,000
Buyer: Veronica Pellot
Seller: Lisandra Lopez
Date: 09/09/20

58 Senator St.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $247,500
Buyer: Joseph E. Griffin
Seller: David Deshais
Date: 09/11/20

30 Signal Hill Circle
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $372,000
Buyer: Rainies E. Ward
Seller: Jacqueline Rivera
Date: 09/17/20

67-69 Silver St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $264,000
Buyer: Zachary Nunnally
Seller: Mary A. Thomas
Date: 09/14/20

33 Slumber Lane
Springfield, MA 01128
Amount: $229,000
Buyer: Herman Torres
Seller: Nathaniel D. Raymond
Date: 09/10/20

163 Spikenard Circle
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: James B. Ortiz
Seller: CIG 4 LLC
Date: 09/18/20

76 Spruceland Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $295,000
Buyer: Kevin M. Lalime
Seller: April R. Achorn
Date: 09/17/20

71 Stanhope Road
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $135,000
Buyer: Carmen Y. Rodriguez
Seller: Timothy, Sylvia, (Estate)
Date: 09/17/20

46 Thames St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $217,500
Buyer: Nestor E. Santiago-Rivera
Seller: Rainies E. Ward
Date: 09/17/20

97 Tyler St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $141,000
Buyer: Arlette Gomez
Seller: KEC Properties LLC
Date: 09/08/20

24 Vincent St.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Diana M. Hernandez
Seller: Humboldt Realty LLC
Date: 09/18/20

549-551 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $170,000
Buyer: Yasin B. Arbow
Seller: Karolynn U. Sheppard
Date: 09/10/20

46 Wildwood Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Salvatore Decesare
Seller: Thomas D. Beggs
Date: 09/09/20

90-92 Windemere St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $216,000
Buyer: Frankie Rodriguez
Seller: Mary E. Newton
Date: 09/11/20

130 Winton St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Edwin F. Morales
Seller: Annamaria C. Roberson
Date: 09/11/20

791 Worthington St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: Samina Taqi
Seller: Anwar Properties LLC
Date: 09/18/20

TOLLAND

120 Brook Lane
Tolland, MA 01034
Amount: $368,000
Buyer: Karen E. Mernoff
Seller: Jarb LLC
Date: 09/18/20

1468 Burt Hill Road
Tolland, MA 01034
Amount: $246,000
Buyer: Jake Kearin
Seller: Weisse, Carl F. 3rd, (Estate)
Date: 09/16/20

WALES

23 McBride Road
Wales, MA 01081
Amount: $399,000
Buyer: Crystal C. Nascembeni
Seller: Lauren Aldrich
Date: 09/18/20

WEST SPRINGFIELD

129 Amostown Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Jacqueline N. Lapinski
Seller: David W. Hosmer
Date: 09/18/20

134 Bear Hole Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $308,000
Buyer: David Hosmer
Seller: Benjamin J. Allain
Date: 09/18/20

132 Bonair Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $256,400
Buyer: Pablo Ortiz-Alvarez
Seller: Maher ElKobersi
Date: 09/18/20

144 Bretton Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $430,000
Buyer: Steven Manchino
Seller: Nadil I. Fanous
Date: 09/16/20

118 Butternut Hollow Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $332,500
Buyer: Benjamin Allain
Seller: David W. Lally
Date: 09/18/20

37 Clyde Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $232,000
Buyer: Lawrence Krahn
Seller: Richard F. Hayden
Date: 09/15/20

69 Deer Run Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $390,000
Buyer: Richard Hayden
Seller: Daniel F. Murphy
Date: 09/15/20

496 Dewey St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $271,000
Buyer: Sergei Bespalov
Seller: William Gallacher
Date: 09/18/20

20 Irving St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: B&B Properties LLC
Seller: Sergio D. Oliveira
Date: 09/14/20

65 Lathrop St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Mass Housing LLC
Seller: Mike Nenastin
Date: 09/18/20

11 Lowell St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $320,000
Buyer: West Springfield Automotive
Seller: Daniel L. Donatini
Date: 09/18/20

560 Morgan Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $256,000
Buyer: Christopher R. Nault
Seller: Glen J. Nault
Date: 09/14/20

42 Oakland St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $237,000
Buyer: Rabia Hakmaoui
Seller: Rene R. Trudell
Date: 09/14/20

51 Park Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: Park RT
Seller: Joseph A. Franco
Date: 09/15/20

1010 Piper Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: David Gorobinskiy
Seller: Suzanne Ashe
Date: 09/14/20

19 Rogers Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Barbara J. Pemberton
Seller: Marie P. Tessier
Date: 09/18/20

27-29 Upper Church St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Andrew J. McCoubrey
Seller: Bluebird Properties LLC
Date: 09/11/20

104 West Calvin St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Carmen A. Aliaga-Chero
Seller: Cedar Inv Group LLC
Date: 09/11/20

WESTFIELD

136 Cabot Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Andrew T. Oleksak
Seller: Donna R. Michel
Date: 09/08/20

40 Cross St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $203,000
Buyer: Cameron R. Robitaille
Seller: Kenneth Bassett
Date: 09/11/20

1238 East Mountain Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: David Johnson
Seller: Daniel B. Williams
Date: 09/17/20

9 Exchange St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Adam T. Alexion
Seller: Keith E. Bodley
Date: 09/11/20

35 Furrowtown Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $395,000
Buyer: Joshua A. Purinton
Seller: Dugubrown Construction LLC
Date: 09/15/20

73 Glenwood Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $474,900
Buyer: Stacey Goeltz
Seller: Adam E. Roman
Date: 09/08/20

15 Hunters Slope
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $462,000
Buyer: Tatyana Stepchuk
Seller: Jason L. Hoffman
Date: 09/11/20

60 Kane Brothers Circle
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $319,900
Buyer: Jonathan E. Dean
Seller: Keith C. Holmes
Date: 09/18/20

219 Montgomery Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $450,000
Buyer: Timothy Crouss
Seller: Carl J. Bagge
Date: 09/18/20

33 Noble St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Cameron J. Danalis
Seller: Barry Gadbois
Date: 09/17/20

27 Orange St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $204,000
Buyer: Nancy L. Teixeira
Seller: Gary J. Venne
Date: 09/11/20

5 Quail Hollow Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $403,000
Buyer: Betty L. Conklin
Seller: Mark J. Madru
Date: 09/10/20

321 Russellville Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $430,000
Buyer: Kerry O’Connell-Skog
Seller: Jacob P. Martin
Date: 09/11/20

56 Russellville Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $362,000
Buyer: John J. Zmuda
Seller: Kelly M. Skog
Date: 09/11/20

85 Skyline Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $480,000
Buyer: Jacob C. Danek
Seller: William K. Poehlman
Date: 09/10/20

WILBRAHAM

31 Bennett Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $385,000
Buyer: David Small
Seller: Michael J. Camerota
Date: 09/08/20

29 Dalton St.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Nicholas L. McIntire
Seller: Rebecca L. Damato
Date: 09/18/20

8 King Dr.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $440,000
Buyer: William K. Poehlman
Seller: Dan P. Bushey
Date: 09/10/20

10 Old Farm Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $500,000
Buyer: Jack J. Collins
Seller: Franklin D. Quigley
Date: 09/10/20

9 Old Orchard Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Jose M. Costa
Seller: Douglas E. Baker
Date: 09/16/20

8 Opal St.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $224,000
Buyer: Kevin Boutilier
Seller: Eileen M. Nicoli
Date: 09/10/20

67 Springfield St.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $285,000
Buyer: Ronald J. Remillard
Seller: Bearse, Margaret W., (Estate)
Date: 09/18/20

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY

AMHERST

80 Fearing St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $492,500
Buyer: Kruppers LLC
Seller: Jonathan R. Lewis
Date: 09/17/20

35 Glendale Road
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $345,000
Buyer: Daniel J. Levine
Seller: Mohtaram Bakhtiari FT
Date: 09/09/20

24 Greenleaves Dr.
Amherst, MA 01035
Amount: $179,000
Buyer: Terry A. Carr
Seller: Ellen Mentin
Date: 09/10/20

135 Lincoln Ave.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $487,500
Buyer: Max R. Piana
Seller: J. Blair Perot
Date: 09/15/20

315 North East St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $212,500
Buyer: Jamie A. Wagner
Seller: Suprenant, Charles F., (Estate)
Date: 09/11/20

82 Stony Hill Road
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Gregory Haughton
Seller: Wen W. Yan
Date: 09/18/20

38 West Pomeroy Lane
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $565,000
Buyer: Richard Drumm
Seller: Michael S. Rudd
Date: 09/17/20

BELCHERTOWN

26 Aldrich St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Crystal M. Goodrow
Seller: Chad Beaubien
Date: 09/18/20

214 Barton Ave.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Dawa Tsering
Seller: Kyle Bouthillier
Date: 09/18/20

160 Federal St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $134,000
Buyer: Lauren M. Bock
Seller: Edward F. Bock
Date: 09/10/20

786 Franklin St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: EPB RE Services LLC
Seller: Richard A. Berselli
Date: 09/16/20

250 Mill Valley Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Jessica M. Crochetiere
Seller: 250 Mill Valley Road RT
Date: 09/18/20

38 Underwood St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $346,000
Buyer: Jessica E. Camacho
Seller: Randy E. Hawk
Date: 09/11/20

CUMMINGTON

42 French Road
Cummington, MA 01026
Amount: $415,000
Buyer: Michael E. Crotty
Seller: Daniel Aaron RET
Date: 09/15/20

62 Powell Road
Cummington, MA 01026
Amount: $344,500
Buyer: Mark P. Silverman
Seller: Frair INT
Date: 09/11/20

EASTHAMPTON

71 Division St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $436,000
Buyer: Caitlyn Levine
Seller: Thomas M. Bacis
Date: 09/14/20

31 McKinley Ave.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Akil Vicks
Seller: Janice Beetle-Godleski
Date: 09/18/20

10 Keddy St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $311,000
Buyer: Olivia A. Lotstein
Seller: Richard T. Dion
Date: 09/09/20

59 West St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $342,500
Buyer: Johanna A. Pacyga
Seller: Victor C. Yarra
Date: 09/15/20

GRANBY

312 Amherst St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: William Shearer-Robinson
Seller: Jeffrey B. Rutherford
Date: 09/16/20

44 New Ludlow Road
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $228,500
Buyer: Norman L. Youtsey IRT
Seller: Susan M. Freitag
Date: 09/18/20

32 Truby St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $147,000
Buyer: Richard M. Betterton
Seller: Marion Betterton
Date: 09/10/20

HADLEY

14 Morning Star Dr.
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $409,000
Buyer: Corie New
Seller: Christine Y. Paradis
Date: 09/17/20

32 North Maple St.
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $299,000
Buyer: Christine Y. Paradis
Seller: Ting FT
Date: 09/17/20

67 Stockbridge St.
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $179,900
Buyer: Henry Whitlock
Seller: Koroski, Anthony, (Estate)
Date: 09/11/20

HATFIELD

466 Main St.
Hatfield, MA 01038
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Taylor Haas
Seller: Debra M. Burdeau
Date: 09/16/20

48 Old Stage Road
Hatfield, MA 01088
Amount: $360,000
Buyer: Joseph C. Cox
Seller: Wolfgang Schlegel
Date: 09/14/20

191 Pantry Road
Hatfield, MA 01038
Amount: $405,000
Buyer: Erin M. Casioppo
Seller: Robert M. Wilson
Date: 09/09/20

3 Primrose Path
Hatfield, MA 01038
Amount: $360,000
Buyer: Stephen P. Gaughan
Seller: Gaughan, Patrick J., (Estate)
Date: 09/11/20

HUNTINGTON

56 Worthington Road
Huntington, MA 01050
Amount: $244,000
Buyer: Katherine L. Dieber
Seller: David G. Fisk
Date: 09/18/20

MIDDLEFIELD

2 Arthur Pease Road, Ext.
Middlefield, MA 01243
Amount: $400,000
Buyer: Richard Harding-Breen
Seller: Sally W. Connor
Date: 09/15/20

NORTHAMPTON

45 Beacon St.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: Margot R. Bittel
Seller: Ronald D. Bittel IRT
Date: 09/09/20

Glendale Road
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: MS Homes LLC
Seller: Waggin Trails Dog Park LLC
Date: 09/16/20

24 Grandview St.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $283,000
Buyer: Justin Thibodeau
Seller: Terry A. Carr
Date: 09/10/20

8 Hancock St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $566,000
Buyer: Gail Hornstein
Seller: Denise Orenstein
Date: 09/15/20

144 King St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: PS 144 King LLC
Seller: Nicholas D. Duprey
Date: 09/11/20

58 Lilly St.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $503,700
Buyer: Daniel Cook
Seller: Bruce J. Abbott
Date: 09/15/20

80 Market St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $445,000
Buyer: Dov Berger
Seller: Arrowwood Design & Construction
Date: 09/17/20

29 Ridge View Road
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $550,000
Buyer: Keith Abraham
Seller: Timothy P. Schmitt
Date: 09/08/20

251 South St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $359,000
Buyer: Rebecca S. Malinowski
Seller: Darren Pierce
Date: 09/10/20

4 White Pine Dr.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $291,000
Buyer: Mareike Muszynski
Seller: Timmy L. Tompkins
Date: 09/15/20

48 Winterberry Lane
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $575,000
Buyer: Matthew J. Fleischner
Seller: Amy J. Mitrani
Date: 09/08/20

SOUTH HADLEY

11 Bardwell St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $347,500
Buyer: Dakota Richards
Seller: Sean M. Czepiel
Date: 09/10/20

15 Dayton St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $152,500
Buyer: NAR Realty LLC
Seller: Nelen, Patricia A., (Estate)
Date: 09/15/20

149 North Main St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $276,000
Buyer: Pamela R. Martin
Seller: Michael L. Thomas
Date: 09/17/20

513 Newton St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: David J. Johnson
Seller: Sean M. Fountain
Date: 09/15/20

11 Wright Place
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Sarah M. O’Shea
Seller: Erin S. Stalberg RET
Date: 09/10/20

SOUTHAMPTON

192 East St.
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $236,000
Buyer: Nicholas R. Borges
Seller: Joseph G. Lafreniere
Date: 09/11/20

134 Fomer Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Camella World-Peace
Seller: Mark T. Rice
Date: 09/08/20

4 Fomer Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $314,000
Buyer: Aaron D. Biedrzycki
Seller: Jacob E. Gold
Date: 09/11/20

67 Gilbert Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $493,000
Buyer: Cameron P. MacDonald
Seller: Joy A. Taillefer
Date: 09/08/20

167 Glendale Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $266,000
Buyer: Brett P. Pietraszkiewicz
Seller: Cynthia Fournier
Date: 09/10/20

8 Old Harvest Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $540,000
Buyer: Keith Holmes
Seller: Christopher J. Jolicoeur
Date: 09/18/20

107 Pleasant St.
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $562,000
Buyer: Adam J. Dupere
Seller: Philip A. Restaino
Date: 09/18/20

7 Quigley Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: Jonathan P. Buell
Seller: Pellegrini Development LLC
Date: 09/16/20

31 Valley Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $419,900
Buyer: Richard O. Paulson
Seller: Robert D. Peloquin
Date: 09/16/20

WARE

85 Beaver Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $499,900
Buyer: Linda Jones
Seller: Stanley B. Jurkowski
Date: 09/17/20

100 Bondsville Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $132,305
Buyer: Daniel R. Gunn
Seller: Wells Fargo Bank
Date: 09/10/20

36 Cherry St.
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Kayla S. VanWormer
Seller: Kristina A. Krok
Date: 09/16/20

40 Crescent St.
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $190,000
Buyer: Kerry Wells
Seller: Mary A. Regin
Date: 09/11/20

64 Eagle St.
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $132,000
Buyer: Jill A. Gravel-Combs
Seller: Switak, Evelyn M., (Estate)
Date: 09/17/20

115 Fisherdick Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $340,000
Buyer: Daniel V. Dupre
Seller: Wayne F. Hayes
Date: 09/16/20

39 Horseshoe Circle
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $368,000
Buyer: Jennifer L. Therkelsen
Seller: James R. Keedy
Date: 09/16/20

77 Old Gilbertville Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $348,000
Buyer: Chelsea Smith
Seller: Martin Murphy
Date: 09/16/20

388 Palmer Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: AJS Restoration & Construction Inc.
Seller: Ware On Earth Realty LLC
Date: 09/18/20

WILLIAMSBURG

1 East Main St.
Williamsburg, MA 01096
Amount: $369,000
Buyer: Thomas Bodo
Seller: Williams FT
Date: 09/17/20

2 Laurel Road
Williamsburg, MA 01039
Amount: $345,000
Buyer: Golden Mas LLC
Seller: Christine E. Russell
Date: 09/18/20

Building Permits

The following building permits were issued during the month of September 2020. (Filings are limited due to closures or reduced staffing hours at municipal offices due to COVID-19 restrictions).

AMHERST

462 Main, LLC
462 Main St.
$14,000 — Roofing

Amherst Cinema Arts Center Inc.
28 Amity St., Unit H
$29,000 — Lobby and concession-stand renovation

Hampshire College
893 West St.
$2,000 — Deck repairs

CHICOPEE

Chicopee Savings Bank
569 East St.
$26,775 — Roofing

Stephen Constant, Linnea Constant
1394 Memorial Dr.
$12,750 — Demolition

Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield
7 Belcher St.
$15,000 — T-Mobile to add four new antennas, four new remote radio heads, and one new cabinet within existing leased equipment room

GREENFIELD

Greenfield Savings Bank
400 Main St.
$10,000 — Remove and replace window

Thomas & Thomas
627 Barton Road
$3,100 — Install carport attached to existing accessory building

LEE

CWC Realty, LLC
710 Stockbridge Road
$40,000 — Siding

LENOX

439 Pittsfield Road, LLC
439 Pittsfield Road
$17,000 — Add divider partitions, refresh paint and flooring

Aspinwall Acquisition, LLC
293 Main St.
$2,500 — Roof repair

CR Resorts, LLC
165 Kemble St.
$64,000 — Reconstruct existing inhalation room in women’s spa with new finishes

Hillcrest Educational Center
349 Old Stockbridge Road
$7,500 — Install proximity readers on three exterior doors

Hillcrest Educational Center
242 West Mountain Road
$21,000 — Add delay egress and proximity readers to exterior doors in main building

NORTHAMPTON

Alloy, LLC
209 Earle St.
$1,415,347 — New steel addition

Mark Chrabascz
50 Conz St.
$22,800 — Remove some interior walls and flooring

Christopher Frank
50 Cooke Ave.
$35,000 — Demolish carport and rebuild in same footprint

Joe Kochapski
296 Nonotuck St.
$158,000 — Roofing

Bambi Rattner
43 Center St.
$19,200 — Office renovation

PALMER

Double R Enterprises
9 Second St.
$3,000 — Alter fire-alarm system

Sai Mitelik, LLC
2394 Main St.
$4,880 — Replace underground gas tanks

SBA
80 Stimson St.
$15,000 — Create concrete pad for generator

PITTSFIELD

Donald Launt
164 Waconah St.
$1,200 — Roof coating

Jonathan Pierce
72 Harvard St.
$12,000 — Roofing

Jonathan Pierce
10 Myrtle St.
$12,000 — Roofing

Nolan Southard
104 Appleton Ave.
$37,746 — Roofing

SPRINGFIELD

Baystate Medical Center Inc.
3400 Main St.
$1,254,771 — Alter space on second floor of oncology clinic for outpatient cancer treatment

Cornel Forbes
320 Wilbraham Road
$30,000 — Replace broken roof support and build a bathroom at Golden Krust

New Resurrection Center of Springfield Inc.
1060 Worcester St.
$4,800 — Install nine replacement windows on church

Taylor Street Real Estate, LLC
41 Taylor St.
$35,000 — Install replacement street-level storefront windows and entry door, remove and enclose front basement windows, install new front-entry stairs

WILBRAHAM

2034-2040 Boston Road, LLP
2034 Boston Road
$133,000 — Renovate existing space for Garvey’s Smoothie Shop