MassMutual Invests in BMC’s Future
SPRINGFIELD — Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) recently made a $3 million contribution to Baystate Medical Center’s capital campaign to support construction of its new facility. “At MassMutual, we recognize the importance of good health and well-being, as well as the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle,” said Roger Crandall, chairman, president, and CEO of MassMutual. “So it’s only fitting that MassMutual does its share to contribute to this project, as our employees, agents, policyholders, and the community at large in this region will directly benefit from the outstanding care this great facility will provide.” In recognition of MassMutual’s commitment to Baystate Medical Center, Mark Tolosky, president and CEO of Baystate Health, announced the naming of its first phase of the building project; it will be known as the MassMutual Wing. “We are so grateful that MassMutual shares our vision of good health for the community and has so generously provided this support, which significantly helps us to replace an aging infrastructure and continue to meet the health care needs of the people of Western Mass. right here in Springfield,” said Tolosky. The first phase is on schedule and on budget for opening in March 2012. The MassMutual Wing will house the Davis Family Heart and Vascular Center, which includes six surgical/endovascular suites to accommodate advanced, lifesaving cardiovascular procedures, and 32 cardiovascular critical care rooms that will support state-of-the-art medicine and at the same time provide ample room for the comforting presence of patients’ family members and friends. The $296 million project has made a significant economic impact on the region, with job growth for the construction industry benefiting from the addition of approximately 300 new jobs on site since breaking ground in 2009. Approximately 70% of the work on the project has been completed by local and regional businesses. In addition, Baystate expects to add more than 200 permanent clinical and medical positions.
Kennedy Named Chief Development Officer
SPRINGFIELD — Lifelong city resident Kevin Kennedy was recently tapped by Mayor Domenic Sarno to serve as the city’s new chief development officer. Kennedy will manage a consolidated Community Development Department created in 2008 under Springfield’s Finance Control Board. He also will oversee the city’s Housing, Neighborhood, Economic Development, Code Enforcement, and Planning departments, as well as staffing of the redevelopment and industrial-development financing authorities. Sarno described Kennedy in a statement as “exceptionally well-suited for the job of chief development officer.” Sarno added that Kennedy is a “seasoned professional who possesses the knowledge and experience to navigate the economic-development waters on the federal, state, and local levels as well as with the private sector.” Kennedy has served as the chief economic-development assistant to U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal since 1989. “Kevin Kennedy’s departure is a bittersweet occasion for me,” said Neal in a statement. “While I am sad he is leaving my congressional office, the city of Springfield will once again be the beneficiary of his considerable talents.” Neal cited Kennedy’s work on the State Street Corridor Initiative, the construction of the U.S. Courthouse, the new state data center, and the creation of the Neal Municipal Operations Center as areas where he has demonstrated effective leadership. In related news, Sarno announced that Christopher Moskal of Springfield, who has served as interim chief development officer, now will serve as director of the Springfield Redevelopment Authority. Moskal previously served as executive director of the Springfield Parking Authority. Sarno noted that the two appointments underscore his commitment to supporting the city’s planning and development functions to ensure they are optimally configured for maximum effectiveness. “The city’s ongoing investment in economic development will pay substantial dividends in terms of increasing development activity, stimulating job creation, and expanding our municipal tax base,” said Sarno. Both appointments are effective immediately. Kennedy will earn an annual salary of $125,000, and Moskal will receive an annual salary of $97,950.
Unveils New Focus
HOLYOKE — The Western Mass. Enterprise Fund has expanded its mission, changed its name, and put more capital on the table for local community-development projects, according to executive director Chris Sikes. In a recent announcement at Open Square, Sikes presented the company’s new name, Common Capital, and revealed a new logo, along with the company’s newly expanded role in the region. “It is clear to us that there is ample capital available to fund major change in Western Mass.,” said Sikes. “The challenge is not to access the money, but to help the region absorb that capital and leverage it for the common good.” Common Capital’s new focus, according to Sikes, includes extending lending well beyond small-business microloans, significantly increasing the company’s capital base, and enlarging business-advisory services. To help guide investments, Common Capital has initiated a discovery process to document specific needs within local business and community-development networks. Sikes noted that the process will include a “listening tour” with potential collaborative partners throughout the region to reconfirm community needs and resources. “We have capital and are well-positioned to attract much more,” he said, adding, “our goal is to find new and better ways to put it to use creating jobs, stimulating community development, and improving the quality of life in Western Mass.”
Women’s Fund to Award $150,000 in Grants
EASTHAMPTON — Applications are now available from the Women’s Fund of Western Mass., which will award $150,000 in grants in 2012 to organizations or programs serving women and girls in the four counties of Western Mass. Grants will range up to $15,000. “We look for projects that truly address the root causes, that influence long-term social change for women and girls, particularly around education, economic development, and safety,” said Julie Kumble, director of grants and programs. “Our three grant categories make it easier for organizations to decide where they might best fit in — operating support, project support, and capacity-building grants.” Before applying for a grant, Kumble recommends that applicants listen to a webinar that describes the application process. For more information on the webinar or for an application, visit www.womensfund.net. Since 1998, the Women’s Fund has awarded $1.7 million in grants.