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Leadership Pioneer Valley Introduces Class of 2015
HOLYOKE — Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) officially kicked off its 2015 program year and introduced the Class of 2015, a group of emerging and established regional leaders, at a reception at the Wistariahurst Museum. The culturally and geographically diverse class of 32 men and women represent nonprofit, private, educational, and public organizations from Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. “The LPV Class of 2015 represents the best and brightest of our region,” said Leadership Pioneer Valley Executive Director Lora Wondolowski. “They bring a wide variety of experiences and skills to bear while all of them are committed to deepening their community involvement. With LPV in their toolboxes, they will go far.” Leadership Pioneer Valley is addressing the critical need to build a diverse network of leaders who aspire to work together across traditional barriers to strengthen the region. The members of the new class are taking part in a 10-month program of experiential learning that will take place at locations up and down the Valley. The regional curriculum is specifically designed to help the participants refine their leadership skills, broaden connections, and develop a greater commitment to community trusteeship and cultural competency. Last January, Class of 2014 member Isabel Serrazina passed away suddenly. To honor her memory and leadership, fellow class members, alumni, and the board created the Serrazina Scholarship Fund to enable potential participants to attend LPV. The first-ever Serrazina Scholarship was awarded to TracyLee Boutilier, an advocate for affordable housing in Amherst, who embodies Serrazina’s longtime work on housing and low-income family issues. “Leadership Pioneer Valley is actively cultivating an important resource in the Valley: compassionate and communicative leaders who want to make our Valley a more accessible and viable home for all who seek it,” said Kelsey Flynn of MassMutual, a Class of 2014 member. “This is your opportunity to cultivate yourself and make the most of this experience.” The Class of 2015 members are:
• Nathan Bazinet, Sisters of Providence Health System
• TracyLee Boutilier, community activist
• Nunzio Bruno, Disruptive Strategy Co.
• Caitlin Byrnes, Smith & Wesson
• Linnette Camacho, Springfield Public Schools
• Angelica Castro, Mount Holyoke College
• Demetrice Dawkins, MassMutual Financial Group
• Hayley Dunn, Western Mass. Electric Co.
• Patricia Gagnon, Baystate Health
• Dana Gillette, Connecticut River Watershed Council
• Nickolaus Haenchen, YMCA of Greater Springfield
• Patricia Hentz, Smith College
• Matthew Judd, Hampden Bank
• Matthew Leger-Small, Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority
• Caitlin Maloney, YMCA of Greater Springfield
• Terry Maxey, MLK Jr. Family Services
• Pamela McCarthy, Big Y Foods Inc.
• Kerry McGuirl, Springfield Public Library
• Terra Missildine, Beloved Earth
• Ronald Molina-Brantley, City of Springfield
• Lori Murphy, Partners for a Healthier Community
• Kimberly O’Connor, United Way of Pioneer Valley
• Jenny Papageorge, Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
• Ashlee Picard Flores, Hampden Bank
• Maria Puppolo, City of Springfield
• Angie Rios, MassMutual
• Drew Sadowsky, Williams Distributing
• LyLy Salisbury, MassMutual
• Teresa Spaziani, Children’s Study Home
• Jennifer Turner, Delta Group
• Kathy Wicks, Partners for a Healthier Community
• Jeremy Winstead, Haydenville Woodworking and Design

Pro-casino Commercial Focuses on Job Creation
SPRINGFIELD — The first television commercial defending the state’s casino law focuses on Springfield and the prospects for thousands of new jobs if a gaming complex is built in the city’s South End. The ad, from the casino-backed Coalition to Protect Mass Jobs, was slated to debut Tuesday in Springfield and Boston. The 30-second spot features Jeff Ciuffreda, director of Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield, as narrator. “Springfield voted overwhelmingly,” he says. “It’s an $800 million economic-development project, the largest one we’ve had in Springfield for decades.” He continues, “Springfield’s unemployment rate is in double digits. We need the 3,000 jobs; we want the 3,000 jobs.” The ad is the first of what is expected to be many in the coalition’s drive to defeat a proposed repeal of the 2011 state casino law, which authorized up to three casinos and a slots parlor.

Communities Awarded $7 Million for Municipal-resiliency Projects
BOSTON – Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett has awarded $7.4 million in grants to municipalities under the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative. The funding will be used for six projects to implement clean-energy technologies to improve resiliency at critical facilities, including two in Western Mass. This is the first round of grants through the initiative, which is part of Gov. Deval Patrick’s comprehensive climate-change-preparedness effort. “This initiative is about being proactive and not waiting until the next severe storm to react,” the governor said. “These grants will assist communities in delivering critical services to residents, keeping people safer during times of danger.” Through the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative, $40 million in state funding is available to cities and towns that identify the facilities in their communities where the loss of electrical service would result in the disruption of a critical public-safety or life-sustaining function, including emergency services, shelters, food and fuel supply, and communications infrastructure. Municipalities can use the funding to implement clean-energy technologies to keep their energy systems operable. “The Patrick Administration is committed to innovative solutions that both mitigate and prepare for climate change impacts in the Commonwealth,” said Bartlett. “We are proud to partner with municipalities to prevent disruption to critical facilities and services during times of emergency, while also continuing to secure our clean-energy future in the long term.” Projects eligible for funding include clean-energy generation, energy storage, energy-management systems, islanding technologies, and microgrids. The city of Springfield was awarded $2.79 million to develop, in partnership with Baystate Health, a 4.6-megawatt combined heat and power plant, which will provide electricity, chilled water, and steam to the hospital. The plant will include a gas turbine generator, heat-recovery steam generator, absorption chiller, black-start diesel generator, and load-management system. The plant will produce 80% of the hospital’s annual energy consumption, 68% of its electricity, and 97% of its steam. Meanwhile, the city of Northampton was awarded $525,401 to incorporate solar PV and batteries with existing diesel generation at the Northampton Fire Department Headquarters, the sole city facility capable of providing a significant number of critical municipal services. The project will allow for diversified fuel sources available for power production during an extended outage, prioritize new emergency power-generation systems, offset use of emergency fuel oil during long-term power outages, reduce the environmental impacts from power generation for the facility, and improve grid-tied power reliability by enabling peak-shaving and load shedding. Other communities to win awards through the Community Clean Energy Resiliency Initiative include Boston, Berkley/Taunton, the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District, and the South Essex Sewerage District.

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