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Daily News Hampshire County Super 60

SPRINGFIELD The Springfield Regional Chamber (SRC) is seeking nominations for its annual Super 60 awards program. Super 60 recognizes the success of the fastest-growing and privately owned businesses in the region. Nominations must be submitted by August 5.

Each year, Super 60 identifies the top-performing companies in this region, based on revenue growth and total revenue. In 2019, one-quarter of the Total Revenue winners exceeded $30 million, with all the winners combining for more than $720 million in revenue. In the Revenue Growth category, all winners had growth above 21%, and 50% of the top 30 companies grew by more than 50%.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our region and have been especially resilient throughout the pandemic,” said Springfield Regional Chamber President Diana Szynal. “We’re thrilled to bring this awards program back to honor our region’s businesses and recognize their successful navigation through the past two years.”

To be considered, companies must be independently and privately owned; based in Hampden or Hampshire counties or be a member of the Springfield Regional Chamber; have revenues of at least $1 million in the past fiscal year; and have been in business for at least three full years. Companies are selected based on their percentage of revenue growth over a full three-year period or total revenues for the latest fiscal year.

Companies may be nominated by financial institutions, attorneys, or accountants, or they can self-nominate. Along with an application, nominators must provide net operating revenue figures for the last three full fiscal years, signed and verified by an independent auditor. All financial information must be reported under generally accepted accounting principles and will be considered confidential.

Nomination forms can be found on the Chamber’s website and can be submitted by faxing to SUPER 60, Springfield Regional Chamber, (413) 755-1322. Nomination forms must be submitted no later than August 5. The Super 60 awards will be presented at the annual luncheon and recognition program on Oct. 28, at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

The Super 60 award luncheon attracts more than 500 business leaders each year. Super 60 sponsorships are now available. For information, call (413) 755-1309 or e-mail Szynal at [email protected].

Biz Tips & Industry News Coronavirus COVID-19 Daily News Economic Outlook

BOSTON The echoes of the COVID-19 global health crisis were apparent in the latest edition of The Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economya report that tracks the strength of the Commonwealth’s tech and innovation sectors.

Even with net job losses in nine of 11 key tech sectors in 2020, the Massachusetts tech and innovation economy continued to be a top state in terms of total R&D investment ($36 billion in 2018, second only to California), record venture capital investment ($15.8 billion in 2020), and increased investment in higher education per student (up 29.4% since 2015).

Despite the data capturing the worst of the COVID-19 recession, all three of the sectors below were well above their 2015 employment levels, with the first two having actually added jobs during 2020:

• Biopharmaceuticals and Medical Devices (+37.8% since 2015);

• Scientific, Technical, & Management Services (+25.4% since 2015); and

• Software & Communications Services (+16.8% since 2015).

The 2021 Index found the following areas were bright spots for the innovation economy:

Leading Higher-Ed:

• A marked increase in higher education investment, with appropriations per student up 29.4% since 2015, greater than any of the LTS save for California;

• Highest number of degrees conferred per capita among the LTS (18.1 per 1,000 residents);

• 47.6% of the workforce has at least a bachelor’s degree, higher than any other state and well above the U.S. average of 34.4%.

R&D and VC Investment Rising: 

• Massachusetts is one of the leading producers of patents per capita, with 1,275 utility patents per million residents in 2020, second in the LTS;

• Of the 5 LTS with more than $1 billion in annual investment in 2015, Massachusetts saw the fastest growth in VC funding, up 88.3 percent from 2015 to 2020.

Healthcare Research:  

• $3.3 billion in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in Massachusetts in 2020;

• $5,659 of NIH funding per $1 million GDP;

• 11 Massachusetts research institutions received more than $100 million in NIH funding in 2020.

“While the pandemic’s impacts were stark, the investments made by the private and public sectors continue to fuel growth in the areas that are driving our innovation economy,” said Pat Larkin, director of the Innovation Institute at MassTech. “On education, we’ve seen the clear rise in higher-ed investment by the state, which is a key driver for our talent development pipeline. The Index also points to the potential for further strengthening, as the state expands Innovation Pathways programs at the K-12 level, efforts which will further train students for careers in advanced manufacturing and robotics, which desperately need talent.”

All 10 leading tech states saw net job losses in key sectors during 2020, including in Massachusetts. Since 2015, the Commonwealth’s innovation job losses were concentrated in a few key manufacturing sectors, including: Diversified Industrial Manufacturing (- 6.9%); Advanced Materials (-7.4%); and Computer & Communications Hardware (-16.9%).

To download a copy of the Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy, or to access interactive copies of the graphs and charts from the report, visit masstech.org/index.

Daily News

WARE — Country Bank recently announced that Tracey Wrzesien, assistant vice President, retail banking officer, is the recipient of its 2021 President’s Platinum Award.

The bank’s recognition program, “CB Shines,” encourages team members to look for coworkers who embody the bank’s corporate values of integrity, service, teamwork, excellence, and prosperity (iSTEP). Within this program, members can receive different levels of recognition: Silver Spotlight, Gold Star, and the President’s Platinum.

“Country Bank’s team members contribute to the bank’s success in so many ways throughout the year, and we are delighted to celebrate their contributions,” said Paul Scully, president, and CEO of Country Bank. “Tracey embodies the bank’s corporate values. In addition, her nominator recognized her contributions to the organization, customers, and coworkers. Our team is extremely dedicated, knowledgeable and committed to delivering the best service to their external and internal customers.”

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SPRINGFIELD — Leadership Pioneer Valley recently welcomed five local leaders to its board of directors:

• Claudia Pazmany, executive director, Amherst Chamber of Commerce;

• Ryan Barry ‘17 LPV, partner, Bulkely Richardson & Gelinas LLP;

• Kristin Cole ‘13 LPV, director of Workforce Training, Greenfield Community College;

• Katisha Gallishaw, owner, KG Virtual CFO;

• Hope Ross-Gibaldi, executive director, Valley Venture Mentors

Leadership Pioneer Valley is currently recruiting for the 11th cohort to begin in September. Individuals interested in applying can find applications online at  www.leadershippv.org.

Daily News

From the day he took the helm with the fledgling Springfield Thunderbirds hockey team, Nate Costa, now the president of the franchise, talked about the importance of winning to the ultimate success of a team.

Opinion

Indeed, Costa, who came to Springfield following management roles with several minor league sports operations, often spoke about the importance of presentation and the overall experience when it came to how well a team could capture the hearts and minds of a region or community — and thrive financially. But ultimately, he said there is no real substitute for winning. A team can have endless promotions, bring in big names as guests, and offer special prices on hot dogs and beer, he implied, but in the end, it would have to win to really break through.

The events of the past few several months, and especially the past few weeks, have proven Costa right.

As the Thunderbirds made their way to the Calder Cup finals against the Chicago Wolves, the team moved to a new and much higher level in terms of visibility and presence, for lack of a better term, in the Greater Springfield area. While T-Birds ultimately lost the series, four games to one, including the last three at home, it was a clear winner on every other level.

Let’s start with the games themselves. The downtown area was electric on game nights. Some fans would arrive an hour or two before the game started. There was some tailgating in some of the parking lots and larger crowds in many of the area restaurants.

The weekend games that closed out the series were sell-outs, and there were high levels of energy in the MassMutual Center.

Overall, the Thunderbirds were front of mind for the past month or so as they progressed in the playoffs to the finals. They were the lead story on local sports pages and the local news shows, but there was more than that.

People were talking about them — at the office, in coffee shops, and at the many events that have been staged in the region over the past several months as the long-awaited return to normalcy from the pandemic has moved to a different level. And they are still talking about them.

And while people were talking about this team, they were reminiscing about championship teams from 30 and 50 years ago. Hockey, for at least a little while, became king.

The best news is that interest in the T-Birds has moved well beyond talk. Season-ticket sales are far ahead of the pace for previous years, and they, as everyone knows, are one of the key cornerstones to success. More corporate support is certain to follow.

While the Thunderbirds have always had a presence in Springfield and the region, they have now officially arrived. And this bodes extremely well for a city that will need this team to play a big role in its full recovery from the pandemic and ongoing efforts to make downtown a place to not only work, but live.

The T-Birds did not bring home the Calder Cup in 2022. But they may have succeeded in an even bigger game, if one can call it that.

They have broken through and truly captured the attention of the region. That makes them big winners.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings recently marked its 150th anniversary by unveiling a historical marker at the original location of Monson Savings Bank in Monson. Massachusetts.

The event took place on June 1, a day chosen since it was the first day Monson Savings Bank accepted deposits in 1872. Guests gathered nearby the Monson Town Offices, where the original granite building stood that housed Monson Savings Bank at its incorporation in 1872.

A granite block from the original building reading “BANK” was expertly placed at the base of the historical bronze plaque marker located on a pole. Surrounding the display was a new landscaped area.

To begin, Dan Moriarty, President and CEO of Monson Savings Bank, addressed the guests, thanking them for joining. He read aloud the text on the plaque which remained concealed with a custom-made cover.

Moriarty read aloud, “In the mid 1800’s demand for banking service(s) became essential in Monson, Massachusetts due to the flourishing population, industries, and retail establishments. To afford working men and women an opportunity to save, Monson Savings Bank was incorporated on March 27, 1872, enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives. At this location stood a small, granite banking house on the corner of Main and State Streets that housed the home of the local community bank.”

Daily News

LONGMEADOWDue to the bad weather forecast for today, JGS Lifecare  a  healthcare system serving seniors and their families in western Massachusetts, is postponing its annual Frankel-Kinsler Classic Day of Tournaments fundraiser at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow to July 11.

This will be the organization’s 41st annual tournament. In addition to golf, the tournament includes bridge, canasta and mahjong tournaments.

The tournament is named in memory Michael Frankel, a past chairman of the JGS Board who passed away in 2013 at the young age of 49. It is also named in honor of the Raymond and Herman Kinsler Families, longtime supporters of JGS Lifecare.  Last year, the tournament was held in memory of Seymour Frankel, Michael’s father and a long-time volunteer and JGS Ambassador. “The Frankel and Kinsler families have provided extraordinary leadership over the years to JGS Lifecare,” said Susan Halpern, vice president of development at JGS Lifecare. “This tournament is a tribute to them and helps us continue their extraordinary legacy of caring and good deeds.”

The JGS Lifecare signature tournament brings the community together for a day of fun, food and friendship in support of the care of our community’s elders. More thyan 200 people participate in one of several tournaments, including golf, bridge, canasta and mahjong, to help raise funds to support enhanced programming and services for residents, as well as to support staff scholarships for career and skills advancement. Last year over $115,000 was raised through sponsorships, donations and player registrations.

Event sponsors include The Haberman, Katz and Webber Families; Harry Grodsky & Co.; Kleeberg Sheet Metal & Mechanical Services; Steven and Georgianne Roberts; HUB Retirement & Wealth Management formerly Epstein Financial Services; PeoplesBank; The Albert & Judith Goldberg Family Foundation; Alekman DiTusa, LLC; Century Investment Company; CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP; Donna Frankel; Kaste Industrial Machine Sales, Inc.; NEFCO; ProCare LTC Pharmacy; and Spartan Auto Care Centers.

Registration begins at 11 a.m. with tee-off at noon. The entry fee if $275 and includes 18 holes of golf, a barbecue lunch, dinner and an ice-cream sundae bar.

To register, visit www.JGSLIfecare.org/frankel-kinsler  or contact Susan Halpern at [email protected] or (413) 537-1367.

Daily News

AGAWAM — Six Flags New England and its sister park Six Flags Discovery Kingdom located in San Francisco set a friendly wager for the recent NBA Finals series. While both parks are proud of their local Celtics and Warriors going head to head, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championship game series.

Six Flags New England begrudgingly fulfilled its wager against its sister park, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom this past weekend, renaming its iconic New England SkyScreamer to the Golden State SkyScreamer.

“We tip our hats to our friends and colleagues at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and the recent win of their beloved Warriors,” said Park President, Pete Carmichael. “We New Englanders are all too familiar with being crowned champions (17 titles) and welcome a rematch between the two coasts very soon.”

Daily News

WESTFIELD — Westfield Bank President and CEO James C. Hagan on Thursday presented Springfield Urban League CEO Henry M. Thomas III with a $100,000 contribution to help launch a $7.5 million capital campaign to ensure the future of historic Camp Atwater.

“This contribution represents our firm commitment to the Urban League as it reimagines and reinvigorates an invaluable Massachusetts institution that has played such an important role in the lives of Black youth in Western Massachusetts and beyond for a century,” said Hagan. “Westfield Bank is very proud to come on board at this time of the campaign and we encourage other corporations, foundations, and individuals to join us in supporting Camp Atwater’s centennial. Creating opportunities for young people the way that Camp Atwater has done for decades is more essential than ever and the bank is excited to play a role in bringing this project to life.”

Said Thomas, “on behalf of the Springfield Urban League, Camp Atwater, and our thousands of alumni and families, I want to thank Westfield Bank for stepping up so generously at this early juncture. Westfield Bank has always been a staunch supporter of the Urban League and we are sincerely grateful to them for this terrific early lead investment in the campaign and their ongoing partnership with us as we strive to create a more equitable and just society.”

The Urban League has owned and operated Camp Atwater, located in North Brookfield, since 1921, making it the longest operating Black-owned summer camp in the nation. In its many years of service, Camp Atwater has had a profoundly positive impact on the lives and careers of the vast majority of the camp’s more than 55,000 alumni.

Galvanized by the needs of the Black community in Massachusetts and beyond, the Urban League is embarking on the $7.5 million Centennial Campaign to reimagine and reconfigure Camp Atwater so that it may continue as a foundational experience for campers for the next hundred years. Already recognized for its significance by being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Urban League is seeking to capitalize on the opportunity for Atwater to provide the preeminent camp experience for the African American community, and to develop ongoing generations of leaders by providing a unique blend of enriching programs and activities within a setting that is at once nurturing and challenging, while fostering self-discovery and growth.

With Westfield Bank’s support, as well as that of other early donors, significant work on the Camp’s buildings and grounds is scheduled to begin this summer and continue onward so that Atwater can welcome overnight campers back in the summer of 2023.

 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper will serve as a voting member on a new NCAA Board of Governors, the highest governance body of the NCAA. The board members will assume their duties on August 1.

Cooper, the lone Division III delegate, was selected by the NCAA following the new NCAA constitution that was adopted in January by member schools and conferences.

The new board includes nine voting members: four from Division I (at least one school president and one conference commissioner), one from the Division II Presidents Council, one (Cooper) from the Division III Presidents Council, two independent members and one graduated student-athlete.

Cooper became the 13th president of Springfield College in August 2013. Known for her volunteer leadership, Cooper has served on the President’s Council of the NCAA, serves on the NIL Committee: NCAA Federal and State Legislation Working Group, and has been the president of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

Daily News

AGAWAM — The Local Farmer Awards, a funding initiative launched in 2015 by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF) and Big Y Foods, reached the million-dollar milestone in May.

Over the past eight years, more than 470 grants have been made to farmers in Western Mass. and the Berkshires. Along with the Big Y and HGCF are 25 generous community and individual donors including Ann and Steve Davis, Charles and Elizabeth D’Amour, PeoplesBank, DeNucci Group at Merrill Lynch, Farm Credit East, HP Hood LLC, Audrey & Chick Taylor, Baystate Health, Country Bank and others.

“Hitting a million dollars in giving is a proud milestone in providing help, support, encouragement to our local farmers and their families,” said Big Y President and CEO Charles D’Amour. “The multiplier effect of these awards ripples throughout our Western Mass region and provides the important underpinning of our regional economy.”

Last month, 74 farmers primarily located in Western Massachusetts received the 2022 awards — checks of up to $2,500 for infrastructure improvements. Totaling $165,500, these grants help sustain robust projects related to growing, harvesting, and processing. Maple farmers at Justamere Tree Farm in Worthington launded the installation of its new vacuum monitoring system. “The award will enable us to monitor the vacuum within our entire 100-acre sugarbush which negates the need for endless hours of searching for leaks in poor weather conditions while also reducing energy costs. It will be a game changer for us.”

Program director Cari Carpenter said that the publicity generated by the Local Farmer Awards draws much needed attention to the productivity of all farms in the region, whether or not they have been award recipients. “We want to celebrate and encourage every farm in Western Mass and the Berkshires, not only our winners. Happily, the program returned in March to an in-person appreciation party, including all 120 farms within our applicant reach this year. Donors were able to grasp the impact of what they are doing — and the potential to do even more.”

Daily News

EAST LONGMEADOW W.F. Young, a global leader in animal health products such as Absorbine® and The Missing Link®, received two awards at the 2022National Animal Supplement Council Annual Conference, the NASC Visionary Award, acknowledging the animal wellness company as an originating/founding member, and the Visibility Award, for Outstanding Promotion of the NASC Quality Seal.

The National Animal Supplement Council is a nonprofit trade organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of companion animals and horses throughout the United States. Founded in 2001, NASC is an all-industry association of stakeholders concerned with the issues surrounding the supply of health supplements for animals not intended for human consumption, such as dogs, cats, and horses.

“We’re honored and grateful for the NASC’s recognition, it has been a pleasure to work with them for over 20 years,” said Jaime McKinley, president of W.F. Young. “It’s important for us to align with an organization that cares about the wellness of our products as much as we do. We hope to maintain our relationship for years to come, and in that partnership, continue to assure customers that their pets receive the best quality and care.”

The 2022 NASC Annual Conference took place recently in St. Louis, Mo. at the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel. The event featured networking opportunities for all the attendees, breakout sessions for science, compliance, business, and marketing, as well as exhibiting from sponsors, and a dinner and awards gala. Audra Mulligan, director of Regulatory Affairs and Development, was present at the ceremony and accepted the awards on behalf of W.F. Young.

 

Daily News

GREENFIELD — Anthony Worden, president & CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank and its parent company, Greenfield Bancorp, MHC announced today the operating results of the bank’s latest fiscal year as announced at the 117th annual meeting of the bank on June 21. Worden reported that FY 2022, which ended March 31, was very successful and the assets of the bank grew by $41.4 million (5%) over the prior year.

Other results include:

  • In FY 2022, GCB originated more than $166 million in loans of all types, including $61.3 million in residential mortgages, $92.0 million in commercial loans,

$45.6 million in municipal lending, $9.2 million in home equity loans and lines, and

$1.2 million in MassSave® ‘’zero-interest” energy loans.

  • GCB had an increase of $50.5 million in deposits (7.4%) over the past year;
  • The pre-tax operating income for Greenfield Cooperative Bank was $4.416 million for the year ended March 31, 2022 and the net income after taxes was $3.454 million;
  • GCB’s Tier 1 Capital to average assets is 10.5%. The bank is considered “well capitalized” by all regulatory definitions.
  • As a result of these solid earnings, the bank and its employees were able to contribute more than $180,000 to 200 community groups and charities throughout both Hampshire and Franklin County during the past fiscal year.
Daily News

HOLYOKE — Today, American International College (AIC) will sign an articulation agreement with Holyoke  Community College (HCC), establishing an academic relationship between the community college and the four-year institution.

The agreement between AIC and HCC allows academic programs that enhance the transition of HCC graduates, and promotes a smooth transfer to AIC, offering time and cost savings for students by recognizing the coursework pursued at the community college and demonstrates the ongoing commitment by ensuring that educational pathways are created for all those who wish to consider a degree in higher education.

At AIC, the program is referred to as Direct Connect. Direct Connect students can earn up to $18,000 in financial gift aid, not loans, before being evaluated for additional need-based aid and allows students to study and major in their area of interest while attending their community college.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The law firm of Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan and Blakesley made a financial contribution and donated staff man hours to help with the construction of a new home in Holyoke by the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity.

“As a firm, we are committed each day to help make the lives for residents of our state better,” said Charlie Casartello, the firm’s managing partner.  “To be able to literally construct a building to help a family in need is something very special indeed.”

Michael Cardaropoli, PSRB attorney and vice president of the Habitat for Humanity board of directors, agreed. “This is the second build project the firm has been involved with for Habitat for Humanity. We are always happy to roll up our sleeves and dig into another project for this amazing organization,” “Making a financial contribution is critical, but having the firm help with sweat equity is a labor of love for our whole team.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Pare Corporation, a multi-disciplinary engineering firm, recently staged a well-attended grand opening for its facility in Holyoke, its third office in the Northeast.

“The Pioneer Valley is very community-focused and I appreciate the warm welcome the leaders of the Holyoke community have given us,” said Pare Vice President David Loring. “Because Holyoke is a hub point to the region, it is a perfect location for our new office. We look forward to meeting additional members of the community now that the office is open.”

As part of the ceremony, a proclamation was presented by the office of Senator John Velis, who grew up in Holyoke and maintains strong ties to the region.

Established in 1970, Pare Corporation has more than 130 staff serving the eastern United States. In addition to Holyoke, Pare has offices in Rhode Island and Foxboro, Mass. Pare has experience designing public and private facilities and the infrastructure that supports them. Clients and markets include state transportation departments, water and wastewater authorities, K-12 and higher education facilities, biotechnology and life science companies, and dams and marine facilities ranging to a wide variety of municipal, industrial, institutional, and commercial developments.

 

Daily News

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College announced that Michelle Schutt will serve as the college’s 11th president, effective July 18.

Currently serving as the vice president of community and learner services at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI), the state’s first Hispanic serving institution, Schutt was chosen from a competitive pool of four highly qualified candidates.

“I am honored by the opportunity to serve Greenfield Community College as its next president and I look forward to ensuring that we meet the evolving needs of the students, employees, alumni and community members we serve,” Schutt said.

With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, Schutt has held leadership roles in all facets of education, including student affairs, academic services, and community learning. Schutt’s leadership throughout her career has produced measurable enrollment and retention results. Schutt oversaw an enrollment increase of 3% at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI), the state’s first Hispanic serving institution, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020- nationwide decreases due to the pandemic and an expected institutional decline was 15%.

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BOSTON — MassINC’s latest report, ‘Sizing Up Massachusetts’ Looming Skilled-Worker Shortage,’ projects the state’s working-age, college-educated labor force will decline by approximately 10% from current levels, creating a larger decrease than expected.

“There are simply no more college-educated workers to come by,” said Ben Forman, MassINC’s research director. “Each year we’ll have fewer than the previous, unless Massachusetts does a far better job helping students through higher education and building housing that they can afford.”

According to Forman, labor force participation rates for college-educated residents are already near historic highs and unemployment for this group hovers around 2%.

The study analyzed college-completion figures from the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and population and migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The findings suggest that lower college completion rates among people of color, retiring baby boomers, more outmigration and lower immigration rates will simultaneously place downward pressure on the state’s skilled labor force.

“Demographers have long warned that the retirement of baby boomers would present a challenge for Massachusetts,” said Forman. “But they didn’t anticipate the degree to which inequality and high housing costs would compound the problem.”

State legislators are trying to increase investment in Early College high schools in this year’s budget. Last week, DESE presented an analysis demonstrating that these programs are dramatically increasing college enrollment and completion rates for low-income students and students of color.

 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — From Memorial Day until Labor Day, Freedom Credit Union is hosting a ‘100 Days of Summer Food Drive’ for its 100th anniversary.

Donations will be given to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Freedom Credit Union is also accepting cash donations at all its branch locations.

“The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has long been near and dear to our hearts for the essential services they provide to people in need throughout our region,” said Freedom Credit Union President Glenn Welch. “Last summer, we raised funds and non-perishable food items on their behalf during the months of June and July. This year, in celebration of our 100th anniversary, we want to make an even bigger impact.”

The drive is not exclusive to credit union members or employees. For each dollar received, the Food Bank is able to provide four meals. Freedom has locations in Springfield, Chicopee, Easthampton, Feeding Hills, Greenfield, Ludlow, Northampton, Turners Falls and West Springfield.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Rocky’s Ace Hardware will host a ‘round-up’ fundraising campaign in 10 stores for Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospitals.

Customers can round up their totals to the next dollar between June 24 and July 4 at participating locations — the Island Pond Road and Liberty Street stores in Springfield; the Agawam, East Longmeadow, Westfield, Ludlow, Palmer and South Hadley stores in Western Mass., and the Vernon and Stamford, Conn. locations; 100% of the proceeds will go directly towards CMN hospitals.

Children’s hospitals rely on donations and community support, as Medicaid and insurance programs do not fully cover the cost of care. Since 1983, CMN hospitals have helped fill funding gaps by raising more than $7 billion.

 

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HOLYOKE — At its recent commencement ceremonies, Holyoke Community College honored entrepreneur Mychal Connolly with its Distinguished Service Award.

Connolly is co-founder of Stinky Cakes, a newborn baby gift company, and creator and chief brand ambassador of StandOutTruck.com, a digital mobile advertising and marketing agency.

Connolly has served as an alumni mentor for the HCC Alumni Champions Mentorship Network, and last year established an annual scholarship through the HCC Foundation for business and marketing majors. He has also worked as a volunteer for HCC’s annual “Together HCC — Drive to Change Lives” fundraising campaigns.

“Myke can be found talking about the impact of a Holyoke Community College education all across our region – in boardrooms, with aspiring leaders, and all along the streets of western Massachusetts thanks to the Stand Out Truck,” said President Christina Royal said. “He is a champion for HCC and we are pleased to celebrate his service to the college by recognizing him as this year’s Distinguished Service Award winner.”

Daily News

The Chicago Wolves evened the best-of-seven Calder Cup Finals series against the Springfield Thunderbirds on Monday night, with a 6-2 victory.

The series now shifts to Springfield and the MassMutual Center for the next three games, beginning Wednesday at 7:05. Games four and five are slated for Friday and Saturday.

Springfield is the AHL’s Eastern Division champs. The team is seeking its first Calder Cup.

 

Daily News

NORTH ADAMS — The Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) consortium announced that Anne Goodwin of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) received a Course of Distinction (COD) Award on June 2.

The Course of Distinction awards are given annually to recognize excellence in design and delivery of online and hybrid courses across multiple categories. Goodwin designed and taught ‘Nutrition for Healthy Living,’ integrating individual and small-group activity, and providing authentic, humanized connections to support students’ engagement and academic success in an asynchronous environment.

“While MCLA hosts mainly in-person classes during the academic year, this award shows that we do have the flexibility to offer high-quality online courses, as well,” said Goodwin, who is the second faculty member in MCLA’s Biology Department to earn recognition in recent years for outstanding online course design.

 

Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) is a collaborative of 24 public state higher education institutions involved in the design, delivery, management, and assessment of online, blended, and other technology-mediated learning formats. MCLA is a member institution of the consortium.

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AGAWAM — The Hampden County Bar Association Legal Clinic will stage its Celebrity Bartending Tip-Off event on July 14, at Kaptain Jimmy’s restaurant. The event will start at 4 p.m. and will include celebrity bartenders, a DJ, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the event go toward the agency’s legal clinic programs.

The legal clinic is still seeking sponsorships for the event from local businesses. Sponsors will be recognized as supporting the mission of providing legal services to people who cannot afford an attorney.

For further information, contact the Hampden County Bar Association Legal Clinic at (413) 733-6500.

 

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WEST SPRINGFIELD — The Rotary Club of West Springfield will stage a concert appearance by Back to the Garden 1969, a Woodstock tribute band, on July 9, at the Morgan Road Pavilion.

Doors open at 4 p.m. at the pavilion, located behind the Irish Cultural Center, 429 Morgan Road, West Springfield. Opening band Great Acoustics will appear from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by Back to the Garden 1969 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The playlist will include as many of the original tracks as time allows.

Food and drink will be sold. Outside beverages or food may not be brought into the venue; ’60s inspired attire is highly encouraged.

RotaryRocks is a rain or shine event. Seating is available under the pavilion, or guests may bring folding chairs for the lawn. There are only 350 tickets available for this show and patrons are encouraged to order theirs early through www.WestSpringfieldRotaryClub.com.

RotaryRocks is the club’s main fundraiser. All Rotary Club fundraising proceeds fund scholarships, community grants and other local projects for the betterment of the community.

 

 

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SPRINGFIELD — Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that Lauren Rainville, Amanda Walsh, and Nicholas Kubacki have been accepted into the Law Clerk program for the 2022-2023 school year.

Bacon Wilson created the clerkship program more than 40 years ago to allow law school students to gain experience and mentoring in the legal profession. Many Bacon Wilson attorneys began their careers after their clerkship experience. The program is unique as it lasts for a year.

Typically, clerks begin at the firm at the end of their second year of law school and stay through their third year. Clerks use their law school training to conduct important research assignments with attorneys in all practice areas. The clerks are an integral and important part of the firm and participate in various firm events during their time at Bacon Wilson, P.C.

Rainville joined Bacon Wilson, P.C. in May. A Western New England University School of Law Candidate for Juris Doctorate in May 2024, she ranks in the top 25th percentile of her class and is the treasurer for the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. She earned her bachelor of Science degree, cum laude in Business Management from Bay Path University, in 2016. Her previous experience includes negotiations and settlements with claimants’ attorneys and pro-se claimants on personal and commercial auto damage, and injury losses in Connecticut.

She has volunteered her time as an educator for Junior Achievement in Connecticut and Western Mass. from 2016 to 2018, and as a camp volunteer at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut in 2019. She is interested in pursuing a career in real estate law. She is a member of Western New England’s Real Estate Law Association and will be participating in the Western New England University’s Law School Real Estate Practicum in the Spring of 2023.

Walsh joined the firm in May, and will be eligible for her Juris Doctorate in May 2023, from Western New England University School of Law. She spent two years at the University of London in Richmond, Surrey, as a transfer student and then earned her Bachelor of Political Science and Economics Degree, cum laude in May 2020 from Simmons University in Boston.

Recently, she served as a fellow for The State House, and as a Blue Lab associate to the Liberty Square Group in Boston. She was elected 1L and 2L day class representative from September 2020 to May 2022. She has been interested in becoming an attorney since the age of 10. She has expressed interest in litigation and trust and estates.

Kubacki joined Bacon Wilson, P.C. in May, and will be eligible for his Juris Doctorate in May 2023, from Western New England University School of Law. He earned his bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, summa cum laude in May 2020 from Western New England University.

He also was named to Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society for Student-Athletes. He is currently a teaching assistant in the Academic Success Center at Western New England, as well as a member of the Real Estate Law Association. Recently, he served as a legal intern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and as a Victim Witness Advocate intern at the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Bella Foodie LLC, in partnership with Fogbusters Coffee, is celebrating the launch of its custom private label coffee blend with a special coffee tasting event on June 30, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Open Square in Holyoke.

The event is free to attend: participants may register here.

“Let’s face it, anyone that knows me knows how much I love my coffee!  I am so truly happy that Bella Foodie will be having its own custom blend under Fogbuster Coffee,” said Ashley Tresoline, Owner of Bella Foodie LLC. “This partnership has been a dream come true for me and the Pierce brothers are so wonderful to work with. We all understand the value of what we put in our bodies and that it should be only of the highest quality. Their organic, air-roasted coffee is one of a kind and I am so excited for everyone to try it.”

Said Sean Pierce, owner of Fogbuster Coffee Works, “we here at Fogbuster Coffee Works are very excited to partner up with Bella Foodie. We have worked closely with Ashley, to develop a special Bella Foodie Blend. One that encompasses both Bella Foodie and Fogbuster Coffee Works philosophies around all foods.”

Daily News

HARTFORD — More than 90 Whittlesey team members across Connecticut and Western Mass. celebrated Community Day on June 17, an annual day of service representing the firm’s year-round commitment to giving back to local communities. For the past 12 years, hundreds of Whittlesey volunteers have put aside their daily work to partake in various projects ranging from painting classrooms to building homes.

This year, the firm focused on efforts related to environmental sustainability. Alongside ReGreen Springfield, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, and Springfield Forestry, team members planted a pollinator garden in Forest Park. Also, teams joined the Bushnell Park Foundation and the United Way of Greater New Haven to plant community gardens, weed, and lay mulch.

“As community members for more than 60 years, we care deeply about our neighbors and the environment where we live and work,” said Drew Andrews, CEO and managing partner at Whittlesey. “Our commitment to service is rooted deeply in the fabric of our firm, which is why we sponsor several community-driven events throughout the year. Working with many incredible nonprofit organizations across the region for the past several decades has been a privilege. I am proud of the impact our team has continued to make by working collectively to give back.”

Daily News

Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County awarded nearly $10,000 in prizes to the Spring 2022 Business Accelerator Cohort at a recent awards ceremony held on Zoom.

The celebration and gala began with remarks from state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, who emphasized the robust public-private partnership that supports EforAll’s regional efforts and lauded the efforts of the 12 businesses that completed the program.

The class speaker, Rachel Hailey of DEI Outdoors was chosen by her colleagues and shared many of the lessons of the program for future EforAll participants.

The awards were granted as follows:

  • Jenny Gitlitz of Berkshire Family Advocates received the Paula Buxbaum Award, established in honor of a member of the Fall 2021 cohort who died in a car crash in October 2021. The award is granted to an individual making a career pivot and incorporating a social mission into their business;
  • $1,000 to Rachel Hailey for DEI Outdoors;
  • $2,300 to Deirdre Horan (Great Barrington) of Dri Ocean Products;
  • $2,500 to Jackye Stoddard (Hudson, NY) for Hierba Buena Foods; and
  • $3,500 to Elizabeth Heller (Pittsfield) for The Kids Super Journal.

The virtual event was also simulcast on Pittsfield Community Television. The recording is available to view here:  https://youtu.be/yTeFMsVcB-4 

EforAll’s next accelerator class will begin in September; applications are due at www.eforall.org before August 25.

 

 

 

Daily News

HOLYOKE — More than 600 people turned out at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House Thursday to celebrate BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty Class of 2022. The group, as chosen by a panel of five judges, was the 16th class of rising stars celebrated by BusinessWest.

The evening also featured the announcement of the Alumni Achievement Award winner for 2022 — Anthony Gleason II, president and co-founder of the Gleason-Johndrow Companies, a member of the class of 2010.

The loud, boisterous crowd enjoyed networking, fine food, entertainment, and an opportunity to celebrate the latest young leaders to join one of the region’s more exclusive clubs.

The event was sponsored by presenting sponsor PeoplesBank, with supporting sponsors Comcast Business, Live Nation, Mercedes Benz of Springfield, The Mill District, UMass Isenberg School of Management, and Stand Out Truck. The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield was an event partner. The Alumni Achievement Award was again sponsored by Health New England.

The members of the 40 Under Forty Class of 2022 are:

 

  • Meghan Avery , Director of Operations, UTCA Inc.
  • Zydalis Bauer, Host and Producer, New England Public Media
  • Melissa Blissett, Vice President of Family Support Services, Square One
  • Margaret Boyle, Communications Director, Office of U.S. Rep. Richard Neal
  • Sarah Calabrese, Resource Development Director, West Springfield Boys & Girls Club
  • Ariel Clemmer , Director, Center for Social Justice, Western New England University School of Law
  • Jessica Colson, Director of Development & Communications, Girls Inc. of the Valley
  • Lucy Damkoehler, Owner, Sweet Lucy’s Bakeshop
  • Tiana Davis, Deputy Public Health Commissioner, City of Springfield
  • Whitney Dodds, CEO, Wellness for the Culture
  • Gregory Freeman, Superintendent of Operations, Westfield Gas + Electric
  • Giselle Gaines, Community Development Manager, Sevita
  • Ysabel Garcia, Founder, Estoy Aqui LLC
  • Peter Gillen, Principal, West Springfield Middle School
  • Sina Holloman, Chief Executive Officer, HomeCare Hands
  • Sasha  Jiménez, Community Outreach Specialist, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts
  • Jenise Katalina , Co-executive Director, Women of Color Health Equity Collective
  • Joseph Kelley, Co-owner, Kelley and Katzer Real Estate, LLC
  • Michael Lynch, Chief Financial Officer, Holyoke Soldiers’ Home
  • Alaina Macaulay, Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst
  • Christopher Martin, Realtor, Team Leader, Hamre Martin Team, Rovi Homes New England
  • Jackie Martucci, Owner / Venue & Events Manager, Events by Jackie M / Montague Retreat Center
  • Kelly McGiverin, Senior Account Executive, Integrated Digital Specialist, WWLP 22News
  • Nicholas Moynihan, President, Quality Fleet Service Inc.
  • Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, Executive Director, EforAll/EparaTodos Holyoke
  • Preeti Nakrani , Medicaid Program Manager, Health New England
  • Jazlinda Navaro, Owner, Cellf Juices
  • John Pappas, Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
  • Aundrea Paulk , Director of Marketing & Communications, Caring Health Center
  • Hannah Rechtschaffen, Director of Placemaking, W.D. Cowls Inc.
  • Walter Rice, Business & Community Liaison, Work-based Learning Coordinator, Westover Job Corps
  • Nicholas Riley, Owner, N. Riley Construction
  • Justin Roberts, Vice President of Marketing, Country Bank
  • Edna Rodríguez, Director of Behavioral Health, Trinity Health Of New England
  • Veronice Santana, Assistant District Attorney, Northwestern District Attorney’s Office
  • Roger St. Onge, Founder, MOVE Athletics
  • Sarah Rose Stack, Marketing & Recruiting Manager, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
  • Stephanie Welch, Community Development Director, Town of West Springfield
  • Reynolds Whalen, Director of Sales Operations, Webber & Grinnell Insurance
  • Melanie Wilk, Director of Food Service, Chicopee Public Schools
Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Mercy Medical Center colleagues gathered Thursday to celebrate the hospital’s fourth consecutive “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade for spring 2022. This national distinction recognizes Mercy Medical Center’s achievements in protecting patients from preventable harm and error in the hospital. Members of Mercy executive leadership team and board of directors congratulated colleagues and medical staff on the achievement.

Colleagues also received commemorative tee-shirts and enjoyed ice cream treats from a Ben & Jerry’s food truck.

“This unprecedented accomplishment reflects the success of incredible teamwork throughout the hospital,” said Bitsoli. “Every day, our affiliated and employed primary care providers and specialists, hospital-based providers, and members of the support staff place our patients at the center of everything they do. It is through their efforts that we have been able to achieve this important national recognition from Leapfrog for the fourth time in a row.”

The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization, assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” grade to general hospitals across the country based on over thirty national performance measures reflecting errors, accidents, injuries, and infections, as well as systems hospitals have in place to prevent harm. The grading system is peer-reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. Grades are updated twice annually, in the fall and spring.

 

Daily News

AMHERSTMason Lebron was recently appointed to the position of Insurance Producer by Encharter Insurance.

An experienced advisor, Lebron has worked for more than 10 years in many facets of the insurance business. Prior to joining Encharter Insurance, Lebron began his career as an account representative with Amica Mutual Insurance Company, and then gained additional experience as a sale associate with Liberty Mutual Insurance and the Dowd Insurance Agencies.

Lebron said he will strive to “cultivate new client relationships through referral opportunities and community involvement, and looks forward to assisting businesses and families in purchasing the right protection for their specific needs.”

Daily News

PALMER —  Baystate Wing Hospital has announced an investment of $30,000 in grants to benefit local community-based nonprofit organizations. The grant awards were given to the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation, the Quaboag Connector to support local transportation in the region, the Ware Fire Department to support Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and paramedic training, and to the Ware Regional Recovery Center to increased access to support and expand knowledge about recovery support services and resources in the region.

“Everyone is strengthened when we work together to build and sustain a culture of health and wellness within our communities,” said Molly Gray, president and chief administrative officer for Baystate Health’s Eastern Region, which includes Baystate Wing Hospital and Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center. “We are very happy to support the work with our community partners with these grant investments.”

Baystate Health’s Eastern Region represents 15 communities comprising a population of approximately 120,000 people. Programs supported by the hospital’s grant investments include:

 

Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation, the Quaboag Connector: The $30,000 grant to the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation (QVCDC) will provide continued support to the Quaboag Connector Transportation Initiative which addresses the lack of transportation to employment, education, healthcare, workforce training, shopping, and benefit services within and outside the region. The service which began in January 2017 has provided thousands of rides to community members. In March 2022, the Quaboag Connector surpassed all previous months in number of rides providing 1,397 rides demonstrating the continued need for this service.

 

The Ware Fire Department $11,500: The $11,500 grant was awarded to the Ware Fire Department in support of EMS Paramedic training for a member of the Ware Fire/EMS Team.

 

Growing Strong: Ware Regional Recovery Center’s Next Chapter

The $3500 grant to the Ware Regional Recovery Center, a program of the Western Massachusetts Training Consortium, will support their work in the Quaboag Hills Region to respond with increased momentum in raising community awareness about local access to recovery support and resources, to decrease stigma and to encourage people to seek out recovery support services in a time of critical need.

 

Daily News

HOLYOKE — BusinessWest will celebrate its 40 Under Forty Class of 2022 tonight at its annual gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The event will also feature the announcement of the Alumni Achievement Award winner for 2022.

The sold-out event begins with a VIP hour at 4 p.m. for invited guests, honorees, and sponsors only. The doors for general admission open at 5:30, and the program begins at 6:30.

Attendees are encouraged to carpool. In addition to parking at the Log Cabin, there will be parking at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 34 Jarvis Ave., with shuttle service — complete with beer and wine — to the Log Cabin. The shuttle service ends at 11 p.m.

For those who cannot attend in person, the event will be livestreamed. To watch, visit: https://businesswest.com/40-under-forty/40underforty/

The event is sponsored by presenting sponsor PeoplesBank, with supporting sponsors Comcast Business, Live Nation, Mercedes Benz of Springfield, The Mill District, UMass Isenberg School of Management, and Stand Out Truck. The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield is an event partner. The Alumni Achievement Award is sponsored by Health New England.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — The HCC Foundation is opening a second round of scholarship awards for the 2022-2023 academic year for anyone who did not apply during the first round.

The new application cycle opens June 20, and runs through August 8.

For 2022-2023, the foundation is awarding more than $300,000 in scholarship support to students from more than 150 scholarship funds. The scholarships are all donor funded and considered gift aid that does not need to be paid back.

Students must be currently enrolled at HCC or have been accepted for the upcoming academic year to be eligible for scholarships, which are awarded through the HCC Foundation, HCC’s nonprofit fundraising corporation.

The application deadline is August 8.

“Anyone who didn’t apply for a scholarship during the first application period now has another chance,” said Patrick Carpenter, HCC director of Institutional Advancement. “In the past, we have stopped accepting scholarship applications in April, which is so early in the college’s admissions cycle that the vast majority of first-year students were kept out of the process. With this later deadline we hope that a much larger percentage of incoming first-year students will apply. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have a lot more scholarship money to give out.”

Applicants only need to fill out a single online form to be automatically matched with the scholarships they are most qualified to receive. There are scholarships for new students, current students, and students transferring to other institutions, scholarships based on financial need, scholarships for students in specific majors, scholarships for residents of certain communities, and scholarships that recognize academic achievement.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, the HCC Foundation awarded more than 200 students. To view scholarship opportunities and begin the application process, visit www.hcc.edu/scholarships. Questions should be directed to the HCC Foundation scholarship team at [email protected].

Daily News

Buying a home is exciting, especially if it’s your first home — but it can also be stressful and confusing. To assist those considering purchasing their first home, American Eagle Financial Credit Union is hosting a free First-Time Home Buyer Seminar on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley, 221 Industry Ave., Springfield.

 

Designed to take the mystery and anxiety out of the home-buying process, this program is free and open to both American Eagle members and nonmembers. Attendees will hear from industry professionals who will share their knowledge and experience, and answer questions about purchasing your first home. To register, visit americaneagle.org/fthbspringfield.

 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, will celebrate the music of legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim on June 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield Symphony Hall.

The Sondheim Celebration, conducted by Tim Stella, will feature Broadway stars Hugh Panaro and Lisa Vroman. Joining the cast are Ron Raines and Florence Lacey, who recently co-starred in the Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Follies.

“Stephen Sondheim has been a Broadway legend as both composer and lyricist, and his string of hits include the lyrics to West Side Story (which was recently remade as a film), Company (currently a sell-out on Broadway), A Little Night Music (headed to Barrington Stage this summer), Encore’s Into The Woods transferring to Broadway, and more,” said Stella. “I’m so looking forward to hearing his great melodies performed by a full orchestra, and showcased by some of the best names on Broadway.”

Stella conducted The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and before that, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Hello Dolly!, and Legs Diamond. He served as vocal coach to Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, who portrayed Christine and the Phantom respectively, in the movie version of Phantom. Stella has also served as the resident music director of Goodspeed Musicals, and a conductor at Radio City Music Hall.

Panaro is best known for having played the role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times. He made his Broadway debut as Marius in the original production of Les Misérables, a role he originated in the First National Company. He created the roles of Buddy in Side Show, Julian Caster in The Red Shoes, the title role in the American premiere of Martin Guerre, and the title role in Elton John’s Lestat.

Vroman, who made her Broadway debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love, starred for several years on Broadway as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. She also starred as Rosabella in New York City Opera’s The Most Happy Fella. Some of her notable roles are: Charlotte in A Little Night Music with Michigan Opera Theatre; Lili Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate with both Glimmerglass Opera and the MUNY Theater of St. Louis; and Marian Paroo in The Music Man at the Bushnell. She was the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Misérables. She appeared as Johanna in the San Francisco Symphony’s Emmy Award-winning Sweeney Todd in Concert, with Patti Lupone and George Hearn.

Raines is a Tony and Grammy Award nominee for the acclaimed 2012 production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. Ron has also starred on Broadway as Daddy Warbucks in Annie, Joseph Pulitzer in Newsies, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Gaylord Ravenal in Show Boat, and Nick Longworth in Teddy & Alice. He has delighted audiences around the country in A Little Night Music opposite Leslie Uggams. He has appeared on four PBS “Great Performances,” and was a three-time Emmy nominee for his role as the nefarious Alan Spaulding on CBS’s longest running daytime drama Guiding Light.

Lacey was last seen on Broadway in the critically acclaimed Kennedy Center production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. She made her Broadway debut as Irene Malloy in Hello Dolly!  for which she won the Theater World Award. And her biggest role was Eva Peron in Evita, a role she played on Broadway and on tour around the world.  Her other Broadway credits include Les Misérables; The Grand Tour; and An Evening with Jerry Herman (Mac Award). In regional theater, she appeared in Pal Joey at Goodspeed Opera House and A Little Night Music at Connecticut Repertory Theatre. At the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C., she performed Sunday in the Park with George, Follies, and a concert version of My Fair Lady.

MOSSO’s Summer Concerts continue with the return of Maestro Kevin Rhodes on July 21, in a MOSSO Benefit Concert of light classics and music of John Williams. Violinist Yevgeny Kutik, whose two prior solo appearances in Springfield were met with great acclaim, will perform select pieces. Tickets for both concerts, priced $60, $45, $25, and $10, are on sale at: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com.

 

 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — State and local officials, leaders at Mercy Medical Center, and friends and family of the late Andy Yee gathered at the medical center Tuesday for the announcement of plans to create a palliative care unit that will bear Yee’s name.

The unit, which is expected to open before the end of the year, will be located on the fifth floor of Mercy Medical Center and will be overseen by Dr. Philip Glynn, medical director of the Mercy’s Sister Mary Caritas Cancer Center, and Laurie Loiacono, M.D., Chief of Critical Care. The unit will be designed to provide an inviting, soothing space for end-of-life care for patients and families, as well as patients with chronic illnesses requiring pain and symptom management. All clinical staff involved in caring for patients and family members on the new unit will receive specialized training that focuses on palliative care.

Following Yee’s cancer diagnosis, the well-known restaurateur sought treatment at the Sister Caritas Cancer Center, where Yee and his family developed a strong relationship with Glynn, his oncologist. Grateful for the high quality, compassionate care Yee received until his passing last year, his wife, Sarah Yee, approached hospital leaders about creating a space dedicated to palliative care for patients.

“She has a clear understanding of the difficulties you and your loved one face when suffering from a serious illness, and she wants to ensure that more people have access to that same level of care and individual attention when it’s most needed,” said Deborah Bitsoli, president of Mercy Medical Center.

Bitsoli was one of many who spoke at the press conference to announce the new unit. Others included Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Glynn, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and Sarah Yee.

Collectively, they spoke of Andy Yee’s strong support for Mercy Medical Center and its staff and his passion for service to the community. They said the new palliative care unit would be a fitting legacy to an individual who found many ways to give back to the community and help others.

 

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has announced a 2022-23 season that will include six classical performances and two “pops” concerts.

The first concert in the new season will be presented on Saturday, October 22 featuring world-renowned conductor JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

“We are extremely pleased to announce this compelling and dynamic season that will include a remarkable series of conductors who we know will bring joy and beautiful music to concert lovers with a combination of six classical concerts and two pops concerts,” said Interim SSO Director Paul Lambert. “We are pleased and excited by the talent and diversity of these conductors including two female conductors as part of the coming season – a first for the SSO.

“We are announcing this concert season at a time when we continue to be without a labor agreement with the musicians’ union,” he went on. “We want to be clear that we remain hopeful for a new agreement and look forward to working together to present this concert season. This concert season will showcase the extraordinary talent of the SSO musicians under the direction of a talented collection of guest conductors.

“We are looking forward to collaborating on these and future concerts with the musicians of the SSO family as we present our first full season coming out of the pandemic,” he continued. “We are thrilled to be re-engaging our patrons and believe we have a compelling lineup of classical and pops music that will attract new audiences into Symphony Hall.”

Two of the guest conductors that will be coming to Symphony Hall in the coming season, Falletta and Theodore Kuchar, have been included in the group of the 10 best living conductors in the world, according to David Hurwitz, a music critic and executive editor of ClassicsToday.com, the first and only classical music daily.

The six classical concerts included in the concert schedule are:

  • Oct. 22, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, featuring Zoltan Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta, Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto with guest cellist Joshua Roman, and Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, considered by many musicologists to be his best symphony;
  • Nov. 5, The Sound of Silence, conducted by Tania Miller, former Music Director of the Victoria (Canada) Symphony Orchestra, featuring “Messenger,” a work by Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 36  (Linz), and Johannes Brahms; Symphony No. 3, from which Dvořák derived the inspiration for his 7th Symphony;
  • Jan. 14, 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration with African American guest conductor Kevin Scott, featuring the music of African-American composers, including Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in D minor performed by Artina McCain, and William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 4, the Autochthonous;
  • March 11, a program conducted by Mark Russell Smith featuring the work of female composersJoan Tower in her Fanfare #1 for the Unknown Woman, and Louise Farrenc in her Symphony No. 3; The program concludes with the powerful Piano Concerto #2 of Sergei Prokofiev, performed by Wei Luo;
  • April 15, Asian-American conductor Tian Hui Ng, Music Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra, will conduct a program featuring Benjamin Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto, No. 2, an epic work of Romanticism, performed by Jiayan Sun, and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations; 
  • May 13, conductor Theodore Kuchar, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Lviv (Ukraine) National Symphony Orchestra, will lead a program featuring Dvorak’s Carnival Overture, Thomas de Hartmann’s Cello Concerto with guest cellist Matt Haimovitz, and Jean Sibelius’s dramatic and ever popular Symphony No.2.

The first pops concert in the concert schedule is “Holiday Pops” on Dec. 3, 2022 with conductor William Waldrop featuring guest soprano Camille Zamora and the Springfield Symphony Chorus. The program will include some old and some new versions of holiday favorites.

On Feb. 25, 2023 Byron Stripling, who also will perform on trumpet and vocals, will lead the second pops concert, celebrating Mardi Gras. He is a Springfield favorite, and is now the principal Pops conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

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