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Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Brand-development firm Six-Point Creative has made two recent additions to its staff, including Amanda Levy, client advocate, and Hang Tran, graphic designer.

Levy brings to Six-Point a combination of product-management and account-service experience. She worked previously for Bindertek in Belchertown, where she was lead merchandiser, marketing analyst, and, most recently, manager of product development. She has also provided freelance design and marketing consultation to businesses and nonprofits throughout the region. Levy, who graduated from Mount Holyoke College, will work with Six-Point’s account service team, with responsibility for serving a number of consumer and business-to-business accounts.

Tran is an award-winning designer with a degree in graphic design and interactive media from Fitchburg State University. She has provided creative direction, graphic design, image development, and production services for national and international brands while working for PUMA in Westford and for Brigade in Hadley. She will provide these services to Six-Point clients, including visual brand development for companies going through Solve for Y, a Six-Point brand-development process for innovative companies ready to scale.

Daily News

HADLEY — Jeffrey Simpson, CFA has been promoted to vice president of Commercial Lending and chief commercial officer for UMassFive College Federal Credit Union.

The Commercial Services Department has a goal of supporting the local community and economy with competitive rates and terms on short- and long-term commercial business loans for working capital, equipment, commercial real estate, and special projects designed to bring greater efficiencies and cost savings to member businesses.

The department has begun its lending process to fellow business professionals in the area. UMassFive is also in the process of crafting business checking, savings, and money-market options, as well as a business credit card.

“I am delighted to see the development of the Commercial Services Department and the heights we have reached thus far,” Simpson said. “These services have strengthened relationships with current members, as well as bringing on new memberships with community members interested in commercial products.”

Daily News

HADLEY — In 2016, Paragus IT CEO Delcie Bean implemented an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), which distributed ownership of 40% of the company to its (at the time) 40-plus employees. On Friday, Oct. 19 at 2:30 p.m., Paragus and its now-50-plus employees will toast Employee Ownership Month and celebrate self-ownership at the firm’s headquarters, located at 112 Russell St. in Hadley.

The head brewer of Harpoon Brewery (another employee-owned company) will serve one of his favorite concoctions and field questions. Paragus staff will personally prepare and serve favorites from the Paragus cookbook, featuring unique home recipes from the firm’s employee-owners. Attendees will also receive a copy of the cookbook.

An ESOP is an employee-owner program that gives staff an owner interest in the company, making them shareholders in addition to being employees. In addition to Harpoon Brewery, high-profile ESOPs in the U.S. include Publix Markets, Chobani Yogurt, King Arthur Flour, and Lifetouch.

“After two years, it’s clear that the ESOP decision was a smart one,” Bean said. “It has fueled growth and inspired deeper commitment by giving everyone a direct stake and a personal investment in the future of the company. We look forward to having everybody celebrate Employee Ownership Month with us. And I’m curious to taste some of these staff cookbook recipes.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Hampden County Bar Assoc. Legal Clinic, in conjunction with law students from Western New England School of Law, will present their first annual Pro Bono Week on Oct. 15-19.

The week will consist of various Lawyer for the Day programs, which allow individuals to speak with a local, experienced attorney in person, free of charge. The volunteer attorneys will provide advice, answers, and guidance to self-represented litigants who need assistance in the areas of housing, family law, and general civil matters. The programs will be held at the Hampden County Bar Assoc. office, which is located on the first floor of the Roderick L. Ireland Courthouse, 50 State St., Springfield. The schedule will be as follows:

• Monday, Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., housing court, landlord/tenant matters;

• Tuesday, Oct. 16, 1-4 p.m., district court, civil matters, and housing court, landlord/tenant matters;

• Wednesday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., district court, civil matters; and

• Friday, Oct. 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., probate and family court matters.

All programs operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Times are subject to change. For more information, call the Hampden County Bar Assoc. Legal Clinic at (413) 733-6500.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Did you know Northampton and New York are the strongest destination pairing in Amtrak’s entire northeast system? Did you know expanded North-South passenger rail service is coming to the Valley next year between Greenfield, Northampton, Holyoke, and Springfield? Did you know the state is about to initiate a new study on east-west passenger rail as well?

If any of this is new information to you, join the Rail Users Network (RUN), the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and Trains in the Valley this Saturday, Oct. 13 for RUN’s annual public forum taking place from noon to 5 p.m. at the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission offices, 60 Congress St., Springfield.

The event is free and will highlight the efforts underway which have already led to the expansion of passenger rail service between New Haven and Springfield as well as the proposed pilot program to offer additional service along the northern end of the Knowledge Corridor starting in 2019.

The program will also focus on the ongoing effort to establish seasonal rail service called the Berkshire Flyer from Pittsfield to New York City, and the east-west passenger-rail study that is currently underway. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal and state Sen. Eric Lesser will deliver welcoming remarks.

Registration for the event is not required, but strongly encouraged. Click here to register.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) will induct seven accomplished alumni into the biennial Co-Curricular Hall of Fame during a brunch in their honor beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. The event will be held in Schwartz Campus Center on the main campus as part of the college’s Homecoming Weekend festivities. 

Inductees for 2018 include distinguished alumni who cross generations from the Class of 1950 through 2009. Glendora Vesta Folsom Buell ’50 has enjoyed a historically successful career in television. Her show, A Chat with Glendora, has been syndicated on public-access cable television stations nationwide since it first aired in 1972, making it the world’s longest-running active public-access program. Emily Rivera-Nunez ’97, who received numerous awards for leadership as an undergraduate student, has gone on to enjoy a rewarding career in criminal justice and victim advocacy. Her husband, Luis Nunez ’98, is also an inductee. During his time at AIC, Nunez was an active member of the campus community, serving in student government, Model Congress, the wrestling team, and as a resident assistant. He is a senior development accountant and continues to volunteer his time and talent with youth wrestling and baseball. Kia Prescott Bandoh ’99, a biology major and recipient of Who’s Who Among Students in Colleges and Universities, went on to earn a master of physician assistant degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is a physician assistant at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Program with the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers. Yolanda McCormick ’03 (MS ’05) graduated with a bachelor of science in sociology and criminal justice, and a master of science degree in criminal justice. She earned a second master of science degree in mental-health counseling and is a licensed mental-health clinician in North Carolina. 

Two longtime Springfield residents are also being recognized. Elizabeth Perez ’99 majored in criminal justice and political science while at AIC. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational psychology at the college. Perez has been a social worker and supervisor with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families for 19 years. Keshawn Dodds ’01 (MEd ’09) is the executive director of the Boys & Girls Club Family Center in Springfield. Dodds recently received the 2018 Ubora Award from the Springfield Museums. He was a member of BusinessWest’s 40 Under 40 class of 2012, and received the Stone Soul Community Leader Award in 2015. In 2016, Dodds became an Amazon best-selling author with his science-fiction novel Menzuo: The Calling of the Sun Prince.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Technical Community College dental hygiene program and the Valley District Dental Society will co-host the second Community Dental Day on Saturday, Oct. 27. The event provides an opportunity for area residents who might not be receiving any dental care to obtain free treatment and schedule follow-up visits.

The dental hygiene and dental clinics in Building 20 at STCC will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Valley District Dental Society licensed dentists, together with STCC dental hygiene and assisting students, will offer patient education, health screenings, diagnosis, X-rays, and other types of urgent care.

“It will not be unlimited care, but there will be such treatment as fillings, extractions, sealants, and taking care of urgent issues,” said Dr. Martin Wohl, one of the dentists who supervises students treating patients at STCC. “We will not provide cleanings, but in diagnosing that someone needs a cleaning, we will be able to schedule a follow-up visit. We will be able to put them into the system to get routine cleanings.”

While Community Dental Day will be free, patients can return to STCC for low-cost follow-up care. STCC’s dental hygiene clinic on the second floor of Building 20 offers routine cleanings and various procedures at a reduced cost to residents of the Greater Springfield area.

“We’re excited about Community Dental Day,” Wohl said. “We had a wonderful response last time. The doctors feel they can again provide a valuable service, and they can help people that generally can’t find the care they seek. We hope Community Dental Day will get people to start thinking about making either here or elsewhere as a dental home.”

STCC will welcome anyone who needs care on Community Dental Day, but Wohl recommends calling the dental hygiene clinic in advance at (413) 755-4900 to make an appointment.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Six Flags New England recently held a diaper drive to support the children and families served by Square One. Thousands of diapers were donated by Six Flags patrons, and, in exchange, donors were given free admission to the theme park.

“We are so grateful to the team at Six Flags for constantly thinking of creative, fun ways to support Square One and so many other community organizations,” said Kristine Allard, chief Development & Communications officer for Square One. “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the Six Flags leadership and members of the community who donated diapers to help us continue to serve families in our programs.”

More than 300 cases of diapers will be picked up at the Six Flags offices by Square One staff today, Oct. 11 at 11 a.m. and delivered to the Square One Family Center at 1095 Main St. in Springfield at approximately 11:45 a.m.

“Six Flags New England is thrilled to support nonprofits throughout Western Massachusetts. Each year the park supports over 3,000 nonprofits with charitable donations and collections drives,” said Six Flags New England Communications Manager Jennifer McGrath. “Square One is committed to supporting children and families throughout the area and aligns with the Six Flags philosophy on community outreach. We will continue to assist Square One and a variety of other initiatives throughout the area to better our surrounding community.”

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College will host its annual Transfer Fair today, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Hundreds of area community college students are expected to meet with representatives from more than 50 four-year New England colleges and universities to discuss opportunities for continuing their educations. The transfer fair, always one of the largest such events in the region, will be held in the PeoplesBank Conference Room on the third floor of the HCC Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development.

At the same time, in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15), the college will be holding Expo Latino 2018, a celebration of Latino food, culture, music, and art right outside the Transfer Fair in the HCC Courtyard. With Latino enrollment now at about 28%, HCC is a federally recognized Hispanic Serving Institution, or HSI.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — One of the many challenges employers face in today’s business world is the ever-present impact of technology. At a seminar on Thursday, Oct. 25, Tim Netkovick, an attorney with Royal, P.C., will discuss the impact of employees’ social-media accounts on the workplace, and employees’ right to privacy in e-mail and internet communications.

The seminar, slated for 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Royal, P.C., 270 Pleasant St., Northampton, will cover topics such as using social media during hiring, conducting an effective interview, dealing with confidentiality issues, and taking action on potentially harassing posts on social media. Human-resources professionals, CFOs, CEOs, and anyone in a management position, responsible for overseeing and/or hiring employees, may be interested in attending.

The cost is $30. For more information and to register, call Heather Loges at (413) 586-2288.