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SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal visited the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Monday to announce $3,740,728 in funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Shuttered Venues Operation Grant (SVOG) program. Joining Neal for this announcement was Hall of Fame President and CEO John Doleva.

“These funds are incredibly instrumental to operations like the Basketball Hall of Fame who suffered greatly because of the pandemic,” Neal said. “For the safety of the American people, the government forced these agencies to close their doors. And now, it is the government again stepping in to make sure that they are able to get back on their feet.”

Doleva added that “the Shuttered Venue Operations Grant commitment means the Basketball Hall of Fame can stabilize its business operations that were so severely impacted over the last 15 months and allow us to better position ourselves for long-term survival and future growth. Without the SBA’s SVOG, many venues, like ours, would have struggled to regain footing and suffered long-term consequences that for some may have been permanent.”

SVOG was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes more than $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible entities include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing-arts organization operators, museum operators, motion-picture theater operators (including owners), and talent representatives.

Across Massachusetts, 244 grants have been awarded, totaling $194,408,323. Thirty-three of those are in the First Congressional District, totaling $20,010,864. In addition to the Basketball Hall of Fame, they include Agawam Cinemas; Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in Becket; Chester Theatre Co.; Public Emily Inc. in Conway; Stationery Factory Events in Dalton; Luthier’s Co-Op in Easthampton; Berkshire Choral International, Berkshire International Film Festival, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, and Shaw Entertainment Group in Great Barrington; Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts in Holyoke; Athlone Artists, Edith Wharton Restoration, and WAM Theatre in Lenox; Exit Seven Players in Ludlow; HiLo Holding Co. and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation in North Adams; Barrington Stage Co. and Berkshire Theatre Group in Pittsfield; Corcoran Productions in Richmond; PDP Productions in Shelburne; Egremont Village Inn and Triplex Management Corp. in South Egremont; Tower Theatres in South Hadley; Bold New Directors in Southampton; Cindy Pettibone in Southwick; Springfield Symphony Orchestra; Old Sturbridge Inc.; NV Concepts Unlimited and the Theatre Project in West Springfield; and Community Images Inc. and Williamstown Theatre Foundation in Williamstown.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) will close its offices on Monday, Aug. 2 in honor of its former managing partner, James Barrett.

“With heavy hearts, we share that our friend and colleague, Jim Barrett, lost his battle with cancer and passed away on July 23,” the firm said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, his friends, and all the lives he touched. Our offices will be closed on Monday, August 2 to allow the MBK family to honor Jim’s memory and attend his service.”

Barrett had a successful career in public accounting following his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England College and his master of taxation degree from Florida International College. He was licensed as a certified public accountant in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida; served on the board of directors for CPAmerica; and was a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Legion, and the National Rifle Assoc. In 2008, he was appointed managing partner of MBK and served in that position until his health required him to step down in the spring of 2020.

“As our managing partner, Jim guided MBK through many transitions over the past decade,” the firm noted. “Jim was disciplined in his approach to leadership, always studying the facts and data before making decisions. He was particularly adept at helping clients work through the most complicated financial and business situations. He was an active listener, preferring to lead through the art of asking thoughtful questions, a trait that his clients and colleagues appreciated about him. When he walked into any room, people were drawn to his strong leadership, warm smile, and sense of humor. He knew how to help everyone balance the stress of our profession with a funny story, a pat on the back, or one of his famous fist bumps as he would make his rounds through our office (often with his to-do list in hand). Jim set a great example for us with his work ethic and desire to always improve MBK. His leadership contributed to MBK’s long-standing reputation as a leading professional service firm in New England. Jim was a great leader, mentor, friend, and brother to the entire MBK team. We will all miss Jim greatly, and we will work to honor his memory for years to come.”

Click here for Barrett’s obituary at MassLive. Memorial gatherings will be held at Forastiere-Smith Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 220 North Main St., East Longmeadow, on Sunday, Aug. 1 from 2 to 6 p.m., and on Monday, Aug. 2 from 9 to 10 a.m. The liturgy will follow on Aug. 2 at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Parish in East Longmeadow.

Memorial contributions in Barrett’s memory may be made to Semper Fi & America’s Fund, 825 College Blvd., Suite 102, PMB 609, Oceanside, CA 92057 or to the Sister Caritas Cancer Center, 271 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) recently welcomed LaTonia Naylor of Springfield College and Gregory Thomas of UMass Amherst to its board of directors.

Naylor is a dedicated Springfield native and LPV class of 2016 alumna who has been serving the region for years through her work at nonprofit organizations and the Springfield School Committee, where she serves as an elected member. Thomas, director of the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship Management at UMass, has demonstrated exceptional leadership in positions across corporate America in both advising and coaching leaders and entrepreneurs.

“LaTonia and Gregory bring great skill sets to our board as we envision our future as an organization. Their perspectives as an alumna and entrepreneurial advisor are invaluable to the organization,” said Lora Wondolowski, executive director of LPV.

The board also elected its officers, including Annamarie Golden of Baystate Health as chair, Tony Maroulis of W.D. Cowls as vice chair, Calvin Hill of Springfield College as clerk, Callie Niezgoda of Common Capital as treasurer, and Russell Peotter, retired from WGBY, as immediate past chair.

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SPRINGFIELD — The YMCA of Greater Springfield announced it will hold a golf tournament on Monday, Sept. 21 at the Longmeadow Country Club.

“We are excited to be holding a golf tournament this year, especially after the challenges of this past year,” said Dexter Johnson, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield. “This will be a great opportunity for people to get outside on an incredible course, enjoy a day of golf, and support a meaningful cause. The funds raised through this tournament will go to support youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through access to the YMCA because, at the Y, our doors are open to all, and no one is turned away due to the inability to pay in full for programs and services.”

Michael Rouette, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Monson Savings Bank and golf chairperson for the event, added that “we’ve been working hard to create a great experience for all our golf participants and sponsors. I would like to thank all of our sponsors who have teed up to support the Greater Springfield community through this tournament. I hope others will join Monson Savings Bank, Country Bank, Epstein Financial Services, and the other sponsors in making this day a true success. You will be helping to provide childcare for our youngest in the community, support after-school programs, provide access to the YMCA’s many health and wellness programs, support a social outlet for many, and so much more.”

In addition to a round of golf, golfers will enjoy a grilled lunch at 11 a.m. and a dinner following the tournament.

To learn more about registration and sponsorship opportunities, e-mail Donna Sittard, Development director at the YMCA, at [email protected], call (413) 739-6951, ext. 3110, or visit www.springfieldy.org.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Thunderbirds, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, announced they will host the Hartford Wolf Pack in the club’s home opener on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 7:05 p.m. at the MassMutual Center.

It is the first of 38 regular-season home games for the Thunderbirds in 2021-22 after shutting down play for the 2020-21 season.

The first matchup with the Wolf Pack also marks the second straight season that the Thunderbirds will open their season on home ice. Click here for the full, printable 2021-22 Thunderbirds schedule.

Single-game tickets will go on sale at a later date. For more information or to become a Springfield Thunderbirds ticket member, call (413) 739-4625 or visit www.springfieldthunderbirds.com.

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NEWTON — As the Greater Boston business community prepares for a post-COVID-19 environment, the Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst is opening co-working space for startup or small companies interested in co-locating with the state’s flagship public research university.

The Innovation and Collaboration Space on UMass Amherst’s Newton campus includes co-working office and lab space, with an additional makerspace planned in the near future.

The co-working office space features 20 individual workspaces, available for rent on a weekly or monthly basis, with access to shared conference rooms. In addition to the opportunity to network with other businesses, the co-working space, located in the Campus Center, allows for interaction with UMass Amherst faculty, staff, and students. The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network and CoachUp will be among the first tenants in the co-working space.

The co-working laboratory space offers 26 individual benches available for rent on a monthly basis. Companies utilizing the lab space have access to the core facilities on the university’s main campus in Amherst. It is aligned with the lab space-rental program of the UMass Amherst Institute of Applied Life Sciences (IALS). Newton-headquartered nanotechnology company Xheme Inc. will be the first tenant in the lab space.

“The co-working lab space allows companies to access core research facilities at UMass Amherst,” said Kathryn Ellis, director of the UMass Amherst Innovation Institute. “Companies that choose to co-locate with us can also build long-lasting and valuable relationships with UMass Amherst faculty and students.”

Consistent with the campus mission and strategic plan, Innovation and Collaboration Space members are expected to provide professional-development opportunities for UMass Amherst students, including informational interviews, job shadowing, and networking opportunities.

“As a center for student experiential learning and professional development, we’re building a campus environment where UMass Amherst students conducting internships or co-ops in Greater Boston also get exposure to different industries while living here,” said Mount Ida Campus Managing Director Jeff Cournoyer. “The intent is for these companies to grow and ‘graduate’ to larger spaces in the region, but while they’re here they’ll be accessible to students — and potential future employees ­­— who want to learn about their business.”

The Mount Ida Campus of UMass Amherst is located at 100 Carlson Ave. in Newton, within the N-Squared Innovation District, five minutes from I-95 and eight miles from downtown Boston. The campus offers Innovation and Collaboration Space tenants free parking, award-winning UMass Dining, outdoor recreational facilities, and on-site conference and event space.

A 6,000-square-foot collaborative maker space is also in development on the Mount Ida Campus.

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WEST SPRINGFIELD — The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts encourages the community to apply for the 2021 Creative Awards before the deadline on Thursday, Aug. 5. Applicants can find the guidelines and application form by clicking here or can contact the Ad Club at (413) 342-0533 or [email protected].

Award winners will be announced at the Ad Club’s Creative Awards show scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 14. Tickets to attend the awards show are available for purchase online by clicking here.

Participants may qualify for entry in a variety of categories, including advertising, copywriting, design, interactive and web media, photography, video and motion, and student work.

“We are super excited to see all of the submissions for this year’s award show and are beyond excited for our virtual celebration to highlight and honor all of the hard work and dedication that went into projects of the past year,” said Susie Howard, Creative Awards co-chair.

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PHILADELPHIA — Comcast Business announced it has launched its new wireless mobile service for small businesses, Comcast Business Mobile, nationally across its footprint. Comcast Business Mobile offers flexible data options, nationwide 5G coverage, and savings, and is available exclusively to Comcast Business Internet customers in all of its service areas via www.comcastbusiness.com/mobile.

“Staying connected — whether in the office or on the go — is critical for small businesses. Comcast Business Mobile provides small-business owners and their employees access to the most reliable network with nationwide 5G included at no extra cost as well as access to more than 20 million secure Xfinity WiFi hotspots,” said Bill Stemper, president of Comcast Business. “We have created a unique mobile experience that brings more value to our internet customers, saving them money while providing tremendous performance, reliability, and flexibility.”

The service offers Comcast Business Internet customers up to 10 lines with no line-access fees. Comcast Business Mobile gives customers the freedom to build the best plan for their needs, even mixing and matching Comcast Business Mobile’s two data options — unlimited data and by the gig — across multiple lines.

Comcast Business Mobile is compatible with top phones and tablets, allowing customers to choose from today’s most popular devices. Customers may also bring their own devices with no term contract required for mobile service.

To sign up for Comcast Business Mobile or to learn more, visit www.comcastbusiness.com/mobile.

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WARE — Country Bank and the Worcester Red Sox have announced a community giving campaign to support nonprofit leaders throughout the region.

To kick off the campaign, dubbed “WooStars,” Country Bank recognized 11 local nonprofits at Polar Park, including Springfield-based organizations Friends of the Homeless, Ronald McDonald House, Christina’s House, and Habitat for Humanity, along with Worcester-based organizations the United Way, Why Me, Sherry’s House, Provision Ministry, St. John’s Food Pantry for the Poor, the Boys and Girls Club, and Habitat for Humanity. Each nonprofit was presented with a $5,000 check from Paul Scully, president and CEO of Country Bank. Representatives of the nonprofits also participated in a television commercial to support the campaign.

Country Bank and the Worcester Red Sox Foundation will select nine additional nonprofit leaders who have stepped up to the plate to serve their community. The deadline for nominations is Aug. 15. Each winner will receive a $5,000 donation to their nonprofit and will be recognized at a presentation in Polar Park on Sept. 9. A total of $90,000 will be donated this year through the WooStar campaign.

“One of the most important goals of our partnership with the Worcester Red Sox is to find ways for us to collectively give back to our communities in an impactful and meaningful way. Country Bank is deeply rooted in supporting its communities and a value that we have lived by for 171 years,” said Shelley Regin, the bank’s senior vice president of Marketing, adding that “this campaign rewards those doing the life-changing work out there.”

In addition, the bank has also launched a Most Valuable Teacher (MVT) campaign that recognizes the outstanding work teachers do every day to educate and support students. Country Bank has a long-standing Teacher of the Month campaign to support teachers in the region, so it is exciting to partner with the WooSox to make the MVT campaign even more rewarding for teachers and students.

“We are continually inspired by the unrelenting community outreach of Country Bank,” WooSox President Charles Steinberg said. “Our shared interest in education is leading us to recognize some of our unheralded heroes — our MVTs, or Most Valuable Teachers. We look forward to shining the spotlight in the sunlight on our educators, and we thank Country Bank yet again for their splendid partnership.”

The public is invited to nominate a WooStar or Most Valuable Teacher by clicking here or here to complete a simple nomination form.

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BOSTON — For the second time in two years, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted to legalize sports betting. Though the vote was 156-3, the bill’s prospects remain unclear in the Senate, where the last attempt to pass a sports-betting law died.

The Boston Herald reported that sports betting brought in $960 million in the first quarter of 2021, according to a state Gaming Commission report. Thirty states — including Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and New York — have all legalized sports wagering in some form.

Licensing fees for the three casinos, two racetracks, and up to nine mobile-app operators described in the bill would generate as much as $80 million for the state to begin with, and again upon their renewal every five years, the Herald added, while the state could bring in another $60 million to $70 million in tax revenue annually.

Betting would be regulated by the state Gaming Commission. In-person bets at casino and track retailers would be taxed at 12.5%, with mobile bets costing slightly more at 15%.

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SPRINGFIELD — Market Mentors, the region’s largest marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, announced it has received certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women-owned businesses thrive and grow.

“We had previously received certification through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Because we have clients outside of the state, pursuing this national certification made sense,” company President Michelle Abdow said. “We’re honored to be a part of a group of such successful and driven women entrepreneurs.”

WBENC certification provides Market Mentors with access to a vast network of support, including targeted business opportunities and increased visibility in corporate and government supply chains, education, and development programs. It is also an approved third-party certifier for the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business federal contracting program.

“This certification opens the door so we can pursue opportunities with government agencies and programs, public schools and universities, and companies with supplier diversity and inclusion programs,” Abdow explained.

WBENC certification validates that a business is at least 51% owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. One or more women must have unrestricted control of the business, a demonstrated management of day-to-day operations, and a proportionate investment of capital or expertise. To become certified, business owners undergo a thorough vetting process, including review of business documentation and a site visit.

After working in media for more than a decade, Abdow founded Market Mentors in her home in 2003. Over the past 18 years, it has grown into a team of more than 20 professionals with multiple areas of expertise and breadth of experience across a range of industries.

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AGAWAM — OMG Roofing Products announced it has hired Christina Gonzalez as a product manager. She is responsible for developing sales and marketing opportunities for new and existing OMG discretionary products throughout the company’s extensive network of independent roofing distributors across the U.S. She reports to Adam Cincotta, vice president of the Adhesives & Solar Business Unit.

For the past four years, Gonzalez has been an associate product manager with the FastenMaster Division of OMG Inc., where she led cross-functional teams to help commercialize several new products annually. Earlier, she was in a management-training program with Sherwin-Williams. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Connecticut State University.

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ENFIELD, Conn. — Asnuntuck Community College will hold two more Admissions & Financial Aid virtual information sessions this summer, on Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 3 p.m., and Thursday, Aug. 12 at 5 p.m.

Potential students need to attend only one of the sessions. Participants will receive information about the admissions and financial-aid process, as well as learn about the many resources and course offerings available at Asnuntuck. The 60-minute session will also include time for questions and answers. Click here to register for a session. Classes begin on Aug. 26 for the fall semester.

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EAST LONGMEADOW — Excel Dryer Inc., manufacturer of the XLERATOR Hand Dryer, has added a new director of Marketing to the team. A seasoned professional with 24 years of experience, Tony Ieraci will be responsible for helping Excel Dryer create and execute long-term marketing strategies that will help grow the brand.

“We are excited to have Tony join us and bring innovative and exciting ideas to Excel,” said William Gagnon, vice president of Sales and Marketing at Excel Dryer. “With the majority of his professional life spent working in marketing and communications for industrial manufacturers, we are eager to see what he can do in this position.”

Ieraci has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in marketing from Western New England University. He has spent the last two decades working in marketing and communications for leading manufacturers like Scapa North America and Dymax Corp. Ieraci will now head up the marketing team at Excel Dryer to develop and implement effective global communication plans that advance the company’s business goals and objectives.

“Excel Dryer is a perfect fit for me, and I couldn’t be happier working for a company that makes a reliable, sustainable product in the USA,” Ieraci said. “Excel has done incredible work in creating innovative, industry-leading products, and I’m excited be part of the team and contribute to the company’s continued growth.”

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SPRINGFIELD — Increasing diversity in the construction workforce is an important topic and has become a measure of each project’s success, just like schedule, budget, and safety. To that end, Fontaine Bros. Inc. has named Elizabeth Wambui to serve as the company’s director of Diversity, Inclusion & Impact.

“Our approach, led by Liz, will go beyond the traditional general contractor/construction manager line of looking to subcontractors to have all the answers,” said David Fontaine Jr., vice president of Fontaine Bros.

Wambui will play a critical role in leading the company’s projects and project teams to maximize opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises as well as attracting a more diverse workforce. Fontaine Bros. will be partnering with unions, trade schools, and other community partners to more actively promote and provide opportunities for diverse and local residents.

“The key is to support these individuals throughout their careers so that, as their time with one subcontractor or on one project comes to an end, they have every opportunity to connect with subs on another of our projects,” Wambui said. “By being more active throughout the entire diversity ecosystem, I believe we will not only meet and exceed our goals and expectations, but we will help to create and sustain great careers for the next generation of tradespeople in Springfield, Worcester, and throughout the Commonwealth.”

Wambui will immediately step in and support Fontaine’s work across the Commonwealth, including the new $242 million Doherty Memorial High School project and the new $75 million DeBerry-Homer Elementary School in Springfield.

Before joining Fontaine, Wambui served as director of Advancement at Nativity School of Worcester (a longtime Fontaine community partner). A graduate of North High School and the College of the Holy Cross, she is passionate about engaging with the community. She currently serves as a board member at the Bancroft School, Shine Initiative, Women in Development of Central Massachusetts, Worcester Historical Museum, and YWCA. She is also a Mechanics Hall Modern Mechanics Guild member, a Worcester Art Museum corporator, and has served as a Greater Worcester Community Foundation early childhood committee member and scholarship community reviewer. She was part of the Leadership Worcester class of 2016-17 and has been recognized in the Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty.

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AMHERST — The Hitchcock Center for the Environment announced William “Billy” Spitzer as its new executive director. He brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience in the areas of science education, climate communication, and network building along with a vast network of national and international connections. Spitzer will be influential in the continued growth and impact that the center has seen in recent years as it continues on its mission to educate and inspire action for a healthy planet.

Spitzer comes to the center as the former vice president for Learning and Community at the New England Aquarium, where he was responsible for applying learning and social-science research across education programs, exhibits, visitor experience, and community outreach for more than 20 years. Working with organizations such as the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation, Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network, and North American Assoc. for Environmental Education, he has been involved in many successful collaborative projects with a focus on environmental education and awareness along with the promotion of public engagement in climate change.

In 2014, Spitzer was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders. In 2016, he received a Visionary Award from the Gulf of Maine Council for innovation, creativity, and commitment to marine protection. He holds a Ph.D. in oceanography from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The Hitchcock Center worked with search consultant Cathy Cohen of TSNE MissionWorks to review more than 70 applicants for the position. After an extensive search, which saw a wide variety of candidates vetted and interviewed, the board of directors enthusiastically chose Spitzer as the best-qualified to lead the center into the future.

Board President Clay Ballantine called Spitzer “an exceptionally skilled and accomplished professional who comes to the center at the perfect time. [He] is smart, approachable, thoughtful, has high emotional intelligence, and a track record of success — a perfect fit as the center continues to forge an unwavering path forward to be a leader addressing the challenges of climate change head on and ensuring a world where people, communities, and ecosystems thrive.”

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SPRINGFIELD — Arrha Credit Union announced the Adam Baldwin has been named Springfield branch manager.

Baldwin has more than seven years of banking experience and been recognized throughout his banking-industry career as a rising star with superior service awards. He is also a Rotarian with the Springfield Rotary Club.

“Arrha Credit Union is extremely pleased to welcome and introduce Adam Baldwin as our new Springfield branch manager,” said Michael Ostrowski, president and CEO.

Added Baldwin, “I am excited to be part of the Arrha Credit Union family and serving the Springfield community and its members. I look forward to providing caring service, offering rewarding membership benefits to existing and new members, and growing these relationships.”

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HOLYOKE — On July 12, Holyoke Mall welcomed Lynn Gray back to the shopping center as its new general manager. She brings more than 25 years of experience in the shopping-center industry. She has held various roles over her combined tenure with Pyramid Management Group, including customer service representative, receptionist, Marketing assistant, assistant Marketing director, Marketing director, and, most recently, general manager of Hampshire Mall.

In addition to her numerous years of experience with Pyramid Management Group, Gray held various roles over the span of 10 years with General Growth Properties, now Brookfield Properties, including director of Field Marketing for the East Region.

When asked what her goals are for Holyoke Mall, Gray said she is “committed to fostering strong relationships with the tenants and community as well as continue the development and support of a strong and seasoned mall team.” With her indepth background in all facets of the shopping-center industry, she also looks forward to being an integral component of the redevelopment process at Holyoke Mall.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Lynn’s capabilities and experience assume the position of general manager at Holyoke Mall,” said James Soos, director of Field Operations for Pyramid Management Group. “Lynn is enthusiastic and brings her vast knowledge and hands-on experience of working in the shopping-center industry to Holyoke Mall at a time when the center is poised for growth and will benefit from Lynn’s leadership.”

Gray is a graduate of Holyoke Community College with an associate degree in business administration. A lifelong resident of Western Mass., she is actively involved with several community and nonprofit organizations. She serves as president of the board of directors for the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the board of directors for the Amherst Boys and Girls Club. She is also a CDH International Massachusetts ambassador and volunteers for CHERUBS, the support division of CDHi.

Bill Rogalski, outgoing general manager of Holyoke Mall, retired on June 30 after 19 years in the position.

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HOLYOKE — The Holyoke Community College Foundation allocated $75,000 to endow a new scholarship fund specifically for Latinx students attending HCC.

Through the Bienvenidos Latinx Scholarship, HCC will provide financial support up to $2,500 each to eligible Latinx students attending or planning to attend HCC.

The foundation plans to award Bienvenidos scholarships totaling $50,000 to 20 students during the inaugural year, with the remaining $25,000 set aside in an endowed fund for future years.

The deadline to apply for Bienvenidos scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year is Friday, Aug. 6. The online application is available on the HCC website at hcc.edu/bienvenidos.

“HCC marked a major milestone in 2016 when the U.S. Department of Education recognized the college as a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), which means at least 25% of our students are of Latinx or Hispanic heritage,” said Amanda Sbriscia, vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the HCC Foundation. “As an HSI, though, we are committed to doing more than simply serve our Latinx students. We want to see them thrive.”

Bienvenidos was chosen as the name of the scholarship program because it means ‘welcome’ in Spanish. Beyond the direct financial support, scholarship recipients will also be connected to peer and alumni mentors and workshops to ensure their ongoing success.

“The Bienvenidos scholarships will open doors to a college education and welcome Latinx students into our community with everything they need to succeed at HCC,” Sbriscia said. “That includes providing a culture that embraces inclusion and increases their sense of belonging. The name of this new scholarship was an important piece of prioritizing that welcoming culture. Bienvenidos says it all.”

Applicants selected for scholarship awards by the college’s Hispanic Leadership Committee will be invited along with their families to celebrate during a first-ever Bienvenidos Latinx Scholarship reception on the HCC campus on Saturday, Aug. 28.

To be eligible for the Bienvenidos scholarship, students must be enrolled or intend to enroll in at least six credits at Holyoke Community College for the fall 2021 semester and must identify themselves as a Hispanic, Latina/o, or Latinx. The Bienvenidos Scholarship is open (but not limited) to DACA, undocumented, and international students. Preference will be given to students residing in Holyoke, Springfield, and Chicopee.

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SPRINGFIELD — ROAR! Comedy Club is back and ready to bring the laughs. Tickets to see comedians Ray Harrington on Saturday, Aug. 14, and Marty Caproni on Saturday, Aug. 28, are on sale at mgmspringfield.com/roar. ROAR! Comedy Club is located in the refurbished Armory at MGM Springfield.

MGM Springfield and John Tobin Presents will host comedy nights in ROAR! through the remainder of the year, with more shows to be announced in the upcoming weeks. The club, which launched in 2019, is a staple of MGM Springfield’s entertainment offerings.

“We are ecstatic to be re-opening ROAR! Comedy Club and bringing the great people of Springfield, Western Mass., and Connecticut laughter again,” said Ryan Cott, managing partner at John Tobin Presents. “It’s been a long 16 months without shows at ROAR!, but we couldn’t be happier to renew our fantastic partnership with MGM Springfield, who have been instrumental in bringing top-notch entertainment to the area.”

Chris Kelley, president and chief operating officer of MGM Springfield, added that “the return of ROAR! Comedy Club marks another milestone in reintroducing entertainment to our campus and downtown Springfield. We kicked off our Free Music Friday concert series last month and put the spotlight on premier local talent. Now, we look forward to reopening the doors of the iconic Armory for evenings of laughter. MGM Springfield is proud to offer the best in entertainment as we continue to celebrate the strength and resilience of our community.”

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SPRINGFIELD — The STEM Starter Academy at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) will feature a talk by an expert on opioid-use disorder today, July 21, from 11 a.m. to noon, the first in a series of events for students in the Summer Bridge program. The events, held over Zoom, are free and open to the public as well as students.

Today’s STEM Starter Academy presents Dr. Elizabeth Evans, a professor at the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at UMass Amherst. She specializes in opioids and other substances of abuse, women’s health, life course, social determinants, health-services utilization, and outcomes. She researches how healthcare systems and public policies can better promote health and wellness among vulnerable and underserved populations, particularly for individuals at risk for opioid and other substance-use disorders.

On Wednesday, July 28 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the STEM Starter Academy will present a STEM Careers Symposium. The Zoom event will feature professors, scientists, and industry experts sharing their inspiring stories about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Anyone joining the event will learn about STEM career choices, challenges, demands, and opportunities.

Scheduled to speak are Robert O’Connor of the state office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; Shannon Roberts, a professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at UMass Amherst; Dr. John O’Reilly from the Division of General Pediatrics at Baystate Health; and Graziella DiRenzo, an ecologist at UMass Amherst.

To request a Zoom link to watch the series, e-mail Reena Randhir, director of the STEM Starter Academy at STCC, at [email protected].

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HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Sharale Mathis as its vice president of Academic and Student Affairs.

Mathis was most recently the dean of Academic and Student Affairs at Middlesex Community College in Connecticut, where she was previously a tenured professor of Biology, course coordinator, department chair, and STEM Division director.

At Middlesex, Mathis taught both lab and non-lab science classes on campus, online, and in hybrid formats. She was an early adopter of open educational resources, utilizing online resources for supplemental instruction, designating that course as no cost to students.

“Dr. Mathis is an innovative and inclusive leader with over 15 years of higher-education experience in both academic and student affairs with a central focus on holistic student success,” HCC President Christina Royal said. “She is dedicated to her work in diversity, equity, and inclusion, and creating a ‘one team’ dynamic to increase student outreach, retention, and success. That is exactly the kind of person we wanted to fill this position at HCC.”

Mathis earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Eastern Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Quinnipiac University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Hartford.

“I am extremely honored to step into the role of vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Holyoke Community College,” said Mathis, who started her job at HCC on July 1. “HCC is embarking on many amazing transformative initiatives to promote student inclusivity and success. To become part of a team that is truly student-focused, with an intentional commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, is aspirational. I am excited to work under the leadership of President Royal and contribute my efforts to the powerful vision she has for the college.”

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announced that Dr. Ann Errichetti has been appointed associate provost and dean of the School of Education, Human and Health Services, and will begin her role on Aug. 23.

Errichetti returned to New England in the summer of 2018 after successful careers in healthcare management and in cardiology. Most recently, she served as the chief operations and academic officer at Presence Health, a $2.6 billion Catholic health system in Chicago with 12 acute-care hospitals, more than 25 senior-living facilities, and 16,000 employees. She was a core member of the turnaround team that improved operating performance by $200 million and led to a successful acquisition by Ascension Health in 2018.

“As we begin to shape our new strategic plan, which includes a key objective focusing on the strategic expansion and deepening of commitment to educating students in the health sciences, we could not be more excited to welcome Dr. Errichetti to Bay Path,” said Sandra Doran, the university’s president. “Her knowledge and proven success leading change in the healthcare industry, coupled with her commitment to student success and outcomes, will be instrumental to our community, both internally and externally.”

Prior to joining Presence Health, Errichetti served as CEO of St. Peter’s Hospital and Albany Memorial Hospital in Albany, N.Y.; president of Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill.; and president of Advocate South Suburban in Hazel Crest, Ill. In addition to her role as president, she held the position of chief academic officer for Advocate Health Care, serving as the liaison between three medical-school affiliates and more than 600 medical residents and fellows. She was also an associate dean at Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School.

“It is an exciting time to join Bay Path University and President Doran as the new strategic plan is launched,” Errichetti said. “After a successful career as a cardiologist, then a healthcare manager, the opportunity to bring both my strategic and practical experience to higher education is a natural next step. Bay Path’s mission resonates with me as a first-generation student myself, and I look forward to being a part of educating, training, and mentoring the future workforce.”

Errichetti graduated from Fordham University, received her M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School, and earned an MBA from Clark University. Her husband, Dr. Mark Keroack, was a medical-school classmate and currently serves as president and CEO of Baystate Health in Springfield.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Bulkley Richardson recently welcomed Dr. Lisa Harty as an associate in the firm’s litigation and professional malpractice groups.

Harty earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College in 2001, an M.D. degree from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine in 2009, and a juris doctor degree from Western New England University School of Law in 2020.

“As an attorney who has earned degrees in both medicine and law, Lisa brings a unique perspective to our healthcare and medical professional clients,” said Mike Burke, chair of Bulkley Richardson’s professional malpractice group. “She will add tremendous value to our team.”

Daily News

CHICOPEE — First American Insurance Agency, an independent insurance firm, announced it will celebrate its first anniversary in the Brimfield area by hosting a client-appreciation event on Wednesday, July 27 from noon to 3 p.m. Clients and non-clients alike can enjoy free ice cream (while supplies last), chat with the staff, and enter to win WooSox tickets.

“We appreciate Brimfield and the surrounding area’s tight-knit community. As a small business, we are grateful for their continued support over the last year,” said Corey Murphy, First American president. “We are a dedicated team, whether that is through servicing our client’s policy or volunteering in our community. We look forward to many years in the Brimfield area.”

Founded in 1986 in Chicopee, First American Insurance Agency has been serving the local community for 35 years. The newest branch, located at 30 Sturbridge Road in Brimfield, was the result of an acquisition last year.

Daily News

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate in June was down one-tenth of a percentage point at 4.9% following a revision to the May unemployment rate to 5.0%, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has revised its model to better capture the effect of the pandemic, resulting in revisions to additional earlier calculations.

The bureau’s preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts gained 9,400 jobs in June. This follows the previous month’s gain of 9,200 jobs. Over the month, the private sector added 5,400 jobs as gains occurred across six sectors, led by leisure and hospitality and education and health services. Since December 2020, Massachusetts has gained 101,200 jobs.

From June 2020 to June 2021, BLS estimates Massachusetts gained 292,800 jobs. Gains occurred in all sectors, led by leisure and hospitality and trade, transportation and utilities.

The June unemployment rate was 1.0% below the national rate of 5.9% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The labor force increased by 4,900 from 3,702,100 in May, as 8,000 more residents were employed and 3,000 fewer residents were unemployed over the month.

Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was down by 9.9%.

The state’s labor-force participation rate — the total number of residents age 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks — was up 0.1% to 65.7% following a revision to the May rate of 65.6%. Compared to June 2020, the labor-force participation rate is up 0.5%.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums and Springfield Cultural Partnership announced the artists chosen to augment the newly renovated Pynchon Plaza.

The SPark! Igniting Our Community call resulted in many quality applications. “We were very excited about the strength of the applications to participate in the public art program in Pynchon Park,” said Karen Finn, executive director of the Springfield Cultural Partnership. “The decision making was difficult.”

The chosen artists include Roberly Bell (Pelham), artful seating; Lauren Celini (Springfield), utility art; Michelle Falcón Fontánez (Boston) and Alvilda Sophia Anaya-Alegría (Springfield), mosaic art; RT Woods (Springfield), fencing art; Beth Crawford Haydenville), 3D sculptural art; Jeffrey Lara (Springfield), 3D sculptural art; Make-It Springfield, library box; and Outdoor Musical Instruments (United Kingdom), sound sculpture (to be embellished by a local artist).

The call was open to all artists, and special consideration was given to installations that include Springfield artists, artists of color, LGBTQA+ artists, and female artists.

Funding of these eight projects comes from a combination of public and private monies, including a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Program Grant and a City of Springfield Community Development Block Grant.

The project is designed to engage city artists, residents, community stakeholders, and cultural institutions to actively participate to reimagine public art that celebrates Springfield’s citizens, culture, and historical legacies. Competitive proposals will be inspired by aspects of Springfield itself, including its historic and/or present-day people, cultures, places and landscapes, architecture, etc., and can be literal or creative, interpretive representations.

“Empowering the arts and cultural community is paramount to the strength and resilience of our community,” Finn said.

The SPark! Art Committee included representation from the Springfield Cultural Council, Springfield Parks, the Apremont Quadrangle Civic Assoc., Skyview Downtown, and the Springfield Technical Community College Carberry Fine Arts Gallery.

“The SPark! project is a remarkable opportunity to create a museum without walls that builds on the hopes and vision of our community in the heart of downtown Springfield,” said Kay Simpson, president and CEO of the Springfield Museums. “Pynchon Park will become more than just an easy way to walk from downtown to the Springfield Museums, the Central Library, and the Armory. It will become a community space for solace, conversation, programming, and play surrounded by intriguing art. We are thrilled to co-create an Art Park that showcases the talents of artists from Springfield and beyond.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Professional Drywall Construction Inc. (PDC), a commercial drywall company headquartered in Springfield, is expanding its footprint into New York State, having recently opened a new office in Malta on July 1. Leading the expansion is Randall Berkebile, who will serve as project executive and New York regional manager at the new branch.

“We have been looking into expanding into New York for quite some time, and Malta is a great, centralized location to set up our new shop,” said Ron Perry, owner of PDC. “We brought Randall in to help establish our company in the capital district and beyond. His years of experience and deep contacts in the region will assist in us creating a strong foothold in the community.”

Berkebile, a resident of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is a graduate of Ball State University. He has almost a decade of experience in construction-management roles and will be responsible for overseeing projects and growing the New York branch.

“I am very honored to have been chosen to join PDC at this historic time as they expand into a new territory,” Berkebile said. “PDC’s unique approach and incredibly professional and innovative work will quickly shoot them to the top in this market, and I am excited to be trusted with helping them get there.”

PDC also has a branch office in Norwalk, Conn.

Daily News

BOSTON — As of July 4, more than 34,000 Massachusetts households have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative encourages communities working to become age- and dementia-friendly to raise awareness about this program to help connect older adults to internet access.

The EBB provides eligible households with a temporary, monthly discount of up to $50 towards their broadband service. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop computer, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable (DTC) has developed educational materials (click here), which include a list of participating Massachusetts EBB providers, and offers the state agency office as a resource to help facilitate any problems consumers may encounter while trying to get enrolled.

Click here for the enrollment website. For additional information or assistance, contact the DTC at (800) 392-6066 or www.mass.gov/dtc.

Daily News

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported today that the month of June 2021 at MGM Springfield, Plainridge Park Casino (PPC), and Encore Boston Harbor generated approximately $84 million in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the Commonwealth.

Breaking down the numbers, MGM Springfield generated $16.53 million in slot GGR and $3.67 million in table game GGR, for a total of $20.2 million, which netted $5.05 million in taxes. These numbers are down from May, when the casino generated $17.23 million in slot GGR and $4.02 million in table GGR, for a total of $21.25 million. But the numbers are slightly better than June of 2019 (the casino was closed to the pandemic during that month last year), when MGM Springfield generated $14.7 million in slot GGR and $5.3 in table GGR for a total of $19.9 million in total GGR.

This June, Encore generated $29.35 million, and $23.2 million, respectively, for a total of $52.56 million in GGR and $13.2 million in taxes, while PPC generated $11.3 million in slots GGR and $5.45 million in taxes.

PPC, a category 2 slots facility, is taxed on 49% of GGR. Of that total taxed amount, 82% is paid to Local Aid and 18% is allotted to the Race Horse Development Fund. MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor, category 1 resort-casinos, are taxed on 25% of GGR; those monies are allocated to several specific state funds as determined by the gaming statute.

To date, the Commonwealth has collected approximately $816 million in total taxes and assessments from PPC, MGM and Encore since the respective openings of each gaming facility.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — In the spring of 2017, the Healthcare News and its sister publication, BusinessWest, created a new and exciting recognition program called Healthcare Heroes.

It was launched with the theory that there are heroes working all across this region’s wide, deep, and all-important healthcare sector, and that there was no shortage of fascinating stories to tell and individuals and groups to honor. That theory has certainly been validated.

But there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of heroes whose stories we still need to tell, especially in these times, when the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many types of heroes to the forefront. And that’s where you come in.

The nomination deadline for the class of 2021 has been extended to end of day today. We encourage you to get involved and help recognize someone you consider to be a hero in the community we call Western Mass. in one (or more) of these seven categories:

• Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider;

• Health/Wellness Administrator/Administration;

• Emerging Leader;

• Community Health;

• Innovation in Health/Wellness;

• Collaboration in Health/Wellness; and

• Lifetime Achievement.

The Healthcare Heroes event is presented by Elms College. Nominations can be submitted by clicking here. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

Daily News

WESTFIELD — Westfield State University’s Department of Social Work has received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the Integrative Behavioral Health (IBH) Equity Project.

The project builds a specialized workforce within rural, medically underserved areas as well as among diverse and historically marginalized populations to address the barriers identified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the social determinants of health.

This HRSA award will be distributed over the next four years and will train 92 Westfield State graduate students in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program in the following integrative behavioral health specialties: Child, Youth, and Family; Health Social Work; Substance Use and Addictions; and Latinx Community Health. These students will receive $920,000 in training stipends over the next four years.

“The pandemic has highlighted how racial and economic disparities impact health outcomes. Social workers have an important role in addressing the social determinants of health, and these must be addressed to achieve health justice,” said Nora Padykula, Ph.D., professor and chair of the University’s Department of Social Work and principal investigator of the grant. “Westfield State students while training in these specialty areas work directly with our community partners to increase access to healthcare among vulnerable populations.”

Westfield State President Linda Thompson, DrPH — whose background is in nursing, health sciences, and public policy — noted that the IBH project continues the University’s growth in building important healthcare programs that meet the needs of the Commonwealth.

“Westfield State University is honored to receive this award from the federal government in recognition of the important research and training conducted and performed by our Department of Social Work faculty and students,” said Thompson. “As the majority of our graduate students go on to live and work in Massachusetts, they will support the Commonwealth’s growing need for social workers, as the number of these professionals with crisis-level caseloads is on the rise. Students in this program will help bridge that gap as they enter the workforce.”

The Field Education Team in Westfield State’s Department of Social Work established IBH/Integrated Primary Care and inter-professional training partnerships across western and central Massachusetts to train students to gain proficiency as they provide in-person and telehealth services to children, youth, and families as well as individuals living with addiction and mental health issues. It is broadening to include organizations that serve the Spanish-speaking Latinx population.

The IBH Equity Project will also increase linguistic and cultural access to social work education by offering classes in Spanish to impact the structural health inequities that affect students and clients throughout the Pioneer Valley. Westfield State is the first institution in the area to offer social work courses in Spanish.

The project advances the university’s progress toward an institutional goal of gaining the federal Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation. Achieving the designation is part of a larger commitment by Westfield State to address systemic racism and inequities on the campus, such as in its policies and practices, according to Enrique Morales-Diaz, Ph.D., interim dean of the faculty and chair of the University’s new Racial Equity and Justice Institute Team.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Congressman Richard E. Neal, West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt, members of the City Council, and cabinet heads gathered for a press conference Thursday to highlight the funds that West Springfield will receive from the American Rescue Plan.

The Town of West Springfield is set to receive $2.8 million and the West Springfield Public Schools will receive $10.4 million.

“The American Rescue Plan has proven to be a lifesaver for communities all across our country and here in western and central Massachusetts,” said Congressman Neal. “Not only does this money assist the town in recovery efforts, it allows the community to make bold long-term changes that will be beneficial for years to come.”

Said Reichelt, “We are very fortunate to be receiving funds from the American Rescue Plan for the Town as well as our school system. The Town of West Springfield, along with the entire globe, has come a long way over this past year. After many life changing events, we are thankful to all the assistance put forward by our legislators.”

The state of Massachusetts will receive $8.1 billion in assistance, with cities and towns across the western and central part of the state that comprise the First Congressional District receiving $241 million.

Neal also spoke about the Child Tax Credit as Thursday was the first day that advanced payments to eligible families were delivered by the IRS.

“The Child Tax Credit will help set America’s children up for success and put more money in the pockets of hardworking parents,” he said. “This important tax credit will benefit 86% of children here in the First Congressional District and will lift 8,300 children out of poverty.”

Daily News

AMHERST – The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Mill District as host and sponsor, and in association with the Amherst Cinema, UMassFive College Credit Union, and North Square Apartments is bringing the big screen to area residents with an electric outdoor cinema series that will continue on July 28 with A Hard Day’s Night.

“As a chamber, we witnessed first-hand, the isolation of workers at home, families managing schooling and work from home, and we are delighted to move out of our time of isolation to a time of connection in the outdoors, partnering with our local member partners, to reconnect through storytelling and the arts,” said Claudia Pazmany, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber.

“Amherst Cinema is delighted to partner with the Amherst Area Chamber to uplift and celebrate community at The Mill District, and what better way than through the magic of the movies,” said Yasmin Chin Eisenhauer, executive director of Amherst Cinema. “Whether indoors or out, films are best experienced on the big screen and in community — where we may laugh out loud, scream and cry, or in the case of this summer’s musicals, get up and dance.”

In addition to A Hard Day’s Night on July 28, the series will continue with Mamma Mia! On August 25.

Only 75 Tickets are available for each presentation. Reserve your spot and learn more at amherstarea.com/cinema.

“We’re excited about bringing the community together with outdoor movies here in The Mill District with the Amherst Area Chamber and the Amherst Cinema,” says Tony Maroulis, VP of Real Estate and Community Development at WD Cowls. “There’s nothing like seeing a movie outside and under the stars while enjoying candy and popcorn from Provisions and The Mill District General Store.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield-based Fontaine Brothers has been named the general contractor for the long-awaited rehab of 31 Elm St. in Court Square into a 74-unit apartment complex.

The announcement was made at a press conference at the site on Wednesday.

Construction work on the $50 million project is expected to begin in the fourth quarter and take roughly two years to complete.

The project represents a partnership between OPAL Development, WinnDevelopment, MGM Springfield, and MassMutual, with funding coming from a variety of sources, including $11.3 million in state and federal historic tax credits.

In addition to the housing units, plans call for retail space and a restaurant on the ground level.

The project is expected to employ 100-120 union construction workers.

Daily News

ERC5 — East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce — has recently welcomed Grace Barone as its executive director.

Barone is an experienced business development leader in senior living as well as a past small business owner of a successful bridal boutique for 17 years.

She is always struck by the power of community and what can be achieved when working together. She looks forward to unlocking opportunities to bring people together, share ideas, and learn from one another to promote business environments that foster economic growth.

The ERC5 serves the communities of East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow, Ludlow, and Wilbraham.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley (HRIPV) has announced the return of its in-person programming with space available for its August two-day signature Healing Racism trainings on August 16 and Tuesday, August 17; and on Thursday, August 19 and Friday August 20.

Dates were also released for HRIPV’s new virtual seminars, currently underway.

Sessions are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, and will take place at STCC Technology Park in the Corridan Center Conference Room, 1 Federal Street in Springfield. For a limited time, registration is discounted at $475 for the two-days. To register and view more seminar dates, visit https://www.healingracismpv.org/seminars#Inperson


HRIPV’s new virtual series is four parts on Tuesdays and Thursdays on Zoom, for two hours each session. The complete online curriculum was developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to sustain and grow HRIPV’s reach and impact. The four parts are: Part 1: ‘A Shared Language Towards Equity’; Part 2: ‘History of Racism’; Part 3: ‘Love and Fear: Our Greatest Motivators’; and Part 4: ‘5 Shifts: A Model for Solving Complex Problems in More Effective Ways.’ The next virtual sessions will take place August 3, 5, 10 and 12, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The virtual program is $199 per person. To register for this session and to view upcoming dates, visit https://www.healingracismpv.org/seminars#VirtualSeminars


The Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley was formed in 2012; since then, more than 1,000 people from Western Massachusetts and throughout the state of Massachusetts have participated in its signature two-day Healing Racism program. HRIPV was formed as a result of the City2City of Pioneer Valley visit to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2011 where area leaders discovered a similar model embedded in the Greater Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.


In addition to HRIPV’s signature two-day training seminars, HRIPV offers half and full-day board/staff training and cohort development whereby the Institute provides tools and training, allowing organizations to continue the internal process of examining racism and its impact on organizations and the larger community.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Last spring, MHA started working with Lenny Underwood, a locally-based entrepreneur and founder of Upscale Socks (www.upscalesocks.com), to introduce two different sock designs with mental health themes to tie into the observance of Mental Health Awareness Month during May. Due to the popularity of the ‘Moving Forward’ and ‘Positive Steps’ sock designs, going forward both designs will be included in Upscale Socks’ year-round product line.

Significantly, MHA and Upscale Socks have jointly announced this change to coincide with Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, also known as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Persons of Color) Mental Health Awareness Month, which takes place in July.

“At MHA, we know that starting a conversation about emotional wellness and confronting stigma through understanding are important parts of Mental Health Awareness Month, but these are everyday conversations we need to continue having year-round,” said Kimberley Lee, VP Resource Development & Branding for MHA. “Of course we were thankful for the natural tie-in to Mental Health Awareness Month when we introduced the Moving Forward and Positive Steps socks. Now, as BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month shines a light on the mental health needs of Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color communities, we are especially thankful for Lenny Underwood’s willingness to support MHA by continuing to include our two sock designs in Upscale Socks’ year-round inventory.”

MHA’s mental health themed sock designs are available at these links on the Upscale Socks website:



“Mental health is a topic that doesn’t get discussed enough, especially in the Black community,” said Underwood. “BIPOC Mental Health Awareness Month is a great opportunity for MHA and Upscale Socks to recognize that mental health awareness is not just something we acknowledge for a month or two each year, it’s a year-round commitment. These socks are a great conversation starter that can promote more dialog about mental health and the services MHA provides for anyone who may need support around their emotional wellbeing. As a black man in particular, I know it’s a conversation that needs to happen more often, more comfortably, and with more people in our community. If I can do my part to dispel myths and remove the stigma around mental health, I am happy to help.”

Daily News

AGAWAMDaniel Burger has joined OMG Roofing Products as a product engineer for the company’s solar business.

In his newly created position, Berger is responsible for creating and managing technical support for rooftop solar and pipe support products, including product design, testing, and voice of customer feedback. He will also support product certification efforts with the International Code Council, Factory Mutual Global and others, as well as support application engineering at Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) firms. He reports to Kevin Kervick, solar business manager.

Berger brings solid environmental-related engineering experience to OMG. For the past few years, he was with the Dennis Group where he was a site civil engineer. He holds an engineering degree from the University of Hartford.

Headquartered in Agawam, OMG Roofing Products is a leading manufacturer of commercial roofing products including specialty fasteners, insulation adhesives, drains, pipe supports, and productivity tools.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — In the spring of 2017, the Healthcare News and its sister publication, BusinessWest, created a new and exciting recognition program called Healthcare Heroes.

It was launched with the theory that there are heroes working all across this region’s wide, deep, and all-important healthcare sector, and that there was no shortage of fascinating stories to tell and individuals and groups to honor. That theory has certainly been validated.

But there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of heroes whose stories we still need to tell, especially in these times, when the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many types of heroes to the forefront. And that’s where you come in.

The nomination deadline for the class of 2021 has been extended to Friday, July 16. We encourage you to get involved and help recognize someone you consider to be a hero in the community we call Western Mass. in one (or more) of these seven categories:

• Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider;

• Health/Wellness Administrator/Administration;

• Emerging Leader;

• Community Health;

• Innovation in Health/Wellness;

• Collaboration in Health/Wellness; and

• Lifetime Achievement.

The Healthcare Heroes event is presented by Elms College. Nominations can be submitted by clicking here. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.