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People on the Move

People on the Move
Vanessa Pabón-Hernandez

Vanessa Pabón-Hernandez

The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts recently appointed Vanessa Pabón-Hernandez CEO of the philanthropic organization, effective June 17. A native of Springfield’s North End and a driven, longtime mentor of women and champion for social change and empowerment, Pabón-Hernandez succeeds Donna Haghighat in the key role for the nonprofit. Throughout her 25-year career, Pabón-Hernandez has supported women and Latinx community members, first as a marketing strategist in business for herself and later in roles that include program director for the YMCA North End Youth Center, founder of a community-based digital storytelling center, and executive producer at New England Public Media, a role she left in early June after 14 years to accept the CEO position at the Women’s Fund. Pabón-Hernandez has experience as a program developer, grant writer, mentor, facilitator, consensus builder, and storyteller. Inspired by a strong, independent mother who helped facilitate her path, she defied the odds several decades ago as a young, single mother, earning two associate degrees at Springfield Technical Community College before launching her own business as a marketing strategist for political candidates and area businesspeople. She mastered the art of storytelling to advance social change, entered the nonprofit sector, and, over 25 years, led and founded innovative programs in marginalized communities that have allowed thousands of individuals to access resources, leverage their strengths, and drive their own career paths. She has received the Unsung Heroine award from the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and was named to BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty. She was also the grand marshal for the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade.

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Kenneth Askins

Kenneth Askins

James Hagan, president and CEO of Westfield Bank, announced that Kenneth Askins has been appointed to the role of mortgage loan officer. He is responsible for the Connecticut towns of Granby, Bloomfield, West Hartford, and surrounding communities, and will be based out of the bank’s 12 East Granby Road location in Granby, Conn. Askins will develop and maintain business relationships with prospective home buyers, Realtors, builders, and colleagues. He has 23 years of experience in the mortgage industry, working as a mortgage loan officer at local competitive banks prior to joining Westfield Bank. He has been recognized as a top performer multiple times throughout his career.

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MassMutual announced that accomplished cybersecurity executive and veteran Eric Boateng has been named head of Enterprise Cyber Security. In this role, he will be responsible for leading the company’s cybersecurity and cyber risk-management strategies and safeguarding MassMutual’s information assets. Boateng most recently served as vice president of Cyber Security, Technology & Resiliency Risk Oversight for American Express. In this role, he developed and implemented the technology risk-management program strategy that included cybersecurity and risk management, while providing effective oversight and credible challenge to American Express’s information-security and technology activities. Prior to that, he held various information and cybersecurity roles of increasing responsibility at New York eHealth Collaborative, Roundpoint Mortgage, Georgia Department of Human Services, and Lockheed Martin. Prior to his career in the private sector, Boateng served two decades as an officer in the U.S. Navy, where he managed multiple IT initiatives and programs, employing industry information security risk-management frameworks and best practices for the U.S. Department of Defense. He earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology from the University of Central Florida, a master’s degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master’s degree in information technology from Carnegie Mellon University, and a professional degree as a computer systems engineer from Columbia University.

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Joyce Hampton

Joyce Hampton

Elms College named higher-education executive Joyce Hampton its new vice president of Academic Affairs following an extensive search. Reporting directly to President Harry Dumay, Hampton is responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the college’s academic affairs. Her appointment is effective June 3. For 34 years, Hampton has worked at Elms College, where she has progressively risen through the academic ranks as assistant professor, associate professor, and full professor. She has served as director of English as a Second Language and International Programs, associate academic dean, dean of Student Success and Strategic Initiatives, and most recently, associate vice president for Strategic Initiatives and dean of the School of Arts, Sciences, and Professional Programs. She holds both a doctoral degree and master’s degree in education from UMass Amherst and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Texas.

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Cathy Velez

Cathy Velez

Berkshire Bank announced that Cathy Velez has joined the bank as managing director of Retail Banking and Deposit Operations. As a senior leader, she will oversee the bank’s financial-center network, retail sales and service delivery, and branch operations. She will also direct the execution of the retail banking strategy to drive short- and long-term growth, business-line initiatives, and major divisional projects. Velez joins Berkshire Bank with more than 25 years of extensive experience in banking. Most recently, she served in multiple senior retail and private banking roles for Webster Bank.

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Sandri Energy announced the appointment of Leslie Cernak as vice president of Operations, overseeing the Heating Fuels, Commercial Fuels, and Mechanical Services divisions. With more than 36 years of experience in the fuel-oil and propane industry, Cernak brings considerable expertise to the team. Previously, she served as vice president and treasurer at Cernak Fuel Corp. in Easthampton until its acquisition by HOP Energy LLC in 2018, where she continued to contribute in compliance and legal support roles. Cernak remains deeply engaged in industry affairs and currently holds the position of events chairperson on the executive board of directors for the National Energy and Fuels Institute. She recently earned a master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law for legal studies in energy and natural resource law. Sandri Energy also announced the promotion of Rudy Herzig to manager of HVAC, Plumbing, Sales, and Service. Herzig started with Sandri in 2003, became a licensed oil burner technician in 2004, and quickly advanced to the position of lead installer. He excels with troubleshooting heating and cooling system issues, and he takes pride in providing quality service for Sandri customers. For the past several years, he has been in a service manager support role, gaining management experience. He looks forward to growing professionally with his new role and guiding Sandri’s service department with exceptional customer service.

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bankESB recently promoted Melissa LaBonte to assistant vice president, Core Systems. LaBonte has 23 years of banking experience. She was promoted to Core Systems manager in 2018 and promoted to Core Systems officer in 2021. She joined the bank in 2001 as a teller, and over the past two decades has held a variety of roles in the Collections, Finance, and Strategic Projects departments. She has an associate degree in business administration and accounting from Holyoke Community College and earned a project management diploma from the Center for Financial Training.

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MountainOne announced that Seth Shepard has been promoted to financial advisor. In this role, Shepard determines a client’s financial objectives, offers strategic advice on products and services to meet client goals, and manages client assets through portfolio design and retirement solutions. His focus is on asset management, portfolio management, retirement planning, and college-education planning. Shepard has been with MountainOne Investments since 2022, most recently as a paraplanner. He is a member of MountainOne’s communications committee and previously served on the MountainOne 175th celebration committee. Prior to joining MountainOne Investments, he was an account manager with Girardi Distributors in Pittsfield and a football coach at Mount Ida College in Newton. He holds a bachelor’s degree in coaching and event operations from Johnson & Wales University.

People on the Move
Tom Stewart

Tom Stewart

Tom Stewart, director of Athletics and Student Engagement at Holyoke Community College (HCC), is the recipient of the 2024 George E. Killian Award of Excellence, the highest award bestowed each year by the National Junior College Athletic Assoc. (NCJAA). The award is given to those who demonstrate the ideals of volunteerism, achievement, service, leadership, and excellence. At HCC, Stewart oversees nine intercollegiate sports programs and manages the David Bartley Center for Athletics and Recreation. He serves on the NJCAA board of regents as the representative for Region 21. He chairs the NJCAA Division III men’s golf committee and the NJCAA Division III women’s golf committee while also serving on the NJCAA track and field committee. During his career, HCC has hosted nine NJCAA cross country championships and a track and field championship. In 2016, he was elected second vice president for the association’s men’s division. In that role, he oversaw the complete budgetary activity of the association. He has previously served as the co-chair of the finance and budget committee. Representing 550 schools, the NJCAA is the largest athletic association for two-year colleges in the U.S. Stewart is the first recipient of the George E. Killian Award from any college in New England since it was first presented in 2006. Stewart started his career in higher education at Westfield State, where he worked for seven years as Student Activities administrator and director of intramurals and coached cross country. He was hired at HCC in 1996 as Student Activities director and became assistant athletic director in 1999 and athletic director in 2007. He now also supervises the Student Engagement department at HCC, which includes Student Activities and the Student Senate. In October, Stewart was inducted into the Westfield State University Athletics Hall of Fame. As an undergraduate there, he was a four-year member of the cross country and track and field teams. An all-conference runner in 1985 and 1987 in cross country, he won the Westfield State Invitational and was an all-New England runner in steeplechase his sophomore year. Westfield State’s cross country and track teams won conference titles all four years he was on the team.

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Tony Worden

Tony Worden

Greenfield Cooperative Bank announced that President and CEO Tony Worden has been elected as a director of the Cooperative Banks Employee Retirement Assoc. (CBERA), a specialized organization dedicated to overseeing the retirement benefits of employees at member banks in Massachusetts. Established in 1946, the Cooperative Banks Employee Retirement Assoc. was formed to administer the pension programs for the employees of the Massachusetts cooperative bank industry. Today, CBERA serves not only cooperative banks, but all financial institutions. Worden brings a wealth of knowledge in the financial-services industry to the CBERA board. He has nearly 30 years of banking experience and has served as president of Greenfield Cooperative Bank since 2021.

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Diana Szynal, president of the Springfield Regional Chamber, was honored with induction as an honorary member into the prestigious Beta Gamma Sigma AACSB Honor Society on April 25. The induction ceremony was hosted by the College of Business Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter at Western New England University (WNE). Beta Gamma Sigma is the international honor society serving business programs accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Membership in Beta Gamma Sigma is the highest recognition a student can receive in an AACSB-accredited business program. Szynal’s honorary induction acknowledges her professional achievements, leadership, and commitment to advancing business education. According to Sharianne Walker, dean of the WNE College of Business, Szynal was selected as an honorary inductee not only because of her rich business experience, but because she has played a pivotal role in fostering economic growth, advocating for local businesses, and supporting entrepreneurship in the Springfield region.

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John Fazzio

John Fazzio

Pilot Precision Products, a leader in standard and custom broaching tool manufacturing, announced the elevation of John Fazzio to vice president and chief operating officer. Fazzio, who had served as the company’s chief financial officer for the past four years, earned the promotion by leading Pilot’s implementation of EPICOR Kinetic enterprise resource planning and adding smart inventory software to improve inventory management by providing closed-loop scheduling. The implementation allows for real-time order adjustments and the scheduling of more precise delivery times. Those technological advancements have also enabled the company to ensure that standard products are always available for immediate delivery, reducing lead times and improving customer service. Before joining Pilot, Fazzio held executive positions at Intermountain Electronics in Price, Utah. He earned a master’s degree in accounting from Southern Utah University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business management from Utah State University.

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Ashik Mubarak

Caolo & Bieniek Architects announced the promotion of Ashik Mubarak to an architectural staff position. This promotion comes as Ashik recently graduated from UMass with a master of architecture degree, marking a significant milestone in his career journey. He was also recipient of the second-place honor in the Metal Building Manufacturers Assoc. Student Design Competition, which sought to foster innovation in sustainable design for a marine nature center in Gloucester.

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Greenfield Cooperative Bank announced that Chelsea Depault, vice president of Commercial and Municipal Lending, has been named the recipient of the prestigious Emerging Leader Award from the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. This award recognizes outstanding individuals in the Massachusetts banking industry who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and a commitment to serving their communities. During the PPP rollout, Depault played a pivotal role in ensuring the bank could effectively serve clients. Her quick thinking and willingness to go the extra mile, including working evenings and weekends, helped secure vital funding for many local businesses. Committed to continuous learning, she completed the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking program and earned a Wharton leadership certificate. Additionally, she actively seeks out professional-development opportunities through courses offered by the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. and the Center for Financial Training. Depault’s impact extends beyond the bank. She also volunteers with the VITA program, serves on committees, and holds treasurer positions with local organizations, as well as dedicating her time to youth sports programs.

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Siobhan Tripp

Siobhan Tripp

Tony Worden, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank, announced that Marketing Director Siobhan Tripp has successfully completed the American Bankers Assoc. (ABA) Bank Marketing School. This intensive program, which was held April 10-19 in Atlanta, is designed to equip banking professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to develop and execute effective marketing strategies in today’s dynamic financial landscape. The program emphasizes practical application through a collaborative marketing planning case study, allowing participants to grapple with real-world scenarios and refine their marketing problem-solving abilities.

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The Greenfield Community College (GCC) nursing faculty has named Lauren Bell the third Jean Simmons Nursing Faculty Chair. Bell was chosen for her dedication to the GCC nursing program and her students. The Jean Simmons endowed chair was established in 2013 with a $1 million gift from anonymous donors. It was the first endowed faculty position at a community college in Massachusetts. Since joining the GCC nursing faculty in 2012, Bell has guided faculty through curriculum and program assessments and outcomes, a critical part of state and national accreditation processes, and she has helped her colleagues incorporate the newest style of NCLEX questions in order to better prepare students for their licensing exams. She has also served on several college committees, including student activities and professional development. She co-teaches the second-year medical-surgical courses and has led the graduating class in organizing their pinning ceremony. Bell earned her bachelor’s degree at Elmira College and her master of science degree at the University of New Hampshire. In addition to her work with GCC, she is a nurse at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital in the Progressive Care unit.

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Lirianna Powers

Lirianna Powers

Monson Savings Bank (MSB) recently announced the hiring of Lirianna Powers as assistant branch manager of the Ware Branch located at 136 West Main St. She will assist the branch’s manager and oversee the operation of branch functions. She aims to provide the bank’s customers with superior customer service and help them find the financial products that best suit their unique needs. Powers comes to Monson Savings Bank with eight years of experience in banking and finance. She previously worked at Florence Bank as a teller operations manager and customer service representative. In this role, she oversaw and managed her branch’s teller line, educated team members, and provided customer service while serving as a positive role model.

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Former Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer was among those honored by the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA) at its annual Home for Good fundraiser and award ceremony on May 16 at WBUR CitySpace in Boston. Tyer, along with Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch and Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan, received the prestigious Canon Brian S. Kelley Public Service Award from MHSA, which recognizes individuals who are steadfast in their commitment to ending homelessness. Inaugurated as the mayor of Pittsfield for a second four-year term in January 2020, Tyer holds the distinction of being the first mayor in Pittsfield’s history to be elected to a four-year term. This past January, Tyer stepped down from office and now serves as executive director of Workforce Development and Community Education at Berkshire Community College. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, Tyer assembled the city of Pittsfield’s COVID-19 Task Force. For more than a year, a team comprised of city and school officials, law enforcement, first responders, leadership from the Sheriff’s Office, Berkshire Medical Center, and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency worked to ensure that the Pittsfield community had what it needed to remain safe during this unprecedented public-health crisis.

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Bulkley Richardson recently welcomed three law students to its 2024 summer associate program, which introduces law students to the inner workings of a law firm, where they will receive mentorship from lawyers ranging from firm leaders and retired judges to junior associates, gaining exposure to real-life legal matters. Johanna Huyhn is currently attending Western New England University School of Law, where she received the Best Oral Advocate Award and is a member of the National Moot Court team. She earned a bachelor’s degree cum laude in social thought and political economy from UMass Amherst. Tim Kwarcinski, a current student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, was a University Honors Scholar at New York University, where he majored in politics. He has experience as a mental-health counselor at Holyoke Medical Center, worked at the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office in Northampton, and was a legal intern for Judge Mary Beth Ogulewicz. Cameron Reis, currently attending Western New England University School of Law, is an Oliver Wendall Holmes Scholar and member of the Law Review staff, set to step into the role of editor next academic year. He majored in criminal justice, magna cum laude, at Pace University.

People on the Move
Megan Moynihan

Megan Moynihan

United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) announced that Megan Moynihan, who has been serving as interim CEO since February 2023, has officially been appointed CEO of the organization, effective immediately. Moynihan was selected by the UWPV board of directors after a nationwide search. Moynihan has more than 18 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, including 12 years at UWPV. She joined the organization in 2012 as a finance and accounting analyst and worked her way up to chief operating officer in 2022. In that role, she oversaw the development and implementation of UWPV’s strategic plan, grantmaking, and community partnerships. She also led the organization’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including launching the COVID-19 Relief Fund and shifting programming in response to community needs. Scott Grodsky, chair of the UWPV board of directors, said Moynihan was the unanimous choice of the board after a rigorous and competitive process.

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Jie Chen

Dietz & Company Architects announced that Jie Chen, AIA has completed the Architectural Registration Examination and met all of the requirements for architectural licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Chen joined Dietz & Company in 2017 as an architectural associate upon graduating with her master of architecture degree from UMass Amherst. Since then, she has grown within the company and shown her talent and enthusiasm working on a variety of projects in the hospitality, public, and multi-family housing sectors. Now as a licensed architect, she has been promoted from her role as architectural staff to the position of architect.

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Westfield State University President Linda Thompson appointed William Salka as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Salka will begin his duties on July 5. Among talented candidates, Salka was distinguished by his academic leadership as provost for Eastern Connecticut State University for the past six years, during which time he was widely recognized as a champion of faculty scholarship and research and students’ academic pursuits. He believes in the importance of a dynamic undergraduate and graduate learning experience in which faculty and employees work cooperatively to develop the knowledge, skills, and character essential for students to become responsible leaders and engaged citizens. Salka received a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Lewis & Clark College and a doctorate in political science and government from Colorado State University. Prior to serving as chief academic officer for Eastern Connecticut State University, he taught numerous courses in American government, environmental policy, and globalization in his capacity as professor of Political Science since 2000.

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Brooke Barre

Brooke Barre

Phillips Insurance Agency Inc. announced that Brooke Barre, senior account management in the Commercial Insurance department, has earned the prestigious CPCU (chartered property casualty underwriter) designation. The CPCU is considered the most valuable credential in the industry for demonstrating insurance and risk-management skills. The CPCU program is a multi-year program focusing on in-depth risk-management analysis of complex insurance risks. Barre will attend the CPCU induction ceremonies this November at the Coronado Springs resort in Orlando, Fla. A graduate of Bridgewater State University, she joined Phillips Insurance in 2020.

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Michelle Raskevitz

Michelle Raskevitz

bankESB recently promoted Michelle Raskevitz to vice president, Learning and Development. Raskevitz joined bankESB as a teller in the bank’s College Highway, Southampton office, and is about to celebrate her 30-year work anniversary at bankESB. She has held various roles, primarily in the realm of training, and was most recently assistant vice president, Learning and Development. Over the course of her career, she has grown the Learning and Development department into a place where everyone is both a teacher and a student, continuously growing, sharing, and innovating together, all under her leadership. She enjoys helping others unlock their full potential, and she has had a hand in developing many of bankESB’s leaders. Raskevitz obtained her associate degree in business administration from Greenfield Community College, as well as multiple diplomas and certificates from the Center for Financial Training. She also graduated with honors from the New England School for Financial Studies in 2013. She has an extensive background of community involvement and volunteer experience with organizations like Credit for Life and the Easthampton High School Council, and currently is chairperson of the executive board of directors for the Center for Financial Training.

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Greenfield Cooperative Bank (GCB) announced the promotions of 14 team members. Jeremy Payson is being promoted to executive vice president, Finance. He holds an MBA in finance and economics from Western New England University and has been with the bank since 2022. Chris Wilkey is being promoted to vice president, Information Systems. He has been with GCB since 2007. Casey Cusson is being promoted to vice president, Treasury Management officer. He joined the bank in 2017. Julie Gonzales is being promoted to assistant vice president, Human Resources. She has been with Greenfield Co-op since 2012. Siobhan Tripp is being promoted to marketing director. She has been with GCB since 2020. Harlin Glovacki is being promoted to branch manager-in-training. He has been with GCB since 2022. Annette Baker is being promoted to customer service representative. She has been with GCB since 2021. Brandi Knowlton is being promoted to customer service representative. She has been with GCB since 2024. Aaron Thompson is being promoted to customer service representative. He has been with GCB since 2023. Sarah Beresford is being promoted to head teller. She has been with GCB since 2022. Samantha Kelley is being promoted to assistant manager. She has been with GCB since 2013. Kim Fontaine is being promoted to senior underwriter. She has been with GCB since 2023. Angie Macleay is being promoted to senior underwriter. She has been with GCB since 2009. Aaron Frentzos is being promoted to senior technology specialist. He has been with GCB since 2013.

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Zachary Gundler

Pittsfield Cooperative Bank announced the hiring of Zachary Gundler to its Commercial Lending team as a vice president. He has significant experience in commercial lending, commercial real-estate assessment, credit risk analysis, portfolio management, relationship management, and business development. Gundler joins the bank after working for the previous 10 years at Berkshire Bank in its Commercial Lending and Business Banking departments. For the last four and a half years, he has been a vice president, Business Banking officer, managing customers with annual revenues ranging from $3 million to $25 million and originating loans up to $3 million. “Coop Bank is excited to add Zach to our growing team,” CEO J. Jay Anderson said. “He has significant experience in lending, commercial real-estate valuation, relationship management and development, and risk analysis.”Gundler has a bachelor’a degree in business administration and an MBA from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). He currently serves on the Vermont Banking Assoc. commercial lending committee and previously served on the MCLA alumni board.

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Kuhn Riddle Architects & Designers announced the promotion of Garrison Piers-Gamble to the position of senior project manager. Piers-Gamble brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this elevated role, having demonstrated exceptional leadership and a deep understanding of sustainable architecture principles throughout his career. As a certified passive house consultant, and with experience working on a Living Building Challenge project, he is poised to drive the firm’s commitment to sustainability to new heights. Piers-Gamble has played a pivotal role in the firm’s engagement in the AIA 2030 Commitment, with a goal that all the firm’s projects will achieve net-zero emissions by 2030. His dedication to excellence, coupled with his strong background in architectural project management and enthusiastic approach to sustainable design, has earned him recognition from clients and colleagues alike. As senior project manager, he will lead the firm’s efforts in advancing sustainable and passive house design principles across all projects. He will work closely with clients, design teams, and industry partners to develop tailored solutions that minimize environmental impact while maximizing energy efficiency and exceeding clients’ expectations.

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Veera Patel

Veera Patel

Dana Burton, scholarship chair for the Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley, announced that Veera Patel is this year’s Young Women in Public Affairs scholarship recipient. Patel is a senior at Minnechaug Regional High School. She is president of the National Honor Society, plays on the girls’ varsity volleyball team, and is involved with Student Council, Key Club, International Club, and World Care Club. She also enjoys volunteering at community organizations and working with and mentoring youth in sports and social skill building. Looking forward, Patel would like to pursue the fields of business finance and law at Bryant University in Rhode Island.

People on the Move
Doug Anderson

Doug Anderson

David Glidden, president and CEO of Liberty Bank, and the bank’s board of directors jointly announced that Doug Anderson was unanimously elected chairman of the board at its March meeting. The election of Anderson comes after the unexpected passing of longtime Chairman Mark Gingras on March 7. Gingras served as Liberty’s board chairman since 2007 and board member since 2001. Anderson’s role as a Liberty Bank corporator and board member began in April 2018. During that time, he has served on the credit risk, audit, compensation, and governance committees, and most recently as chair of the credit risk committee. He brings decades of diverse leadership experience in banking, finance, management, and operations to the role of chairman. His extensive background includes senior executive roles as president of the former Savings Bank of Manchester (SBM) until 2004 and chairman, president, and CEO of the former Open Solutions. He spent 14 years at Unisys, an international technology company, and served on the board of directors for the former New Alliance Bancshares Inc. Beyond Liberty’s boardroom, Anderson, a graduate of the University of Connecticut, has been a dedicated and generous community partner. This includes his philanthropic support and board service for many organizations and causes, such as the Connecticut Science Center, SBM Charitable Foundation, Manchester Community College Foundation, and Connecticut Foodshare. He also served as chairman of the Liberty Bank Foundation.

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UMassFive College Federal Credit Union announced new leadership for its board of directors. Jacqui Watrous has been elected as board chair, Ruth Yanka as board vice chair, and Jeremy Bentley as board secretary. Watrous has served on the UMassFive board of directors for more than seven years, including most recently as board vice chair. She holds a BBA in finance and an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. Now retired, she previously worked at UMass Amherst for more than 30 years, having held a variety of positions in the finance and systems fields, including most recently the role of executive director of Administrative Systems in Finance. Yanka has volunteered on UMassFive’s board for more than 12 years, serving in many capacities, including board member and secretary. She holds a master’s degree in program administration from UMass Amherst and has served on the board of many nonprofit organizations in a variety of positions, from member to treasurer to president. Her work history responsibilities have always included operations, budget, and personnel. She currently holds the role of executive director, A&F Operations in Administration and Finance at UMass Amherst. Bentley first joined the UMassFive board of directors in 2022, having previously served as a volunteer on the credit union’s asset and liability management committee when he moved to the area after completing his Ph.D. in accounting from Cornell University. He currently serves as a research foundation director for the Institute of Management Accountants and in multiple positions with the American Accounting Assoc. He is also the Richard Dieter & Susan Dieter faculty fellow and an associate professor at UMass Amherst, where he teaches financial and managerial accounting and examines how accounting systems change the way people think about and report on their performance. With this transition in board leadership, Robert Harrison ends a decade-long tenure in the role of UMassFive board chair. He will continue serving as a board member of the credit union.

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Eunice Bragg

Eunice Bragg

American International College (AIC) announced the appointment of Eunice Bragg as vice president for Institutional Advancement. As an accomplished fundraiser and relationship leader, Bragg brings valuable expertise in building relationships, inspiring team culture, and employing metrics to meet fundraising goals for the institution. In her new position, Bragg will oversee fundraising and stewardship relationship initiatives and will be responsible for strengthening engagement with AIC alumni and community partners. She will play a vital role in the campaign to restore Courniotes Hall, the health-sciences building damaged by fire last summer after a lightning strike. After earning a bachelor’s degree at Taylor University and completing her master’s degree in strategic fundraising and philanthropy at Bay Path University, Bragg served as director of Development at the Discovery Center (now RE-Center) in Hartford, Conn. She then assumed the role of director of Annual Giving at Hampden Hall Country Day School in New Haven, Conn. Returning to her alma mater, she became director of Major and Planned Gifts at Bay Path. She joins AIC from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she most recently served as director of Development and Leadership Gifts.

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Whittlesey announced that its CEO and managing partner, Drew Andrews, has been included in Forbes’ inaugural “America’s Top 200 CPAs” list. Curated by Forbes’ editorial team, this list features the top CPAs in public practice across the U.S. The rigorous selection process involves independent nominations and recommendations from various CPA societies and associations. Candidates are evaluated on numerous criteria, including certifications and credentials, years of experience, industry specialization, professional achievements, community involvement, thought leadership, diversity of client base, ethical and regulatory compliance, and innovation and technology adoption. Andrews has been leading Whittlesey since 2008 and has significantly influenced its trajectory. He has grown the firm’s revenue to more than triple its original size and expanded its operations to include three offices throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. His innovative approach has notably advanced the firm’s capabilities and strengthened client relationships. In addition, he serves a select clientele. His dedication extends beyond corporate management to personal mentorship and community involvement. He actively develops talented professionals within the firm, providing guidance and support as a mentor and coach. He is committed to philanthropy and has held prominent leadership positions on boards of several local nonprofit, business, religious, and charitable organizations, contributing significantly to community-enrichment efforts.

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Gilbert Nieves

Gilbert Nieves

Community Bank announced that Gilbert Nieves has been promoted to district manager. In his new role, Nieves will oversee strategy and operations for branches in Vermont and Massachusetts, ensuring administration of the bank’s financial goals and objectives, including business development. He will also be responsible for staff training, coaching, and professional development for continued excellence in customer service and operations. With more than two decades of experience in the financial industry, Nieves first joined Community Bank in 2019 as branch manager of the Springfield location. In that role, he oversaw daily office operations, including sales and customer-service activities, to ensure operational efficiency, integrity, and adherence to policies and procedures. Prior to that, he served the Springfield community in other banking and financial roles, including vice president and branch manager at Webster Bank and assistant city treasurer for the city of Springfield. Outside of the office, Nieves is an active member of the community, serving his congregation as a Bible instructor and volunteering at Springfield Public Schools. In addition, he facilitates financial-literacy workshops at the Gándara Center, as well as first-time homebuying seminars at Way Finders. He is also a member of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce and Business Network International’s Springfield chapter. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Universidad Metropolitana in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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Fontaine Bros. Inc. announced the addition of Jason Boudreau as project executive and Mark Fulton as senior superintendent. They bring more than 40 years of combined experience working together on complex building projects throughout Western and Central Mass., Connecticut, and beyond, making them a valuable addition to the Fontaine team. Boudreau and Fulton have been working together for more than 20 years. They have successfully delivered work for notable clients such as Amherst College, Baystate Medical Center, Berkshire Medical Center, UMass Amherst, Williams College, and many others, and earned certifications from the American Society for Health Care Engineering and the International Code Council for Tall Mass Timber Buildings.

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Rachel Dionne

Rachel Dionne

Polish National Credit Union (PNCU) announced that Rachel Dionne, assistant vice president and credit risk officer, has joined the board of directors of Providence Ministries. PNCU, a full-service community credit union, is committed to meeting community needs and fostering growth. The organization emphasizes community engagement through corporate leadership and volunteerism. Dionne is dedicated to community service. Her volunteer work includes more than a half-decade on the board of trustees for Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School, membership on the school’s finance committee, involvement in a youth ministry group, service on the Southampton Finance Committee, and as an eucharistic minister at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Westfield. She now adds the Providence Ministries board membership to her list of contributions. With nearly 35 years of experience in accounting and finance, Dionne joined PNCU in 2017. In her role, she analyzes complex commercial financial information, oversees commercial lending policies, and manages loan administration, loan servicing, and credit teams. She is a two-time graduate of American International College (AIC) with degrees in accounting and nonprofit management.

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The Center for EcoTechnology (CET), an environmental nonprofit dedicated to advancing just and resilient climate solutions, announced the appointment of Julia Riseman as its inaugural director of Philanthropic Investments. With her experience and commitment to climate-change mitigation, Riseman will help accelerate CET’s growth and impact during this decisive decade for decarbonization. Riseman brings a wealth of expertise in development strategy and relationship building, honed through her years of dedication to causes throughout the U.S. and Canada. Through consulting, she has helped organizations raise more than $350 million through her consulting firm, Riseman Consulting, and during her 14 years at the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, providing consulting services to grant-supported recipients. Prior to becoming a consultant, she was the Development director at the Center School, an independent school in Amherst, and she co-founded two nonprofit organizations, Friends of Northampton Trails and Health in Harmony, an international environmental organization working with local communities to save rainforests in Brazil, Madagascar, and Indonesia. Her strategic vision and commitment to CET’s mission is expected to propel the organization into a new era of expansion and influence. As director of Philanthropic Investments, Riseman will be instrumental in cultivating partnerships, securing funding opportunities, and fostering connections with stakeholders to fund targeted projects and further CET’s impact across a dozen states. Her leadership will play a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s strategic goals and expanding its reach across the country.

People on the Move
Ricard Torres-Mateluna

Ricard Torres-Mateluna

Jillian Duclos

Jillian Duclos

The Northampton Jazz Festival has welcomed two new board members who bring broad skills and deep experience in entrepreneurship, marketing, community organizing, and music from world cultures. They are Ricard Torres-Mateluna, who joined last month, and Jillian Duclos, who joined the board in September 2023. After earning a bachelor’s degree in politics at Mount Holyoke College as a Francis Perkins Scholar in 2017, Duclos became a grass-roots organizer, a driver of workforce development, and then a business owner. Now, as executive director of the Downtown Northampton Assoc., she collaborates with city leaders, downtown organizations, and community members to drive economic development for downtown Northampton and provide a safety net to local and small businesses who anchor the community. Torres-Mateluna is a brand and marketing strategist who thinks with a global perspective and seeks solutions at the local level. Over his more than 20 years in the field, he has successfully worked toward uplifting educational entities and nonprofit organizations, having worked in advertising agencies and startups — large and small, at home and abroad — run by people from all backgrounds. His current role is vice president of Marketing and Communications for the Springfield-based human services agency Viability Inc. Torres-Mateluna has been a jazz lover since childhood and is also a member of the editorial board and U.S. correspondent for Papeles de Jazz magazine in his native Chile.

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Lee Craig

Lee Craig

Freedom Credit Union recently hired Lee Craig as its senior vice president and chief financial officer. Bringing three decades of leadership experience in credit-union operations and compliance, Craig will lend his expertise to planning, directing, and controlling Freedom’s overall financial plans and policies, accounting practices, and relationships with lending institutions and the financial community. He comes to Freedom after 23 years as CFO at MassMutual Federal Credit Union, where he was responsible for the operation’s overall financial condition, information-technology oversight, compliance management, and strategic planning. He also previously served as principal examiner at the National Credit Union Administration. A member of the Credit Union National Assoc. CFO Council and Compliance Council and a past member of Fiserv’s user advisory board, Craig served on the town of Westhampton’s Finance Committee for several years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University.

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Reinaldo Román

Reinaldo Román

Joshua Burgos

Pittsfield Cooperative Bank announced the hiring of Reinaldo Román as vice president, branch officer. In this role, he will manage the institution’s branch operations at its main office located at 70 South St., Pittsfield. Additionally, he will assist the organization with its further development of Spanish-focused materials. Román joins the bank after a successful 23-year tenure at Greylock Federal Credit Union. He has extensive experience in branch operations and management, business development, retail lending, and customer relations. He received his business administration in banking degree from Berkshire Community College. The bank also announced the hiring of Joshua Burgos as its new Business Development and Cash Management officer. In this role, he will oversee the multitude of cash transactions for the institution’s commercial customers as well as manage business deposits, real estate, and non-real-estate loans. Burgos joins the bank after working most recently at Canyon Ranch as a senior accountant. He has 10 years of experience working in financial services, having served in positions at MassMutual and Greylock Federal Credit Union. He has an associate degree in business administration from Cambridge College, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Capella University, and will be completing his MBA from UMass Amherst this fall.

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Colin D’Amour

Colin D’Amour

The board of directors of Big Y Foods Inc. announced the appointment of Colin D’Amour as senior director of asset protection. In that role, he will lead the asset protection team, develop and execute future strategies, deploy new technologies, build relationships with law enforcement and other regulatory agencies, and foster both education and growth within the department. D’Amour began working as a service clerk at Big Y Supermarkets in 1998 at age 14. From there, he held several positions, including produce clerk, warehouse selector, and construction/remodel store projects coordinator. In 2007, he accepted a commission with the U.S. Marine Corps as second lieutenant, serving with distinction and ultimately earning the rank of captain. In 2010, he was deployed to Helmand, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2014, D’Amour left active duty in the Marines and returned to Big Y by entering into its store director training program. Since then, his career has included several roles, including store director, corporate center store sales director, senior manager of procurement, and, most recently, senior director of the Big Y Express division. He was also a project manager for the expansion of the Fresh and Local Distribution Center and is a member of Big Y’s real estate and store design committees. In addition, he oversees multiple programs and initiatives with Topco, an $18 billion cooperative that provides aggregation, innovation, and management solutions to its leading food-industry members across the country. A graduate of Boston College, D’Amour holds personal decorations from his military service, including both the Navy and Marine Corps commendation and achievement medals. He is the grandson of Big Y co-founder Gerald D’Amour and son of Executive Chairman Charles D’Amour.

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Myranda Nasworthy

Myranda Nasworthy

Garvey Communication Associates Inc. (GCAi) has expanded its digital public-relations capacity by adding Myranda Nasworthy, an experienced video producer. Armed with GCAi’s new G7x vlogging cameras, Nasworthy worked on client videos before she started at the company. She will work in GCAi’s new edit suite, including a 2024 Apple Mac Studio. She is also equipped with a 2024 Macbook Pro for remote video editing. She is already working with a new GODOX lighting kit used at GCAi’s 24th-floor studios in Tower Square to produce 10 videos for an award program. Nasworthy shot and worked on all the edits with co-producer Nate Dion. She has also worked with GCAi’s West Coast team to produce 9:16 videos for Reels and TikTok. A former associate producer of New England Public Media’s Emmy-nominated quiz show, As Schools Match Wits. Nasworthy is a summa cum laude graduate of Westfield State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with a concentration in media arts & analysis. Her skill set includes operating Sony, Canon, Panasonic, and Nikon filming equipment and studio, control-room, and field equipment. She also is experienced in working with Adobe Premiere Pro, Lightroom, Dreamweaver, and Final Cut Pro.

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Monson Savings Bank announced its second annual President’s Award recipients. This year’s award has been presented to Sara Rodrigues, assistant vice president and Commercial Loan Operations officer, Bridget Bunce, Bank Secrecy Act analyst. The President’s Award is an opportunity to acknowledge those who consistently represent the bank’s mission and values through their commitment to customer service, the community, teamwork, and excellence. Rodrigues joined the Monson Savings Bank family in February 2013. She consistently represents the bank at many local events and has volunteered for numerous organizations, such as Revitalize CDC, the United Way of Pioneer Valley, and I Found Light Against All Odds. Bunce started with Monson Savings in October 2021 as a Deposit Operations administrator and was promoted to her current position in August 2023. She is always eager to lend a hand and has helped at several bank-sponsored events in 2022 and 2023.

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Jeffrey Siegel

Jeffrey Siegel

Fierst Bloomberg Ohm LLP announced that Jeffrey Siegel has become a partner of the firm. Having earned his juris doctorate at the University of Connecticut School of Law and his master of laws in taxation at the New York University of School of Law, Siegel has more than 35 years of experience assisting individuals with their estate-planning, tax-planning, probate and trust administration, and corporate law needs.

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Paul Haible, executive director of the Peace Development Fund (PDF) for the past 20 years, announced his plans to retire on April 30. Under Haible’s leadership, PDF amplified its focus to include a broad range of social-justice issues and movements; expanded its footprint to include a regional office in San Francisco, where he was based; and increased its international scope to include funding to Haiti, Mexico, and the Middle East. He collaborated with the board to launch several initiatives engaging a range of issue constituencies, including a national environmental-justice initiative that spanned a decade, a cross-border initiative, and a national criminal-justice-reform movement. He was instrumental in creating PDF’s capacity-building program to fiscally sponsor more than 40 organizations and led PDF’s recent Indigenous Land Back work.

People on the Move
Mei-Ann Chen

Mei-Ann Chen

Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) announced that internationally acclaimed conductor Mei-Ann Chen, who was guest conductor for the SSO’s 2023-24 opening-night performance, is joining the SSO in the newly created position of artistic advisor, effective for the 2024-25 season. Chen will serve as the orchestra’s artistic face, curating programs, selecting guest soloists, and facilitating other artistic needs. She will also conduct a minimum of two symphonic concerts per season. At the same time, the SSO will continue to engage guest conductors in performances of the symphony. An acclaimed, innovative leader both on and off the podium, Chen has served as music director of Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011. Chief conductor of Austria’s Recreation – Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte, she also serves as an artistic partner with ROCO in Texas and Northwest Sinfonietta in Washington. A sought-after guest conductor, she has appeared with distinguished orchestras throughout the Americas, Europe, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia (more than 150 orchestras to date). Named one of Musical America’s 2015 Top 30 Influencers, Chen is a recipient of a League of American Orchestras Helen M. Thompson Award, a Taki Concordia fellowship, and several ASCAP awards, and is the only woman in the history of the Malko Competition to have been named First Prize Winner.

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Jack Dill

Jack Dill

Ashley Vanesse

Ashley Vanesse

Lisa Wills

Lisa Wills

Elms College announced that three prominent leaders in the region have joined the college’s board of trustees. B. John (Jack) Dill is the president and principal of Colebrook Realty Services and has been negotiating real-estate transactions on behalf of his clients — buyers, sellers, property owners, and tenants — for more than three decades. He holds the counselors of real estate designation, along with other professional designations and licenses in the fields of real estate, finance, and construction, and is a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Dill has been an active supporter of more than 20 local nonprofits, including Elms College, and is currently vice chairman of the Fallon Community Health Plan board of directors and a member of the Massachusetts Housing Investment Corp. He earned his bachelor of arts degree cum laude from Williams College. Ashley Vanesse is the president of the Elms College Alumni Assoc. and has been a member of the association since graduating from the Elms in 2011. She is currently office manager for Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home and also held various positions in the Elms College Admission Office. She earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Elms College and her master’s degree in psychology and school counseling from Westfield State University. Lisa Wills is a partner at Whittlesey, one of the largest regional CPA and IT consulting firms in New England. She has worked primarily with nonprofits over her 25-year career and is an expert in complex audits. She is a licensed certified public accountant with the state of Connecticut and an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, as well as the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants (CTCPA). In addition, she is a recognized industry leader and frequent speaker on topics such as FASB changes and female leadership. She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from Elms College in 1988.

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The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce announced that its executive committee has concluded its search for the chamber’s new executive director and selected Jacob Robinson, who brings more than 15 years of experience in building coalitions, fostering partnerships, and promoting business-driven leadership for sustainable impact. In his most recent role as the West Roxbury Main Streets program director, Robinson concentrated on local economic development, offering technical assistance to small businesses, facilitating pandemic recovery efforts, leading community events, and championing inclusive commercial planning efforts. His commitment has extended to serving on municipal planning committees and nonprofit boards and contributing to Belchertown’s Climate Resilience and Sustainable Growth Plan. His past work includes building regional and national networks of business leaders working together to develop and share best practices in energy management and strategy. He is also a skilled researcher and educator on the topics of corporate environmental, social, and governance leadership. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental management from Indiana University.

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Thomas Dufault

Country Bank announced the appointment of Thomas Dufault as senior vice president of the Retail Lending department. With 35 years in the mortgage industry and an entrepreneurial and construction background, he brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to his new role. Dufault has gained extensive experience in construction standards, business acumen, and process improvements throughout his career. His diverse background, including as a former business owner, makes him an ideal candidate to lead Country Bank’s Retail Lending team. In addition to his professional achievements, Dufault is also committed to community service. He has served on the board of Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts for 10 years, the past four years as the board president. He supports various charitable initiatives, including the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, the American Cancer Society, Heifer Project International, and the Alzheimer’s Assoc. He has also served on various committees and boards in the town of Rutland, where he lived for 26 years.

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Tech Foundry, the regional leader in IT workforce development and training, announced the hiring of four new staff members as well as promotions of existing staff to support the organization’s growing operations. Phillip Borras, Tech Foundry’s Career Readiness and Recruitment coordinator, was recently promoted to Coaching manager. A professional speaker, comedian, and life coach, he now leads a team of three coaches who mentor student members throughout the organization’s IT support training program and after graduation. This work complements Tech Foundry’s professional-development training, including résumé writing, interviewing, networking, and other professional-development skills. Jessica Cogoli has been promoted to instructor. A Tech Foundry alum, she has been working closely with the organization since she graduated, as a volunteer, assistant instructor, and technical lead for the IT support training program. She recently graduated from Holyoke Community College with an associate degree in computer science and is now working toward her bachelor’s degree at Southern New Hampshire University. Eric Maldonado, a 20-year veteran of the human-services field, joins the Tech Foundry team as a coach. His previous work focused on youth and homeless adults, including experience as a career coach with MassHire in Springfield. He is also an entrepreneur and has been running two successful businesses for the past five years. William Medina, a former instructor at Tech Foundry, returned to the organization as the new Tech Hub director at the end of February. He is a technology enthusiast who helped build the organization during its early years. In his new role, he is responsible for managing the daily operations of the Tech Hub, a Holyoke-based center which provides digital-literacy classes, technical support, and device distribution throughout Western Mass. As director, he manages daily operations, curriculum development, community relations, the digital fellows program, and professional development. Hilda Santa, a recent graduate of Tech Foundry, joins the team as the new administrative assistant and coach. She is a retired 20-year veteran of the U.S. Air National Guard and brings more than 15 years of administrative experience to the organization. In her role as a part-time coach, she will mentor the next generation of student-members. She holds a bachelor’s degree in health studies from UMass Amherst. Pattie Carulli-Hauser brings her passion for coaching and mentoring to the Tech Foundry team as one of the organization’s new coaches. In her role, she will provide ongoing mentoring and support for Tech Foundry’s student members. She has spent most of her career in research and development leadership roles in the consumer-goods industry.

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Caitlin von Schmidt

Franklin Community Co-op recently welcomed Caitlin von Schmidt as its new Outreach and Communications manager, effective March 19. “Caitlin’s time as coordinator of the Greenfield Business Association and in the Mayor’s Office at the city of Greenfield sets her up beautifully to succeed in her new position, and we’re excited to have her on board,” co-op General Manager John Williams said. “We’re happy to have her as the newest member of our successful team.” Williams also thanked Amy Britt for her time in the position as she moves on to other opportunities. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Franklin Community Co-op family,” von Schmidt said. “The co-op is a beloved establishment, and its role as an anchor business and vital community member can’t be overstated. In addition, I’m thrilled to be involved at such an important time, with the expansion into the Wilson’s building on the horizon.”

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Duc-Pac Corp. announced that its president, Gregory Merchant, has been voted to serve as president of Air Distribution Institute (ADI), the national alliance of steel HVAC pipe and fittings manufacturers focused on research and working with industry leading decision makers to create better policy. Duc-Pac is a family-owned and operated business that was founded in 1949. The company moved its manufacturing facility to Springfield in 2022. “I am proud to contribute my experience by helping lead the ADI,” Merchant said. “Duc-Pac has been a member of the organization for over 15 years. There is a lot of attention today on the use of green energy in HVAC and achieving ever-greater efficiencies with heating and cooling our homes. On one hand, we are very specialized production manufacturers. On the other hand, we have a big role to play in providing products and information essential to more efficient HVAC systems. We cannot lose sight that to not participate in HVAC improvements this way is to invite overseas competition to do so.”

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Lauren Tabin

Lauren Tabin

bankESB recently hired Lauren Tabin as assistant vice president, branch officer of its King Street, Northampton office. Tabin has nearly 30 years of banking experience. Prior to joining bankESB, she was assistant vice president, branch officer at PeoplesBank, and previously held various other positions there, including banking center manager, branch officer, trainer, and teller. She brings an extensive background in management and leadership experience to her new role, where she will manage the Northampton office team while remaining engaged in the community. She currently serves on the board of the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club, and previously served on the board of Black Horse Trust, the Miracle League of Western Massachusetts, the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round, and Providence Ministries. She is a member of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty class of 2011.

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Country Bank announced the appointment of four new corporators and a new trustee at its annual meeting on March 11. Ivon Gois, president of Gois Broadcasting, brings a wealth of experience to the bank. Based in Worcester, Gois operates 12 radio stations in New England and is well-known for his contributions to the media industry, ethnic and racial diversity work, and financial expertise. Mechilia Salazar, CEO and director of Hope for Youth and Families Foundation in Springfield, is a respected leader in the nonprofit sector. Her previous role as CEO of the Ludlow Boys and Girls Club demonstrates her commitment to serving marginalized and underbanked communities. She often serves as the bridge between local businesses and the communities they serve. Samalid Hogan, a business consultant, CEO, and principal at Greylock Management in Ludlow, is a seasoned professional with a strong track record of success. Her leadership as past president of the Springfield Rotary Club and her involvement on various boards further highlight her dedication to making a positive impact. Her passion for empowering small businesses has made her a respected leader in the industry. Walter Pacheco, a prominent figure in the hospitality industry, owns several Western and Central Mass. restaurants and investment properties. His extensive business acumen and local ties make him a valuable addition to the bank. In addition to the new corporators, new Country Bank President Mary McGovern was appointed to the board of trustees.

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Paul Asselin

The Massachusetts chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors announced that Paul Asselin, Gould Construction Institute instructor, is the 2024 ABC National Craft Instructor of the Year. Asselin was honored at the 2024 ABC Convention in Orlando, Fla. on March 13. ABC presents the annual Craft Instructor of the Year Award to an outstanding instructor with a passion for their craft, creativity, a positive attitude, and the ability to transfer knowledge through excellent communications skills and forward-thinking teaching to future construction professionals. With nearly 40 years of experience in the construction industry, Asselin has taught basic through advanced electrical courses since 2001. He is the training manager for Elm Electrical Inc. in Westfield, where he has worked since 1983. He is also the wiring inspector for his hometown of Russell and previously served as chair of Westfield Technical Academy’s general advisory board and electrical shop advisory board. As Craft Instructor of the Year, Asselin received a $10,000 cash prize. Co-sponsors of Craft Instructor of the Year are the National Center for Construction Education and Research, the training, assessment, certification, and career-development standard for the construction industry; and Tradesmen International, North America’s premier craft-professional staffing resource. Asselin will also be profiled in the June issue of Construction Executive magazine.

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On April 6, Westfield State University inducted six alumni into the Criminal Justice Alumni Hall of Fame. Inductees are recognized for their excellence in their chosen field and for their accomplishments in criminal justice and law enforcement at the state, federal, and local levels. This year’s alumni inductees are Benjamin Campbell ’11 of the Maine State Police; David Campbell ’84, a retired special agent in the U.S. Department of Justice; Cheryl Clapprood ’92, Springfield Police superintendent; John Kotfila Jr. ’08, who served in the Sheriff’s Office in Hillsborough County, Fla.; Kenneth O’Connor ’87, a chief court officer in the Massachusetts Trial Court; and Jeffrey Trask ’02, a leader in emergency management and preparedness. Kim Tobin, professor of Criminal Justice, was also honored for her distinguished service to Westfield State. Both Benjamin Campbell and Kotfila were recognized posthumously.

People on the Move
Claudia Pazmany

Claudia Pazmany

Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS) named Claudia Pazmany as its new chief Development officer. She will be responsible for developing a sustainable institutional development effort to both support existing programs and expand them to serve the emergent needs of the organization’s clients. Pazmany had served as a volunteer member of the MLKFS development committee before being appointed to her new position. Pazmany, who most recently served as executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, brings a history of professional fundraising with a career total of raising more than $15 million in a development capacity for the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Providence Ministries, and other organizations. She also serves as volunteer, advisory board member, and former board president of CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, a development committee member of the United Way of Franklin & Hampshire Region, and as a 2020 and 2021 EforAll Pioneer Valley mentor. In 2021, Pazmany received a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives for her leadership role in supporting Amherst’s small businesses throughout COVID, leveraging more than $2 million in small-business assistance. She was honored with the Family 2022 Outreach Center’s Helen Mitchell Community Service Award for conceptualizing and implementing a program that provided restaurant relief while feeding families who were disproportionately impacted by COVID. She was also honored as a 2023 BusinessWest Difference Maker along with Amherst Business Improvement District Executive Director Gabrielle Gould for their partnership and leadership to build a stronger community throughout COVID. Pazmany earned a bachelor’s degree with concentrations in French and business from UMass Amherst, and an MBA from Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She earned a program leadership certificate from the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts’ Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact.

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Peter Banko

Peter Banko

The Baystate Health board of trustees announced it has appointed Peter Banko as Baystate Health’s new president and CEO. He succeeds Dr. Mark Keroack, who previously announced his plans to retire after serving as the system’s leader for 10 years. An executive experienced in leading multi-faceted health systems in markets throughout the country, Banko was chosen after an extensive national search by the board of trustees. Banko will officially join Baystate Health at the beginning of June. Banko most recently served as president and CEO of Centura Health in Centennial, Colo., which was part of the national CommonSpirit Health system. The $3.8 billion hospital and health-services system comprised more than 20 owned and affiliated tertiary and rural hospitals, an extensive network of physician partners, and numerous community-based services and clinics across Colorado, Kansas, and Utah. Banko, a native of New Jersey, started his calling in healthcare as a junior volunteer and has served in CEO-level roles for several health systems for nearly two decades. He has an industry reputation of leading innovation, transformation, integration, and partnerships with hospitals, physician groups, and health plans. He earned his bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Notre Dame and his master of health administration degree from the Sloan Program in Health Services Administration at Cornell University.

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Vicki Baldyga

Vicki Baldyga

Amber Messer

Amber Messer

Monson Savings Bank announced that Vicki Baldyga, former Ware branch manager, and Amber Messer, former assistant Ware branch manager, have transferred to the bank’s Wilbraham branch to take the helm as the new management team of the 100 Post Office Park location. Baldyga has 25 years of experience in the banking industry, 17 of which have been in branch management. She has been employed with Monson Savings Bank for five years. Committed to expanding her knowledge and skill set, she is currently enrolled in the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. New England School for Financial Studies and holds several diplomas and certificates from the Center for Financial Training. In her role as Wilbraham branch manager, she will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing branch operations. She aims to foster an environment of teamwork and provide a high level of leadership to her team, as well as provide a high level of customer service with a positive, respectful, and courteous attitude. Baldyga is very involved in the local community, volunteering at Crossway Community Clothing Outreach, serving on the board of the Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce, and donating blood to the Red Cross. Messer began her banking career as a customer service representative and teller at Monson Savings Bank six and a half years ago. Throughout her career, she has proven to be an asset to the bank and has achieved several promotions, ultimately attaining the position of assistant branch manager. In 2023, she was a nominee for Monson Savings Bank’s President’s Award. She was recognized by a peer for her commitment to customer and community service, teamwork, and excellence. She has also received several customer-service excellence awards during her time with the bank for going above and beyond. As the assistant Wilbraham branch manager, Messer will support Baldyga to manage the branch. She will also assist customers with their banking transactions, drawing on her extensive knowledge of bank products and services, while promoting an atmosphere of positive staff morale by inspiring trust and respect.

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Country Bank announced the appointment of Clare Ladue as the assistant vice president of the Customer Care Center. With 30 years of financial-service experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to her new role. Ladue graduated from Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. New England School of Financial Studies. She has a commercial lending certificate from the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. and numerous professional leadership certifications. Throughout her career, she has gained extensive experience in banking, including retail banking, deposit operations, commercial lending, and regional management, making her the ideal candidate to lead Country Bank’s Customer Care team. Her connection to the local community is evident through her previous involvement as an executive committee member of the Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce. She has also participated in numerous charitable initiatives, including the Walk of Champions, Junior Achievement, Rays of Hope, Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen, and Link to Libraries. Her dedication to making a positive impact aligns with Country Bank’s core values.

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Hector Suarez

Hector Suarez

bankESB recently hired Hector Suarez as assistant vice president, branch officer of its Sargeant Street office in Holyoke. Suarez grew up in Holyoke and Puerto Rico and has nearly 30 years of banking experience. He says he is passionate about providing a customer-first experience and brings an extensive background to his new role, where he will manage the Holyoke office team while fostering relationships within the community. Prior to joining bankESB, he was a vice president, branch manager at M&T Bank, People’s United Bank, and United Bank. Before that, he was a branch manager at Key Bank and First Niagara Bank, as well as a personal banker with Baybank, BankBoston, FleetBoston, and Bank of America.

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Seth Clark

Seth Clark

bankESB recently promoted Seth Clark to wire transfer officer, based in the 36 Main St., Easthampton office. Clark has 11 years of banking experience and has held a variety of positions since joining bankESB in 2013, including wire transfer manager, assistant branch manager, personal banker, and senior teller. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State College. Outside of work, he has been a part-time church organist in Westhampton and Holyoke for 20 years.

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Alignable, an online networking platform for business owners, invited its more than 8.7 million members to shout out local business leaders who have gone above and beyond guiding peers and supporting entire communities amid challenging economic conditions. The network announced that Judy Herrell of Herrell’s Ice Cream has again been elected Northampton’s 2024 Businessperson of the Year. Alignable’s 2024 Local Businessperson of the Year contest reached unparalleled participation levels, logging more than 309,000 votes, more than 64,000 recommendations, and more than 5,100 local winners across the U.S. and Canada. It was most popular competition Alignable has hosted in more than five years, marking a 40% jump in participation over 2023. Winners were commended for helping their peers and communities through a year with many challenges, including rising interest rates and rents, not to mention skyrocketing supply costs.

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Jessica Roncarati-Howe

Jessica Roncarati-Howe

The board of directors of Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts (DFSWM) announced that Jessica Roncarati-Howe is the organization’s new executive director, effective March 1. Candidates were vetted by a volunteer hiring committee and the board of directors. After four years with DFSWM, most recently as director of Programs and Operations before taking on the interim executive director role, Roncarati-Howe has an intimate understanding of the work of the organization. Before joining DFSWM, Roncarati-Howe held several leadership roles, including executive director of both the AIDS Foundation of Western Massachusetts and the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce. She has dedicated her career to promoting dignity and quality of life in the community and has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, focusing on program development, management, board governance, and leading mission-based organizations toward maximum community impact. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and fine arts from Elms College and a master’s degree in nonprofit management and philanthropy with a certificate in fundraising from Bay Path University.

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Caolo & Bieniek Associates Inc. announced that Principal Bertram Gardner has been selected as the recipient of the 2024 Donald & Lois Prescott Founders Award by the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee. This recognition is awarded annually to individuals who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the youth, community, and mission of the club. Each year, the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee carefully selects community members who exemplify dedication and support toward the club’s vision. Gardner has been chosen as this year’s recipient in acknowledgment of his inspirational commitment, vision, courage, enthusiasm, and leadership. The Donald & Lois Prescott Founders Award, initiated at the Centennial Gala in 2012, honors the legacy of Lois Prescott and the late Donald Prescott, a longstanding member of the club’s board of directors.

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Shannon Ortona

Shannon Ortona

Monson Savings Bank announced the recent promotion of Shannon Ortona to Ware branch manager. In addition to her new role, Ortona will continue to serve as the bank’s IRA administrator. She is now based out of the Ware branch, located at 136 West St. Prior to joining the Monson Savings Bank family 11 years ago, Ortona began her banking career with Chicopee Savings Bank. After five years there, where she held the positions of full-time teller, senior teller, and head teller, she accepted the position of customer service associate supervisor in Monson Savings Bank’s Ware branch. During her tenure with the bank, Ortona has earned positions of increasing responsibility. She became the assistant branch manager of the Ware branch and became a certified IRA specialist through Ascensus. Prior to her most recent promotion, she worked as the Wilbraham assistant branch manager. In her new role, she will draw on her extensive experience and knowledge of retail banking. She will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the Ware branch’s operations. She will also aim to foster an environment of teamwork within the branch and provide her team with a high level of leadership. She will work with customers to conduct various banking transactions and help them reach their financial goals. Ortona is board member with the Ware Business Civic Assoc.

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Aaron Lansky, founder and president of the Yiddish Book Center, announced he plans to retire in June 2025. Lansky founded the Yiddish Book Center in 1980 as a 24-year-old graduate student, and since then, the organization has rescued more than 1.5 million Yiddish books, created educational programs that bring the language and culture to new audiences, documented the oral histories of more than 1,300 narrators, created a publishing imprint devoted to Yiddish translation, and much more. Susan Bronson, who has been the center’s executive director for 14 years and holds a doctorate in Russian and Jewish history, will succeed Lansky as president.

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Heather Rush

Market Mentors LLC recently welcomed Heather Rush to its team as associate creative director. She arrives with more than 20 years of experience in everything from graphic design, photography, and copywriting to creative direction, art direction, and brand development. In her previous roles, Rush has been immersed in all things creative, from storyboarding, strategizing, and conceptualizing to brand development and implementation, photography, and video shoots. Over the past six years, she managed a marketing team of designers and project editors and launched campaigns and products through digital and print channels. A graduate of Elms College with a degree in commercial arts, Rush is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. She has received the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for book-cover design and layout, and several awards for book-series design from BookBuilders of Boston, which also awarded her the 2017 iPad App UX/UI design award. An avid painter, she recently spent two weeks in Italy on a watercolor painting intensive. Active in the Hampshire County community, Rush is a team captain and team organizer/top-50 fundraiser for the Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage, a member of the Easthampton Farmers and Makers Market committee, and a volunteer with Easthampton Arts.

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Francis “Sandy” Dibble, John Pucci, and Jeffrey Roberts, attorneys at Bulkley Richardson, have been recognized by Super Lawyers for 20 consecutive years, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of Massachusetts Super Lawyers. According to Super Lawyers, there are 42,635 attorneys registered with the Massachusetts state bar, but only 264 attorneys selected to Super Lawyers all 20 years, making this an elite group of 0.6% of attorneys in the state. Dibble, partner, has been recognized in the area of business litigation. He has tried and won, or favorably settled, significant cases for a wide range of clients throughout the U.S. Pucci, partner, has been recognized in the area of criminal defense: white collar crimes. He is one of Massachusetts’ top trial lawyers, representing individuals and companies in complex civil and criminal litigation of all kinds in both state and federal courts. Roberts, counsel, has been recognized in the area of estate & probate. He has handled many sophisticated estate-planning matters throughout his career, as well as corporate work and business transactions, primarily for closely held companies.

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Tech Foundry, the regional leader in IT workforce development and training, announced the appointment of 12 new members to its board of trustees. Hailing from a wide variety of professional backgrounds and including an alumnus of the organization’s 18-week IT support training program, the new slate of directors represents the diversity of the communities served by Tech Foundry. The organization welcomes Paul Nicholson (treasurer), Finance director at Wellfleet Insurance, and Briana Dawkins (clerk), associate attorney at Litchfield Cavo LLP in Simsbury, Conn. They join veteran officers Mike Walker (chair), retired financial-services professional at MassMutual Financial Group, and Delcie Bean (founder and immediate past chair), CEO of Paragus Strategic IT. New directors include Jay Ash, CEO of Mass Competitive Partnership; Everton Chin, director of IT at Travelers; Damon DePaolo, director of Human Risk Management at MassMutual; Samalid Hogan, CEO and principal consultant at Greylock Management Consulting; Xiaolei Hua, first vice president at PeoplesBank; Cindy Knowles, Strategy & Change Management lead at MassMutual; George Timmons, president of Holyoke Community College; and Hector Toledo, commercial lender and vice president at New Valley Bank. Patrick Streck, president and founder of Estli Consulting, returns to Tech Foundry after serving on the original board of advisors from 2013 to 2021. Salam (Sam) Zebian, Information Protection senior advisor at Cigna, graduated from Tech Foundry in 2017 and has been volunteering with the organization as a guest speaker since then. They join veteran board members Greg Bialecki, principal at Redgate; Ann McFarland Burke, owner of Ann McFarland Burke Consultancy; Dawn Creighton, Community Outreach officer at Liberty Bank; and Dianne Fuller Doherty, one of the original founders of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.

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Hubert Benitez

Nicolle Cestero

Nicolle Cestero

American International College (AIC) announced that Hubert Benitez plans to step down as president of the college at the end of the current academic year on June 7. Frank Colaccino, chair of the AIC board of trustees, said Nicolle Cestero, who serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer at AIC, will be appointed interim president immediately. In his letter of resignation, Benitez said, “I made this decision by engaging in a deep process of prayer and discernment, and after thoughtful consideration and reflection with my family, I have decided to focus on the next chapter of our lives.” Colaccino said the tenure of Benitez’s service as president of the college was marked by a number of progressive actions designed to promote the mission of AIC and his effective leadership in the development of AIC Reimagined, the strategic plan that will guide the initiatives undertaken by the college during the coming years. Cestero, who will serve as interim president until the next president is identified, has been with AIC since 2011 when she joined as associate vice president for Human Resources. She has served the college as chief of staff and most recently as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining AIC, her professional journey began in New York City at the Council on Foreign Relations, a leading nonpartisan foreign-policy think tank in the U.S., focused on disseminating information to members, government officials, and the public on matters of international significance. She holds an MBA degree from AIC, a master of arts degree from the University of West Florida, and a bachelor of arts degree from Mount Holyoke College. According to Colaccino, as COO, Cestero has overseen the day-to-day operations of the college and played a key role in implementing AIC’s strategic plan.

People on the Move
Hannah Pimenta

Hannah Pimenta

Alex LaValley

Alex LaValley

1Berkshire announced the addition of two staff members, one on the Member Services team and one on the Economic Development team. In addition, 1Berkshire has also added four new members to its board of directors. Hannah Pimenta assumed the role of Member Engagement associate. In her position, she will support the director of Member Services with membership-related initiatives, special events, and the Berkshire Leadership Program. Additionally, she will work in conjunction with the 1Berkshire business office, President and CEO Jonathan Butler, the 1Berkshire Strategic Alliance board of directors, and the 1Berkshire Foundation board. Pimenta is certified in project management and has a bachelor’s degree in English and communications from MCLA. She previously worked for Berkshire Family & Individual Resources before joining the 1Berkshire team. Alex LaValley joined the Economic Development team as Economic Development associate. In this position, he will work with both the vice president of Economic Development and the deputy director of Economic Development. 1Berkshire also announced that Ari Zorn of Devine Retail Cannabis, Christian Hanson of Balderdash Cellars, Scott St. George of Berkshire Health Systems, and Dubois Thomas of Blackshires Community Empowerment Foundation have joined the 1Berkshire board of directors for 2024.

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Evan Garber

Evan Garber

Evan Garber has been named senior consultant and vice president of A.L. Cignoli & Associates Inc. Garber, who received his master’s degree in public affairs from the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy, started working with the firm as an intern during his time as an undergraduate student at UMass studying political science and education. He attended Chicopee High School and found his first interest in history, theater, leadership, economics, and politics there. Throughout his time at UMass, he was able to refine those interests. While in college, he chaired the UMass Theatre Guild, got experience working in grassroots political campaigns, was on the student staff of the UMass Marching Band, and got his class B commercial driver’s license to work at UMass Transit. Garber will be responsible for oversight of all Cignoli client efforts. He works directly with company President Anthony Cignoli on all daily client operations, including drafting strategies, media monitoring, designing solutions that are customized to the firm’s unique clients, and contributing to the successful results of clients.

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Maybury Material Handling, a leading provider of industrial products and services to manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing customers throughout New England, announced a transition of leadership as John Maybury, who has served as president for almost five decades, assumes the role of chairperson, and his son, William Maybury, assumes the role of president. John established Maybury Material Handling in 1976, and the company began by making benches, stools, and cabinets. From there, it got into warehouse racks and shelving and now provides many automated material-handling products, including conveyors, conveyor systems, lift trucks, and more. Will has been involved in the business for as long as he can remember. From taking out the trash as a child to working in inventory to learning how to install warehouse equipment, to then coming back in 2015 and working in the Accounting department and serving as controller, he has learned the business from various points of view.

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Christine Byrne

Christine Byrne

Eastern States Exposition (ESE) announced the promotion of Christine Byrne to the position of director of Finance. She assumes this role following the retirement of Jerry Richard in December. Byrne holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in accounting from Western New England University. Her love for numbers started in high school when she took her first accounting class, and she has never looked back. She joined the ESE team last May, initially serving as assistant director of Finance. With more than 25 years of experience in accounting and finance, she brings a wealth of expertise to her new role. Prior to joining ESE, Byrne held the position of chief financial officer at Center of Hope Foundation Inc., demonstrating her commitment to financial excellence and strategic management. Byrne has also held finance and accounting roles at the Tri-Community YMCA, Howlett Lumber Co., Wing Memorial Hospital, and Court Square Group.

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Rose Colon, chair of the board of directors of Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS), announced the addition of the following new board members: William Davila, Byron Jones, Rania Kfuri, Dr. Yolanda Marrow, Awildo Morales, and Kimberly Robinson Williams, who will fill the Dora D. Robinson legacy board seat. Davila is vice president of Diversion, Shelter & Housing for the Center for Human Development Inc. in Springfield, as well as a licensed independent clinical social worker in Massachusetts and a licensed clinical social worker in Connecticut. Jones is a digital strategist and government contractor for the International Trade Assoc. (ITA) through Platinum Technologies (PT78) and has 19 years of business and digital strategy experience. Kfuri is a Philanthropy officer at the Baystate Health Foundation and has more than 20 years of development and related experience. Marrow is a pediatric trauma and Acute Care Surgery program manager at Baystate Medical Center and has 31 years of healthcare experience. Morales is a branch manager and Retail Banking and Security officer for Monson Savings Bank and has over 12 years of financial-services experience. Williams is Managing Partner of FDR & Associates LLC, which offers engagement with companies, organizations, and individuals committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). She has more than 27 years of experience working in HR, development, alumni relations, and DEI positions.

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Richard Greco

American International College (AIC) announced the appointment of Richard Greco as assistant vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Life. With his experience and proven success in leading teams that drive student success, Greco brings a wealth of expertise and leadership to the institution. In his new role, he will be leading efforts to integrate and align academic affairs and student life, ensuring a seamless support system for students. He will also spearhead innovative program development and foster community partnerships that provide meaning to students and community beyond the classroom. Bringing more than 25 years of management experience, both within and outside higher education, Greco previously served as dean of Liberal and Professional Studies at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and has been a faculty member at AIC since 2012. He holds a master’s degree in biology from the University of Saint Joseph, as well as bachelor’s degrees in human biology and biochemistry from AIC and an associate degree in general studies from STCC. He is currently working toward a doctorate in public administration at West Chester University.

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The International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI) announced that La Wanza Lett-Brewington, Dora Tseng, and Jenni Greenhouse have joined ILI’s board of directors. Lett-Brewington led Old Dominion University’s Women and Gender Equity Center in Norfolk, Va. for nearly a decade. She is now Title IX coordinator and Affirmative Action officer for Greenfield Community College (GCC) and Berkshire Community College. A graduate of GCC and UMass Amherst’s University Without Walls and Graduate School of Education, she is known for innovative work in leadership development, diversity, equity, inclusion, conflict resolution, human-services administration, and crisis management. Tseng is access coordinator of Disability Services at UMass Amherst. In 2023, she celebrated her tenth year in the U.S., having arrived from Taiwan in 2013, and is now a permanent resident. She earned an associate degree from Greenfield Community College and a bachelor’s degree and master of education degree from UMass Amherst. As an immigrant, she is eager to share her experiences with newcomers and also continue her passionate commitment to social justice. Greenhouse moved from her home country of Colombia to Northampton in 2013, quickly enrolled in ILI’s intensive English classes, and studied at GCC. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Western New England University and an MBA from Boston University and is now senior manager of operations for Customer Support at Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford, Conn. She plans to put her business and leadership skills to use in making an impactful contribution to ILI’s growth and future.

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Jacqueline Charron

Jacqueline Charron

Greenfield Cooperative Bank announced the appointment of Jacqueline (Jackie) Charron as its new senior vice president of Strategy & Implementation. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to this role. With nearly 40 years in the banking industry, she possesses a track record of leadership and innovation. Charron’s focus will be on navigating the evolving CRA landscape and ensuring the bank thrives under the new regulations. Additionally, she will lend her support across various initiatives within the bank. Her deep understanding of the banking industry is expected to be instrumental in driving the bank’s continued success and reaffirming its commitment to its customers and communities.

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The Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) welcomed five new board members at its first meeting of 2024. Together, they bring to the chamber diverse experience as entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, and business managers. The new board members are Jamie Cocco, Caroline Gear, Taylor Robbins, Elena Sharnoff, and Cigdem Turkomer. Cocco owns Empowered Digital Marketing and Empowered Social Media. In addition to his role on the board, he serves on the GNCC’s executive committee and chairs the ambassador committee. He brings an extensive marketing background to the GNCC, along with strong interests in building community and business development. Gear is the executive director of the International Language Institute of Massachusetts in Northampton. As executive director of a nonprofit organization, she brings to the chamber rich experience in working with a board, budgets, fundraising, and more. Robbins is a business relationship manager at UMassFive College Federal Credit Union. With a focus on commercial lending and cash management, she uses her experience in the field to offer individualized advice for business owners. Sharnoff owns B Strategic Communications and brings more than 25 years of experience in strategic communications and marketing, branding, and messaging to her role at the GNCC. She has served on che chamber’s ambassador committee for several years. Turkomer grew up in Istanbul and has spent more than 25 years creating set designs for commercial and documentary films. After studying for several years at San Francisco State University, Cigdem moved back to Northampton to open LeBonNton, which supports women artists and business owners from the U.S. and around the world.

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Derick Santos

Derick Santos

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Derick Santos as its veterans-benefits and financial-aid counselor. He joined HCC on Jan. 22. Originally from Lajas, Puerto Rico, Santos holds a bachelor’s degree in computational mathematics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., where he also worked in the Military and Veterans Services department for the university’s online campus. His father is an active-duty serviceman with the Puerto Rican National Guard. In his new role, Santos is HCC’s school-certifying official and will process all benefits for U.S. veterans and military-affiliated students. He will also counsel prospective and returning students through the financial-aid process and serve as part of the counselor on-call rotation.

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Dulye & Co. founder and President Linda Dulye, who 16 years ago established a philanthropic organization to develop and connect emerging leaders in the Berkshires and beyond, has been honored for her achievements by the Zonta Club of Berkshire County. After receiving nominations from the public, Zonta Club members voted on their final choices of Berkshire County women whose outstanding work is building a better world for women and girls. Dulye joins five other women who have made significant contributions in their fields and to the Berkshire community in receiving this annual award. They were recognized at the Zonta International Women’s Day celebration dinner on March 8.

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Robert Tyrol III

Robert Tyrol III

Pearson Wallace Insurance announced a new hire, Marc Membrino, and shared the achievement of current employee Robert “Bobby” Tyrol III, who has acquired his property and casualty insurance producer license. Membrino joins the team with an extensive background in the insurance industry. He moved to the Berkshires in 1979 and worked for his family-owned insurance company, which he later bought in 1989 and subsequently sold years later. Membrino’s current role with Pearson Wallace Insurance is customer service representative, in which he rates and services policies and provides help to customers. Tyrol has been with Pearson Wallace Insurance for two years. After working as an assistant golf professional at Berkshire Hills Golf Course in Pittsfield for six years, he joined Pearson Wallace Insurance in 2021 as a personal lines client manager. After receiving his insurance designation of a property and casualty producer, Tyrol has been promoted to customer service manager. He takes charge of all personal-line services for Pearson Wallace Insurance, with the goal of making customers’ experiences seamless.

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AXiA Insurance Services recognizes the recent professional achievements of two employees in its West Springfield location. Aidil Cortinhas, personal lines account relationship manager, earned the certified insurance service representative (CISR) designation. The CISR program is nationally recognized with the mission to further develop insurance-related competencies for industry customer-service representatives. Cortinhas has been with AXiA since October 2017, servicing clients’ home and auto insurance coverage. She is also a current member of the company’s team and events committee, which coordinates company employee events, and an active volunteer in AxiA Charitable Fund programs. Colin Dandy, administrative coordinator, earned his property and casualty insurance license, having passed the Massachusetts state exams. This qualifies him to now sell insurance coverage, continuing his growth track at the agency and in the industry. Dandy has been with AxiA since September 2022, after graduating high school that same year. He currently is a member of a company process/procedural committee.

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Advantage Truck Group (ATG) named its 2023 Pete DePina Legacy Award winners for Massachusetts, recognizing one individual from each of its locations in Raynham, Shrewsbury, and Westfield for making an impact on their fellow employees, customers, and the company. Gerry Avery received the legacy award for ATG’s Westfield facility. Employees were nominated by their peers for the award, and a winner was selected from each of ATG’s eight locations. Winners were presented with a monetary award that they will continue to receive as part of their profit-sharing bonus each year throughout their employment with the company.

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Sylviana Lopez

Sylviana Lopez

Viability Inc. announced the appointment of Sylviana Lopez as its chief people officer in Human Resources. She brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the organization, and she is expected to drive Viability’s commitment to fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. For more than two decades, Lopez has been at the forefront of solving complex problems at scale across industries from the private sector to human services, blending human-resources strategy with forwardthinking creativity. She is expected to be an asset to Viability in its pursuit of building a strong, diverse culture and strengthening its resolve to build a world in which individuals with disabilities and other disadvantages realize acceptance, inclusion, and access. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan, Puerto Rico and an MBA in human resources management from the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

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Springfield College Professor of Exercise Science Samuel Headley has been accepted as a fellow in the inaugural cohort of the Clinical Exercise Physiology Assoc. (CEPA), a recognition of his outstanding service to the field of clinical exercise physiology (CEP). Headley, currently program director of the Springfield College master’s and doctoral programs in exercise physiology, is one of the founders of CEPA and previously served as its president. Clinical exercise physiology is a branch of exercise physiology that focuses on the acute and chronic responses of both healthy individuals and individuals with chronic diseases to exercise. Headley is a well-known scholar in the field, with more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, 30 peer-reviewed abstracts, and six books or book chapters in exercise physiology. His scholarship has recently focused on the impact of exercise on patients with chronic kidney disease. During his time at Springfield College, he helped develop the college’s nationally accredited clinical exercise physiology program.

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William Pitt Sotheby’s announced that Richard Aldrich has joined the company. He will work with Steven Weisz to expand the company’s current market leadership role in commercial property sales and leasing. Aldrich has been in sales since 1971. As a real-estate broker in the Berkshires, he has become a leader in commercial property sales, leasing, and business brokerage. He has been involved with the sale of the Countryside Landscaping building in Williamstown, Camp Half Moon in Monterey, Country Curtains in Lee, and Patrick’s Pub in Pittsfield. He is currently representing the Fuel Coffee Shop and the Gorham & Norton Market.

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Michelle Muro

Michelle Muro

Dietz & Company Architects Inc. announced the addition of Michelle Muro, AIA to its staff in the role of senior architect in the Cambridge office. She holds a bachelor of architecture degree from Montana State University and is a licensed architect in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, and Kansas. She brings more than 26 years of experience to Dietz & Company, having worked for firms in Massachusetts and Colorado. Muro has worked on a variety of projects in the industrial, multi-family, commercial, retail, and sports-entertainment sectors. She has expertise in code compliance and accessibility and specializes in project management and construction administration. As such, she will be managing the construction process at the Walkling Court senior-housing development project in Medford.

People on the Move
Donna Haghighat

Donna Haghighat

Donna Haghighat, CEO of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, has announced her plans to retire, effective June 30. Under Haghighat’s leadership, beginning in 2017, the Women’s Fund developed innovative programs, sought out effective partnerships, increased grantmaking, grew its corporate and individual donations, and focused on racial equity and trust-based philanthropy. She was also integral in the launch of the Young Women’s Initiative for girls and young women of color in Springfield and the Greater Springfield Women’s Economic Security Hub. Haghighat has facilitated the monthly meetings of the Women Heads of Nonprofits group in Western Mass., which the Women’s Fund hosts, and has served on the state’s Community Reinvestment Fund Advisory Board and the advisory board of the Center for Social Justice at Western New England School of Law. She was appointed by Gov. Maura Healey to the Massachusetts Cultural Council this year and is a board member for WAM Theatre in the Berkshires.

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Timothy Craw

Timothy Craw

Professional Drywall Construction Inc. (PDC) announced that Timothy Craw has joined the company as vice president of Business Development and Labor Relations. With 45 years of construction experience in nearly every industry segment, Craw will be responsible for expanding the company’s footprint in all areas of the Atlantic states. Most recently, Craw was a union business agent and building trades president. In his various positions over the years, he has developed and maintained relationships with union and non-union contracts for business development and market expansion, recruited and represented union journeyman and apprentice carpenters in collective-bargaining negotiations, mediated contract conflicts, and monitored federal and state public construction projects during the planning, design, and bidding processes. Craw received the Carpenters Union Local 108 Steward of the Year Award in 2001 and the BCBCTC Edward M. Kennedy Award in 2016. He is a member of the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans and the Assoc. for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. A graduate of the U.S. Army Engineer School, he served six years as a sergeant in the U.S. Army.

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Andre Motulski

Andre Motulski

Florence Bank has promoted Andre Motulski to the role of vice president/controller. Motulski joined the bank’s team as assistant vice president/controller in September 2019. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Connecticut State University and is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-commissioned risk-management examiner. In his new role, which he assumed in December, he is responsible for managing financial records, ensuring regulatory compliance, and assessing risks associated with lending and investment activities. Motulski is involved in the community, serving on the finance committee for Hampshire Regional YMCA in Northampton.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western Massachusetts (BBBSWM) announced that Chris Thompson has been selected as the nonprofit’s chief growth officer. In this role, Thompson will be responsible for strengthening the newly merged agency’s relationship with the communities of Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampden Counties. Thompson was honored with the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty award in 2009 and is active in the local community. He currently sits on the board of Arrha Credit Union and is a former commissioner for the Western Massachusetts Sports Commission and West Springfield’s Parks and Recreation Commission. As co-founder and owner of the Westfield Starfires of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, Thompson brings a wealth of experience to his new role in the areas of advocacy, community outreach, business development, and external relations. He will lead BBBSWM’s growth efforts in Berkshire and Franklin counties. Previously, Thompson served on the BBBS of Hampden County board of directors between 2014 and 2021. He brings with him more than 20 years of experience developing marketing partnerships and generating revenue for iconic Western Mass. brands, such as the Springfield Falcons hockey team, where he developed a comprehensive corporate partnership program, and where he led the launch of the Springfield Thunderbirds hockey club, serving as senior vice president of Sales & Strategy.

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Jeff Little

Jeff Little

Governors America Corp. (GAC) welcomed Jeff Little as its new director of Product Management. As director of Product Management, Little’s responsibilities include aligning product strategy with business goals; driving product discovery, market research, and competitor research; driving innovation and new product development initiatives; communicating product vision and strategy to stakeholders; and monitoring and maintaining product health. Little received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University. He has garnered 27 years of experience in the industry, most recently as director of Product Management at Enovation Controls.

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MassMutual announced the appointment of Cindy Ryan to head of Human Resources. Ryan, who has more than two decades of HR leadership experience, will oversee and advance MassMutual’s people strategy, aligned with the company’s purpose, priorities, and aspirations. In this role, Ryan assumes oversight of MassMutual’s HR organization, which includes talent acquisition and management; total rewards; HR operations; employee relations; learning and development; and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). She will be responsible for continuing to evolve the company’s flexible, inclusive culture, supporting the holistic well-being and growth of MassMutual’s employees and attracting and retaining a talented, diverse workforce. Ryan joins MassMutual after spending nearly 25 years in various leadership roles of growing responsibility at Cigna, where she most recently served as the company’s chief Human Resources officer (CHRO). In this role, she led Cigna’s worldwide enterprise talent strategy and pandemic response, built its award-winning DEI approach, and enriched its engaged culture. Prior to her CHRO role, she served as senior vice president of HR for Cigna’s U.S. business lines, where she was responsible for talent-management strategies, employee engagement, and leadership effectiveness for the company’s health, life, and disability services lines as well as serving as the company’s chief talent officer, overseeing recruiting, learning, leadership development, and employee relations worldwide.

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Laurel Carpenter

Laurel Carpenter

Laurel Carpenter, associate professor of Environmental Science at Holyoke Community College (HCC), has been awarded a national fellowship focusing on STEM education at community colleges. The fellowship, from the Community College Presidents’ Initiative in STEM (CCPI-STEM), is intended for community-college faculty and administrators pursuing graduate degrees and conducting research related to STEM education and workforce development. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. Carpenter is part of a cohort of just seven CCPI-STEM fellows for 2024-25 and the only one from a college in the Northeast. Fellows are selected from a national pool of applicants, who are evaluated based on their education, STEM experience, leadership potential, community engagement, and research. A 2012 graduate of HCC, Carpenter is a wildlife biologist, chair of the HCC Environmental Studies department, co-coordinator of the HCC STEM Scholars program, and a graduate student at UMass Amherst, where she is pursuing a doctorate in education. CCPI-STEM fellows receive a $5,000 honorarium each year for two years to support their graduate studies. They also participate in professional-development activities and are paired with a professional mentor.

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Ute DeFarlo

Ute DeFarlo has been appointed director of Development by Shakespeare & Company, a nonprofit theater performance, education, and actor-training organization based in the Berkshires. In her position, DeFarlo is responsible for supporting Shakespeare & Company’s mission and vision through the development of new and expanded income streams, cultivation of the company’s donors and board of trustees, and various engagements with constituents in the Berkshire County community. Most recently, she served as director of Development for the Mount, Edith Wharton’s home, in Lenox and as Development officer at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge. Her appointment marks her return to Shakespeare & Company’s Development team, which she first joined in 2004, serving as director from 2009 to 2015. DeFarlo holds a master’s degree in English and Russian language interpretation from the University of Mainz, Germany, and attended Georgetown University on a one-year Fulbright scholarship.

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O’Dell Women’s Center, Springfield’s first nonprofit women’s center, appointed Margaret Tantillo as its executive director. In her previous position as executive director of Dress for Success Western Massachusetts, Tantillo directed five distinct programs designed specifically for low-income women that resulted in hundreds of women finding gainful employment. These programs included workforce development, mentorship programming, and trainings in financial literacy, digital literacy, and dressing for the workplace. Toward the end of her tenure, she relocated Dress for Success Western Massachusetts to 45 Lyman St. as the anchor institution of the O’Dell Women’s Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization that offers low- and no-cost residency spaces to nonprofits that support its mission. Tantillo started her career working for the Girl Scouts. During her 13-year career with that organization, she rose through the ranks, started the first Girl Scout Advocacy Day at the Capitol in Hartford, Conn., and served in a senior leadership position, transitioning five independent nonprofits into one statewide organization with more than 65,000 members. Tantillo’s volunteer leadership roles in Springfield include serving on the core economic mobility hub of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and the coordinating committee of the Alliance for Digital Equity, and as a member of the core partners of Springfield WORKS. She earned her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and her master’s degree from Springfield College.

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Geoff Rice

Geoff Rice

Market Mentors, LLC recently welcomed Geoff Rice to its team as a senior Content Marketing specialist. In this role, he applies his two decades of marketing, communications, and creative experience to every challenge, from brand launches to engaging content for websites, social media, and campaigns of all sizes. Prior to joining Market Mentors, Rice focused his talents on the health and beauty industries, and he now extends his expertise to clients from a diverse range of businesses, including manufacturing, energy, insurance, and others. He is a graduate of Colgate University with a degree in English literature.

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Berkshire Money Management congratulates Nate Tomkiewicz on becoming a certified financial planner (CFP) professional. He is also a licensed financial advisor and chartered retirement planning counselor. Tomkiewicz specializes in retirement planning and maximizing employee benefits for people who have worked hard for their money and want to pass it on to children or charity. He is skilled at identifying opportunities within 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans. With this knowledge, he helps nurses, doctors, and other professionals in the Berkshires find opportunities they didn’t know they had. With his new CFP certification, Tomkiewicz is looks forward to tackling a broader set of challenges for his clients, including helping them reduce their tax liabilities, secure their estate for the next generation, and plan a fulfilling retirement.

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Christopher Rivers

Christopher Rivers

Phillips Insurance Agency Inc. is celebrating the 20th work anniversary of Christopher Rivers, CRIS, senior vice president. Since joining Phillips in 2004, Rivers has been instrumental in growth that has made Phillips Insurance one of the largest writers of insurance and bonds for contractors in the Northeast. Rivers was recognized in January by Sentry Insurance for his 2023 production and flown to Maui to be an honorary observer at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua, where he walked ‘inside the ropes’ with Jordan Speith, Scottie Scheffler, and Victor Hovland. Rivers has coached basketball, soccer, and baseball in Belchertown throughout the years. He and his family are strong supporters of St. Jude Hospital.

People on the Move
Claudia Pazmany

Claudia Pazmany

The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce announced the resignation of Executive Director Claudia Pazmany, effective Feb. 28. Pazmany has led the chamber for the past five and a half years, growing it to over 400 members while leading it through the pandemic. The chamber will launch a search for its next executive director immediately. With Pazmany’s help, the Amherst Area Chamber has built a strong foundation with deeply rooted partnerships year after year and a dedicated staff focused on meeting the needs of its members and the business community. The chamber has hosted valuable events for members and the broader community to network, enjoy locations in the Greater Amherst area, and meet new people. Events such as Margarita Madness, the annual golf tournament, and the A+ Awards have all grown in recent years. Under her leadership, the chamber also established a diversity, equity, and inclusion task force and has advocated with local town governments on items of interest to its members. The chamber has continued its outreach to members in an effort to promote their businesses through workshops and monthly Arrive at 5 networking events. In 2023, Pazmany and Gabriele Gould from the Amherst Business Improvement District were recognized by BusinessWest as Difference Makers for their joint work on pandemic relief for small businesses.

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Liz Larson, currently director of Operations at the Amherst Business Improvement District (BID), has been named interim executive director, effective Feb. 26. Larson has been with the BID for six years and has worked closely with departing Executive Director Gabrielle Gould, creating events for the community, revitalizing downtown, and ensuring the health of the BID’s finances. She is the creative force behind the Makers’ Market at the annual Sip and Shop Stroll and the recently launched “Take a Dino to Dinner” campaign. With a background in arts administration and nonprofit management, Larson moved to Amherst with her family in 2007 and has been active in the community, serving on several boards and committees, including professional growth objectives for the public schools and the city’s Participatory Budgeting Commission. She is currently a trustee and board treasurer for the Amherst Historical Society. Prior to moving to Amherst, she spent 20 years in New York and Tokyo.

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Mary McGovern

The board of trustees of Country Bank announced the appointment of Mary McGovern as president and chief operating officer, effective April 1. She will oversee the bank’s operations and drive its strategic growth initiatives. Paul Scully, who has been the president and chief executive officer, will remain the CEO. McGovern brings more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry, making her a valuable asset to Country Bank. She holds degrees from Emmanuel College and Babson College, and her extensive knowledge and expertise have been instrumental in the bank’s success. Mary joined Country Bank in 2011 as its chief financial officer and has since been an esteemed member of the bank’s Leadership Group. McGovern recently attended the American Bankers Assoc. (ABA) Wharton Leadership Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, earning an ABA Wharton Leadership Certificate. This accomplishment further solidifies her commitment to excellence and continuous professional development.

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Emily Maher

MCLA Physics Professor Emily Maher, one of 65 scientists in the MINERvA collaboration at Fermi National Accelerator Lab (Fermilab), has published work that has been chosen as one of the “Top 10 Physics Breakthroughs of 2023” in Physics World. Over a 10-year span, the MINERvA detector recorded the interactions of neutrinos and antineutrinos, the antimatter partners of the neutrino. The physicists working on the MINERvA experiment used the data to make a groundbreaking new measurement, which was published last February in Nature. The study, led by Tejin Cai at the University of Rochester in the U.S. and Canada’s York University, shows how information about the internal structure of a proton can be gleaned from neutrinos scattering from a plastic target. The team focused on isolating the signal from neutrinos scattered off lone protons within the background of those scattered off protons bound in carbon nuclei. Their innovative approach involved simulating and subtracting the carbon-scattered signal from experimental data. This provides insights into proton structure and enhances the understanding of how neutrinos interact with matter.

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Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Elizabeth Ollson as its manager of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. Ollson is a 2018 graduate of HCC and also holds a bachelor’s degree in women, gender, and sexuality studies from UMass Amherst. She joined HCC’s division of Institutional Advancement in November. She came to HCC from Boston College, where she was the senior associate director of Annual Giving Programs. Prior to that, she worked at Amherst College as the Amherst Fund coordinator.

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Lisa Zarcone

Lisa Zarcone

Lisa Zarcone, an author, speaker, and child mental-health advocate honored in December as one of BusinessWest’s Women of Impact for 2023, has released her second book, titled The Book of Joann: A Novel Based on Her Life Story, and the Lifetime Battle She Endured with Mental Illness and published by Joshua Tree Publishing of Chicago. “The Book of Joann is a powerful story of darkness and light, defeat and victory, hope and faith,” said Zarcone, whose first book, The Unspoken Truth, is a memoir of her experiences with — and overcoming — years of abuse. Zarcone is currently the Massachusetts National Ambassador for the National Assoc. of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. She is dedicated to spreading awareness of child safety/abuse, as well as mental illness and the stigma that surrounds it. She is committed to educating people and promoting change in a flawed system as too many children continue to fall through the cracks. She is also a public speaker, radio personality, social-media influencer, and blogger on her own website, lisazarcone.net. The Book of Joann can be found at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Co. announced that its CEO, Beth Spong, has been appointed to serve on the board of the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA), a global organization dedicated to empowering women in the coffee industry, fostering gender equality, and promoting the inclusion of women at all levels of the coffee supply chain. Now in its 20th year, IWCA is committed to creating an equitable coffee industry by empowering women in chapters serving 33 countries around the world through leadership development, strategic partnership, and amplified market visibility. Spong brings a wealth of experience with nonprofit boards and a passion for promoting equity to her new role. Under her guidance, Dean’s Beans continues to be at the forefront of advocating for fair-trade practices, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility within the specialty coffee industry. As a board member, she will contribute her expertise to further IWCA’s mission and initiatives supporting women coffee farmers, exporters, importers, roasters, and entrepreneurs.

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Amara Barbiero

Amara Barbiero

The law firm of Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan & Blakesley (PSRB) announced the appointment of Amara Barbiero as an associate attorney. Barbiero graduated from Quinnipiac University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting prior to obtaining her juris doctorate from Western New England University (WNE) School of Law. As a law student, she was awarded the prestigious CALI Award in Workers’ Compensation, given to the highest-scoring student in each law-school class. She also worked as a clinician for the WNE Small Business Clinic in Springfield. Barbiero spent four years working as a legal assistant in Connecticut before joining PSRB as a law clerk in 2021. That immersion into the practice of law has helped her develop an experience-based sensitivity to issues of equity and justice across diverse communities. She is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and awaits her admission to the bars of Connecticut and New Jersey.

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New England Public Media (NEPM) promoted Elizabeth Román into the role of managing editor – daily and digital news. Although her title did not dramatically change, her responsibilities have evolved, and she will now take the lead on delivering daily news programming on the radio, NEPM’s website, and social-media channels. Román is continuing to focus on expanding the diversity of sources in news coverage and opportunities to create more Spanish-language news content. As the daughter of Puerto Rican parents who migrated to Massachusetts more than 40 years ago, she has intended throughout her career as a journalist to provide accurate representation of communities of color in Western Mass. She has felt empowered to do this at NEPM, and in this new role, with the addition of supervisory responsibilities, she looks forward to sharing her expertise with other journalists. Román is a graduate of Holyoke Community College and UMass Amherst. Prior to working at NEPM, she was a reporter at the Republican for almost two decades, edited El Pueblo Latino, co-founded Colectivo de Medios Latinos, and appeared as a panelist on NEPM’s “The Short List” and “Connecting Point.” She joined NEPM in 2022.

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Friends of Children Inc. (FOC) announced it has appointed new leadership at the organization. Debi Belkin, MSW, LICSW and Sarah Segura, MSW, LCSW are the new co-executive directors of the nonprofit organization that works to support children and young adults whose lives have been affected by the child-welfare system. Belkin and Segura are both current employees of the organization. Belkin has more than 40 years of experience advocating for court-involved children and adolescents in Massachusetts, including more than 30 years as a supervisor at the Department of Children and Families. She has most recently been the director of Programs at FOC. Segura has been with FOC since 2021, sharing her experience in advocacy, case management, and program development, as well as a passion for working with individuals and families of diverse cultural backgrounds. She has most recently been the CASA program manager at FOC. This new co-directorship comes after the organization’s founder, Jane Lyons, retired in July 2023.

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Jack Antkowiak

Jack Antkowiak

Paige Auger

Market Mentors, LLC, a fully integrated marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, recently added two new specialists to its multi-disciplinary team. Jack Antkowiak joined the agency as a digital marketing specialist, and Paige Auger started her role as a financial administrator. As a digital marketing specialist, Antkowiak manages, reports on, and optimizes paid digital ads and SEO campaigns. This involves taking deep dives into ad performance and website analytics data to uncover actionable insights and trends that can be used to improve both campaign performance and the overall user/customer journey. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, Antkowiak combines tried-and-true best practices with a deep understanding of the target audience to build engaging and impactful campaigns. With a degree in business administration as well as management experience in accounting, Auger joined the Market Mentors finance team to handle accounts payable, accounts receivable, billing, reconciliation, and 1099 reporting. She collaborates across departments to ensure accuracy in data input and is skilled at summarizing large amounts of data and presenting meaningful information for review. A graduate of Western New England University, she received the 2017 Lawrence H. Nath Management Award.

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Following an extensive and thorough search process, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts announced the appointment of Theresa Lynn as its new CEO. Lynn brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit leadership, having most recently served as senior vice president of the United Way of Central Massachusetts, where she focused on fundraising, communications, and some large grant-making opportunities. Her dedication to community engagement is evident through her roles as executive director for Back on My Feet, addressing homelessness and job insecurity in Boston, and executive director for ReadBoston for 14 years. She currently serves as a board member for the Worcester Education Collaborative and BioBuilder Education Foundation. Lynn holds a master of public administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MBA from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of Holy Cross. Her contributions in the community have been recognized by the Boston Celtics, who presented her with a Heroes Among Us award, and by the Boston Business Journal, which acknowledged her as a Top 40 Under 40 leader in Boston.

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Bill Mertz has been appointed Tighe & Bond’s next Transportation Business Line leader. Mertz joined the firm in 2023 with the acquisition of WorldTech Engineering. He has nearly 30 years of experience on a wide variety of roadway, bridge, transportation, and utility infrastructure projects. Throughout his career, he has overseen the financial performance, project management, and technical delivery of transportation and infrastructure projects. Additionally, he has worked on notable projects for state agencies, including the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and MassDOT, as well as local communities throughout New England. Mertz is based out of Tighe & Bond’s Woburn office. Outside of work, he serves as a member of the American Public Works Assoc. and the American Society of Civil Engineers, as well as local boards.

People on the Move
Kimberly Howarth

Kimberly Howarth

Jenna Roux

Jenna Roux

The certified public accounting firm Burkhart, Pizzanelli, P.C. announced two recent additions to its professional team. Kimberly Howarth, CPA received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryant University in 2005 and a master’s degree in accounting from Western New England University in 2007. Her prior experience includes the position of senior accountant specializing in tax preparation. She has vast experience in preparing and reviewing tax returns. In addition to working with small and mid-sized businesses to fulfill their accounting, payroll, and tax-preparation needs, she has significant experience preparing individual and trust returns, as well as probate accounting. Jenna Roux, CPA received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Connecticut State University in 2012 and her master of taxation degree from University of Hartford in 2015. Her previous experience includes the position of senior accountant focusing on multi-state corporate, partnership, individual, and nonprofit income-tax returns. In addition, she has expertise in real-estate accounting practices, as well as functioning as an ‘outsourced CFO’ providing strategic consulting and support of daily financial activities.

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Frank Colaccino

Frank Colaccino

Samalid Hogan

The Springfield Rotary Club presented Frank Colaccino and Samalid Hogan with Paul Harris Awards on Jan. 25 at the Student Prince Restaurant in Springfield. Colaccino, founder and president of the Colvest Group, earned a Paul Harris Award in recognition of years of outstanding service to the Springfield community and to the Rotary Club. In addition to his service and contributions to JGS Lifecare and American International College, for over 13 years Colaccino has chaired the Service Above Self Luncheon at the Basketball Hall of Fame. This event brings together more than 300 attendees from the Greater Springfield business community for a luncheon on Center Court at the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Service Above Self luncheon recognizes the charitable work of local and national honorees. Through Colaccino’s leadership, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised for the Basketball Hall of Fame and for Rotary grants that have been awarded to local charities. Hogan, CEO and principal consultant at Greylock Management Consulting, is the immediate past president of Springfield Rotary and its first Latina president. Under her leadership, Springfield Rotary started a corporate membership program, collaborated with Dress for Success to develop a long-term investment program for women entering the workforce, and created a Service Day with Habitat for Humanity. Her dynamic and cheerful leadership made her presidency a banner year for Springfield Rotary. Hogan’s service to her community includes board participation on the Governor’s Latino Empowerment Council, Tech Foundry, and the board of trustees of Springfield Technical Community College.

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MP CPAs recently announced the promotion of Amanda LaBonte and Jack LaBranche to senior associates at the firm. LaBonte has experience managing tax filings for high-net-worth individuals, partnerships, limited-liability companies, corporations, trusts, and estates. She also maintains the firm’s social-media presence and website maintenance. She joined the firm in August 2020. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and marketing and a master’s degree in accounting from Elms College. She sits on the Chicopee High School advisory board and works as a mentor and accounting advocate in the Springfield and Chicopee areas. She has also worked as a panelist on the business accounting panel at Elms College, where she answered questions from students and provided valuable industry insights. She belongs to the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield and frequently attends networking events in the area. LaBranche provides consulting and tax solutions to a diverse group of clients, including individuals, partnerships, limited-liability companies, corporations, and trusts. He specializes in working with high-net-worth clients and with private equity firms and their owners. He joined the firm in 2020 as an intern and transitioned to full-time upon his graduation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Western New England University. He is active in the community as a part-time coach for West Springfield sports teams and a volunteer at a local soup kitchen, and was a past chairperson of the social action committee at MP CPAs, helping raise money for various local charities.

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Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams

Matt Baran

MP CPAs also announced the promotions of Brooke Williams to audit manager and Matt Baran to tax manager. Williams manages audits, reviews, and compilations for small to medium-sized businesses. She also manages audits of Massachusetts charter schools (governmental entities), nonprofit organizations (including yellow book and single audits), and employee benefit plans. She joined the firm in 2019 and has more than five years of experience in public accounting. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics and a master’s degree in accounting from Westfield State University. She is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She takes an active role in the local community by participating in various community fundraising and networking events. Baran provides consulting and tax solutions to a diverse group of clients, including individuals, partnerships, corporations, and trusts. He specializes in working with high-net-worth clients and with private-equity firms and their owners. He joined the firm in 2018 as an intern and started full-time later that year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in accounting and taxation from UMass Amherst. He remains involved in recruiting and mentorship efforts with the university.

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Bulkley Richardson announced that Stephen Holstrom and Lauren Ostberg were promoted to partner, effective Jan. 1. Holstrom is a general practice litigator with a focus on medical-malpractice defense. In addition to medical-malpractice cases, he has litigated complex tort actions, commercial disputes, insurance cases, complex class actions, and education cases. Ostberg, a key member of Bulkley Richardson’s intellectual property and technology and cybersecurity practice groups, also maintains a diverse commercial-litigation practice.

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Natalia Blank

Natalia Blank

Bay Path University announced that Natalia Blank has been elected to serve as vice president for Academic Affairs, which was effective Jan. 2. Blank will serve on the executive leadership team and work across all divisions at the university. In her role, she will articulate a clear and compelling vision for the academic enterprise that builds on Bay Path’s innovative approach to higher education, marshals the collective talents of faculty and staff in an environment of collegiality and cooperation, and use data-driven decision making and strategic thinking to optimize the student experience, from access through successful completion, as well as the academic operations of the university. After a national search, Blank comes to Bay Path from D’Youville University in Buffalo, N.Y., where she served as vice president for Academic Affairs. She joins the leadership team with nearly 20 years working in university administrative roles, including associate provost for Academic Affairs and Assessment at Norwich University in Vermont. For more than 20 years, Blank has served in various roles on both the faculty and administrative side in education. As a teacher-scholar, she has been the author of numerous publications, earned several awards and honors for teaching excellence, and has received multiple grants in support of student and faculty research. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Nizhegorod State University in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, and went on to receive her doctorate in organic/organometallic chemistry from Dartmouth College.

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Gabrielle Gould, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) and the Downtown Amherst Foundation (DAF), announced she will be stepping down from her position at the BID to form a consulting business. She will continue in a leadership capacity for the DAF and its management of the Drake, the live performance venue in downtown Amherst. Her final day at the BID will be Feb. 22. Appointed executive director in August 2019, Gould’s four-plus years at the helm of the organization have been filled with notable successes, including strengthening the BID’s relationship with town government and institutional partners, teaming with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce on COVID relief for small businesses, producing signature downtown events like the Sip & Shop Stroll and Makers Market holiday event and Fire & Ice, and conceiving and launching the Drake, the downtown’s first-ever live performance venue. In recognition of their efforts, Gould and Claudia Pazmany, the chamber’s executive director, were named Difference Makers by BusinessWest in 2023. A search for Gould’s successor will commence in the coming weeks.

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Devin Kindred

Devin Kindred

American International College (AIC) announced the appointment of Devin Kindred as director of Residence Life and Student Conduct. This appointment reflects the college’s recognition of Kindred’s commitment to delivering an exceptional student experience. In this new role, he will oversee residence education, student conduct, and housing operations at AIC. Serving as the chief housing officer for the college, he will manage the daily functions of the residence halls, supervise the professional live-in hall staff, and administer the student-conduct process. His responsibilities encompass providing support to professional and paraprofessional staff to foster a supportive living environment and maintaining a code of conduct that prioritizes the well-being and success of all students. Before assuming his new position, Kindred served as AIC’s assistant director for Residential and Commuter Student Living, managing housing operations and commuter-student relations. In addition to this role, he facilitated the Safe Zone – LGBTQ+ education series presented to more than 50 faculty and staff on campus. Before joining AIC, Kindred held positions as a residence-hall director at Sacred Heart University and residence director at Stonehill College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in human resource management from Western New England University, and later attained his master of education in higher education leadership from Endicott College.

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Country Bank announced the recent promotions of five key team members who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and expertise in their respective roles. These promotions reflect the bank’s commitment to recognizing and developing talent within the organization. Shane Elder has been promoted to first vice president, Business Banking team lead. With more than 11 years of experience in commercial lending and eight years in commercial-lending management, he has proven himself as a valuable asset to the Business Banking department. In addition to his role as team leader, he also oversees the Cash Management Sales department. Brett LoCicero has been promoted to first vice president, Facilities and Security. With seven years of service to the bank, his expertise in managing facilities and security operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nichols College and is pursuing his PMP (project management professional) certification. Justin Calheno has been promoted to vice president, Retail Lending Business Development officer. With 20 years of lending experience, including the last seven years with Country Bank, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his role. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University and is currently attending the American Banker Assoc. Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Antonio Palano has been promoted to vice president, Retail Lending. His 15-year tenure at Country Bank showcases his commitment and dedication to the organization. Having progressed through various roles, he currently manages the Retail Lending Servicing and Operations departments. He holds an associate degree in business administration from Springfield Technical Community College and is a 2023 graduate of New England School of Financial Studies. Cuc Nguyen has been promoted to Retail Banking officer of the Paxton Banking Center. With more than 16 years of banking experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her new role. Her previous experience at Commerce Bank, Berkshire Bank, and DCU has equipped her with a deep understanding of front-line management and customer satisfaction. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Southern New Hampshire University.

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Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan

Shawn Thamert

Shawn Thamert

Health New England announced the recent appointment of two vice presidents: Sarah Morgan, vice president of Human Resources, and Shawn Thamert, vice president of Sales and chief growth officer. Morgan has been promoted from within the organization, where she had been serving as director of Human Resources since 2021. In her new role as vice president of Human Resources, she leads and oversees Health New England’s human-capital and organizational-development operations, ensuring that business strategies, plans, and initiatives are developed and implemented in compliance with governing regulations, internal policies, and procedures. She is also responsible for identifying and implementing long-range strategic talent management goals. Morgan joined Health New England in 2019 as assistant general counsel. She was previously a litigation associate at Bulkley Richardson in Springfield. Morgan is a graduate of UMass Amherst and earned her juris doctor degree from the Western New England University School of Law. She is currently a master’s-degree candidate in diversity, equity, inclusion & justice leadership at Tufts University. As vice president, Thamert is responsible for the strategic direction, leadership, and oversight for all sales, product-development, and marketing programs, including the Medicare line of business. He is also responsible for Health New England’s partnerships with brokers, employer groups, and community nonprofit organizations. Thamert joined Health New England as interim vice president, Sales and Marketing, in February 2023. Since then, he has focused on strategic membership growth across all lines of business. He has nearly 25 years of healthcare leadership experience, including as vice president, Market Development for Commonwealth Care Alliance, as well as senior sales positions with MultiPlan, Geisinger Health System, Jackson Health System, Humana, Highmark, and Coventry. He received his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University.

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Victor Rodriguez Sr

Victor Rodriguez Sr

Greenfield Cooperative Bank (GCB) announced the appointment of Victor Rodriguez Sr. as assistant vice president, mortgage loan officer. In this role, he intends to leverage his extensive experience and expertise to guide borrowers through the homeownership journey with personalized care and local market knowledge. He will be based at the bank’s South Hadley branch. Rodriguez brings more than 20 years of banking experience. Throughout his career, he has earned accolades such as the 2022 Realtor Affiliate of the Year from the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. Rodriguez’s passion for mortgage lending extends beyond client transactions, as evidenced by his recent role as a guest speaker at the NEFMA fall conference, where he presented on the topic “Opportunities Await: Developing a Diverse Mortgage Customer Source.”

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Peter Ruffini was installed as the 2024 president of the Realtor Assooc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV), a nonprofit trade association with more than 1,800 members. The 108th annual installation of officers and directors was held on Jan. 11 at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. A Realtor since 1996, Ruffini is the broker/owner of RE/MAX Connections and has made a long-term commitment to RAPV and the Realtor family. Since 2021, he has served on the local board of directors at RAPV, including as secretary in 2022 and treasurer in 2023. He is involved in several committees at the association, including the government affairs, mediator & ombudsman, professional standards, bylaws & policy task force, and finance. The RAPV named him Realtor of the Year in 2015 and 2021. Ruffini served as president of the Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors (MAR) in 2014. In addition to serving in leadership, he has been a member of the MAR board of directors since 2006. He received the MAR Private Property Rights Award in 2019 and the MAR Milton H. Shaw Distinguished Service Award in 2020. He also currently serves as chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons and holds 11 professional designations and certifications.

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Ashley Swett

Ashley Swett

Florence Bank recently announced that Ashley Swett has been named manager of the bank’s Customer Service Center at the main office in Florence. In her new role, she will oversee the staff responsible for assisting Florence Bank customers who contact the bank via telephone or email. Swett has 16 years of industry experience and is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies. She holds a certificate in supervision from the Center for Financial Training. Active in the community, Swett is currently a member of the Holiday Flair in Ware, where she enjoys the annual festival and parade.

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Braman Termite & Pest Elimination announced the promotion of John McCarthy from account manager to sales director. In his new role, McCarthy is directly responsible for leading and developing Braman’s sales team while cultivating customer relationships for long-term customer satisfaction and growth. This includes developing long-range sales goals and objectives, as well as sales plans and tactics to meet and exceed those goals. McCarthy joined the Braman team in 2022 with 22 years of experience in a variety of leadership roles within the pest-control industry, including sales and service manager, branch manager, and district manager. He is a member of the National Pest Management Assoc.

People on the Move
Matthew Nash

Matthew Nash

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) announced the promotion of Matthew Nash, CPA to partner. Since joining the firm in 2011, he has been an integral part of the team, focusing on audit, review, and compilation engagements and playing a pivotal role in the commercial, not-for-profit audit, and pension engagement teams. Nash earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nichols College and an MBA from Elms College, and is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. In his time at MBK, he has advanced from an intern to a senior manager and now to a partner. Beyond his professional achievements, Nash is deeply involved in community service. He serves as a board member and treasurer for Springfield School Volunteers and is a committee member of the Ronald McDonald House Golf Tournament.

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The board of directors of AdLib Inc., a community-based, cross-disability, nonprofit organization, announced Sally English as the new executive director. English, who holds a master of social work degree from Boston College, was eager to join the team and return to the independent-living movement. English most recently advanced in leadership at Viability Inc., supporting its Clubhouse and MOMs programs through several leadership, programmatic, and pandemic-related changes. Prior to Viability, she worked at the Boston Center for Independent Living as the director of Services. English was included in the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty class of 2019. AdLib Inc., founded in 1983, provides information and referral, advocacy, skills training, peer support, transition, representative payee, and personal-care-attendant services to people with disabilities of all ages throughout Berkshire County. As a center for independent living, it was important to the AdLib board of directors to find a leader able to embrace the philosophy of independent living, which focuses on ensuring that people with disabilities are able to live in the community with control over their own services and lives. English, who began her tenure in June, has spent the first six months with AdLib creating relationships with staff and external stakeholders, as well as improving internal systems and processes to ensure staff are supported in providing quality services to consumers. An open house will be planned for 2024.

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The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts announced the appointment of new officers to its board of directors, effective Jan. 1. Dr. Charlotte Boney, who has assumed the role of president, chairs the Department of Pediatrics at Baystate Health. The first vice president, Willette Yarbrough Johnson, is a retired educator from Springfield Public Schools, having served 38 years in a variety of capacities. She continues exploring her love of education as a member of the Coalition of Experienced Black Educators, an educational consultant group. The second vice president is Omar Irizarry, director of Cross Agency Initiatives at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. William Harju, treasurer, is chief financial officer at USA Hauling & Recycling, and the clerk is Shannon Yaremchak, director of Grants and Latino Economic Development Opportunities at Partners for Community, and director of Mission Advancement at New England Farm Workers’ Council. In their new capacities, the new officers will lead the Food Bank to implement innovative strategies, expand partnerships, and elevate the organization’s impact. Two new board members also began their tenure: Joesiah González, chief Philanthropy & Communications officer at Home City Development Inc., and Xiaolei Hua, first vice president of Commercial Lending at PeoplesBank.

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David Lavenburg

Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that David Lavenburg, one of the firm’s attorneys, has been promoted to shareholder. Since joining the firm in November 2020, he has been an integral part of the firm, focusing on loan recovery, loan workouts, collection matters, restructuring, debt repayments, and bankruptcy. Lavenburg received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and his juris doctorate from Capital University of Law School in Columbus, Ohio. With more than 32 years of litigation experience, he chairs the creditor’s rights, collections, and bankruptcy practice group at Bacon Wilson. He is admitted to practice in both the Massachusetts and Connecticut state courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. In the firm’s probate department, Lavenburg supports litigation needs in cases involving contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, lack of capacity, and undue influence claims. In the commercial and corporate department, he represents the firm’s clients in partnership disputes, commercial litigation, general business litigation, and commercial lease disputes. He has also been chairman of the Longmeadow Zoning Board of Appeals since 2006.

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MGM Resorts International announced the appointment of Louie Theros as president and chief operating officer of MGM Springfield, where he will oversee the resort’s daily operations and strategic direction, focused on continued employee engagement and community relations. He succeeds Chris Kelley, who recently announced his decision to pursue a new opportunity closer to family on the West Coast. Theros has been with MGM Resorts since 2015, most recently serving as vice president, legal counsel, and assistant secretary at MGM Grand Detroit. Prior to joining the company, Theros worked in legal private practice, serving as vice president of Detroit-based law firm Butzel Long, following more than 20 years as a lawyer at Dickenson Wright. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan.

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Stephanie Vincelette

Stephanie Vincelette

Erica Gomes

bankESB recently promoted Stephanie Vincelette to assistant vice president, Human Resources Operations, and Erica Gomes to assistant vice president, Customer Care. Vincelette has 11 years of banking experience. She was previously Human Resources Operations officer and, before that, Payroll manager, and began her career in banking as a Payroll specialist. Before joining bankESB in 2012, she had five years of previous payroll and human-resources experience. With this promotion, she will continue to oversee payroll operations; will now oversee benefits operations; and will expand her responsibilities in salary administration, compensation planning, and policy management. Vincelette has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England University. She holds a senior professional human resources certification. Gomes has 24 years of banking experience. She joined the Hometown Financial Group family of banks at bankHometown in 2013 as branch manager of the Killingly, Conn. office after spending more than 14 years in retail banking with Citizens Bank. She was promoted to Customer Care officer at Hometown Financial’s bankESB in 2016. In her new role, she will manage the Customer Care call center. Gomes completed coursework in accounting at the Community College of Rhode Island. She has been a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Junior Achievement, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and local homeless shelters, and previously served as treasurer of the Killingly Business Assoc.

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Kim Collins

Kim Collins

Caitlin Meyer

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) announced the recent hiring of two new staff members: Kim Collins, Audience Development and Community Engagement manager; and Caitlin Meyer, Education director. Collins will work to create community connections for the SSO and engage new audiences, while Meyer will be responsible for bringing back the hosting of SSO educational performances for public-school students as well as creating new educational programming for the organization. Collins joined the SSO in October. She most recently served as director of Member Services with the Connecticut River Valley Chamber of Commerce. In that role, she was the first point of contact for all member relations, led the ambassador team, and revised and refreshed member benefits, onboarding, and retention. She also facilitated networking and member-orientation events, as well as ribbon cuttings, and planned large events for the chamber. Collins has also been a performing artist and educator her entire life. As a flutist, she has performed with the SSO for more than 25 years and also served as the SSO’s orchestra librarian for several years. Meyer is an educational leader, music educator, and professional musician who has taught in China, Tanzania, Israel, and Australia. Before joining the SSO, she served as director of Programs for a charter school in Bridgeport, Conn., where she worked closely with the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants to build out arts-integrative, culturally responsive programs for newcomer students. Meyer also founded the Qingdao Visual and Performing Arts Educators Assoc., which has allowed students of every background in China to participate in district-wide arts initiatives as well as international travel opportunities. Prior to her work in Qingdao, Meyer was the music director at Saint Bernard School in Uncasville, Conn. for seven years.

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Luke Goodridge has joined the law firm of Bulkley Richardson as a partner. His practice will continue to focus on estate planning, trust administration, and general business-law matters. Goodridge was previously a named partner at the law firm of Curtiss, Carey, Gates & Goodridge, LLP, based in Greenfield. He will continue to maintain an office in Greenfield. He earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from UMass Amherst; a juris doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and is currently a candidate for an LLM (master of laws) degree in taxation at Boston University School of Law.

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Ashley Swett

Ashley Swett

Florence Bank recently announced that Ashley Swett has been named manager of the bank’s Customer Service Center at the main office in Florence. In her new role, she will oversee the staff responsible for assisting Florence Bank customers who contact the bank via telephone or email. Swett has 16 years of industry experience and is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies. She holds a certificate in supervision from the Center for Financial Training. Active in the community, Swett is currently a member of the Holiday Flair in Ware, where she enjoys the annual festival and parade.

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The Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV) announced its annual award winners at the association’s holiday luncheon on Dec. 14 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The Realtor of the Year Award was given to Vincent Walsh of Coldwell Banker Realty, while the Affiliate of the Year Award was given to Christine Webster, attorney at Begley & Webster LLC. A Realtor since 1992, Walsh served as president of the RAPV board of directors in 2011. He has also served on the grievance, government affairs, professional standards, and YPN committees. He continues to serve on the RAPV board of directors. Walsh has given back to the community through his involvement by being nominated for and approved by the Springfield City Council and holding the Realtor seat on the Springfield Historical Commission for nearly 12 years. He is a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the USO. He is a supporter of the VFW, Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, American Heart Assoc., and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. A member of RAPV since 2005, Webster has served on the affiliate-realtor and professional development committees. Webster has demonstrated significant support to the association and community outreach and volunteered in RAPV’s seminars held by the affiliate-realtor committee and the professional development committee’s “If the Realtor Had Only Known” sessions. She also provides guidance to all Realtors who seek assistance in transactions and legal questions. Her community activities include being a Westfield Zoning Board of Appeal member and serving on the finance committee at St. Mary’s Parish of Westfield. She also volunteers preparing meals for the homeless and has been involved in fundraising for schools and the parish.

People on the Move

Phil Giguere

Tim Provost

Tim Provost

MP CPAs announced the promotions of Phil Giguere and Tim Provost to the position of partner with the firm. Giguere provides consulting and tax solutions to a diverse group of clients, including individuals, partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations, and trusts. He also has experience working with international affiliates on foreign tax issues. He specializes in working with high-net-worth clients and with private equity firms and their owners. Giguere joined the firm in 2006 and has more than 18 years of experience in business and individual taxation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in business administration from Western New England University. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. He sits on the golf committee for Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island and the finance committee of Wellspring Cooperative, is a member of the Western New England University accounting advisory board, and volunteers his time with the Cory J Garwacki Foundation. Provost provides consulting and tax solutions to a diverse group of clients, including individuals, partnerships, limited liability companies, corporations, and trusts. He also has experience working with international affiliates on foreign tax issues. He specializes in working with high-net-worth clients and with private equity firms and their owners. He is also the director of Business Valuation Services at the firm. He works with clients looking to value their business for the buying and selling of a business, gifting ownership interests in a business, estate-tax issues or estate planning, and other business-valuation needs. Provost joined the firm in 2008 and has more than 15 years of experience in personal and business taxation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Westfield State University and a master’s degree in accounting and taxation from American International College. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is also a certified valuation analyst and a member of the National Assoc. of Certified Valuation Analysts. He is active in the community as a volunteer board member of the West Springfield Youth Basketball Assoc.

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Andrew Sullivan

Florence Bank announced that Andrew Sullivan has joined the staff as vice president and commercial lender. Sullivan began his banking career as a credit analyst at a mutual bank in the region, but soon discovered an affinity for relationship building and helping commercial customers achieve their goals. Prior to joining Florence Bank, he served as a portfolio manager, small business loan officer, and commercial loan officer. He began his new role at Florence Bank in mid-October. The founder of the Andrew Sullivan Swing for a Cure Golf Tournament, which benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Sullivan holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business management and an MBA from Elms College. He is the chairman of the West of the River Chamber of Commerce.

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Erin Cleary

Erin Cleary

Greenfield Cooperative Bank announced the promotion of Erin Cleary to branch manager of its South Hadley branch. Cleary joined Greenfield Cooperative Bank in August 2022 as a teller and quickly earned a promotion to head teller four months later. This past July, she was named assistant manager. She attended Greenfield Community College. Cleary’s promotion is a reflection of the bank’s commitment to investing in its employees and fostering career growth from within. The bank recognizes the importance of having local leaders who understand the needs of their communities.

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Michelle Beaudette

Michelle Beaudette

Monson Savings Bank recently announced the hire of Michelle Beaudette as assistant vice president, Residential Operations officer. She will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing the residential and consumer lending processing, closing, and operations. Additionally, she will help to foster an environment of teamwork and perform various loan-maintenance functions to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all records and documentation. Beaudette comes to Monson Savings Bank with 18 years of experience in banking and finance. She is a graduate of the New Seminary and holds a financial management certification from the U.S. Army Reserve Command. Prior to joining Monson Savings Bank, she worked at Millbury National Bank.

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Joseph Ford

Joseph Ford

Conval, a global manufacturer of high-performance severe service valves, recently announced that Joseph Ford has been appointed Engineering manager. Ford is a seasoned engineering leader with more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of product life cycle, including research and development, project management, product design, configuration control, and lean manufacturing. He previously served in similar capacities at Linde Advanced Materials Technologies (formerly Praxair) in Manchester, Conn.; CIRCOR Aerospace & Defense in Warren; and Baker Hughes, a General Electric company, in Oklahoma City. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University.

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Bay Path University recently announced Jacquida Mars has been appointed the new director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), which serves as a cultural resource for students, faculty, and staff, as well as providing direction and services for current and prospective students from underrepresented populations. Through creative and innovative programs, the office enhances cultural knowledge and produces a deeper appreciation for diversity and inclusion throughout the campus community. Before joining Bay Path, Mars served as assistant director of Alumni & Parent Engagement for Affinity & Identity Programs at Connecticut College, where she successfully developed a mentoring program for BIPOC students and alumni. Prior to her time at Connecticut College, she contributed to the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts as the Career Programming manager/GA DEI at Trinity College. Mars earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and crime, law & justice from the University of Connecticut, and a master’s degree in public policy from Trinity College. She is currently enrolled in a doctorate program in educational leadership for social justice at the University of Hartford.

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Richard Kelly

Richard Kelly

MountainOne Bank announced the recent promotion of Richard ‘Dick’ Kelly, who has assumed the role of senior vice president, senior commercial risk officer. This newly created position supports MountainOne’s commitment to asset quality while enhancing its loan-approval process. Kelly now provides direct oversight of credit administration and of all portfolio managers across both of MountainOne’s geographic regions of the South Shore and the Berkshires. Additionally, he works directly with all commercial lenders on new and existing business loan relationships to help provide experienced guidance, perspective, and management of these credits. He originally joined MountainOne Bank in 2020 as senior vice president, commercial team leader for the Berkshires region and is a member of the bank’s senior leadership team. Kelly brings nearly 40 years of commercial lending, credit underwriting, and credit administration experience to this role. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. He is active in the Great Barrington community, currently serving on the Berkshire Community College Foundation board. Previously, he was involved with the United Way community representative), the Lions Club (member and past president), the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce (past treasurer), the town of Great Barrington, and the Wyantenuck Country Club (member and past president).

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Trent Rivers

Hometown Mortgage recently promoted Trent Rivers to equity and consumer loan manager, based in Easthampton. He has 15 years of banking experience, including his most recent role as loan specialist. He joined Hometown Mortgage as a consumer loan coordinator in 2017. Prior to that, he was a branch supervisor at NBT Bank. Rivers has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University and completed coursework in the school of banking at the Pennsylvania Bankers Assoc.

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Jessica West

Trevor McCarthy

Trevor McCarthy

bankESB recently promoted Jessica West to assistant vice president, branch officer of its 36 Main St., Easthampton office. She has 31 years of banking experience. She was previously assistant vice president, branch manager in Amherst. Before that, she was branch manager at the Northampton Street, Easthampton office, and before that, assistant branch manager at the Belchertown office. She started at bankESB in 2002 as senior teller in Belchertown. West earned an associate degree in mechanical technologies from Springfield Technical Community College. She has been actively involved with the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst and Craig’s Doors, helping prepare free community breakfasts every week. She also volunteers at the Amherst Survival Center. She is currently a board member of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. bankESB also recently promoted Trevor McCarthy to float retail manager. He has three years of banking experience and joined bankESB in 2020 as a teller. In his new role, he will manage the float staff at bankESB. He will be based in Easthampton but will float to all bankESB branches to support with supervisory needs. McCarthy has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Westfield State University.

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Market Mentors, LLC, a fully integrated marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, announced the addition of two Enfield, Conn. residents to its account-services team. Chelsea Shelander has joined the agency as an account executive, and Kaitlyn Smith has joined the agency as an account coordinator. Shelander provides client support and ongoing communication and research as well as proposal and presentation development. Prior to joining Market Mentors, she worked in public relations and brand management at BioSafe Systems and as a service and retention consultant for the Aspire Group at UConn Athletics. She earned an MBA at the University of Dayton in Ohio after receiving two bachelor’s degrees — one in business administration with a concentration in marketing, and one in sports management — from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania. Smith liaises with the agency’s internal teams to identify client needs and develop and implement strategies to achieve their goals, using her organizational skills, attention to detail, and creative flair. Before coming to Market Mentors, she spent several years as an account manager for ADESA Boston, as well as a social-media manager for the DiGrigoli Companies. She earned her bachelor’s degree in media arts and analysis from Westfield State University.

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Jeannie Boudreau

Jeannie Boudreau

James Hagan, president and CEO of Westfield Bank, announced that Jeannie Boudreau has been appointed to the position of mortgage loan officer. She is responsible for Westfield, Holyoke, Huntington, and the surrounding communities, and will be based out of the bank’s 560 East Main St. location in Westfield. Boudreau will develop and maintain business relationships with prospective home buyers, Realtors, builders, and colleagues. Boudreau has more than 40 years of experience in the mortgage industry, holding multiple roles, including area manager and producing branch manager, prior to joining Westfield Bank. She is very involved in her community, serving as an affiliate member to the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley while also volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and Springfield Rescue Mission.

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Patricia Mullin

Patricia Mullin

Berkshire Bank recently welcomed Patricia “Patsy” Mullin as senior vice president of Cash Management Services. Mullin joins the bank with more than 45 years of experience in the financial and banking industry. She will cover the bank’s entire footprint. “Patsy is a great addition to the commercial Berkshire Bank team as she brings more than four decades of knowledge and experience from the banking and financial sector that will be beneficial to both her colleagues and the clients we serve,” said Scott Houghtaling, senior managing director of Business Banking.

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Mary Paier Powers

Mary Paier Powers

E. Spencer Ghazey-Bates

E. Spencer Ghazey-Bates

At its annual meeting on Dec. 6, the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (MassNAELA) honored Mary Paier Powers and E. Spencer Ghazey-Bates with awards for their service and advocacy for seniors. Powers won the Deborah H. Thomson Advocacy Award, which recognizes a MassNAELA member’s efforts in advocating for elder issues in state government. She co-chairs the MassNAELA advocacy committee, establishing its legislative priorities. She was integral in hosting the organization’s first-ever legislative briefing at the State House in Boston and served as the event’s primary presenter. The John J. Ford Litigation Advocacy Award, which honors a member’s litigation efforts on behalf of seniors and MassNAELA, was bestowed on Ghazey-Bates for his dedicated involvement in MassNAELA’s MassHealth life estate valuation workgroup. He helped clients contest MassHealth’s valuation of their life estate in Superior Court, which led to MassHealth’s return to using the IRS valuation of a life estate.

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Braman Termite & Pest Elimination announced the upcoming retirement of Senior Vice President of Business Development Robert Guyette. During his more than 17 years with Braman, Guyette increased the company’s sales from $6.3 million to $18 million and grew it from 40 to 150 employees. During his time at Braman, Guyette said he is proudest of achieving his ACE (associated certified entomologist) certification, one of the biggest professional challenges he has ever faced. Prior to joining Braman as general manager in 2006, he was production manager at HP Hood in the milk and ice-cream divisions for nearly 26 years. He recently transitioned into his current role in preparation for retirement.

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At its Nov. 30 meeting, the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee selected its 2024 executive committee and welcomed two new members to its board. Michael Vogel of Westfield Bank will serve another year as president. Tracy Hebda of iSolved Benefits Solutions will serve as vice president. Dr. Jacqueline Pleet will serve as clerk. Roberto Nieves of Common Capital will serve as treasurer. And Jason Levine of Jason L. Levine Law, P.C. will serve the as an at-large member. Welcomed at the meeting to begin three-year terms on the board were Julia Marrero of Bacon Wilson, P.C. and Ann Dargie Gladd of Family Law of Western Massachusetts, P.C. They will be joining current members Alayna Anderson of Bacon Wilson, P.C.; Benjamin Garvey of HUB International New England LLC, Angela Gotay-Cheverez of Freedom Credit Union, Robert Houle of Unity Financial & Insurance Group, Sarah Mailhott of Polish National Credit Union, Malar Patel of Google, and Danielle Rosario of PeoplesBank.

People on the Move
Shandra Richardson

Shandra Richardson

Greenfield Savings Bank (GSB) promoted Shandra Richardson to chief operating officer and senior vice president. She will direct all aspects of the bank’s operations, which include compliance, retail banking, marketing, deposit, electronic, and consumer loan operations, as well as developing and implementing new policies and procedures for the organizational systems management. Richardson has worked in the banking industry for more than 17 years. A UMass Amherst graduate, she received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and then went on to earn an MBA along with completing leadership and lean methodology executive education courses. She prides herself on being a lifetime learner and is continuously looking for ways to enhance her skills and those of the teams that she leads. Since joining GSB and moving to Western Mass. from Boston, Richardson has volunteered in numerous local causes, and in October, she joined the board of directors of Safe Passage. She also serves as a member of the Harvard Business Review advisory council, an opt-in research community of business professionals.

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Kylie Brown

Kylie Brown

Jessica Rodger Yim

Jessica Rodger Yim

Marcia Macklin

Marcia Macklin

Quincy Ryans

Quincy Ryans

The Royal Law Firm recently welcomed four new additions to its team: attorneys Kylie Brown and Jessica Rodger Yim and paralegals Marcia Macklin and Quincy Ryans. Brown is a litigator who focuses her practice on employment and other commercial litigation. She has successfully tried several cases to verdict and is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Yim has many years of experience in bankruptcy, commercial lending, banking, and commercial real-estate matters, and will work out of Boston. She is a graduate of Tufts University and Boston College Law School, and is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Macklin and Ryans also recently joined the Royal Law team as paralegals. They both have extensive experience in the court system.

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Kuhn Riddle Architects (KRA) recently welcomed Mallory Nurse to the firm as a member of its interior-design team. Having previously designed corporate workplace interiors and larger-scale projects, Nurse was interested in the slightly more intimate type of design at KRA. She loves projects that have a beneficial impact through education, community-oriented organizations, and residential buildings of all types. Nurse chose to study interior design in college and has never looked back. She is a graduate of Suffolk University with a bachelor’s degree in interior design and was awarded the Design Excellence commendation for her senior thesis project. She loves to pay close attention to the details of a project: lighting, scale, texture, and color. Her holistic approach to design focuses on fostering connection between people and the spaces in which they thrive.

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Karen-Louise Walker

Karen-Louise Walker

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) appointed Karen-Louise Walker as assistant vice president of Advancement and executive director to the STCC Foundation. Walker began her appointment at STCC on Dec. 4. She will be responsible for managing all aspects of STCC’s fundraising, philanthropy, alumni relations, and foundation-supported work, including overseeing communications and branding functions. She will work with President John Cook, administrators, and faculty to support the mission of STCC. Walker most recently served as vice president for Advancement at Alliance University in New York City. She previously served as vice president of Development at Ascentria Care Alliance, a nonprofit agency serving Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut. Prior to that, she served as executive director of Advancement at Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) in Worcester, where she was responsible for the management and oversight of all aspects of institutional advancement. During her tenure at QCC, she secured more than $45 million in grants, increased private giving by 30%, and tripled the QCC Foundation revenue. Her professional experience also includes serving as vice president of Programs for MLK Jr. Family Services, a nonprofit social-service agency supporting families and children throughout Western Mass.; executive director of the Council of Churches of Greater Springfield; and assistant EEO administrator for the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. She serves on various boards in Western and Central Mass.

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Brett Smith

Brett Smith

Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. announced the addition of attorney Brett Smith to its team of lawyers. Smith concentrates his practice on commercial finance and real estate, business organizations and planning, and land-use regulation. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Bentley University in 2019 and his juris doctorate from Western New England University School of Law in 2023. He previously served as a legal intern at New Mexico Local Government Law LLC in Albuquerque. In 2022, Smith received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in corporate finance law. He co-founded and served as treasurer of the Sports and Entertainment Law Assoc. at Western New England University School of Law.

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Conval, a global manufacturer of high-performance severe service valves, recently announced the appointment of Andrea Bedard as HR manager and Mike Mikaelian as inside sales engineer. Bedard graduated from Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. She has enjoyed a solid career in human resources, including stints at TTM Technologies in Stafford Springs, Conn., as well as Health New England, E Ink Corp., KBE Building Corp., and Paychex. Mikaelian holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Western New England University and earned a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I. He previously served as design engineer at Judd Wire in Turners Falls, senior sales engineer and production manager at Dipwell Techware in Northampton, route service representative at Quest Diagnostics in Marlborough, and in various engineering and sales positions at BETE Fog Nozzle in Greenfield.

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Tiffany Raines

Tiffany Raines

bankESB recently promoted Tiffany Raines to vice president, retail administration. Raines joined bankESB in 2018 as assistant vice president, branch officer of the Holyoke branch and was promoted to vice president, branch officer in 2021. She has nearly 25 years of banking experience, including her previous roles as assistant vice president and banking center manager at PeoplesBank in West Springfield and Amherst. Raines brings extensive management and supervisory experience to her new role, with a focus on forging new customer relationships, customer service, training, and compliance. In this role, she will serve as the liaison between the bank’s branch network and as other departments across bankESB and its parent company, Hometown Financial Group, in order to foster communication, develop organizational awareness, and achieve operational excellence. She will also be responsible for managing the bank’s suite of deposit products. Raines currently serves on the board of the Care Center of Holyoke.

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Dr. Seth Gemme

Dr. Seth Gemme

Dr. Seth Gemme has been named the new chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Baystate Health. Upon approval by the provost and dean, he will also chair the Department of Emergency Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School-Baystate. He most recently served as vice chair of Clinical Operations for the Baystate Health Department of Emergency Medicine. Gemme earned his MD degree from the University of Buffalo prior to completing his residency training in emergency medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I. He joined the Department of Emergency Medicine at Baystate Health in 2017 and has held progressive leadership positions since that time, including associate chief and Education director, Emergency Department, Baystate Noble Hospital; chief, Emergency Department, Baystate Wing Hospital; system vice chair of Clinical Operations for Emergency Medicine, Baystate Health; and as board member of Baystate Medical Practices. Gemme has earned several scholastic and teaching awards in his career to date, including the prestigious President’s Excellence Award in 2022 at Baystate Health. He has continued to serve for more than a decade as a member of the clinical policy committee of the American College of Emergency Physicians, contributing to the development of national consensus guidelines in emergency medicine. Most recently, he led the design and successful implementation of the ‘vertical model’ of care at Baystate Medical Center. This model of care utilizes oversized leather recliners for patients who can sit upright during their care while in the Emergency Department. Gemme will start in this new role in early January 2024. Dr. Niels Rathlev, who has held the position of chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, Baystate Health for the past 15 years, will be staying on as a faculty member.

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Robert Gilbert Jr. has banged his last gavel as chair of the Holyoke Community College (HCC) board of trustees. After serving as a trustee for 12 years, including the last eight as chair, the retired chairman of Dowd Insurance Agencies of Holyoke retired after presiding over his last board meeting on Nov. 28. Gilbert was first appointed to the board in April 2011 by Gov. Deval Patrick, serving in various capacities, including chair of the audit committee and member of the finance committee. In October 2015, Gov. Charlie Baker named him board chair, succeeding Helen Caulton-Harris, commissioner of the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services. In his eight years as chair, Gilbert served alongside three HCC presidents: William Messner, who retired in 2016, Christina Royal, who retired in July, and George Timmons, HCC’s fifth and current president. Until Gov. Maura Healey names a successor, HCC trustee Vanessa Smith will serve as interim chair.

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Patrick Arguin

Patrick Arguin

Lathrop Community announced the appointment of Patrick Arguin as its new CEO. Arguin brings nearly 20 years of professional experience, starting his career as a physical therapist and then working for many years as a nursing-home administrator (NHA). His most recent position was NHA for Mary’s Meadow at Providence Place in Holyoke, which provides both short-term rehabilitation and long-term skilled nursing. Under Arguin’s leadership, that community achieved high-performing recognition in support categories, effective staffing, and best practices in resident safety. He was responsible for various aspects of the community, including managing staff, organizational finances and budgets, reporting to the board, and upholding the quality of service and attention to residents. Arguin, who has a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, officially joined the community on Nov. 27.

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The board of directors of Big Y Foods Inc. announced the appointment of Christian D’Amour as district director for 16 markets throughout Connecticut. In his new role, his focus will be to provide a best-in-class customer shopping experience and to create an environment in which Big Y employees grow and develop. His responsibilities include staffing, training and development, operational execution, sales strategies, and results. D’Amour began his career at Big Y at the age of 14 as a part time service clerk. After college, he was a sales and marketing representative for an insurance company based in Providence, R.I. He re-joined Big Y as a store director trainee in 2014. One year later, he was appointed assistant store director in Wilbraham. In 2016, he was promoted to store director in Southampton. He next went on to manage the Wilbraham market before being tapped as store manager at Table & Vine’s flagship location in West Springfield. In 2019, he was appointed a district sales and merchandising mentor for Big Y’s supermarket 15-store district throughout Western Mass. In this role, he was responsible for all sales, merchandising, and store team development across all departments. He also continued to oversee the operations of the company’s Table & Vine flagship, and most recently directed the company’s e-commerce platform.

People on the Move

Lidya Rivera-Early

UMass Amherst has appointed Lidya Rivera-Early to the newly created position of executive director of Government Relations and Springfield Partnerships. Rivera-Early brings more than 25 years of leadership, development, and managerial experience to the position, most recently as director of Community Engagement at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC). She will draw on her established relationships in the public and private sectors to serve as liaison between UMass Amherst and the city of Springfield. At STCC, Rivera-Early served in various roles over the past decade, working to deepen relationships with community partners and collaborating across campus and with outside organizations on educational and career-development initiatives. She also served as a liaison between college departments and regional and statewide stakeholders and represented the college on various boards and in the community. Prior to her role at STCC, she was Section 3 program manager for the city of Springfield, where she was responsible for administrative and technical duties managing, coordinating, and administering the city’s Section 3 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Previously, she served as grants coordinator/manager for the Springfield Housing Authority, overseeing all grant-funded programs for the agency. Rivera-Early received a bachelor’s degree in human services and a master’s degree in organizational management and leadership in human services from Springfield College. She is a graduate of Leadership Pioneer Valley and is the recipient of several notable awards and honors, including the Massachusetts Latina Excellence Award. She serves on the boards of a number of community organizations, including the Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley and the newly formed Dora D. Robinson Women’s Leadership Council.

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Maureen Buxton

Maureen Buxton

James Hagan, president and CEO of Westfield Bank, announced that Maureen Buxton has been appointed to the role of business specialist, assistant branch manager. She will be based out of the bank’s 1342 Liberty St. location in Springfield and will assist in managing all areas of the branch, including customer service, retail and business product sales, employee development, and general operations. For the past 31 years, Buxton has worked in the banking industry, holding multiple roles in local community banks and credit unions, including branch manager and mortgage loan officer positions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Westfield State University. Buxton is very involved in her community, serving as a chairperson on the Chicopee Parks and Recreation Commission and the Chicopee Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. She also serves as treasurer for the Cigars4Soldiers Committee and is a member of the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Road Race Committee. In 2013, she received the President’s Award at a local community bank, a prestigious award recognizing her outstanding performance and customer service. The following year, she received the Paul Harris Honoree award from the Rotary Club of Chicopee.

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Karolina Weagle

Karolina Weagle

Regional law firm Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. announced that attorney Karolina Weagle was accepted into the 2023 Massachusetts Bar Assoc. Leadership Academy. Believing exceptional leaders are essential to the improvement of the legal profession and understanding there are few leadership training opportunities for young attorneys, the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. developed its Leadership Academy to better prepare young attorneys to assume leadership roles at the bar, both in their firms or organizations and in government. Weagle concentrates her practice in estate planning. Prior to joining Shatz, Schwartz & Fentin in 2022, she worked at a Boston firm representing clients in litigation and criminal-defense matters, and later returned to Western Mass., where she practiced in the areas of real estate, estate planning, and estate administration. She graduated summa cum laude from Westfield State University in 2015 with bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and political science. Soon after, she enrolled at New England Law Boston, where she graduated cum laude in 2018. While in law school, she made the dean’s list every semester, was awarded the CALI Excellence for the Future Award in Property II in the spring of 2016, and earned the New England Scholar Award for 2015-16. She is also fluent in Polish.

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Melissa Blissett

Melissa Blissett, vice president of Family Services at Square One, has been named advisory board chair of the Springfield College School of Social Work. Her appointment follows the passing of long-time social worker and social-services advocate Dora Robinson. Blissett earned her master of social work degree from Springfield College in 2015. As a student, she served on both the advisory board and the student organization for the School of Social Work. She currently serves as an adjunct professor. At Square One, she leads a team of social workers, case managers, and support staff who provide parent education, support, and training programs through groups, home visitation, and personalized case management to help parents access whatever services are needed to be successful in their role as their child’s first teacher. Blissett joined Square One in 2014 as a supervisor in the agency’s Healthy Families and Supervised Visitation programs. In 2017, she went to work as a child and family-law division social worker for the Committee for Public Council Services in Springfield. In 2018, she returned to Square One as the assistant vice president of Family Services, and in 2021, she was promoted to vice president.

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Jasmin Mujkic

Jasmin Mujkic

Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries named Jasmin Mujkic vice president of Retail. He is a retail executive with more than 15 years of business leadership experience, including working in three Goodwill organizations across the country. Mujkic joins Goodwill from LePrix, an e-commerce marketplace for luxury goods, where he was vice president. Prior to that, he was vice president of Retail Operations for Goodwill of Greater Washington, D.C. He has also held management positions at Goodwill of Greater East Bay in California and Goodwill of North Georgia. A native of Croatia, Mujkic began his retail career in Europe and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Zagreb.

People on the Move
Gene Kingsley

Gene Kingsley

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) has named a cyber range manager for the Springfield Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (CCE) at Springfield Union Station. Following a comprehensive search, the college has hired Gene Kingsley, who will be responsible for a host of facility operations. Supported by local, state, and federal funding, the center is scheduled to open in 2024 and will serve as a regional center for Western Mass. and beyond. The CCE is a collaboration between STCC, the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, and CyberTrust Massachusetts. The 6,000-square-foot CCE will include a cyber range, which is a simulated training environment, and a security operations center, which will be a support for Massachusetts municipalities to detect cybersecurity events in real time and respond quickly. Students who train at the CCE could move into paid internships or employment, where they would work with professionals to confront the growing global problem of cybersecurity threats. Kingsley’s experience includes managing Information Security at Reliant Medical Group. He also served as director of the Security Operations Center at UMass Amherst. He holds a master’s degree in Communications and Information Management from the Graduate School at Bay Path College and an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State College and an associate degree from Holyoke Community College.

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Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. announced that Shareholder Michael Fenton has been named a Go To Lawyer in the area of Commercial Real Estate Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Fenton joined the firm in 2012 and focuses his practice in the areas of commercial real estate, business planning, commercial finance, and estate planning. He represents principals in business formation and succession planning, businesses in the purchase and sale of enterprises, lenders and borrowers in commercial financing transactions, developers in the acquisition and permitting of projects, and individuals in establishing comprehensive and sophisticated estate plans. With a background in taxes and a master’s degree in business administration, Fenton provides added value to clients with business-planning concerns. In addition, he has extensive land-use experience that includes zoning, subdivision, project permitting and environmental matters. A significant part of his practice revolves around estate planning, and he develops sophisticated estate plans to facilitate access to public services and the preservation of assets. Fenton is a graduate of Western New England University (WNE) School of Law, where he was a publishing editor of the Law Review and an Oliver Wendell Holmes full-tuition merit scholar. He is an adjunct professor for Corporate Finance at WNE School of Law, where he is also a board member of the Center for Social Justice. He serves on the Baystate Medical Center Community Advisory Council and has served as a member of the Springfield City Council since 2010.

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Kuhn Riddle Architects recently welcomed Salabat Khan and Ruoqi Zhong to its architectural team. Khan’s architectural interests began at MEASI Academy of Architecture in Chennai, India, where he acquired a strong foundation in design principles and cultivated his love for innovation. He completed his master of architecture degree at UMass Amherst in 2023. Khan’s approach to architecture is human-centric: he most enjoys creating designs that enhance the user’s quality of life and sense of belonging. His work is focused as well on contextual integration into the historic, cultural, and natural environment surrounding any project. Kuhn Riddle’s leadership noted that his collaborative design philosophy and appreciation of diverse perspectives integrates perfectly with that of the firm. KRA was recently awarded the prestigious Emerging Professionals Friendly designation from the American Institute of Architects. This award recognizes supporting emerging architects like Khan on their journey to registration and ultimate success in the architectural field. Ruoqi was drawn to Kuhn Riddle because she is inspired by architecture that connects to its surroundings, is public-oriented, and will make a positive difference in people’s lives. She will continue to follow her integrative, transformative design focus at KRA. She applies her expertise and attention to detail to K-12 educational projects, community organizations, and multi-family and private homes. Ruoqi received her bachelor of architecture degree in 2011 from Harbin Institute of Technology in Heilongjiang, China. In 2014 she was awarded two degrees at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne: master of architecture and master of science in civil and environmental engineering.

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Nathan Dion

Garvey Communication Associates Inc. (GCAi) recently appointed Nathan Dion as digital PR analyst. Dion is an experienced video producer and is already telling local stories with GCAi’s new vlogging camera. Dion will continue to grow GCAi’s digital PR video services and subsidiary New England Corporate Video. He is a graduate of Westfield State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with a dual concentration in media arts and analysis and public relations. He also minored in graphic design.

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Square One recently elected a new slate of officers to its board of directors. The election was held at the agency’s annual meeting on Oct. 13. Taking on the role of chairperson is Corrine Ryan of Community Legal Aid. The vice chair seat will be filled by Colleen Stocks of Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center. Moving into the treasurer position is Julie Quink of Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C. Jessica Dupont of HealthOne Alliance/Alliant Health Plans will serve as the board’s clerk. New to the full board of directors are Shenell Ford, Terry Maxey, Edward Nunez, Gillian Palmer, and Aundrea Paulk. They will join existing board members Andrea Hickson-Martin, Amy Selvia Smith, Lavar Click-Bruce, Leonard Underwood, Kate Kane, Ryan McCollum, and Peter Testori.

People on the Move

Tracy Friedenberg

Bacon Wilson announced that Tracy Friedenberg has joined the firm as its new executive director. She comes to Bacon Wilson with more than 25 years of corporate and law-firm experience, including human resources, operations management, and information technology. She will work directly with Managing Shareholder Jeffrey Fialky across all levels of firm management in each of Bacon Wilson’s four offices. Friedenberg previously served as chief of staff for Odin Labs Inc. in New York City. Prior to that, she worked for Day Pitney LLP in Hartford, Conn. for 14 years. Her career path there advanced from project management to senior manager up to director of Technical Services and Project Management in 2020. Day Pitney is an East Coast-based comprehensive law firm with national and international reach, housing more than 300 attorneys and 13 offices throughout the Northeast, as well as in Southeast Florida. Friedenberg holds an MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the UMass College of Arts and Sciences and a bachelor’s degree in apparel marketing from the College of Food and Natural Resources. She serves as president of the board of directors for Dress for Success Western Massachusetts, a nonprofit organization that empowers women to gain economic independence.

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Amanda Sbriscia, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Holyoke Community College (HCC), has been selected for a fellowship for aspiring college presidents by the AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance in Higher Education. Now entering its fifth year, 27 college administrators from institutions around the country began their fellowships with an in-person symposium in Washington, D.C. in September. To date, 18 past participants have become presidents or chancellors of higher-education institutions, and many other participants have successfully progressed on the pathway to the presidency with commendations and new positions. The program consists of two symposia, four online workshops, attendance at the AGB National Conference on Trusteeship, and a shadowing experience with a sitting president. The institute features more than 30 higher-education expert presenters, including current and former presidents, trustees, search consultants, and other sector professionals. Sbriscia holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Cedar Crest College, a master’s degree in higher education from Drexel University, and a doctorate in education in educational leadership from Gwynedd Mercy University. Before being hired at HCC as vice president of Institutional Advancement in 2017, she served as senior director of Advancement at Bay Path University, following her role there as director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations. Before Bay Path, she worked in fund development for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts and as director of Annual Giving for Anna Maria College in Paxton.

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Rachel Rushing

Rachel Rushing

Holyoke Community College (HCC) welcomed Rachel Rushing as director of the college’s Taber Art Gallery. Originally from Louisiana, Rushing is an interdisciplinary artist with a special interest in photography. She comes to HCC by way of Dallas, where she worked with the Nasher Sculpture Center to develop the Visitor Experiences program and manage special projects, such as the 2022 exhibition of CARNE y ARENA, a virtual-reality exhibition written and directed by Academy Award-winning Mexican filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu that integrates viewers into the true accounts of refugees in their journey across the southern U.S. border. Rushing also founded and co-directed Sunset Art Studios, a social-practice art gallery, residency, and studio in Dallas. She becomes only the second director since the gallery opened in 1998, succeeding founding director Amy Johnquest, who retired last spring. Her first show as Taber director was an exhibition of photographs by John Leni Marcy titled “The City on Paper: Representations of HolyoRícan Life,” which was curated and captioned by HCC students enrolled in Latinx Studies classes. The Taber Art Gallery, located off the lobby of the HCC Library on the second floor of the HCC Donahue Building, is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., during regular school sessions.

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American International College (AIC) announced the appointment of Christopher Putnam as director of Institutional Assessment, Research, and Effectiveness. This appointment reflects AIC’s recognition of Putnam’s dedication, expertise, and valuable contributions to the college. In his new role, Putnam will be responsible for overseeing assessment and evaluation processes designed to measure the effectiveness of the institution’s programs and services. Additionally, he will provide leadership in research and analysis, strategic planning, and ensuring compliance with accreditation standards. Prior to assuming his new role, Putnam served as AIC’s student-success data analyst and demonstrated exemplary leadership in several key areas. This included the supervision of AIC’s New England Commission for Higher Education five-year report, a mandated periodic evaluation of the content and relevance of the college’s mission. Before joining AIC, Putnam held positions as a graduation and transfer credit specialist and manager of Student Services at Sierra College in Rocklin, Calif. He began his career in higher education at California State University (CSU) Sacramento, where he worked in admissions and records and academic advising. During his time at CSU, Putnam pursued his master’s degree in higher education leadership. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and subsequently obtained a certificate in web programming from Cosumnes River College.

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Pamela Sandler AIA Architect recently welcomed Norman Anton, senior designer and project manager; and Amy Pulver, office manager, to its fast-growing team. Anton is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and has lived and worked in Europe and Saudi Arabia. He attended Washington University School of Architecture in St. Louis and has worked extensively in the field with carpenters, electricians, and landscape designers. Prior to joining the Sandler AIA team, he was an architectural designer at Clark and Green. He has a wide range of experience, including historic preservation, corporate interiors, retail showrooms, and residential projects. Pulver is at the helm of the firm’s mission to create spaces with joy for new and existing clients. Her duties include event planning, facilities management, project coordination, and budget planning, ensuring that the office runs smoothly so that the design team can continue to deliver unique projects to clients and grow its relationship with the community. She brings years of experience to the Stockbridge-based architecture firm. Prior to working with Sandler, she served for nearly a decade in multiple positions and departments within the town of Great Barrington, including Public Works, Planning, and most recently as executive secretary to the town manager and Select Board.

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Celia Hickson

Celia Hickson

One year after joining the Square One team as fiscal manager, Celia Hickson has been named the agency’s chief financial officer. Hickson brings 25 years of accounting and finance experience in a variety of industries. She has worked as a controller and financial analyst in the publishing, software, biotech, and nonprofit industries. She began her career at Ernst & Young, where she earned her CPA. She is a graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. An active volunteer with Horizons for Homeless Children, she has held various leadership roles on several volunteer boards.

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After 25 years at the helm, Anne Teschner will step down as executive director of the Care Center. She will continue in that role to support succession planning with the Care Center’s board of directors to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership. The Care Center helps young mothers and low-income women resume their education wherever they left off, from HiSET preparation to an onsite college. Designed for busy mothers living in poverty, the Care Center offers childcare, transportation, counseling, food, and healthcare so that women can concentrate on their studies. During her tenure, Teschner has been instrumental in steering the Care Center through pivotal changes, establishing the organization as a leader in the realm of women’s education and empowerment. Under her leadership, the Care Center has launched visionary initiatives, such as the Bard Microcollege Holyoke and the Moving Women Forward Endowment campaign. Each year, approximately 200 young mothers and other low-income women benefit from the holistic support provided by the Care Center, based at 247 Cabot St. in Holyoke. The process of identifying the next executive director to build upon this foundation is underway.

People on the Move

Rebecca Todd

The Connecticut River Conservancy announced Rebecca Todd as its new executive director. Todd has most recently served as the executive director of New Hampshire’s Stonewall Farm, a nonprofit working farm and education center; however, her experience as an attorney has shaped most of her career. For more than 30 years, she has advised organizations, individuals, and businesses in matters related to environmental, educational, contractual, employment, and nonprofit management. She served as general counsel for Antioch University and as associate attorney general in the Office of the Attorney General in Washington in the Education and Ecology divisions, and litigated cases for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund Inc. (now Earthjustice) and the Natural Resources Defense Council Inc. related to the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and hazardous-waste laws. She also teaches environmental law, legal advocacy, and other subjects nationally and internationally. In addition to these professional accomplishments, Todd grew up in the Connecticut River watershed, has raised a family while stewarding farmland along the river in New Hampshire, and is cultivating a new passion for the sport of rowing. CRC’s previous executive director, Andy Fisk, departed in the fall of 2022 after 10 years with the organization and is now the Northeast Regional Director at American Rivers. During this transitional time, CRC has been led by interim Executive Director and Director of Restoration Programs Ron Rhodes, who has been a member of the CRC staff for more than 12 years.

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Tania Barber

The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts’ trustees of the Order of William Pynchon announced Tania Barber, president and CEO of Caring Health Center, as this year’s Pynchon Medal recipient. She will receive the award at an event at Springfield Technical Community College on Monday, Nov. 13. Caring Health Center (CHC) is a Springfield-based care provider of affordable and equitable healthcare services. Barber began her career with CHC as a part-time switchboard operator in 1996. Through regular promotions during her 24-year tenure, she rose to become the organization’s leader in 2013. In addition, her belief in empowering women through education led her to establish the Tania M. Barber Learning Institute in 2023. Students of the institute will earn a salary as they receive training for careers in the healthcare field. In addition to providing a talent pipeline for an industry in dire need of trained workers, it will provide students with a pathway to well-paying jobs that also benefit the community. Barber is also the founder and pastor of Living Water Global Ministries, a non-denominational Christian church; EST.HER, a leadership consulting firm; and Daughters of Shared Vision, a faith-based counseling service for women. She has also served on a variety of local and regional boards, including the Springfield Technical Community College science degree program advisory board, Health New England, Florence Bank, and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.

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Maggie MacElhiney

Maggie MacElhiney

Geri McCarthy

OMG Inc. promoted Maggie MacElhiney to the position of director of Talent for the organization. In her new position, she is responsible for managing human-resource activities including talent acquisition and onboarding, talent development, performance management, compensation, succession planning, and workforce planning. MacElhiney has been with OMG since 2006, most recently as the senior Talent Development manager. She holds a master’s degree in adult education and human resource development from the University of Texas, Austin, and is a member of the Assoc. for Talent Development and the Society for Human Resource Management. OMG also promoted Geri McCarthy to the newly created position of director of Employee Engagement, where she is responsible for managing and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives; employee wellness and engagement programs; and general HR responsibilities. McCarthy has been with OMG since 2012 in a variety of roles, most recently as director of Operations, where she also headed the company’s DEI council and wellness committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from American International College and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

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Claire Kelly

The Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) announced the hiring of Claire Kelly as senior manager of Investor and Community Relations. She brings broad skills and deep experience in entrepreneurship, educational programming, and event management to the role. She also has a strong appreciation for the local community, having lived in the Pioneer Valley for the past 10 years. Before coming to the chamber, Kelly spent seven years as founder and director of Educational Experiences Abroad, a custom academic service provider that specialized in study-abroad programs, primarily in Cuba. An innovative self-starter, she successfully navigated the fast-changing regulatory environment in the U.S.-Cuba travel industry, and delivered educational experiences and programs for a diverse group of clients. Prior to that, she directed business-development activities and designed custom program at Amherst-based Spanish Studies Abroad. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gettysburg College and a master’s degree in Spanish linguistics from Middlebury College.

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Dietz & Company Architects announced that Aditya Surendhra, AIA has completed the Architectural Registration Examination and met all of the requirements for architectural licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As a licensed architect, he has been promoted from architectural staff to the position of architect. Surendhra joined Dietz & Company in 2020 and primarily works on multi-family housing projects, with his approach being a focus on building performance and resilience. His work includes existing-conditions laser scanning and modeling for historic projects, as well as projects in the commercial sector. He also takes the lead in managing and developing the firm’s in-house Revit software standards, including libraries and templates. Prior to joining Dietz, he earned his bachelor of architecture degree from Syracuse University. He also interned for firms in India and the U.S., where he worked on housing and historic-preservation projects.

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Ilana Steinhauer

Ilana Steinhauer

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) announced Ilana Steinhauer, executive director of Volunteers in Medicine, as the 2023 Charles Kusik Award winner. The Kusik Award recognizes outstanding contributions to Berkshire County. Steinhauer has led Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) since 2014 as executive director and director of Medical Services. Volunteers in Medicine currently serves 1,700 uninsured patients, 90% of whom are immigrants. Their patient population has grown rapidly in recent years, with 400 new patients in 2022 and an expected 500 new patients in 2023. VIM’s patients range from newly arrived asylum seekers who need life-saving care to veterans who need dental work to essential workers who have lived here for decades. VIM manages this patient load with 17 staff members and more than 170 clinical and non-clinical volunteers who donate more than 10,000 hours annually. Steinhauer first moved to the Berkshires in 2006 after graduating from Wesleyan University. She began interning at Volunteers in Medicine and quickly realized she wanted to do patient care with this population. After taking prerequisites at Berkshire Community College, she moved to the Boston area to complete her nurse practitioner degree and began her career as a nurse with the Medical Group/Harvard Vanguard Associates in Beverly. In 2014, she moved with her family back to the Berkshires to become executive director at VIM. Bilingual in Spanish, she continues to provide direct patient care in addition to being the executive director.

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Tapestry announced the appointment of Mavis Nimoh as its incoming executive director. With more than 20 years of experience advocating for social justice and health equity, she brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to Tapestry. Nimoh joins Tapestry following her role as executive director of the Center for Health and Justice Transformation in Providence, R.I., where she led a team of experts in public health, physical and behavioral health, and the criminal legal system. She brings extensive experience in the public-health sector, including programs that support the uninsured and underinsured, HIV early intervention, testing and counseling, and prevention services focused on addressing systemic health inequalities. Her career also includes her role as associate professor at Brown University School of Public Health and her tenure at the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, along with her leadership as executive director of the Dauphin County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services. Her expertise in harm reduction and health equity aligns with Tapestry’s mission to provide non-judgmental, quality care for all.

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Amelia Holstrom

Amelia Holstrom

Attorney Amelia Holstrom of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. has been recognized as one of the 2023 Top Women of Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The Top Women of the Law program celebrates the outstanding achievements of exceptional women in the legal profession. Each year, the publication and accompanying event — scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 1 — honors women who have demonstrated great accomplishments in their field. Holstrom has been with Skoler Abbott since 2012 and was named a partner in 2019. She defends employers in litigation involving claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wage-and-hour violations, contract disputes, and other employment issues. She also advises clients with respect to compliance challenges, personnel policies, and day-to-day employment issues, and provides custom training programs and materials on a variety of important topics, including harassment, paid and unpaid leave, and ADA accommodations. Holstrom is an active participant in the Greater Springfield community. She is chair of the Wilbraham Personnel Advisory Board and a member of the Wilbraham Commission on Disability, the boards of Clinical and Support Options Inc. and the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce, the board development committee for Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts, and the personnel committee for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

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New England Public Media announced that six professionals recently joined the staff.

Vanessa Lima is NEPM’s new senior business manager. She comes to NEPM from the city of Springfield’s Administration and Finance Division, where she was a deputy project director. Prior to that, she worked with the Springfield Police Department, Baystate Health, and Boston Public Schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst.

Cathy Zimmerman joins NEPM as accounts payable clerk. She has been an accountant for more than 20 years, serving nonprofit and for-profit organizations, including the United Way of the Franklin and Hampshire Region, Argotec in Greenfield, and the Sisters of Providence Health in Holyoke. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Elms College.

Maria Burke is stepping into the role of senior major gifts officer. An experienced fundraising strategist, she served as director of Development at Springfield Symphony Orchestra for several years. She is also the founder of the WillPower Foundation, a regional nonprofit serving individuals living with disabilities in Western Mass.

Nancy Dieterich is NEPM’s interim director of corporate sponsorship. She has more than 40 years of experience working in public and commercial media, including serving as managing director of Local Corporate Sponsorship at GBH and general manager of Boston’s WCRB. She attended the College of Liberal Arts at Pennsylvania State University at McKeesport.

Jonthany Rivera and Jill McNally join NEPM as multimedia account executives. Rivera is a recent graduate from Westfield State University with a degree in communications focusing on journalism. McNally joins NEPM after spending 30 years in the broadcast industry in various roles. Most recently, she worked for Saga Communications for WRSI/WHMP, Rock 102, and other radio stations in marketing and sales. Before that, she worked at Connecticut stations WTIC and WTRC as an account executive.

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Chelsea LeBlanc

Chelsea LeBlanc

Market Mentors LLC, a fully integrated marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, announced the promotion of Chelsea LeBlanc, a Baltimore native who now lives in Windsor, Conn. She was promoted to account director in the Client Services department after joining the agency in February as an account executive. Before joining Market Mentors, LeBlanc served as a channel marketing director at a hospitality and food-services company with a focus on brand activation, process improvement, and project management. In her growing role as account director, she will bring her 15 years of experience and strategic skill set to client planning, agency processes, and more. A graduate of Western New England University with a degree in marketing communications/advertising, LeBlanc is a Smartsheet product certified user, Project Management Institute member, and project management professional candidate.

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Holyoke Community College (HCC) Criminal Justice Professor Nicole Hendricks was honored on Oct. 6 with an Inspiration Award from the African American Female Professor Award Assoc. (AAFPAA). Each year, the association celebrates a handful of Black female professors at its annual awards banquet, which this year was held at the Griswold Theater on the campus of American International College in Springfield. Hendricks, a 17-year faculty member at HCC, was one of four Black female professors recognized. Hendricks has served as chair of the Criminal Justice Department at HCC and teaches a variety of courses in that area, including criminology and women’s studies. She also teaches interdisciplinary courses as part of HCC’s Learning Communities program. For example, in “Reimagining Incarceration,” she and her teaching partner, Economics Professor Mary Orisich, explore mass incarceration through the lens of feminist social-justice theory, gender and sexuality studies, critical race theory, and political economy. Hendricks’ efforts to reimagine incarceration extend well beyond the classroom. Together, she and Orisich founded Western Mass CORE (Community, Opportunity, Resources, Education), a prison-education program based at HCC that seeks to facilitate pathways to college for people impacted by the criminal legal system.

People on the Move

Ryan Gagne

Cicely Hislop

Cicely Hislop

Andrew Fleming

Andrew Fleming

D.A. Sullivan & Sons Inc. (DAS) announced the arrival of Ryan Gagne, Cicely Hislop, and Andrew Fleming into its leadership group, marking a significant milestone in the 125-year-old construction company’s history. Gagne is valued for his innovative approaches and collaborative project management and will assume the role of vice president of Construction. His master’s degree in construction management and years of industry involvement will enrich the project experience offered by DAS. Hislop is currently pursuing her MBA at UMass Amherst. She is set to play a pivotal role in enhancing DAS’s operational efficiency and project execution as chief operating officer. Fleming will undertake the role of vice president of Pre-construction. His ability to foresee potential challenges and devise effective solutions is expected to ensure the smooth execution of projects from the initial stages.

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Christopher Thuot

Christopher Thuot

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) named Christopher Thuot vice president for Academic Affairs. Following a comprehensive national search, Thuot assumed the role on July 17. As the chief academic officer, he provides leadership for implementation of the college’s academic mission and priorities. He plays a key role in supporting the alignment of academic programs with the region’s employment needs while helping develop and sustain partnerships with transfer institutions, local schools, and government agencies. Thuot comes to STCC from Onondaga Community College (OCC) in Syracuse, N.Y., one of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system. He served as assistant provost, providing academic leadership to eight schools, adult college programs, and the Office of Registration and Records. He helped lead development of all new degree programs, led a comprehensive program revitalization process, and served as OCC’s accreditation liaison officer. He served as project director on a number of grants. Thuot began his career at OCC as a full-time faculty member while serving as the Honors College chair, vice president of the Faculty Senate, and coordinator of General Education. He was first introduced to community colleges as a student at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, N.C. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina Asheville and a Ph.D. in political science at Northern Illinois University.

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Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts (GSCWM) announced that the nonprofit organization’s long-time CEO, Pattie Hallberg, is stepping down at the end of 2023, after 16 years of service. The GSCWM board will oversee the process to choose Hallberg’s successor, and has engaged the search firm Find Good People to assist with the transition. “It has been my honor and a sincere privilege to lead Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts, an organization dedicated to the development of a girl’s personal leadership journey,” said Hallberg, who was named by BusinessWest to its Women of Impact class of 2020. “I am proud of the organization we are today and the impact we’ve made, working with thousands of fabulous girls and adults to further the Girl Scout mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.”

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Peter Albero

Peter Albero

Peter Albero has been appointed chief financial officer and treasurer of Greenfield Savings Bank. He will be responsible for all aspects of financial operations of the bank, including internal and external financial reporting, investments, and asset and liability management. Albero joins the bank with more than 35 years in the financial industry. Most recently, he served as chief financial officer at Salisbury Bank & Trust. In addition, he has been a risk advisory consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, where he designed and implemented financial and risk data reconciliations for foreign banks. For more than 26 years, he worked at Morgan Stanley in a variety of senior roles in the Financial Controller group. He is also a licensed CPA in New York. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Manhattan College and an MBA in finance and international business from New York University.

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Conor Carey

Conor Carey

Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that attorney Conor Carey has joined the firm as an associate in the Litigation department. Carey earned his juris doctorate, cum laude, from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis in 2018 and his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Westfield State University in 2015. Prior to joining Bacon Wilson, he spent a year as a judicial law clerk for Associate Justice Sabita Singh of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and also previously served as a research attorney to the justices of the Massachusetts Superior Court in Worcester. At Bacon Wilson, he will be assisting clients with their litigation needs in both civil and criminal law. He is a member of both the Hampden and Hampshire county bar associations and will be working primarily out of the firm’s Northampton office. He is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts and Minnesota.

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Soniha Nuzrat

Soniha Nuzrat

Dietz & Company Architects Inc. recently welcomed Soniha Nuzrat to the firm in the role of architectural associate, in which she will assist project teams throughout all phases of design. Nuzrat recently received her master of architecture degree from Miami University in Ohio, where she completed her thesis on evaluating cross-cultural courtyard housing for social well-being in Manhattan. As evidenced by her thesis, she has a particular interest and specializes in community-based design. This past spring, she received the AIA Medal for Academic Excellence, which is awarded annually to the top graduating students in National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) accredited degree programs. Prior to pursuing her master of architecture degree, Nuzrat earned her bachelor of architecture degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology. She also worked on a variety of projects for architecture firms in Bangladesh.

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Country Bank announced that Brunilda Demiri has joined its Auditing Division as first vice president and director of Internal Audit. Before joining Country Bank, she worked as a lead auditor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. She has more than 14 years of experience in the industry and is currently a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Certified Fraud Examiners Community. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bentley University and is currently enrolled in Babson’s MBA program. Brunilda is also a certified fraud examiner.

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Timothy Murphy

Timothy Murphy

Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. announced that one of its partners, Timothy Murphy, has been recognized once again by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America list for 2024. He is listed in three fields: employment law – management, labor law – management, and litigation – labor and employment. Focusing his practice on labor relations, union avoidance, collective bargaining and arbitration, employment litigation, and employment counseling, Murphy has been included in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2013 and was Lawyer of the Year in 2015, 2018, 2020, and 2022. Murphy is very active within the local community, sitting on boards of directors for several area organizations, such as the Human Service Forum and Community Legal Aid. He also is a member of the World Affairs Council.

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Michael Laga

Michael Laga

Freedom Credit Union recently welcomed Mortgage Loan Originator Michael Laga to its Loan Production Office at 115 Elm St. in Enfield, Conn. In this role, Laga works with homebuyers to assess their financial status and credit, recommend the best loan products, and guide members through the homebuying process. Laga graduated from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst and played professional baseball for 14 years on teams including the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, and San Francisco Giants. Freedom’s Loan Production Office opened in Enfield in November 2022. It is dedicated exclusively to mortgage and business lending. John Santaniello, assistant vice president of Member Business Lending, also works from this office, helping businesses that are seeking loans, including term, Small Business Administration, commercial real estate, and commercial vehicle loans.

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Girls Inc. of the Valley recently welcomed two new members to its board of directors. Trishna Mudumbi and Isani Castro will join the current board to support strategic planning to map out the future of the organization. Mudumbi is an accomplished engineering leader with nearly 20 years of industry experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Drexel University and a master’s degree in management from Stevens Institute of Technology. She is currently the chief engineer for Environmental and Airframe Control Systems products for the Boeing Defense Value Stream at Collins Aerospace. Throughout her career, she has focused on promoting women and underrepresented groups in STEM and beyond. Castro is an associate attorney at Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C. in downtown Springfield, with a focus on business and corporate law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Manhattan College, graduating with honors. She graduated from Roger Williams University School of Law in May 2022 with her juris doctor. In her role as associate attorney, she drafts various legal documents related to intricate business needs, provides legal counsel, and manages negotiations.

People on the Move
Mae Stiles

Mae Stiles

Sadie Reynolds

Sadie Reynolds

Fierst Bloomberg Ohm recently announced a promotion and a new hire. Mae Stiles has become a partner of the firm after joining the firm as of counsel in 2019. A Northampton native, she has more than 15 years of experience and has worked for major New York and San Francisco law firms in complex commercial litigation, including anti-trust and intellectual-property matters, as well as a wide variety of business, corporate, and licensing transactions. She returned to practice law in Northampton in 2017 and is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts of Massachusetts, New York, and California. Sadie Reynolds has joined the firm as a litigation associate. Previously, she was the Legal Clinic director at the Hampden County Bar Assoc., where she assisted pro se litigants in a variety of matters, including housing and civil litigation; represented parties in Western Division Housing Court; created and developed programs to assist the underserved in Western Mass.; and expanded access to justice and legal services. She is a trained mediator with experience assisting litigants in Springfield District Court, mediating small-claim and summary-process matters.

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April Parsons

April Parsons

Greenfield Community College President Michelle Schutt announced the appointment of April Parsons as the next vice president of Academic Affairs. Parsons brings more than a decade of leading academic teams, as well as more than 20 years of experience in teaching in classrooms, including in high schools, community colleges, and universities. Parsons holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature with a certificate in women’s and gender studies, as well as an master of education degree in language education. Most recently, she taught as a professor of English at Northwestern Connecticut Community College (NCCC) and chaired the Department of Arts and Humanities. She also led a redesign of NCCC’s English curriculum and was a faculty lead through the NECHE regional accreditation process. Beyond Parsons’ professional roles, she’s also active in the community. She volunteers time at her local library working to expand literacy programs, and has helped the institution acquire and implement National Endowment for the Arts grant funding to conduct these efforts. She also works closely with incarcerated individuals, both in a professional and volunteer capacity. She recently served as the lead faculty member on a partnership between NCCC and the Connecticut Department of Corrections that helped bring college education to incarcerated individuals. She is a volunteer for the Prison Yoga Project, which brings yoga lessons into the prison community.

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Susan Levine

Susan Levine

Jewish Federation of the Berkshires announced the appointment of Susan Levine as the new Food Service director for its Connecting with Community kosher meals program that provides free, nutritious meals for the community (in-person, takeaway, and meals on wheels) year-round. Levine received a culinary arts degree at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School in Lower Manhattan before interning at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Ariz. There, she learned healthy ways of using her culinary skills, which she applied during a long career in catering and corporate dining that included a recent stint working at the Executive Mansion in Albany, N.Y. A 20-year resident of the Berkshires region, Levine first learned about the federation’s kosher meals program when her parents stayed at her home in New Lebanon, N.Y. and attended federation-sponsored programs and lunches at Knesset Israel in Pittsfield. Now, she is taking over the kosher meals program that was helmed by Cindy Bell-Deane for the past 25 years.

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Bulkley Richardson recently welcomed Sean Buxton, Christa Calabretta, Allison Laughner, and Yevgeniy “Gene” Pilman to the firm. Buxton will practice in the Litigation department. He earned a juris doctorate (JD), summa cum laude, from Western New England University School of Law in 2022. He also earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Princeton University. He spent the last year as a judicial law clerk for Judge Ariane Vuono of the Massachusetts Appeals Court and previously was an intern at the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office and the Superior Court of New Jersey. Calabretta will focus her practice on Business and Healthcare matters. She is a 2023 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law and also earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and an associate degree from Suffolk County Community College. Laughner will split her time between the Trusts & Estates and Family Law departments. She graduated from Western New England University School of Law in 2023, where she was on the Law Review staff. She also earned an MBA at Western New England University and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College. Pilman will practice in both the Business and Real Estate departments. He earned a JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2015, where he was a Cordozo Scholar, and a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Hunter College City University of New York.

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Eric Padelford

Eric Padelford

Pittsfield Cooperative Bank announced the hiring of Eric Padelford as senior vice president and chief technology officer. In this role, he will oversee the Information Technology department and work closely with leadership on modernizing technology and platforms to increase efficiency and better serve the institution’s customers. Padelford joins the bank after serving as vice president, integration architect, and developer at Berkshire Bank for the last six years. He has more than 22 years of systems-architecture and development expertise, serving in IT and development roles at McGlinchey Stafford and Tech Valley DataPro LLC. He received his associate of applied science degree from Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y. and a bachelor’s degree in IT from SUNY Empire State College in Saratoga, N.Y.

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Kathy Martin

Kathy Martin

Glenmeadow, a provider of senior retirement lifestyle options, announced the appointment of Kathy Martin to the position of president and CEO, effective Oct. 1. She succeeds Anne Thomas in that role. Martin brings more than two decades of nonprofit leadership experience. She is currently assistant provost for Accreditation and Administration at UMass Amherst and previously served Springfield College in several roles, most recently chief of staff. Her experience in higher education includes prior posts at Bay Path University, Susquehanna University, and Bucknell University. Her volunteer leadership experience includes membership on the board of directors of Glenmeadow and Link to Libraries. She is also a corporator of Square One. Martin earned her bachelor’s degree in physical education (sport management) from Keene State College and her master’s degree in physical education (athletics administration) and doctor of physical education degree (with a specialization in sport psychology) from Springfield College.

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The Wealth Transition Collective (TWTC) recently announced two additions to its firm. Ashley Hopkins has joined the firm as director of Client Services & Operations. In her role, she will be responsible for new business implementation and five-star concierge service to firm clients. She has more than six years of experience in the financial-services industry. Jennifer Cooke joined the Wealth Transition Collective as a retirement-plan advisor. In her role, she is responsible for all 401(k), 403(b), cash-balance and defined-benefit plan business, including employee education. She helps her clients stay in compliance with ERISA standards for employer-sponsored retirement plans. With more than 25 years of experience in all aspects of the retirement-plan business, she acts as a co-fiduciary on retirement plans for business owners throughout New England. Cooke is a certified retirement-plan specialist, a certified plan fiduciary advisor, and an accredited investment fiduciary.

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Gina Barry

Gina Barry

Earlier this summer, the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), the only organization approved by the American Bar Assoc. to offer certification in elder law, announced that Bacon Wilson, P.C. attorney Gina Barry has successfully completed its examination leading to such certification. Certification in elder law — one of the fastest-growing fields in the legal profession — will assure the public that the attorney has an in-depth working knowledge of the legal issues that impact the elderly. Barry is now one of two Bacon Wilson attorneys to pass this certification exam. Attorney Hyman Darling earned his certification in elder law in 2008.

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Pittsfield Cooperative Bank recently hired Joseph Maffuccio II as vice president, branch administration. Maffuccio joins the Co-op after an accomplished 16-year career with Greylock Federal Credit Union. While at Greylock, he held several retail, market, and business-development supervisory and manager positions, most recently as vice president, market manager. Maffuccio received his bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. He is the past president of Tyler Street Business Group and currently coaches Pittsfield youth sports.

People on the Move
Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP, from the Connecticut Valley General Office of New York Life, has been listed on the 2023 Forbes Top Financial Security Professionals Best-in-State list. A New York Life agent for 28 years, Deliso is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that help position clients for a solid financial future. She has been working in the financial field for more than 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry. She has developed an expertise in helping business owners and individuals protect and secure their own and their family’s future. Deliso is a Nautilus Group member agent, an advanced-planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies. A graduate of Bentley College, she has also been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1999. Members of the elite Chairman’s Council rank in the top 3% of New York Life’s sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. Active in her community, Deliso currently serves on and is immediate past chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation. She also serves on and is past chairman of the board of the Community Music School of Springfield, and is also a past board member of Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse.

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Bay Path University announced that Anna Zendell has been named program director of the university’s master of healthcare management program. Zendell brings more than three decades of experience as an educator, researcher, and social-welfare advocate to her role. She was most recently the senior faculty program director of the School of Health Sciences and the School of Graduate Studies at Excelsior University, where she oversaw master’s-degree programs in health sciences, healthcare administration, and public administration, in addition to graduate certificates in public-health equity, nutrition, and informatics. Zendell has been a practitioner, educator, administrator, and caregiver, and throughout her career, she has applied that experience to the development of curriculum and teaching methods focused on population health, healthcare systems, screening, and research to practice. She has published research looking at aging, the roles of sibling caregivers, and the impact of regular physical activity on health. Her recent work focuses on collaborative teaching, experiential learning, and working with adult learners.

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Greg Sanocki

Greg Sanocki

Eastern States Exposition (ESE) announced that Greg Sanocki has joined the organization’s Marketing Department as communications & social media specialist. Sanocki completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing from Western New England University in December 2014. Shortly following his collegiate career, he joined Westfield State University’s Marketing Department as social media and digital content specialist. In that role for nearly seven years, Sanocki was responsible for developing and administering the university’s official social-media presence, producing video content, and serving as a social-media expert for the campus community. In his new role as communications & social media specialist, Sanocki will be responsible for overseeing ESE’s digital and social-media marketing initiatives, collaborating with departments to ensure seamless digital communication, and creating and producing effective marketing and public-relations communications.

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Bulkley Richardson announced that both Stephen Holstrom and Lauren Ostberg have been included in the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America. Holstrom, counsel at Bulkley Richardson, was recognized for his work in both professional malpractice law and education law. Ostberg, an associate in the Litigation department and co-chair of the Cybersecurity practice, was recognized in the area of commercial litigation. Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America recognizes lawyers relatively early in their careers for their outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the U.S.

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Florence Bank recently presented its 2023 President’s Award to three staff members for exceptional service. Established in 1995, the President’s Award recognizes outstanding performance, customer service, and overall contribution to Florence Bank. Awardees are nominated by their colleagues at the bank. This year’s award recognizes Calli Paulin, a teller at the bank since 2021; Aaron Bonneau, an IT administrator who has worked at the bank since 2019; and David Lipson, a marketing research analyst who came on board in 2018. Paulin attended Bay Path University in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. Bonneau holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from UMass Amherst. Lipson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business management from Western New England University.

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Michael Dodge

Michael Dodge

American International College (AIC) announced that Michael Dodge has been named executive vice president for Academic Affairs. He has been serving in this role on an interim basis since March 2022. In this position, Dodge serves as AIC’s chief academic officer and is responsible for the academic operations of the college, including strategic planning for, and day-to-day operations of, the schools of Business, Arts & Sciences; Education; and Health Sciences. He represents the Office of Academic Affairs to internal and external constituencies and is responsible for developing and overseeing comprehensive and integrative structures and processes to support teaching and learning, student success, retention, and graduation. In addition, he oversees the institution’s accreditation and academic-assessment processes and supports the development of meaningful and measurable institution, program, and course student-learning outcomes. Upon his arrival in 2018, Dodge served as dean of Student Success and Opportunity. He additionally served as the principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Education Title III Grant program. He was promoted to associate vice president for Academic Affairs in January 2022. Before joining AIC, Dodge worked for more than a decade at UMass Amherst in a variety of teaching and administrative roles. He earned his doctorate in educational policy, leadership, and administration at UMass Amherst after earning his master’s degree in student affairs from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and English from the State University of New York Oswego.

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Country Bank announced that Mary McGovern, executive vice president and chief financial and operating officer, successfully completed the inaugural American Bankers Assoc. (ABA) Wharton Leadership Lab at the University of Pennsylvania last week. She earned an ABA Wharton Executive Leadership Certificate, a prestigious credential that demonstrates her excellence in leadership and strategic planning. The ABA Wharton Leadership Lab is a rigorous, immersive program that challenges executive bankers on the reality of leadership in today’s world at an Ivy League level. The program, which included 42 students, covers topics such as creating and sharing a vision, goal setting, managing talent, driving innovation, and sustaining meaningful relationships. McGovern is an influential executive leader with more than 30 years of experience in the financial-services industry. Her leadership has contributed to the bank’s continued success for the past 12 years. Her participation in the ABA Wharton Leadership Lab reflects her commitment to continuous learning and professional development at a critical time in the industry as regulations, technologies, and the workforce continue to rapidly evolve.

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Samantha Graves

Samantha Graves

Samantha Graves recently joined the Royal Law Firm team. She advises clients on various matters involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, wrongful terminations, and violations of FMLA. Her preventive work also includes drafting a variety of employment-related manuals and contracts, such as executive agreements, compensation and commission agreements, and severance and settlement agreements. Graves graduated cum laude from Worcester State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in business administration. She obtained her juris doctorate from Western New England University School of Law.

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Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that six lawyers from the firm were recently recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for 2024, and two were included in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America. Along with the year they were first recognized in Best Lawyers in any practice area, they are: Gary Breton (2018), banking and finance law and business organizations (including LLCS and partnerships); Michael Katz (2016), bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law; Kenneth Albano (2020), business organizations (including LLCS and partnerships); Gina Barry (2018), elder law; Hyman Darling (2020), elder law; Peter MacConnell (2021), real-estate law; Daniel McKellick (2023), Ones to Watch in real-estate law; and Tyler Humphrey (2021), Ones to Watch in banking and finance law.

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Northampton Dollars for Scholars announced the appointment of three community members to its board of directors. Anna Zadworny is assistant vice president and Employee Development manager for Greenfield Savings Bank. She has an associate degree in business management from Holyoke Community College and completed Babson College Financial Studies. Valerie Harlow is a learning advisor and facilitator for the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Westfield State University and a master’s degree in training and development from Lesley University. Patricia Mahar works as an area manager in Dining Services at Smith College. She is a graduate of the University of Saint Joseph.

 

People on the Move
Lisa Green

Lisa Green

Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson

The African Hall Committee of the Springfield Museums announced the recipients of the 2023 Ubora Award and Ahadi Youth Award. Lisa Green, a distinguished professor at UMass Amherst, is this year’s Ubora Award recipient, and Catherine Thompson, a 2023 graduate of Springfield Central High School who is headed to Johns Hopkins University, was chosen for the Ahadi Youth Award. Named for the Swahili word meaning ‘excellence,’ the Ubora Award has been awarded annually since 1992 to an African-American adult who has demonstrated a commitment to Greater Springfield and has exhibited excellence in the fields of community service, education, science, humanities, or the arts. Green is an expert in syntax and African-American English (AAE). She founded the Center for the Study of African American Language at UMass in 2006 and has directed it ever since. She is also the author of two books and is working on a third. She is an active volunteer and mentor with the Greater Springfield Chapter of Links Inc., the Western Massachusetts Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, and the Xi Xi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. And since 1996, she has been running a children’s summer reading program that she started at a church in her hometown of Lake Arthur, La. The Ahadi Youth Award has been given since 2009 to an African-American student (age 19 or younger) who embodies the Swahili word for ‘promise’ and excels both in academics and service to the Greater Springfield community. An outstanding student who graduated sixth in her class, Thompson is passionate about community service, especially with regard to social justice. For instance, at the Pioneer Valley Project, she worked on getting teens to pre-register to vote; as a teen-advocacy board member for Girls Inc. of the Valley, she attempted to increase awareness of racial justice, mental health, equal rights, and sexual- and domestic-violence issues. She was also actively involved in myriad clubs and organizations throughout high school, including the Key Club, the National Honor Society, student government, and the varsity tennis and soccer teams.

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Lukman Arsalan

Lukman Arsalan

Elms College has named Lukman Arsalan its new vice president of Enrollment Management and Marketing, effective Aug. 14. In this role, Arsalan will become a member of the president’s cabinet. Arsalan joined Elms College following his most recent appointment as the dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan. Prior to that, he served as dean of Admission at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania and director of Global Enrollment and Student Success at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. He brings a wealth of experience in higher education to this leadership role at Elms and will lead the college’s strategic efforts to attract outstanding students from Massachusetts, New England, and beyond. At King’s Academy, Arsalan achieved record-breaking application numbers and successfully launched a national campaign to attract talented students. During his tenure at Trinity College, he built a reputation for his dedication to providing a student-success ecosystem, while significantly increasing the college’s international applications, net revenue, and global brand recognition.

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Heather Iampietro

Heather Iampietro

Legacy Counsellors, P.C. recently welcomed its newest associate attorney, Heather Iampietro. She focuses her practice on real-estate transactions and estate planning. Iampietro received her juris doctorate from Western New England University School of Law in 2021 as a part-time student, while working full time in commercial and residential real estate as a paralegal at local firms. As a paralegal, she gained experience in all aspects of the real-estate process from inception through closing. She received her bachelor’s degree in legal studies and a certificate of advanced paralegal studies from Bay Path University in 2016.

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Greenfield Community College’s Information Technology team has new leadership with the addition of Antoine Harrison as vice president of Information Technology. Harrison brings more than 25 years of experience in information technology to the campus, including more than 14 years leading IT efforts within education. Harrison joins GCC at a time when numerous large projects are either underway or will soon be at the college to improve student and employee experience, including implementation of GCC’s first-ever CRM, upgrading the college’s enterprise systems, strengthening GCC’s cyber network security, and instituting an identity-management system. Harrison came most recently from Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he served as the institution’s deputy chief information officer. While there, he led critical technology areas and provided key guidance to senior leadership on enterprise applications, data-analytics infrastructure, integrations, business intelligence, web development, and project management. Previously, he has also contributed to infrastructure and technology projects in a variety of disciplines, including higher education, K-12 education, government, and private industry. He has also been recognized nationally for his innovative work, including being featured in industry magazine Toggle as one of the country’s top innovative CIOs.

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Julie Beck

Julie Beck

Elms College named Julie Beck its new dean of the School of Nursing (SON). Beck joins Elms from Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., where she recently served as director of Nursing and Health Sciences. The author of the book The Meaning of Voice to Experienced Nurses in Magnet Hospitals, Beck has more than 20 years of higher-education experience in nursing and holds a doctoral degree in adult education from Penn State University. She also holds an MSN in nursing education from Villanova University and a BSN from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. Beck will be a key member of Elms’ leadership, bringing a new strategy and vision that will reinforce the strengths of the School of Nursing.

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Springfield Thunderbirds General Manager Kevin Maxwell announced that Jeff Jordan has been promoted to manager of Hockey Operations. Previously the Thunderbirds’ video coach and Team Services coordinator, Jordan will continue his work with the coaching staff in the video department during the 2023-24 season. Jordan joined the St. Louis Blues’ AHL affiliate in 2019 when he was hired by the San Antonio Rampage as the team’s video coach. Before starting his professional career, he served as an assistant coach with the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s in 2014-15 and 2015-16.

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Bulkley Richardson recently welcomed Jennifer Santucci to the firm as an associate in the Real Estate department. She will work with clients on drafting and negotiating purchase and sale agreements; reviewing and analyzing sales contracts, LLC/corporate documents, trust documentation, and title commitments; and preparing for and conducting closings. Her experience also includes real-estate financing, including representing various lenders in commercial real-estate transactions, and preparation of loan agreements and other loan documents on behalf of lenders. Santucci earned a juris doctorate from Suffolk University Law School in 2014 and a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in criminal studies from Johnson & Wales University in 2009.

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Jane Wolfe

Jane Wolfe

Greenfield Cooperative Bank (GCB) announced that Jane Wolfe, executive vice president of Residential Lending, successfully completed the inaugural American Bankers Assoc. (ABA) Wharton Leadership Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned an ABA Wharton Executive Leadership Certificate, a prestigious credential that demonstrates her excellence in leadership and strategic planning. Wolfe is a valuable member of GCB’s senior leadership team and a leader in the residential-lending industry, with more than 20 years of experience providing service and solutions to the bank’s customers and partners.

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The St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke announced that its 71st grand marshal is Mary Lynch, a Holyoke native and 34-year member of the St. Patrick’s Committee of Holyoke. The grand marshal of the annual parade is the committee’s highest local honor given to a person who has distinguished themselves as a loyal person to their career, family, and Irish ancestry. Lynch is a graduate of Holyoke Catholic High School, Holyoke Community College, and Westfield State College, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She retired in 2017 as a long-time professor of Early Childhood Education at Holyoke Community College. She also served on several boards, including the Greater Holyoke YMCA and the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England. She was honored in 2010 with the Oldershaw Award from the Greater Holyoke YMCA, which is its highest honor given to an individual who has made significant volunteer contributions to the Greater Holyoke community. “Auntie Mary,” as she’s known to many on the committee, has held many important roles, including chair of the JFK and Memorial Mass, Grand Marshal’s Reception, Coronation Ball, and Awards Dinner. She has also served on the program book and tartan committees, parade coordination, and the board of directors. She was honored with the Rohan Award in 1996 and was a member of the Grand Colleen Court in 1970.

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Tim Deshaies

Tim Deshaies

Florence Bank recently presented its 2023 Community Support Award to Tim Deshaies, director of Retail Operations at the bank. The award was established by the bank in 1997 as a means of formally recognizing employees who are active in the community and give their personal and professional time to local nonprofit organizations. Each year, the award recipient can select an organization to which the bank will donate $500. Deshaies has chosen the Therapeutic Equestrian Center, citing the work the organization does with horse-assisted therapy for people in the community. Deshaies came to Florence Bank in 2007. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Western New England University. He is active in the community, serving as treasurer of the Therapeutic Equestrian Center and the Wistariahurst Foundation, vice president of Black Horse Trust, and director of Mansir Trust.

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Berkshire Money Management (BMM), a full-service financial-advising firm with offices in Dalton and Great Barrington, announced the expansion of its Great Barrington team with the addition of Airen Wadsworth as front office coordinator. In that role, he is the first person to welcome guests to the new Great Barrington office at 72 Stockbridge Road. His goal is to help every client and visitor feel comfortable, at home, and part of the BMM culture. He will also support the firm with scheduling, data entry, and other vital tasks. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from MCLA in 2018.

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Dorian Guidi

Dorian Guidi

Monson Savings Bank (MSB) recently announced the promotion of Dorian Guidi to portfolio manager. He will continue to be based out of the Monson Savings Bank Loan & Operations Center, located at 75 Post Office Park in Wilbraham. Guidi is a graduate of Western New England University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting. Additionally, he completed the School of Commercial Lending facilitated by the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. in October 2020, and the Leadership Institute facilitated by the Springfield Regional Chamber in June 2022. He is currently attending the New England School for Financial Studies and is on track to graduate in 2024. With more than eight years of banking experience, five of which have been at Monson Savings, Guidi has the background and banking knowledge to serve the bank’s commercial borrowers. Prior to working with MSB, Guidi spent 3 years at TD Bank as a teller and customer service representative. In his new role as portfolio manager, he will be responsible for assisting the bank’s commercial-loan officers with managing established commercial banking relationships and facilitating the underwriting, closing, and booking of new commercial-loan requests. Additionally, he will work to support the commercial loan department with audits and regulatory exams.

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KeyBank announced that Dennis Breitrick has joined the bank as senior Business Banking relationship manager for its Connecticut and Western Mass. market. In his new role, he will provide customized financial solutions to improve cash flow, such as commercial lines of credit, SBA financing, equipment financing, cash management, merchant services, commercial real-estate financing, and more to businesses with sales revenues between $3 million and $50 million annually. A graduate of Fordham University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree, Breitrick joins KeyBank from M&T Bank (formerly People’s United Bank), where he served as a business relationship manager since 2019. Previously, he spent 10 years with JPMorgan Chase Bank in similar roles serving business clients.

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Kathryn Crouss

Kathryn Crouss

Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy, P.C. (DWPM) announced that Kathryn Crouss, who became a shareholder at the firm in January, was named the 78th president of the Hampden County Bar Assoc. (HCBA). Crouss joined the firm in May 2022 and became a shareholder at the start of this year. With extensive experience in both family law and employment matters, she is a certified mediator and represents family-law clients both in court and through alternative dispute resolution. In addition to her service as president of the Hampden County Bar Assoc., Crouss also serves on the board of Community Legal Aid and has chaired the its Access to Justice fundraising campaign for the past two years. She has served on the board of the Hampden County Bar Assoc. since 2018.

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Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin announced that eight of its lawyers have been awarded in the 2024 editions of The Best Lawyers in America and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America. Steven Schwartz was named a Lawyer of the Year in the field of business organizations (including LLCs and partnerships). He was also chosen for The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of business organizations (including LLCs and partnerships), closely held companies and corporate law. Gary Fentin was named a Lawyer of the Year in the fields of banking and finance law and commercial transactions/uniform commercial code (UCC) law. Carol Cioe Klyman was named a Lawyer of the Year in the fields of elder law and trusts and estates. Timothy Mulhern was named a Lawyer of the Year in the fields of corporate law and tax law. Steven Weiss was named a Lawyer of the Year in the fields of bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law. Mark Esposito was named to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America in the fields of commercial litigation and litigation – labor and employment. Also selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America are Michele Feinstein, recognized in the fields of trusts and estates litigation, elder law, and trusts and estates; and James Sheils, recognized in the field of commercial transactions/ uniform commercial code (UCC) law.

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Bulkley Richardson announced that 15 lawyers from the firm were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. These lawyers were recognized in 24 unique areas of practice. They include Peter Barry: construction law, healthcare law, and education law; Kathy Bernardo: real-estate law; Michael Burke: medical malpractice law (defendants) and personal-injury litigation (defendants); Mark Cress: banking and finance law, bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law, and corporate law; Francis Dibble Jr.: bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, white-collar criminal defense, labor and employment litigation, and securities litigation; Daniel Finnegan: administrative/regulatory law, construction litigation, and construction law; Scott Foster: business organizations, including LLCs and partnerships; Mary Jo Kennedy: employment law (individuals) and employment law (management); Kevin Maynard: commercial litigation, banking and finance litigation, and construction litigation; David Parke: corporate law and mergers and acquisitions; Jeffrey Poindexter: commercial litigation and construction litigation; John Pucci: bet-the-company litigation, general-practice criminal defense, and white-collar criminal defense; Jeffrey Roberts: corporate law and trusts & estates; Michael Roundy: commercial litigation; and Ronald Weiss: corporate law, mergers and acquisitions law, and tax law.

People on the Move
Dr. Mark Keroack

Dr. Mark Keroack

Dr. Mark Keroack announced his plan to retire as Baystate Health CEO in July 2024 after 10 years of leadership of the region’s primary health system. The board of trustees will launch a national search for his successor. Keroack joined Baystate Health in 2011 as chief physician executive and president of Baystate Medical Practices and was appointed to the CEO role in 2014. He has had a long career in both medicine and health administration, serving in leadership roles at UMass Memorial Medical Group and the University Health System Consortium. A specialist in infectious diseases, Keroack was a leading voice during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering public-health information and partnering with public-health officials to address the crisis. The board has established a search committee and identified a search firm to help conduct a nationwide search for a new CEO. It is expected to take several months to a year to identify a candidate and finalize the next CEO. During this period, Keroack will continue in all aspects of the CEO role.

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Kaz Borawski

Kaz Borawski

The North Brookfield Savings Bank board of directors announced that Kaz Borawski has been appointed president and CEO, effective immediately. Borawski has more than 26 years of experience in industries including retail banking, investment banking, wealth management, and technology and operations at organizations such as JPMorgan Chase and MassMutual Financial Group. He has spent the last 13 years in community banking with United Bank, Merchants Bank, and Holyoke Credit Union before joining North Brookfield Savings Bank in February 2022 as chief financial officer. She holds a certificate from the New England School for the Financial Studies at Babson College, an MBA with a major in finance from Manhattan College in New York City, and a bachelor of business administration degree with a major in accounting from Baruch College, also in New York City.

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Katy Malouin

Katy Malouin

The Royal Law Firm recently welcomed attorney Katy Malouin to the team. She has more than 10 years of experience in commercial insurance defense work, primarily focused on contract analysis and legal research and writing. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Malouin worked as a human resources information systems assistant, verifying the accuracy of professional licensure and compliance with union contracts. While in law school, she worked as a law clerk and also participated in a small-business clinic, assisting local individuals with setting up their businesses. She is passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusion and has previously been involved in advising in the areas of disabilities in the workplace and neurodiversity in the workplace. Malouin holds a dual bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies and business administration from Elms College, a master’s degree in business administration from Western New England University, and both a juris doctorate and an master of law degree in elder law and estate planning from Western New England University School of Law.

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Patrick Grego

Patrick Grego

Berkshire Agriculture Ventures (BAV), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting local agriculture and resilient food systems in the Berkshire-Taconic region, announced the appointment of Patrick Grego as its full-time Communications and Development associate. Grego comes to BAV with a background in nonprofit communications. After moving from Brooklyn, N.Y. to Hudson, N.Y. in 2021, he served as a Communications coordinator at Time & Space Limited, a community arts center in Hudson, and later as Communications assistant at the Olana Partnership. Grego has a passion for storytelling. His writing has been published in several regional newspapers, including the Times Union and Chronogram’s River Newsroom. He recently won the New York Newspaper Publishers Assoc. award for distinguished feature writing.

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Holyoke Community College (HCC) Culinary Arts Professor Warren Leigh has been named Educator of the Year by the Center for the Advancement of Food Service Education (CAFE), a national industry group. Leigh, a professional chef and restaurateur who has been teaching at HCC for 15 years, received his award June 21 at the 2023 CAFE Leadership Conference in Charleston, S.C. Leigh also received honorable mention for CAFE’s annual Community Outreach award. In receiving the Educator of the Year award, Leigh, co-chair of HCC’s Culinary Arts program, was recognized for his part in designing the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, the college’s state-of-the-art teaching facility on Race Street that opened in 2018; reimagining the culinary-arts curriculum; creating a line-cook training program in collaboration with HCC’s non-credit business and workforce division; and pushing forward on his concept for a mobile kitchen where students could learn food-truck operations while also teaching the community about nutrition and healthy eating. Leigh holds a bachelor’s degree in food service administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix. He trained extensively as a chef in Germany and Switzerland. He is the owner, operator, and executive chef for Hydrangea Catering & Consulting and has worked over the years in many capacities at restaurants in Connecticut and Western Mass.

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Kyle Young

Kyle Young

Dietz & Company Architects Inc. announced that Kyle Young, AIA has been promoted to the position of senior architect. Young joined the firm in 2014 as an architectural associate upon graduating with his master of architecture degree from UMass Amherst. Now as a senior architect, he manages medium- to large-sized construction projects specializing in renovations and new construction for multi-family housing. He also serves as the firm’s AXP mentor/supervisor, supporting employees on their paths to architectural licensure.

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Eric Garcia

Eric Garcia

Freedom Credit Union announced the promotion of Eric Garcia from assistant branch officer to branch officer at its main office in Springfield. He first joined the Freedom team in September 2020 as a member services representative and, due to his potential and initiative, was quickly promoted to the role of assistant branch officer in November 2021. With this latest promotion to branch officer, he will assume responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the main branch. Throughout his tenure at Freedom, Garcia has been recognized for his outstanding contributions. He is a recipient of both the prestigious GEM Award and the President’s Award, highlighting his exceptional work ethic, commitment to excellence, genuine kindness, and positive impact on the organization.

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James Montana

James Montana

Dietz & Co. Architects announced that James Montana, AIA has completed the Architectural Registration Examination and met all of the requirements for architectural licensure in the state of Connecticut, bringing the firm’s total number of registered architects to eight. Montana joined Dietz & Co. in January and is currently participating in the design and project management of a new senior-center facility for the town of Wilmington. He holds a master of architecture degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology and has led design teams for multiple award-winning projects. Prior to working for Dietz, Montana worked for architectural firms in Massachusetts and Connecticut, where he developed a specialization in design for mixed-used commercial and residential projects. He also has experience in designing boutique corporate interiors and campus planning for higher education.

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Former Downtown Northampton Assoc. Executive Director Amy Cahillane has begun her new role as Greenfield Community and Economic Development director. She replaces MJ Adams, who retired in April. Cahillane graduated from Smith College in 1993 with a bachelor’s degree in government. She then earned her juris doctorate in 1999 at Suffolk University School of Law before achieving a master’s degree in political science at the University of Washington in 2005. She worked in a multitude of roles across the Northampton community. She was a board member from 2011 to 2013 and co-president from 2013 to 2016 of the Northampton Education Foundation. The volunteer board spearheaded fundraising efforts to procure private and corporate funds to support Northampton public schools. As a participant on the Northampton Center of Arts from 2014 to 2016, Cahillane and other board members worked to provide affordable and accessible venues for a wide range of arts experiences, including performances, exhibits, arts education, and more. The board also partnered with the Northampton Community Arts Trust to reinvent 33 Hawley St. into a multi-faceted art space. In 2016, Cahillane was hired as the first executive director for the Downtown Northampton Assoc. Through strong partnerships with the local business community, city government, and downtown stakeholders, she produced various events, championed beautification efforts, and advocated on behalf of Northampton’s downtown community. She also worked as the community liaison board member for the Northampton Jazz Festival from 2019 to 2023.

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Amelia Holstrom

Amelia Holstrom

Attorney Amelia Holstrom of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., was named chair of the Wilbraham Personnel Advisory Board, which advises the town’s Select Board on matters pertaining to personnel policy. Holstrom, who joined the firm in 2012, is a partner at Skoler Abbott who practices in all areas of employment defense. She provides counsel to management on taking proactive steps to reduce the risk of legal liability that may be imposed as the result of illegal employment practices and defends employers who are faced with lawsuits and administrative charges filed by current and former employers. Holstrom, who was appointed to the Personnel Advisory Board by the Wilbraham Select Board, is an active participant in the Greater Springfield community. She is a member of the Wilbraham Commission on Disability, the boards of Clinical and Support Options Inc. and the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce, the board development committee for the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts, and the personnel committee for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

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Brittany Yvon

Brittany Yvon

Brittany Yvon, credit manager for OMG Inc., has been named as a Rising Star by HBS Dealer magazine in its annual Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply listing. She was selected from among a record-breaking number of nominations of up-and-coming and high-performing leaders who are making an impact in the hardware and building-supply industry. Since 2020, HBS Dealer and industry partners have promoted the role of women in the hardware and building-supply industry. Individuals are nominated by their peers and selected by a panel of judges based on their contributions and attributes that go above and beyond the call of duty. Professionals receiving the Rising Star designation have been identified as women with the potential to make a significant, positive difference both within their company and within the industry for years to come. Yvon has been with OMG for seven years and was promoted to credit manager in 2021, where she is responsible for overseeing OMG’s Accounts Receivable department, including researching customer credit reports, creating credit scoring models to predict risk, monitoring customer balances, and preparing end-of-month reports and reconciliations. She is a member of the National Assoc. of Credit Management, a certified international credit professional through the Finance, Credit, and International Business Assoc., and a credit business associate through the National Assoc. of Credit Management.

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Dan Moriarty

Dan Moriarty

Monson Savings Bank President and CEO Dan Moriarty was named Board Member of the Year at the East of the River Chamber of Commerce (ERC5) 2023 annual breakfast. Moriarty has been a member of the ERC5 board of directors for more than four years. In addition to the work he does with the ERC5, he is involved with several other community organizations. He is a strategic council member of Springfield nonprofit I Found Light Against All Odds- Lighthouse Home for Homeless Teen Girls, a board member of the Monson Home for the Aged, and a member of the Links to Libraries board of directors. He also is on the Baystate Health community benefits advisory council, a member of the Monson Free Library finance committee, and co-chair of the Monson Savings Pro-Am. He co-chairs the diversity, equity, and inclusion council of the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. and he serves on the finance committee and as a confirmation teacher at St. Patrick’s Church in Monson. Additionally, he is a former volunteer grant scholarship reviewer for the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts and a past co-chair of the Brightside’s Golf Classic.

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Shefali Desai

Shefali Desai

American International College (AIC) announced the appointment of Shefali Desai as the newest member of its board of trustees. With a career spanning more than 30 years in the financial-services industry, including 22 years at MassMutual, Desai brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new position on the AIC board. In her role as head of Worksite at MassMutual, she has been instrumental in driving the success of MassMutual’s Worksite business, offering voluntary benefit and executive group life solutions through employers to the mass market. Before assuming her current position at the company, Desai served as the leader of the Strategy and Analytics team for MassMutual Workplace Solutions. Additionally, she has served as the Emerging Market sales manager of the MassMutual Retirement Services Sales Division. A graduate of Babson College, Desai joined the Bucknell University Parents Board in 2022 and has been actively involved in a variety of initiatives, including new-student orientations, fostering diversity and inclusion efforts, and providing career-counseling support.

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Curran and Keegan Financial recently welcomed two additions to its team, Amy Watts Bovaird and Megan Rooney. Watts Bovaird spent more than a decade fundraising for an academic institution, nonprofits, and a trade association, sparking her interest in personal finance. In 2020, she made a career transition and pursued her FINRA Securities Industry Essentials, Series 66, and Series 7 certifications, and spent more than a year advising at a major firm. At Curran and Keegan, she is a financial advisor and is pursuing the certified financial planner certification. Rooney joined the team as a client services associate. She is a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she received her bachelor’s degree with a concentration in politics. It was during her studies that she became fascinated with personal finance and decided to venture into financial planning. She completed her FINRA Securities Industries Essentials certification as a primary step into the field, and is now pursuing the FINRA Series 7 certification.

People on the Move
Ruth Lahti

Ruth Lahti

Following a national search, Bay Path University announced that Ruth Lahti was selected to be the inaugural dean of the School of Education, Psychology & Humanities. In her previous position, Lahti served as the associate vice president of Academics at Southern New Hampshire University, Global Campus Online. In that role, she led a team of 70 full-time administrators and faculty while overseeing 22 online programs; spearheaded the development of a career-oriented master of fine arts program in creative writing that is now the largest MFA program in the country; oversaw DEI strategies that produced positive, measurable results; and implemented data-driven decision making to foster student success, grow online programs in both enrollment and revenue, and launch a suite of career-focused embedded certificates. As dean of the of the School of Education, Psychology & Humanities, Lahti is responsible for leading and coordinating the operations of department chairs and program directors to support student and faculty success. Through collaboration with cross-university departments, she will be a member of teams that develop strategic external partnerships, implement ongoing processes for the development of and scanning for new curricular ideas and initiatives, and identify and assist in obtaining new revenue streams to support the expansion of school programs and infrastructure. Lahti earned her Ph.D. and master’s degree in English from UMass Amherst and her bachelor’s degree in English from James Madison University.

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Ryan Hess

Ryan Hess

Florence Bank announced that Ryan Hess has joined the staff as vice president and commercial team leader. Hess has more than 11 years of experience in banking, serving in roles from credit analyst and portfolio manager to leadership in commercial lending. He most recently served as chief lending officer for a locally based startup bank and played a key role in its founding. Hess holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stonehill College. He serves as co-chair of the Ronald McDonald House golf committee, a member of the Make-A-Wish golf committee, and vice chair of the Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals.

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Cristina Gonzalez has been promoted to general manager at the Holiday Inn Express Ludlow. She has worked with Pioneer Valley Hotel Group (PVHG) since 2015. Before taking the general manager position, she worked in various other roles within the PVHG family of hotels. Gonzalez began working at the Holiday Inn Express Ludlow in the winter of 2022. She said she has appreciated meeting new people every day, growing and learning, and experiencing innovation in hospitality, and strives to create a healthy workplace environment through trust and cooperation.

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Laura Mukazhanova

Laura Mukazhanova

Chen Yu

Chen Yu

Dietz & Company Architects Inc. recently welcomed Laura Mukazhanova and Chen Yu to the firm, both in the role of architectural associate. Mukazhanova recently received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, where she completed her thesis on the effects of architecture on one’s mental and emotional state. She illustrated this with a focus on addressing the issue of burnout in the healthcare industry through the use of visual and sensory perceptions in the workplace. As such, she has a particular interest and curiosity in architecture that has the potential for emotional and aesthetic influence on its occupants. Chen recently graduated with her master of architecture degree from the University of Virginia. While completing her studies, she interned at architecture firms in Virginia and China. She also had the opportunity to conduct research on-site in Utqiagvik, Alaska regarding the reuse of waste heat. With an interest in public building design, she looks forward to expanding her knowledge on the subject through her project work at Dietz.

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Ali Salehi

Ali Salehi

Melissa Alvarado

Melissa Alvarado

Gloria Williams

Gloria Williams

Daniel Currier

Daniel Currier

The Westfield State University board of trustees elected Ali Salehi to serve as its chair, while trustees Melissa Alvarado and Gloria Williams were elected as vice-chair and secretary, respectively. Daniel Currier, class of 2025, was elected to the board as student trustee. Salehi serves as managing director of Hansen Engineering and Machinery Co. Inc. of Danvers. A former board member of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, the Westfield State University Foundation, and the Westfield Redevelopment Authority, Salehi is a current trustee of Suffield Academy and a former vice chair of the Baystate Health Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management from Western New England University. Alvarado is an assistant vice president in strategic planning and delivery at MassMutual Financial Group and, prior to that, worked in its compliance and information-technology organizations. She previously served as clerk of the Westfield State Foundation and was a member of the Westfield State Alumni Assoc. executive council. In addition earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Westfield State in 1999, Alvarado holds an MBA in finance from Western New England University and earned an executive certification in leadership and management from the University of Notre Dame. Williams is an educational consultant and leadership mentor who previously completed a 21-year tenure as a master principal for Springfield Public Schools. Her service in education, including as a representative for the Superintendent’s Advisory Committee, was recognized when she received the 2019 Educational Legacy Achievement Award, presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Williams is also president of the consulting firm Coalition of Experienced Black Educators Inc. and the newly elected president of the board of directors for Families Against Violence. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Westfield State College in 1977 and a certificate in advanced graduate studies, a M.Ed., and a Ed.D. from UMass Amherst. Currier was elected by the student body in April to serve as Westfield State’s student trustee for the 2023-24 academic year. A junior with majors in accounting and finance with minors in economics and English, Currier was formerly vice president for Finance for Westfield State’s Student Government Assoc., is president of the Accounting Club, and serves as a campus tour guide, new-student-orientation leader, and peer tutor. Currier is also a Commonwealth Honors Scholar and received the Executive Excellence Award from the Westfield State University Student Government Assoc.

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Panna Royal

Panna Royal

Greenfield Savings Bank (GSB) promoted Panna Royal to the position of senior vice president and chief information officer. As CIO, she will oversee the operations of the Information Technology (IT) department, including the planning, management, implementation, support, and the security of the bank’s information and computer technologies. Royal joined GSB in November 2019 as senior network administrator with more than 25 years of experience working in IT. In 2020, she was promoted to the position of vice president and senior network administrator in the IT department. In 2022, she became senior technical program and compliance manager in the Operations department, implementing and overseeing the project-management program for the bank. Royal and her team will support the bank with technology solutions to help the organization continue to provide customers with an outstanding user experience. She will also oversee training programs for upgrades and system changes, ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, and oversee the hiring and training of the IT department. She will manage the implementation and maintenance of existing information systems and will develop the bank’s information-technology roadmap for the future.

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Alexandre Pereira

Alexandre Pereira

Allison Hanna

Allison Hanna

Lauren Rainville

Lauren Rainville

Emily Gorney

Emily Gorney

Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that Alexandre Pereira, Allison Hanna, Lauren Rainville, and Emily Gorney have been accepted into its law-clerk program for the 2023-24 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. The clerks are an integral part of the firm and participate in various firm events during their time at Bacon Wilson. Pereira joined Bacon Wilson in May 2023. He is a Western New England University School of Law candidate for juris doctor in May 2024. He earned his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in finance from Western New England University (WNE) in 2021. Prior to Bacon Wilson, he was a teaching assistant in the academic success center at WNE. He was also a legal assistant at Marta Law Offices in Ludlow, where he gained experience in estate planning and real-estate law. Currently, he has interests in estate planning and litigation. In addition to his previous work experience, Pereira has volunteered his time at Our Lady of Fatima Parish and was also a Best Buddies International Organization member. He has lived in Western Mass. his entire life and hopes to continue his legal career here after graduation. He is looking forward to using his time at Bacon Wilson to explore many other areas of law. Hanna is one of two returning law clerks for a second year and has been with Bacon Wilson since September 2022. She is a Western New England University School of Law candidate for juris doctor in May 2024. She earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laud, in legal studies from State University of New York in Canton in 2020, and her associate of applied science degree in paralegal studies from Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, N.Y. in 2018. Hanna competed on the WNE National Moot Court team and served as a student attorney for the WNE Global Justice Clinic. She is the founder and chair of the parents attending law school committee through Western New England, and also worked as a lawyering skills teaching assistant. Before joining Bacon Wilson, she was a law clerk for Riscassi & Davis, P.C. in Hartford, Conn., as well as a paralegal at Morrison Mahoney in Springfield and Newman & Lickstein in Syracuse, N.Y. Rainville is a returning law clerk who joined Bacon Wilson in May 2022. She is a Western New England University School of Law Candidate for juris doctor in May 2024. She earned her bachelor’s 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. Rainville has volunteered her time at the Jewish Family Services Legal Immigration Clinic and as an educator at Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School. She participated in the WNE School of Law’s Real Estate Practicum in the spring of 2023. She is interested in pursuing a career in criminal or civil litigation, and she hopes to build on the network she has formed and practice in the Springfield area. Gorney joined the firm in May 2023 and will be eligible for her juris doctor in May 2024 from Western New England University School of Law. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international trade and marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She is interested in family law, immigration, and international law. This fall, she will be a judicial intern for the Hartford Immigration Court. She participated in WNE’s Global Justice Clinic last spring, which provided legal aid to families separated at the southern U.S. border. She has also volunteered for the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project, Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts, and Dakin Humane Society. Gorney enjoys the personal and interactive aspects of lawyering and is passionate about advocating for underrepresented communities. She hopes to continue building a professional network in the Western Mass. area and is committed to maintaining involvement in the community.

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MP CPAs recently announced the promotions of Tony Trinchini, Katelyn Henderson, and Meghan Boone. Trinchini was promoted to senior tax accountant. He works to provide quality tax services to a diverse group of clients, including individuals, trusts, corporations, and partnerships. He has a strong rapport with clients, working with many of them year-round. He joined the firm in 2020. He holds a master of accounting degree from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. He works to recruit potential interns and clients as a member of the college outreach and networking committees. Henderson was promoted to senior tax accountant. She works to provide quality tax services to a diverse group of clients, including individuals, estates, trusts, corporations, and partnerships. She has begun to develop relationships with clients and advisors, and has enjoyed gaining experience with high net-worth clients and businesses with multi-state filings. She joined the firm as an intern and started full-time in 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Western New England University (WNE). She has taken a lead role this year in organizing firm-wide events and activities, and also works closely with colleagues from WNE to continue a mentoring and recruiting relationship with her alma mater. Boone was promoted to senior audit associate. She works to provide quality audit services to a diverse group of clients, including for-profit companies, nonprofits, employee benefit plans, and charter schools. She has begun to develop relationships with her clients and has enjoyed working with them on their audits, reviews, and compilations. She joined the firm in 2020. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management and accounting from Westfield State University, and works closely with colleagues from Westfield State to continue a mentoring and recruiting relationship with her alma mater.

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Julie Dick

Julie Dick

Julie Dick, counsel at Bulkley Richardson, has been named one of this year’s Emerging Women Leaders in the Law by the Women’s Bar Assoc. of Massachusetts (WBA). The WBA’s Emerging Women Leaders in the Law award honors women attorneys who have demonstrated professional excellence or had a significant professional achievement in approximately their first 12 years in the legal profession, and either promote the status of women in the legal profession or contribute meaningfully to the equal participation of women in a just society. The other honorees are Avana Epperson-Temple of Peabody & Arnold LLP, state Rep. Tram Nguyen, and Whitney Williams of the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office. The 2023 awardees will be celebrated at the WBA’s annual gala on Oct. 16 at Marriott Copley Place in Boston.

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Pittsfield Cooperative Bank appointed Ray Smith as its vice president, Marketing director. In his new role, Smith will manage the co-op’s marketing efforts, media relations, and community outreach, ensuring that the company’s brand and image are communicated effectively across all platforms. Smith joins the co-op after serving as administrative director, Public Information officer, Marketing officer for Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) in Bennington, Vt. for the last nine years. While at SVHC, Smith received several marketing and communications awards and was instrumental in opening up the Northern Berkshire market and developing promotional fundraising materials. He has more than 20 years of experience in senior marketing and executive leadership roles in financial services, tourism and hospitality, consumer packaged goods, and manufacturing. He previously served on the board of directors for the Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the Williamstown Chamber of Commerce, the Berkshire Workforce Board, Berkshire Compact for Higher Education, and Berkshire Creative Economy. Smith received his bachelor’s degree in communications from Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., and his master’s degree in communications from Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y.

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Peter Gilbert

Peter Gilbert

bankESB recently promoted Peter Gilbert to assistant branch manager of its 241 Northampton St. branch in Easthampton. Gilbert started as a teller at bankESB’s Hadley branch in 2018, was promoted to teller supervisor in 2019, and moved to float retail supervisor in 2021. He holds an associate degree in liberal arts and science from Springfield Technical Community College, as well as a bachelor’s degree in computer information technology from Elms College.

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The New England Financial Marketing Assoc. (NEFMA) recently welcomed Jamie Conaghan as its new president. With 15 years of experience in the financial and marketing industry, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her new role. She has previously served as NEFMA’s vice president and currently serves as the senior vice president of Marketing & Digital at Main Street Bank, based in Marlborough, where she oversees the marketing department and shapes the bank’s digital experience, ensuring a customer-centric approach. In addition to her new role as NEFMA president, Conaghan also serves as vice chair of the board of directors for the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce, actively contributing to the growth and development of the business community. Furthermore, her dedication to financial education is showcased through her volunteer work as a mentor and facilitator for the Dollar $cholar program.

People on the Move
Andrea O’Connor

Andrea O’Connor

Christina Turgeon

Christina Turgeon

Fitzgerald Law named attorney Andrea O’Connor a shareholder and announced that attorney Christina Turgeon has joined the firm. O’Connor counsels corporate and consumer clients in all aspects of insolvency law, primarily including bankruptcy, asset protection, taxation, real estate, and commercial matters. Her experience representing debtors and creditors in all types of matters, from complex Chapter 11 cases to adversary proceeding litigation, as well as serving as a Chapter 7 trustee for the District of Connecticut, allows her to analyze problems from all angles and develop creative solutions. She has 13 years of legal experience, including a clerkship for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. She earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from the University of Connecticut, and graduated magna cum laude from Western New England University School of Law. Turgeon has more than 21 years of practice experience and is primarily engaged in business litigation and counseling services, including reviewing and preparing discovery and trial strategies in Fitzgerald Law’s Litigation Department. In addition, her concentrations include bankruptcy law representing debtors and trustees before the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Massachusetts and Connecticut; commercial evictions; real-estate law representing buyers, sellers, and financial institutions in real-estate transactions; and general civil litigation representing plaintiffs and defendants in district and Superior courts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in English literature from Western New England University and is also a graduate of Western New England University School of Law.

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Jim Hickey

Jim Hickey

Florence Bank announced that Jim Hickey, vice president and director of Marketing Operations, has been promoted to lead the bank’s marketing efforts as senior vice president and director of Marketing. Hickey replaces Monica Curhan, who retired on April 7 after serving as senior vice president and director of Marketing for nearly 10 years. Hickey was hired in November 2021 as director of Marketing Operations with the explicit plan to one day take the helm as director of Marketing. He has 25 years of strategic marketing experience and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UMass Amherst. He has experience in areas that include account management, creative development, media plan execution, and media buying. Before joining Florence Bank, he was vice president of Account Service at Communicators Group, a marketing communications firm in Keene, N.H. He has also served as vice president and director of Marketing for Westbank, a financial institution formerly based in West Springfield. Active in the community, he sits on the board for the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity.

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Country Bank announced that Crystal Mansfield, Customer Experience and Sales Support specialist, is the recipient of the 2023 President’s Platinum Award. The Bank’s recognition program, Above and Beyond, encourages team members to look for co-workers 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. “Crystal embodies the bank’s corporate values in every interaction she has,” Country Bank President and CEO Paul Scully said. “Her nominator recognized her contributions to the organization, customers, and co-workers.”

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Martha Page

Martha Page

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV), a growing nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting local agriculture and a resilient regional food system, announced the appointment of Martha Page to its board of directors. With her extensive experience in nonprofit, government, and private-sector management, Page brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to further strengthen BAV’s mission and impact across the Berkshire-Taconic region. Page joins the board following her successful tenure as executive director of Hartford Food System Inc., where she spearheaded innovative initiatives to address food security, promote equitable access to nutritious food, and foster community development. Her deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the food system will be invaluable in helping guide BAV’s strategic vision. Throughout her career, Page has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to collaborative problem solving. Her multi-disciplinary background has allowed her to navigate complex landscapes and build strong partnerships across sectors that will play a vital role in helping to shape BAV’s initiatives.

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ISO New England, the operator of the region’s bulk power system and wholesale electricity marketplace, announced the election of its 2023 board of directors slate. The slate includes new member Craig Ivey, retired president of Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc., who brings three decades of experience in the electricity industry. His three-year term will begin on Oct. 1. Current board members Brook Colangelo and Mark Vannoy have been reelected to their third and second terms, respectively. Roberto Denis will retire from the board this fall. Ivey served as president of Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. for nine years, retiring in 2017. While in this role, he was responsible for all aspects of the electric system that serves more than 9 million New Yorkers. He previously spent 25 years at Dominion Energy, rising through the ranks from a part-time position during his college years to become senior vice president of Transmission and Distribution. Ivey serves on the board for Ameren Corp., as well as the Fresh Air Fund, a nonprofit serving children in low-income communities in New York City. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and has completed executive-education programs at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. Colangelo, elected to his third and final term, is vice president and chief information officer for Waters Corp. Earlier in his career, he served as chief information officer of the White House under President Obama. He holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University. Vannoy joined the ISO board in 2020 and was re-elected to a second term. He is currently president of Maine Water and previously served as the chairperson of the Maine Public Utilities Commission. He is a retired U.S. Navy officer, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and holds a master’s degree from Cornell University.

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Greg LaCasse

Greg LaCasse

Whittlesey, a leading tax and advisory services provider, announced the promotion of Greg LaCasse, CPA to partner. LaCasse joined the firm in 2017 and has 30 years of experience in public and private accounting, including roles with the Big 4, as well as serving as chief financial officer for an international IT consulting firm. He is an active member of Whittlesey’s real-estate, construction, and manufacturing niche and specializes in providing tax and advisory services to both businesses and individuals, with a focus on working with clients in the professional service, medical, real-estate, retail, wholesale, and manufacturing and distribution industries. LaCasse holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Connecticut State University and a master’s degree in taxation from the University of Hartford. He also pursues continuing professional education in taxation and business-advisory services. He is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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Nonotuck Resource Associates Inc. announced the recent hiring of Gretchen Parker as Human Resources director. Parker comes to Nonotuck with 20 years of experience in human resources, as well as a career spent working with nonprofits. At Nonotuck, she will lead the HR team and tackle new initiatives, such as performance management and coordinating trainings for supervisors across the agency. Parker most recently worked as associate director of Human Resources for Highland Valley Elder Services and also worked for LifePath, UMass Amherst, and Franklin Regional Council of Governments. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and master’s degree from Fitchburg State University.

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Tim Czerniejewski

Tim Czerniejewski

bankESB recently promoted Tim Czerniejewski to assistant vice president, commercial lending. Czerniejewski has 16 years of experience in banking. He joined bankESB in 2016 as a credit analyst and was promoted in 2018 to assistant vice president, portfolio manager. In his new role, he will be responsible for developing, structuring, and closing commercial loans, as well as maintaining and servicing existing accounts. Before joining bankESB, he was a risk analyst and credit analyst at TD Bank. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Western New England University and an associate degree in accounting from Springfield Technical Community College, and is a graduate of the Springfield Leadership Institute.

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Dhaval Patel has been selected for the 2023 class of 30 Under 30, highlighting his remarkable accomplishments and the impact he has made throughout his career. Dhaval, 27, of Rovi Homes, was selected by REALTOR Magazine, which recognizes members of the National Assoc. of Realtors (NAR) under age 30 who have demonstrated exceptional skills in areas such as sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, technology, association leadership, and community involvement.

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Anthony Worden, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank and its parent company, Greenfield Bancorp MHC, announced that the following actions were taken at the company’s 118th annual meeting on June 20. Darci Brown and Jeffrey Collura were re-elected as corporators of Greenfield Bancorp MHC, while new candidates Khama Ennis, Jennifer Ewers, Matthew Sheehy, Terri Mitchell, and Brandon Lively were elected as corporators of Greenfield Bancorp MHC. Nancy Fournier, JoAnne Finck, and Peter Whalen were re-elected to three year terms as directors of the bank and Greenfield Bancorp MHC, while Catherine Coleman was elected to a three-year term as a director of the bank and Greenfield Bancorp MHC.

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Linda Thompson, President of Westfield State University, has joined the board of trustees at Goddard House Assisted Living in Brookline. Prior to her role as president of Westfield State University, Thompson held the role of dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UMass Boston. She has an extensive background in healthcare leadership and public policy. In Baltimore City, Md., she served as director of Occupational Medicine and Safety and developed programs and policies to promote the health of the city workforce, including the implementation of policies for HIV prevention and substance use and abuse. At the state level in Maryland, she served as special secretary of Children, Youth and Families, where she developed programs and policies to improve quality of care for vulnerable populations of children.

People on the Move
Michael Fox

Michael Fox

Michael Fox has been appointed dean of the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) at UMass Amherst, effective Aug. 15. Fox has been a member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 2012, where he currently serves as director of the Virginia Tech School of Neuroscience, the endowed I.D. Wilson Chair in the Virginia Tech College of Science, and professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute, a research-intensive institute on the health-sciences and technology campus of Virginia Tech. After beginning his undergraduate studies at the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), Fox earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the College of William and Mary and his Ph.D. in anatomy from Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed his post-doctoral training in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. Throughout his career, Fox has received numerous awards and honors, including both the Jordi Folch Pi Award and the Marian Kies Award from the American Society for Neurochemistry, and has served as a counselor for the American Society for Neurochemistry, on several leadership committees for the Society for Neuroscience, and as a reviewer and chair for National Institutes of Health review panels.

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Kuhn Riddle Architects (KRA) announced the promotion of four key team members to leadership positions. Andrew Bagge has been promoted to associate/senior architect. He has a proven track record of delivering successful projects and will play a vital role in driving the firm’s design vision and fostering creative excellence. Thom Barry has been promoted to associate/senior architect. He displays outstanding leadership abilities and commitment to delivering exceptional results, and will optimize project-delivery processes and ensure the highest standards of quality and client satisfaction. Brad Hutchison has been promoted to senior architect. He shows deep attention to detail, remarkable dedication to his clients, and outstanding project-management skills. He will expand his technical proficiency and mentor staff in the latest building-science technologies and energy-efficient design practices. Karen Michalowski has been promoted to associate/senior interior designer. Her tremendous expertise in interior design, and her sensitivity and understanding of client needs and the ever-changing interiors market, will help to expand the firm’s market presence in interior design.

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Elizabeth Dougal joined Bulkley Richardson as counsel in the Trusts & Estates department, where her practice incudes preparation and administration of wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, personal-effects memorandum, durable powers of attorney, healthcare proxies, real-estate deeds, homestead exemptions, and small-business succession plans. For the past 19 years, Dougal ran a boutique legal practice providing clients with estate planning and related transactional work. She was also a consultant to estate, trust, and elder-care clients in several states through the Attorney Resource Center. She earned both a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, and a juris doctorate from Boston College.

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Aimee Goddard

Aimee Goddard

Kristina Laplante

Kristina Laplante

Sara Dieters

Sara Dieters

Terry McConkey

Fifteen months after introducing its Client Advisory Team, HUB International New England announced the appointment of the personal lines directors: Aimee Goddard, director of Personal Lines – Operations; Kristina Laplante, director of Personal Lines – Sales; Sara Dieters, director of Personal Lines – Service; and Terry McConkey, director of Personal Lines – Specialty. Goddard has been in the insurance industry for over 32 years, starting her career in commercial lines before switching to personal lines in 1997. She spent 10 years of her career at Eastern Insurance, contributing to the company’s personal-lines growth and success. Having been with HUB since 2016, she has been promoted numerous times, to manager, director, regional director/senior vice president, and now to Operations director/senior vice president. With more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, Laplante has held various roles, providing her with extensive experience. She is committed to growing a sales team that is both customer-focused and driven to achieve results. A natural leader, her energy and enthusiasm inspires her team to strive for excellence, making them an asset to the organization. Having first started in banking, Dieters was introduced to insurance by a family friend, which proved to be an ideal fit, as she has now spent more than 16 years in the industry, including 10 years at HUB. She has been promoted numerous times over the years and is excited for this new opportunity. McConkey has worked for HUB for more than 35 years. She has held various roles in personal-lines service and leadership, including account manager, team leader, PL manager, PL specialty manager, and now Personal Lines director. She has a wealth of insurance knowledge and leadership experience and is excited to continue her positive impact in her new role. In addition, HUB congratulates the following employees who have been promoted to senior regional managers: Lisa Koehler, Partnership and Processing Teams; Patty Angell, Service and Remarket Teams; and Shirlee Capponcelli, Sales Team. Becky McLaughlin is moving into a new role as East Region director of Learning & Organizational Development.

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1Berkshire announced the promotions of staff members Benjamin Lamb and Kristen Harrington in recognition of their achievements, contributions, and dedication to the organization and its initiatives throughout Berkshire County. Lamb has been promoted to vice president of Economic Development. This promotion follows five years of work helping to build the economic-development team and expand the 1Berkshire footprint of activities and overall work. Hired in 2018 as the Economic Development projects manager, he was promoted to director of Economic Development a short time later. In his new position, Lamb will continue to lead and expand the outreach of 1Berkshire through its economic development in Berkshire County. Harrington has been promoted to Finance & Administration coordinator, a title that reflects her new responsibilities in accounting and internal operations and as property liaison. Previously, she functioned as the accounting specialist for 1Berkshire, a position she had held since 2019. She joined the Berkshire Visitors Bureau as a finance associate in 2015, and a year later, in a merger resulting in the creation of 1Berkshire, Harrington was named accounting associate.

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Country Bank announced four recent promotions. Jessica McGarry has been promoted to senior vice president, East Region Commercial Lending team lead, while Shantie Prashad, Cindy Saucier, and Blair Robidoux have been promoted to assistant vice presidents, Retail Banking. McGarry has more than 20 years of experience in the banking industry and has been a commercial lender in the Worcester market for the past 10 years, with the entirety of her career spent in a community-bank setting. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business from Nichols College, received the Forty Under 40 designation in 2014 from the Worcester Business Journal, and was a member of the Leadership Worcester class of 2015-16. She also gives back to the community, currently serving on the board of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Worcester Business Development Corp. She remains active in volunteer opportunities through various organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Be Like Brit, and the Community Harvest Project. Prashad has more than 26 years of sales and leadership experience, most recently serving as the Retail Banking officer of Country Bank’s Park Avenue, Worcester location. She graduated from the New England School for Financial Studies in 2022 and is highly active in the Worcester community, serving on the board for the Learning First Foundation and the YWCA and as an ambassador for the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. Saucier has more than 20 years of banking and leadership experience, serving as the Retail Banking officer of the Charlton Banking Center. She graduated from the New England School for Financial Studies in 2021, is a board member and vice chair for the Central Mass South Chamber of Commerce, and serves with various nonprofits and committees within the Charlton community. Robidoux currently leads the West Street Banking Center and has more than 17 years of experience in the retail division. She has held various roles throughout her tenure at Country Bank and graduated from the New England School for Financial Studies in 2019. Throughout her career, she has been an integral part of the community within her market. She serves on the board of the Ware Business and Civic Assoc. Country Bank also congratulates Dianna Lussier, vice president of Risk, on her recent graduation from the American Bankers Assoc., Stonier Graduate School of Banking, which is the industry’s preeminent graduate banking program. Graduates receive both a Stonier diploma and a Wharton leadership certificate.

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Karen Rousseau

Karen Rousseau

Karen Rousseau, dean of the School of Health Sciences at American International College (AIC), has been recognized as a member of the Commonwealth Heroines class of 2023 by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW). This state-established body is responsible for assessing the status of women in Massachusetts and making recommendations to enhance access to opportunities and promote equality. Each year, in collaboration with state legislators, the commission acknowledges and celebrates remarkable women who have made significant contributions to their organizations and communities. Rousseau was nominated by state Sen. Jacob Oliveira as the honoree in his Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester district. She was among 126 women across the state honored during the MCSW’s 20th-anniversary celebration at the Massachusetts State House on June 23. With a career spanning four decades, Rousseau excelled as a practicing registered nurse and has dedicated more than 30 years to nursing education. Her areas of expertise include maternal/newborn and pediatric nursing, as well as nursing management. Before holding the position of dean of the School of Health Sciences at AIC, she served as director of the Division of Nursing and contributed as a professor in both the undergraduate and RN-to-BSN programs.

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Anna Bognolo will serve as the Greenfield Public Library’s new library director beginning July 10. She is taking over for Ellen Boyer, who is retiring after leading the library since February 2012. Bognolo earned her bachelor’s degree, three master’s degrees, and a post-graduate diploma while attending the University of Rochester, the University of Toronto, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, the Scuola Vaticana di Biblioteconomia in Rome, and Simmons University in Boston. Prior to entering the field of librarianship, she worked for Christie’s Auctioneers in London and Rome. She then spent much of her career in library services, working for nearly a decade at Springfield Technical Community College as the reference outreach and technical services librarian. In that role, she developed a sound knowledge of the Central and Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing consortium’s inner workings and the services it provides to member libraries. In September 2017, Bognolo was named library and archive director at Eaglebrook School in Deerfield. She oversaw the day-to-day operation of the library, provided instructional support to students and teachers, and led the expansion of the school’s archive. She has also worked as a substitute librarian at the Jones Library in Amherst and the Greenfield Public Library, as well as in a part-time capacity at the Boyden Library of Deerfield Academy.

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Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., a leading labor and employment law firm, recently welcomed Kelley Mantz as a summer associate. Mantz attends Western New England University School of Law and will enter her third year this fall. After graduating from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2019, she assisted employers of all sizes as a technical recruiter. While doing so, she worked closely with human-resources professionals to identify hiring goals and implement strategies for meeting those goals. Since entering law school, Mantz has worked for a law firm in Connecticut and participated in the Small Business Clinic, where she assisted local small to mid-sized entrepreneurs in the Springfield area with legal matters, including employment matters.

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The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) board of directors approved a long-planned leadership transition under which President and CEO John Regan will step down at the end of 2023 and be succeeded by Chief Government Affairs Executive Brooke Thomson. To support a smooth transition, Regan will remain in the CEO role through the end of the year, and Thomson will begin as president effective immediately. During his tenure, in tandem with the leadership team and board, Regan, 62, has guided AIM’s public-policy work, served as a voice for the employer community, expanded the award-winning AIM HR Solutions business, built a comprehensive team with the skills necessary to support AIM’s 3,400 member organizations, made AIM a leader on diversity, and assured that members had access to timely support during the pandemic. He plans to pursue new opportunities as a consultant, advisor, and board member. Before joining AIM’s leadership team more than four years ago, Thomson, 44, was a member of the AIM board. In her current role, she has been responsible for designing and advancing AIM’s policy agenda and strengthening relationships with elected officials and business leaders on Beacon Hill and throughout the Commonwealth, while ensuring that employer needs are represented at every level of the public-policy-making process. Thomson is committed to expanding the progress AIM has made in diversifying its membership, reflecting statewide business-community needs, and advancing policies that support both economic competitiveness and economic opportunity for the people of Massachusetts. She previously served as vice president of Government Affairs for AT&T and is a former senior official with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

People on the Move
Kevin Hearn

Kevin Hearn

David Caruso

David Caruso

Westfield State University (WSU) President Linda Thompson has appointed Kevin Hearn as vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Hearn will begin his duties on July 3. With 30 years of higher-education experience, his curricular and co-curricular leadership spans enrollment, student affairs, academic support, and communications. He most recently served as vice president for Enrollment Management at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, where he was responsible for leadership and management of all staff and operations within the offices of undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and international admissions, as well as the office of Financial Aid. Prior to this role, he served as vice president for Strategic Enrollment Management at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y., and held leadership roles in Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Dean College in Franklin, Mass. Hearn earned his doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University in Miami, his master’s degree in counseling and educational psychology from Rhode Island College in Providence, and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. Westfield State also appointed David Caruso temporary provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, starting Aug. 1. With more than 35 years of higher-education experience, Caruso brings a strong background in the classroom, as a researcher, and an administrator. Prior to his retirement, Caruso served as president of Antioch University New England (AUNE) from 2006 to 2013. There, he led the successful implementation of the 2007-12 strategic plan and doubled the campus annual fund. He launched AUNE’s first successful Horace Mann Spirit of Service Awards ceremony that provides funds for the general scholarship endowment. He also served on the boards of the New Hampshire College and University Council and Campus Compact for New Hampshire. Previously, he was provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Worcester State University from 2002 to 2006. Earlier, he held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of Hartford, the University of Rhode Island, Purdue University, and Indiana State University. In 1995, he was awarded the American Council on Education Fellowship, a program designed to develop senior leaders in higher education. In 2014-15, he returned to Worcester State as interim provost. Caruso obtained his Ph.D. in Human Development at Cornell University and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Sonoma State University.

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Timothy Ferreira

Timothy Ferreira

Kevin Schechterle

Kevin Schechterle

On June 1, Gary Rome, president and CEO of Gary Rome Auto Group, promoted two internal employees. Timothy Ferreira has been promoted to chief operating officer of the company, and Kevin Schechterle has been promoted to general manager of Gary Rome Hyundai. Ferreira has been with the organization for 21 years as fixed operations manager, parts manager, and most recently general manager at Gary Rome Hyundai. He has played a significant role in the dealership’s success, with record-breaking months, high employee retention, and numerous awards, including cleanest dealership and #1 in customer satisfaction, and most recently the 2023 TIME Dealer of the Year Award and Hyundai Board of Excellence. He was instrumental in the design and build of the upgraded, 34,000-square-foot GDSI 2.0 Hyundai dealership in 2016; installation of the dealership’s solar field; and electric-vehicle infrastructure, which includes six level-2 chargers and two level-3 chargers; and he is currently overseeing the design and build of the 10,000-square-foot car wash, dog wash, and detail center on site. In his new position as COO, Ferreira will oversee the entire operational management of Gary Rome Hyundai, Gary Rome Kia of Enfield, and the new car wash, dog wash, and detail center, expected to open this fall. The position of chief operating officer is a newly created position for the auto group, due to the expediential growth of the dealerships and development of the new car-wash facility. Schechterle has been with Gary Rome Hyundai for nine years and held the positions of service manager, sales manager, and general sales manager. He will continue to expand his expertise in sales and daily operations of the dealership in his new role and is focused on customer satisfaction and employee retention. He will oversee all departments, including sales, finance, service, parts, business development, marketing, human resources, accounting, and corporate culture.

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Bulkley Richardson recently welcomed attorneys Julie Dick and Daniel Sacco to the firm. Dick is counsel in Bulkley Richardson’s family-law practice. She counsels individuals, couples, and families on all matters relating to domestic relationships. Prior to joining the firm, she was an attorney at Community Legal Aid, where she represented clients in probate and family courts and district courts as a part of the Family Law Unit. She earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Ohio State University in 2013, and a juris doctorate from Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2016. Sacco is counsel in Bulkley Richardson’s litigation department, where he works with clients on preparing for administrative proceedings and trials. He has many years of experience helping public and private companies and educational institutions address regulatory compliance-related issues, including both responding to alleged compliance violations and developing compliance policies and programs. Prior to joining Bulkley Richardson, Sacco was a partner at Lindquist & Vennum in Minneapolis. Most recently, he was senior associate director of Research Compliance at UMass Amherst. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in 1996 and a juris doctorate from the University of Maine School of Law in 2003.

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L. Alexandra Hogan

L. Alexandra Hogan

Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy, P.C. (DWPM) announced that attorney L. Alexandra Hogan will join the firm in an of-counsel capacity in the firm’s Springfield office, effective July 11. Hogan is a partner at Sabella Hogan, P.C. in Springfield. Prior to obtaining her license to practice law in 2008 and her juris doctorate at Western New England University School of Law, she earned a bachelor’s degree in legal studies at Bay Path University. She represents individuals, businesses, insurers, and receivers in civil litigation, business, commercial real-estate, and bankruptcy matters. Hogan is actively involved in the community, presents on peer and judicial panels, and has been a member of several local boards and committees. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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Catherine Rioux

Catherine Rioux

Monson Savings Bank (MSB) announced the recent promotion of Catherine Rioux to commercial loan officer. She will continue to be based out of the Monson Savings Bank Loan & Operations Center, located at 75 Post Office Park in Wilbraham, and will work to help borrowers secure financing for their business. She will be assisting throughout the entire lending process, from origination to closing and beyond. Rioux has worked in many departments of the bank. In 2006, she started her career in banking as a high-school intern in MSB’s Human Resources department. She later accepted a position as a receptionist, then moved to the Retail Banking department shortly after. In 2013, she joined the Residential Lending department as a residential loan servicer. In early 2015, she accepted a position in the Commercial department as a commercial loan servicer. She thrived in this department and would go on to become a junior credit analyst before being promoted to credit analyst and then commercial portfolio manager. Prior to her most recent promotion, she served as commercial portfolio officer. Rioux enjoys being involved in the local communities. She is a member of the Monson High School scholarship committee and supports local organizations, serving as a board member for I Found Light Against All Odds and volunteering for St. Patrick’s Church. She is a graduate of Western New England University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Additionally, she is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies and the Springfield Regional Chamber Leadership Institute.

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Berkshire Agriculture Ventures (BAV) announced the appointment of Rebecca Busansky as its new executive director, following the successful tenure of interim Executive Director Glenn Bergman. Bergman’s leadership during a critical period at BAV resulted in significant advancement for the organization over the past two and a half years. Under his guidance, BAV experienced solid growth as he built a team of experts to lead BAV’s programs and successfully secured support for the organization’s initiatives. Bergman will collaborate with Busansky over the upcoming month to ensure a smooth transition. Busansky was formerly a program director at the Franklin County Community Development Corp. (FCCDC). Her work there focused on helping local farms thrive and increasing food access. She and her team launched the PVGrows Investment Fund, and she also managed the Massachusetts Food Trust Program.

People on the Move
Hannah Rechtschaffen

Hannah Rechtschaffen

The Greenfield Business Assoc. (GBA) hired Hannah Rechtschaffen as its newest association coordinator. With an extensive background in business development and creative placemaking, Rechtschaffen brings fresh energy to this crucial role in Greenfield’s business community. Rechtschaffen will focus her efforts on growing membership for the GBA — partnering with the city of Greenfield, the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, and others — to further define the role and value of the association in the greater ecosystem. As the county seat, the health of Greenfield’s business sector is a vital beacon for how the county as a whole continues to keep and attract residents, tourists, and business owners alike. Rechtschaffen currently chairs the Sustainable Greenfield Implementation Committee, which supports the use and implementation of the city’s master plan. She is also a member of the Downtown Greenfield Alliance and the Local Cultural Council. For the last four years, she worked as director of Placemaking for W.D. Cowls, growing the Mill District project in North Amherst through events, social-media marketing, commercial tenant engagment, community development, and the opening of a local artist gallery. She is a former member of the Amherst Chamber Board, a member of the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty class of 2022, and a graduate of the Leadership Pioneer Valley class of 2021.

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John Ciolek

John Ciolek

John Ciolek recently joined the team at Associated Builders in South Hadley, where he will be active in sales, finance, and administration. He will also spearhead activities in the Ciolek family’s commercial real-estate business. Associated Builders (AB) is a third-generation, family-owned, design-build general contractor that has served the Pioneer Valley for morenthan five decades. Founded by his father in the early ’70s, John’s three brothers — Michael, Paul, and Tom — have led AB for the past 30-plus years. This is a return to the company of sorts for John, as he worked with the field crews with his brothers throughout his high-school and college years, gaining practical knowledge of the construction business. John brings extensive experience in finance and strategy garnered over a long career in banking and corporate strategy. Most recently, he was head of Strategic Initiatives at NGL Energy, where he was responsible for the company’s M&A activities and its sustainability efforts. Prior to that, he had a decades-long career on Wall Street, over the course of which he served as a managing director in Investment Banking for Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, and Citigroup. He started his banking career as a corporate lender for Shawmut Bank in Hartford, Conn. before attending the University of Michigan, where he received his MBA. He received a bachelor’s degree in political economy from Williams College in Williamstown.

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Bulkley Richardson welcomed three law students to its 2023 Summer Associate Program. The robust program will introduce law students to the inner workings of a law firm, where they will receive mentorship from lawyers ranging from firm leaders and retired judges all the way through the ranks to junior associates, and gain exposure to real-life legal matters. This year’s summer associates are Alexandria Abacherli, who is currently attending the University of Connecticut School of Law and who earned a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College, where she double majored in government & law and international affairs; Andrew Loin, who is currently attending Western New England University School of Law, where he is on the WNE Law Review, and who earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and business: entrepreneurship from the University of Rochester; and Nicole Palmieri, who is currently attending the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she is on the Connecticut Law Review and is a University of Connecticut Scholar, and who received a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in American studies from Christopher Newport University. Each summer associate anticipates a spring 2024 law-school graduation.

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Brenna Breeding

Brenna Breeding

bankESB recently promoted Brenna Breeding to Digital Marketing officer. She joined bankESB in 2020 as Digital Marketing manager. In her new role, she will be responsible for digital marketing content strategy and development and corporate website management, and will serve as the relationship manager for third-party vendors. Breeding earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management from the University of Delaware and recently earned a marketing certificate from American Bankers Assoc. Bank Marketing School.

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bankESB recently announced that Joe Williams has been hired as vice president, commercial lender. Williams has 12 years of banking experience, including his most recent roles as AVP, business banking officer at PeoplesBank, and AVP, credit officer at United Bank. He holds a master’s degree in communication from Bay Path University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and finance from Westfield State University. He serves as president of the East Longmeadow Baseball Assoc., as well as treasurer of the East Longmeadow Housing Authority.

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The Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council (EDC) announced the hiring of two new professionals, Kayla Soto and Aurora Pierangelo. With years of experience in their respective fields and a shared passion for driving growth and development in Western Mass., they are well-positioned to contribute to the mission of the EDC. Soto has joined the team as the new associate director of Economic Development and Special Projects. Originally from Manchester, Conn., she earned her bachelor’s degree in educational studies from Elms College and her master’s degree in higher educational leadership from Drexel University. With a professional background rooted in academia, community, and workforce development, she previously served as assistant director of Admissions and Collegiate Admission manager for Hillyer College at the University of Hartford, as well as the Lincoln Technical Institute and the Hartford Job Corps. She is also an accomplished entrepreneur with an online children’s clothing store. As a proud Latina businesswoman, Soto aspires to bring her diverse background and passion for growth to the EDC team. As associate director of Economic Development and Special Projects, she will be responsible for overall project and program management, planning, and leading events for the Western Massachusetts EDC, as well as building community and partnerships with regional leaders and stakeholders. Pierangelo joined the team as the new accounting specialist. With a diverse background and experience in managing complex organizations, she is responsible for managing various financial portfolios of the EDC. Previously, she served as assistant director of the Fraternity Managers Assoc. at the University of Rhode Island, where she managed 18 fraternity, sorority, and independent living-learning communities. There, she expanded house director training programs, managed new software implementations, and improved financial-management practices. A Western Mass. native, Pierangelo graduated with her MBA from Bay Path University and a bachelor’s degree in music theatre from SUNY Geneseo. She also manages a nonprofit, the Wilbraham Welcome Project. She is passionate about giving back to her community and excited to bring this same enthusiasm to her work with the Western Massachusetts EDC.

People on the Move
Candace Pereira

Candace Pereira

Florence Bank promoted Candace Pereira to the role of vice president, commercial lender. Since 2018, she has worked at Florence Bank as assistant vice president, commercial portfolio manager in the Commercial Lending department. In her new role, she will concentrate on commercial and industrial lending, as well as lending to women-owned businesses. Pereira holds an associate degree in finance from Springfield Technical Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She is currently pursuing an MBA from Isenberg as well. She began her career in banking in 2003 and has held various roles at mutually held and stockholder-owned banks in Western Mass., in both residential and commercial lending. Recently named an ambassador for the Springfield Regional Chamber, Pereira is also a member of the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty class of 2017, and she attended the Springfield Leadership Institute. She has served on various local boards over the last several years and has also volunteered as an athletic coach in East Longmeadow, where her daughter is a student.

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Dennis Gober, a longtime executive in hospital management, has been named chief operating officer of MiraVista Behavioral Health Center. Gober served previously as CEO in Oklahoma of Cedar Ridge Behavioral Hospital, whose campus in Oklahoma City provides inpatient psychiatric and residential services to children and adolescents, and its Bethany campus, which serves the mental-health needs of adults. Cedar Ridge is part of Universal Health Services, one of the largest providers of hospital and healthcare services in the country. Gober, who holds a master’s degree in community counseling, has held several other senior-level positions, CEO for Acadia Healthcare’s Rolling Hills Hospital in Ada, Okla., which provides mental-health and substance-use services for adolescents, adults, and seniors, and division director of community-based youth services for the state of Oklahoma. As a licensed behavioral practioner, Gober also served as the Director of the Community Works’ Norman Academy Day Treatment Program leading treatment teams, and providing individual, group, and family therapy. He received a master of education degree in community counseling and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma.

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Leanne Martin

Leanne Martin

BFAIR announced it has promoted Leanne Martin to assistant director of Day Habilitation. Martin began working for BFAIR in 2014 as a direct-care professional at the agency’s Day Habilitation program located in North Adams. In 2020, she was promoted to case manager for the Community Based Day Services (CBDS) program and later to the Day Habilitation program in the same role. In her new role, Martin is responsible for the everyday operation of the Day Habilitation program, which is designed to support members and their unique needs to increase independence and socialization, helping them participate as active and fully integrated members of their community.

People on the Move
George Timmons

George Timmons

The Holyoke Community College (HCC) board of trustees voted in favor of George Timmons — currently provost and senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Columbia Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y. — as the next president of HCC. He is expected to start his term as HCC’s fifth president the last week of June. Christina Royal, who has led HCC since January 2017, will officially step away on July 14; her last three weeks will overlap with Timmons’ first three at HCC. Timmons, 61, holds a Ph.D. in higher-education administration from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio; a master’s degree in higher education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., and a bachelor’s degree in financial management from Norfolk State University, also in Norfolk, Va. He has held his position as provost and senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Columbia-Greene Community College since 2019. Before that, he worked at Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., where he held a number of administrative positions culminating with dean of the School of Liberal Arts.

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Bethany Mauri

Bethany Mauri

Jason Waisnor

Jason Waisnor

Priscilla Ramos

Priscilla Ramos

Dietz & Co. Architects Inc. recently welcomed three new employees, all in the role of architectural staff, to the firm. Bethany Mauri earned bachelor of architecture and bachelor of building science degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to joining Dietz & Co., she worked for firms in Albany, N.Y., and Connecticut, and as a freelance architectural designer. She has primarily worked on projects in the K-12 education sector but also has experience with retail and residential projects. Jason Waisnor has spent his career thus far working for architecture firms in New York City, where he focused on housing and sustainable redevelopment. He also completed work for the hospitality and gaming industries earlier in his career. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s of architecture degrees from Roger Williams University. He enjoys working on preservation projects and specializes in historic restoration, renovation/interior fit-outs, and housing projects. Priscilla Ramos earned a master of architecture degree from Hampton University and has spent a number of years working for firms in New York City in multiple market sectors, specializing in programming and spatial relationships. Project types she has worked on include single- and multi-family housing, education, and transportation. Outside of architecture, she has experience with engineering, code consulting, and work with the National Park Service.

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Zelda Harris

Zelda Harris

Western New England University (WNE) announced that Zelda Harris, currently the director of the Dan K. Webb Center for Advocacy and Mary Ann G. McMorrow professor of Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, has been appointed the incoming dean of Western New England University School of Law, starting Aug. 1. For more than a decade, Harris has been responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Loyola University Chicago Law School’s Center for Advocacy, including curriculum development for both the JD certificate and LLM degree programs in advocacy. Under her leadership, the school’s trial-advocacy program became nationally ranked. Prior to joining Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Harris served as a clinical professor of Law and director of the Domestic Violence Law Clinic, a multi-disciplinary clinical program, at the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. She also co-directed the Child and Family Law Clinic. Prior to her time at Arizona, Harris was a staff attorney in the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University School of Law. She began her practice as an attorney at Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation in Alton, Ill.

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Mel O’Leary Jr.

Mel O’Leary Jr.

Meredith-Springfield Associates Inc., a plastics manufacturer specializing in bottles and hollow technical articles manufactured through extrusion blow molding and injection stretch blow molding, announced that President and CEO Mel O’Leary Jr. was honored on April 13 for his two decades as a second-chance employer as part of the Hampden County Sheriff’s Office’s All-Inclusive Support Services (AISS). The award was presented by Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi during the 24th annual AISS graduation ceremony at the Cedars in Springfield. AISS helps formerly incarcerated people in all aspects of their lives as they move from incarceration into the community. In addition to educational and employment support, it offers a comprehensive range of services, such as parenting groups, assistance accessing housing and food benefits, behavioral-health and addiction-recovery services, and support groups. In 2019, Cocchi opened AISS to anyone in the community in addition to the justice-involved population.

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Deborah Dart

Deborah Dart

Carol Campbell, president and CEO of Chicopee Industrial Contractors (CIC), announced the promotion of Deborah Dart to vice president of Operations. Dart started her career at CIC as a work-study student at Chicopee High School and has held many roles with the company. Her responsibilities include overseeing day-to-day operations and scheduling. Chicopee Industrial Contractors is a leader in relocation service and machinery installations, celebrating more than 30 years in business.

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Paul Mokrzecki

Paul Mokrzecki

Tony Worden, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank, announced that Paul Mokrzecki has joined the team as senior vice president of Government Banking. Mokrzecki brings more than 40 years of experience in the public and private sectors, with a focus on providing banking solutions to municipal clients. He has been responsible for establishing, growing, and maintaining Government Banking departments for two local banks in the past. He has also served as the Finance director, treasurer, and collector for the town of Greenfield, where he oversaw all aspects of financial operations. Prior to that, he was the elected treasurer and collector for the town of Hadley. He holds an MBA from UMass Amherst. He is a certified municipal treasurer, a certified municipal collector, and a member of the Massachusetts Collectors and Treasurers Assoc.

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Anthony Arevalo

Anthony Arevalo

Best Western Plus Berkshire Hills Inn & Suites promoted Anthony Arevalo to the position of director of Operations for Best Western Plus Berkshire Hills Inn and Suites in Pittsfield. Arevado will be responsible for day-to-day operations of all departments and ensuring customer satisfaction. In addition, he will work with General Manager Kevin Martin to increase group sales and general revenue management for the hotel. He has been a member of the team for two years, working in maintenance, front desk, and sales. Growing up in California, Arevado worked on the customer-service side of the wedding and function industry and in manufacturing of new housing developments.

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Ian Megraw

Ian Megraw

bankESB recently promoted Ian Megraw to information technology officer. Megraw joined bankESB in 2016 as a systems administrator. He has seven years of experience in banking and brings many strengths that have significantly contributed to the success of the IT department and the bank’s conversions since joining the team. He is a respected manager, strong technician, and an important part of the growing Hometown Financial Group family. Megraw earned an associate degree in Business Administration and Network Administration from John Abbott College.

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The board of directors of Big Y announced the appointment of Tenneille McFarlane-Smart as director of the newly created Project Management Office. As director, she will be responsible for all project activity across all divisions at Big Y, including Big Y Supermarkets, Big Y Express Gas and Convenience, Big Y at Fresh Acres, and Table and Vine. She will serve as a liaison between Information Resources Technology and all business units to track strategic projects centrally for visibility, prioritization, and resource allocation. In addition, she will provide guidance and support for these initiatives toward timely and successful strategic project delivery. She reports to Michael D’Amour, chief operating officer. McFarlane-Smart’s work experience expands across many different industries. In 2005, she served as associate project manager supporting new business development for J. Walter Thompson, an international advertising agency in New York City. Two years later, she moved to Voya Financial in Connecticut, where she held several roles, starting as a business analyst lead for Retirement Services IT, then a continuous-improvement change agent by 2013 and, finally, project manager for Retirement Services IT. In 2019, she joined Envision Pharma Group as a senior IT project manager before becoming chief of staff in the office of the CEO from 2021 until the present. McFarlane-Smart holds a BBA from Pace University, an MBA from Bay Path University, and a JD from Western New England University School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in the state of Connecticut. She is a certified project-management professional, a credential from the internationally recognized Project Management Institute. She serves on the executive board of directors of the Pathlight Foundation, a nonprofit that supports individuals with developmental disabilities. She also volunteers for the Connecticut Bar Assoc. Pro Bono Legal Advice Clinic.

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Florence Bank promoted Candace Pereira to the role of vice president, commercial lender. Since 2018, she has worked at Florence Bank as assistant vice president, commercial portfolio manager in the Commercial Lending department. In her new role, she will concentrate on commercial and industrial lending, as well as lending to women-owned businesses. Pereira holds an associate degree in finance from Springfield Technical Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She is currently pursuing an MBA from Isenberg as well. She began her career in banking in 2003 and has held various roles at mutually held and stockholder-owned banks in Western Mass., in both residential and commercial lending. Recently named an ambassador for the Springfield Regional Chamber, Pereira is also a member of the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty class of 2017, and she attended the Springfield Leadership Institute. She has served on various local boards over the last several years and has also volunteered as an athletic coach in East Longmeadow, where her daughter is a student.

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Dennis Gober, a longtime executive in hospital management, has been named chief operating officer of MiraVista Behavioral Health Center. Gober served previously as CEO in Oklahoma of Cedar Ridge Behavioral Hospital, whose campus in Oklahoma City provides inpatient psychiatric and residential services to children and adolescents, and its Bethany campus, which serves the mental-health needs of adults. Cedar Ridge is part of Universal Health Services, one of the largest providers of hospital and healthcare services in the country. Gober, who holds a master’s degree in community counseling, has held several other senior-level positions, CEO for Acadia Healthcare’s Rolling Hills Hospital in Ada, Okla., which provides mental-health and substance-use services for adolescents, adults, and seniors, and division director of community-based youth services for the state of Oklahoma. As a licensed behavioral practioner, Gober also served as the Director of the Community Works’ Norman Academy Day Treatment Program leading treatment teams, and providing individual, group, and family therapy. He received a master of education degree in community counseling and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma.

People on the Move
Steven Musso

Steven Musso

Country Bank President and CEO Paul Scully announced the appointment of Steven Musso to the bank’s board of trustees at its annual meeting. Musso joins the board with more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry. He previously served as the chief operating officer for FinPro Inc., leading consulting engagements, running the consulting operation, and building the technology division. He has extensive experience working with banks on strategic planning, interest-rate risk analysis, and other consulting and advisory services. In addition, he has worked with various bank boards and management teams in financial institutions across the country. He holds Series 63 and 79 financial-securities licenses. Country Bank also appointed new corporators: Mary McGovern, executive vice president, chief financial and operating officer; G. Thomas Wolcott, first senior vice president, commercial banking; Dawn Fleury, first senior vice president, chief risk officer; Miriam Siegel, first senior vice president, chief culture and development officer; and Musso.

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Emily Tower

Emily Tower

Florence Bank promoted Emily Tower to the position of vice president and branch manager of the bank’s main office in Florence. Prior to her promotion, she was the assistant vice president and branch manager in the Florence branch. A graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies, Tower brings more than 15 years of banking experience to her role. She has been with Florence Bank since 2006 and has worked in the Belchertown and West Springfield offices as well.

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Eric Lesser

Eric Lesser

Bay Path University announced that Eric Lesser — attorney, educator, and former four-term state senator — has been elected to its board of trustees. Lesser was one of the original members of President Obama’s White House team. From January 2009 to July 2011, he served as special assistant to the president’s senior advisor, David Axelrod. Later, he served as the Council of Economic Advisers’ director of Strategic Planning. In 2014, Lesser was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate, representing the First Hampden and Hampshire district. As a state senator, Lesser led and served on numerous committees and commissions. He chaired the Joint Committee on Economic Development & Emerging Technologies; the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, and the Senate Committee on Ethics. He also was vice chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation and co-chaired the Massachusetts Commission on the Future of Work. Among his many priorities, he was a key proponent of east-west rail, a leading advocate for civics education, a champion for alleviating student debt, and a national leader on the future of work. Lesser is currently a senior counsel at WilmerHale, a Boston-based law firm, where he is a member of the Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Group. He earned his juris doctorate from Harvard Law School in 2015 and his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 2007.

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Dr. Sarah Haessler

Dr. Sarah Haessler

Dr. Sarah Haessler, whose expertise in infectious diseases has been recognized at the local, state, national, and international levels, has been named chair of the Department of Medicine for Baystate Health. Haessler, who has served as interim chair of the Department of Medicine at Baystate since 2022, was appointed chair after a highly competitive national search. She is the inaugural female chair of Baystate Health’s largest clinical/academic department. Her tenure begins immediately. She received her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Dartmouth Hitchcock in New Hampshire. She is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and infectious diseases. Haessler joined Baystate Health in 2005 and since that time has held progressive leadership roles, including as the hospital epidemiologist for the health system, vice chair of the Department of Medicine, interim chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care, and most recently interim chair of the Department of Medicine. Active in the field of academics and research, Haessler has trained and served as advisor and mentor for dozens of residents and fellows in the specialty of infectious diseases. She is currently an associate professor of Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School – Baystate. Since 2002, as either principal or co-investigator, she has completed numerous research projects and is currently co-investigator in Reducing Antimicrobial Overuse Through Targeted Therapy for Patients with Community-acquired Pneumonia.

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City of Greenfield Community and Economic Development Director MJ Adams announced her intention to retire from city service, effective May 6. Adams played pivotal roles in advancing downtown revitalization efforts, coordinating stakeholder and state assistance in creating an expansion of the I-91 Greenfield Industrial Park, helping local businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and brokering the agreement to redevelop the former Wilson’s Department Store building. Adams joined city government in December 2015 as Community Development administrator and was promoted to Community and Economic Development director in September 2018. Her prior experience includes positions with the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and as executive director of Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity. The city will launch a search in the coming weeks for a new Community and Economic Development director. Adams has agreed to remain available during the transition process.

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Daniel Coyne

Daniel Coyne

Barbara Fontaine

Barbara Fontaine

River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC) recently welcomed Daniel Coyne and Barbara Fontaine to its board of directors. Coyne is a certified addictions registered nurse with more than 10 years of experience in behavioral-health treatment. He served as director of Nursing at Swift River addiction campuses, and more recently as the director of Utilization Review on the quality team of Vertava Health. He holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from UMass, a bachelor of arts degree from Middlebury College, and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Florida. Fontaine is a certified alcohol/drug-abuse counselor with more than 15 years of counseling experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from San Francisco State University and completed the Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Treatment Services Program at Boston University in 2007. She started her career in substance-abuse treatment at Gosnold on Cape Cod and also worked at Habit OpCo in South Yarmouth. She has worked at Swift River in Cummington since 2016.

People on the Move
Roy Sasenaraine

Roy Sasenaraine

Baystate Health and Lifepoint Behavioral Health, a business unit of Lifepoint Health, announced that Roy Sasenaraine has been named CEO of the new joint-venture behavioral-health hospital currently under construction in Holyoke. The 150-bed hospital, to be called Valley Springs Behavioral Health Hospital, is slated to open to patients in August. Most recently, Sasenaraine served as vice president of Operations for the central region of Spire Orthopedic Partners, where he led new construction, patient-access initiatives, and acquisition and integration work for Spire’s nine locations in Connecticut. Prior to his role at Spire, Sasenaraine served as vice president of Operations for Hartford Healthcare System’s East Region behavioral-health network. In this role, he oversaw 18 locations, including six school-based programs, two emergency departments, one inpatient psychiatric hospital, eight ambulatory locations, and one inpatient juvenile program. His leadership led to the implementation of a new care model for adolescent, pediatric, and adult patients in inpatient care along with the implementation of a new electronic medical record across all sites of care. Sasenaraine earned a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration and a master’s degree in business administration, with a focus in healthcare administration, from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. He is a member of the board of directors for Health Assistance Intervention Education Network and previously served on boards for Advance Behavioral Health and Blue Ocean Healthcare LLC.

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Audrey Chechile

Audrey Chechile

Audrey Chechile has joined the bankESB Marketing department as its Marketing Communications manager. In this role, she will be responsible for managing internal and external communications content to drive brand awareness, engagement, and business development; managing the company’s marketing and sales-material development, inventory, and distribution; and managing bank-sponsored events and donations across the member banks of its parent company, Hometown Financial Group. She will be integral in supporting the Marketing department in providing the highest level of service and responsiveness to customers, communities, and business partners. Prior to joining bankESB, Chechile was the Marketing manager at an automotive dealership group in Northampton, and before that was Marketing manager at Canna Provisions in Lee. She has more than 10 years of marketing experience in complex, regulated environments with emphasis in design, public relations, project management, event planning, and more. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from SUNY Fredonia.

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Amherst College named Angie Tissi-Gassoway its new chief Student Affairs officer (CSAO) and dean of students. She will be responsible for all functions of the Office of Student Affairs, including residential engagement and well-being, housing and operations, identity and cultural resources, counseling and mental health, student activities and leadership, health and community safety services, accessibility, case management, community standards, new student programs and orientation, and immigration and visa services. Tissi-Gassoway has served as the interim CSAO since February, before which they served as the interim chief Equity and Inclusion officer for 14 months. They joined Amherst in July 2012 as an area coordinator in Residential Life and, since then, has held various roles in the offices of both Student Affairs and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), including director of the Queer Resource Center, assistant dean of students and director of Identity and Cultural Resources; and associate dean of students for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. During that time, Tissi-Gassoway co-led new-student orientation and co-developed the social-justice leadership LEAP program, founded and served as the inaugural director of the Queer Resource Center, and helped to establish a structure and expansion of the college’s cultural and identity resource centers, including the creation of the inaugural affinity-based graduation ceremonies. To reinforce the college’s commitment to inclusion and community, Tissi-Gassoway spearheaded the “I Belong” campaign, the Day of Dialogue on Race and Racism, the Amherst Reflects series, and the Cultural Heritage Committee. In the past year, they co-created and launched the Civil Rights and Title IX Office in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and worked with the provost’s office to recruit and retain a diverse faculty. They also currently chair the recently formed Campus Safety Advisory Committee. Prior to their tenure at Amherst College, they served in Mount Holyoke College’s Health Education office. Before that, Tissi-Gassoway worked at Oregon State University, where she first found her passion for community building, equity, and student engagement. She earned a master’s degree in education in social-justice education from UMass Amherst and a master’s degree in public health and bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University.

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Noemí Custodia-Lora

Noemí Custodia-Lora

Tony Hawkins

Tony Hawkins

Arlene Rodríguez

Arlene Rodríguez

George Timmons

George Timmons

The search committee evaluating candidates to succeed Holyoke Community College (HCC) President Christina Royal has whittled a field of 50 down to four. All four finalists have many years of experience in higher education and now hold top-level administration positions at community colleges in the Northeast, and all four are persons of color — two Latinas and two African-American men. They include Noemí Custodia-Lora, vice president of the Lawrence campus and Community Relations at Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts; Tony Hawkins, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Continuing Education, and Workforce Development at Frederick Community College in Maryland; Arlene Rodríguez, provost and vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts; and George Timmons, provost and senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Columbia-Greene Community College in New York. Custodia-Lora, a former Biology professor, holds a PhD in physiology and endocrinology from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Universidad de Puerto Rico. Timmons holds a PhD in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University, a master’s degree in higher education from Old Dominion University, and a bachelor’s degree in financial management from Norfolk State University. Hawkins, a former professor of Speech, Communication, and Theater, holds a PhD in higher education, leadership, and technology from New York University, a certificate of advanced study in administration, planning, and social policy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, a master’s degree in speech communication from the University of Georgia, and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Towson State University. Rodríguez, a former English professor, holds a PhD in English from UMass Amherst, a master’s degree in English from Lehigh University, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Fordham University. The HCC board of trustees is expected to vote to approve a new president at its next meeting on Tuesday, April 25.

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Megan Wehbe

Megan Wehbe

Kevin Jack

Kevin Jack

Market Mentors, the region’s largest marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, announced the promotions of two of its employees. Megan Wehbe was promoted from account executive to senior account executive/strategic planner, and Kevin Jack was promoted from digital marketing specialist to senior digital specialist. Wehbe, a graduate of Grand Valley State University in Michigan, has more than a decade of experience in new-business development and account management, including long-range planning, strategizing, and executing client projects and campaigns. With previous experience working on accounts for USAA and Audi, she now lends her expertise to a wide variety of clients at Market Mentors. A graduate of Temple University in Pennsylvania and holding Google Ads and Analytics certifications, Jack plans, executes, optimizes, and reports on digital marketing campaigns for clients across a gamut of industries, including healthcare, banking and finance, retail, manufacturing, and more.

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Western Mass.-based author J.D. O’Brien’s debut crime novel, Zig Zag, was recently released in hardcover by Schaffner Press, an independent publisher in Tucson, Ariz., with a paperback edition coming later this year. In Zig Zag, a botched marijuana-dispensary heist in the San Fernando Valley sends burned-out bail bondsman Harry Robatore deep into the Mojave Desert trailing two lovers on the run. What follows is a stoned journey across the dive bars, neon-lit motels, and lost highways of the American West, building to an explosive showdown at a ghost-town tourist trap. Since its release in February, Zig Zag has been named a Southwest Book of the Year by the Pima County Library and was a pick of the week by popular publishing-industry resource Shelf Awareness. Before returning to the Pioneer Valley, the author lived in Los Angeles for a number of years, including a stint in Van Nuys, the gritty neighborhood where much of Zig Zag is set. The book was also informed by several road trips through the Mojave Desert. O’Brien currently works as a copywriter at Darby O’Brien Advertising in South Hadley. He is working on a sequel to Zig Zag.

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John Jones Jr.

John Jones Jr.

Keith Allen

Keith Allen

The Springfield Thunderbirds announced the promotion of John Jones Jr. to Manager of Ticket Sales & Strategy. Jones joined the Thunderbirds as an account executive in ticket sales during the 2018-19 season. A former Division I letter winner in football at Florida State University, he will oversee the Thunderbirds’ award-winning Ticket Sales department in the areas of season tickets, group tickets, and individual ticket sales. He has annually been among the top ticket-sales representatives leaguewide over his four seasons with the organization. Additionally, the Thunderbirds welcomed Keith Allen as coordinator of Community Relations. Allen joined the Thunderbirds as an intern in Game Operations and Community Relations during the 2021-22 season following the completion of his degree from Southern New Hampshire University. He will assist the Thunderbirds and the T-Birds Foundation in charitable ventures throughout the Pioneer Valley, including appearances by team mascot Boomer and Thunderbirds players.

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Richard Segool, a pediatrician practicing at Pioneer Valley Pediatrics and co-founder of Health New England, is retiring from the Health New England board and from his practice, mostly. He will still see patients one day a week but is largely pulling away from his practice of 47 years. To honor his contribution to the local healthcare ecosystem, Health New England has made a $100,000 grant to the Baystate Division of Midwifery and Community Health’s Community Connections Program, to help with maternal and infant care. The focus could not be more personal for Segool, as he and his wife, Hélène, experienced the loss of a twin daughter at birth. In 1986, Baystate Medical Center, two other hospitals, and a group of physicians formed an innovative, co-owned health plan with a mission to improve the health and lives of the people in the communities they served. As one of the first to join the plan and a member of the charter corporation, Segool has helped guide Health New England as it evolved into the only local not-for-profit, hospital-owned health plan in the region. He has served on its board of directors since then.

People on the Move

O’Reilly, Talbot & Okun (OTO) recently announced nine staff additions and promotions: Jonathan Hermanson, Lori McCarthy, Caren Irgang, Lily Elkhay, Kaitlyn Sistare, Pierre Carriere, Elise Zalenski, Toby Simmons, and Christine Arruda.

Jonathan Hermanson

Jonathan Hermanson

Lori McCarthy

Lori McCarthy

Caren Irgang

Caren Irgang

Lily Elkhay

Lily Elkhay

Kaitlyn Sistare

Kaitlyn Sistare

Pierre Carriere

Pierre Carriere

Elise Zalenski

Elise Zalenski

Toby Simmons

Toby Simmons

Christine Arruda

Christine Arruda

• Hermanson earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and environmental science. Before moving to Massachusetts, he worked in environmental consulting for five years in Kansas City. As an environmental scientist at OTO, he helps the team with Massachusetts Contingency Plan work and risk characterization, as well as environmental compliance. He also assists the asbestos and industrial hygiene team. Some of his latest achievements while at OTO are becoming a radon measurement professional and a certified hazardous materials manager.

• McCarthy earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. This degree taught her how releases of hazardous chemicals to the environment can have negative health effects to humans and animals nearby. She then went on to study a second degree in environmental sciences. With more than 20 years of experience in her field, she has worked on sites across New England, finding solutions to remediate the releases of oil and hazardous materials. At OTO, McCarthy was most recently promoted to associate and is the team leader for the environmental sector.

• Irgang earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and then went on to earn her master’s degree in civil engineering at Manhattan College. Irgang has experience in structural engineering from building and bridge engineering in New York City and performing construction inspections. Joining OTO as a Level II engineer, Irgang is performing geotechnical investigations and design and field oversight. She continues to utilize her structural engineering skills and provides an added perspective to our geotechnical projects.

• Elkhay is earning her bachelor’s degree in marketing at UMass Amherst and brings her experience from her previous internship. As the marketing intern, Elkhay has posted on OTO’s social-media pages, created ads, and performed any other as needed marketing tasks.

• Sistare is a 2022 graduate from Western New England University (WNE), earning her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with an environmental engineering concentration. At WNE, she and her team’s senior project placed first in the civil engineering department. She primarily works with the geotechnical group at OTO as a Level I engineer, but also assists the environment group.

• Carriere graduated from WNE in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. During his studies, he gained experience in many areas, including surveying, technical writing, CAD, soil and materials testing, and collaboration skills. Joining OTO as a Level I engineer, he has become heavily involved in field work and working on site, as well as working on proposals, reports, and site plans in the office.

• Zalenski earned her MBA in 2010 and has spent the last nine years developing her skills in office management, HR, IT, and bookkeeping. She has worked in residential and light commercial water treatment, which provided experience in site evaluations, water testing, treatment design, and reviewing EPA, DEP, and local board of health regulations and practices. As OTO’s office manager and executive assistant, she will be managing the day-to-day needs of the staff that may arise in the areas of IT, telephones, general building or parking issues, and scheduling events and vacations, along with providing support for OTO’s president, Ashley Sullivan.

• Simmons has brought her 20 years of field-technician experience to OTO. As an environmental technician, she has taken on many field duties to make sure the job is done safely and efficiently.

• Arruda has been with OTO for more than 25 years and has been part of the internal leadership transition taking place since 2020. As a result, she was promoted to associate this past year and serves on the company’s operations committee. With more than 20 years of experience as a both a certified indoor environmental consultant and Environmental Protection Agency-accredited and Massachusetts-licensed asbestos inspector, she manages and works on numerous types of indoor environmental issues, including asbestos, radon, HVAC, chemicals, and microbial contamination. She also is an National Radon Proficiency Program-certified radon-measurement professional who can perform single, multi-family, large-building, school-building, and water-radon-measurement services.

•••••

Country Bank announced that Erin Pope has joined its Innovation & Technology division in Ware. Before joining Country Bank, Pope worked at Digital Credit Union and American Tower. Pope holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and received certification in Professional Scrum Master 1. “At American Tower, I managed a network-operations team responsible for the global office and data-center infrastructure,” she said. “It was through working with this team that I learned the importance of strength and a diverse team. I am excited to join Country Bank’s storied history and contribute to its continued success. I hope to support the team by increasing engagement and innovation to support the business and its customers better.”

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Nick DePalma

Nick DePalma

Nick Bernasconi

Nick Bernasconi

Notch Mechanical Constructors announced the promotion of two employees to newly created executive positions. Nick DePalma has been promoted to executive vice president. In this role, he will have overall responsibility for operations, quality, safety, and customer-base growth in alignment with the company core values. This promotion will allow Steven Neveu, president of the company, to focus more on the long-term strategic growth and vision for the company. In addition, Nick Bernasconi has been promoted to vice president of estimating and project management. He will oversee all activities and initiatives related to the company’s accounts management, estimating, and project management. Previously a family-owned business for 48 years, Notch transitioned to an employee-owned ESOP company in 2020. These new roles will be critical to breaking through to the next level as an organization and ensuring a strong leadership team into the future.

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Riverside Industries Inc. (RSI) announced that four new members have joined its board of directors to help support its mission to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live rich and full lives. All four of the new board members began their three-year term with RSI effective March 2023. They include Tara Brewster, vice president of Business Development and director of Philanthropy at Greenfield Savings Bank; Jeff Palm, partner and chief operating officer at Global Educators Inc.; Melissa Peters; Human Resource generalist for Fiducient Advisors; and Teremar Rodriguez-Vazquez, assistant general counsel at Health New England.

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Aieshya Jackson

Aieshya Jackson

Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS) has wrapped up an almost-year-long search for a new leader. After an extensive search campaign and interview process, Aieshya Jackson, chair of the board of directors of MLKFS, announced that Shannon Rudder will be the next president and CEO of the organization. Rudder, who will join MLKFS on March 13, most recently served as deputy director of Teach Western Mass, a nonprofit organization working toward educational equity in partnership with area schools. She also served as executive director of Providence Ministries Inc., an organization supporting the needs of marginalized populations by addressing food insecurity, addiction recovery, housing, clothing, and workforce development. She earned her MBA and her BBA, the latter magna cum laude, from Medaille College.

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Tech Foundry, a regional leader in IT workforce development and training, announced the hiring of three new staff members as well as four promotions, which will allow the organization to double the number of participants served annually.

Henry Alston was hired as Tech Foundry’s Service-Learning coordinator. In this role, he will be responsible for implementing the organization’s new service-learning pilot program in collaboration with Mass Humanities’ Clemente Course in the Humanities. He is a tech and wellness enthusiast with career experience in sales, marketing, and project coordination. After attaining his bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University in Oxford, Pa. in 2015, he went on to graduate from the University of Louisville with his MBA in 2020. He is a Tech Foundry alum.

Phillip Borras is Tech Foundry’s Career Readiness and Recruitment coordinator, a new role created to provide focused support and mentoring to student members. His diverse experience as a professional speaker, comedian, and life coach allows him to successfully teach and support Tech Foundry participants as a career coach during and after the program.

Jessica Cogoli has been promoted to assistant instructor. She is a Tech Foundry alum and has been working closely with the organization since she graduated, both as a volunteer and a TA for its IT-support training program. She is currently enrolled at Holyoke Community College and will graduate with an associate degree in computer science in the spring.

Marie-Ange Delimon, a Tech Foundry alum, has been promoted to manager of Community Impact for the organization. In this role, she oversees external partnerships and community engagement, including managing internship and job-placement programs as well as partnerships with a variety of nonprofit organizations throughout Western Mass. Previously, she served as Tech Foundry’s manager of Workforce Development. She is a graduate of a variety of medical-training programs and holds an MD degree from Université Notre Dame d’Haïti.

Johannes Romatka has been promoted to manager of Instruction and Curriculum. Previously an instructor at Tech Foundry, he has a diverse background in information technology, including training and network support. Prior to joining Tech Foundry, he worked in a training role for internal IT-support staff at U.S. Bank.

• Linh Tran joined Tech Foundry in February as the organization’s new Administrative and Marketing coordinator, where she will support development, program, and communication initiatives. Originally from Vietnam, she has been studying and working in Massachusetts for almost 10 years. She is an experienced management professional with a diverse background in nonprofit, retail, legal, and insurance organizations, and is a graduate of Tech Foundry’s IT-support training program.

• Michelle Wilson was hired as Tech Foundry’s manager of Administration and Operations in September and was recently promoted to deputy director, a position that encompasses a variety of duties, including overall operations management, fundraising, and marketing. Her background includes more than 17 years in nonprofit management, with roles at a national membership organization in San Francisco, a globally recognized mentoring program, an independent school in Seattle, and a state humanities council. She is a graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. and holds a master’s degree in public administration from San Francisco State University.

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The Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden Agricultural Society, the nonprofit organization that manages Northampton’s Three County Fair and fairgrounds, recently elected its newest president, Thomas Smiarowski, who has been a member of the society for more than 20 years and was elected to its board of directors in 2016. Smiarowski is expected to serve two years as president, leading the society’s board of directors, which consists of 21 other appointees who make up the fair’s agricultural leadership. Smiarowski grew up on his family’s vegetable and dairy farm in Montague, where he continues to help his brother Dan, who currently owns and operates the family farm. Following his graduation from UMass Amherst, Smiarowski worked 34 years for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, holding a number of management positions. Following his retirement from USDA in 2012, he worked 10 years as an agricultural risk-management educator for UMass Extension. He is currently a director of the Massachusetts Agricultural Club, the longest-standing agricultural club in the country; serves as a Massachusetts trustee of the Eastern States Exposition; and is a member of the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Assoc. He also serves on the capital campaign to fund the new construction of the Newman Catholic Center on the UMass campus.

People on the Move
Melvin Olivo

Melvin Olivo

Theo Streeter

Theo Streeter

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union recently announced two management-team promotions: Assistant Vice President of Information Technology Melvin Olivo and Information Technology Manager Theo Streeter. Olivo’s career at UMassFive began in 2020 as the Information Technology manager. In his new position, he will be responsible for the strategic, day-to-day oversight of Information Technology, ensuring efficient, secure, and service-oriented performance of the department. Streeter’s career at UMassFive began in 2014 as a Member Service specialist in the King Street, Northampton branch before moving on to various levels of Enterprise Support technician. He was most recently promoted to senior Enterprise Support technician in 2018 before accepting the role of IT manager. In his new position, he will be overseeing the Enterprise Support technical team, administering network infrastructure and software platforms, as well as hardware procurement.

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Brandon Roper

Brandon Roper

Camfour Inc. — a growing national wholesaler of firearms, ammunition, and accessories for the shooting-sports industry, with distribution centers in Westfield and Pflugerville, Texas. — announced the promotion of Brandon Roper to the position of president. In this new capacity, Roper will report to CEO Malcolm Getz and the ownership group. He will be responsible for leading the continued growth of the Camfour brand and team. Roper has been effecting change since first joining Camfour as vice president of Sales and Marketing. During that time, he is credited with a variety of accomplishments, including the complete rebrand of Camfour, sales execution during the market slowdown of 2022, the growth of the company’s sales team, and preparation of a three-year strategic plan.

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Shreyas Ovalekar

Shreyas Ovalekar

Terri Lindsey

Terri Lindsey

Krista Benoit

Krista Benoit

D.A. Sullivan & Sons Inc. (DAS), a general-contracting and construction-management firm serving the public and private sectors since 1897, is proud to announce three recent hires to the organization: Shreyas Ovalekar as estimator, Terri Lindsey as office administrator/HR, and Krista Benoit as project manager/engineer. Ovalekar joins DAS from Vantage Builders, where he was also an estimator. With more than seven years of experience, he brings vast knowledge and unique perspective to the DAS team. He earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from Western New England University. Before joining DAS, Lindsey was an office manager at Burke Chevrolet. She comes to DAS with experience and enthusiasm to contribute to an efficient, inclusive, and developing workforce. Benoit comes to DAS from Dietz & Company Architects Inc. Her diverse experience includes a wide range of projects on the architectural side of project design and delivery, and her expertise will be an asset to the DAS team.

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Unemployment Tax Control Associates Inc. (UTCA), a national unemployment-insurance service provider based in West Springfield with an office in Boston, announced that Principal Evan Murphy has been appointed to Connecticut’s Employment Security Advisory Board. The eight-member board advises state administrators on matters pertaining to the policy and administration of the Employment Security Division. A UTCA employee for more than 10 years, Murphy oversees analysis, implementation, and client-success efforts to reduce the cost and complexity of employer unemployment-insurance programs. He facilitates educational seminars for customers, industry associations, and various employer groups across the country. He has been instrumental in helping businesses of all sizes and scopes effectively understand and control their unemployment cost and compliance. Murphy was appointed by Connecticut state Rep. Jason Rojas, the majority leader of the House of Representatives.

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Scott Little

Scott Little

Berkshire Money Management (BMM) announced that Scott Little, financial advisor and vice president at the firm, has earned the behavioral financial advisor (BFA) designation. Behavioral financial advisors combine financial knowledge with psychology and neuroscience to increase their ability to coach clients in making rational, values-based decisions. Behavioral finance acknowledges that, while numbers are rational, people are not, which can make carrying out financial plans challenging for client and advisor alike. The BFA program was developed by Think 2 Perform to teach advisors to recognize their clients’ emotions and help them stick with their plans, even when those emotions run high. To earn the certification, advisors must complete two multi-part courses on behavioral finance, pass an online proctored exam, and complete 20 hours of continuing education to renew their status every two years. Little has been helping BMM clients build secure retirements for more than 20 years. He is a licensed financial advisor, a certified elder planning specialist, and now a behavioral financial advisor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics from MCLA.

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Everette Anderson

Everette Anderson

At its annual S.T.A.R. Awards & Safety Banquet on Feb. 28 Peter Pan Bus Lines honored 11 of its 1 million-, 2 million-, 3 million-, and 4 million-mile motor-coach operators. The brightest star was Everette Anderson, who has been a Peter Pan motor-coach driver for 53 years, since May 1970. Anderson is the second motor-coach operator in the history of this country to be inducted into the National Safety Hall of Fame for driving 4 million miles without any accidents. The first inductee was Peter Pan motor-coach operator Ed Hope in 2017. Four million miles is the equivalent of 40 trips around the earth. Other Peter Pan motor-coach operators honored at the S.T.A.R. Awards included Thomas Reckner and Paul Boie for for 3 million miles; Phillandor Knight, Dave Kollisch, Wayne Soloman, and Anthony Wilson for 2 million miles; and Syed Bukhari, Edward Caouette, Frederick Perry, and Horace Wright for 1 million miles.

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The Massachusetts State Lottery and the Boston Celtics recently honored Kashawn Sanders of Springfield as a Hero Among Us. Sanders uses the power of mentoring to help shape the future of today’s youth. Along with co-founder Tyrone Williams, Sanders established the Follow My Steps Foundation Inc., a nonprofit that provides mentoring programs, financial resources, and career and skill development to youth living in under-resourced communities throughout the Commonwealth. Through community service and a growing number of local events, Sanders is helping empower his students to give back to their own communities. In less than three years, his organization has devoted countless mentorship hours to more than 1,000 students, inspiring each of them to see and reach their full potential. For his commitment to uplifting youth vulnerable communities through mentorship, and in honor of Bill Russell’s legacy in the mentoring movement, Sanders was honored as a Hero Among Us on Feb. 12, when the Boston Celtics played the Memphis Grizzlies.

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Henry Thomas

Henry Thomas

Henry Thomas, who presided over the Urban League of Springfield for almost a half-century, announced his retirement last week. “I have had the privilege to spend my entire career supporting the Springfield community and creating countless spaces where our community can thrive, grow, and achieve excellence,” he wrote in a letter announcing his decision. “My dream has always been to serve, and I am so honored to have spent my life’s work with a civil-rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment, equality, and social justice.” Thomas was named one of BusinessWest’s Difference Makers for 2023, and will be honored at a gala on April 27. He joined the Urban League in 1971 as youth coordinator. In 1974, at age 25, he became the nation’s youngest leader of a national Urban League affiliate. One of his key areas of focus throughout his career has been education, and not just through Urban League programs; he also served for 13 years on the UMass Amherst board of trustees — including two and a half years as board chair — and was a co-founder of New Leadership Charter School. Under his watch, Urban League initiatives have included include education and youth-development initiatives, as well as programs for economic and workforce development, health and wellness, and seniors. Also in the vein of education and workforce development, Thomas established Step Up Springfield, a teacher-development program in Springfield; is funding (along with his wife, Dee, a former teacher and principal herself) a $50,000 scholarship for Black youth from Springfield; and tackled a two-year assignment with the National Urban League as its vice president for Youth Development, with a primary focus of youth development within inner-city communities. Another one of Thomas’ successes was bringing Camp Atwater in North Brookfield — the oldest overnight camp for Black youth in the U.S. — back to life in 1980 after a period of dormancy. The camp celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021.

People on the Move
Danielle Ren Holley

Danielle Ren Holley

Danielle Ren Holley, noted legal educator and social-justice scholar, will become the 20th president of Mount Holyoke College on July 1. The board of trustees unanimously elected Holley following a thorough and inclusive search process. Holley is the first Black woman in the 186-year history of Mount Holyoke College to serve as permanent president, and the fourth Black woman in history to lead one of the original Seven Sisters colleges. Since 2014, she has served as dean and professor of law at the Howard University School of Law. She is widely viewed as having renewed Howard’s historically important law school and raised its stature and visibility as a leading educator of social- and racial-justice lawyers. Prior to joining the Howard School of Law in 2014, Holley served as distinguished professor for Education Law and associate dean for Academic Affairs at the University of South Carolina. Earlier in her career, she served on the faculty of Hofstra University School of Law and practiced law as an associate at Fulbright & Jaworski in Houston. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, and she was a law clerk to Judge Carl Stewart on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. She currently serves as co-chair of the board of directors of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. She also sits on the boards of the Law School Admissions Council and the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science. She is a Liberty Fellow through the Aspen Global Leadership Network and was also a fellow with the American Council of Education at Brown University in 2021-22, and currently serves on the board of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta.

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Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. recently announced nine promotions: Samantha Calvao and Andrea Latour to associate; Mallory Beauregard, Olivia Calcasola, Lauren Foley, Keara Moulton, Kelly Moulton, and Francine Murphy to senior associate; and Sarah Rose Stack to director of Marketing & Recruiting.

Samantha Calvao

Samantha Calvao

Andrea Latour

Andrea Latour

Mallory Beauregard

Mallory Beauregard

Olivia Calcasola

Olivia Calcasola

Lauren Foley

Lauren Foley

Keara Moulton

Keara Moulton

Kelly Moulton

Kelly Moulton

Francine Murphy

Francine Murphy

Sarah Rose Stack

Sarah Rose Stack

• Calvao started her career as a paraprofessional at Meyers Brothers Kalicka and was recently awarded the PwC LLP Scholarship by the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She received her associate degree in accounting from Holyoke Community College and her bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Southern New Hampshire. She is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA).

• Latour began her career with Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. in February 2011. She primarily focuses on client bookkeeping and writeup work including monthly reconciliations, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and quarterly payroll returns and tax filings, as well as preparing corporate and personal tax returns. She received her associate degree from Becker College and is a member of AICPA and MSCPA.

• Beauregard began her career with Meyers Brothers Kalicka and has been a member of the MBK team for three years. She works on a diverse range of engagements, including not-for-profit, commercial, and review and compilation engagements. She received a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from UMass Amherst and is currently studying for her MBA at UMass Lowell. She is also a member of AICPA and MSCPA.

• Calcasola has been a member of the taxation department at Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) for one year. Prior to MBK, she worked for two years as a senior corporate tax associate for a Boston-based firm. In her new role, she will be working on larger, multi-state returns and strengthening her niche in business taxation. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from UMass Amherst and is a member of AICPA and MSCPA.

• Foley started her journey with accounting at Meyers Brothers Kalicka in 2020. She focuses on commercial and individual tax returns as well as compilation and review engagements. She graduated from UMass Lowell with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in accounting. She is also a member of AICPA and MSCPA.

• Keara Moulton began her career with Meyers Brothers Kalicka as a tax intern in January 2020. In addition to being a member of the tax department, she is a leader in the firm for various community-service and corporate-culture initiatives. As a senior associate, she will be working on more complex tax returns and helping clients prepare for deadlines throughout the year, as well as expanding her knowledge in the firm’s cannabis niche. She received her bachelor’s degree in accounting and sports management summa cum laude from Elms College and is currently studying for the CPA exam. She is also a member of AICPA and MSCPA.

• Kelly Moulton has worked in public accounting since 2020 and works on a diverse range of engagements, including accounting and audit, not-for-profit, and HUD engagements. In her new role as a senior associate, she will be leading more engagements as an ‘in-charge’ and also be taking on more detail review. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and accounting from Elms College and is a candidate for an MBA in accounting at Fitchburg State. She is a member of AICPA and MSCPA.

• Murphy joined MBK in 2013 with significant tax-preparation experience and a special focus in tax preparation for not-for-profit organizations and individuals. She will be taking on a larger leadership role with the firm’s tax-exempt clients, preparing larger 990 returns and reviewing smaller tax-exempt clients. She will also have more opportunities to assist with tax-planning and tax-projection projects for a wide breadth of clients and prepare more complex corporate consolidated returns. She holds an associate degree in accounting from Holyoke Community College and is a candidate for a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Westfield State University. She is also a member of AICPA and MSCPA.

• Stack joined Meyers Brothers Kalicka in early 2020 to spearhead its marketing and recruiting efforts. With more than 15 years of digital marketing, design, and communications experience, she brought a unique perspective to the firm and attracted new talent. In her new role as a director, she will be expanding the marketing department, enhancing the niche-development program, and developing a new marketing advisory service line. She earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from UMass Amherst and is a candidate for a master’s degree in communication with two concentrations, digital communication and corporate and nonprofit communication, from Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the Assoc. for Accountant Marketing, the American Marketing Assoc., and CPAmerica, and is the marketing committee co-chair for the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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Laura Freeman

Laura Freeman

Kelly Galanis

Kelly Galanis

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed two new colleagues to its Institutional Advancement team: Laura Freeman as manager of Stewardship and Donor Relations, and Kelly Galanis as manager of Advancement Services. Prior to HCC, Freeman worked as the Alumni Relations program coordinator at UMass Amherst and VIP Services representative at MGM Springfield. She brings extensive experience to the development team in event planning (virtual and in person), project management, scholarship administration, and volunteer management. She holds a master’s degree in strategic fundraising and philanthropy from Bay Path University and attended Nichols College for her bachelor’s degree in business administration. In her new role, Galanis will provide leadership and direction for the Advancement division’s fundraising operations, including database management, prospect research and moves management, advancement reporting, gift recording, data integrity, and data security. She joins HCC with more than 20 years of experience in higher education, including 14 at Westfield State University. She holds a master’s degree in communication and information management and is currently pursuing her doctorate in education in higher education leadership and organizational studies at Bay Path University.

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Joshua Griffing

Joshua Griffing

Excel Dryer Inc., manufacturer of the XLERATOR Hand Dryer, announced that Joshua Griffing has been promoted and will serve as the director of International Sales in addition to his current role as director of Marketing. He joined the Excel Dryer team in 2022 as director of Marketing, bringing more than two decades of experience in sales and marketing for international organizations. A graduate of Central Connecticut State University with a degree in international business, Griffing has held roles including executive vice president at Sportika Export, president of Raw Food Central LLC, and director of Sales and Marketing at Joining Technologies Inc. In his new role at Excel Dryer, he will be responsible for managing the export sales team, creating targeted territory-expansion plans, negotiating key account agreements, and increasing brand awareness globally.

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Nikki Beck

Nikki Beck

Peggy Twardowski

Peggy Twardowski

CitySpace recently welcomed two new members to its board’s executive team. Nikki Beck will serve as CitySpace’s vice president, and Peggy Twardowski is the new clerk of the organization. Beck has been a board member of CitySpace since 2017. She is the production manager for the Smith College Theatre Department and also works at the Academy of Music and as a freelance stage manager. She is passionate about connecting theater organizations and has been sending a weekly newsletter of theatre events (Pioneer Valley Theatre News) since 2015. A Mount Holyoke College graduate and CitySpace board member since 2021, Twardowski is the Business Information director for the video-game industry’s largest representation agency, Digital Development Management, where she oversees research and data services. She has sought ways to actively promote the arts in the area, using her experience from top-grossing video-game crowd-funded campaigns to advise regional creators on Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns. Previously, she organized the Paint & Pixel Festival, a small press expo for regional children’s book illustrators, comic artists, and web comic creators.

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Craig Shrimpton

Craig Shrimpton

Earlier this month, Cohn & Company Real Estate added Craig Shrimpton to its team of real-estate professionals. He brings more than 25 years of service in information security and technology consulting. Shrimpton is a veteran and a member of the Realtor Assoc. of the Pioneer Valley and the National Assoc. of Realtors.

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Whittlesey, an assurance, advisory, tax, and technology firm, recently welcomed the newest manager to its team. Alanna Madsen, CPA is the latest tax professional to join the firm’s growing leadership team. Madsen has more than 14 years of public accounting experience and expertise in tax, accounting, and advisory services for closely held businesses, nonprofit organizations, and high-net-worth individuals. She holds a bachelor of business administration degree and a master’s degree in accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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Heather Dameworth

Heather Dameworth

Lora Thayer

Lora Thayer

bankESB recently announced that two of its employees have been promoted to officer. Heather Dameworth has been promoted to cash management and government banking administrator officer. Dameworth joined bankESB in 2021 as cash management – government banking administrator. She has more than 18 years of banking experience, including roles in accounting, call centers, and retail. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from UMass Amherst. Lora Thayer has been promoted to commercial loan administrator officer. Thayer joined bankESB in 2003 as a teller and was promoted to loan servicing specialist in 2006. She joined the commercial team as commercial loan administrator in 2017 and was promoted to senior commercial loan administrator in 2021. She is also a member of the Hometown Financial Group checking acquisition team.

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Naomi Aina

Whittlesey, a leading public accounting firm, announced the promotion of Naomi Aina, CPA to Assurance manager. She brings a wealth of experience, knowledge, and commitment to providing exceptional service to clients. Aina has more than 20 years of experience in public accounting, with a practice concentration in nonprofits. She joined Whittlesey in 2014 after working at Lester Halpern & Company, P.C. for 14 years. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA). She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from American International College and a master’s degree in accounting from Western New England College.

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Hogan Technology announced the addition of two new team members. Kyle Partridge, an experienced IT support technician and Air Force veteran, is working with the IT support team in service and projects. He has a great understanding of the network environment and is very familiar with the company’s tech stack. Corey Harris is now director of IT. His roles and responsibilities will be to guide Hogan’s growth and nurture its IT team as the company expands its marketplace. He has more than 15 years of experience and is skilled at simply explaining complex solutions.

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David Gadouas

David Gadouas

bankESB recently announced that David Gadouas has been hired as assistant vice president and branch officer of the bank’s State Street, Belchertown office. Gadouas has more than 15 years of banking experience. Prior to joining bankESB, he was employed by Bank of America, where he served as vice president and financial center manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Westfield State University.

•••••

The Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce welcomed five new board members at its first meeting of 2023 last month. The new board members are Erin Cahillane, Jillian Duclos, Ebru Kardan, Nanci Newton, and Amanda Shafii. Cahillane is the Amherst Fund coordinator at Amherst College and president of the Northampton St. Patrick’s Assoc. She received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Keene State College and a master’s degree in communications and new media marketing from Southern New Hampshire University. Duclos is vice president of Operations for Roberto’s in Northampton. After earning a bachelor’s degree in politics at Mount Holyoke College, she explored many different paths, moving away to work in politics, then public relations, then for nonprofits. Kardan is senior director of Diversity Communications and Events at UMass Amherst. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and art history from Rutgers University. At UMass, she provides leadership and oversight for internal and external visibility efforts of the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and implements campus-wide campaigns that strategically advance the university’s strategic goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Newton is a licensed massage therapist and owner of the Healing ZONE Therapeutic Massage in Hadley. She studied at the Muscular Therapy Institute in Cambridge and holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Westfield State College. A member of the chamber for more than 20 years, she is active in the local nonprofit community, volunteering for many events for Cancer Connection, Safe Passage, and others, in addition to her work with the chamber. Shafii is the owner of CopyCat in Northampton. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology/neuroscience from UMass Amherst, where she also minored in sociology.

People on the Move

Peter Pan Bus Lines recently announced five major promotions in management.

Frank Dougherty

Frank Dougherty

Frank Dougherty, who started with the company as a bus driver, and has now been promoted to chief operating officer. According to CEO Peter Picknelly, Dougherty sent him a 20-page letter about everything that was wrong at Peter Pan Bus Lines more than 18 years ago. Picknelly asked him to join the team to help correct the situation. Dougherty was a driver, and he will now be leading the company.

Don Soja

Don Soja

Don Soja has been named vice president of Operations. He has been with Peter Pan for more than 20 years. According to Picknelly, Soja knows all aspects of the bus company, including charters, line runs, finance, and technology. Picknelly hopes he will lead the way for decades to come.

Timothy Grabowski

Timothy Grabowski

Timothy Grabowski has been promoted to vice president of Planning and Revenue Management. Picknelly said Grabowski brings a skill set that allows Peter Pan to continue strategic growth, and that he makes Peter Pan stand out among other bus companies and keeps Peter Pan moving forward.

Danielle Veronesi

Danielle Veronesi

Danielle Veronesi has been promoted to senior director of Marketing. If there’s a special project, Picknelly said, Veronesi is the one to rely on, and she’s always the one to volunteer. He added that Venonesi has made a big difference in the company.

Joseph Picknally

Joseph Picknally has been named senior director of Maintenance for Peter Pan. Picknelly said Picknally has done an exemplary job in realigning the Maintenance department, and that he has big shoes to fill in the company; Picknally’s father, Thomas, was the company’s vice president of Maintenance for decades until his passing in 2021.

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William Gagnon

William Gagnon

Excel Dryer Inc., manufacturer of the XLERATOR hand dryer, announced it has promoted a member of the family-owned business, William Gagnon, to an executive leadership role within the company. Gagnon is now executive vice president and chief executive officer, and sits on the Excel Dryer board of directors. As a leader in the industry, Excel Dryer has accomplished many firsts spearheaded by Gagnon, including establishing the high-speed, energy-efficient category for hand dryers with the XLERATOR. When Excel Dryer initiated the process to substantiate claims and educate buyers and specifiers about how to avoid falling victim to ‘greenwashing,’ Gagnon chaired the committee to create product category rules for the hand-dryer industry with UL Environment (a business division of Underwriters Laboratories). The result of their efforts set a precedent; the rule developed was the first global standard for any industry and the first industry-consensus standard for the hand-dryer industry. Gagnon and his team then published the first environmental product declarations for their three signature products. In his new role, Gagnon will improve operational efficiency, expand the product offering through research and development, increase global awareness, and inspire employees to support the vision of the organization.

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Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) announced the appointment of the interim Director Paul Lambert to the position of president and CEO, removing Lambert’s interim status. Lambert joined the SSO as interim director in January 2022 after serving for many years as vice president of Enshrinement Services & Community Engagement at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Since his appointment to the interim director position, Lambert has overseen the return to the stage of the SSO with six classical and two pops concerts in the current 2022-23 season, the first in more than two years as a result of the pandemic. He has been instrumental in adding new individuals to the SSO board, hiring key new staff, re-engaging with the corporate and philanthropic community, and launching a comprehensive communications and marketing program to support the current season. Lambert’s professional experience includes nearly 20 years with the Basketball Hall of Fame, initially as vice president of Guest Experience and Programming, and more recently as vice president of Enshrinement Services & Community Engagement. Prior to the Hall of Fame, he served as director of Event Production for the National Basketball Assoc. (NBA). Before working in the basketball industry, Lambert enjoyed a career in the professional theater, including roles as general manager of the Cape Playhouse in Dennis for seven years and as executive director of the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Conn. He also served as a production stage manager for many years. Lambert serves on a number of local boards and community organizations, including the National Conference for Community and Justice, New England Public Media (where he was a board chair), the Loomis Communities, and the boards of Cape Cod Center for the Arts, the South Hadley Cultural Council, Longmeadow UNICO, and the Springfield Rotary. He is a graduate, cum laude, of Boston College, with a bachelor’s degree in English and theater.

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Valley Communications Systems Inc. announced that Edward Tremble is vacating the role of CEO and has been named board chairman. In this role, he will continue his strategic oversight and business-development efforts for the company. Tremble, who has served as CEO since 2010, will be succeeded by Michael Tremble, who has been serving as executive vice president, with Joshua Kranz assuming the role of president. In their new roles, Michael Tremble and Kranz will draw on their extensive knowledge and tenure at Valley Communications, leveraging their creative mindsets and passion to help the company further build out its solutions while identifying future areas of growth. Michael’s work over the past 11 years at Valley has helped the company grow through its strategic sales and partnership objectives. Prior to joining Valley, he served as a strength and conditioning coach both at the NCAA and professional levels. His 10-year coaching background, with a focus on individual and team growth and development, has helped guide his leadership style and approach to how he has supported Valley’s customers and employees. He is also active in the community, currently serving as a board member for Glenmeadow (board vice chair), Providence Place, and Mary’s Meadow, all nonprofit organizations focused on senior living and care. In Kranz’s 34 years with Valley, he has held numerous roles of increasing responsibility across the organization. Most recently, he served as the company’s chief technical officer, a position he will retain alongside his new role as president.

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Lori Beth Chase

Lori Beth Chase

Arlene Castellano

Arlene Castellano

Peter Ruffini

Peter Ruffini

Cheryl Malandrinos

Cheryl Malandrinos

Lori Beth Chase was installed as the 2023 president of the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV), a nonprofit trade association with more than 1,800 members. The 107th annual installation of officers and directors was held on Jan. 12 at the Roosevelt Room at Union Station in Northampton. Chase started her professional real-estate career in 2017 and quickly became involved in serving locally. Since 2020, she has served on the local board of directors at RAPV and, in 2021, served as treasurer and chair of the finance committee. Also in 2021, she served on the Massachusetts Association of Realtors finance committee and, after the passing of Rick Sawicki in 2021, has served as the Western Mass. regional vice president, serving not only the Pioneer Valley but the Berkshires as well. In this position, she sits on the Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors executive committee and board of directors. The following individuals were installed as 2023 officers: Arlene Castellano of Maria Acuna Real Estate as president-elect; Peter Ruffini of RE/MAX Connections as treasurer; and Cheryl Malandrinos of BHH Realty Professionals as immediate past president. Directors include Carrie Blair of Keller Williams Realty, Shawn Bowman of Trademark Real Estate, Brenda Cuoco of Brenda Cuoco & Associates, Peter Davies of Borawski Real Estate, Janise Fitzpatrick of Jones Group Realtors, Judy Nevarez of BHH Realty Professionals, Michelle Stegall of Property One, and Clinton Stone of RE/MAX Connections.

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Florence Bank announced that Vice President and Granby Branch Manager Jessica Wales has been named manager of the bank’s King Street branch in Northampton. Wales will replace Lee McCarthy, who is retiring in April after serving as manager of the King Street branch for 18 years and area manager for the bank since 2018. Since 2020, Wales has served as manager of the Granby branch. She has 26 years of banking experience and previously worked for Florence Bank from 2000 to 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Ashworth College and is a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies. Active in the community, she is a board member and member of the finance committee for the United Way of Franklin & Hampshire Region, and a committee member for the Western Mass Women’s Business Network and Cooley Dickinson Hospital’s Golf FORE Health Tournament. She is also an ambassador for the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. A member of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty class of 2014, Wales is also a past recipient of the Florence Bank Community Support Award. McCarthy worked in the banking industry for 42 years. Hired in 2004 by Florence Bank, she served as branch manager for King Street, beginning in 2004, and in 2018, she also became area manager, overseeing the King Street, Williamsburg, downtown Northampton, and Easthampton branches. For 16 years, McCarthy served on the United Way’s community investment committee.

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Kathryn Crouss

Kathryn Crouss

Erin Meehan

Erin Meehan

Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy, P.C. (DWPM) announced that the firm has elected Kathryn Crouss and Erin Meehan as new shareholders. Crouss joined the firm in May 2022. She has extensive experience in both family law and employment matters. She is a certified mediator and represents family-law clients both in court and through alternative dispute resolution methods. She is currently president-elect of the Hampden County Bar Assoc., serves on the board of Community Legal Aid, and has chaired Community Legal Aid’s Access to Justice fundraising campaign for the past two years. While a student at Western New England University School of Law, she served as editor-in-chief of the Western New England Law Review. Meehan concentrates her practice in general civil litigation and municipal law. She joined DWPM as an associate in 2014. She is a member of the board of directors of the Hampden County Bar Assoc. She earned her juris doctorate from Suffolk University Law School and her bachelor’s degree from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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Amherst College named Michael Thomas its new chief financial and administrative officer (CFAO). On the finance side, he will be responsible for all finance functions of the college, including budgeting, accounting, financial reporting, long-range financial planning, and asset, liability, and risk management. On the administrative side, Thomas will oversee facilities, health and safety, and business services (dining and auxiliary), among key operating functions. He joins Amherst from Middlebury College, where he was vice president for Administration and chief risk officer for the past two years and vice president for Finance and assistant treasurer for the previous four and a half years. He will report to and serve as a strategic partner to President Michael Elliott. His appointment is effective March 27, and he succeeds former Amherst CFAO Kevin Weinman, who became the president of Marist College in the fall of 2021. In his more than nine years at Middlebury, Thomas led all aspects of financial matters, including accounting, financial systems and reporting, budgets, debt and cash management, and endowment reporting, as well as risk evaluation, campus safety, environmental health and safety, emergency management, and land and property management. Before that, he was the controller and director of financial resources for Skidmore College (2006-13); the controller, manager of Financial Systems and Accounting, and a financial analyst for General Electric Silicones, Americas (1999-2006); and an associate at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (1995-98). He graduated from Union College with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and from the University at Albany with a master’s degree in accounting.

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Nicolle Marceau

Nicolle Marceau

Florence Bank promoted Nicolle Marceau to branch manager of the Granby branch. With 10 years of retail banking experience, Marceau was hired in October 2022 and has worked in the bank’s Belchertown, Amherst, and Florence branches. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Westfield State College and is certified in business banking. In the community, Marceau coaches youth sports for the South Hadley Recreation Department and will soon be a member of the Parent Teacher Assoc. for Mosier Elementary School and the Plains Elementary School Council, both also in South Hadley.

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Judith Roberts, executive director of the Literacy Project, announced her retirement at the end of June 2023 after 16 years at the helm of the educational nonprofit. The Literacy Project opened its doors in Franklin County in 1984 with co-founder Lindy Whiton. The Literacy Project classrooms in Greenfield, Orange, Northampton, Amherst, and Ware are places of respect, belonging, hope, and grit. Classes offer a warm and welcoming community for adults and out-of-school youth who need another chance at success. During Roberts’ tenure at the Literacy Project, the program has consistently been among the top three adult-education programs in the state in terms of achieving successful outcomes for more than 200 students per year. These outcomes include passing the High School Equivalency Test (also known as the HiSET or GED), moving on to community college, job-training programs, and better jobs. The Literacy Project has expanded to provide more classes during the day and evening, creating online and in-person options to meet the changing needs of the local communities it serves in Franklin and Hampshire counties.

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Nonotuck Resource Associates announced that Ryan Gaw has been promoted to director of Finance. Gaw has worked at Nonotuck since 2017. Initially hired as a staff accountant, he has also worked as a senior accountant and accounting manager before his promotion to director of Finance this month. He will now supervise accounts payable, accounts receivable, the staff accountant position, and the billing and A/R coordinator position. Gaw earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island and his master’s degree in accounting from UMass Amherst. Nonotuck Resource Associates offers shared living, adult family care, and personalized day services for people with disabilities. Each of its services helps support its mission of providing people with disabilities a choice, a voice, and the opportunity to live authentic lives. The agency provides support and services across Massachusetts and is the largest shared-living organization in the state.

People on the Move
Matt Garrity

Matt Garrity

Matt Garrity launched a new era for Florence Bank, taking the helm as president and CEO. He brings extensive experience as a leader and promoter of growth along with a broad base of knowledge in serving both business customers and general banking consumers. Garrity was formerly the executive vice president and chief lending officer and head of Residential Lending at Premier Bank, serving Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. He replaces Michael Lynch, senior vice president and senior commercial lender, who has served as interim president since former president and CEO Kevin Day retired on Nov. 25. In his first year — the 150th-anniversary year for Florence Bank — Garrity expects to focus on getting to know the Florence Bank staff and, over time, on growth, particularly further expansion into Hampden County, where the bank currently has three branches. John Ebbets, chair of the bank’s board of directors, said the search for a new president and CEO began in July and was led by Kaplan Partners, which broadcast the position throughout New England, parts of the mid-Atlantic, and Ohio. A pool of 125 candidates was methodically pared to two finalists, each of whom met live with the full board, which sought a leader with vision, a history of execution, and a willingness to embrace Florence Bank’s mutual culture. Garrity lived in Lee until seventh grade, when he moved to Ohio. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Ohio University and chose banking as a career so he could help consumers achieve their financial goals. His first job was in consumer banking, but he quickly learned he was drawn to commercial banking and took a job as a credit analyst; he rose into leadership steadily over the years. In 2009, he was recruited to serve as chief credit officer for a mid-size bank and rescued the organization from significant financial distress and the threat of closure via a federal cease-and-desist order.

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Megan Burke

Megan Burke

The trustees of the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) announced the appointment of Megan Burke to the position of president and CEO (see story on page 4). Burke has been a Community Impact officer at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for more than seven years, most recently serving as its director of Community Impact Grantmaking. Burke has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit management, strategic planning, and philanthropy. She will begin her tenure at the Foundation on Jan. 18, succeeding Katie Allan Zobel, who moved forward in her career on Oct. 1 after navigating the pandemic and a period of tremendous growth for the foundation. Burke began her career working on international peace and security issues at the Ford Foundation and through the United Nations. She also lived in Nicaragua for several years, where her work supported the emerging LGBTQ+ movement and the development of a nationwide campaign to advance human rights. Prior to her most recent position at the Hartford Foundation, Burke led the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines, an international network of nonprofits engaged in advancing a ban on anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions worldwide. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a master’s degree from Yale University.

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Michael Savitt

Michael Savitt

Excel Dryer Inc., manufacturer of the XLERATOR Hand Dryer, announced the promotion of Michael Savitt to director of Domestic Sales. Savitt has held positions with increasing responsibility over his 10 years with Excel Dryer, most recently serving as Business Development manager for North America. In his new role, Savitt will supervise the U.S. sales team, explore opportunities to support the company’s growth, and work closely with architects, distributors, and end users to identify how high-speed, energy-efficient hand dryers fit into cost-saving and sustainability initiatives. Prior to his role as Business Development manager for North America, Savitt started at Excel Dryer as a field sales manager and then became a national field sales manager. He has worked across all markets, verticals, and channels for Excel Dryer over the past decade. Before joining the company, Savitt worked at Avatar HR Solutions and Data Recognition Corp. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’a degree in journalism and went on to receive his master’s degree in journalism at Indiana University Bloomington. He completed the “Mastering Sales: A Toolkit for Success” course at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, “Coaching for Improved Performance & Results” with Leadership Dynamics Inc., and “Effective Personal Productivity” with Leadership Management International Inc.

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Ibrahim Alkahiabri

Ibrahim Alkahiabri

Dietz & Company Architects Inc. announced the addition of Ibrahim Alkahiabri in the role of architectural associate, where he will assist project teams throughout all phases of design.

Alkahiabri holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in architecture from Savannah College of Art and Design, as well as a diploma in business and tourism from the Prince Sultan College of Business in Saudi Arabia. He comes to Dietz having worked at firms in Charlotte, N.C. and Atlanta, where he gained experience working on multi-family and single-family housing projects.

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Jake Hooker

Jake Hooker

Jake Hooker, a 2012 Northampton High School graduate, has passed the state’s bar exam and joined his father, Michael Hooker, in Hooker’s legal firm, Attorney Michael Hooker Elder Law, which serves elders and those living with disabilities. Jake Hooker is the second attorney at the firm, which also includes a Medicaid specialist, a social worker, a financial specialist, and two specialized paralegals. The practice is unique; its services extend beyond the realm of the law to provide financial and social services for elders and their families. Hooker began interning at the firm while he was attending Northampton High School and continued to assist while at Greenfield Community College and UMass Amherst, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science. He graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 2022. While there, he completed two internships — one at Attorney Michael Hooker Elder Law and one with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services at the General Counsel’s Office, where he assisted the MassHealth Estate Recovery Unit as well as the Litigation Department.

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Alexander Pattacini

Alexander Pattacini

Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that attorney Alexander Pattacini has joined the firm. He is a member of the firm’s Estate Planning and Elder Law department. Pattacini earned his juris doctorate with a concentration in transactional law from Western New England University School of Law, where he served as a clinician in the Small Business Clinic. He previously earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in Storrs. Prior to joining Bacon Wilson, P.C., he interned with the Connecticut Department of Education Division of Legal Affairs, and served as legal counsel for the Connecticut House Majority Leader’s Office. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. as well as the Education Law Assoc. He is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and will be working in all Bacon Wilson office locations, but primarily in Springfield.

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The International Language Institute of Massachusetts (ILI) recently welcomed Italian instructor Jennie Coletta, ESOL instructor Brandon LeBlanc, Spanish teacher Kara McBride, and Spanish instructor Boris Romero. Coletta has a bachelor’s degree in Italian studies from Brown University and a master of education degree from Lesley University. As an undergrad, she studied abroad at the Università di Bologna, and later au paired for a family in Sicily. She has taught Italian at a public high school in Massachusetts, and while living in Italy, she taught English to Italian adults. LeBlanc earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Pace University in New York City and a master’s degree in history from York University in Toronto. He has taught English in Spain, social studies/ESL in Bolivia, and most recently taught adult ESL in South Carolina. McBride has one master’s degree in Spanish from Purdue University and another in teaching English to speakers of other languages from Indiana University, and a PhD in second language acquisition and teaching from the University of Arizona. She first joined an improv group in St. Louis, where she was working as an associate professor of Spanish. After eight years at Saint Louis University, she moved to Valparaíso, Chile and opened the House of English. Her business offered immersive language learning experiences such as improv workshops and mystery dinner theater. She returned to the U.S. in 2016 to work as a senior education specialist for World Learning, the international development organization that grew out of the School for International Training. While living in Washington, D.C., she joined the Washington Improv Theater. She will be teaching Spanish improv at ILI this winter. Romero has taught Spanish since 2008 in institutes and universities of Colombia, Canada, and the U.S. He earned both his bachelor’s degree in modern languages and his master’s degree in applied linguistics of Spanish as foreign language at Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia. He is in the last stages of his doctoral dissertation related to the connection between language and culture. He speaks English, Spanish, French, and a little Italian.

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Trevor Brice

Trevor Brice

The Royal Law Firm recently welcomed attorney Trevor Brice to the team. Brice received his bachelor’s degree from Providence College and his juris doctor and MBA from Suffolk University Law School. He has regularly advised and represented clients in state and federal courts, as well as at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and other state agencies. Brice moved to Western Mass. after working for a large company in the Boston area, work that provided him with a detailed understanding of the difficult scenarios employers face when defending claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful terminations, and allegations of violations of FMLA. He is admitted to practice law in the state and federal courts in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New York, and New Hampshire.

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Bulkley Richardson announced that Sarah Willey has been promoted to partner in the firm’s Business/Finance Department, and Stephen Holstrom has been promoted to counsel in the firm’s Litigation Department. Willey’s practice includes a range of business services, including advising clients in business formation, mergers and acquisitions, business-succession planning, and corporate structuring of businesses in regulated industries, including cannabis. She also represents employers in a variety of matters before the MCAD, EEOC, and state and federal courts, and counsels clients in protecting and maximizing their intellectual property via trademarks, copyrights, and licensing agreements. Holstrom joined the firm in 2018 as an associate. He is a general practice litigator with a focus on medical-malpractice defense. In addition to medical-malpractice actions, he has litigated other complex tort actions, commercial cases, insurance cases, complex class actions, and education cases.

People on the Move
Megan Lagoy

Megan Lagoy

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union announced that Megan Lagoy has been promoted to assistant vice president (AVP) of Loan Operations. Lagoy began her career at UMassFive in 2012 as a call-center representative before taking on other various Contact Center roles, eventually becoming assistant vice president of the Contact Center and Interactive Teller Machine department. More recently, she held direct oversight of UMassFive’s flagship Hadley branch in the position of assistant vice president of Retail Services. Her various roles at the credit union over the past 10 years have prepared her for this transition to assistant vice president of Loan Operations.

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Girls Inc. of the Valley recently welcomed five new members to its board of directors: Nikai Fondon, George Keady, Alaina Macaulay, Cheri Mills, and Ciara Speller. These new members join the current board of directors to support strategic planning to map out the future of the organization. Fondon has worked at Marketing Doctor Inc. since January as a marketing specialist and previously worked at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) as a donor-engagement coordinator and scholarship program associate for four years. She currently serves as a board member for the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS). She has been a panelist for the 2020 Girls and Racism Virtual Town Hall and has worked with Girls Inc. teens on creative writing and marketing projects. She was recognized as a Dream Maker at Spirit of Girls 2022. Keady has worked at UBS Financial Services/Wealth Management in Springfield for 39 years and, upon retirement this year, was a managing director. He has served as a board member for CFWM and Saint Michael’s College, and was a chairperson for Glenmeadow Retirement Community and Bay Path University. He has been a long-time champion for girls and friend of Girls Inc. Macaulay is the senior director for Inclusion and Strategic Engagement at UMass Amherst. She worked previously at UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management for three years as the executive director of Diversity and Inclusion and, before that, at Elms College as the director of Diversity and Inclusion for two years. She has been involved with Girls Inc. through support of the 2020 Girls and Racism Virtual Town Hall. She currently serves as a board member for YPS and Chester Theatre Co. Mills has worked at PeoplesBank for eight years as a Business Banking manager and is currently the assistant vice president. She has been involved with Girls Inc. as a volunteer through the finance committee this past year. She also served on the corporate and community impact committee and helped secure sponsorship commitments for Spirit of Girls 2022. Speller has worked at WWLP as an evening anchor for five years. She has been involved with Girls Inc. for the past couple of years, including as the moderator for the 2020 Girls and Racism Virtual Town Hall and host for Spirit of Girls 2021. She and WWLP did the news broadcast live for Spirit of Girls 2022 on location at the Big E, where she was also a recipient of a Girls Inc. Dream Maker award. She also serves as a board member for the nonprofit I Found Light Against All Odds.

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Monte Belmonte

Monte Belmonte

New England Public Media has hired local radio personality Monte Belmonte as host and executive producer of a new radio show and podcast celebrating life in Western Mass. Belmonte comes to New England Public Media (NEPM) from 93.9 the River/WRSI, where he’s hosted the popular “Mornings with Monte” since 2006. The new show and podcast will launch later this winter. Belmonte will be joined by Kaliis Smith, who also comes to NEPM from the River, where she hosted weekday evenings and was a regular guest on “Mornings with Monte.” Smith will be the show’s digital producer and will join Belmonte on air. Belmonte plans to bring some of his regular guests and popular segments to the live, daily program, along with new segments and opportunity for regular audience call-ins. The show will be available as a podcast and on YouTube. Belmonte will also have a presence at NEPM events and other station initiatives.

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After a yearlong national search, the board of directors at Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts (JFSWM) announced the hiring of a new CEO, Rabbi James Greene, who brings more than two decades of expertise in the Jewish nonprofit world from the interdenominational space of Jewish community centers (JCCs) and independent camps. JFS’s current CEO, Maxine Stein, whose vision and leadership was responsible for the agency’s unprecedented growth and expansion during her tenure, will retire at the end of January 2023. After 20 years of professional communal work, Greene sees the need for bringing core Jewish values to the work of building a stronger community and is excited by the challenge of empowering people to build better lives and growing organizational capacity to meet the needs of this unique moment at JFS. He spent nine years in the JCC movement, first as the program director at the Addison-Penzak JCC, and more recently as the assistant executive director for the Springfield JCC. In early 2020, he stepped into Jewish camping full-time as the executive director at Camp Laurelwood, where he successfully guided the agency through the pandemic, grew fundraising and grant revenue, took new programs from vision to successful execution in partnership with community agencies around the state, and oversaw the creation of a strategic vision to guide the organization into the future. Greene has a bachelor’s degree in Holocaust and Judaic studies from Florida Atlantic University, and a master’s degree in Hebrew letters rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

People on the Move

Elms College announced that seven prominent leaders in the region have joined the board of trustees.

Kathleen Bernardo

Kathleen Bernardo

Kathleen Bernardo is a partner at Bulkley Richardson and leads the Real Estate practice group. Her practice focuses on commercial real-estate matters such as conveyancing, financing, leasing, title matters, and all aspects of complex property transfers, including purchase agreements, easements, liquor-license transfers, special permits, regulatory compliance, zoning and variance issues, 1031 exchange transfers, boundary disputes, public and private conservation restrictions including agricultural preservation restrictions, petitions to partition, and other land-court matters. Her probate practice includes the preparation of wills and trusts, estate and trust administration, equity petitions, guardianships, and conservatorships.

Larry Eagan

Larry Eagan

Larry Eagan is the president and CEO of Collins Electric and has been with the company since 1984. Collins Electric is a private company with offices in Chicopee and Pittsfield, sales of more than $15 million, and more than 80 employees. Collins Electric is an Elms College vendor and a sponsor of the Executive Leadership Breakfast. Eagan is on the board of directors of Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts, serves as the chapter president of Legatus of Western Massachusetts, and is a member of the National Electrical Contractors Assoc.

Lindsey Gamble

Lindsey Gamble is the director of Nursing at Mercy Medical Center, a broad role that carries with it many responsibilities, including staffing, budgeting, training, and ongoing education of the nursing staff. Gamble started her nursing career as a labor and delivery nurse. She played a key role in the opening of Mercy’s Innovation Unit, designed to ensure that families of COVID-19 patients stay connected with the patient and the care team during their hospital stay.

Catherine Ormond

Catherine Ormond

Catherine Ormond, SSJ serves as pastoral visitor at St. Jerome’s Parish in Holyoke and most recently was pastoral minister at St. Patrick’s Church in South Hadley for nearly 20 years. Prior to that, she held counseling positions at Holyoke Catholic High School and Charles River Hospital in Chicopee Falls, and was coordinator of services at Brightside Mental Health Clinic.

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson is the vice president of Public Health for Baystate Health. In this role, he is responsible for integrating clinical and community care to better serve vulnerable people and populations across the spectrum of diversity and create healthier communities. Robinson also represents Baystate Health in the area of community relations by building a shared agenda and common goals for community improvement with neighborhood, community, and business representatives, as well as other key stakeholders. He has led the establishment of the Baystate Springfield Educational Partnership and the founding of the Baystate Academy Charter Public School.

Betsy Sullivan

Betsy Sullivan

Betsy Sullivan, SSJ serves as president of the congregation for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield. She has extensive leadership experience, including vice president of the congregation, preceded by three decades as a licensed administrator of Mont Marie Health Care Center, a licensed nursing home in Holyoke.

Henry Thomas III

Henry Thomas III serves as president and CEO of the Urban League of Springfield Inc. He has worked in the Urban League movement for 43 years, serving 39 years as president and CEO. Previously, he served as vice president for Youth Development with the National Urban League in New York. He is also the former chair of the Springfield Fire Commission and the Springfield Police Commission. Thomas serves as CEO for the historic Camp Atwater, the oldest African-American overnight youth camp in the U.S., which he reopened in 1980 following a six-year hiatus. He served on the UMass board of trustees from 2007 to 2021 and served as chairman in 2012.

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Katharine Shove

Katharine Shove

Brodeur-McGan, P.C. announced that Katharine Shove joined the firm this fall. As a litigator, Shove particularly enjoys employment law, representing both employees and employers in discrimination, retaliation, and wage-and-hour cases. She regularly assists employers with complex state and federal compliance issues, representing electric companies, construction companies, and manufacturers. In addition to employment and compliance matters, she litigates matters involving property damages (real and personal), personal injuries, contract disputes, and consumer-protection violations, such as violations of General Laws Chapter 93A. After law school, Shove clerked for Justice C. Jeffrey Kinder of the Massachusetts Appeals Court, where she conducted legal research and drafted criminal and civil decisions for panel cases. Following her clerkship, she practiced as a litigator with Bacon Wilson, P.C. Shove serves as a board member of the Hampden County Bar Assoc. New Lawyers Section and is a member of the Hampden County Legal Clinic’s pro bono associate advisory board.

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The Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley announced its annual award winners at the association’s holiday luncheon on Dec. 1 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The 2022 Realtor of the Year is Arlene Castellano of Acuna Real Estate. The 2022 Affiliate of the Year is Victor Rodriguez Sr. of PeoplesBank. A Realtor since 2015, Castellano has served on the RAPV board of directors since 2020. She has also served on the community service, finance, government affairs, member engagement, professional standards, and YPN committees. She has given back to the community through her active involvement with the community service committee, including as a board member for Dress for Success and co-chair of its relocation committee; as a basketball coach; serving in the Franklin County Meal; and coordinating a Meet the Candidate event for state Rep. Jake Oliveira. She has also coordinated RAPV’s new-member orientation and has been featured on the Real Estate Minute segment of WWLP’s Mass Appeal program intended to educate the public about real estate and the role of Realtors. She recently participated in and graduated from the Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors’ 2022 Leadership Academy Class. A member of RAPV since 2015, Rodriguez is the mortgage consultant at PeoplesBank and has served on the affiliate-Realtor and community service committees. He has demonstrated tremendous support to the association and community outreach and volunteered in RAPV’s community-service efforts through its Christmas adopt-a-family program. His community activities include being director at Heir of Christ Christian Church since 2016, a board member of Holyoke Chapter Salvation Army since 2019, a board member of One Holyoke CDC since 2019, a committee member of Buy Holyoke Now, and a prior board member of the Greater Holyoke YMCA.

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Diane Sabato

Diane Sabato

John Diffley

John Diffley

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) professors Diane Sabato and John Diffley received the Michelson IP Educator of Excellence Award. Sabato, an STCC business professor, and Diffley, an attorney and history professor, have been working on the intellectual-property (IP) educational initiative since 2020. STCC was one of only five colleges nationwide with faculty accepted into the Michelson IP Educator in Residence initiative. The Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property and the National Assoc. for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) selected Sabato and Diffley for the project. Sabato and Diffley have been collaborating with four other educators focusing on a mission to deliver intellectual-property education. They joined faculty from institutions in New Jersey, Florida, California, and New Mexico. Intellectual property refers to inventions and human creations such as literary and artistic works, designs, symbols, and names and images used in commerce. Sabato taught intellectual-property concepts in an entrepreneurship class at STCC. Diffley brought the historical perspective of Springfield as an innovation hub and the capacity to implement campus-wide initiatives, initially, through the Honors Program.

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Berkshire Money Management (BMM), a boutique advisory firm with offices in Dalton and Great Barrington, recently welcomed Brenda Bailly and Tina Archambault as client care specialists. The two new hires join the client care team led by Chelsea Smith, recently promoted to the role of client specialist leader. All three employees play a vital role in providing attentive, personalized service to the clients of Berkshire Money Management. Bailly, based in the company’s downtown Great Barrington office, brings more than 24 years of experience in financial services and wealth-management operations to her role as client care specialist. Before joining the BMM team, she was a wealth management senior operations specialist at Berkshire Bank, where her responsibilities included client care, opening and closing accounts, audit assistance, system configurations, and more. A notary, Berkshire Community College graduate, and experienced customer-service professional, Archambault joins the Berkshire Money Management team as client care specialist at the Dalton office. She brings to her new role 25 years in customer service and 16 years of experience in trusts. In her previous role as wealth management operations specialist at Berkshire Bank, she worked with various accounts, including IRAs, trusts, and investment and estate accounts, and was responsible for the opening of new accounts, asset transfers, and other operational tasks. As part of the client care team, both Bailly and Archambault will assist with client onboarding, scheduling, opening and servicing accounts, facilitating account transactions, building strong relationships, and helping clients with their day-to-day service needs. Berkshire Money Management also congratulates Smith on her recent promotion to client specialist leader. She joined BMM in 2021 as a client care specialist. In her new role, she is focused on strengthening BMM’s client care team through coaching, developing new standards and practices, and leading the team in providing exceptional client service. She is a veteran customer-service professional and notary public and has an associate degree from Berkshire Community College in liberal arts with a concentration in business administration.

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Pema Latshang

Teach Western Mass Executive Director Pema Latshang has been selected to serve on the Healey-Driscoll Thriving Youth and Young Adults Transition Committee. Transition committees aim to guide Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll on important work as they prepare to take office in January. Each committee is composed of a diverse group of community members, advocates, subject-matter experts, and business and nonprofit leaders. Latshang’s participation gives voice to the education community of Western Mass. Her expertise in reducing barriers to entry to the profession, maintaining performance standards, and increasing retention supports for new teachers will help her advocate for a high-quality, diverse teacher workforce.

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The Look Memorial Park board of trustees voted unanimously to name Justin Pelis the park’s fifth executive director. Pelis has served as the interim executive director since July 29. “Look Memorial Park is special to so many people,” Pelis said. “It evokes a different meaning to everyone, but in the end, the park is a place where memories are built between families and community. I’m proud to be the newest executive director of Look Park, where my vision and contribution will live on in the hearts of the community for years to come. That was the intent of Mrs. Fannie Look when she set forth to memorialize her late husband Frank Newhall Look in 1928. As executive director, I honor the responsibility to preserve Mrs. Look’s vision while also being responsive and adaptive to the changing needs of our patrons and communities.”

People on the Move
Jackson Findlay

Jackson Findlay

John Santaniello

John Santaniello

Freedom Credit Union recently announced the hiring of two staff members for its new loan-production office at 115 Elm Street in Enfield, Conn.: Jackson Findlay, mortgage loan originator, and John Santaniello, assistant vice president of Member Business Lending. Findlay will be responsible for helping guide members through mortgage loan options, preparing and submitting mortgage loan applications, and working with prospective homebuyers throughout the process of obtaining a mortgage loan. A graduate of Newbury College with a bachelor’s degree in international business and Elms College with an MBA, he previously served as a virtual mortgage officer with another financial institution. Santaniello will work with businesses seeking loans, including term, Small Business Administration, commercial real estate, and commercial vehicle loans. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He previously worked at another financial institution in Connecticut as assistant vice president of Commercial Lending.

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Robert Ciraco

Robert Ciraco

Michael Ostrowski, president and CEO of Arrha Credit Union, announced that Robert Ciraco has been promoted to the role of executive vice president, chief lending officer. Ciraco joined Arrha in 2019 and served as vice president, chief lending officer for all aspects of residential and commercial lending. He has more than 25 years in the financial-services lending industry. During his extensive career, he has been responsible for all aspects of lending. He was vice president of Residential and Consumer Lending for Rockville Bank, a $2 billion community bank, where he was in charge of loan processing, underwriting, loan closings, quality control, secondary market sales, loan servicing, and administration of all residential and consumer loan systems. After leaving Rockville, Ciraco built a highly successful, high-volume wholesale lending operations center to support East Coast loan originations for a West Coast wholesale lender as director of Operations. He has been involved in youth hockey for more than 15 years, coaching and serving as a board member at several different hockey organizations.

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Michael Tiberii

Michael Tiberii

Tom Ingle

Tom Ingle

Nicole LaCroix

Nicole LaCroix

Fontaine Bros. Inc., a construction management and general contracting firm serving the public and private sectors since 1933, recently announced three new hires to the organization: Michael Tiberii as senior project supervisor, Tom Ingle as project supervisor/manager, and Nicole LaCroix as project manager. Tiberii joins Fontaine from AECOM Tishman, where he was vice president of MEP Services. With more than 35 years of experience, he has worked on projects in many sectors including life science, hospitality, and residential. He completed the Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Architectural Design and Drafting program and earned a certificate from the University of Texas’ Project Management program. Before joining Fontaine, Ingle was a general contractor who managed his own construction and remodeling company. He is a licensed construction supervisor and earned a degree in business management from Providence College. Lacroix comes to Fontaine from Bowdoin Construction. She earned a master’s degree in construction management from Wentworth Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in interior design. Her diverse experience includes a wide range of projects in the academic and life-science sectors.

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The Western Mass. Hyundai dealers (Balise, Gary Rome, and Country) surprised Bob “the Bike Man” Charland with a new 2023 Hyundai Tucson yesterday at his repair shop at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield. Charland is the founder of Pedal Thru Youth Inc. He started working with children in 2003 when he led a Girl Scout troop for his daughter and coached her softball team. He started teaching automotive for Willie Ross School for the Deaf in 2012. Around the same time, he started fixing up bikes to donate to less fortunate kids. In 2017, after being diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease, he decided that he wanted to create a formal organization and start donating bikes to large groups of children. Thus, the idea for Pedal Thru Youth was born. Charland has made significant contributions to the community that also includes volunteering his time to supply law-enforcement agencies around Massachusetts and Connecticut with backpacks filled with essential supplies for the homeless. Hyundai Salute To Heroes is an annual event that was launched in 2021 and brought to the Western Mass. region by Gary Rome, president of Gary Rome Hyundai and president of the Hyundai Dealers Advertising Assoc., to recognize local, everyday heroes. The Hyundai Tucson SEL AWD is valued at $33,495, and the dealers are paying for all taxes and fees associated with the vehicle.

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Charlie D’Amour

Charlie D’Amour

Gregory Thomas

Gregory Thomas

Aaron Vega

Aaron Vega

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) announced the appointment of three new trustees. Charlie D’Amour, Gregory Thomas, and Aaron Vega, each of which began their three-year terms in October, will provide guidance and leadership during a pivotal time for CFWM, which embarked on a national search for its next president and CEO earlier this year. D’Amour is the president and CEO of Big Y, where he is responsible for the successful development and execution of long-term strategies for the company. Throughout his tenure at Big Y, he has been instrumental in the development and growth of all aspects of the business, including its World Class Supermarkets, its other retail-store formats, distribution and facilities-management capabilities, and support functions. D’Amour is board member and serves on the public affairs committee for FMI, the national food-industry association. He is also a member of the board and executive committee and former chair of Topco Associates Inc., a member-owned, $16 billion buying consortium headquartered in Chicago. He has served as the chairman of Baystate Health and serves on the board and is a former chair of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council. Thomas serves as executive director and lecturer at UMass Amherst. Thomas has an extensive background in business as both a strategic manager and a professor. Since 2018, he has been at UMass Amherst, serving in a dual role as a lecturer at the Isenberg School of Management and executive director of the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship. Additionally, since 2008, he has served as a manufacturing strategy manager for a multi-national technology company. His volunteer experience includes roles on the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, Beta Sigma Boule Foundation in Springfield, and the Corning Children’s Center in Corning, N.Y., where he served as both president and treasurer. Vega was appointed director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development for the city of Holyoke in 2020. Prior to his appointment, he served as state representative for the 5th Hampden District. He continues his focus on providing constituent services, education policy, and economic development. Over the past 10 years, he has been involved in several local nonprofit boards and volunteer projects.

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Country Bank recently announced four promotions. Lisa DiMarzio and Scott Emerson were promoted to first vice presidents. DiMarzio oversees the bank’s Compliance and Community Reinvestment area. She has worked in various positions as a long-tenured team member with 36 years at Country Bank. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Anna Maria College. In addition, she is a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies and the American Bankers Assoc. Stonier Graduate School of Banking, where she also earned a Wharton leadership certification. Emerson has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry and has been an essential part of the Innovation and Technology team at Country Bank for the last 17 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UMass Amherst and has completed several technology-related certifications throughout the course of his career. Dianna Lussier, who oversees the Risk Management area, has been promoted to vice president. She has been with Country Bank for 18 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Worcester State University with a concentration in finance and accounting. She is also a graduate of the Massachusetts Bankers New England School for Financial Studies. She is currently attending the American Bankers Assoc. Stonier Graduate School of Banking and completing her Wharton leadership certification. Jason Bourbeau was promoted to Technology Architecture officer. He has been with Country Bank for eight years, earned an associate degree in computer systems engineering from Springfield Technical Community College, and is certified as a Cisco network professional.

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Jane Johnson Vottero

Jane Johnson Vottero

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Jane Johnson Vottero as its new director of Marketing and Strategic Communications. Vottero joins HCC after 21 years at Springfield College, where she has worked as manager of editorial services, publications director, director of executive communications, and, most recently, editorial director. Her work includes award-winning publications, executive speech writing, supervision of creative and volunteer teams, advertising campaigns, newspaper reporting, freelance correspondence, development writing, web writing, video production, and strategic communications for businesses, nonprofits, and political and social-issue campaigns. At HCC, Vottero will oversee the operations of marketing, media relations, social media, graphic design, website management, publications, and other internal and external communications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from UMass Amherst and a master’s degree in psychology from Springfield College. She has worked as a writer, editor, and publicist in Western Mass., including at Baystate Health, the Western Massachusetts Business Journal (now BusinessWest), the Westfield Evening News, and Barron’s Business and Financial Weekly. She is a past president of the Junior League of Greater Springfield, the founding president of CISV Greater Springfield, and a graduate of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact.

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Meridith Salois

Meridith Salois

bankESB recently promoted Meridith Salois to vice president, Commercial Credit Systems Management. Salois joined bankESB in 2001 as a loan servicer and progressed over time to collections assistant, credit analyst, and senior credit analyst before being elected officer in 2015 and promoted to assistant vice president in 2016. In 2020, she was promoted to assistant vice president, Commercial Credit Systems manager. She was responsible for leading the commercial integration group for bankESB parent Hometown Financial Group’s recent acquisition of Randolph Bancorp and Envision Bank. Salois holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Bay Path College and is a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies. She currently serves as vice president of the LoanVantage User Group and is an active volunteer in her community with the Southampton Road PTO and All 4-Kids Consignment Sale.

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John Miarecki

John Miarecki

Shawna Griffin

Shawna Griffin

Erica Moulton

Erica Moulton

Susan Mayhew

Susan Mayhew

Market Mentors, the region’s largest marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, is proud to announce the addition of four new team members, adding to the depth and expertise of its staff. The hires span multiple departments, including account services, media buying, and administration. John Miarecki joined the agency as director of Growth and Development. A marketing guru with almost 15 years of experience in various roles, as well as degrees in marketing and psychology from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, he is tasked with assisting with business development, client services, internal operations and talent development. Shawna Griffin is the agency’s new media planner/buyer, bringing with her two decades of experience in the field. A graduate of Hofstra University, she is adept at creating comprehensive media plans that drive action and results. Erica Moulton joined the agency as an account executive with nearly 20 years of expertise in all things communications, including social media, public relations, referral relations, fundraising, account management, and more. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Catholic University of America and has extensive expertise in the healthcare and nonprofit verticals. Susan Mayhew made her return to Market Mentors as office manager, a position she previously held for four years before moving to Colorado and then South Carolina. With more than 25 years of business administration experience, she is responsible for office management, including financials (including accounts payable, accounts receivable, and reporting) and some human-resources duties.

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Jessica Oliver

Jessica Oliver

Hometown Mortgage, a division of bankESB, recently announced that Jessica Oliver has been hired as a loan officer. Oliver has more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry. Prior to her hiring at Hometown Mortgage, she was employed as a loan officer at First Eastern Mortgage for 15 years and at Fairway Independent Mortgage for nearly seven years.