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Black Tie Gala

The Assoc. of Black Business and Professionals (ABBP) hosted its third annual Black Tie Gala on Jan. 19 at the Aria Ballroom at the MGM hotel in Springfield. During the gala, the association recognized 10 businesses and professionals were that have contributed significantly to the growth and development of the local black business community. The keynote speaker was Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to the U.S.

Attorney Alesia Days serves as master of ceremonies

Adjei-Barwuah addresses the crowd

Adjei-Barwuah addresses the crowd

Adjei-Barwuah (left) with Jasmine Green, ABBP executive board member

Adjei-Barwuah (left) with Jasmine Green, ABBP executive board member

From left, Jimmy and Toni Hendrix of Smokey Joe’s Cigar Lounge, Lamont Clemens of S-Cel-O Painting, Stefan Davis of I Found Light Against All Odds, Rosemary Tracy Woods of Art for the Soul Gallery, Justin Haynes of Jus10h, Vanessa Hall of Beaute Within, Clarence Thomas of Final Touch Barbershop, and Mychal Connoly of Stinky Cakes

From left, Clemons, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, mayoral aide and ABBP executive board member Darryl Moss, and Lordi Smith of Micro Scalp Clinic.

Open for Business

Florence Bank recently cut the ribbon on its second Hampden County branch, at 1444 Allen St. in Springfield. Bank staff, board members, and corporators were on hand at the ceremony, along with civic leaders.

In the front row, are, from left, Springfield City Councilor Michael Fenton, State Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Florence Bank President and CEO John Heaps, Vice President and Branch Manager Nikki Gleason, board member Mansour Ghalibaf, Area Manager/Vice President Elissa Langevin, corporator Tania Barber, Vice President/Director of Facilities Mark Cavanaugh, and Joanne Gould of the Outerbelt Service Assoc

The branch’s staff: from left, Carolyn Ware, community relations director; Candice Somar, assistant branch manager; Mario Nascimento, customer service representative/senior teller; Nikki Gleason, vice president/branch manager; Magdalis (Maggie) Sierra, customer service representative/senior teller; and Bianca Hyde, customer service representative/teller operations manager

 Sarno (left) greeting Heaps and welcoming Florence Bank into the city.

Sarno (left) greeting Heaps and welcoming Florence Bank into the city.

Model Congress at AIC

The 79th annual Model Congress at American International College, the longest-running continuous model congress of its type in the nation and one of the college’s oldest campus traditions, convened at AIC during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Eleven high schools throughout the Northeast came to campus to write, debate, and pass legislation in a weekend-long simulated congress.

The Best Delegation award was presented to (pictured, from left) Alexandria Barnard-Davignon, Rose McCaffrey, Bridget Bushy, and Michael Scoville from SABIS International Charter School. The Best Bill award was given to Chinaly Chanvong and Jada Ficarra, also from SABIS. McCaffrey was named this year’s top delegate, and will receive the Kathryn Mauke Scholarship, a full four-year tuition scholarship to AIC. Second- and third-place delegates were Althea Brennan and Pamela Mountain, respectively, from Chatham High School in New York, who receive a $10,000 and a $5,000 four-year scholarship to AIC.

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Asnuntuck Community College

Going Digital

In an effort to provide students with relevant skills for the workplace, Asnuntuck Community College has adopted eLABJournal, a software solution from Bio-ITech, a division of Eppendorf. eLABJournal is an intuitive and user-friendly application that is designed for laboratories in academic teaching and research labs as well as in commercial settings. Students using this platform in the classroom will gain valuable experience in electronic notebook and inventory/data management, which will better prepare them for their careers. Here, Asnuntuck student Samantha Fox is photographed in one of the college’s labs working with eLabJournal. Asnuntuck Community College’s Foundation provided the funding, through a mini-grant, for this software.





The West of the River Chamber of Commerce

Open for Business

The West of the River Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed Box Paper Scissors to the Agawam community. The store, which opened in late December and is owned by Bryant Whitsett, offers a wide variety of products and services, including key cutting, notary, DVD transfer, office supplies, conference-room rental, space to sell and promote local products and services, shipping, mailbox services, faxing, and more. A grand-opening celebration was staged Jan. 17. Here, Whitsett is seen with employee Delaney Tanzer.





North Brookfield Savings Bank

Meeting a Need

North Brookfield Savings Bank (NBSB) recently thanked the community for the overwhelming success of its annual toy drive, during which the bank accepted thousands of donations of new and unwrapped toys and collected monetary donations in jars at its branch locations. Pictured are the Cindy Fountain (left) and Patty Ostrout of NBSB with officers from the North Brookfield Police Department, whose Toys for Joy program was one of many partnering organizations in the drive.





Officials from Holyoke Community College and Westfield State University

Nursing Degree Partnership

Officials from Holyoke Community College and Westfield State University signed a dual-admission agreement that streamlines the process for students who want to continue their nursing educations at Westfield after earning an associate degree in nursing at HCC. The RN-to-BSN completion program partnership was announced during a ceremony at HCC’s Center for Health Education on Jarvis Avenue, home to the college’s RN (registered nurse) and LPN (licensed practical nursing) programs and medical simulation center. From left: Diane Prusank, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Westfield State University; Ramon Torrecilha, president of Westfield State University; Christina Royal, president of Holyoke Community College; and Monica Perez, vice president of Academic Affairs at Holyoke Community College.

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Building New Lives

More than two dozen students were recently recognized for completing a five-month ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) program for Puerto Rican evacuees at Holyoke Community College. The Puerto Rican New Arrivals Program started July 23 and concluded Dec. 20 with a recognition ceremony and feast at HCC’s Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center (PAFEC) in downtown Holyoke. The HCC division of Business and Community Services offered the free ESOL program specifically for residents of Puerto Rico who left the island after Hurricane Maria and relocated to Western Mass.

Maria Crespo Santos and Yamilette Gonzalez Caceres share a moment at the ceremony

Students, faculty, and staff from HCC’s Puerto Rican New Arrivals Program celebrate the completion of the program

Investing in Students

An “Introduction to Fire Science” elective class offered at Ware High School and taught by Ware Fire Department Deputy Chief Edward Wloch — one example of project-based learning at the high school — led to an opportunity to take an EMT-B class at the Holyoke Community College satellite located at the Education to Employment (E2E) site in Ware. Students who finished the high-school elective are now exploring careers in fire science and emergency medicine. Area business partners included Baystate Wing Hospital Corp., which provided a matching grant of $640 that covered half the tuition and textbooks for the EMT course. From left: Michael Moran, president of Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospital; students Valentina Towne, Morgan Orszulak, and Joe Gagnon; Wloch; students Seth Bourdeau, Felicity Dineen, and Jordan Trzpit; and Ware Superintendent of Schools Marlene DiLeo.

From left: Michael Moran, president of Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospital; students Valentina Towne, Morgan Orszulak, and Joe Gagnon; Wloch; students Seth Bourdeau, Felicity Dineen, and Jordan Trzpit; and Ware Superintendent of Schools Marlene DiLeo.

From left: Michael Moran, president of Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Wing Hospital; students Valentina Towne, Morgan Orszulak, and Joe Gagnon; Wloch; students Seth Bourdeau, Felicity Dineen, and Jordan Trzpit; and Ware Superintendent of Schools Marlene DiLeo.

Another Act of Advocacy


The Advocacy Network, a local organization with a mission to promote and protect the health, human rights, and safety of people with developmental disabilities, recently donated $17,000 to Whole Children. The donation was one of the last acts of the group, which announced it is dissolving after more than 60 years of work. “We’re very pleased to support the programs and staff of Whole Children. We know we found the right place,” said Advocacy Network board member Ed Orzechowski. Whole Children was started in 2004 by a group of parents looking for after-school programs for their children with intellectual disabilities or autism. It joined with Springfield-based Pathlight in 2010 and has expanded to serve some 600 adults, teens, and children each year in a variety of recreation, performing-arts, and enrichment programs.

Launching a New Brand


Consolidated Health Plans (CHP), a Springfield-based accident- and health-insurance Berkshire Hathaway company, recently announced the launch of a new brand name and brand identity for three organizations: Consolidated Health Plans, Commercial Casualty Insurance Co., and Atlanta International Insurance Co. The organizations will be branded under the marketing name of Wellfleet, and the company names are changing to Wellfleet Group, Wellfleet Insurance Co., and Wellfleet New York Insurance Co., respectively.
Consolidated Health Plans President and CEO, Drew DiGiorgio, right, with company founder Kevin Saremi at CHP’s recent 25th anniversary celebration at the Basketball Hall of Fame. At left: from left, CHP employees Maureen Brunelle, Karen O’Connor, Susan Daley, and Amanda Noel.

Consolidated Health Plans President and CEO, Drew DiGiorgio, right, with company founder Kevin Saremi at CHP’s recent 25th anniversary celebration at the Basketball Hall of Fame. At left: from left, CHP employees Maureen Brunelle, Karen O’Connor, Susan Daley, and Amanda Noel.

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A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts December 25, 2018

Cutting the Ribbon

Hundreds of dignitaries, including Gov. Charlie Baker, joined Springfield Technical Community College administrators, faculty, students, and trustees (past and present) for a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the Ira H. Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons, otherwise known as Building 19 when it was part of the Springfield Armory complex. Actually, several speakers who took the podium joked that the $50 million facility should simply be called ‘the Ira’ for short. The renovated historic building will now serve as a one-stop hub for student services and activities.

Rubenzahl, president of the school from 2004 to 2016 and visionary for the Building 19 project, cuts the ribbon

Rubenzahl, president of the school from 2004 to 2016 and visionary for the Building 19 project, cuts the ribbon

Baker, right, with current STCC President John Cook

Baker, right, with current STCC President John Cook

Rubenzahl chats with students Karolyn Burgos-Toribio and Mohammed Gabriel

Rubenzahl chats with students Karolyn Burgos-Toribio and Mohammed Gabriel

Building 19 opened in the mid 1800s, and has served the college in a number of ways over the years

Building 19 opened in the mid 1800s, and has served the college in a number of ways over the years

Rubenzahl addresses those gathered for the ceremonies, with Cook and Baker to his right

Rubenzahl addresses those gathered for the ceremonies, with Cook and Baker to his right

 

Banking on Worthy Causes

The Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. (MBA) announced that the MBA Charitable Foundation set a new record in its annual year-end community grant season. The 45 grants in 2018 total $163,000. The foundation has now provided gifts totaling approximately $2.5 million over its 22-year history. Among the awards is $5,000 to United Way of Pioneer Valley’s Thrive Financial Success Program (below), $5,000 to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts (middle), and $5,000 to Girls Inc. of Holyoke (bottom).

 

‘Your Friends Are My Friends’

More than 200 women recently attended WillPower Foundation’s “Your Friends Are My Friends” holiday brunch at Hadley Meeting House. The annual fundraiser raised more than $12,000 for grants for families with loved ones with different abilities throughout Western Mass. An art auction with pieces created by supporters of WillPower was the highlight of the event.

Sharon Dufour of LUSO Federal Credit Union and Kim Anderson with art they won at the auction.

Sharon Dufour of LUSO Federal Credit Union and Kim Anderson with art they won at the auction.

 

Food for Thought

Arrha Credit Union President Michael Ostrowski (pictured at far left) recently recognized Ludlow High School honor students for collecting $7,159.50 in non-perishable food items and donations for Springfield Open Pantry. Arrha sponsors the School Challenge, through which area students raised $22,982.91 this year. To show appreciation, Arrha donated $1,000 to Ludlow High School community efforts. The Springfield Open Pantry is an emergency food kitchen that serves more than 30,000 people each year.

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A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts

Business Exchange

The Greater Northampton, Greater Easthampton and Amherst Area chambers of commerce recently came together for their annual Business Exchange at Lord Jeffery Inn. More than 225 business leaders from across the Pioneer Valley enjoyed music, tastings, and networking bingo. The event was sponsored by Duseau Trucking, Five College Realtors, and Kuhn Riddle Architects. Pictured below: from left, John Howland, President, Greenfield Savings Bank (far left) and his wife Phelicia (far right) with Regina Curtis of the Greenfield Community College Foundation. Bottom: Youssef Fadel of New England Promotional Marketing (left) and Jessye Deane of F45 Training of Hampshire Meadows & Community Action.

 

Pain into Purpose

The Springfield College Office of Multicultural Affairs recently presented Leon Ford, a community leader, social activist, and survivor of police brutality. Ford, author of Untold, shared his personal story about police brutality, racial profiling, discriminatory practices, victimization, and how he has used his experience as a tool to positively impact society. In 2012, Ford, then 19, was shot five times by a Pittsburgh police officer during a routine traffic stop, leaving paralyzed. Since that time, Ford has told his story all over the country, including delivering a TEDx Talk, “Turning Pain into Purpose,” about his experiences. Pictured: Ford (right) with Calvin Hill, Springfield College’s vice president for Inclusion and Community Engagement.

 

Engaging Efforts

Greater Springfield Senior Services recently awarded $5,000 Let’s Re-engAGE grants to three organizations — Glenmeadow Retirement Community of Longmeadow, Valley Eye Radio Inc. of Springfield, and the Indian Orchard Branch of the Springfield library — for projects designed to reach out to isolated senior citizens and engage the community in the effort. Pictured at below: from left, Valley Eye Radio Executive Director Barbara Loh and board members John Ptaszek and Ellen Berry. At bottom: from left, Stephen Crane, Longmeadow town manager;  the Rev. Pam McGrath, First Church of Christ, Longmeadow; Anne Thomas, president and CEO, Glenmeadow Retirement Community; and Erin Koebler, Community Outreach coordinator, Longmeadow Council on Aging.

 

Celebrating in Style

Mercedes Benz of Springfield celebrated its first year in business recently by throwing a party for customers, employees, and partners in the dealership’s many initiatives within the community. Donations were suggested to support Square One and the Springfield Symphony Youth Orchestra. Below, Peter and Michelle Wirth, co-owners of the dealership, with their children: Alexander, Christian, Benjamin, and Charlotte. Middle, magician Peter James entertains two young children. Bottom, there were Mercedes models for people of all ages.

 

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A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts November 2018

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Food Drive

The Springfield College Student Athlete Leadership Team partnered with the Department of Public Safety recently to lead a food drive in support of the Foodbank of Western Massachusetts. The campus community helped donate more than 1,698 pounds of nonperishable food items to the Foodbank. Students and staff delivered the food items on Nov. 15.


Andrus Award Winner

On Nov. 8, AARP Massachusetts presented its prestigious Andrus Award to Susan Jaye Kaplan, co-founder of Link to Libraries and founder of GoFIT. The award is given out annually to a volunteer in the state. Named after the organization’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, it recognizes outstanding individuals who are sharing their experience, talents, and skills to enrich the lives of others.

Kaplan with her husband, Steve, left, and Matt Bannister, first vice president of Marketing and Innovation with PeoplesBank. All three are members of the Link to Libraries Board of Directors


Awards Breakfast

Viability Inc. recently staged its annual Employer Recognition and Awards Breakfast at Springfield Country Club. Employer partners that were recognized include The Short Stop Bar & Grill for the Rookie Employer Award; Deerfield Packaging for Employer of the Year; and Walgreens for the National Employer Award. Also recognized was Joseph Wendover for the Armand Tourangeau Volunteer of the Year

Jeff Bowers and Kyle Hahn from Walgreens accept the National Employer Award, presented by Viability Senior Vice President of Corporate Inclusion Solutions, Carla Gaouette.

Viability Board Chair Timothy Marini, left, of Hub International New England, and Viability CEO Dick Venne.


New Bay Path Trustees

Bay Path University recently welcomed seven new members to its Board of Trustees.

From left: Michelle Wirth, co-owner of Mercedes Benz of Springfield; Laura Grondin, president and CEO of Virginia Industries Inc.; Wayne Webster, vice president of Commercial Lending for Westfield Bank; Andrea Hill-Cataldo, founder and president of Johnson & Hill Staffing; Kirk Arnold, technology executive; Lamont Clemons, senior vice president, Proton Energy, and executive vice president, S-Cel-O Painting; and Stefano Martini, chief information officer for MassMutual Financial Group.

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A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts November 2018

AIC Unveils Colaccino Center

American International College (AIC) celebrated the grand opening of the new Colaccino Center for Health Sciences

American International College (AIC) celebrated the grand opening of the new Colaccino Center for Health Sciences on Oct. 24. Located at 1020 State St., the center offers spacious classrooms and hands-on labs in exercise science, nursing, physical therapy, public health, and occupational therapy. The 20,000-square-foot facility includes simulation, rehabilitation, and human-performance laboratories, as well as smart classrooms, study areas, faculty offices, and conference space. Athletic training programs will be introduced beginning in 2021. Pictured at top: cutting the ribbon are, from left, state Sen. James Welch, state Rep. Thomas Petrolati; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, AIC President Vince Maniaci, AIC board of trustees chair Frank Colaccino, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, AIC School of Health Sciences interim Dean Karen Rousseau, state Sen. Eric Lesser, and Springfield City Council President Orlando Ramos

Critical Links

Thanks to Big Y, Link to Libraries has recently made significant donations of books in the Berkshires. Pictured top: from left, Denise Dubreuil and Mike Messer of Big Y in Pittsfield; Laurie Flynn, president and CEO of Link to Libraries; and representatives from Silvio Conte Community School, Morningside Community School, and Crosby Elementary School in Pittsfield. Bottom: from left, Carolyn Wallace, principal of Brayton Elementary School in North Adams; Flynn; Becky Prenguber of Big Y in North Adams; Barbara Malkas, superintendent of North Adams Public Schools; and representatives from Brayton Elementary School, Greylock Elementary School, and Colegrove Park Elementary School in North Adams.

Super 60

On Oct. 26, the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Super 60 gala celebrated 60 area companies for their success in one of two categories — total revenue and revenue growth — and the wide range of honorees brought into focus the breadth and depth of the region’s business community. Lelaneia Dubay, founder of Hartford Flavor Co., distiller of Wild Moon liqueurs, was the keynote speaker for this year’s event at Chez Josef in Agawam. Pictured above: Dubay with representatives from presenting sponsor Health New England, from left, Brendaliz Torres, Maura Girouard, Tim Chrystal, Sandra Ruiz, Keith Jones, Peggy Garand, Eric Harlow, Christine Wershoven, Mike Wolnecki (Webber & Grinnell), Ashley Allen, and Glenda DeBarge. (Michael Epaul Photography)

HCC Opens Center for Life Sciences

Holyoke Community College (HCC) marked the official opening of its new Center for Life Sciences on Oct. 24 with a ribbon-cutting celebration featuring lab demonstrations and tours of the 13,000-square-foot, $4.55 million, state-of-the-art facility. The center, which opened for classes in September, features a suite of new science labs and classrooms and the only ISO-certified cleanroom at any community college in Massachusetts. Pictured at top: HCC president Christina Royal and state Secretary of Education Jim Peyser cut the ceremonial ribbon. Also pictured, from left to right, are state Rep. Angelo Puppolo; state Rep. Aaron Vega; Martha Waldron, vice president of Marketing & Communications for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center; U.S. Rep. Richard Neal; Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse; and several HCC students. Bottom: HCC Biology Professor James Knapp gives a microbiology demonstration to students and visitors during the grand opening celebration.

Changing Lives

Asnuntuck Community College’s November episode of Changing Lives focuses on recent growth at the college

Asnuntuck Community College’s November episode of Changing Lives focuses on recent growth at the college. James Lombella (left), president of Asnuntuck and Tunxis Community Colleges, hosted the show. His guests were Tim St. James, interim dean of Student Services, and Jennifer Brown, director of Workforce Development and Non-credit Programs. Produced by volunteers, the Changing Lives program airs on PATV 15 on Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m. (Photo by Ben Durant)

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A Pictorial Essay

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Continuing the Fight

The 25th Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer drew about 25,000 people to Forest Park in Springfield on Oct. 21 to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, as well as supporting survivors and remembering loved ones they’ve lost. The program, launched in 1994 by Lucy Giuggio Carvalho has raised almost $15 million over its history for research, treatment, equipment, breast-health programs, outreach, and education — all of it local — as well as providing grants to various community programs throughout Western Mass.

‘Pink Day’

LUSO Federal Credit Union in Ludlow and Wilbraham celebrated a “Pink Day” recently to raise awareness for breast cancer. The local, nonprofit community credit union is raising money to benefit Rays of Hope and the Pink W.A.Y. through calendar raffles for the months of November and December. Suggested donation is $10 (for one) or $15 (for two). To learn more, visit www.lusofederal.com.

Bowl-a-thon Donation

Joe Phillips, right, president of Phillips Insurance Agency Inc., presents a $5,000 check to John Freedman, president of Joseph Freedman Company, for the seventh annual Joseph Freedman Bowl-a-thon being held Nov. 7 at AMF lanes in Chicopee. The proceeds go to Camphill Village, a community for adults with developmental disabilities who live together and work together caring for each other.

Getting College Experience

Brian Candido, professor and program chair for Springfield Technical Community College’s Computer Information Technologies program, leads a class involving students from Springfield’s Commerce High School. The college welcomed more than 40 students from Commerce this fall as part of a program, created in collaboration with the Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership, to enable high-school students to take college-level classes. Students attending STCC can choose between courses in mobile app programming, computer basics, and airbrushing techniques.

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A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts
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Tee Party

Square One’s celebrated its 13th annual Tea Party on Oct. 4. This year’s party was a vintage golf-inspired event hosted by the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden. Pictured top to bottom: Lauri Doleva (left) and Kris Allard; Lynn Brown and Bill Sullivan; from left, Nina Cameron, Dawn DiStafano, Liz Lopez, and Shynel Hayes; and Jami Ouellette Morse winning a prize.

Michael Epaul Photography

Michael Epaul Photography

Deb Hanna Photography

Michael Epaul Photography

Earning Top Grades

On Oct. 4, 220 guests filled the UMass Student Ballroom for the eighth annual A+ Awards presented by the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, recognizing leaders in the community whose work and actions bring economic and social benefit to the region. Pictured top to bottom: honorees included, from left, Catalina Arrubla of Multi-Arts, Jen Loebel-Strong of CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, former U.S. Rep. John Olver, Kim Alli of Greenfield Savings Bank, David Dann of Village Neighbors, and Amherst Cinema, represented by Carol Johnson. Tony Maroulis (left) and John Coull, both former Amherst Area Chamber executive directors.

Source to Sea Cleanup

On Sept. 28-29, an estimated 3,000 volunteers gathered at more than 100 locations along the Connecticut River and tributary streams in four states for the Connecticut River Conservancy’s (CRC) 22nd annual Source to Sea Cleanup. “We all have a responsibility to solve this problem — individuals, manufacturers, businesses, and government,” said Andrew Fisk, CRC executive director. “After cleaning up over 1,000 tons of trash over the course of 22 years, it’s clear that repeated cleaning is not the solution to our trash problem. We need to redesign our economy so there isn’t waste in the first place.” In addition to the tons of small litter picked up this year by volunteers, CRC uses the Source to Sea Cleanup as an opportunity to clean up large trash dump sites and remove large debris items from rivers. (Photo by Sam Masinter)

Something’s Cooking

The Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation recently donated $50,000 to Holyoke Community College for the benefit of students preparing for careers in the culinary arts and hospitality industry. Bill Wagner, president of the foundation, presented an oversized check for that amount to HCC president Christina Royal and officials from the nonprofit HCC Foundation during a brief ceremony Oct. 2 at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. From left, Teri Szlosek, administrator and director of the Chicopee Savings Bank Charitable Foundation; Royal; Wagner; Paul Boudreau ’67, HCC Foundation board chairman; and Amanda Sbriscia, HCC vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the HCC Foundation.

Impact Award

The Polish National Credit Union (PNCU) recently received the Bronze CUSO Financial Services/Sorrento Pacific Financial 2017 Impact Award at the 2018 Annual Conference in San Diego. The award is given to a financial institution that demonstrates an excellent job of building awareness through branch marketing efforts. From left, Valorie Seyfert, president and CEO of CUSO Financial Services, L.P.; Kevin Kober, PNCU director of Retail; Christopher Casale, financial advisor, CUSO Financial Services, L.P.; and Amy Beattie, COO, CUSO Financial Services, L.P.

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A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts / October 1, 2018

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Cutting-edge Experiences

Kristen Boyle, a senior psychology and neuroscience major works in the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility at IALS.

This summer, the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) at UMass Amherst launched its first summer-intern program through its core facilities. This program creates hands-on experiences that prepare students for successful careers. Interns worked on tasks like 3D printing and laser cutting; human physiological, biomechanical, and behavioral studies; and cell testing. Many of the students are continuing on with their work throughout the current academic year. Pictured: Kristen Boyle, a senior psychology and neuroscience major works in the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility at IALS.

Day of Caring

The United Way’s Day of Caring brought together more than 1,000 people on Sept. 14

The United Way’s Day of Caring brought together more than 1,000 people on Sept. 14 to complete community-service work throughout the region. Many area companies use this day of service as an opportunity to engage employees in team-building and morale-boosting activities. The United Way connects local volunteers to nonprofit organizations and schools to complete tasks such as landscaping, painting, gardening, and other tasks. Pictured, top to bottom: a team from Collins Pipe volunteer at Birthday Wishes, representatives from Springfield College Americorps and BusinessWest volunteer at Gardening the Community, and employees from Belt Technologies spend the day working at the Chicopee Child Development Center.

Beyond the 9-to-5

Square One announced it is expanding access to child care to all hours of the day, to support working parents with second-shift, third-shift, and weekend jobs

Square One announced it is expanding access to child care to all hours of the day, to support working parents with second-shift, third-shift, and weekend jobs. Strategic funding partners include MGM Springfield, Baystate Health, Smith & Wesson, the Center for Human Development (CHD), FOCUS, and LENOX. Funds from these employers were matched by philanthropist Lyman Wood of Hampden. Collectively, more than $100,000 was raised to launch Square One: Next Level. “Square One has a long-standing reputation for strategically responding to the evolving needs of our community,” said Joan Kagan, Square One president and CEO. “We heard from our business leaders and from parents in our community that the lack of child care during evenings and weekends was making it difficult for employees to be successful in their careers and employers to be successful in running their businesses.” Pictured, from left: Lori Nesci of CHD; Annamarie Golden of Baystate Health; Wood; Kagan; Alex Dixon of MGM Springfield; Hannah Butler of LENOX; and Dan McDonough of Smith & Wesson.

Seeding the Future

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded two separate grants to Springfield Technical Community College

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded two separate grants to Springfield Technical Community College to enhance education in cutting-edge internet technology and advanced photonics, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal announced. The college received $599,388 to develop the Internet of Things Education Project and $551,202 to develop a program called Problem-Based Learning in Advanced Photonics Manufacturing Education. Both grants are designed to support three-year projects that will prepare and inspire students to enter careers in growing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. STCC has degree and certificate programs that prepare students for these careers. Pictured at the announcement, from left: Gary Mullett, co-chair of the Electronic Systems Engineering Technology Department at STCC; Neal; and Nicholas Massa, department chair for Optics and Photonics Technology at STCC.

Helping Kids Overcome

Springfield will be home to the first Educare early-education school in Massachusetts

Springfield will be home to the first Educare early-education school in Massachusetts. The groundbreaking for the $14 million school took place on Sept. 17 on Hickory Street, adjacent to Brookings School, on land provided by Springfield College. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito was joined by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; Educare officials; Janis Santos, executive director of Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start; local leaders in philanthropy and project funders; representatives of Springfield College and the Old Hill Neighborhood Council; elected officials; and other community members for the ceremony. The center is expected to open in late 2019, offering an early-education model designed to help narrow the achievement gap for children living in poverty. Funding for the project comes from a variety of local, state, and national sources. Pictured at top: state, local, and elected officials, as well as representatives of Educare, Head Start, the Davis Foundation, O’Connell Development Group, and others break ground on Educare Springfield. At above: Polito holds up signs made by Head Start children.

Linking the Community

Link to Libraries recently held an event at Mercedes-Benz of Springfield to recognize its Business Book Link sponsors

Link to Libraries recently held an event at Mercedes-Benz of Springfield to recognize its Business Book Link sponsors. Pictured top: From left, Michael Matty, president and director of St. Germain Investment Management, Peter Wirth, co-owner of Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, and William Trudeau, president and CEO of the Insurance Center of New England. Above: Amy Rediker and Andrew Anderlonis of Rediker Software, and Laurie Flynn, president and CEO of Link to Libraries. (Photos by Sarah Gallagher)