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Company Notebook

WNEU Business Students Partner with White Lion

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University College of Business students recently collaborated with White Lion Brewing Co. to create an in-depth market-research report to help the company expand its reach outside of the Pioneer Valley. White Lion Brewing, the first craft brewery in the city of Springfield, recently cracked the Valley Advocate Beerhunter’s “Must Try Craft Beers” list. The university students began their research last spring, culminating in their final report in December 2015. White Lion was part of Valley Venture Mentors’ inaugural accelerator cohort last year, and a finalist for competing in the Accelerator Awards in April, winning seed money with data collected by the Western New England University student team. “I was very impressed by the level of detail and amount of research the students conducted,” Berry said. “We walked away with a complete analysis on what is working, where we can improve, and what differentiates us from other breweries in our region. It was a pleasure and an honor for me to work with them over the past year.” In addition to working closely with Berry and holding several meetings, the students employed a second team of marketing students to help develop promotional ideas and concepts for White Lion craft beer. With the assistance of Table & Vine stores, the students were permitted to administer surveys to customers for their market research, and provided Berry with a variety of insights for the future growth of his company. “There is nothing more fulfilling than helping students shine among business professionals and helping them carve their reputation in the business community as up-and-coming graduates of Western New England University,” said Janelle Goodnight, professor for both the market-research and marketing-management courses.

 

Elms College Announces Program Accreditations

CHICOPEE — The MBA program at Elms College has been accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE). This accreditation also includes a reaccreditation for the college’s undergraduate business program. “This is exciting because IACBE accreditation not only validates the quality of our business education and our commitment to program excellence, but also enhances the employability of our graduates and offers significant value to their employers,” said Kim Kenney-Rockwal, MBA program director at Elms College. IACBE accreditation of a higher-education institution is mission-driven and outcome-based, and indicates the business program’s effectiveness. The process of accreditation involves a comprehensive self-study in which the school demonstrates that it meets the IACBE’s evaluation criteria. Following the self-study, an independent team of professional peer reviewers conducts a site visit, and then the IACBE’s board of commissioners reviews the site-visit report and delivers its decision. Only eight schools in all of Massachusetts are IACBE-accredited. These schools demonstrate “a commitment to continuous improvement, excellence in business education, and advancing academic quality,” according to the IACBE website. “Accreditation means that the academic business unit’s programs are sufficiently strong to be considered as high-quality programs, and that the academic business unit is functioning effectively (e.g., is producing excellent student-learning outcomes).” Walter Breau, vice president of Academic Affairs at Elms, noted that “our undergraduate business and MBA programs are already recognized in the community as student-centered with a focus on quality, rigor, and ethics. IACBE accreditation of all of our business programs — accounting, management and marketing, sport management, healthcare management and the MBA — reinforces that reputation. The business programs at Elms College will be eligible for reaccreditation in seven years, Kenney-Rockwal said. “During that time, we will submit interim progress reports on what we are changing and enhancing every couple of years.”

 

Springfield College Students Receive Humanitarian Award

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College communication sciences and disorders students, who are members of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Assoc., recently received the WillPower Foundation’s University/College Humanitarian Award. The WillPower Foundation provides financial support that empowers Western Mass. families and individuals with different abilities to meet their unique needs. “We are extremely honored to have received this award in our first year as an official National Student Speech Language Hearing Association chapter,” said Springfield College student and National Student Speech Language Hearing Assoc. treasurer Abbie King. “The Springfield College communication sciences and disorders program was given the award in recognition of the program’s commitment to assisting the WillPower Foundation with fund-raising and advocacy work. The college hosted multiple fund-raising events over the last year for WillPower, and we plan to have another large fund-raising event for the foundation in the spring.” The WillPower Foundation provides grants for items such as mobility equipment, therapeutic recreation, advocacy costs, attorney’s fees, private tutoring, and personal-care needs. “I witnessed first-hand how important the WillPower Foundation is in the community,” said King. “At my internship with Communicare, I noticed that many of the clients we worked with had been awarded grants to purchase communication apps on their iPads, which gave these children a voice that they otherwise would not have had.” The National Student Speech Language Hearing Assoc. has approximately 13,000 members at more than 300 independently operated chapters located on college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

 

Country Bank Promotes Financial Literacy in Local Middle Schools

WARE — Country Bank recently sponsored an educational presentation called “The Brain Show.” Students from Ware Middle School, Charlton Middle School, Knox Trail in Spencer, and Converse Middle School in Palmer were asked to participate in a game-show-like presentation which tested the students’ knowledge in history, math, science, art, music and financial education. “The Brain Show presentation allowed us to promote financial education as well as many other subjects in a way that speaks directly to students, all while working together as a team,” said Jodie Gerulaitis, financial education officer at Country Bank. “Principals and students acknowledged this show as the most exciting presentation they had seen in years. Students were not the only ones dancing and learning; the teachers had a blast too.” Country Bank also sponsors the Savings Makes Sense program and the award-winning Credit for Life program in area communities.

 

Blue Heron Featured in New Cookbook

SUNDERLAND — Blue Heron Restaurant and its executive chef, Deborah Snow, are featured in The Berkshires Cookbook, a new work by Jane Barton Griffith, author of Knead It! The chapter on the Blue Heron includes a brief history of the restaurant and its owners, as well as recipes for three of the restaurant’s signature dishes: pan-seared sea scallops, housemade ricotta with local honeycomb, and pomegranate custard. The Berkshires Cookbook explores the stories behind the rich culinary traditions of Western Mass., a region known to many as a food hub and a leader in the sustainable-food movement. Of the 88 recipes showcased in The Berkshires Cookbook, 60 are the author’s original creations, while the rest were donated by farmers and chefs from across the region. Griffith’s text is accompanied by photographs by Barbara Dowd, which reflect the rich colors and textures of the region’s landscapes and food. Other local restaurants and producers featured include Bistro Les Gras, Pierce Bros Coffee, Hungry Ghost Bread, Blue Hill Farm, and Coco and the Cellar Bar. Copies of The Berkshires Cookbook are available for sale at the Blue Heron, as well as many local booksellers and online. The list price is $24.95.

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