Company Notebook Departments

Company Notebook

Law Firm Named to ‘Top Tier’ List
SPRINGFIELD — Sullivan Hayes & Quinn was recently named a Top Tier Employment Management Firm by Best Lawyers and U.S. News and World Report. Managing partner Meghan Sullivan noted that the law firm was among 8,782 firms from across the country to be recognized. The local law firm specializes in employment-management issues, including labor relations, risk avoidance, workplace regulation, and employment litigation.

Appledore Engineering Joins Tighe & Bond
WESTFIELD — A New Hampshire civil-engineering firm has joined forces with Tighe & Bond, a engineering and environmental consulting service in the city. The move will enable Appledore Engineering to expand its service offerings and will also provide Tighe & Bond more opportunities for expansion into the New Hampshire and Maine markets. Appledore Engineering will remain at its Portsmouth location and do business as Appledore Engineering, a division of Tighe & Bond.

CHD, Cancer House of Hope Announce Merger
SPRINGFIELD — The Center for Human Development (CHD) and Cancer House of Hope recently announced a merger between the two nonprofit agencies. The CHD Board of Directors and Cancer House of Hope Board of Trustees both approved the merger late last year. It became effective Jan. 1. Cancer House of Hope operates two houses, one in Westfield and one in Springfield, that offer free support groups, workshops, and classes to adults with cancer and their family members and friends. Cancer House of Hope is now a program of CHD in its Community Resources division. Cancer House of Hope’s events, activities, and services will continue without interruption, and the agency’s two full-time and one part-time employee are now employees of CHD. Cheryl Gorski, executive director of Cancer House of Hope, noted in a statement that, “given the economy, it was getting more and more difficult to keep things running.” Gorski will continue to manage the program as its director. Gorski added that “merging with CHD will give us access to more resources for development, marketing, and support.” Founded in 1997, Cancer House of Hope has an annual operating budget of about $235,000, all of it coming from donations, grants, and fund-raising events, such as its upcoming, third annual Cheeseburger in Paradise Bar-B-Que at the Cedars in Springfield Feb. 19. Cancer House of Hope serves approximately 260 people a month at its two locations: 86 Court St., Westfield, and 946 Plumtree Road, Springfield. In addition to its three staff, Cancer House of Hope also contracts for services with 12 per-diem counselors and depends on about 50 volunteers, who help run the homes and activities. Gorski said she reached out to CHD President and CEO Jim Goodwin last August about the possibility of a merger. Gorski noted, “It made sense to help us get to the next level of what we can offer our members. I’m very enthusiastic about it. I think it’s a great thing for us.” Goodwin said that merging with a high-quality agency like Cancer House of Hope furthers CHD’s mission of offering community-oriented services in a way that helps protect people’s dignity. Goodwin noted that everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer. He added that the programs and services Cancer House of Hope offers “are just too important to risk losing.” Those programs and services include yoga, Reiki, wig fittings, and bereavement-support groups, among many others. While the two homes are open to anyone regardless of residency and need, they mostly serve people who live in Hampden County and Northern Conn. For a list of Cancer House of Hope programs and services, visit www.cancerhouseofhope.org. Founded in 1972, CHD is a family of more than 40 programs that deliver a wide range of social services in communities throughout Western Mass. and Northwestern Conn. in areas such as mental health, youth mentoring, family stabilization, foster care, early intervention, elder care, occupational therapy, intellectual and physical disabilities, homelessness prevention, substance abuse, and juvenile justice. CHD’s main office is located at 332 Birnie Ave., Springfield. For a list and description of programs and services, visit www.chd.org.

United Bank Supports United Way Campaigns
WEST SPRINGFIELD — United Bank recently announced its annual United Way employee campaign generated more than $52,000 in contributions to United Way organizations located in the bank’s service area. The bank ran campaigns at all 22 branches located throughout Western and Central Mass. The 2010-11 employee campaign surpassed last year’s level of participation and giving to the United Ways of Pioneer Valley, Hampshire County, and Central Massachusetts. In addition, the United Bank Foundation contributed $36,000 to the campaign for a combined gift of $88,118.

MassMutual Explains Roth Retirement Plan Conversions
SPRINGFIELD — As part of its commitment to educate participants, plan sponsors, and advisers, MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division has published a white paper titled “Roth Retirement Plan Conversions — Questions and Answers.” The document answers the most common questions around converting 401(k), 403(b), and, starting this year, 457(b) governmental plans into Roth accounts. Effective last fall, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 allows participants who are in a retirement plan that offers Roth accounts the ability to convert or roll over their non-Roth account balances into a Roth source under the same plan, provided the participant has a distributable event (i.e., termination of service or in-service withdrawal provision, excluding hardship). For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.

Agency Offers Mobile Marketing Services
AGAWAM — The Creative Strategy Agency has started offering mobile marketing services including mobile Web sites, short-message service, and tablet and mobile applications for businesses. Alfonso Santaniello, CEO and president, noted in a statement that he wanted to take the agency’s marketing services “to a new and innovative format.” Santaniello added that mobile applications have “grown significantly” in the past year, and that he expects that trend to “continue to grow in the years to come.” For more information, visit www.creativestrategyagency.com.

Big E Plans $2.2M
Equine Arena
WEST SPRINGFIELD — Wayne McCary, president and CEO of the Eastern States Exposition, recently announced that the organization will embark on a $2.2 million construction project to build a covered warm-up arena attached to its C-Barn, the main horse barn used by the ESE Horse Show conducted during the Big E as well as a number of year-round equine events. Exposition officials vowed to continue their commitment to agriculture and the horse show by further developing infrastructure to maintain ESE’s position as New England’s most-sought-after equine destination. McCary noted in a statement, “I am confident that this project will further solidify the exposition’s position as the premier horse show facility in the Northeast. Our commitment to agriculture and our horse show, which began here in 1916, is ongoing.” The Exposition is also home to 12 year-round horse shows as well as a major equine-related trade show, Equine Affaire, held each November. The new arena will match the height of the existing building, and the 66’ x 170’ clear span outdoor roof will be bordered by a four-foot brick perimeter wall with pre-cast concrete upright posts. The exterior of the structure will mirror the north wall of the existing barn, and its walls will consist of a permeable vinyl designed to protect riders and horses from the elements while providing air circulation and ventilation. Each end of the covered arena will feature 20-foot ornamental iron sliding gates. Riders will be cooled by 16’, low-speed, high-volume fans. New lighting will be installed, and the riding arena will have spray irrigation and underground drainage. An existing angled doorway will be enlarged to 12’ x 14’ so riders may enter and exit the ring on horseback, and the immediate exterior area will also be covered. The project is the result of an extensive study of ESE facilities, conducted in 2010 to assess the needs of existing tenants and look toward future year-round growth. The research included a major engineering study of the Coliseum by Populous of Knoxville, Tenn., and a marketing analysis by AECOM of Washington, D.C. The Exposition will assume financial responsibility of the project and will receive no funding from the state. In addition, its 2011 capital budget of more than $1.1 million will include the installation of a new roof and other major improvements to the Coliseum. F-Barn, an auxiliary barn with 100 horse stalls located in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds, will also receive a new, upgraded metal roof. McCary noted, “we are investing in our future to maintain our roots and stay viable in an ever-changing marketplace.” The design architects for the project are Charlie Smith and David Forkner of Populous, in Knoxville. Neffinger Architects, of West Springfield, will serve as the architect of record. This winter, contractors will be selected, and construction will begin at the end of March. The project will be completed in time for the 2011 Big E, planned for Sept. 16 through Oct. 2.

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