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Company Notebook

UMass Amherst Tops in Campus Dining for Second Straight Year

AMHERST — The food in the UMass Amherst dining halls is so good that the Princeton Review came back for another helping, choosing the school as the national leader in collegiate dining in the U.S. for a second straight year. The announcement further cements UMass Dining’s reputation for serving up healthy, sustainable, and delicious food prepared by award-winning chefs, said Ken Toong, executive director of Auxiliary Enterprises at UMass Amherst. The rankings are based on surveys of 137,000 students at the schools in the guide. UMass Dining is the largest college dining-services operation in the country, serving 45,000 meals daily, or 5.5 million meals per year. Since 1999, overall participation the university’s meal plan has more than doubled from 8,300 participants to more than 19,200. A self-operated program committed to providing a variety of healthy world cuisines using the most sustainable ingredients, UMass Dining incorporates recipes from accomplished chefs and nutritionists as well as principles from the Culinary Institute of America and Harvard School of Public Health to its cycle menu.

Regnaleb Offers Sales Training for Digital Age

WESTHAMPTON — Regnaleb Enterprises, a sales and marketing consulting firm, announced it is offering high-caliber sales-management and growth strategies to small and mid-size companies throughout Western and Central Mass. The organization is led by Art Belanger, an experienced sales and marketing professional with more than 30 years in the industry. The Regnaleb process utilizes the salesQB program to conduct a complete audit of an organization’s current sales and marketing process. The results are used to benchmark performance and identify areas for growth and improvement. Following the audit, business leaders will be taken through an in-depth report that will pinpoint methods for increased efficiency throughout the entire sales process, from lead generation and management tactics to the use of digital technologies like CRM, software programs, and social media. A successful salesforce is empowered, efficient, and informed, Belanger said, adding that Regnaleb Enterprises will offer a custom road map to improve communications, management, customer service, and sales techniques to drive increased performance.

Talbots to Return to Longmeadow Shops

LONGMEADOW — Grove Property Fund and Talbots announced that the women’s-apparel retail store will be returning to Longmeadow Shops this fall. The announcement is the latest from the Longmeadow Shops, which recently expanded its retail footprint by 20%, attracting new tenants Verizon Wireless and J.Crew Mercantile while allowing CVS Pharmacy to move to a larger retail space with a pharmacy drive-thru. Talbots operated at the Longmeadow Shops from 2001 to 2013. The new store will utilize 5,334 square feet of retail space, the majority of the space previously occupied by CVS Pharmacy.

HCC Gateway to College Earns National Honors

HOLYOKE — For the second year in a row, the Gateway to College program at Holyoke Community College has received national recognition for exemplary performance. The Gateway to College National Network, based in Portland, Ore., honored HCC with its 2017 Gateway Program Excellence Award at a conference in Providence, R.I. last month. Gateway is a second-chance, dual-enrollment program for students who have either left high school or are at risk for dropping out. Gateway students take college classes and earn college credits while also working toward their high-school diplomas. The 2017 award recognizes Gateway programs that exceeded all four of the network’s performance benchmarks for the 2015-16 academic year: first-term GPA, one-year persistence, two-year persistence, and three-year graduation rate. Since its founding in 2008, HCC’s Gateway to College program has helped 251 students earn their high-school diplomas while also getting an early start on college. More than half have continued on to college, and so far 30 have earned their associate degrees from HCC, and six have earned bachelor’s degrees.

Austen Riggs Recognized as a ‘Best Hospital’

STOCKBRIDGE — Austen Riggs Center has been recognized as a “Best Hospital” for 2017-18 by U.S. News & World Report, ranking ninth in psychiatry nationwide. Noteworthy among the top group of psychiatry honorees for its small size and integrated approach, Austen Riggs Center is a therapeutic community, open psychiatric hospital, and center for education and research, promoting resilience and self-direction in adults with complex psychiatric problems.

PeoplesBank Among Top Charitable Contributors

HOLYOKE — The Boston Business Journal announced the region’s top corporate charitable contributors, and for the 10th year in a row, PeoplesBank is among the companies included on the list. The region’s top charitable companies, which in many instances include the companies’ corporate foundations, will be honored at the magazine’s 12th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards on Thursday, Sept. 7 at Fenway Park in Boston. The list is composed of companies that gave at least $100,000 to Massachusetts-based charities in 2016.

PV Squared Named Among Top 500 Solar Contractors

GREENFIELD — Solar Power World, the leading publication covering solar technology and development, published its annual Top Solar Contractors list in July. PV Squared, a local solar-installation company and worker-owned cooperative, was listed prominently among other top solar contractors and developers across the country. PV Squared is a local leader in the field of solar design, installation, and maintenance. A worker-owned cooperative, the company has provided renewable-energy solutions to a range of clients, including business owners, commercial property owners, farmers, and homeowners since 2002. PV Squared currently employs 42 people, 19 of whom are co-owners of the business. In 2016, it completed 188 projects in the Pioneer Valley and surrounding areas, installing 2.5 MW of solar power. It is also a certified B Corporation, demonstrating its commitment to a triple-bottom-line business model. It is currently involved in Franklin County’s first Habitat for Humanity project in five years and will be contributing a solar array to the construction of an energy-efficient home in Greenfield. Additionally, it is also exploring opportunities to partner with the Franklin County Technical School to mentor young people through a solar installation process. The donation of this solar array will not only eliminate upfront costs for the future homeowner, but will also help strengthen the local community.

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