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Company Notebook

Big Y Opens New Fuel Station on Cooley Street in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — Big Y Foods Inc. recently opened its seventh Big Y Express gas and convenience store at 471 Cooley St. in Springfield. The other six Massachusetts stores can be found in Lee, Pittsfield, Hadley, Longmeadow, Wilbraham, and South Hadley. The new Springfield location boasts eight gas pumps and free air machines for tire inflation. Inside the store, selections include donuts, pastries, and store-baked muffins; Green Mountain Coffees; fresh fruit; gourmet sandwiches and salads; milk and numerous other cold beverages; as well as bread, candy, snacks, tobacco products, lottery, and ice. The store director of this location is Yanira Febus. There are currently seven employees, and Big Y is looking to hire one or two more. The site formerly operated as Ultra Gasoline, and all Ultra employees were encouraged to apply for a position with Big Y. The store will be open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Florence Bank Recognized at Banking Choice Awards

FLORENCE — Florence Bank recently earned four industry honors at the first annual Banking Choice Awards in areas such as quality and service, with recognition based on an independent survey of customer feedback. At the event on April 26 at Boston’s Omni Parker House, Florence Bank ranked first in the Western Mass. region in Overall Quality, Customer Service, and Technology, and second in Community Contribution. “These rankings came from an independent survey performed by a recognized leader in tracking and measuring the customer experience,” President and CEO John Heaps said. “It’s nice to get recognition from those we aim to serve well. I couldn’t be prouder of our employees and this achievement.” Florence Bank employees were among staff from 33 banks across the state at the Banking Choice Awards, developed jointly by the Warren Group and Customer Experience Solutions.

Hazen Paper Earns Accolades with AIMCAL Product of the Year

HOLYOKE — The holographic Kat Von D “Metal Crush” limited-edition powder highlighter carton produced by Hazen Paper Co. was named Product of the Year at the 2018 annual meeting of the Assoc. of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL), held in Charlotte, N.C. Hazen also received Product Excellence awards for a Marc Jacobs “Decadence” perfume box and a Burmester Porsche “Music to Your Ears” brochure. “We’re always pleased when our customers obtain recognition for extraordinary packages that take advantage of our capabilities,” said John Hazen, the company’s president. “They challenge us to continue to develop new and better products. Together, we work to intrigue and delight consumers and improve revenues, while doing our part to operate conscientiously and sustainably.”

Elms to Launch Computer Science, Computer IT and Security Majors

CHICOPEE — Elms College announced that it will launch two new majors this fall, in computer science (CS) and computer information technology and security (CITS). The CITS major prepares students for careers as information technology (IT) professionals, providing a breadth of knowledge and the skills necessary to become IT technicians, system administrators, network administrators, and cybersecurity specialists. Required course topics for this major include databases, networks and security, system administration, digital forensics, hardware maintenance, cyber ethics, web design, and more. The CS major focuses on the design and development of software and the algorithms that make code work efficiently. Students will become proficient in C#, Javascript, HTML/CSS, SQL, and other programming languages. Required courses for this major will focus on programming, data structures and algorithms, databases, system administration, cyber ethics, web design, and more. “Our students are very excited about these new majors,” said Beryl Hoffman, associate professor of Computer Information Technology at Elms. “Computer-science graduates are in high demand, and computer security is one of the fastest-growing job markets within IT.” Both majors will include a professional internship that will give students real-life experience in computer science or computer information technology and security. Electives for both the CS and CITS majors will include artificial intelligence, game design, mobile-app design, graphic design, and video.

PetSmart Charities Awards $200,000 to Second Chance Animal Services

EAST BROOKFIELD — Second Chance Animal Services recently received a $200,000 grant from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, toward the purchase and renovation of a new location for its Community Veterinary Hospital in Springfield. After five months of hard work and setbacks that included delays from extensive water damage in January, Second Chance celebrated its grand opening on May 23. Second Chance had been leasing a building on Belmont Avenue in Springfield, offering full-service veterinary care ranging from routine exams and vaccines to in-house blood testing and urinalysis, X-rays, spay/neuter surgery, dental surgery, and more. Its community veterinary hospitals provide high-quality veterinary service to all, with subsidized pricing for qualified households. Word spread throughout the community, and the growing demand for services quickly outgrew the space. The move to a new and larger location at 67 Mulberry St. in the heart of Springfield this month will allow Second Chance to meet the need for veterinary care.

Berkshire Theatre Group Feted by Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Theatre Group (BTG) was honored as Employer of the Year for “providing valuable employment opportunities for the members of Berkshire Pathways” at the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition’s annual Employment Celebration at the State House in Boston on April 3. Joanne Rosier, a BTG ticket-office associate, was also honored as a Clubhouse member and Berkshire Theatre Group employee. In addition, BTG received a congratulatory citation in recognition of its award from the Massachusetts House of Representatives, offered by state Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier. Berkshire Theatre Group also received a congratulatory citation from the Massachusetts Senate, offered by state Sen. Adam Hinds.

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