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Company Notebook

Elms, STCC Offering Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program
CHICOPEE — Elms College and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) recently announced a memorandum of understanding between the two institutions that will enable STCC graduates to complete their bachelor’s degree from Elms by taking courses on the STCC campus. The new program is now accepting applicants, and will begin in September. Initially, a bachelor of science degree will be offered in social work. The partnership honors the mission of each college to serve those in need. Through the initiative, Elms and STCC faculty will teach designated courses on the STCC campus, making it convenient for students and alumni of STCC as well as others from the community with associate’s degrees. Students with associate’s degrees will be able to substantially improve their employment and graduate-school opportunities in their chosen field in an accelerated time frame, completing their bachelor’s degree in 10 eight-week sessions, or 20 months. Under the degree-completion program, 120 credits will be needed for the degree, with a minimum of 42 Elms credits; all Elms core and program requirements must be met, and program models are based on students having at least 60 credits from their associate’s degree. Also, students can transfer in a maximum of 78 credits. Classes will be offered on Saturdays, and classes will be offered by major in a flexible cohort model of 20 to 25 students. STCC graduates who have earned an associate’s degree are eligible to apply to this program. Elms will provide a part-time program coordinator to facilitate academic advising, course registration, and orientation on the STCC campus. For more information, call (413) 265-2490 or e-mail [email protected]

Link to Libraries Receives Grant
EAST LONGMEADOW — The Rockville Bank Foundation has given a grant of $1,000 to Link to Libraries to help promote literacy and donate books to public elementary schools and nonprofit organizations in Western Mass., and also in Northern and Central Conn. The funds will be used to purchase new books and develop a read-aloud story hour for children at more than 40 of the sites. Laurie A. Rosner, senior vice president of marketing and administrative services for Rockville Bank, noted in a statement that the foundation is “proud to support the Link to Libraries program, which will enhance language and literacy skills of children of all cultural backgrounds and enable them to learn about the world through reading.” Rosner added that part of the foundation’s mission is “to make a positive difference in the lives of others.”

Organization Receives National Award
SPRINGFIELD — A 2010 Gold Standard Award has been received by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. The prestigious award, which will be presented at the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America national conference in Dallas in June, is given to the top agencies nationally in recognition of strong financial and programmatic growth and top-quality service delivery, according to Joel Morse, director of partnership development. The Springfield organization is one of 18 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies to achieve Gold Standard status in 2010. The award letter to Beth Russell, executive director, notes that “meeting these standards means you and your agency have exhibited qualities that make your work among the top in the field.”

Yankee Mattress Factory Moves to Larger Space
SPRINGFIELD — Yankee Mattress Factory moved to a larger space in Haymarket Square in April, which will allow more space for growth, according to owner Joseph D. Noblit. Noblit noted in a statement that the move allowed the company to make some manufacturing adjustments for mattress-production innovations, as well as streamlined the process to keep offering a quality product at an affordable price. Noblit added that every mattress is assembled with “painstaking attention to detail,” and unlike big factories that make hundreds of mattresses each day, “Yankee Mattress can take the necessary time needed to make each mattress perfect.” Yankee Mattress offers “luxurious,” handcrafted sleep sets in ultra-plush, luxury-firm, and three levels of super-firm mattresses, according to Noblit. Noblit manages three locations: a manufacturing and retail store at 314 Springfield St. in Agawam, another at 104 Damon Road in Northampton, and the expanded store in Haymarket Square at 1704 Boston Road. For more information, visit

Bradley Receives Award for Snow Removal
WINDSOR LOCKS, CT — Acting State Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker recently announced that Bradley International Airport has received the 2010-2011 Balchen/Post Award, an international honor presented to the snow crews of the airports in the Snow Belt. Bradley was competing against 60 airports throughout the world that were nominated for various awards at the recent 45th annual International Aviation Snow Symposium in Buffalo, N.Y. The Balchen/Post Award recognized the Bradley Team, comprised of airport operations and maintenance staff, for their dedicated efforts in maintaining the airport in safe and operational status during the past winter season. Bradley had previously won the award 28 years ago after the winter of 1982-83. Other Northeastern award-winning airports at the recent symposium were LaGuardia, Logan International, Niagara International, and Bangor International. Bradley is the second-largest airport in New England and serves an extensive geographic area, covering the entire Northeast, including New York and New Jersey.

Office Environments of N.E., BKM Merge

BOSTON and EAST HARTFORD — Office Environments of New England, LLC (OENE) and bkm Total Office (BKM), authorized Steelcase dealers, recently announced that they have combined to create a regional enterprise supporting workplace needs that will offer a broadened portfolio of products and services and expanded geographic coverage in New England. OENE has purchased substantially all of BKM’s assets. Each business will continue to operate under its individual name. By leveraging BKM’s and OENE’s combined resources and capabilities, the enterprise will provide customers with expanded audiovisual, architectural systems, floor covering and technology solutions, as well as the most comprehensive offering of contract furniture and services available in New England. “This is truly meaningful for our customers, who depend on us to help them create innovative and harder working spaces that inspire, foster collaboration, and optimize their real estate footprint,” said Robert Kelly, president of OENE. Don Griesdorn, chairman of BKM, has owned the company since 1977. He will be retiring and transitioning ownership. “I’ve had a long-standing vision of creating a stronger presence in the New England marketplace,” he said. “I’m excited to see that vision come to life as these two great organizations come together. I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to our loyal customers and dedicated employees.” Effective immediately, Larry Levine joins the company as president of BKM, with more than 25 years of contract furniture experience. Robert Kelly will continue to lead OENE as President. Orlando Corsi, CFO and COO of OENE, will expand his role across the entire enterprise. Dan Sabia, formerly BKM president, will assume a new role as executive business consultant.

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