Lovin’ Spoonfuls Launches in Hampden County
LONGMEADOW — Lovin’ Spoonfuls celebrated the launch of its food-rescue program in Hampden County yesterday at Longmeadow Open Pantry. With a goal to rescue and distribute fresh food that would otherwise be wasted, it will be delivering food to 17 partner nonprofits in Hampden County. Lovin’ Spoonfuls, established in 2010, serves nearly 40 cities and towns across Eastern Mass., focusing on perishable, nutritious food. Its rescues provide meals to more than 30,000 individuals every week. Partners in its move to Western Mass. include the Longmeadow Open Pantry, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Big Y, and Rachel’s Table. Lauren Palumbo, chief operating officer at Lovin’ Spoonfuls, noted that, between the organization’s six routes in Greater Boston and the MetroWest area, plus now Hampden County, it is rescuing more than 75,000 pounds of food each week.
Big Y Eliminates Plastic Bags at Checkouts
SPRINGFIELD — Big Y Foods Inc. eliminated single-use plastic bags at the checkouts from its more than 80 supermarket and specialty store locations in Massachusetts and Connecticut starting Aug. 1. The grocer will offer discounts on reusable bags through the month of August as customers transition away from plastic.
Big Y has been complying with single-use plastic-bag bans in several Massachusetts communities since 2014. Coming off of recent changes to laws in various towns across the New England region, Big Y has moved up its 2020 timeline to eliminate single-use plastic at checkouts in all of its locations in order to streamline operations and to do its part to support sustainability. For those shoppers who do not bring their own shopping bags, beginning in August, a ten-cent charge per paper bag will be added to their bill. This fee is in an effort to promote the use of reusable bags instead of paper bags, which also cause harm to the environment.
People’s United Financial to Acquire United Financial
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — People’s United Financial Inc., the holding company for People’s United Bank, N.A., announced an agreement to acquire United Financial Bancorp Inc., the holding company for United Bank, in a 100% stock transaction valued at approximately $759 million. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals and the approval of United Financial Bancorp shareholders. Established in 1858 and headquartered in Hartford, Conn., United Bank is a full-service community financial-services firm with $7.3 billion in assets. The bank has nearly 60 branch locations concentrated in Central Conn. and Western Mass., offering customers commercial, small-business, wealth-management, and consumer-banking products and services.
Seelye & Schulz PA CPAs to Merge with Melanson Heath
GREENFIELD — Melanson Heath announced the firm’s merger with longtime Nashua, N.H.-based accounting firm Seelye & Schulz PA CPAs. This merger aims to allow Seelye & Schulz PA CPAs and Melanson Heath professionals to continue to strengthen their position as a premier regional accounting, tax, and audit service provider. Partners Paul Seelye and Anthony Engaldo have joined Melanson Heath along with their team. The combined firm will operate under the name Melanson Heath. Scott Toothaker, managing principal of Melanson Heath, noted that “Seelye & Schulz PA CPAs is a highly respected CPA firm in our area. Our objectives, goals, and ethical standards mirror one another. The combined firm will continue to offer a blend of professional expertise and personalized service. We are committed to meeting and exceeding the expectations of not only our clients, but also our dedicated employees, and the betterment of our communities as a whole.”
Theory Wellness Wins Bid for Chicopee Dispensary
CHICOPEE — Theory Wellness, a craft cannabis company, has received a special permit from the city of Chicopee to move ahead with its plans for a medical and recreational cannabis dispensary at 672 Fuller Road. The company has been working with the city since the summer of 2018 and was selected to operate one of the four permitted dispensaries in the city during a competitive bidding process. Seven months after successfully transitioning its Great Barrington medical dispensary into recreational sales, Theory looks forward to commencing construction immediately on this new project. Its expansion into Chicopee will mark the third dispensary for the company, which currently has locations in Bridgewater and Great Barrington. The Chicopee site will be its second co-located storefront to support both medical and recreational cannabis sales. Theory expects to begin sales in November, and will soon begin construction on the new location, which has ample parking and is just minutes from both I-90 and I-291. The company anticipates hiring about 40 full-time employees and expects to generate tax revenues in the range of $250,000 to $500,000 per year for the city.
Berkshire Communicators Inc. Wins ATSI Award of Excellence
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Communicators Inc. has been honored with the ATSI 2019 Award of Excellence for the 15th straight year. This award is presented annually by the Assoc. of TeleServices International (ATSI), the industry’s trade association for providers of telecommunications and call-center services, including answering services and message delivery across North America and the U.K. Berkshire Communicators was presented with the award at ATSI’s annual convention in Dallas. Independent judges are contracted by ATSI to evaluate message services over a six-month period. The scoring criteria includes response time, rep courteousness, accuracy, account knowledge, and overall impression of the call. Now a 15-time winner, Berkshire Communicators earned the Platinum Award. Berkshire Communicators is owned and operated by the Gore family of Lee and employs 20 full- and part-time personnel. The company operates 24/7/365, processing more than 600,000 calls per year and 6,200 alarm signals per day in its central alarm-monitoring station.
Elms College Establishes Graduate Admission Office
CHICOPEE — Elms College announced a new Office of Graduate and Continuing Education Admission to streamline the application process for graduate, post-baccalaureate, and continuing-education students. The new office will focus on the recruitment, admission, and enrollment for all graduate and continuing education programs at Elms College. Nancy Davis has been named director of the Office of Graduate and Continuing Education Admission. Davis, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Mount St. Mary’s University and an MBA from Elms College, most recently served as Business Development specialist for the college’s MBA program and Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership for more than three years. She previously worked as the director of Career Development at Elms for nearly five years, as director of Career Services at BHCI in Windsor, Conn., and as a technical recruiter, both for CMC Technical in Virginia and independently. Her team will include two graduate admission counselors. Undergraduate and transfer students will continue to work with the Office of Undergraduate Admission throughout the application, acceptance, and orientation process.
Basketball Hall of Fame Partners with Tickets for Less
SPRINGFIELD — The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced a new multi-year partnership with Tickets For Less as a secondary-market ticket provider for a number of Basketball Hall of Fame collegiate events. The partnership was facilitated by Learfield IMG College, the Basketball Hall of Fame’s sports-marketing partner for its collegiate event series. As an official sponsor, Tickets for Less will offer a secondary ticket marketplace for Hall of Fame collegiate events, allowing fans secure, fast, and convenient options to purchase tickets. Events offered by Tickets for Less in 2019 include the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Tip-Off Tournament and Women’s Showcase at Mohegan Sun Arena, the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix, and three inaugural events: the James Naismith Classic in Toronto, the Al Attles Classic at the new Chase Center in San Francisco, and the Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. For a full schedule of events and matchups, visit www.hoophall.com/events.