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Company Notebook

Elms, HCC Launch Joint Programs
CHICOPEE — Elms College will launch two new accelerated degree-completion programs for Holyoke Community College (HCC) alumni and students beginning in August. Classes will be taught on the weekends by Elms faculty on the HCC campus, earning students bachelor’s degrees within 20 months. The Health Services Administration program will prepare students to serve in management positions in the health care industry. The Early Childhood Leadership program will provide students with a background in human resources, staff development, fiscal accountability, and legal issues necessary for assuming leadership roles in the field. This program is designed for experienced early-childhood educators who are not seeking PreK-2 licensure in Massachusetts. The new programs augment the existing degree offerings, which currently include accounting and information systems, business management, and psychology. “This joint program is faster and less expensive than the traditional route, enabling students to quickly see the rewards of higher education realized in their careers,” said Betty Hukowicz, associate academic dean of the Division of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education at Elms. For more information, call the Elms at (413) 265-2490.

Big Y Donates $100,000 to Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief
SPRINGFIELD — In response to community interest in helping the millions of people affected by the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami, Big Y World Class Markets recently hosted a customer donation program in all of its 58 Massachusetts and Connecticut stores. For four weeks following the March earthquake and tsunami, Big Y collected donations from customers and employees, resulting in a total of $100,000 for the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief Fund. Funds were raised through a special in-store customer/employee donation program and through employees in all other Big Y locations from the Store Support Center to distribution centers. A formal check presentation to the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter was staged May 25. Big Y President and COO Charles D’Amour, along with Jeff Hamel, store director for the Cooley Street Big Y, presented the contribution to Paige Thayer, deputy director of chapter support for the Pioneer Valley Chapter. Big Y customers and employees have a strong tradition of supporting those in need, according to D’Amour.  Past initiatives include campaigns to support relief efforts following both international and domestic disasters such as the 2004 tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and more. Following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Big Y World Class Markets collected donations from customers and employees, resulting in a total of $108,277.32 for the American Red Cross International Response Fund.

Tighe & Bond Rated a Top National Design Firm
WESTFIELD — The Engineering News-Record (ENR) has again ranked Tighe & Bond among the top 500 design firms in the nation. ENR ranks companies on the previous year’s gross revenue for providing design services to domestic and international markets. The firm ranked 309th in ENR’s 2011 report, a reflection of its 2010 annual gross revenue of $32 million. “Although the recession in the engineering and construction industry seems to have bottomed out and the market is turning around slowly, the market is still soft, and that means competition remains tough,” said David Pinsky, president, in a statement. “However, as this rating suggests, our firm has more than held its own in these economically challenging times. In fact, this year marks our 100th anniversary. We owe our longevity and success, at least in part, to our careful strategic planning and our commitment to deliver the highest-quality services to our clients on time and within budget.” In other company news, the Boston Business Journal ranked Tighe & Bond as one of the largest engineering firms in Massachusetts. In its 2011 Book of Lists, the magazine ranked Tighe & Bond 15th among 25 top-billing firms.

Winstanley Partners
Wins ADDYs
LENOX — Winstanley Partners recently walked away with two gold ADDY awards. The agency was lauded for two entries created for its client, Smith & Wesson, based in Springfield. The first, a trade-show display for Walther America, a line of firearms imported by Smith & Wesson, won in the sales promotion category. The display featured photographed products on clean white backgrounds to portray a sense of high-tech, high-quality German engineering. The second entry won in the consumer or trade publication category, and highlighted the agency’s work with a Smith & Wesson company, Thompson/Center. A product promotion of the T/C Venture firearm included a bold headline, denoting anything “less” as a ridiculous proposition. Ralph Frisina, creative director for Winstanley Partners, noted in a statement that both executions were recognized for breathing new life into a category that has suffered in the past from a lack of sophisticated approaches and design. “Winning at the regional ADDYs this year was particularly rewarding because, for the first time, the participants included some of Boston’s largest ad agencies,” said Frisina. The annual ADDY competition is presented by the American Advertising Federation and locally by the Advertising Club of Western Mass. to honor exceptional work in advertising and marketing.

Hampden Bank Opens 10th Office
SPRINGFIELD — Hampden Bank opened its 10th office at 977 Boston Road on May 24, featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Thomas Burton, president and CEO of Hampden Bank. William Marsh III, senior vice president/division executive, and Peg Daoust, manager of the Boston Road office, were also on hand for the festivities. Lobby hours are Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The bank features a drive-up window and SUM ATMs.

Entrepreneur Recognized for Performance
HOLYOKE — Rick Frasier, owner of the Sears Hearing Aid Center at Holyoke Mall at Ingleside and Eastfield Mall in Springfield, recently earned the prestigious 2010 Platinum Club Award from the Miracle-Ear franchise organization. Miracle-Ear presents the award to the top franchisees in their network for achievements in adhering to compliance standards and excelling in four weighted sales-performance categories. “It’s an honor for Frasier to be recognized amongst peers for this award,” said Diana Beaufils, senior vice president of franchise operations of Miracle-Ear. “This annual competition drives all of our franchisees to do their best in a friendly battle to deliver great service and the latest in hearing-aid technology to their customers.” The Platinum Club Award is Miracle-Ear’s longest-running contest among franchisees. This year’s winners earned a trip for two to the Netherlands Antilles. “Our Platinum Club winners represent the best of the best in an organization that prides itself on delivering world-class quality and service,” added Beaufils.

Comcast Introduces Xfinity Signature Support
BOSTON — Comcast Corp. recently launched a 24/7 technical-support and equipment-protection program for 1.8 million Comcast subscribers in Eastern
Mass., Southern N.H., and Maine, for the growing number of home-electronics devices — like laptops, home networking equipment, gaming consoles, wi-fi-enabled smartphones, and tablets — people are using to connect to Comcast’s services. Called Xfinity Signature Support, this service offers customers a single source for troubleshooting and support for their computers, home networks, and many other devices and is another step in the company’s focus on delivering an end-to-end exceptional customer experience backed by the Comcast Customer Guarantee. Comcast expects to offer the service in Western Mass. later this year, as well as to the rest of the U.S. not currently receiving the service. The new offering enables customers to select an enhanced level of technical support with monthly subscription plans and one-time support options, and is offered in addition to the 24/7 support Comcast already provides for its video, high-speed Internet, and phone services.

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