UMass Amherst Forges Partnership with Kyiv School of Economics
AMHERST — UMass Amherst has signed a series of memoranda of agreement with the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) to assist students and scholars affected by Russia’s war with Ukraine. UMass Amherst’s new multi-level partnership with KSE will establish several modalities for Ukrainian students and scholars to be part of the UMass academic community. An academic exchange program for students will enable undergraduate and graduate students from Ukraine to study at UMass for a semester or academic year with nearly all costs waived.
In conjunction with the academic exchange program for students, a non-resident, virtual Scholar in Residence program will be created for scholars affiliated with KSE. Selected Ukrainian scholars will collaborate with centers, departments, and faculty at UMass Amherst on relevant research topics virtually and will receive a stipend through the KSE Foundation.
The agreements were finalized between March and July 2022 by KSE President Tymofiy Mylovanov and Rector Tymofii Brik and John McCarthy, now emeritus provost and senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for UMass Amherst. Anna Nagurney, professor and the Eugene M. Isenberg Chair in Integrative Studies in the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, played a central role in driving these collaborative efforts. As a longstanding member of the International Academic Board at KSE, and now also co-chair of the board of directors at KSE, Nagurney was instrumental in nurturing the relationship between the two institutions. Most recently, Nagurney has been a leading expert in providing insights on Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine.
Arrha Credit Union Opens New Branch in Enfield
ENFIELD, Conn. — Arrha Credit Union announced the opening of a new branch at 231 Hazard Ave. in Enfield, Conn. “Arrha Credit Union will bring hometown banking back,” said Michael Ostrowski, president and CEO. “This location is perfect to make that happen. Rockville Bank, also known as the Savings Bank of Rockville, once held this location, and they had the same style of hometown, superior customer-service banking. We are excited to welcome these customers back and become members, part of the Arrha financial family. This means offering home-style banking to meet the personal and business needs for families, individuals, and businesses.” Amanda Howie, the branch manager, is sought after for her advice on vehicle lending, low-interest credit cards, free checking with convenient app downloads, online banking, and virtual deposits, Ostrowski noted. Adam Baldwin is the assistant vice president, regional branch and Business Development manager. With more than eight years of banking experience, he has been recognized throughout his career as a rising star with superior service awards. He is a Rotarian, on the board of the Enfield Food Bank, and actively involved in the community. Anthony (Tony) Franco is the vice president of Commercial Lending. With more than 25 years in the financial-services and commercial-lending industry, he has been helping area businesses achieve their goals and direct them to what commercial deposits and lending services work best for them.
Springfield Thunderbirds Named AHL’s Team of the Year
SPRINGFIELD — The American Hockey League (AHL) announced the Springfield Thunderbirds as the winner of the President’s Award for the 2021-22 season during the Board of Governors’ annual meeting in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Bestowed upon the team that demonstrates overall excellence both on and off the ice, the Thunderbirds captured Team of the Year honors following a historic season that set team records across a wide range of business categories, including average attendance (5,375), season tickets sold, overall ticket revenue, and corporate sales revenue. The T-Birds achieved these milestones while winning the AHL’s Eastern Conference Championship. This marked the franchise’s first-ever playoff appearance and Springfield’s first trip to the Calder Cup Finals since 1991. See page 4 for much more about the Thunderbirds’ recent success.
Hazen Paper Wins Gold Leaf Award for 2021 Hall of Fame Yearbook
HOLYOKE — Hazen Paper Co. was presented a Gold Leaf Award by the Foil and Specialty Effects Assoc. (FSEA) at Amplify: the Print, Finishing, and Embellishment Event, held recently by FSEA and the Assoc. for PRINT Technologies in Minneapolis. Hazen garnered recognition in the category “best use of overprinting foil” for the 2021 enshrinement yearbook produced for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. Hazen used custom holography to replicate the brilliant LED lighting of the iconic Hall of Fame dome, employing edgeless Hazen-Lens technology to create a pulsating play of light in front of a brilliant radial burst of two-channel holography. Treatment of the Basketball Hall of Fame logo also utilized holography to emphasize the basketball’s pebbled texture against the smooth reflective sphere of the dome. The holography was registered to a tolerance of 1/16” for near-perfect alignment during printing. Hazen originated the holography for the yearbook completely within its vertically integrated Holyoke facility. The custom holograms were created in Hazen’s holographic laser lab, then micro-embossed and transfer-metallized onto smooth, 12-point WestRock Crescendo C2S using Hazen’s environmentally friendly Envirofoil process. Agency GO of Hartford, Conn. designed the limited-edition yearbook cover, which was printed and individually numbered for authenticity on an HP Indigo digital press by Starburst Printing of Holliston. Hazen also received a Silver Leaf Award from FSEA for “best use of foil/embossing in a calendar (industry)” on the holographic Hazen 2022 calendar “Here Comes the Sun.
Berkshire Bank’s Foundation Gives $205,000 to Nonprofits
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank recently presented a total of $205,000 in funding to Springfield non-profit organizations during Berkshire’s BEST Community Comeback Tour. The grants aim to help power the financial potential of the local communities the bank serves through organizations impacting the areas of gender equality, small-business technical assistance, housing, neighborhood stabilization, and education. The grants included $75,000 to the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, $25,000 to Revitalize CDC, $5,000 to Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence, and $100,000 to Common Capital, a subsidiary of Way Finders.
Berkshire United Way Renews Funding to 40 Programs
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire United Way (BUW) announced renewal funding of $1,029,500 for 40 programs across 24 community partner organizations, providing a much-needed additional year of support. This funding will be for a one-year period, from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, and will continue to stabilize BUW’s three main community-impact areas: early childhood development, positive youth development, and economic prosperity. Visit www.berkshireunitedway.org/our-impact to learn more about the 40 programs. BUW’s investments in these programs support family well-being and address gaps in services in the community. Programs generate a whole-family, integrated approach focusing on educational advancement and economic mobility. A new round of funding requests will be announced in early 2023. To donate to BUW’s fundraising campaign, visit www.berkshireunitedway.org/donate.
Beauty Batlles Lounge Successfully Hosts Comedy Fundraising Event
CHICOPEE — Beauty Batlles recently welcomed the community to its lounge, hosting a successful fundraising event, Beauty Batlles Moving Forward. About 60 guests were in attendance, and all had the opportunity to participate in a silent auction, raffles, and 50/50 drawing, all while enjoying a cash bar and food at the comedy show. With support from clients, family, local business owners, and others in the community, the event raised about $4,000 that will assist Beauty Batlles in its move. The facility will now be able to offer a larger scale of services to its clients and offer new job opportunities at the new location. Beauty Batlles Lounge offers microblading, waxing, lash lift tint, facials, brow lamination, BB glow, and body-sculpting services. It uses cutting-edge technology and medical-grade products to customize treatment to each client’s specific needs. The goal is to deliver self-confidence to individuals who have been struggling with different insecurities, and the support the community has continued to show will help the facility expand to its new location, allowing it to service the community more effectively.
PeoplesBank Named Top Charitable Contributor by Boston Business Journal
HOLYOKE — PeoplesBank’s record-setting charitable contributions in 2021 earned recognition from the Boston Business Journal, as the bank secured a spot on the region’s Top Corporate Charitable Contributors list for the 15th year in a row. In 2021, while focusing on food insecurity, housing, and literacy, PeoplesBank announced record donations reaching $1,315,000, with a total of close to $11 million donated since 2011. The bank has doubled its donations in the last five years. “It is a big part of who we are as an organization, our employees, and how they volunteer in the community,” said Tom Senecal, president and CEO of PeoplesBank. “I see 2022 as a tremendous opportunity for us to give back and be committed to the communities that we serve.” PeoplesBank’s associates donate 10,000 volunteer hours per year, and 74 of them have served on 54 nonprofit boards. The region’s top charitable companies will be honored at the Boston Business Journal’s Corporate Citizenship Awards on the Sept. 8 at Revere Hotel in Boston.