Girls Inc. Benefits From Comedy Night
HOLYOKE — The Women Business Owners Alliance of the Pioneer Valley (WBOA) recently presented Girls Inc. of Holyoke with a check for $2,950, proceeds from a Women’s Night of Comedy. The spring fund-raiser featured comediennes Tina Giorgi, Julie Barr, and Jenny Zigrino. “We are delighted to receive this gift,” said Suzanne Parker, executive director of Girls Inc. “In addition to the generous donation from the WBOA, some members of our board of directors were so inspired at the check presentation that they made additional gifts of their own as well. These donations will help us to continue to offer the cutting-edge, educational, and fun programs that inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold.”
United Bank Aids
WEST SPRINGFIELD — With its partnership in the ABC40/FOX6 Tornado Relief Fund as well as grants awarded by its foundation, United Bank recently announced that a total of $89,500 in donations has supported local tornado relief and recovery efforts. The amount is in addition to the bank’s earlier gift of $25,000 to the Red Cross immediately following the June 1 tornado. The ABC40/FOX6 fund raised $40,000. Individual grants of $10,000 each were awarded to the American Red Cross, Pioneer Valley Chapter; the Salvation Army, Springfield Corps; the Community Foundation of Western MA Tornado Relief Fund; and United Way of Pioneer Valley Tornado Recovery Fund. Also, the United Bank Foundation awarded $49,500 to nine organizations that were impacted by the tornado and those providing immediate relief to the community. The recipients were: Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, $2,000; DevelopSpringfield Corp., $10,000; Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start, $4,000; Pioneer Valley Montessori School, $2,500; Rebuilding Together Springfield, $10,000; South End Community Center, $2,500; Springfield Rescue Mission, $2,000; Square One, $12,500; and Westfield Public Schools, $4,000.
Johnson & Hill Donates to Link to Libraries
PIONEER VALLEY — Johnson & Hill Staffing Services and Link to Libraries Inc., have joined forces for its inaugural Welcome to Kindergarten “Read Together” Literacy Bag Project. The newest initiative for Link to Libraries is the donation of more than 2,000 literacy kits to children entering kindergarten in Springfield and Holyoke public schools. The literacy bags include new bilingual books, bookbags, bookmarks, and parent educational materials supplied by the Irene and George Davis Foundation. “It is most important that our local children have the tools they need to start the school year on the right foot and to help them achieve their intellectual potential,” said Susan Jaye-Kaplan, co-founder of Link to Libraries. “We hope that these literacy kits will stimulate interest in reading and provide books to begin their own home library. We greatly appreciate the support of Andrea Hill-Cataldo and the staff of Johnson & Hill Staffing. It is community partners like this that help us reach our goals.”
Big Y to Eliminate
SPRINGFIELD — Big Y Foods Inc. has announced it will eliminate all self-checkout lanes in all its stores by the end of the year. Big Y first implemented self-checkout lanes in 2003. After extensive research, Big Y noted that the self-checkout lanes not only do not save customers time, but usually take them even longer to check out than customers in standard checkout lanes. Big Y concluded that the self-checkout technology could neither improve nor replace the value of a friendly cashier who is able to personally help each customer in their lane, according to Michael Tami, vice president for information resources and technologies. “Our self-checkout technology could not deliver on the service needs of our customers,” he said. “In short, we were not able to provide the exceptional customer service through them that has made Big Y what it is today.”
ACC Bistro Open for Cooking Classes
ENFIELD, Conn. — Hands-on cooking experiences are available to students this fall at Asnuntuck Community College (ACC), led by chef Bill Collins. Collins, a personal chef in Western Mass. and a professional chef for more than 18 years, provides a variety of course options to students looking to enhance their culinary prowess at ACC’s Bistro. Experience in the kitchen is not a prerequisite for the classes. The only requirements are that students bring a chef’s knife, a paring knife, a dish towel, and storage containers to bring home leftovers. All classes will include copies of the recipes Collins will be teaching. Classes are being offered at a variety of lengths ranging from one to four evenings. For more information on classes, visit www.acc.commnet.edu or call (860) 253-3034.
TNR Global to Attend UMass Career Fair
AMHERST — Karen Lynn, director of business development, and Natasha Goncharova, co-founder and managing director of TNR Global, will be representing the firm at UMass Amherst’s Career Fair for Engineering, Natural Sciences & Technology students on Sept. 28. “The University of Massachusetts offers a comprehensive computer science program where students emerge strong candidates for the kind of technical work required of TNR software developers,” said Michael McIntosh, vice president of search technologies. TNR Global is a systems design and integration company focused on enterprise-search and cloud-computing solutions for publishing companies, news sites, Web directories, academia, enterprise, and SaaS companies.
ADAMS — Adams Co-Operative Bank and South Adams Savings Bank, both headquartered in town, have agreed to combine their two institutions to form a new community bank serving Berkshire County. A joint announcement of the plan was made recently by Joseph Truskowski Jr., president and CEO of Adams Co-Operative Bank, and Charles O’Brien, president and CEO of South Adams Savings Bank. The combined bank will consist of seven full-service offices located in Adams, Cheshire, Lanesboro, Lee, Williamstown, and North Adams. Truskowski and O’Brien emphasized that both banks are committed to creating jobs in Berkshire County, and no jobs will be eliminated as a result of the merger. The two bank headquarters, which bookend downtown Adams, will also remain fully used. The new bank will be formed under a Massachusetts savings bank charter, with Truskowski serving as president and O’Brien as CEO. The managing boards of the two banks will be merged to create a new board of trustees. In addition, all deposits will continue to be insured in full at the new bank through a combination of coverage from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Depositors Insurance Fund of Massachusetts. The merger is subject to approval by the depositors of Adams Co-Operative Bank, corporators of South Adams Savings Bank, and regulatory agencies. The merger is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2012.
United Rentals Supports Extreme Makeover
SPRINGFIELD — United Rentals in Ludlow worked around the clock in early September providing construction equipment and services to the latest project in Springfield chosen by the ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (see related story, page 36). The build benefits Sirdeaner Walker, who has become a national voice against bullying in schools after surviving the loss of her son. The build is also part of United Rentals’ fifth year of partnership with the award-winning television show, which has relied on the company for equipment and volunteers on more than 80 new-home constructions. “Over 80 projects and more than 5,000 pieces of equipment, United Rentals has come through for us every time,” said Diane Korman, senior producer of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. “Even in remote locations, United Rentals always has a branch close enough to arrange all the equipment we need, ensure its reliability, and deliver it within a three-hour window. Most importantly, they share our ‘safety first’ philosophy.” The episode featuring the Walker family will air on ABC on a date to be announced.