Tighe & Bond Named Employer of the Year
WESTFIELD — Tighe & Bond, a Northeast leader in engineering, design, and environmental consulting, received the 2023 Employer of the Year Award from the Boston chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS Boston). The award honors an organization within the field of architecture, engineering, and construction for creating a supportive and engaging company culture and prioritizing the well-being of its employees. The award specifically recognizes commitment to inclusion and diversity in the workplace; initiatives and programs supporting the organization’s culture and community; outreach efforts to support the local communities, such as volunteering or fundraising activities; and support of marketing, business development, and communications staff. Prioritizing mental and physical wellness led to the creation of Tighe & Bond’s wellness incentive program, which offers staff the chance to participate in firm-organized activities. The company encourages employees to further their education through incentives like student-loan repayment and tuition reimbursement. The firm’s diversity, equity, and inclusion plan outlines goals, strategies to achieve those goals, and a plan for action through its DE&I committee. The Make a Difference program encourages employees to volunteer their time and talents for the benefit of local communities. Since its inception in 2017, Tighe & Bond employees have logged more than 15,000 volunteer hours.
UMass Amherst Takes Silver in Collegiate Culinary Competition
AMHERST — A team of chefs from UMass Amherst brought home silver at the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) collegiate competition on June 16 during the 29th annual Chef Culinary Conference held on the UMass Amherst campus. The UMass Dining team featured chefs Anthony Jung, Jeff MacDonald, Max Melendez, and Kyle Bigelow. The chefs tested their skills against 12 other four-person college and university culinary teams from across the U.S., including Cornell University, the University of North Texas, Rice University, and Penn State University. Each team was required to prepare a four-course meal including a buffet-style item to be served to the judges and competing teams. Teams had two hours to prepare and serve the first three courses and one hour for the buffet item.
Florence Bank Pledges $50,000 to Grow Food Northampton
FLORENCE — Florence Bank announced it has made a $50,000 sponsorship pledge to Grow Food Northampton to help provide healthy, local food to area residents who are food-insecure at a time when federal food benefits are scaling back to pre-pandemic levels. Helen Kahn, manager of the Grow Food Northampton Tuesday and winter farmers markets, said the sponsorship will help residents who receive federally sponsored food support through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) double their purchases of local food through Grow Food’s SNAP Match program year-round. The summer and winter farmers markets are an important source of locally grown, healthy food for low-income families. When SNAP customers purchase tokens at the market, Grow Food Northampton provides an extra $10 of tokens free through SNAP Match. Because these tokens can be spent only at the markets, the program directly benefits the farmers as well. The outdoor Tuesday markets are held every Tuesday behind Thornes Marketplace from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. from April 18 to Nov. 7. From November through March, the market moves inside to the Northampton Senior Center and is held biweekly.
Smith Brothers Insurance Selected for the Hanover’s President’s Club
NORTHAMPTON — Smith Brothers Insurance, which has an office on Main Street in Northampton, was named to the Hanover Insurance Group’s President’s Club, an elite group of independent insurance agencies from across the country. Smith Brothers also has offices in Milford and Oxford. The Hanover partners with a select group of 2,100 independent agents nationwide, and only 5% are recognized with this distinction. This is the ninth consecutive year Smith Brothers Insurance has been selected as a participant of the Hanover’s President Club. The Hanover’s President’s Club agencies are recognized for delivering meaningful value to their customers with enhanced service and deep industry knowledge.
MCLA Receives $1 Million to Fund New BSN Program
NORTH ADAMS — The Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) awarded Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) $1 million to fund the college’s new bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. The grant will support the first two years of the program by supplementing its curriculum development and funding the cost of a simulation lab coordinator; nursing journals, textbooks, and testing software; and Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing fees. MCLA’s BSN program received approval from the Board of Registration in Nursing in January and approval from the Board of Higher Education in March. The program will launch in the fall of 2024 and graduate its first class in 2027. It is the first BSN program in Berkshire County and the only four-year nursing program in the rural tri-state area of Massachusetts, New York, and Vermont. The curriculum will integrate MCLA’s liberal-arts foundation with required courses in the humanities and natural and social sciences to complement theoretical and clinical courses in professional nursing. Nursing faculty will utilize a simulation lab to provide hands-on learning experiences for students in a controlled environment.
Country Bank Pledges $30,000 to Junior Achievement
WARE — As part of its support for Junior Achievement (JA) of Western Massachusetts, Country Bank has pledged $30,000 to the organization. For more than 100 years, JA of Western Massachusetts has provided economic education and financial-literacy programs to the youth of Western Mass. and Vermont, impacting thousands of young people each year, opening their minds to their potential, and preparing them for life after graduation. Beginning in fall 2021, JA will offer a 21st-century environment for young people to engage with JA programs, including career exploration, helping students identify fulfilling career options and make wise decisions pertaining to post-secondary education; innovation and leadership, helping students expand their thinking and skill development and preparing future leaders, entrepreneurial thinkers, and innovators; and financial education, providing students with the skills and knowledge that will allow them to make informed and effective decisions with all their financial resources.
Polish National Credit Union Opens in East Longmeadow
CHICOPEE — Polish National Credit Union (PNCU) hosted a grand reopening celebration for its East Longmeadow Office, 232 North Main St., on June 16. In December 2021, PNCU acquired Premier Source Federal Credit Union (PSFCU) and expanded into the East Longmeadow market. Founded in 1921, Polish National Credit Union provides a full range of financial services to individuals, families, and businesses. The organization operates eight Western Mass. branches, plus a satellite office at Chicopee Comprehensive High School; PNCU Insurance Services; PNCU Financial Services; and a Commercial Loan Office located at 94 Main St., Westfield.
Whittlesey Employees Volunteer During Annual Community Day
HARTFORD, Conn. — Whittlesey continued its long-standing tradition of community service through a range of projects across Western Mass. and Connecticut during its annual Community Day. For more than a decade, Whittlesey volunteers have stepped away from their desks to participate in various projects that directly affect the communities where they live and work. This year, more than 100 Whittlesey team members collaborated with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, the Bushnell Park Foundation, and the Diaper Bank of Connecticut in a day dedicated to creating positive and tangible impacts within local communities. At the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, teams engaged in general park clean-up efforts, including spreading mulch, planting new flower beds, and repairing and painting fences. Whittlesey’s Community Day is part of a series of initiatives the firm undertakes throughout the year, emphasizing its core belief in the power of community engagement. The firm takes pride in its enduring partnerships with diverse nonprofit organizations and the real-world impacts they create together.
Market Mentors Celebrates 20 Years, Opens Florida Location
SPRINGFIELD — Market Mentors, LLC, the region’s largest marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, is celebrating its 20-year anniversary with refreshed branding, a streamlined website (marketmentors.com), and a second location in Jupiter, Fla. A woman-owned business, the agency was established in 2003 by Longmeadow resident Michelle Abdow, who initially focused on media buying for clients throughout New England. After two decades of growth and expansion, Market Mentors is now a fully integrated marketing agency serving clients with global reach. It represents regional, national, and international brands and offers all the services its clients need in-house, thanks to a team of generalists and specialists who possess a depth and breadth of experience across the marketing spectrum, providing communications solutions via strategic marketing and public-relations plans, integrated advertising campaigns, content creation, data-based media buys, creative execution, and website design and development.
Cedar Chest Partners with Grow Food Northampton
NORTHAMPTON — For the second year in a row, Cedar Chest, the anchor store in Thornes Marketplace on Main Street in downtown Northampton, will partner with food-justice organization Grow Food Northampton to ensure that community members grappling with food insecurity and hunger are able to access healthy, local farm foods all year long at Grow Food Northampton’s farmers markets, Tuesday Market, and Winter market. The Grow Food Northampton SNAP Match program allows community members who use SNAP (formerly called food stamps) to more than double their purchase of nutritious local produce and other farm products at the weekly Tuesday Market farmers market behind Thornes Marketplace, and in the winter at the Winter Market at the Northampton Senior Center. The ‘give $10, get $10’ promotion allows Cedar Chest customers to donate $10 to Grow Food Northampton’s SNAP Match program and, in turn, receive a $10 gift card to spend at Cedar Chest.
STCC, Western New England Strengthen Partnerships
SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) and Western New England University (WNE) continue to work together to offer access from a two-year degree to baccalaureate and graduate education. According to a renewed joint admissions agreement signed by leadership of the two institutions on June 13, students enrolled at STCC will continue to have an opportunity to transfer to Western New England upon completion of their two-year associate-degree program. The joint admissions program is open to students who are enrolled in an STCC program that meets requirements for transfer to WNE. The programs listed on the Western New England website include biology, business, chemistry, computer science, criminal justice, cybersecurity, engineering, mathematics, and programmer.