Thunderbirds Recognized for Record-setting Season
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Thunderbirds were recognized for hitting milestone thresholds across a variety of business categories during the American Hockey League’s team business meetings in Tucson, Ariz. The annual event features representatives from all 32 member clubs for sessions discussing best practices and innovative ideas across multiple departments. On the heels of another record-setting year for the Thunderbirds business that saw new regular-season records in attendance per game (6,162), sellout games (15, including every Saturday from Dec. 30 onward), season-ticket members, and group-sales revenue, the team’s ticket sales department achieved a number of milestones for a second straight season. Among them were 600 new full-season equivalents (FSE), a metric that tracks full-season and partial-season ticket sales. The department also saw a greater than 85% renewal rate among its full-season ticket members. Individual game ticket sales also provided the Thunderbirds with two more threshold recognitions, as the business saw a greater than 15% increase in both FSE revenue per game and group ticket revenue per game. In what was also a record-setting year for the club’s corporate sales department, that area of the business was recognized for also seeing a greater than 85% renewal rate in corporate cash accounts en route to a single-season record in corporate revenue. The Thunderbirds also had a prolific season in the Springfield community, with more than 250 appearances by mascot Boomer and team players combined, ranging from youth hockey practice sessions to charitable affairs like the Rays of Hope walk, annual Teddy Bear Toss deliveries, and corporate partnership events.
National Grid Awards $800,000 to Eight Chambers of Commerce
NORTHAMPTON — National Grid announced it will donate $800,000 to eight chambers of commerce in Massachusetts to support local small businesses. The Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce has been named one of the recipients of a $100,000 award. Other chambers receiving the funds include the Cape Cod Chamber, Merrimack Valley Chamber, North Central Chamber of Leominster, North Shore Chamber, OneSouthCoast Chamber, South Shore Chamber, and Waltham Chamber. Each chamber will receive $100,000, which they will then distribute in grants of $1,000 to National Grid small-business customers with fewer than 150 employees. The Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce looks forward to distributing these grant awards to give local small business community a boost during the coming months. This pledge follows a similar donation by National Grid in January, when the company distributed $1 million to four small-business organizations to help with energy bills. The Black Economic Council of Massachusetts, the Retailers Assoc. of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Restaurant Assoc., and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce each received $250,000 to distribute to their small business members.
Lee Bank Foundation Distributes $50,000 in Grant Funding Round
LEE — Lee Bank Foundation awarded $50,000 to 12 Berkshire area organizations for its second round of 2023 community funding. Recipients were awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to support their local programming. The following organizations received funding from Lee Bank Foundation: Becket Athenaeum, Berkshire Bounty, Berkshire Center for Justice, Berkshire Children’s Chorus, Berkshire Community Diaper Project, Berkshire County Arc, Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Community Access to the Arts, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Greenagers, Mass Audubon Pleasant Valley, and Roots Rising. The deadline to apply for the next round of 2023 foundation funding is Sept. 1. To be considered for grant awards, applicants must be a (501)(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The foundation is focused on funding programs that work to bridge income and opportunity gaps in the region. Funding requests should reflect one or more of Lee Bank Foundation’s primary focus areas: education and literacy; food security and nutrition; economic growth and development; health and human services; or mentorship, internship, and school-to-work initiatives.
Mandati Jewelers Opens at Holyoke Mall
HOLYOKE — Family-owned Mandati Jewelers celebrated its grand opening at Holyoke Mall on June 28 on the shopping center’s lower level near Center Court. The 2,423-square-foot space is the custom jeweler’s first Massachusetts location. Mandati specializes in certified diamonds, watch and timepiece brands, necklaces, charms, and other fine jewelry. The store is offering 30% to 50% off gold and diamonds and 25% off watches through July 31. The New York jeweler’s custom jewelry clientele includes Buffalo Bills defensive end Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr. and rappers Conway the Machine, Westside Gunn, and Benny the Butcher. Holyoke Mall is Mandati’s fourth store and joins locations in Albany, Buffalo, and Syracuse.
The Dowd Agencies Supports Area Charities as Part of 125th-anniversary Celebration
HOLYOKE — The Dowd Insurance Agencies, LLC, a leading insurance provider serving New England since 1898, has donated a total of $3,250 to five charities since the beginning of the year as it celebrates its 125th anniversary. Charities were determined by polling employees. So far in 2023, the Dowd Agencies donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes for children diagnosed with critical illnesses; Community Music School of Springfield, which provides arts education to local students; Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Holyoke, which provides horseback riding to children and adults with disabilities; Shriners Children’s, which provides critical medical care to children; and Homework House Inc., in Holyoke, which provides free tutoring and mentoring for children living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The Dowd Agencies will continue to donate to charities selected by its employees throughout the remainder of the year.
Liberty Bank Supports Nonprofits
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — David Glidden, president and CEO of Liberty Bank and president of the Liberty Bank Foundation, announced that the foundation recently awarded five nonprofits with $5,000 each in recognition of the bank’s 198th birthday. As part of Liberty’s birthday celebration on May 4, the team came up with a creative idea to provide ‘birthday gifts’ in the aggregate amount of $25,000 to five community organizations on behalf of the Liberty Bank Foundation. Liberty teammates had the opportunity to vote on their favorite charity from a list of three nonprofits in each of the regions the bank serves: Central North, Central South, Eastern, Western, and Massachusetts. Based on the final vote count, the following five nonprofits received a $5,000 donation from the Liberty Bank Foundation: House of Heroes (Hamden, Conn.), the Boys and Girls Club of Lower Naugatuck Valley, Middlesex Habitat for Humanity, New London Community Meal Center, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.
Smith Brothers Insurance Acquires Rawson & Sons
NORTHAMPTON — Smith Brothers Insurance, with an office on Main Street in Northampton, has acquired Rawson & Sons Insurance Group, an independent insurance agency located in Worcester. The acquisition expands the Smith Brothers Insurance footprint in Massachusetts, with Rawson & Sons maintaining a local presence while leveraging the resources of Smith Brothers Insurance, one of the nation’s top 100 independent brokers. Rich Rawson, founder of Rawson & Sons, will stay fully engaged in business development, sales, and client service, alongside the same team of insurance professionals. All Rawson & Sons team members will be joining Smith Brothers. Smith Brothers Insurance has more than 200 team members in locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.