Food Bank Sells Facility to Myers Produce
HATFIELD — The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts announced the successful sale of its Hatfield building and property to Myers Produce, a woman-owned regional produce distributor and trucking company offering farmer-focused distribution, freight, and warehousing services. The strategic decision to sell the building marks a significant milestone for both businesses. The Food Bank moved to its new location at 25 Carew St., Chicopee, during the last week of August, and Myers Produce will move into its new Hatfield facility in October. Myers Produce has a long-standing commitment to bolster access to regionally grown food and to support farmers in Western Mass. and Vermont. With this strategic move, Myers Produce is taking a significant step to expand the purchasing of food from local growers and producers and transporting and reselling it to food retailers throughout the region and beyond. Moving to Hatfield will generate employment opportunities and place Myers Produce close to farmlands, near highways, and at a central crossroads for serving growers, customers, and fellow distributors in Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine. Both the Food Bank and Myers Produce are looking forward to sharing resources at their respective new facilities, including cross docking and temporary storage. This arrangement will facilitate Food Bank deliveries to its member food pantries and meal sites in Hampshire and Franklin counties. For Myers Produce, this arrangement will contribute to its current ‘donation transportation’ program, facilitating the free transportation of donated food to the Food Bank for distribution to the local community. Foreseeing it was running out of space many years ago, the Food Bank purchased 16.5 acres of vacant land in the Chicopee River Business Park in 2020. In 2021, it launched a successful, $26 million capital campaign to raise funds to build a larger facility, with support from individual and business donors, state and federal governments, and volunteers. In 2022, construction began on its new distribution center and headquarters, which is nearing completion.
AIC Introduces Division of Arts, Media, and Design
SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) has made a significant advance toward meeting the evolving demands of the workforce with the introduction of a new Division of Arts, Media, and Design within the School of Business, Arts, and Sciences. This division encompasses redesigned undergraduate programming in the bachelor of arts and bachelor of science curricula, launching with the upcoming fall 2023 semester. This new division will introduce four undergraduate majors, each crafted to provide students with a comprehensive foundation. The offerings include public relations & social media administration, digital media production, arts and entertainment management, and graphic arts and design. Moreover, AIC unveiled six new undergraduate minors that complement these majors. The minors include public relations and social media administration, digital media production, arts & entertainment management, graphic arts and design, fashion design and merchandising, and music technology & production.
MCLA’s LEAD Academy Expands with Support from Greylock Federal Credit Union
NORTH ADAMS — LEAD Academy, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) almost two-decade-old program to help new students integrate into college life, is getting a huge boost thanks to Greylock Federal Credit Union. Greylock pledged $100,000 to support a reimagined Greylock LEAD Academy, allowing the program to grow from around 30 MCLA students each year to this fall’s cohort of 200 participants. Thanks to Greylock’s generosity, LEAD is now available to all MCLA first-year students at no cost. LEAD, which stands for Leadership, Education, Action, and Development, is a college success, leadership, and civic-engagement program designed to help students develop leadership skills and the skills necessary for college preparation, which they can immediately apply. Beginning Aug. 26, this year’s LEAD students will participate in a holistic onboarding experience before the start of fall classes. The first five days will provide a signature experience focusing on leadership development, team building, community building, and workshops conducted by student leaders.
Community Music School Receives $10,000 Grant from New York Life
SPRINGFIELD — Community Music School of Springfield (CMSS), which provides accessible, affordable music education, has been awarded a $10,000 Community Impact Grant from New York Life. The grant will support the Adaptive Music Program (AMP), which connects music education and special education to improve students’ lives, impacting their social/emotional, academic, and artistic development. “We are grateful for New York Life’s investment in AMP, which will change many lives for the better,” said Jean Deliso, CFP, an agent with New York Life’s Connecticut Valley General Office and CMSS board member. “We are pleased that our partnership will have a long-lasting impact on CMSS and the population they serve.” The Community Impact Grant program awards grants of up to $25,000 to local nonprofit organizations, which are championed by New York Life agents and employees. Since the program’s inception in 2008, nearly 800 grants totaling more than $10 million have been awarded to nonprofits across the country. “With this generous support from New York Life, this year, AMP will be able to work with over 800 students at more than 15 Springfield public schools, providing critical skill building, including receptive and expressive language, motor skills, and building social relationships, helping these vulnerable children build their foundation for future success in all types of academic and personal areas,” said Eileen McCaffery, executive director of CMSS.
Maybury Material Handling, Community Action Pioneer Valley Win HNE Well Worth It Award
SPRINGFIELD — Health New England has awarded Maybury Material Handling of East Longmeadow and Community Action Pioneer Valley of Greenfield its Well Worth It Award, Gold designation, for outstanding employee-wellness programs. Maybury Material Handling provides industrial products and services to manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing customers. Community Action Pioneer Valley is a not-for-profit that helps those with low incomes achieve economic stability and security, and works to build communities in which all people can thrive. Both employers demonstrated their responsibility to the health and well-being of their employees by encouraging them to use Health New England’s suite of health and wellness services. These include its Healthy Choices Rewards Program that offers monetary rewards for healthy activities, such as joining a gym, nutrition counseling, smoking cessation, and more. Health New England also awarded Well Worth It Awards in the Silver designation to Scantic Valley Regional Health Trust and PeoplesBank, and in the Bronze designation to Springfield Area Transit Co. Inc./Pioneer Valley Transit Authority. Well Worth It Award winners will be honored at a luncheon on Oct. 5 at the Sheraton Springfield.
Country Bank, WooSox Foundation Announce 2023 WooStars
WARE — Country Bank and the Worcester Red Sox Foundation recently announced the 2023 WooStars, a program that supports nonprofit leaders throughout the region. Country Bank recently recognized nine local WooStars and the nonprofits they are affiliated with at Polar Park, including Mari Gonzalez of El Buen Samaritano Food Program Inc., Jenna Rahkonen of HomeFront Strong, Brian Feeley of Miracle League of Western Massachusetts, Todd Stewart of Camp Putnam, Sharon MacDonald of Guild of St. Agnes of Worcester Inc., Anna Rice of Dismas House, Gina and John Connolly of Lou Gehrig Little League, and Joseph Kenadek of Jack Barry Little League. Each nonprofit was presented with a $5,000 donation. In the past three years, 27 WooStars have been awarded a total of $135,000 in donations.
The Stubblebine Co., JLL Announce Sale of Property
WESTFIELD — The Stubblebine Co./CORFAC International and JLL announced the sale of 323 Lockhouse Road, Westfield to ERD Metal Inc. for $14.5 million. The property consists of a 229,867-square-foot industrial building on 26.09 acres. Situated two miles from I-90 and seven miles from I-91, the property is located adjacent to Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport. Erdoganlar Aluminum (ERD Metal Inc.) was established in 1987 in Istanbul, Turkey as a family-owned aluminum-extrusion company. Its vision is to fulfill the needs of its partners by offering a wide range of products and services, including custom fabrications, plastic injection, aluminum casting, custom aluminum extrusions, custom packaging, and more. Established in 1987, the Stubblebine Co./COFAC International specializes in selling and leasing large industrial investment properties and adaptive reuse sites throughout New England.