Liberty Bank Opens New Loan Production Office
SPRINGFIELD — Liberty Bank, headquartered in Middletown, Conn., cut the ribbon to its new loan production office (LPO) on the 22nd floor of One Monarch Place in downtown Springfield on Sept. 28. Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno joined Liberty Bank President and CEO David Glidden, Western Mass. Market President Tony Liberopoulos, and Liberty Bank teammates, customers, and community stakeholders in officially opening the new office. The Western Mass. banking team originally opened an LPO at 94 Shaker Road in East Longmeadow in 2021. However, they wanted further penetration and exposure in the Western Mass. market, which precipitated the move to downtown Springfield. Among the amenities of the new Springfield LPO includes a reception area that leads to 15 offices, eight workstations, and hoteling workspace. The new office also includes a large conference room with additional team collaboration areas and a complete kitchen. Liberty’s ‘Be Community Kind’ brand and colors are displayed throughout the space. Underscoring its commitment to the Western Mass. community, the Liberty Bank Foundation granted donations totaling $20,000 to three area nonprofits at the ribbon cutting: Boys & Girls Club of West Springfield, Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Liberty has also identified a strong demand to establish a branch to support customers’ needs and the bank’s continued growth in Western Mass. Therefore, Liberty will be opening a full-service banking branch at 94 Shaker Road in East Longmeadow later this fall.
Baystate Health Launches $70 Million Campaign
SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Health announced a $70 million comprehensive fundraising effort. “Healthier Tomorrows: The Campaign for Baystate Health” is the largest fundraising goal in Baystate Health’s history and focuses on raising money for three critical areas: capital needs, program support, and endowment development. The $70 million goal aims to fund several initiatives, including a state-of-the-art surgical facility and a Center for Nursing Excellence at Baystate Medical Center, a renovated Family Medicine practice and teaching space at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, and support for the endowment, with the purpose of increasing fiscal resilience for the organization. Baystate Health’s last campaign concluded in 2012. The $23 million raised supported building the shell of the Hospital of the Future wing, including space for a new Emergency Department and the Davis Family Heart & Vascular Center. The new campaign will help complete much of the shell space as intended to accommodate new technology and meet the growing needs of the community.
Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. Recognized by Accounting Today
HOLYOKE — Each year, Accounting Today conducts a comprehensive assessment of the largest practices in tax and accounting across 10 major geographic regions in the U.S. Leveraging a wide range of benchmarking data, it meticulously evaluates firms’ growth strategies, service offerings, and specialized client niches. Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. earned distinction as a top-tier firm within the New England region. Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. is the largest independently owned and operated CPA firm in Western Mass. As a member of CPAmerica, one of the world’s largest networks of independent CPA and consulting firms, it offers a spectrum of services encompassing business strategy expertise, tax services, and accounting services. Its primary focus lies in serving closely held businesses and high-net-worth individuals, with notable concentrations in sectors such as healthcare, employee benefits, real estate, construction, manufacturing, and not-for-profit organizations.
Big E Sets Five Daily Attendance Records
WEST SPRINGFIELD — A total of 1,427,234 fairgoers attended the 2023 Big E in West Springfield, down from 2022’s tally of more than 1.6 million, due largely to several days of rain over the fair’s 17-day run. Still, when the weather did cooperate, five daily attendance records were set during the 2023 Big E: the first Tuesday, Sept. 19, 57,802; the second Friday, Sept. 22, 97,477; the second Wednesday, Sept. 27, 95,689; the second Thursday, Sept. 28, 108,962; and the third Sunday, Oct. 1, 170,471. The 2024 edition of the fair is scheduled for Sept. 13-29.
Elms College Surges Up Best Colleges Rankings
CHICOPEE — Elms College greatly improved its ranking on two listings in the U.S. News & World Report 2024 Best Colleges rankings and was listed as a Best Value School in the North Region for the first time. The college jumped 33 places to 60th on the list of Best Regional Universities (North) and rose 22 slots to 12th in the Top Performers on Social Mobility, Regional Universities (North) category. This list ranks schools for enrolling and graduating large proportions of students who have received federal Pell Grants. New this year, Elms College was ranked 33rd on the Best Value Schools, Regional Universities (North) list. This category examines a school’s academic quality and the cost of its programs. The higher the quality of programs and the lower the cost, the better the value a school provides.
Bay Path University Ranked as Safest Campus in Massachusetts
LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University is the safest college in Massachusetts and the third-safest in America, according to a recent list compiled by niche.com, which reviewed 1,400 schools and ranked the safest campuses in America for 2024. The website’s 2024 Safest College Campuses ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using U.S. Department of Education data. The site states that these top-ranked colleges offer a safe and healthy environment with little or no campus crime, drugs, or alcohol usage. Specific factors considered include campus crime rate, local crime grade, student surveys on safety, residence-hall date violence rate, residence-hall rape rate, alcohol-related arrests, and drug-related arrests.
U.S. News Ranks MCLA Seventh Among Public Liberal-arts Schools
NORTH ADAMS — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has earned the #7 spot on the list of Top Public Liberal Arts Schools in the nation for a third year in a row. U.S. News and World Report also ranked MCLA first for Top Performer on Social Mobility in the state, second in the country, and 22nd for National Liberal Arts Colleges. MCLA has appeared on U.S. News’ list of Top Ten Public Colleges for nine consecutive years. The college has also been acknowledged in the publication’s list of National Liberal Arts Colleges for Social Mobility since the organization adopted this ranking in 2019. This list measures how well institutions graduate students who receive federal Pell Grants, typically awarded to students whose families make less than $50,000, though most Pell Grant money goes to families with income below $20,000. More than 42% of MCLA undergraduate students receive Pell Grants, and 51% are the first in their families to go to college. Overall, 93% of students receive some kind of financial aid.
Mayhew Steel Products Wins Manufacturing Leadership Award
TURNERS FALLS — Mayhew Tools in Turners Falls received an award for Outstanding Leadership Skills in the Manufacturing Industry at the eighth annual Manufacturing Awards Ceremony. This ceremony is part of the Massachusetts Manufacturing Mash-Up held in Polar Park in Worcester, hosted by the Massachusetts Legislative Manufacturing Caucus and other partners. State Sen. Jo Comerford and state Rep. Natalie Blais nominated Mayhew for this award. Mayhew Tools, the oldest punch and chisel manufacturer in the country, has expanded over 160-plus years without losing sight of its heritage. This includes keeping its headquarters in Western Mass., home to its corporate office and 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility.
Country Bank Recognized for Charitable Giving
WARE — Country Bank announced that the Boston Business Journal has once again named it an honoree in its annual 2023 Corporate Citizenship Awards, recognizing the region’s top corporate charitable contributors. The magazine annually publishes this list to highlight companies that promote and prioritize giving back to their communities. During this year’s celebration on Sept. 7, 100 companies qualified for the distinction by reporting at least $100,000 in cash contributions to Massachusetts-based charities last year, as noted above. This year’s honorees include companies from such industry sectors as financial and professional services, healthcare, technology, retail, and professional sports. Country Bank, ranked 44th, employs 220 staff members within Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties, many of whom volunteer for various nonprofits throughout the year.
Hazen Paper Unveils 11th Cover for Basketball Hall of Fame Yearbook
HOLYOKE — Hazen Paper’s 11th enshrinement yearbook cover for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, created with Hazen HoloJet paper, projects an amplified refractive three-dimensional image of a basketball symbolizing the Hall of Fame dome. For 2023, this includes Fresnel Lens technology and a new holographic element called “Metal-Morphosis,” utilizing a new deep-groove system for sharper images and greater dimensionality. Appearing to move and change with the angle of light, the holographic treatment induces engagement and interaction with the book. Hazen originated the holography 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 Tango C2S using Hazen’s environmentally friendly Envirofoil and HoloJet process. The holography is created with an optical structure that is imparted on the surface of the paper (underneath the printed graphics) with an ultra-thin polymer layer that is less than 2 microns in thickness. Envirofoil is a non-plastic paper that is as recyclable as paper.