Company Notebook

Company Notebook

Gagne Wealth Management Group Announces Expansion

GREENFIELD — Gagne Wealth Management Group is expanding its footprint with the addition of two financial advisors, three employees, and an expansion that will double its office location at 238 Main St. in Greenfield. The advising firm, which offers comprehensive estate and income planning, retirement solutions, and investment services, has served Franklin County since 2006. The acquisition will expand the reach of Gagne Wealth Management, an affiliate of Northwestern Mutual, and comes after Forbes magazine named Gagne Wealth Management to its Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list for the third consecutive year. Dave Bonomi, Tad Malek, Sam Smith, Jenn Hoffman, and Lane Simmons have joined the team, nearly doubling its size. Gagne said the expansion will not only allow the firm to continue to grow in supporting its clients, but also provide significant local revenue to continue its support of local commerce and nonprofits.


Springfield Rotary Partners with Dress for Success on Program to Empower Women

SPRINGFIELD — This year, the Springfield Rotary Club, in partnership with Dress for Success Western Massachusetts, recently launched an initiative aimed at empowering women entering the workforce with essential financial skills and strategies. Spearheaded by Flavia McCaughey, vice president of the FR Investment Group and a Springfield Rotarian, the program addressed the unique challenges faced by these women. Under McCaughey’s guidance, participating women underwent an education program designed to equip them with financial literacy and long-term planning tools. Following the sessions, they had the option to consult with a financial advisor of their choice and apply for a Rotary grant to kickstart their financial journey. Four women received grants of $300 each. Many of the program’s attendees were single parents, for whom this initiative represented a crucial stepping stone toward securing their financial future. Funding for this program was made possible through the support of a district Rotary grant. The initiative culminated in a panel discussion held at White Lion Brewing in Springfield, centered on fostering support networks and promoting financial empowerment. Looking ahead, both the Springfield Rotary and Dress for Success look to expand upon this initiative in the coming year, further extending its reach and impact within the community.


Eversource Launches 2024 Main Streets Program

SPRINGFIELD — As part of its ongoing commitment to helping customers across the Commonwealth take control of their own energy use with optimized solutions, Eversource announced it will bring its successful Main Streets program to more than 40 Massachusetts communities in 2024. Through Main Streets, sponsors of Mass Save, including Eversource, partner with municipalities to connect small-business owners with approved contractors that offer no-cost energy assessments to discuss upgrades that lower energy use and reduce costs. Evolving from a small, Eversource-only initiative, Main Streets has continued to grow over the years, with more than half of all planned events in communities across the Commonwealth in 2024 in collaboration with other sponsors of Mass Save, including several events outside the Eversource service territory organized solely by other sponsors. Through Main Streets, customers have saved on average nearly 13 million kWh per year — equivalent to the greenhouse-gas emissions saved from recycling over 3,000 tons of waste — as well as more than 100,000 therms of natural-gas savings annually. This year, Eversource will continue building on that success through close collaboration with local community partners, multilingual marketing efforts, and language support at in-person events.


Thunderbirds Raise $40,000 for Rays of Hope

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Thunderbirds announced a donation of $40,000 to Rays of Hope thanks to proceeds from the live jersey auction during the T-Birds’ seventh annual Pink in the Rink game on March 9. Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa and Vice President of Sales & Strategy Todd McDonald presented a check to Rays of Hope earlier this spring inside the MassMutual Center. This year’s Pink in the Rink game, as has become tradition, set new records for total funds generated, and fans at the MassMutual Center came out in full force with a seventh straight Pink in the Rink sellout crowd of 6,793. Established in T-Birds’ inaugural season in 2016-17, Pink in the Rink celebrates the commencement of Rays of Hope fundraising efforts each March to shine a light on breast-cancer awareness outside the traditional October awareness month. Every year, the fundraising efforts culminate in the annual Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer in October in Springfield. Since the establishment of this staple night, the Thunderbirds have generated more than $140,000 for the Rays of Hope Foundation, all of which stays local in Western Mass. in pursuit of a cure. Since its inception in 1994, Rays of Hope has raised more than $17.2 million to support women and men living in Western Mass. touched by breast cancer. Funds also support vital research at the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research. This year’s Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer will be held on Sunday, Oct. 27.


Hampden County Chambers Unite to Support Food Bank

CHICOPEE — The East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce, West of the River Chamber of Commerce, Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce, Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, and Springfield Regional Chamber all came together on March 27 to support the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The event, which took place at the new Food Bank headquarters in Chicopee, was an evening of networking showcasing the new building to the community while giving area chamber members the opportunity to meet for a good cause. The event raised $10,863 and 1,400 pounds of food, which will provide more than 30,000 meals to local people in need. Event sponsors included Baystate Health, Country Bank, KNF&T, the Latino Economic Development Center, PeoplesBank, Westfield Gas & Electric, Andrews Associates, Comcast, Commercial Distributing, the Employers Assoc. of New England, the Markens Group, Polish National Credit Union, Blaze Express, the Center for EcoTechnology, Development Associates, Florence Bank, Greenfield Cooperative Bank, Holiday Inn Ludlow, Holyoke Gas & Electric, MassHire Holyoke, and Park Square Realty.


Girls Inc. of the Valley Receives $80,000 for STRIVE Program

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced $480,000 in grant funding to six community-based organizations for the Successful Teens: Relationship, Identity, and Values Education (STRIVE) program. STRIVE is a DPH initiative that teaches youth (ages 10-15) personal responsibility, leadership skills, and healthy decision making, while preventing future youth risk behaviors. One of the grant recipients is based in Western Mass.: Girls Inc. of the Valley in Holyoke. The others are the Boys and Girls Club of South Boston, Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, the Edinburg Center in Bedford, Girls Inc. of Lynn, and Lowell Community Health Center. Each of the six organizations will receive $80,000 to increase youth connections to caring and trusted adults in their communities; increase protective factors for youth, such as school and community engagement; increase internal and external developmental assets, such as caring and honesty, positive peer influence, and community support; decrease risky youth behavior in later teenage years; and increase educational and economic opportunities through greater connection to community resources, increased school connectedness, and positive internal and external developmental assets. The STRIVE program aims to reach kids early in adolescence to promote healthy choices and maximize life opportunities, instilling the skills needed to thrive in high school and beyond. Grantees are expected to focus on one of three priority populations: youth who identify as Black or Hispanic; LGBTQ+ youth, or youth with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.


Rachel’s Table Receives $30,000 from Antonacci Family Foundation

SPRINGFIELD — Rachel’s Table of Western Massachusetts announced a $30,000 donation from the Antonacci Family Foundation to support the organization’s refrigerated van delivery program. Both organizations celebrated the announcement with an event in Springfield to unveil the addition of the foundation’s name to the van. Since the inception of the refrigerated van in October 2022, more than 1.1 million pounds of healthy food has been distributed to agencies and individuals across Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties by Rachel’s Table. The van has enabled Rachel’s Table to deliver perishable and nutrient-dense items like meat, milk, and cheese more frequently and more equitably in greater quantities across its service area. This donation will help further expand its reach by providing funding to support staffing, maintenance, and fuel for the van. Each month, the refrigerated van delivers more than $100,000 worth of nutritious meat. The van helped double Rachel’s Table’s distribution of primarily meat, dairy, and produce. In 2023 alone, the organization gleaned and donated 71% more farm-fresh produce to more than 90 recipient partners and agencies, adding 19 more food donors and seven more agencies throughout three Western Mass. counties. Fifty percent of those agencies are not served by other food-access programs.