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Company Notebook

Berkshire Bank Ranked Among Most Charitable
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank was recently named one of the state’s most charitable companies by the Boston Business Journal at its annual Corporate Citizenship Summit in Boston. Berkshire Bank ranked fourth for its employees’ volunteer efforts, with more than 22,000 hours of service, and ranked 36th for total cash giving, with more than $1.1 million donated in Massachusetts. Berkshire joined national and international companies honored at the event, including AT&T, IBM, Microsoft, New Balance, Verizon, and Walmart. The Top Charitable Contributor award recognized Berkshire Bank and Berkshire Bank Foundation’s employee volunteer program; its philanthropic investments in the community through its charitable grants, corporate giving , and in-kind donations; as well as as its Recycle, Reuse & Renew Technology Partnership Program.

Financial Partners Raises Funds for Open Pantry
AGAWAM — Financial Partners Inc. (FPI) in Agawam recently hosted its annual food drive to help raise money for Springfield Open Pantry. The 185 employees were able to raise $8,219. Each year, FPI employees come up with new and creative ways to raise money for Springfield Open Pantry. As a technology company that provides business support to farm credit associations from coast to coast, this year FPI stayed true to its agricultural ties by introducing ‘animal herds’ as a means of fund-raising. Employees donated money to have herds of stuffed animals placed on the desks of colleagues each morning. Along with ‘herding,’ employees also sponsored a variety of raffles, a bake sale, a pitch tournament, and even a ‘best beard’ contest.

MMWEC Earns A Ratings on Power Projects
LUDLOW — Three major credit-rating agencies have affirmed the A-level credit ratings of of Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Co. (MMWEC) power supply projects. The agencies — Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poors, and Moody’s Investors — cited the financial and competitive strength of MMWEC and its municipal utility project participants. MMWEC project ratings are all in the A category, reflecting a strong and stable financial profile for the nonprofit, joint action agency that provides services to the Commonwealth’s consumer-owned municipal electric utilities.

Gove Opens Solo Legal Practice
NORTHAMPTON — Attorney Michael Gove has announced the opening of his solo legal practice under the name Gove Law Office, providing services in corporate and business law, estate planning, real-estate matters, and special education law to clients throughout Western Mass. and Connecticut. A Western Mass. native, Gove has developed a diverse practice assisting businesses owners and families in planning for the future. Gove is a 2001 cum laude graduate of UMass Amherst, where he received a BA in political science. In 2004, he earned his JD from Boston College School of Law. He is admitted to the Massachusetts and Connecticut bars, and to the U.S. District Court in both states as well. He is a member of the American Bar Assoc., the Massachusetts Bar Assoc., the Hampden County Bar Assoc., the Hampshire County Bar Assoc., the Connecticut Bar Assoc., the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, and the Northampton Association of Young Professionals. In 2007, he was honored by BusinessWest as a member of the inaugural 40 Under Forty class, in part for his work with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. In 2007, Gov. Deval Patrick nominated him to serve as the Connecticut Valley representative on the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, a position he held until 2012. He presently serves as a corporator of the Horace Smith Fund. Gove volunteers with the Hampshire County United Way and Cooley Dickinson Hospital, and previously served as president of the Advisory Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. In 2012, he was selected as a Massachusetts Rising Star by Super Lawyers, a professional achievement earned by no more than 2.5% of lawyers in Massachusetts.

Westfield Bank Rated Outstanding in CRA Exam
WESTFIELD — Westfield Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Westfield Financial Inc., received an outstanding rating as a large institution with total assets of $1.3 billion as of March 31, during the recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) exam conducted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the bank’s primary regulator. “The outstanding rating is the highest rating a bank can receive and represents the bank’s commitment to our communities in several performance areas, which includes lending, investments, and services,” said President and CEO James Hagan. The CRA is intended to encourage depository institutions to help meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, including low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. Some of the major factors that support the rating were the bank’s level of lending activity within its assessment area, the distribution of small loans to businesses and home-mortgage loans by income level of the borrower and geography, as well as community-development lending. The bank had an excellent level of qualified investments and donations totaling $7.4 million in the areas it serves during the timeframe and evaluation of the CRA exam, and exhibited excellent responsiveness to credit and community economic-development needs.

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