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Company Notebook

Hampden Bancorp Plans Cash Dividend
SPRINGFIELD — Hampden Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Hampden Bank, recently announced it had a $624,000, or 246.6%, increase in net income for the three months ended March 31, 2012, to $877,000, as compared to $253,000 for the same period in 2011. The provision for loan losses decreased $575,000 for the three-month period ended March 31, 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, due to decreases in delinquent loans, including non-accrual loans, declining impaired loans, and continued improvement in general economic conditions. In addition, the company’s total assets increased $37.8 million, or 6.6%, from $573.3 million at June 30, 2011 to $611.1 million at March 31, 2012. Securities increased $19.6 million, or 17.5%, to $131.5 million, and cash and cash equivalents increased $7.2 million, or 23.0%, to $38.3 million at March 31, 2012. Deposits increased $18.2 million, or 4.4%, to $435.4 million at March 31, 2012, from $417.3 million at June 30, 2011. The company has been focused more on obtaining core deposits than time deposits, according to Thomas R. Burton, CEO and vice chairman. “Economic conditions in our local economy continue to improve, as evidenced by a decline in delinquent and impaired loans as well as a nominal increase in loan growth,” he said. “We have reduced the provision for loan losses while continuing to maintain strong ratios related to our reserve coverage. Overall, we are pleased with the results but recognize that asset growth is necessary for continued financial improvement.” The board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.04 per common share, payable on May 31, to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 16.

WMECo Launches Mobile Web Site
SPRINGFIELD — Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECo) recently launched a mobile Web site for customers who use smartphones. Using the new mobile site, customers can view their account, pay their bill, view current power outages, or report a new power outage, all from the specially designed Web site. “It’s important to us that our customers feel we are accessible,” said Peter Clarke, WMECo president and chief operating officer. “They have told us they want more and easier ways to manage their accounts and receive information from us, so this is a logical next step for us to deliver on that request.” The mobile Web site works with either an iPhone or Android device. When customers access wmeco.com from a smartphone, they will be automatically directed to the mobile-friendly Web site.  In addition, the mobile site puts customers one touch away from calling or e-mailing WMECo customer service and from accessing the company’s Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages. Customers may also click a link on the site to view the company’s full Web site. WMECo, a Northeast Utilities company, serves approximately 210,000 customers in 59 communities throughout Western Mass.

Whalley Selected for ITC47 Contract
SOUTHWICK — Whalley Computer Associates (WCA) was recently awarded the ITC47 contract, which will allow it to continue to sell technology products such as desktop computers, laptops, servers, storage devices, and numerous other related technology products to organizations that use the Massachusetts State Purchasing Contract as a purchasing tool. WCA, a leading supplier to Massachusetts K-12 schools, partners with 181 of the state’s 320 school systems to provide technology products, services, training, and consultation. WCA also works with 57 cities and towns, 36 law-enforcement departments, 19 public colleges and universities, and 12 state agencies. “I think the number of Massachusetts organizations that have selected us as their primary vendor validates our decision to remain a large, regional, locally owned business,” said Paul Whalley, vice president and a former elementary-school teacher. Whalley noted that WCA is the sixth-largest vendor of the prestigious Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium (MHEC) contract, which has 600 suppliers providing computers, books, vehicles, science materials, furniture, and nearly every other product required by public Massachusetts colleges and universities. “WCA is also unique in having an office in the western part of Massachusetts and another in Central and Eastern Mass.,” said Whalley. “This allows us to rapidly and easily service those organizations that have offices throughout the state.”

Tighe & Bond Ranked Among Top Design Firms
WESTFIELD — The Engineering News-Record (ENR) once again ranked Tighe & Bond among the top 500 design firms in the nation, according to David Pinsky, president. ENR ranks companies by the previous year’s gross revenue for providing design services to domestic and international markets. Tighe & Bond ranked 272 in ENR’s 2012 report, which exceeds last year’s ranking of 309 and reflects the firm’s 2011 annual gross revenue of $36 million. “Last year was a very successful and profitable year for us,” said Pinsky. “We saw growth in all of our primary business units and acquired a sixth office in Portsmouth, N.H., that enables us to better serve our clients in that state, Southeastern Maine, and Northeastern Mass. All of this is backed by our ongoing commitment to deliver the highest-quality services to our clients on time and within budget.” The Boston Business Journal also ranked Tighe & Bond as one of the largest engineering firms in Massachusetts, according to Pinsky. In its 2012 Book of Lists, the journal ranked the firm 12th out of 25 top-billing firms.

Columbia Gas Supports Link to Libraries
SPRINGFIELD — Columbia Gas of Massachusetts has given a grant to Link to Libraries to help promote literacy and donate books to public elementary schools and nonprofit organizations in Western Mass. The funds will be used to supply all children entering kindergarten in Holyoke and Springfield with literacy bookbags. “We are tremendously honored that the Columbia Gas of Massachusetts has decided to join us in our mission,” said Susan Jaye-Kaplan, Link to Libraries co-founder. “This grant will have substantial economic impact in our mission to enhance early literacy and promote that all youth be proficient readers by grade 4.” Steve Bryant, president of Columbia Gas, noted that “Columbia Gas, as well as our employees, is committed to supporting families in need. Helping to provide books to kindergarten children is just one way we can help ensure that children get started on the right path to become lifelong readers.” Since its inception in 2008, Link to Libraries has donated more than 50,000 new books to area youth.

Big Y Adds 41st Pharmacy
SPRINGFIELD — Big Y Foods Inc. recently opened its 41st pharmacy in the World Class Market at 700 Main St., Suite 2, in Great Barrington. Pharmacy Manager Helen Costello, R.Ph., will be working alongside pharmacist Julie Samale, R.Ph. and technician Raeven Fuller to bring added convenience to grocery shoppers in Southern Berkshire County. Pharmacy hours will be weekdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Big Y Pharmacies plan to conduct special wellness events throughout the next few months, including total cholesterol and blood-pressure screenings, glucose and body-fat-percentage testing, and skin analysis. Big Y currently operates pharmacies throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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