Springfield College President Announces Retirement
SPRINGFIELD — Richard B. Flynn, Springfield College’s 12th president, recently announced plans to retire on Aug. 31, 2011. Flynn has served as president since March 1999. He is credited with developing and implementing a strategic plan for the college which led to transforming the campus through new construction and renovations, increasing enrollment, ensuring financial stability, enhancing academic programming, revitalizing the college’s longstanding partnership with the YMCA, expanding recreational programming, strengthening community and international relationships, and leading the most successful fund-raising campaign in the college’s 125-year history. Flynn called his decision to retire “one of the toughest decisions of my professional life.” He added that he is “deeply grateful” to the students, faculty, staff, members of the leadership team, alumni, trustees, and others who have shared their support, commitment, and dedication to the college over the years. A search firm will be selected soon to replace Flynn, and a presidential search committee will be formed, including representation from the board of trustees, faculty, staff, alumni, and student body. A new president is expected to be identified in the spring of 2011 and to take office at the opening of the 2011 fall semester, according to Sally Griggs, chair of the college’s board of trustees.
Westfield State Expansion Plans Revealed
WESTFIELD — As part of Westfield State University’s 2010 Homecoming Weekend Oktoberfest activities, the dedication of its newest academic space, the Banacos Academic Center, was staged on Oct. 23. The center honors the memory of Westfield State alum Jimmy Banacos, who was an education major and a well-liked, athletically involved student who suffered an injury on the lacrosse field that left him paralyzed from the neck down in 1970. He continued to be active in the college community after his accident and is known for his efforts connecting alumni to the university. In 1982, Banacos was awarded the college’s first honorary bachelor of arts degree. He passed away in 2005. Banacos’ family members and friends are expected to be in attendance for the dedication. The event is open to the community, as are all related Homecoming activities. The center is the home to three academic resource programs, including Westfield State’s Tutoring Center, Disability Services, and the Learning Disabilities Program. In addition to the center opening, college officials also recently announced plans to invest close to $100 million in growth to facilities and services on campus. Growth areas targeted include additional parking, an addition to the dining hall, a new residence hall, and a new classroom building. Trustees will meet in December to discuss the project in more depth. College officials will also present the recommended expansion plans to the Greater Westfield community at a neighborhood meeting as well as with the City Council in the coming weeks.
Firm Establishes Scholarship Fund
SPRINGFIELD — The law firm of Robinson Donovan, P.C. recently made a leadership gift to Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Inc. (MCLE) in memory of a friend, former partner, and colleague, according to Jeffrey L. McCormick, managing partner of Robinson Donovan. MCLE has established the John C. Sikorski Scholarship Fund in memory of John C. Sikorski, who served Robinson Donovan for 25 years. Sikorski was a senior partner who specialized in labor and employment law. Scholarships from this fund will benefit legal services staff attorneys, private practitioners who accept pro bono cases, and other lawyers who, without financial assistance, would not be able to attend MCLE programs, including those in the areas of labor and employment law and trial advocacy. For more information about MCLE’s scholarships, visit www.mcle.org.
STCC Opens Center
for Veterans and
SPRINGFIELD — A new lounge area was recently dedicated at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) for the approximately 250 students who are veterans or service members. The center is furnished with computers and comfortable furniture for studying or relaxing. The furnishings were donated by area businesses, particularly Balise Motor Sales, Hampden Bank, and NewAlliance Bank, as well as faculty and staff. Also available for veterans’ use is an administrative office with additional computers and adaptive technology for use by the visually impaired or hearing-impaired. A counselor is also available to talk with veterans.
Firm Sells Portion of
FARMINGTON, CT — Kostin, Ruffkess and Co., LLC recently announced the sale of a portion of its wealth-management business to a group of former employees of KR Wealth Management, LLC. KR Wealth Management, LLC is wholly owned by the partners of Kostin, Ruffkess and Co., LLC. Kostin, Ruffkess continues to operate KR Wealth Management, serving high-net-worth individuals, families, and businesses. KR Wealth Management clients will continue to receive the personal attention they are accustomed to and benefit from the CPA-financial advisor team relationship, which is unique to the marketplace, according to Richard Kretz, managing partner of Kostin, Ruffkess & Co.
MassMutual to Be
Honored by BBA
SPRINGFIELD — Highlighting its ongoing commitment to a diverse and inclusive legal profession, the Boston Bar Assoc. (BBA) will honor the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) with the BBA’s first Beacon Award on Nov. 9 in Boston. The Beacon Award was established to recognize organizations or individuals who have had an exceptional impact in advancing diversity and inclusion in one or more of these areas: legal scholarship, recruitment and retention practices, pro bono representation, community service, legal advocacy, and legislative advocacy. The award recipient must either be located in Massachusetts or have had a significant impact in Massachusetts and/or the Greater Boston community. When the award was established several months ago, an overriding goal was to identify models of excellence to inspire continued innovative programs and initiatives. The award reception is free to members of the legal community.
Berkshire Hills Plans Acquisition
PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Hills Bancorp. Inc. recently announced plans to acquire Rome Bancorp Inc. for approximately $74 million in cash and stock. Rome has five branches and, as of June 30, about $330 million in assets. Berkshire has 46 locations in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York, and continues to grow its business in the Utica and Syracuse markets, which have a combined population of about 1 million. Acquisition terms include 70% of the stock to be exchanged for Berkshire shares at a rate of 0.5658 share for each Rome share. The other 30% will be bought for $11.25 each.
Moves to New Location
WEST SPRINGFIELD — Normandeau Communications, a telecommunications-solutions provider, has relocated from Florence to larger quarters at 2097 Riverdale St. in West Springfield. Principals Brett Normandeau and Kim Durand said the move was made to give the company needed room to grow and to enable it to better serve customers across Western Mass. and Northern Conn. The company also announced that it will be adding a Technology Training & Demonstration Center to provide informative seminars on ever-evolving telecommunications technology and how to apply it to help businesses operate more efficiently. The company’s phone number, (413) 584-3131, remains the same.