Company Notebook Departments

Company Notebook

NUVO Bank Announces First-quarter Results
SPRINGFIELD — NUVO Bank & Trust Co. announced net income of $67,000, or $0.02 per basic and fully diluted shares for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, compared to $2,122,000, or $1.13 per basic and fully diluted shares, for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. The bank’s book value per share increased from $5.23 per share at Dec. 31, 2013 to $5.27 per share at March 31, 2014. The $2,055,000 decrease in net income primarily reflects the fact that, in the first quarter of 2013, the bank was able to fully utilize a deferred tax benefit of $2,057,000, which more than offset income before taxes of $65,000. In the first quarter of 2014, the bank had income before taxes of $111,000 and no deferred tax benefit and a tax provision of $44,000. The per-share results during the first quarter of 2014 reflect the impact of the issuance of 974,454 shares in a private offering that closed on April 30, 2013. Diluted per-share results were also impacted by the fact that, in the private offering, the bank also issued 487,227 rights along with the shares of common stock. The $46,000 increase in pre-tax income reflects increases in net interest income and non-interest income of $241,000 and $31,000, respectively, which were partially offset by a $106,000 increase in the provision for loan losses and an increase of $120,000 in non-interest expense. Total assets at March 31, 2014 were $145.0 million compared to $135.2 million at Dec. 31, 2013, which is an increase of $9.8 million (7.3%). Cash and cash equivalents increased $1.8 million (27.2%) to $8.7 million at March 31, 2014, from $6.8 million at December 31, 2013. Total loans increased $8.2 million (7.0%) to $126.5 million at March 31, 2014, from $118.3 million at December 31, 2013. Deposits increased $9.8 million (8.4%) to $125.9 million at March 31, 2014, from $116.1 million at December 31, 2013. Stockholders’ equity increased $98,000 (0.7%) to $14.7 million at March 31, 2014 from $14.6 million at Dec. 31, 2013.

Hot Table to Open Two New Stores This Fall
SPRINGFIELD — Springfield-based Hot Table, a chain of fast-casual dining locations, will expand this fall with two new stores in Hadley and Glastonbury, Conn. The Hot Table team, brothers John and Chris DeVoie, opened their original restaurant, featuring signature paninis, in Springfield’s 16 Acres neighborhood in 2007. They followed up with a store in downtown Springfield in 2009, and another in Enfield, Conn. in 2012. They are now hoping to grow upon that success by opening their fourth and fifth locations in the heart of two of the busiest shopping districts in the Hartford/Springfield region. The Glastonbury store will be located in the Griswold Shoppes on Main Street, next to Bertucci’s, and is slated to open in early September. The Hadley store will be located in a new plaza on Route 9, in front of Home Depot, and will open in November. A cross between Panera Bread and Subway, Hot Table specializes in grilled panini sandwiches that are made-to-order for each customer.  The stores also offer fresh, made-to-order salads, soups, desserts, and a variety of specialty coffees. The fast-casual style of service at Hot Table is designed to ensure that the diner has quick service and the freshest of ingredients. Each location will employ about 20 people. Hours of operation will be Monday through Saturday, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fair-housing Grant Expands WNEU Law Partnership with MCAD
SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University School of Law announced recently that it is expanding its partnership with the Mass. Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) through a program to train law students in the substantive and procedural issues related to fair-housing practices under federal and state law. This collaborative program will allow the university’s School of Law to expand its offerings of specialized classes, externships, and practice-based legal opportunities to train the next generation of fair-housing lawyers in Western Mass. A grant of $30,500 was made by MCAD to assist in creating the new curriculum and managing externship opportunities. The law school’s partnership with MCAD was made possible by a Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) Partnership Project grant awarded to MCAD by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. The law students participating in the program will assist in the representation of fair-housing complainants, many of whom are tenants with limited English proficiency. The program will be implemented in partnership with attorneys and staff from MCAD and the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center (MFHC), the oldest fair-housing advocacy organization in Massachusetts. “This grant from HUD will enhance our law school’s ability to positively impact fair-housing issues in cities and towns throughout Western Mass. by expanding the experiential and classroom training for law students interested in civil rights and fair-housing issues,” remarked Harris Freeman, professor of Legal Research & Writing at Western New England University School of Law. Added Commissioner Jamie Williamson, chair of the Mass. Commission Against Discrimination, “we are very excited to have the opportunity to work more closely with our partners at Western New England University School of Law. Residential segregation remains a pressing problem in Western Mass. Law students will investigate and litigate cases of housing discrimination, and will have the opportunity to work closely with indigent pro se complainants.” In light of the deeply rooted, segregated housing patterns in Springfield, Holyoke, and Pittsfield, and given the frequency of housing discrimination throughout Western Mass., this educational partnership is an important opportunity for Western New England University to serve the legal needs of Western Mass. residents. “The grant will expand our students’ ability to learn by participating in all facets of advocacy and adjudication of fair-housing claims in the housing courts, the MCAD, and with the Mass. Fair Housing Center,” said Freeman. “We are looking forward to deepening our partnerships with all three institutions and organizations.” The award and collaboration come following the 2014 Northeast Regional Fair Housing and Civil Rights Conference, which was held in Springfield in April. The conference, attended by 512 people, was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, MCAD, HAPHousing, Western New England University, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Easthampton Savings Bank Recognizes Employee Volunteers
EASTHAMPTON — Easthampton Savings Bank recently recognized employee volunteers at the recent Service Awards and Recognition event held at the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House in Holyoke. Three CRA Community Service Awards were given out. Paula Auclair, a mortgage loan originator in the South Hadley office, received an award for performing 149 hours of CRA activity and 658 total volunteer hours. Jeni Cutter, a training specialist in the Main Street, Easthampton office was given an award for completing 192 hours of CRA activity and 220 total volunteer hours. Lori Ingraham, AVP/controller for the bank, was recognized for performing 136 hours of CRA activity and 557 total volunteer hours. Three Community Service Awards were given out. Katrina Dziedzic, AVP branch officer in the Westfield Office, was given an award for completing 275 volunteer hours. Jessica West, branch officer for the Northampton Street, Easthampton office was recognized for performing 420 volunteer hours. Lidia Zoltowski, a teller in the Main Street, Easthampton office, received an award for completing 261 volunteer hours. Two awards were presented to board members. Dr. James Hayden, DVM, was presented with the ESB Director Community Service Award. Daniel Polachek received the ESB Corporator Community Service Award. “In 2013, employees of Easthampton Savings Bank put in over 12,000 volunteer hours. When coupled with our direct financial investment, the bank donated nearly $750,000 in money and resources throughout the communities we serve,” said ESB President and CEO Matthew Sosik. “We are proud of our employees’ commitment to their communities and wanted to recognize them for their hard work.”

Jewish Geriatric Services Elects Officers and New Directors, Presents Awards
LONGMEADOW — Jewish Geriatric Services Inc. (JGS) presented the 2014 JGS Chairman’s Service Award to Carol Kantany Casartello and Charles (Charlie) Casartello Jr., and elected officers and new directors at its annual meeting on May 20 at the Julian J. Leavitt Family Jewish Nursing Home. The Chairman’s Service Award is given annually by JGS board members to individuals who have demonstrated an extraordinary dedication to JGS and the elders and families served by the organization. Kantany Casartello has served as the clerk-magistrate of the Westfield District Court for more than 20 years. Charlie Casartello is a partner with Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan and Blakesley, P.C. in Springfield, focusing on personal-injury litigation, workers’ compensation, and Social Security law. Their commitment to JGS and the people it serves began in 2001 when Kantany Casartello’s parents, Christopher and Jane Kantany, moved into Ruth’s House, an assisted-living residence. Kantany Casartello has served on the JGS board of directors and executive committee, as well as many other committees, including strategic planning, governance, and nominating. She coordinated and participates in an interdenominational Protestant worship service at the nursing home, and has trained and served as a Spectrum Home Health and Hospice volunteer. Charlie Casartello is a eucharistic minister for Roman Catholics at the nursing home and Ruth’s House. He has also served on the JGS rebranding committee since 2012. “It is an honor to pay tribute to Carol and Charlie for their long and varied support and service to JGS. It has been my pleasure to work with them on several projects, like the formation of the Ruth’s House Family Council, that have had a positive impact on the quality of service delivered across our service continuum,” said Susan Kline, outgoing chair of the JGS board of directors. Dr. Robert Baevsky, physician and director of Informatics at the Emergency Department of Baystate Medical Center, was installed as the new chairman of the board. Baevsky first started volunteering with JGS in 1972, and has served as treasurer and participated on numerous committees, including the medical services committee. He has also had loved ones cared for at JGS. “It is a privilege to be your next chairman and a true honor to join the ranks of those before me, who helped govern and shape JGS, and plan for a new JGS that will transform not only our brick and mortar, but also usher in a new world of care across all services,” Baevsky said in accepting the appointment. Martin Baicker, president and CEO of JGS, called it “an exciting time for JGS, a continuation of a long tradition of caring and embracing culture change that will culminate with a new name for our organization and a new world of person-centered care in more home-like, intimate surroundings, improving not only the care we provide, but also enhancing the dignity of those living here.” Other officers elected to a two-year term include Susan Goldsmith, first vice chair; Rudy D’Agostino, treasurer; and Carol Kantany Casartello, clerk. Elected to new second-year terms on the board of directors were Mark Dindas, Brad Foster, and Amy Wistreich.

F&F Store Opens in Holyoke Mall
HOLYOKE — F&F, an international, ‘of-the-moment’ fashion brand, has opened its doors in the Holyoke Mall. The brand is a British-inspired international fashion label that carries a broad range of affordable fashion for men, women, and children. F&F is the only clothing brand that is owned by Tesco, the third-largest retailer in the world. F&F is now among the top fashion brands in Europe with more than 1,600 locations worldwide. One of the latest retail brands to be represented by Retail Group of America, F&F plans to open further stores in the U.S. in 2014.

Women’s Bar Foundation Honors MassMutual, Law Firm with Pro Bono Award
BOSTON – The Women’s Bar Foundation of Massachusetts (WBF) recently honored volunteers for their service to the organization’s low-income clients. Among the recipients were MassMutual and the Springfield-based law firm Heisler, Feldman, McCormick & Garrow, P.C. for their unique partnership, which has been instrumental in the success of the WBF’s housing-court program in Hampden and Hampshire counties. This program provides legal assistance to low-income tenants and landlords who appear in these courts, unrepresented, on ‘eviction day.’ Dorothy Varon, assistant vice president and counsel at MassMutual, accepting the award on behalf of the company, said “MassMutual has long been committed to making the communities where we live and work a better place, and an important part of our participation involves donating our own talent and expertise in areas where we can make a positive difference in people’s lives. We’re grateful for the opportunity to partner with Heisler, Feldman, McCormick & Garrow, P.C., to deliver pro bono services to people who need them, and are honored to share this recognition with such an outstanding law firm.” Suzanne Garrow, a partner at the firm, said, “the members of my firm and I are so proud to be a part of the Women’s Bar Foundation’s pro bono housing court project and see this as important work toward preventing homelessness.”

TSM Design Chosen to Promote SC2 Hartford
SPRINGFIELDb — TSM Design was selected by the city of Hartford’s Development Services team to promote a 15-month contest that will result in detailed, actionable economic-development plans for the city. SC2 Hartford is an EDA grant-funded competition that invites interdisciplinary teams to produce innovative proposals and plans that maximize Hartford’s assets and address an entrenched set of issues. SC2 Hartford relies on community engagement and encourages people with distinctive skills to come together, form teams, and compete for prize money totaling $900,000. Hartford’s goal is to establish the city as the place where first-time, serial, and second-stage entrepreneurs start and grow their companies with ease. TSM Design is charged with developing effective strategies to reach a variety of stakeholders and to convert awareness into action. Individuals must register on the SC2 Hartford website, form teams, and then submit their proposals by Sept. 24. According to Stephen Cole, senior project manager of economic development in Hartford’s Development Services department, “we chose TSM Design because they are uniquely suited to communicate complex economic principles and public policy in meaningful ways to small-business owners and members of the community. The level of understanding and excitement that TSM Design brings to our project demonstrates the firm’s experience working with diverse community partners in multi-cultural communities.” Hartford is one of only three cities in the country to have won the opportunity to participate in this innovative program of the Obama Administration. Greensboro, N.C. and Las Vegas share the distinction with Hartford. “SC2 Hartford is a high-profile, game-changing initiative,” said TSM Design Principal Nancy Urbschat. “We’re honored to participate in what is now our new adopted city.”

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