Departments People on the Move

People on the Move

Tejas Gandhi

Tejas Gandhi

Tejas Gandhi, the former chief administrative officer at Navicent Health in Macon, Ga. — where he led the organization through an era of positive change and restructuring, contributing greatly to its financial recovery — has been named chief operating officer at Baystate Medical Center. His appointment became effective June 13. Gandhi fills a position left vacant by Nancy Shendell-Falik, who for two years served in the dual position at Baystate Health as chief operating officer and senior vice president/chief nursing officer for Baystate Medical Center, prior to being named president of Baystate Medical Center and senior vice president of Hospital Operations for Baystate Health in October 2015. “Dr. Gandhi is a true change agent, whose culture-building skills and talents in the area of continuous process improvements will be an asset in leading Baystate Medical Center and supporting Baystate 2020, our health system’s strategic plan,” said Shendell-Falik. “His adherence to core values and accountability in all actions, as well as his advocacy of transparency, especially in his own interactions, will make him a key member of the Baystate Health family.” Gandhi, with 15 years of professional experience in healthcare administration, comes to his new position from a hospital similar to Baystate Medical Center — a 637-bed teaching hospital affiliated with Mercer University School of Medicine, a Level I trauma center and three-time Magnet designated hospital for nursing excellence nationwide. Prior to joining Navicent Health in 2013, Gandhi was employed by Virtua Health in Marlton, N.J., the largest comprehensive healthcare system in Southern New Jersey, where he helped change the overall culture to one of continuous process improvement, resulting in cost savings and key improvements for the organization. During his 10 years there, Gandhi oversaw the process-driven planning process for a new $618 million replacement hospital and regional ambulatory center, also leading successful initiatives to improve clinical safety and quality outcomes, as well as patient satisfaction and employee engagement. Gandhi attended the University of Bombay, India, where he received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He later received a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a doctorate in health administration and leadership from Medical University of South Carolina.

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In a visit to the governor’s Western Mass. office in Springfield recently, Gov. Charlie Baker introduced Michael Knapik, a former state senator and state representative from Westfield, as the office’s new director. Knapik will be a primary liaison between the administration and constituents and communities in Western Mass. “With more than two decades of experience representing Western Mass. constituents, Mike is exceptionally qualified to lead our Springfield office,” Baker said. “Operating the office is one of the many essential tools we use to maintain an important relationship with the people, local leaders, and municipalities of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties.” Added Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, “Mike will be an asset to both the administration and those serviced by the Springfield office. I look forward to working closely with him in his new role to continue building upon the strong relationships our administration has cultivated in the western part of the state.” Knapik said he is “excited to join the Baker-Polito administration and begin working with people across Western Massachusetts again. Western Massachusetts has a lot to offer, and I look forward to playing an active role in our communities and the overall conversation with the rest of Massachusetts on behalf of the administration.” Knapik served Westfield and 11 surrounding communities in the state Legislature for 22 years, first as a representative from 1991 to 1994 and then as a senator from 1995 to 2013.

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Kevin Maltby

Kevin Maltby

Bacon Wilson announced that attorney Kevin Maltby is now president of the Hampden County Bar Assoc. (HCBA) after taking the oath of office Wednesday in front of his partners and peers at the association’s annual meeting and membership dinner at the Springfield Sheraton. “I am enormously grateful to the members of the bar association for their confidence in me, and gratified to follow in the footsteps of my partners at Bacon Wilson, including past presidents Paul Rothschild, Hyman Darling, and Michael Ratner,” Maltby said. “I consider it an honor to be counted among their ranks. So many Bacon Wilson attorneys have, over their lengthy careers, given their time and legal skills to serve the Hampden County Bar.”

Michael Katz

Michael Katz

Michael Ratner

Michael Ratner

Paul Salvage

Paul Salvage

Also in attendance was attorney Michael Katz, who took office as chair of the bar’s Bankruptcy Section, while attorneys Michael Ratner and Paul Salvage were each honored for their 50 years of membership. Maltby has a long history of service and involvement with the Hampden County Bar Assoc. He has served on the bar’s board of directors each year since 2012. He was honored with the HCBA’s Access to Justice Pro Bono Publico Award for 2012 for his vision and implementation of the Springfield District Court Lawyer for the Day program. Additionally, in 2013, he received the Community Service Award from the Mass. Bar Assoc. Maltby is a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Advisory Committee on Professionalism. He has extensive jury-trial and courtroom experience, and is a former prosecutor for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office. He is also an adjunct professor of Legal Studies at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, where he teaches litigation, advanced litigation, criminal law, and evidence. He earned his law degree from Suffolk University Law School in 2001, and his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from UMass in 1998. In 2014, he was a recipient of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty distinction, and has been a named a Super Lawyers Rising Star for seven years, since 2009.

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The Westmass Area Development Corp. board named Eric Nelson the new president and CEO of the private, nonprofit, industrial- and business-development corporation that offers master-planned land resources at Chicopee River Business Park, Hadley University Business Park, Deer Park in East Longmeadow, and the historic Ludlow Mills. Nelson succeeds Kenn Delude, who is retiring after 10 years as president and CEO of the organization. Nelson has more than 30 years of experience in site development and design and has consulted on numerous industrial and commercial site-development projects. His background also encompasses financing development and creating public-private partnership agreements. Having served as senior vice president of Westmass for the past two and a half years and with Westmass since 2011, Nelson has conducted regular meetings with industrial and business prospects interested in Westmass properties, conducted pre-development site analysis and research, headed the process of zoning and building permits, and was responsible for project budgets and grant applications. According to John Maybury, Westmass board chair, “Westmass has been fortunate to have someone of Kenn Delude’s unique skills at the helm of the organization. We are equally fortunate to have Eric Nelson, who worked alongside Kenn for the past five years, making for a smooth transition. Eric has worked closely with Kenn and is intimately involved with all of Westmass’ industrial land resources in the region and in particular the Ludlow Mills preservation and redevelopment, an exciting project which is quickly approaching $100 million in investment and represents significant economic development for the region.” Maybury said Delude would continue to provide support to Westmass and the Ludlow Mills project through the transition in a consulting role as needed. Nelson is a registered professional landscape architect and holds U.S. Green Building Council LEED AP certification. He earned his master’s degree in landscape architecture from UMass Amherst.

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Madeline Presz

Madeline Presz

JGS Lifecare has named Madeline Presz executive director of Spectrum Home Health & Hospice Care. Presz is responsible for overseeing the daily operation of the home health and hospice program, including supervision of the team, financial performance, and delivery of quality care, as well as providing direct care. Presz brings 22 years of clinical experience in healthcare to this position. She is a registered nurse, certified in hospice and palliative care, gerontological nursing; and IV therapy, central line and TPN therapy. Before joining Spectrum, Presz served as executive director of the Loving Care Agency in Springfield. In this role, she was responsible for the clinical and operational programming for two pediatric and three adult home-care offices/teams.  Prior to that, she served as regional director of Clinical Operations for Life Choice Hospice in Auburn. She was also a clinical director/administrator at Solamor Hospice in Auburn and a clinical director of Allegiance Hospice in Shrewsbury. Presz has also served as director of Nursing at Wingate in East Longmeadow, and she started her career as assistant director of Nursing at Chestnut Hill Rehab in East Longmeadow. Presz has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Elms College, graduating summa cum laude, and an associate degree in nursing from Springfield Technical Community College. She is also a member of the Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society for nurses.

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Mary-Beth Cooper

Mary-Beth Cooper

Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper has been appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to serve on one of three special commissions created under the landmark opioid legislation signed into law earlier this year. Cooper and the other appointees to the commission were sworn in by the governor recently at the State House. Cooper will serve on the special commission to study the incorporation of safe and effective pain treatment and prescribing practices into the professional training of students that may prescribe controlled substances. This special commission is tasked with developing recommendations to ensure future prescribers have an understanding of certain fundamental issues relative to the opioid epidemic, including pain treatment, pain-treatment planning, safe prescribing practices, and prescription monitoring. The appointed commission will submit recommendations on or before Dec. 1. “I’m honored to serve on this commission, representing our outstanding healthcare-preparation programs at Springfield College,” said Cooper. “I’m excited about the diversity of the commission, which includes family members of those who have struggled with opioid use, current healthcare providers, other educators, and committed community members all wanting to be a part of solutions to the opioid crisis.” Joining Cooper as appointees to the special commission are Todd Brown, vice chairman of the School of Pharmacy at Northeastern University; Dr. Nitigna Desai, director of Addiction Psychiatry at Bedford Veteran Affairs Medical Center and director of the Substance Abuse Service Line at New England Healthcare; Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, president and CEO of the Dimock Community Health Center; Brad Ulrich, regional vice president for Walgreens; and Joan Vitello-Cicciu, dean of the UMass Graduate School of Nursing.

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Brian Risler, Farmington Bank’s assistant vice president and mortgage sales manager for the Western Mass. region, has been named 2016 Affiliate of the Year by the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV). The announcement was made during the association’s recent annual awards banquet on June 8. The award is the highest form of recognition given by the RAPV to an affiliate member who has shown outstanding service and devotion to the organization during the past 17 months in the areas of affiliate-related association activity, community service, and business activity. Risler has served in many capacities for the RAPV, including co-chair of its Education Fair & Trade Show, which was the association’s largest and most heavily attended event of the year. Risler also served on the Government Affairs Committee of the Mass. Assoc. of Realtors (MAR), advocating for private property rights and promoting MAR’s legislative agenda and positions on key issues. As affiliate of the year, Risler was also recognized for his involvement in the community. For instance, he has been a guest speaker for HAPHousing, the largest nonprofit developer of affordable housing in Western Mass., educating first-time homebuyers on the fundamentals of residential financing and how best to advocate for themselves as consumers. At Farmington Bank, Risler has more than 16 years of experience in residential mortgage banking in Massachusetts. Risler received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Stonehill College in Massachusetts.

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Elias Acuna, a real estate agent with Maria Acuna Real Estate in Springfield, has been named the 2016 Realtor of the Year by the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV). The announcement was made during the association’s annual awards banquet held recently at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. As the highest honor given to a member, the Realtor of the Year award is bestowed upon one person who has shown outstanding service and devotion to the 1,650-member organization during the past 17 months in the areas of Realtor activity, community service, and business activity. A Realtor since 2004, Acuna serves on the association’s board of directors, finance committee, strategic planning committee, and young professional’s network committee, where he was chairman in 2015. He is a co-presenter at the bimonthly new-member orientation promoting involvement and member benefits. Acuna is a frequent technology instructor, teaching topics such as real-estate apps and social-media practices. At the state level, he is a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors (MAR). He is the chairman of the Mass. Assoc. of Realtors young professional’s network committee and a member the MAR diversity committee. He participated along with 400 Massachusetts Realtors in the 2015 and 2016 Realtors Day on Beacon Hill to lobby on behalf of home ownership and private property rights. He attended the 2015 Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors Convention and Trade Show.

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Berkshire Bank announced that Kathryn Dube, first vice president, wealth business development leader, was honored by the United Way of Pioneer Valley as Volunteer of the Year for the 2015-16 season. Dube joined the United Way of Pioneer Valley board of directors in 2007 and committed to this position until 2017. As an affiliate of the United Way, she has also held other titles, such as chairperson of the allocations and impact committee, chairman of the board, and founding member of the Women’s Leadership Council in Western Mass. in 2013. The award is based upon leadership, community engagement, and core values, among other essential qualities. The United Way of Pioneer Valley granted the award to Dube on June 22 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.

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Greenfield Cooperative Bank and its parent company, Greenfield Bancorp, announced that the following seven directors were re-elected to three-year terms as directors of the bank and Greenfield Bancorp, MHC:
•Attorney Robert Carey, a principal in the Greenfield law firm of Curtiss, Carey, Gates & 
Goodridge, LLP, re-elected as clerk of the bank;
Kevin O’Neil, president of Wilson’s Department Store in Greenfield, re- elected chairman of the board;
Keith Finan, chief financial officer of Deerfield Academy;
• Attorney Daniel Graves, owner of the Law Offices of Daniel Graves in Greenfield;
• Attorney Peter MacConnell, principal in the law firm of Bacon Wilson, P.C., re-elected as a corporator for a 10-year term;
John Kuhn, principal in the firm of Kuhn-Riddle Architects in Amherst, re-elected as a corporator for a 10-year term; and
Robb Morton, CPA, principal in the accounting firm of Boisselle, Morton & Associates, LLP located in Hadley, also re-elected as a 
corporator for a 10-year term. Re-elected to 10-year terms as corporators of Greenfield Bancorp, MHC were Barry Roberts, president of Roberts Builders Inc.; Margarita O’Byrne Curtis, head of school at Deerfield Academy; and Douglas Clarke, retired after many years with Western Massachusetts Electric Co., now Eversource.

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