People on the Move

People On the Move

Evan Dowd

The Dowd Agencies, LLC announced the recent hire of Evan Dowd as account executive, joining his brother, Jack Dowd, as a fifth-generation employee of the company. “Evan brings the necessary experience to his new role,” said John Dowd Jr., president and CEO of the Dowd Agencies. “He gained extensive industry knowledge through positions at both local and national insurance companies while living in Boston. He’s excited to return to Western Mass. and to be a part of his hometown community. Furthermore, he is excited to join the family business and help continue and build on a legacy spanning over 120 years. We’re excited to have him join the team.” Prior to his current position at Dowd, Evan worked in Boston in various industry roles, including sales, claims adjustment, and underwriting. A 2013 graduate of Bates College, he is a licensed property and casualty insurance producer and is currently working toward his chartered property casualty underwriter designation.

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Western New England University President Anthony Caprio will retire at the end of June 2020 after 24 years in that role — making him the longest-serving president in WNEU’s history. He took over in 1996 as the fifth president in the 100-year-old institution’s history. The board of trustees will conduct a nationwide search to find a successor. “Western New England University has benefited greatly from Dr. Anthony Caprio’s leadership and stewardship over these many years. His upcoming retirement after 24 years of service is well-deserved, and he has worked tirelessly to advance our institution,” board of trustees chair Kenneth Rickson said last month. “There have been many major achievements under Dr. Caprio’s term as president,” he added. “We made significant advancements in every area of campus life. We expanded our programs and curriculum, completed numerous changes and additions to the physical plant, enhanced our athletics programs, increased our student programs, and made significant advances in our technology. Dr. Caprio’s crowning achievement was completion of the plan to gain recognition as a university.”

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Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems, announced Dr. Simon Ahtaridis as the new chief medical officer at Holyoke Medical Center. Before joining Holyoke Medical Center, Ahtaridis was the national clinical advisor and chief medical officer for Sound Advisory Services. In this role, he oversaw the overall clinical performance of Sound’s onsite and remote advisory services. His prior experience also includes serving as the chief medical officer for Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, where he also served as the chief of Hospitalist Service and chief of Medicine. Additionally, he has been an instructor in medicine, first at Harvard Medical School and most recently at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. His main focus has been improving utilization management in the inpatient setting and population-health programs, including improved documentation, reduced length of stay, readmissions, and appropriate utilization of resources. Ahtaridis received his medical degree from the Temple University School of Medicine. Prior to graduation, he took two years off to serve as the Legislative Affairs director for the American Medical Student Assoc. in Washington, D.C., and also received his master’s degree in public health from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health with a focus on health systems. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance, where he received several teaching awards. He was also a chief resident and chief of the hospitalist service at Cambridge Health Alliance.

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Gabrielle Young

Michael Tucker, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank, announced that Gabrielle Young has joined the bank as a mortgage loan originator. “Ms. Young has over 10 years of banking experience,” Tucker said. “Most recently, Gabrielle was a financial center operation manager at another area bank. In her new role, Gabrielle will be responsible for educating and guiding borrowers through the loan-application process. She is currently working out of our Florence location but will be permanently based at our Northampton location beginning in January 2020.” Young studied business at the University of Hartford. She is current in all banking regulation training.

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Springfield-based law firm Egan, Flanagan & Cohen, P.C. announced it has promoted attorney Katie Manzi McDonough to partner. McDonough’s law practice includes estate and business planning, nonprofit governance, trust and probate administration, and general corporate law. She works with a wide range of clients, including nonprofit boards, family-owned businesses, and families whom she can help through the estate-planning and probate process. She joined Egan, Flanagan & Cohen in 2017. She began her career first as an analyst for J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in New York and then as a transactional lawyer for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, a Wall Street law firm routinely ranked among the best firms internationally. McDonough attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester and Seton Hall University School of Law, graduating magna cum laude from each. She was recently elected to serve on the board of directors of the Hampden County Bar Assoc., and is an active member of the Holy Cross Club of the Pioneer Valley, the St. Thomas More Society, and St. Mary’s Parish in Longmeadow.

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Cynthia Malinowski

Florence Bank has promoted Cynthia Malinowski to the position of vice president and branch manager of the downtown Northampton office. Malinowski brings extensive knowledge and skills to her new role. Prior to her recent promotion, she was the assistant vice president and branch manager at the downtown Northampton office. During her tenure at the bank, she has been the recipient of the President’s Club Award, which is awarded to employees who demonstrate superior levels of performance, customer service, and overall contribution to the bank. She has also completed various professional banking series course studies, including America’s Community Bankers Training Series. Malinowski serves her community as an active member of Easthampton’s Helping Hand Society and is a member of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce.

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Michael Ostrowski

Michael Ostrowski, president and CEO of Arrha Credit Union, has received the honor of a third reappointment to the World Affairs Committee of the Credit Union National Assoc. (CUNA). This committee reports to the CUNA board of directors with respect to matters related to the World Council of Credit Unions and international policy matters. The World Affairs Committee serves as a focal point for developing policies, strategies, leadership, education, and resources for credit unions throughout the world. Ostrowski has been assisting in overcoming challenges and capitalizing on opportunities between and among the U.S. and international credit-union activities to expand credit-union access throughout the world. He traveled to Cuba to engage its government on establishing credit unions and to Poland to assist its credit unions in regulatory advocacy with the Polish government. He also serves as a connection between CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions, where he provided financial education, assistance, and guidance to Puerto Rico’s credit unions in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

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Alison Shimel

Cooley Shrair announced that Alison Shimel has joined the firm as associate legal counsel in the general business and commercial real estate practice. She will work with a broad base of clients, including developers, landlords, and general business clients. Shimel attended the University at Albany, participating in an accelerated undergraduate and law school program, and was awarded her juris doctorate in 2019 after six years of study. While attending law school, she worked as a law clerk in the city of Springfield Law Department and at Cooley Shrair. She was active in the law-school community, participating in the Health Law Society and as research assistant for the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York.

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The Westfield Starfires of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) have named Hunter Golden director of Player Personnel. Golden will be responsible for recruiting talent from colleges across the U.S. and Puerto Rico and transition them into summer baseball in New England. Players will live with host families in Western Mass. and become involved with many community initiatives each summer. “Westfield is a great baseball community that deserves a winning team. We’re already focused on assembling a group of players who won’t just be successful this season, but that is the kind of team that sets the tone for a culture of sustained success that we hope to build on year after year,” Golden said. “We’re in a fortunate position to have a lot of trust placed in us by ownership, and have been granted a lot of freedom and latitude in terms of using whatever resources we need in order to build a great roster and provide as good a player experience as we possibly can,” he went on. “The framework already exists here for a winning program, and we’re extremely optimistic that, with a little work, we’ll have a chance to be competitive right off the bat.”

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Steve Chase

Steve Chase, president and CEO of Fuel Services Inc. Oil and Propane (FSi), was recently sworn in as chairman of the Propane Gas Assoc. of New England (PGANE). FSi Oil and Propane has been a leader in the fuel industry for almost 30 years. Over these three decades, many things have changed, including the company’s management, which now includes Chase’s son, daughter, son-in-law, and grandson; expanding its service areas; as well as adding in new fuels such as Bioheat, kerosene, and propane. PGANE is a regional alternative-energy trade association representing more than 800 members of the propane industry by promoting safety, education, and public awareness of the uses of propane. Chase said he is honored by this appointment because he has a passion and commitment to the propane industry and educating consumers on the benefits of this type of energy. Throughout New England, he noted, there are nearly 300,000 residential customers using this climate-friendly energy and more than 11,500 jobs in the propane industry. Chase serves as the state director of the National Propane Gas Assoc. board, is a board member of the BBB of Central and Western Mass., devoted 25 years on the Oxford, Conn. Fire Department, and is a U.S. Navy veteran, having served on the USS Little Rock.

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Deirdre Griffin

Elms College announced the hiring of Deirdre Griffin, SSJ as director of International Programs. She will be responsible for supporting the college’s international students, growing traditional and faculty-led study-abroad programs, and developing a vibrant community of global learning that celebrates diverse cultures and explores current issues. Griffin is a graduate of Boston College Law School and Bowdoin College. She has worked at Jewish Family Service and the Gray House in Springfield, providing a variety of transitional and support services to diverse, global populations. She entered the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield in 2017 and made her initial profession of vows in July. During her 20-year career as an immigration attorney, she has worked in private practice, managed interpreter services in Massachusetts courts, and coordinated refugee-resettlement services. In 2014, she spent three months on staff at the Centre Internationale of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Le Puy, France, and this summer lived with a family in Guatemala. Within the current student body, Elms College has enrolled students from 14 countries, representing five continents. The college also has a thriving International Club.

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M. Kate Van Valkenburg

NBT Bank Connecticut Regional President Andreas Kapetanopoulos announced that M. Kate Van Valkenburg has joined NBT’s expanding team in Connecticut. Van Valkenburg will serve as senior vice president and senior commercial banking relationship manager. Van Valkenburg has more than 18 years of commercial-banking experience, including underwriting, management, and lending. Most recently, she served as commercial loan officer for ION Bank in Farmington, Conn. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance from UMass. She serves the community as a board member for Gifts of Love in Avon and Neighborhood Housing Services of New Britain. Last month, NBT Bank announced the addition of Regional Commercial Banking Manager Steve Angeletti and Senior Credit Analyst Elizabeth Hayden. The bank expects to reveal the location for its regional headquarters in the first quarter of 2020.

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