People on the Move
Kate Phelon, executive director of the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, announced she will be retiring on Sept. 25. Phelon has been instrumental in growing the chamber from when she started in 2011 to more than 260 members and increasing program revenue. In addition to membership growth, Phelon established public-private relationships that led to her appointment by Gov. Charlie Baker to the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative in 2016. Also in 2016, her collaboration with Stefan Czaporowski, superintendent of Westfield Public Schools, created the Westfield Education 2 Business Alliance, which gained local, regional, and state recognition for bridging the business community to education through its mentoring program, the Adopt-a-Classroom initiative, and the High School Career Fair. Phelon currently sits on the Economic Development Partners committee, working with economic-development professionals from Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties, as well as regional employment boards, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, MOBD, MassDevelopment, and other chambers of commerce. She created and hosted Chamber Chatter in 2017 and still hosts the monthly radio show on WSKB 89.5 FM, showcasing a chamber member each month. In 2018, her schedule permitted her to once again sit on the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s Plan for Progress coordinating council. She is a corporator at Westfield State University and the Westfield Athenaeum as well as an ex-officio board member of Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail and a member of the Rotary Club of Westfield. Dino Gravanis, president of the Greater Westfield Chamber board and general manager of Springfield Country Club, will coordinate the search for the next executive director.
Sharianne Walker has been named dean of the Western New England University (WNEU) College of Business. Linda Jones, university provost, recently made the announcement, citing Walker’s dedication and commitment to the College of Business and her record of spearheading accreditation, strategic planning, and assessment projects at the university. Walker joined the College of Business faculty in 1996, most recently serving as chair and professor of Sport Management, as well as co-director of the master of science in Sport Leadership and Coaching graduate program. Walker is the co-author of the texts Managing Intercollegiate Athletics, Managing Sport Organizations: Responsibility for Performance, and Strategic Management in International Sport Management. Her current research focuses on revenue- and resource-development models in sports organizations, strategic management, and leadership. She has presented her research on leadership development, business operations, and revenue generation at various international, national, and regional conferences. An influential figure in the growth of WNEU’s athletics program, she has served as a faculty fellow, an NCAA faculty representative, and chair of the Western New England Athletics Council, Athletic Direct Report, and was inducted into the university’s Downes Athletic Hall of Fame. Walker was previously named Career Woman of the Year by the Massachusetts Business and Professional Women’s Assoc. and served as director of the Springfield Leadership Institute. She is currently chair of the board of trustees of Frank Newhall Look Memorial Park in Florence. Walker earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Smith College, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in sport management from the University of Massachusetts.
Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, announced that Erin Joyce has been promoted to vice president, special assets. Joyce has more than 30 years of banking experience, much of it in the areas of residential and consumer collections. She joined bankESB in 2014 as special assets manager, and since then has been promoted to special assets officer and assistant vice president, special assets. Prior to joining bankESB, Joyce was the credit and collections manager for Greenfield Savings Bank and the residential and consumer collector for Florence Savings Bank. She also previously served as an online instructor for the Center for Financial Training. She attended UMass Amherst and holds several diplomas and certificates in financial services and lending from the Center for Financial Training. She is also very active in the community, delivering meals and offering money-management and bill-pay services to Highland Valley Elder Services, and serving as a board member and co-treasurer of Northampton Dollars for Scholars and a board member and auditor for the Northampton High School Alumni Assoc. For 12 years, she also participated in the Volunteer in Tax Assistance program.