People on the Move

People on the Move

Kandra Tranghese

Kandra Tranghese

Monson Savings Bank announced the recent hiring of Kandra Tranghese as vice president and chief financial officer. In that role, she will be responsible for planning, directing, and controlling the bank’s financial plans, policies, and accounting practices. Tranghese most recently served for 23 years as senior audit manager for Wolf & Co., P.C., a regional CPA firm providing financial accounting and audit services. In this role, she was responsible for managing a team of professionals and providing audit and other assurance services to financial institutions. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Fairfield University and is a licensed certified public accountant (CPA), as well as a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. An active participant in the community, Tranghese currently serves as treasurer for the Wilbraham Hampden Academic Trust and previously was president of the Children’s Study Home. She looks forward to participating with Monson Savings Bank on future community-outreach initiatives.

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Scott Emerson

Scott Emerson

Alyson Weeks

Alyson Weeks

Erin Skoczylas

Erin Skoczylas

Country Bank announced three recent promotions of long-time staff members. Scott Emerson was promoted to vice president, IT Security. He has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry and has been an essential part of the Innovation & Technology team at Country Bank for 14 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UMass Amherst and has also achieved several professional certifications, including information systems security professional (CISSP), information security manager (CISM), and GIAC enterprise defender (GCED). Alyson Weeks has been promoted to assistant vice president, Human Resources. She began her career at Country Bank 12 years ago as a teller and has worked in various other roles in the Retail Banking division, including teller supervisor, Branch Operations manager, and Retail Operations manager, before joining the Human Resources team five years ago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Worcester State University and has a master’s degree in education from American International College. Erin Skoczylas has been promoted to assistant controller. She began her career at Country Bank 23 years ago as a part-time Operations clerk. Before transitioning to accounting in 2008, she worked in various positions throughout the Operations department. She holds an associate degree in business administration from Springfield Technical Community College and a bachelor of business administration degree from Western New England University. She is also a 2017 graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies.

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Berkshire Bank announced the promotion of Jason White to executive vice president and chief information officer. He previously served as senior vice president and chief technology officer at the bank. In his new role, White will lead all aspects of Berkshire’s information-technology program and oversee the teams responsible for ACH payroll, wire room, and electronic banking. He will also continue to direct the bank’s technology investments and assets to ensure it is meeting the changing demands of customers in a digitally focused banking environment. He will report directly to acting President and CEO Sean Gray. In August, BostonCIO announced White as a winner of its 2020 CIO of the Year ORBIE Award in the corporate category. The awards recognize chief information officers who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership. White previously served as senior vice president and chief technology officer at Berkshire Bank. He joined Berkshire in 2019 after the bank’s acquisition of Savings Institute Bank & Trust. Before that, he was responsible for streamlining the information-technology and operational workflows at Savings Institute, implementing a fully virtualized infrastructure, enhancing its overall information-security posture, and innovating customer digital channels. At Savings Institute, he served as chief information officer and information security officer. His background includes more than 25 years of experience supporting technology and operational areas within the financial industry.

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Bud Williams

Bud Williams

Kareem Wedderburn

Kareem Wedderburn

The Springfield Museums announced the winners of the 29th Ubora and 11th Ahadi award winners: state Rep. Bud Williams and Kareem Wedderburn. The awards are conferred each year by the African Hall subcommittee to African-American people from Greater Springfield who have demonstrated significant commitment to community service, education, science, humanities and/or the arts. The Ubora Award recognizes an adult of African heritage who exemplifies excellence in their commitment to creating a better community through service. The Ahadi Youth Award is presented to a young African-American who excels in academics and performs admirable service to the Greater Springfield community. First elected to Springfield City Council in 1993, Williams, the Ubora Award winner, is also a member of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus. He was instrumental in stopping TD Bank from closing the Mason Square bank branch — a closure that would have negatively impacted poor and underserved residents, particularly senior patrons. His fight to address the injustices of subpar housing and support for displaced residents of Bergen Circle housing complex is another example of his work on behalf of the community. He assisted the elderly, provided transportation, and made certain that residents were treated with dignity as they sought out shelter and other services. One of seven close-knit siblings raised by their mother, Wedderburn challenged himself throughout his high-school career with advanced-placement course work, leadership in school theater productions, and a pivotal Upward Bound (UB) program in social justice. Upward Bound’s mission is to enable first-generation and low-income students to succeed in high school and enroll in college. The program also has a significant social-justice element. Wedderburn became passionate about public transit when he started taking the PVTA to school every day. Since then he has studied, written about, and photographed transit as a hobby, and has also made it his career focus. Currently, he is a freshman at Westfield State University, majoring in regional planning.

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Joshua Woods

Joshua Woods

Bacon Wilson announced that attorney Joshua Woods has joined the firm. Woods is an associate and a member of the firm’s business and commercial law team, and is licensed in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. Prior to joining Bacon Wilson, Woods practiced law in Hartford, Conn. and also in the Boston area, where he handled a wide variety of business matters including all aspects of corporate formation, franchising, joint ventures, leasing, and business and commercial litigation. He attended Western New England University School of Law, earning his juris doctor in 2017, and earned a BBA from Hofstra University in 2013. He will practice primarily from Bacon Wilson’s office in Springfield, working with clients throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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Gov. Charlie Baker announced the appointment of Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe and Lt. Col. Mark Bigda to the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home board of trustees. Brig. Gen. Sean Collins was appointed to the board last July. Together, these individuals represent extensive experience in the military and healthcare and have a direct connection to Western and Central Mass. Keefe will serve a seven-year term, replacing former trustee Christopher Dupont, whose term ended in July. Bigda will serve until July 2022, serving the remainder of former trustee Cesar Lopez’s term following his resignation in September. Collins will serve until July 2024, serving the remainder of former trustee Richard Girard’s term following his resignation in June. Keefe is currently assigned as adjutant general for the Massachusetts National Guard. In 1992, he joined the Massachusetts Air National Guard with the 104th Fighter Wing, and has held numerous assignments with the Massachusetts National Guard, having been appointed as adjutant general in May 2016. Bigda serves in the Massachusetts Air National Guard as a flight surgeon for the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, and has practiced as a physician for 30 years at his private practice, Manhan Internal Medicine, and also served as facility physician for 28 years at Hampshire County House of Correction. Bigda founded a nonprofit organization called Mustard Seed Missions and, since 2004, has led twice-yearly mission trips to remote villages in Haiti. Collins, a board-certified nurse practitioner, currently serves as the Air National Guard assistant to the deputy surgeon general, assisting in the overall operation of the Air Force Medical Service, a 44,000-person, integrated healthcare-delivery system across the U.S. and overseas. He is also currently an assistant professor at UMass Medical School.

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