People on the Move
O’Reilly, Talbot & Okun (OTO) recently announced nine staff additions and promotions: Jonathan Hermanson, Lori McCarthy, Caren Irgang, Lily Elkhay, Kaitlyn Sistare, Pierre Carriere, Elise Zalenski, Toby Simmons, and Christine Arruda.
• Hermanson earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and environmental science. Before moving to Massachusetts, he worked in environmental consulting for five years in Kansas City. As an environmental scientist at OTO, he helps the team with Massachusetts Contingency Plan work and risk characterization, as well as environmental compliance. He also assists the asbestos and industrial hygiene team. Some of his latest achievements while at OTO are becoming a radon measurement professional and a certified hazardous materials manager.
• McCarthy earned her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. This degree taught her how releases of hazardous chemicals to the environment can have negative health effects to humans and animals nearby. She then went on to study a second degree in environmental sciences. With more than 20 years of experience in her field, she has worked on sites across New England, finding solutions to remediate the releases of oil and hazardous materials. At OTO, McCarthy was most recently promoted to associate and is the team leader for the environmental sector.
• Irgang earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and then went on to earn her master’s degree in civil engineering at Manhattan College. Irgang has experience in structural engineering from building and bridge engineering in New York City and performing construction inspections. Joining OTO as a Level II engineer, Irgang is performing geotechnical investigations and design and field oversight. She continues to utilize her structural engineering skills and provides an added perspective to our geotechnical projects.
• Elkhay is earning her bachelor’s degree in marketing at UMass Amherst and brings her experience from her previous internship. As the marketing intern, Elkhay has posted on OTO’s social-media pages, created ads, and performed any other as needed marketing tasks.
• Sistare is a 2022 graduate from Western New England University (WNE), earning her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with an environmental engineering concentration. At WNE, she and her team’s senior project placed first in the civil engineering department. She primarily works with the geotechnical group at OTO as a Level I engineer, but also assists the environment group.
• Carriere graduated from WNE in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. During his studies, he gained experience in many areas, including surveying, technical writing, CAD, soil and materials testing, and collaboration skills. Joining OTO as a Level I engineer, he has become heavily involved in field work and working on site, as well as working on proposals, reports, and site plans in the office.
• Zalenski earned her MBA in 2010 and has spent the last nine years developing her skills in office management, HR, IT, and bookkeeping. She has worked in residential and light commercial water treatment, which provided experience in site evaluations, water testing, treatment design, and reviewing EPA, DEP, and local board of health regulations and practices. As OTO’s office manager and executive assistant, she will be managing the day-to-day needs of the staff that may arise in the areas of IT, telephones, general building or parking issues, and scheduling events and vacations, along with providing support for OTO’s president, Ashley Sullivan.
• Simmons has brought her 20 years of field-technician experience to OTO. As an environmental technician, she has taken on many field duties to make sure the job is done safely and efficiently.
• Arruda has been with OTO for more than 25 years and has been part of the internal leadership transition taking place since 2020. As a result, she was promoted to associate this past year and serves on the company’s operations committee. With more than 20 years of experience as a both a certified indoor environmental consultant and Environmental Protection Agency-accredited and Massachusetts-licensed asbestos inspector, she manages and works on numerous types of indoor environmental issues, including asbestos, radon, HVAC, chemicals, and microbial contamination. She also is an National Radon Proficiency Program-certified radon-measurement professional who can perform single, multi-family, large-building, school-building, and water-radon-measurement services.
Country Bank announced that Erin Pope has joined its Innovation & Technology division in Ware. Before joining Country Bank, Pope worked at Digital Credit Union and American Tower. Pope holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and received certification in Professional Scrum Master 1. “At American Tower, I managed a network-operations team responsible for the global office and data-center infrastructure,” she said. “It was through working with this team that I learned the importance of strength and a diverse team. I am excited to join Country Bank’s storied history and contribute to its continued success. I hope to support the team by increasing engagement and innovation to support the business and its customers better.”
Notch Mechanical Constructors announced the promotion of two employees to newly created executive positions. Nick DePalma has been promoted to executive vice president. In this role, he will have overall responsibility for operations, quality, safety, and customer-base growth in alignment with the company core values. This promotion will allow Steven Neveu, president of the company, to focus more on the long-term strategic growth and vision for the company. In addition, Nick Bernasconi has been promoted to vice president of estimating and project management. He will oversee all activities and initiatives related to the company’s accounts management, estimating, and project management. Previously a family-owned business for 48 years, Notch transitioned to an employee-owned ESOP company in 2020. These new roles will be critical to breaking through to the next level as an organization and ensuring a strong leadership team into the future.
Riverside Industries Inc. (RSI) announced that four new members have joined its board of directors to help support its mission to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live rich and full lives. All four of the new board members began their three-year term with RSI effective March 2023. They include Tara Brewster, vice president of Business Development and director of Philanthropy at Greenfield Savings Bank; Jeff Palm, partner and chief operating officer at Global Educators Inc.; Melissa Peters; Human Resource generalist for Fiducient Advisors; and Teremar Rodriguez-Vazquez, assistant general counsel at Health New England.
Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS) has wrapped up an almost-year-long search for a new leader. After an extensive search campaign and interview process, Aieshya Jackson, chair of the board of directors of MLKFS, announced that Shannon Rudder will be the next president and CEO of the organization. Rudder, who will join MLKFS on March 13, most recently served as deputy director of Teach Western Mass, a nonprofit organization working toward educational equity in partnership with area schools. She also served as executive director of Providence Ministries Inc., an organization supporting the needs of marginalized populations by addressing food insecurity, addiction recovery, housing, clothing, and workforce development. She earned her MBA and her BBA, the latter magna cum laude, from Medaille College.
Tech Foundry, a regional leader in IT workforce development and training, announced the hiring of three new staff members as well as four promotions, which will allow the organization to double the number of participants served annually.
• Henry Alston was hired as Tech Foundry’s Service-Learning coordinator. In this role, he will be responsible for implementing the organization’s new service-learning pilot program in collaboration with Mass Humanities’ Clemente Course in the Humanities. He is a tech and wellness enthusiast with career experience in sales, marketing, and project coordination. After attaining his bachelor’s degree from Lincoln University in Oxford, Pa. in 2015, he went on to graduate from the University of Louisville with his MBA in 2020. He is a Tech Foundry alum.
• Phillip Borras is Tech Foundry’s Career Readiness and Recruitment coordinator, a new role created to provide focused support and mentoring to student members. His diverse experience as a professional speaker, comedian, and life coach allows him to successfully teach and support Tech Foundry participants as a career coach during and after the program.
• Jessica Cogoli has been promoted to assistant instructor. She is a Tech Foundry alum and has been working closely with the organization since she graduated, both as a volunteer and a TA for its IT-support training program. She is currently enrolled at Holyoke Community College and will graduate with an associate degree in computer science in the spring.
• Marie-Ange Delimon, a Tech Foundry alum, has been promoted to manager of Community Impact for the organization. In this role, she oversees external partnerships and community engagement, including managing internship and job-placement programs as well as partnerships with a variety of nonprofit organizations throughout Western Mass. Previously, she served as Tech Foundry’s manager of Workforce Development. She is a graduate of a variety of medical-training programs and holds an MD degree from Université Notre Dame d’Haïti.
• Johannes Romatka has been promoted to manager of Instruction and Curriculum. Previously an instructor at Tech Foundry, he has a diverse background in information technology, including training and network support. Prior to joining Tech Foundry, he worked in a training role for internal IT-support staff at U.S. Bank.
• Linh Tran joined Tech Foundry in February as the organization’s new Administrative and Marketing coordinator, where she will support development, program, and communication initiatives. Originally from Vietnam, she has been studying and working in Massachusetts for almost 10 years. She is an experienced management professional with a diverse background in nonprofit, retail, legal, and insurance organizations, and is a graduate of Tech Foundry’s IT-support training program.
• Michelle Wilson was hired as Tech Foundry’s manager of Administration and Operations in September and was recently promoted to deputy director, a position that encompasses a variety of duties, including overall operations management, fundraising, and marketing. Her background includes more than 17 years in nonprofit management, with roles at a national membership organization in San Francisco, a globally recognized mentoring program, an independent school in Seattle, and a state humanities council. She is a graduate of Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. and holds a master’s degree in public administration from San Francisco State University.
The Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden Agricultural Society, the nonprofit organization that manages Northampton’s Three County Fair and fairgrounds, recently elected its newest president, Thomas Smiarowski, who has been a member of the society for more than 20 years and was elected to its board of directors in 2016. Smiarowski is expected to serve two years as president, leading the society’s board of directors, which consists of 21 other appointees who make up the fair’s agricultural leadership. Smiarowski grew up on his family’s vegetable and dairy farm in Montague, where he continues to help his brother Dan, who currently owns and operates the family farm. Following his graduation from UMass Amherst, Smiarowski worked 34 years for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, holding a number of management positions. Following his retirement from USDA in 2012, he worked 10 years as an agricultural risk-management educator for UMass Extension. He is currently a director of the Massachusetts Agricultural Club, the longest-standing agricultural club in the country; serves as a Massachusetts trustee of the Eastern States Exposition; and is a member of the New England Vegetable and Berry Growers Assoc. He also serves on the capital campaign to fund the new construction of the Newman Catholic Center on the UMass campus.