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People on the Move
Kimberly Howarth

Kimberly Howarth

Jenna Roux

Jenna Roux

The certified public accounting firm Burkhart, Pizzanelli, P.C. announced two recent additions to its professional team. Kimberly Howarth, CPA received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryant University in 2005 and a master’s degree in accounting from Western New England University in 2007. Her prior experience includes the position of senior accountant specializing in tax preparation. She has vast experience in preparing and reviewing tax returns. In addition to working with small and mid-sized businesses to fulfill their accounting, payroll, and tax-preparation needs, she has significant experience preparing individual and trust returns, as well as probate accounting. Jenna Roux, CPA received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Connecticut State University in 2012 and her master of taxation degree from University of Hartford in 2015. Her previous experience includes the position of senior accountant focusing on multi-state corporate, partnership, individual, and nonprofit income-tax returns. In addition, she has expertise in real-estate accounting practices, as well as functioning as an ‘outsourced CFO’ providing strategic consulting and support of daily financial activities.

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Frank Colaccino

Frank Colaccino

Samalid Hogan

The Springfield Rotary Club presented Frank Colaccino and Samalid Hogan with Paul Harris Awards on Jan. 25 at the Student Prince Restaurant in Springfield. Colaccino, founder and president of the Colvest Group, earned a Paul Harris Award in recognition of years of outstanding service to the Springfield community and to the Rotary Club. In addition to his service and contributions to JGS Lifecare and American International College, for over 13 years Colaccino has chaired the Service Above Self Luncheon at the Basketball Hall of Fame. This event brings together more than 300 attendees from the Greater Springfield business community for a luncheon on Center Court at the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Service Above Self luncheon recognizes the charitable work of local and national honorees. Through Colaccino’s leadership, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised for the Basketball Hall of Fame and for Rotary grants that have been awarded to local charities. Hogan, CEO and principal consultant at Greylock Management Consulting, is the immediate past president of Springfield Rotary and its first Latina president. Under her leadership, Springfield Rotary started a corporate membership program, collaborated with Dress for Success to develop a long-term investment program for women entering the workforce, and created a Service Day with Habitat for Humanity. Her dynamic and cheerful leadership made her presidency a banner year for Springfield Rotary. Hogan’s service to her community includes board participation on the Governor’s Latino Empowerment Council, Tech Foundry, and the board of trustees of Springfield Technical Community College.

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MP CPAs recently announced the promotion of Amanda LaBonte and Jack LaBranche to senior associates at the firm. LaBonte has experience managing tax filings for high-net-worth individuals, partnerships, limited-liability companies, corporations, trusts, and estates. She also maintains the firm’s social-media presence and website maintenance. She joined the firm in August 2020. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and marketing and a master’s degree in accounting from Elms College. She sits on the Chicopee High School advisory board and works as a mentor and accounting advocate in the Springfield and Chicopee areas. She has also worked as a panelist on the business accounting panel at Elms College, where she answered questions from students and provided valuable industry insights. She belongs to the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield and frequently attends networking events in the area. LaBranche provides consulting and tax solutions to a diverse group of clients, including individuals, partnerships, limited-liability companies, corporations, and trusts. He specializes in working with high-net-worth clients and with private equity firms and their owners. He joined the firm in 2020 as an intern and transitioned to full-time upon his graduation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Western New England University. He is active in the community as a part-time coach for West Springfield sports teams and a volunteer at a local soup kitchen, and was a past chairperson of the social action committee at MP CPAs, helping raise money for various local charities.

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Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams

Matt Baran

MP CPAs also announced the promotions of Brooke Williams to audit manager and Matt Baran to tax manager. Williams manages audits, reviews, and compilations for small to medium-sized businesses. She also manages audits of Massachusetts charter schools (governmental entities), nonprofit organizations (including yellow book and single audits), and employee benefit plans. She joined the firm in 2019 and has more than five years of experience in public accounting. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics and a master’s degree in accounting from Westfield State University. She is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She takes an active role in the local community by participating in various community fundraising and networking events. Baran provides consulting and tax solutions to a diverse group of clients, including individuals, partnerships, corporations, and trusts. He specializes in working with high-net-worth clients and with private-equity firms and their owners. He joined the firm in 2018 as an intern and started full-time later that year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in accounting and taxation from UMass Amherst. He remains involved in recruiting and mentorship efforts with the university.

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Bulkley Richardson announced that Stephen Holstrom and Lauren Ostberg were promoted to partner, effective Jan. 1. Holstrom is a general practice litigator with a focus on medical-malpractice defense. In addition to medical-malpractice cases, he has litigated complex tort actions, commercial disputes, insurance cases, complex class actions, and education cases. Ostberg, a key member of Bulkley Richardson’s intellectual property and technology and cybersecurity practice groups, also maintains a diverse commercial-litigation practice.

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Natalia Blank

Natalia Blank

Bay Path University announced that Natalia Blank has been elected to serve as vice president for Academic Affairs, which was effective Jan. 2. Blank will serve on the executive leadership team and work across all divisions at the university. In her role, she will articulate a clear and compelling vision for the academic enterprise that builds on Bay Path’s innovative approach to higher education, marshals the collective talents of faculty and staff in an environment of collegiality and cooperation, and use data-driven decision making and strategic thinking to optimize the student experience, from access through successful completion, as well as the academic operations of the university. After a national search, Blank comes to Bay Path from D’Youville University in Buffalo, N.Y., where she served as vice president for Academic Affairs. She joins the leadership team with nearly 20 years working in university administrative roles, including associate provost for Academic Affairs and Assessment at Norwich University in Vermont. For more than 20 years, Blank has served in various roles on both the faculty and administrative side in education. As a teacher-scholar, she has been the author of numerous publications, earned several awards and honors for teaching excellence, and has received multiple grants in support of student and faculty research. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Nizhegorod State University in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, and went on to receive her doctorate in organic/organometallic chemistry from Dartmouth College.

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Gabrielle Gould, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) and the Downtown Amherst Foundation (DAF), announced she will be stepping down from her position at the BID to form a consulting business. She will continue in a leadership capacity for the DAF and its management of the Drake, the live performance venue in downtown Amherst. Her final day at the BID will be Feb. 22. Appointed executive director in August 2019, Gould’s four-plus years at the helm of the organization have been filled with notable successes, including strengthening the BID’s relationship with town government and institutional partners, teaming with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce on COVID relief for small businesses, producing signature downtown events like the Sip & Shop Stroll and Makers Market holiday event and Fire & Ice, and conceiving and launching the Drake, the downtown’s first-ever live performance venue. In recognition of their efforts, Gould and Claudia Pazmany, the chamber’s executive director, were named Difference Makers by BusinessWest in 2023. A search for Gould’s successor will commence in the coming weeks.

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Devin Kindred

Devin Kindred

American International College (AIC) announced the appointment of Devin Kindred as director of Residence Life and Student Conduct. This appointment reflects the college’s recognition of Kindred’s commitment to delivering an exceptional student experience. In this new role, he will oversee residence education, student conduct, and housing operations at AIC. Serving as the chief housing officer for the college, he will manage the daily functions of the residence halls, supervise the professional live-in hall staff, and administer the student-conduct process. His responsibilities encompass providing support to professional and paraprofessional staff to foster a supportive living environment and maintaining a code of conduct that prioritizes the well-being and success of all students. Before assuming his new position, Kindred served as AIC’s assistant director for Residential and Commuter Student Living, managing housing operations and commuter-student relations. In addition to this role, he facilitated the Safe Zone – LGBTQ+ education series presented to more than 50 faculty and staff on campus. Before joining AIC, Kindred held positions as a residence-hall director at Sacred Heart University and residence director at Stonehill College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in human resource management from Western New England University, and later attained his master of education in higher education leadership from Endicott College.

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Country Bank announced the recent promotions of five key team members who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and expertise in their respective roles. These promotions reflect the bank’s commitment to recognizing and developing talent within the organization. Shane Elder has been promoted to first vice president, Business Banking team lead. With more than 11 years of experience in commercial lending and eight years in commercial-lending management, he has proven himself as a valuable asset to the Business Banking department. In addition to his role as team leader, he also oversees the Cash Management Sales department. Brett LoCicero has been promoted to first vice president, Facilities and Security. With seven years of service to the bank, his expertise in managing facilities and security operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nichols College and is pursuing his PMP (project management professional) certification. Justin Calheno has been promoted to vice president, Retail Lending Business Development officer. With 20 years of lending experience, including the last seven years with Country Bank, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his role. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University and is currently attending the American Banker Assoc. Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Antonio Palano has been promoted to vice president, Retail Lending. His 15-year tenure at Country Bank showcases his commitment and dedication to the organization. Having progressed through various roles, he currently manages the Retail Lending Servicing and Operations departments. He holds an associate degree in business administration from Springfield Technical Community College and is a 2023 graduate of New England School of Financial Studies. Cuc Nguyen has been promoted to Retail Banking officer of the Paxton Banking Center. With more than 16 years of banking experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her new role. Her previous experience at Commerce Bank, Berkshire Bank, and DCU has equipped her with a deep understanding of front-line management and customer satisfaction. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Southern New Hampshire University.

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Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan

Shawn Thamert

Shawn Thamert

Health New England announced the recent appointment of two vice presidents: Sarah Morgan, vice president of Human Resources, and Shawn Thamert, vice president of Sales and chief growth officer. Morgan has been promoted from within the organization, where she had been serving as director of Human Resources since 2021. In her new role as vice president of Human Resources, she leads and oversees Health New England’s human-capital and organizational-development operations, ensuring that business strategies, plans, and initiatives are developed and implemented in compliance with governing regulations, internal policies, and procedures. She is also responsible for identifying and implementing long-range strategic talent management goals. Morgan joined Health New England in 2019 as assistant general counsel. She was previously a litigation associate at Bulkley Richardson in Springfield. Morgan is a graduate of UMass Amherst and earned her juris doctor degree from the Western New England University School of Law. She is currently a master’s-degree candidate in diversity, equity, inclusion & justice leadership at Tufts University. As vice president, Thamert is responsible for the strategic direction, leadership, and oversight for all sales, product-development, and marketing programs, including the Medicare line of business. He is also responsible for Health New England’s partnerships with brokers, employer groups, and community nonprofit organizations. Thamert joined Health New England as interim vice president, Sales and Marketing, in February 2023. Since then, he has focused on strategic membership growth across all lines of business. He has nearly 25 years of healthcare leadership experience, including as vice president, Market Development for Commonwealth Care Alliance, as well as senior sales positions with MultiPlan, Geisinger Health System, Jackson Health System, Humana, Highmark, and Coventry. He received his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University.

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Victor Rodriguez Sr

Victor Rodriguez Sr

Greenfield Cooperative Bank (GCB) announced the appointment of Victor Rodriguez Sr. as assistant vice president, mortgage loan officer. In this role, he intends to leverage his extensive experience and expertise to guide borrowers through the homeownership journey with personalized care and local market knowledge. He will be based at the bank’s South Hadley branch. Rodriguez brings more than 20 years of banking experience. Throughout his career, he has earned accolades such as the 2022 Realtor Affiliate of the Year from the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. Rodriguez’s passion for mortgage lending extends beyond client transactions, as evidenced by his recent role as a guest speaker at the NEFMA fall conference, where he presented on the topic “Opportunities Await: Developing a Diverse Mortgage Customer Source.”

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Peter Ruffini was installed as the 2024 president of the Realtor Assooc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV), a nonprofit trade association with more than 1,800 members. The 108th annual installation of officers and directors was held on Jan. 11 at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. A Realtor since 1996, Ruffini is the broker/owner of RE/MAX Connections and has made a long-term commitment to RAPV and the Realtor family. Since 2021, he has served on the local board of directors at RAPV, including as secretary in 2022 and treasurer in 2023. He is involved in several committees at the association, including the government affairs, mediator & ombudsman, professional standards, bylaws & policy task force, and finance. The RAPV named him Realtor of the Year in 2015 and 2021. Ruffini served as president of the Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors (MAR) in 2014. In addition to serving in leadership, he has been a member of the MAR board of directors since 2006. He received the MAR Private Property Rights Award in 2019 and the MAR Milton H. Shaw Distinguished Service Award in 2020. He also currently serves as chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons and holds 11 professional designations and certifications.

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Ashley Swett

Ashley Swett

Florence Bank recently announced that Ashley Swett has been named manager of the bank’s Customer Service Center at the main office in Florence. In her new role, she will oversee the staff responsible for assisting Florence Bank customers who contact the bank via telephone or email. Swett has 16 years of industry experience and is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies. She holds a certificate in supervision from the Center for Financial Training. Active in the community, Swett is currently a member of the Holiday Flair in Ware, where she enjoys the annual festival and parade.

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Braman Termite & Pest Elimination announced the promotion of John McCarthy from account manager to sales director. In his new role, McCarthy is directly responsible for leading and developing Braman’s sales team while cultivating customer relationships for long-term customer satisfaction and growth. This includes developing long-range sales goals and objectives, as well as sales plans and tactics to meet and exceed those goals. McCarthy joined the Braman team in 2022 with 22 years of experience in a variety of leadership roles within the pest-control industry, including sales and service manager, branch manager, and district manager. He is a member of the National Pest Management Assoc.

People on the Move

Rebecca Todd

The Connecticut River Conservancy announced Rebecca Todd as its new executive director. Todd has most recently served as the executive director of New Hampshire’s Stonewall Farm, a nonprofit working farm and education center; however, her experience as an attorney has shaped most of her career. For more than 30 years, she has advised organizations, individuals, and businesses in matters related to environmental, educational, contractual, employment, and nonprofit management. She served as general counsel for Antioch University and as associate attorney general in the Office of the Attorney General in Washington in the Education and Ecology divisions, and litigated cases for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund Inc. (now Earthjustice) and the Natural Resources Defense Council Inc. related to the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and hazardous-waste laws. She also teaches environmental law, legal advocacy, and other subjects nationally and internationally. In addition to these professional accomplishments, Todd grew up in the Connecticut River watershed, has raised a family while stewarding farmland along the river in New Hampshire, and is cultivating a new passion for the sport of rowing. CRC’s previous executive director, Andy Fisk, departed in the fall of 2022 after 10 years with the organization and is now the Northeast Regional Director at American Rivers. During this transitional time, CRC has been led by interim Executive Director and Director of Restoration Programs Ron Rhodes, who has been a member of the CRC staff for more than 12 years.

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Tania Barber

The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts’ trustees of the Order of William Pynchon announced Tania Barber, president and CEO of Caring Health Center, as this year’s Pynchon Medal recipient. She will receive the award at an event at Springfield Technical Community College on Monday, Nov. 13. Caring Health Center (CHC) is a Springfield-based care provider of affordable and equitable healthcare services. Barber began her career with CHC as a part-time switchboard operator in 1996. Through regular promotions during her 24-year tenure, she rose to become the organization’s leader in 2013. In addition, her belief in empowering women through education led her to establish the Tania M. Barber Learning Institute in 2023. Students of the institute will earn a salary as they receive training for careers in the healthcare field. In addition to providing a talent pipeline for an industry in dire need of trained workers, it will provide students with a pathway to well-paying jobs that also benefit the community. Barber is also the founder and pastor of Living Water Global Ministries, a non-denominational Christian church; EST.HER, a leadership consulting firm; and Daughters of Shared Vision, a faith-based counseling service for women. She has also served on a variety of local and regional boards, including the Springfield Technical Community College science degree program advisory board, Health New England, Florence Bank, and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.

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Maggie MacElhiney

Maggie MacElhiney

Geri McCarthy

OMG Inc. promoted Maggie MacElhiney to the position of director of Talent for the organization. In her new position, she is responsible for managing human-resource activities including talent acquisition and onboarding, talent development, performance management, compensation, succession planning, and workforce planning. MacElhiney has been with OMG since 2006, most recently as the senior Talent Development manager. She holds a master’s degree in adult education and human resource development from the University of Texas, Austin, and is a member of the Assoc. for Talent Development and the Society for Human Resource Management. OMG also promoted Geri McCarthy to the newly created position of director of Employee Engagement, where she is responsible for managing and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives; employee wellness and engagement programs; and general HR responsibilities. McCarthy has been with OMG since 2012 in a variety of roles, most recently as director of Operations, where she also headed the company’s DEI council and wellness committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from American International College and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

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Claire Kelly

The Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce (GNCC) announced the hiring of Claire Kelly as senior manager of Investor and Community Relations. She brings broad skills and deep experience in entrepreneurship, educational programming, and event management to the role. She also has a strong appreciation for the local community, having lived in the Pioneer Valley for the past 10 years. Before coming to the chamber, Kelly spent seven years as founder and director of Educational Experiences Abroad, a custom academic service provider that specialized in study-abroad programs, primarily in Cuba. An innovative self-starter, she successfully navigated the fast-changing regulatory environment in the U.S.-Cuba travel industry, and delivered educational experiences and programs for a diverse group of clients. Prior to that, she directed business-development activities and designed custom program at Amherst-based Spanish Studies Abroad. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Gettysburg College and a master’s degree in Spanish linguistics from Middlebury College.

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Dietz & Company Architects announced that Aditya Surendhra, AIA has completed the Architectural Registration Examination and met all of the requirements for architectural licensure in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As a licensed architect, he has been promoted from architectural staff to the position of architect. Surendhra joined Dietz & Company in 2020 and primarily works on multi-family housing projects, with his approach being a focus on building performance and resilience. His work includes existing-conditions laser scanning and modeling for historic projects, as well as projects in the commercial sector. He also takes the lead in managing and developing the firm’s in-house Revit software standards, including libraries and templates. Prior to joining Dietz, he earned his bachelor of architecture degree from Syracuse University. He also interned for firms in India and the U.S., where he worked on housing and historic-preservation projects.

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Ilana Steinhauer

Ilana Steinhauer

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC) announced Ilana Steinhauer, executive director of Volunteers in Medicine, as the 2023 Charles Kusik Award winner. The Kusik Award recognizes outstanding contributions to Berkshire County. Steinhauer has led Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) since 2014 as executive director and director of Medical Services. Volunteers in Medicine currently serves 1,700 uninsured patients, 90% of whom are immigrants. Their patient population has grown rapidly in recent years, with 400 new patients in 2022 and an expected 500 new patients in 2023. VIM’s patients range from newly arrived asylum seekers who need life-saving care to veterans who need dental work to essential workers who have lived here for decades. VIM manages this patient load with 17 staff members and more than 170 clinical and non-clinical volunteers who donate more than 10,000 hours annually. Steinhauer first moved to the Berkshires in 2006 after graduating from Wesleyan University. She began interning at Volunteers in Medicine and quickly realized she wanted to do patient care with this population. After taking prerequisites at Berkshire Community College, she moved to the Boston area to complete her nurse practitioner degree and began her career as a nurse with the Medical Group/Harvard Vanguard Associates in Beverly. In 2014, she moved with her family back to the Berkshires to become executive director at VIM. Bilingual in Spanish, she continues to provide direct patient care in addition to being the executive director.

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Tapestry announced the appointment of Mavis Nimoh as its incoming executive director. With more than 20 years of experience advocating for social justice and health equity, she brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership to Tapestry. Nimoh joins Tapestry following her role as executive director of the Center for Health and Justice Transformation in Providence, R.I., where she led a team of experts in public health, physical and behavioral health, and the criminal legal system. She brings extensive experience in the public-health sector, including programs that support the uninsured and underinsured, HIV early intervention, testing and counseling, and prevention services focused on addressing systemic health inequalities. Her career also includes her role as associate professor at Brown University School of Public Health and her tenure at the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, along with her leadership as executive director of the Dauphin County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services. Her expertise in harm reduction and health equity aligns with Tapestry’s mission to provide non-judgmental, quality care for all.

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Amelia Holstrom

Amelia Holstrom

Attorney Amelia Holstrom of Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. has been recognized as one of the 2023 Top Women of Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The Top Women of the Law program celebrates the outstanding achievements of exceptional women in the legal profession. Each year, the publication and accompanying event — scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 1 — honors women who have demonstrated great accomplishments in their field. Holstrom has been with Skoler Abbott since 2012 and was named a partner in 2019. She defends employers in litigation involving claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, wage-and-hour violations, contract disputes, and other employment issues. She also advises clients with respect to compliance challenges, personnel policies, and day-to-day employment issues, and provides custom training programs and materials on a variety of important topics, including harassment, paid and unpaid leave, and ADA accommodations. Holstrom is an active participant in the Greater Springfield community. She is chair of the Wilbraham Personnel Advisory Board and a member of the Wilbraham Commission on Disability, the boards of Clinical and Support Options Inc. and the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce, the board development committee for Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts, and the personnel committee for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

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New England Public Media announced that six professionals recently joined the staff.

Vanessa Lima is NEPM’s new senior business manager. She comes to NEPM from the city of Springfield’s Administration and Finance Division, where she was a deputy project director. Prior to that, she worked with the Springfield Police Department, Baystate Health, and Boston Public Schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst.

Cathy Zimmerman joins NEPM as accounts payable clerk. She has been an accountant for more than 20 years, serving nonprofit and for-profit organizations, including the United Way of the Franklin and Hampshire Region, Argotec in Greenfield, and the Sisters of Providence Health in Holyoke. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Elms College.

Maria Burke is stepping into the role of senior major gifts officer. An experienced fundraising strategist, she served as director of Development at Springfield Symphony Orchestra for several years. She is also the founder of the WillPower Foundation, a regional nonprofit serving individuals living with disabilities in Western Mass.

Nancy Dieterich is NEPM’s interim director of corporate sponsorship. She has more than 40 years of experience working in public and commercial media, including serving as managing director of Local Corporate Sponsorship at GBH and general manager of Boston’s WCRB. She attended the College of Liberal Arts at Pennsylvania State University at McKeesport.

Jonthany Rivera and Jill McNally join NEPM as multimedia account executives. Rivera is a recent graduate from Westfield State University with a degree in communications focusing on journalism. McNally joins NEPM after spending 30 years in the broadcast industry in various roles. Most recently, she worked for Saga Communications for WRSI/WHMP, Rock 102, and other radio stations in marketing and sales. Before that, she worked at Connecticut stations WTIC and WTRC as an account executive.

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Chelsea LeBlanc

Chelsea LeBlanc

Market Mentors LLC, a fully integrated marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, announced the promotion of Chelsea LeBlanc, a Baltimore native who now lives in Windsor, Conn. She was promoted to account director in the Client Services department after joining the agency in February as an account executive. Before joining Market Mentors, LeBlanc served as a channel marketing director at a hospitality and food-services company with a focus on brand activation, process improvement, and project management. In her growing role as account director, she will bring her 15 years of experience and strategic skill set to client planning, agency processes, and more. A graduate of Western New England University with a degree in marketing communications/advertising, LeBlanc is a Smartsheet product certified user, Project Management Institute member, and project management professional candidate.

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Holyoke Community College (HCC) Criminal Justice Professor Nicole Hendricks was honored on Oct. 6 with an Inspiration Award from the African American Female Professor Award Assoc. (AAFPAA). Each year, the association celebrates a handful of Black female professors at its annual awards banquet, which this year was held at the Griswold Theater on the campus of American International College in Springfield. Hendricks, a 17-year faculty member at HCC, was one of four Black female professors recognized. Hendricks has served as chair of the Criminal Justice Department at HCC and teaches a variety of courses in that area, including criminology and women’s studies. She also teaches interdisciplinary courses as part of HCC’s Learning Communities program. For example, in “Reimagining Incarceration,” she and her teaching partner, Economics Professor Mary Orisich, explore mass incarceration through the lens of feminist social-justice theory, gender and sexuality studies, critical race theory, and political economy. Hendricks’ efforts to reimagine incarceration extend well beyond the classroom. Together, she and Orisich founded Western Mass CORE (Community, Opportunity, Resources, Education), a prison-education program based at HCC that seeks to facilitate pathways to college for people impacted by the criminal legal system.

People on the Move
Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP, from the Connecticut Valley General Office of New York Life, has been listed on the 2023 Forbes Top Financial Security Professionals Best-in-State list. A New York Life agent for 28 years, Deliso is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that help position clients for a solid financial future. She has been working in the financial field for more than 30 years, her first seven in public accounting and the balance working in the financial-services industry. She has developed an expertise in helping business owners and individuals protect and secure their own and their family’s future. Deliso is a Nautilus Group member agent, an advanced-planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies. A graduate of Bentley College, she has also been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1999. Members of the elite Chairman’s Council rank in the top 3% of New York Life’s sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. Active in her community, Deliso currently serves on and is immediate past chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation. She also serves on and is past chairman of the board of the Community Music School of Springfield, and is also a past board member of Pioneer Valley Refrigerated Warehouse.

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Bay Path University announced that Anna Zendell has been named program director of the university’s master of healthcare management program. Zendell brings more than three decades of experience as an educator, researcher, and social-welfare advocate to her role. She was most recently the senior faculty program director of the School of Health Sciences and the School of Graduate Studies at Excelsior University, where she oversaw master’s-degree programs in health sciences, healthcare administration, and public administration, in addition to graduate certificates in public-health equity, nutrition, and informatics. Zendell has been a practitioner, educator, administrator, and caregiver, and throughout her career, she has applied that experience to the development of curriculum and teaching methods focused on population health, healthcare systems, screening, and research to practice. She has published research looking at aging, the roles of sibling caregivers, and the impact of regular physical activity on health. Her recent work focuses on collaborative teaching, experiential learning, and working with adult learners.

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Greg Sanocki

Greg Sanocki

Eastern States Exposition (ESE) announced that Greg Sanocki has joined the organization’s Marketing Department as communications & social media specialist. Sanocki completed his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in marketing from Western New England University in December 2014. Shortly following his collegiate career, he joined Westfield State University’s Marketing Department as social media and digital content specialist. In that role for nearly seven years, Sanocki was responsible for developing and administering the university’s official social-media presence, producing video content, and serving as a social-media expert for the campus community. In his new role as communications & social media specialist, Sanocki will be responsible for overseeing ESE’s digital and social-media marketing initiatives, collaborating with departments to ensure seamless digital communication, and creating and producing effective marketing and public-relations communications.

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Bulkley Richardson announced that both Stephen Holstrom and Lauren Ostberg have been included in the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America. Holstrom, counsel at Bulkley Richardson, was recognized for his work in both professional malpractice law and education law. Ostberg, an associate in the Litigation department and co-chair of the Cybersecurity practice, was recognized in the area of commercial litigation. Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America recognizes lawyers relatively early in their careers for their outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the U.S.

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Florence Bank recently presented its 2023 President’s Award to three staff members for exceptional service. Established in 1995, the President’s Award recognizes outstanding performance, customer service, and overall contribution to Florence Bank. Awardees are nominated by their colleagues at the bank. This year’s award recognizes Calli Paulin, a teller at the bank since 2021; Aaron Bonneau, an IT administrator who has worked at the bank since 2019; and David Lipson, a marketing research analyst who came on board in 2018. Paulin attended Bay Path University in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. Bonneau holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from UMass Amherst. Lipson holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business management from Western New England University.

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Michael Dodge

Michael Dodge

American International College (AIC) announced that Michael Dodge has been named executive vice president for Academic Affairs. He has been serving in this role on an interim basis since March 2022. In this position, Dodge serves as AIC’s chief academic officer and is responsible for the academic operations of the college, including strategic planning for, and day-to-day operations of, the schools of Business, Arts & Sciences; Education; and Health Sciences. He represents the Office of Academic Affairs to internal and external constituencies and is responsible for developing and overseeing comprehensive and integrative structures and processes to support teaching and learning, student success, retention, and graduation. In addition, he oversees the institution’s accreditation and academic-assessment processes and supports the development of meaningful and measurable institution, program, and course student-learning outcomes. Upon his arrival in 2018, Dodge served as dean of Student Success and Opportunity. He additionally served as the principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Education Title III Grant program. He was promoted to associate vice president for Academic Affairs in January 2022. Before joining AIC, Dodge worked for more than a decade at UMass Amherst in a variety of teaching and administrative roles. He earned his doctorate in educational policy, leadership, and administration at UMass Amherst after earning his master’s degree in student affairs from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and English from the State University of New York Oswego.

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Country Bank announced that Mary McGovern, executive vice president and chief financial and operating officer, successfully completed the inaugural American Bankers Assoc. (ABA) Wharton Leadership Lab at the University of Pennsylvania last week. She earned an ABA Wharton Executive Leadership Certificate, a prestigious credential that demonstrates her excellence in leadership and strategic planning. The ABA Wharton Leadership Lab is a rigorous, immersive program that challenges executive bankers on the reality of leadership in today’s world at an Ivy League level. The program, which included 42 students, covers topics such as creating and sharing a vision, goal setting, managing talent, driving innovation, and sustaining meaningful relationships. McGovern is an influential executive leader with more than 30 years of experience in the financial-services industry. Her leadership has contributed to the bank’s continued success for the past 12 years. Her participation in the ABA Wharton Leadership Lab reflects her commitment to continuous learning and professional development at a critical time in the industry as regulations, technologies, and the workforce continue to rapidly evolve.

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Samantha Graves

Samantha Graves

Samantha Graves recently joined the Royal Law Firm team. She advises clients on various matters involving allegations of discrimination, harassment, wrongful terminations, and violations of FMLA. Her preventive work also includes drafting a variety of employment-related manuals and contracts, such as executive agreements, compensation and commission agreements, and severance and settlement agreements. Graves graduated cum laude from Worcester State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in business administration. She obtained her juris doctorate from Western New England University School of Law.

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Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that six lawyers from the firm were recently recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for 2024, and two were included in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America. Along with the year they were first recognized in Best Lawyers in any practice area, they are: Gary Breton (2018), banking and finance law and business organizations (including LLCS and partnerships); Michael Katz (2016), bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law; Kenneth Albano (2020), business organizations (including LLCS and partnerships); Gina Barry (2018), elder law; Hyman Darling (2020), elder law; Peter MacConnell (2021), real-estate law; Daniel McKellick (2023), Ones to Watch in real-estate law; and Tyler Humphrey (2021), Ones to Watch in banking and finance law.

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Northampton Dollars for Scholars announced the appointment of three community members to its board of directors. Anna Zadworny is assistant vice president and Employee Development manager for Greenfield Savings Bank. She has an associate degree in business management from Holyoke Community College and completed Babson College Financial Studies. Valerie Harlow is a learning advisor and facilitator for the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Westfield State University and a master’s degree in training and development from Lesley University. Patricia Mahar works as an area manager in Dining Services at Smith College. She is a graduate of the University of Saint Joseph.

 

People on the Move
Andrea O’Connor

Andrea O’Connor

Christina Turgeon

Christina Turgeon

Fitzgerald Law named attorney Andrea O’Connor a shareholder and announced that attorney Christina Turgeon has joined the firm. O’Connor counsels corporate and consumer clients in all aspects of insolvency law, primarily including bankruptcy, asset protection, taxation, real estate, and commercial matters. Her experience representing debtors and creditors in all types of matters, from complex Chapter 11 cases to adversary proceeding litigation, as well as serving as a Chapter 7 trustee for the District of Connecticut, allows her to analyze problems from all angles and develop creative solutions. She has 13 years of legal experience, including a clerkship for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. She earned a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from the University of Connecticut, and graduated magna cum laude from Western New England University School of Law. Turgeon has more than 21 years of practice experience and is primarily engaged in business litigation and counseling services, including reviewing and preparing discovery and trial strategies in Fitzgerald Law’s Litigation Department. In addition, her concentrations include bankruptcy law representing debtors and trustees before the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Massachusetts and Connecticut; commercial evictions; real-estate law representing buyers, sellers, and financial institutions in real-estate transactions; and general civil litigation representing plaintiffs and defendants in district and Superior courts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in English literature from Western New England University and is also a graduate of Western New England University School of Law.

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Jim Hickey

Jim Hickey

Florence Bank announced that Jim Hickey, vice president and director of Marketing Operations, has been promoted to lead the bank’s marketing efforts as senior vice president and director of Marketing. Hickey replaces Monica Curhan, who retired on April 7 after serving as senior vice president and director of Marketing for nearly 10 years. Hickey was hired in November 2021 as director of Marketing Operations with the explicit plan to one day take the helm as director of Marketing. He has 25 years of strategic marketing experience and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UMass Amherst. He has experience in areas that include account management, creative development, media plan execution, and media buying. Before joining Florence Bank, he was vice president of Account Service at Communicators Group, a marketing communications firm in Keene, N.H. He has also served as vice president and director of Marketing for Westbank, a financial institution formerly based in West Springfield. Active in the community, he sits on the board for the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity.

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Country Bank announced that Crystal Mansfield, Customer Experience and Sales Support specialist, is the recipient of the 2023 President’s Platinum Award. The Bank’s recognition program, Above and Beyond, encourages team members to look for co-workers who embody the bank’s corporate values of integrity, service, teamwork, excellence, and prosperity (iSTEP). Within this program, members can receive different levels of recognition: Silver Spotlight, Gold Star, and the President’s Platinum. “Crystal embodies the bank’s corporate values in every interaction she has,” Country Bank President and CEO Paul Scully said. “Her nominator recognized her contributions to the organization, customers, and co-workers.”

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Martha Page

Martha Page

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures (BAV), a growing nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting local agriculture and a resilient regional food system, announced the appointment of Martha Page to its board of directors. With her extensive experience in nonprofit, government, and private-sector management, Page brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to further strengthen BAV’s mission and impact across the Berkshire-Taconic region. Page joins the board following her successful tenure as executive director of Hartford Food System Inc., where she spearheaded innovative initiatives to address food security, promote equitable access to nutritious food, and foster community development. Her deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the food system will be invaluable in helping guide BAV’s strategic vision. Throughout her career, Page has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to collaborative problem solving. Her multi-disciplinary background has allowed her to navigate complex landscapes and build strong partnerships across sectors that will play a vital role in helping to shape BAV’s initiatives.

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ISO New England, the operator of the region’s bulk power system and wholesale electricity marketplace, announced the election of its 2023 board of directors slate. The slate includes new member Craig Ivey, retired president of Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc., who brings three decades of experience in the electricity industry. His three-year term will begin on Oct. 1. Current board members Brook Colangelo and Mark Vannoy have been reelected to their third and second terms, respectively. Roberto Denis will retire from the board this fall. Ivey served as president of Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc. for nine years, retiring in 2017. While in this role, he was responsible for all aspects of the electric system that serves more than 9 million New Yorkers. He previously spent 25 years at Dominion Energy, rising through the ranks from a part-time position during his college years to become senior vice president of Transmission and Distribution. Ivey serves on the board for Ameren Corp., as well as the Fresh Air Fund, a nonprofit serving children in low-income communities in New York City. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and has completed executive-education programs at the University of Michigan and Harvard University. Colangelo, elected to his third and final term, is vice president and chief information officer for Waters Corp. Earlier in his career, he served as chief information officer of the White House under President Obama. He holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University. Vannoy joined the ISO board in 2020 and was re-elected to a second term. He is currently president of Maine Water and previously served as the chairperson of the Maine Public Utilities Commission. He is a retired U.S. Navy officer, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and holds a master’s degree from Cornell University.

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Greg LaCasse

Greg LaCasse

Whittlesey, a leading tax and advisory services provider, announced the promotion of Greg LaCasse, CPA to partner. LaCasse joined the firm in 2017 and has 30 years of experience in public and private accounting, including roles with the Big 4, as well as serving as chief financial officer for an international IT consulting firm. He is an active member of Whittlesey’s real-estate, construction, and manufacturing niche and specializes in providing tax and advisory services to both businesses and individuals, with a focus on working with clients in the professional service, medical, real-estate, retail, wholesale, and manufacturing and distribution industries. LaCasse holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Connecticut State University and a master’s degree in taxation from the University of Hartford. He also pursues continuing professional education in taxation and business-advisory services. He is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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Nonotuck Resource Associates Inc. announced the recent hiring of Gretchen Parker as Human Resources director. Parker comes to Nonotuck with 20 years of experience in human resources, as well as a career spent working with nonprofits. At Nonotuck, she will lead the HR team and tackle new initiatives, such as performance management and coordinating trainings for supervisors across the agency. Parker most recently worked as associate director of Human Resources for Highland Valley Elder Services and also worked for LifePath, UMass Amherst, and Franklin Regional Council of Governments. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and master’s degree from Fitchburg State University.

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Tim Czerniejewski

Tim Czerniejewski

bankESB recently promoted Tim Czerniejewski to assistant vice president, commercial lending. Czerniejewski has 16 years of experience in banking. He joined bankESB in 2016 as a credit analyst and was promoted in 2018 to assistant vice president, portfolio manager. In his new role, he will be responsible for developing, structuring, and closing commercial loans, as well as maintaining and servicing existing accounts. Before joining bankESB, he was a risk analyst and credit analyst at TD Bank. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Western New England University and an associate degree in accounting from Springfield Technical Community College, and is a graduate of the Springfield Leadership Institute.

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Dhaval Patel has been selected for the 2023 class of 30 Under 30, highlighting his remarkable accomplishments and the impact he has made throughout his career. Dhaval, 27, of Rovi Homes, was selected by REALTOR Magazine, which recognizes members of the National Assoc. of Realtors (NAR) under age 30 who have demonstrated exceptional skills in areas such as sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, technology, association leadership, and community involvement.

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Anthony Worden, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank and its parent company, Greenfield Bancorp MHC, announced that the following actions were taken at the company’s 118th annual meeting on June 20. Darci Brown and Jeffrey Collura were re-elected as corporators of Greenfield Bancorp MHC, while new candidates Khama Ennis, Jennifer Ewers, Matthew Sheehy, Terri Mitchell, and Brandon Lively were elected as corporators of Greenfield Bancorp MHC. Nancy Fournier, JoAnne Finck, and Peter Whalen were re-elected to three year terms as directors of the bank and Greenfield Bancorp MHC, while Catherine Coleman was elected to a three-year term as a director of the bank and Greenfield Bancorp MHC.

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Linda Thompson, President of Westfield State University, has joined the board of trustees at Goddard House Assisted Living in Brookline. Prior to her role as president of Westfield State University, Thompson held the role of dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UMass Boston. She has an extensive background in healthcare leadership and public policy. In Baltimore City, Md., she served as director of Occupational Medicine and Safety and developed programs and policies to promote the health of the city workforce, including the implementation of policies for HIV prevention and substance use and abuse. At the state level in Maryland, she served as special secretary of Children, Youth and Families, where she developed programs and policies to improve quality of care for vulnerable populations of children.

People on the Move
Kevin Hearn

Kevin Hearn

David Caruso

David Caruso

Westfield State University (WSU) President Linda Thompson has appointed Kevin Hearn as vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. Hearn will begin his duties on July 3. With 30 years of higher-education experience, his curricular and co-curricular leadership spans enrollment, student affairs, academic support, and communications. He most recently served as vice president for Enrollment Management at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, where he was responsible for leadership and management of all staff and operations within the offices of undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and international admissions, as well as the office of Financial Aid. Prior to this role, he served as vice president for Strategic Enrollment Management at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia and vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Niagara University in Lewiston, N.Y., and held leadership roles in Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at Dean College in Franklin, Mass. Hearn earned his doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University in Miami, his master’s degree in counseling and educational psychology from Rhode Island College in Providence, and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. Westfield State also appointed David Caruso temporary provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, starting Aug. 1. With more than 35 years of higher-education experience, Caruso brings a strong background in the classroom, as a researcher, and an administrator. Prior to his retirement, Caruso served as president of Antioch University New England (AUNE) from 2006 to 2013. There, he led the successful implementation of the 2007-12 strategic plan and doubled the campus annual fund. He launched AUNE’s first successful Horace Mann Spirit of Service Awards ceremony that provides funds for the general scholarship endowment. He also served on the boards of the New Hampshire College and University Council and Campus Compact for New Hampshire. Previously, he was provost and vice president for Academic Affairs at Worcester State University from 2002 to 2006. Earlier, he held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of Hartford, the University of Rhode Island, Purdue University, and Indiana State University. In 1995, he was awarded the American Council on Education Fellowship, a program designed to develop senior leaders in higher education. In 2014-15, he returned to Worcester State as interim provost. Caruso obtained his Ph.D. in Human Development at Cornell University and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Sonoma State University.

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Timothy Ferreira

Timothy Ferreira

Kevin Schechterle

Kevin Schechterle

On June 1, Gary Rome, president and CEO of Gary Rome Auto Group, promoted two internal employees. Timothy Ferreira has been promoted to chief operating officer of the company, and Kevin Schechterle has been promoted to general manager of Gary Rome Hyundai. Ferreira has been with the organization for 21 years as fixed operations manager, parts manager, and most recently general manager at Gary Rome Hyundai. He has played a significant role in the dealership’s success, with record-breaking months, high employee retention, and numerous awards, including cleanest dealership and #1 in customer satisfaction, and most recently the 2023 TIME Dealer of the Year Award and Hyundai Board of Excellence. He was instrumental in the design and build of the upgraded, 34,000-square-foot GDSI 2.0 Hyundai dealership in 2016; installation of the dealership’s solar field; and electric-vehicle infrastructure, which includes six level-2 chargers and two level-3 chargers; and he is currently overseeing the design and build of the 10,000-square-foot car wash, dog wash, and detail center on site. In his new position as COO, Ferreira will oversee the entire operational management of Gary Rome Hyundai, Gary Rome Kia of Enfield, and the new car wash, dog wash, and detail center, expected to open this fall. The position of chief operating officer is a newly created position for the auto group, due to the expediential growth of the dealerships and development of the new car-wash facility. Schechterle has been with Gary Rome Hyundai for nine years and held the positions of service manager, sales manager, and general sales manager. He will continue to expand his expertise in sales and daily operations of the dealership in his new role and is focused on customer satisfaction and employee retention. He will oversee all departments, including sales, finance, service, parts, business development, marketing, human resources, accounting, and corporate culture.

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Bulkley Richardson recently welcomed attorneys Julie Dick and Daniel Sacco to the firm. Dick is counsel in Bulkley Richardson’s family-law practice. She counsels individuals, couples, and families on all matters relating to domestic relationships. Prior to joining the firm, she was an attorney at Community Legal Aid, where she represented clients in probate and family courts and district courts as a part of the Family Law Unit. She earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Ohio State University in 2013, and a juris doctorate from Ohio State University Moritz College of Law in 2016. Sacco is counsel in Bulkley Richardson’s litigation department, where he works with clients on preparing for administrative proceedings and trials. He has many years of experience helping public and private companies and educational institutions address regulatory compliance-related issues, including both responding to alleged compliance violations and developing compliance policies and programs. Prior to joining Bulkley Richardson, Sacco was a partner at Lindquist & Vennum in Minneapolis. Most recently, he was senior associate director of Research Compliance at UMass Amherst. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in 1996 and a juris doctorate from the University of Maine School of Law in 2003.

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L. Alexandra Hogan

L. Alexandra Hogan

Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy, P.C. (DWPM) announced that attorney L. Alexandra Hogan will join the firm in an of-counsel capacity in the firm’s Springfield office, effective July 11. Hogan is a partner at Sabella Hogan, P.C. in Springfield. Prior to obtaining her license to practice law in 2008 and her juris doctorate at Western New England University School of Law, she earned a bachelor’s degree in legal studies at Bay Path University. She represents individuals, businesses, insurers, and receivers in civil litigation, business, commercial real-estate, and bankruptcy matters. Hogan is actively involved in the community, presents on peer and judicial panels, and has been a member of several local boards and committees. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

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Catherine Rioux

Catherine Rioux

Monson Savings Bank (MSB) announced the recent promotion of Catherine Rioux to commercial loan officer. She will continue to be based out of the Monson Savings Bank Loan & Operations Center, located at 75 Post Office Park in Wilbraham, and will work to help borrowers secure financing for their business. She will be assisting throughout the entire lending process, from origination to closing and beyond. Rioux has worked in many departments of the bank. In 2006, she started her career in banking as a high-school intern in MSB’s Human Resources department. She later accepted a position as a receptionist, then moved to the Retail Banking department shortly after. In 2013, she joined the Residential Lending department as a residential loan servicer. In early 2015, she accepted a position in the Commercial department as a commercial loan servicer. She thrived in this department and would go on to become a junior credit analyst before being promoted to credit analyst and then commercial portfolio manager. Prior to her most recent promotion, she served as commercial portfolio officer. Rioux enjoys being involved in the local communities. She is a member of the Monson High School scholarship committee and supports local organizations, serving as a board member for I Found Light Against All Odds and volunteering for St. Patrick’s Church. She is a graduate of Western New England University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Additionally, she is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies and the Springfield Regional Chamber Leadership Institute.

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Berkshire Agriculture Ventures (BAV) announced the appointment of Rebecca Busansky as its new executive director, following the successful tenure of interim Executive Director Glenn Bergman. Bergman’s leadership during a critical period at BAV resulted in significant advancement for the organization over the past two and a half years. Under his guidance, BAV experienced solid growth as he built a team of experts to lead BAV’s programs and successfully secured support for the organization’s initiatives. Bergman will collaborate with Busansky over the upcoming month to ensure a smooth transition. Busansky was formerly a program director at the Franklin County Community Development Corp. (FCCDC). Her work there focused on helping local farms thrive and increasing food access. She and her team launched the PVGrows Investment Fund, and she also managed the Massachusetts Food Trust Program.

People on the Move
Hannah Rechtschaffen

Hannah Rechtschaffen

The Greenfield Business Assoc. (GBA) hired Hannah Rechtschaffen as its newest association coordinator. With an extensive background in business development and creative placemaking, Rechtschaffen brings fresh energy to this crucial role in Greenfield’s business community. Rechtschaffen will focus her efforts on growing membership for the GBA — partnering with the city of Greenfield, the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, and others — to further define the role and value of the association in the greater ecosystem. As the county seat, the health of Greenfield’s business sector is a vital beacon for how the county as a whole continues to keep and attract residents, tourists, and business owners alike. Rechtschaffen currently chairs the Sustainable Greenfield Implementation Committee, which supports the use and implementation of the city’s master plan. She is also a member of the Downtown Greenfield Alliance and the Local Cultural Council. For the last four years, she worked as director of Placemaking for W.D. Cowls, growing the Mill District project in North Amherst through events, social-media marketing, commercial tenant engagment, community development, and the opening of a local artist gallery. She is a former member of the Amherst Chamber Board, a member of the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty class of 2022, and a graduate of the Leadership Pioneer Valley class of 2021.

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John Ciolek

John Ciolek

John Ciolek recently joined the team at Associated Builders in South Hadley, where he will be active in sales, finance, and administration. He will also spearhead activities in the Ciolek family’s commercial real-estate business. Associated Builders (AB) is a third-generation, family-owned, design-build general contractor that has served the Pioneer Valley for morenthan five decades. Founded by his father in the early ’70s, John’s three brothers — Michael, Paul, and Tom — have led AB for the past 30-plus years. This is a return to the company of sorts for John, as he worked with the field crews with his brothers throughout his high-school and college years, gaining practical knowledge of the construction business. John brings extensive experience in finance and strategy garnered over a long career in banking and corporate strategy. Most recently, he was head of Strategic Initiatives at NGL Energy, where he was responsible for the company’s M&A activities and its sustainability efforts. Prior to that, he had a decades-long career on Wall Street, over the course of which he served as a managing director in Investment Banking for Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, and Citigroup. He started his banking career as a corporate lender for Shawmut Bank in Hartford, Conn. before attending the University of Michigan, where he received his MBA. He received a bachelor’s degree in political economy from Williams College in Williamstown.

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Bulkley Richardson welcomed three law students to its 2023 Summer Associate Program. The robust program will introduce law students to the inner workings of a law firm, where they will receive mentorship from lawyers ranging from firm leaders and retired judges all the way through the ranks to junior associates, and gain exposure to real-life legal matters. This year’s summer associates are Alexandria Abacherli, who is currently attending the University of Connecticut School of Law and who earned a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College, where she double majored in government & law and international affairs; Andrew Loin, who is currently attending Western New England University School of Law, where he is on the WNE Law Review, and who earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and business: entrepreneurship from the University of Rochester; and Nicole Palmieri, who is currently attending the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she is on the Connecticut Law Review and is a University of Connecticut Scholar, and who received a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in American studies from Christopher Newport University. Each summer associate anticipates a spring 2024 law-school graduation.

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Brenna Breeding

Brenna Breeding

bankESB recently promoted Brenna Breeding to Digital Marketing officer. She joined bankESB in 2020 as Digital Marketing manager. In her new role, she will be responsible for digital marketing content strategy and development and corporate website management, and will serve as the relationship manager for third-party vendors. Breeding earned a bachelor’s degree in sport management from the University of Delaware and recently earned a marketing certificate from American Bankers Assoc. Bank Marketing School.

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bankESB recently announced that Joe Williams has been hired as vice president, commercial lender. Williams has 12 years of banking experience, including his most recent roles as AVP, business banking officer at PeoplesBank, and AVP, credit officer at United Bank. He holds a master’s degree in communication from Bay Path University and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and finance from Westfield State University. He serves as president of the East Longmeadow Baseball Assoc., as well as treasurer of the East Longmeadow Housing Authority.

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The Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council (EDC) announced the hiring of two new professionals, Kayla Soto and Aurora Pierangelo. With years of experience in their respective fields and a shared passion for driving growth and development in Western Mass., they are well-positioned to contribute to the mission of the EDC. Soto has joined the team as the new associate director of Economic Development and Special Projects. Originally from Manchester, Conn., she earned her bachelor’s degree in educational studies from Elms College and her master’s degree in higher educational leadership from Drexel University. With a professional background rooted in academia, community, and workforce development, she previously served as assistant director of Admissions and Collegiate Admission manager for Hillyer College at the University of Hartford, as well as the Lincoln Technical Institute and the Hartford Job Corps. She is also an accomplished entrepreneur with an online children’s clothing store. As a proud Latina businesswoman, Soto aspires to bring her diverse background and passion for growth to the EDC team. As associate director of Economic Development and Special Projects, she will be responsible for overall project and program management, planning, and leading events for the Western Massachusetts EDC, as well as building community and partnerships with regional leaders and stakeholders. Pierangelo joined the team as the new accounting specialist. With a diverse background and experience in managing complex organizations, she is responsible for managing various financial portfolios of the EDC. Previously, she served as assistant director of the Fraternity Managers Assoc. at the University of Rhode Island, where she managed 18 fraternity, sorority, and independent living-learning communities. There, she expanded house director training programs, managed new software implementations, and improved financial-management practices. A Western Mass. native, Pierangelo graduated with her MBA from Bay Path University and a bachelor’s degree in music theatre from SUNY Geneseo. She also manages a nonprofit, the Wilbraham Welcome Project. She is passionate about giving back to her community and excited to bring this same enthusiasm to her work with the Western Massachusetts EDC.

People on the Move
Candace Pereira

Candace Pereira

Florence Bank promoted Candace Pereira to the role of vice president, commercial lender. Since 2018, she has worked at Florence Bank as assistant vice president, commercial portfolio manager in the Commercial Lending department. In her new role, she will concentrate on commercial and industrial lending, as well as lending to women-owned businesses. Pereira holds an associate degree in finance from Springfield Technical Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She is currently pursuing an MBA from Isenberg as well. She began her career in banking in 2003 and has held various roles at mutually held and stockholder-owned banks in Western Mass., in both residential and commercial lending. Recently named an ambassador for the Springfield Regional Chamber, Pereira is also a member of the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty class of 2017, and she attended the Springfield Leadership Institute. She has served on various local boards over the last several years and has also volunteered as an athletic coach in East Longmeadow, where her daughter is a student.

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Dennis Gober, a longtime executive in hospital management, has been named chief operating officer of MiraVista Behavioral Health Center. Gober served previously as CEO in Oklahoma of Cedar Ridge Behavioral Hospital, whose campus in Oklahoma City provides inpatient psychiatric and residential services to children and adolescents, and its Bethany campus, which serves the mental-health needs of adults. Cedar Ridge is part of Universal Health Services, one of the largest providers of hospital and healthcare services in the country. Gober, who holds a master’s degree in community counseling, has held several other senior-level positions, CEO for Acadia Healthcare’s Rolling Hills Hospital in Ada, Okla., which provides mental-health and substance-use services for adolescents, adults, and seniors, and division director of community-based youth services for the state of Oklahoma. As a licensed behavioral practioner, Gober also served as the Director of the Community Works’ Norman Academy Day Treatment Program leading treatment teams, and providing individual, group, and family therapy. He received a master of education degree in community counseling and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma.

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Leanne Martin

Leanne Martin

BFAIR announced it has promoted Leanne Martin to assistant director of Day Habilitation. Martin began working for BFAIR in 2014 as a direct-care professional at the agency’s Day Habilitation program located in North Adams. In 2020, she was promoted to case manager for the Community Based Day Services (CBDS) program and later to the Day Habilitation program in the same role. In her new role, Martin is responsible for the everyday operation of the Day Habilitation program, which is designed to support members and their unique needs to increase independence and socialization, helping them participate as active and fully integrated members of their community.

People on the Move
Steven Musso

Steven Musso

Country Bank President and CEO Paul Scully announced the appointment of Steven Musso to the bank’s board of trustees at its annual meeting. Musso joins the board with more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry. He previously served as the chief operating officer for FinPro Inc., leading consulting engagements, running the consulting operation, and building the technology division. He has extensive experience working with banks on strategic planning, interest-rate risk analysis, and other consulting and advisory services. In addition, he has worked with various bank boards and management teams in financial institutions across the country. He holds Series 63 and 79 financial-securities licenses. Country Bank also appointed new corporators: Mary McGovern, executive vice president, chief financial and operating officer; G. Thomas Wolcott, first senior vice president, commercial banking; Dawn Fleury, first senior vice president, chief risk officer; Miriam Siegel, first senior vice president, chief culture and development officer; and Musso.

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Emily Tower

Emily Tower

Florence Bank promoted Emily Tower to the position of vice president and branch manager of the bank’s main office in Florence. Prior to her promotion, she was the assistant vice president and branch manager in the Florence branch. A graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies, Tower brings more than 15 years of banking experience to her role. She has been with Florence Bank since 2006 and has worked in the Belchertown and West Springfield offices as well.

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Eric Lesser

Eric Lesser

Bay Path University announced that Eric Lesser — attorney, educator, and former four-term state senator — has been elected to its board of trustees. Lesser was one of the original members of President Obama’s White House team. From January 2009 to July 2011, he served as special assistant to the president’s senior advisor, David Axelrod. Later, he served as the Council of Economic Advisers’ director of Strategic Planning. In 2014, Lesser was elected to the Massachusetts State Senate, representing the First Hampden and Hampshire district. As a state senator, Lesser led and served on numerous committees and commissions. He chaired the Joint Committee on Economic Development & Emerging Technologies; the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development, and the Senate Committee on Ethics. He also was vice chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation and co-chaired the Massachusetts Commission on the Future of Work. Among his many priorities, he was a key proponent of east-west rail, a leading advocate for civics education, a champion for alleviating student debt, and a national leader on the future of work. Lesser is currently a senior counsel at WilmerHale, a Boston-based law firm, where he is a member of the Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Group. He earned his juris doctorate from Harvard Law School in 2015 and his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 2007.

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Dr. Sarah Haessler

Dr. Sarah Haessler

Dr. Sarah Haessler, whose expertise in infectious diseases has been recognized at the local, state, national, and international levels, has been named chair of the Department of Medicine for Baystate Health. Haessler, who has served as interim chair of the Department of Medicine at Baystate since 2022, was appointed chair after a highly competitive national search. She is the inaugural female chair of Baystate Health’s largest clinical/academic department. Her tenure begins immediately. She received her medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases at Dartmouth Hitchcock in New Hampshire. She is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and infectious diseases. Haessler joined Baystate Health in 2005 and since that time has held progressive leadership roles, including as the hospital epidemiologist for the health system, vice chair of the Department of Medicine, interim chief of the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Care, and most recently interim chair of the Department of Medicine. Active in the field of academics and research, Haessler has trained and served as advisor and mentor for dozens of residents and fellows in the specialty of infectious diseases. She is currently an associate professor of Medicine at UMass Chan Medical School – Baystate. Since 2002, as either principal or co-investigator, she has completed numerous research projects and is currently co-investigator in Reducing Antimicrobial Overuse Through Targeted Therapy for Patients with Community-acquired Pneumonia.

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City of Greenfield Community and Economic Development Director MJ Adams announced her intention to retire from city service, effective May 6. Adams played pivotal roles in advancing downtown revitalization efforts, coordinating stakeholder and state assistance in creating an expansion of the I-91 Greenfield Industrial Park, helping local businesses navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, and brokering the agreement to redevelop the former Wilson’s Department Store building. Adams joined city government in December 2015 as Community Development administrator and was promoted to Community and Economic Development director in September 2018. Her prior experience includes positions with the Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and as executive director of Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity. The city will launch a search in the coming weeks for a new Community and Economic Development director. Adams has agreed to remain available during the transition process.

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Daniel Coyne

Daniel Coyne

Barbara Fontaine

Barbara Fontaine

River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC) recently welcomed Daniel Coyne and Barbara Fontaine to its board of directors. Coyne is a certified addictions registered nurse with more than 10 years of experience in behavioral-health treatment. He served as director of Nursing at Swift River addiction campuses, and more recently as the director of Utilization Review on the quality team of Vertava Health. He holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from UMass, a bachelor of arts degree from Middlebury College, and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Florida. Fontaine is a certified alcohol/drug-abuse counselor with more than 15 years of counseling experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from San Francisco State University and completed the Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Treatment Services Program at Boston University in 2007. She started her career in substance-abuse treatment at Gosnold on Cape Cod and also worked at Habit OpCo in South Yarmouth. She has worked at Swift River in Cummington since 2016.

People on the Move
Roy Sasenaraine

Roy Sasenaraine

Baystate Health and Lifepoint Behavioral Health, a business unit of Lifepoint Health, announced that Roy Sasenaraine has been named CEO of the new joint-venture behavioral-health hospital currently under construction in Holyoke. The 150-bed hospital, to be called Valley Springs Behavioral Health Hospital, is slated to open to patients in August. Most recently, Sasenaraine served as vice president of Operations for the central region of Spire Orthopedic Partners, where he led new construction, patient-access initiatives, and acquisition and integration work for Spire’s nine locations in Connecticut. Prior to his role at Spire, Sasenaraine served as vice president of Operations for Hartford Healthcare System’s East Region behavioral-health network. In this role, he oversaw 18 locations, including six school-based programs, two emergency departments, one inpatient psychiatric hospital, eight ambulatory locations, and one inpatient juvenile program. His leadership led to the implementation of a new care model for adolescent, pediatric, and adult patients in inpatient care along with the implementation of a new electronic medical record across all sites of care. Sasenaraine earned a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration and a master’s degree in business administration, with a focus in healthcare administration, from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. He is a member of the board of directors for Health Assistance Intervention Education Network and previously served on boards for Advance Behavioral Health and Blue Ocean Healthcare LLC.

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Audrey Chechile

Audrey Chechile

Audrey Chechile has joined the bankESB Marketing department as its Marketing Communications manager. In this role, she will be responsible for managing internal and external communications content to drive brand awareness, engagement, and business development; managing the company’s marketing and sales-material development, inventory, and distribution; and managing bank-sponsored events and donations across the member banks of its parent company, Hometown Financial Group. She will be integral in supporting the Marketing department in providing the highest level of service and responsiveness to customers, communities, and business partners. Prior to joining bankESB, Chechile was the Marketing manager at an automotive dealership group in Northampton, and before that was Marketing manager at Canna Provisions in Lee. She has more than 10 years of marketing experience in complex, regulated environments with emphasis in design, public relations, project management, event planning, and more. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from SUNY Fredonia.

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Amherst College named Angie Tissi-Gassoway its new chief Student Affairs officer (CSAO) and dean of students. She will be responsible for all functions of the Office of Student Affairs, including residential engagement and well-being, housing and operations, identity and cultural resources, counseling and mental health, student activities and leadership, health and community safety services, accessibility, case management, community standards, new student programs and orientation, and immigration and visa services. Tissi-Gassoway has served as the interim CSAO since February, before which they served as the interim chief Equity and Inclusion officer for 14 months. They joined Amherst in July 2012 as an area coordinator in Residential Life and, since then, has held various roles in the offices of both Student Affairs and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), including director of the Queer Resource Center, assistant dean of students and director of Identity and Cultural Resources; and associate dean of students for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. During that time, Tissi-Gassoway co-led new-student orientation and co-developed the social-justice leadership LEAP program, founded and served as the inaugural director of the Queer Resource Center, and helped to establish a structure and expansion of the college’s cultural and identity resource centers, including the creation of the inaugural affinity-based graduation ceremonies. To reinforce the college’s commitment to inclusion and community, Tissi-Gassoway spearheaded the “I Belong” campaign, the Day of Dialogue on Race and Racism, the Amherst Reflects series, and the Cultural Heritage Committee. In the past year, they co-created and launched the Civil Rights and Title IX Office in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and worked with the provost’s office to recruit and retain a diverse faculty. They also currently chair the recently formed Campus Safety Advisory Committee. Prior to their tenure at Amherst College, they served in Mount Holyoke College’s Health Education office. Before that, Tissi-Gassoway worked at Oregon State University, where she first found her passion for community building, equity, and student engagement. She earned a master’s degree in education in social-justice education from UMass Amherst and a master’s degree in public health and bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University.

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Noemí Custodia-Lora

Noemí Custodia-Lora

Tony Hawkins

Tony Hawkins

Arlene Rodríguez

Arlene Rodríguez

George Timmons

George Timmons

The search committee evaluating candidates to succeed Holyoke Community College (HCC) President Christina Royal has whittled a field of 50 down to four. All four finalists have many years of experience in higher education and now hold top-level administration positions at community colleges in the Northeast, and all four are persons of color — two Latinas and two African-American men. They include Noemí Custodia-Lora, vice president of the Lawrence campus and Community Relations at Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts; Tony Hawkins, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, Continuing Education, and Workforce Development at Frederick Community College in Maryland; Arlene Rodríguez, provost and vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts; and George Timmons, provost and senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Columbia-Greene Community College in New York. Custodia-Lora, a former Biology professor, holds a PhD in physiology and endocrinology from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Universidad de Puerto Rico. Timmons holds a PhD in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University, a master’s degree in higher education from Old Dominion University, and a bachelor’s degree in financial management from Norfolk State University. Hawkins, a former professor of Speech, Communication, and Theater, holds a PhD in higher education, leadership, and technology from New York University, a certificate of advanced study in administration, planning, and social policy from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, a master’s degree in speech communication from the University of Georgia, and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Towson State University. Rodríguez, a former English professor, holds a PhD in English from UMass Amherst, a master’s degree in English from Lehigh University, and a bachelor’s degree in English from Fordham University. The HCC board of trustees is expected to vote to approve a new president at its next meeting on Tuesday, April 25.

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Megan Wehbe

Megan Wehbe

Kevin Jack

Kevin Jack

Market Mentors, the region’s largest marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, announced the promotions of two of its employees. Megan Wehbe was promoted from account executive to senior account executive/strategic planner, and Kevin Jack was promoted from digital marketing specialist to senior digital specialist. Wehbe, a graduate of Grand Valley State University in Michigan, has more than a decade of experience in new-business development and account management, including long-range planning, strategizing, and executing client projects and campaigns. With previous experience working on accounts for USAA and Audi, she now lends her expertise to a wide variety of clients at Market Mentors. A graduate of Temple University in Pennsylvania and holding Google Ads and Analytics certifications, Jack plans, executes, optimizes, and reports on digital marketing campaigns for clients across a gamut of industries, including healthcare, banking and finance, retail, manufacturing, and more.

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Western Mass.-based author J.D. O’Brien’s debut crime novel, Zig Zag, was recently released in hardcover by Schaffner Press, an independent publisher in Tucson, Ariz., with a paperback edition coming later this year. In Zig Zag, a botched marijuana-dispensary heist in the San Fernando Valley sends burned-out bail bondsman Harry Robatore deep into the Mojave Desert trailing two lovers on the run. What follows is a stoned journey across the dive bars, neon-lit motels, and lost highways of the American West, building to an explosive showdown at a ghost-town tourist trap. Since its release in February, Zig Zag has been named a Southwest Book of the Year by the Pima County Library and was a pick of the week by popular publishing-industry resource Shelf Awareness. Before returning to the Pioneer Valley, the author lived in Los Angeles for a number of years, including a stint in Van Nuys, the gritty neighborhood where much of Zig Zag is set. The book was also informed by several road trips through the Mojave Desert. O’Brien currently works as a copywriter at Darby O’Brien Advertising in South Hadley. He is working on a sequel to Zig Zag.

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John Jones Jr.

John Jones Jr.

Keith Allen

Keith Allen

The Springfield Thunderbirds announced the promotion of John Jones Jr. to Manager of Ticket Sales & Strategy. Jones joined the Thunderbirds as an account executive in ticket sales during the 2018-19 season. A former Division I letter winner in football at Florida State University, he will oversee the Thunderbirds’ award-winning Ticket Sales department in the areas of season tickets, group tickets, and individual ticket sales. He has annually been among the top ticket-sales representatives leaguewide over his four seasons with the organization. Additionally, the Thunderbirds welcomed Keith Allen as coordinator of Community Relations. Allen joined the Thunderbirds as an intern in Game Operations and Community Relations during the 2021-22 season following the completion of his degree from Southern New Hampshire University. He will assist the Thunderbirds and the T-Birds Foundation in charitable ventures throughout the Pioneer Valley, including appearances by team mascot Boomer and Thunderbirds players.

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Richard Segool, a pediatrician practicing at Pioneer Valley Pediatrics and co-founder of Health New England, is retiring from the Health New England board and from his practice, mostly. He will still see patients one day a week but is largely pulling away from his practice of 47 years. To honor his contribution to the local healthcare ecosystem, Health New England has made a $100,000 grant to the Baystate Division of Midwifery and Community Health’s Community Connections Program, to help with maternal and infant care. The focus could not be more personal for Segool, as he and his wife, Hélène, experienced the loss of a twin daughter at birth. In 1986, Baystate Medical Center, two other hospitals, and a group of physicians formed an innovative, co-owned health plan with a mission to improve the health and lives of the people in the communities they served. As one of the first to join the plan and a member of the charter corporation, Segool has helped guide Health New England as it evolved into the only local not-for-profit, hospital-owned health plan in the region. He has served on its board of directors since then.

People on the Move
Jackson Findlay

Jackson Findlay

John Santaniello

John Santaniello

Freedom Credit Union recently announced the hiring of two staff members for its new loan-production office at 115 Elm Street in Enfield, Conn.: Jackson Findlay, mortgage loan originator, and John Santaniello, assistant vice president of Member Business Lending. Findlay will be responsible for helping guide members through mortgage loan options, preparing and submitting mortgage loan applications, and working with prospective homebuyers throughout the process of obtaining a mortgage loan. A graduate of Newbury College with a bachelor’s degree in international business and Elms College with an MBA, he previously served as a virtual mortgage officer with another financial institution. Santaniello will work with businesses seeking loans, including term, Small Business Administration, commercial real estate, and commercial vehicle loans. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He previously worked at another financial institution in Connecticut as assistant vice president of Commercial Lending.

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Robert Ciraco

Robert Ciraco

Michael Ostrowski, president and CEO of Arrha Credit Union, announced that Robert Ciraco has been promoted to the role of executive vice president, chief lending officer. Ciraco joined Arrha in 2019 and served as vice president, chief lending officer for all aspects of residential and commercial lending. He has more than 25 years in the financial-services lending industry. During his extensive career, he has been responsible for all aspects of lending. He was vice president of Residential and Consumer Lending for Rockville Bank, a $2 billion community bank, where he was in charge of loan processing, underwriting, loan closings, quality control, secondary market sales, loan servicing, and administration of all residential and consumer loan systems. After leaving Rockville, Ciraco built a highly successful, high-volume wholesale lending operations center to support East Coast loan originations for a West Coast wholesale lender as director of Operations. He has been involved in youth hockey for more than 15 years, coaching and serving as a board member at several different hockey organizations.

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Michael Tiberii

Michael Tiberii

Tom Ingle

Tom Ingle

Nicole LaCroix

Nicole LaCroix

Fontaine Bros. Inc., a construction management and general contracting firm serving the public and private sectors since 1933, recently announced three new hires to the organization: Michael Tiberii as senior project supervisor, Tom Ingle as project supervisor/manager, and Nicole LaCroix as project manager. Tiberii joins Fontaine from AECOM Tishman, where he was vice president of MEP Services. With more than 35 years of experience, he has worked on projects in many sectors including life science, hospitality, and residential. He completed the Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Architectural Design and Drafting program and earned a certificate from the University of Texas’ Project Management program. Before joining Fontaine, Ingle was a general contractor who managed his own construction and remodeling company. He is a licensed construction supervisor and earned a degree in business management from Providence College. Lacroix comes to Fontaine from Bowdoin Construction. She earned a master’s degree in construction management from Wentworth Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in interior design. Her diverse experience includes a wide range of projects in the academic and life-science sectors.

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The Western Mass. Hyundai dealers (Balise, Gary Rome, and Country) surprised Bob “the Bike Man” Charland with a new 2023 Hyundai Tucson yesterday at his repair shop at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield. Charland is the founder of Pedal Thru Youth Inc. He started working with children in 2003 when he led a Girl Scout troop for his daughter and coached her softball team. He started teaching automotive for Willie Ross School for the Deaf in 2012. Around the same time, he started fixing up bikes to donate to less fortunate kids. In 2017, after being diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease, he decided that he wanted to create a formal organization and start donating bikes to large groups of children. Thus, the idea for Pedal Thru Youth was born. Charland has made significant contributions to the community that also includes volunteering his time to supply law-enforcement agencies around Massachusetts and Connecticut with backpacks filled with essential supplies for the homeless. Hyundai Salute To Heroes is an annual event that was launched in 2021 and brought to the Western Mass. region by Gary Rome, president of Gary Rome Hyundai and president of the Hyundai Dealers Advertising Assoc., to recognize local, everyday heroes. The Hyundai Tucson SEL AWD is valued at $33,495, and the dealers are paying for all taxes and fees associated with the vehicle.

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Charlie D’Amour

Charlie D’Amour

Gregory Thomas

Gregory Thomas

Aaron Vega

Aaron Vega

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) announced the appointment of three new trustees. Charlie D’Amour, Gregory Thomas, and Aaron Vega, each of which began their three-year terms in October, will provide guidance and leadership during a pivotal time for CFWM, which embarked on a national search for its next president and CEO earlier this year. D’Amour is the president and CEO of Big Y, where he is responsible for the successful development and execution of long-term strategies for the company. Throughout his tenure at Big Y, he has been instrumental in the development and growth of all aspects of the business, including its World Class Supermarkets, its other retail-store formats, distribution and facilities-management capabilities, and support functions. D’Amour is board member and serves on the public affairs committee for FMI, the national food-industry association. He is also a member of the board and executive committee and former chair of Topco Associates Inc., a member-owned, $16 billion buying consortium headquartered in Chicago. He has served as the chairman of Baystate Health and serves on the board and is a former chair of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council. Thomas serves as executive director and lecturer at UMass Amherst. Thomas has an extensive background in business as both a strategic manager and a professor. Since 2018, he has been at UMass Amherst, serving in a dual role as a lecturer at the Isenberg School of Management and executive director of the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship. Additionally, since 2008, he has served as a manufacturing strategy manager for a multi-national technology company. His volunteer experience includes roles on the Northampton Chamber of Commerce, Beta Sigma Boule Foundation in Springfield, and the Corning Children’s Center in Corning, N.Y., where he served as both president and treasurer. Vega was appointed director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development for the city of Holyoke in 2020. Prior to his appointment, he served as state representative for the 5th Hampden District. He continues his focus on providing constituent services, education policy, and economic development. Over the past 10 years, he has been involved in several local nonprofit boards and volunteer projects.

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Country Bank recently announced four promotions. Lisa DiMarzio and Scott Emerson were promoted to first vice presidents. DiMarzio oversees the bank’s Compliance and Community Reinvestment area. She has worked in various positions as a long-tenured team member with 36 years at Country Bank. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Anna Maria College. In addition, she is a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies and the American Bankers Assoc. Stonier Graduate School of Banking, where she also earned a Wharton leadership certification. Emerson has more than 20 years of experience in the technology industry and has been an essential part of the Innovation and Technology team at Country Bank for the last 17 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from UMass Amherst and has completed several technology-related certifications throughout the course of his career. Dianna Lussier, who oversees the Risk Management area, has been promoted to vice president. She has been with Country Bank for 18 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Worcester State University with a concentration in finance and accounting. She is also a graduate of the Massachusetts Bankers New England School for Financial Studies. She is currently attending the American Bankers Assoc. Stonier Graduate School of Banking and completing her Wharton leadership certification. Jason Bourbeau was promoted to Technology Architecture officer. He has been with Country Bank for eight years, earned an associate degree in computer systems engineering from Springfield Technical Community College, and is certified as a Cisco network professional.

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Jane Johnson Vottero

Jane Johnson Vottero

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Jane Johnson Vottero as its new director of Marketing and Strategic Communications. Vottero joins HCC after 21 years at Springfield College, where she has worked as manager of editorial services, publications director, director of executive communications, and, most recently, editorial director. Her work includes award-winning publications, executive speech writing, supervision of creative and volunteer teams, advertising campaigns, newspaper reporting, freelance correspondence, development writing, web writing, video production, and strategic communications for businesses, nonprofits, and political and social-issue campaigns. At HCC, Vottero will oversee the operations of marketing, media relations, social media, graphic design, website management, publications, and other internal and external communications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from UMass Amherst and a master’s degree in psychology from Springfield College. She has worked as a writer, editor, and publicist in Western Mass., including at Baystate Health, the Western Massachusetts Business Journal (now BusinessWest), the Westfield Evening News, and Barron’s Business and Financial Weekly. She is a past president of the Junior League of Greater Springfield, the founding president of CISV Greater Springfield, and a graduate of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact.

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Meridith Salois

Meridith Salois

bankESB recently promoted Meridith Salois to vice president, Commercial Credit Systems Management. Salois joined bankESB in 2001 as a loan servicer and progressed over time to collections assistant, credit analyst, and senior credit analyst before being elected officer in 2015 and promoted to assistant vice president in 2016. In 2020, she was promoted to assistant vice president, Commercial Credit Systems manager. She was responsible for leading the commercial integration group for bankESB parent Hometown Financial Group’s recent acquisition of Randolph Bancorp and Envision Bank. Salois holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Bay Path College and is a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies. She currently serves as vice president of the LoanVantage User Group and is an active volunteer in her community with the Southampton Road PTO and All 4-Kids Consignment Sale.

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John Miarecki

John Miarecki

Shawna Griffin

Shawna Griffin

Erica Moulton

Erica Moulton

Susan Mayhew

Susan Mayhew

Market Mentors, the region’s largest marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, is proud to announce the addition of four new team members, adding to the depth and expertise of its staff. The hires span multiple departments, including account services, media buying, and administration. John Miarecki joined the agency as director of Growth and Development. A marketing guru with almost 15 years of experience in various roles, as well as degrees in marketing and psychology from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, he is tasked with assisting with business development, client services, internal operations and talent development. Shawna Griffin is the agency’s new media planner/buyer, bringing with her two decades of experience in the field. A graduate of Hofstra University, she is adept at creating comprehensive media plans that drive action and results. Erica Moulton joined the agency as an account executive with nearly 20 years of expertise in all things communications, including social media, public relations, referral relations, fundraising, account management, and more. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Catholic University of America and has extensive expertise in the healthcare and nonprofit verticals. Susan Mayhew made her return to Market Mentors as office manager, a position she previously held for four years before moving to Colorado and then South Carolina. With more than 25 years of business administration experience, she is responsible for office management, including financials (including accounts payable, accounts receivable, and reporting) and some human-resources duties.

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Jessica Oliver

Jessica Oliver

Hometown Mortgage, a division of bankESB, recently announced that Jessica Oliver has been hired as a loan officer. Oliver has more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry. Prior to her hiring at Hometown Mortgage, she was employed as a loan officer at First Eastern Mortgage for 15 years and at Fairway Independent Mortgage for nearly seven years.

People on the Move
Andrew Coston

Andrew Coston

Elms College has named higher-education executive Andrew Coston the college’s new vice president of Student Affairs. Reporting directly to the president, Coston is responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the college’s Student Affairs office. Coston is joining Elms from Gustavus Adolphus College (GAC) in Saint Peter, Minn., where he recently served as assistant dean of students and executive director of GAC’s Center for Career Development. Prior to that, he was director of Career Services at Cecil College in Maryland. In his new role at Elms, Coston is responsible for providing leadership, management, and supervision to the dean of students, the director of Campus Ministry, the director of Residence Life, and director of the Health Center. Additionally, he is a member of the president’s cabinet. Coston has more than 20 years of higher-education experience in student affairs and career services. He holds a doctoral degree in education from Morgan State University in Maryland, a master’s degree in school counseling from Loyola College in Maryland, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Assumption College in Worcester.

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Heather Arbour

Heather Arbour

Monson Savings Bank recently announced the promotion of Heather Arbour to the role of assistant vice president, BSA/Fraud officer, and Compliance manager. Arbour has been with Monson Savings Bank for 15 years, previously serving in the role of BSA officer and Compliance manager. In her new role, she is responsible for overseeing the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering programs for the bank and ensuring compliance with banking regulations. Additionally, she manages the Retail Operations department and serves on the bank’s compliance, CRA & fair lending, and IT steering committees. Arbour is a graduate of Springfield Technical Community College, where she earned highest honors, was a dean’s list recipient, and received an associate degree in business administration. She is currently enrolled in the American Women’s College at Bay Path University, where she is an honors student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration and minoring in criminal justice, while serving as a peer mentor. In 2021, she graduated from the New England School for Financial Studies with honors. As a volunteer and co-treasurer for the Monson and Palmer Salvation Army and a dedicated parent volunteer for the Monson Parent Teacher Student Assoc., she is committed to contributing to local communities.

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The Springfield Thunderbirds announced the return of Steve Forni as the team’s public-address (PA) announcer inside the MassMutual Center. A native of Agawam, Forni began his pro-hockey announcing career with the Springfield Falcons in 2015 and held the position with the Thunderbirds from 2016 to 2020. During the 2021-22 season, he served as one of the PA voices of the NHL’s Boston Bruins at the TD Garden. He also currently serves as the PA voice of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun.

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Kristina Hamel

Kristina Hamel

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union recently introduced the newest addition to its senior management team: Kristina Hamel, who joins UMassFive as vice president of Human Resources. Hamel comes to UMassFive from Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield, where she worked for the past 20-plus years, overseeing up to 250 employees and more than 150 volunteers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Bay Path University and has earned her Senior Professional Human Resource certification. At UMassFive, Hamel will oversee all employee hiring, training, recognition, and diversity program efforts.

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Pioneer Valley Financial Group (PVFG) recently appointed Kelly Haber and Karen Nogueira to partner. Haber began her journey at PVFG in 2016 as director of Compliance. Armed with her FINRA series 7, 66, and 24 designations, she was quickly promoted to chief operating officer. Nogueira started her career at PVFG in 2006 as a sales assistant. With strong dedication and loyalty to the client experience, she was promoted to director of Client Relations.

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Justin Goldberg

The Royal Law Firm announced it recently welcomed attorney Justin Goldberg to the team. Goldberg received his bachelor’s degree from Hartwick College, his master’s degree in teaching with secondary mathematics certification from Simmons College, and his juris doctor from Western New England University School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the state of Massachusetts and the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

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Excel Dryer Inc., manufacturer of the XLERATOR hand dryer, announced that Scott Kerman has been hired as business development manager – specifications. In this new role, Kerman will work with the Excel Dryer Sales and Marketing teams to grow profits; nurture, retain, and support partner relationships; conduct demonstrations and sales presentations; and much more. Kerman, a graduate of Arizona State University, has more than 30 years of experience in sales and business development. He has extensive product knowledge with numerous construction market segments and will tap into this experience at Excel Dryer to help grow and support the construction team’s annual profit by leveraging data in construction platforms.

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Friends of Children Inc. presented Clare Higgins, executive director of Community Action Pioneer Valley and former mayor of Northampton, with its 2022 Changemaker Award at a dinner on Oct. 26 at the Garden House in Look Park. Higgins is being presented with the Changemaker Award to celebrate her accomplishments, advocacy, and impact. She has been a steadfast advocate for vulnerable people in the Pioneer Valley, including children and young people served by Friends of Children, since 1993. Higgins began her service in the Pioneer Valley as a member of the Northampton City Council beginning in 1993. She served as mayor of Northampton from 1999 to 2011. Friends of Children is dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults impacted by foster care or juvenile-justice involvement. There agency addresses the needs of high-risk children who are not readily supported by systems designed to protect them and encourage their full participation in society.

People on the Move
Christine Shea

Christine Shea

David Lawson

David Lawson

Nicholas Mishol

Nicholas Mishol

Taylor Sawicki

Taylor Sawicki

Olivia Freeman

Olivia Freeman

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) recently welcomed Christine Shea, CPA, MSA as a manager; David Lawson, MSA as a tax supervisor; Nicholas Mishol and Taylor Sawicki as associates; and Olivia Freeman as an administrative assistant. Shea joined MBK in 2022 with more than 25 years of experience in general accounting, cost accounting, auditing, and tax in both public accounting and corporate firms. She holds a master’s degree in accounting from Northern Illinois University and is a certified public accountant in the state of Massachusetts. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA). Lawson joined MBK in 2022. He has practiced public accounting since 2018 and worked for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Treasury for 16 years. His experience in several different divisions and job functions at the IRS provides a strong basis for understanding a variety of tax issues and insight into the IRS’s approach to compliance issues. Mishol is a member of the Audit and Accounting department at MBK. He received his bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst and holds an associate degree in business administration from Holyoke Community College. He has practiced public accounting since June 2022. Sawicki is a member of the Audit and Accounting department at MBK. She has worked in public accounting since January 2021, working mainly with individual tax returns, and looks forward to expanding her experience as an audit associate. She holds a bachelor of business administration degree, concentrating in accounting. Freeman joined Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. as an administrative assistant. She brings an attitude of efficiency, hard work, ambition, and care to the team at MBK, seeking to make clients feel comfortable and cared for by the firm.

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The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts’ trustees of the Order of William Pynchon announced their selection of two local residents, Carol Cutting and Sherry Elander, as recipients of this year’s Pynchon Medal. Cutting has been the owner and operator of WEIB 106.3 FM since 1999. She persisted through a protracted legal battle to become the first black woman to operate a radio station in Massachusetts. In so doing, she fulfilled a 15-year vision of bringing representation of the region’s African-American community to the airwaves. She has also served in a host of change-making organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha and the National Assoc. of Black-Owned Broadcasters. For nearly 24 years, Elander has served as a special-education teacher in Westfield Public Schools, with a special focus in helping students transition to life after their formal education. Throughout her career, she has built a program designed to bring college, career, and other life goals within reach for countless students with intellectual, developmental, and/or physical disabilities. The program she developed, and the network of advocacy she built, has become a model for districts throughout the state and for educators across the country. She has developed partnerships with colleges and universities, local businesses, and policymakers in Western Mass. and beyond, all with a view to maximizing opportunity for her students. The presentation of the Pynchon Medal and celebration will take place on Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Delaney House in Holyoke. Event details and ticket information can be found at adclubwm.org or by calling (413) 342-0533.

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Kayla Staley

Kayla Staley

The Springfield Museums announced the 2022 Ubora Award and Ahadi Youth Award winners. Now in its 31st year of celebrating leadership by people of African heritage, the Ubora Award honors Dr. Gerald Cutting and Carol Moore Cutting as exemplary leaders and role models. Meanwhile, the 13th Ahadi Youth Award honors the activist energy and artistic power of Kayla Staley. The award ceremony will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Wood Museum of Springfield History. Dr. Gerald Cutting is the first and only African-American individual to own and operate a veterinary hospital and clinic in Western Mass. At age 11, he decided he wanted to be a veterinarian so he could help save animals. After graduating as a doctor of veterinary medicine from Tuskegee University in Alabama, he worked hard to achieve this dream of owning his own practice, mentoring and encouraging students to explore STEM careers. For almost 50 years until his retirement, he lived his dream of serving multiple generations of ‘pet parents’ at his clinic in Chicopee. With the goal of connecting community through communication, Carol Moore Cutting applied in 1984 to the Federal Communications Commission for a radio frequency permitting her to build a FM station. After an exhaustive 15-year legal battle with an existing broadcaster, she prevailed all the way to the Washington D.C. Court of Appeals, and finally began test broadcasting in 1999. She became the first woman in Massachusetts and the first African-American in New England to be granted a construction permit to build, own, and continuously operate an FM radio station, WEIB-106.3 Smooth FM. Staley is a rising senior at the Conservatory of the Arts in Springfield, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and earning more than $20,000 in vocal scholarships since January 2021, as she was selected to receive private coaching and lessons from Broadway stars, college professors, summer overnight music intensive enrichment camps, and master classes with Broadway coaches. She is a frequent guest artist with Grammy winner Ben Gundersheimer (Mister G), and she often performs in the community. Staley is among two students from the Conservatory of the Arts accepted into the Massachusetts Music Educator’s Assoc. Western Regional Honors Festival Choir, the first time in 20 years any student has represented the city of Springfield in this event.

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Local law firm Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin announced that eight of its attorneys were listed in Best Lawyers in America 2023. Steven Schwartz was named a Lawyer of the Year in the field of business organizations. He was also selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in the fields of bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law, business organizations (including LLCs and partnerships), closely held companies and family business law, and corporate law. Michele Feinstein was named a Lawyer of the Year in the field of trusts and estates and was also selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in the fields of litigation: trusts and estates, elder law, and trusts and estates. Mark Esposito was named One to Watch by Best Lawyers in the field of litigation: labor and employment. The other attorneys selected by their peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2023 are: Gary Fentin, who was recognized in the fields of banking and finance law and commercial transactions/uniform commercial code (UCC) law; Carol Cioe Klyman, selected in the fields of elder law and trusts and estates; Managing Partner Timothy Mulhern, recognized in the fields of corporate law and tax law; James Sheils, recognized in the field of commercial transactions/UCC law; and Steven Weiss, selected in the fields of bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law.

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Arlen Carballo

Arlen Carballo

E. David Wilson

E. David Wilson

American International College (AIC) announced Arlen Carballo as a new member of the board of trustees and long-time board member E. David Wilson as trustee emeritus. Carballo is the executive director of Finance for MGM Springfield, overseeing all aspects of finance operations for both gaming and non-gaming areas. She has been part of the MGM Springfield team since the property opened in 2018, serving as the resort’s first director of Financial Planning. Prior to MGM Springfield, Carballo was part of the opening team for MGM National Harbor in Maryland. She is a graduate of the MGM Resorts Management Associate Program and has held leadership roles across both finance and operations at MGM’s Bellagio and Mandalay Bay properties in Las Vegas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management from Northern Arizona University and is a graduate of the HACR 2022 Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers program. Wilson joined the AIC board of trustees in 1991, while serving as president of Milton Bradley. A graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program, he was vice president of Parker Brothers before joining Milton Bradley as manager in the game division in 1980. He was later promoted to senior vice president of Sales by Hasbro Industries, the parent company, before being named president, a title he held until his retirement in 2005. In June 2021, following 30 years of service to the institution, Wilson retired from the AIC board of trustees.

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Bulkley Richardson announced that 16 lawyers from the firm were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in 2023 edition of Best Lawyers in America. They include: Peter Barry (in the practice areas of construction, education, healthcare); Kathleen Bernardo (real estate); Michael Burke (medical malpractice law: defendants, personal injury litigation: defendants); Mark Cress (banking and finance, bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law, corporate); Francis Dibble Jr. (bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, criminal defense: white-collar, litigation: labor and employment, litigation: securities); Daniel Finnegan (administrative/regulatory law, construction, litigation: construction); Scott Foster (business organizations, including LLCs and partnerships); Mary Jo Kennedy (employment); Kevin Maynard (commercial litigation, litigation: banking and finance, litigation: construction); David Parke (corporate, mergers and acquisitions); Jeffrey Poindexter (commercial litigation, litigation: construction); John Pucci (bet-the-company litigation, criminal defense: general practice, criminal defense: white-collar); Jeffrey Roberts (corporate, trusts and estates); Michael Roundy (commercial litigation); Elizabeth Sillin (nonprofit/charities law, trusts and estates); and Ronald Weiss (corporate, mergers and acquisitions, tax).

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Emi Lee

Emi Lee

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union recently introduced Emi Lee as the newest member of its expanding UMassFive Retirement Planning and Investments team available through CUSO Financial Services, LP. Lee supports two of the credit union’s CFS financial advisors, Aimee Marden and Dana Graham. She schedules appointments, sends appointment reminders, and helps with advisor administrative duties and service work. As an advisor assistant, she is also now the primary contact for current and prospective clients looking to work with Marden and Graham. After joining UMassFive as a part-time member service representative in November 2019, Lee quickly transitioned into a full-time position as a member service specialist at the Hadley branch in March 2020. In that role, she excelled at educating members financially and connecting them to the financial services most relevant to their needs. Her background includes a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Smith College.

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Community Access to the Arts (CATA) announced the appointment of Kelly Galvin as program director. She joins current CATA staff members Jeff Gagnon and Kara Smith, who have been promoted to the program director position, to create a new, three-person arts leadership team at the nonprofit, reporting to Executive Director Margaret Keller. CATA strategically restructured staff roles to develop a shared program leadership model, following the retirement of long-time staff member Dawn Lane, coupled with vigorous growth in CATA’s arts programs serving people with disabilities. The three-person arts leadership team will work closely with Keller to seize opportunities and provide inclusive arts programs for people with disabilities across the Berkshires and Columbia County. Galvin joins CATA as an accomplished director, producer, and teaching artist. She has been a company member with Shakespeare & Company since 2008 and served as the artistic associate at WAM Theatre. As a director and producer, she has led acclaimed productions at Shakespeare & Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, the Theater at Woodshill, and Gloucester Stage, and assisted at regional theatres including the Guthrie and Asolo Repertory Theatre. She is the founder of the rig, an organization in Western Massachusetts working to create connections through the arts and to redistribute cultural resources to a larger portion of the community.

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Charlene Smolkowicz

Charlene Smolkowicz

Freedom Credit Union recently announced the promotion of Charlene Smolkowicz from commercial credit manager to assistant vice president. She has been with Freedom since 2016 and is based in the main office in Springfield. In her role, she manages the Commercial Credit department, underwriting process, and analyst team for commercial and industrial, commercial mortgage/commercial real estate, and nonprofit borrowers. She is also responsible for maintaining sound portfolio credit quality and monitoring risk. Smolkowicz earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration at Northeastern University in Boston and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management at Bay Path University. She also completed the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. Advanced School of Commercial Lending at Babson College. Active in the community, she serves as treasurer and chairs the finance committee for the board of directors for Viability Inc., and participates in both the WIT (Women Innovators & Trailblazers) Mentor Match Program and the Springfield School Volunteers Read-Aloud program. She was recognized by United Way of Pioneer Valley as Volunteer of the Year in 2012.

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St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced that the club hired Jordan Smith as an assistant coach for the Blues’ AHL affiliate, the Springfield Thunderbirds. Smith spent the last five years in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) as an associate coach with the Sudbury Wolves (2017-18) and Soo Greyhounds (2018-22). He was on the same coaching staff as current Thunderbirds Goalie Coach Dan Stewart with the Greyhounds from 2018 to 2020. Smith reached the postseason with Soo in 2019 and 2022. Smith is now the third member of the Thunderbirds’ coaching staff with ties to the Soo organization. Head coach Drew Bannister served in the same position for the Greyhounds from 2015 to 2018. A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Smith began his coaching career in 2012-13 with the Thunder Bay North Stars of the Superior International Junior Hockey League before serving four seasons as a head coach with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (2013-17), where he won four division titles and compiled a 176-29-10-3 record. In his playing career, Smith was a second-round selection by the Anaheim Ducks in 2004 but was forced to retire from professional hockey due to injury after two AHL seasons with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks and Portland Pirates. He also skated for the Greyhounds from 2001 to 2005, putting up 68 points in 211 games in the OHL. In addition, the Springfield Thunderbirds announced two staff promotions and two new hires ahead of the 2022-23 season. Matthew McRobbie has been promoted to director of Business Development. An original member of the Thunderbirds’ front office, this is McRobbie’s third promotion within the organization. He served as a senior account executive from 2016 to 2021 before taking on the role of manager of Ticket Sales last season, where he oversaw the Thunderbirds’ team-record year in tickets sold and ticket revenue. In his new role, McRobbie, an alumnus of Springfield College, will be focused on working with local and national brands in the Thunderbirds’ Corporate Sales department. Additionally, John Jones, Jr. has been promoted to senior account executive. An alumnus of Florida State University, Jones has been a member of the Thunderbirds’ Ticket Sales department since the 2018-19 season. The Thunderbirds have also announced the hires of Nate Lynch and Alana Mather as account executives in ticket sales. Lynch joins the Thunderbirds full-time after serving as an intern in the team’s Ticket Sales department. He graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2021. Mather joins the Thunderbirds after serving as an intern with the team for two seasons while a student at Western New England University.

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Megan Moynihan

Megan Moynihan

Sydney Brady

Sydney Brady

United Way of Pioneer Valley (UWPV) announced two new appointments within the company. Longtime employee Megan Moynihan has been promoted to serve as UWPV’s chief operating officer. In this role, she will oversee all daily operations and fundraising. She previously held the positions of senior director of Finance and manager of Finance & Operations, and she has been in UWPV’s Finance department since 2012. Moynihan holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and administration from Salve Regina University and is a graduate of the Springfield Leadership Institute program. Sydney Brady joined UWPV in June as the call-center supervisor for the Call2Talk Center in Springfield. Call2Talk is United Way’s emotional-support and suicide-prevention hotline. Brady holds a bachelor’s degree from Lasell University and previously served as a Call2Talk intern. She is currently earning her master’s degree in Social Work at Springfield College.

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Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., a labor and employment law firm serving employers in the Greater Springfield and Worcester areas, announced that one of its partners, Timothy Murphy, has been recognized by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for 2023. He is listed in three fields: employment law: management, labor law: management, and litigation: labor and employment. Focusing his practice on labor relations, union avoidance, collective bargaining and arbitration, employment litigation, and employment counseling, Murphy has been included in Best Lawyers in America every year since 2013, and was Lawyer of the Year in 2015, 2018, 2020, and 2022. Murphy is very active within the local community, sitting on boards of directors for several area organizations, such as the Human Service Forum and Community Legal Aid. He also is a member of the World Affairs Council.

 

People on the Move
Kyle Toelken

Kyle Toelken

Jean Monska

Jean Monska

Florence Bank hired Kyle Toelken as assistant vice president and branch manager of the Belchertown branch and promoted longtime employee Jean Monska to branch manager of the Easthampton branch. Toelken was hired in May and has 12 years of banking experience. Committed to community involvement, he has volunteered with Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts, helping present lesson plans to school-aged children. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Franklin Pierce University. Monska has worked for Florence Bank since 2002. Before the promotion to branch manager, she served as assistant branch manager in the Hadley location for 14 years. In March 2020, she was promoted to senior assistant branch manager before transferring to the Easthampton branch in the same role. She holds an associate degree in business administration from Holyoke Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University. She is also a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies. In 2005, Monska was named to the Florence Bank President’s Club. The honor recognizes superior performance, customer service, and overall contribution to Florence Bank.

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Bay Path University announced the promotion of Michael Giampietro to senior vice president for Finance and Administrative Services. Giampietro joined Bay Path in 2006 as vice president for Finance and Administrative Services following a 16-year career at Holyoke Community College. A member of the university’s executive staff since arriving at Bay Path, he oversees significant areas of the university, including budget development, human resources, student financial services, facilities and capital planning, the bursar’s and controller’s offices, campus public safety, procurement, auxiliary services, and enterprise risk management. He also serves as staff liaison to a number of Bay Path board of trustees committees and has participated on New England Commission on Higher Education teams evaluating other accredited institutions. Currently, Giampietro serves on the finance committee at Baystate Health, and previously sat on the town of Longmeadow audit and capital planning committees, as well as the finance committee for St. Mary’s Parish in Longmeadow. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in public administration from UMass Amherst, and also attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard.

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Thomas Dowling

Thomas Dowling

Whittlesey announced the promotion of Thomas Dowling, CPA to partner. He is the newest member to join the growing leadership team. Dowling joined Whittlesey in 2017 and has more than 15 years of public accounting experience with a concentration in assurance, advisory, and tax services for nonprofit organizations and closely held businesses. He has expertise in advising clients on internal controls, fraud risk assessments, and strategic planning, and actively participates in the nonprofit and manufacturing niches. Outside of work, he is a committee member for the Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island Swish Night. Dowling earned a bachelor’s degree in accountancy and a master’s degree in taxation from Bentley University. He is an active member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, as well as the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

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Julie Copoulos, executive director of the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce, announced that she will step down from the organization on Aug. 19. “Since 2019, I have been supported and challenged by an adaptable and sharp board of directors, cohesive membership, and motivated municipal partners,” Copoulos said. “Together we have served the Chicopee business community in a meaningful and measurable way. I am humbled to have been in your service.” The Greater Chicopee Chamber is actively seeking an executive director who is committed to Chicopee business and community and has a strong background in business, advocacy, and leadership, she noted. To chamber members, she added, “thank you for remaining the heartbeat of our community.”

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Peter Picknelly IV

Peter Picknelly IV

Lauryn Picknelly-DuBois

Lauryn Picknelly-DuBois

Peter Pan Bus Lines’ Peter and Melissa Picknelly announced that their son, Peter Picknelly IV, has been promoted to director of Safety & Security. While in high school and college, Peter IV has worked in both Operations and Customer Service. He recently graduated magna cum laude from Western New England University with a degree in business management. He joins his sister, Lauryn Picknelly-DuBois, who was recently named controller for Peter Pan Bus Lines.

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MOSSO (the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra) has named Maestro Kevin Rhodes, former music director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO), the ensemble’s artistic advisor. Rhodes’ contract was not renewed by the SSO in 2021, ending his tenure as music director at 20 years. Rhodes was recently appointed chief conductor of the Slovak National Opera and Ballet in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia, giving him an artistic leadership role in a European city noted for its cultural diversity. He will continue to serve as music director for the Traverse City Symphony Orchestra in Michigan and as principal conductor of Boston’s Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. He has been a presence in the major musical capitals of Europe for more than 25 years, with credits including the Paris Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin State Opera, La Scala of Milan, the Dutch National Ballet, the Verona Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, and many others.

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Nicole Acevedo

Nicole Acevedo

Eastern States Exposition (ESE) announced that Nicole Acevedo is the newest addition to the organization’s Marketing department as Communications & Social Media manager. Acevedo graduated from Western New England University in May 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. Over the course of her collegiate career, she served as assistant editor of the Westerner, the university’s newspaper; served as hospitality chair for Spring Event, the campus’s largest music festival; wrote and voiced two scripts for WAMC Northeast Public Radio; and was a two-time winner of the BOLD Media Festival’s written category for her prose poems. In her new role, Acevedo will be responsible for print publications and projects, content creation for all social-media platforms, and maintaining a positive and effective presence across the digital spectrum.

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Jane Ralph, executive director of Construct Inc., has been elected to the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) board of directors, succeeding Liana Toscanini of the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires as regional representative. The transition will take place in September. The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network is a statewide organization dedicated to uniting and strengthening the entire nonprofit sector through advocacy, public awareness, and capacity building. MNN represents over 600 members and recently visited the Berkshires to provide policy and program updates. Ralph joins the board as Toscanini concludes a six-year stretch, the term limit for MNN board members.

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Wilbraham & Monson Academy has named former prep and collegiate standout and renowned coach Annie Kandel as head coach of its girls lacrosse team. Kandel will take the helm of the program at the start of the 2022-23 school year. Kandel will also assume the role of director of Parent Programs for the Academy and will coordinate advancement and development efforts with parents, alumni parents, and grandparents. She brings an array of experience in admissions, athletics, and student life from within the boarding school world to WMA. Kandel joins WMA after successful coaching stints at Groton School, Stuart Country Day School, Tabor Academy, Cheshire Academy, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, and the University of Colorado. She has led her teams to multiple state and New England championships as well as an undefeated, untied season. She also coaches for the Baystate Bullets Lacrosse Club. She is a product of independent schools, having been a standout athlete in field hockey, basketball, and lacrosse at Governor’s Academy before excelling in both field hockey and lacrosse at Lehigh University. She earned league, regional, and All-American honors in lacrosse and was named the Lehigh University Outstanding Athlete her senior year. She was also honored as a member of the Patriot League All-Decade team and played for the U.S. Women’s National Team in 1992-93.

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Patrick Carpenter

Patrick Carpenter

With extensive experience in resource development at Holyoke Community College, Boston College, Elms College, and Westfield State University, Patrick Carpenter is joining New England Public Media (NEPM) as senior director of Development. Most recently, he served as director in Institutional Advancement at HCC, where, under his leadership, annual giving increased dramatically, new-donor participation grew substantially, and a multi-year capital campaign was designed. Carpenter was the first Major Gifts officer at Westfield State University and increased private support of endowed funds through his major and planned giving work. He is a sponsor liaison for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District 1, president of the Southampton Youth Athletic Assoc. board of directors, and has served as president of the Elms College Alumni Assoc. Carpenter holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Elms College and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Bay Path University. He currently teaches sociology at Elms College as a member of its adjunct faculty.

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Holyoke Community College (HCC) Anthropology Professor Vanessa Martínez is the recipient of the 2022 Antonia Pantoja Award from the Latino Scholarship Fund of Western Massachusetts. The award, named after the noted Puerto Rican organizer and education activist, was presented on June 23 at the Latino Scholarship Fund’s 32nd annual meeting at the Log Cabin. The organization presents the award annually to an individual who has made a profound and significant contribution to education, demonstrating a dedication to the academic achievement of Latinx students. Martínez is co-director of HCC’s Honors Program and co-founder of the Women of Color Health Equity Collective, a Springfield-based nonprofit. In addition, her HCC classes frequently engage with community groups and Holyoke schools through service-learning projects. She has been teaching at HCC since 2006. In January, she also received the 2022 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award from Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Martínez was born in San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbus State University, a master’s degree from Georgia State University, and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts. In 2011, she received the Latino Teaching Excellence Award from then-Gov. Deval Patrick, and was selected in 2015 as a Leadership Fellow by the American Anthropological Assoc.

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Florence Hearing Health Care (FHHC) recently hired two new team members: Susan Pepin-Phillips, practice manager; and Dr. Cassandra Falvey, audiologist. They join Dr. Jennifer Sowards, audiologist and founder; Dr. Anna Niemi, audiologist; and Robin Verteramo, receptionist. Pepin-Phillips forged a career in marketing at two local community banks before moving into practice management at a local dental practice five years ago. She will be responsible for running the business side of the practice, but with her marketing eye, she’ll also be focused on making sure the brand is represented well in the running of the business. Falvey came to Florence Hearing from Baystate Health in Palmer. She has always been drawn to the field of communication sciences and disorders, earning a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in communication sciences and disorders from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, N.Y. in 2015. She then returned home to Western Mass. and earned her doctorate in audiology at UMass Amherst in 2019. Falvey completed her fourth-year externship at Baystate Wing Hospital and Medical Centers, where she continued to work and serve patients until joining the team at Florence Hearing Health Care. She holds a certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech, Language, and Hearing Assoc.

People on the Move

Greenfield Community College recently announced that Michelle Schutt will serve as the college’s 11th president, effective July 18. Currently serving as the vice president of community and learner services at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI), the state’s first Hispanic Serving Institution, Schutt was chosen from a competitive pool of four highly-qualified candidates. Schutt’s appointment was approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education on June 21. “From the moment I began researching Greenfield Community College, I was immediately drawn to the campus’s core values,” she said. “I am honored by the opportunity to serve Greenfield Community College as its next president and I look forward to ensuring that we meet the evolving needs of the students, employees, alumni and community members we serve.” Schutt will be taking the helm of GCC from Richard Hopper, who has served as interim president since August 2021. With more than 20 years of experience in higher education, Schutt has held leadership roles in all facets of education, including student affairs, academic services, and community learning. Schutt’s visionary leadership throughout her career has produced measurable enrollment and retention results. Notably, Schutt oversaw an enrollment increase of 3% at CSI during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, despite nationwide decreases due to the pandemic and an expected institutional decline of 15%. Schutt is steadfastly dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, showcasing them throughout her career. At CSI, she undertook efforts to improve Latinx student enrollment, which grew by nearly 9 percent during her tenure, created greater access to non-English speaking services across all departments, and petitioned for gender-neutral restrooms on campus. In addition to her most recent role as vice president of community and learner services, Schutt has served in a number of roles at CSI since 2015, including as vice president for student services. She has also taught college-level courses each semester and worked closely with state legislators on a variety of issues facing education. Prior to her work at CSI, Dr. Schutt held positions at Penn State University, the University of Wyoming, Hanover College and St. Cloud State University. Schutt holds a bachelor’s degree in English education from Upper Iowa University, master’s degrees in teaching and social responsibility from Emporia State University and St. Cloud University, and a doctorate in education and human resource studies from Colorado State University. She attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University and was a 2021-2022 Aspen Institute Rising Presidents Fellow.

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Lauren Rainville

Lauren Rainville

Amanda Walsh

Amanda Walsh

Nicholas Kubacki

Nicholas Kubacki

Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that Lauren Rainville, Amanda Walsh, and Nicholas Kubacki have been accepted into the Law Clerk program for the 2022-2023 school year. Bacon Wilson created the clerkship program more than 40 years ago to allow law school students to gain experience and mentoring in the legal profession. Many Bacon Wilson attorneys began their careers after their clerkship experience. The program is unique as it lasts for a year. Typically, clerks begin at the firm at the end of their second year of law school and stay through their third year. Clerks use their law school training to conduct important research assignments with attorneys in all practice areas. The clerks are an integral and important part of the firm and participate in various firm events during their time at Bacon Wilson, P.C. Rainville joined Bacon Wilson, P.C. in May. A Western New England University School of Law Candidate for Juris Doctorate in May 2024, she ranks in the top 25th percentile of her class and is the treasurer for the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. She earned her bachelor of Science degree, cum laude in Business Management from Bay Path University, in 2016. Her previous experience includes negotiations and settlements with claimants’ attorneys and pro-se claimants on personal and commercial auto damage, and injury losses in Connecticut. She has volunteered her time as an educator for Junior Achievement in Connecticut and Western Mass. from 2016 to 2018, and as a camp volunteer at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut in 2019. She is interested in pursuing a career in real estate law. She is a member of Western New England’s Real Estate Law Association and will be participating in the Western New England University’s Law School Real Estate Practicum in the Spring of 2023. Walsh joined the firm in May, and will be eligible for her Juris Doctorate in May 2023, from Western New England University School of Law. She spent two years at the University of London in Richmond, Surrey, as a transfer student and then earned her Bachelor of Political Science and Economics Degree, cum laude in May 2020 from Simmons University in Boston. Recently, she served as a fellow for The State House, and as a Blue Lab associate to the Liberty Square Group in Boston. She was elected 1L and 2L day class representative from September 2020 to May 2022. She has been interested in becoming an attorney since the age of 10. She has expressed interest in litigation and trust and estates. Kubacki joined Bacon Wilson, P.C. in May, and will be eligible for his Juris Doctorate in May 2023, from Western New England University School of Law. He earned his bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice, summa cum laude in May 2020 from Western New England University. He also was named to Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society for Student-Athletes. He is currently a teaching assistant in the Academic Success Center at Western New England, as well as a member of the Real Estate Law Association. Recently, he served as a legal intern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and as a Victim Witness Advocate intern at the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office.

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The Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) consortium announced that Anne Goodwin of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) received a Course of Distinction (COD) Award on June 2. The Course of Distinction awards are given annually to recognize excellence in design and delivery of online and hybrid courses across multiple categories. Goodwin designed and taught ‘Nutrition for Healthy Living,’ integrating individual and small-group activity, and providing authentic, humanized connections to support students’ engagement and academic success in an asynchronous environment.

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Mary-Beth Cooper

Mary-Beth Cooper

Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper will serve as a voting member on a new NCAA Board of Governors, the highest governance body of the NCAA. The board members will assume their duties on August 1. Cooper, the lone Division III delegate, was selected by the NCAA following the new NCAA constitution that was adopted in January by member schools and conferences. The new board includes nine voting members: four from Division I (at least one school president and one conference commissioner), one from the Division II Presidents Council, one (Cooper) from the Division III Presidents Council, two independent members and one graduated student-athlete. Cooper became the 13th president of Springfield College in August 2013. Known for her volunteer leadership, Cooper has served on the President’s Council of the NCAA, serves on the NIL Committee: NCAA Federal and State Legislation Working Group, and has been the president of the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC).

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Mychal Connolly

Mychal Connolly

At its recent commencement ceremonies, Holyoke Community College honored entrepreneur Mychal Connolly with its Distinguished Service Award. Connolly is co-founder of Stinky Cakes, a newborn baby gift company, and creator and chief brand ambassador of StandOutTruck.com, a digital mobile advertising and marketing agency. Connolly has served as an alumni mentor for the HCC Alumni Champions Mentorship Network, and last year established an annual scholarship through the HCC Foundation for business and marketing majors. He has also worked as a volunteer for HCC’s annual “Together HCC — Drive to Change Lives” fundraising campaigns. “Myke can be found talking about the impact of a Holyoke Community College education all across our region – in boardrooms, with aspiring leaders, and all along the streets of western Massachusetts thanks to the Stand Out Truck,” said President Christina Royal said. “He is a champion for HCC and we are pleased to celebrate his service to the college by recognizing him as this year’s Distinguished Service Award winner.”

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The Cohn & Company Real Estate Agency announced that Brian Marchand has joined its team of real estate professionals. Prior to working with Cohn & Company, Marchand was a real estate agent in the Albany, N.Y. area.

Daily News

AGAWAM — The Local Farmer Awards, a funding initiative launched in 2015 by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation (HGCF) and Big Y Foods, reached the million-dollar milestone in May.

Over the past eight years, more than 470 grants have been made to farmers in Western Mass. and the Berkshires. Along with the Big Y and HGCF are 25 generous community and individual donors including Ann and Steve Davis, Charles and Elizabeth D’Amour, PeoplesBank, DeNucci Group at Merrill Lynch, Farm Credit East, HP Hood LLC, Audrey & Chick Taylor, Baystate Health, Country Bank and others.

“Hitting a million dollars in giving is a proud milestone in providing help, support, encouragement to our local farmers and their families,” said Big Y President and CEO Charles D’Amour. “The multiplier effect of these awards ripples throughout our Western Mass region and provides the important underpinning of our regional economy.”

Last month, 74 farmers primarily located in Western Massachusetts received the 2022 awards — checks of up to $2,500 for infrastructure improvements. Totaling $165,500, these grants help sustain robust projects related to growing, harvesting, and processing. Maple farmers at Justamere Tree Farm in Worthington launded the installation of its new vacuum monitoring system. “The award will enable us to monitor the vacuum within our entire 100-acre sugarbush which negates the need for endless hours of searching for leaks in poor weather conditions while also reducing energy costs. It will be a game changer for us.”

Program director Cari Carpenter said that the publicity generated by the Local Farmer Awards draws much needed attention to the productivity of all farms in the region, whether or not they have been award recipients. “We want to celebrate and encourage every farm in Western Mass and the Berkshires, not only our winners. Happily, the program returned in March to an in-person appreciation party, including all 120 farms within our applicant reach this year. Donors were able to grasp the impact of what they are doing — and the potential to do even more.”

Daily News

EAST LONGMEADOW W.F. Young, a global leader in animal health products such as Absorbine® and The Missing Link®, received two awards at the 2022National Animal Supplement Council Annual Conference, the NASC Visionary Award, acknowledging the animal wellness company as an originating/founding member, and the Visibility Award, for Outstanding Promotion of the NASC Quality Seal.

The National Animal Supplement Council is a nonprofit trade organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the health of companion animals and horses throughout the United States. Founded in 2001, NASC is an all-industry association of stakeholders concerned with the issues surrounding the supply of health supplements for animals not intended for human consumption, such as dogs, cats, and horses.

“We’re honored and grateful for the NASC’s recognition, it has been a pleasure to work with them for over 20 years,” said Jaime McKinley, president of W.F. Young. “It’s important for us to align with an organization that cares about the wellness of our products as much as we do. We hope to maintain our relationship for years to come, and in that partnership, continue to assure customers that their pets receive the best quality and care.”

The 2022 NASC Annual Conference took place recently in St. Louis, Mo. at the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel. The event featured networking opportunities for all the attendees, breakout sessions for science, compliance, business, and marketing, as well as exhibiting from sponsors, and a dinner and awards gala. Audra Mulligan, director of Regulatory Affairs and Development, was present at the ceremony and accepted the awards on behalf of W.F. Young.

 

People on the Move

James Sullivan, president of The O’Connell Companies Inc., announced that the board of directors has named Matt Flink president of Appleton Corporation. Flink, who will be based in the firm’s Holyoke office, succeeds Paul Stelzer. Prior to joining Appleton in 2012, Flink worked in the real estate development and construction industry in Colorado and Florida. He has developed management services accounts in the transportation industry, and coordinated projects for The O’Connell Companies real estate portfolio of multi-family and commercial assets. “I am very excited to be named President of Appleton Corporation,” said Flink. “The culture of the company is based on our family-oriented core values and principles and our service delivery model is implemented across a diversified portfolio of management accounts. Our team is loaded with talent and energy, and I look forward to guiding the future strategic and management direction of the firm.” Appleton Corporation provides comprehensive property, facilities and asset management services, along with accounting and financial services, to managers and owners of commercial and residential properties in central New England.

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UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, under whose leadership the commonwealth’s flagship campus experienced a decade of unprecedented success and momentum, has announced that he will retire at the end of June 2023. Subbaswamy arrived in Amherst in July 2012, and during his tenure the campus has excelled in a wide range of key areas, including attracting growing numbers of diverse, high-achieving students, steadily improving graduation rates, and conducting cutting-edge research with real-world impact. “It has been a privilege to serve as chancellor of this great university,” said Subbaswamy. “I will forever treasure the support and friendship of the faculty, staff, students and alumni whom I’ve come to know over the past decade and am grateful for all that we have accomplished together. By channeling our revolutionary spirit, we have become one of the fastest rising top-tier public research universities in the country and I am confident that, in its next chapter, the University of Massachusetts Amherst will soar even higher.” In the latest U.S. News & World Report Colleges Guide, UMass Amherst is ranked No. 26 among the 209 public universities included in the national survey. A rankings rise from No. 52 in 2010 marks a 26-step ascent, principally during Subbaswamy’s tenure. Robert Manning, chair of the UMass Board of Trustees, has named UMass Trustee and UMass Amherst alumnus Victor Woodridge as chair of the search committee that will be appointed to identify candidates to be the next UMass Amherst chancellor. Under Subbaswamy’s leadership, the university has played a pivotal and unique role in educating the commonwealth. UMass Amherst alone enrolls more first-year students from Massachusetts than do the commonwealth’s top eight private universities combined. In addition, UMass Amherst awards more undergraduate STEM degrees than any other college or university in Massachusetts, public or private. Meanwhile, the university’s research enterprise is driving innovative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges and boosting the state’s economy. In FY 2021, UMass Amherst totaled $213 million in research expenditures, and it ranked first among public universities in New England in National Science Foundation grant awards. UMass Amherst recently secured major investments in computer science, fueling the Massachusetts tech economy. An $18 million naming gift will endow the Robert and Donna Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences. A state investment of $75 million—along with $30 million from the Amherst campus—will enhance and expand the college’s facilities, enabling accelerated enrollment growth. The university is also playing a lead role to help address the commonwealth’s pressing health care needs supported by the largest gift in UMass Amherst history to the Marieb College of Nursing. The $21.5 million naming gift from the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Charitable Foundation is advancing the university’s innovative nursing engineering center, and it is also providing support for student scholarships, an endowed professorship, and mentorship and research initiatives designed to further access, equity and excellence in nursing education.

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The Board of Trustees at Amherst College announced Wednesday that Michael Elliott, a 1992 graduate, has been named the next president of the institution. He will succeed Carolyn ‘Biddy’ Martin, who announced last year that she would retire from the presidency but continue teaching at the college. He is expected to begin work August 1. Elliott has been the chief academic and executive officer of Emory College of Arts and Science in Atlanta since 2016. He earned a doctorate in English and comparative literature at Columbia University in 1998. His bachelor’s degree from Amherst consisted of a dual major in Russian and English.

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Erik Lamothe

Erik Lamothe

bankESB recently promoted Erik Lamothe to assistant vice president, asset liability management. Lamothe joined bankESB in 2016 as ALM manager and was promoted to ALM officer in 2017. He has nearly 25 years of experience in banking, and is responsible for budgeting, forecasting, managing interest rate risk, and CECL for the Hometown Financial Group family of banks, which includes bankESB, bankHometown, and Abington Bank. Lamothe earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Westfield State University and his master’s degree in banking and financial studies from Boston University. He serves as a board member and Finance Committee member of the Lathrop Home in Northampton and is also a course instructor with the Center for Financial Training.

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Timothy M. Netkovick

Timothy M. Netkovick

Jennifer R. Sharrow

Jennifer R. Sharrow

Alayna Anderson

Alayna Anderson

Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that attorney Timothy M. Netkovick and attorney Jennifer R. Sharrow have joined the firm. Netkovick is a member of Bacon Wilson’s Employment Law Practice Group. He is licensed to practice in both Massachusetts and Connecticut and has significant experience in matters including employment and commercial litigation. He has been practicing law for 20 years, having earned his J.D. from Western New England College School of Law in 2002, and a B.S. magna cum laude from American International College in 1999. He was recognized as the School of Law Academic Scholarship Recipient during his time at Western New England, and an All-American Scholar in 1998 at American International. He will be working from Bacon Wilson’s Springfield location. Sharrow is a member of Bacon Wilson’s Commercial Law Practice Group. She is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She has more than a decade of experience working in public service, with experience in federal programs where she focused on municipal, non-profit, and business development. She earned her J.D. in 2010 from the University of Connecticut School of Law and earned a B.A. summa cum laude from the University of New Hampshire in 2007. She has volunteered her time by serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Habitat for Humanity from 2010 to 2011 and participated in multiple pro bono programs including the Women’s Bar Foundation Family Law Project and the Hampden County Bar Association Lawyer for the Day Program. Currently, she serves as the Legal Chair for the Shoshin Ryu Martial Arts Association and is a member of the Belchertown Zoning Board of Appeals. She will work from Bacon Wilson’s Springfield location. The firm also welcomed Alayna Anderson, as the marketing coordinator, who recently joined the firm at the Springfield location. She is a Cape Cod Native who since relocated to Springfield after earning her bachelor of Science degree in marketing as well as her master’s of Business Administration, both from Springfield College. She will work directly with Bacon Wilson’s Executive Director, Lisa Carpenter, on all aspects of managing the firm’s marketing and public relations for all five locations.

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Kevin Conway, whose IT expertise spans both domestic and global markets, has been named Senior Vice President & Chief Information & Digital Officer (SVP/CIDO) of Baystate Health. His appointment becomes effective June 27.

Conway, a strategic executive with more than 25 years of success in executive leadership, strategic planning, and consulting within large academic multi-facility healthcare IT systems, most recently served as client executive for Tegria Services Group, overseeing the clinical and digital transformation initiative for Northern Ireland. In his role, he was responsible for strategic direction and leadership of Epic Solutions deployment as part of the overall digital health strategy for acute, community, mental health, and social care services. Previously, Conway held the role of Chief Information Officer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he managed all facets of IT operations of clinical and essential service departments at UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, and UPMC Mercy & UPMC Magee-Womens Hospitals. He also served as VP of IT Advisory Services, chief information officer, and director of IT at UPMC.

Conway received his BA in Business Administration Health Management Systems from Robert Morris University. In his new role at Baystate Health, Conway will be a key senior executive responsible for the health system’s information and technology systems. His work will include system interoperability and optimization of IT systems, transformation of business processes, human-centered design, enhancements of patient-centered technologies, and focused work on cyber and information security.

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The Royal Law Firm recently welcomed Attorney Kylie Brown to its team. Brown received her bachelor’s degree from Lasell College and her juris doctor from Western New England University School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in the state of Connecticut. Prior to joining The Royal Law Firm, she worked as a Law Clerk of Court at the Connecticut Superior Courts in Hartford, Rockville and New Britain.

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Bulkley Richardson has welcomed five law students to its 2022 Summer Associate Program. The program will introduce law students to the inner workings of a law firm, where they will receive mentorship from lawyers ranging from firm leaders and retired judges all the way through the ranks to junior associates, and gain exposure to real-life legal matters.

This year’s Summer Associates are:

Allison Laughner, who is currently attending Western New England University School of Law, where she is on the Law Review staff. She is also working toward an MBA at Western New England University College of Business and earned a B.A. from Smith College;

Jacob Cronin is currently attending Northeastern University School of Law. He earned a B.A. from Connecticut College with additional coursework at Carnegie Mellon University and Georgetown University;

Sara Sam-Njogu is currently attending Western New England University School of Law. She earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from St. Lawrence University and participated in the Denmark International Study Abroad Program in Copenhagen, Denmark with a focus on international business;

Christa “Christabelle” Calabretta is currently attending the University of Connecticut School of Law and earned a B.A. from St. John’s University and an A.A. from Suffolk County Community College; and

Mumina Egal is currently attending the University of Connecticut School of Law, where in addition to a juris doctorate, she is seeking certificates in both Intellectual Property and Transactional Practice. Egal received a bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa.

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Country Bank announced the appointment of 16 new corporators from local businesses within the communities it serves at its annual meeting held at the Publick House in Sturbridge on June 6.

Newly appointed corporators include:

Grace Barone, director of the East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce;

Kelly Tufaro Bartholomew, a certified public accountant at Marcum LLP;

Heather Bean, an eCommerce IT PM/Tech Expert at Nestle;

Ashley Clark, vice president of Marketing & Sales at Quirk Wire Company Inc.;

Debra Cusson, owner of Spartan Auto Care Center;

Keshawn Dodds, executive director at the Boys & Girls Club Family Center;

Anthony Frasco, vice president of Corporate Sales & Marketing at Quality Beverage;

• Ivon Gois, president at Gois Broadcasting;

Russell Haims, owner and real estate investor at Hampton Properties, LLC;

Cherisa Hernandez, a middle/secondary clinical professor at Worcester State University;

Amie Miarecki, executive director at Christopher Heights of Belchertown.

Richard Morris Jr., chief information officer at Linedata;

Charles Norton, resident of Franklin Realty Advisors Inc.;

Jasmine Jina Ortiz, founder & principal CEO at HestiaLIVING;

Joseph Searles, president at International Container Company LLC.; and

• Erin Wynne, assistant head of School for Institutional Advancement at Eagle Hill School in Hardwick.

“While each of our markets offer a unique value proposition, we are adding strategic business professionals throughout the region to help us focus our efforts on the areas that will provide the bank with the greatest growth opportunities,” stated Paul Scully, president and CEO of Country Bank. “We are excited to have these new dedicated and experienced business professionals join us. Together, we look forward to the future with great optimism, continued success and making a difference in the lives of our customers, communities and team members.”

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Five University of Massachusetts faculty have been awarded the 2022 Manning Prize for Excellence in Teaching for their exemplary dedication to students and the university. The faculty members — one from each UMass campus — will receive $10,000 awards in recognition of their commitment to academic excellence. UMass Lowell alumni Rob and Donna Manning established the Manning Prize in 2016 to honor UMass professors who excel in teaching and service. With the selection of this year’s honorees, 35 UMass faculty members now have the distinct honor of being Manning Prize recipients. The winner from UMass Amherst is Lorraine Cordeiro, PhD, director of the Center for Research on Families and associate professor of Nutrition, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Cordeiro is a community-engaged scholar who describes herself as “an educator, a scientist, a first-generation college graduate, a U.S. immigrant, a woman, a cancer survivor, a multigenerational caregiver, and a community volunteer.” Cordeiro has been at the forefront of leading efforts for major curricula changes, new pedagogical approaches, and her department’s efforts in implementing and assessing holistic faculty teaching evaluation. Cordeiro has been nominated consistently for teaching awards; she is the recipient of the university’s 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award and the College Outstanding Teacher Award from UMass Amherst’s School of Public Health and Health Sciences in 2013.

Daily News

NORTH ADAMS — The Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) consortium announced that Anne Goodwin of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) received a Course of Distinction (COD) Award on June 2.

The Course of Distinction awards are given annually to recognize excellence in design and delivery of online and hybrid courses across multiple categories. Goodwin designed and taught ‘Nutrition for Healthy Living,’ integrating individual and small-group activity, and providing authentic, humanized connections to support students’ engagement and academic success in an asynchronous environment.

“While MCLA hosts mainly in-person classes during the academic year, this award shows that we do have the flexibility to offer high-quality online courses, as well,” said Goodwin, who is the second faculty member in MCLA’s Biology Department to earn recognition in recent years for outstanding online course design.

 

Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) is a collaborative of 24 public state higher education institutions involved in the design, delivery, management, and assessment of online, blended, and other technology-mediated learning formats. MCLA is a member institution of the consortium.

People on the Move
Darlene Rodowicz

Darlene Rodowicz

The Berkshire Health Systems board of trustees announced that a leadership transition will take place at BHS early in the new year. David Phelps, president and CEO, announced that he will leave BHS in early 2022, concluding a 31-year career of service to the local community, with 28 as the system’s chief executive. The 20-member board unanimously voted to appoint Darlene Rodowicz as the next president and CEO. Bart Raser, chair of the board, highlighted key successes from Phelps’s distinguished career as CEO, including rehabilitating the financial resources of the once-troubled health system, implementing substantial technological and facility improvements such as the Crane Center for Ambulatory Surgery and the BMC Cancer Center, building BHS’s affiliated long-term-care company, developing important clinical partnerships like Berkshire Medical Center’s membership in the Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative, and cultivating important relationships with local and state leaders that elevated the status and reputation of Berkshire Health Systems across the Commonwealth. Raser also praised Rodowicz as a strong leader with more than 30 years of experience in healthcare, a deep knowledge of the Berkshire community, and a sterling reputation among government leaders and healthcare colleagues across the Commonwealth. He particularly highlighted her leadership in orchestrating BHS’s successful pandemic response over the past two years. Rodowicz joined BHS in 1984 and served in various positions of increasing responsibility, including as chief financial officer from 2005 to 2020, when she was appointed executive vice president. She holds an MBA from Western New England College and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UMass Amherst.

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Tyler Humphrey

Tyler Humphrey

Viktoriia Protsyk

Viktoriia Protsyk

Troy Tanzer

Troy Tanzer

Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that Tyler Humphrey, Viktoriia Protsyk, and Troy Tanzer have joined the firm as associate attorneys. Humphrey is a member of Bacon Wilson’s business, corporate, and finance team. He has significant experience in business matters, including real-estate transactions, business formations, and dispute resolution. He has been practicing law for seven years, having earned his juris doctor degree cum laude from Suffolk University Law School in 2015, and a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State College in 2012. He was named to the Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch list for 2021-22 in the area of banking and finance law. Protsyk is a member of Bacon Wilson’s estate planning and probate team. She is licensed to practice in both Massachusetts and Connecticut, and will sit for the Florida bar exam in February 2022. Fluent in both Russian and Ukrainian, she received her juris doctor degree cum laude in 2021 from Western New England University School of Law, and earned a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Central Connecticut State University in 2018. Tanzer is a member of Bacon Wilson’s land use, zoning, and development team. He earned his juris doctor degree in 2021 from Western New England University (WNE) School of Law, having also earned an MBA the same year from WNE. He received his bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from WNE in 2017. He volunteers his time to the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinic in Springfield, providing assistance with tax-return preparation and electronic filing. He works primarily from Bacon Wilson’s Amherst location.

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Henry “Joe” Long Jr.

Henry “Joe” Long Jr.

American International College announced that Henry “Joe” Long Jr. joined AIC as associate vice president for Institutional Advancement on Nov. 29. Long will oversee all development operations, including major gifts, planned giving, annual giving, grants, advancement services, and constituent records. With more than 20 years of experience in fundraising, team building, and securing major and planned gifts, he comes to AIC from UMass Amherst, where he served as the executive director of Development for Libraries. At UMass Amherst, he partnered with a dedicated staff to enhance philanthropic support for all three library locations and strengthen donor stewardship and communication. Prior to UMass, Long worked at Springfield College for more than a decade with success in major giving, athletics development, and parent giving. Additionally, he has held numerous advancement leadership roles at Plymouth State University, including alumni director and interim director of advancement. Long served as a member of the board of directors for the Council of Advancement and Support of Education, District I, from 2009 to 2016, and currently serves on the African American Development Officers (AADO) network and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Diverse Philanthropy and Leadership Conference committee. His wife, Moira Long, is the head women’s volleyball coach at Springfield College.

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Douglas Scanlon

Douglas Scanlon

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Douglas Scanlon to the college’s Institutional Advancement team as its first development and external communications coordinator. Scanlon comes to HCC after serving for seven years as communications specialist in the Development office at Springfield College. Before that, he worked as assistant director of Institutional Marketing for Elms College in Chicopee. At HCC, he will be responsible for creating print, digital, and event-related messaging to support donor engagement, community engagement, and fundraising. He started on Nov. 29. Scanlon holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from St. Bonaventure University in New York.

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Rosey Mazza

Rosey Mazza

LUSO Federal Credit Union recently announced the appointment of Rosey Mazza as vice president of Lending, as well as the promotions of Wilbraham staff members Timothy Tracy and Stephen Lopes to branch manager and assistant branch manager, respectively. Mazza has close to 20 years of retail banking experience and previously served as LUSO’s Lending department manager for more than 14 years. As the newly appointed vice president of Lending, she will oversee the planning, directing, and organizing of the strategic and operational activities of LUSO’s retail and commercial lending programs. LUSO also promoted two Wilbraham-based member service representatives. Tracy has served the community as a senior member service representative at the Crane Park branch for the last four years. As branch manager, he will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the branch with Lopes’ assistance. Lopes began his career with LUSO in 2017 as a member service representative at the main branch and transitioned to the Crane Park location in 2020 as the head teller.

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Steve Herrell, founder of Steve’s Ice Cream in Somerville and Herrell’s Ice Cream in Northampton, announced the release of his new book, Ice Cream and Me. The book is somewhat biographical and contains stories from his 41 years as an innovator in the ice-cream industry. It is illustrated by local artist Allie Martineau. Herrell started ice-cream making at his business, Steve’s Ice Cream, in 1973, offering a creamy and dense ice cream and originating the mix-in. He created such notable flavors as Cookies ‘n’ Cream and Heath Bar Crunch. These innovations revolutionized the ice-cream industry. Ice Cream and Me is available at Broadside Books, A2Z Science and Nature, and Booklink Booksellers, all in Northampton; Amherst Books in Amherst; Odyssey Bookstore in South Hadley; and on Amazon.

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Yamilca Nogué

Yamilca Nogué

The Children’s Study Home (CSH) announced that Yamilca Nogué has been named the new director of Community Relations and Development. She joins the CSH senior leadership team and will work closely with the Executive Director and CEO William Dávila. Nogué brings more than a decade of experience in nonprofit and human services. Prior to joining the Children’s Study Home, she worked as a fundraising event coordinator for a large Western Mass. program and during that time also supervised its homefinding team, recruiting foster homes. She has a passion for working with and advocating for children. In addition to her professional experience, she has remained actively involved in her community and serves as a volunteer for the WNBA Her Time to Play program. Nogué is the first woman of color and first Latina to hold this position. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in counseling foundations and her MBA at Bay Path University. She is also a licensed social worker in the state of Massachusetts.

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Mary Cate Mannion

Mary Cate Mannion

Willie Ross School for the Deaf (WRSD) announced that Mary Cate Mannion has joined the school’s board of trustees. Mannion works for Garvey Communication Associates Inc. (GCAi) and is a former news anchor and reporter for Western Mass News. Mannion said her hard-of-hearing sister is part of the inspiration behind her joining the school’s board of trustees. Her sister underwent surgeries and gained more language access through hearing aids and the use of American Sign Language (ASL), and is now an educator at a school for the deaf and hard of hearing on the West Coast. Mannion is a public relations analyst and video producer with eight years of storytelling experience. She previously worked as a news reporter for WMTW-TV in the Portland, Maine area, and prior to that was at Western Mass News. She earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College.

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Mary Akers

Mary Akers

The board of directors of Work Opportunity Center Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping individuals with developmental disabilities obtain employment in the community and promoting social inclusion, has appointed Mary Akers as its new executive director. Akers replaces long-term Executive Director Robert MacDonald, who retired after 40 years. Following a 15-year career at American International College, where she served as associate athletic director and senior woman administrator, Akers joined Work Opportunity Center as its first assistant executive director in February 2015. She has held the position of interim executive director since January 2021. Akers holds an associate degree in business management from Elizabethtown Community College, and she received both her bachelor’s degree in business and MBA from American International College.

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Carolyne Hannan

Carolyne Hannan

Comcast has named Carolyne Hannan senior vice president of the company’s Western New England Region, leading a team serving more than 300 communities across Connecticut, Western Mass., Vermont, Western New Hampshire, and New York. In this role, Hannan is the top executive responsible for all aspects of the business, including customer experience, sales, marketing, operations, and financial performance. Hannan, who has held a series of progressively more senior management positions at Comcast over the past 17 years, returns to the Western New England Region, where she previously served as vice president of Sales and Marketing from 2008 to 2010. In her most recent role, Hannan served as vice president of Sales & Marketing for Comcast’s Freedom Region, which serves customers across Greater Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Northern Delaware.

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United Way of the Franklin & Hampshire Region has added four new members to its staff team, allowing it to enhance its work with partner organizations, donors, and general operations. The new hires will augment the organization with their combined experience in leadership, education, marketing, donor relations, database management, and accounting. They are all eager to be part of a nonprofit that impacts the community in a positive way. Jenny Coeur will serve as United Way’s program coordinator, Jenna Farrell as donor relations manager, Jennifer Nhong as database assistant, and Cathy Zimmerman as the organization’s bookkeeper. Coeur, who began her work at United Way in mid-July, was previously a teacher and Math Department chair at Applewild School in Fitchburg. She has 13 years of experience in public and independent education as a community-focused teacher, program developer and coordinator, and department chair. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Hampshire College and a master of education degree from UMass Amherst. Farrell took on her role as donor relations manager in mid-September and will apply the experience she gained in the nonprofit world at UMass Amherst and skills she honed while working at for-profits in marketing and event management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England University. Nhong started in her new role in early October and will help manage United Way’s database. She worked for 13 years at MicroTek, a nonprofit cable manufacturing company in Chicopee, in production, quality, and planning and management. Zimmerman has worked as an accountant for Temp-Pro, Argotec, Sisters of Providence, and Holyoke Medical Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Elms College. She began her new role in early October.

People on the Move
Nancy Creed

Nancy Creed

After more than a decade serving the Springfield Regional Chamber (SRC) and overseeing the region’s economic growth, Nancy Creed is stepping down from her position as chamber president to help care for her elderly mother. Creed served as the president of SRC since 2016, and as vice president of Marketing and Communications for five years prior to her appointment as president. She successfully navigated the chamber through several challenges, the most recent being the COVID-19 pandemic. During Creed’s tenure, she repositioned the chamber as a regional organization for businesses in Western Mass., creating a channel for the voices of the Pioneer Valley to be heard by key stakeholders in the eastern part of the Commonwealth. Creed developed a successful future for SRC by establishing educational programming for businesses and dynamic networking opportunities for professionals, engaging members across all industries, creating a minority business council to better support the growing business sector, and issuing informative legislative updates for the community that are now pillars of the chamber’s mission and will continue after her departure. To ensure an orderly transition, Creed will remain president until either a successor is appointed by the chamber’s board of directors, or no later than April 21, 2022. The board has engaged a search committee and recruiter to find the best candidate to serve as the next president of the Springfield Regional Chamber.

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Teressa Bezenar

Teressa Bezenar

Garrett Kelly

Garrett Kelly

Melanson announced the hiring of two of its newest managers, Teressa Bezenar, CPA, CFE, and Garrett Kelly, CPA. Bezenar has been in the accounting profession for more than two decades and recently joined Melanson’s Commercial Services team. Her focus is in taxation for individuals, corporations, flow-through entities, and estates, and she has extensive knowledge in construction and real-estate businesses. She received a master’s degree in accounting and a graduate certificate in forensic accounting at Southern New Hampshire University in 2017 and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Metropolitan State University in 1998. She earned her CPA licensure in Minnesota in 2002 and Missouri in 2020. In 2018, she became a certified fraud examiner. She holds memberships with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners, the Minnesota Society of Certied Public Accountants, the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Delta Mu Delta. She spends some of her spare time volunteering with the American Legion Auxiliary, American Legion Riders, Minnesota Patriot Guard, and Knots of Love. Kelly has been a tax accountant for more than five years and has joined Melanson’s Commercial Services team in Merrimack, N.H. He provides tax planning, compliance, and prep for high net-worth individuals and a variety of businesses. His other areas of focus include bank taxation, real estate, and flow-through entities. He received his master of taxation degree at Baylor University in 2016 and a bachelor of business administration degree, accounting in 2015. In 2018 he received his CPA licensure. He is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. Before his recent move to New Hampshire, he enjoyed working with and volunteering his time as a youth leader at his church.

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Alicia Valentine

Alicia Valentine

Florence Bank promoted Alicia Valentine to the position of assistant vice president and cash-management relationship officer. She brings 15 years of banking knowledge to her new position. In this role, she will provide support to the bank’s commercial customer base by utilizing her in-depth knowledge of cash-management products and services while proactively developing existing relationships and new business opportunities. During her tenure at the bank, Valentine has been the recipient of the President’s Award, which is given to employees who demonstrate superior levels of performance, customer service, and overall contribution to the bank. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Assumption College. She is also an active member of her community, serving as a board member for Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts.

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W.D. Cowls Inc. recently welcomed Arthur Haskins as director of Real Estate and Community Development. With a career spanning more than two decades, Haskins has worked on all facets of real estate and community building. He has overseen the completion of numerous mixed-use, commercial, and residential developments in New England and has a strong understanding of real-estate development, with expertise in new-construction management, affordable housing, residential brokerage, land sales, permitting, homeowner associations, property management, and conservation land trusts. Most recently, for Beacon Communities, Haskins managed North Square’s residential development, construction, completion, and 100% lease-up of 130 new residential units, which include one-, two-, and three-bedroom affordable apartments for households both 50% and 30% below area median income. His initial efforts in Amherst were related to developing a residential community on the campus of Hampshire College, marketing and completing all initial pre-sales related to Hampshire’s cultural-village concept for Veridian Village. Haskins draws from multi-generational Haskins family sawmill and timberland roots in the Quabbin Valley of Massachusetts. He grew up in Greenfield and spent four years attending school in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Scott Keiter

Scott Keiter

Frank Newhall Look Memorial Park announced the addition of a new member to its board of trustees: Scott Keiter, president of Keiter Corp., a construction company based in Florence. His wealth of knowledge in building, development, sales, operations, and human resources made him a unanimous choice to join the team. Keiter has served on other community boards, including the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, New England Support Team, Smith Vocational & Agricultural School, and the Cutchins Programs for Children and Families. He brings his commitment to the community, family, sustainability, and progress to Look Park’s volunteer board, which also includes Sharianne Walker, Michael Wall, Nancy Reeves, Robert Ostberg, Anthony Villani, and Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz (ex-officio).

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Scott Branscomb

In a move to support growth, outreach, and overall program quality, the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club (PVRC) hired Scott Branscomb as head coach. Branscomb, who speaks Spanish and English, will work with PVRC Executive Director Ben Quick and organization leadership to continue PVRC’s post-pandemic recovery. Branscomb rowed competitively for UMass, where he graduated with dual degrees in Spanish and comparative literature before earning a master’s degree in teaching from the University of New Hampshire. In his 14 years of rowing experience, he has served community and club programs in a variety of roles. He worked the last four years in Connecticut as director and head coach of Middle School and Development Programs for Greenwich Crew. Among his achievements there, he operated an outreach program for students from disadvantaged backgrounds in Greenwich Public Schools. At the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club, Branscomb returns to the waters of the Connecticut River, where he first rowed, and to his roots in the nonprofit world, where he feels at home.

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Monson Savings Bank recently announced the hiring of William Toth as branch manager of the East Longmeadow location at 61 North Main St. Toth will be assisting customers with all of their banking needs, including loan applications and closing needs of borrowers. Additionally, he will be responsible for planning, organizing, and directing branch operations, as well as fostering an environment of teamwork. He has been in the banking industry for 26 years, with his experience in retail banking spanning 19 of those years. He most recently served as branch manager of Arrha Credit Union’s West Springfield location. There, his responsibilities were to oversee the day-to-day operations of the branch, while assisting new and current members with their financial and banking needs. He assisted members with consumer-loan applications, credit-card requests, and home-equity line of credit questions and document closing. He served as the primary resource to employees and oversaw the training of new and current branch staff. Toth has strong roots in the local communities, and is involved with the West of the River Chamber of Commerce, East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce, and the Security & Loss Prevention Assoc. He is a graduate of Springfield Technical Community College with an associate degree in business administration.

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Jaren Makuch

Jaren Makuch

OMG Roofing Products has expanded its customer service department with the addition of Jaren Makuch as a customer service representative. In his new position, Jaren is responsible for assisting customers placing orders and in funneling product and technical questions to the organization. He is initially responsible for working on national key accounts as well as supporting the company’s Mid-West sales region. He reports to Karen Young, customer service manager. Makuch brings more than 10 years of customer-service experience to OMG. He joined OMG Roofing from Baystate Health, where he was a customer service representative for six years. Earlier, he was a customer service representative at FM Facility Maintenance in Hartford, Conn. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State University.

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Kimberley Lee, vice president of Resource Development and Branding for the Mental Health Assoc. Inc. (MHA), has accepted Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi’s invitation to join his newly created Community Advisory Board to provide long-range planning and support for the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center in Chicopee. The regional correctional facility houses both pre-trial and sentenced women primarily from Hampden, Hampshire, Worcester, and Berkshire counties and offers a range of integrated clinical services and specialized programs that address rehabilitation. Cocchi outlined the board’s mission as one of developing long-range planning for the facility and building relationships and resources to assist women as they re-enter the community. Lee, who joined MHA in 2018 as its first vice president of Resource Development, is well-known for her work in the nonprofit sector. She previously served in communications and development roles for several other locally based nonprofit organizations, including CHD, Square One, the Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Community United Way.

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Square One recently elected a new slate of officers to its board of directors. The election was held at the agency’s annual meeting on Oct. 15. Taking on the role of chairperson is Andrea Hickson-Martin of Bay Path University. The vice chair seat will be filled by attorney Corrine Ryan of Community Legal Aid. Moving into the treasurer position is Kate Kane of Northwestern Mutual, assisted by Julie Quink of Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C. Colleen Stocks, assistant superintendent of the Western Massachusetts Regional Women’s Correctional Center, will serve as the board’s clerk. New to the full board of directors are Lavar Click-Bruce of the city of Springfield Mayor’s Office and Leonard Underwood of Upscale Socks and Upscale Photography.

People on the Move
Sudha Setty

Sudha Setty

Western New England University School of Law Dean Sudha Setty has been named 2021 Human Relations Award winner by the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), a human-relations organization whose mission is to champion social justice for all; fight bias, bigotry, and racism in all forms; and work toward building strong and inclusive communities. Each year, the NCCJ presents the Human Relations Award to individuals or corporations that have actualized in their daily lives the values and mission of the organization. These individuals and companies have demonstrated their commitment to fostering social justice and cooperation among all races, religions, cultures, genders, abilities, and sexual orientations. Setty became dean of the School of Law in 2018 and has served on the faculty since 2006. She is the author of National Security Secrecy: Comparative Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law and the editor of Constitutions, Security, and the Rule of Law, and has written dozens of articles on national-security law and policy. In July 2018, she was elected to membership in the American Law Institute. Her leadership of the School of Law has been characterized by a commitment to social justice; diversity, equity, and inclusion work; and supporting excellence in teaching, learning, and research. In May 2019, the School of Law founded the Center for Social Justice, which has quickly grown to be a regional hub of research, advocacy, education, and activism. In April 2021, the faculty of the School of Law adopted an anti-racism and cultural-competency graduation requirement, making it the first law school in the region to do so. Setty is also a founder of the Workshop for Asian-American Women in the Legal Academy, with its inaugural workshop being held in 2021, an effort to support current and aspiring members of the legal academy and to diversify its ranks. She was recognized on the Lawyers of Color Power List in 2020; was recognized as part of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s Top Women in the Law in 2019; was awarded Western New England Law School’s Catherine J. Jones Professor of Year Award in 2009, 2016, and 2018; received the 2017 Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award from the Connecticut Bar Assoc.; and was recognized in 2015 as a Trailblazer by the South Asian Bar Assoc. of Connecticut.

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Elms College announced the retirement of Kathleen Scoble, dean of the college’s School of Nursing, effective Sept. 10. The college has been conducting a national search for Scoble’s successor since she notified the college of her retirement this past January. When Scoble joined Elms College in 2003, the Division of Nursing consisted of one baccalaureate program with 100 students. In the 2020-21 academic year, there were nearly 500 nursing students enrolled in the 12 programs that now comprise the School of Nursing. Scoble established several forward-looking programs, such as the Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Master of Science in Nursing programs, as well as the Accelerated Second Degree program. In March 2019, she helped create a unique partnership with the Episcopalian University of Haiti to offer a continuing-education certificate program that prepares the future Haitian nursing workforce to deliver competent, patient-centered care within their communities. In recognition of her stewardship of the School of Nursing, Scoble has been named dean emerita of the School of Nursing, becoming the first Elms College dean to receive this distinguished title. The college has also created the Kathleen B. Scoble Leadership in Nursing Award, which will be presented each year to the nursing student who best exemplifies the ideals of servant leadership, as demonstrated by Scoble, through academic excellence and the individual’s impact on the School of Nursing, Elms College, and the greater community. On Sept. 13, Teresa Kuta Reske — associate dean of Graduate and Doctoral Studies for the School of Nursing and director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program — became interim dean of the School of Nursing and will remain in that role until a new dean is hired.

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Christopher Myhrum

Christopher Myhrum

Best Lawyers in America recognized attorney Christopher Myhrum in the categories of environmental law and litigation – environmental. He has received this prestigious recognition every year since 1991. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers in America has become universally regarded as a definitive guide to legal excellence. The nationwide list of attorneys included in the upcoming 28th edition is based on more than 4.3 million confidential and detailed evaluations from more than 41,000 leading attorneys on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Myhrum works with environmental consultants; federal, state, and municipal officials; and other lawyers seeking opportunities for learning and collaboration rather than acrimony and contention. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College Law School and a cum laude graduate of New York University. He is a board member of Westmass Area Development Corp., where he serves as a director and land inventory committee member.

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Ariel Clemmer, director of the Western New England University School of Law Center for Social Justice, was named a 2021 Emerging Women Leader in Law by the Women’s Bar Assoc. (WBA). The award honors women attorneys who have demonstrated professional excellence or had a significant professional achievement in their first 12 years in the legal profession, and promote the status of women in the legal profession or contribute meaningfully to the equal participation of women in a just society. The university’s Center for Social Justice works toward advancing social justice through research, advocacy, education, innovation, and public engagement. It is designed to strengthen collaborative efforts between the School of Law and the region to work toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive society. In addition to providing services like a Consumer Debt Initiative and a Sealing and Expungement initiative to the community, the center has conducted Know Your Rights trainings, provided financial support for initiatives that seek to measure and mitigate the legal fallout from COVID-19, and hosted nationally recognized speakers like Evan Wolfson, the legal architect of the marriage-equality movement. Clemmer is among six to receive this prestigious award. The 2021 awardees will be celebrated and honored at the WBA’s annual gala on Monday, Oct. 25.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Caroline Cay Adams, education director for The Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center, received the Janet McCoy Excellence in Public Education Award from the American Association of Zookeepers during a virtual presentation held Aug. 31.

 

Adams was honored for her work creating Kids Go Wild, a multi-week, hands-on education program that is delivered to children in schools and after school programs throughout Western Mass., specifically targeting at-risk youth.

 

“We are so proud of the work Caroline is doing to bring these important resources to youth in our community,” said Sarah Tsitso, executive director of the the Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center. “While she certainly deserves recognition for this incredible program she created — from scratch, I might add — it’s only one of the many wonderful educational opportunities she provides for children across our region. We are so fortunate to have her as a key member of our team.”

 

Kids Go Wild provides a fun, interactive way for children to learn about different animal species through cross-hatched science, literacy and art lessons, with each lesson meeting educational standards set by the Mass. Board of Education. During the pandemic, Adams adapted Kids Go Wild into a virtual program, showcasing the flexibility and versatility of the program.

 

“It has been such a rewarding experience to visit classrooms with the Kids Go Wild program,” said Adams. “I have seen the children engage with the lessons while showing compassion and care for the animal ambassadors that accompany me.”

 

“I am honored to be the recipient of this year’s Janet McCoy Excellence in Public Education Award,” Adams added. “Janet McCoy served the zookeeper community as a leader for over 30 years in various roles, focusing much of her time on public education. I have known for most of my life that I wanted to work closely with animals and children, and I am so lucky that I am able to do that in my current role.”

People on the Move
Lynn Gray

Lynn Gray

Holyoke Mall recently welcomed Lynn Gray back to the shopping center as its new general manager. She brings more than 25 years of experience in the shopping-center industry. She has held various roles over her combined tenure with Pyramid Management Group, including customer service representative, receptionist, Marketing assistant, assistant Marketing director, Marketing director, and, most recently, general manager of Hampshire Mall. In addition to her numerous years of experience with Pyramid Management Group, Gray held various roles over the span of 10 years with General Growth Properties, now Brookfield Properties, including director of Field Marketing for the East Region. Gray is a graduate of Holyoke Community College with an associate degree in business administration. A lifelong resident of Western Mass., she is actively involved with several community and nonprofit organizations. She serves as president of the board of directors for the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the board of directors for the Amherst Boys and Girls Club. She is also a CDH International Massachusetts ambassador and volunteers for CHERUBS, the support division of CDHi. Bill Rogalski, outgoing general manager of Holyoke Mall, retired on June 30 after 19 years in the position.

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Elizabeth Wambui

Elizabeth Wambui

Increasing diversity in the construction workforce is an important topic and has become a measure of each project’s success, just like schedule, budget, and safety. To that end, Fontaine Bros. Inc. has named Elizabeth Wambui to serve as the company’s director of Diversity, Inclusion & Impact. Wambui will play a critical role in leading the company’s projects and project teams to maximize opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises as well as attracting a more diverse workforce. Fontaine Bros. will be partnering with unions, trade schools, and other community partners to more actively promote and provide opportunities for diverse and local residents. She will immediately step in and support Fontaine’s work across the Commonwealth, including the new $242 million Doherty Memorial High School project and the new $75 million DeBerry-Homer Elementary School in Springfield. Before joining Fontaine, Wambui served as director of Advancement at Nativity School of Worcester (a longtime Fontaine community partner). A graduate of North High School and the College of the Holy Cross, she is passionate about engaging with the community. She currently serves as a board member at the Bancroft School, Shine Initiative, Women in Development of Central Massachusetts, Worcester Historical Museum, and YWCA. She is also a Mechanics Hall Modern Mechanics Guild member, a Worcester Art Museum corporator, and has served as a Greater Worcester Community Foundation early childhood committee member and scholarship community reviewer. She was part of the Leadership Worcester class of 2016-17 and has been recognized in the Worcester Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty.

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Dr. Ann Errichetti

Dr. Ann Errichetti

Bay Path University announced that Dr. Ann Errichetti has been appointed associate provost and dean of the School of Education, Human and Health Services, and will begin her role on Aug. 23. Errichetti returned to New England in the summer of 2018 after successful careers in healthcare management and in cardiology. Most recently, she served as the chief operations and academic officer at Presence Health, a $2.6 billion Catholic health system in Chicago with 12 acute-care hospitals, more than 25 senior-living facilities, and 16,000 employees. She was a core member of the turnaround team that improved operating performance by $200 million and led to a successful acquisition by Ascension Health in 2018. Prior to joining Presence Health, Errichetti served as CEO of St. Peter’s Hospital and Albany Memorial Hospital in Albany, N.Y.; president of Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill.; and president of Advocate South Suburban in Hazel Crest, Ill. In addition to her role as president, she held the position of chief academic officer for Advocate Health Care, serving as the liaison between three medical-school affiliates and more than 600 medical residents and fellows. She was also an associate dean at Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School. Errichetti graduated from Fordham University, received her M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School, and earned an MBA from Clark University. Her husband, Dr. Mark Keroack, was a medical-school classmate and currently serves as president and CEO of Baystate Health in Springfield.

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Harmony Cross

Harmony Cross

Holyoke Community College has named Harmony Cross its first dean of Student Development, Engagement and Inclusion. This new position combines the responsibilities of two previous jobs at the college — dean of students and director of Retention and Student Success — with an increased emphasis on education equity. Before coming to HCC, Cross served as director of the New York State Education Department’s Higher Education Opportunity Program at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, where she managed and developed holistic services and high-impact practices for students who might not have considered attending college because of their academic and economic backgrounds. Prior to that, she worked as program director for the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx and area coordinator for 15 coed residential facilities at Widener University in Chester, Pa. She has also taught college-level, first-year transition courses and leadership classes and coached students on conflict resolution and mediation techniques. Cross earned her master’s degree in educational leadership with a concentration in higher education at Temple University and holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from North Carolina Central University, where she was a Division I collegiate athlete in track and field. She is currently working on her Ed.D. in higher education administration at Bradley University.

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Tony Ieraci

Tony Ieraci

Excel Dryer Inc., manufacturer of the XLERATOR Hand Dryer, has added a new director of Marketing to the team. A seasoned professional with 24 years of experience, Tony Ieraci will be responsible for helping Excel Dryer create and execute long-term marketing strategies that will help grow the brand. Ieraci has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in marketing from Western New England University. He has spent the last two decades working in marketing and communications for leading manufacturers like Scapa North America and Dymax Corp. Ieraci will now head up the marketing team at Excel Dryer to develop and implement effective global communication plans that advance the company’s business goals and objectives.

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Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin

Arrha Credit Union announced the Adam Baldwin has been named Springfield branch manager. Baldwin has more than seven years of banking experience and been recognized throughout his banking-industry career as a rising star with superior service awards. He is also a Rotarian with the Springfield Rotary Club. “I am excited to be part of the Arrha Credit Union family and serving the Springfield community and its members,” Baldwin said. “I look forward to providing caring service, offering rewarding membership benefits to existing and new members, and growing these relationships.”

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Bulkley Richardson recently welcomed Dr. Lisa Harty as an associate in the firm’s litigation and professional malpractice groups. Harty earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College in 2001, an M.D. degree from St. Matthew’s University School of Medicine in 2009, and a juris doctor degree from Western New England University School of Law in 2020. “As an attorney who has earned degrees in both medicine and law, Lisa brings a unique perspective to our healthcare and medical professional clients,” said Mike Burke, chair of Bulkley Richardson’s professional malpractice group. “She will add tremendous value to our team.”

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Sharale Mathis

Sharale Mathis

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Sharale Mathis as its vice president of Academic and Student Affairs. Mathis was most recently the dean of Academic and Student Affairs at Middlesex Community College in Connecticut, where she was previously a tenured professor of Biology, course coordinator, department chair, and STEM Division director. At Middlesex, she taught both lab and non-lab science classes on campus, online, and in hybrid formats. She was an early adopter of open educational resources, utilizing online resources for supplemental instruction, designating that course as no cost to students. Mathis earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Eastern Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Quinnipiac University, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Hartford.

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The Hitchcock Center for the Environment announced William “Billy” Spitzer as its new executive director. He brings a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience in the areas of science education, climate communication, and network building along with a vast network of national and international connections. Spitzer will be influential in the continued growth and impact that the center has seen in recent years as it continues on its mission to educate and inspire action for a healthy planet. Spitzer comes to the center as the former vice president for Learning and Community at the New England Aquarium, where he was responsible for applying learning and social-science research across education programs, exhibits, visitor experience, and community outreach for more than 20 years. Working with organizations such as the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation, Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network, and North American Assoc. for Environmental Education, he has been involved in many successful collaborative projects with a focus on environmental education and awareness along with the promotion of public engagement in climate change. In 2014, Spitzer was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders. In 2016, he received a Visionary Award from the Gulf of Maine Council for innovation, creativity, and commitment to marine protection. He holds a Ph.D. in oceanography from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

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Matthew Sosik

Matthew Sosik

Matthew Sosik was recently elected to the 20-member board of directors of the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc., the only association representing FDIC-insured community, regional, and nationwide banks serving consumer and business clients across the Commonwealth. Sosik is the CEO of Hometown Financial Group Inc., a $3.4 billion mutual multi-bank holding company based in Easthampton. He also serves as president and CEO of bankESB, a subsidiary of Hometown Financial Group. Sosik joined Hometown Bank, now bankHometown, in 1996 after five years as a bank examiner with the FDIC. In 2013, he became the president and CEO at bankESB and began to build Hometown Financial Group through a combination of organic growth strategies and merger-and-acquisition transactions. He is also a board member for the Massachusetts Housing Partnership, whose mission is to work with communities to create innovative policy and financing solutions that provide affordable homes and better lives for the people of Massachusetts. He also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council and is a member of the board of directors of COCC Inc., a technology company headquartered in Southington, Conn., that serves the financial industry.

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Daniel Burger

Daniel Burger

Christina Gonzalez

Christina Gonzalez

Daniel Burger has joined OMG Roofing Products as a product engineer for the company’s solar business. In his newly created position, Burger is responsible for creating and managing technical support for rooftop solar and pipe-support products, including product design, testing, and voice-of-customer feedback. He will also support product-certification efforts with the International Code Council, Factory Mutual Global, and others, as well as support application engineering at engineering, procurement, and construction firms. Burger brings solid environmental-related engineering experience to OMG. For the past few years, he was with the Dennis Group as a site civil engineer. He holds an engineering degree from the University of Hartford. Meanwhile, OMG Roofing Products also announced it has hired Christina Gonzalez as a product manager. She is responsible for developing sales and marketing opportunities for new and existing OMG discretionary products throughout the company’s extensive network of independent roofing distributors across the U.S. For the past four years, Gonzalez has been an associate product manager with the FastenMaster Division of OMG Inc., where she led cross-functional teams to help commercialize several new products annually. Earlier, she was in a management-training program with Sherwin Williams. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Eastern Connecticut State University.

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East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed Grace Barone as its executive director. Barone is an experienced business-development leader in senior living as well as a past small business owner of a successful bridal boutique for 17 years. She said she is always struck by the power of community and what can be achieved when working together, and she looks forward to unlocking opportunities to bring people together, share ideas, and learn from one another to promote business environments that foster economic growth. The chamber serves the communities of East Longmeadow, Hampden, Longmeadow, Ludlow, and Wilbraham.

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Country Bank recently announced the recipients of the 2020 President’s Platinum Award. The bank’s recognition program, CB Shines, encourages staff members to be on the lookout for co-workers who embody the bank’s corporate values of integrity, service, teamwork, excellence, and prosperity. Within this program, an employee can receive different levels of recognition: Silver Spotlight (awarded anytime), Gold Star (awarded quarterly), and President’s Platinum (awarded annually). The 2020 President’s Platinum award was presented to both Dianna Lussier, Risk Management officer, and Nicholas Thompson, assistant manager, Customer Care Center.

People on the Move
Nadzeya Shkoda

Nadzeya Shkoda

Jonathan Cohen-Gorczyca

Jonathan Cohen-Gorczyca

Melanson announced the promotion of two of its newest managers: Nadzeya Shkoda, CPA, and Jonathan Cohen-Gorczyca, CPA. Shkoda has been in the accounting profession for almost a decade and is a part of the Governmental Services team out of the Greenfield office. She joined Melanson in 2014 and works on approximately 15 municipal audits annually. She enjoys participating in the Governmental Accounting Standards Board group and how auditing presents new challenges each day. She received a master of science in accountancy degree at Westfield State University in 2011. She holds memberships with the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MSCPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Cohen-Gorczyca has been working at Melanson for more than nine years. As part of its Commercial Services team in Greenfield, he advises businesses and individuals on tax, management, compliance, and other accounting and planning matters. Over the last year, he has been particularly focused on helping clients with their Paycheck Protection Program loans. He received his master of science in accountancy degree from Western New England University in 2013 and is a member of MSCPA and AICPA. He also serves on the board of trustees for the Greenfield Public Library as well as his condo association.

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Alan Tabin

Alan Tabin

Local home builder and developer Alan Tabin, announced he has joined B & B Real Estate in Holyoke as a licensed real-estate agent. Tabin has been active in the real-estate industry throughout his adult life. As co-owner of Home Improvement Associates, LLC, he grew a successful construction business over three decades. His expertise as a builder includes custom homes, investment property, rehabbing, and residential and commercial renovations. His experience in real-estate development includes a residential subdivision of new homes and a 25-unit condominium project in South Hadley known as Jacob’s Edge. “I am excited to offer my unique expertise as a builder to home buyers, sellers, and potential investors,” Tabin said. “My knowledge of construction, local building resources and contacts, and the real-estate market can be valuable to anyone wanting to buy, sell, or invest in real estate.”

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Nicole Stuart

Nicole Stuart

Deliso Financial and Insurance Services announced that Nicole Stuart has joined the firm as practice coordinator. She will be responsible for providing service to Deliso’s clients as well as performing day-to-day administration and operational functions for the firm. “I am excited and proud to join the Deliso Financial & Insurance Services team,” Stuart said. “Their reputation demonstrates the level of quality resources and service standards that align with my goals to execute the most advantageous and expedient financial solutions for our clients’ needs.” Stuart attended Bay Path University, where she received an MBA in entrepreneurship and innovative practices. She brings more than 20 years of professional experience in finance, banking, and bookkeeping. “Nicole’s background and experience will complement our core service offerings,” said Jean Deliso, CFP, president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services. “She is client-focused, and her enthusiastic personality and strong organizational skills are a perfect fit with the rest of our team. We look forward to her support in our efforts to expand our capabilities and becoming an integral part of Deliso Financial & Insurance Services.”

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Josh Kelly

Josh Kelly

Brent Fournier

Brent Fournier

Elli-Ann Oskar

Elli-Ann Oskar

OMG Inc. recently promoted Josh Kelly to senior vice president for Business Development and Brent Fournier to director of Procurement. Meanwhile, OMG Roofing Products hired Elli-Ann Oskar as Sales and Marketing assistant. In his new role, Kelly will focus on strategic growth opportunities, including mergers and acquisitions, product development, licensing, as well as strategies to expand OMG’s business. He started with OMG in 1991 as a project coordinator and has held several positions within the roofing division, including key account manager, vice president of Marketing, general manager, and, most recently, vice president of Product Development and Innovation. Kelly is a member of the Single Ply Roofing Industry trade association, a past president of the Roofing Industry Alliance, and a current member of the board of directors for the National Roofing Contractors Assoc. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst and an MBA from Western New England University. In his new role, Fournier will develop and implement procurement strategies that meet OMG’s customer demands by focusing on customer service, reduced supply-chain risk, as well as stronger supply partnerships across the value chain. Fournier started with OMG as part of the Tiger Claw acquisition in 2011, as a service delivery manager, and was promoted to manager of Purchasing in January 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Connecticut State University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix. In her new role, Oskar is responsible for a wide assortment of administrative functions to support the sales and marketing teams, as well as the company’s key account managers and Customer Service department. Prior to joining OMG, she was a Business Development assistant at Teracode. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Westfield State University.

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The Girl Scouts of Central & Western Massachusetts (GSCWM) elected eight new members to board of directors at its virtual annual meeting on June 23. The new board members, all of whom will serve a two-year term, include Carla Carten, executive director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy for Mass General Brigham Health Care; Ella Grant, senior Girl Scout and student at Tantasqua Regional High School; Lisa Greene, director of Patient Accounts/HIM for AdCare Hospital of Worcester; Kate Kane, Wealth Management advisor for Northwestern Mutual; Shirley Konneh, assistant director at the Center for Career Development at the College of the Holy Cross; Laura Marotta, co-founder and executive director of Creative Hub Worcester; Roberta McCullough-Dews, director of Administrative Services within the Office of the Pittsfield Mayor and Public Information officer for the City of Pittsfield; and Addison Witkes, senior Girl Scout and student at Wachusett Regional High School. “I am pleased to welcome, and thrilled to have the privilege to serve on the board with, these new members,” said Joan Bertrand, GSCWM board president. “They are dynamic individuals with diverse talents and experiences to help oversee the operations of the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts and further our mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”

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Lisa Cohen

Lisa Cohen

Health New England announced the recent appointment of Lisa Cohen to the role of vice president of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. In this position, Cohen is responsible for leading Health New England’s financial strategy, accounting, actuarial, underwriting, and financial reporting, ensuring its ability to provide cost-effective healthcare coverage while maintaining high-quality member care. Cohen joins Health New England’s executive leadership team and reports directly to Richard Swift, president and CEO. Cohen comes to Health New England from Fallon Health in Worcester, where she was vice president of Financial Planning and Accounting Operations, and served as interim chief financial officer in 2019. Prior to Fallon Health, Cohen was chief financial officer for Ascentria Care Alliance. She also served as chief financial officer at the PACE Organization of Rhode Island. Cohen earned her bachelor of science in accounting and MBA degrees from the UMass Dartmouth. She has been a member of the American Institute of CPAs for more than 20 years, and maintains active certification as a certified public accountant and certified global management accountant.

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Lara Sharp

Lara Sharp

Lara Sharp has been named dean of the School of STEM at Springfield Technical Community College. Sharp’s professional experience includes six years at St. Petersburg College in Clearwater, Fla., as the program director for Engineering, Manufacturing and Building Arts, and also serving as the acting dean of Natural Sciences, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Building Arts. From 2013 to 2015, she was at the Corporate College of Polk State College in Winter Haven, Fla., managing National Science Foundation and Department of Labor grants in advanced manufacturing and engineering technology. Sharp spent more than 11 years teaching chemistry, natural science, and engineering to high-school students at various locations. Sharp also brings industry experience, having worked at Specialty Minerals Inc. as a process engineer and an operator technician as well as an educational consultant for PASCO Scientific. She has been recognized for her outstanding teaching as well as her community engagement, including a STEM Woman of the Year Award from Girls Inc. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

People on the Move

Seth Stratton

Fitzgerald Attorneys at Law and MGM Springfield announced that attorney Seth Stratton will be leaving his position as vice president and legal counsel of MGM Resorts’ Northeast Group by mid-June to rejoin Fitzgerald as the firm’s managing shareholder. In this leadership role, he will assist the firm’s clients on a wide range of business-related matters, including corporate governance, commercial development, regulatory matters, and dispute resolution. During his time with MGM Springfield, Stratton oversaw legal affairs, regulatory compliance, and government relations in connection with the development, construction, and opening of the $950 million MGM Springfield destination resort casino in downtown Springfield. In 2019, his role expanded to serve as property general counsel and officer for two operating MGM casinos: MGM Springfield and Empire City Casino in Yonkers, N.Y. In that capacity, Stratton provided strategic oversight, management, and direction for legal, regulatory, compliance, risk, and government-affairs functions for both casino complexes and served as an officer and executive committee member for each property. He will now bring this business, development, and management experience to his work with Fitzgerald.

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Crystal Neuhauser

Crystal Neuhauser

Bay Path University announced that Crystal Neuhauser has been named vice president of Institutional Advancement, effective June 21. Neuhauser comes to Bay Path after serving as the associate vice president of Advancement at Franklin Pierce University, where she increased overall giving by 41% in 2020. Prior to Franklin Pierce, she directed advancement and development initiatives at Yale University, Quinnipiac University, and Mitchell College, and also worked within the nonprofit community sector. Her career experience spans fundraising, donor relations, alumni engagement, grants, and corporate contributions. She also served on a strategic planning subcommittee at Franklin Pierce. Neuhauser is currently working toward a doctorate of education in educational leadership at New England College. She earned her master’s degree in organizational leadership from Quinnipiac College and her bachelor’s degree in business management from Albertus Magnus College. At Bay Path, Neuhauser will serve as a member of the executive staff. In this role, she will provide strategic leadership for fundraising, including responsibility for annual giving; corporate, major and planned gifts; endowment; capital campaigns; alumni and constituent-relations efforts; stewardship; and advancement services. As a nonprofit higher-education institution, Bay Path depends on the generosity of donors to fund scholarships and important initiatives that make a difference in students’ lives.

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Rachel Rubinstein

Rachel Rubinstein

Springfield College announced that Rachel Rubinstein has been named dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, effective July 12. Rubinstein was professor of American Literature and Jewish Studies at Hampshire College for 16 years, where she also served as the dean of Academic Support and Advising for six years. She subsequently became Holyoke Community College’s inaugural vice president of Academic and Student Affairs, a position that combined two previously separate divisions. Most recently, she has been serving as senior advisor to the deputy commissioner of Academic Affairs and Student Success at the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, where she has focused on supporting initiatives in the state’s equity agenda. The child of immigrants from Mexico, Rubinstein’s scholarship focuses on migration, multi-lingualism, racial formation, and literary nationalism, as well as on pedagogies in the fields of ethnic and race studies. She is the author of Members of the Tribe: Native America in the Jewish Imagination, as well as the co-editor of Arguing the Modern Jewish Canon and, most recently, Teaching Jewish American Literature, a volume in the MLA’s Options for Teaching series. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University and her PhD in English and American literature from Harvard University.

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Nicole Domnarski

Nicole Domnarski

FSB Financial Group, the investment division of Florence Bank, announced that Nicole Domnarski, after working two years as an assistant financial advisor, has transitioned to financial advisor. She began her career in the financial-services industry 24 years ago and has been employed by FSB Financial Group for the past 10 years, helping advisors protect and preserve clients’ wealth. As a financial advisor, she will work directly with individuals and business owners to develop strategic, long-term financial plans to help customers achieve their financial goals and objectives. Domnarski is a graduate of Springfield Technical Community College and is a chartered retirement planning counselor certified by the College for Financial Planning. She is an investment advisor representative with Commonwealth Financial Network, and holds Series 6, 7, 31, 63, and 65 registrations. She is also licensed to sell both life and health insurance.

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The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) announced the appointment of Denise Hurst as vice president for Community Impact and Partnerships. In this redesigned role meant to deepen community engagement and drive program efficacy and representation, Hurst will oversee community investments, including grants, scholarships, and new efforts to strengthen advocacy, technical assistance, data and research, and evaluation in regional projects and initiatives. This appointment is the latest example of CFWM’s ongoing commitment to advance equity in the region by elevating community voices, cultivating new coalitions and partnerships, and advancing the organizational effectiveness of nonprofits. Hurst joins the Foundation after serving Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) as vice president of Advancement & External Affairs, where she led development for the college as the executive director of the STCC Foundation, and later oversaw marketing, communications, and government affairs. Prior to that, she was appointed regional manager of the Massachusetts State Lottery in Western Mass. by state Treasurer Deb Goldberg and has worked as site director for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, as well as an adjunct professor at Cambridge College. She comes to CFWM with a wealth of knowledge, experience, and established networks across Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. For more than a decade, Hurst served as an elected member of the Springfield School Committee. She led the charge to establish the Minority Caucus for the Massachusetts Assoc. of School Committees (MASC) and served as the former chair of the caucus, as well as the former vice president of MASC. Hurst has been honored with several awards, including BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty class of 2014, 2015 100 Women of Color in New England, and 2015 Top 25 Women to Watch in Western Mass., and most recently as the 2019 Woman of the Year by the Professional Women’s Chamber.

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Nancy Creed

Nancy Creed

Nancy Creed, president of the Springfield Regional Chamber, has been elected president of the Massachusetts Assoc. of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE) through 2022. MACCE is a Massachusetts-based organization that offers resources and networking opportunities to its member chamber of commerce professionals across the Commonwealth. Creed has amassed more than 25 years of strategic alliance building, communications, public relations, media relations, and government and community outreach experience. She has served as president of the Springfield Regional Chamber since 2016. Prior to becoming chamber president, she served as vice president of Marketing and Communications. She holds a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, is certified in nonprofit organization management through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management, and is a 2000 graduate of the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Leadership Institute. Creed has served in a variety of capacities on the MACCE board, including Region 1 vice president, secretary, and vice president.

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Michael Sullivan

Michael Sullivan

Julius Lewis

Julius Lewis

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union announced the retirement of Michael Sullivan, longtime board director and original founding member of the credit union, at its 54th annual meeting in March. New director Julius Lewis was also elected to the open position at the virtual event. Sullivan’s legacy extends well beyond UMassFive in the world of credit unions. While he served originally as a UMassFive board member beginning in 1982, and as the credit union board chair at UMassFive from 1986 to 1993, he concurrently held the titles of director, vice chair, and chair of Mass CUNA (1986-1998). During this time, he was instrumental in the merger of the two state credit-union leagues that eventually became the Cooperative Credit Union Assoc. (CCUA). As a thank you for his many contributions, UMassFive has dedicated the board room in its Hadley executive area as the Michael Sullivan Board Room in his honor. Newly elected board member Julius Lewis has been a member of the credit union since 2010 and, throughout the years, has helped promote UMassFive’s products and services within the local community. He is a graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, which played a major role in launching his professional career in the financial industry. He has worked as an independent financial consultant, specializing in insurance products since 2003. In 2006, Lewis created and began hosting The Lewis & Morrow Financial Hour, a weekly financial radio talk show broadcasted throughout the region and online. In 2017, he started his company, JDL Financial, and has received several awards and achievements within his profession. UMassFive welcomes his new perspectives and ideas to the board.

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Mill Town announced it has hired Dennis Robinson as the company’s chief operating officer and president of Bousquet Enterprises, a group of recreational and hospitality businesses based in the Berkshires. Beginning immediately, Robinson will be responsible for the management, operations, and financial performance of the company’s operating business portfolio. He will also oversee major capital projects related to these sites, which include Bousquet Mountain Ski Area, Bousquet Sport (formerly Berkshire West Athletic Club), the Camp by Bousquet (formerly the Lakeside Christian Camp), the Gateways Inn, and Mission Bar & Tapas. Robinson brings more than three decades of management experience to the team. Following an MBA from Harvard Business School, he spent nine years with the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, the ownership entity of the Meadowlands and MetLife Stadium. From 1999 to 2007, he was the senior vice president of Business Operations for the NBA in New York. Upon returning to the New Jersey Sports & Expo Authority in 2008, he led facility management of Giants Stadium, Meadowlands Racetrack, Monmouth Park Racetrack, and the IZOD Center. More recently, Robinson held leadership roles at Formula 1 and was the chief of staff and acting secretary of State for the state of New Jersey from 2015 to 2017. Robinson has an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University, where he was a varsity football player; a master’s degree in sport management from UMass Amherst; and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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Kate Keiderling

Kate Keiderling

OMG Inc. appointed Kate Keiderling to the position of director of Human Resources and Environmental Health and Safety (HR/EHS). In her new position, she is responsible for developing and executing strategies that continue to provide a culture that is safe, healthy, supportive, inclusive, open, and creative. In her new role, she will work closely with the senior management team to plan and execute business strategies that address corporate safety, as well as effective personnel management. She is also responsible for improving the company’s current HR/EHS structure, programs, and processes as necessary to support OMG employees and business goals. She reports to Hubert McGovern, president and CEO of OMG. Keiderling joined OMG Inc. from Paradigm Precision in Manchester, Conn., where she was director of Human Resources for North America. Earlier, she spent 16 years in various HR positions with Pratt & Whitney, most recently as associate director of Human Resources for military engines. She also worked for the Travelers Insurance. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Elms College and a master’s degree in human resource development from American International College.

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Fred Mills

Fred Mills

New England’s largest healthcare-centric managed service provider and value-added reseller is positioning itself for national growth with the addition of Fred Mills as its new vice president of Sales. Mills joins baytechIT after stints as senior director of Worldwide Healthcare Alliances and Business Development for data-management provider Commvault, and director and general manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise for Healthcare in the Americas. The effort is also part of a national sales strategy for the entire Pixel Health portfolio of companies under the direction of newly appointed Chief Revenue Officer Barbara Casey. BaytechIT was founded in 2018 as a partnership between Pixel Health and Baystate Health System. The company’s U.S.-based call center and field-services staff supports more than 150 hospitals, clinics, and independent medical practices, with more than 16,000 devices under management. The company maintains sales partnerships with Microsoft, HPE, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Dell, and Lenovo, among others. Mills will support clients throughout the U.S. and will be based in Raleigh, N.C. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from the Boston College Carroll School of Management.

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Emma Redman

Emma Redman

SkinCatering Salon & Spa, located inside Tower Square in downtown Springfield, announced the promotion of its spa coordinator, Emma Redman, to its leadership team as the new salon & spa manager. Redman will oversee daily operations and social-media coordination, while leading a growing unit of nine employees. After several years in customer service at Six Flags New England, acting in local theatre productions, and working as a special-effects and bridal makeup artist, Redman began as a part-time front-desk employee at SkinCatering in 2019 and was quickly promoted to full-time spa coordinator just a few months later. In 2020, Redman’s support during the spa’s temporary closure during the COVID-19 pandemic was invaluable as she adeptly navigated the unknown to help preserve SkinCatering’s extensive client base for their return. As SkinCatering Spa evolved into SkinCatering Salon & Spa in December with its expansion in its new location on the first floor of Tower Square, Redman’s responsibilities increased, and she continued to show great leadership promise, SkinCatering owners Leanne Sedlak and Kim Brunton Auger said.

 

People on the Move
Beth Zapatka

Beth Zapatka

Springfield College announced that Beth Zapatka has been hired as the new vice president for Institutional Advancement, following a national and competitive search. Zapatka comes to Springfield College from Yale University, where she served as associate dean for Development and Alumni Affairs for the Yale School of Nursing. She will join the President’s Leadership Team on July 1 and oversee all institutional-advancement efforts, including the departments of Advancement Services, Alumni Relations, and Development. In a nine-year career at Yale, Zapatka held numerous roles that created a well-rounded set of experiences in institutional advancement that are directly transferable to Springfield College. In her most recent role in the School of Nursing, her accomplishments include securing significant new resources — nearly tripling contributions to the school — overseeing a rebranding campaign, building university-wide collaborations, broadening the use of social-media platforms, and reinvigorating the alumni and advisory boards.

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Slandie Dieujuste

Slandie Dieujuste

Springfield College announced that Slandie Dieujuste has been hired as vice president for Student Affairs. She is currently vice provost for Student Affairs and dean of students at Massasoit Community College, a position she has held since 2018. She will start her new role at Springfield College on July 1. Dieujuste will join the Springfield College President’s Leadership Team and play a key leadership role in fostering a sense of inclusion and engagement in a diverse and vibrant community. Working with students, faculty, and staff, she will be responsible for developing a comprehensive co-curricular vision for life on campus. Prior to her current role at Massasoit Community College, Dieujuste was associate vice provost for Residence and Greek Life at Illinois Institute of Technology. She also held student-affairs leadership positions at Governors State University, Jackson College, Saint Mary’s College, and Northeastern University. She received her PhD in higher education administration from Andrews University and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston College. Dieujuste will lead the Springfield College Division of Student Affairs, which includes the following offices and programs: Spiritual Life, Community Standards, Alcohol and Other Drug Education, Dean of Students, Student Orientation Programs, Career Center, Counseling Center, Housing and Residence Life, Student Activities and Campus Union, Campus Recreation, Center for Service and Leadership, and the Health Center.

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Western New England University announced the appointment of Basil Andrew Stewart as vice president for Finance and Administration after a comprehensive national search. Currently, he is vice president for Finance and chief financial officer for Lasell University and assistant treasurer and chief financial officer of Lasell Village in Newton. At Western New England, Stewart will serve as the chief financial officer for the university. Stewart will be responsible for the university’s finance and budgeting, internal audits, facilities management and construction, campus police, risk management, information technology, and auxiliary services. As CFO, he will serve as chief advisor to the president on financial and administrative matters and will have administrative responsibility to the board of trustees by providing administrative support to its finance, audit, and investment committees. Prior to his current post, Stewart served as chief financial officer and senior vice president for Finance and Administration at Merrimack College and held controller posts at such prestigious institutions as MIT, Northeastern, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Smith College, and Wentworth Institute of Technology. He held auditing posts for the Gillette Co. and Coopers & Lybrand. He earned his MBA and a BBA in accounting from UMass Amherst. He is a board member of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education and Boston Senior Home Care Inc. and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Inc. and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants Inc. He holds designations as a chartered global management accountant and certified public accountant. Stewart, who joins Western New England University in June, succeeds retiring Vice President for Finance and Administration Richard Wagner, who also served as director of Institutional Leadership and Planning for 18 years.

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Alex Fullerton

Alex Fullerton

Kristina Smith

Kristina Smith

Christina Reynolds

Christina Reynolds

Tara Sanderson

Tara Sanderson

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union announced four recent promotions. Alex Fullerton has been promoted to assistant vice president of Loan Operations. In this new role, he is responsible for providing leadership, oversight, and direction for all consumer-lending activities. Fullerton has been with the credit union for nine years and has held numerous roles, beginning as a teller, and most recently a supervisor of the Debt Solutions department. Kristina Smith has been promoted to assistant vice president of Retail Administration. Transitioning from overseeing retail branches, she now supports frontline teams to help plan and implement organizational growth projects; manage retail policies, procedures, and training; as well as assist with retail programs to ensure operational efficiencies are maintained. Beginning as a part-time teller after graduating from UMass Amherst, her assorted roles at the credit union over the past 12 years have prepared her for this new position. Smith’s UMassFive career includes working as the assistant to the former president/CEO manager of the Mercy Medical Center branch and senior branch manager in Hadley. Christina Reynolds has been promoted to Card Services manager. She began her career at UMassFive 10 years ago as a part-time online banking specialist in the Contact Center, eventually taking on other various branch assignments, including most recently the Northampton branch manager position. In her new role, she oversees the Card Services department, ensuring debit- and credit-card quality control and audit processes are in place while also maintaining policies to maximize efficiency and service to members. Tara Sanderson has been promoted to loan servicing manager. She began her career at UMassFive in December of 2017 as a loan servicing specialist. She was promoted to senior loan servicing specialist in mid-2019, shortly followed by a promotion to loan servicing supervisor. In her new position as loan servicing manager, Sanderson oversees both the loan-processing and loan-servicing aspects of lending to ensure compliance and maximize efficiency and service internally as well as for UMassFive members.

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Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso of the Connecticut Valley General Office of New York Life, an agent since 1995, has received the Agent of the Year Award for 2020. This award recognizes the agent who has achieved the top production among all agents at the company’s Connecticut Valley General Office. Deliso has developed an expertise in helping business owners and individuals protect and secure their own and their family’s future. Her extensive experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash and risk management, retirement, and estate planning. She is committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment. She is a Nautilus Group member agent, an exclusive advanced-planning resource for estate-conservation and business-continuation strategies. Her access to this exclusive resource enables her clients to benefit from the group’s collective experience and insightful solutions as they apply to the protection, accumulation, and distribution of wealth to individuals, families, and business owners throughout the country. Deliso has also been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1999. Members of the elite Chairman’s Council rank in the top 3% of New York Life’s sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. Active in her community, she currently serves on the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and is the immediate past chairman. She also serves on and is the past chairman of the board of the Community Music School of Springfield and is the past chairman of the board of YMCA of Greater Springfield. She is a graduate of Bentley College.

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Cynthia Malinowski

Cynthia Malinowski

Florence Bank named Cynthia Malinowski as this year’s Community Support Award winner. Malinowski, vice president and branch manager of the downtown Northampton office, joined Florence Bank in October 1999 and has 33 years of banking experience. The Community Support Award was established by the bank in 1997 as a means of formally recognizing employees who are active participants in community events and donate their personal and professional time to local not-for-profit organizations. Each year, the award recipient can select a nonprofit organization of his or her choice, and the bank will donate to that organization. At Malinowski’s recommendation, Florence Bank will donate $500 to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The mission of the Food Bank is to feed neighbors in need and lead the community in ending hunger. Malinowski serves as an active member of the Greater Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce. She is also involved with the Easthampton Helping Hand Society and occasionally volunteers at the Easthampton Community Center.

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Kelly Partridge, founder of the philanthropic clothing boutique Contribution Clothing, recently published her first children’s book. How Owls Become Wise, a story that focuses on bullying and self-correction, is available for purchase online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Walmart, with 10% of the book’s proceeds to benefit Unify Against Bullying. Contribution Clothing empowers women and supports the community through monetary donations to Western Mass. nonprofit organizations. Partridge has worked with Unify Against Bullying since the inception of Contribution Clothing and, when she decided to write a book about bullying, knew she wanted to use it as a way to show her support for the Unify mission. “Bullying is a topic that everyone has experienced one time or another in their lives, and I really wanted to bring awareness to it,” Partridge said, adding that she understands how victims of bullying feel, and she hopes her book can help both those who have experienced bullying and those who have inflicted it. To bring her story to life, the first-time author teamed up with illustrator Stephanie Hider, whom she met through a children’s book networking group.

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Greg Landry

Greg Landry

Freedom Credit Union recently welcomed Greg Landry as a mortgage loan originator in its West Springfield branch. “We’re delighted to have Greg on our lending team,” Vice President and Chief Loan Officer Jeffrey Smith said. “In a way, it’s like he’s coming home, as he previously worked at West Springfield Federal Credit Union before it merged with Freedom in 2019. He has a long history in this community and is the perfect person to help our members in the area become homeowners.” A graduate of Framingham State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Landry has worked as a mortgage and home-equity loan originator for more than 24 years.

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All States Transport Inc. recently welcomed Bill Shibley, former president of Zip Carriers in Westfield. He comes to AST with 41 years of experience, including 26 years at Zip Carriers. When the owner of Zip Carriers announced his retirement early this year, Shibley was looking to merge the firm’s longtime client base with a local transportation broker, and AST was his first choice. “We’ve been friendly competitors for years, and AST has always had a great reputation,” Shibley said. “They’re very well-established, and it’s a similar culture to Zip Carriers — family-run, with a focus on excellent customer service. I’ve had some of my clients for almost 30 years. I couldn’t drop the ball. I knew I could count on AST to provide the same level of support, service, and expertise that I’ve always delivered. At 66, it’s a little funny to be starting out at a new place, but so far, so good.” All States Transport Inc. is a domestic freight broker and international freight forwarder offering customized shipping solutions across road, rail, ocean, and air.

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Andrew Harris

Andrew Harris

VHB recently welcomed Andrew Harris as senior project manager and senior geologist for its Connecticut Site Investigation & Remediation (SI&R) practice and the Southern New England markets. Harris brings extensive experience working with industrial and commercial clients to assess and remediate brownfield and legacy properties across the Upper Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and New England. His environmental and redevelopment projects span the full project life cycle from initial due diligence and hazardous-building materials assessments, decommissioning, and demolition to remedial design, construction, and site closure. He has vast knowledge in assessing and remediating asbestos, lead, PCBs, petroleum, VOCs, and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. In 2014, Harris was a member of the active working group for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to develop the department’s Guidance Document on Calculating the 95% Upper Confidence Level. In addition to being a licensed environmental professional (LEP) in Connecticut, a professional geologist (PG) in New Hampshire, and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design 2.0 accredited professional (LEED 2.0 AP), Harris is also adjunct faculty at the University of Connecticut, teaching a class on how to conduct ASTM phase I and II environmental site assessments in Connecticut. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in geology from Ohio Wesleyan University and his master’s degree in geoscience from the University of Connecticut.

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Dennis Shockro

Dennis Shockro

Jennifer Brown

Jennifer Brown

Continuing a period of unprecedented growth, Pixel Health, a five-company, national healthcare-consulting ecosystem, appointed two seasoned IT professionals to fill new brand-level operations manager roles. Former Yankee Candle Chief Information Officer Dennis Shockro assumes the role of director of Operations at engineering consultancy VertitechIT. IT managed-services industry manager Jennifer Brown joins baytechIT as senior director of Operations. In addition to Yankee Candle, Shockro held senior operational roles at Brookstone and Northern Tool and Equipment. Brown has more than 20 years of customer-focused and technical experience, both in the human-services and IT managed-services industries. Pixel Health companies VertitechIT, baytechIT, Nectar Strategic Consulting, akiro, and Liberty Fox Technologies work with health systems, hospitals, clinics, and medical practices across North America. VertitechIT is the leading certified HIMSS Analytics INFRAM consultant in the world. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began a year ago, Pixel Health has expanded its overall workforce by approximately 40% across its U.S. operations.

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Kayombo Kamawu

Kayombo Kamawu

Kayombo Kamawu, a longtime administrator and advocate in the human-services field, was recently tapped by Pathlight to join its leadership team as vice president of Residential Supports. Prior to joining Pathlight, Kamawu served as vice president of Adult Services at the Kennedy-Donovan Center, where he was responsible for residential, day, and community Services, including shared living, family-support centers, and individual/supported living. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer and management information systems. Kamawu has also served in various leadership capacities in community-based day supports, employment, and day habilitation service lines. He prides himself in developing strong teams and enjoys the hands-on experience gathered while working with those teams. Pathlight, established in 1952, is a pioneer in services for children, teens, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the four counties of Western Mass.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — When BusinessWest launched its 40 Under Forty program in 2007, it did so to identify rising stars across our region — individuals who were excelling in business and through involvement within the community — and celebrate their accomplishments.

In 2015, BusinessWest announced a new award, one that builds on the foundation upon which 40 Under Forty was created. It’s called the Alumni Achievement Award (formerly the Continued Excellence Award). As the name suggests, it is presented to the 40 Under Forty honoree who, in the eyes of an independent panel of judges, has most impressively continued and built upon his or her track record of accomplishment.

To nominate someone for this award, visit HERE. Only nominations submitted to BusinessWest on this form will be considered. The deadline is today at 5 p.m., no exceptions. The 2020 honoree will be announced at the 40 Under Forty gala in June.

Candidates must be from 40 Under Forty classes prior to the year of the award — in this case, classes 2007 to 2020. For your convenience, a list of 40 Under Forty Alumni can be found at the bottom of this page.

Past winners include: 2020: Carla Cosenzi, president, TommyCar Auto Group (40 Under Forty class of 2012), and Peter DePergola, director of Clinical Ethics, Baystate Health (class of 2015); 2019: Cinda Jones, president, W.D. Cowls Inc. (class of 2007); 2018: Samalid Hogan, regional director, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (class of 2013); 2017: Scott Foster, attorney, Bulkley Richardson (class of 2011), and Nicole Griffin, owner, ManeHire (class of 2014); 2016: Dr. Jonathan Bayuk, president, Allergy & Immunology Associates of New England (class of 2008); 2015: Delcie Bean, president, Paragus Strategic IT (class of 2008).

People on the Move
Briana Wales

Briana Wales

Emma Mesa-Melendez

Emma Mesa-Melendez

Keith McKittrick

Keith McKittrick

Ullapi Shrestha

Ullapi Shrestha

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) announced the appointments of Briana Wales as vice president for People and Culture, Emma Mesa-Melendez as director of Communications, Keith McKittrick as Development coordinator, and Ullapi Shrestha as program assistant. These appointments are the latest example of CFWM’s ongoing commitment to expand its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts internally and within the nonprofit sector. Wales will focus on a wide scope of DEI initiatives to guide both the foundation’s external and internal DEI work, training, and development of best practices. She has an extensive career in workforce development for youth and adults and has provided leadership in both nonprofit and quasi-public settings. In her efforts to serve communities, she has fostered partnerships and programming to increase equity and access for underrepresented or marginalized groups. She received her bachelor’s degree in social justice education from UMass Amherst and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mount Holyoke College. Mesa-Melendez will be responsible for CFWM’s communications strategy and will assist with DEI initiatives. In recent work, she has consulted in marketing and graphic design, and previously served as vice president for Community Relations, Human Resources, and Marketing Management for New Valley Bank & Trust. She received her MBA from Southern New Hampshire University and her bachelor’s degree in critical social thought from Mount Holyoke College. She has worked with several nonprofits as both a board member and volunteer, including the Minority Inclusion Project, Farmington Valley YMCA, Vet Air, and the Performance Project. McKittrick comes to the foundation with 25 years of experience in philanthropy. He has held positions at UMass Amherst, Western New England University, and Holyoke Community College, where he has worked with donors to establish scholarships and fundraise for educational initiatives. He received his master’s degree in public administration from Framingham State University and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Westfield State University. Shrestha has worked as an interpreter at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and as an intern at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She has volunteered with the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. She received her master’s degree in management from Saint Joseph College and her bachelor’s degree in business marketing from the Institute of Technology in Carlow, Ireland.

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Marianna Roy

Marianna Roy

Jodi Giustina

Jodi Giustina

OMG Roofing Products has hired Marianna Roy as a customer service representative and Jodi Giustina as a sales and marketing assistant. Roy is responsible for assisting customers in placing orders and in funneling customer inquiries to the organization. She is initially responsible for handling the Firestone account, the company’s Northeast Region, and a portion of the Mid-Atlantic Region. She began her career at OMG Roofing Products as a temporary customer service representative in July 2020. Prior to joining OMG, she was with the Law Offices of John E. Miller. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State University. Giustina is responsible for a wide assortment of administrative duties to support the company’s sales and marketing team, customer service department, as well as key account managers. She joined OMG Roofing Products from PNC Business Credit, where she was a senior business development associate. Earlier, she held several positions with BKM, most recently as a project coordinator. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Simmons College in Boston.

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The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce has named Jordan Hart its new executive director. Hart will replace Andréa Marion, who recently announced her departure to pursue other opportunities. Hart has served in a variety of roles in the past eight years at the chamber, most recently as program coordinator. She is a board member at Enchanted Circle Theater and was a leader of the “Have a Ball in Holyoke” public art effort through Leadership Holyoke. She holds an associate degree from Holyoke Community College and is currently taking courses at Greenfield Community College. Among the top priorities for the 131-year-old chamber moving forward are re-establishing a solid suite of programming and seminars to support local businesses in their success, continuing to serve as a cheerleader for economic development and job growth in the city, and working with leaders throughout the area to bolster civic pride and quality of life in Holyoke and surrounding communities. Key to Hart’s responsibilities will be collaborating closely with partners throughout the region, including leaders at City Hall.

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Michele Snizek

Michele Snizek

River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC) named Michele Snizek its senior program director. Snizek will oversee RVCC’s school-based health centers and HIV/AIDS Project to ensure that these grant-funded programs are responsive to funder terms and conditions and compliant with grant rules and regulations. Snizek received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Elms College and a master’s degree in public administration from Westfield State University. She has extensive experience managing federal and state grants in the Greater Holyoke community, development and writing of grant proposals, managing grant compliance, and reporting and budget management for both federal and state applications. She is also a licensed social worker. Prior to joining RVCC, Snizek was the director of Retention at Holyoke Community College. A key focus of her work was closing HCC’s equity gaps, which were further widened during remote operations this year. This put a spotlight on the need for enhanced mental-health services for students. She started her career at HCC as a Title III activity director, managing a five-year, $1.8 million Department of Education grant focused on first-year students. For more than 20 years, she held two different positions, director of Planning and Development and director of Program Operations, at Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield Head Start Inc.

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Michelle Baity

Michelle Baity

BFAIR announced the promotion of Michelle Baity to the position of senior vice president of Human Resources. Baity joined BFAIR’s senior-management team three years ago and brought with her numerous years of experience in human resources as well as the human-services field. Since joining the team, she has formed a strong Human Resources department that has been invaluable with assisting the agency to manage the enormous challenges it has faced over the past year. According to Ethel Altiery, BFAIR’s executive director, “Michelle has been with BFAIR for three years, and working closely with her has been a wonderful experience for me. She has brought my level of knowledge and experience in the world of human resources to a new level. I look forward to working with Michelle for many more years to come.” Baity is directly responsible for crafting employee-benefit offerings and developing an educational-assistance policy to support skill development in pursuit of an organization focused on creating opportunities for advancement.

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Melissa Blissett

Melissa Blissett

Square One announced the promotion of Melissa Blissett to vice president of Family Support Services. A native of Springfield, Blissett joined Square One in 2014 as a Springfield College School of Social Work intern. Upon graduation in 2015, she joined the agency’s Healthy Families and Supervised Visitation programs. In 2017, she went to work as a Child and Family Law Division social worker for the Committee for Public Council Services in Springfield. In 2018, she returned to Square One as assistant vice president of Family Services. Blissett graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in psychology and developmental disabilities. She earned her master of social work degree from Springfield College, where she currently serves as an adjunct professor. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and actively volunteers for the Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative.

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Thomas Hull, associate professor of Mathematics at Western New England University (WNEU), recently published his latest book, Origametry: Mathematical Methods in Paper Folding. In his book, Hull takes a deep dive into the math behind origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. His research uses graph theory, combinatorics, geometry, and other areas of math, with applications in engineering, materials science, art, and education. He is a leading expert on the mathematics of origami, having given talks on this topic all over the world. Hull has been practicing origami since he was 8 years old and studying the mathematics behind origami for the past 30 years. He holds both a PhD and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Rhode Island and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Hampshire College. Several of the origami models he has invented are well-known among origami artists, including his ‘five intersecting tetrahedra’ model, a star-like structure, featured on the cover of his new book, which the British Origami Society voted as being one of the top 10 origami models of all time.

People on the Move
Richard Swift

Richard Swift

Dr. Ira Klein

Dr. Ira Klein

Richard Swift, who has served as Health New England’s (HNE) interim chief financial officer since April, has been appointed president and CEO, effective immediately. HNE also announced the appointment of Dr. Ira Klein to the role of vice president and chief medical officer. Swift is an experienced chief executive officer and chief financial officer for provider- owned health plans, and a senior healthcare executive with over 30 years of leadership with integrated delivery systems, health plans, and provider groups throughout the country. He has served as president of Medwise Partners, a health-insurance consulting company he founded in 1996. In that capacity, he has served in numerous interim executive roles for regional health plans throughout the U.S. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University and an MBA in healthcare administration from the University of Miami in Florida. In this new position, Klein is responsible for ensuring the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare services for Health New England members, and will focus on clinical excellence, innovation, and technology to improve health outcomes. Before joining Health New England, Klein served as senior director and lead, Healthcare Quality Strategy at Janssen for Johnson and Johnson Inc. in New Brunswick, N.J. Previously, he held various positions at Aetna Inc. in Hartford, Conn., including medical director, Patient Management, Northeast Region; senior medical director and analyst, National Accounts; and chief of staff and national medical director, Clinical Thought Leadership. Klein holds an MBA degree from Rutgers University’s Graduate School of Management, a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University’s College of Pharmacy.

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Lt. John Vanasse

Lt. John Vanasse

American International College (AIC) recently welcomed Lt. John Vanasse to lead the campus police department. Vanasse is an employee of G4S Secure Solutions North America, a leading international security-solutions group and the provider of campus-security services for American International College for more than five years. Vanasse’s background and experience lend well to his new role at the college. Most recently, he was an instructor of Criminal Justice at Westfield High School. He has also served as a corrections officer and deputy sheriff at the Hampshire County Jail and House of Corrections. Additionally, while working in safety and security for the Springfield public schools, he managed a million-dollar budget, supervised security staff at schools throughout the district, developed safety and security training programs, and conducted investigations into major security infractions. Prior to relocating to Western Mass. 15 years ago, he was deputy director for Safety and Security at the Massachusetts State House and other state facilities throughout Government Center in Boston. Vanasse received his undergraduate degree in criminology and law from Suffolk University and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College.

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Michael Bartoszek

Michael Bartoszek

Aegis Energy, EDF Group, a leading provider of co-generation technology, hired experienced energy-sector professional Michael Bartoszek to the role of business development manager. Bartoszek’s hire comes during an extended period of growth; Aegis recently added 12 team members and has plans to add four more. Although new to Aegis, Michael is no stranger to the company or its affiliates, having previously held the position of regional manager for the Eastern U.S. for Citelum North America, a unit of the EDF Group. With his knowledge of EDF offerings and more than two decades of industry experience, he is well-equipped to suggest energy solutions in his current role of business development manager.

•••••

Michael Bartoszek

Florence Bank promoted Shelley Moreau to the position of vice president, mortgage compliance specialist in the Residential Lending department at the main office in Florence. Moreau has been an employee of Florence Bank for 37 years. Prior to her recent promotion, she served as the assistant vice president, mortgage compliance specialist. She is a graduate of the American Bankers’ Assoc. Compliance School for Lending. During her tenure at the bank, she has been the recipient of the President’s Award, which is awarded to employees who demonstrate superior levels of performance, customer service, and overall contribution to the bank. Moreau serves her community as treasurer and board member of the Hilltown Community Development Corp. in Chesterfield.

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Bruce Dixon

Tech Foundry, a nonprofit with a mission to support the region’s growing need for a qualified technology workforce and elevate underrepresented groups into sustainable careers in information technology, has named Bruce Dixon its new CEO. Dixon will work alongside an 11-member board, lead a five-member staff, and drive strategic business partnerships and curriculum development to propel the already-thriving organization forward. Dixon previously served as CEO of the Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program, a social venture that inspires and prepares underrepresented students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It’s this background that generated interest among Tech Foundry board members, but it’s his well-rounded background and personal philosophy that solidified his candidacy. Dixon is an award-winning innovator, social entrepreneur, adventurer, storyteller, and self-proclaimed “human-performance geek.” He has held a variety of leadership roles with the Hartford Financial Services Group and the Chubb group of insurance companies; was honored with numerous awards, including the Connecticut Science Center Award for Achievement in STEM Innovation and Education and Wesleyan University’s Social Entrepreneurship Award; and was invited as an honored guest to the 2014 inaugural White House Maker Faire.

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Darcy (Fortune) Young

Darcy (Fortune) Young

The Children’s Study Home recently appointed board of directors member Darcy (Fortune) Young to its executive committee. Young has been a member of the board since 2018, serving on the communications committee. She has consulted on everything from fundraising to digital marketing and, most recently, was part of the board effort to transition to a new executive director for the 155-year old agency. One of her first acts as a member of the communications committee was to film and produced a promotional video for the nonprofit agency. In the video, professionals from Baystate Orthopedic Surgery Center; PeoplesBank; Gomes, DaCruz, & Tracy P.C.; and Sullivan, Hayes & Quinn explain not only the critical impact the Children’s Study Home has on youth, but also the community. Founded in 1865, the Children’s Study Home serves children, adolescents, and families with special needs throughout the Pioneer Valley, the Berkshires, and Cape Cod, who are often struggling to cope with behavioral, psychiatric, and cognitive issues related to the experiences they have survived. The staff of the Children’s Study Home assesses their needs and develops individualized service plans that foster recovery, growth, and wellness. As a digital public relations analyst for Garvey Communication Associates Inc. (GCAi), Young has developed and implemented numerous public-relations campaigns for some of the market’s leading brands. She is also one of the only female video producers in the region. In 2018, she produced “Innovation Series,” which won an award from the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts. Prior to joining GCAi, she was a field producer, assignment desk editor, and production assistant for FOX News and ABC News affiliates. Young is a cum laude graduate of Westfield State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication, journalism, and public & corporate communication.

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Andrea Kunst

Andrea Kunst

CitySpace announced that Andrea Kunst will fill the role of capital campaign manager for the organization, and will guide the Transformation Campaign, a project to restore and create a flexible performing-arts and community space in Easthampton’s Old Town Hall. Kunst brings 20 years of advancement experience, raising close to $30 million in funding for schools and mission-driven nonprofits. After being introduced to the field of development at a Jesuit middle school in Jamaica Plain, Kunst found her calling and has continued to support organizations with strong missions of meeting community needs. Prior to retiring from Boston public schools, she spent a decade as the director of Advancement for a competency-based alternative high school in Roxbury. She has worked extensively in many creative fields, including writing columns for Boston magazine, teaching technical writing at Boston Architectural Center, managing a jazz club in Cambridge, and serving as board chair for Dorchester Arts Collaborative during its successful opening of Dorchester’s first community art gallery. In 2016, Kunst began Cushing Mill, a contracting company for schools and nonprofits in need of advancement services. In that role, she has worked for the Center for Health and Food Law Policy at Harvard University, Fields Corner Main Street in Dorchester, All Dorchester Sports and Leadership; Boston Green Academy in Brighton, and Boston Farms Community Land Trust. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications from Emerson College.

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OMG Roofing Products promoted Adam Cincotta to the position of vice president of the company’s Adhesives and Solar Business unit, one of three business units within OMG Roofing Products. In this role, he is responsible for developing and executing the overall business-unit strategy, including product and market development, as well as managing the business unit’s profit and loss. He reports to Peter Coyne, senior vice president and general manager of OMG Roofing Products. Cincotta joined OMG Roofing Products in 2014 as a product manager for the OlyBond Adhesives product line. Most recently, he was director of the Adhesives and Solar Business unit. Under his leadership, the business unit has experienced strong growth driven by several successful new products for which he was responsible, including OlyBond500 Canisters, PaceCarts, and the PowerGrip solar-mount portfolio. Prior to joining OMG, Cincotta served in product-management and marketing roles at Newell Rubbermaid, ITW, and Danaher. He holds a bachelor’s degree in applied economics and management from Cornell University, and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts.

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Aesha Mu’min

Aesha Mu’min, a 2019 American International College (AIC) alumna of the clinical psychology graduate-degree program, and current doctoral student in the mental health counseling program, was recently named a 100 Women of Color class of 2020 award recipient. The gala and awards event recognizes the contributions that women in business, education, entrepreneurship, entertainment, and service have made to impact the lives of people throughout their communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Mu’min was selected to the 2020 cohort of awardees because of her dedication to and innovative work as a deputy warden in the Connecticut Department of Corrections. In November 2019, she was integral in piloting the equine-assisted psychotherapy sessions offered by Operation Warrior Horse, a 10-week program housed in the 110-bed unit for military veterans at the Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution in Enfield, Conn. The program offered inmates an opportunity to meet with therapists and interact with horses in the prison yard for two hours each week. Operating at no cost to the state, the program was sponsored by Healing Hoofbeats of Connecticut. While similar correctional programs utilize equine therapy, this was the first such program to be tailored to the needs of incarcerated military veterans.

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Kyle Sullivan

Kyle Sullivan

Kyle Sullivan, assistant vice president at John M. Glover Insurance Agency, recently celebrated his 10th anniversary at the firm. Sullivan sells home, auto, and business insurance and became assistant vice president in 2016. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nichols College. To better assist his commercial customers, he also holds a commercial-lines coverage specialist certification through the Hartford School of Insurance. Sullivan previously worked in the restaurant industry for 10 years, which gave him customer-service experience along with a unique perspective on insuring restauranteurs. He works with commercial clients who range from contractors, real-estate investors, and restauranteurs to the owners of car dealerships and auto-body shops.

Alumni Achievement Award Special Coverage

Class Acts

As they came together via Zoom to decide who would take home the coveted Alumni Achievement Award for 2020, the three judges who scored the nominations kept talking about how hard their final assignment was. Indeed, they admitted that all five finalists — Carla Cosenzi, president of TommyCar Auto Group, Peter DePergola, director of Clinical Ethics at Baystate Health; Mike Fenton, attorney with Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin and a Springfield city councilor; Paul Kozub, founder of V-One Vodka; and James Leahy, assistant director of Business Development and Promotion Sales for the Massachusetts State Lottery and a Holyoke city councilor — were more than worthy of the honor, formerly known as the Continued Excellence Award. As they debated the merits of each finalist, the judges had a difficult time settling on one winner of this award, sponsored again this year by Health New England. So they instead decided to honor two.
Carla Cosenzi

Carla Cosenzi, president of TommyCar Auto Group, with her children, Niko and Talia.

• Cosenzi, who adds this honor to two others from BusinessWest (40 Under Forty in 2012 and Women of Impact in 2019), was chosen both for what she’s done in business — expanding the auto group started by her father with several new dealerships — and for what’s she’s done in the community. Chief among her accomplishments in that latter category has been the creation of the Tom Cosenzi Driving for the Cure Charity Golf Tournament, staged each year to raise funds to battle brain cancer, which claimed her father when he was just 52 years old.
Peter DePergola

Peter DePergola, director of Clinical Ethics at Baystate Health.

• DePergola, who has emerged as not only a regional, but national and even international leader in the emerging field of bioethics, also now has three plaques from BusinessWest on his desk. Indeed, in addition to 40 Under Forty (class of 2015), he was also named a Healthcare Hero in the Emerging Leader category in 2018. The first, and still the only, bioethicist in this region, he recently wrote a white paper titled “Ethical Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Novel Coronovirus Disease,” published in the Online Journal of Health Ethics, and also served on the state’s Crisis Standards of Care Advisory Committee. BusinessWest congratulates these two deserving winners, who continue to raise the bar for professional and personal achievement in Western Mass.
Opinion

Editorial

Twenty-three years ago, BusinessWest launched a new recognition initiative called our ‘Top Entrepreneur’ award.

We would have called it ‘Entrepreneur of the Year,’ but that phrase was, and still is, copyrighted. Besides, most of the people we’ve honored over the years weren’t recognized only for accomplishments in a given year, but instead for what they’ve done over a lifetime — or at least to that point in their career. And, in many cases, we also honored their compelling vision for what might be, and their ongoing work to achieve it. Past, present, and future.

Cinda Jones, our Top Entrepreneur for 2019, falls into all three categories.

Indeed, she has already spearheaded a transformation of the North Amherst neighborhood her family business, W.D. Cowls Inc., calls home, moving on from an unprofitable sawmill a decade ago and cultivating a period of both significant land conservation — like the 3,486-acre Paul C. Jones Working Forest in Leverett and Shutesbury and an adjacent, 2,000-acre conservation project in Leverett, Shutesbury, and Pelham — and community-development initiatives.

The latter is best represented these days by North Square at the Mill District, a still-evolving mixed-use project that’s attracting residents, eclectic retailers, eateries, and what she calls ‘experiences’ (fun ones — she’s not soliciting dentists or accountants).

But perhaps the most intriguing element of this project is the vision that sustains it. It’s a vision of how people, especially young people, want to live in the 21st century — their longing for more face-to-face contact, their growing awareness of climate change, and their general desire to live in a hive of activity, not a long drive from it.

Any developer can invest in modern, well-appointed buildings and sign up whatever tenants show interest; Jones and her team aren’t settling for anyone, though. They want North Square to be an economic success, but also a rich way of life for those who choose to live and work there.

Western Mass. has been home to plenty of entrepreneurial vision over the decades and centuries, from legends like Milton Bradley and gunmakers Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson to the names BusinessWest has profiled as Top Entrepreneurs for the past quarter-century. Those range from Pride CEO Bob Bolduc, V-One Vodka President Paul Kozub, and Paragus Strategic IT President Delcie Bean — people who started companies from scratch and brought them to regional prominence — to Big Y’s D’Amour family and Balise Motor Sales President Jeb Balise, who built significantly on the work of multiple generations before them.

Again, Cinda Jones represents both models in some ways, stewarding a nine-generation family business but doing it in completely different ways, and with totally new enterprises, than in the past.

What all 24 years of honorees share, despite their vastly different achievements, is vision — to see opportunities that others had not — as well as the work ethic to act on that vision and a desire to see people’s lives improved in some way by the end result.

That sort of vision and energy is what much of the Pioneer Valley’s economy is built on, and, from our perspective, it’s not in short supply. v

Alumni Achievement Award

Nominate your choice for an outstanding BusinessWest 40 Under Forty Alum!

Click for Past Honorees

When BusinessWest launched its 40 Under Forty program in 2007, it did so to identify rising stars across our region – individuals who were excelling in business and through
involvement within the community –and celebrate their accomplishments. In 2015, BusinessWest announced a new award, one that builds on the foundation upon which 40 Under Forty was created. It’s called the Continued Excellence Award. as the name suggests, will be presented to the 40 Under Forty honoree who, in the eyes of an independent panel of judges,
has most impressively continued and built upon their track record
of accomplishment.

For your convenience, a list of 40 Under Forty Alumni can be found HERE.

About the nomination form:
• Candidates must be from 40 Under Forty classes prior to the year of the award, in this case, classes 2007-2018.
• Only nominations submitted to BusinessWest on this form will be considered.

Deadline is May 3, 2019 at 5 p.m. No exceptions.

Presenting Sponsor:

Continued Excellence Award Past Winners:

2018
Samalid Hogan
Regional Director, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center
Class of 2013

2017
Scott Foster
Attorney, Bulkley Richardson
Class of 2011

Nicole Griffin
Owner, ManeHire
Class of 2014

2016
 Dr. Jonathan Bayuk
President of Allergy and Immunology Associates of Western Mass. &
Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Baystate Medical Center
Class of 2008

2015
Delcie Bean
President, Paragus Strategic IT
Class of 2008

40 Under Forty Alumni Achievement Award Nomination Form

Please fill out the nomination form completely.

  • Nominee's Information:

  • Nominated by (your information):

 

Sales and Marketing

The Art and Science of Story Telling

The team at BRIGADE

The team at BRIGADE shows off the many honors garnered at the recent Ad Club of Western Mass. award show.    Photo by Stephanie Craig Photography

It was just a few weeks after Kirsten Modestow and her husband relocated to Western Mass. from San Francisco that she got the phone call that would ultimately change her life. The person at the other end was looking for someone to do some freelance work for a fledgling vodka brand called Svedka. As many people know, Svedka has gone on to become the top-selling imported vodka in the U.S. What they may not know is that, with that notable first client, Modestow created the marketing firm BRIGADE, one that has certainly built on that solid foundation in every way.

Kirsten Modestow says the branding company she would call BRIGADE (yes, all caps) was started on her kitchen table.

Which doesn’t exactly make it unique; many startups are blueprinted in such a setting. Which makes this one different is what happened after it was conceived.

For starters, that kitchen table would later become an official work station for one of the first hires, and soon other parts of the house were absorbed by additional team members as they came on board.

“The first person was in the living room, the second person was at the dining-room table, the next one was in the spare bedroom … then we all moved into the garage,” she explained. “When there was no room in the refrigerator for people’s lunches, we knew it was time to go.”

By that, she meant move into larger quarters, which the company has done a few times, but we’ll get back to that later.

The other thing that separates BRIGADE from other ventures hatched on the kitchen table is the pace of growth. Indeed, over the past 13 years, the company has expanded to 35 employees, most of them artists and designers who commute to the current home on Route 9 in Hadley from across Western Mass. and well beyond.

And their client list includes a number of prominent national brands, including Svedka vodka, the Wyndham Hotel Group, Black Box Wines, and Vertical Water, as well as some local businesses, such as Esselon Café, just a few hundred yards down Route 9.

Actually, Svedka wasn’t a national brand when Modestow was hired as a freelancer to help with a branding campaign. It was a fledgling vodka label looking to break out — and it did, big time; a few years ago, it surpassed Smirnoff as the top-selling imported vodka in the U.S.

The team at BRIGADE designed packaging for Svedka strawberry seltzer.

The team at BRIGADE designed packaging for Svedka strawberry seltzer.

“We’ve been along for the ride,” Modestow said, noting how the growth of Svedka and BRIGADE have mirrored one another. “Over the past 13 years, we’ve grown with them.”

But BRIGADE hasn’t outgrown Modestow’s kitchen table, then a space on University Drive, and then a totally renovated foreign-car sales and service shop further down Route 9 because of one client — although Svedka certainly has played a huge role in that transformation.

Instead, it’s been the company’s ability to work with clients to create branding that resonates, builds name recognition, and drives sales, Modestow explained, adding that this is what branding, the company’s specialty, is all about.

Elaborating, she said BRIGADE focuses on helping clients tell their story, and to do that, she and her team must first understand what that story is and then develop effective ways to communicate it.

“We get to know a client by doing an audit of their existing brand,” she explained. “We always see it as the client being the expert in what they do in their industry, and we bring in the branding piece, so it’s crucial to work with them as a partner.”

That was certainly the case with the new coffee bags the company created for Esselon Café. Coffee had long been a key ingredient in the restaurant’s recipe for success, said Modestow, but a while back, its leaders decided a new look was needed.

“People are more open to working with remote agencies. Before, it was a case where you went to an agency in one of the larger cities. Around 2006, when we started, there was a willingness to work with people who weren’t down the street, and that had a lot to do with our success.”

“We worked with them to determine how to capture the heart of Esselon and capture who and what Esselon is,” she explained, adding that BRIGADE came up with new packaging that drew on the Western Mass. landscape — specifically the Seven Sisters portion of the Holyoke Range — as well as new language: “All roads, bike paths, and quests for the best cup of coffee lead to Esselon Café.”

Kirsten Modestow

Kirsten Modestow

“The whole idea is that they’re on the bike path and everyone comes to Esselon; the place is packed, and you have to park illegally,” she explained. “We decided to embrace all that — we have these bike paths and roads that wrap around the bag, and we told this café story, and it’s been awesome for them; the bag is loved by Whole Foods, and retail sales have tripled because of it.”

For this issue, BusinessWest takes an in-depth look at how BRIGADE has moved well beyond that kitchen table and grown its own brand by delivering services that tell a story and generate results.

Seeking an Ad-vantage

Modestow told BusinessWest that the BRIGADE story really starts in Boston, where she worked for the acclaimed marketing agency Hill Holiday Advertising and such clients as Dunkin’ Donuts.

When the dot-com sector was at its pinnacle, however, the place to be was San Francisco, and Modestow went there and had the opportunity to join a firm and work with brands such as Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), the video-game maker.

Her firm eventually closed its doors, however, after losing one of its mainstay clients, and Modestow and her husband were at a crossroads.

“I could afford to live in San Francisco for about four and half minutes after that,” she joked. “I think we sold our house within seven days and left.”

The two then made a pact of sorts. They would relocate to wherever one of them found a job first.

“He beat me by a day; he got a job in Western Massachusetts — he’s originally from Worthington — and we came here,” she explained.

And it wasn’t long after they landed that she got that life-altering phone call.

“Someone called and said, ‘I have a freelance opportunity for you on this startup vodka brand called Svedka,’” she recalled. “Over the past 13 years, we’ve grown with them and helped them along the way; they’ve been really wonderful to us.”

As noted earlier, the company quickly outgrew Modestow’s kitchen table, refrigerator, and garage, and settled into that space on University Drive, above the popular Hangar restaurant. It wasn’t exactly a long stay, though, because the company continued to grow at a rapid rate, doubling in size from five to nine employees in a few years.

It then relocated to the foreign-car shop — a site that required a massive renovation effort — but outgrew that in just over a year, as Modestow recalled, adding that the next home is intriguing on many levels.

A portion of the 8,500-square-foot facility was home to a Registry of Motor Vehicles office, and even though it’s been closed for quite some time, people still walk in the front door looking to renew their driver’s licenses, said David Bosch, the company’s operations manager.

Another portion of the facility has home to Zoe’s Fish House, he went on, adding that, while BRIGADE renovated all the spaces into work areas, including a banquet facility that never became reality, it kept the bar intact.

The company doesn’t have a liquor license, obviously, but it does use the bar for company functions, said Bosch. Meanwhile, it’s an unusual decorative touch, and it give the company a chance to showcase many of the brands it has helped develop in what would be described as a natural setting.

The space is wide open, said Modestow, adding that this the desired environment for a marketing firm where people work together to create solutions for clients.

“We work in branding, and a lot of that is people coming together to solve a problem,” she explained. “So being in a very open space, one that’s conducive to gathering, is important.”

BRIGADE should be in this home for quite some time, because there is not only ample room to grow, but plenty of business coming through the door as the company continues to build strong word-of-mouth referrals.

The new coffee bag that BRIGADE created for Esselon Café has helped spark a surge in retail sales.

The new coffee bag that BRIGADE created for Esselon Café has helped spark a surge in retail sales.

Indeed, as noted earlier, Svedka has been a dream first client and solid foundation for BRIGADE. But the company has been able to build on that foundation, said Modestow, and for several reasons.

One is the large number of contacts she made from her previous career stops, and the experience she gained working for national and global clients, a tremendous asset in this business, as in any other.

“Having the exposure in Boston and San Francisco enabled me to work on some high-caliber clients and hone my skill set that I could then pass on to people here,” she explained. “We started off with an ability to work on those high-caliber clients; we’re really good at it, so we’ve attracted through our work the attention of others.”

Another factor is a growing willingness among corporations to work with agencies not based in New York, Boston, or Los Angeles, or whatever major metropolis the corporation was based in or near.

“People are more open to working with remote agencies,” she noted. “Before, it was a case where you went to an agency in one of the larger cities. Around 2006, when we started, there was a willingness to work with people who weren’t down the street, and that had a lot to do with our success.”

Getting the Message Across

But easily the best reason for the company’s success is the results it has garnered for its clients, said Modestow, adding that more important than the awards the company has gained for its work — and it has won many — are the gains registered by the companies looking for help with their brand.

Which bring us back to Esselon Café.

That new packaging has won a number of awards for BRIGADE, said Modestow, but the bigger story is that dramatic rise in retail sales at Whole Foods and other locations.

It came about through that art and science of storytelling and creating a brand that speaks to who they are.

When asked about the methods for gaining such results, Modestow returned to the subject of effectively partnering with the client to solve a problem or revitalize a brand.

The client knows their industry, their product or service, and their story, she went on. BRIGADE essentially takes that insight and uses it to create a brand that conveys the story in a way that resonates.

Steps include the brand audit she described earlier, and also creation of brand strategy.

“We would work through positioning statements with the client, help them figure out their key messages, how they’re different, how they talk about themselves, what their voice is, and more,” she explained. “And once we have that platform, then we would go into the visual component of all this — bringing it all to life visually through some kind of toolkit, which might be a refresh logo or packaging or a new website. We’re helping them see how this language and this new positioning can visually come to life.”

As the company creates these strategies and brings them to life, it does so not with a hard focus on targeting specific demographic groups — a mistake some companies make when marketing and branding — but building a brand that’s “authentic.”

“I don’t think you build a brand to speak to a specific group of people,” she told BusinessWest. “You build a brand that’s true to who the brand should be, and then it resonates with the right people.

“A mistake you see is when companies think the key to their success is going out and capturing the Millennials,” she went on. “Well, the Millennial doesn’t want to be captured — you have to find them because you have something compelling that made them want to believe in you. It’s about consumer experience and storytelling; people want an authentic experience with a company.”

As an example of how the firm partners with its clients, Modestow referenced the Wyndham Hotel Group and some of its specific brands, including one in particular — Travelodge.

“It was kind of an old brand with old, tired signage,” she explained, noting that, at the time, Wyndham hadn’t put much emphasis on branding, but has since changed that attitude. “We helped refresh the Travelodge brand, we helped them with an ad campaign, and we helped them with a new way to talk about themselves.”

Another example is work with Svedka to launch a new line of spiked seltzers. The company designed the cans in a way that were true to the Svedka brand but also resonated within the growing spiked-seltzer product category, said Don Magri, the company’s chief financial officer.

“They came to us with a good amount of research that they had already done on their consumer and who they were really trying to target,” he explained. “You go through iterations, but you’re really trying to creating a design that is true to the brand going into a new category, but also hitting the demographic they’re trying to reach.”

Looking down the road, those at BRIGADE said they look to continue providing clients with what they call ‘responsive branding,’ so that they are ready for the future and their brands are as well.

In short, they aim to do what the company’s done from the beginning — grow with its clients.

“We want to grow and create new opportunities for our employees and then for the people who don’t work here yet,” said Magri. “Growth for the sake of growth is not something we’re interested in, but growth for the sake of growing our skills and growing our client base and securing our client mix is our plan.”

Bottom Line

In other words, the company is going to continue doing what it’s been doing from the start, back when work was being done on Modestow’s kitchen table and her refrigerator was getting filled with employees’ lunches.

The company has come a long way since then — a quick tour of the facilities at 195 Russell St. make that clear — but the guiding principles remain the same.

And those are to tell the client’s story and create an authentic experience that resonates. When you that, it’s a lot easier to do what BRIGADE has done with and for Svedka and all its other clients — be along for the ride.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

People on the Move
Michele Cabral

Michele Cabral

Michele Cabral, a former accounting professor and interim dean of Business and Technology at Holyoke Community College, has been appointed the new director of Training & Workforce Options, a workforce-development partnership between HCC and Springfield Technical Community College. Cabral succeeds Jeffrey Hayden, who maintains his position as HCC’s vice president of Business and Community Services. As director of TWO, she will also continue in her position as director of the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute (MCCTI), the gaming school HCC runs jointly with STCC and MGM Springfield at 95 State St. in Springfield. Before being named director of MCCTI last fall, Cabral served as interim dean of Business and Technology at HCC, where she was a member of the project team that helped bring the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute to life. Cabral holds a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State University and an MBA from Elms College. She joined the faculty of HCC in 2014 as a full-time professor of accounting.

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Kevin Bramlett

Kevin Bramlett

Adam Cincotta

Adam Cincotta

As part of the previously announced organizational change to position the company for future growth, OMG Inc. promoted Kevin Bramlett and Adam Cincotta into new business-unit leadership positions for the Roofing Products Division. Each will oversee all facets of their respective business unit, including strategic sales and marketing activities, planning, forecasting, and manufacturing, as well as business-unit profit and loss. Bramlett was named director of the metal accessories business unit, which is predominantly OMG EdgeSystems, the company’s line of fascia, coping, and water-control products. Bramlett has been with the company since July 2012, most recently as the manufacturing manager for the OMG edge business. Before joining OMG, he was a mechanical engineer with Thermo-Fisher Scientific. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Cincotta was named director of the adhesives/solar business unit, which includes OlyBond Adhesives, the industry’s popular line of insulation and fleece membrane adhesive, as well as its OMG PowerGrip line of solar anchors. He joined OMG Roofing Products as a product manager in 2014, and was promoted to group product manager in 2017. Before joining OMG, he was with Lenox Tools/Newell Rubbermaid, where he worked as a senior product manager. He holds a bachelor’s degree in applied economics and management from Cornell University and an MBA from UMass.

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Kelly Marcroft

Kelly Marcroft

Kelly Marcroft, Holyoke Medical Center’s director of Emergency Services, has been selected to join an expert panel to improve patient safety in emergency medicine. The panel was convened by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety, a Massachusetts state agency that catalyzes the efforts of providers, patients, and policymakers working together to advance the safety and quality of healthcare. The goal of this expert panel is to develop, aggregate, and disseminate practical recommendations and tools to support the efforts of Massachusetts acute-care hospitals to advance the safe delivery of emergency care in their facilities. The panel will deliberate on and endorse a set of core safety competencies that all Massachusetts emergency departments should foster, as well as create a set of best-practice standards, tools, and resources to share throughout the greater emergency-medicine community in Massachusetts. The expert panel consists of nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and doctors from several hospitals throughout the state, including Baystate Health, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Lowell General Hospital, Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, and UMass Memorial Medical Center. The group first met on June 26 in Boston and will continue to meet monthly over the next year.

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Angela Barahona

Angela Barahona

Country Bank announced that Angela Barahona has joined its Commercial Banking division as vice president of Business Development and Cash Management. She brings 17 years of experience in the industry, having held various positions over the years in customer service, management, municipal and government banking, business development, and corporate cash management. She is currently working toward her associate degree from the New England College of Business and Finance with a concentration in business adminstration. Barahona began her financial-services career at Country Bank in 2001 in its retail banking area. A relocation in 2006 to the eastern part of Massachusetts brought her to State Street Bank Corp. in its wire division and later to Century Bank. For the last 13 years at Century, she held various positions working her way through the ranks, where she found her passion in helping business customers.

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Clare Lamontagne

Clare Lamontagne

Holyoke Community College recently welcomed Clare Lamontagne as its new dean of Health Sciences. Lamontagne, a registered nurse who holds a Ph.D. in nursing, brings 40 years of experience to HCC as a nursing educator, administrator, clinician, and consultant. For the past seven years, she has been a member of the full-time nursing faculty at UMass Amherst, having also served there as director of the undergraduate nursing program. She began her career in 1978 as a charge nurse at Ludlow Hospital after earning her associate degree in nursing from Springfield Technical Community College, where she worked as a member of the nursing faculty from 1988 to 2011. Lamontagne holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from American International College, a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Connecticut, and a Ph.D. in nursing from UMass Amherst. She has also worked as a nurse at Baystate Medical Center and as a volunteer at the Pioneer Valley Free Health Clinic in East Longmeadow, and has taught in the nursing programs at UConn, Elms College, and Baystate Health.

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Alta Stark has been named director of Communications for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield. She is responsible for developing, writing, and producing various printed and electronic publications, providing printed materials and signs, publicity for events, advertising, and technical support. She will also work to cultivate and maintain relationships with local, regional, and national media, as well as Catholic media, and produce content for the Sisters of St. Joseph social-media sites. Stark is a communications professional with more than 30 years of experience in marketing, advertising, public relations, and the news media. Most recently, she taught graduate-level online courses in public relations for Western New England University. Previously, she served as the director of Marketing & Public Relations for JGS Lifecare in Longmeadow, successfully rebranding the 106-year organization and helping launch the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation. Stark has also served as senior Communications specialist for Baystate Health and Communications director for the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield (now the Springfield Regional Chamber) and the Western Mass. Economic Development Council. She also spent nearly a decade producing award-winning broadcast news in several markets in the Northeast, including WWLP 22News. Stark holds a master’s degree in television, radio, and film with a concentration in broadcast news from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and graduated cum laude from Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts with a bachelor’s degree in advertising design.

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Claudia Pazmany

Claudia Pazmany

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County (BBBSHC), a program of CHD, announced the appointment of Claudia Pazmany as its new advisory board president. Pazmany, the new executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, joined BBBSHC as an advisory board member in May 2016. She served on the development committee and led the efforts to celebrate outgoing Executive Director Renee Moss, while simultaneously serving on the search committee to hire her replacement, current Executive Director Jessie Cooley. “Claudia’s successful 17-year history in professional fundraising has made her a true steward of her craft in philanthropy, and this is part of what drew her to us,” said Cooley. “Claudia is also passionate about the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters, with contagious enthusiasm and innovative ideas, and she will help lead us into the next phase of our program’s growth.”

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Krish Thiagarajan, an expert on marine renewable energy and energy-producing offshore structures, has been appointed to the endowed chair in Renewable Energy in the UMass Amherst College of Engineering. Thiagarajan will collaborate with state Department of Energy Resources staff on renewable-energy research and projects. His studies focus on harvesting energy from waves in marine environments, and his expertise will broaden and strengthen the research program in renewable energy at UMass Amherst, which has long been a national leader in wind energy. Thiagarajan came to UMass Amherst last spring after serving six years as the presidential chair in Energy at the University of Maine, where his research attracted more than $22 million in funding. At Maine, he also led the Marine Ocean and Offshore Research (MOOR) Group, which studied how human-made structures interact with the complex ocean environment. Thiagarajan completed his bachelor’s degree in naval architecture at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras. He earned a master’s degree in ocean engineering at Memorial University of Newfoundland before pursuing further graduate studies at the University of Michigan, where he was awarded master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, and naval architecture and marine engineering, as well as a Ph.D. in naval architecture and marine engineering.

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Mika Nash has joined American International College (AIC) as executive vice president for Academic Affairs. She comes to AIC from Champlain College in Vermont, where she served as dean of Continuing Professional Studies. Nash has more than 20 years of experience in the field of higher education, with the majority of her career spent in senior leadership. In her most recent role, she was tasked with the development and administration of all academic and operational responsibilities associated with running the Continuing Professional Studies academic unit with management oversight for all curricula, academic programs, academic policies, articulation agreements, eLearning, faculty recruiting, training and development, and building student, family, and academic support services. A particular area of interest and scholarship for Nash continues to be technology innovation to expand the student experience and engagement in course content. Prior to joining Champlain College in 2007, Nash served as dean for the School of Hospitality and Restaurant Management at the New England Culinary Institute. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Vermont. She has a doctorate in higher educational leadership and policy studies.

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Scott Higgins

Scott Higgins

Erin Wilde

Erin Wilde

HUB International New England, LLC, a division of HUB International Limited, a global insurance brokerage, recently announced that Scott Higgins joined the agency as an account executive for Commercial Lines, and Erin Wilde has come on board as a client relationship manager. Both will work in the East Longmeadow office. Higgins will be responsible for servicing medium- to large-sized businesses with a focus on property and casualty products. Having first started his career as a collision repair manager with GM for more than 20 years, he has a vast background in providing settlements for collision repairs. From there, he held various positions with MetLife and MetLife Financial. Wilde will work closely with the HUB New England Employee Benefits team to service existing clients with marketing, benefits communications, regulatory requirements, cost-saving measures, and enrollment, as well as assisting with new prospects. Having worked in the employee-benefits field, including stops at Bank of Tampa and Sullivan Benefits, she has a background servicing nonprofits.

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Springfield Technical Community College announced that Erica Eynouf was named dean of Library, Matthew Gravel was named dean of Academic Initiatives, and Inder Singh was named assistant vice president/chief Information officer. Eynouf joined the college in September 2012 as a reference library, and had served as interim dean of Library Services since August 2017. She holds a master’s degree in library science from Simmons College in Boston. She received her bachelor’s degree in critical social theory from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley. Gravel was most recently dean of Enrollment Management. He joined STCC in August 2001 as the director of Academic Advising, became registrar in March 2005, and was promoted to dean of Curriculum in January 2012. Among his job responsibilities, he will plan and manage academic initiatives and program review efforts. He earned a master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s degree in English from UMass Dartmouth. Singh had served as interim AVP/CIO since January. Previously, he served as CIO at Union County College in New Jersey and worked in IT leadership positions for 28 years at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Delhi University, India.

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Kathleen Anderson

Kathleen Anderson

Holyoke Medical Center announced the appointment of Kathleen Anderson as the hospital’s director of Community Benefits. She begins her new role on Aug. 27, providing programs and services to improve health in communities and helping to increase access to healthcare. She will succeed Helen Arnold following her retirement after a 42-year career with Holyoke Medical Center. Anderson most recently served as president of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce and its affiliated Centennial Foundation. Prior to that, she served as Holyoke’s Planning and Economic Development director, as well as chief of staff for two Holyoke mayors. She serves on the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development’s Economic Assistance Coordinating Council, and chairs both the Holyoke Salvation Army and Economic Development Partners of the Western Mass. Economic Development Council.

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The duMONT Co. and Hassay Savage Co. announced the promotion of Cynthia Cote to president of both companies. Cote joined duMONT with new ownership in 2016 as the company’s chief financial officer. Both duMONT and Hassay Savage companies are leaders in linear industrial broaching technology. In 2018, the companies will break ground on a new manufacturing facility to prepare for additional growth through research and development as well as acquisition. In addition to her accomplishments in manufacturing, Cote and her husband own and run a construction company and a real-estate management company in Shelburne Falls.

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HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Western Massachusetts recently named Kathy Casagrande as director of Case Management and Mary-Anne Schelb as Business Development director. These leadership-team members will support initiatives to uphold high-quality patient care at the 53-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital located at 222 State St., Ludlow. Casagrande has been a social worker and case manager in a hospital setting for more than 30 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in social work from Western New England College in 1985 and began her career at HealthSouth Western Massachusetts in March 1996 in the capacity of discharge planner. She was promoted to case manager in 1997. Schelb serves as director of Marketing Operations at HealthSouth Western Massachusetts. She began her career with an accounting certification from St. John’s School of Business and found herself drawn to a more health- and wellness-based path as a holistic health practitioner holding master/teacher certifications from the International Center for Reiki Training. In addition, she is a certified cranial sacral therapist in Profound Neutral from the Neurovascular Institute.

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Zoar Outdoor recently trained five new guides to lead its canopy-tour experience in a 40-hour process that covered topics from safety to assessing the guest’s state of mind. All five guide candidates aced written exams and technical drills on June 15, the last day of the training. Hired for the remainder of the season, which ends in November, were Brian Schempf, Matt Drazek, Haley Rode, Abby Schlinger, and Tynan Hewes. All of the trainees had previous experience riding a zipline, and they all also had outdoor experience ranging from hiking to mountain climbing. Zoar currently has 43 guides for its zipline canopy tour, which was the first zip tour in southern New England.