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Kevin Day

Kevin Day

Florence Bank announced that president and CEO Kevin Day will retire on Nov. 25, and a focused search is underway for a new leader. Day took over as president in January 2020 and became CEO in May of the same year. When Day took the helm at age 64, he promised that nothing would change at the bank. Little did he know he’d be called upon to usher Florence Bank through some of the most tumultuous times in history, including a pandemic and the resulting financial strife. Day led the bank in ensuring that countless homeowners and businesses were able to defer their payments during the pandemic and in helping business customers connect to grants and other available funding. These measures helped customers navigate the financial turmoil and gave them much-needed time to adjust to new financial situations. The bank also expanded over these past two years, opening a branch in Chicopee, creating a work-from-home program for employees, and granting hundreds of thousands of dollars to nonprofit organizations in the Valley. Day joined Florence Bank in 2008 as chief financial officer, responsible for finance, facilities, and risk management. His responsibilities expanded to include compliance in 2013, residential lending in 2014, and retail banking in 2016. He was also promoted to executive vice president in 2016.

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Aieshya Jackson

Aieshya Jackson

Karon Forde

Karon Forde

The board of directors of Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services has elected Aieshya Jackson as president, and the organization announced that Karon Forde has been appointed director of Youth Programs. Jackson is a business manager for the Springfield Library Department and has more than 15 years of financial-services experience. She is a graduate of Bay Path University, where she earned a master’s degree in healthcare management. She also attended the Connecticut School of Finance and Management. Forde had served as the Community Center director for the Police Athletic League in Brooklyn, N.Y. She has more than seven years of experience working directly with youth as well as serving as an administrator of after-school programs. She earned a bachelor’s degree in values, ethics, and social action from Allegheny College.

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The Dowd Agencies announced the promotion of Jack Dowd from account executive to vice president of Personal Lines. Dowd has been with the agency since 2016 and represents the fifth generation to join the family business. He graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and received his MBA from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business. A licensed property and casualty insurance producer, he achieved his certified insurance counselor (CIC) designation in 2019. In addition, he has participated in the 18-month Agents Sons & Daughters Training Program for underwriting at Quincy Mutual Insurance. In his community, he serves on committees for the Brightside Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He is also a member of the board of directors for Boys Scouts of America, Western Massachusetts Council, where he serves as the risk management chair.

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Lisa Wray-Schechterle

Lisa Wray-Schechterle

Holyoke Medical Center announced the appointment of Lisa Wray-Schechterle as the hospital’s director of Community Benefits. Wray-Schechterle joins the hospital from Pyramid Management Group, where she served as the marketing director of the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside for more than 20 years. She holds both a master’s degree in communication and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England University. She serves as a marketing committee member for Girls Inc. of the Valley, a board member of the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, and an advisory board member for the Holyoke Community College School of Business. Holyoke Medical Center Community Benefits provides programs and services to improve health in communities and helps to increase access to healthcare. Wray-Schechterle succeeds Kathy Anderson as director of the department following Anderson’s retirement.

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William Burke III

William Burke III

The Springfield College board of trustees recently announced the outcome of its 2022-23 board election results during its annual spring meeting. William Burke III was re-elected as chair of the board of trustees. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola College and an MBA from Loyola College Sellenger School of Management. Other trustees elected to the board include Mark Elgart, president and CEO of Cognia in Alpharetta, Ga.; Pia Flanagan, chief of staff to the CEO at MassMutual in Springfield; Peter Pappas, a wealth management associate at Morgan Stanley in Springfield; Suzanne Robotti, founder and president of MedShadow Foundation in New York, N.Y.; Terry Powe, principal of Elias Brookings School in Springfield; Anthony Sarage, a podiatrist and partner at Western Massachusetts Podiatry Associates in East Longmeadow; Denise Alleyne, retired vice president for Student Services at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill; Douglass Coupe, retired vice president of State Street Global Investor Services of Boston; Samantha Hourihan, student trustee and a physical therapy major; Gizzelle Abanador, student trustee-elect and a biology major; and David Henke, student trustee-elect and a secondary education major.

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Tiffany Appleton has been named president of the board of directors at Dakin Humane Society in Springfield. Appleton joined the board in 2017 and served as its secretary from 2020 to 2022. She is currently the associate director of Employer Relations at UMass Amherst, a position she has held for the past two years. Prior to that, she was a director of the Accounting and Finance Division at Johnson & Hill Staffing Services in West Springfield from 2016 to 2020. Appleton earned both a master’s degree in science education and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at UMass Lowell. She previously served as a board member at the Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley from 2018 to 2020.

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Adam Hogan

Adam Hogan

Adam Hogan has joined Bulkley Richardson as the firm’s controller. In this management role, Hogan will execute all financial and tax-related activities for the firm, including development of the annual operating budget; partnership reporting; successful collaboration with his team for billing, payables, and receivables; and working closely with firm leadership to contribute to the growth and overall success of the firm. Previously, Hogan held the positions of CFO, controller, and staff accountant at several area businesses. He holds both a master’s degree in accounting and financial planning and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Elms College.

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Elizabeth Hillis

Elizabeth Hillis

The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) welcomed Elizabeth Hillis, Business Development associate at WWLP-22 News, to its board of directors. “I’m excited to share my skills with the board and learn new things about the area,” Hillis said. “I’m thrilled to be able to help with the amazing events our organization has to offer. Being a Springfield YPS member is a great way to develop your network, meet other professionals, and become more involved in your community. I can’t wait to get started.”

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Evan Collins joined Lee Bank as a mortgage originator and will be working out of the Pittsfield branch. Collins was previously employed as a sales associate at Piretti Real Estate and Stone House Properties. He has been involved in real-estate sales in Berkshire County for seven years and said he is looking forward to exploring a different side of the local real-estate market in his new position.

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BK Investments Hotel Group announced the promotion of Karen Warren to regional director of Operations. Warren will be responsible for the management of the hotel portfolio. She will have responsibilities for a range of brands, including Residence Inn Chicopee, Hampton Inn Chicopee, Tru by Hilton Chicopee, and Holiday Inn Express in Brattleboro, Vt. Vickie Maryou has been promoted to general manager of Residence Inn Chicopee to succeed Warren.

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Gisenia Stewart

Gisenia Stewart

ServiceNet’s diversity coordinator, Gisenia Stewart, will join a group of experts, leaders, and community members to spearhead the Baby Bonds Task Force, a group charged by the state treasurer, Office of Economic Empowerment, and Economic Empowerment Trust Fund to provide recommendations for creating a Baby Bonds initiative in Massachusetts. Baby Bonds is an initiative that provides government-supported trust funds for children. When account holders reach adulthood, they can access their fund and spend it on assets that can grow over time or generate wealth (e.g., higher education, buying a home, starting a business, etc.). Studies show that Baby Bonds can help close the racial wealth gap. The Task Force’s diverse, cross-sector group includes people who have expertise and lived experience in racial wealth equity, community engagement, child welfare, and asset-growth initiatives. The Task Force will be chaired by former Massachusetts State Treasurer Shannon O’Brien.

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