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Bay Path Gets High Marks for Online Master’s in Cybersecurity

LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University has been ranked as one of the top online cybersecurity master’s degree programs by Fortune magazine. Fortune, which covers global business topics, ranked Bay Path 11th in the nation for its online master’s program in cybersecurity. Rankings were determined by a program’s selectivity score, which measures the undergraduate GPAs and years of work experience of its students, along with the program’s acceptance rate. In addition, Fortune evaluated retention and graduation rates, as well as the size of each graduating class. In addition to its cybersecurity graduate program for men and women, Bay Path offers a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity to undergraduate women. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for cybersecurity professionals is expected to grow by 33% over the next decade, more than four times faster than the average for all occupations. In 2020, the median annual salary for cybersecurity analysts in the U.S. was approximately $104,000.

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Expands with New Location

EAST LONGMEADOW — Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, a global residential real-estate brokerage franchise network, announced its further expansion in the state of Massachusetts with the addition of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Professionals. This addition marks the brand’s continued growth in the region with its 48th franchisee, led by President Robert Molta, who has been an industry leader in the market for more than 30 years. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Professionals is a full-service real-estate brokerage serving Western Mass. and Northern Conn. By joining the network, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Professionals agents gain access to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ active referral and relocation networks and its FOREVER Cloud technology suite, a powerful source for lead generation, marketing support, social media, video production and distribution, and more. The brand also provides an exclusive Luxury Collection marketing program for premier listings. Its Prestige magazine showcases network members’ premium listings with a strong lineup of feature stories covering topics that appeal to high-end real-estate clients.

 

Tighe & Bond Earns Two Awards for Coonamessett River Restoration

WESTFIELD — Tighe & Bond, Inter-Fluve, the town of Falmouth, and project partners have been recognized with two awards for the Coonamessett River Restoration and John Parker Road Bridge project. The project team received the Bronze Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts and the Nicholas Humber Outstanding Collaboration Award from the Environmental Business Council of New England. The awards recognize the successful transformation of 56 acres of abandoned cranberry bogs, which established a thriving, self-sustaining ecosystem supporting wildlife, increasing coastal resiliency, and providing educational opportunities. Numerous barriers to fish passage were removed, and 5,560 feet of the river were reestablished to closely match the historic natural flow of the river. Project partners spanning local, state, and federal organizations collaborated with the technical engineering and construction teams to successfully complete this project. The restoration serves as an example for other Cape Cod communities transforming former cranberry bogs across the region into thriving wildlife habitats and educational and recreational opportunities.

 

MassDevelopment Puts 1550 Main St. on Market

SPRINGFIELD — Colliers Capital Markets announced that it has been retained by MassDevelopment to sell 1550 Main St., the 128,900-square-foot office building in Springfield’s downtown corridor. Colliers Executive Vice President Jeanne Pinado will lead marketing efforts of 1550 Main, with Vice President Rob Schlesinger providing additional support, and the firm will issue a call for offers in mid-July. The five-story office building is 97% leased and underwent a complete $9 million renovation in 2010. Capital improvements included creating a high-quality building entrance with an open atrium with 70-foot ceilings, as well as building an outdoor plaza and improving landscaping, elevators, restrooms, and more. Formerly a federal courthouse, 1550 Main St. is home to tenants such as the administrative offices for Springfield Public Schools, the U.S. General Services Administration, and Baystate Health. The building has a 103-space below-grade garage and connects via a pedestrian skywalk to the 28-story Tower Square. MassDevelopment purchased 1550 Main from the federal government in 2009 and revitalized the campus to position it as a Class A office building with an expansive public plaza as part of an economic-development initiative.

 

BankESB Commits $30,000 to Girls Inc. of the Valley

EASTHAMPTON — Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, announced that the bank has pledged $30,000 over three years to Girls Inc. of the Valley. The money will be used to help support the organization’s “Her Future, Our Future” campaign, a $5 million fundraising effort designed to help the organization better meet the needs of girls from under-resourced communities in Hampden County and beyond. Through this campaign, Girls Inc. seeks to triple the number of elementary and teen girls served, reaching more than 1,000 girls annually. Efforts include renovating a state-of-the-art headquarters and program center in Holyoke; expanding geographic reach in public schools in Springfield, Chicopee, and beyond; and supporting the innovative Eureka! STEM program that prepares girls for college and career. The donation was made as part of the bank’s charitable giving program, the Giving Tree, which reflects the roots the bank has in its communities, its commitment to making a real difference in the neighborhoods it serves, and the belief that everyone’s quality of life is enhanced by working together to solve communities’ biggest problems.

 

Lee Bank Foundation Distributes $70,700 in Second Grant Round

LEE — Lee Bank Foundation has awarded $70,700 to 13 Berkshire-area organizations in its second round of 2022 community funding. Recipients were awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $12,500 to support local programming. Included in the awards are a series of Arts Access Grants for arts and culture organizations to expand access to programming for underserved audiences. Organizations receiving funding from Lee Bank Foundation include Berkshire Black Economic Council, Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Berkshire Bounty, Community Health Programs, Construct, Elizabeth Freeman Center, Flying Cloud Institute, Goodwill of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont, Link to Libraries, and South Community Food Pantry. Additionally, Arts Access Grants of $1,000 each were awarded to Berkshire Theatre Group, BODYSONNET, and Norman Rockwell Museum. The deadline for the next round of 2022 foundation funding is Sept. 1. The application and more information can be found at www.leebank.com/community-impact/donations-sponsorships.html. To be considered for grant awards, an applicant must be a (501)(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The foundation is focused on funding programs that work to bridge income and opportunity gaps.

 

T-Birds Earn Award for #WeAre413 Campaign

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Thunderbirds were recognized for their business excellence in a variety of departments at last month’s AHL team business meetings. For their season-long #WeAre413 campaign, the Thunderbirds organization took home the league award for Marketing Campaign of the Year. The Thunderbirds returned to the ice in 2021 after opting out of the 2020-21 shortened season. This campaign’s messaging goal was to speak to the pride felt by every resident of the Greater Western Mass. region, as well as the longstanding hockey history of the city. The club also received the award following the 2018-19 season for its #RiseUp campaign. In addition to Marketing Campaign of the Year, the Thunderbirds achieved a pair of milestones in both ticket sales and corporate sales. As part of the award recognition at the team business meetings, AHL member clubs that hit benchmarks pertaining to tickets sold and corporate sponsorship revenue were honored.

 

Six Flags New England Fulfills Bet Against Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

AGAWAM — Six Flags New England and its sister park Six Flags Discovery Kingdom located in San Francisco set a friendly wager for the recent NBA Finals series. While both parks are proud of their local Celtics and Warriors going head to head, the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championship game series. Six Flags New England begrudgingly fulfilled its wager against its sister park, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom this past weekend, renaming its iconic New England SkyScreamer to the Golden State SkyScreamer. “We tip our hats to our friends and colleagues at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and the recent win of their beloved Warriors,” said Park President, Pete Carmichael. “We New Englanders are all too familiar with being crowned champions (17 titles) and welcome a rematch between the two coasts very soon.”

 

Monson Savings Donates $2,250 to Shriners Hospitals for Children

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank recently presented a $2,250 donation to Shiners Hospitals for Children – Springfield as a part of the 2022 Monson Savings Bank Community Giving Initiative, in which the public casts votes to support their favorite local charitable organizations. “Monson Savings Bank is extremely proud to donate to the Springfield Shriners Hospital for Children,” President and CEO Dan Moriarty said. “We know that our donation will support the patient care, medical research, and education that directly benefits children living in local communities. It is essential to have a nearby hospital that parents and guardians can turn to when their child needs specialty care.”

Agenda

Annual Golf Tournament

June 3: The Hospice of the Fisher Home will present its sixth annual par 3 event at Amherst Golf Club’s nine-hole course at 1 p.m. Beer tastings and seafood slider samples will be available on the course as well as a chance to win a pair of Putnam Club seats on the 45-yard-line to a New England Patriots game. This prize has been donated by Manny’s Appliance of Hadley. Participants can get a free swing analysis, a chance at winning a new Ford Bronco, and other raffle items. They will also be invited to stop by and drop off unwanted, lightly used housewares and clothing to donate to the Fisher Home’s thrift shop. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit Hospice of the Fisher Home. Hospice staff are grateful to the contributors of this event, including donors, sponsors, and friends at the Amherst Golf Club. They make it possible to a compassionate, comprehensive, and supportive end-of-life care to patients and their loved ones in their own homes or in the hospice residence. Visit https://www.fisherhome.org/2022-golf-tournament learn more, donate, sponsor, and register. For more information, contact Ashleigh Towse: [email protected], (413) 992-2544.

Benefit Bike Ride

June 11: Area residents are invited to pedal for a great cause and help raise donations for Cancer House of Hope. A ride is scheduled on the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail (rain date is June 12). In addition to a small registration fee, ride participants are asked to raise donations from family, friends, and colleagues, with an individual fundraising goal of $100, and a family fundraising goal of $150. The ride encourages and welcomes riders of all ages and skill levels. Participants can bike five, 10, or 20 miles. Support stations will be available at all turn-around points and the start/finish location — the Stop & Shop at 57 Main St. in Westfield. To register, visit chd.org/chainofhope. For more information, call Margaret Toomey, (413) 733-1858.

40 Under Forty

June 16: BusinessWest will host the annual 40 Under Forty Gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. One of the most anticipated events of the year, the gala will celebrate the Class of 2022, which was announced in the May 2 issue of BusinessWest. The gala will feature a VIP hour for the honorees and sponsors, networking, the presentation of the Alumni Achievement Award, and introduction of members of the Class of 2022. Event tickets are sold out. Please join us for the livestream. Visit BusinessWest.com for more information. Forty Under 40 is sponsored this year by: Presenting Sponsor PeoplesBank; Alumni Achievement Award Presenting Sponsor Health New England; and supporting sponsors Comcast Business, Live Nation, Mercedes Benz of Springfield, The Mill District, Stand Out Truck, and the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Business. The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) is an event partner.

 

MOSSO Concerts

June 23/July 21: MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, have announced details of their upcoming summer concerts at Symphony Hall. MOSSO will celebrate the music of Stephen Sondheim and John Williams. These concerts mark the first time in almost 20 years that the musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra have performed summer concerts in Springfield. On June 23, MOSSO celebrates the music of the late, legendary Broadway composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, who penned the words and music to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods. Conductor Tim Stella will lead the program, joined by Broadway stars Hugh Panaro and Lisa Vroman. Also appearing are Ray Hardman and Kathleen Callahan-Hardman. Stella conducted The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and before that, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Hello Dolly!, and Legs Diamond. He served as vocal coach to Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, who portrayed Christine and the Phantom respectively, in the movie version of Phantom. Stella is former resident music director of Goodspeed Musicals, and a conductor at Radio City Music Hall. Panaro is best known for having played the role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times. On July 21, Maestro Kevin Rhodes returns to Springfield to conduct a MOSSO benefit concert, with a program of light classics and music of renowned composer John Williams, whose works include Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler’s List. Rhodes will be joined by guest soloist, violinist Yevgeny Kutik, whose two prior solo appearances in Springfield were met with great acclaim. Rhodes served as music director and conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for 20 seasons, until the SSO paused performances in 2020. He continues to serve as music director and conductor of the Traverse Symphony in Michigan, and as principal conductor of Boston’s Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. In March 2021, Maestro Rhodes made his debut with the Orchestra of the Rome Opera in Italy, recording a live radio broadcast of Maurice Jarre’s score to Roland Petit’s ballet, Notre Dame de Paris. He will conduct productions of Giselle and La Bayadère for their 2022-23 season. Kutik, a native of Minsk, Belarus, immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five, with the help of the Jewish Federations of North America. His 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), features music he found in his family’s suitcase after immigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1990. In 2021, Kutik launched Finding Home: Music from the Suitcase in Concert. Kutik’s additional releases on Marquis include his most recent album, The Death of Juliet and Other Tales. Tickets for both concerts, priced $60, $45, $25, and $10, will go on sale on May 9. For details, visit: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com. MOSSO sponsors (to date) include: The Republican/MassLive, BusinessWest and Healthcare News, WWLP-22News & The CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, New England Public Media, the Musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation.

Company Notebook

UMass Amherst College of Engineering Receives $10 Million Gift

AMHERST — The UMass Amherst College of Engineering (COE) has received a $10 million gift from Jerome and Linda Paros aimed at accelerating its cutting-edge work in atmospheric research and hazard mitigation by enabling a new center of excellence. The gift is the largest ever received by the college. The gift will support the translation of ongoing and future research into improved hazardous weather predictions, alert systems, and policies that will save lives as the world continues to experience increases in the intensity and frequency of storms and other extreme weather events that stem from climate change. The $10 million gift will provide discretionary support for the new Paros Center for Atmospheric Research, funding for the Paros Fellows/Scholars Endowed Fund for graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships, and to establish the Paros Chair of Atmospheric Research and Hazard Mitigation. Building upon UMass Amherst’s leadership in the field through the Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) — an engineering research center housed at UMass and established through prior National Science Foundation funds — this new funding will enable UMass researchers to expand CASA’s original mission to explore new frontiers in atmospheric measurement, science, and technology. Jerome Paros, a 1960 UMass Amherst alumnus, is a leader in the field of geophysical measurements. He holds more than 50 patents and is the founder, president, and chairman of Paroscientific Inc., Quartz Seismic Sensors Inc., and related companies based in Redmond, Wash. These companies use the quartz crystal resonator technology he developed to measure pressure, acceleration, temperature, weight, and other parameters. His work has improved the measurements of geophysical phenomena such as tsunamis, earthquakes, and severe weather, and enhanced knowledge about the complex earth, air, and ocean processes that produce climate change. In the mid-2000s, Jerome and Linda Paros endowed a fund in measurement science at UMass Amherst, with the goal of creating synergy in this field of study between the COE and the College of Natural Sciences.

 

HCC Lands $147,000 Grant to Buy Mobile Culinary-arts Lab

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been awarded a $147,000 Skills Capital Grant to purchase a truck for its culinary-arts program that will be used as a mobile kitchen for community outreach and education. The funds, from Gov. Charlie Baker’s Workforce Skills Cabinet, are part of a new, $3.3 million package of grants to 20 educational organizations in Massachusetts for updating equipment and expanding student enrollment in career education programs. According to the award letter, HCC will use the $147,000 to purchase and outfit a mobile food lab that will support both credit and non-credit culinary-arts programs and also incorporate other areas of study, including nutrition, health, business, and entrepreneurship. HCC’s grant application notes that residents of Holyoke face a high level of food insecurity and that downtown Holyoke has been identified as a ‘food desert.’ The mobile food lab will be used to engage community partners such as the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club and area food pantries. Students will meet with representatives from area organizations to create menus based on ingredients of their choice or what might be seasonally available. Once the truck arrives — sometime later this year — food-truck operations will be worked into the current culinary-arts curriculum in both credit and non-credit courses such as event planning and line-cook training. Students will have to learn to cook in a much smaller space than they are used to in the kitchens at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute; they’ll also have to learn food-truck logistics, such as how to dispose of dirty ‘grey’ water, replenish the kitchen with fresh water, and maintain a stable power source.

 

McGovern Auto Group Opens McGovern Chevrolet of Greenfield

GREENFIELD — McGovern Auto Group, which operates 19 dealerships across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York, announced the opening of McGovern Chevrolet of Greenfield. The new dealership, which replaces Dillon Chevrolet, employs 25 people across its sales, leasing, and maintenance teams, with plans to increase headcount to at least 40 by the end of 2022. The opening was enabled by McGovern Auto Group’s acquisition of Dillon Chevrolet, located at 54 Main St., from longtime owners Tom and Jay Dillon. Under the McGovern brand, the new dealership will feature a lot with more than 125 new and used cars, plus a completely reimagined customer experience including comfortable, clean, and modern waiting areas with free coffee and high-speed WiFi. To mark the transition to new ownership after 60 years in the Greenfield area, McGovern Chevrolet is also offering all Greenfield area residents an express detail — a $100 value — with any service. Founded in 2016, McGovern Auto Group is a full-service dealer group with four collision centers in addition to a commercial and municipal division. Known for luxury vehicles such as Ferrari and Porsche, the company also brings deep expertise working with brands including Chevrolet, GMC, Ford, Hyundai, Honda, and Toyota.

 

Bulkley Richardson Supports Baystate Children’s Hospital

SPRINGFIELD — Throughout the course of a year, the Davis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Baystate Children’s Hospital cares for more than 800 newborns. These babies are fighters, but they require essential care. Many have come into the world too early; others emerge with medical challenges that need to be addressed in the moments after birth. All of them deserve the best chance for a healthy life. Bulkley Richardson, a Springfield-based law firm, recently made a $10,000 gift to support that essential care through the purchase of a transcutaneous CO2 monitor. This device provides a non-invasive and efficient way to monitor newborns’ exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2) when they require a ventilator to assist their breathing. It also allows the team to review and respond to important health details in real time instead of through multiple painful blood draws. With one in 10 families needing the NICU in their lifetime, this type of equipment will be used by many and provide a more comfortable experience for Baystate’s youngest patients.

 

DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology Adding Nail & Esthetics Programs

WEST SPRINGFIELD — DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology is getting a makeover. The school, which opened its doors in 2002, will be renovating and expanding this spring to add a nail program and an esthetics program. Paul DiGrigoli, owner and CEO of the DiGrigoli Companies, first opened DiGrigoli Salon in 2000 on Riverdale Street in West Springfield. A couple years later, he added the fully accredited and award-winning DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology, which has produced hundreds of cosmetologists in the Western Mass. area and beyond. Due to the expansion of the school, DiGrigoli Salon officially came to an end on Feb. 26. The extra space from the salon will allow for larger facilities and amenities for both students and clients of the new DiGrigoli School. Renovations will begin in spring, and details of the new programs and enrollments will be available by fall 2022. The currently running cosmetology program will continue uninterrupted, with its next class starting on May 3. Former clients of DiGrigoli Salon are welcome to visit the school’s student salon, which offers a variety of hair and basic manicure services. Appointments can be made by calling (413) 827-0037 or on a walk-in basis.

 

AIC Named to 2022-23 Military Friendly Schools List

SPRINGFIELD — American International College (AIC) announced it has earned the 2022-23 Military Friendly School designation. Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey. More than 1,800 schools participated in the 2022-23 survey, with 665 recognized for going above the standard. The 2022-23 Military Friendly Schools list will be published in the May and October issue of GI Jobs magazine and can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com. Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Viqtory with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher-education and military-recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer), and loan-default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

 

Home City Development Signs Land Disposition Agreement for South End Townhouses

SPRINGFIELD — Home City Development Inc. (HCDI) has signed a land disposition agreement with the city of Springfield to develop up to 40 for-sale residential units on the former Gemini site in the South End of Springfield. This townhouse development will serve low- to moderate-income households earning between 70% and 100% of adjusted median income. The residential zoning change was approved in October, and Mayor Domenic Sarno signed the land disposition agreement in January. The team is working closely with funders to make sure the project is developed and managed appropriately to serve the community. The HCDI team continues to meet with the South End Citizens Council, receiving valuable input. HCDI has received a preliminary commitment from MassHousing for the majority of the public financing necessary and has applied to the city of Springfield for the remaining funds. Once these funds are in hand, construction could start as early as the fall of 2022. Designs are being finalized by Architecture Environment Life of East Longmeadow and Torres Engineering of Wethersfield, Conn.

 

Pioneer Moving Launches Program to Turn Food Waste into Donations

SOUTH HADLEY — When people move residences, they typically do a lot of purging before moving day. One common area to clean out is the pantry, resulting in large amounts of wasted food. Pioneer Moving is on a mission to use this practice to benefit to those in need though the company’s newly launched Pioneer Program. The Pioneer Program collects non-perishable food from residents who are getting rid of items they don’t need and distributes it to shelters and food banks. The program is 100% free to everyone involved and is simple to participate in. Consumers can obtain a Pioneer Program box from a real-estate agent, rental office, or another local business. The participants fill up their box with non-perishable, non-expired food. Then they can call the Pioneer Program to promptly pick up the box from them. The Pioneer Program team will distribute the food to a local food pantry or homeless shelter. Pioneer Moving donates the boxes and labor time collecting and delivering the food. Brian Clark, owner of Pioneer Moving, founded the Pioneer Program when he noticed a large amount of food being tossed in the trash by residents on moving day that could be donated. Knowing that people who are moving are typically rushed for time to get everything ready for the movers, Clark immediately recognized that residents would be more than happy to have someone help them easily get rid of items they no longer want or need.

 

KeyBank Announces Support for Humanitarian Efforts for Ukraine

CLEVELAND — KeyBank announced several steps it is taking to support humanitarian efforts currently underway for the people of Ukraine. In a message to employees, Chris Gorman, KeyCorp chairman and CEO, announced $150,000 in grants from KeyBank Foundation and a 1:1 employee matching-gift program. KeyBank Foundation will give a $100,000 grant to the American Red Cross to support its efforts to provide food, water, and other essential items and services to the people of Ukraine. The Red Cross has teams on the ground in Ukraine and neighboring countries helping families and working to repair vital infrastructure, support health facilities with medicines and equipment, and support families with food and hygiene items. KeyBank Foundation will also make a $50,000 grant to UNICEF for its work supporting children and families impacted by the war in Ukraine. In addition, KeyBank is launching a 1:1 employee matching-gift program through KeyBank Foundation that will help amplify and raise the collective voice of teammates in support of Ukraine. As part of this program, KeyBank Foundation will prove a dollar-for-dollar match for all employees up to $5,000, for several organizations supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, including Americares, CARE, Project Hope, Save the Children, and World Central Kitchen.

 

Pioneer Valley Credit Union Donates to Friends of the Homeless Shelter

SPRINGFIELD — Pioneer Valley Credit Union donated $100 worth of thermal layers, hats, socks, sweaters, and sweatpants and an additional monetary donation of $500 for a grand total of $600 to Clinical & Support Option’s (CSO) Friends of the Homeless Shelter in Springfield. The warm-clothing collection efforts were made at the Sixteen Acres and East Springfield branches throughout the month of February in addition to the option to donate over the phone. CSO’s Friends of the Homeless program is more than an emergency shelter. In addition to offering more than 1,000 individuals with a warm bed and hot shower each year, the program also assigns case workers to each guest. It also serves three community meals each day, offers a robust resource center, and operates low-income housing units for those in need.

Agenda

Difference Makers

March 24: Since 2009, BusinessWest has been recognizing the work of individuals, groups, businesses, and institutions through a program called Difference Makers. The 14th annual Difference Makers celebration will be held at the Log Cabin in Holyoke from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets cost $75 and can be ordered at businesswest.com/difference-makers/difference-makers-tickets. The 2022 Difference Makers include Tara Brewster, vice president of Business Development at Greenfield Savings Bank; the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; Heriberto Flores, president of the New England Farm Workers’ Council; John Greaney, retired State Supreme Court justice and senior counsel at Bulkley Richardson; Ruth Griggs, president of the Northampton Jazz Festival and principal at RC Communications; Ted Hebert, owner of Teddy Bear Pools and Spas; I Found Light Against All Odds and Its Founder and CEO, Stefan Davis; and Roca Holyoke and Springfield. Their stories are told in the Feb. 16 issue of BusinessWest and at businesswest.com. The sponsors for this year’s program are Burkhart Pizzanelli, the New England Farm Workers’ Council, the Royal Law Firm, TommyCar Auto Group, and Westfield Bank.

 

Drive-thru Food Drive

March 26: The Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Agricultural Society, the nonprofit organization that manages the Three County Fair, the oldest ongoing agricultural fair in the country, will conduct a drive-thru food drive outside its main office at 54 Fair St. in Northampton. The fair held its last food drive in the spring of 2020 during the onset of the pandemic and delivered more than 2,000 pounds of food to area pantries. The fair is seeking non-perishable foods such as canned fruit, soup, tuna, and vegetables, plus cereal, pasta, pasta sauce, and peanut butter for area food pantries that have partnered with the fair, including the Easthampton Community Center, the Franklin County Meals Program, the Helping Hands Cupboard Food Pantry at BOCC in Belchertown, and the Westhampton Congregational United Church of Christ food pantry. Each vehicle that donates will be supplied with a pair of complimentary tickets to the 2022 Three County Fair, scheduled for Sept. 2-5. Donations can be dropped off at the fair’s main office at 54 Fair St. in Northampton between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The fair requests that donations be compiled in disposable bags or boxes for volunteers to easily accept them from vehicles.

 

UMass 5K Dash and Dine

April 9: After a two-year hiatus, UMass Dining Services will host its 11th annual UMass 5K Dash and Dine on campus starting at 9 a.m. The goal of the event is to promote health and wellness at the university while raising funds for the Amherst Survival Center. In total, UMass dining has been able to raise more than $50,000 for the Amherst Survival Center. The 5K features a USA Track and Field certified course to runners, walkers, and wheelchair participants. When race participants are finished, all are welcomed to have lunch at the award-winning dining commons on campus. The race fee is $10 for all UMass and Five College students, $15 for UMass Amherst faculty and staff, and $20 for the general public. Children age 8 and under may participate for free. This race fee includes registration and the complimentary meal. Online registration ends at midnight on Wednesday, April 6. Walk-up registration is available on race day. To register for the event or make a donation, visit runumass.com.

 

MOSSO Chamber Music Series

April 14: The Westfield Athenaeum continues its three-concert chamber music series at 7 p.m., with musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, known as MOSSO, providing the music. A woodwind quintet of MOSSO musicians will be showcased, and Guy McLain, executive director of the Westfield Athenaeum, will offer a pre-performance talk at 6 p.m., which is free to ticket holders. Ann Bobo, principal flute, and Nancy Dimock, principal oboe, will be joined by their colleagues Ian Greitzer, clarinetist, Ron Haroutunian, bassoonist, and horn player Robert Marlatt. The MOSSO season at the Westfield Athenaeum opened on March 10, and will conclude with a concert on May 19, with a program to be announced soon. Tickets for the concert cost $20 and must be purchased in advance at the Westfield Athenaeum during business hours, or online at www.westath.org. Audience members will be required to wear masks.

 

Springfield Symphony Orchestra Spring Concerts

April 22, May 13: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Board announced two spring concerts will be hosted at Springfield Symphony Hall with former SSO Music Director Mark Russell Smith serving as guest conductor. Smith is music director and conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. He previously served as music director for the SSO from 1995 through 2000. He has worked as director of New Music Projects for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and artistic director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Minnesota, and has also served as music director for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. Details about the concerts, program, and availability of tickets will be forthcoming and available at springfieldsymphony.org.

 

sheLEADS Conference

May 20: The Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce will host sheLEADS, a woman’s conference aimed at building a bold, brave community of women in the 413 with an eye on professional development and beyond. “This is a high-energy day filled with professional development, relationship- and leadership-building opportunities. Our focus is on providing attendees tools and connections that they didn’t have when they walked in,” said Moe Belliveau, the chamber’s executive director. The day begins at the Boylston Room in Easthampton at noon and ends with networking at Abandoned Building Brewery. In between, attendees can look forward to “Activating Your Leadership Strengths,” facilitated by Colleen DelVecchio of Colleen DelVecchio Consultants; “The Language of Leadership,” a panel discussion featuring Pia Kumar, chief strategy officer at Universal Plastics, Lynnette Watkins, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care, and Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, CEO of Inclusive Strategies; and “Be Great Where Your Feet Are,” featuring keynote speaker Robyn Glaser Sr., vice president, Business Affairs for the Kraft Group. For tickets and details, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org.

Briefcase

Employer Confidence Flat During July

BOSTON — Confidence levels among Massachusetts employers were virtually unchanged during July as strong economic growth balanced persistent concerns about tariffs and escalating international trade tensions. The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Business Confidence Index dropped 0.1 point to 61.2 last month after tumbling more than five points in June. The drop left the BCI three-tenths of a point lower than a year ago, though still comfortably within optimistic territory. The constituent indicators that make up the overall Business Confidence Index were mixed during July. The Massachusetts Index assessing business conditions within the Commonwealth gained 2.3 points to 65.1, leaving it 1.9 points ahead of July 2017. The U.S. Index ended the month at 61.9, rising 1.9 points after sliding 9.3 points the previous month. The US Index was 4 points better than a year ago. July marked the 101st consecutive month in which employers have been more optimistic about the Massachusetts economy than the national economy. The Current Index, which assesses overall business conditions at the time of the survey, rose 0.1 point to 63.6. The Future Index, measuring expectations for six months out, fell 0.4 point. The Current Index gained 2.4 points during the year, while the Future Index lost 3.1 points. Employer views of their own companies weakened. The Company Index declined 1.5 points to 59.7, down 2.5 points for 12 months. The Employment Index ended the month at 54.5, a 0.5-point decrease for the month and 1.2 points lower than a year ago. The Sales Index lost 0.6 point for the month and 2.3 points for the year.

Bradley Launches Daily, Non-stop Service to St. Louis

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. — This week, the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) launched its inaugural Southwest Airlines flight from Bradley International Airport to St. Louis Lambert International Airport. The new daily, non-stop service departs from Bradley at 11:10 a.m. (EST) and arrives at St. Louis Lambert International Airport at 12:45 p.m. (CST). The inbound flight leaves St. Louis at 4:25 p.m. (CST) and arrives at Bradley at 7:50 p.m. (EST). The service utilizes a Boeing 737. Southwest Airlines currently offers non-stop service from Bradley International Airport to Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Las Vegas, Orlando, Tampa, St. Louis, and West Palm Beach. The airline first started flying out of Bradley in 1999.

Greater Holyoke Chamber, HCC Announce Leadership Holyoke 2018-19

HOLYOKE — Leadership Holyoke — a comprehensive community leadership and board-development program of the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce — is back again. Leadership Holyoke utilizes a combination of classes and practical experiences to help local business people develop their leadership skills, increase their knowledge of the community, and acquire the skills needed to serve as board members and community leaders. The series is made possible by PeoplesBank and the Republican. The 2018-19 leadership series begins on Sept. 21, consists of eight seven-hour sessions, and concludes on May 8 with a graduation ceremony at Holyoke Community College with a specialty luncheon prepared by the college’s culinary program students. All sessions will be held on Fridays (except for the Boston State House trip) and take place at Holyoke Community College and other locations throughout the city. Each session will include a segment on organization and leadership skills and a segment on community needs and resources. Faculty members from Holyoke Community College will participate as instructors and facilitators, and community leaders will participate as speakers and discussion leaders in their areas of their expertise. Tuition of $600 per participant is due at the start of the course and includes the fee for a continental breakfast each week, a bus trip to Boston, and the graduation luncheon. Sign up online at holyokechamber.com or call the chamber with any questions at (413) 534-3376.

DPH: Job-related Injuries Often Lead to Opioid Misuse

BOSTON — The rate of fatal opioid overdoses varied significantly by industry and occupation from 2011 to 2015, with construction workers dying from opioid overdoses at six times the average rate for all Massachusetts workers, according to a report released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). Using available death-certificate data, DPH analyzed 4,302 opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts from 2011 to 2015 by industry and occupation to understand whether work, and specifically work-related injuries, might have contributed to opioid-use disorders. Overall, workers employed in occupations known to have high rates of work-related injuries had higher rates of fatal opioid overdoses. In addition, workers in occupations with lower rates of paid sick leave and higher job insecurity had higher rates of opioid overdoses. Construction and extraction workers (quarrying and mining) accounted for more than 24% of all opioid-related deaths among the working population. This occupation group had a high death rate — 150.6 deaths per 100,000 workers — and a high number of opioid-related deaths — 1,096 — during this time period. Despite the small number of workers employed in the farming, fishing, and forestry occupations, these jobs also had a high opioid death rate. While there were fewer deaths among this group (61) than in the construction occupations, the rate of opioid-related deaths — 143.9 per 100,000 workers — was more than five times the average rate of 25.1 per 100,000 for Massachusetts workers. Several other occupations also had rates of opioid-related overdose deaths that were significantly higher than the average rate for all Massachusetts workers. These included jobs in material moving; installation, maintenance, and repair; transportation; production; food preparation and serving; building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; and healthcare support. Similar to findings for all opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts, the majority — 77.3% — of deaths in this study were among males. However, there were several occupation groups where females had significantly elevated rates of opioid-related overdose deaths, particularly healthcare support and food preparation and serving.

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