ManeHire Awarded $25,000 Power Forward Small Business Grant
SPRINGFIELD — Nicole Polite, the owner of ManeHire, a staffing and recruiting agency, was recently awarded $25,000 through the Power Forward Small Business Grant. This grant is an extension of Boston Celtics United for Social Justice, a multi-focus commitment to addressing racial injustice and social inequities in the Greater Boston area. The program offers recipients the opportunity to be featured on national co-branded platforms and receive marketing and design resources customized to their specific needs to help their business grow and thrive. “It has always been my goal to ensure that the best of the best diverse candidates are well-represented in every executive search we conduct,” Polite said. “We measure and track diversity every step of the way.” With a focus on helping firms realize their potential through workplace diversity, ManeHire believes that a diverse and inclusive workforce enables innovation and that employers should be reflective of the communities in which they serve, she added. “This grant will help us provide workshops and training on ‘Diversity Sensitivity in the Workplace,’ ‘Getting Back to Work,’ and ‘Résumé-building Tips.’ Our community needs this. They need a little extra support to rise up after a challenging year.”
Colebrook Realty Brokers Sale of Former Faces Building
NORTHAMPTON — Colebrook Realty Services Inc. announced the sale of the 33,228-square-foot retail building on Main Street in Northampton between Main Street, LLP and 175 Main Street, LLC, a subsidiary of Redstone. The property is located at 175 Main St. in Northampton. Redstone is a property-management and development company based in Burlington, Vt., that has been investing in properties for nearly 30 years, with a particular focus on commercial real estate, multi-family housing, and student housing throughout New England. The acquisition of 175 Main St. represents Redstone’s affinity for the former Faces building and Northampton’s strong downtown area, said Joe Engelken, senior vice president of Acquisition & Development for the company. “Redstone is delighted to have the opportunity to acquire a prominent piece of Northampton’s downtown and become a part of the community,” he said. “We are excited for the coming years and will strive to recreate the sense of destination that Faces once had.” Half the property has remained vacant since the iconic Faces store shut down in April 2019. TD Bank leases space at the building across from Thornes Marketplace. The sale of the property was handled by Mitch Bolotin and Jack Dill of Colebrook. “The Faces building is an important landmark for Northampton’s Main Street,” Bolotin said, “and Redstone is the right development group to manage the property growing forward.”
Bay Path University Joins U.S. Collegiate Athletic Assoc.
LONGMEADOW — Bay Path University announced its membership confirmation to the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA). The university will sponsor Division I volleyball, soccer, and softball teams in the 2021-22 academic year as members of the USCAA. “This is an exciting time for Bay Path athletics and our student-athletes. Moving from the NCAA to the USCAA provides us with the opportunity to compete at both the regional and national level in new ways,” said Joel Wincowski, vice president for Enrollment Management, Marketing, and Athletics. “In addition, participating at the Division I level enables us to now offer athletic scholarships, which are very attractive to student-athletes and their families when making decisions of where to study and play.” The USCAA’s focus is to enhance member institutions through athletics by providing opportunities for small colleges to compete on an equal level of competition with schools of like size and athletic programs. The USCAA conducts 15 national championships, names All-Americans, recognizes scholar-athletes, and promotes USCAA member schools through various means.
Balanced Birch Studio Coming to the Mill District
AMHERST — Balanced Birch Studio — a budding small business that provides experienced, individualized instruction in classical Pilates and Gyrotonic exercise — announced it is joining the diverse community at the Mill District in North Amherst this summer. Located at 77 Cowls Road in North Square, the studio is kitty corner to the Mill District General Store and Hannah’s Local Art Gallery, and across the green from Provisions. Balanced Birch Studio is unique in its approach to individualized personal training for people from all walks of life. From dancers and athletes to the injured and elderly, it offers boutique physical instruction to better a person’s quality of movement, posture, and lifestyle. The studio’s founder, Mary Ellen Liacos, is a certified USPA Authentic Pilates and Gyrotonic method instructor with more than 10 years of teaching experience. She has worked with students of all levels and abilities, specializing in youth and geriatric instruction. She has extensive experience training athletes, particularly pre-professional figure skaters and dancers. She has deep knowledge coaching clients with ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and those who are postpartum or returning from surgical rehab. She incorporates her training as a professional dancer with her Pilates and Gyrotonic practice, integrating these methods through instruction at Balanced Birch Studio. In addition to private, semi-private, and Pilates mat sessions, Balanced Birch also offers several master-class options for the community to partake in throughout the year. Master classes will include Integrative Life Coaching, Self-Massage, Gyrokinesis, Alexander Technique, and more.
JA of Western Massachusetts Raises $1,450 with Virtual 5K
SPRINGFIELD — Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM) staged a Virtual 5K Run/Walk on June 11-14 to raise funds to support its literacy, entrepreneurship, and career-exploration programs. A total of 14 participants met the challenge and raised $1,450 for the cause. “The realities of the pandemic prompted us to hold this event virtually, but we are so grateful for the participants who still made the commitment to support us,” said Jennifer Connolly, president of JAWM. “Every bit helps, as our programs are offered at no cost to schools and youth groups. Our students need financial literacy and work-readiness programs to be prepared for their futures.” Participants paid a $25 entry fee and were encouraged to walk, run, or bike with friends and family and solicit donations through their own fundraising pages. Safety Restore of Westfield was the event’s medal sponsor, and Country Bank was the certificate sponsor.
UMassFive Donates Personal-care Items to Survival Centers
HADLEY — UMassFive College Federal Credit Union collected 350 pounds of personal-care items during the month of May and donated them to the pantries of the Amherst Survival Center and Northampton Survival Center. Donations were collected at the credit union’s Hadley and Northampton branch locations, and included incontinence products, toilet paper, diapers, menstrual products, soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, sunblock, and many other personal-care items. “We’re so appreciative of our members and employees for donating personal-care items to our annual drive,” said Cait Murray, Community Outreach manager at UMassFive. “We know that personal-care items in the Survival Center pantries may help people avoid making difficult tradeoffs. Nobody should have to choose between food and toilet paper.”
Mary Ann’s Dance and More Announces Relocation
EASTHAMPTON — Mary Ann’s Dance and More, a local dance-apparel store, is relocating to make room for a pre-professional conservatory in its current location. The studio will now be located at 163B Northampton St. in Easthampton. Opened since 2007, Mary Ann’s Dance and More offers customers dance supplies, including apparel and accessories, as well as novelty and gift items. An active business in the community, Mary Ann’s Dance and More is recognized as a consistent sponsor of various local organizations. It has also been featured in the national dance retailer magazine Dance Retailer News as a “Retailer Spotlight,” twice on Mass Appeal on WWLP-22News, and in “Lifestyle/Balance Act” in Retail Minded.
Visiting Angels of West Springfield Shows Appreciation to Caregivers
WEST SPRINGFIELD — The week of June 14-21 was National Nursing Assistant Week, and Visiting Angels of West Springfield showed its appreciation to all its caregivers for their hard work and dedication with a socially distanced drive-by at the Visiting Angels office with treats and goodies. When a caregiver drove up to the table, the Visiting Angels administrative team presented them with a gift, a choice of treats, and a refreshing beverage. The goodie bags included tea bags, caramel candies, Visiting Angels party favors and tokens, and aromatherapy products for relaxation after a long day of work. Visiting Angels of West Springfield is welcoming new caregivers to its team. Caregivers interested in joining the team can call (413) 733-6900. Visiting Angels offers benefits and flexible schedules designed to adapt to each employee’s specific needs. The home-healthcare service offers senior in-home care, elderly care, and care for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in towns across the Pioneer Valley and the Greater Springfield area, including Springfield, West Springfield, Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, Wilbraham, Agawam, Ludlow, Westfield, Southwick, Chicopee, Holyoke, Southampton, and Montgomery.