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Health New England Awards $400,000 to Three Nonprofits

SPRINGFIELD — Health New England (HNE) awarded $400,000 in grants to help three nonprofit organizations improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in Western Mass. The grants, made via HNE’s Where Health Matters grant program, will allow Wellspring Cooperative’s GoFresh Mobile Farmers’ Market, Girls on the Run of Western Massachusetts, and the Care Center’s Roqué House Program to expand needed programs focusing on food, girls’ health, and supporting mothers seeking college educations, respectively. The Wellspring Cooperative’s GoFresh Mobile Farmers’ Market aggregates fresh local produce and delivers it through pop-up markets at low-income housing sites, senior centers, health clinics, and community organizations. The three-year, $150,000 grant will enable Wellspring to double the number of people it provides access to fresh, healthy, local foods; enact a pilot program to expand the GoFresh farmers market throughout winter (the current program operates from May to October), providing year-round access to health foods; partner with local health clinics to establish a food-referral program that meets the needs of patients with chronic conditions through education and access to healthy foods; and continue to support minority and immigrant farmers via the Wellspring Harvest greenhouse program in the Indian Orchard neighborhood. Girls on the Run of Western Massachusetts helps girls develop essential social, emotional, and physical skills to successfully navigate life experiences and prepares them physically and mentally to participate in a celebratory 5K run. The two-year, $100,000 grant will enable the organization to double the number of chapters of the popular program and expand into Holyoke and Chicopee. The Care Center’s Roqué House Program provides stable housing for young parents, primarily women of color, working toward a college degree, as well as their children. The three-year, $150,000 grant will fund an artist in residence and counselor for families who live in Roqué House. Health New England’s Where Health Matters grant program, now in its fourth year, has invested $1.2 million in nonprofits in Western and Central Mass. Health New England also partners with each awardee via volunteering and advising to help them thrive.

 

Smith Brothers Insurance Acquires Oxford Insurance

EASTHAMPTON — Effective Nov. 1, Smith Brothers Insurance, with an office in Easthampton, has acquired Oxford Insurance Agency, an independent insurance agency in Oxford. The acquisition expands the company’s footprint in Massachusetts and allows Oxford Insurance to maintain its local presence while leveraging the resources of Smith Brothers Insurance. Brian Ravenelle, who was CEO of Oxford Insurance, will become a partner of Smith Brothers Insurance and will stay fully engaged in client service, business development, and in serving clients with the same team of insurance professionals. All Oxford Insurance team members will be joining Smith Brothers. Smith Brothers Insurance has more than 200 team members in locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

 

HCC Named One of State’s Top Women-led Businesses

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been named one of the top women-led businesses in Massachusetts for 2021 by the Commonwealth Institute, a nonprofit that supports female business leaders. The Institute’s 21st annual rankings of the “Top 100 Women-led Businesses in Massachusetts” were announced on Nov. 5 during a Zoom celebration attended by HCC President Christina Royal. Royal and HCC were ranked at number 50. The full list was published Nov. 6 in a special “Women and Power” edition of the Boston Globe Magazine. Royal has been the president of HCC since January 2017. She is the fourth president in HCC’s 75-year history and the first woman to hold that position. Also on the list at number 55 is HCC alumna and Westfield native Linda Markham, president and chief administrative officer of Cape Air and Nantucket Airlines, based in Hyannis. To compile the list, the Commonwealth Institute examined revenue or operating budgets for each organization as well as other variables, including number of full-time employees in the state, workplace and management diversity, and innovative projects.

 

YMCA of Greater Springfield Awarded $25,000 Comcast Grant

SPRINGFIELD — The YMCA of Greater Springfield, in partnership with Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno, announced it received a $25,000 grant from Comcast to support digital-literacy programming and access to the internet at the YMCA’s North End Youth Center, which also features a Comcast Lift Zone. Comcast has installed more than 1,000 WiFi-connected Lift Zones across the country, with 64 located across Massachusetts. These Lift Zones, which are based in community centers like the YMCA of Greater Springfield, have helped students stay connected and get online to do their schoolwork and more. Free WiFi connectivity is essential to many youth in Springfield, including the teens the YMCA serves at its North End Youth Center on Dwight Street. “This grant from Comcast will support technology programming and digital skills training for teens here at our North End Youth Center technology lab,” said Dexter Johnson, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield. “Our goal is to teach virtual coding and robotics in our after-school teen program, components of which include computer programming, information technologies, and video-game design.” The after-school teen programming at the YMCA is funded by community support and hosts more than 300 teens each year. There will be at least 60 openings available for teens to participate in the upcoming coding and robotics program.

 

Forbes Names Big Y Best-in-state Employer

SPRINGFIELD — For the third year in a row, Big Y has been recognized as a Forbes Best-in-state Employer for 2021. Forbes America’s Best-in-state Employers have been identified across all industries based upon an independent survey of employees who anonymously recommend their employers for this award. Employers such as Big Y have no knowledge of which employees are polled, nor do they have the ability to influence the results in any way. According to Forbes, employees are asked to rate their willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and family. Employees are also asked to give their opinions on a series of statements surrounding work-related topics such as working conditions, salary, potential for development, and company image regarding their current employer. Big Y’s award spans 25 different industries. Big Y has also been named among Forbes Best in State for Diversity, Forbes Best Employers for Women, and Forbes America’s Best Large Employers.

 

Springfield College Launches $50 Million Campaign

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College hosted an official kickoff event for Advancing Humanics: The Campaign for Springfield College on Nov. 12 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Center Court. Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper officially introduced the comprehensive campaign, which supports the Springfield College Humanics philosophy, which is to educate the whole person in spirit, mind, and body for leadership and service to others. Cooper provided an overview of the campaign goal of $50 million. Advancing Humanics is being co-chaired by trustees Gregory Toczydlowski and Michele Megas-Ditomassi. Trustee emerita Helen Davis Blake, co-chair of the last Springfield College campaign, is serving as the honorary campaign chair. Gifts collected during the Advancing Humanics campaign will have a direct effect on every aspect of campus life, and the financial support will provide immediate assistance to the most critical needs of Springfield College, including scholarship resources for students and the new Health Sciences Center.

 

U.S. News Bestows Best Law Firm Designation to Three Area Firms

SPRINGFIELD — U.S. News & World Report selected three Springfield-based firms for its 2022 Best Law Firms listing. Bulkley Richardson was named a Best Law Firm in the Springfield region in the following 11 practice areas: bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law, banking and finance law, commercial litigation, corporate law, criminal defense: general practice, criminal defense: white-collar, litigation – labor and employment, medical malpractice law – defendants, personal injury litigation – defendants, tax law, and trusts and estates law. Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin has been recognized for Tier 1 metropolitan designations in Springfield in the areas of banking and finance law, bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law, corporate law, elder law, and trusts and estates law. It is also recognized for Tier 2 metropolitan designations in Springfield in the areas of business organizations (including LLCs and partnerships) and tax law. Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. was awarded a Metropolitan Tier 1 ranking in employment law – management, labor law – management, and litigation – labor and employment. Law firms that are honored on the U.S. News Best Law Firms list are ranked based on a careful evaluation process that includes the collection of evaluations from lawyers and clients, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and other additional information that law firms provide as part of the formal submission process.

 

Freedom Commits $15,000 to BFMC’s New Department of Family Medicine

SPRINGFIELD — Freedom Credit Union has made a $15,000 commitment — $3,000 per year over five years —to support a new family-medicine residency program designed to attract and retain young physicians to Franklin County. Led by founding Chair Dr. Robert Baldor, the Department of Family Medicine is a partnership between Baystate Franklin Medical Center and UMass Chan Medical School – Baystate. The residency will be housed at the Greenfield Family Medicine Practice at 48 Sanderson St., which is adjacent to Baystate Franklin Medical Center and easily accessible to the Greater Greenfield community. Family medicine physicians are trained to treat all members of a family, from children to adults and seniors, diagnosing and treating a wide range of ailments and providing preventive care. Four new residents will be welcomed annually into the three-year training program (12 in total). They will learn from the physicians at Baystate Franklin Medical Center and specialists from Franklin County and other Baystate Health facilities. The first class of four residents will arrive in June 2022. Freedom’s $15,000 donation is among $245,700 that has been donated in support of the hospital’s $4.2 million investment in creating a state-of-the-art clinical/teaching facility at 48 Sanderson St. Two education grants from the federal government will support the program as well, including a $750,000 Health Resources & Services Administration grant and an Area Health Education Center grant for $100,000.

 

Uvitron International Launches New, Enhanced Website

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Uvitron International Inc., a designer and manufacturer of high-performance UV light curing systems and accessories, recently launched a new website — uvitron.com — offering streamlined navigation and improved quoting capabilities, among other features. Uvitron was established as a developer and manufacturer of switch-mode power supplies for light curing systems, developing the first electronic arc lamp power supply. The company has since evolved into a total solutions provider of light curing systems and accessories. In addition to enhanced navigation and quoting capabilities, the new site also features more comprehensive product information, applications by industry, and information about services and capabilities, such as application analysis, sample testing, and demo units.

 

BHN’s Kamp for Kids Receives $5,000 Grant from Westfield Bank

WESTFIELD — Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) announced it has received a grant of $5,000 from Westfield Bank’s Future Fund Program to benefit Kamp for Kids, the organization’s summer day camp for children and young adults with and without disabilities. Westfield Bank, a longtime supporter of BHN’s Kamp for Kids, established the Future Fund in 2002 as a response to overwhelming community needs and the shrinking sources of corporate philanthropy. It prioritizes funding to 501(c)(3) educational, recreational, cultural, and social-service programs that serve Westfield Bank’s market area. Grants made to Kamp for Kids provide camperships to youth with or without disabilities to ensure that all children, regardless of family income, are able to attend camp.

Company Notebook

BETE Fog Nozzle Earns MassHire Workforce Leader Award

GREENFIELD — The MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board awarded BETE Fog Nozzle its 2021 Workforce Leader Award, honoring the company’s contributions to workforce well-being, workplace, and public safety during the pandemic. BETE now employs more than 180 people at its Greenfield facility, designing, casting, and machining spray nozzles. The company garnered headlines earlier in the year for developing an innovative machine for quickly disinfecting school buses after each use with a touchless process employing BETE’s trademark fog nozzles. Working with local bus company F.M. Kuzmeskus Inc., BETE engineers designed a button-sized fogger installed in rows along each school-bus ceiling, out of reach of children. The series of spray foggers are linked and connected to a port on the outside of the bus where a mobile compressor machine mixes air and disinfectant that is pumped through a tube to the spray nozzles on the bus interior, sending an aerosol disinfectant mist throughout each bus before rolling to the next one. When the pandemic lockdown shuttered businesses in March 2020, BETE provided paid furloughs to all its employees, and the company offers regular profit-sharing bonuses. BETE is also a founding supporter of the seven-year-old Manufacturing Skills Initiative (MSI) training partnership between Greenfield Community College, the Workforce Board, Career Center, Franklin County Technical School, and area manufacturers. BETE has hired more than a dozen graduates from MSI’s 12-week CNC Operator training program, giving them a solid start toward building a rewarding, high-skill career in precision machining. Company President Tom Fitch is chairman of the GCC Future Work Advisory Council, which brings local chambers, business, employment agencies, and the college together to develop curriculum to provide training that brings additional employment and advancement opportunities to area residents.

 

Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. Announces Acquisition

SPRINGFIELD — Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. has added the Northampton law firm Etheredge & Steuer to its regional law practice. Attorneys Edward Etheredge and Shelley Steuer bring a wealth of talent, knowledge, and expertise to Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin’s business, real estate, land-use planning, permitting, estate planning, and estate administration practice areas. Both firms have deep roots in Western Mass. and similar approaches to providing service to clients. Etheredge, whose practice is principally in real estate, land use, planning, and development, began practicing law in Northampton in 1976. He is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar and admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Steuer, whose practice focuses on estate planning and estate and trust administration, has practiced in Northampton since 1990. She is a member of the Pioneer Valley Estate Planning Council, the Hampshire County Bar Assoc., and the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New York, and California, as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Steuer and Etheredge will be joined by members of the Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin team at 64 Gothic St., Northampton. The firm will continue to provide services to clients at 1441 Main St., Springfield.

 

Eversource ConnectedSolutions Earns Program Pacesetter Award

SPRINGFIELD — In recognition of its efforts to help customers reduce energy use and save money through demand response programs, Eversource’s ConnectedSolutions demand-management program received the 2021 Program Pacesetter Award from the Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA). The energy company was recognized for surpassing enrollment goals and setting a high bar for energy-demand-management programs. Eversource’s ConnectedSolutions program provides incentives to customers to reduce their energy use at times of peak demand, which helps reduce strain on the electric grid and lowers carbon emissions by avoiding additional power generation of dirtier fossil fuels like coal that still come online in New England when demand is high. Customer enrollment in 2020 across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire surpassed goals by more than 60 MW, reaching a total of 170 MW approved for targeted use during days with the highest energy demand and an additional 6.3 MW of storage capacity approved for daily demand reductions. ConnectedSolutions is significant not only for the large demand reductions that can be achieved, but also for the diversity of customers and devices enrolled, including more than 600 business customers using a range of demand-reduction strategies and more than 33,000 residential devices including Wi-Fi thermostats, electric-vehicle chargers, residential battery storage, and Wi-Fi-connected A/C units.

 

House Earmarks $50,000 for New Manufacturing Program at HCC

HOLYOKE — State Rep. Patricia Duffy announced that $50,000 has been earmarked in the House fiscal-year 2022 budget to seed the development and implementation of a new Manufacturing Training Program at Holyoke Community College (HCC). According to labor and workforce data, 9.7% of jobs in Holyoke are in manufacturing, compared to 6.7% statewide. Meanwhile, at 9.9%, the unemployment rate in Holyoke is the second-highest in Western Mass. after Springfield’s 11.2%, compared to a statewide rate of 6.6% for March 2021. The Manufacturing Training Program will join a robust stable of workforce-development programs at HCC. The program will serve up to 45 individuals in three cohorts by providing approximately 150 hours of remote and in-person, hands-on training combined with workplace experiential learning, and includes skills assessments and pre-training focused on workplace readiness in English and basic math, followed by core training in entry-level manufacturing. The manufacturing component will include modules in communication, teamwork, customer service, digital literacy, general manufacturing processes and principles, blueprints, dimensions, tolerances, instrumentation and measuring; manufacturing workplace math, lean manufacturing, problem solving, quality control, and workplace safety. Regional employers will be invited to participate in curriculum design and delivery as guest speakers, as well as in hosting tours of their facilities when possible. Participants will be connected to area employers and receive job-placement assistance through HCC and MassHire Holyoke.

 

Girls Inc. of the Valley Event Raises More Than $67,000

HOLYOKE — Girls Inc. of the Valley has raised more than $67,000 to date from its Spirit of Girls 2021 event, which will help support ongoing program needs. The virtual event was held on May 6 and was attended by notable women such as U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, Mount Holyoke College leadership fellow and political figure Carmen Yulín Cruz, actress Tequilla Whitfield, WWLP weeknight anchor Ciara Speller, and Girls Inc. President and CEO Stephanie Hull. Girls Inc. of the Valley has had to opt for safer, virtual options, which is why this year’s Spirit of Girls event was held 100% virtually. Attendees heard directly from girls, staff, and notable celebrities regarding the importance of celebrating their place at the table. Girls Inc. of the Valley will be posting a link to a video of the event on its YouTube channel, where it will still accept monetary gifts as well. Girls Inc. of the Valley aims to inspire all girls to see themselves as leaders with the skills and capabilities to improve and influence their local communities.

 

Springfield Museums Offer Sensory Friendly Saturdays

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Museums will present Sensory Friendly Saturdays on the second Saturday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m., starting May 8. Sensory Friendly Saturdays provide less noise, dimmer light, and cool-down spaces for those who have sensory sensitivity. The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and the Springfield Science Museum will open early, with some exhibits modified to provide an opportunity for people with a range of differing abilities to experience what the museums have to offer. Trained staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and, if necessary, direct visitors to a quiet space that provides a chance to cool down and take a break. Sensory-friendly crafts for all ages will be available in the Cat’s Corner. Parents and caregivers must stay with their children at all times. The modifications are enabled until 11 a.m. Preview guides are available for those who would like to explore what to expect before arriving at the museums. If visitors find the Museums too overwhelming and need to leave before 10 a.m., the Welcome Center staff will give the family a voucher to try again on another Sensory Friendly Saturday. The Springfield Museums became universal-participation-designated two years ago as part of a Massachusetts Cultural Council program to help museums, theaters, and other cultural organizations pay particular attention to ensuring their programming is accessible to all people. The staff created preview guides for families to read together before visiting the museums and made decisions about which exhibits they could modify to be more friendly to visitors with sensitivity to noise, lights, and movement.

 

WNEU School of Law Adds Race-related Coursework Requirement for Graduation

SPRINGFIELD — In an effort to incorporate antiracism education and training into the student experience, Western New England University (WNEU) School of Law has added a new Antiracism and Cultural Competency (ARCC) graduation requirement beginning with incoming students in the fall of 2022. This requirement offers students more than a dozen options from substantive courses relating to legal history, structural inequality, intersectionality, discrimination, civil rights, and theories of subordination, focusing on cultural context and cultural competency. The list of eligible courses includes “Race, Racism, & the Law,” “Business Law from an Antiracist Perspective,” “Gender & the Law,” “Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession,” and many others. “Western New England University School of Law has a long and proud history of incorporating social justice and antiracism into the education we offer,” said School of Law Dean Sudha Setty. “A cornerstone of our mission is the belief that the study of law must embrace the notion that different beliefs, backgrounds, and opinions are critical components of a well-rounded learning environment.” WNEU School of Law currently offers a wide range of elective courses, experiential learning opportunities, engagement opportunities through its Center for Social Justice, pro bono opportunities, student organizations, and vibrant speaker series that serve to broaden students’ knowledge on legal issues related to racial justice, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

 

Springfield Thunderbirds, Mass Lottery Wrap ‘Feed the Frontline’ Campaign

SPRINGFIELD — Each week during the month of April, the Springfield Thunderbirds and the Massachusetts State Lottery teamed up for the “Feed the Frontline” campaign, to thank individuals in the healthcare and service industries. The Thunderbirds worked with several of their food partners to provide lunch to some deserving individuals throughout the Pioneer Valley. Members of the Thunderbirds front office and mascot Boomer visited staff at Mercy Medical Center, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, USA Hauling, the Springfield Police Department, and the Springfield Fire Department. The Thunderbirds and the Mass Lottery will be collaborating on several initiatives throughout the spring and summer to recognize several individuals within the Western Mass. community. Meals were provided by a number of local food partners, including Nadim’s Mediterranean Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, 99 Restaurant, Uno Chicago Grill, and Theodores’. The Mass Lottery and the Thunderbirds will continue to promote the outstanding work of those in the community throughout the summer when the Hometown Salute campaign launches in May. Individuals who are currently or have served in the military, or those working in the healthcare or public-service industries, may be nominated to be recognized by the Thunderbirds each week.

 

Visiting Angels West Springfield Receives Home-care Accreditation

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Visiting Angels, a private-pay home-care agency based in West Springfield, is among a select group of agencies to earn accreditation from the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts. The alliance, which represents 180 home-health and eldercare agencies across Massachusetts, has created an accreditation protocol to promote quality services, ethical business standards, and superior employment practices in an industry that lacks meaningful licensure in Massachusetts even as it grows in popularity. The Home Care Alliance launched this accreditation program for private-pay agencies (agencies that are not paid by Medicare or Medicaid) in 2010. Agencies seeking accreditation are required to submit documentation to show that they meet standards established by the organization. The standards were developed over several months in consultation with an advisory task force representing agencies throughout the Commonwealth. Training requirements, administrative protocols, and business practices are among the categories the Home Care Alliance reviews for accreditation.

 

Riley Home Realty Launches Full-service Agency

CHICOPEE — Riley Home Realty announced the launch of its Chicopee-based, full-service real-estate agency. This family-owned and -operated agency will offer residents in the surrounding Western Mass. communities a comprehensive suite of services delivered with expert guidance from a team of dedicated agents. Riley Home Realty services include listing homes for sale, working with home buyers, managing rental properties and listing rental properties, and property management. It was a dream of members of the Riley family to work together to help others realize home and real-estate ownership, the company noted. “Our family-owned and -operated agency is built on the values we as a family embody. We are with each other every step of the way. Our clients get that same dedication and commitment when they work with us. When you work with Riley Home Realty, you’re family.”

Company Notebook

The Hive Makerspace Comes to Downtown Greenfield

GREENFIELD — After the World Eye Bookstore at 156 Main St. in downtown Greenfield moved down the street, the storefront sat empty for almost two years before former landlord Robert Cohn decided to take a new tack to find an appropriate tenant for the 5,600-square-foot space. He contacted local creatives to find out what might be an exciting contribution to the creative economy of downtown Greenfield, and artists and artisans from myriad disciplines suggested that a makerspace could be an economic driver and help create a destination downtown. So Cohn moved forward with finding the team to put such a plan in place, and the Hive was born. Rachael Katz and Adrienne LaPierre are the project leads working to implement the vision of a state-of-the-art public makerspace. Katz, the owner of the Greenfield Gallery just across the street, is the primary technical consultant for the Hive, with experience that combines the skills of a mechanical engineer with the talents of an artist. She is the sculptor behind the Beatrice the Bee project, the largest public art project ever undertaken in downtown Greenfield, in which six painted bees will be placed around town in celebration of Bee Fest in May 2020. LaPierre, who will be the executive director of the facility, is an educational technology consultant who has spent the past five years working within the Brattleboro public school system to develop innovative ways to integrate makerspace activities and engineering design into the elementary- and middle-school curriculum. They are working with a small, dedicated team of advisors and volunteers to bring the Hive to life. They have applied for a planning grant and have initiated fundraising efforts to cover costs for the first year of development. The name of the Hive is a tribute to the long-standing legacy that Greenfield holds in the world of beekeeping. Makerspaces represent the democratization of design, engineering, and fabrication. At the Hive, traditional artisans will stand side by side with engineers operating 3D printers, laser cutters, and CNC machines. Performing artists may design fabric for costumes, and props for plays can be crafted at the same time prototypes for new products created by local innovators and entrepreneurs take shape.

EforAll Holyoke Announces 2020 Winter Cohort

HOLYOKE — Ten early-stage businesses and nonprofits have been selected to participate in the Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Winter Accelerator program in Holyoke. This cohort was evaluated by more than 50 community leaders, EforAll mentors, industry experts, and entrepreneurs through a rigorous application review and interview process. The startups selected represent both products and services from a variety of industries. In this year-long program, 70% of the startups have at least one founder of color, and 80% have at least one female founder. This is representative of EforAll’s mission to accelerate economic development and social impact through inclusive entrepreneurship in gateway communities. As part of the 2020 cohort, entrepreneurs will have access to expert mentorship, tailored curriculum, co-working space, and opportunities to win prize money. The finalists are:

• Liam Malone, Holyoke: Greens for Good. Aims to open a year-round farmers market and aquaponic production facility to provide locally sourced food at affordable prices for Holyoke and beyond;

• Carlos Rosario, Springfield: Rosario Asphalt Co. Specializing in residential asphalt and paving services;

• Dioni Soriano and Nayroby Rosa, Holyoke: Soriano Baseball Academy. A baseball camp that provides one-on-one coaching and guidance to youth ages 8 to 16, creating a safe environment where they can practice their skills and improve them year-round;

• Erika Matos, Indian Orchard: Top Flight Nutrition. A nutrition club that recently opened at 594 Dwight St. in Holyoke, offering fitness classes, healthy shakes and smoothies, and health-related programming for the community;

• Jessica Rivera, Chicopee: Bet on Our Youth Travel Camp. Centered on providing services and opportunities to enlighten young people through positive experiences;

• Heather Labonte, Granby: the Estate. An outdoor event venue for weddings, corporate parties, showers, and special occasions;

• Nicole Ortiz, Chicopee: Crave Food Truck. This HCC culinary student plans to open a food truck that has a variety of food with an emphasis on local ingredients and breakfast;

• Sandra Rubio, Easthampton: Totally Baked 413. This Holyoke-based startup offers custom 3D, gourmet cakes for any occasion, as well as pastries and other fresh-baked goods;

• Jessika Rozki, Springfield: Rozki Rides. Providing safe and reliable children’s transportation for working parents; and

• Sarah Kukla, Holyoke: Cupcakes, Pupcakes & More. Baked goods and sweets for both humans and dogs.

Springfield College Unveils New Master of Science in Athletic Training Program

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College unveiled its new master of science in athletic training program, which is accredited under the 2020 Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) Curricular Content Standards. The new curriculum is the combined effort of many dedicated athletic training educators working over a three-year period to design a program that stayed true to the core values of Springfield College and the athletic training education program. The new program also seeks to incorporate innovative and engaging ways to ensure that athletic training graduates are well prepared to meet the healthcare needs of physically active individuals. Springfield College has a long-standing tradition in preparing athletic trainers for successful careers dating back to 1925. As part of this internationally recognized program, students gain the training and experience to help them succeed in the field. Springfield College’s athletic training tradition includes graduates employed by professional teams, high schools, and colleges and universities.

New Restaurant to Open in Thornes Marketplace

NORTHAMPTON — Aaron Thayer, a chef with experience at exclusive fine-dining establishments in Boston and San Francisco — and at Coco & the Cellar Bar in Easthampton — will open a restaurant called Patria in Thornes Marketplace with his business partner and wife, Abby Fuhrman. Patria will be located on the basement level in the space formerly occupied by ConVino, which closed in August. Thayer and Fuhrman expect to open Patria in the spring of 2020. Currently, they are renovating the dining room and kitchen to create a more functional flow and enhance the décor with new furnishings and lighting. Key in creating a new workflow is a restructuring of the dining room and kitchen to account for the fact that Patria will be focused more on food service, whereas ConVino’s emphasis, as a wine bar, was on beverage sales. Thayer said Patria will offer fine dining with a relaxed and casual approach. Patria will specialize in large, family-style roasts, fresh pastas, and vegetable dishes that will all be sharable. Service and quality will be a major focus of the restaurant, and Thayer and Fuhrman will work to create an atmosphere that is comfortable and adventurous. Thayer will use as much local produce and other ingredients as is possible.

Pilot Precision Products Wins Silver Economic Impact Award

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Pilot Precision Products, which opened the doors to its new, 24,000-square-foot facility in South Deerfield in April, received a Silver award in the Western Mass. division at the 2019 Team Massachusetts Economic Impact Awards. Nineteen companies from across the Commonwealth were selected as finalists for MassEcon’s 16th annual celebration of firms for their outstanding contributions to the Massachusetts economy. MassEcon, the state’s private-sector partner in promoting business growth in Massachusetts, selected the finalists based on their job growth, facility expansion, and investment since Jan. 1, 2018, as well as other criteria, including community involvement. The winners were selected after site visits and a reception with their competitors and judges from Nutter McClennen & Fish, LLP. Locally owned and operated, Pilot Precision Products is the parent company of duMONT Minute Man Industrial Broaches and Hassay Savage broaching tools, and is the exclusive American distributor of Magafor and GMauvaisUSATM products. Pilot currently has 33 employees and had tripled its sales over the past three years.

Carr Hardware Opens New Store in Lenox

LENOX — Carr Hardware, a family-owned business for more than 90 years, announced that its new location in Lenox is now open for business. The 11,000-square-foot retail space is located in the Center at Lenox on Routes 7 and 20. The Center at Lenox is also home to well-known retailers CVS, Marshalls, and Price Chopper. The new, state-of-the-art Carr Hardware offers a modern and convenient shopping experience with a nostalgic, vintage hardware-store flair, said company President Bart Raser. Preferred brands featured include STIHL, Toro, Pratt & Lambert, Valspar, Cabot, Milwaukee, Dewalt, Weber, Big Green Egg, Scotts, Graber, and Carhartt, to name a few. The store also features a large, seasonal garden center, as well as services like digital key duplication, screen and glass repair, lamp repair, and propane filling. Free local delivery is available as well as the Carr assurance, “at Carr, we service what we sell.” Unique to the market, Carr Hardware has introduced “Ben Moore 2 Your Door,” where contractors and homeowners can select their Benjamin Moore paint purchase, along with the needed accessories, and have them all delivered within the Greater Lenox area the same day for free. Orders can be placed online, by phone, or by text.

Jay Smith Receives Award from National Tour Assoc.

HATFIELD — The National Tour Assoc. (NTA) recently presented Jay Smith, founder of Sports Travel and Tours, with the 2019 Bob Everidge Lifetime Achievement Award for dedication to the organization’s mission for more than 20 years. At NTA’s annual conference, called Travel Exchange, on Dec. 12 in Fort Worth, Texas, Smith accepted the honor from NTA President Pam Inman. Smith has served as a volunteer, member of the organization, member of the NTA board of directors, and board vice chair and chair. Smith founded Sports Travel and Tours in 1996, offering tours to baseball games initially and then expanding to include other sports trips in a wider range of venues, including Cuba, London, and Japan. Support from his staff and his wife, Carol, allowed him to dedicate time to the NTA and its goals. Smith is active in Tourism Cares and Travel Alliance Partners, two industry-focused organizations, and Sports Travel and Tours has been the official travel company of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum since 2007.

Rotary Club of Springfield Inducts Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

SPRINGFIELD — The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) was inducted as a corporate member into the Rotary Club of Springfield on Dec. 6. Nathan Skrocki, regional director, and Keri Davidson-Bravman, vocational rehabilitation and children’s worker supervisor for the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, will be the participating members. The MCB was sponsored by Rotarian Paul Lambert, vice president of Enshrinement Services & Community at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. MCB was established on July 13, 1906. The organization was originally comprised of three men and two women, including Helen Keller. Its mission is to provide vocational and social rehabilitation services for residents of the Commonwealth who are declared to be legally blind by an eye professional. MCB provides rehabilitation and social services to Massachusetts residents who are blind, leading to their independence and full community participation. Its main office is in Boston, with regional offices in Springfield, Worcester, and New Bedford.

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