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Cutting the Ribbon

New Valley Bank & Trust recently staged a grand opening at its headquarters at Suite 910, One Monarch Place.

Mayor Domenic Sarno welcomes the bank to the city

Mayor Domenic Sarno welcomes the bank to the city

Sarno and bank Chairman Frank Fitzgerald cut the ceremonial ribbon alongside board members and dignitaries

Sarno and bank Chairman Frank Fitzgerald cut the ceremonial ribbon alongside board members and dignitaries

Fitzgerald thanks the almost 300 local investors who raised $23.5 million to get the bank started, well in excess of what is needed by regulatory requirements

Fitzgerald thanks the almost 300 local investors who raised $23.5 million to get the bank started, well in excess of what is needed by regulatory requirements

 

Innovation Fest

On June 12, Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) staged the region’s inaugural Innovation Fest, a day-long celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation that featured seminars, networking, the awarding of cash prizes to finalists in VVM’s accelerator program, walking tours of downtown, and much more.

VVM CEO Kristin Leutz welcomes attendees to the festival

VVM CEO Kristin Leutz welcomes attendees to the festival

Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, executive director of SPARK EforAll Holyoke, and Bill Cole, president of Living Local, present a program called “Reviving Main Street”;

Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, executive director of SPARK EforAll Holyoke, and Bill Cole, president of Living Local, present a program called “Reviving Main Street”

Michael Molinari, a principal with Autodrop3d

Michael Molinari, a principal with Autodrop3d, a New London, Conn.-based company that has created an automated ejection system for 3D printers, took home the top prize ($10,000) among the accelerator finalists

the five accelerator finalists

the five accelerator finalists, all holding their ceremonial checks, gather with VVM mentors and supporters

Mayor Domenic Sarno welcomes visitors to Springfield.

Mayor Domenic Sarno welcomes visitors to Springfield.

 

Innovation Accelerator Graduation

The 2019 Innovation Accelerator, a program that transforms nonprofit leaders’ thinking by bringing a culture of innovation into their organizations, recently graduated its fourth cohort. The event, held at TechSpring in Springfield, hosted three graduating Innovation Accelerator teams. With numerous funders and business and foundation executives in attendance, they supported, learned, and provided a pathway to potential funding for initiatives realized during the six-month class. Each team pitched its best plan to create mission-aligned revenue for their organizations. They also had to clearly demonstrate the core assumptions underlying their new ventures, how they tested those assumptions, the evidence they gathered, and what they learned.

from left, students

from left, students Cody Andrews, Julie Lococo, Monique Whiting, and James O’Neill (Viability) present to sharks John Goodhue (Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center), Joe Minton (Digital Development Management), Marty Caine (Wolf & Co.), Ali Usman (Pixeledge), and Paul Silva (Innovation Accelerator)

from left, Kelly Minton (Innovation Accelerator), student Rose Egan (Community Education Project), and Silva

from left, Kelly Minton (Innovation Accelerator), student Rose Egan (Community Education Project), and Silva

students Ethan Ferris and Will Swyers

students Ethan Ferris and Will Swyers, co-founders of Xernai, talk with sharks Caine and Dana Barrows (Northwestern Mutual)

 

The Business of Cannabis

The Springfield-based law firm Bulkley Richardson staged an informational forum on June 18 as part of an ongoing series on the many legal aspects of operating a cannabis-related business. The featured speaker was Tina Sbrega, president and CEO of GFA Federal Credit Union, to talk about how her financial institution became the first in the state to serve recreational marijuana companies. The event drew about 50 business professionals. Sbrega explained that the process of banking the cannabis industry involves a host of regulations because the drug is illegal at the federal level.

Picture This

Photo essay of business happenings and events

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

 
 

Outlook 2019

The Springfield Regional Chamber staged its annual Outlook lunch on March 4 at the MassMutual Center. More than 600 area business leaders and elected officials heard from a number of speakers who presented the outlook for the region, the state, and the nation. At top, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal gives the federal outlook.

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal gives the federal outlook

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal gives the federal outlook

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno offers some remarks

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno offers some remarks

Margaret Carlson, columnist for the Daily Beast, presents the view from the U.S. Capitol

Margaret Carlson, columnist for the Daily Beast, presents the view from the U.S. Capitol

 


 

Celebrity Readers

Jeb Balise, CEO of Balise Auto, right, and West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt, below, took a break from their respective duties recently to become celebrity readers at West Springfield’s Coburn Elementary School. They both read The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, written by Michelle Cuevas and illustrated by Erin Stead, to third-graders.

 
 

 
 

 


 
 

 

 

 


FSB Community Grants

Through its Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program, Florence Savings Bank (FSB) recently presented grants totaling $102,500 to 61 area nonprofits at an awards ceremony on March 5 at the Garden House at Look Park. At top, FSB President and CEO John Heaps presents Jessie Cooley, director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, with a $4,853 award. Below, Adena Calden, left, and Kate Agresto, both of the Leeds Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, read the brochure outlining the award recipients.

FSB President and CEO John Heaps presents Jessie Cooley, director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, with a $4,853 award

FSB President and CEO John Heaps presents Jessie Cooley, director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, with a $4,853 award


Adena Calden, left, and Kate Agresto, both of the Leeds Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, read the brochure outlining the award recipients

Adena Calden, left, and Kate Agresto, both of the Leeds Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, read the brochure outlining the award recipients

 

 


 
 

Gateway to College

Holyoke Community College recently staged graduation ceremonies for its Gateway to College program. Gateway at HCC is part of a national network of programs that put struggling high-school students and dropouts into college classes, where they work toward their high-school diplomas and also collect transferable college credits.

Biannca Colflesh of Holyoke, one of the 15 graduates, celebrates with her family after the graduation ceremony

Biannca Colflesh of Holyoke, one of the 15 graduates, celebrates with her family after the graduation ceremony

Jeysha Vega Colon of Springfield celebrates with her family

Jeysha Vega Colon of Springfield celebrates with her family

 

 


 
 

Dealer of the Year

Country Hyundai in Northampton recently earned the 2019 DealerRater Dealer of the Year Award and the 2019 Consumer Satisfaction Award, which recognizes auto dealerships across the U.S. and Canada who deliver outstanding customer service, based on consumer reviews written on DealerRater.com.

Carla Cosenzi, center, joins staff at the dealership in celebrating the honor.

Carla Cosenzi, center, joins staff at the dealership in celebrating the honor.

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