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Christina Royal

Christina Royal

The state Board of Higher Education unanimously approved Christina Royal as the next president of Holyoke Community College. Royal traveled to Boston on Nov. 29 for her official interview with the Board of Higher Education. The HCC board of trustees voted unanimously on Nov. 3 to recommend Royal as the successor to William Messner. “Holyoke Community College has made an excellent choice in Christina Royal,” said Carlos Santiago, commissioner of Higher Education. “Her demonstrated record of success and commitment to high-quality education make her the perfect candidate for this role, and we look forward to having her at HCC.” Royal, is now the provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She visited the HCC campus at the start of November for a series of interviews and meetings with a presidential search committee, trustees, staff, faculty, and students. She was one of three finalists who visited the HCC campus earlier this semester. Royal plans to start work at HCC on Monday, Jan. 9, when she will become the fourth president in the 70-year history of HCC and the first woman to hold the position. “We’re pretty excited about it,” said Robert Gilbert, chair of the HCC board of trustees. “I think you’ll see a lot of interesting thoughts and ideas coming from Christina. I know we picked the right person for the coming years to continue the mission of HCC.” Royal holds a PhD in education from Capella University, as well as a master’s degree in educational psychology and a bachelor’s degree in math from Marist College. She joined Inver Hills Community College in 2013. Prior to that, she served as associate vice president for E-learning and Innovation at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland and director of Technology-assisted Learning for the School of Graduate and Continuing Education at Marist College.

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Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. announced that seasoned corporate social-responsibility executive Dennis Duquette has been appointed head of Community Responsibility and president of the MassMutual Foundation. Duquette, who has more than 30 years of financial-services industry experience, including oversight of community relations and brand development, is based in the company’s Springfield headquarters and reports to MassMutual Head of Brand and Advertising Jennifer Halloran. Duquette will lead all aspects of MassMutual’s community-engagement efforts, including the recently established MassMutual Foundation. This includes such initiatives as the FutureSmart program, which is helping to address the critical need for youth financial literacy; LifeBridge, which provides income-eligible families with free term life insurance that protects their children’s education; and Mutual Impact, MassMutual’s employee-giving program. “For 165 years, giving back to the community has been a part of MassMutual’s culture,” said Halloran. “We are thrilled to have Dennis, with his extensive industry experience, innovation, and passion for collaboration, help build on that rich history and drive MassMutual’s community-engagement efforts to a new level.” Prior to joining MassMutual, Duquette was with Fidelity Investments since 1989, where he created groundbreaking sponsorship efforts, grew and expanded Fidelity’s corporate presence and sponsorships across the U.S., and managed FidelityCares, an employee-volunteerism program that also provides philanthropic support to nonprofit organizations. Joining MassMutual represents a homecoming for Duquette, who began his career with the company and held a variety of roles in community relations, human resources, and marketing communications. Duquette earned a master’s degree in public policy and administration from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in administrative studies from Boston College, where he also earned his bachelor’s degree in English and communications.

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Michael Gove

Michael Gove

The Gove Law Office, LLC announced that founding attorney Michael Gove has been named a 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Gove has been recognized among high-achieving young attorneys in Massachusetts. A program of Thompson Reuters, Massachusetts Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who, through peer review and independent research process, have been identified as attaining a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Only the top 2.5% of up-and-coming Massachusetts attorneys are named to the Rising Star list. Gove earned his juris doctor from Boston College School of Law in 2004 and is admitted to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Bar of the State of Connecticut, the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, and the U.S. District Court of Connecticut. The Gove Law Office, with offices in Northampton and Ludlow, is a bilingual firm with attorneys who assist clients in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, providing legal representation in the areas of business representation, commercial lending, residential and commercial real estate, estate planning, immigration, and bankruptcy.

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Robert Magovern, president of Agawam-based Neighbor to Neighbor, has been re-appointed to serve on Westfield State University’s Board of Trustees. The appointment marks Magovern’s third term of service on the board, following an initial term from 1997 to 2002 and a second from 2005 to 2009. Magovern’s current term will continue through 2021.

Board oversight is critically important, especially at our public institutions, and we are confident these appointees will bring extensive leadership, professional and academic experiences to the benefit of the schools and their students,” said Gov. Charlie Baker in the fall when he announced Magovern and other board appointments for public colleges and universities in Massachusetts.

“Our students and full campus community will again benefit from trustee Magovern’s keen business sense and his veteran perspective as an incumbent board member at Westfield State,” said Westfield State University Board of Trustees Chair Steven Marcus. “Trustee Magovern’s appreciation for and intimate understanding of the impact of public higher education is critical in the governance of the university.”

Magovern started his own business in 1975, which grew to become Neighbor to Neighbor, a regional “new resident” welcoming company serving customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Prior to Neighbor to Neighbor, he was vice president of the Magovern Company—a retail company that sold golf course equipment with stores throughout Western Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. Magovern earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Boston University.

Aside from running his business, he is highly engaged in his hometown community of Agawam, where he is the current chair of the Republican Town Committee. As the former City Council president, Magovern formed the Financial Oversight and Industrial Relations committees. He was also president of the Agawam Rotary Club, was a co-founder of both Agawam’s St. Patrick’s Day Committee and the Longmeadow Historical Society’s Long Meddowe Days event. In addition, Magovern was a co-founder of the Society of the 17th Century, a group that promotes 17th Century New England history and performs reenactments in the area. On the state level, Magovern was a member of the Massachusetts Republican State Committee and served on its executive board.

“As a firm believer in public higher education, I am thrilled to rejoin the Westfield State board,” said Magovern. “Westfield State is one of the finest state universities within Massachusetts.”

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Andrea Gauvin

Andrea Gauvin

Splash Marketing and Creative, a full-service marketing agency located in Westfield, announced its recent hire of Andrea Gauvin, who has joined the team as digital marketing manager. In this role, Gauvin will manage the digital assets for business clients, including, but not limited to, websites, SEO/SEM, blogging, social media, and digital ad campaigns. Gauvin has been in the marketing and communications field for more than seven years within the nonprofit, retail, and healthcare industries. Prior to assuming this role with Splash Marketing and Creative, she was marketing and communications manager at HealthyCT, a nonprofit health-insurance company located in Wallingford, Conn. She also held marketing positions at the United Way of Pioneer Valley and EcoBuilding Bargains, both located in Springfield. She graduated summa cum laude from Bay Path College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has been involved with several community organizations, including the United Way of Pioneer Valley Women’s Leadership Council, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, the Westfield Chamber of Commerce, and Cub Scouts.

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Allison Ebner

Allison Ebner

The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE) announced that Allison Ebner has been named director of Member Relations and Val Boudreau has joined the team as a senior training specialist. Ebner works to define and identify the greatest needs of prospective members and fully engage current members in the programs and services that will generate the most value for their membership investment. She has more than 17 years of experience in human resources, recruitment, and corporate branding, including talent acquisition and retention, employee engagement and team building, and labor trends and compliance. Most recently, she was director of recruitment for FIT Staffing and director of membership development for Associated Industries of Massachusetts. She also served as director of marketing and talent acquisition for United Personnel. Ebner is the current president and board chair for the Human Resource Management Assoc. of Western New England. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and a member and secretary of the board of trustees for Mason Wright. She is a 1987 graduate of Ithaca College in New York, where she received a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Boudreau is known for her ability to understand talent, learning, and people requirements and deliver strategic solutions that achieve business objectives. Before joining EANE, she was the owner of Leadership Heights, a strategic planning consulting business. Prior to that, she spent more than 25 years in the financial-services industry, serving in various learning and development and talent-management leadership roles. Boudreau received a bachelor’s degree from Westfield State University and a master’s degree in training and development from Lesley University. She is currently a board member of GFWC Wilbraham Junior Women’s Club.

Daily News

WARE — Holyoke Community College, in collaboration with the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corp., is offering a busy schedule of non-credit classes this winter and spring.

Registration is open for a variety of convenient and affordable professional-development, workforce-training, and personal-enrichment college courses at the Quaboag Region Workforce Training and Community College Center at 79 Main St., Ware, also known as the E2E — Education to Employment Center. Courses include:

• ServSafe Prep & Exam: Jan. 16 and 23, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (two sessions, $109); March 7, 14, and 21, 3-6 p.m. (three sessions, $109); May 9, 16, and 23, 3-6 p.m. (three sessions, $109);

• Emergency Medical Technician Training, Feb. 14 to June 22, 6-10 p.m. (38 classes, $1,099);

• HeartSaver CPR AED, March 14, 6-9 p.m. (one session, $45);

• First Aid, March 16, 6-9 p.m. (one session, $45);

• How to Get Debt Free, April 4, 6-9 p.m. (one session, $39);

• Basic Home Repair, April 13, 20, 27, and May 4, 6-8 p.m. (four sessions, $99);

• Career Planning, Goal Setting, and Assessment, April 18, 6-9 p.m. (one class, free);

• Elder Law and Estate Planning, May 1 and 8, 6-9 p.m. (two sessions, $85); and

• Nursing Assistant Exam Preparation/Home Health Aide: call for class times.

For more information or to enroll, call (413) 552-2500 or visit www.hcc.edu/bce.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Melanie Gagnon, a working student who is in real estate sales, sees a new program at Springfield Technical Community College as a terrific opportunity to take her career to a higher level.

“I personally don’t want to devote my life 100% to just selling houses,” said Gagnon, 36, of Springfield. “I don’t want to be residential. I want to be a part of bigger things, and this helps.”

What types of bigger things? That could mean possibly working as a community or regional planner, or taking a job that requires emergency planning such as when a city is devastated by a natural disaster.

Gagnon is one of four students currently pursuing a degree through a new STCC major called Real Estate Planning and Sustainable Development. Professor Warren Hall, department chair in the Architecture and Building Technology program at STCC, developed the option for students like Gagnon and others who have an eye on a career in sustainable community development, architectural design or a related field.

Real Estate Planning and Sustainable Development provides students with necessary training and an affordable path to a bachelor’s degree, or even a master’s degree, said Hall, who served for seven years on the Planning Board in Pelham and also was Pelham’s commissioner to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission.

Hall said the new program was designed in response to changes in the building and planning industry.

“The fact is with so much of what we do today we need to look through that lens of sustainability,” Hall said. “That’s something the industry has been stressing.”

“Sustainability” in community development refers to the concept of planning to meet not only the current needs of residents, but to ensure adequate resources are available for future generations. Hall teaches students to consider factors such as the environmental impact of community development. Sustainable development also considers the social impact involved with urban growth and sprawl.

Real Estate Planning and Sustainable Development is one of three options in STCC’s Architecture and Building Technology program. The others are Architecture and Project Management. The new option officially starts in fall 2017.

The Real Estate Planning and Sustainable Development major was created for students who plan to complete at least their bachelor’s degree after earning their associate degree from STCC. After earning a bachelor’s degree, students may choose to explore career options, but they also might decide to continue their academic studies in a variety of graduate-degree programs, such as Master of Architecture, Master of Design Studies or Master of Regional Planning.

Hall highlighted one of the exciting and affordable options his students can choose: They can continue to earn their master’s in regional planning through a unique “2+2+1” agreement between STCC and the UMass at Amherst.

Students complete two years at STCC and then transfer to UMass or Westfield State University for another two years to receive a bachelor’s degree. After earning the bachelor’s degree, they would enroll in a one-year master’s in regional planning program at UMass.

“These students can have a master’s degree in regional planning in five years. That’s amazing,” Hall said.

Departments People on the Move
Maureen Sullivan

Maureen Sullivan

The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce announced that Maureen Sullivan has been named its Director of Marketing and communications, effective Dec. 1. Sullivan will be responsible for the strategic direction, development, management, and implementation of all aspects of marketing, public relations, social media, media relations, and communications efforts. She replaces Nancy Creed, who assumed the role of chamber president in August. Sullivan comes to the chamber with extensive marketing and communications experience, most recently as president of the Maureen Sullivan Media Group, an advertising and marketing firm focused on developing branding, marketing strategies, advertising, and event marketing. Prior to her founding her own business in 2013, she served as the marketing director for the Republican, where she directed corporate and internal communications, community engagement, loyalty programs, and sponsorships. Before being promoted in 1999 to marketing director, Sullivan served as the newspaper’s promotional manager, responsible for all internal communications, advertising sales, and event marketing. Sullivan is the founder of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” a successful, award-winning event series for women. She produced and managed the series of events attended by more than 2,100 women, launched its profitable merchandise line, and launched its digital and print publication with a reach of 376,000. Sullivan also produced an award-winning television commercial and has been named one of the Top 10 Women in Business by the Women Business Owner’s Alliance. Before joining the Republican, Sullivan served in similar capacities with the Hartford Courant and the Transcript-Telegram in Holyoke. She is a board member of Unify Against Bullying, a nonprofit that raises money to fund anti-bullying projects in schools; a former member of the Holyoke Cultural Council appointed by Mayor Alex Morse; and a former board member with the Newspaper Assoc. of America and the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts. She is a graduate of UMass with a degree in journalism and communications.

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Andrew Steiner

Andrew Steiner

Andrew Steiner has been named Executive Director of JGS Lifecare’s Leavitt Family Jewish Home (JNH). He brings more than 20 years of diverse experience improving the quality of care and quality of life of seniors. He will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Joint Commission-accredited, 200-bed, long-term-care nursing home located in Longmeadow. Before joining JGS Lifecare, Steiner served as president of Sycamore Health Care Consultants, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in senior housing and health care, policy and compliance, reimbursement programming, healthcare technology integration, operations and turnaround management, marketing, and real-estate investment. In addition, Steiner has served as the executive director of the 205-bed Abbott Terrace Health Center in Waterbury, Conn. In this role, he implemented and managed programs for residents with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, pulmonary rehabilitation, and cardiac care management. He also developed and implemented partnerships with regional hospital networks and delivered significant improvements in patient care and customer-service outcomes. Prior to this, Steiner served as director of Strategic Planning for National Health Care Associates in Wethersfield, Conn., coordinating business planning and strategies for more than 40 skilled-nursing facilities in six states with more than 4,000 beds under management. “Andrew clearly brings to JNH a wealth of administrative experience in clinical, long-term, and sub-acute settings, as well as a diverse programming background,” said Martin Baicker, president and CEO of JGS. “His wide-ranging skills and expertise will be a critical asset to JNH as we introduce the patient-centered ‘green house’ model of care in our nursing home over the next few years. We feel confident that, under his leadership, this new range of service will continue to grow our legacy of more than a century of proud caretaking, and fulfill our mission to provide quality eldercare services to the people of our community.” Steiner teaches health systems management at the University of Connecticut School of Business. He is also active on many local boards and organizations, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford and Hartford Hospital, and has served the Florida Health Care Assoc., the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, and Dominican University. Steiner holds a master of public health degree in community health sciences and gerontology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, emphasis in marketing, from the Kogod School of Business Administration, American University, Washington, D.C. He is licensed as a nursing-home administrator in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

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Western New England University President Anthony Caprio announced the appointment of two new faculty members in the University’s School of Law:

Mark Worthington

Mark Worthington

Mark Worthington is serving as the Director of Elder Law and Estate Planning Program in his new position in the Western New England University School of Law. Worthington has been in private practice exclusively in special-needs law, elder law, and estate planning for the past 24 years. He has been a member of the LLM faculty as an adjunct since the program’s inception. He is widely recognized as a national leader the field of elder law, having lectured and written for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Worthington is a graduate of the University of Rochester, Northeastern University School of Law, and Boston University School of Law. As adjunct faculty, he has been teaching courses in Medicaid Planning and Planning with Grantor Trusts.

Henry Boroff

Henry Boroff

Henry Boroff has been a visiting professor and jurist in residence at Western New England University School of Law since July 2016, and previously an adjunct professor at the law school since 1996. From 1993 until his retirement in 2016, he served as a U.S. bankruptcy judge for the District of Massachusetts, handling cases throughout Massachusetts, as well as in New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Boroff was chief judge of the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court from 2006 until 2010, and served from 1996 through 2016 an appellate judge on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit. He is a graduate of Boston University and Boston University Law School, and teaches courses in Bankruptcy and Secured Transactions.

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Anne Stout

Anne Stout

Anne Stout has recently been appointed Director, Business Development, for Webber & Grinnell Insurance. In this role, she will build market position by locating, developing, defining, and acquiring new clients. Having previously worked at Toole Insurance and Pitney Bowes Inc., Stout has more than 20 years of success in marketing and consistently strives to maximize the reach, efficiency, and business impact of strategic relationships. In keeping with the agency’s mission, she is committed to the community. She has held roles as vice president, Membership for Berkshire Business and Professional Women and served on the United Way resource development committee.

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David Griffin Sr

David Griffin Sr

The Dowd Insurance Agencies announced that David Griffin Sr. was selected as Treasurer for the new Pope Francis High School board of directors. Pope Francis High School is a faith-based, college-preparatory school serving grades 9-12, formed through the merger of Cathedral and Holyoke Catholic high schools, and currently operating out of the former Holyoke Catholic building. A new, state-of-the-art facility is under construction on Wendover Road in Springfield and is slated to open for the 2018-19 academic year. “I have strong ties with both legacy schools — I’m an alumnus of Holyoke Catholic, and three of my children were educated at Cathedral,” Griffin said. “Participating on the new Pope Francis High School board is one way I can help ensure that Catholic secondary education remains a viable option here in the Pioneer Valley.” Griffin is a principal and the executive vice president and treasurer of the Dowd Insurance Agencies. He has more than 35 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is a licensed insurance advisor as well as a certified insurance counselor. Griffin is also very active in the community. He has served as president of the West Springfield Chamber of Commerce, West Springfield Rotary, Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, Springfield Country Club, Hampden County Insurance Agents, and chair of Mont Marie Health Care Center.

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Richard Sawicki Jr.

Richard Sawicki Jr.

Richard Sawicki Jr. has been elected President of the 1,700-member Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. The election took place at the association’s annual membership meeting held earlier this month at the Delaney House in Holyoke. Sawicki is office manager and real estate sales agent with Sawicki Real Estate in Amherst. As president, he will oversee the association’s activities and
operations, including meetings of the board of directors, and act as a
liaison to the association’s various committees. He is the official spokesperson of the association on issues related to the real-estate industry and the local housing market. The other 2017 officers and directors are Edward Alford, President-elect; Kelly Bowman, Treasurer; Susan Drumm, Secretary; and Lou Mayo, Immediate Past President. The directors include Elias Acuna, Suzi Buzzee, Shawn Bowman, Peter Davies, Janise Fitzpatrick, Ray Hoess-Brooks, Susan Rheaume, and Russell Sabadosa.

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Stacey Price has been hired as director of development and marketing at Dakin Humane Society, according to Executive Director Carmine DiCenso. Price will oversee development and marketing efforts for the organization, which has two adoption centers in Leverett and Springfield, as well as a community spay/neuter clinic at the latter location. She will focus on donor and community relations and pursue strategic partnerships that will enable Dakin to continue to innovate while serving the needs of animals and the people who care for them in Western Mass. and beyond. Price was formerly the interim executive director and development director at Gifford Cat Shelter in Brighton, where she served as a funding strategist. Prior to that, she was the capital campaign manager for the EcoTarium in Worcester, and animal welfare director at Kitsap Humane Society in Silverdale, Wash. Price is a member of the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators and was part of the Spay Worcester Task Force. She received a Who’s Who 40 Under 40 award in 2010 from Kitsap County, Wash., and earned an MBA from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — The Gove Law Office, LLC announced that founding attorney Michael Gove has been named a 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Star. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Gove has been recognized among high-achieving young attorneys in Massachusetts.

A program of Thompson Reuters, Massachusetts Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers who, through peer review and independent research process, have been identified as attaining a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Only the top 2.5% of up-and-coming Massachusetts attorneys are named to the Rising Star list.

Gove earned his juris doctor from Boston College School of Law in 2004 and is admitted to the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Bar of the State of Connecticut, the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts, and the U.S. District Court of Connecticut.

The Gove Law Office, with offices in Northampton and Ludlow, is a bilingual firm with attorneys who assist clients in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, providing legal representation in the areas of business representation, commercial lending, residential and commercial real estate, estate planning, immigration, and bankruptcy.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Local law firm Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. announced that David Webber has been appointed as a shareholder of the firm. The firm’s shareholders voted unanimously to extend the offer to Webber, demonstrating the level of respect his work and professionalism have earned.

“As a founding partner of Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, it has been my distinct pleasure to invest in the next generation of leadership,” said attorney Steven Schwartz. “I work closely with David and can attest to his professional and legal acumen that will continue to uphold our firm’s strong reputation and quality of work for years to come.”

Webber joined Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin as a law clerk in May 2007 and was immediately offered a position as associate after passing the bar exam in August 2008.

“I have been working toward this for a long time, and it’s the most significant event in my career so far,” Webber said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to advance and for the confidence of my fellow shareholders.”

Webber concentrates his practice in the areas of closely held business, corporate law, real estate, trusts and estates, and bankruptcy. He has regularly been selected to the Super Lawyers list of Rising Stars for his work with closely held business. He is a graduate of the Western New England University School of Law, where he interned with Justice Francis Spina at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and served as note editor of the Western New England Law Review. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from UMass, where he graduated cum laude. He is admitted to practice before the Massachusetts Bar, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the Bureau of Veterans Affairs.

In addition to his legal career, Webber serves on the advisory boards of the Mason-Wright Foundation, and his alma mater as a member of the advisory committee for the UMass Student Legal Services Office. He serves as a mentor to entrepreneurs and startup businesses with Valley Venture Mentors. He is also an active member of the Hampden County Bar Assoc. and Real Estate Section, the Massachusetts Bar Assoc., the Real Estate Bar Assoc. of Massachusetts, and the Estate Planning Counsel of Hampden County.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELDWestern New England University President Anthony S. Caprio has announced the appointment of two new faculty members in the University’s School of Law.

  • Mark Worthington is serving as the director of Elder Law and Estate Planning Program in his new position in the Western New England University School of Law. Attorney Worthington has been in private practice exclusively in special needs law, elder law, and estate planning for the past 24 years. He has been a member of the LLM faculty as an adjunct since the program’s inception. He is widely recognized as a national leader the field of Elder Law having lectured and written for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Worthington is a graduate of the University of Rochester, Northeastern University School of Law, and Boston University School of Law. As adjunct faculty, he has been teaching courses in Medicaid Planning and Planning with Grantor Trusts.

  • Henry J. Boroff has been a visiting professor and jurist in residence at Western New England University School of Law since July of 2016, and previously an adjunct professor at the law school since 1996. From 1993 until his retirement in 2016, he served as a United States bankruptcy judge for the District of Massachusetts, handling cases throughout Massachusetts, as well as in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Judge Boroff was chief judge of the Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court from 2006 until 2010, and from 1996 through 2016 an appellate judge on the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the First Circuit.

Judge Boroff is a graduate of Boston University, and Boston University Law School, and teaches courses in Bankruptcy and Secured Transactions.

Departments People on the Move
Melyssa Brown

Melyssa Brown

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) announced that Melyssa Brown, CPA, MBA, has been accepted into the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Leadership Academy. She was previously honored with a Women to Watch Emerging Leader Award from the Massachusetts Society of CPAs. Brown’s induction into the Leadership Academy took place over the course of a four-day program held earlier this month in Durham, N.C. The prestigious invitation-only program featured interactive dialogue with the profession’s top leaders designed to build on the foundational knowledge perspective of each individual. Attendees were immersed in experiential exercises and self-examination of leadership and how a new strategic vision will positively impact their personal life, career path, and the CPA profession. “We’re very proud of Melyssa’s achievement,” said MBK partner James Barrett. “It’s not her first honor, and it certainly won’t be her last. She started here as an entry-level staff member and quickly went on to become the youngest senior manager in the firm’s history. We look forward to more amazing things from her.” Brown received her bachelor in accountancy degree from Elms College and her MBA in accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She is vice president of the Girls Inc. board of directors and is active in the UMass Family Business Center and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield. She was also a BusinessWest 40 Under Forty honoree in 2013.

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Baystate Health has appointed Ben Craft to the new position of Senior Director of Government and Public Affairs. Craft, who has served as the organization’s director of Public Affairs since 2012, is assuming the additional responsibility of government affairs to support Baystate’s needs for strong connections with local, state, and federal government amid continuing rapid change in the healthcare environment. Craft returned home to Western Mass. to join Baystate in 2008, having worked previously at the United Nations and the Wall Street Journal in New York City. His work at the UN included communications and policy advocacy with government, nonprofit, and civil-society partners. He will report to Jennifer Endicott, Baystate’s chief strategy officer and senior vice president of Strategy and External Relations. “With his deep understanding of the challenges facing healthcare providers today and a strong network of relationships in the community and across Baystate Health, Ben is well-positioned to serve as point person for our local, state, and federal government partners,” said Endicott. “He is committed to finding ways to improve the dialogue between our dedicated elected officials and Baystate Health, the largest provider of safety-net services and largest private employer in Western Massachusetts. Ben’s previous experience, particularly at the UN, will be invaluable in achieving this goal.” Craft grew up in East Longmeadow and is a 1996 graduate of UMass Amherst.

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Three new board members have been elected to the Bay Path University board of trustees. Mary Bushnell, Martin Caine, and Andrew Davis will each serve a three-year term which began in June.
Bushnell is a 1974 graduate of Bay Path. She and her husband, David, have been generous donors to the university for 30 years, with their philanthropy having a particular focus on student scholarship. In 2005, she served as co-chair to kick off the Carol A. Leary Endowed Scholarship Fund for First Generation Students. Their support of Bay Path’s “Charting New Paths” campaign was instrumental in launching the American Women’s College, Bay Path’s online degree-completion program. Currently, their support involves providing funds to underwrite a data-based campus study being done to determine which in-school factors contribute to Bay Path graduates’ personal, professional, and/or family success upon graduation. She has served on many boards for the past 30 years, recently completing her tenure of eight years on the board of the Overlook Foundation, which raises funds for the Overlook Medical Center in Summit, N.J.;
Caine is a principal at Wolf & Company, P.C. in Springfield. He has more than 25 years of experience as a certified public accountant, providing audit and advisory services to business owners, executives, and boards of directors. His advisory services include consulting on internal control compliance, acquisitions and divestitures, due diligence, and compensation matters. His industry experience encompasses financial institutions, manufacturing and distribution, and not-for-profit entities. Caine is a frequent speaker on financial topics, particularly in his areas of expertise, accounting and auditing. He is a 1986 graduate of Western New England College and is a CPA in both Massachusetts and Connecticut. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, and serves on the board of advisors at Valley Venture Mentors Inc.; and
Davis is president and managing partner of Chestnut Realty Management, LLC in Springfield. He is responsible for the underwriting and financing of new transactions for the firm’s investment strategies. Prior to forming Chestnut Realty Partners, Davis spent three years with Wallace Capital, managing underwriting in its Florida office and originating bridge real-estate loans; six years at PVI Capital, LLC, a private commercial lender specializing in short-term bridge financing; and five years managing residential acquisitions for GFI Partners, a production builder and real-estate development company. A 2001 graduate of St. Michael’s College, he is a former board member of HAPHousing and serves as chapter forum officer for the Young Presidents’ Organization.

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Berkshire Bank announced the following:
Gregory Lindenmuth has joined Berkshire as executive vice president, chief risk officer, reporting to the bank’s president, Richard Marotta. Lindenmuth joins Berkshire Bank from the FDIC, where he worked for 24 years, most recently as a senior risk examiner for the Division of Risk Management Supervision. Through this position, he has gained expert understanding of capital markets, including investments, derivatives, securitizations, market risk, liquidity/funds management, and mortgage banking. He also excels in modeling profit plans, establishing budgets, and setting strategic objectives. In his new role, he will lead the loan workout, credit, and enterprise risk management teams. Lindenmuth holds a bachelor’s degree in operations management from the Plattsburgh State University of New York and an MBA in corporate finance from Clarkson University. With the FDIC, he was a capital markets, mortgage banking, and fraud specialist and a member of the National Examination Procedures Committee. He also co-developed and co-presented the FDIC’s technical-assistance videos on interest-rate risk and has been an active speaker at New England Directors’ Colleges;
Mike Ferry has been promoted to the position of Senior Vice President, Commercial Regional President, for Berkshire County and Vermont. Ferry brings more than 37 years of industry experience, 30 of which have been spent with Berkshire Bank. Leading the Berkshire and Vermont regions for the bank since 2012, his primary focus is commercial lending and ancillary products and services. He also serves as president of the Berkshire Bank Foundation. Ferry holds a bachelor’s degre from Saint Michaels College in Colchester, Vt. Dedicated to his community, he is currently a board member and Treasurer for Berkshire County ARC, board president of the Berkshire Housing Development Corporation & Berkshire Housing Services Inc., board member and chair of the finance committee for Berkshire United Way, committee member for the Dalton Development and Industrial Commission and a volunteer coach with the Special Olympics Massachusetts; and
Jim Hickson has rejoined the bank as SVP Commercial Regional President for the Pioneer Valley and Connecticut markets. In his new role, he will focus on growing the commercial-lending business, as well as expanding relationships with products and services offered through the bank’s other business lines, including wealth management, private banking, insurance, and retail banking. Hickson brings to the bank more than 26 years of financial experience. His previous roles include commercial banking team leader for People’s United Bank and SVP ABL relationship manager at Berkshire Bank, and he also held positions within TD Bank, KPMG Consulting, and Fleet Capital. Hickson holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and an MBA from Boston University. He is board chair and president of the board of directors for Common Capital, a board member for New England Certified Development Corp., and serves on Wilbraham Friends of Recreation.

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Bacon Wilson announced that five attorneys have been named to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list of top attorneys in the Commonwealth, and three have been named to the 2016 Massachusetts Rising Stars list. Both rosters appear in New England Super Lawyers magazine. Only 5% of New England’s lawyers are Super Lawyers, with attorneys selected for background, professional experience, achievement, and peer recognition. The following Bacon Wilson attorneys were honored for 2016:
Gary Fialky – Business/Corporate, Banking, Real Estate;
Michael Katz – Business/Corporate, Business Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy;
Paul Rothschild – General Litigation, Employment and Labor, Personal Injury;
Hyman Darling – Estate Planning & Probate, Elder Law, Tax; and
Gina Barry – Estate Planning and Probate, Elder Law, Residential Real Estate.
Rising Stars are under 40 years of age, or have been practicing law for less than 10 years. Fewer than 2.5% of New England lawyers are named as Rising Stars, including the following Bacon Wilson attorneys for 2016:
• Adam Basch – Construction Litigation, Business Litigation, Personal Injury;
• Benjamin Coyle – Business/Corporate; State, Local, and Municipal; Estate and Trust Litigation; and
Thomas Reidy – Land Use/Zoning.

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Jennifer Halloran

Jennifer Halloran

Bolstering its commitment to reach consumers on their terms, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. has appointed longtime financial-services branding and marketing executive Jennifer Halloran as head of Brand and Advertising. Halloran, who is based in Boston and reports to MassMutual Chief Customer Experience Officer Gareth Ross, will oversee the collaborative development and implementation of the company’s initiatives in brand marketing, community responsibility, digital content, and social engagement. She will also be responsible for managing the deployment of the MassMutual brand strategy throughout all channels, as well as in the company’s community-engagement efforts. “We are excited to have someone with Jennifer’s track record of experience in the financial-services industry and business acumen on board to further enable us to drive the MassMutual brand in a way that is consistent with our strategy, and create a consistent experience within the marketplace and with our customers,” said Ross. “Her experience, creativity, and passion for collaboration — underscored by her successes throughout her two-decade career — will be invaluable as we move forward as a company.” Halloran was most recently with Fidelity Investments, where she spent a total of eight years in a variety of leadership roles in marketing, communications, and branding. These responsibilities included managing and executing the redesign of web, digital, and content programs for Fidelity’s Innovation Lab, as well as many other cross-channel digital customer-experience programs. She also held various marketing, communications, and brand-strategy positions with both Mobiquity Inc. and Putnam Investments. She began her career in 1996 with integrated advertising agency Digitas (now DigitasLBi). A graduate of Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science, Halloran earned her MBA in marketing/marketing management from Babson College’s Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business.

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Amy Royal

Amy Royal

Royal, P.C., a woman-owned, boutique, management-side labor and employment law firm, announced that Amy Royal, principal and founding partner of the firm, has been honored with selection as one of New England’s Super Lawyers and has been included in the 2016 issue of New England Super Lawyers magazine. Super Lawyers consists of attorneys throughout New England who are nominated by their peers as outstanding lawyers; the nomination then goes through an extensive selection process. With more than 16 years of experience, Royal has successfully defended employers in both federal and state courts as well as before administrative agencies in a variety of areas of employment law, including employment discrimination and sexual harassment, unfair competition, breach of contract and wrongful discharge claims, workers’ compensation, and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations, with a special emphasis in wage-and-hour class actions. Royal regularly advises non-union clients on maintaining a union-free workplace and performs other preventive work such as wage-and-hour law compliance, record-keeping audits, drafting of employee manuals and affirmative-action plans, and management training. In addition, she assists unionized clients during contract negotiations, at arbitrations, and with respect to employee grievances and unfair-labor-practices charges. Royal’s accolades also include Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s 2012 Top Women of Law award recognizing her as a top female lawyer in Massachusetts, as well as BusinessWest’s prestigious 40 Under Forty award, recognizing her for outstanding leadership in the Pioneer Valley business community.

Daily News

LUDLOW — The Gove Law Office announced that Carolyne Pereira has joined the firm as a paralegal focused on real-estate transactions and estate planning.

“Carolyne Pereira will provide experienced and active support to our attorneys working in the diverse practice areas which Gove Law offers our clients” said Michael Gove, the firm’s founding partner.

Pereira is a 2016 graduate of Western New England School of Law, and is scheduled to be sworn in as an attorney of the Massachusetts bar on Nov. 18. She was born and raised in Springfield, and speaks Portuguese and Spanish. She is a member of the Hampden County Bar Assoc., the Massachusetts Bar Assoc., and the Connecticut Real Estate Investors Assoc. She is currently running for pastoral council at Saint Elizabeth Parish in Ludlow, and hopes to work closely with veterans and the elderly.

The Gove Law Office, with offices in Ludlow and Northampton, is a bilingual firm providing guidance to clients in the areas of business representation, criminal and civil litigation, personal-injury law, commercial lending, residential and commercial real estate, estate planning, immigration, and bankruptcy.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Bacon Wilson announced that five attorneys have been named to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list of top attorneys in the Commonwealth, and three have been named to the 2016 Massachusetts Rising Stars list. Both rosters appear in New England Super Lawyers magazine. Only 5% of New England’s lawyers are Super Lawyers, with attorneys selected for background, professional experience, achievement, and peer recognition. The following Bacon Wilson attorneys were honored for 2016:

• Gary Fialky – Business/Corporate, Banking, Real Estate;

• Michael Katz – Business/Corporate, Business Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy;

• Paul Rothschild – General Litigation, Employment and Labor, Personal Injury;

• Hyman Darling – Estate Planning & Probate, Elder Law, Tax; and

• Gina Barry – Estate Planning and Probate, Elder Law, Residential Real Estate.

Rising Stars are under 40 years of age, or have been practicing law for less than ten years. Fewer than 2.5% of New England lawyers are named as Rising Stars, including the following Bacon Wilson attorneys for 2016:

• Adam Basch – Construction Litigation, Business Litigation, Personal Injury;

• Benjamin Coyle – Business/Corporate; State, Local, and Municipal; Estate and Trust Litigation; and

• Thomas Reidy – Land Use/Zoning.

Super Lawyers is an attorney-rating service that compiles annual lists of attorneys with high degrees of peer recognition and professional achievement. There is no opportunity to pay for a listing. Rather, selections are determined by a process that includes independent research, evaluation of candidates, peer reviews, and a statewide survey of lawyers, rendering results that are credible, comprehensive, and diverse listings of exceptional attorneys.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Robinson Donovan, P.C. announced that eight attorneys have been selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list, and two attorneys have been selected to the Rising Stars list.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented, multi-phase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a credible, comprehensive, and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

No more than 5% of lawyers in Massachusetts are selected by Super Lawyers, and no more than 2.5% of lawyers in Massachusetts under the age of 40, or in practice for 10 years or less, are selected to Rising Stars.

Managing Partner Jeffrey Roberts was selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the field of estate and probate law. He has been selected to the Super Lawyers list repeatedly for more than a decade.

Partner Jeffrey McCormick was selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the field of general litigation. In addition to selection to the Super Lawyers list, on which he has been included for more than a decade, he was also selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Top 100 List and the 2016 New England Top 100 List.

Partner James Martin was selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the field of closely held business law. He practices corporate and business counseling, litigation, and commercial real-estate law.

Partner Nancy Frankel Pelletier was selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the field of civil litigation (defense). She has been selected to the Super Lawyers list for more than 10 consecutive years and has also been selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Top 50 Women List, the 2016 New England Top 50 Women List, the 2016 Massachusetts Top 100 List, and the 2016 New England Top 100 List. She exclusively practices litigation.

Partner Patricia Rapinchuk was selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the field of employee litigation (defense). She was also selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Top 50 Women List. She practices employment law and litigation.

Partner Carla Newton was selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the field of family law. She practices divorce and family law, litigation, corporate and business counseling, and commercial real estate.

Partner Jeffrey Trapani was selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Rising Stars list in the field of employment litigation (defense) law. He practices litigation and employment law.

Partner Michael Simolo was selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Rising Stars list in the field of estate and probate law. He practices corporate and business counseling, estate planning, and litigation.

Richard Gaberman, of counsel, was selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the field of estate and probate law. He has been included in the Super Lawyers list for more than 10 years. His practice focuses on corporate and business counseling, commercial real-estate, tax, and estate-planning law.

Associate Kevin Chrisanthopoulos was selected to the 2016 Massachusetts Super Lawyers list in the field of general litigation. He practices litigation.

Law Sections

Firm in Its Resolve

five of Robinson Donovan’s partners

From left, five of Robinson Donovan’s partners: Jeffrey Trapani, Michael Simolo, Nancy Frankel Pelletier, Carla Newton, and Managing Partner Jeffrey Roberts.

Robinson Donovan has experienced plenty of changes in its 150-year history, from shifting economic cycles to constantly evolving laws, to the evolution of its home city of Springfield. But one thing has remained a priority since its founder, George Robinson — who was also a high-school principal, state legislator, and governor — hung out a shingle in 1866. That is a focus on community — not just in a business sense, but through charity and volunteerism. And that’s how the firm is choosing to mark this significant anniversary.

Attorneys who have been with Robinson Donovan for any amount of time are fluent in its history, which stretches back 150 years — an anniversary the firm chose to celebrate by giving back.

Specifically, the firm traces its roots back to former Gov. George Robinson, who began practicing law in the Springfield area prior to serving as a member of the state House of Representatives and then Senate.

His contributions to the Springfield region extended beyond his appointments to public office. He was also the principal of Chicopee High School and a founding member of Chicopee Savings Bank, in addition to his law practice, now known as Robinson Donovan.

As the anniversary approached, said Carla Newton, a partner with the firm, one topic of discussion was the importance of place — how Greater Springfield itself, and its network of residents, businesses, and nonprofits are critical to the Robinson Donovan story.

“George Robinson was a public servant himself, and certainly served the public in a very direct way, so we began thinking about how to give back, rather than just celebrate internally,” she told BusinessWest. “And we began looking around at all the different nonprofits, many of which have board members and volunteers within our office. We thought it was appropriate to go beyond our own personal commitments to the community, and be a little more demonstrative and provide actual contributions.”

We all live here. We all benefit from the nonprofits that operate here, whether it be Providence Ministries or an educational institution like Bay Path University. We’ve raised families in this community and benefit from the fact that these organizations exist and make our community a better place to live.”

In lieu of some grand party or other event, that’s precisely how the firm chose to celebrate its anniversary year — with a sizable donation each month to a local nonprofit.

“We solicited input from everyone at the firm,” said Partner Michael Simolo. “As Carla said, a lot of us are involved in these organizations, and we know very well the people involved in them. It was kind of a collective effort from everyone to choose the organizations we donated to.”

“We all live here,” Newton added. “We all benefit from the nonprofits that operate here, whether it be Providence Ministries or an educational institution like Bay Path University. We’ve raised families in this community and benefit from the fact that these organizations exist and make our community a better place to live.”

Besides those two organizations, the firm has also donated to Friends of the Homeless, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Cutchins Center for Children, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Community Legal Aid, Dakin Humane Society, and the Gray House — with three more to be chosen before the calendar turns.

Looking Back

That calendar has turned 150 times since Robinson first set up shop, and Newton acknowledged that it’s difficult to determine all the reasons it has survived so long. But she had a few theories.

One is simply pride among the attorneys in how the firm does business. She recalled arriving at the firm — at the time much smaller than its roster of 17 lawyers — and getting the sense they cared about leaving the firm in good hands when they were gone — which involved not only treating clients with professionalism, but mentoring the younger lawyers. “There was a culture of continuation, and people like me ended up getting adopted into that culture.”

Nowadays, she added, growth comes from meeting specific needs. “We bring in someone to support a particular area, and we inculcate them into the culture, and it continues on. There’s no reason to believe this isn’t going to keep going, as the younger lawyers coming in here realize, ‘hey, someday this will be our firm.’”

Managing Partner Jeffrey Roberts added that longevity requires a strong reputation in the community as well. “Ultimately, there has to be some recognition of quality. People want service, they want value, and they want to feel they’re getting the best product available.”

That reputation translates into referrals, he added. “They say your clients come from your clients. Other lawyers say, ‘I don’t do that kind of work, but you should go to that lawyer.’ In the end, it’s a small community, and if you don’t carry your practice properly and honestly, word gets around. If people understand who we are, we’ll have no shortage of business.”

That culture, again, extends to its community outreach, Newton said. “We’re not a firm that says to people who come in, ‘you must find a place to volunteer.’ Everyone here, whether it’s administrative assistants, lawyers, paralegals, they all do volunteer work because it’s important to them. That just seems to be the type of individual who comes to work at Robinson Donovan. Our people are really committed to doing volunteer work.”

Service Network, receives a check from Carla Newton

Karen Blanchard, left, executive director at Providence Ministries Service Network, receives a check from Carla Newton, partner at Robinson Donovan, earlier this year as part of the law firm’s year-long series of donations to mark its 150th anniversary.

Partner Nancy Frankel Pelletier agreed. “It’s definitely part of the culture of the firm,” she said. “We encourage people to be active in things they have an interest in or a passion for. It’s never imposed on anyone or done out of obligation, but it’s what everyone does.”

Roberts noted that community involvement isn’t a one-way street, and firm members reap benefits beyond feeling good about themselves. “If you contribute to an organization, they benefit; on the other hand, you benefit because you learn about what the organization does, and you meet a lot of different people, and you get invested more in the community, rather than just getting in your car, going to work, taking care of your client matters, and going home. There’s a networking component that can lead you to other organizations.”

New hires, especially those coming from outside the area, are encouraged to find organizations that speak to them, as a way to get a real sense of what’s happening outside the walls and glass windows high above Main Street in Tower Square.

“Then it tends to build,” Roberts said, “because you’re recognized, and then someone else might ask you to help out at a function or support a cause or go to a dinner, and it builds on itself. It’s part of your education in the community.”

Looking Ahead

A general-practice firm, Robinson Donovan specializes in a number of legal niches, including corporate and business law, commercial real estate, estate planning and administration, divorce and family law, employment law, and litigation. After a period of rapid contraction — more than 30 lawyers worked there as recently as 15 years ago, when it was known as Robinson Donovan Madden & Barry — business has been steadily growing in virtually all those specialties, and the practice is on the rise again, hiring eight attorneys over the past several years, bringing the current roster to 16, with plans to possibly expand further.

“The firm is very dynamic and forward-thinking,” Simolo said. “We are celebrating our 150th, but at the same time, the firm is making some big investments in the future.”

Partner Jeffrey Trapani said the fact that economic development has been on the rise in Springfield, and the surrounding region is a quality-of-life draw, are added enticements when hiring.

“People get down on Springfield, but this region, I think, attracts people,” he told BusinessWest. “People enjoy coming to this area. We have city centers, things to do, you can see art, hear music, get outside, and still be close to Boston and New York.”

Trapani and Simolo count themselves among the former newcomers mentored by Roberts and his peers, but are now part of a middle generation rising to leadership and taking on much of that mentoring responsibility for new attorneys. That perpetuates the firm’s constant evolution, with some of the more recent hires chosen to match growth fields, including trusts and estates, corporate transaction law, labor and employment, domestic relations, and subspecialties like green energy.

“There’s such a broad scope of experience in this office,” Newton said. “So I can go to one of the associates and talk to them about something. They’ll learn from me, but I’ll also learn from them. When I sit in Jeff’s office or Nancy’s office, cross-learning takes place. Every single day, there are opportunities to sit down and talk about an issue with someone else. Not a day goes by that I don’t learn some new nuance that’s helpful to something I’m working on.”

It’s an environment some find unusual at first, Frankel Pelletier said, “but it’s the only environment I’ve ever known my entire career. We are just an open-door, collaborative community of lawyers.”

In short, Robinson Donovan has come a long way since its early days, when it was best known for George Robinson’s successful defense of Lizzie Borden on double murder charges in 1892. These days, the firm is recognized in a host of ways, such as the citations many of its attorneys have received from organizations like Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and Martindale-Hubbell.

“Unlike some other firms from the area, we really maintain a statewide presence,” said Frankel Pelletier, who was the firm’s first-ever female attorney. “We have always maintained that statewide presence and attained regional and, in some senses, national recognition. Our attorneys are constantly being recognized by organizations they belong to. That is who we are.”

Well, that and a law firm with a strong commitment to the community that has helped it thrive for 150 years.

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Departments People on the Move

Inspired Marketing recently announced several promotions and additions to the company:

Heather Ruggeri

Heather Ruggeri

Kristen Carlson

Kristen Carlson

Lauren Mendoza

Lauren Mendoza

Cara Cole

Cara Cole

Jenifer Esile

Jenifer Esile

Heather Ruggeri, the company’s Chief Events Officer, was recently promoted and adds Vice President to her business card. She joined Inspired Marketing in 2015 and previously worked as the conference service manager and sales manager at the Springfield Sheraton for nine years. In addition, she was recently named to the board of the Connecticut River Valley Chapter of Meeting Professionals International and is one of only a few certified meeting professionals in the area and one of only about 13,000 worldwide;
• Another team member, Kristin Carlson, was recently named Senior Marketing Visionary Partner. She started with Inspired Marketing as an apprentice right out of college in 2014. She has continued to evolve into a valued team member, creating innovative, successful media campaigns for several clients with outstanding results;
Lauren Mendoza, who was with Inspired Marketing in its infancy before leaving for tech startup Waterdog, has rejoined the team and is now the Office Manager. Her organization keeps the team on track and helps communication, meetings, and schedules to run smoothly;
Cara Cole recently joined Inspired Marketing as a Marketing Visionary Partner, serving on the front line with client creative implementation. She came to Inspired Marketing from the Center for Human Development and previously from Square One; and
Jenifer Esile joined Inspired Marketing as On-staff Graphic Designer after having been a freelance partner since the company’s inception. In addition to 20 years of diverse design experience, she brings copywriting and social-media skills to the team to provide greater value to clients.

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Karen Bechtel

Karen Bechtel

MassMutual announced the election of Karen Bechtel to its board of directors. Bechtel is managing director of global alternative asset manager the Carlyle Group. “I’m extremely pleased to welcome Karen Bechtel to MassMutual’s board of directors. She brings both a sterling reputation and keen business acumen built on more than 30 years of investment management and corporate development expertise, and we look forward to her contributions,” said Roger Crandall, chairman, president, and CEO. “Importantly, as part of MassMutual’s unwavering commitment to best-in-class corporate governance, we are focused on ensuring that our board reflects diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.” Bechtel joined Carlyle in 2005 as the head of the Global Healthcare team and currently is focused on corporate buyout opportunities within the private equity market. Prior to her role at Carlyle, for 28 years, she held a variety of leadership roles within Morgan Stanley & Co., including as managing director of its Private Equity Group. During her career with Morgan Stanley, she was also co-head of the Financial Sponsors Group and head of the Corporate Restructuring Group, with a strong focus on healthcare investments as well as mergers and acquisitions. She was also a member of the firm’s Investment Banking Operating Committee. In addition to her role as a new MassMutual director, Bechtel serves on the boards of Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, HCR-ManorCare, and Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC. She is also a former board member of Healthscope Ltd., Grupo Qualicorp, Multiplan Inc., and LifeCare. Mergers & Acquisitions magazine in 2015 named her one of the Most Influential Women in mid-market M&A. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin and earned her MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business.

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Philip Johnson

Philip Johnson

OMG Roofing Products promoted Philip Johnson to the position of Key Account Manager, the company announced. In his new role, he will be responsible for managing several strategic accounts with a high level of responsiveness and customer service. Johnson started with OMG in 2012 as a field sales representative in Texas, and was promoted in 2014 to the position of regional sales manager for the United Kingdom and Ireland. He will report to Josh Kelly, vice president and general manager. “Phil is a dedicated and talented manager, who has shown a commitment to helping the company grow,” said Kelly. “He excelled as a field sales representative in Texas and as a regional sales manager in the UK and Ireland. I’m confident that Phil will continue to thrive in this new account management role for the roofing products team.” Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Ark. Headquartered in Agawam, Mass., OMG Roofing Products is North America’s largest manufacturer of commercial roofing products, featuring specialty fasteners, insulation adhesives, drains, pipe supports, emergency repair tape, edge metal systems, and productivity tools.

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Richard “Kick” Sullivan III

Richard “Kick” Sullivan III

Crevier & Ryan, LLP announced the addition of a new associate to the firm, attorney Richard “Kick” Sullivan III. Sullivan works primarily for attorney Michael Ryan. Collectively, Ryan, Sullivan, and fellow associate Rebecca Moran have a practice devoted to residential real-estate transactions, commercial lending, commercial real-estate acquisitions and sale (including 1031 tax-free exchanges), corporate governance, buy and sell agreements for closely held businesses, contract analysis and negotiation, civil litigation, and pre-litigation disputes (including conflicts involving trusts and estates). Sullivan graduated from Bates College in 2012, then enrolled in Western New England University School of Law, graduating earlier this year. During his legal education, he completed concentrations in estate planning, real estate, and business law. Eager to expand his education beyond the classroom, he completed the WNEU Law Small Business Clinic, Real Estate Practicum, and an estate-planning drafting course. These experiences have provided him with an advanced handle on transactional skills as well as a specialized knowledge in these practice areas. While most experienced in these legal fields, he aims to expand the practice and his expertise. Sullivan was previously employed during law school for Westfield Bank, as a law clerk for Fitzgerald, Attorneys at Law in East Longmeadow, and as a legal intern for the city of Springfield Law Department, Code Enforcement. Active in the community, he serves on the Westfield Zoning Board of Appeals.

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Cynthia Shaw

Cynthia Shaw

The Gove Law Office announced that Cynthia Shaw has joined the firm as a Paralegal focused on civil and criminal litigation and real-estate transactions. “Cindi Shaw will provide experienced and active support to our attorneys working in the diverse practice areas which Gove Law offers our clients,” said Michael Gove, founding partner of Gove Law Office. Shaw has more than 20 years of experience as a paralegal, holds a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from Elms College, and is a member of the Western Mass Paralegal Assoc. and the National Federation of Paralegals. The Gove Law Office, with offices in Ludlow and Northampton, is a bilingual firm with attorneys who provide guidance to clients in the areas of business representation, criminal and civil litigation, personal-injury law, commercial lending, residential and commercial real estate, estate planning, immigration, and bankruptcy.

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Katisha Woods-Johnson

Katisha Woods-Johnson

Katisha Woods-Johnson, director for the Center for Human Development’s (CHD) Terri Thomas Girls Program, has received a Department of Youth Services (DYS) Commissioner’s Award for 2016. The Terri Thomas Girls Program is a secure, residential treatment program operated by CHD at the DYS facility on Tinkham Road in Springfield. Woods-Johnson was recognized for her work leveraging community connections to touch the lives of many youth in CHD custody and care, as well as their families. For example, she built a partnership with Home Depot that began with the company’s commitment to visit the Tinkham Road campus to do some projects with the youth. That blossomed into an ongoing monthly program in which the youth have hung doors and installed windows, learned basic wiring and put in outlets, built Adirondack chairs and picnic tables, and installed tile. Home Depot has donated all the materials and their employees’ time for the projects. Woods-Johnson also connected with Suit Up Springfield, a nonprofit organization that donates suits and dresses to people in need so they have proper attire for job interviews. Every young person in the programs at Tinkham Road received such an outfit and wore it to a semi-formal Thanksgiving banquet also attended by their families. Woods-Johnson paid for the banquet — the first most of the youth had ever attended — with donations and a fund-raising event. The youth served their families dinner, and a professional photographer volunteered to take pictures of each family as a keepsake. Woods-Johnson has brought local poets, painters, Zumba instructors, hip-hop artists, and more to the DYS campus to volunteer their time running groups with the youth.

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Aesthetic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, P.C., a community-centered cosmetic surgery and non-invasive practice serving Western Mass. and Northern Conn., announced that Dr. Glen Brooks participated in a prestigious preceptorship program hosted by Dr. Charles Randquist, a board-certified plastic surgeon with 20 years of experience. For the last decade, Randquist has been a speaker around the world on various cosmetic procedures, while his main focus has been on primary, secondary, and reconstructive breast surgery. The preceptorship was held in Sweden, and gathered a small group of U.S. physicians. “I felt like this was a great opportunity to continue my education and ensure a world-class experience and results for my patients,” Brooks said. “Dr. Randquist is renowned for his knowledge, emphasizing a natural appearance with less short- and long-term complications, which is always a focus at my practice.” Learning alongside Randquist was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Brooks said, featuring live surgery and follow-ups as well as techniques and practice management. “The best practices and higher-level understanding I have about new products and devices are credible, authentic, and valuable.”

Agenda Departments

Classes on Elder Law, Estate Planning

Sept. 19, Sept. 26, Oct. 3: Attorney Karen Jackson, owner and senior attorney of Jackson Law, an elder-law and estate-planning firm, will teach a series of three classes highlighting the latest developments in elder law and estate planning at Holyoke Community College on three consecutive Mondays from 6 to 8 p.m.Jackson said each class is a standalone presentation; those who are unable to attend on Sept. 19 are welcome to attend one or both of the subsequent sessions.Through stories and real examples, Jackson will present comprehensive subject matter on these topics: “The Core Estate Plan,” “The Probate Process, Start to Finish,” and “Medicare, Community Care Programs, and MassHealth Planning.”In the first session, Jackson will explain each document in the core estate plan. She will discuss the problems that can occur when proper documents are not prepared before a loss of mental capacity or physical health or before sudden loss of life. She will also provide an overview of the different types of trusts that can be considered in estate planning, including supplemental needs trusts, revocable trusts, and irrevocable trusts.The second session will address the probate-court process. Jackson will discuss the different types of probate, explain how to determine which assets must go through probate after a death, and what estate planning can be done now.In her final session, Jackson will introduce the various Medicaid programs that provide community and long-term skilled nursing care in Massachusetts and the financial assistance associated with each. She will also address hot topics in Medicare law, supplemental-needs trusts, and new developments in significant elder-law issues.The cost is $85 per person and covers all three classes; participants cannot pay for individual sessions. To register, call Holyoke Community College at (413) 552-2500 or visit www.hcc.edu/bce.

Mutts & Mimosas

Sept. 25: Dakin Humane Society will present its fourth annual Mutts & Mimosas fund-raising event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Quonquont Farm & Orchard in Whately, rain or shine. Guests are encouraged to bring their dogs to the brunch, which will feature a make-your-own-mimosa bar, live music, a raffle and silent auction, apple picking, dog-walking trails, and other fun activities. The food will be catered by Seth Mias, and an optional dog meal is available for $10. Event attendees are asked to bring dry or canned cat food to support Dakin’s pet food-bank program. Tickets are $50 per person and can be ordered online at www.dakinhumane.org or by calling Event Manager Gina Ciprari at (413) 781-4000, ext. 136. “Mutts & Mimosas is such a fun and unusual gathering, and it’s become a tradition among Dakin supporters and dog enthusiasts,” said Dakin Executive Director Carmine DiCenso. “People really embrace this event because it gives them the chance to have fun with their dogs, and Quonquont Farm offers an ideal and relaxing setting. Mutts & Mimosas is a very important benefit for the homeless animals we care for, and each ticket sold helps us extend our services to more animals and their people.” Finck and Perras Insurance Agency Inc. of Florence and Easthampton is the corporate sponsor for Mutts & Mimosas. Media sponsors include 94.7 WMAS, Bear Country 95.3, the Republican, the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and the Recorder.

Spirit of the Written Word

Sept. 29 to Dec. 8: Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Oncology Department will offer a free writing workshop, Spirit of the Written Word, for Western Mass. residents touched by cancer. The 10-week workshop will take place on Thursdays, Sept. 29 through Dec. 8 (no class on Nov. 24), from 6 to 8 p.m., at Artspace, 15 Mill St., Greenfield. Attendees are encouraged to promote their own healing and experience the therapeutic benefits of group writing. No writing experience is required, and all sharing is voluntary and confidential. Refreshments will be provided. Facilitating the workshop is Pam Roberts, a writer, artist, and certified yoga instructor who is also a breast-cancer survivor of more than 20 years. An ordained graduate of the IM School of Healing Arts in New York City, she has been leading writing workshops for people affected by cancer and loss for more than 11 years. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, Roberts found writing to be an important part of her healing process. She believes deeply in the transformative and healing power of writing within a safe and supportive workshop environment. The workshop is being sponsored by BFMC Oncology and is grant-funded by Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Wheeling for Healing Bike/Walk/Run Event supporting cancer services at BFMC. The Spirit of the Written Word writing workshop is limited to 12 participants, and registration is required. To register, or for more information, contact Roberts at (413) 625-2402 or [email protected] Information is also available in the Oncology Department at Baystate Franklin Medical Center.

‘Holyoke Renaissance: Rising from the Ashes’

Through Oct. 29: During September and October, Wistariahurst is hosting a new exhibit titled “Holyoke Renaissance: Rising from the Ashes.” Three area artists are showcasing architecture as art in a joint exhibition celebrating the renaissance of the city of Holyoke. The exhibit by artists Debra Dunphy, Nancy Howard, and Kristine Villeneuve-Topor features various views of the old industrial city of Holyoke and its architectural designs. Holyoke is currently undergoing a transformation that is renewing much of the downtown after suffering urban blight for decades. Works on display include local landmarks and streetscapes from around the city and are presented to shine a light on the beautiful art and architecture in the city. The exhibit will run through Saturday, Oct. 29. Gallery viewing hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission to the gallery is available for a $3 suggested donation.

Northeast Training Institute

Oct. 4-5: The International Business Innovation Assoc. (InBIA), in partnership with the Assoc. of Cleantech Incubators of New England (ACTION), will host a two-day Northeast Training Institute at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke. Four courses will be offered for the professional development of incubator managers or those exploring the development of an incubator or accelerator program in their community. Those who should consider attending include  business incubation and acceleration professionals, university administrators and faculty in entrepreneurship, community influencers and chamber of commerce of leaders, and economic-development leaders. Join other participants from around the region for these world-recognized training programs and hear about development plans for the Holyoke Innovation District. Learn more at www.actionnewengland.org. E-mail Joan Popolo at [email protected] with any questions.

CSO Spaghetti Dinner

Oct. 5: In celebration of Mental Health Awareness Week, Clinical & Support Options (CSO) Green River House and Quabbin House Programs will host a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Moose Lodge on School Street in Greenfield. CSO believes that mental-health issues are important to address year-round, but highlighting them during Mental Health Awareness Week provides a time for people to come together and share stories of recovery and hope and to spread the message that your total health matters. Program Manager Kim Britt knows how important events like these are to reducing mental-health stigma. “The purpose of this event is to bring awareness and educate the community and to change individuals’ perception about mental illness,” she said. “Individuals who experience mental illness are not what the media portrays. The truth is, one in four adults experience mental illness in America each year. People who experience mental-health challenges are just like you and I. They’re able to lead healthy, meaningful, and productive lives. Although the road to recovery is a journey, recovery is possible.” Raffles, entertainment, and mental-health information will be paired with a traditional spaghetti-dinner menu. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids age 3 and up, and free for children under 3. Tickets are available in advance or at the door. For questions or to purchase tickets, call the Green River House at (413) 772-2181 or Quabbin House at (978) 544-1859.

Workshop on Conducting a Workplace Investigation

Oct. 13: In your job, are you responsible for conducting investigations into employee conflicts? Allegations of harassment? Employee theft? If so, Royal, P.C.’s workshop on workplace investigations is for you. Recent state and federal court decisions underscore the importance of conducting thorough investigations. In this workshop, attendees will learn about such topics as selecting an investigator, conducting an effective interview, dealing with confidentiality issues, and taking interim actions. Among those who may be interested in attending are HR professionals, CFOs, CEOs, and anyone in a management position who is responsible for handling investigations. This workshop will apply to the first-time ‘investigator’ as well as the most seasoned ones. The workshop will take place from 8 to 9 a.m. at Royal, P.C., 270 Pleasant St., Northampton. The cost is $30 per person. Mail your payment and make your check payable to Royal, P.C., 270 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060. Advance registration is required, and seating is limited. E-mail Ann-Marie Marcil at [email protected] to register or with any questions about this workshop.

Western Mass. Business Expo

Nov. 3: Comcast Business will present the sixth annual Western Mass. Business Expo at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by BusinessWest and the Healthcare News. The business-to-business show will feature more than 150 exhibitor booths, educational seminars, breakfast hosted by the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, lunch hosted by BusinessWest, and a day-capping Expo Social. Current sponsors include Comcast Business (presenting sponsor), Express Employment Professionals, Health New England, the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Johnson & Hill Staffing Services, MGM Springfield, and Wild Apple Design. WMAS is the event’s media partner. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Exhibitor spaces are also available; booth prices start at $725. For more information on sponsorships or booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100. For more Expo details as they emerge, visit www.wmbexpo.com.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Berkshire Bank announced the upcoming Business Succession Planning Breakfast being held by its Wealth Management team on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Colony Club in Springfield.

The event will feature guest speakers Steven Dane and Michele Feinstein. Dane is a partner in the CohnReznick tax practice. He brings 35 years of professional experience to this event, offering knowledge in estate and succession planning, trust-administration services, and the mechanics involved in transitioning and operating business entities. He has also authored articles on business-valuation matters for publications such as Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and Connecticut Law Tribune.

Feinstein, an attorney and shareholder with Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C, offers a wide range of experience in this field. In her current position, she practices in areas of estate planning, litigation, and business planning, including all aspects of planning for the succession of business interests. She is also senior adjunct professor of Law at Western New England College in the post-doctoral LLM Program for Estate Planning and Elder Law.

This event is open to the public. If you would like to attend, RSVP to Stacey Jarmuzewski at [email protected] or (413) 564-6212 by Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Attorney Karen Jackson, owner and senior attorney of Jackson Law, an elder-law and estate-planning firm, will teach a series of three classes highlighting the latest developments in elder law and estate planning at Holyoke Community College on Mondays, Sept. 19, Sept. 26, and Oct. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Jackson said each class is a standalone presentation; those who are unable to attend on Sept. 19 are welcome to attend one or both of the subsequent sessions.

Through stories and real examples, Jackson will present comprehensive subject matter on these topics: “The Core Estate Plan,” “The Probate Process, Start to Finish,” and “Medicare, Community Care Programs, and MassHealth Planning.”

In the first session, Jackson will explain each document in the core estate plan. She will discuss the problems that can occur when proper documents are not prepared before a loss of mental capacity or physical health or before sudden loss of life. She will also provide an overview of the different types of trusts that can be considered in estate planning, including supplemental needs trusts, revocable trusts, and irrevocable trusts.

The second session will address the probate-court process. Jackson will discuss the different types of probate, explain how to determine which assets must go through probate after a death, and what estate planning can be done now.

In her final session, Jackson will introduce the various Medicaid programs that provide community and long-term skilled nursing care in Massachusetts and the financial assistance associated with each. She will also address hot topics in Medicare law, supplemental-needs trusts, and new developments in significant elder-law issues.

The cost is $85 per person and covers all three classes; participants cannot pay for individual sessions. To register, call Holyoke Community College at (413) 552-2500 or visit www.hcc.edu/bce.

Daily News

LUDLOW — The Gove Law Office announced that Cynthia (Cindi) Shaw has joined the firm as a paralegal focused on civil and criminal litigation and real-estate transactions.

“Cindi Shaw will provide experienced and active support to our attorneys working in the diverse practice areas which Gove Law offers our clients,” said Michael Gove, founding partner of Gove Law Office.

Shaw has more than 20 years of experience as a paralegal, holds a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies from Elms College, and is a member of the Western Mass Paralegal Assoc. and the National Federation of Paralegals.

The Gove Law Office, with offices in Ludlow and Northampton, is a bilingual firm with attorneys who provide guidance to clients in the areas of business representation, criminal and civil litigation, personal-injury law, commercial lending, residential and commercial real estate, estate planning, immigration, and bankruptcy.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Crevier & Ryan, LLP announced the addition of a new associate to the firm, attorney Richard “Kick” Sullivan III.

Sullivan works primarily for attorney Michael Ryan. Collectively, Ryan, Sullivan, and fellow associate Rebecca Moran have a practice devoted to residential real-estate transactions, commercial lending, commercial real-estate acquisitions and sale (including 1031 tax-free exchanges), corporate governance, buy and sell agreements for closely held businesses, contract analysis and negotiation, civil litigation, and pre-litigation disputes (including conflicts involving trusts and estates).

Sullivan graduated from Bates College in 2012, then enrolled in Western New England University School of Law, graduating earlier this year. During his legal education, he completed concentrations in estate planning, real estate, and business law. Eager to expand his education beyond the classroom, he completed the WNEU Law Small Business Clinic, Real Estate Practicum, and an estate-planning drafting course. These experiences have provided him with an advanced handle on transactional skills as well as a specialized knowledge in these practice areas. While most experienced in these legal fields, he aims to expand the practice and his expertise.

Sullivan was previously employed during law school for Westfield Bank, as a law clerk for Fitzgerald, Attorneys at Law in East Longmeadow, and as a legal intern for the city of Springfield Law Department, Code Enforcement. Active in the community, he serves on the Westfield Zoning Board of Appeals.

Departments People on the Move

Health New England announced the recent appointment of Michael Marrone as Chief Financial Officer. In this role, he will lead all aspects of financial strategy for the organization. Marrone is also responsible for accounting and financial reporting and also oversees provider operations. He joins Health New England’s executive leadership team and reports directly to president and CEO Maura McCaffrey. Prior to joining Health New England, Marrone was chief financial officer, New England market at Aetna Inc. in Hartford, Conn. In this role, he was responsible for the profit and loss for all commercial and Medicare health, group, and dental businesses across health plans in six states. His career also includes more than nine years at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, where he served in various leadership roles in financial management, including medical economics, trend-management analytics, and informatics. Marrone holds a bachelor’s degree in business management with a concentration in economics from the University of Maine, Farmington, as well as an MBA from the University of Southern Maine Graduate School of Business. Based in Springfield, Health New England is a nonprofit health plan serving members in Massachusetts and Connecticut. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Baystate Health, Health New England offers a range of healthcare plans in the commercial, Medicaid, and Medicare markets.

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Carmine DiCenso

Carmine DiCenso

Dakin Humane Society has named Carmine DiCenso Executive Director of its organization. The appointment comes following a national search after the departure of former Executive Director Leslie Harris. DiCenso has extensive experience in animal-welfare program management and innovative project development, most recently as executive director for the Providence (R.I.) Animal Rescue League. Prior to that, he was a program director at the Mass. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and a manager at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. A former board member of the New England Federation of Humane Societies, he previously served as a board member for the Ocean State Animal Coalition, and as the Rhode Island state representative for the Humane Society of the United States Companion Animal Advisory Council. As the executive director at Dakin Humane Society, DiCenso will oversee all aspects of the organization’s work at its two locations in Springfield and Leverett. Dakin has more than 50 employees and nearly 800 volunteers who shelter, treat, and foster more than 20,000 animals annually. Dakin’s adoption centers find homes for more than 4,000 homeless pets each year. In addition, the Dakin Community Spay/Neuter Clinic, located in Springfield, recently conducted its 69,000th surgery since opening in 2009, making it New England’s largest spay/neuter provider. The organization also provides a pet-food bank, dog-training classes and pet-related workshops, plus humane learning programs. According to Nancy Creed, president of Dakin’s board of directors, “Carmine will be a terrific executive director. We’re thrilled to have him here to lead Dakin and inspire this organization’s future growth and achievements. He has significant experience in both human services and animal welfare, and understands the need to serve the human — as well as the animal — population of our community. His career has been devoted to making and keeping that connection.”

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Berkshire Bank announced the expansion of its Wealth Management Group with the appointments of Elizabeth Gore to Senior Vice President, Trust Operations and Compliance, and Janice Ward to Senior Vice President, Wealth Advisor and Senior Fiduciary Officer. Gore is a graduate of New England School of Banking at Williams College with a degree in trust banking. She has more than 35 years of banking experience, 28 at Berkshire Bank. In her new role, she will oversee all aspects of operations and compliance for the Wealth Management team and the department’s trust accounting system. She is also responsible for fiduciary and tax work, preparation of annual probate accountings, implementing disaster-recovery policies, and assisting auditors. She currently manages the Lenox Wealth Management Office, assisting clients on a daily basis. Ward received her juris doctor from Western New England University and is licensed to practice law in both Massachusetts and New York. She also obtained her designation as a certified financial planner in 2011. She began her career with Berkshire Bank in 2012 as a wealth advisor and senior fiduciary officer. In her new role, she will oversee various fiduciary activities, including executor and trustee services and financial-planning activities throughout the Berkshire Bank Wealth Management footprint. She will also continue to serve as wealth advisor to a select group of clients, and now serves as president of the newly formed Berkshire County Estate Planning Council Inc., which took the place of the previous Estate Planning Council.

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Ruth Banta

Ruth Banta

The Association for Community Living, which provides residential and community services for people with intellectual disabilities, has named Ruth Banta the new Executive Director, effective Aug. 22. Banta, who has served as the vice president for administration at the association since 2003, will oversee the $30 million organization, headquartered in Springfield. The association provides a variety of services to people with disabilities through its programs throughout Western Mass., including Community Resources for People with Autism, Specialized Home Care, Whole Children, an extensive residential division, and Valley Tees. Banta has more than 30 years of management, including positions at J.P. Morgan and Aetna. “I’m honored and humbled to be selected as the association’s next executive director,” Banta said. “I’m looking forward to working with all our constituents to meet the challenges we face to ensure that people with intellectual disabilities are able to build the lives they seek and deserve.” Banta has a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and an MBA from Yale University. She became interested in the human-services field when one of her sons was diagnosed with autism. She previously served on the board of Community Resources for People with Autism, a program of the Assoc. for Community Living. The Assoc. for Community Living, which is set to change its name to Pathlight in September, has been providing programs and services to people with developmental disabilities since 1952. Its programs include residential homes, supports for independent living, family-based living, recreation, enrichment, employment supports, family resources, autism supports, and more. Banta is an amateur photographer whose photographs have been exhibited in Western Mass. She has volunteered with the Special Olympics and coached the unified basketball team for five medal-winning seasons.

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American International College (AIC) board of trustees member Peter Vogian made a gift to name a conference room in the new dining commons complex on campus. At a recent ceremony, Vogian was acknowledged for his many years of generous support to the college. AIC President Vincent Maniaci praised Vogian for his leadership as a trustee and for giving the college a space that provides an ideal venue for professional and academic meetings. “We know this room will be used by our students for both social occasions and networking opportunities. In this room, our students will learn leadership and presentation skills, they will collaborate and cooperate,” Maniaci said during the dedication ceremony. “Our students will leave this room better than when they walked in. The Peter J. Vogian Conference Room is but one manifestation of your generous spirit and your belief in our students’ potential.” Vogian has served as a member of the college’s board of trustees since 2001. Graduating from the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, Vogian began his career with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. in 1960, retiring in 1993 as senior vice president of Pension Management Sales. In addition to his years of dedicated service to AIC, Vogian has donated his time and talent to serving on numerous boards, including Goodwill Industries of Springfield and Hartford and with professional and social affiliations including Chartered Life Underwriters of Pioneer Valley and the Melha Temple Shrine.

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Christopher Buono has joined Anteris Solutions Inc. as Chief Information Officer. As CIO, he joins the executive team and also helps clients navigate the critical process of aligning technology decisions with organizational goals by identifying current needs while targeting a vision for the future. Buono has worked in the information-technology field for more than 20 years, including 12 years in leadership roles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in management information systems from the University at Albany Business School and attended the MBA program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lally School of Management. He holds numerous legacy technical certifications, including Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Certified Novell Engineer, Certified Information Systems Security Professional, and Cisco Certified Network Administration. He serves on the board of directors for WAM Theatre. Anteris Solutions was founded in 2002 to serve a variety of nationwide businesses by providing them complete IT solutions, including strategic planning, proactive management, security and hardware monitoring, and ensuring software and regulation compliance.

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Karla Callahan

Karla Callahan

HUB International New England, a division of HUB International Limited, a global insurance-brokerage, risk-advisory, and employee-benefits firm, announced the hiring of Karla Callahan as an Employee Benefits Client Relationship Manager in the East Longmeadow office. Callahan has an extensive background in employee benefits and was previously employed by Health New England for more than 12 years, specializing in sales, underwriting, and member services. As part of the HUB employee benefits team, she will be responsible for assisting staff with client relations, service, sales, and administrative activities of new and existing group benefit accounts. Working closely with employers to maintain and better understand their employee-benefits packages and staying abreast of compliance restrictions and guidelines will be her other areas of focus.

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Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C., a labor and employment law firm serving employers in the Greater Springfield area, announced that attorney Amelia Holstrom earned the Community Service Award presented by the Mass. Bar Assoc. and subsequently through its affiliate association, the Hampden County Bar Assoc. It is awarded to worthy attorneys who are members of both their local and state bar associations, and who have demonstrated excellence in community service. “The Western Massachusetts community has given so much to me throughout the years,” Holstrom said. “That is why I think it is so important to give back to my community. I am honored to have been presented with this Community Service Award. The award truly speaks volumes about the atmosphere that I work in. Everyone at Skoler Abbott is extremely supportive of community-service initiatives and understands the value of extending a helping hand to others.” Holstrom joined Skoler, Abbott, & Presser after serving as a judicial law clerk to the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court, where she assisted with complex matters at all stages of litigation. Her practice is focused in labor law and employment litigation. Since joining the firm in 2012, Holstrom has provided legal advice to employers who want to remain union-free and defended employers against claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful termination, and actions arising under the Family Medical Leave Act and wage-and-hour law. Additionally, she frequently provides counsel to management regarding litigation-avoidance strategies. Holstrom is a 2011 graduate of Western New England University School of Law, where she was the managing editor of the Western New England Law Review. She is a 2015 recipient of the 40 Under Forty award from BusinessWest, which honors individuals under age 40 who have achieved professional success and are active in civic organizations. In addition to her legal résumé, Holstrom is very active in the community. She is an ad hoc member of the personnel committee for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, a member of the board and executive committee for Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts, and board clerk at Friends of the Homeless.

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Attorney Carol Cioe Klyman and Attorney Ann Weber have been recognized for their work on the 2016 Massachusetts Elder Law Sourcebook & Citator. Published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), the sourcebook is an important reference source in the growing fields of elder law and special-needs planning in Massachusetts. The sourcebook represents the editors’ selections of key reference materials from state and federal sources. It contains primary sources that are called upon daily in the representation of the Massachusetts elder and disabled populations, including statutes, regulations, case decisions, and community resources. The sourcebook would not have been possible without the editorial leadership of Klyman and Weber, said Maryanne Jensen, MCLE’s director of Publications. “They share MCLE’s goal to educate practitioners and others who advocate for, represent, and advise individuals facing the vicissitudes of aging and incapacity.” Klyman and Weber are shareholders at Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., with offices in Springfield, Northampton, and Albany, N.Y. Klyman concentrates her practice in the areas of elder law, estate planning, special-needs-trust planning, estate settlement, guardianships, trust and estates litigation, and MassHealth appeals. Weber concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, probate, and elder law. She has a particular interest in creative estate planning for authors, artists, farmers, and landowners, as well as federal and Massachusetts estate-tax planning. Attorneys may purchase the 2016 Massachusetts Elder Law Sourcebook & Citator in print version or as an e-book or e-article through the MCLE website, www.mcle.org.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank announced the expansion of its Wealth Management Group with the appointments of Elizabeth Gore to senior vice president, trust operations and compliance, and Janice Ward to senior vice president, wealth advisor and senior fiduciary officer.

Gore is a graduate of New England School of Banking at Williams College with a degree in trust banking. She has more than 35 years of banking experience, 28 at Berkshire Bank. In her new role, she will oversee all aspects of operations and compliance for the Wealth Management team and the department’s trust accounting system. She is also responsible for fiduciary and tax work, preparation of annual probate accountings, implementing disaster-recovery policies, and assisting auditors. She currently manages the Lenox Wealth Management Office, assisting clients on a daily basis.

Ward received her juris doctor from Western New England University and is licensed to practice law in both Massachusetts and New York. She also obtained her designation as a certified financial planner in 2011. She began her career with Berkshire Bank in 2012 as a wealth advisor and senior fiduciary officer. In her new role, she will oversee various fiduciary activities, including executor and trustee services and financial-planning activities throughout the Berkshire Bank Wealth Management footprint. She will also continue to serve as wealth advisor to a select group of clients, and now serves as president of the newly formed Berkshire County Estate Planning Council Inc., which took the place of the previous Estate Planning Council.

“Berkshire Bank is firmly committed to providing wealth-management and fiduciary services in its growing markets but based here in Berkshire County,” said Thomas Barney, first vice president, wealth advisor. “Liz and Jan bring seasoned experience and exceptional skills to our clients and great leadership to our group. The Wealth Management team is proud of their accomplishments and pleased with their continued success.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Attorney Carol Cioe Klyman and Attorney Ann Weber have been recognized for their work on the 2016 Massachusetts Elder Law Sourcebook & Citator. Published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), the sourcebook is an important reference source in the growing fields of elder law and special-needs planning in Massachusetts.

The sourcebook represents the editors’ selections of key reference materials from state and federal sources. It contains primary sources that are called upon daily in the representation of the Massachusetts elder and disabled populations, including statutes, regulations, case decisions, and community resources.

The sourcebook would not have been possible without the editorial leadership of Klyman and Weber, said Maryanne Jensen, MCLE’s director of Publications. “They share MCLE’s goal to educate practitioners and others who advocate for, represent, and advise individuals facing the vicissitudes of aging and incapacity.”

Klyman and Weber are shareholders at Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., with offices in Springfield, Northampton, and Albany, N.Y. Klyman concentrates her practice in the areas of elder law, estate planning, special-needs-trust planning, estate settlement, guardianships, trust and estates litigation, and MassHealth appeals. Weber concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, probate, and elder law. She has a particular interest in creative estate planning for authors, artists, farmers, and landowners, as well as federal and Massachusetts estate-tax planning.

Attorneys may purchase the 2016 Massachusetts Elder Law Sourcebook & Citator in print version or as an e-book or e-article through the MCLE website, www.mcle.org.

Banking and Financial Services Sections

The Relationship Between Lender and Company Is a Key Factor

By Steve J. Schwartz, Esq. and David K. Webber, Esq.

Steve Schwartz

Steve Schwartz

David Webber

David Webber

In the May 13, 2013 issue of BusinessWest; we penned an article titled “A Primer on the ESOP.” This is an extension of that article that specifically focuses on financing an ESOP, or employee stock- ownership plan, and informs the reader of the lender’s concerns in making a loan as part of the structure of a leveraged ESOP.

In the prior article, we described an ESOP as follows: an ESOP is a qualified defined-contribution retirement plan established under §§ 401(a), 409, and 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code. Unlike other qualified plans, an ESOP is designed primarily to invest in shares of a closely held corporation, referred to in the code as ‘employer securities.’ The sponsor company may transfer the shares of common stock as a qualified contribution, or the ESOP may purchase shares from shareholders or the sponsor company. In a ‘leveraged’ ESOP, the company takes out a bank loan to fund the purchase, then lends the funds to the ESOP to finance the purchase of shares. A 100% sale of shares to an ESOP may require a series of smaller transfers because 100% bank financing is unlikely.

The selling shareholder may receive cash as partial or complete consideration for the shares. In the alternative, or in addition to cash, the selling shareholder may self-finance a portion by accepting a note as partial payment. As the note is paid off in installments, the plan trustee transfers shares to each of the employees’ accounts, eventually vesting all the stock in employee accounts in accordance with the terms of the plan.

The lender has its usual concerns in making the loan, which will eventually be used to purchase shares by the ESOP. The considerations do not vary much between financing an ordinary loan and financing an ESOP. The lender’s customary due diligence is utilized to assess the credit worthiness of a borrower. If the company is a customer of the lender, it will normally have a relationship with the current management.

If the ESOP is part of an exit plan and there will be a change of control, the lender will be concerned with the capacity of the new management team to manage the business. It is important that the new management team be involved in dealing with the lender in obtaining the loan. In the event there is not a change of control, it will also consider this issue for the future in case there is a change of control due to death or disability or part of a future plan to vest control in new management. Hopefully, the lender will have experience in dealing with an ESOP transaction.

It is important for the company to prepare a financial plan for the period of the loan so that its needs for financing are included in its request for financing. It is also important that working capital and other financial requirements are included in the request. The company’s request should consider any contingencies.

The lender will analyze the company’s financial circumstances, including the security for its loan and the ability of the company to make the loan payments. The lender will also consider the company’s other financing requests.

As part of the ESOP planning process, the company shall be required to engage an independent appraiser to determine the value of the shares to be sold as part of the ESOP.  The lender will review the appraisal carefully in its approval process. It will provide the lender with an independent view of the company and its prospects.

The terms of the loan should be keyed to the ability of the company to generate profits. However, there are limitations on the term. An ESOP is a retirement plan and must comply with applicable laws; the internal note and pledge agreement from the ESOP to the company will be subject to federal government scrutiny. A term that is too long, or an interest rate greater than market rate, is suspect because it could unduly favor the selling stockholder over the employees.

Shares are released to the employees’ individual accounts on the payment of the loan. A longer term would affect the release of shares to the ESOP participants: the longer the term, the slower the release of shares. The term and interest rate of the note should therefore be reasonably short (fewer than 10 years) in order to mitigate excess scrutiny from the IRS and Department of Labor.

The loan normally will be secured by all the assets of the company. It is not unusual for the lender to request the personal guaranty from the stockholders. Also, it may be necessary for the proceeds of the sale to be pledged as additional security for the loan. The lender may agree to reduce the additional collateral as the loan is repaid.

If the company has existing loans or new loans with the lender, there will be cross-collateralization, cross-default, and cross-guarantee agreements. If any loan is in default, the default will apply to all the other loans. In the event a stockholder is owed money by the company, the lender may require that the stockholder subordinate the obligation to the lender and restrict the payment terms of the obligation to protect the company’s cash flow. The lender may require life insurance on the management team to be assigned to the lender as additional collateral for the loan.

As with any loan, there will be annual reporting requirements, financial covenants, and other performance metrics. The terms should be clearly set out in the commitment letter. The lender may have other requirements such as insurance, landlord’s consent, mortgagee’s consent, and collateral control agreements if some of the assets are not on the premises of the company.

The loan from the company will be documented by a separate note and security agreement to be signed and delivered simultaneously with the loan to the lender. In addition, there will be a stock-purchase agreement between the ESOP and the seller(s) of the shares.

The lender will require that the proceeds of the ESOP loan must be used solely to purchase shares in the company.  The ESOP will be able to repay the note from company contributions to the ESOP or from dividends paid to the ESOP from the company.

In summary, the relationship between the lender and company is a significant factor in the establishment of the ESOP, financing the purchase of company shares and the future of the business.  Even if a lender is initially skeptical, the lender can become an invaluable part of the business-succession team once the plan has its blessing.

We want to thank Vicky Crouse and Frank Crinella of TD Bank, N.A. and L. Alexandra Hogan, Esq. of Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. for their assistance in preparing this article.

Attorney Steven J. Schwartz, of Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., concentrates his practice in the areas of family business planning, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law, and estate planning; (413) 737-1131; [email protected] Attorney David K. Webber, of Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., concentrates his practice in the areas of closely held business, corporate law, real estate, trusts and estates, and bankruptcy; (413) 737-1131; [email protected]

Departments People on the Move
Colin Leduc

Colin Leduc

Webber & Grinnell announced that Colin Leduc has joined the agency as an account executive. He brings insurance-agency experience to the firm, as well as knowledge gained during his many years as a recruiter for ADP. Leduc was raised in Longmeadow and grew up working in his father’s sheet-metal shop in Holyoke. This experience greatly contributed to his passion for protecting the assets of local, family-owned businesses — and his decision to move to Webber & Grinnell. “I spent my life watching my father work hard to provide for our family,” he said. “I was drawn to Webber & Grinnell because of their commitment to local businesses, as well as the work environment they provide for their staff.” Bill Grinnell, president of Webber & Grinnell, noted that “Colin has a very dynamic personality and is a very strong addition to the Webber & Grinnell family. He’s very dedicated to helping the firm grow, especially in the field of family business.”

•••••

Gary Schiff

Gary Schiff

October Mountain Financial Advisors announced it has appointed Gary Schiff as managing director of the firm, which provides client-centered investment-management, financial-planning, and trust-administration services to clients in Berkshire County and throughout New England. Formed earlier this year, October Mountain Financial Advisors is an alliance of Lee Bank and St. Germain Investment Management, based in Springfield. “We’re excited to welcome Gary to October Mountain Financial Advisors. As managing director, he will be leading our efforts in the Berkshires and our alliance with Lee Bank,” said Tim Suffish, senior vice president and head of equities at St. Germain Investment Management. “Gary joins us with over 30 years in the business of investments and banking, and a passion for delivering professional and accountable service to clients at the local level. It’s this consistency with our core beliefs, along with Gary’s experience in the industry, that will benefit all of our clients in the Berkshires and the region.” Schiff most recently served as vice president, senior investment advisor with the Private Client Group at TD Wealth in Pittsfield from 2001 to 2016. Prior to his position with TD Wealth, he joined Bank of Boston’s Berkshire Region senior management team in 1995, and through successive mergers leading to TD’s current ownership, held senior positions at the bank in marketing, communications, government, and public relations. Schiff is a graduate of Middlebury College, received his master’s degree from Harvard University, and has attended the Cannon Financial Institute Trust School. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations. Schiff is presently a member of the Berkshire Funders’ Roundtable and serves as a corporator of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Foundation, a member of the Congregation Knesset Israel Investment Committee, a member of the Berkshire County Estate Planning Council, and chair of the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires Investment Committee. He is a past director and president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, past director of the Berkshire Economic Development Corp. and the Colonial Theatre, and a former member of the Lenox Planning Board, Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, and Berkshire Community College Business Advisory Committee. Along with Schiff and Suffish, October Mountain Financial Advisors’ principal team includes St. Germain Investment Management’s Michael Matty, president and director; Richard Bleser, vice president, portfolio manager; Matthew Farkas, vice president, portfolio manager; and Thaddeus Welch, portfolio manager. “I worked closely with Gary and Tim as portfolio managers with Banknorth Wealth Management. Together we served a significant number of individual, family, and institutional clients throughout Berkshire County and nationally,” said Chuck Leach, president and CEO of Lee Bank. “We’re all Berkshire residents, and October Mountain’s base in Lee enables us to again collaborate closely as a team that places the highest value on client relationships and locally made investment decisions.”

•••••

Marianne Fresia

Marianne Fresia

Chuck Leach, president and CEO of Lee Bank, announced that Marianne Fresia was named assistant vice president, private banking and trust services. She will focus on attracting, growing, and retaining Lee Bank’s trust clients, and will serve as liaison to October Mountain Financial Advisors’ team for clients interested in wealth management. October Mountain Financial Advisors, an alliance of Lee Bank and St. Germain Investment Management, was formed earlier this year. In her new role, Fresia will act as a conduit between retail banking, commercial banking, and October Mountain Financial Advisors to ensure that customers are aware of and have access to products and services from all areas. Fresia joins Lee Bank after serving for six years as a financial trust administrator at Berkshire Bank Wealth Management in Lenox. Prior to her position in wealth management, she held various roles at Berkshire Bank in Pittsfield. Fresia has completed coursework toward achieving the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation and will sit for the exam in August.

•••••

M. Susan Guyer

M. Susan Guyer

Springfield College Exercise Science and Sport Studies Chair M. Susan Guyer will be awarded both the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award and the Gail Weldon Award of Excellence during the National Athletic Trainers’ Assoc. (NATA) annual conference in Baltimore on June 22-25. The Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer award recognizes NATA members who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to leadership, volunteer service, advocacy, and distinguished professional activities as an athletic trainer. Currently, Guyer serves as the NATA District 1 secretary and the vice president for governance for the NATA Research and Education Foundation. She also has held positions of public relations chair and president of the Athletic Training Assoc. of Massachusetts. “Dr. Sue Guyer is truly a gifted and talented teacher, mentor, leader, and serves as an amazing role model to women who would like to enter the profession of athletic training,” said Tracey Matthews, dean of the Springfield College School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. “Her passion and deep commitment for her discipline is unprecedented.” The Gail Weldon Award of Excellence recognizes one athletic trainer each year who has displayed an exceptional commitment to mentoring, professional development, and a balanced life for female athletic trainers or offered significant contributions to improve the healthcare of women. “We are very lucky to have such an amazing role model, faculty, and leader in athletic training at Springfield College,” Matthews added. “She continues to elevate the profession everyday. I can’t think of another person who is so deserving of these awards from the NATA.” Since arriving at Springfield College in 2001, Guyer has taught courses in prevention of athletic injuries, research methods and education, athletic-injury rehabilitation and therapeutic exercise, and human anatomy. She has been invited to speak internationally on the prevention of athletic injuries and concussions in China and at the European Society of Athletic Training and Therapy Conference in Jerzmanowice, Poland. In addition, Guyer has also presented at the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Assoc. and the National Athletic Trainers’ Assoc. annual meetings and the NATA Educators’ Conference on issues relating to teaching and learning. She is also a manuscript reviewer for the Athletic Therapy Today Journal and the Journal of Athletic Training.

•••••

Bryn Nowell has been named a finalist in the BlogPaws 2016 Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media Awards. Her blog, A Dog Walks into a Bar (www.adogwalksintoabar.com), was selected by judges to compete in the Best New Pet Blog category at the BlogPaws Annual Conference in Phoenix on June 23-25. The first social-media network for pet bloggers, BlogPaws (www.blogpaws.com) hosted its first pet-friendly social-media and marketing conference in 2010, and has grown annually into the biggest social-media event and conference of its kind, drawing attendees from all over the world. Nowell was one of 48 finalists in 12 categories chosen by a panel of industry professionals. From these 48, 12 winners will be selected by judges based on creativity, expertise, and performance in their respective categories. “Our bloggers strive to be something at BlogPaws, not just to write something or create something,” said BlogPaws co-founder Yvonne DiVita. “It’s about learning, growing, and striving for excellence. BlogPaws rewards them with our Annual Nose-to-Nose Awards, sharing the 48 finalists leading up to our conference, then awarding the winners at a red-carpet ceremony at the close of our conference.” A Dog Walks into a Bar is a site that focuses on “paws, pints, and prose — all things dogs and drinking.” Nowell, the author and site designer, decided to focus on the two things she loves, dogs and adult beverages. As such, the page includes product reviews, DIY ideas, giveaways, and insights on both industries.

Daily News

LEE — October Mountain Financial Advisors announced it has appointed Gary Schiff as managing director of the firm, which provides client-centered investment-management, financial-planning, and trust-administration services to clients in Berkshire County and throughout New England. Formed earlier this year, October Mountain Financial Advisors is an alliance of Lee Bank and St. Germain Investment Management, based in Springfield.

“We’re excited to welcome Gary to October Mountain Financial Advisors. As managing director, he will be leading our efforts in the Berkshires and our alliance with Lee Bank,” said Tim Suffish, senior vice president and head of equities at St. Germain Investment Management. “Gary joins us with over 30 years in the business of investments and banking, and a passion for delivering professional and accountable service to clients at the local level. It’s this consistency with our core beliefs, along with Gary’s experience in the industry, that will benefit all of our clients in the Berkshires and the region.”

Schiff most recently served as vice president, senior investment advisor with the Private Client Group at TD Wealth in Pittsfield from 2001 to 2016. Prior to his position with TD Wealth, he joined Bank of Boston’s Berkshire Region senior management team in 1995, and through successive mergers leading to TD’s current ownership, held senior positions at the bank in marketing, communications, government, and public relations. Schiff is a graduate of Middlebury College, received his master’s degree from Harvard University, and has attended the Cannon Financial Institute Trust School. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations.

Schiff is presently a member of the Berkshire Funders’ Roundtable and serves as a corporator of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Foundation, a member of the Congregation Knesset Israel Investment Committee, a member of the Berkshire County Estate Planning Council, and chair of the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires Investment Committee. He is a past director and president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, past director of the Berkshire Economic Development Corp. and the Colonial Theatre, and a former member of the Lenox Planning Board, Berkshire County Regional Employment Board, and Berkshire Community College Business Advisory Committee.

Along with Schiff and Suffish, October Mountain Financial Advisors’ principal team includes St. Germain Investment Management’s Michael Matty, president and director; Richard Bleser, vice president, portfolio manager; Matthew Farkas, vice president, portfolio manager; and Thaddeus Welch, portfolio manager.

“I worked closely with Gary and Tim as portfolio managers with Banknorth Wealth Management. Together we served a significant number of individual, family, and institutional clients throughout Berkshire County and nationally,” said Chuck Leach, president and CEO of Lee Bank. “We’re all Berkshire residents, and October Mountain’s base in Lee enables us to again collaborate closely as a team that places the highest value on client relationships and locally made investment decisions.”

Agenda Departments

‘Leverage Technology to Do More with Less’

June 15: Comcast Business will present “How to Leverage Technology to Do More With Less,” part of the BusinessWest/HCN Lecture Series, at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, 21 Edward St., Springfield. Registration will begin at 7:15 a.m., followed by breakfast and a panel discussion from 7:30 to 9 a.m. The panelists — influential minds in the IT field — will discuss issues that every business IT department is being forced to deal with, including rising demands to make changes to existing systems, increasing efficiency and improving security, and how budget restrictions impact IT. Panelists include Michael Feld, CEO, VertitechIT, and interim CTO, Baystate Health and Lancaster General Hospital; Frank Vincentelli, chief technology officer, Integrated IT Solutions; and Patrick Streck, director, IT Services, Baystate Health / Information & Technology. Admission is free. To register, visit HERE  or call (413) 781-8600 for more information.

Summertime Pops Concert

June 15: Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield will welcome the Old Post Road Orchestra for a free summertime pops performance on the hospital lawn from 7 to 9 p.m. The Old Post Road Orchestra (OPRO) is enjoying its 30th concert season as a volunteer community orchestra based in Wilbraham. OPRO’s mission is to provide quality symphonic music at convenient locations in and around Western Mass., and to offer people of all ages the opportunity to play their instruments in a friendly, community-based orchestra. This summertime pops performance will feature a guest vocalist, Anita Anderson Cooper. Trained at Westminster College and Boston University, she has worked as a professional musician, conductor, and teacher. Career highlights include solo performances at Carnegie Hall; leading roles with various opera, Broadway, and regional theater companies, and solo appearances through the Hampshire Choral Society. Recent conducting roles were with the Green Mountain District in Vermont and the Quabbin Valley Music Festival. Cooper has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities grant and studied Mozart’s music in Vienna, Austria. She currently teaches three choirs, music theory, and jazz at Amherst Regional High School; conducts the New Valley Singers in Holyoke; and is the soprano soloist for South Church, Springfield. Her Chorale recently won the WGBY television series Together in Song, and WGBY produced a special about the group. Light refreshments will be available at the concert. Lawn chairs are permitted, but alcohol, smoking, and pets are not. For more information, contact Lee Roberts at (413) 755-2307 or [email protected] For more information about OPRO, visit www.opro.org/content/about-us.

Estate-planning Conference

June 16: Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. announced that attorney Michele Feinstein will lead a full-day Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) symposium at the Hotel Northampton. With game-changing case decisions and new emerging regional trends, this day-long conference will provide attorneys with an in-depth update on Massachusetts estate planning. The event, running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will explore how the governor’s budget has potential to influence elder-law planning in conjunction with Medicaid. MCLE is a nonprofit corporation that provides hands-on educational programs and reference materials for attorneys. This continuing-education program arranges more than 250 presentations annually in a variety of in-person and online formats. Feinstein concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning and administration, elder law, probate litigation, health law, and corporate and business planning, including all aspects of planning for the succession of business interests, representation of closely held businesses and their owners, and representation of physicians in their individual and group practices. She is a cum laude graduate of the Western New England University School of Law, and earned her bachelor’s degree and master of laws in taxation at Boston University. To register for the conference, visit mcle.org/store/cart. MCLE will offer a new-lawyers discount for attorneys who were admitted after 2013 and law students.

40 Under Forty

June 16: The 10th annual 40 Under Forty award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke, honoring 40 of the region’s rising stars under 40 years old. An independent panel of judges chose the winners, and their stories were told in the pages of the April 18 issue. The event is sponsored by Northwestern Mutual and Paragus Strategic IT (presenting sponsors), EMA Dental, Health New England, Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Moriarty & Primack, United Bank, and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield. This event is sold out.

Oral Health Drive

June 18: The Women’s Way, a program of United Way of Franklin County, is holding a community Oral Health Drive from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Greenfield Town Common. The Women’s Way volunteer group will be collecting items related to oral health, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, and travel-size mouthwash, to help address the lack of access to oral-health screenings and services. Collection of items will also be accepted at various local businesses and at the United Way office, 51 Davis St., Suite 2, Greenfield, from June 1 to June 20. Some 48 million children and adults in the U.S. live in areas without enough dentists to provide routine oral healthcare. Millions more can get to a dentist but cannot afford to pay for dental care. Children without access to dental care use emergency-room services more often and face worsened job prospects as adults compared to their peers who do receive care. In Franklin County, access is even more limited for those who are low-income and receiving MassHealth dental benefits. Many dentists in the area do not accept MassHealth, and the dental benefits have been recently cut back. Just as the mouth is part of the body, oral health is a part of overall health. People cannot be healthy unless they have access to the dental services they need. Utilizing United Way’s Day of Action, the Women’s Way, working with the Health Care for All Oral Health Advocacy Task Force, is expecting to make a bigger impact in 2017 with an Oral Health Fair, in collaboration with service providers, providing services to area residents for free. “We’re very excited to be working with Health Care for All, Women’s Way, and area providers in anticipation of next year’s Day of Service. It is important to our mission and the community to ensure people have adequate access to basic dental services,” said Sandy Sayers, executive director of the United Way of Franklin County. “This year’s Oral Health Drive by the Women’s Way is just the beginning of addressing the community’s need and access to quality oral health care, as well as building awareness for next year’s Dental Fair.”

Sunbeam Social Club

June 20: Sunshine Village is introducing its Sunbeam Social Club, designed for people with memory loss and their family members. Sunshine Village has a long history of providing innovative programming for people with cognitive disabilities. Sunbeam Social Club will provide a safe, supportive, and engaging environment for people who often have fewer opportunities for socializing and fun. The debut of Sunbeam Social Club coincides with Alzheimer’s Awareness Day on Monday, June 20, the longest day of the year. The day is designed to shine a light on the millions of people living with memory disorders. The gathering will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Community Room at the Emily Partyka Central Library at 449 Front St. in Chicopee. Group and individualized activities are planned, and refreshments will be served. Volunteers from Sunshine Village’s Community Based Day Program will be on hand, as well as local professional resources. “We are thrilled to introduce the Sunbeam Social Club,” said Sunshine Village Executive Director Gina Kos. “This program is intended to provide joy to both people with memory disorders and their care partners. People with vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other memory disorders are all invited to attend with their family members.” For more information or to register for the June gathering of the Sunbeam Social Club, call Sunshine Village at (413) 592-6142.

Frankel-Kinsler Classic Golf Tournament

June 20: JGS Lifecare will host its 36th annual fund-raising golf tournament, the Frankel-Kinsler Classic, at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow to raise money for the purchase of a new wheelchair-accessible van and to fund employee scholarships. The Frankel-Kinsler Classic is named in memory of the late Michael Frankel, former chairman of the JGS Lifecare board of directors, and the families of Raymond and Herman Kinsler, longtime leaders and supporters, for their exemplary commitment to those served by JGS Lifecare. The Frankel-Kinsler Classic will include a barbeque luncheon at 11 a.m.; an 18-hole bramble; a pickle ball tournament; bridge, canasta or mah jongg tournaments; poolside fun; and an awards dinner ceremony. The pickle ball tournament, held at the Enfield Tennis Club, begins at 10 a.m.; poolside fun begins at noon; the shotgun start tee-off is at 12:30 p.m.; and the bridge, canasta, or mah jongg begins at 1 p.m. A cocktail reception begins at 5:45 p.m. with awards and dinner following at 6:30 p.m., with music provided by the Blood Brothers. Event sponsors include Harry Grodsky and Co. Inc., Astro Chemicals Inc., Berkshire Bank, Bolduc’s Apparel, Chicopee Savings Bank, Daniel Goodman, D.A. Sullivan & Sons Inc., Epstein Financial, Kaste Industrial Machine Sales Inc., Meyers Brothers Kalicka P.C., Michael and Martha Kinsler and family and Sue Ann (Kinsler) and David Spahr and family (in honor of Richard Kinsler), NEFCO, Simione Consultants LLC, and TD Bank. Additional sponsorships and raffle opportunities are still available. Members of the community are also invited to attend dinner at $60 per guest. For more information on the Frankel-Kinsler Classic, call Kimberley Grandfield at (413) 567-3949, ext. 1610, or e-mail [email protected]

‘Building Your Exit’

June 22, 23: The Vann Group will present “Building Your Exit: The Owner Succession Planning Process Defined,” part of the BusinessWest/HCN Lecture Series, on Wednesday, June 22 at the Student Prince/the Fort in Springfield, and Thursday, June 23 at Hadley Farms Meeting House in Hadley. Registration both days will begin at 7:15 a.m., followed by breakfast and a panel discussion from 7:30 to 9 a.m. One of the largest challenges facing business owners today is the question of how to get out of their business. These seminars will present a step-by-step breakdown of the succession-planning process and what to expect along the way, including the many benefits to transitioning business ownership. Panelists include Kevin Vann and Michael Vann of the Vann Group and Charlie Epstein of Epstein Financial Services and Epstein Financial Group. Admission is free, but RSVP is requested by June 14 for the first seminar and by June 15 for the second. To register, go HERE or call (413) 781-8600 for more information.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Robinson Donovan, P.C. announced that attorney Michael Simolo will co-chair and present at the Cutting Edge Issues in Western Massachusetts Estate Planning Conference held at the Hotel Northampton on Thursday, June 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This conference is a great forum to learn about the latest in estate-planning trends, especially at the local level,” Simolo said. “I am honored to be part of an event where our region’s most experienced practitioners come together to discuss how these developments can help us better serve our clients.”

The event will have an in-depth focus on Western Massachusetts estate planning and topics that have a large impact on the advice lawyers provide to clients. The full-day conference also will offer various panel discussions, dialogue about major case decisions, full question-and-answer sessions, and support and take-away materials. Registration can be found at mcle.org or at the door the day of the event.

Simolo’s background in estate planning ensures smooth framework and organized transfer of wealth from his clients to their beneficiaries in order to minimize taxes and other expenses. He is a graduate of Hobart College and Cornell Law, and a member of the Pioneer Valley Estate Planning Council, the Hampden County Estate Planning Council, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. In addition, he won the Super Lawyers Rising Star award in 2011-12 and 2014-15.

Daily News

MONSON — Monson Savings Bank (MSB) will present a free workshop titled “Straight Talk on Estate Planning, Medicaid Qualification, and Medicare Pitfalls” on Tuesday, June 7, featuring attorney Karen Jackson of Jackson Law in Holyoke.

The event, set for 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the bank’s corporate offices, 107 Main St., Monson, is designed to help people understand why an estate plan is important and what is needed for it to be effective. Jackson will explain the ‘big 5’ of estate planning — will, durable power of attorney, healthcare proxy, HIPAA release, and living will or advance directive. She will also address some significant issues with Medicare and Medicaid that too often cost people unnecessary money. The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

“Understanding estate planning, Medicaid, and Medicare can be daunting,” said Steve Lowell, president and CEO of MSB. “This workshop will simplify the steps needed to create an effective estate plan so that people may better protect themselves, their families, and their assets.”

Seating is limited. To RSVP, call Anna Calvenese at (413) 267-1221 or e-mail [email protected].

Features

Elite Eight

It’s a crowded field of nominees for this year’s Continued Excellence Award.

After a panel of independent judges considered dozens of submitted nominations and scored each one, a logjam for the final slot pushed the field of finalists past the planned five. Now, they’ll meet to discuss the merits of all eight finalists and choose an ultimate winner for the second annual crowning next month.

BusinessWest launched the Continued Excellence Award last year to recognize past 40 Under Forty honorees who have built on the business success and civic commitment that initially earned them that honor, Associate Publisher Kate Campiti explained.

“We wanted to single out for recognition those who have built upon their strong records of service in business, within the community, and as regional leaders. And, like last year’s finalists, these eight individuals have certainly done that.”

The winner of the second annual Continued Excellence Award will be announced at this year’s 40 Under Forty Gala, slated for June 16 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke.

The finalists, as determined by scores submitted by three judges — James Barrett, managing partner of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Delcie Bean, president of Paragus Strategic IT and last year’s Continued Excellence Award winner; and Janine Fondon, president and CEO of UnityFirst.com — are, in alphabetical order:

Dr. Jonathan Bayuk

Dr. Jonathan Bayuk

Dr. Jonathan Bayuk

Bayuk, president of Allergy and Immunology Associates of Western Mass. and chief of Allergy and Immunology at Baystate Medical Center, was named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2008 after establishing himself as a strong advocate for families dealing with food allergies, creating the Western Mass. Food Allergy Network. He has also served on the boards of the New England Allergy Society and the Mass. Allergy and Asthma Society, and is currently president-elect of both.

But he has since dedicated a tremendous amount of time and philanthropic support to other causes as well, including Homeward Vets, an organization that helps homeless veterans transition to self-sufficiency, and Team Henry, a group that promotes childhood wellness through exercise and nutrition. He also continues to coach several sports, serve on the board of Northampton Little League, teach medical students and residents, and organize events to help the region’s homeless.

Michael Fenton

Michael Fenton

Michael Fenton

When Fenton was named to the 40 Under Forty in 2012, he was serving his second term on Springfield’s City Council and preparing to graduate from law school. He was also a trustee at his alma mater, Cathedral High School, where he dedicated countless hours to help rebuild the school following the 2011 tornado.

Today, Fenton is City Council president and an associate at Shatz, Schwartz & Fentin, P.C., practicing in the areas of business planning, commercial real estate, estate planning, and elder law. He received an ‘Excellence in the Law’ honor from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2014. Meanwhile, in the community, he is a founding member of Suit Up Springfield, a corporator with Mason Wright Foundation, a volunteer teacher at Junior Achievement, a member of the East Springfield and Hungry Hill neighborhood councils, and an advisory board member at Roca Inc., which helps high-risk young people transform their lives.

Jeff Fialky

Jeff Fialky

Jeff Fialky

Another member of the 40 Under Forty Class of 2008, Fialky was recognized an an associate attorney at Bacon Wilson in Springfield and for his volunteer work with numerous area organizations. He has since added a number of lines to that résumé. For starters, in 2012, he was named a partner at Bacon Wilson, and is active in leadership capacities with the firm. But he has also become a leader within the Greater Springfield business community.

Former president of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, Fialky currently serves as chair of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, and is also on the board of trustees of the Springfield Museums. In his capacity with the chamber, he has spent the past several years working with city officials and community organizations to foster economic development in the city and advance a 10-year economic strategic plan for Springfield.

Dena Hall

Dena Hall

Dena Hall

Hall was an inaugural Forty Under 40 honoree in 2007, two years after joining the senior management team at United Bank, leading its marketing and public-relations team as well as investor relations for United Financial Bancorp Inc.

Since then, she has been promoted at United seversal times, first to senior vice president during a series of acquisitions that significantly expanded the bank’s footprint. Her role expanded further in 2013 when the bank merged with Rockville Bank and she was promoted to executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the now-$5 billion organization. Today, she is regional president for the Western Mass. area and continues to serve as president of the United Bank Foundation for Massachusetts and Connecticut, overseeing more than $10 million in assets and helping distribute $1 million monthly to nonprofits in the two states. Meanwhile, she continues to volunteer with numerous nonprofit boards and civic organizations.

Amanda Huston Garcia

Amanda Huston Garcia

Amanda Huston Garcia

When she was named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2010, Huston Garcia was vice president of operations for Junior Achievement (JA) of Western Mass. Meanwhile, she was active in myriad community organizations, including various chambers of commerce, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, and various boards at Elms College and Springfield High School of Science and Technology.

In 2011, she left her position with JA — but still plays numerous roles in the organization — and became a full-time professor at Elms, where her passion for teaching young people about entrepreneurship and financial literacy remains strong. In addition to helping create the Elms MBA program, she developed a partnership between Elms and JA, recruiting more than 60 college students each year to teach JA programs. She also forged a classroom partnership between Elms and Putnam Vocational Technical Academy and is working on a program to help Putnam students earn college credits.

Amy Jamrog

Amy Jamrog

Amy Jamrog

Another member of the inaugural 40 Under Forty class of 2007, Jamrog was honored as owner of the Jamrog Group, ranking among Northwestern Mutual’s top 3% of all financial advisors; she had also been recognized twice with Northwestern Mutual’s Community Service Award for her business success and community involvement.

Since then, the Jamrog Group has grown substantially, now advising more than 500 families and businesses while sponsoring a number of community organizations. Jamrog also teaches workshops and speaks at conferences about connecting money and values. She’s also a trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Mass. and chairs its philanthropic services committee. She helped secure several major gifts to the foundation through her financial planning with clients, served on a task force to determine the organization’s future direction, and helped promote Valley Gives. She has also been heavily involved, with the Women’s Fund of Western Mass., including a stint as board chair.

Alex Morse

Alex Morse

Alex Morse

Morse’s story is well-known, being elected Holyoke’s youngest mayor at age 22 in 2012 — reason enough to be named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2014. He’s since then won re-election twice, time enough to put his leadership in perspective.

On his watch, investments in downtown Holyoke total more than $30 million. He has overseen more than $2 million in streetscape improvements, new and renovated parks, ongoing rehabilitation of the mill buildings, a partnership with the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce to launch the SPARK entrepreneurship program, and several new development projects, including the Canal Walk, new apartments in the former Holyoke Catholic building, and the new train platform in downtown Holyoke. During his terms, community policing strategies have led to drops in crime, property values have gone up, and the unemployment rate has dropped. As a result, the Popular Mechanics recently named Holyoke the sixth-best ‘startup city’ in the nation.

Meghan Rothschild

Meghan Rothschild

Meghan Rothschild

Rothschild, then development and marketing manager for the Food Bank of Western Mass., was named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2011 mainly for her tireless work in melanoma awareness. A survivor herself, she began organizing local events to raise funds for the fight against this common killer, and launched a website, SurvivingSkin.org, and TV show, Skin Talk, that brought wider attention to her work.

Since then, Rothschild has been exceptionally busy, transitioning from a board seat with the Melanoma Foundation of New England to a job as marking and PR manager, where she’s the face of the organization’s “Your Skin Is In” campaign. She has testified in Boston and Washington, D.C. in support of laws restricting tanning beds. Meanwhile, she hosts a community talk show, “The 413,” on 94.3 FM, and co-founded chikmedia, a marketing firm that specializes in nonprofits and fund-raisers — all while supporting a raft of area nonprofit organizations with her time and resources.

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SPRINGFIELD — Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. announced that attorney Michele Feinstein will lead a full-day Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) symposium at the Hotel Northampton on Thursday, June 16.

With game-changing case decisions and new emerging regional trends, this day-long conference will provide attorneys with an in-depth update on Massachusetts estate planning. The event, running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will explore how the governor’s budget has potential to influence elder-law planning in conjunction with Medicaid.

MCLE is a nonprofit corporation that provides hands-on educational programs and reference materials for attorneys. This continuing-education program arranges more than 250 presentations annually in a variety of in-person and online formats.

Feinstein concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning and administration, elder law, probate litigation, health law, and corporate and business planning, including all aspects of planning for the succession of business interests, representation of closely held businesses and their owners, and representation of physicians in their individual and group practices. She is a cum laude graduate of the Western New England University School of Law, and earned her bachelor’s degree and master of laws in taxation at Boston University.

To register for the conference, visit mcle.org/store/cart. MCLE will offer a new-lawyers discount for attorneys who were admitted after 2013 and law students.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Green Miles Lipton, LLP announced that attorney Nicole Bercume has joined the firm as an associate. She most recently was in private practice in Hadley.

After graduating from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management, Bercume pursued her law degree at Ave Maria School of Law. During her time there, she was a senior editor on the Ave Maria Law Review while working in various positions for Collier County.

Bercume is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Florida. Her areas of practice are land use, zoning and planning, landlord/tenant, real estate, business formation, estate planning, consumer protection, and personal injury.

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HOLYOKE — Attorney Karen Jackson of Jackson Law will teach a series of three classes on elder law and estate planning at Holyoke Community College on Mondays, May 2, 9, and 16 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Jackson, an elder-law attorney, will address hot topics in Medicare law, supplemental-needs trusts, and new developments in community and nursing-home-care payment programs. She will also focus on other current and significant elder-law issues.

Through stories and real examples, Jackson will highlight the core estate plan and the importance of each document in it. She will discuss the problems that can occur when proper documents are not prepared before a loss of mental capacity, and she will explain the different types of trusts that can be considered, including supplemental-needs trusts, revocable trusts, and irrevocable trusts.

Jackson will also address the probate-court process and explain how to determine which assets must go through probate after a death. In addition, she will discuss various Medicaid programs that provide financial assistance for community and long-term skilled nursing care.

Couples are encouraged to attend the class. To register, call Holyoke Community College at (413) 552-2500 or visit www.hcc.edu/bce.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Gove Law Office announced it has moved its Northampton office into larger space at the historic Old School Commons Building located at the corner of New South Street and Main Street in Northampton.

“With this move to the Old School Commons, Gove Law gains an office identity that reflects our strong Hampshire County presence and accommodates our recent and future growth plans,” said Michael Gove, founder and owner of Gove Law Office. “Both geographically and architecturally, this stunning new space supports the firm’s leading practice areas.”

Gove Law Office, with offices in Northampton and Ludlow, is a bilingual firm with attorneys who provide guidance to clients in the areas of business representation, commercial lending, residential and commercial real estate, estate planning, probate and family law, criminal and civil litigation, personal-injury law, and bankruptcy. For more information, visit www.govelawoffice.com.

Departments People on the Move
Michael Schneider

Michael Schneider

Michael Schneider has been named a shareholder at Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C. His practice is focused on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions (including international business transactions), land use, and commercial real estate. He is a member of the Massachusetts and Connecticut bars. Schneider is a past member of the Longmeadow Conservation Commission and past vice president and director of the Children’s Chorus of Springfield Inc. He was also a BusinessWest 40 Under Forty honoree in 2014 and a judge for the 40 Under Forty class of 2015. He earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School in 2007. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College in 1997. Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C. is one of the largest law firms in Western Mass., providing a wide range of legal services including litigation, corporate, probate, real estate, taxation, estate planning, and intellectual property law.

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Monson Savings Bank (MSB) announced the following:

Kevin Hicks

Kevin Hicks

Dina Merwin

Dina Merwin

Kevin Hicks has been promoted to Vice President, Information Technology Officer. Hicks joined MSB in early 2015 as assistant vice president, information technology officer. He has more than 16 years of experience managing a financial-institution IT department. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the bank’s technology infrastructure as well as security. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering with a minor in psychology from UMass; and

Dina Merwin has been promoted to Vice President, Compliance and BSA officer. Merwin began her career at MSB in June 2013 as a compliance officer and was quickly promoted to assistant vice president, compliance and BSA officer. She has more than 20 years of experience in community banking. She is responsible for coordinating all regulatory changes throughout the bank, improving processes that enhance efficiency and compliance, as well as ensuring adherence to all rules and regulations. She is a graduate of the ABA National School of Banking at Fairfield University.

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Raj Parikh

Raj Parikh

Raj Parikh has joined American International College (AIC) as Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Prior to joining AIC, he was professor of Accounting and Finance and dean of the Walker College of Business and Management at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa. Parikh has more than 30 years of experience as an academic executive and five years as a financial executive. Prior to joining AIC, he served as a senior-level administrator at several universities, including Mercyhurst, Southern Oregon University, Delaware State University, Wilmington University Delaware, and St. Bonaventure University. He also served as the commissioner for academic accreditation for the government of the United Arab Emirates. In addition to expanding programs and increasing enrollments, he has led or been actively involved in strategic planning, budgeting, and academic prioritization. He has led accreditation efforts at several institutions. Parikh co-authored World Accounting, a three-volume treatise on international accounting which is updated semi-annually. He has presented his research in accounting, finance, and organizational leadership at several regional and national conferences, in addition to being an invited guest speaker. Parikh is passionate about higher education, international education, and improving access to traditional students and working adults. As an academic entrepreneur, he has successfully engaged in a variety of ventures, such as establishing and enhancing branch campuses, increasing enrollments and retention, creating new academic programs, and establishing programs in international locations in partnership with local institutions. “In coming to AIC, I was intrigued by the opportunity to use my experience as a dean to help the college climb to even higher levels of academic excellence,” he said. “I am sincerely honored to join President [Vincent] Maniaci’s leadership team and look forward to this opportunity to make a difference.” A graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Parikh completed graduate work in chemical engineering. He received a Ph.D. in accounting and finance at the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition, he is a certified managerial accountant (CMA), a certified financial manager (CFM), and a chartered financial analyst (CFA). For obtaining the highest score in the nation on the CMA examination, he was awarded the Robert Bayer Gold Medal.

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Robert Harrison, principal architect and founder of Harrison Design Associates, announced that Mark Eichorn and Robert Viel Jr. have joined the firm as both architectural designers and project managers. “I am pleased to welcome Mark and Robert to our team. They each bring a wide range of experience in residential and commercial design and detailing,” said Harrison. “In their new positions, they will enhance and carry forward Harrison Design’s tradition of architectural innovation and our singular focus on creating structures that tell a story and that inspire, delight, and surprise our clients.” Eichorn brings more than 20 years of experience in the design and building industry. His expertise encompasses all phases of work for residential and commercial architectural-design projects, from drafting and code compliance to design and construction administration. His prior experience as an architectural project manager includes eight years with Pamela Sandler AIA in Stockbridge and three years at William Caligari Interiors/Architecture in Great Barrington. He is a 1992 graduate of Vermont Technical College, where he studied architectural and building engineering technology. Viel joins Harrison Design with more than 19 years of experience in the architectural and interior-design professions. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1999 from the Wentworth Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture in Boston. He most recently served for five years as sole designer/draftsman at Kohl Construction in Hadley, while also managing his own architectural-design studio in Springfield. Prior to that, he was employed for 10 years at Pamela Sandler AIA as senior designer, job captain, and draftsman.

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Tighe & Bond recently hired Principal Engineer Wayne Bates to better serve its clients in the Greater Boston area. He will work out of the firm’s Westwood office. Bates specializes in water and wastewater treatment technologies with a focus on industrial wastewater treatment, process improvement, waste minimization, EH&S compliance, and sustainable manufacturing strategies. He has almost 30 years of engineering and environmental, health, and safety consulting experience, and is also a certified Envision sustainability professional. He holds licenses in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Bates is also an adjunct professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and serves on the board of directors for the Center for Business Sustainability at WPI. In addition, he serves on the town of Ashland’s sustainability and water-policy committees, and is a sustainability facilitator for the Associated Industries of Massachusetts. “We are happy to welcome Wayne to our growing team of experts,” said David Pinsky, president and CEO of Tighe & Bond. “His expertise will benefit our Greater Boston-area clients greatly as they seek process improvements, EH&S compliance, and sustainable-manufacturing strategies.” Bates earned his Ph.D in environmental/civil engineering from WPI. He also holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Northeastern University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from UMass Dartmouth.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Michael Schneider has been named a shareholder at Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C. His practice is focused on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions (including international business transactions), land use, and commercial real estate. He is a member of the Massachusetts and Connecticut bars.

Schneider is a past member of the Longmeadow Conservation Commission and past vice president and director of the Children’s Chorus of Springfield Inc. He was also a BusinessWest 40 Under Forty honoree in 2014 and a judge for the 40 Under Forty class of 2015. He earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School in 2007. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College in 1997.

Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C. is one of the largest law firms in Western Mass., providing a wide range of legal services including litigation, corporate, probate, real estate, taxation, estate planning, and intellectual property law.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Glenmeadow Retirement will partner with the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts in offering panel discussion on charitable giving as a critical piece of a well-rounded estate plan.

Moderated by Katie Allan Zobel, president of the Community Foundation, the talk — the first in the spring Glenmeadow Learning series — will be held Wednesday, March 30 from 10 a.m. to noon at Longmeadow Country Club, 400 Shaker Road.

As part of “Informed Giving: A Look at Philanthropy’s Role in Estate Planning,” a panel of experts will help participants identify their philanthropic values and outline the legal and financial mechanisms through which gifts can be made. Several community members will discuss their philanthropic inspiration.

In addition to Zobel and select donors, panelists will include George Keady III of Keady Montemagni Wealth Management Group, and attorney Todd Ratner of Bacon Wilson, P.C.

Established in 1884, Glenmeadow is a nonprofit, accredited, continuing-care retirement community that provides independent and assisted living at its campus at 24 Tabor Crossing in Longmeadow and expanded Glenmeadow at Home services throughout Greater Springfield. To learn more, visit www.glenmeadow.org.

Business of Aging Sections

Age-old Arguments

By ANN I. WEBER, Esq.

Ann Weber

Ann Weber

When you become a ‘senior,’ defined variously as 60 to 70 or older, you become eligible for legal benefits that are not available to your younger compatriots.

While many of these laws are needs-based, some are not — for example, Social Security, Medicare, and others which are available to all of us. The following is a non-exclusive list of some of these laws which might be of interest.

Timing Social Security Benefits

When you turn 62, you become eligible for early withdrawal of Social Security benefits, and this is a great benefit for people who for one reason or another cannot continue to be employed or who do not have a long life expectancy. However, for individuals born between 1943 and 1954, the monthly benefit at age 62 will be 75% of the full monthly benefit at age 66.

If you can wait for benefits until you are 70, there is an additional 8% increase every year for the four years between 66 and 70. So, before making a decision about when to start collecting these retirement benefits, consider the differences, taking into account your estimated life expectancy and your financial situation. For people who can afford to wait or who are worried about outliving their resources, waiting to file might be a good option to consider.

Medicare Hospice

As you probably know, for beneficiaries who are 65 and older, Medicare pays not only for medical and hospital services, but also for some home services and medical equipment used in the home. Less well-known perhaps are the hospice services available to anyone with a prolonged, life-threatening diagnosis.

Although the diagnosis must state that death is likely within six months, hospice now allows not only palliative but curative care, with the result that many individuals end up renewing their eligibility for the program in six-month installments, sometimes multiple times, or graduating from the program entirely.

Hospice services include scheduled in-home care and emergency 24/7 care, which can often obviate the need for routine medical appointments and some emergency-room visits. In addition, Medicare hospice assigns a licensed, professional social worker to beneficiaries to help the patient and family deal with the social and emotional ramifications of an end-of-life illness. It is a comprehensive home-healthcare program, and it’s free.

Charitable Giving from Retirement Funds

As a general rule, any withdrawal from a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) results in income taxation of the full amount withdrawn. However, if you are 70 1/2, you can make charitable gifts from your IRA up to $100,000, receive a full charitable deduction, and have the amount contributed count toward your required minimum distribution.

If you are charitably inclined and meet the age requirement, this is a great way to partially fund your charitable gifts with money that would otherwise be going to Uncle Sam.

Declaration of Homestead

In Massachusetts, a homeowner receives automatic protection from unsecured creditors up to $125,000 so long as the owner or covered family member occupies or intends to occupy the property as his or her principal place of residence. With a declaration filed on the land records, this protection is increased to $500,000 in total for the property.

However, for individuals 62 or older, a homestead may be filed on each individual’s behalf, so, for example, for two homeowners 62 or older, the aggregate protection increases to $1 million.

Reverse Mortgages

A reverse mortgage is similar to a purchase mortgage in that it is a loan from a bank or mortgage company to an individual. However, instead of using the funds advanced by the bank for purchase of a residence, a senior homeowner (62 or older) can use a portion of his or her home equity as collateral and receive cash in return.

Reverse-mortgage payments are not taxable, nor are the payments considered countable income for purposes of MassHealth (Medicaid) eligibility. However, reverse mortgages have fees due upon origination and servicing fees annually which can be substantial, and the loan will have to be repaid with interest which has accumulated over the life of the loan when the homeowner dies or no longer lives in the home as his or her principal residence.

In the right situation, these loans can be life savers, but, because of the fees and technical provisions, it may be wise to consult with a knowledgeable attorney before committing.

Durable Powers of Attorney

Durable powers of attorney are used to allow one person, the agent, to act for another, the principal, in financial matters. These provisions can take place immediately or be triggered by incapacity. Though powers of attorney can be utilized by people of all ages, signing a durable power of attorney can be one of the most important steps you can take if you are getting older to make sure your financial affairs are handled by the person you want and in the manner you would choose.

Under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code enacted in 2012, power of attorney was given additional muscle.  Specifically, in the event of an unreasonable refusal of a third party to honor the authority of a valid durable power of attorney, the agent can sue for damages.  This can be really helpful if the failure to honor an agent’s directions — for example, in a sale or purchase of property — results in a loss to the principal.

There are many other laws and programs which are available to seniors on a needs-based basis which have not been covered here. Additional information can be found at local senior centers and various government agencies, or by contacting an elder-law attorney. n

Attorney Ann I Weber is a partner at Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C., and concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, probate, and elder law. She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and past president of the Hampden County Estate Planning Council, and has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Top Fifty Women Attorneys in Massachusetts, and Best Lawyers in America; (413) 737-1131; [email protected]

Daily News

LUDLOW — The Gove Law Office announced that attorney Jaclyn Packard has joined the firm, focusing her practice on civil and criminal litigation and trials, real-estate transactions, and estate planning.

“Jaclyn Packard is a wonderful addition to our growing law firm of professionals who represent the diverse practice areas Gove Law offers clients within the firm’s Litigation, Real Estate, and Estate Planning departments,” said Michael Gove, founding partner of Gove Law Office.

Having graduated cum laude from the Florida Coastal School of Law, Packard holds a license to practice law in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Florida. In addition to being a practicing attorney, she is an active supporter of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event and a volunteer with the Lawyer for a Day program.

The Gove Law Office, with offices in Ludlow and Northampton, is a bilingual firm with attorneys who provide guidance to clients in the areas of business representation, criminal and civil litigation, personal-injury law, commercial lending, residential and commercial real estate, estate planning, immigration, and bankruptcy. For more information, visit www.govelawoffice.com.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Local law firm Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. announced that attorney Steven Schwartz is the recipient of the Distinguished Advisor in Philanthropy Award.

The award is presented annually by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts in partnership with the Estate Planning Council of Hampden County and the Pioneer Valley Estate Planning Council. Each year, the award’s recipient may recommend a Hampden, Hampshire, or Franklin county charity of their choice to receive a $1,000 grant. This year, Schwartz has decided to recommend the grant be made to the Children’s Study Home in recognition of its 150 anniversary.

Schwartz concentrates his practice in the areas of family-business planning, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law, and estate planning. His practice involves representation of principals in family-business planning (including exit planning for business owners), representation of individuals and corporations in the purchase and sale of business enterprises, strategic planning for the future of clients’ businesses, and providing advice on alternatives in financing through loans and venture capital.

Schwartz is a graduate of the Boston University School of Law and Babson College. He is regularly selected to both the Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America lists. He is a member of the Hampden County, Massachusetts, and New York State bar associations.

He is also a member of several civic and community organizations, including the William J. Gould Associates Inc. residential therapeutic community, Pioneer Valley Council Boy Scouts of America, Berkshire Hatchery Foundation, Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises, and Family Firm Institute. He previously served as a member of Springfield Technical Community College, major gifts campaign, steering committee; World Affairs Council Inc.; Parents Fund, Rhode Island School of Design (of which he is also a founder); Institutional Advancement Committee, Rhode Island School of Design; Western New England Enterprise Forum (of which he is also a co-founder); Springfield Tax Club; Urban League; Jewish Community Center; and South End Community Center.

“I am deeply humbled to have been selected for this award,” he said. “The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts has continued to devote itself to promote charities and nonprofits and has enhanced the quality of life for many people in our region.”

Founded in 1991, the Community Foundation administers a charitable endowment consisting of nearly 600 separately identified funds serving Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Kathleen McCormick and Peter Mirante have been appointed to the Berkshire Community College board of trustees.

McCormick is a partner with McCormick, Murtagh & Marcus, a law firm in Great Barrington. She joined the firm in 2004 and was named partner in 2009. Her focus is on residential and commercial real estate, land use and permitting, construction law, business law, and estate planning. She previously clerked for First Justice David Kopleman in the Norfolk County Probate and Family Court and later served as an associate with the litigation firm Herlihy, Thursby & Herlihy in Boston. She has worked for well-known companies such as the Boston Celtics, the Jane Blalock Co., and Reebok International.

McCormick holds a juris doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Assoc., the Berkshire County Bar Assoc., and the Real Estate Bar Assoc. of Massachusetts. She is dedicated to enriching the lives of disadvantaged youth and is an active community member serving on boards of numerous charitable organizations.

Mirante, who has worked in the banking industry for more than 20 years, is senior vice president of Branch Administration at Greylock Federal Credit Union in Pittsfield. He joined Greylock in 1998 and has served in numerous management positions. Prior to joining Greylock, he worked for Patten Corp. and then Berkshire Bank.

Mirante holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the former North Adams State College. He has a long history of community service and currently serves on the boards of the Northern Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Family & Individual Resources, Berkshire Compact for Education, and North Adams Parks & Recreation.

Darlene Rodowicz, who was recently reappointed board chair by Gov. Charlie Baker, noted that “the new board members bring a wealth of knowledge from their respective roles in the community. We are happy to have them join the BCC board of trustees as we continue to advance the mission of the college.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University School of Law will host prospective students at an open house on Saturday, Jan. 30 from noon to 3:30 p.m. at the Blake Law Center. This free event is open to the public, but advance registration is encouraged. To register or for more information, call (800) 782-6665 or (413) 782-1406, or e-mail [email protected].

The open house will feature tours of the Blake Law Center conducted in small groups by current students, discussions about how to apply to and pay for law school, a mock law class conducted by a faculty member, and sessions on lawyering in law school. There will also be opportunities to speak informally with professors, students, and admissions officers.

Western New England University School of Law offers both full-time and part-time programs leading to the juris doctor (JD) degree, along with six dual-degree programs: a JD/MBA, a JD/MSA, a JD/MRP (with UMass Amherst), a JD/MSW (with Springfield College), a JD/MSOL, and a JD/MSEM. The School of Law also offers a master of laws degree in estate planning and elder law, and a master of science degree in estate planning and elder law.

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