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SPRINGFIELD — From Memorial Day until Labor Day, Freedom Credit Union is hosting a ‘100 Days of Summer Food Drive’ for its 100th anniversary.

Donations will be given to The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Freedom Credit Union is also accepting cash donations at all its branch locations.

“The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has long been near and dear to our hearts for the essential services they provide to people in need throughout our region,” said Freedom Credit Union President Glenn Welch. “Last summer, we raised funds and non-perishable food items on their behalf during the months of June and July. This year, in celebration of our 100th anniversary, we want to make an even bigger impact.”

The drive is not exclusive to credit union members or employees. For each dollar received, the Food Bank is able to provide four meals. Freedom has locations in Springfield, Chicopee, Easthampton, Feeding Hills, Greenfield, Ludlow, Northampton, Turners Falls and West Springfield.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELDA member of  Freedom Credit Union’s mortgage lending team was recently honored as one of the Top Five Credit Union Lenders in Western Mass.

Senior Loan Originator/Sales Manager Lisa Mish was honored by Banker & Tradesman for her work during 2021. Mish was number-four in the categories “Credit Unions Western MA Top Loan Originators by Volume” with $27,654,707 and “Credit Unions Western MA Top Loan Originators by Number of Loans” with 173 loans.

“We are so proud of Lisa and all the hard work she put forth in the last year on behalf of our members,” said Freedom Credit Union President Glenn Welch. “Over the five years she has been with us, she has made amazing contributions to Freedom Credit Union and to our community. We want to thank her for her dedication and congratulate her on this achievement.”

 

Mish has almost 20 years of experience in the mortgage field. A graduate of Holyoke Community College, she has been awarded the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley Affiliate of the Year Award, was the first woman president of the Western Mass Homebuilders Association and was named a top originator for both Massachusetts Housing Partnership ONE Mortgage and Mass Housing.

 

“I greatly enjoy helping people in western Massachusetts finance their dream homes,” said Mish. “I am so grateful to be recognized and continue my work with Freedom Credit Union.”

 

Opinion

Opinion

By John Regan

 

Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) and the Commonwealth’s business community join with our fellow citizens in celebrating the first official state observance of Juneteenth, which commemorates the day in 1865 — June 19 — that the last enslaved people held in Galveston, Texas learned of their freedom, two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

The day is both an historical observance and an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of African-Americans here in Massachusetts and throughout the nation. It is also a reminder of an event largely ignored by history texts, much like the Tulsa massacre that took place 100 years ago.

AIM — as an organization committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion — regards the day as a symbol of the importance of creating an economy that provides opportunity for all the citizens of Massachusetts.

“The Juneteenth holiday is a long-overdue teaching moment about the contributions and history of a people who were instrumental in building the country. Reminders of what has kept us apart are necessary to forming bonds that bring us together moving forward,” said Donna Latson Gittens, founder of MORE Advertising in Watertown and a member of the AIM Executive Committee.

Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill last July making June 19 a limited-scope holiday, analogous to Patriots’ Day, Presidents’ Day, and Martin Luther King Day. Private employers may elect to observe the day but are not required to do so. Creation of the state holiday came amid a national racial reckoning following the death of George Floyd and several other black people during encounters with police.

Employers plan to mark Juneteenth in various ways.

AIM member National Grid announced that all of its U.S. employees, including 6,336 employees in Massachusetts, would be given the Friday before Juneteenth off as “a symbol of our dedication to honoring black Americans who have suffered the impacts of racism throughout U.S. history,” according to Natalie Edwards, the company’s chief diversity officer.

The company encouraged its workers to use the time off as “a day of reflection and to celebrate black communities, particularly in the neighborhoods where they live and work.”

AIM members New Balance, Foley Hoag, Boston University, Harvard University, and Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries have also instituted Juneteenth as a paid holiday. Other members, such as Fidelity Investments and Santander Bank, are conducting or sponsoring online events to discuss diversity and financial issues in communities of color.

When Baker signed the law last July, it was in recognition of “the continued need to ensure racial freedom and equality,” he said. “Juneteenth is a chance for us all to reflect on this country’s painful history of slavery and the systemic impact that racial injustice continues to have today. It is also an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the goal of creating a more equal and just society.”

 

John Regan is president and CEO of Associated Industries of Massachusetts.

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