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People on the Move

Hector Toledo

Gov. Charlie Baker recently appointed Hector Toledo, vice president and Branch Distribution Network officer at Greenfield Savings Bank, to Greenfield Community College’s (GCC) board of trustees. One of 11 trustees, he will replace former trustee Linda Melconian. Toledo joins the board with close to 30 years of experience in banking. Before joining Greenfield Savings Bank in 2018, he held executive positions at People’s United Bank, Hampden Bank, and Bank of America. Raised in Springfield, he has spent the past 25 years volunteering for numerous nonprofits. He is a board member and chair of the finance committee for Baystate Health, a board member for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, a former chairperson of the board of Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), and a board member of both the YMCA of Greater Springfield and the United Way of Pioneer Valley. Though new to the college, Toledo has served on boards alongside former GCC President Bob Pura, and is acutely aware of the life-changing impact community colleges have on the students they serve. An alum of STCC, he is of the first generation in his family to attend college. “One of the greatest qualities of community colleges in this state is the automatic support and hope given to students regardless of where they come from, their ethnicity, their gender, or their age,” Toledo said.


Viability Inc. announced that Don Kozera will serve as interim president and CEO following the recent death of President and CEO Dick Venne. “With decades of executive leadership experience, Don rejoins Viability to provide support and guidance for the organization,” said Patricia Robinson, vice president. “During this time, Don and the board will be collaborating to identify the future needs of Viability and how we continue to develop our organization better together.”


Karen Smith Wohlers

Karen Smith Wohlers has joined Smith Brothers Insurance and will be responsible for employee-benefits compliance and legal services. She has a strong background in human resources and compliance, which will complement Smith Brothers’ growing employee-benefits services in support of clients throughout the U.S. Previously, she was vice president of Human Resources and then chief operating officer at Square One. “Karen’s experience and impact with both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, as well as her compliance training and consulting work for the Employer Association of the NorthEast, will be a significant addition to our employee-benefits practice,” said Don Poulin, Employee Benefits practice leader at Smith Brothers Insurance.


Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County ran its first All-Ideas Pitch Contest at the Berkshire Museum, awarding first prize of $1,000 to Kaitlyn Pierce of Binka Bear, a product that helps wean children off pacifiers. She also won the Fan Favorite award of $500. Second place prize of $750 went to Michelle Latimer and Leia Miller for their idea 413 Bubbly, a mobile prosecco/champagne business. Third place went to Erin Laundry of Bottomless Bricks, a building-block birthday-party business with a storefront in Adams. More than 100 members of the community came to support the new business ideas, where 11 individuals were invited to showcase and eight pitched their ideas. The contest judges were Evan Valenti of Steven Valenti Clothing, Jodi Rathbun-Briggs of Greylock Federal Credit Union, John Lewis of Sp3ak Easy Studios, Laurie Mick of PERC and the city of Pittsfield, Linda Dulye of Dulye & Co., and Lindsey Schmid of 1Berkshire.


Sarah Eustis, CEO of Main Street Hospitality Group, announced the appointment of H. Jackson Donoyan as vice president of Operations for the growing hotel-management company. As vice president of Operations, Jackson will work closely with Eustis and Main Street’s leadership team to oversee operations at each hotel property in the portfolio. He will focus on revenue generation, operational oversight, owner relations, talent development, and strategic growth. In addition, he is tasked with stabilization and development of the brand while also enhancing the overall guest experience and reinforcing brand standards. Jackson brings a wealth of industry ingenuity to Main Street Hospitality Group, including a background opening and operating newly constructed and renovated hotels. Most recently, he was the general manager at NYLO Providence Warwick Hotel in Warwick, R.I. Prior to that, he was a hospitality consultant in Boston and held positions as the director of Food and Beverage and director of Operations/interim general manager at both the Liberty Hotel in Boston and Hotel Viking in Newport, R.I.


Kevin Kervick

OMG Roofing Products hired Kevin Kervick as solar products business manager, reporting to Adam Cincotta, director of the company’s Adhesives/Solar Business Unit. In his new role, Kervick is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic plan for the company’s solar business, as well as for managing solar sales, product development, and profitability. For the past four years, Kervick has been a sales and marketing consultant, most recently working with the Spencer Brewery, a startup venture. Earlier, he was owner and chief Marketing officer for the Bassette Co., a commercial printing and marketing company based in Springfield. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Babson College.


Peter Reinhart, director of the Institute of Applied Life Sciences (IALS) at UMass Amherst, announced that six campus research teams have been named recipients of the first Manning/IALS Seed Grants. The awards will support next steps in their research, such as proof-of-concept studies, business development, and fundamental research into new products, technologies, and services to benefit human health and well-being. Earlier this year, alumnus Paul Manning and his wife, Diane, committed $1 million through their family foundation to establish the Manning Innovation Program, which provides three years of support in advancing a robust and sustainable pipeline of applied and translational research projects from UMass Amherst. The seed grants were awarded after a competitive process that narrowed 35 teams to six winners. Faculty researchers will receive not only seed funding of $100,000 each over three years, but also business training and mentorship from IALS, the College of Natural Sciences, the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Isenberg School of Management, among others. The winning team leaders and their projects include Derek Lovley, microbiology, “Fabricating Protein Nanowires for Unique Sensing Capabilities”; Jeanne Hardy, chemistry, “Development of Potent Zika Virus Protease Inhibitors”; S. “Thai” Thayumanavan, chemistry, and Steve Faraci, “Pre-clinical Efficacy Evaluation of Liver-targeted, Thyromimetic-encapsulated IntelliGels for the Treatment of Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis”; Neil St. John Forbes, chemical engineering, “Bacterial Delivery of Therapeutic Peptides to Treat Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma”; Shelly Peyton, chemical engineering, “GelTech to Enable Tissue-specific Drug Discovery and Help Eliminate Potential False-positive Hits from Screening”; and Madalina Fiterau Brostean, computer science, “4Thought: Unlocking Insights into Your Mental Health.” The Manning Foundation’s gift provides an investment in UMass Amherst as a partner of choice in advancing and applying knowledge and innovation for the betterment of society.


Kingbill Zhao

OMG Roofing Products announced that Kingbill Zhao has been promoted to director of Key Accounts and International Sales. He replaces Web Shaffer, who was promoted to senior vice president and general manager of the company’s FastenMaster Division. In his new role, Zhao will manage all sales and marketing activities of the company’s three key account managers, as well as the company’s international sales and its European and Asia market managers. He reports to Peter Coyne, senior vice president and general manager. Zhao joined OMG Roofing Products in January 2010 as the company’s first employee in Asia, and was instrumental in not only building its presence in China, but also in hiring the team in place now in China. Prior to joining OMG, he worked for the Chinese National Building Waterproof Assoc. as manager of the International Liaison Department. Earlier, he worked for North China Power Engineering Co. in Nigeria as commercial manager on a substation expansion project. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Beijing International Study University and is pursuing his MBA from Washington State University. He is based at the company’s Agawam headquarters.


Jessica DeFlumer-Trapp, vice president of Integration at Behavioral Health Network (BHN), recently received the Excellence in Care Integration Award at the Assoc. for Behavioral Health’s (ABH) annual “Salute to Excellence” event. In the two years DeFlumer-Trapp has served at BHN, she has been guiding the organization’s dramatic growth in medical integration and care management. Strategies to integrate behavioral and physical health are at the forefront of healthcare in BHN’s service area and in the nation. As BHN’s vice president managing behavioral and physical health integration, she is guiding new initiatives related to integration and population health. She was recognized by ABH for her ability to understand trends at the macro level as it relates to the evolving landscape in behavioral health, and bring concept and strategy to the implementation level. Prior to her current position, DeFlumer-Trapp served as BHN’s senior program manager of Population Health, where she charted the overall course of BHN’s population-health initiative, working closely with those in the areas of care management, pharmacy, health, and wellness.

People on the Move

Ian Coddington

Christopher Soderberg

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. announced the promotions of Ian Coddington and Christopher Soderberg to associate positions. Coddington started as an intern in 2018 and worked his way up to associate in less than a year. In his new position, his responsibilities include preparing individual and corporate tax returns and working with senior staff to conduct audit engagements. He works to understand clients’ needs and wants in the whole scope of their business. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business management, with a concentration in accounting, from Westfield State University, and is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. Outside the office, he volunteers at Junior Achievement. Soderberg also began as an intern last year. As an audit associate, he assists and supports the audit team in day-to-day functions, including ensuring compliance of best practices of all audit procedures and standards and preparing and analyzing test work completed during the audit. He is passionate about developing a professional relationship with clients, with a focus on HUD and nonprofit organizations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and management from Elms College. He plans to return there to pursue his master’s degree in accounting with a focus on financial planning, along with acquiring his CPA.


Kristi Bodin

Curtiss, Carey, Gates and Goodridge, LLP (CCG&G) is recently welcomed attorney Kristi Bodin to its practice. Bodin’s practice areas include business law, liquor licenses, special permits, zoning and land use, and civil litigation. She is a lifelong resident of the Pioneer Valley and is celebrating her 25th year as a lawyer in Western Mass. Bodin has successfully guided dozens of small-business clients through the processes of entity formation, asset purchases and sales, commercial leasing, and related transactions. She also works with businesses and individuals on issues involving state and local regulations and code enforcement. She is skilled at strategic analysis, business planning, and management. Before becoming a lawyer, Bodin worked in materials management and production control for companies whose products included metal-cutting tools, time-recording and building-management systems, and consumer health products. In addition, she has served as an assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and assistant town counsel for several communities. She is a past member of the board of directors of the Franklin County Community Development Corp., a representative Town Meeting member in Montague, and an active member of the Amherst Rotary Club.


Mary Catherine “Marikate” Murren

Jynai McDonald

Yanira Aviles

The Springfield Technical Community College board of trustees recently welcomed two new members and a new chair, Mary Catherine “Marikate” Murren. The new members are Jynai McDonald, who was appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker in June, and Yanira Aviles, who was elected by the student body in April. Baker named Murren as chair of the board over the summer. She replaces Christopher Johnson, whose term recently expired. He had served as a trustee since 2006. Murren has served as a trustee for more than two years. She is vice president of Human Resources for MGM Springfield and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in sports management. McDonald is the family child care coordinator for Service Employee International Union Local 509. In her role, she provides leadership training, professional development, and negotiation for more than 3,500 childcare providers throughout the Commonwealth. Previously, she served as Western Mass. regional manager for Training Resources of America Inc. She also has worked at Hampden County Career Center and Northeast Center for Youth & Families, Tri-County School. McDonald was honored as a rising star in the regional business community when she was named to BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty in 2019. She earned a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing and social media management from Bay Path University. Aviles, the student trustee, said she wants to use her position to help other students who have faced barriers. In her mid-30s, Aviles took courses at STCC to prepare for the HiSET, or high school equivalency test. After passing her HiSET exam in 2016, she enrolled in the liberal arts/general studies degree program at STCC.


Priscilla Kane Hellweg

The Massachusetts Nonprofit Network (MNN) awarded Priscilla Kane Hellweg, executive and artistic director of Enchanted Circle Theater of Holyoke, with one of two Lifetime Achievement Awards for 2019. The other recipient was Darnell Williams, president and CEO of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. The awards were presented at MNN’s annual conference on Oct. 16. Enchanted Circle Theater is a nonprofit, multi-service arts organization that integrates arts and education to engage, enhance, and inspire learning. Under Kane Hellweg’s direction, it has become a regional leader in the field of arts integration. Enchanted Circle works in public school districts across Western Mass. and collaborates with more than 60 community-service partner organizations to develop work that bridges arts, education, and human services to chronically underserved communities, including youth in foster care, families in homeless shelters, and youth in residential treatment programs.


Dawn Creighton

Greenfield Community College recently welcomed Dawn Creighton as the college’s new chief Workforce Development officer. She will officially join GCC on Oct. 21, and her office will be located at the Downtown Center, 270 Main St., Greenfield. A 2005 GCC alumna, Creighton began her career as an employment specialist at MassLive before becoming regional director for the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) — the state’s largest employers’ resource group — in 2009. During her tenure at AIM, she served thousands of employer members, uniting them around issues ranging from healthcare and employment law to sustainability, budgeting, and hiring. As the former board president of Dress for Success, Creighton also built Foot in the Door, a workforce-readiness program dedicated to helping women develop critical skills for entering and re-entering the workforce.


On Oct. 17, the Assoc. of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP) and the Department of Developmental Services presented Talking Tech 2019, an event celebrating the promise of technology for empowerment and social inclusion of individuals with disabilities. Delcie Bean, CEO of Hadley-based Paragus IT, was a featured guest speaker alongside other experts in a wide range of technological areas, including remote monitoring, staffing solutions, assistive technologies, cybersecurity, and more. ADDP is a trade association representing more than 120 providers throughout Massachusetts. The organization is committed to enhancing the political, financial, and educational health of member organizations that serve people with disabilities, including intellectual and developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries.

People on the Move

Jeff Daley

Westmass Area Development Corp. named Jeff Daley CEO of the private, nonprofit development entity. Daley, who was chosen as the result of a search process conducted by the Westmass board, has more than 15 years of experience in the real-estate development arena. Daley is the former executive director of the Westfield Redevelopment Authority and most recently served as the principal of CJC Development Advisors LLC, which he founded in 2016. Daley’s portfolio includes overseeing $60 million in commercial and industrial development and managing $34 million in public development projects. As CEO, Daley will be responsible for management of Westmass, including negotiating corporate acquisitions, land sales, leases, and incentive proposals; grant applications; and marketing resources and development services to organizations and businesses considering investment in the region. Daley will also enhance Westmass offerings regarding development services to communities throughout the region to assist with economic development and real-estate development opportunities. Daley will also evaluate opportunities for new industrial-park development and land acquisition and coordinate federal, state, and local economic-development grants and resources. Daley replaces interim CEO Bryan Nicholas, who served after the sudden passing of former CEO Eric Nelson, who was appointed in 2016.


Sheila Stamm

Sheila Stamm has joined American International College (AIC) as dean of the School of Education. Stamm is the president of S. Wright & Associates, providing consulting support to academic leaders and faculty in higher education and community sectors. She has an extensive background in higher education, including serving as dean of the School of Education for Cambridge College and Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. Stamm previously served as commissioner of Higher Education for the state of Minnesota. Prior to transitioning to administrative roles in higher education, Stamm was a tenured professor at Hamline University and an associate professor at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Throughout her career, Stamm has been dedicated to community service, with affiliations including the Ramsey County Blue Ribbon Commission on Economic Disparities, the Minnesota Chicano Latino Affairs Council Committee on Educational Disparities, the education workgroup of the African American Leadership Forum, the West Suburban College of Nursing board of trustees, the leadership council of Chicago-Area Deans, and the Urban Teacher Education Program, among numerous other affiliations. Stamm has served on dozens of committees at the colleges where she was a member of the administration or faculty and has extensive publications and presentations to her credit, with a focus on higher education, diversity, inclusion, hiring, teaching, innovation, leadership, and learning.


Patrick Fortunato

Azaya Inc. named Patrick Fortunato its Business Development manager. In this role, he will lead the sales of IT managed-services support, digital and VoIP business telephone systems, and future security surveillance technologies to serve businesses, the government sector, as well as educational institutions within the state of Massachusetts. Fortunato has more than 20 years of executive management leadership experience, while developing strategic business units in financial services and digital-imaging solutions, for mid-size to large enterprise companies and organizations. He served as national Sales manager for Sharp USA and vice president of Sales while working at Konica Minolta, with U.S. national responsibilities and oversight. Fortunato most recently served as managing director for Global Financial NetworX, LLC with the task of increasing customer acquisition for the company’s lending, insurance, annuities, and investment portfolios.


Rebecca Mercieri Rivaux

Bacon Wilson announced that attorney Rebecca Mercieri Rivaux has joined the firm. Mercieri Rivaux is an associate and a member of Bacon Wilson’s bankruptcy and business/corporate practice groups. Prior to joining Bacon Wilson, Mercieri Rivaux attended Western New England University School of Law, graduating magna cum laude in 2019. She also obtained her bachelor’s degree from Western New England University, graduating summa cum laude in 2015.


In the wake of a record number of new homes being built, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) recently welcomed new staff to assist with furthering the agency’s mission. Jason Montgomery joins GSHFH as its Donor Relations manager. He comes to GSHFH with more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit/human-services work and has strong ties in the local community. He has previously served with Habitat for Humanity in Hartford and locally with Way Finders. Also joining the team, Sarah Tanner is now on board for a short term as interim executive director. Tanner is a principal with Financial Development Agency and brings more than 20 years of local nonprofit experience to the affiliate. GSHFH also announced internal promotions and realignments to maximize the agency’s resources. In response to a capacity grant received by Habitat for Humanity International, Jeff Lomma has been named Marketing & Communications manager, with an emphasis on promoting the value of Habitat programming throughout the community. Meanwhile, Mary Olmsted has transitioned from serving as an Americorps volunteer to full-time staff as Volunteer Services coordinator.


Adrienne Smith

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Adrienne Smith as interim dean of its division of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Smith brings 13 years of community-college experience to HCC, most recently as the dean of the School of Engineering, Technologies, and Mathematics at Springfield Technical Community College. Prior to that, she served as associate professor and coordinator of Electronics Technology at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester. Her professional accomplishments span many areas of academic program development and enhancement, enrollment management and retention, diversity responsiveness, and regional and community partnership coordination. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in science, engineering, and math from Western New England University, where she was the first African-American woman to graduate with a degree in engineering, and she earned a doctorate in education from UMass Amherst with competencies in community-college leadership, educational polices, and administration. A graduate of Springfield Technical High School, Smith started her professional life as an electrical engineer (and the first female engineer) at Digital Equipment Corp. in Springfield.


Alyssa Arnell

Alyssa Arnell, chair of the History Department at Greenfield Community College (GCC), was awarded the African American Female Professor Award by the African American Female Professor Award Assoc. (AAFPAA) in a ceremony at Bay Path University on Sept. 26. Formerly a history teacher at Dillard University and educational-outreach coordinator and historical interpreter for the National Park Service, Arnell joined the faculty at GCC in 2017. In just two years, she has modernized GCC’s history curriculum, infusing it with a social-justice focus and adding courses such as “The Legal History of American Civil Rights” and “North American Indigenous History.” For many of Arnell’s classes, she has integrated a public history component that brings her classes out of the classroom and to the lobby of the main building, where her students give presentations on their projects throughout the day — a way to let other faculty, staff, and students see the kinds of work her students are engaged in, and see the kinds of research that can happen in a history course. In addition to teaching, Arnell has created programming that reaches beyond the classroom with talks on the removal of confederate statues, a lecture on the life Frederick Douglass, a panel discussion with students about the movie Black Panther, and a conversation on immigrant rights. She also adapted a format of Facilitated Dialogues used by the National Park Service to launch a series of conversations about race and ethnicity at GCC. Arnell is also a core member of Greenfield Community College’s Racial Equity and Justice Institute Team, a part of the Leading for Change Higher Education Diversity Consortium. As part of the Racial Equity and Justice Team, she has worked to learn best practices to support students of color, helped the college identify specific areas where achievement gaps exist, and will continue in the coming year to work to identify specific action steps to try to address those achievement gaps.


Amy Royal

Amy Royal, owner of Royal, P.C., has been selected as a Super Lawyer for 2019. Providing legal representation in Massachusetts for a variety of different issues, Royal was also selected to Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Super Lawyers 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 selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. Royal represents employers with employment and labor issues. Additional legal issues represented include employment litigation: defense, cannabis law, and alternative dispute resolution.

People on the Move

Michele Feinstein

Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. announced that attorney Michele Feinstein, a shareholder in the firm, has been certified as an accredited estate planner (AEP) by the National Assoc. of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC). The AEP designation is a graduate-level, multi-disciplinary specialization in estate planning that requires estate-planning professionals to meet special education, experience, and knowledge requirements, as well as ongoing continuing-education requirements. The NAEPC is a national network of affiliated estate-planning councils and credentialed professionals. It includes more than 270 estate-planning councils and provides services to an estimated 30,000 individual members. It has nearly 2,000 active AEP designees with representation in nearly every state of the country. The professionals are typically within the accounting, insurance, legal, trust-services, philanthropic, or financial-planning fields, all of whom spend at least a third of the time on estate planning. In addition to estate-planning administration, Feinstein concentrates her practice in the areas of elder law, 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. Feinstein has received many professional recognitions, including repeated selection to Super Lawyers of Massachusetts, Top Women Attorneys of New England, Best Lawyers in America, and Top Women of Law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.


The Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) recently announced Gabrielle Gould as its new executive director. Gould’s appointment followed a two-month search after the departure in May of long-time Executive Director Sarah la Cour. A recent Amherst transplant, Gould has extensive executive leadership background in the nonprofit sector with significant fundraising experience and a record of success in building successful organizations. Along with her husband, she has started and operated two successful small businesses on Nantucket and served as vice president for Business Development at Nantucket Bank. Gould and her family moved to Amherst this past January after 20 years as Nantucket residents. Since moving to Amherst, she has been active on the Jones Library SAMMYs events committee and the Amherst Regional Middle School PGO. According to Roberts, Gould’s early goals have been to familiarize herself with downtown landlords and businesses, institutional partners at UMass Amherst and Amherst College, and partners in Town Hall and the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. She has also jumped headfirst into helping plan the BID’s fall events.


Tim Armstrong

Berkshire Design Group (BDG), a landscape-architecture, civil-engineering, and survey firm, recently welcomed Tim Armstrong, PLS in the role of survey manager. Armstrong comes to BDG with more than 20 years of land-survey experience, and has experience managing staff and data on small and large projects from local boundary surveys to interstate energy-transmission projects. Prior to joining BDG, he was the chief land surveyor at Hill Engineers, Architects, Planners in Dalton.


The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) board of directors elected Amie Miarecki, director of Community Relations at Sunshine Village, as the new board president. Miarecki is the former vice president and will serve a two-year term, succeeding Ashley Clark, Cash Management officer at Berkshire Bank, who has six years of board service and leadership, including a two-year term as president. As provided by the organization’s bylaws, Clark has reached her maximum consecutive years of board service and will remain an advisor to the board of directors. The YPS board of directors also elected Meredith Perri, High School Sports editor for MassLive, to a two-year term as the vice president, and Andrew Mankus, director of Operations for Residential Dining at UMass Amherst, to a two-year term as treasurer.


Joanne Marqusee

Greenfield Community College (GCC) recently welcomed Joanne Marqusee, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care (CDHC), to its board of trustees. One of 11 trustees, she was officially appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker on Aug. 30 and will replace former trustee Elizabeth Sillin. Marqusee has been a respected healthcare leader for over three decades. Before coming to Cooley in 2014, she served as chief operating officer and executive vice president of Hallmark Health, after having spent 15 years at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston as senior vice president. With a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, her career began in government, where she served in agencies including the New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. and the New York State Department of Health.


Michael Dias

LUSO Federal Credit Union announced the promotion of Michael Dias to assistant manager of its Ludlow and Wilbraham branches. In his new role, Dias will be responsible for overseeing member service and daily branch operations, as well as increasing business-development efforts. Dias began his banking career at LUSO as a Member Service representative in early 2018 and has most recently served as Member Service Department supervisor and lead VIP banker. In addition to his role at the credit union, he is working on obtaining his MBA in business analytics from Western New England University and serves on the board of directors for the Our Lady of Fatima Festival.


Brooke Thomson, most recently vice president of Government Affairs for AT&T and a former senior official with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, will become executive vice president of Government Affairs at Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM). Thomson is no stranger to AIM. She has served as a member of the its board of directors and executive committee and chaired the board’s government affairs committee for the past year. She replaces John Regan, who took over as president and CEO of the 3,500-member business association in May. Thomson joined AT&T in 2013. Her duties for the telecommunications company include legislative and regulatory affairs in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She came to AT&T after six years in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office, where she served as chief of the Business, Technology and Economic Development Division. Prior to that, she worked as legal counsel to the Massachusetts Legislature’s Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. She is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and Mount Holyoke College. Her political experience includes managing the successful campaign of Martha Coakley for attorney general in 2010.

People on the Move

Jeffrey Roberts

Jeffrey McCormick

James Martin

Nancy Frankel Pelletier

Patricia Rapinchuk

Carla Newton

Richard Gaberman

Jeffrey Trapani

Robinson Donovan, P.C. announced seven attorneys were listed in Best Lawyers in America 2020. Jeffrey Roberts, managing partner, practices corporate and business counseling and estate planning, and was named in the practice areas of Corporate Law and Trusts and Estates. He has received the Best Lawyers recognition for 28 consecutive years. Jeffrey McCormick, partner, was listed in the fields of Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. A member of Robinson Donovan’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Group, he practices complex litigation, arbitration, and mediation. He has received the Best Lawyers recognition for 20 consecutive years. James Martin, partner, was listed in the practice areas of Franchise Law and Real Estate Law. He concentrates his practice on corporate and business counseling, litigation, and commercial real-estate law, and is a member of Robinson Donovan’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Group. He has received the Best Lawyers recognition for 20 consecutive years. Nancy Frankel Pelletier, partner, was listed in the practice area of Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants. A member of Robinson Donovan’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Group, she concentrates her practice in the areas of litigation and insurance defense. She has received the Best Lawyers recognition for 15 consecutive years. Patricia Rapinchuk, partner, was listed in the fields of Employment Law – Management and Litigation – Labor and Employment. She was also named Lawyer of the Year in the field of Litigation – Labor and Employment. She practices employment law and litigation and has received the Best Lawyers recognition for 11 consecutive years. Carla Newton, partner, was named in the field of Family Law. She focuses her practice on divorce and family law, litigation, corporate and business counseling, and commercial real estate, and is a member of Robinson Donovan’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Group. She has received the Best Lawyers recognition for eight consecutive years. Richard Gaberman was named in the fields of Corporate Law, Real Estate Law, Tax Law, and Trusts and Estates. He focuses his practice on corporate and business counseling, commercial real estate, and estate and tax-planning law. He has received the Best Lawyers recognition for 28 consecutive years. Robinson Donovan also announced that Jeffrey Trapani, partner, will receive the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. (MBA) Community Service Award during the Hampshire County Bar Assoc. (HCBA) annual meeting on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Garden House at Look Park in Florence. Trapani concentrates his practice in civil litigation, including insurance defense, employment law, municipal liability, business litigation, and professional malpractice. He also represents landlords in summary process action and housing-discrimination claims, and insurance companies in unfair-settlement claims and coverage issues.


Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that eight of its attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2020. The firm’s managing partner, Kenneth Albano, was selected for business organizations including LLCs and partnerships; Michael Katz for bankruptcy and reorganization; Stephen Krevalin for family law; Hyman Darling for elder law; Gary Breton for banking/finance law and business organizations; Jeffrey Fialky for commercial finance; Gina Barry for elder law; and Paul Rothschild for litigation. Best Lawyers compiles data from confidential evaluations. More than 8 million attorneys participated in the peer-review survey for the 2020 edition. There is no opportunity to pay for a listing.


Bernitta Burnett

The nation’s 24th Educare early-education center will be led by Springfield native Bernitta “Nikki” Burnett, who has been hired as Educare Springfield’s first executive director. Burnett was raised in the nearby Mason Square neighborhood, attended neighborhood public schools, and earned her undergraduate degree in leadership and organizational science from Bay Path University. She will be completing her master’s degree in leadership and negotiation from Bay Path in 2020. Most recently, Burnett served as regional vice president of Multicultural Initiatives for the American Heart Assoc., where she worked throughout the New England region to build capacity and support revenue generation around community health and education initiatives. She has more than a decade of leadership experience and, prior to her position with the American Heart Assoc., worked at Baystate Health as education coordinator of Cardiopulmonary Services. At Baystate, she managed three cardiology fellowship programs. Burnett also has been actively involved in community organizations in Springfield and in the region, having served on the board of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, the Baystate Health community benefits advisory board, and Live Well Springfield, an organization that promotes a culture of health in Springfield. Her duties as executive director of Educare Springfield will include oversight of strategic leadership, operational execution, and ensuring the effective implementation of the Educare model to the highest standards of excellence. Burnett will also be responsible for community engagement, fundraising, and resource development.


Sharianne Walker

Sharianne Walker has been named interim dean of the Western New England University (WNEU) College of Business. Walker joined the College of Business faculty in 1996, most recently serving as chair and professor of Sport Management, as well as co-director of the Sport Leadership and Coaching graduate program. She is the co-author of the texts “Managing Intercollegiate Athletics,” “Managing Sport Organizations: Responsibility for Performance,” and “Strategic Management in International Sport Management.” She has presented her research in leadership development, business operations, and revenue generation at various international, national, and regional conferences. She has also spearheaded accreditation, strategic-planning, and assessment projects at the university. An influential figure in the growth of the university’s athletics program, Walker has served as a faculty fellow, an NCAA faculty representative, and chair of the Western New England Athletics Council, and was inducted into the university’s Downes Athletic Hall of Fame. She was named Career Woman of the Year by the Massachusetts Business and Professional Women’s Assoc. and served as director of the Springfield Leadership Institute. She currently chairs the board of trustees of Frank Newhall Look Memorial Park in Florence. Walker earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Smith College and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in sport management from UMass.


MassHire Holyoke Career Center announced the appointment of Shawn Teece as its new vice president of Finance. He has several years of successful leadership in nonprofit financial and accounting operations. He assumed the vice presidency of MassHire Holyoke on Aug. 29 and is responsible for strategically overseeing all aspects of the career center’s financial and accounting systems.

Prior to this appointment, Teece was an accounting manager for Head Start Inc. and an account/auditor for the Holyoke Health Center and Lester Halpern, P.C. He has a master of accountancy degree from Westfield State University.


Jiulie Phillps

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Jiulie Phillps as its coordinator of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving. Phillips comes to HCC from Westfield State University, where she held positions in Institutional Advancement as associate director of Advancement Services and coordinator of Donor Relations and Annual Giving. At HCC, Phillips completes an Institutional Advancement team that also includes Director Patrick Carpenter and Vice President Amanda Sbriscia. Phillips’s primary responsibilities at HCC will be engaging with alumni and building the college’s annual fund. Phillips holds a bachelor’s degree from Western New England University in communications and is working toward her master’s degree in public administration (concentration in nonprofit management) from Westfield State.


OTELCO recently welcomed back David Chaplin as a senior ISP engineer in the company’s Granby office. Chaplin has an associate degree in telecommunications from Springfield Technical Community College and a bachelor’s degree in church leadership from Southeastern University. He spent 31 years with Verizon as an OSP technician and staff management assistant, and has additional experience working as an engineering project manager for Verizon and as an electronics and communications specialist for ISO New England.


TD Bank named Steve Webb regional president for Southern New England. In this role, Webb will lead commercial and retail banking teams in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Upstate New York, and Connecticut. Webb has more than 30 years of banking experience and has worked across several businesses at TD Bank. He most recently served as New Hampshire market president – Commercial, where he was responsible for the growth and expansion of commercial and small-business lending, cash management, and government banking in the state. Prior to assuming this role, Webb was responsible for the Commercial Division of TD Banknorth in New Hampshire, including credit risk management, cash management, commercial lending, commercial real estate, leasing, and healthcare. Webb also brings a wealth of retail experience to this role, having previously helped to optimize store operations.


Judge Mary-Lou Rup, a retired Massachusetts Superior Court judge, has completed a workshop and received certification in civil mediation in conformity with Supreme Judicial Court Rules, Rule 1:18 Dispute Resolution, Rule 8. Administered by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education Inc., the course covered principles of positional and interest-based negotiation, mediation procedures and techniques, settlement agreements, confidentiality, and ethics. Rup recently returned to private practice at Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP, where her mediation experience adds value to the firm’s Alternative Dispute Resolution practice.

People on the Move

Michele Feinstein

Gary Fentin

Carol Cioe Klyman

Timothy Mulhern

Steven Schwartz

James Sheils

Steven Weiss

Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. announced that seven of its attorneys were listed in Best Lawyers in America for 2020. Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer review publication in the legal profession, and its peer-reviewed listings are published in almost 75 countries around the world. The seven Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin lawyers listed for inclusion this year are: Shareholder Michele Feinstein, in the fields of elder law and trusts and estates; Shareholder Gary Fentin (banking and finance law and commercial transactions/Uniform Commercial Code law); Shareholder Carol Cioe Klyman (elder law); Managing Partner Timothy Mulhern (corporate law and tax law); Shareholder Steven Schwartz (business organizations, including LLCs and partnerships; closely held companies; and family business law, as well as corporate law); Shareholder James Sheils (commercial transactions/Uniform Commercial Code law); and Shareholder Steven Weiss (bankruptcy and creditor/debtor rights, and insolvency and reorganization law). 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. Fentin concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial and real-estate finance and development, industrial revenue bonds, affordable-housing development and finance, business law, and business foreclosures and workouts. He manages the firm’s tax-exempt bond practice and has acted as bond counsel and/or purchaser’s counsel in hundreds of such issues since 1978. 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. Mulhern concentrates his practice in the areas of family-business planning, taxation, corporate law, commercial real estate, and estate planning. 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. Sheils concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial finance law, creditors’ rights, banking law, and telecommunications siting matters. Weiss concentrates his practice in the areas of commercial and consumer bankruptcy, reorganization, and litigation. He supervises the firm’s bankruptcy, reorganization, and workout practice and represents creditors, debtors, and others in both commercial and consumer bankruptcy cases throughout Massachusetts. Weiss has been a member of the private panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for the District of Massachusetts since 1987.


Attorneys Michael Burke, John Pucci, and David Parke, partners at Bulkley Richardson, were each named 2020 Lawyer of the Year recipients in their respective practice areas by Best Lawyers in America, in partnership with U.S. News Media Group. Burke was honored in the area of Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Parke in Corporate Law, and Pucci in Criminal Defense – General Practice. Lawyer of the Year rankings are awarded to one lawyer per practice area and region. In total, 12 lawyers from the firm were selected by their peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2020. They include Peter Barry (recognized in the field of construction law), Michael Burke (medical malpractice law – defendants and personal-injury litigation – defendants); Mark Cress (banking and finance law, bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights/insolvency and reorganization law, and corporate law); Francis Dibble Jr. (bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, criminal defense – white-collar, litigation – antitrust, litigation – labor and employment, and litigation – securities); Daniel Finnegan (administrative/regulatory law and litigation – construction); Robert Gelinas (personal-injury litigation – defendants); Kevin Maynard (commercial litigation, litigation – banking and finance, and litigation – construction); David Parke (corporate law); Melinda Phelps (medical-malpractice law – defendants and personal-injury litigation – defendants); John Pucci (bet-the-company litigation, criminal defense – general practice, and criminal defense – white-collar); Elizabeth Sillin (nonprofit/charities law and trusts and estates); and Ronald Weiss (corporate law, mergers-and-acquisitions law, and tax law).


Patricia Rapinchuk

Robinson Donovan, P.C. announced that attorney Patricia Rapinchuk, a partner at the firm, was recently selected as her region’s Lawyer of the Year for 2020 in the field of Litigation – Labor and Employment, by Best Lawyers in America. Rapinchuk a successful track record as a trial lawyer and concentrates her practice in employment law and litigation. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Assoc., the Hampden County Bar Assoc., the Hampshire County Bar Assoc., and the Women’s Bar Assoc. of Massachusetts. She is regularly honored by Massachusetts Super Lawyers, being selected as a Top 50 Woman in Massachusetts in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2017. Additionally, this is her fourth Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year recognition in Litigation – Labor and Employment, being previously honored in 2016, 2018, and 2019. Rapinchuk earned her bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and her juris doctor from the University of Connecticut.


Timothy Murphy

Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. announced that one of its partners, Timothy Murphy, was recognized by his peers as a 2020 Lawyer of the Year in Springfield for his work in Labor Law – Management. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and community is honored with this award. In addition, Murphy is recognized in the 2020 edition of Best Lawyers in America for his work in Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor and Employment. Focusing his practice on labor relations, union campaigns, collective bargaining and arbitration, employment litigation, and employment counseling, Murphy has been included in Best Lawyers in America every year since 2013 and was also Lawyer of the Year in 2015 and 2019. In 2017, he was named Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout by the Girls Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts. Murphy is also active within the local community, sitting on boards of directors for several area organizations, such as the Springfield Regional Chamber and Community Legal Aid. He is also a member of the World Affairs Council and the Finance Committee in Wilbraham.


William Granger

William Granger has been named chief information officer at Greenfield Savings Bank. He will oversee the operations of the Information Technology (IT) Department, support the operation of the bank, and develop a long-term strategy for IT for the bank. He joins Greenfield Savings Bank with more than 20 years in IT and eight years working in the financial and banking industry. He served for six years in the U.S. Air Force and then earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at George Mason University. After graduation, he became a CPA. He also completed the Artificial Intelligence course at the MIT Management Executive Program.


Alissa Mariano

Catherine Cagino

EMA Dental recently welcomed two new doctors to the practice: Alissa Mariano, DMD, and Catherine Cagino, DDS, MS. Mariano completed her doctorate at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in 2016 and completed her post-graduate specialty residency in advanced prosthodontics at Tufts in 2019. As a prosthodontist, she has focused her education on comprehensive rehabilitation and reconstruction of complex dental needs and implant dentistry. She is currently working both in Western and Eastern Mass., limiting her practice to prosthodontics. She is board-eligible and will be completing the final part of the American Board of Prosthodontics National Exam to become a board-certified prosthodontist this fall. Cagino graduated from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 2013 and continued her education there in the Advanced Education in Prosthodontics residency program, earning her certificate in prosthodontics in 2016. During her residency, she also completed a master’s degree in Oral Sciences. Her master’s research thesis evaluated a new processing method for denture base acrylic resin. After graduation from residency, Cagino pursued sub-specialty training, completing a one-year fellowship in maxillofacial prosthetics at UCLA. Maxillofacial prosthetics focuses on treatment of patients with defects of the head and neck region due to cancer, surgery, trauma, and birth defects. Cagino’s clinical interests include the dental management of pre- and post-radiation and chemotherapy patients as well as treatment of maxillectomy and mandibulectomy patients.


Dietz & Co. Architects Inc. announced that Laura Davis has been promoted from architectural associate to job captain. Davis joined the firm in April and specializes in commercial renovations and fit-outs. She is currently working on design for renovations to a casino. Prior to joining Dietz, she worked on various retail tenant-improvement and restaurant projects nationwide. Davis graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design.


Kayce Babinksi

DiGrigoli Salon announced that Kayce Babinksi, who has been a member of the artistic team for just over a year, was promoted on Aug. 1 from a junior stylist to a senior stylist. Babinski specializes in vivid colors, balayage, and braided updos. She earned this promotion by being a dedicated and loyal stylist, increasing her clientele, and continuously staying educated on the latest trends and techniques. She is a graduate of DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology and has attended several national hair shows and classes in Orlando, Fla. and New York City to make sure her clients are getting the best possible service. She has also been integral in supporting and promoting DiGrigoli’s own hair-product line, Paul Joseph Professional.

People on the Move

Jill Monson-Bishop

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently welcomed Jill Monson-Bishop into the role of Community Development manager. She comes to the ACS with expertise in networking, relationship building, marketing, project management, and more. Prior to joining the American Cancer Society, Monson-Bishop was one of the opening-day team members at MGM Springfield, with responsibilities including internal communications and employee events. She also owns Inspired Marketing, now a consultative marketing agency, but at one time a full-service marketing and event-planning company serving clients such as Smith & Wesson, Adam Quenneville Roofing, and Northwestern Mutual. Previously, she was a radio personality in Western Mass. on stations such as WMAS, Rock 102, WHYN, and more. Community engagement has always been a priority for Monson-Bishop, who, over the years, has been involved with organizations such the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, Square One, YWCA, the Springfield Regional Chamber, the Drama Studio, and more. She is a graduate of Bay Path University with a MBA in entrepreneurial thinking and innovative practices, and she earned her bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies at Westfield State University.


Jeffrey Neumann

Valley Solar, LLC announced the appointment of Jeffrey Neumann as lead master electrician. Neumann started with Valley Solar in April 2019 and will oversee all electrical operations. Prior to working at Valley Solar, Neumann was the electrical foreman at Hampshire College from 2010 to 2019. There, he supervised a crew of four journeyman electricians and oversaw all aspects of the the college’s Electrical Department, including supervision of crews, planning, budgeting, installations, and maintenance of campus electrical systems. He also oversaw several solar projects while at Hampshire and has performed solar installations involving single-phase residential wiring as well as more complex three-phase commercial projects.



Linda Morgan, an attorney with extensive experience in higher education, has been named vice president and general counsel at Springfield College, effective Aug. 26, President Mary-Beth Cooper announced. Morgan will provide legal counsel and guidance to the leadership of the college and will serve as secretary to its board of trustees. She will be a member of the president’s senior leadership team. Joining Springfield College with 13 years of service as a practicing attorney and more than six years in positions of senior-level organizational management and financial administration, Morgan is well-practiced in providing leadership to institutional compliance with laws and regulations pertinent to higher education, including the Higher Education Opportunity Act, Title IX, FERPA, HIPAA, and the Jeanne Clery Act. She provides experience in broad aspects of law and related matters, including contracts, agreements, litigation, legal investigations, dispute resolution, mediation, business formation, compliance, and management. She is admitted to the bars of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the State of New York, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Morgan most recently worked for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, providing expertise in areas of employment-law adjudication and related statutory interpretation. Her previous experience also includes service as associate dean for Gender Equity at Bard College, grant administrator within the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland, and an attorney in private practice. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maryland University College and a juris doctor from Western New England University School of Law. She has teaching experience as an adjunct professor at Holyoke Community College and Greenfield Community College.


Jean Deliso

Jean Deliso, CFP has been selected for membership in the Nautilus Group, a service of New York Life. The Nautilus Group is a planning resource comprised of financial professionals experienced in taxes, law, life insurance, accounting, and charitable giving. Deliso’s access to this exclusive resource enables her clients and their other financial advisors to benefit from the group’s collective experience and solutions as they apply to the protection, accumulation, and distribution of wealth to individuals, families, and business owners throughout the country. Deliso is president and owner of Deliso Financial and Insurance Services, a firm focusing on comprehensive financial strategies that position clients for a solid financial future. Her 30-year experience has led to a focus in certain fields, such as cash management, risk management, investment, and retirement planning. She has developed an expertise in assisting business owners with protecting and securing their future. She is also fully committed to educating individuals regarding their finances and frequently conducts workshops advocating financial empowerment. She has been a member of New York Life Chairman’s Council since 2012 and a qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table since 1999. Members of the Chairman’s Council rank in the top 3% of New York Life’s sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents in sales achievement. Deliso currently serves on and is past chairman of the board of the Baystate Health Foundation and the Community Music School of Springfield. She has also served on the board of the YMCA of Greater Springfield and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.


Darcy Fortun

The Ad Club of Western Massachusetts recently recognized the Innovation Series with an award in the Video Series category. The Innovation Series is a documentary-style video series produced by Darcy Fortune, producer for Garvey Communication Associates Inc. (GCAi), for PeoplesBank. The series explored Valley Venture Mentors and some of its more unique entrepreneurial teams. The series was hosted by Matthew Bannister, first vice president of Marketing and Innovation for PeoplesBank. According to the bank’s website, the six-episode Innovation Series was designed and produced with the belief that PeoplesBank can not only be innovative, but help inspire innovation as well. The series garnered considerable media attention, with feature stories appearing in BusinessWest and several other area media outlets, as well as a sizable viewing audience. GCAi also distributed the Innovation Series through social-media channels, where it accumulated almost 400,000 total impressions, 100,000 engagement actions, and 90,000 video views at the time of the award. Fortune’s team included GCAi’s John Garvey as producer, Mary Shea as project manager, and James Garvey as digital dissemination manager. Matthew Derderian served as director of photography. Fortune is an experienced media professional and video producer, having served on assignment desks for both ABC and FOX News affiliates and developed videos and animations for GCAi clients including Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists, Cape Cod Cooperative Bank, MP CPAs, PeoplesBank, Peter Pan Bus Lines, and Winchester Savings Bank. She also just released two new pro bono videos for the Children’s Study Home and Wild Care of Cape Cod.


Yvonne De Faoite

Elms College announced it will host an Irish Fulbright language teaching assistant (FLTA) during the 2019-20 academic year. Yvonne De Faoite of Limerick, Ireland, will teach Irish (Gaelic) language and culture. The Irish FLTA position is co-sponsored by the Irish Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts. De Faoite earned her primary teaching degree from Froebel College of Education in 2008. In 2012, she spent a year in Australia, where she gained international teaching experience. She recently completed a master’s degree in Irish immersion education from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick. Prior to that, she completed a diploma in educational leadership in University College Dublin. De Faoite’s educational interests include immersion and second-language acquisition. As a Fulbright Irish FLTA, she will teach the Irish language and culture to Elms College students and to community members through the Irish Cultural Center. She will also take classes at Elms.


Robert Burnell has been appointed executive chef of all dining venues at the Red Lion Inn. In his new role, Burnell oversees the day-to-day culinary operations of the main dining room, Widow Bingham’s Tavern, the Lion’s Den, and the seasonally open courtyard. In addition, Burnell will collaborate with Brian Alberg, vice president of Culinary Development, on all future food- and beverage-related development, including specialty menus for Red Lion guests and private parties. With nearly 20 years in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries, Burnell was previously executive chef at Gedney Farm in Marlborough. With a passion for clean cooking and eating, coupled with expertise in modern food trends, Burnell revamped menus to incorporate locally sourced items, along with gluten-free, vegetarian, and keto options for diners. He also strived to deliver exceptional client experiences for weddings, community events, and private dining. Additional hospitality experience includes five years as a property developer for Berkshire Hotels Group, during which he implemented construction projects for both hotels and restaurants.


Sean Sormanti

Michael Tucker, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank, announced that Sean Sormanti has joined the bank as senior vice president – Human Resources. Most recently, Sormanti was director of Human Resources at Strategic Information Resources in Springfield. In his new role, he will be responsible for recruiting, planning, coordinating, and managing the activities of the bank’s Human Resources department. He will be based at 63 Federal St. in Greenfield. Sormanti has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine. He currently holds a professional in human resources certificate and is an active member of the Western Mass. chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management.


Joseph Baker


Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (BTCF) announced that Joseph Baker has joined its team as vice president of Finance and Administration. He will oversee finances, investments, human resources, and operations for the $152 million foundation. Baker previously served in leadership roles at other community foundations for 13 years, most recently as vice president of Finance and chief financial officer at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. Before that, he was director of Finance and Administration at the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. He brings to BTCF a background in nonprofit finance and development, as the former head of a United Way and a nonprofit service organization. He also developed Danbury Children First, a parent-led community initiative. Baker earned his MBA from the Yale School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in economics and Spanish from Colby College.


Bob Cummings has been re-elected to serve as president of the National Assoc. of Professional Benefits Administrators (NAPBA). A  NAPBA trustee since 2007, Cummings was first elected NAPBA president in 2015, and has been an instrumental force in the emergence of the consumer-directed healthcare industry over the past 20 years, orchestrating the growth of NAPBA as the primary compliance-standards and best-practice organization for third-party employee-benefits administrators serving the consumer-directed healthcare industry. As CEO and founder of American Benefits Group (ABG), a leading national employee-benefits administrator located in Northampton, Cummings has been a pioneer of the consumer-directed healthcare industry before the term even existed. ABG was one of the first administrators of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) in 1989 along with COBRA, billing-administration, and commuter-benefit accounts in the 1990s. When health savings accounts (HSA) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) were enabled under the Internal Revenue Code in 2002, ABG was one of the early leaders in administering consumer-directed healthcare plan designs. As pre-tax, account-based plans became a linchpin of most employer benefit-plan designs along with high-deductible health plans, NAPBA was founded to promote compliance and best-practice standards in the administration of pre-tax, account-based plans. All NAPBA member organizations are third-party administrators focused on the administration and service of employer-sponsored plans for consumer-directed pre-tax accounts such as FSAs, HSAs, HRAs, and commuter benefits, as well as COBRA administration services. Collectively NAPBA member organizations provide services to more than 30 million employee healthcare consumers nationwide.


Richard Venne, president and CEO of Viability, announced longtime staffer Richard Horton’s promotion to vice president of Administration and Finance. Horton joined Community Enterprises, one of the nonprofits that merged to become Viability, in July 2008 as director of Community Staffing. Before joining Viability as a staff member, he had executed consulting work to revive and re-engineer the Community Staffing operations. Over the next decade, his role expanded, first becoming director of Financial Planning and then associate vice president of Administration and Finance. He is known throughout the organization for serving as project manager for the implementation of Viability’s electronic health record and outcomes-management system. Two years ago, during the merger of Community Enterprises and Human Resources Unlimited into Viability, he led the effort to bring the infrastructure of the organizations together, focusing on technology and facilities. Entering its third year as Viability, the agency’s focus is on the creation, integration, standardization, and improvement of systems and processes. In his new role, Horton will play a central role in helping achieve that goal.

People on the Move

Matthew Nash

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. announced the promotion of Matthew Nash from senior associate to audit manager. Nash began as an intern at MBK in 2011 and was hired as an accounting associate later that year. Since then, he has developed as an expert accountant, leading technical audit engagements and mentoring junior staff through his eight years with the firm. He has a dedicated approach to service and has demonstrated expertise in commercial, benefit-plan, and nonprofit audits, as well as review and compilation engagements. Nash received his bachelor’s degree from Nichols College and his MBA from Elms College. He is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and recently completed all sections of the CPA exam.


Cindy Bigras

Community-based financial-advising firm PV Financial Group (PV) recently welcomed the newest member to its financial-advisory team, Cindy Bigras, CFP. Bigras and her staff will operate out of their office in West Springfield, expanding PV Financial’s services and continuing its growth as a company. With more than 30 years of working independently and running her own advisory practice, Bigras will bring a wealth of investment knowledge and will help PV Financial form strong relationships with clients and their families. A financially savvy and hard-working individual, Bigras has always maintained a passion for helping others with their finances, said Edward Sokolowski, managing partner. Working as an agent and as a broker at a major insurance company before starting own practice gave her a solid foundation in risk management that proved essential to a financial-planning career.


CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County recently welcomed Katie Lipsmeyer as manager of Development and Marketing. Lipsmeyer’s professional background is in event planning and coordination, marketing and communications, entrepreneurship, and business development. She is currently the founder and owner of Camp Glow It Up and a fitness instructor at 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition in Hadley. In her new position at Big Brothers Big Sisters, she will lead the planning and coordination for annual fundraising events such as the Daffodil Run/Walk and the Northampton Winter Craft Fair, manage the marketing and social-media operations for the organization, and work with the leadership team to create innovative strategies for mentor recruitment and donor stewardship.


Andrew Sullivan

Freedom Credit Union announced the addition of Andrew Sullivan as commercial lending officer. As Commercial Lending Officer, Sullivan is responsible for working with new and current business owners on their lending needs and the range of services available to them at Freedom Credit Union. He previously served as a small-business lending officer and portfolio manager at Country Bank. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting/business and an MBA from Elms College. He is the founder of the Andrew Sullivan’s Swing for a Cure charity, a golf tournament that has raised more than $30,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.


The Rotary Club of Springfield elected its new president, Robert (Bert) Carter, president and CEO at Willie Ross School for the Deaf, as well as its board of directors for the 2019-20 Rotary year at its June 28 meeting. Carter is an 11-year veteran of Rotary. Before coming to Springfield, he served in the Brattleboro, Vt. club for five years, where he was foundation chair. Since joining the Springfield club, he has served as seargent at arms, director, secretary, second vice president, and first vice president before assuming the post of president. Carter is a 38-year veteran in the field of deaf education and school administration. Prior to his tenure at Willie Ross School for the Deaf, he was the president of the Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which included the Austine School for the Deaf as well as statewide education and social-service programs. Carter also directed statewide deaf services for FSW Inc., a private, nonprofit agency in Bridgeport, Conn. In that position, he created and directed a 24/365 sign-language interpreter service serving all 31 acute-care hospitals in Connecticut. An educator, mental-health practitioner, and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, Carter holds a master’s degree in deafness rehabilitation from New York University, a master’s degree in expressive therapies from Lesley University, and a bachelor’s degree in art education from Miami University.


Pressing On

President-Elect Ed Wingenbach spoke at his first public press conference on Thursday, July 18 regarding the future of Hampshire College and the role he hopes to play in its success.

When asked whether he thought Hampshire College could not only maintain its accreditation but forge a long-term future, Ed Wingenbach, the recently named president of the beleaguered institution, didn’t hesitate in his response and spoke with a voice brimming with confidence.

“Yes; do you need me to say more?” he replied as the question was posed at a press conference to announce his appointment on July 18.

“I’m not at all worried about our ability to pull it off,” he went on, adding that, although he believes Hampshire College will overcome these obstacles, that certainly doesn’t mean it will be easy. “There’s a lot of hard work to be done over the next two months, six months, three years, but it’s the work that Hampshire College should always be doing.”

His confidence, he said, results from what he called “extraordinary and dedicated students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members who all have the will to get the job done.”

Wingenbach will be the eighth president of the Amherst-based institution has appointed. An accomplished administrator, faculty leader, scholar, and proponent of liberal-arts education, he has served for the past six months as acting president of Ripon College in Wisconsin, a liberal-arts college where he has been vice president and dean of faculty and a professor of Politics and Government since 2015. Previously, he served for 15 years as an administrator and faculty leader at the University of Redlands in California.

“I’m coming to Hampshire College today and hopefully for a very long time because I think that it is the essential college in higher education,” he said at his welcoming press conference. “There is no place that has been more important to the success of the American college and university system over the last 50 years than Hampshire College.”

Hampshire’s board of trustees voted unanimously for Wingenbach’s appointment on July 12 after a formal recommendation from the presidential search committee chaired by trustee Ellen Sturgis and comprising faculty, students, staff, trustees, and alumni.

The board’s goal was to name a new president this summer to help guide the college in securing its operations, planning for its future, and preparing for the coming academic year, assignments that come as the school is literally fighting for its survival.

Indeed, the school recently received a letter from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) stating that, absent evidence of substantial progress on a number of matters, ranging from hiring a new president to developing plans for achieving ambitious goals for fundraising and rebuilding enrollment, “the commission will, at its November 2019 meeting, take an action to place the college on probation or withdraw its accreditation.”

“I’m coming to Hampshire College today and hopefully for a very long time because I think that it is the essential college in higher education. There is no place that has been more important to the success of the American college and university system over the last 50 years than Hampshire College.”

This rather stern warning comes after roughly a year of turmoil and regional and national headlines concerning the college, thrusting it into the forefront of mounting problems for smaller, independent colleges dependent largely on high-school graduates at a time when graduating classes are getting smaller and projected to get smaller still.

In recent months, Hampshire announced it will not admit a full class for this fall — in fact, only about 15 students are expected to be in what will be known as the class of 2019. There have also been layoffs, the resignations of President Miriam Nelson and several board members, and departures among the current student body.


Grade Expectations

Despite this steady drumbeat of bad news, in recent writings to the Hampshire community, interim President Ken Rosenthal, one of Hampshire’s founders, has been using a decidedly optimistic tone. Last month, he wrote that the school was fully committed to enrolling a full class for 2020, was making progress with an aggressive bid to raise $20 million by June 2020 and an estimated $100 million over the next five years, and was filling several key positions, including president.

Ken Rosenthal

While acknowledging this optimistic tone and focus on the future at a time when many had — and perhaps still have — grave doubts that Hampshire has a future, Rosenthal told BusinessWest, “that certainly doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.”

Wingenbach agrees, but he has a plan.

“I am confident that we can overcome those challenges by reinvigorating the mission to innovate and lead higher education,” he said. “By becoming distinctive again, and inventing, again, new ways to think about undergraduate education, and implementing them and doing them well, we’ll restore the rightful distinctiveness of Hampshire College.”

However, both his and Rosenthal’s sentiments about the task ahead certainly not being easy were echoed by Barbara Brittingham, president of NECHE, who said Hampshire faces what she called a “heavy lift,” given both the challenges facing all colleges reliant upon high-school graduates, and the relatively young age of Hampshire’s alumni.

Wingenbach told media, professors, students, and trustees that Hampshire College is a laboratory to how to make higher education better, and the hard work that will happen over the coming months and years will set the college up for success.

Indeed, like Rosenthal, she said Hampshire is challenged to raise money and thus grow its endowment because its oldest alums are barely 70 — and probably still living and thus not bequeathing money to the college — and most alums are at an age when they are paying for their children’s college, saving for retirement, or putting their money to other uses.

Thus, the school will have to look well beyond its alumni base for support, she said. And it will also have to attract more students, a task made more difficult by recent headlines and words and phrases such as ‘probation’ and ‘possible loss of accreditation.’

“Colleges rely a lot on donations from alumni, but they often get donations from friends, people who admire the mission,” said Brittingham, adding that Hampshire will need considerable help from such friends moving forward.

This, said Wingenbach, is part of the plan. In order to reinvigorate Hampshire College, reaching out to not only alumni, but also those who are interested in Hampshire’s mission, is crucial.

“We have all kinds of resources beyond this campus to make sure that our students have access to everything they need to be successful,” he said.


Course of Action

The college has certainly used those resources so far. Wingenbach praised Hampshire for raising more than $9 million since February of this year, adding that this is an impressive accomplishment with the challenges they’ve faced.
But the college will need to continue to raise money at this rate in order to make ends meet.

Because Hampshire will be a much smaller school this fall — it just graduated 295 students and will bring in only 15 freshmen in September — the resulting loss of tuition and fees will result in a huge budget deficit. The projected number is $20 million, said Rosenthal, but it may be smaller depending on just how many students return to the campus this fall; the school is budgeting for 600.

“We set out two months ago to raise that $20 million by June 30, 2020, and we’re a little ahead of schedule,” said Rosenthal, adding that this schedule called for having $7 million in cash in hand by August, another $7 million by the end of December, and the final $6 million by the end of the current fiscal year, ending next June 30.

Moving forward, and, again, thinking optimistically, as the college moves closer to what Rosenthal called ‘normal size,” meaning 1,200 to 1,400 students, the budget deficits will grow smaller. Still, he projects that roughly $60 million will be needed over the next five years. When necessary capital improvements are added, the number rises to $100 million.

As Brittingham noted — as Rosenthal did himself, only with different language — this is indeed a heavy lift for a college this size.

Wingenbach says the cost structure of the college must undergo a serious adjustment in order to accomplish this ambitious goal.

“As we’re currently constituted, we spend too much money, and we don’t raise enough. That’s a fundamental reality of almost all small colleges in the entire country; we’re no different. But we have to face that reality as well,” he said. “As we’re thinking about experimentation and innovation and new ideas, we have to think about that framework within a reasonable understanding of what our budget and resources will look like two and four years from now, and live within that framework.”

This, Wingenbach said, may include an increase in tuition.

“We have to be thinking really carefully about what our likely students are willing to pay for this kind of an education,” he said, adding that the average Hampshire student graduates with about $24,000 in debt, an extraordinarily low figure for a four-year education. “I think it’s likely that tuition goes up, but I don’t think it’s likely that it goes up a lot in any given year.”


Critical Crossroads

Whether all or any of this — from the early progress on fundraising to Hampshire’s relevance in a changing world — will have any impact on students’ decisions on whether to return to the campus, or on NECHE’s upcoming decision on accreditation, remain to be seen. And they will both go a long way toward determining the college’s future.

“I think we have a really good story to tell that I think is compelling to people,” Wingenbach said, adding that another critical part of reinventing the school is going to be reminding people why the school is so important in the first place.

“One of the big advantages Hampshire has is that the value of an education here is easy to articulate,” he went on. “Colleges struggle to attract students who can pay a slightly higher rate if they have no argument as to why you should do that. Hampshire has a great argument for why you should do that.”

Reminding not only those within the community, but also those inside Hampshire College, of all this is a critical step in maintaining the energy Wingenbach says is crucial to get the school back on top. This includes recognizing the hard times in order to get to the good.

“There has been a lot of trauma here,” he said. “This has been a very hard six months to a year. Part of engaging people is recognizing that, both within the college community and with the public. It doesn’t change the fact that this has been a really hard year, and people have struggled. We recognize that and say, ‘now we’re going to continue to struggle, but we’re going to do something productive about it.’”

Kayla Ebner can be reached at [email protected]

People on the Move

Amy Roberts

Steven Gardner

Jacquelyn Guzie

Nicole Stevenson

Tom Senecal, president and CEO of PeoplesBank, announced four appointments: Amy Roberts to senior vice president and chief Human Resources officer, Steven Gardner to assistant vice president and East Longmeadow Banking Center manager, Jacquelyn Guzie to assistant vice president and regional manager for First Suffield Bank (a division of PeoplesBank), and Nicole Stevenson to West Springfield Banking Center manager. Roberts oversees all human-resources and employee-engagement activities for 325 employees spread over 21 banking centers and three additional locations under development in Massachusetts and Connecticut. She leads a team that is responsible for talent recruitment and development, HR compliance, benefits, employee relations, compensation management, and HR-related associate communication. She has extensive experience in leadership development and coaching, change management, performance improvement, organizational learning and development, and employee engagement, as well as more than 20 years of experience serving in leadership positions in human resources. She holds a master’s degree in human resource development from American International College and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bridgewater State University. She has also earned certificates in leadership development and succession planning, talent development and retention, and human capital management principles from the Human Capital Institute. Roberts’ volunteer service includes serving as a board member for the Center for Human Development, the United Way of Hampshire County, Leadership Pioneer Valley, and the STCC Foundation, as well as serving as an advisory board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters and a Read Aloud volunteer for Link to Libraries. In his new position, Gardner oversees and manages all aspects of a full-service banking center, including staffing, sales, lending, operations, business development, and community relations. He has 18 years of financial-services and banking experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University and an associate degree in retail management from Holyoke Community College. He serves as vice president of the East Longmeadow Rotary Club, is a member of the ERC5 and West of the River chambers of commerce, and is a volunteer for Revitalize CDC and Junior Achievement. In her new position, Guzie is responsible for assisting in the growth of relationships for the Connecticut region. She has 20 years of banking experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an associate degree in business administration from the New England College of Business and Finance. She has served as treasurer of Suffield Chamber of Commerce and president of Suffield Rotary Club, is a member of the Asnuntuck Community College Foundation, and has volunteered for Suffield on the Green, the Suffield Business Showcase, and the Suffield Volunteer Ambulance Assoc. In her new position, Stevenson oversees and manages all aspects of the West Springfield banking center, including staffing, sales, operations, business development, and community relations. She will also ensure that the banking center exceeds service and sales goals, provides excellent customer service, operates according to all bank policies and procedures, and serves as a leader within the community. She has 10 years of banking experience. She holds an associate degree in business administration and management from Holyoke Community College. Her volunteer service includes serving as a committee member for the West Springfield St Patrick’s Day, Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade, and the Agawam St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. She also served as booth chair for Credit for Life Springfield and is a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County, second vice president of the Safe Deposit Group of Western Mass., financial group volunteer for Rays of Hope, and a volunteer for Rebuilding Together. She is a member of the finance group for JDRF, the Irish Cultural Center of Western New England, and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield.


Kevin Hurley

Kevin DeMarco

Darcy Lyle

Waterford Hotel Group announced three appointments at the Williams Inn. Kevin Hurley has been appointed general manager, Kevin DeMarco was named executive chef, and Darcy Lyle is director of sales. The new Williams Inn, located at the corner of Latham and Spring streets in Williamstown, will open on Aug. 15. Owned by Williams College, the inn will replace the current Williams Inn, which will continue to operate through July 31. With more than 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Hurley has dedicated his career to the hospitality industry by taking on various roles at several hotels and resorts in the U.S. in addition to his native Canada. Prior to joining the Williams Inn, he worked as assistant general manager at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel in Manchester, Vt. He has also held posts at Omni Hotels and Resorts, the storied Charles Hotel in Cambridge, and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. He completed his undergraduate studies at Bishops University in Sherbrook, Quebec and later went on to earn a master certificate in hospitality management from Cornell University. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., DeMarco has honed his culinary skills up and down the East Coast over the past 13 years. He joins the Williams Inn team from the Newport Restaurant Group in Newport, R.I. His last post was as chef tournant at Castle Hill Inn, a historic Relais & Châteaux property in Newport. He also worked at Grande’s Bella Cucina in Palm Beach, Fla. and Public Kitchen & Bar in Providence. He is a SWE-certified specialist of wine and spirits. Lyle brings a wealth of knowledge to the Williams Inn with 28 years of experience in the hospitality and sales industry. Prior to joining the Williams Inn, she worked in sales at the Clark Art Institute, and has also held positions in operations and sales at numerous hotels throughout the upstate New York region, as well as the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Assoc. She attended Herkimer Community College, where she received a degree in tourist facilities and management promotion. While in school, she interned with Disney, where she found her passion for the hospitality and tourism industry.


Commissioners representing their respective Hampden and Hampshire county communities selected Kimberly Robinson to take the helm of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission as current Executive Director Tim Brennan prepares to bring his more than four decades of service in that role to a close this summer. Since 2011, Robinson has been executive director of the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency, which serves three counties anchored by Metro Reno, Nevada. Previous posts held by Robinson also include head planner for the city of Detroit and planning manager for the Washoe County Department of Community Development. Pending a successful contract negotiation, Robinson and Brennan will work together to identify a time over the next few months for the transition to occur.


Aimee Dalenta

Nancy Ward

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) announced the appointment of Aimee Dalenta as chair of the Early Childhood Education Department and Nancy Ward as Early Education and Care Pathways grant and activity director. Among Dalenta’s roles is to oversee STCC’s new child development associate (CDA) plus certificate of completion program, which is designed for early-childhood educators and school paraprofessionals who want to get their CDA credential and earn college credit at the same time. Dalenta, a professional in the field of education for 14 years, has held roles as a classroom teacher, owned and operated her own preschool, and served as an educational consultant. She has worked at the college level for six years, training future teachers to succeed in the classroom. She will earn a doctorate in education from American International College in August. She received her bachelor’s degree in education from Springfield College and master’s degree in education from Western New England University. In her new role, Ward will help launch STCC’s new child development associate (CDA) plus certificate of completion program. She has worked in the field of early education and care since 1987, when she began working as a resource developer at New England Farm Workers’ Council’s voucher child-care program. She became the director of the program in 1989 and continued in that role for 14 years. Ward also worked in the Early Childhood Department at the Collaborative for Educational Services for 15 years, in a variety of positions supporting the professional development of early educators. She holds a master’s of education degree in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in literacy from Lesley University in Cambridge. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at UMass Amherst.


Darlene Mark

David Babine

Monson Savings Bank announced that Darlene Mark has joined the bank as vice president and commercial loan officer, and David Babine has come on board as the bank’s newest mortgage loan originator. Formerly with Country Bank, Mark has been in banking for 20 years. Her entire banking career has been spent in commercial lending as a credit analyst, portfolio manager, and presently as a commercial loan officer. She has a bachelor’s degree and MBA in business administration from Western New England University and is also a graduate of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts School for Financial Studies at Babson College. Actively involved in the community, she is a finance committee member of Ludlow Boys and Girls Club and volunteers for Junior Achievement. Babine brings close to 20 years of experience in banking, many of those in residential lending. He is a graduate of Westfield State College with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He also obtained a master’s degree in education psychology and an advanced graduate degree in guidance counseling from the American International College. He has spent some time as a school counselor at various local high schools and volunteered as a local athletic coach.


Thomas Senecal

On June 20, the Horace Smith Fund held its 120th corporators’ meeting at the Carriage House of Storrowton Tavern in West Springfield. Present at the annual meeting were the corporators who unanimously voted to elect Thomas Senecal, president of PeoplesBank, as a new Corporator. Senecal has more than 25 years of experience in the financial-services industry. In 2016, he was elected president and CEO of PeoplesBank, previously serving as the bank’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. He is a graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst and is a certified public accountant. He also attended the Tuck Executive Program at Dartmouth College. In addition to his new appointment with the Horace Smith Fund, Senecal also serves as a corporator for Loomis Communities. Following the annual meeting, the Horace Smith Fund awarded $411,000 in scholarships and fellowships to students who will be pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees this fall.


Lauryn Picknelly

Lauryn Picknelly, a fourth-generation Picknelly, recently joined the family business, Peter Pan Bus Lines, as assistant controller. She graduated magna cum laude from Providence College with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance. She then worked for a year in Hartford at Deloitte before joining the family business.


Jack Vadnais

Michael Johnson

Freedom Credit Union (FCU), a Springfield-based, full-service financial institution with 11 branches throughout Western Mass., announced it now offers an in-house FCU Investment Services division, growing and enhancing a service it previously outsourced. As part of this expansion, Jack Vadnais was named director of FCU Investment Services, and Michael Johnson was hired as associate director. As director, Vadnais will manage all aspects of the division and assist clients in achieving their financial goals. He has been working with members of Freedom for eight years as a financial advisor. A Navy veteran, he is a graduate of Bridgewater State College, a certified financial planner, and a licensed insurance agent. In his role as associate director, Johnson will work mainly with Freedom’s clients in the Franklin County area, advising them about their investment portfolios and providing information about the credit union’s available financial services. Prior to joining Freedom, Johnson served for nearly 15 years as vice president and financial advisor at Greenfield Cooperative Bank. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from UMass Amherst and is a Paul Harris Fellow. A former long-time member of the Rotary Club of Franklin County, twice serving as its president, he also served as vice president of the Greenfield Community College Foundation.