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40 Under 40 Class of 2018

Vice President, Relationship Manager, Berkshire Bank; Age 36; Education: BS, University of Phoenix

Jason Niles

Jason Niles

Niles was born and raised in Central New York. After high school, he entered the U.S. Air Force and served six years on active duty and a couple on reserve duty after that. He and his wife, Amy, have three children: Ariana, 13, Ethan, 11, and Owen, 6 months, as well as a 3-year-old dog named Opie. After his discharge from the military, Niles bounced around a bit and finally decided to call Western Mass. his home, primarily due to the people and opportunities. He has worked at Berkshire Bank for the past nine years and says he loves the opportunities the institution provides.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I grew up wanting to be in law enforcement. This ambition was a large reason I joined the military, where I was a Security Forces member for six years.

How do you define success? John Wooden said it best. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

What three words best describe you? Outgoing, easygoing, trustworthy.

What do you like most about Western Massachusetts? What I like most is everything going on in the market. The changes have caused a renaissance of sorts — new ideas, new businesses, and lots of opportunity. What’s not to love?

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? To make a change in somebody’s life.

What are you passionate about? Helping people attain their goals and dreams.

What goals have you set for yourself? To give the best effort I can in whatever I choose to do at that moment.

 


Photography by Leah Martin Photography

40 Under 40 Class of 2018

Co-owner, Chief Strategy Officer, Universal Plastics Group; Age 37; Education: BA, Northwestern University; MBA, University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business

Pia Sareen Kumar

Pia Sareen Kumar

Before her time at Universal Plastics Group, Kumar worked at JPMorgan Chase and American Express. She serves on the boards of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts and the Springfield Technical Community College Foundation, is a member of the Women President’s Organization, and a is reader and school sponsor with Link to Libraries.

What three words best describe you? Committed, optimistic, perceptive.

What do you like most about Western Massachusetts? There is a strong culture of ownership and grass-roots change to improve the local community. We take it upon ourselves to change things.

Who has been your best mentor, and why? As a working mom who is engaged in her community, the mothers I have — my mother and mother-in-law — have shaped my values and priorities tremendously. Both support me unconditionally and encourage me to ignore the constraints and barrel ahead. They also give me the ultimate gift of honest but kind feedback.

What are you passionate about? I am passionate about empowerment, through education, literacy, and leadership training. Also, as a business owner, my greatest moments of actualization and delight come from hearing that, because of working at Universal, someone can do more for themselves or for their family, like buy a house, go back to school, or give their child an opportunity they themselves didn’t have.

Whom do you look up to, and why? I look up to Sue Kaplan, the founder of Link to Libraries, who has brought the community together to provide access and instill in our children a love for the written word, and also Joe Peters, vice chairman of Universal Plastics, for his tremendous contributions to local workforce development and training.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? To be productive, planful, and effective enough all day so that I am fully present with my three children in the evening.

What will work colleagues say at your funeral? I would like my colleagues to spend only 20% of the time talking about my professional achievements.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? My father. He lives very far away, and I miss him.


Photography by Leah Martin Photography

40 Under 40 Class of 2018
Erica Flores

Erica Flores

Attorney, Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.; Age 38; Education: BS, University of Colorado, Boulder; JD, University of Pennsylvania Law School

Flores has spent the past 10 years counseling and defending employers in all manner of employment-related disputes. She also serves on the board of directors of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Before joining Skoler Abbott in 2013, she spent seven years working for prominent law firms in Manhattan and Philadelphia and served as a judicial clerk to Justice Russell Nigro of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Flores lives in Westfield with her wife, Elizabeth, and their son, Jackson.

How do you define success? I had a tough childhood, so first and foremost, success for me means being a great mom to my little boy, a dependable partner to my wife, and a good sister to my three siblings. Everything else is secondary.

What do you like most about Western Massachusetts? After more than a decade living and working in big cities, moving to Western Mass. was, literally, a breath of fresh air. I love the hills, the trees, the farms, and the beautiful spring and fall colors. It never gets old to me.

What are you passionate about? I remind myself each day that I do not live to work, but work to live, so the little things mean the most to me — home-cooked meals, gardening, watching football, campfires with friends, good local beer, and spending as much time as possible with my family.

40 Under 40 Class of 2018

Counsel, Robinson & Cole LLP; Age 32; Education: BA, UMass Amherst; JD, Western New England University School of Law

Kathleen Dion

Kathleen Dion

Dion is a litigator at Robinson & Cole LLP. She represents private schools, colleges, and universities in a variety of civil matters, such as tuition disputes, allegations of staff misconduct, and Title IX matters. She also assists public and private companies with internal investigations and a variety of business disputes across the country. Dion has devoted significant time to the representation of pro bono clients and is a board member with a number of organizations, including the Longmeadow Educational Excellence Foundation Inc. and Longmeadow Montessori Internationale Inc. Dion and her husband, Justin (a 40 Under Forty honoree in 2014), have two daughters, Sophia and Charlotte.

What did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a lawyer.

How do you define success? Success is finding happiness with a balanced mix of career, family, and friends.

What three words best describe you? Genuine, driven, loyal.

What do you like most about Western Massachusetts? After having traveled extensively throughout the U.S., I have come to appreciate Western Massachusetts as being an amazing place with a unique mix of weather, people, commerce, charity, and innovation. I have not been to a better place to work and raise a family.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? If I can provide help to my clients and happiness to my family, I consider myself as having had a good day.

What are you passionate about? Traveling. I did not travel much as a kid, but once I started traveling all over the country for work, I realized that I wanted to expose my kids to different experiences. Over the past five years, we have traveled to 22 different states and seen everything from rodeos in Wyoming to rocket ships at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama.

What goals have you set for yourself? To live a long, satisfying, and happy life in which I have traveled the world.

40 Under 40 Class of 2018

Director of Community Relations, the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone; Age 33; Education: Associate degree, Holyoke Community College; BA, Elms College

Yahaira Antonmarchi

Yahaira Antonmarchi

Antonmarchi was born in Puerto Rico to military parents; her mother was in the Air Force, and her father in the Army. When her parents retired from the military, the family settled in Western Mass., where Antonmarchi attended school mostly in South Hadley before graduating from Holyoke High School. Afterward, she went right to work in a small administrative office, after which she was hired at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone. While working for the firm full-time, she earned degrees from HCC and Elms College, and obtained a license to sell real estate.

What did you want to be when you grew up? My upbringing was very strict and disciplined, and the value of hard work was instilled in me from an early age. Although I can’t recall having an interest in any specific profession, I know I always wanted to work hard. I remember being a young girl and thinking that women in business suits seemed so powerful, like they had worked their asses off to get where they were, and they demanded respect for it. I thought that was so impressive. I wanted to be a woman in a business suit — or perhaps just the embodiment of what a woman in a business suit conveyed to me at the time.

How do you define success? I think being successful isn’t so much about your own accomplishments, but what you inspire others to accomplish. To be told that I have motivated someone or that someone looks up to me makes me feel far more successful than any degree, award, or accolade ever will.

What are you passionate about? I’m passionate about the advancement of individuals or groups for which advancement may seem unlikely — those who have the cards stacked against them. As a minority woman from a low-income background, I know what it is to be the underdog. It is truly inspiring to see disadvantage turn to motivation, motivation to action, and action to advancement.

Whom do you look up to, and why? Growing up, I saw my father walk from our home in Holyoke to work in West Springfield and back every day to provide for our family. The sacrifices that my mother has made for the sake of my two brothers and me almost make me question whether I could ever be even half the mother she is. The answer to this question will forever be my parents.

Opinion

Editorial

If you haven’t noticed yet (and you probably have, because that special section is where everyone turns first), BusinessWest has changed up the format when it comes to presenting its 40 Under Forty honorees.

In years past, there were short profiles written by staff members, who, by the way, considered that assignment among the most enjoyable within a given year. However, this year, we decided to switch things up and offer a questionnaire of sorts.

Indeed, we gave our honorees a series of questions and informed them they could answer as many as they wanted, so long as they kept to a word count. The questions ranged from what would be considered traditional — “How do you define success?” — to the decidedly not so traditional — “What will work colleagues say at your funeral?”

Almost everyone answered that first one, and very few took a stab at the latter, but that’s not important.

What is important is that this year, those of us at BusinessWest decided to let our honorees do more of the talking — and they certainly did. And by doing so, they’ve given all of us some things to think about.

We’ll get back to that in a minute. First, the class of 2018…

Like those that came before it, this class is diverse in every respect, meaning everything from gender to geography to the fields they’ve chosen. Indeed, virtually every sector is represented by these 40 individuals, including healthcare, financial services, education, nonprofit management, law, retail, and more. And many of them have chosen to work for themselves, not for someone else, something we’re seeing more of in recent years.

And, like most all of the 440 honorees who came before them, the members of the class of 2018 are involved in the community, supporting nonprofits and causes ranging from the Zoo at Forest Park to Link to Libraries to the United Way, and putting their many talents to a different, commendable use while doing so.

Unlike those previous classes, though, these honorees got to tell us a little more about themselves. They had more opportunity to tell us what’s on their minds and about what’s important to them. And, again, they took full advantage of it.

Like when we asked them which actor or actress would portray them on the big screen. People gave nods to Sandra Bullock, Brad Pitt, Paul Rudd, and even Robert Redford. We think — we hope — he meant a much younger Robert Redford, but we digress.

Perhaps the most intriguing question, and the one that generated the most responses, was that one about success and how it is defined. We understand that there is certainly a politically correct way to answer this question, but we believe our honorees were quite sincere when they implied strongly (and we’re paraphrasing here) that success isn’t measured by the number on the paycheck — although that’s part of it.

Instead, our honorees noted, it’s measured by how happy and fulfilled someone is — not by the job they hold, but by the life they’re living.

One honoree actually summoned that old ‘I don’t live to work, I work to live’ line, but the others were saying essentially saying the same thing.

If you read all 40 responses (that will take time, but make some; it’s worth it), you’ll find that many of these individuals count their parents as their best role models and mentors, and consider it their unofficial mission in life to have someone write the same thing about them in 20 or 30 years.

Overall, it’s very refreshing and, as they say in this business, good reading.

If you haven’t done that yet, get to it next.

Departments People on the Move
Alexandra Fach

Alexandra Fach

Meghan Morton

Meghan Morton

Genevieve Brough, president of Finck & Perras Insurance Agency Inc., recently announced the firm has hired two new employees. Alexandra Fach and Meghan Morton will serve as personal-lines account managers. Fach will work in the firm’s Easthampton office, and Morton at the Florence location. Fach holds a bachelor’s degree in communication technology and visual communication and a master’s degree from Lesley University in Cambridge. She has worked in the industry since 2013 and also holds state insurance licensure. Morton is a certified insurance service representative and a certified insurance counselor. She holds state insurance licensure and has worked in the industry for six years.

•••••

Andrew Caires

Andrew Caires

Pathlight, a provider of services for residential and community services for people with intellectual disabilities, has named Andrew Caires its chief financial officer and vice president of Administration, effective April 9. Caires has significant experience in human services. He was the financial director for Hawthorn Services for 15 years. When Hawthorne merged with the Center for Human Development, he became CHD’s director of Fiscal Services. Most recently, he was the controller for the Williston Northampton School. Caires has a bachelor’s degree in business administration/accounting from Western New England University and an MBA from UMass Amherst. He has maintained his certified public accountant (CPA) designation. Pathlight has been providing programs and services to people with developmental disabilities since 1952. Its programs include residential homes, supports for independent living, family-based living, recreation, enrichment, employment supports, family resources, autism supports, and more.

•••••

Amanda Carpe

Amanda Carpe

The Gove Law Office announced that Amanda Carpe has joined the firm as an associate attorney focused on real-estate transactions, estate planning, and estate administration. Carpe earned her juris doctor from Western New England University in 2016. While in law school, she interned with Gove Law Office and for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, where she appeared on behalf of the Commonwealth in child-endangerment cases. She also clerked for Judge Charles Belsky. She began her career in Worcester, where she worked on complex estate planning, elder-law matters, guardianships and conservatorships petitions, and probate administrations.

•••••

Dean Brown

Dean Brown

Teresa Wurszt

Teresa Wurszt

Florence Bank announced recently that Dean Brown and Teresa Wurszt were named to the President’s Club for 2018. The honor recognizes superior performance, customer service, and overall contribution to Florence Bank. Brown, a card operations specialist in the Operations Department in the main branch in Florence, began work at Florence Bank in 2008. Wurszt, an assistant commercial loan administration manager in the main office in Florence, joined the bank in 2015. With nearly 20 years of banking experience, she was praised by her colleagues for her knowledge, collaboration, and dedicated work ethic.

•••••

Erika Gleason

Erika Gleason

Pathlight, a provider of residential and community services for people with intellectual disabilities and autism, named behavior specialist Erika Gleason as the first recipient of its Donald Fletcher Scholarship. The $5,000 scholarship, which will be awarded yearly, is meant to assist an employee in obtaining an undergraduate degree. A committee of Pathlight board members and staff made the selection after receiving applications from employees. The scholarship is named after Pathlight’s former Executive Director Donald Fletcher, who was committed to helping staff pursue their education. This scholarship is in addition to Pathlight’s current tuition-reimbursement program. Gleason started at Pathlight in 2013 as a direct support professional, supporting people with intellectual disabilities and intensive behavioral needs, but quickly moved up the Pathlight career ladder, becoming a behavioral specialist this year. In her new role, she is responsible for checking in with all of Pathlight’s residential homes, as well as conducting safety-training sessions that teach people how to support individuals with special needs. She is currently working toward an associate’s degree in psychology at Holyoke Community College. Her goal is to transfer to Westfield State University, where she hopes to earn her bachelor’s degree.

•••••

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Patrick Carnevale as director of the Governor’s Western Mass. Office in Springfield. Carnevale brings almost 20 years of experience in public service and will be the administration’s primary liaison between Western Mass. constituents and communities. With 18 years of public service in the Commonwealth, Carnevale has spent much of his career in emergency-preparedness response and recovery. He most recently served as regional manager for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), where he was responsible for emergency management in Central and Western Mass. Since 2002, he has held multiple roles in the State Emergency Operations Center, responding to natural disasters, developing and implementing municipal preparedness plans, allocating state and federal funding and grants, and improving emergency management in 161 communities. Carnevale graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and received his MBA from Western New England University. He also attended the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative and the National Preparedness Leadership in Homeland Security at Harvard University. He holds 14 certificates relating to emergency-preparedness disaster management from the Emergency Management Institute, the National Hurricane Center, and MEMA.

Court Dockets Departments

The following is a compilation of recent lawsuits involving area businesses and organizations. These are strictly allegations that have yet to be proven in a court of law. Readers are advised to contact the parties listed, or the court, for more information concerning the individual claims.

CHICOPEE DISTRICT COURT

Nain Oliver v. Petco Animal Supplies Inc.

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $4,366.40

Filed: 3/21/18

Nichole Gura v. North East Specialty Corp. d/b/a Nescor

Allegation: Unauthorized credit-card charge; unfair or deceptive business act or practice: $6,000

Filed: 3/29/18

HAMPDEN DISTRICT COURT

JR Kakley & Sons Inc. v. Affordable Baths Inc. and Craig S. O’Connor

Allegation: Unpaid balance due from goods sold and delivered: $6,590.31

Filed: 3/13/18

Laura L. Sikes v. Metro Motors of Chicopee Inc. d/b/a Metro Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram

Allegation: Breach of used-car lemon law, breach of implied warranty of merchantability, revocation of acceptance, unfair and deceptive practices in trade or commerce: $25,000

Filed: 3/14/18

Bria Wilson v. BZGJJ Inc. and Irving Oil Corp.

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $25,000

Filed: 3/27/18

EP Floors Corp. v. Merritt Construction Services, LLC

Allegation: Breach of contract: $9,939.50

Filed: 3/27/18

Emily Montalvo v. All Wheels Detailing & Auto Sales Inc.

Allegation: Breach of service contract, breach of lemon law warranty: $4,395

Filed: 4/4/18

HAMPDEN SUPERIOR COURT

Kurt Wolmart v. In-Land Contracting Inc., Joaquim Borges, Baltazar Contractors Inc., and Paulo Baltazar

Allegation: Employment discrimination: $200,000

Filed: 3/12/18

Rediker Software Inc. v. Bridgewater-Raynham Regional School District

Allegation: Breach of contract: $85,000+

Filed: 3/14/18

Mary Ann Mannix as personal representative of the estate of Joan Watson v. Guidewire Inc.

Allegation: Negligence, wrongful death: $1,030,000

Filed: 3/16/18

Daniel Stebbins and Susan Stebbins v. Joseph E. Flack III, M.D.; Abdallah K. Alameddine, M.D.; Mara Slawsky, M.D.; Sonali Arora, M.D.; Gregory Valania, D.O.; and John or Jane Does, 1-5

Allegation: Medical malpractice: $341,585

Filed: 3/19/18

Mary K. Pijar and John F. Pijar v. Colebrook Realty Services Inc., Baystate Medical Center Inc., John Doe; and XYZ Inc.

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $85,000+

Filed: 3/20/18

Willwork Inc. v. the Exhibit Source Inc.

Allegation: Money owed for goods sold and delivered: $30,783.23

Filed: 3/22/18

Joya Bruce-Pettway, personal representative of the estate of Dominique Williams v. Cheryl Ruta, RN; and Chandravathi Loke, M.D.

Allegation: Medical malpractice; wrongful death: $25,000+

Filed: 3/22/18

Rick Lajeunesse and David Richter v. the Home Depot U.S.A. Inc.

Allegation: Violation of overtime law: $150,000+

Filed: 3/23/18

HAMPSHIRE SUPERIOR COURT

Pellegrini Development, LLC v. Paul Truehart d/b/a Truehart Paving & Construction

Allegation: Failure to complete agreed-upon work, causing plaintiff to incur expenses completing it at higher cost: $125,000

Filed: 3/27/18

Sherry McGinn v. Greenfield Housing Authority

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $14,167.16

Filed: 4/2/18

HOLYOKE DISTRICT COURT

Yanitza Bruno-Jimenez v. Lia Auto Group Inc. d/b/a Lia Honda

Allegation: Negligence; plaintiff’s vehicle rear-ended by Lia employee causing injury: $20,768.84

Filed: 3/30/18

Agenda Departments

TWO Financial-industry Forum

May 3: Training and Workforce Options (TWO), a partnership between Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), will host an employer-engagement forum focused on the financial-services industry from 8 to 10 a.m. at STCC’s Scibelli Hall, Rooms 701 and 702. The forum will provide financial professionals with information on workforce-development training opportunities and related services offered by experienced trainers from HCC and STCC. TWO representatives also will discuss how regional businesses can secure Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Grants to enhance training efforts for their workers. The forum is geared toward financial professionals and their businesses, with the goal of gathering input about workforce-development needs. The event is free, and refreshments will be provided. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com and search ‘STCC.’

Community Shredding Day

May 11: The Hampden County Bar Assoc. is partnering with Pro-Shred Security and Century Investment Co. to hold a community shredding day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Century Shopping Center, 219 Memorial Ave., West Springfield (to the right of Bob’s Discount Furniture). Shredding protects private information, and recycling helps the environment. This event is free and open to the public (four-box limit), with a donation of a non-perishable food item for a local food pantry.

Excel Skill Training

May 14-18: Tech Foundry will offer a four-day Excel skill training the week of May 14-18 (every day but May 16) from 9 a.m. to noon at 1391 Main St., ninth floor, Springfield. Because its first Excel class offered to area companies and their employees was such a success, Tech Foundry is eager to meet the Excel needs of more area employers and their employees. The class will cover advanced formulas; tables and formatting; conditional formatting; advanced charting; pivot tables and pivot reporting; VBA and macros; using Excel productively; data tables, simulations, and Solver; Excel integration; and optimizing Excel. The cost per student is $750. To register, e-mail [email protected]. Employers with fewer than 100 employees are eligible for a 50% tuition reimbursement from Commonwealth Corp.

Bereavement Support Event

May 19: Bereaved children and their caregivers are welcome to attend a free art-based support event from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Baystate Health Education Center at 361 Whitney Ave. in Holyoke. Titled “Healing Wounded Hearts with Art: A Retreat for Grieving Families,” the event is open to bereaved children ages 5 to 18. It is sponsored by Batstate Hospice and the Pediatric Palliative Care team. As part of the program, children and teens who are grieving the death of a close family member will have an opportunity to meet others and connect through the power of art making. “Healing Wounded Hearts with Art” aims to help grieving children and their families to commemorate those in their lives who have died. Space is limited, and those wishing to attend must register by Friday, May 11 by contacting Betsy Flores, bereavement coordinator, Baystate Hospice, at (413) 794-6559 or [email protected].

NAMI Walkathon

May 20: The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Western Massachusetts will be holding its 18th annual walkathon, “A Journey of Hope and Recovery,” at Stanley Park’s Beveridge Pavilion Annex in Westfield from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The walk is suitable for all ages and will directly benefit the continuing efforts of NAMI – Western Mass. to help improve the lives of individuals living with mental illness and their families. Among the festivities will be guest speakers, entertainment, refreshments, and raffles. For further information, call (413) 786-9139 or visit www.namiwm.org/events for entry and sponsorship forms. Volunteers are needed.

‘Women Lead Change’

June 4: The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) will host its annual “Women Lead Change: A Celebration of the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) Class of 2018” event at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The event will feature a keynote address by Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper. The Women’s Fund will present Kasper with the She Changes the World Award, honoring her contributions for not only leading her local department, but also leading on a national level with regard to transparent data, hiring practices, and other local initiatives that have shaped community policing for the better. The annual celebration recognizes the accomplishments of the 31 graduates of the LIPPI class of 2018, who have participated in 11 educational sessions over nine months designed to address the shortage of women stepping into public leadership. LIPPI gives women tools and confidence to become more involved civic leaders and to impact policy on the local, state, and national levels. Proceeds for this annual event empower the Women’s Fund’s mission.

‘Thrive After 55’ Wellness Fair

June 15: State Sen. Eric Lesser and Health New England announced that they will host the second annual “Thrive After 55” Wellness Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Springfield College’s Blake Athletic Complex, located at 263 Alden St., Springfield. The fair is free and open to the public. With more than 40 local organizations ranging from health and fitness to nutrition to elder law, the event will connect residents of the First Hampden & Hampshire District with information and resources to help them thrive. The free program includes a boxed lunch, educational seminars, hundreds of raffle prizes, and access to information and experts to talk to. To RSVP for the event, call Lesser’s office at (413) 526-6501 or visit www.senatorlesser.com/thrive.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2018, profiled in this issue of BusinessWest. Also, the fourth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. The 40 Under Forty sponsors include PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), Isenberg School of Management, the MP Group, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Health New England, Renew.Calm, Development Associates, and YPS of Greater Springfield (partner). Tickets cost $75 per person (tables of 10 available). For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected].

DBA Certificates Departments

The following business certificates and trade names were issued or renewed during the months of April 2018.

AMHERST

Barbara L. Hawley, Attorney at Law
24 Dickinson St.
Barbara Hawley

DeJong Consulting
81 Pine Grove
Christene DeJong

Elisha Beaman House
12 Clifton Ave.
Tina Lalonde

Katherine Pfister, LICSW
48 North Pleasant St.
Katherine Pfister

La Boa Brava
92 Henry St.
Hannah Staiger

Peelle Leisure Enterprises
161 High St.
Paul Peelle, Diana Peelle

Southern Belle Pastry
34 Pomeroy Lane
Latasha Beckett

Yiddish Book Center
1021 West St.
Susan Bronson

BELCHERTOWN

KLP Builders
55 Greenwich Hill
Kirk Pisani

Old Fashion Cleaning & Handyman Services
38A Warren Wright St.
Aneta Rybicki

CHICOPEE

Chicopee High School Lacrosse
22 Sachem St.
Tammy Niedermeier, Tina Niedermeier

CSM Entertainment
77 Grattan St.
Christopher Kelleher

Felt to the Core
91 8th Ave.
Christine Laverdiere

STAR Mini Mart, LLC
51 Springfield St.
Eric Collazo

Touch of G. LaRose
208 Exchange St.
Gilmarys Marrero

DEERFIELD

Giving Circle Thrift Shop
55B Main St.
Susan Pratt-Tripp Memorial Foundation Inc.

EASTHAMPTON

Boucher-O’Brien Funeral Home
7 Pleasant St.
Thomas O’Brien III

Buri’s Generation HI & GC
31 Exeter St.
Belisario Buri

Payne and Picard Remodeling
122 Pleasant St.
Peter Payne Jr.

Zenful Cleaning
21 High St.
Yushan Zheng

EAST LONGMEADOW

Caitlin Lavin
280 North Main St., Suite 4
Caitlin Lavin

Dreamscape Design Landscaping
20 Somerset St.
Marco Basile

John DeSousa General Contractor
18 Dell St.
John DeSousa

Meadows Health Center
40 Crane Ave.
Muhammad Gul

HADLEY

Infinity Ed
245 Russell St.
Varna Nailc

Out of This World Cleaning
116 Rocky Hill Road
Lindsey St. Laurence

T-Mobile
367 Russell St.
Executive Cellular Phones Inc.

HOLYOKE

Bennion Kombucha
92 Race St.
Michael Bennion

Defining Moments Productions
42 Ogden St.
Joseph Hodgins

El Dugout de Gammy
134 High St.
Jesus Hernandez

Graphic Stop
50 Holyoke St.
Christopher Lombardi

Hillside Auto Sales
911 Main St.
Michael Krassler

Hothouse Farms
5B Appleton St.
Audrey Park, Lucas Wiggins

Hothouse Holyoke
5B Appleton St.
Audrey Park, Lucas Wiggins

KTG Construction
1180 Northampton St.
Kurt Garvery

T & Y Enteprises Inc.
1530 Northampton St.
Tamer Mahdy

Torres Flooring
83 Martin St.
Jose Torres

Voltscooter
56 Nonotuck St.
Kenneth Harstine

LONGMEADOW

JML Construction Services
152 Burbank Road
JML Construction Services

Matchmaking.world
73 Oakwood Dr.
Matchmaking.world

SafelyRetire.com
102 Woolworth St.
SafelyRetire.com

LUDLOW

A.K. Paint
9 Cady St., Apt. 7
Andrew Kessler

Bio Links of New England
438 Ventura St.
Leslie Lindsey

Bob Costa Electric
181 Wedgewood Dr.
Robert Costa

Jerry’s Roofing
572 Fuller St.
Gerald Brown

Precision Home Improvement
476 Fuller St.
Jon Schneider

RC Computers
51 Simonds St.
Richard Calento, Joanne Calento

NORTHAMPTON

Applied Mortgage
211 North St.
HarborOne Mortgage, LLC

Dapper Kitty
29 Butler Place
Melissa Goldsmith, Anthony Fonseca

Fitzwilly’s/Toasted Owl
21-23 Main St.
Fred Gohr

Gelb Gemological Consulting
4 Madison Ave.
Thomas Gelb

Gothic and Main
29 Butler Place
Anthony Fonseca, Melissa Goldsmith

Greg’s Auto Repair
442 Elm St.
Jeffrey Tenczar

Hasper and Associates
24 North Maple St., #1
Patricia Hasper

Kidstuff
90 Maple St.
Tami Schirch

MLMC
29 Butler Place
Melissa Goldsmith, Anthony Fonseca

Pear Tree Press Music Publishers
703 Fairway Village
Ronald Perera

Sally Staub Design
74 Audubon Road
Sally Piland Staub

Student Power Networks
37 Kensington Ave.
William Wimsatt

PALMER

Cardinal Custom Carpentry and Woodworking
21 Wilbraham St.
Angelina Dubovik

Cross Roads Institute Driving Safety
2045 Calkins Road
Brian Griffith, Julie Griffith

Dillon Childs, Electrician
3115 Main St.
Dillon Childs

SPRINGFIELD

Big Y Express #166
471 Cooley St.
Big Y Foods Inc.

Brown Mini Market
178 Oakland St.
Christopher Brown

Check 2 Cash
338 Belmont Ave.
Phuoc Thien Ho

Chinese Qi Gong Tui Na
1655 Boston Road
Zujin Chen

Chiro Pro Billers & Management
34 King St.
Maria Davila

Garcia Detailing
199 Fernbank Road
Richard Garcia

Goddess Goods
258 Main St.
Kalisha Davis

Goldy’s Affordable Landscaping
34 Langdon St.
Rodolfo Sanchez

The Green Team
198 East Allen Ridge Road
James Bazinet

Hegartees
11 Balfour Dr.
Joseph Hegarty

International Auto Sales
715 Liberty St.
Tina DePergola

Jetmar Trucking
80 Harkness Ave.
Jose Torres

Kenia Hair Center
219 Berkshire Ave.
Kenia Torres

Lavigne Cleaning Machine
67 Hall St.
Michael Lavigne

Lozada’s Auto Sales
86 Boston Road
Daniel Lozada

The Markets at Eastfield
1685 Boston Road
William Bullock

Northeast Lawn and Shrub
25 Manchester Terrace
Donald LeBlanc

PJB Home Improvement
67 Lang St.
Paul Babiec

Pac One
46 Tinkham Road
Justin Cotton Jr.

Rhino Linings of Springfield
50 Verge St.
Michael Dancy

Roussel and Sons Masonry
59 Jamaica St.
Joshua Roussel

Timminy Press
61 Adams St.
William Dusty

Top Notch 2
538 Page Blvd.
Shawn Jones

Touch of Class Boutique
1655 Boston Road
Owen Bewry

Uno Chicago Grill
1722 Boston Road
Uno Restaurants, LLC

WESTFIELD

Crack Attack Sealcoating
419 West Road
Justin Boisseau

Elegant Home Improvement
3 Scarfo Dr.
Viachaslau Khivuk

Heritage Auto Transport
1 Roderick Dr.
Nathan Charette

Ken’s Appraisal Service
3 Crawford Dr.
Kenneth McCoubrey

PMJ Builders
57½ Montgomery St.
Peter Pienkowski Sr.

Westfield’s Fallen Heroes
1 First Ave.
Westfield’s Fallen Heroes

WEST SPRINGFIELD

Cassie Roche, MS, LMHC
425 Union St.
Cassie Roche

Classic Burgers Inc.
1261 Westfield St.
Barry Parker

Expo Liquors
1122 Memorial Ave.
West Side Spirits

The Help to Retire Group
181 Park Ave.
HTR Group N.E., LLC

King Pizza
1440 Memorial Ave.
Enes Inc.

Lincare Inc.
51 Park Ave.
Susan Yanush

Majestic Theater
131 Elm St.
Todd Cadis

Pleasant Valley Real Estate
865 Memorial Ave.
Nicholas Katsoulis

Potterville Pottery
1702 Riverdale St.
Laura Frasco

Precision Components Group
190 Doty Circle
Peter Elias

Sorrento’s Pizza of West Springfield
660 King’s Highway
Pasquale Albano

Spartan Auto Care Center
865 Memorial Ave.
Nicholas Katsoulis

Spartan Auto Sales
78 Lowell St.
Nicholas Katsoulis

WILBRAHAM

Better Days Counseling
8 Federal Lane
Jessica Senecal-Bennett

DES Woodworking
103 Manchonis Road
Dustin Smith

Elevation by Lattitude
859 Stony Hill Road
CCW Catering, LLC

Excel Training Institute Inc.
4 Stony Hill Road
Rebecca Paquette

Daily News

The Gove Law Office announced that Amanda Carpe has joined the firm as an associate attorney focused on real estate transactions, estate planning, and estate administration.

“Amanda is a very valuable addition to our firm, and will be supporting our growing real estate department, as well as helping clients plan for their future and negotiate the probate process,” said Michael Gove, founding partner of Gove Law Office.

Carpe earned her J.D. from Western New England University in 2016. While in law school, she interned with Gove Law Office, and for the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, where she appeared on behalf of the Commonwealth in child-endangerment cases. She also clerked for Judge Charles Belsky.

Carpe began her career in Worcester, where she worked on complex estate planning, elder law matters, guardianships and conservatorships petitions, and probate administrations.

The Gove Law Office, with offices in Ludlow and Northampton, is a bilingual firm with attorneys licensed in Massachusetts and Connecticut who provide practical, solutions-oriented guidance to clients in the areas of residential and commercial real estate, estate planning and administration, business representation, personal injury law, commercial lending, and bankruptcy.

Briefcase Departments

Employer Confidence Falls Slightly in March

BOSTON — The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Business Confidence Index (BCI) declined a point to 63.5 in March, retreating from a 17-year high in February. The BCI has gained 1.1 points during the past 12 months and remains comfortably within the optimistic range. But virtually every element of the March confidence survey lost ground, led by a 1.7-point drop in the U.S. Index of national business conditions. Several employers blamed the Trump administration’s decision to level tariffs on steel, aluminum, and other products for their uncertain outlook.

Pioneer Valley Receives Grant to Pursue Healthcare Access Solutions

SPRINGFIELD — The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) announced that it, in partnership with the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA), has been selected as one of seven regions in the country by the National Center for Mobility Management to develop and test ways to increase community members’ access to healthcare services. Through this grant, the project team will be looking at barriers that patients face when trying to access healthcare for chronic conditions or sudden, non-emergency health needs. With missed appointment rates of up to 25% at some healthcare facilities, this project seeks to improve patient health outcomes, improve cost efficiency for healthcare providers, and optimize transportation systems for non-emergency healthcare. The project team, which includes representatives from PVTA, PVPC, Baystate Medical Center, Health New England, Stavros, Greater Springfield Senior Services, and the New North Citizens Council, represents a variety of stakeholders and perspectives to address this issue. The ultimate goal of this project, slated to conclude in October 2018, is to come up with a ‘pitch’ for a solution to the problem of missed appointments. In order to develop its pitch, the project team is going to host a series of focus groups, conduct surveys, and do on-site observations with the people involved in the medical scheduling and transportation process.

Single-family Home Sales in Valley Soar in February

SPRINGFIELD — Single-family home sales rose by 27.4% in the Pioneer Valley in February compared to the same time last year, posting big gains in all three counties, while the median price rose 8.3% to $194,900, according to the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. In Franklin County, sales were up 36.4%, while the median price shot up by 45.8% from a year earlier. In Hampden County, sales were up 23.6%, while the median price was up 7.9%. In Hampshire County, sales rose by 27.7% from February 2017, while the median price was up 16.8%.

Chamber Board Votes to Endorse Pledge Against Human Trafficking

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Regional Chamber board of directors voted unanimously to publicly endorse the Western Massachusetts Businesses Against Human Trafficking Pledge and encourage members of the chamber to take the pledge. Convened by MGM Springfield, the chamber joined a coalition of businesses and organizations in 2017 to support the work already being conducted by law enforcement, community organizations, and faith-based groups across the region and to lend its assistance to help eliminate the scourge of human trafficking. Since then, the chamber has formalized its support by endorsing a pledge to increase awareness of and protect against human trafficking in its places of business, and to collaborate broadly across the community and region to address the issue. Coalition members include MGM Springfield, Peter Pan Bus Lines, the Springfield Regional Chamber, East of the River Five Town Chamber, the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Springfield Redevelopment Authority (owner of Union Station), Sheraton Springfield, and Springfield/Worcester Hilton Garden Inns.

Amherst Chamber Moves to Volunteer Management

AMHERST — The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce will transition to an all-volunteer team structure for several months in order to better serve its members and leverage its robust network of volunteers. Peter Vickery, president of the chamber’s board of directors, said the change will also help the membership-based organization dedicate more resources to member-to-member services, networking, and advocacy. As part of the transition, interim Executive Director Jerry Guidera will step down from his organizational support role. The chamber will maintain a presence at the Visitor Information Center in downtown Amherst, co-located with the Amherst Business Improvement District.

Departments People on the Move

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. announced the promotions of Chelsea Cox, Lyudmila Renkas, Joseph LeMay, Dan Eger, and Francine Murphy.

Chelsea Cox

Chelsea Cox

Cox began as an intern at MBK in 2015 and became a full-time associate the following year. In her new position as senior associate in the Accounting and Audit Department, her primary focus is on nonprofit and commercial audits and employee-benefit plans. She is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Lyudmila Renkas

Lyudmila Renkas

Over the past two years at MBK, Renkas has served as an associate accountant in the Audit and Accounting department at MBK. Having recently completed her MSA, she will turn her attention to new responsibilities as a senior associate. In her new role, she will be responsible for planning and leading client audit engagements, internal control evaluations, and pension audits. In addition, she prepares individual, partnership, and corporate tax returns for clients in the real-estate, construction, healthcare, and nonprofit industries.

Joseph LeMay

Joseph LeMay

Lemay joined MBK in January of 2015 as an associate. In his new role as senior associate, his responsibilities consist of being the lead accountant on review and compilation-level engagements, staff training, and tax-planning strategy for clients in the manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, and distribution industries. He obtained his CPA license in 2017 and is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Dan Eger

Dan Eger

Eger, who has been with MBK since 2005, has been promoted to senior associate. He focuses on preparing federal and state income-tax forms for corporations, individuals, and nonprofits. He has more than 12 years of tax experience and brings a wealth of knowledge to his role. In addition to serving as a tax preparer, he has developed an expertise in the firm’s specialized tax software, servicing as a resource to the entire Tax Department.

Francine Murphy

Francine Murphy

Murphy, who has served as a paraprofessional in MBK’s Accounting Department since 2013, has been promoted to tax associate. In that new role, her responsibilities include preparing federal and state income-tax forms for corporations, individuals, and nonprofits; preparing city and town tax filings; preparing annual reports; and responding to IRS notices.

•••••

Sofia Nardi

Sofia Nardi

CLICK Workspace, a co-working space located in downtown Northampton, announced the hiring of Sofia Nardi as a new member advocate. Nardi is a recent graduate of Bay Path University, where she double-majored in small business development and marketing, graduating summa cum laude. At CLICK, she manages all administrative functions, including financial accounting, office operations, purchasing, and troubleshooting routine problems with equipment and maintenance. Serving as the first point of contact for all inquiries and visitors, she aims to ensure a welcoming environment. As the member advocate, Nardi manages all communications within the organization and beyond. This includes maintaining website infrastructure, curating monthly e-mail newsletter content, managing the social-media presence of the organization, and actively marketing the firm in the immediate community and beyond.

•••••

Geraldine de Berly

Geraldine de Berly

Geraldine de Berly has been named vice president of Academic Affairs and chief academic officer at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), President John Cook announced. De Berly’s hiring comes after an extensive search and comprehensive vetting process. Currently vice provost for Continuing and Professional Education at UMass Amherst, de Berly begins her new position at STCC on May 1. De Berly, who holds a Ph.D. in education administration, has worked in higher education for more than three decades, in both faculty and administrative roles. At New Mexico State University, she was an associate English as a second language professor, as well as director of the Center for Intensive Training in English. She also worked for 18 years at Syracuse University, University College, including serving as associate dean for Academic Affairs and senior associate dean. University College offers degree, certificate, and non-credit courses and serves as the gateway across Syracuse University for part-time students. As vice provost at UMass Amherst, de Berly managed a budget with more than $50 million in revenue. During her time, enrollment expanded 6% to exceed 31,000 students. Since 2016, six new programs were launched under her leadership. Born in Cuba, de Berly is fluent in four languages. She began her higher-education journey at Miami Dade Junior College. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a master’s from the University of Essex (England), and her Ph.D. in education administration from New Mexico State University.

•••••

Jesus “Laz” Montano

Jesus “Laz” Montano

Underscoring the importance it places on comprehensive, robust information security and risk-management capabilities, MassMutual named long-time information-technology executive Jesus “Laz” Montano its new head of Enterprise Information Risk Management (EIRM) and chief information security officer. In his new role, Montano will work closely with the company’s executive leadership team, directing a holistic risk-management approach across the company, including managing operational and cybersecurity risks, ensuring all regulatory and compliance requirements are met, and overseeing the safeguarding of MassMutual’s information assets. Montano joins MassMutual from Voya Financial, where he served as chief information security officer for the past four years, responsible for providing leadership, management, and strategy for all aspects of the company’s technology risk and information security. He has also held technology security leadership roles at OpenSky, MetLife, the Travelers Companies, and Lucent Technologies. A graduate of Charter Oak College, Montano earned his MBA in business and technology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is also a certified information security manager, certified in the governance of enterprise IT, and serves as a National Technology Security Council board member.

•••••

Elyssa Morgan

Elyssa Morgan

Julie Duffé

Julie Duffé

Florence Bank announced that Elyssa Morgan and Julie Duffé were recently selected as recipients of its President’s Award for 2018. The President’s Award was established by the bank in 1995, affording employees the annual opportunity to nominate their peers for an honor that recognizes outstanding performance, customer service, and overall contribution to Florence Bank. Both Morgan and Duffé were nominated by numerous colleagues. Morgan is the deposit operations manager at the main headquarters in Florence and has worked at the bank for seven years. She holds an associate’s degree in business administration from Bay Path University. Duffé, a customer service representative in Florence Bank’s main office, has been with the bank for seven years. She is a Springfield Technical Community College graduate and holds an associate’s degree in business administration and finance. In addition, she is also certified as an individual retirement account specialist through Ascensus.

•••••

Karrah Smith, owner of Something to Talk About Boutique, was recently named Business Owner of the Year by the Assoc. of Black Business Professionals, and was awarded a certificate by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in Boston last month. Smith, a 24-year-old Springfield native, received her associates degree in criminal justice from Holyoke Community College. However, her passion for fashion took center stage in 2015 when her beloved older cousin, Diane Evans, original owner and founder of Something to Talk About Boutique, passed away from pancreatic cancer, leaving the store, located on the street level of Tower Square, to Smith and her mother, Stephanie. Smith has given back to the community in multiple ways, including donating proceeds from fashion shows to local charities. She also works with other young women, giving them pointers on how to run a business.

•••••

Chris Hakala

Chris Hakala

Springfield College named Chris Hakala director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship. The newly created academic-affairs position was developed through the college’s strategic planning process, and the center strives to foster intellectual engagement across the curriculum through evidence-based programs and services that increases collaboration, communication, and community to promote the enhancement of student learning. Hakala brings more than 20 years of experience as a faculty member at various institutions in higher education. Most recently, he served as executive director for the Center for Teaching and Learning at Quinnipiac University. Before joining Quinnipiac, he taught psychology at the University of New Hampshire, Gettysburg College, Lycoming College, American International College, and Western New England University, where he served as director of the Center for Teaching and Learning from 2009 to 2014. Hakala earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Castleton State College, and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of New Hampshire.

•••••

Nicholas Grimaldi

Nicholas Grimaldi

Nicholas Grimaldi has become a partner at Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP, while Peter Lane has been named of counsel in the law firm. Grimaldi joined the firm in 2014 and has more than 18 years of experience as a lawyer. His practice will continue to focus on representing individuals, businesses, and financial institutions in corporate transactions, real estate and secured lending, entertainment and interactive media law, creditor’s rights, and commercial matters. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the Boston University School of Law. Lane has 10 years of experience representing individuals and businesses in civil and criminal litigation, including commercial litigation, landlord-tenant law, criminal defense, and civil rights. He is a graduate of Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School.

•••••

Kayla Drinkwine

Kayla Drinkwine

Kayla Drinkwine has rejoined Phillips Insurance Agency Inc. as a commercial lines account manager. She started in 2012 with Phillips Insurance and left earlier this year for an opportunity at another agency. She will be responsible for managing the insurance programs of businesses throughout New England. Drinkwine has her CRIS (construction risk and insurance specialist) and CISR (certified insurance service representative) designations and is a licensed Massachusetts insurance broker.

•••••

River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC) promoted Michael Chunyk to the position of site manager at its newest location at Liberty Commons on 2 Mechanic St. in Easthampton. Chunyk obtained his master of social work degree from Springfield College School of Social Work. He has been practicing at RVCC for the last three years as a licensed therapist specializing in working with men who have experienced emotional trauma and addressing symptoms that arise from post-traumatic stress disorder, such as anger issues, depression, and relationship difficulties. He is also a 2018 recipient of the UMass Community Salute Plaque for his dedicated commitment and humanitarian spirit, which has made a positive impact in Western Mass. communities. As the former executive director of Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen and Pantry in Chicopee, he brings many years of organizational leadership to River Valley’s Easthampton team. Alexa Mignano has also joined the RVCC team in Easthampton as coordinator of School-Based Mental Health Counseling and works as a child-focused therapist. She received her master’s degree from from Springfield College and has been working at RVCC as a therapist in the Holyoke Public Schools for more than seven years. She specializes in treating trauma, adjustment problems, anxiety, self-regulation difficulties, disruptive behavior, and other challenges. Her goal is to help children engage their mind and body throughout the therapeutic process as they work towards healing; this includes play therapy, movement-based interventions, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and parenting support. She also provides training and consultation to schools in implementing trauma-informed practices.

Opinion

Editorial

There’s a new pastime in the City of Homes these days — watching the South End of the city become transformed before our eyes as the $950 million MGM Springfield takes shape.

It’s hard to take your eyes off it, really, and the scene changes almost every week and certainly every month. Those working in the office towers with windows facing south — especially those in the upper floors — have it better than the rest of us, obviously, but even the views from ground level are captivating.

As intriguing as this development is to watch, there’s another one to keep your eye on, at least figuratively, because it’s happening roughly 100 miles away in the city of Everett.

This would be Wynn Development’s $2.5 billion casino also starting to take shape. The story there, though, is whether that ‘Wynn’ name will actually appear on the tinted glass hotel tower (odds are it certainly won’t), and if not, what name will.

In case you missed it, Steve Wynn is the now former CEO of Wynn Resorts. He stepped down amid sexual harassment allegations and sold all his stock in the company. That development is bad enough for the company, but it seems that there may be other shoes still to drop — including speculation that such claims of harassment were dismissed or ignored by leaders at the company.

A state investigation is pending, and there is already speculation that Wynn Resorts may not wait for that probe to play itself out before attempting to sell the Everett casino to another player within the industry.

And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what the most logical candidate would be — MGM Resorts. In fact, the Boston Globe reported recently that MGM has approached Wynn officials about buying not only the Everett casino but the entire company.

Like we said, this is a development worth watching, and for many reasons.

The most obvious is that state law does not allow a casino company to own two licenses in the Commonwealth. So that might put MGM in a position where it may be deciding between a Springfield casino and a Boston casino.

Logic dictates that the one in Boston, further from the Connecticut casinos and closer to larger population centers, would be the more lucrative option for the casino giant.

Mayor Domenic Sarno told the Boston Globe that he is confident that the city has “protections” in its agreement with MGM, but that he didn’t want to speculate on what the company might do.

Let’s hope these protections are real and substantial, because while what’s being built in Springfield’s South End is impressive it’s the name behind it that is far more so.

Yes, another casino operator could acquire the Springfield property and operate it in an effective profitable fashion. But the city would likely lose something real and substantial if there was another name over the door to the property.

All of this is speculation, of course, but ever since Steve Wynn got caught up in the #MeToo movement, there has been no shortage of that in the Bay State. And there will be more of it in the weeks and months to come.

Like we said, this development, like the construction in the South End, bears watching.

Court Dockets Departments

The following is a compilation of recent lawsuits involving area businesses and organizations. These are strictly allegations that have yet to be proven in a court of law. Readers are advised to contact the parties listed, or the court, for more information concerning the individual claims.

CHICOPEE DISTRICT COURT
Michael Elbery v. Frazier Auto Service Inc.
Allegation: Multiple incidents of damage to truck: $1,600
Filed: 2/8/18

Dianna Eaglen v. Cedar Auto Sales, LLC
Allegation: Breach of warranty, misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment: $10,000
Filed: 3/8/18

HAMPDEN DISTRICT COURT
Michael Bessey v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP and Alan Siok d/b/a Siok & Son Excavation
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $3,846
Filed: 3/9/18

Tayvion Harris by his mother and next friend, Christy Cussion, and Chrissy Cussion individually v. John Doe and R.C. Jackson Transportation Co., LLC
Allegation: Negligence; while being transported from daycare, plaintiff came out of his booster seat and fell out passenger door of moving vehicle, causing injury: $2,590.24
Filed: 3/14/18

Hop River Concrete Inc. v. CFI Design Management Inc. and 295 Burnett Road, LLC
Allegation: Money owed for services provided: $21,102.06
Filed: 3/16/18

Perkins Paper, LLC v. Gigi’s Pizzeria, LLC and Jacob A. Decesare
Allegation: Money owed for goods sold and delivered: $4,338.32
Filed: 3/16/18

Jessica Aitken v. 342 Inc., Thomas P. Murphy, and Daniel v. Dineen
Allegation: Failure to pay wages owed, failure to pay minimum wage, and unlawful withholding of tips: $25,000
Filed: 3/19/18

HAMPDEN SUPERIOR COURT
Donna McAdam v. Pyramid Management Group, LLC
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $43,517.94
Filed: 3/5/18

Christopher Richard v. G4S Secure Integration, LLC; Adesta, LLC; and John Doe as agent/manager
Allegation: Failure to pay prevailing wages, failure to pay overtime wages, fraud and misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment: $100,000
Filed: 3/6/18

Shamar Goldsberry and Patricia Goldsberry v. Northern Heights, LP
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $59,358.61
Filed: 3/8/18

Rebecca Garcia v. Neighborhood Homes, LP
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $8,803.15
Filed: 3/8/18

Donna Bourget v. Tri-State CDL Training Center Inc.
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $52,418
Filed: 3/8/18

Elizabeth Pezzote-McMahon v. Stop and Shop
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $5,350.07
Filed: 3/9/18

Richard Thompson and Donna Thompson v. Sturdy Home Improvement Inc.
Allegation: Breach of contract, negligent infliction of emotional distress: $125,000
Filed: 3/13/18

HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT COURT
Broadcast Music Inc. v. Cutting Edge Broadcasting Inc. d/b/a WEIB-FM
Allegation: Money owed for services provided: $7,682.66
Filed: 3/9/18

HAMPSHIRE SUPERIOR COURT
Kimberly Cobb and Brian Cobb v. Valley Stump Grinding, LLC
Allegation: Negligence, slip and fall causing injury: $592,935.83
Filed: 3/21/18

Lisa Jacobs v. Sunrise Senior Living Services Inc., Sunrise Senior Living Management Inc., Felipe Miestre, Larry Steinhauser, Sarah Laidlaw, Tiffany Gullette, and Ginger Arsenault
Allegation: Defamation: $10,000,000
Filed: 3/23/18

PALMER DISTRICT COURT
Arbella Insurance Group a/s/o Benito Rocca v. Hydro-Pro Irrigation Inc.
Allegation: Defendant caused water damage to plaintiff’s property by negligently servicing sprinkler system: $11,487.46
Filed: 3/12/18

Daily News

REVERE – Continuing its commitment to working with communities and local partners to prevent and prepare for climate change, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced $5 million in supplemental funding for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program.

The grant and designation program, which was created last year as part of Gov. Baker’s Executive Order 569, provides communities with funding, technical support, climate change data and planning tools to identify hazards, develop strategies to improve resilience, and implement priority actions to adapt to climate change.

Baker recently filed legislation that would put the MVP Program into law, as well as authorize more than $1.4 billion in capital allocations for investments in safeguarding residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, protecting environmental resources, and investing in communities.

To further assist communities in planning for climate change impacts, the Baker-Polito Administration has also launched a new website, resilient MA Climate Clearinghouse,which will provide communities access to the best science and data on expected climate change impacts, information on planning and actions communities can deploy to build resiliency and avoid loss, and links to important grant programs and technical assistance.

The site, which was built with data developed through a partnership between EEA, the Northeast Climate Center at UMass-Amherst and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, provides access to statewide climate change projections showing how temperature, precipitation and sea level rise will change through the end of the century, which any user can overlay with other data of interest, including information on emergency facilities, infrastructure and natural resources.

“The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program and our new Climate Clearinghouse website are a vital part of our administration’s efforts to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change,” said Gov. Baker. “These resources will ensure all Massachusetts communities have access to the best data and planning tools to make scientifically-sound and cost-effective decisions as they work to prepare for the challenges ahead.”

Through the MVP Program, municipalities work through a community-based workshop process to identify key climate-related hazards, vulnerabilities and strengths, develop adaptation actions, and prioritize next steps. Results of the workshops and planning efforts are then used to inform existing local plans, grant applications, budgets, and policies. Upon successful completion of the program, municipalities are designated as a “Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program Community,” and are eligible for follow-up grant funding and other opportunities. There are currently 74 MVP communities across the state, representing over 20% of the state’s municipalities.

“The changing climate will have significant impacts from the hills of the Berkshires to the Cape and Islands, so we encourage all communities in every corner of the state to apply for the MVP program,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Climate Clearinghouse website will also provide an incrediblyimportant tool to help our state and local officials understand how the climate is projected to change over the next century and what risks different part of the state will be dealing with, and allow us to better work with cities and towns, local agencies, organizations, and institutions across the state to plan and adapt for the future.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Regional Chamber board of directors voted unanimously to publicly endorse the Western Massachusetts Businesses Against Human Trafficking Pledge and encourage members of the chamber to take the pledge.

Convened by MGM Springfield, the chamber joined the coalition of businesses and organizations in 2017 to support the work already being conducted by law enforcement, community organizations, and faith-based groups across the region and to lend its assistance to help eliminate the scourge of human trafficking. Since then, the chamber has formalized its support by endorsing a pledge to increase awareness of and protect against human trafficking in its places of business, and to collaborate broadly across the community and region to address the issue.

“The chamber understands the critical importance of the prevention of human trafficking in the local business community, and we are committed to communicating and collaborating with our members to increase awareness and to protect against this violation of basic human rights,” said Nancy Creed, chamber president. “As an employer, we have already taken steps internally to educate our staff on this issue and engage them in this work, and I am pleased that we now have the broad support for the coalition’s efforts on behalf of our membership.”

The pledge encourages businesses and organizations to take a leadership role in the community and to take a strong, united stand against the trafficking of human beings. It also encourages collaboration, awareness raising, and sharing of best practices. It is the first coordinated effort by the business community in Massachusetts to combat human trafficking.

“By taking this pledge, we are committing our chamber and its members to participating in the efforts to eliminate this egregious violation of basic human rights affecting our most vulnerable community members,” Creed said.

Coalition members include MGM Springfield, Peter Pan Bus Lines, the Springfield Regional Chamber, East of the River Five Town Chamber, the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Springfield Redevelopment Authority (owner of Union Station), Sheraton Springfield, and Springfield/Worcester Hilton Garden Inns.

Jen Falcone, a licensed clinical social worker, is coordinating the group’s efforts. In that role, she will guide the member organization’s efforts and align them with law enforcement, service providers, community and faith groups, and government entities addressing the issue of human trafficking in the region.

For more information on how member businesses can individually take the pledge, e-mail Falcone at [email protected].

Opinion

Opinion

By Dr. Henry L. Dorkin

It was only a few short years ago that the opioid crisis emerged across the country, with particular ferocity here in the Commonwealth. In retrospect, we realize the signs were clearly there. Unfortunately, many of them were missed.

Looking back, the role of the physician in this was clear. While our goals were laudable in trying to assuage our patients’ pain, some wrote too many prescriptions and, in those prescriptions, authorized too many pills.

This is not to cast blame. This is to focus on the problem and appreciate just how far we have come since the epidemic was first noted. The medical community quickly recognized that we had a more important role to play moving forward — as part of the solution. The Massachusetts Medical Society led the charge.

We have improved our prescribing practices. Data from the state show a 23% reduction in opioid prescriptions since 2015 and a nearly 50% reduction in prescribing to patients who had not previously received an opioid script.

We are working to improve patient access to life-saving care, from naloxone to medication-assisted treatment. Of course, we are looking to ensure that those in need of pain management are able to get the help they require.

Now, while law enforcement tackles the larger issue of non-prescription illicit narcotics, we physicians must continue to address the numerically smaller, yet no less critical, issue of overprescribing opioids for pain, and the diversion of medications. Progress has been made; more needs to be accomplished.

We all know the value of lifelong learning as physicians. This crisis, and our response to it, shows how quickly we can learn and how much we can change. May we continue to do so until this epidemic is over.

Henry L. Dorkin, MD, FAAP is president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. This article first appeared in the MMS publication Vital Signs.

Law Sections

Taking the Pulse

By Kimberly A. Klimczuk, Esq.

Kimberly A. Klimczuk, Esq.

Kimberly A. Klimczuk, Esq.

It’s been almost three years since Massachusetts’ Earned Sick Time Law went into effect (how time flies), but employment-law attorneys still frequently receive questions about the law and the administration of earned sick leave.

Like any leave law, the sick-leave law presents unique challenges to employers. Here are some of the questions encountered most often:

Does the sick leave law apply to my organization?

This is an easy one. Unless your organization is a federal or municipal employer, it must provide earned sick leave to all employees (including part-time, temporary, per diem, and seasonal employees), regardless of the size of your organization. If the employer has 11 or more employees, the sick leave must be paid at the employee’s regular hourly rate (with the exception of tipped employees, who must receive at least minimum wage).

As a reminder, the law entitles employees to earn one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year, and employees may use the earned sick leave to attend routine medical appointments (for themselves or for a child, spouse, parent, or parent-in-law); to care for their own illness, injury, or medical condition or that of a child, spouse, parent, or parent-in law; or to address the effects of domestic violence.

Can I discipline employees for excessive absences?

It depends on what you mean by ‘excessive.’ The sick-leave law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who use earned sick leave, so if an employee has earned sick leave available that applies to an absence, an employer cannot discipline the employee for taking the time off, nor can it consider the use of sick time as a factor in the discipline for non-sick-leave-related absences. Therefore, employers must be very careful when issuing attendance-related discipline.

Employers may discipline for absences exceeding the amount of sick leave to which the employee is entitled or for absences that occur before the employee has accrued sufficient sick leave to cover the absence. However, employers must make sure the employee’s use of sick leave is not a factor in the discipline. Although it seems obvious, this can be tricky.

Consider two employees. The first employee has one unplanned absence in a two-week period. The second employee has one unplanned absence in a two-week period and five sick-leave-related absences in that same two-week period. Which employee is a supervisor more likely to want to discipline?

While employers generally can discipline employees for unplanned absences unrelated to earned sick leave, they cannot take the use of sick leave into consideration when determining appropriate discipline. Thus, in the above example, it would be unlawful to discipline the employee who took sick leave if the employer did not also discipline the employee who had just the one unplanned absence.

Relatedly, employers should be sure to document any attendance-related discipline and make clear in that documentation that the discipline is not related to sick-leave-related absences. The best way of doing this is to note the specific dates for which the discipline is being issued. If an employer simply writes that the discipline is for “poor attendance,” and the employee had sick-leave-related absences, it will be difficult for an employer to demonstrate that the discipline for poor attendance did not take into account the absences due to sick leave. If the employer specifies the absences at issue, it can show that it considered only the non-sick-leave absences.

What if an employee is out sick but wants to save paid sick leave for later use?

We often hear of employees with accrued paid sick leave who call out sick but then ask the employer to count the absence as an unpaid day off so that the employee can save the paid sick for use later in the year. Employers should not grant these kinds of requests. First, because the sick-leave law requires employers to pay employees who are absent due to illness (assuming the employee has earned sick leave available), an employer who fails to pay an employee for a sick-leave-related absence violates the law, even if the failure to pay was at the request of the employee.

Second, if the employee saves the paid sick leave for use at a later time, the employer may lose the ability to discipline for excessive absences. The employer can discipline for excessive absences only after an employee has exhausted any available paid sick leave. If the employer allows the employee to save paid sick leave, it will take longer for the employee to exhaust the leave, and the employer will, in effect, be required to accept more absences than it otherwise would have.

The best practice for employers is to require the use of paid sick leave for all sick-leave related absences and then later decide whether it wants to allow unpaid leave once the paid leave is exhausted.

Kimberly A. Klimczuk, Esq. is an employment law attorney with Springfield-based Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.; (413) 737-4753.

Briefcase Departments

Local River Advocates Join
National Trend with EPA Lawsuit
GREENFIELD — Last fall, the Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) joined the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance and eight other watershed groups from across Massachusetts to file suit against the EPA and Administrator Scott Pruitt in Boston’s federal district court. Their request of the court is simple: reject EPA’s one-year delay in implementing Massachusetts’ new stormwater permit because stormwater is one of the greatest threats to clean water in Massachusetts. This lawsuit is part of a growing national trend in suing the EPA in order to protect the environment. The CRC argues that Pruitt and the EPA have been hastily rolling back environmental regulations, but mistakes have been made in their haste and disregard for legal process, such as failing to hold required public comment periods or provide rationale for a repeal or delay. Now, environmental groups across the nation are going to court and using these mistakes to successfully halt environmental rollbacks. For example, the courts have prevented the suspension of rules to curb methane emissions and the delay of tougher standards on air pollutants and lead in paint. River advocates fear the updated stormwater permit could be delayed much longer than one year. “We think the EPA’s legal case is fundamentally flawed,” said Andrew Fisk, executive director of the Connecticut River Conservancy. “Pruitt and the EPA have asked for this delay while permit appeals are being decided, but then in the same breath also asked the court to delay judicial review of the appeals. It is clear that EPA is looking at every maneuver they can find to stop doing the right thing for the public’s water.” The river groups are represented by Kevin Cassidy of Earthrise Law Center and Access to Justice Fellow Irene Freidel. Of particular concern is the public-health issue of harmful bacteria flowing to rivers when it rains. About one in five water samples collected by CRC and partners in 2017 from the Connecticut River and tributaries in Massachusetts showed bacteria levels too high for recreation (swimming and/or boating). “Delaying the implementation of this updated permit puts our rivers and our water at risk, which also put our citizens and local economies that use and rely on our rivers at risk,” Fisk continued. “The EPA is charged with implementing the Clean Water Act for the benefit of the public, yet it did not weigh the public’s interest when it slammed the brakes on the MS4 Permit.” That permit regulates stormwater pollution under the federal Clean Water Act. The current MS4 permit was issued in 2003 and was set to expire on May 1, 2008. Instead, it has been administratively continued and remains in effect. A multi-year, multi-stakeholder process for updating the expired permit began in 2008. In April 2016, the EPA issued the updated MS4 permit after many rounds of public comment. The updated permit was set to go into effect on July 1, 2017 but was abruptly delayed by Pruitt and the EPA just two days before that date. The delay will cause existing stormwater projects to move forward with outdated stormwater controls, forcing costly upgrades in the future rather than the lower-cost option of adding updated controls at the time of construction, river advocates say. The delay also ignores the time and money invested by cities and towns that have already implemented new stormwater protection measures in preparation for the new permit to take effect last July. Stormwater is generated from rain and snowmelt that does not soak into the ground. Instead, it flows over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets and driveways, parking lots, and building rooftops into storm drains. During heavy rains, stormwater can flow directly into rivers. Common pollutants in stormwater runoff include antifreeze, detergents, fertilizers, gasoline, household chemicals, oil and grease, paints, pesticides, harmful bacteria, road salt, trash such as plastics and cigarette butts, ammonia, solvents, and fecal matter from pets, farm animals, and wildlife.

Creative Community Fellows
Accepting New England Applications
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — National Arts Strategies (NAS) announced that applications for the Creative Community Fellows program are now open to those living and working in the New England region. NAS is looking for artists, community organizers, administrators, and entrepreneurs who are driving positive change through arts and culture in their communities. Applications are due Sunday, April 22. Creative Community Fellows brings together a group of 25 creative change makers across New England. Fellows will jump-start the program by living and learning together in Vermont for one week in an incubator-like environment, building their skills in strategy, leadership, and design thinking. Over the course of five months, they will take monthly online courses in topic areas such as community development, finding capital and support, budgeting, and more. Together, they will share updates on their projects and meet with leaders in the field who will serve as mentors. Fellows are curious, open, collaborative, and interested in learning new skills and sharing their expertise. They are already doing this work and looking to create and even greater impact. The Barr Foundation has brought this program to New England in order to support creative leaders in the region. Thanks to its support, participation in this program is completely underwritten. “Arts and creativity can play a vital role in engaging communities to spark positive change. It’s our privilege to partner with National Arts Strategies to network and support the development of New England change agents who are artists and leaders across sectors,” said San San Wong, director of Arts & Creativity at the Barr Foundation.

Massachusetts Adds
13,700 Jobs in February
BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate remained at 3.5% in February, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts added 13,700 jobs in February. Over the month, the private sector added 13,100 jobs as gains occurred in education and health services; construction; trade, transportation, and utilities; professional, scientific, and business services; other services; and financial activities. The jobs level remained unchanged in leisure and hospitality. From February 2017 to February 2018, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 39,100 jobs. The February unemployment rate was six-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.1% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta noted that “2017 was the first time since 2000 in which the monthly unemployment rate remained below 4% for the entire year in the Commonwealth. Our low unemployment rate, coupled with over-the-year job and labor-force gains, all point towards the continued strength of the Massachusetts economy.” The labor force increased by 10,000 from 3,659,600 in January, as 9,500 more residents were employed and 500 more residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased four-tenths of a percentage point from 3.9% in February 2017. The state’s labor-force participation rate — the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks — is up one-tenth of a percentage point at 65.4%. The labor-force participation rate over the year has decreased by two-tenths of a percentage point compared to February 2017. The largest private-sector percentage job gains over the year were in construction; leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and other services. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development also announced that, compared to February 2017, unemployment rates dropped in 22 labor-market areas, increased in one, and remained the same in one labor-market area. Twelve of the 15 areas for which job estimates are published added jobs from February 2017 to February 2018, with the largest percentage gains in the Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury, Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Leominster-Gardner, and Lynn-Saugus-Marblehead areas.

Departments People on the Move
Erin Couture

Erin Couture

Florence Bank named Erin Couture its Community Support Award winner for 2018. The award was established by the bank in 1997 to recognize employees who are active participants in community events and donate their personal and professional time to local not-for-profit organizations. Each year, the award recipient has the opportunity to select a not-for-profit organization of his or her choice, and the bank makes a donation to that organization. At Couture’s recommendation, Florence Bank will make a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, for which Couture serves as president on its advisory board. Couture, vice president of commercial loans and a commercial lender, joined Florence Bank in November 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from UMass Amherst and an MBA from Western New England University. Couture is actively involved with the Northampton Chamber of Commerce as a finance committee member and is also the committee chair at the W.E. Norris School in Southampton. Couture is an award recipient of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty. “Erin is the ideal choice for the Community Support Award,” said John Heaps Jr., president and CEO of Florence Bank. “Her positive energy, commitment to numerous local nonprofit organizations, and dedication to helping those in need within our community is exemplary.”

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Samuel Headley

Samuel Headley

Springfield College has selected Professor Samuel Headley of the School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in the department of Exercise Science as its inaugural recipient of the Karpovich Chair for Wellness at Springfield College. This award honors and supports Headley’s record of scholarship and innovation in exercise science. It is a competitive, three-year, honorary appointment that promotes interdisciplinary research across health-science fields through the testing of ideas and the creation of new initiatives and practices that have the potential to be brought to scale and lead to a sustainable avenue of scholarship that would be competitive for future external funding. The new chair will pursue collaborative and interdisciplinary scholarship in the area of wellness. Graduates from the class of 1954 established an endowment in honor of their 50th reunion to recognize Peter Karpovich, a member of the Springfield College faculty from 1927 until 1969. He was a founder the American College of Sports Medicine and is widely considered the father of exercise physiology in the U.S., having published more than 130 journal articles in the field. A professor of exercise physiology, Headley joined Springfield College in 1992 as an assistant professor, receiving promotion to associate professor in 1997 and to professor in 2003. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a registered clinical exercise physiologist. He has served as a principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous grants and contracts, including a major award from the National Institutes of Health and, most recently, a contract with Relypsa Inc. to examine nutritional, behavioral, pharmaceutical, and counseling interventions with patients suffering from chronic kidney disease. As the first Karpovich Chair awardee, Headley will lead a nationwide team of 12 scholars and researchers to delve into the potential interactions of prebiotic supplementation and moderate aerobic exercise training on critical health concerns of chronic kidney-disease patients, ranging from inflammatory responses that predispose kidney patients to premature death due to cardiovascular disease to psychological markers of health and well-being. “Our group is excited for this opportunity to test our hypotheses because we believe our work has the potential to positively impact upon the lives of patients who have chronic kidney disease,” Headley explained. “The study that we have proposed is the result of the collaborative efforts of members of our research team.” The Karpovich chair comes with a commitment of $40,000 annually over three years to support the project.

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Ariel Rothstein Clemmer

Ariel Rothstein Clemmer

The Hampden County Bar Assoc. (HCBA) announced the hiring of attorney Ariel Rothstein Clemmer as pro bono director. In this newly created role, funded by a grant from MassMutual, Clemmer will help elevate the HCBA Legal Clinic’s operations to better serve the increasing unrepresented population in Hampden County. Clemmer will manage existing pro bono programs, develop new pro bono opportunities, increase volunteer activity, partner with local businesses and organizations on new initiatives, and ensure that pro bono activity under the auspices of the Legal Clinic meets the highest standards of excellence and professionalism. A 2010 graduate of Harvard Law School, Clemmer recently relocated from New York City to the Pioneer Valley. She started her career as a public defender at Bronx Defenders, where she represented indigent clients charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes. She then worked for the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, defending clients against security class actions and other complex financial matters, while continuing to develop her pro bono practice litigating matrimonial, civil, and criminal cases. In 2014, Clemmer was selected by the partners at Weil to participate in a pro bono externship at Legal Services of New York City (LSNYC). She excelled there, which led to her being named one of the “Top 30 Pro Bono Attorneys of 2014” by LSNYC. Immediately prior to accepting her role as pro bono director at HCBA, she worked as a matrimonial and family-law associate with a boutique Manhattan firm, Donohoe Talbert, LLP. She also served as an active member of LSNYC’s Pro Bono Associate Advisory Board. “Ariel had a distinguished career that demonstrates her commitment to public-interest initiatives,” said HCBA President Wm. Travaun Bailey. “In a nutshell, she is just the perfect person for the job, and we are excited to have her.”

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Jessica Wheeler

Jessica Wheeler

Jessica Wheeler recently joined Bulkley Richardson as a litigation associate. Wheeler’s prior experience as a senior associate at a New York firm equipped her with hands-on experience, including assistance with oral arguments, motions to dismiss and for summary judgement, class actions, SEC investigations, testimony preparation, discovery, and trial preparation. She was also part of a team that successfully represented a wrongfully convicted former inmate, leading to a $7.5 million settlement. Wheeler received a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Yale University in 2004 and a juris doctor from New York University School of Law in 2011, where she served as articles editor of the New York University Law Review. She was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow and earned scholarships, including the Dean’s Scholarship, based on academic achievement. While attending law school, Wheeler demonstrated her commitment to the legal community by taking on advocacy roles as an intern at several organizations, including the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech Privacy and Technology Project, and the Urban Justice Center’s Peter Cicchino Youth Project. Prior to law school, she was a paralegal for child-advocacy organization Children’s Rights.

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John Glenn

John Glenn

Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. announced that attorney John Glenn, senior counsel, retired on March 1 after a long and industrious legal career. “Over the years, John’s wisdom, dedication, and friendship have made a lasting impact on every one of us here at Skoler Abbott,” said attorney Timothy Murphy, a partner at the firm. “His work has been invaluable in labor relations with his common sense and problem-solving approach. I speak for our clients as well as our team when I say we deeply appreciate and will miss John and his contributions.” Over a career that spanned nearly 40 years, Glenn specialized in representing management in labor-relations matters. His practice focused on assisting clients in developing positive relationships with their workforces to decrease the likelihood of unionization. He has extensive experience working with employers during union campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, and representing employers at arbitration hearings before the National Labor Relations Board and at state and federal agencies. Prior to joining Skoler, Abbott & Presser, Glenn was employed by the National Labor Relations Board in Cincinnati. He has also served as an adjunct professor of Labor Law at Western New England College School of Law. For many years, he has been included in Best Lawyers in America and has been named a Super Lawyer by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, which recognizes the top 5% of the lawyers in specific practice areas in the Commonwealth. Outside of his legal practice, Glenn often worked with young men recently released from prison to assist them with acquiring life and academic skills to enhance their employment opportunities. He now looks forward to spending more time playing tennis, watching college basketball, and continuing to take challenging biking and hiking trips throughout the country and around the world.

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Nicole Bambury

Nicole Bambury

Tru by Hilton Chicopee Springfield named Nicole Bambury general manager. She will be in charge of directing all aspects of hotel operations, including guest services and satisfaction, hotel administration, and overseeing marketing efforts. Bambury has 13 years of experience in the hospitality industry and was most recently general manager at Days Inn Chicopee, where she oversaw all responsibilities of a 100-room hotel and 30 employees. Her work experience also includes management positions at Hampton Inn by Hilton Chicopee as well as guest service at Hampton Inn by Hilton Bangor in Maine. Tru by Hilton Chicopee Springfield is expected to open this spring. The hotel is owned by Chicopee Hospitality, LLC and managed by BK Investments.

Berkshire Bank announced that Scott Pasquale has returned to Berkshire Bank as first vice president, senior commercial relationship manager. In his new position, Pasquale will be responsible for originating and managing commercial and industrial loans and building client deposit relationships in the Pioneer Valley and Western Mass. region, continuing Berkshire’s momentum. Pasquale brings more than 30 years of experience to his new role, including his previous work with Berkshire in 2013 as part of its commercial-lending team. Most recently, he held the role of first vice president, Commercial Loans at Country Bank, where he held a leadership role managing the Worcester commercial-lending team and portfolio totaling over $250 million, while creating and executing its small-business underwriting policy. “We’re excited to have Scott rejoin the commercial team in the Pioneer Valley. He brings a wealth of lending experience to a very talented group as we continue our momentum and expand our business,” said Jim Hickson, senior vice president, commercial regional president. “Scott will draw upon his industry experience developing and servicing middle-market commercial-lending opportunities and expanding relationships with private banking, wealth management, and insurance products.” Pasquale earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the College of Wooster. Active in the community, he serves as a board member of the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Assoc., a board member of Springfield Technical Community College Foundation, and co-chair of the annual goods-and-services auction for the Western Massachusetts Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

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Maria Teal

Maria Teal

Tony Volpe

Tony Volpe

HUB International New England, LLC, a division of HUB International Limited, recently announced that Maria Teal has joined the agency as an account manager for Personal Lines in the South Hadley office, and Tony Volpe has also come on board as an account executive in the Commercial Lines department. Teal holds her certified insurance service representatives (CISR) and vertified professional in personal lines (CPPL) designations and has been in the insurance industry for 18 years. She will specialize in personal coverages including home, auto, renters, and umbrella insurance. Volpe has more than 17 years of experience and has been recognized as an award-winning account executive. He is an eight-time Presidential Club winner “for distinguished performance in achieving overall production and profitability goals.” He has succeeded in meeting and exceeding company goals and sales profitability, and previously worked at Zurich Insurance, Allstate Insurance, Connecticut Casualty Company, and Insure.net. Volpe holds his property, casualty, life, and accident/health licenses in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island. At HUB, he will specialize in all types of auto-dealership and garage insurance liability products and more, and will focus in the Connecticut area.

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The Insurance Center of New England (ICNE) announced the continued expansion of its Group Benefits team with the addition of Valerie Francis, a 15-year insurance-industry veteran and group-benefits specialist. As account executive at ICNE, Francis will have multiple responsibilities, including helping business clients strategize employee-benefits programs at annual renewal time and throughout the year. “One of my most important roles will be supporting business owners and human-resource managers as they try to manage the costs of their benefits solutions, whether it be for their health, vision, dental, voluntary benefits, group life, or any other benefits solutions,” she said. Additionally, she will be responsible for helping ICNE bring in new business clients, particularly those who are looking for an insurance partner that takes a customized and strategic team approach to benefits planning and renewal negotiations with carriers. In 2003, Francis began her career in insurance at Aetna in Springfield, where she served as a customer-service representative (CSR) trainer in the benefits group and focused on educating her CSRs on how to explain benefits to employees. After seven years as a trainer, she transitioned to the group benefits team at Health New England in Springfield, where she was promoted to a supervisory role and eventually moved into the sales department. By the time she left Health New England to start her career at ICNE, she was supporting more than 600 accounts and employers of all sizes and from a wide variety of industries. “Through my other insurance jobs, I had had the pleasure of working with members of ICNE’s group benefits team, and I was always highly impressed with how they responded to requests and how they demonstrated true care and concern for every single person they came in contact with. I could not be more thrilled about having the opportunity to now work with these talented professionals to help our clients with all of their group-benefits needs.”

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Christine Roukey joined the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley as Marketing and Communications director. She is responsible for member and public communications, including the digital and print brand. Roukey joins the association from the Massachusetts Mutual Financial Group, where she was a sales support consultant for nine years, working closely with the assistant vice president of Recognition & Conferences. She was responsible for the communication and promotion of company annual sales campaigns, including creative, communications, electronic, and printed materials, and distribution of awards and rewards. Previously, she served as director of Communications and Marketing for the Satellite Agency Network Group. Roukey holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and business administration from Granite State College and an associate degree in mass communications from the University of Hartford. She earned the professional certified marketer (PCM) digital marketing designation from the American Marketing Assoc.

Agenda Departments

Women’s Leadership Conference

April 6: Lena Waithe, the actor, producer, and writer who, in 2017, became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy Award for comedy writing, will be interviewed during Bay Path University’s 23rd annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC). The one-day event has become the region’s prime women’s leadership event for professional networking and enrichment. Waithe first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Master of None. She co-wrote the “Thanksgiving” episode, for which she won the Emmy for Best Writing in a Comedy Series. As a writer, she is the creator and executive producer of The Chi, a coming-of-age story that follows six interrelated characters in Chicago’s South Side. As a producer, her credits include the upcoming film Step Sisters. She was also a producer on the Sundance darling Dear White People and Tiffany Johnson’s short film Ladylike, which can be found on YouTube. Delivering the WLC’s morning keynote address will be noted social psychologist Amy Cuddy, who teaches at Harvard Business School and is a New York Times bestselling author. Focusing on the power of nonverbal behavior, prejudice, and stereotyping and how people can affect their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, Cuddy teaches thousands of people how to become more present, influential, and satisfied in their professional and personal lives. Keynote speakers will share their perspectives on this year’s conference theme, “Be Curious,” motivating and inspiring attendees to engage curiosity in their daily lives. Nancy Shendell-Falik, Lisa Tanzer, and Kirk Arnold, regional leaders in the fields of healthcare, retail, and technology, will discuss the obstacles they’ve overcome during a lunchtime panel with a moderator and an opportunity for audience questions. Additionally, breakout sessions will be led by Stephen Brand, executive director of Global Learning & Development, Strategic Alliances at Bay Path; Cy Wakeman, president and founder of Reality-Based Leadership; Dr. Tasha Eurich, organizational psychologist, blogger, and New York Times bestselling author; and Linda Galindo, renowned speaker, author, and educator on organizational and individual accountability. Bay Path University’s Women’s Leadership Conference has garnered more than 22,000 attendees and featured more than 150 prominent speakers throughout its history. For further information on the conference and to register, visit www.baypathconference.com.

Alzheimer’s Benefit Gala

April 7: The Pioneer Valley Friends of Alzheimer’s Assoc. will hold its fourth annual Alzheimer’s Benefit Gala at the Log Cabin in Holyoke starting at 5:30 p.m. The festivities will include live entertainment, food, and raffles. Entertainment will include the Blend, Richie Mitnick and Friends, and Now’s the Time Jazz Sextet. Ashley Kohl will serve as the evening’s host. The event will feature the sale of artwork created by residents of assisted-living and skilled-nursing communities located throughout Western Mass. This part of the program — “Painting the Face on Alzheimer’s” — will include art that was created using the ‘memories method,’ which focuses on the process of creating by encouraging self-expression through art among those facing dementia. This year, Seymour Frankel will receive the Distinguished Fundraiser Award for his fundraising efforts for the last 23 years in support of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. For many years, he has been the largest donor to support the walk. The evening’s proceeds will fund various educational programs for the local Alzheimer’s Assoc. chapter, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and referral services for families who have loved ones with the disease. Tickets are $50 per person or $475 for a table of 10. For online ticket orders, visit www. eventbrite.com. Tickets may also be purchased by contacting Claudette Smart at (413) 636-5462 or [email protected]. Make checks payable to PVFAA (Pioneer Valley Friends of Alzheimer’s Assoc.) at P.O. Box 164, Agawam, MA 01001.

Valley Community Development Celebrates 30 Years

April 12: In honor of its 30-year anniversary, Valley Community Development will hold a celebration at Hadley Farms Meeting House, and Executive Director Joanne Campbell announced that the organization’s $400,000 anniversary fundraising goal has been met, including $32,000 raised from first-time donors to the nonprofit. Campbell said the celebration is one new way to educate community members about the nonprofit’s mission to empower people with low and moderate incomes to manage and improve the quality of their lives through the development of affordable housing, economic opportunity, and small-business development. The event is open to the public and will kick off with a cocktail reception from 6 to 7 p.m. Dinner and the keynote speaker, Charles Blow, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, will follow from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $125 and are available online by visiting valleycdc.com. Blow writes about politics, public opinion, and social justice. He is a CNN commentator and was a Presidential Visiting Professor at Yale University last year. He is also the author of the best-selling memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which tells his story of growing up in the Deep South with a fiercely driven mother and four brothers, and his escape after a trauma. At the celebratory event, Blow will speak on the general theme of social justice. “It will be very timely and appropriate for the work we’re doing right now,” said Campbell. “Valley Community Development is involved in navigating the crisis in housing and serving people with very low incomes. We collaborate with regional and local organizations to work on these local issues.”

‘Protecting Your Assets’

April 18: Springfield Partners for Community Action Inc. will host “Protecting Your Assets Part III” starting at 6 p.m. at Springfield Central Library, 220 State St. The event is in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month and is free and open to the public. Call (413) 263-6500 to reserve a seat. This year’s panelists include Julius Lewis of the Metrocom Group and the Lewis and Marrow Financial Hour, which airs Wednesdays on STCC radio; and attorney Sara Miller, who specializes in elder law and estate planning. New this year is attorney Martin O’Connor, an authority on tax issues and who helps low-income, non-English-speaking taxpayers understand their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers. “I am sure there will be something for everyone, along with great information sharing,” said Paul Bailey, executive director at Springfield Partners.

Caritas Gala

April 21: Plans are underway for Mercy Medical Center’s second annual Caritas Gala at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The gala, with its Motown-inspired theme “Reach Out,” will raise funds to support Mercy Behavioral Health Care and the Mercy Emergency Department’s Opioid Community Outreach for education, intervention, and treatment. Dr. Mohamed and Kimberly Hamdani, along with Paul and Anna Mancinone, are honorary chairpersons for the Caritas Gala. Longtime supporters of Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Hamdani has served as chairman of Surgery, chairman of Credentials, and president of the medical staff at Mercy, and Paul Mancinone serves on the board for Trinity Health Of New England. The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Motor City Magic, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., following by a live auction and dancing until midnight with music from the band Radiance. Preregistration is required by Friday, March 23. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Caritas Gala, visit www.mercycares.com/caritas-gala.

Mayors’ Economic Forum

April 26: “Mayors Meet Millennials” is the title of the 2018 New England Knowledge Corridor Mayors’ Economic Forum at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Conn. The program begins with coffee and conversation from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., followed by the conference program from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Participating mayors include Domenic Sarno (Springfield), Richard Kos (Chicopee), Marcia Leclerc (East Hartford), Erin Stewart (New Britain), and Luke Bronin (Hartford). Registration options and more information will be available soon.

Excel Skill Training

May 14-18: Tech Foundry will offer a four-day Excel skill training the week of May 14-18 (every day but May 16) from 9 a.m. to noon at 1391 Main St., ninth floor, Springfield. Because its first Excel class offered to area companies and their employees was such a success, Tech Foundry is eager to meet the Excel needs of more area employers and their employees. Hundreds of workers in the Pioneer Valley alone use Excel on a daily basis, yet only a small fraction have the training and skill needed to maximize job success and productivity. The class will cover advanced formulas; tables and formatting; conditional formatting; advanced charting; pivot tables and pivot reporting; VBA and macros; using Excel productively; data tables, simulations, and Solver; Excel integration; and optimizing Excel. The cost per student is $750. To register, e-mail [email protected] Employers with fewer than 100 employees are eligible for a 50% tuition reimbursement from Commonwealth Corp.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2018, which will be unveiled in the April 30 issue of BusinessWest. Also, the fourth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. The 40 Under Forty sponsors include PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), Isenberg School of Management, Health New England, the MP Group, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Renew.Calm, and partner YPS of Greater Springfield. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event always sells out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected].

Court Dockets Departments

The following is a compilation of recent lawsuits involving area businesses and organizations. These are strictly allegations that have yet to be proven in a court of law. Readers are advised to contact the parties listed, or the court, for more information concerning the individual claims.

FRANKLIN SUPERIOR COURT

Joanne Gahrmann v. Magic Wings Inc.

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury

Filed: 1/29/18

Margaret Q. Babbitt v. the J.N. Phillips Co., LLC d/b/a JN Phillips Auto Glass, et al

Allegation: Negligence; plaintiff was exposed to and inhaled glass dust and fragments left in car after windshield replacement, causing injury: $2,781.22

Filed: 2/15/18

HAMPDEN DISTRICT COURT

Miguel Lopez v. Seniority Social Adult Day Care Inc. and Susan A. Shapiro

Allegation: Negligent maintenance of property; slip and fall causing injury: $5,523

Filed: 2/12/18

Breckwood Realty, LLC v. One Rate Wireless, LLC, DIGICOMMA Inc., and DIGICOMCT Inc.

Allegation: Breach of lease agreement: $11,123.81

Filed: 3/2/18

HAMPDEN SUPERIOR COURT

Pride Convenience Inc. v. Fletcher Donuts, LLC

Allegation: Breach of contract: $25,000+

Filed: 2/20/18

Julianne Dandy v. The Skin & Body Boudoir, LLC

Allegation: Negligence causing injury; breach of implied and express warranties: $154,489.80

Filed: 2/21/18

John P. Rydzak Sr. v. B.E. Donuts d/b/a Dunkin’ Donuts

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $60,520

Filed: 2/22/18

Ronald Jackson v. Way Finders Inc.

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $11,500

Filed: 2/23/18

Elena Ocasio v. Marino Realty Corp. and E and J’s Landscaping Service, LLC

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $100,000

Filed: 2/26/18

Lisandra Virella, personal representative of the estate of Emmanuel Virella v. Kimberly Rutherford, M.D. and Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons of Western New England, LLC

Allegation: Medical malpractice: $25,000+

Filed: 2/26/18

Matthew Brennan v. Pioneer Valley Condominium Assoc.

Allegation: Negligence, breach of implied warranty of habitability; slip and fall causing injury: $51,920.11

Filed: 2/27/18

Donna Bourget v. Tri State CDL Training

Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $34,325.18

Filed: 3/6/18

HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT COURT

Interland Real Estate, LLC v. Urban Power USA Inc. and Mark Maynard

Allegation: Unpaid rent, use, and occupancy; damages to property: $22,471.04

Filed: 2/21/18

Charles Hopkins v. Jones Group Realtors; Gerald Jones, broker; and Micki Anderson, agent

Allegation: Breach of fiduciary duty of confidentiality; defendents negligently maintained personal and confidential information, allowing unknown others to defraud plaintiff: $15,000

Filed: 3/2/18

HAMPSHIRE SUPERIOR COURT

Brenda Liimatainen v. Nancy A. Balin, M.D.

Allegation: Medical malpractice: $75,000

Filed: 2/22/18

Denise Wickland v. Kristen Kelly, M.D.

Allegation: Medical malpractice: $30,000

Filed: 2/27/18

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — MGM Springfield announced it has added 75 new postings representing more than 1,000 jobs to the resort’s website. There are about 2,400 open positions for hire today at MGM Springfield. This is the largest employment posting by the new resort, and one of the single largest hiring efforts in Springfield history. MGM Springfield will employ 3,000 employees when the $960 million luxury resort opens later this year in downtown Springfield.

The expanded list includes job descriptions for new career opportunities not previously posted by the resort. Most of the new opportunities are in the food and beverage area, including cooks and servers. The entire list now includes a diverse array of jobs, including locksmiths, electronics technicians, carpenters, and painters. Many postings represent positions not traditionally associated with the casino industry, ranging from human resources and retail management to conference services. A full list of jobs and detailed descriptions is available at www.mgmspringfield.com/careers.

“Opportunities at an MGM resort are endless,” MGM Springfield President and COO Michael Mathis said. “We know Western Massachusetts has been waiting patiently for the chance to pursue these careers. The time is now. We look forward to meeting many passionate, enthusiastic people interested in bringing MGM Springfield to life.”

Since it announced its desire to develop in Springfield in 2012, MGM has partnered with more than 25 local community organizations to offer workforce training and educational opportunities to prepare the workforce. These efforts included sponsoring the Holyoke Community College Culinary Arts Center, training table-games dealers at the Massachusetts Casino Career Training Institute, developing a hospitality pre-apprenticeship program with Cambridge College, and holding information sessions and career readiness workshops throughout the region.

While all MGM Springfield employees will undergo some level of background check, recent regulation updates allow greater eligibility for applicants interested in many of these newly posted positions.

Massachusetts Gaming Law requires that employees working in certain casino job categories be registered or licensed by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) before they can begin work. Once hired, employees who must register will be directed to MGM Springfield’s Career Center, where MGC staff will be available to assist with the employee-licensing process.

In February, the MGC updated regulations to eliminate the registration requirement for certain service positions. This update removed the automatic hiring disqualification for past indiscretions, thus allowing more individuals opportunity to apply for careers such as front-desk representative, cook, kitchen steward, sous chef, and banquet manager.

The resort will invest, directly and indirectly, approximately $100 million in annual payroll and offer a comprehensive package of pay and benefits with average salaries of more than $40,000. The majority of jobs will be full-time positions with benefits. MGM Springfield established a goal to hire 35% of its workforce from the city of Springfield and 90% from a combination of Springfield and the region.

For additional information about the available career opportunities at MGM Springfield, go online or visit MGM Springfield’s Career Center located at 1259 East Columbus Ave., third floor. The Career Center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and 1 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During those hours, an MGM representative may be reached at (413) 273-5052.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Nicholas Grimaldi has become a partner at Fierst, Kane & Bloomberg, LLP, while Peter Lane has been named of counsel in the law firm.

Grimaldi joined the firm in 2014 and has more than 18 years of experience as a lawyer. His practice will continue to focus on representing individuals, businesses, and financial institutions in corporate transactions, real estate and secured lending, entertainment and interactive media law, creditor’s rights, and commercial matters. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the Boston University School of Law.

Lane has 10 years of experience representing individuals and businesses in civil and criminal litigation, including commercial litigation, landlord-tenant law, criminal defense, and civil rights. He is a graduate of Fordham University and Brooklyn Law School.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Hampden County Bar Assoc. (HCBA) announced the hiring of attorney Ariel Rothstein Clemmer as pro bono director.

In this newly created role, funded by a grant from MassMutual, Clemmer will help elevate the HCBA Legal Clinic’s operations to better serve the increasing unrepresented population in Hampden County. Clemmer will manage existing pro bono programs, develop new pro bono opportunities, increase volunteer activity, partner with local businesses and organizations on new initiatives, and ensure that pro bono activity under the auspices of the Legal Clinic meets the highest standards of excellence and professionalism.

A 2010 graduate of Harvard Law School, Clemmer recently relocated from New York City to the Pioneer Valley. She started her career as a public defender at Bronx Defenders, where she represented indigent clients charged with misdemeanor and felony crimes. She then worked for the firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, defending clients against security class actions and other complex financial matters, while continuing to develop her pro bono practice litigating matrimonial, civil, and criminal cases.

In 2014, Clemmer was selected by the partners at Weil to participate in a pro bono externship at Legal Services of New York City (LSNYC). She excelled there, which led to her being named one of the “Top 30 Pro Bono Attorneys of 2014” by LSNYC. Immediately prior to accepting her role as pro bono director at HCBA, she worked as a matrimonial and family-law associate with a boutique Manhattan firm, Donohoe Talbert, LLP. She also served as an active member of LSNYC’s Pro Bono Associate Advisory Board.

“Ariel had a distinguished career that demonstrates her commitment to public-interest initiatives,” said HCBA President Wm. Travaun Bailey. “In a nutshell, she is just the perfect person for the job, and we are excited to have her.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. announced that attorney John Glenn, senior counsel, retired on March 1 after a long and industrious legal career.

“Over the years, John’s wisdom, dedication, and friendship have made a lasting impact on every one of us here at Skoler Abbott,” said attorney Timothy Murphy, a partner at the firm. “His work has been invaluable in labor relations with his common sense and problem-solving approach. I speak for our clients as well as our team when I say we deeply appreciate and will miss John and his contributions.”

Over a career that spanned nearly 40 years, Glenn specialized in representing management in labor-relations matters. His practice focused on assisting clients in developing positive relationships with their workforces to decrease the likelihood of unionization. He has extensive experience working with employers during union campaigns, negotiating collective bargaining agreements, and representing employers at arbitration hearings before the National Labor Relations Board and at state and federal agencies.

Prior to joining Skoler, Abbott & Presser, Glenn was employed by the National Labor Relations Board in Cincinnati. He has also served as an adjunct professor of Labor Law at Western New England College School of Law. For many years, he has been included in Best Lawyers in America and has been named a Super Lawyer by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, which recognizes the top 5% of the lawyers in specific practice areas in the Commonwealth.

Outside of his legal practice, Glenn often worked with young men recently released from prison to assist them with acquiring life and academic skills to enhance their employment opportunities. He now looks forward to spending more time playing tennis, watching college basketball, and continuing to take challenging biking and hiking trips throughout the country and around the world.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Jessica Wheeler recently joined Bulkley Richardson as a litigation associate.

Wheeler’s prior experience as a senior associate at a New York firm equipped her with hands-on experience, including assistance with oral arguments, motions to dismiss and for summary judgement, class actions, SEC investigations, testimony preparation, discovery, and trial preparation. She was also part of a team that successfully represented a wrongfully convicted former inmate, leading to a $7.5 million settlement.

Wheeler received a bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Yale University in 2004 and a juris doctor from New York University School of Law in 2011, where she served as articles editor of the New York University Law Review. She was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow and earned scholarships, including the Dean’s Scholarship, based on academic achievement.

While attending law school, Wheeler demonstrated her commitment to the legal community by taking on advocacy roles as an intern at several organizations, including the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech Privacy and Technology Project, and the Urban Justice Center’s Peter Cicchino Youth Project. Prior to law school, she was a paralegal for child-advocacy organization Children’s Rights.

Community Spotlight Features

Community Spotlight

Green Thumb Industries will soon begin operating a marijuana-cultivation operation in this mill building at 28 Appleton St. And it will likely be the first of several such operations in Holyoke.

Green Thumb Industries will soon begin operating a marijuana-cultivation operation in this mill building at 28 Appleton St. And it will likely be the first of several such operations in Holyoke.

Marcos Marrero says that if one were to have a machine running an optimization algorithm that would weigh a host of quantitative and qualitative factors to ultimately determine the very best spot in the region — and maybe the country — to locate a marijuana cultivation and distribution facility, it would, when done with its analysis, likely spit out two words: Holyoke and Massachusetts.

And that second word is necessary, he went on, because there is, in fact, a Holyoke in Colorado, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, and he’s already been asked more than a few times if he works for that small town of 5,000 people near the center of the Centennial State.

He doesn’t. He’s director of Planning and Economic Development for the other Holyoke, the one on the Connecticut River. The one heralded as one of the first planned industrial cities in the country. The one where Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries (TGI) is set to open an estimated $10 million marijuana-cultivation facility in former mill space on Appleton Street this spring.

And Marrero is fielding a lot of phone calls and e-mails these days from other people wanting to know more about that Holyoke, and marijuana cultivation is usually the reason (more on those inquiries later).

First, back to that algorithm. As noted, it would weigh a host of quantitative factors, said Marrero, and they all project strongly in Holyoke’s favor. These range from the roughly 1.5 million square feet of available, attractively priced mill space within the city, much of it ideal for marijuana cultivation because of the mills’ open spaces and high ceilings, to the lowest electricity rates in the state (this is a power-intensive business), to Holyoke’s location along I-91 and just off the Turnpike.

“You can ship it east, and you can ship it north,” said Marrero, adding quickly that there also qualitative factors to consider.

Or at least one big one, anyway. That would be the city’s welcoming attitude toward an industry that most communities in the Bay State are throwing stop signs and speed bumps in front of.

“Many cities and towns are taking out the pitchforks to prevent the cannabis industry from coming in,” said Holyoke’s mayor, Alex Morse. “Given my outspoken support for the industry, we’re seeing companies from across the country come into Holyoke to meet with us and my team about locations and learn more about our special-permit process. It’s been company after company that’s been looking to invest.”

But this cannabis phenomenon, if you will, is just part of the story. And it’s only one of the ways in which the city is succeeding with filling some its legendary and mostly idle or underused mills.

There are many others, starting with the Holyoke Community College MGM Culinary Arts Institute, which opened in the Cubit building (anther of those old mills) in January. There are also the market-rate apartments in the floors above that facility, and a host of other housing initiatives as well.

There are also arts-related facilities, such as Gateway City Arts on Race Street. And then, there are a growing number of startups, mentored by groups like SPARK, that are also moving into those mills.

All this, or most all of it (the marijuana law was passed in 2016), was part of Morse’s vision when he became mayor in 2012, and also why he’s still mayor today, having been re-elected to a four-year term (the city’s first) last fall. Back when he first ran for office, he explained, he saw enormous potential for the city to become home to a wide array of businesses and to become an attractive residential address as well after decades when it clearly wasn’t.

The formula called for a host of public investments — they’ve come in many forms, from a new canal walk to a new train depot to a slew of road projects — that would in turn encourage private investments (such as the Cubit building and GTI, for example). There would also be a focus on building the cultural economy, encouraging entrepreneurship, and maximizing Holyoke’s many geographic and historical assets.

In short, it’s all coming together nicely, as we’ll see in this, the latest installment of BusinessWest’s Community Spotlight series.

Joint Ventures

When asked to put all that aforementioned interest in Holyoke on the part of cannabis enterprises, or would-be cannabis enterprises, into perspective, Marrero let out a deep breath.

“The last couple of weeks have been … crazy,” he told BusinessWest. “There’s been lots of meetings and phone calls. Some of them are companies that are just shopping around and don’t necessarily know everything about Holyoke, but they may be looking in the Western Mass. corridor. But they’ve heard about us and want to know more.”

And it’s been crazy for a reason, actually several of them, as noted at the top.

“We believe we have the best competitive advantages for the industry at this time,” Marrero explained, “from the real estate to the low-cost electricity — those lights are on a lot — to the water. Holyoke has a lot of offer these businesses.

“And in Mayor Morse, you have the first mayor to come out and quite vocally support legalizing marijuana, recreationally and medically, and that certainly makes a difference,” he went on, adding that the city had one of the first ordinances in the state regulating, but also, and in many ways, welcoming the industry.

“So there’s some political stability — there’s a willingness and a desire to have this industry here,” Marrero continued, adding that all this caught the attention of GTI, which is now permitted to operate a facility on 42,000 square feet of former mill space at 28 Appleton St.

The company plans to hire about 100 people within the next year, said Morse, adding that, while not all of these are skilled positions, per se, these will be attractive positions with wages averaging $15 or more.

“When GTI held its first job fair last fall, there were more than 700 people in the room,” he recalled. “And that sends a strong message to other elected leaders in this city and also the community that people are looking for jobs, they’re willing to get trained, and they want to work.”

The Cubit building, home to apartments and the Holyoke Community College MGM Culinary Arts Institute, is just one example of how Holyoke’s historic mills are being put to new and productive uses.

The Cubit building, home to apartments and the Holyoke Community College MGM Culinary Arts Institute, is just one example of how Holyoke’s historic mills are being put to new and productive uses.

Meanwhile, there are many other entities looking to join GTI, said Marrero, adding that there are at least six businesses expressing what he called “serious” interest and moving toward the permitting stage, and perhaps a dozen more that are kicking the tires and filling Marrero’s voice mailbox.

How many will eventually land in Holyoke obviously remains to be seen, but Marrero and Morse both believe the cannabis sector could soon employ hundreds in the Paper City and bring additional benefits as well in the form of supporting businesses that will also pay taxes and employ area residents.

“Once you have a clustering effect of any industry, you have a subsequent clustering effect of any industry that supports that sector, and that could benefit not only Holyoke but surrounding communities,” Marrero explained. “If we had 10 cannabis-growing companies, not only would that translate into a large amount of jobs, tax revenue, and more, but then those 10 companies are going to be demanding services from pipe fitters, electricians, those who maintain HVAC systems, transportation and logistics companies, security companies, etc.; you have a second tier of expertise that is developed in the economy to support them.”

This is what has happened in Colorado (he’s not sure about the community of Holyoke) and other states where marijuana has been legalized, he went on, adding that the Holyoke in Massachusetts has the opportunity to learn from the mistakes made by others before it, and there have been some.

Run of the Mills

While the cannabis industry starts to fill in that section of the canvas that is a changing Holyoke, other businesses are finding the city as well, and the vision that Morse put in place at the start of this decade is coming into focus.

That vision involved embracing the city’s industrial past as a paper and textile hub, but also recognizing that this was in the past and that the community had to develop new sources of jobs and tax revenue while also revitalizing a downtown that had seen much better days.

The strategy for doing all that, as noted earlier, is multi-faceted.

“We’ve been pursuing an innovation-based economic-development strategy and coupling that with a public-investment strategy,” the mayor explained. “We’ve made a number of investments that have made the city a more attractive place for private investment and incentivising developers to come in; they’ve recognized that the city is making investments in itself to make it a more liveable, walkable community, especially in the downtown, and they’re responded to that.”

There’s been a housing strategy as part of that broader plan, he went on, adding that housing is obviously key to attracting businesses and the people who would work for them.

The goal is to create a dense, diverse inventory of housing, Morse went on, adding that the city is making strides in this regard with market-rate projects such as the Cubit building, mixed-use projects such such as a Wynn Development initiative at the former Farr Alpaca Mills on Appleton Street, and public housing efforts such as the ongoing, 167-unit Lyman Terrace project.

As for those public investments, they have come in many forms, including the canal walk and train station, but also a number of parks and neighborhoods. The effect has been to make the city a more attractive option for businesses, but also families, said the mayor.

“We’re not of the philosophy that one big corporate giant is going to arrive in Holyoke and solve all our problems — we have a much more long-term view of sustainable economic development,” he explained. “We’re focused on the innovation economy, but also entrepreneurship and small-business development, through initiatives such as SPARK.”

There have been more than 80 ‘graduates’ of that program of mentoring and education, run by the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, he went on, adding that some of them are either incubating in Holyoke or have already moved into their own space within the city.

Holyoke at a glance

Year Incorporated: 1786
Population: 40.280
Area: 22.8 square miles
County: Hampden
Residential Tax Rate: $19.17
Commercial Tax Rate: $39.72
Median Household Income: $36,608
Median Family Income: $41,194
Type of Government: Mayor, City Council
Largest Employers: Holyoke Medical Center, Holyoke Community College, ISO New England Inc., PeoplesBank, Universal Plastics, Marox Corp.
* Latest information available

Meanwhile, there are other forms of progress to note across the city, said Morse, listing everything from a rising high-school graduation rate — it was under 50% when he took office, and now it’s closer to 70% — to falling unemployment; from planned revitalization of the former Lynch School just off I-91 (an RFP was recently issued) to needed evolution at the Holyoke Mall.

The mall is one of the city’s important assets, he noted, adding that it brings thousands of people into the city every day. With the retail sector struggling in the wake of emerging forces like Amazon, and malls fighting to keep their spaces filled, the facility in Holyoke is responding with family-oriented tenants that are keeping the parking lots crowded, said the mayor.

“We’ve seen the mall make a number of investments in recent years and add more entertainment options,” he explained. “These include new restaurants, an escape-room place, and a new Cinemark theater that will be coming in.”

As for the graduation rate and improvement at the public schools overall, this is an important ingredient in the overall strategy for Holyoke’s revitalization, said the mayor.

And with continued progress in mind, the city will launch a new high-school model this fall, one based on four different academies focused on career readiness to create more pathways for students.

Planting Seeds

As he talked about cannabis — and everything else going on in Holyoke — Morse joked that Holyoke might soon run out of mill space to offer developers.

When told about that line, Marrero laughed, paused for a second, and said simply, “I hope so — that would be great.”

That’s not likely to happen any time soon, if ever. But that number of available square feet in the mills that gave Holyoke its nickname and its heritage keeps going down.

And cannabis is just one of the reasons. Many of the same character traits that are attracting marijuana growers — from the mills to the highways to a business-friendly City Hall — are attracting other types of businesses as well.

As noted, Morse couldn’t exactly have foreseen the cannabis industry being one of his city’s leading employers when he took office. But he could foresee a time when his staff and the office of Planning and Economic Development would be flooded with calls from people interested in maybe setting up shop in Holyoke.

And not the one in Colorado.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Modern Office Sections

Playing by the Rules

John Gannon

John Gannon says putting a policy in writing isn’t enough — an employer then needs to follow it — but it’s a first step in showing a company takes workplace law and ethics seriously.

Most companies, especially larger ones, have employee handbooks that detail everything from vacation time to reasons for termination. Yet, too many are content to draft a handbook and shelve it for years, never reviewing it for changes in the regulatory landscape or confusing or contradictory language. In the ever-changing world of employment law, those are mistakes that can prove costly in more ways than one.

An employee handbook isn’t a contract, nor is it a legally binding document. But in a legal proceeding, it helps to have one.

Take, for instance, the case of an employee suing a company for allowing a culture of sexual harassment — a particularly timely example.

“In court, the first thing the judge will ask is to see the company’s policy,” said John Gannon, partner with Skoler, Abbott & Presser. “If your response is ‘we don’t have one,’ that suggests the employer doesn’t care about harassment and discrimination in the workplace. And that’s really getting off on the wrong foot in the event you’re sued for harassment or discrimination.”

The #MeToo revolution has certainly sent HR departments scrambling to make sure their policies on that issue are up-to-date, clear, and enforced. But if they’re smart, said the attorneys BusinessWest spoke with, they’re also regularly reviewing all sorts of policies that govern workplace rules and expectations — from disciplinary procedures to time off — and, hopefully, including them in an employee handbook.

“Every company that has employees should have a handbook,” said Daniel Carr, an associate with Royal, P.C. in Northampton. “But we use the term ‘handbook’ loosely; there’s no requirement that they have to be bound in a single document. It could mean whatever collection of policies you have, as long as it’s applied to all employees.”

Even if the employee signs a statement that he has read and understands the handbook, that doesn’t create contractual rights, Carr explained, noting that Massachusetts is, after all, an at-will state when it comes to hiring and firing, and an employee can be terminated for any reason that is not explicitly illegal, such as discrimination.

“I can’t tell you how many cases we’ve seen where the employee claims his termination was a violation of his contract. When asked, ‘what contract?’ they argue the employee handbook is a contract. It’s not.”

Gannon agreed. “One of the nice thigns about a handbook is that you can reaffirm the principle that everyone is an at-will employee,” he explained. “That’s why it’s really important, if you’re going to have a handbook, it should make it clear this is not a binding contract, your employment is at-will, and we can change the terms of the handbook and your employment relationship at any time with or without notice.”

So, if it’s not a contract, what is a handbook, and why should employers have one — and take it seriously?

“A handbook is a collection of policies, an ever-living document that can be changed at any time by an employer with or without notice,” said Mary Kennedy, partner with Bulkley Richardson in Springfield. “The purpose of a handbook is to give information to employees about expectations at work.”

Employers use the policies in an employee handbook as a sort of roadmap to both the treatment of employees and, conversely, expectations for their behavior. They protect themselves from lawsuits, such as harassment claims, wrongful termination claims, and discrimination claims. Employee handbooks generally contain a code of conduct for employees that sets guidelines around appropriate behavior for the individual workplace.

Mary Kennedy says the first goal of a handbook is to lay out clear expectations for workplace behavior.

Mary Kennedy says the first goal of a handbook is to lay out clear expectations for workplace behavior.

Under Massachusetts law, for companies with at least six employees, part of that collection of expectations must be policies reflecting the state’s own guidelines governing sexual harassment, accommodations for pregnant workers, sick leave, and other issues — many of which have changed recently.

Other contents should typically include policies governing discipline, rules of behavior, when and how to take time off, sick-time guidelines, how much vacation and personal time employees get, when they are paid, and what health benefits are available and how to access them.

The contents of any handbook vary from industry to industry, Gannon noted. For instance, the time an employee clocks in may be more important on the manufacturing floor than in an office setting, while safety guidelines for construction workers will be different than those for accountants.

“It’s an inexact science, and obviously no handbook is foolproof, and you can’t account for every possible contingency,” Carr said. “There may be at times you have to deviate from it. Certainly, you don’t want to be hemming yourself in to something you can live up to. As an employer in an at-will state, you have the right to set the policies. The handbook is more about setting expectations than setting hard and fast rules.”

Law and Order

The benefits of having a handbook fall into two buckets, Gannon said: The legal obligations governed by state and federal employment law, and basic HR practices that aren’t necessarily required by the law.

For the latter, written policies must make it clear to the employee what the employer’s expectations are.

“If you do need to discipline an employee, if you need to write them up or suspend them, you never want an employee to turn around and say, ‘wait a minute, I didn’t know I was going to get written up if I was absent more than three times in a month.’ Or, ‘I didn’t know it was a violation of your company policy to raise my voice at a meeting’ — whatever the case may be. A handbook sets expectations.”

It also provides guidelines to managers so they can treat employees fairly and consistently, he added. If the policy is clear, it can be applied to everyone across the board. If not, one supervisor may write someone up for a violation, while another supervisor doesn’t. That leads to inconsistency and, sometimes, hot water in court.

“Inconsistent application of your rules can lead to a lot of legal problems if the employee challenges the reason for his or her reason for separation from employment,” Gannon said, adding that the actual enforcement of the rules is more important than what a handbook says, “but if you don’t have, at minimum, a written policy, you have a big risk of inconsistent enforcement of your work rules.”

Kennedy said having clear policies in the handbook is the first step when defending a claim of wrongful termination in court.

“If you have a no-show policy where, after three violations, the employee is terminated, and it’s in writing and the employee was told it applies to all employees, and the employer can show it was uniformly applied to all employees, then the employer has a better shot at defending itself.

“For example, if a bank teller continually makes mistakes on the line and keeps coming up short, that’s certainly not beneficial for the employer,” she explained, so a written policy outlining the consequences of coming up short multiple times would be reasonable. “Whereas, if the bank said, ‘we don’t like people with red hair,’ well, that’s different.”

Supervisors and managers, Gannon said, typically appreciate a hard-and-fast policy because it’s something they can fall back on. He recalls one client whose employee showed up to work intoxicated, and at first, his supervisor didn’t know what to do. “Fortunately, they had a policy that made it clear, if you detect someone is under the influence, this is what you should do. It helped the supervisor navigate what his options were. Without that, they’re left wondering what to do.”

Communicating the policy to employees is just as important, Kennedy said, whether it’s a physical document passed out, with the employee signing an acknowledgement of receipt, or an electronic document distributed through the company intranet, or, for a larger business, explaining new policies in a meeting and making a list of who attended. “You certainly want to give it out when onboarding people, and then when there are any changes in policy.”

Even progressive discipline can be altered if the employer can prove the action is reasonable, Carr said — again, going back to the at-will concept. “If the handbook says a first violation is a verbal warning, the second is a written warning, third is probation, and fourth is termination, you have the right to revise that if someone commits a terminable offense the first time out.”

Trouble Spots

With all the protections a handbook may provide, Gannon said, some pitfalls do exist. One is trying to put everything in a handbook.

“The more words you have in the handbook, the less likely an employee is going to read it all,” he noted. “Sometimes I’ll see one that’s 120 pages long. I’m not sure any handbook needs to be that long.”

A smarter option, he said, is to include a short, two-paragraph summary of each policy, directing the employers to ask a particular person, maybe someone in human resources, if they need a more detailed explanation.

“Another mistake is not getting it reviewed enough,” he added. “It’s great to have a handbook — most employers do — but sometimes they get stale. You don’t want to have a policy that’s outdated, or you don’t want a handbook that misstates the law, because there are often changes in the law.”

For example, on April 1, Massachusetts employers will be required to have a policy that adheres to the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. “You need to review your handbook — it doesn’t necessarily have to be annually, but I would say every two or three years — just to make sure you’re not missing anything and there haven’t been changes in the law that would require rewording a policy.”

In a union shop, Kennedy said, employers want to make sure the handbook gels with the collective bargaining agreement, but even in a non-union shop, certain written policies may run into conflict with rulings from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). A few years ago, several companies made news by terminating workers for complaining about their job on social media — and took their cases to court, where they won.

“Social media has become the equivalent of the so-called water cooler,” Carr said, noting that the NLRB has long protected the rights of employees to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment, even in a public forum. However, the composition of the board has changed under President Trump and may be less willing to side with employees in all such matters.

“A few years ago, handbook provisions that restricted employees’ right to discuss terms and conditions of employment were considered overbroad — that was all the rage for awhile,” Gannon said. “New administration has scaled some of that back. With all the ebbs and flows in the world of employment law, you need to make sure the handbook stays up to date with those changes.”

Kennedy agreed. “Employment law changes on a regular basis, so handbook policies should be reviewed on a regular basis, to make sure they contain up-to-date language.”

Still, amid all the talk of violations and firings, Gannon said, the greatest value of a handbook is in its power to prevent some of those incidents in the first place.

“If an employee knows what can potentially lead to discipline, I think the employee is less likely to engage in that behavior,” he told BusinessWest. “That’s one of the really nice things about a handbook — it sets out what your expectations are. The goal of discipline is not to create a path that justifies termination. The goal of discipline is to correct behavior so that somebody can stay with the company for a long time and be a valued contributor to the group.”

To that end, he continued, “if you do need to discipline, it’s easier to explain why when you can point to handbook and say, ‘look, this is company policy, and you violated it. Sorry, but I have to write you up.’”

Turn the Page

That said, a handbook also helps with a company’s defense is they are sued, Gannon noted.

“If an employee claims they were fired because of a protected characteristic, it’s the employer’s burden to demonstrate to a judge or jury that, no, this is the real reason this person was fired. It’s nice to be able to point to a policy in a handbook that makes it clear this is why the employer took a particular action, that it wasn’t an arbitrary decision one supervisor just came up with. The company considered this particular issue, went to the extent of drafting a handbook putting this policy in place and having the employee sign off on it, and there’s an expectation the policy is going to be followed.”

Carr, who told BusinessWest he has drafted or reviewed “many, many handbooks,” emphasized, however, that a good policy holds up in court only if the employer actually enforces that policy uniformly and consistently.

“Otherwise, it’s just empty rhetoric. Sexual harassment is a perfect example, and a timely one,” he said.

Elaborating, he said virtually every company has an anti-sexual-harassment policy, and one of the tenets of sexual-harassment law is the question of whether an employer knew about, or should have known about, the alleged violations. “If the employee can show the employer was not diligent about enforcing their own policies, it creates the impression they dropped the ball and should have known.”

It’s a lesson many companies continue to learn the hard way.

Simply put, Kennedy said, “what’s bad about having a handbook is if you don’t follow it.”

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Briefcase Departments

Employer Confidence
Strengthens in February

BOSTON — Massachusetts employer confidence strengthened during February as optimism about long-term economic growth outweighed a volatile month in the financial markets. The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Business Confidence Index rose 0.4 points to 64.5, setting another 17-year high. The Index has gained 2.4 points during the past 12 months as confidence levels have remained comfortably within the optimistic range. Enthusiasm about the U.S. and Massachusetts economies, along with a bullish outlook on the part of manufacturers, fueled the February increase. At the same time, hiring remained a red flag as the BCI Employment Index fell 4 points between February 2017 and February 2018. Almost 90% of employers who responded to the February confidence survey indicated that the inability to find skilled employees is either a modest, large, or huge problem. “Fourteen percent of respondents said finding employees represents a huge problem that is hampering their company’s growth. One-third of employers see employee recruitment as a big problem, while 29% see it as a modest issue,” said Raymond Torto, chair of AIM’s Board of Economic Advisors (BEA) and lecturer at Harvard Graduate School of Design. “For the short-term, however, the state and national economies remain strong, and the recent announcement by Amazon of a major expansion in Boston indicates that the trend should continue.” The survey was taken before President Donald Trump roiled the financial markets by pledging to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The AIM Index, based on a survey of Massachusetts employers, has appeared monthly since July 1991. It is calculated on a 100-point scale, with 50 as neutral; a reading above 50 is positive, while below 50 is negative. The Index reached its historic high of 68.5 on two occasions in 1997-98, and its all-time low of 33.3 in February 2009. It has remained above 50 since October 2013. The constituent indicators that make up the overall Business Confidence Index were mixed during February. The most significant gains came in the Manufacturing Index, which surged 3.9 points to 66.2, and the U.S. Index, which rose 2.1 points for the month to 66.9 and 8.0 points for the year. The Massachusetts Index fell 0.4 points to 68.5, but was up 5.3 points for the year and still higher than the national outlook for the 96th consecutive month. The Current Index, which assesses overall business conditions at the time of the survey, rose 2.4 points to 64.1. The Future Index, measuring expectations for six months out, declined 1.6 points to 65. The Current Index has risen 4.2 points and the Future Index 0.6 points during the past 12 months. The Company Index, reflecting employer views of their own operations and prospects, was essentially flat, gaining 0.1 points to 62.4. The Employment Index also rose 0.1 points, to 56.4, versus 60.4 in February 2017. Manufacturing companies (66.2) were more optimistic than non-manufacturers (61.9). Large employers (69.8) were more bullish than medium-sized (62.0) or small businesses (62.7).

Single-family Home Sales
in Pioneer Valley Up in January

SPRINGFIELD — Single-family home sales rose by 17.2% in the Pioneer Valley in January compared to the same time last year, while the median price rose 1.0% to $197,000, according to the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. In Franklin County, sales were up 27.0%, while the median price fell 2.1% from a year earlier. In Hampden County, sales were up 26.2%, while the median price was up 8.8%. In Hampshire County, sales fell by 5.6% from January 2017, while the median price was up 1.2%.

Advertising Club Seeks
Nominations for Pynchon Award

SPRINGFIELD — The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts is seeking nominations from throughout Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties for the Pynchon Award, which recognizes citizens of the region who have rendered distinguished service to the community. The Order of William Pynchon was established by the Advertising Club in 1915 to recognize and encourage individuals whose lives and achievements typified the ideals of promoting citizenship and the building of a better community in Western Mass. Past recipients include war heroes, social activists, teachers, volunteers, philanthropists, historians, clergy, physicians, journalists, public servants, and business leaders — a diverse group, each with a passion for the region and a selfless streak. A complete list of recipients since 1915 can be found at www.adclubwm.org/events/pynchonaward. To nominate an individual, submit a one-page letter explaining why the nominee should be considered. Include biographical information, outstanding accomplishments, examples of service to the community, organizations he or she is or has been active in, and the names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses of at least three people who can further attest to the nominee’s eligibility for induction into the Order of William Pynchon. All nominees will be considered and researched by the Pynchon Trustees, comprised of the current and five past presidents of the Advertising Club. Nominations must be submitted by Friday, March 30 to: William Pynchon Trustees, Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts, P.O. Box 1022, West Springfield, MA 01090 or by e-mail to [email protected] Pynchon medalists are chosen by unanimous decision of the Pynchon Trustees. 2018 recipients will be announced in June 2018, with an awards ceremony scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.

Unemployment Rate Holds
at 3.5% in Massachusetts

BOSTON — The state’s total unemployment rate remained at 3.5% in January, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development announced. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ preliminary job estimates indicate Massachusetts lost 6,100 jobs in January. Over the month, the private sector lost 4,200 jobs; although gains occurred in professional, scientific, and business services; information; and other services. From January 2017 to January 2018, BLS estimates Massachusetts has added 29,000 jobs. The January unemployment rate was six-tenths of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.1% reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Massachusetts continues to experience a low unemployment rate and labor force expansions,” Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta said. “While the overall health of our economy remains strong, and 2017 marked the eighth consecutive year of job growth, persistent skills gaps remain. That is why our workforce-development partners remain committed to ensuring that those who are still unemployed or underemployed have access to the training resources they need to access high-demand jobs.” The labor force increased by 2,200 from 3,657,300 in December, as 3,900 more residents were employed and 1,700 fewer residents were unemployed over the month. Over the year, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased four-tenths of a percentage point from 3.9% in January 2017. The state’s labor-force participation rate — the total number of residents 16 or older who worked or were unemployed and actively sought work in the last four weeks — remained at 65.3%. The labor force participation rate over the year has decreased by 0.2% compared to January 2017. The largest private-sector percentage job gains over the year were in construction; leisure and hospitality; professional, scientific, and business services; and other services.

Hampden County Bar Assoc.
Offers Two Law-school Scholarships

SPRINGFIELD — The Hampden County Bar Assoc. is now accepting applications for the John F. Moriarty Scholarship and the Colonel Archer B. Battista Veterans Scholarship. The John F. Moriarty Scholarship is available to any Hampden County resident who has been admitted to or is attending a certified law school for the 2018-19 academic year. Applicants must have been residents of Hampden County for at least five years. The application deadline is May 25. The Colonel Archer B. Battista Veterans Scholarship is available to any veteran with an honorable discharge or a current member of the U.S. military who has been admitted to or is attending a certified law school in New England for the 2018-19 year. The application deadline is May 15, 2018. Both scholarships are based on merit and financial need. Both applications and additional information are available by contacting the Caitlin Glenn at the Hampden County Bar Assoc. at (413) 732-4660 or [email protected], or by visiting www.hcbar.org/news/scholarships.

Chamber Corners Departments

1BERKSHIRE
www.1berkshire.com
(413) 499-1600

• March 21: Chamber Nite, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Lee Bank, 75 North St., Pittsfield. Bring your business card to enter to win our door prize. Register online at www.1berkshire.com.

• March 28: Career Fair, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., hosted by Berkshire Community College, Paterson Field House, 1350 West St., Pittsfield. Get in front of Berkshire-based businesses at this annual event. Connect with employers looking to hire. You may also choose to exhibit, and recruit new employees, grow your business, and get in front of hundreds of job seekers. The event is free and open to the public. If you are interested in exhibiting or attending, visit www.1berkshire.com.

• April 18: Good News Business Salute, 7:30-9 a.m., hosted by Berkshire Hills Country Club, 500 Benedict Road, Pittsfield. Join us for our morning breakfast, where we will honor members and announce the winner of this year’s Esther Quinn Award. Cost: $35-$45. Register online at www.1berkshire.com.

• April 26: Creative Resources Conference, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., hosted by Stationery Factory, 63 Flansburg Ave., Dalton. The format has three tracts, with a total of nine workshops for creatives, entrepreneurs, and small businesses. More information to come. Register online at www.1berkshire.com.

AMHERST AREA
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.amherstarea.com
(413) 253-0700

• April 26: Margarita Madness, 5:30-7:30 p.m., hosted by Lord Jeffery Inn, 30 Boltwood Ave., Amherst. Come taste margaritas and vote for your favorite. There will also be delicious dishes from participating restaurants and dozens of great raffle prizes. Cost: $30 pre-registered, $40 at the door. Register online at www.amherstarea.com.

FRANKLIN COUNTY
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.franklincc.org
(413) 773-5463

• April 20: Monthly Breakfast Series, 7:30-9 a.m., hosted by Greenfield High School, 21 Barr Ave., Greenfield. Full breakfast will be served during the program, which will feature an Entrepreneur of the Year panel. Sponsored by Franklin County Community Development Corp. and the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board. Cost: $13 for members; $16 for non-members. Register at franklincc.org or by e-mailing [email protected]

• April 26: Business After Hours, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center, 289 Main St., Greenfield. Networking event with special guest Sue Dahling Sullivan from Massachusetts ArtWeek. Come kick off the debut of ArtWeek in Western Mass. Refreshments and cash bar will be available. Cost: $10. Register at franklincc.org or by e-mailing [email protected]

GREATER CHICOPEE
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.chicopeechamber.org
(413) 594-2101

• March 21: St. Patrick’s Day Salute Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by the Delaney House, 1 Country Club Road, Holyoke. Chief greeter: John Beaulieu, city of Chicopee and St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. Keynote speaker: Sean Cahillane, Irish Cultural Center. Sarah the Fiddler will perform. Sponsored by United Personnel, Westfield Bank, Holyoke Medical Center, Polish National Credit Union, Gaudreau Group, Sunshine Village, Spherion Staffing Services, and PeoplesBank. Cost: $23 for members, $28 for non-members. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

• April 3: Chamber Seminar: “Pay Equity,” presented by Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast, 9-11 a.m, hosted by La Quinta Inn & Suites. Sponsored by Westfield Bank. Cost: $20 for members, $25 for non-members. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

• April 11: Multi-chamber Table Top Expo: “A Taste of Commerce,” 4:30-7 p.m., hosted by Bartley Center at Holyoke Community College. Table fee of $150 includes table, two entrance passes, a light supper, and parking. Admission: free with pre-registration only, $15 at the door. Sign up at chicopeechamber.org/events.

• April 19: Business After Hours: A Salute to the ’70s Disco Party, 4:30-6:30 p.m., hosted by Ohana School of Performing Arts. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

• April 24: B2B Speed Networking, 8-9 a.m., hosted by Chicopee Boys and Girls Club. For more information, visit chicopeechamber.org/events.

• April 25: Salute Breakfast at the Moose Family Center: “Easy, Cost-neutral Sustainability for Businesses,” 7:15-9 a.m. Chief Greeter: Phil Norman, CISA. Keynote: Center for EcoTechnology. Sponsored by United Personnel, Westfield Bank, Holyoke Medical Center, Polish National Credit Union, Gaudreau Group, Sunshine Village, Spherion Staffing Services, and PeoplesBank. Cost: $23 for members, $28 for non-members. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.easthamptonchamber.org
(413) 527-9414

• March 27: “Strength-based Leadership” featuring Colleen DelVecchio, certified Clifton Strengths Coach. The second of a two-part series (see Feb. 27 listing above). For more information, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber office at (413) 527-9414.

• April 4: Networking by Night, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Suite3 in the Mill 180 Building, 180 Pleasant St., Easthampton. Sponsored by Suite3. Take your connection building to the next level when we partner with the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce on this Networking by Night event. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for future members. For more information, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber office at (413) 527-9414.

• April 11: Multi-chamber Table Top Expo: “A Taste of Commerce,” 4:30-7 p.m., hosted by Bartley Center at Holyoke Community College. Friends and colleagues can come together for new networking opportunities and new features such as Made in Mass., Minute Clinic, and Food for Thought. Admission: free with online registration, $15 at the door. Table space is still available. For more information, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber office at (413) 527-9414.

GREATER HOLYOKE
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.holyokechamber.com
(413) 534-3376

• March 21: Chamber After Hours, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Slainte Restaurant, 80 Jarvis Ave., Holyoke. Sponsored by Expert Staffing. Meet up with your business associates for networking and food. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Sign up online at holyokechamber.com. Call the chamber at (413) 534-3376 if you would like to bring a door prize or if you’re interested in a marketing table for $25.

• April 4: Women in Leadership Series, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., hosted by HCC Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race St., Holyoke. Join us April through July to learn from area CEOs while networking with your peers from the region. An elegant lunch prepared by students from the Holyoke Community College Culinary Arts program will provide the setting, which will create the opportunity for a meaningful dialogue on some key leadership issues for those building their careers. Each month your table will join one of the region’s leading CEOs.

• April 11: Multi-chamber Table Top Expo: “A Taste of Commerce,” 4:30-7 p.m., hosted by Bartley Center at Holyoke Community College. Presented by the Greater Holyoke, Greater Chicopee, Greater Easthampton, Greater Northampton, South Hadley/Granby, and Quaboag Hills chambers of commerce. Vendor tables cost $150. Admission: no charge with advance registration, $15 at the door. This event sells out. Call (413) 534-3376 or your local chamber to reserve a table.

• April 18: Chamber After Hours, 5-7 p.m., sponsored and hosted by Fairfield Inn & Suites, 229 Whiting Farms Road, Holyoke. Meet up with your friends and business associates for a little networking. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Feel free to bring a door prize. Sign up online at holyokechamber.com.

• April 20: Economic Development Breakfast, 7:30-9 a.m., hosted by Holyoke Community College, Kittredge Center, PeoplesBank Conference Room. Learn from EMPATH about how to break the cycle of poverty and utilize the bridge to self-sufficiency theory to approach economic mobility. EMPATH helps low-income people achieve long-term economic mobility, and has developed a holistic approach to mentoring backed by the latest brain science that busts through silos and combats chronic stress. Event emcees are Mary Coleman, EMPATH; Dr. Christina Royal, Holyoke Community College; and Kathleen Anderson, Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce. Cost: $25 for members, $30 for non-members and walk-in guests.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.explorenorthampton.com
(413) 584-1900

• April 4: April Arrive @ 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Suite3 in the Mill 180 Building, 180 Pleasant St., Easthampton. Sponsored by Applied Mortgage, H&R Block, and MassDevelopment. A networking event. Cost: $10 for members.

• April 11: Protecting Your Data from Security Risks, 9-11 a.m., hosted by Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Presented by Pioneer Training. CyberSafe is a two-hour workshop for non-technical users that focuses on using technology without compromising personal or organizational security. Students will learn the skills they need to protect digital data on computers, networks, mobile devices, and the Internet. They will learn how to identify many of the common risks involved in using technology, such as phishing, spoofing, malware, and social engineering, and then learn how to protect themselves and their organizations from those risks. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members. To register, visit goo.gl/forms/pX8YUuC25YdMsLjD2.

• April 11: Multi-chamber Table Top Expo: “A Taste of Commerce,” 4:30-7 p.m., hosted by Bartley Center at Holyoke Community College. A networking event. Cost: $150 for a table for members, $225 for a table for non-members, $10 walk-in fee for members.

GREATER WESTFIELD
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.westfieldbiz.org
(413) 568-1618

• April 2: April Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m., hosted by the Arbors, 40 Court St., Westfield. Join us for our monthly Mayor’s Coffee Hour with Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan. Event is free and open to the public. Register online at www.westfieldbiz.org so we may give our host a proper count. For more information, call Pam at the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

• April 11: WE2BA High School Career Fair, 7:45-11:30 a.m., hosted by Westfield State University at the Woodward Center, 395 Western Ave., Westfield. Don’t miss the chance to help shape our future through workforce development in our community. Join us to help inspire Westfield High School and Westfield Technical Academy students with career exploration. More than 400 students will be in attendance. We are looking for 75 vendors to participate. The vendor tables are free. Register online at www.westfieldbiz.org. For more information, call Pam at the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

• April 11: April After 5 Connection, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Betts Plumbing & Heating Supply Inc., 14 Coleman Ave., Westfield. Refreshments will be served. A 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Cost: free for members, $10 for non-members (cash or credit paid at the door). Register online at www.westfieldbiz.org. For more information, call Pam at the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

• April 24: Home & Business Community Marketplace & Tabletop Event, 4:30-7 p.m., hosted by the Ranch Golf Club, 65 Sunnyside Road, Southwick. An opportunity to market and sell your products and services to area residents and businesses. Sip and shop your way through the marketplace with a beer and wine tasting, live music, and a chance to vote for your favorite nosh at the food court. Cost: $50 for vendor rental space (table not included; bring your own, six feet or less with tablecloth), $75 for vendor table (includes six-foot table; bring your own tablecloth). Attendance is free to the public. For more information, contact Southwick Economic Development at (413) 304-6100.

SOUTH HADLEY & GRANBY
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.shgchamber.com
(413) 532-6451

• March 28: Educational Breakfast: “Tax Law Changes for Businesses,” 7:30-9 a.m., hosted by South Hadley Public Library, 2 Canal St., South Hadley. This presentation by Thomas Foley, a experienced CPA who specializes in business taxes, will present the new tax-law changes that will impact businesses of every size beginning this year. There will be a light breakfast. This event is free of charge and open to the community. For further information and to register, visit www.shgchamber.com or call the chamber office at (413) 532-6451.

• April 11: Multi-chamber Table Top Expo: “A Taste of Commerce,” 4:30-7 p.m., hosted by Bartley Center at Holyoke Community College. This business networking and marketing event, now in its 24th year, will provide business professionals and entrepreneurs an opportunity to promote their businesses — to “strut their stuff.” Tables are available for $150. Admission is free if you pre-register with the chamber or $15 at the door. Whether you plan to be a participating vendor or want to simply attend, go to www.shgchamber.com for more information or to register, or call (413) 532-6451.

• April 19: Business After 5, 4:30-6:30 p.m., hosted by Ohana School of Performing Arts, 470 Newton St., South Hadley. Sponsored by Berkshire Hills Music Academy. This Everything 70’s Disco Party is a networking event for members and friends of the chamber. We are joining with the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce on this event, so there will be many new business colleagues to meet and greet over the three floors of studio space. The event will feature music, food, beverages, and dancing. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. For further information and to register, visit www.shgchamber.com or call the chamber office at (413) 532-6451.

• April 22: Mohegan Sun bus trip, 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Proceeds support the chamber’s scholarship fund and its two community Councils on Aging. There are bonuses on food and other pluses included in the cost. Bus departs from and returns to the former Big Y parking lot at 501 Newton St. Cost: $35. For further information and to register, visit www.shgchamber.com or call the chamber office at (413) 532-6451.

• April 24: An Educational Breakfast: “Cybersecurity: What We All Need to Know,” 7:30-9 a.m., hosted by PeoplesBank and Loomis Village, 20 Bayon St., South Hadley. We will learn how cybersecurity impacts our own lives, both personally and professionally. The presentation will be led by Joseph Zazzaro, senior vice president, Information Technology, and David Thibault, first vice president, Commercial Banking at PeoplesBank. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. For further information and to register, visit www.shgchamber.com or call the chamber office at (413) 532-6451.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER
www.springfieldregionalchamber.com
(413) 787-1555

• March 20: C-Suite Conversations & Cocktails, 5-7 p.m., hosted by CityStage, One Columbus Center, Springfield. Members-only event featuring MGM President Mike Mathis. Cost: $25. For reservations, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

• March 29: Speed Networking, 3:30-5 p.m., location to be determined. Cost: $20 for members in advance ($25 at the door), $30 general admission in advance ($35 at the door). For reservations, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.ourwrc.com
(413) 426-3880

• April 4: Wicked Wednesday, 5-7 p.m., hosted by CHD Cancer House of Hope, West Springfield. Wicked Wednesdays are monthly social events, hosted by various businesses and restaurants, that bring members and non-members together to network in a laid-back atmosphere. For more information about this event, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880, or register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

• April 12: Networking Lunch, noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Lattitude, West Springfield. Must be a member or guest of a member to attend. Enjoy a sit-down lunch while networking with fellow chamber members. Each attendee will get a chance to offer a brief sales pitch. The only cost to attend is the cost of lunch. Attendees will order off the menu and pay separately that day. We cannot invoice you for these events. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

• April 26: Coffee with Agawam Mayor Sapelli, 8:30-10 a.m., hosted by Agawam Senior Center Coffee Shop, 954 Main St., Agawam. Join us for a cup of coffee and a town update from Mayor Bill Sapelli. Questions and answers will immediately follow. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880 or [email protected]

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY
OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD
springfieldyps.com

• April 19: YPS Third Thursday: “Career Development & Networking,” 5-7 p.m., hosted by Lattitude Restaurant, 1338 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Cost: free for YPS members, $10 for non-members.

Court Dockets Departments

The following is a compilation of recent lawsuits involving area businesses and organizations. These are strictly allegations that have yet to be proven in a court of law. Readers are advised to contact the parties listed, or the court, for more information concerning the individual claims.

FRANKLIN SUPERIOR COURT
Andrew Starkweather and Catherine Westcott v. Circle B Inc. d/b/a Circle B Barn Co.
Allegation: Construction dispute: $25,000+
Filed: 1/8/18

Clifford W. Oakes v. Town of Monroe
Allegation: Violation of overtime statute, breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing: $40,000+
Filed: 1/24/18

HAMPDEN DISTRICT COURT
Gail Sanders v. DC Property Management, LLC
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $24,000
Filed: 2/8/18

Best Tile Distributors of New England Inc. v. Allen & Burke Construction, LLC and John Burke
Allegation: Money owed for goods sold and delivered: $10,339.96
Filed: 2/12/18

Kenneth Malone v. Dunkin’ Donuts
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $8,500
Filed: 2/13/18

HAMPDEN SUPERIOR COURT
Susan O’Connor v. David Ott, PA; Antone B. Cruz III, MD; and Riverbend Medical Group Inc.
Allegation: Medical malpractice: $82,500
Filed: 2/5/18

Kathleen Schussler v. Home Depot USA Inc.
Allegation: Slip and fall causing injury: $10,868.71
Filed: 2/5/18

Kenneth Hoff v. EP Floors Corp. and Robert Long
Allegation: Misclassification as independent contractor, non-payment of wages, non-payment of overtime wages, failure to maintain proper payroll records, and breach of contract: $25,000
Filed: 2/5/18

Emiddio Botta v. T.J. Welch Inc.
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: 106,388.17
Filed: 2/6/18

Jennifer Mauro v. Pride Stores, LLC
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $118,104.46
Filed: 2/13/18

Teresa Cruz v. Baystate Health Inc.
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $18,936.88
Filed: 2/14/18

J-K-M Construction Corp. v. Saltmarsh Industries Inc. and JAAN Development Corp.
Allegation: Breach of contract and unjust enrichment: $38,385.60
Filed: 2/15/18

HAMPSHIRE DISTRICT COURT
Sera Davidow v. the Transformation Center Inc.
Allegation: Misclassification as independent contractor, non-payment of overtime, violation of payment of wages law, and unjust enrichment: $8,000
Filed: 2/13/18

Marilyn Patton v. Bertucci’s Restaurant Corp.
Allegation: Negligence, breach of warranty, unfair and deceptive acts; injury caused by biting into dinner roll: $7,869
Filed: 2/15/18

HAMPSHIRE SUPERIOR COURT
Mary Ingram v. Grill N Chill
Allegation: Negligence; slip and fall causing injury: $463,500.26
Filed: 2/12/18

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Partners for Community Action Inc. will host “Protecting Your Assets Part III” on Wednesday, April 18 starting at 6 p.m. at Springfield Central Library, 220 State St. The event is in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month and is free and open to the public. Call (413) 263-6500 to reserve a seat.

This year’s panelists include Julius Lewis of the Metrocom Group and the Lewis and Marrow Financial Hour, which airs Wednesdays on STCC radio; and attorney Sara Miller, who specializes in elder law and estate planning. New this year is attorney Martin O’Connor, an authority on tax issues and who helps low-income, non-English-speaking taxpayers understand their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers.

“We have another great panel this year with Julius returning for the third year along with attorneys Miller and O’Connor,” said Paul Bailey, executive director at Springfield Partners. “I am sure there will be something for everyone, along with great information sharing. I encourage the community to come out.”

Added Synthia Scott-Mitchell, director of Community Services, “those of us that are in the Baby Boomer generation and looking toward retirement if not already retired, this is for you. Also, as many of us become caregivers for our parents, this is for you.”

Daily News

GREENFIELD — Last fall, the Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC) joined the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance and eight other watershed groups from across Massachusetts to file suit against the EPA and Administrator Scott Pruitt in Boston’s federal district court. Their request of the court is simple: reject EPA’s one-year delay in implementing Massachusetts’ new stormwater permit because stormwater is one of the greatest threats to clean water in Massachusetts.

This lawsuit is part of a growing national trend in suing the EPA in order to protect the environment. The CRC argues that Pruitt and the EPA have been hastily rolling back environmental regulations, but mistakes have been made in their haste and disregard for legal process, such as failing to hold required public comment periods or provide rationale for a repeal or delay. Now, environmental groups across the nation are going to court and using these mistakes to successfully halt environmental rollbacks. For example, the courts have prevented the suspension of rules to curb methane emissions and the delay of tougher standards on air pollutants and lead in paint.

River advocates fear the updated stormwater permit could be delayed much longer than one year. “We think the EPA’s legal case is fundamentally flawed,” said Andrew Fisk, executive director of the Connecticut River Conservancy. “Pruitt and the EPA have asked for this delay while permit appeals are being decided, but then in the same breath also asked the court to delay judicial review of the appeals. It is clear that EPA is looking at every maneuver they can find to stop doing the right thing for the public’s water.”

The river groups are represented by Kevin Cassidy of Earthrise Law Center and Access to Justice Fellow Irene Freidel.

Of particular concern is the public-health issue of harmful bacteria flowing to rivers when it rains. About one in five water samples collected by CRC and partners in 2017 from the Connecticut River and tributaries in Massachusetts showed bacteria levels too high for recreation (swimming and/or boating).

“Delaying the implementation of this updated permit puts our rivers and our water at risk, which also put our citizens and local economies that use and rely on our rivers at risk,” Fisk continued. “The EPA is charged with implementing the Clean Water Act for the benefit of the public, yet it did not weigh the public’s interest when it slammed the brakes on the MS4 Permit.”

That permit regulates stormwater pollution under the federal Clean Water Act. The current MS4 permit was issued in 2003 and was set to expire on May 1, 2008. Instead, it has been administratively continued and remains in effect. A multi-year, multi-stakeholder process for updating the expired permit began in 2008. In April 2016, the EPA issued the updated MS4 permit after many rounds of public comment. The updated permit was set to go into effect on July 1, 2017 but was abruptly delayed by Pruitt and the EPA just two days before that date.

The delay will cause existing stormwater projects to move forward with outdated stormwater controls, forcing costly upgrades in the future rather than the lower-cost option of adding updated controls at the time of construction, river advocates say. The delay also ignores the time and money invested by cities and towns that have already implemented new stormwater protection measures in preparation for the new permit to take effect last July.

Stormwater is generated from rain and snowmelt that does not soak into the ground. Instead, it flows over land or impervious surfaces, such as paved streets and driveways, parking lots, and building rooftops into storm drains. During heavy rains, stormwater can flow directly into rivers. Common pollutants in stormwater runoff include antifreeze, detergents, fertilizers, gasoline, household chemicals, oil and grease, paints, pesticides, harmful bacteria, road salt, trash such as plastics and cigarette butts, ammonia, solvents, and fecal matter from pets, farm animals, and wildlife.

Banking and Financial Services Sections

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

By Sean Wandrei

Sean Wandrei

Sean Wandrei

In December 2017, Congress passed H.R.1, better known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The act is the largest overhaul of the tax code since 1986. As with any new legislation, there are opportunities and pitfalls that one needs to be aware of when trying to take advantage of the new rules and avoid unwanted situations.

There are still many questions related to the act that the IRS will need to issue guidance on. There is a lot to unpack here, so let’s take a look at some items that businesses and individuals should be aware of.

The act reduces the corporate tax rate to a flat tax rate of 21%. This means the first dollar of taxable income is taxed at a 21% rate. This reduction could cause many owners of non-taxpaying entities (e.g. partnerships, limited liability companies, and S-corporations, also known as pass-through entities) to consider switching to a taxpaying entity (i.e. C-corporation). The maximum tax rate that the income of a pass-through entity could be taxed at is 37%.

Business owners could decide that their business should convert from a pass-through entity to a C-corporation based on this. While the reduction of the tax rate sounds great, there could be some issues that could increase the overall tax due if the entity is a C-corporation. If the owner(s) want to take money out of the C-corporation in the form of dividends, it will have to pay taxes on the dividends from the C-corporation at a maximum rate of 23.8% (20% tax on the dividend plus 3.8% net investment-income tax).

This is known as double taxation, which impacts only C-corporations and not pass-through entities. This could reduce or eliminate the overall tax savings of converting the entity to a C-corporation.

While taxes paid are usually a major factor on entity selection, there are some non-tax items to consider. Owners of C-corporations can receive tax-free employee benefits that pass-through entities are not entitled to. Another tax-savings option that was available prior to the act is the exclusions of the gain on the sale of qualified small-business stock (QSBS) under Code Section 1202. This provision was amended in 2010, allowing QSBS acquired after Sept. 27, 2010 to be eligible to exclude the total gain on the sale.  There are a few rules that have to be met to allow for the 100% exclusion. Section 1202 is available only for C-corporations. This means that, when the owner decides to sell his or her stock, the gain from the sale of that stock would be tax-free. The reduced tax rate and non-tax benefits could make C-corporations more attractive to some.

C-corporations are not the only business entities that received a tax break from the act. Pass-through entities are able to take a deduction of 20% on the qualified business income (QBI) earned from the business. Individuals who are sole proprietor and file a Schedule C and individuals with rental activity reported on Schedule E also qualify for this deduction.

On the surface, this deduction seems to be straightforward, but there is a lot to this deduction. Not all businesses qualify, and the deduction could be limited. QBI can be thought of as ordinary income from the business. The catch is that the deduction is limited to the lesser of 20% of QBI or 50% of the total W-2 wages paid by the business. So wages need to be paid to be able to take this deduction.

The 50% of W-2 wages does not apply if the owner’s taxable income is below $315,000 for married filing jointly (MFJ) and $157,500 for other taxpayers. This deduction may not be available to a specified service trade or business (SSTB). A SSTB is a business involving service in many fields, including law, accounting, consulting, and financial services. Engineers and architects were excluded from the definition of SSTB in a last-minute change. If the owner’s taxable income is below $315,000 for MFJ and $157,500 for other taxpayers, the SSTB limitation does not apply.  

The planning that comes into play for this deduction is based on the entity type. QBI does not include reasonable compensation paid by an S-corporation to the owner(s). Similarly, QBI does not include amounts paid as guaranteed payments by a partnership to the owner(s).

Based on this, if the pass-through entity is an S-corporation, reasonable wages are going to be deducted from the QBI, which will reduce QBI and the deduction. A partnership and sole proprietor are not required to take guaranteed payments, so the QBI could be larger for a partnership than an S-corporation based on this. If the taxable income is below the limits mentioned above, the 50% of W-2 wages option does not come into play, and the larger deduction will be had by the partnership and sole proprietor.

If the 50% of W-2 wages comes into play, then the S-corporation will have to pay W-2 wages, and the partnership will have to pay guaranteed payments to owners or wages to non-owners to be able to take this deduction. With this in mind, the owner’s taxable income will need to be monitored.

For individuals, the elimination of exemptions and the doubling of the standard deduction will cause more taxpayers to take the standard deduction instead of itemizing. It is said that only 10% of the population will itemize in 2018 compared to 30% in 2017. If you fall into the 10% of people who itemize, you may have heard that one of the biggest deductions, state and local taxes, is limited to $10,000 per return.

This is the case if you are single or filing as MFJ; the deduction is limited to $10,000. The marriage penalty is back. If the MFJ couple was not married and filed as single taxpayers, then they each would be able to deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes.

In the past, the interest from a home-equity loan was deductible. The proceeds from the home-equity loan could have been used for anything. Now the interest from a home-equity loan is no longer deductible unless it is used to buy, build, or substantially improve the taxpayer’s home that secures the loan. Prior to the act, employees were able to deduct unreimbursed business expenses related to their job. This is no longer the case.

As you can see, the act has provided many new things to consider when it comes to taxes. Now, more than ever, your CPA will be counted on to help with tax planning.

Sean Wandrei is a lecturer in Taxation at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. He also practices at a local CPA firm; [email protected]

Banking and Financial Services Sections

Entertaining Thoughts

By Carolyn Bourgoin, CPA

Carolyn Bourgoin

Carolyn Bourgoin

For many businesses, corporate entertainment has long been a means of building relationships with referral sources, vendors, and strategic partners as well as providing networking opportunities for physicians and practice managers to meet new referral sources and industry influencers and to build a presence in the marketplace.

The recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) has eliminated most deductions for business-entertainment expenses paid or incurred after Dec. 31, 2017. Drawing the line between the portion of an entertainment activity that is business-related versus for pleasure has long been an area of contention between the IRS and taxpayers. Though the TCJA did eliminate most business-entertainment expenses, certain expenditures, mainly those benefiting employees, did survive the tax cut.

Taxpayers need to understand what expenses survived the repeal so that they can properly segregate the deductible costs.

Expenditures Paid or Incurred Prior to 12/31/17

Prior to the TCJA, entertainment expenses and the use of entertainment facilities were deductible only if the taxpayer could establish that the costs were either directly related to a taxpayer’s trade or business or associated with the active conduct of a trade or business for which a substantial and bona fide business discussion occurred either directly before or after the event. In addition to meeting the ‘directly related to or associated with’ test, entertainment-expense deductions had to satisfy strict substantiation requirements, including details on the amount of the expense, the time and place of the entertainment, the business purpose, and the business relationship with the persons entertained. The term ‘entertainment’ includes activities at country clubs, nightclubs, sporting events, cocktail lounges, and theaters. Though not defined by regulations, business-entertainment expenses are to be further reduced by amounts considered “lavish or extravagant.”

Additional cost limitations apply to skybox rentals, sports tickets purchased for more than face value, and attendance at foreign conventions. Country-club dues were (and still are) nondeductible.

Business entertainment expenses that had escaped limitation at this point were then generally limited to 50% of the expense, unless they fell under one of several exceptions, including certain entertainment expenses included as compensation to the recipient and social or recreational entertainment provided primarily for the benefit of employees who were not highly compensated. These business-entertainment expenditures were fully deductible and survived the TCJA repeal and will be addressed later in this article.

Entertainment Expenditures Paid or Incurred After Dec. 31, 2017

Pursuant to the TCJA, expenses related to entertainment, amusement, or recreation that are directly related to or associated with the active conduct of the taxpayers’ trade or business are no longer deductible. As a result, a tax deduction will not be allowed for the following items incurred after Dec. 31, 2017:

• Expenses incurred for the use of entertainment facilities, such as the lease of skyboxes, are no longer deductible. However, businesses should review their lease agreements to see if there may be a component included in the rental price for advertising. This portion of the rental cost would be fully deductible as advertising if properly documented and reclassified;

• Expenses related to the entertainment of a client or prospect at a sporting event, theater, concert, or similar type venue (unless included in a 1099 as a prize) are not deductible under the new rules;

• Expenses for attending charitable sporting events, such as a golf tournament, where the entire net proceeds go to charity, will not be deductible to the extent of the cost of the golf or other goods or services provided. Until further guidance is issued, it is unclear whether the meals offered at an entertainment event are still 50% deductible. To the extent the ticket price exceeds the goods and services received, the taxpayer will be entitled to a charitable deduction; and

• As was the case prior to the tax-reform act, dues paid to any social, athletic, or sporting club or organization are non-deductible expenses.

Business-entertainment Expenses Still Allowed

As discussed previously, there are nine categories of entertainment-related expenditures that were not eliminated by the TCJA, as follows:

• Expenses for recreational, social, or similar activities (including related facilities) offered primarily for the benefit of employees other than highly compensated employees are fully deductible. A holiday party or annual picnic are examples;

• Expenses directly related to bona fide business meetings of stockholders, employees, agents, or directors are allowed. Examples of such expenditures would be refreshments offered to employees at a meeting where they are being instructed in a new business procedure. Food and beverages served at these meetings would be subject to the 50% limitation;

• Expenses directly related and necessary to attendance at a business meeting or convention held by a business league, chamber of commerce, real-estate board, or board of trade are deductible. Meals at these meetings would be subject to the 50% limitation;

• Expenses for services, goods, and facilities made available by the taxpayer to the general public, such as during a promotional campaign, are deductible;

• Expenses for food and beverages furnished on the taxpayer’s business premises primarily for the taxpayer’s employees (i.e. more than half), are deductible. The cost of meals provided for the convenience of the employer, such as when employees must be available throughout a mealtime, are only 50% deductible as of Jan. 1, 2018. Prior to the TCJA, these meals were 100% deductible. In addition, meals provided at an employer’s on-site dining facility are subject to the 50% limitation until Jan. 1, 2026, when meals for the convenience of the employer as well as the meals and cost of operating an on-site dining facility are no longer deductible;

• Entertainment expenses that are treated as compensation to employees, by including the costs in employee wages for income-tax-withholding purposes, are deductible;

• Expenses for entertainment-related goods or services, to the extent they are includible in the gross income of the recipient as compensation for services rendered or as a prize or award, are allowed. The recipient in this case would not be an employee of the taxpayer and must be issued a 1099 to the extent the goods or services received exceed $600;

• Expenses for goods or services (including the use of facilities) which are sold by the taxpayer in a bona fide transaction for adequate and full consideration in money or money’s worth are deductible. An example of this would be the cost of meals sold by a restaurant, and

• Expenses incurred by a professional firm for actual meal expenses that are charged back and reimbursed by a client, where the meals are separately stated in the invoice, are deductible.

De minimis fringe benefits, which are benefits that are so small as to make accounting for them unreasonable, such as coffee, soft drinks, and donuts offered to employees, remain fully deductible through the tax year 2025. In addition, meals associated with the active conduct of the taxpayer’s trade or business are still allowed, subject to the 50% limitation. Until further guidance is issued, it is unclear whether meals purchased at a business-entertainment event, such as after a round of golf or attending a ballgame, are a non-deductible entertainment expense or if they meet the business-related tests and are still deductible subject to the 50% meals limitation.

Classifying sporting tickets provided to clients as business gifts does not provide much relief, as the tax deduction is limited to $25 per item.

Bottom Line

Due to the recent changes in the tax law, it is important for taxpayers to consult with their tax advisors and develop an understanding of the business meals and entertainment expenses that remain deductible and develop a strategy to track them. It would be wise to set up separate accounts based on whether they are 100%, 50% or nondeductible.

Amounts paid to attend entertainment events should be analyzed to see if there are advertising or charitable components to the cost that can be reclassified as fully deductible. Consideration could be given to issuing 1099s to clients or prospects being provided with free tickets to events to make the cost deductible as prizes. Though the TCJA was not favorable to taxpayers that incur business-entertainment expenses, there are still some expenses in this area that remain deductible.

Carolyn Bourgoin, CPA is a senior tax manager with the Holyoke-based public accounting firm Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; (413) 322-3483; [email protected]

Departments Real Estate

The following real estate transactions (latest available) were compiled by Banker & Tradesman and are published as they were received. Only transactions exceeding $115,000 are listed. Buyer and seller fields contain only the first name listed on the deed.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

ASHFIELD

70 Buckland Road
Ashfield, MA 01330
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Sandra McArthur RET
Seller: Priscilla L. Phelps
Date: 02/01/18

515 Main St.
Ashfield, MA 01330
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: Helen I. Hall LT
Seller: Walter D. Zalenski
Date: 01/31/18

Steady Lane
Ashfield, MA 01330
Amount: $170,000
Buyer: Joshua H. Porter
Seller: Norbert J. Salz
Date: 01/31/18

BERNARDSTON

51 Bald Mountain Road
Bernardston, MA 01337
Amount: $168,000
Buyer: Thomas A. Anderson
Seller: David W. Hastings
Date: 01/31/18

126 Northfield Road
Bernardston, MA 01337
Amount: $153,000
Buyer: Gavin R. Cairl
Seller: Wilmer O. Johnson
Date: 02/07/18

BUCKLAND

59-1/2 Prospect St.
Buckland, MA 01338
Amount: $235,800
Buyer: Mia I. Radysh
Seller: Apple RT 3
Date: 02/06/18

CONWAY

South Part Road
Conway, MA 01341
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Franklin Land Trust Inc.
Seller: Janet D. Ryan
Date: 02/05/18

DEERFIELD

6 Lee Road
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Wilmington Savings
Seller: Champion Mortgage Co.
Date: 01/29/18

14 Sawmill Plain Road
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $257,000
Buyer: Orion Becker
Seller: Elizabeth M. Purnell TR
Date: 01/29/18

ERVING

6 Moore St.
Erving, MA 01344
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: Thomas N Duffy
Seller: Nicholis F. Lapan
Date: 02/07/18

GREENFIELD

21 Garfield St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $172,000
Buyer: Michael A. Hebert
Seller: Jennifer C. Swartz
Date: 01/31/18

83 James St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $124,400
Buyer: Archelon Properties LLC
Seller: Kathleen G. Ainsworth
Date: 02/09/18

31 Silver St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $188,000
Buyer: Heidi Fortin
Seller: Cameron T. Gray
Date: 01/30/18

87 Thayer Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Meredith C. Lively
Seller: Thayer Road RT
Date: 02/02/18
1 Wheeler Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Parmar Properties North
Seller: Helga L. Schmidt
Date: 01/29/18

18 Wheeler Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Parmar Properties North
Seller: Helga L. Schmidt
Date: 01/29/18

103 Wildwood Ave.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Thomas W. Klansek
Seller: Vladimir Agapov
Date: 02/07/18

MONTAGUE

177-179 Avenue A
Montague, MA 01376
Amount: $168,333
Buyer: 177 LLC
Seller: Equity TR Inc.
Date: 02/07/18

14 Letourneau Way
Montague, MA 01376
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Luis Moreno
Seller: Mario Moreno
Date: 01/30/18

1 Linda Lane
Montague, MA 01376
Amount: $177,000
Buyer: Wilmington Savings
Seller: Blanche T. Koblinski
Date: 02/02/18

95 South Prospect St.
Montague, MA 01349
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Joshua K. Lacosse
Seller: Peter P. Chmyzinski
Date: 02/02/18

NORTHFIELD

692 Pine Meadow Road
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Anna M. Reid
Seller: Amy S. Biddle
Date: 02/01/18

ORANGE

220 Dana Road
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $203,000
Buyer: Angelo G. Poulos
Seller: North Quabbin Brook RT
Date: 01/31/18

277 Walnut Hill Road
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $189,900
Buyer: Yarelyn Martinez-Haddock
Seller: Maureen S. Desautels
Date: 01/31/18

SHELBURNE

10 Wilson Graves Road
Shelburne, MA 01370
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Mark C. Carlisle
Seller: Michele M. Beaudoin
Date: 02/07/18

SHUTESBURY

15 Hawks View Road
Shutesbury, MA 01072
Amount: $598,875
Buyer: Cynthia Gerstl-Pepin
Seller: Kathleen R. Lugosch
Date: 01/30/18

38 Laurel Dr.
Shutesbury, MA 01072
Amount: $195,000
Buyer: Christopher W. Cummings
Seller: Philip A. Lemere
Date: 01/29/18

SUNDERLAND

82 Hadley Road
Sunderland, MA 01375
Amount: $263,900
Buyer: Colleen A. Campbell
Seller: Dzenis, Blanche J., (Estate)
Date: 02/09/18

WHATELY

83 North St.
Whately, MA 01093
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Paul H. Bordua
Seller: Donald M. Scott
Date: 02/09/18

HAMPDEN COUNTY

AGAWAM

9 Ridgeview Dr.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Gary W. Peiffer
Seller: Kenneth A. Lindeland
Date: 02/08/18

24 Yarmouth Dr.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $295,000
Buyer: William A. Garvin
Seller: Bobby L. Colvin
Date: 01/31/18

AMHERST

41 East Hadley Road
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $246,000
Buyer: Gregory R. Haughton
Seller: Lourdes Morales
Date: 01/31/18

133 Flat Hills Road
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $293,000
Buyer: Albert Y. Kim
Seller: Jones FT
Date: 01/31/18

48 Morgan Circle
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $412,500
Buyer: Steven B. Kurtz
Seller: Arrelle R. Cook RET
Date: 02/01/18

161 Pomeroy Lane
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $284,830
Buyer: Lawrence A. Peltz
Seller: Peter S. Choi
Date: 01/31/18

BELCHERTOWN

35 Clark St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $247,500
Buyer: Caitlin P. Cobb
Seller: Aaron Guimond
Date: 01/31/18

BLANDFORD

6 Blandford Dr.
Blandford, MA 01008
Amount: $615,000
Buyer: James W. Marlor
Seller: Ralph J. Damato
Date: 01/31/18

BRIMFIELD

Blandford Dr.
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $615,000
Buyer: James W. Marlor
Seller: Ralph J. Damato
Date: 01/31/18

42 Champeaux Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $467,841
Buyer: Bank Of America
Seller: Douglas Kirkpatrick
Date: 02/01/18

285 Webber Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: A&B Automotive Properties LLC
Seller: Gregory Reilly
Date: 02/02/18

CHICOPEE

461 Broadway St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $212,000
Buyer: Mahdi Mousali
Seller: East Green Street Properties
Date: 01/30/18

524 Chicopee St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Amat Victoria Curam LLC
Seller: Maddox Realty LLC
Date: 01/31/18

23 Dallaire Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: Chun J. Chen
Seller: Alfred J. Labrie
Date: 02/09/18

128 Davenport St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $168,300
Buyer: Pamela B. Davis
Seller: John J. O’Neill
Date: 02/09/18

138 East St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $183,900
Buyer: Daniel E. Perez
Seller: Timothy E. Elliott
Date: 01/31/18

27 Edmund St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $155,000
Buyer: Alyssa Stoakley
Seller: Melissa A. Quinn
Date: 02/02/18

78 Lukasik St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $170,000
Buyer: Basilio Perez
Seller: Jeffrey S. Sattler
Date: 02/02/18

28 Maple St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Yekaterina A. Alekseyeva
Seller: Tammy L. Audet
Date: 01/29/18

39 Maryland Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $192,500
Buyer: Don Pops-Marks
Seller: Edward J. Polchlopek
Date: 02/01/18

76 Oakwood St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $136,300
Buyer: Laura T. Boone
Seller: Brian M. Geraghty
Date: 01/31/18

51 Shaw Park Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $163,800
Buyer: Anthony Vega-Vargas
Seller: Sead Bajrami
Date: 02/05/18

EASTHAMPTON

282 Main St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $357,500
Buyer: Jared T. Larkin
Seller: Alexandra L. Dodge
Date: 01/31/18

EAST LONGMEADOW

15 Hanward Hill
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $209,900
Buyer: Shirley Montovani
Seller: William H. Craft
Date: 01/31/18

27 Maryland St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $340,000
Buyer: Juan M. Garcia-Ramos
Seller: C&M Builders LLC
Date: 02/08/18

68 North Circle Dr.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Jason M. Noga-McDonald
Seller: Leo M. Lortie
Date: 02/01/18

180 Parker St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Joseph M. Bednarz
Seller: Pearl F. Keinath
Date: 01/30/18

329 Pease Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Donald M. Stevens
Seller: Krista Santaniello
Date: 01/30/18

583 Somers Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: Bailey Property Mgmt. LLC
Seller: Virginia S. Blake
Date: 02/07/18

22 Susan St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $192,000
Buyer: Daniel S. Burack 2018 IRT
Seller: James M. Evitts
Date: 02/01/18

56 Waterman Ave.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $205,000
Buyer: Michael Carabetta
Seller: Aiello, Rosangela, (Estate)
Date: 02/02/18

GRANVILLE

541 Main Road
Granville, MA 01034
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Robert M. Stephan
Seller: Stanley, Kathleen F., (Estate)
Date: 01/31/18

HAMPDEN

25 Evergreen Terrace
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $121,000
Buyer: Fred Ginsberg
Seller: Robert F. Wells
Date: 01/31/18

722 Main St.
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $157,000
Buyer: George Courtemanche
Seller: Fisher, Arlene L., (Estate)
Date: 01/29/18

138 Mountain Road
Hampden, MA 01036
Amount: $246,000
Buyer: Andrew S. Haynes
Seller: Anne W. Collins
Date: 02/08/18

HATFIELD

3 The Jog
Hatfield, MA 01039
Amount: $625,000
Buyer: Richard C. Jones
Seller: Craig Latham
Date: 01/30/18

HOLLAND

21 Dug Hill Road
Holland, MA 01521
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Justin R. Frenier
Seller: Maple Ledge Associates
Date: 02/01/18

HOLYOKE

1 Bassett Road
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $216,000
Buyer: Luis E. Sumba-Morocho
Seller: Noelle M. Bonnevie
Date: 01/30/18

16 Brightwood Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $135,000
Buyer: Josue Lopez
Seller: Dulude, Lena E., (Estate)
Date: 01/29/18

60 Cherry Hill
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $140,000
Buyer: Michael J. Lynch
Seller: Ellen M. Sullivan
Date: 01/31/18

30 Cleveland St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $289,900
Buyer: Joshua S. Beauregard
Seller: Jeffrey A. Trask
Date: 02/05/18

291 Elm St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $640,000
Buyer: Sic Infit LLC
Seller: Nickerson Properties LLC
Date: 02/01/18

47-49 Hitchcock St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $196,000
Buyer: Chevonne Machuca
Seller: Deborah J. Brunelle
Date: 02/02/18

25 Longfellow Road
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Charles W. Aurnhammer
Seller: Edmund G. Woods
Date: 01/31/18

10 Merkel Terrace
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $143,000
Buyer: Michael C. O’Connell
Seller: Kevin A. Bodley
Date: 02/09/18

388 Pleasant St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $199,500
Buyer: Juan C. Burgos
Seller: John P. Lecca
Date: 02/09/18

37 Princeton St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $119,000
Buyer: Joseph Rosinski
Seller: MTGLQ Investors LP
Date: 02/01/18

LONGMEADOW

67 Burbank Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $324,000
Buyer: Amanda C. Berry
Seller: Richard S. Baker
Date: 02/01/18

951 Converse St.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $749,000
Buyer: Obioma A. Princewill
Seller: Sodi Inc.
Date: 02/02/18

172 Greenacre Ave.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $380,000
Buyer: Joseph J. Cervasio
Seller: Patrick D. Gleason
Date: 01/31/18

68 Hopkins Place
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Emily R. Shotland
Seller: Ann M. Jagodowski
Date: 02/01/18

1214 Longmeadow St.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $345,200
Buyer: Dwayne N Joyce
Seller: Melissa R. Sheerin-Bshara
Date: 02/07/18

189 Magnolia Circle
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $505,000
Buyer: Michael P. Landry
Seller: Theodore J. Maresh
Date: 01/31/18

89 Morningside Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $340,600
Buyer: Gabriel A. Radu
Seller: Linda A. Spataro
Date: 02/02/18

16 Shady Knoll Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $188,000
Buyer: Jennifer L. Fijal
Seller: Mary Ricco
Date: 02/08/18

59 Tedford Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Arif Malik
Seller: Michael Izenstein
Date: 02/06/18

LUDLOW

57 Barre Dr.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $153,000
Buyer: Scott A. Theriault
Seller: Wilson, Edna I., (Estate)
Date: 02/05/18

80-82 Center St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Anna S. Rodrigo
Seller: Center Street Funding TR
Date: 01/29/18

106 Church St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $295,000
Buyer: Michael J. Tenerowicz
Seller: Gloria J. Vaughan-Dawson
Date: 01/31/18

16 Duke St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $177,000
Buyer: Kevin Brown
Seller: Brandon B. Henry
Date: 01/29/18

80 Hunter Road
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Amber L. Goodreau
Seller: Valda B. Perham
Date: 02/08/18

242 James St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $194,000
Buyer: David Lengieza
Seller: Sandra M. Lengieza
Date: 01/29/18

155 Parker Lane
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $446,400
Buyer: Daniel Coelho
Seller: Armand Deslauriers
Date: 01/31/18

9 Pleasantview St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Evelyn Core
Seller: Amy C. Paquette
Date: 01/30/18

63 Ray St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $128,000
Buyer: Amanda L. Caloon
Seller: Nicholas T. Lopata
Date: 01/29/18

178 Reynolds St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Marsha L. Burek
Seller: Lee Roque
Date: 01/30/18

32-34 Sewall St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Manuel R. Coelho
Seller: Michelle Santos-Nunes
Date: 01/30/18

59 Windwood Dr.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $387,000
Buyer: Miriam N Santiago
Seller: Isidoro P. Fernandes
Date: 02/02/18

MONSON

181 Stafford Road
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $233,000
Buyer: Chelsea L. Socha
Seller: Beverly M. Harnois
Date: 01/30/18

MONTGOMERY

134 New State Road
Montgomery, MA 01085
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Timothy D. Wolcott
Seller: David S. Wolcott
Date: 02/08/18

NORTHAMPTON

98 Morningside Dr.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $374,900
Buyer: Hadassah Gurfein
Seller: Kathleen M. Lemay
Date: 02/01/18

73 Redford Dr.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $142,885
Buyer: USA VA
Seller: Edward R. Blanchard
Date: 01/31/18

PALMER

Baptist Hill Road #15
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $145,000
Buyer: Pedro D. Fernandes
Seller: Thomas K. Topor
Date: 01/29/18

3 Fieldstone Dr.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $295,000
Buyer: Matthew E. Blanchard
Seller: Stephen C. Connors
Date: 02/07/18

1317 Main St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: FSG Realty LLC
Seller: Peter V. Scagliarini
Date: 02/09/18

1535 North Main St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $124,740
Buyer: Malgorzata B. Pasieka
Seller: Justin R. Beaulieu
Date: 01/31/18

91 State St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $218,000
Buyer: Brian Rollet
Seller: Olive Kapinos
Date: 02/02/18

RUSSELL

51 Highland Ave.
Russell, MA 01071
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Robert Escalante
Seller: Corey R. Sampson
Date: 02/09/18

SOUTH HADLEY

5 Burnett Ave.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $193,000
Buyer: Timothy Cote
Seller: Emilio Frattaruolo
Date: 01/30/18

48 Charon Terrace
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $212,000
Buyer: Bryan Pelchat
Seller: Heather L. Putnam
Date: 01/31/18

15 Pershing Ave.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Alberts House LLC
Seller: VanBelle FT
Date: 01/31/18

70 Woodbridge St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $345,000
Buyer: Karen S. Donnelly
Seller: Matthew S. Bertuzzi
Date: 01/31/18

SOUTHAMPTON

36 Gilbert Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $345,000
Buyer: Timothy M. Smith
Seller: Chicoine, Ruth E., (Estate)
Date: 01/31/18

3 Mountain View Circle
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $203,000
Buyer: Vanessa J. Rice
Seller: Lisa M. Murdock
Date: 01/29/18

SOUTHWICK

5 Evergreen St.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Tyler Burnham
Seller: Michelle Seelig
Date: 02/05/18

28 Feeding Hills Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: James E. Jannene
Seller: Norman R. Betournay
Date: 02/02/18

138 Feeding Hills Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $115,000
Buyer: Miroslav Tkach
Seller: USA HUD
Date: 01/31/18

20 Gillette Ave.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $170,000
Buyer: Jesse M. Veprauskas
Seller: James A. Chaffee
Date: 01/31/18

62 Lakeview St.
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Maureen F. Manfredi
Seller: Donald McCullers
Date: 02/02/18

11 Overlook Lane
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $169,000
Buyer: Brenda Loguidice
Seller: Pinnacle Estates At the Ranch
Date: 01/30/18

45 Pineywood Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: Wilmington Savings
Seller: John Wackerbarth
Date: 02/08/18

SPRINGFIELD

200 Allen St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $170,000
Buyer: Joseph H. Sasen
Seller: Leo E. Florence
Date: 01/30/18

1554 Bay St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $217,900
Buyer: Jyovani Joubert
Seller: Hedge Hog Industries Corp.
Date: 01/30/18

691 Berkshire Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $135,000
Buyer: Luis Cuevas
Seller: C&K Blue Sky Properties
Date: 01/29/18

148 Bolton St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Diplomat Property Manager
Seller: Sharon A. Jones
Date: 01/31/18

95 Breckwood Blvd.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $166,000
Buyer: Simon J. Garcia-Aparicio
Seller: Eagle Home Buyers LLC
Date: 01/31/18

20 Briarcliff St.
Springfield, MA 01128
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Galang Nguyen
Seller: Kha V. Lam
Date: 02/09/18

14 Campechi St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $167,000
Buyer: Jim A. Rivera-Delrio
Seller: Modica TR
Date: 01/31/18

11 Deepfield Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Kenneth J. Wilson
Seller: Carmen E. Arroyo
Date: 01/31/18

193 Corona St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: Juan C. Rodriguez
Seller: USA HUD
Date: 02/07/18

32-34 Dunmoreland St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $205,683
Buyer: US Bank
Seller: Hallam Scantlebury
Date: 01/30/18

204 East Allen Ridge Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $204,000
Buyer: Kimberly A. Petty
Seller: Brahman Holdings LLC
Date: 02/01/18

60 East Bay Path Terrace
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $162,839
Buyer: Avet RT
Seller: Hampden Homebuyers LLC
Date: 02/07/18

95 Fargo St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $132,000
Buyer: Kianna J. Pressley
Seller: Brahman Holdings LLC
Date: 02/05/18

40 Gardens Dr.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Nicholas E. Duncan
Seller: Angela R. Barnett
Date: 01/31/18

94 Glenoak Dr.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $181,000
Buyer: Tyler P. Ottaviani
Seller: Mary Beard
Date: 02/08/18

65 Glenvale St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $158,000
Buyer: Michael J. McLaughlin
Seller: Danette L. Krushel
Date: 02/08/18

74 Gresham St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $139,900
Buyer: Jazziah Serrano
Seller: Oussama Awkal
Date: 01/31/18

35-37 Hall St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: 35 Hall Street LLC
Seller: WB Real Estate Holdings
Date: 02/01/18

137 Hanson Dr.
Springfield, MA 01128
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: North Harlow 5 LLC
Seller: Champagne, Olive G. T., (Estate)
Date: 01/31/18

60 Harrow Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $161,800
Buyer: Eugene Fisher TR
Seller: Marc Allen
Date: 02/06/18

43 Holly Hill Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $170,000
Buyer: Jonathan Vanegas
Seller: Paul W. Suchecki
Date: 01/31/18

66-68 Holly St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Samuel S. Fernandes
Seller: Silver P. Serra
Date: 01/30/18

31 Laurence St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Jared Johnson
Seller: Nu Way Homes Inc.
Date: 02/09/18

17-19 Leete St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $179,900
Buyer: Patricia E. Meshack
Seller: JJJ 17 LLC
Date: 01/31/18

26 Lenn Road
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $189,900
Buyer: Robert F. Martin
Seller: David F. O’Brien
Date: 01/31/18

18-20 Lombard St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: Valley Castle Holdings
Seller: Silverio Tavarez
Date: 01/31/18

70 Martel Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $195,000
Buyer: Maria E. Leger
Seller: Evelee Acevedo
Date: 02/09/18

163-165 Maynard St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $122,500
Buyer: Nicholas Adams
Seller: Salgo LLC
Date: 02/06/18

190 Middlesex St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $128,000
Buyer: Ferris F. Shelton
Seller: Gerri Fitch
Date: 02/09/18

57 Mohawk Dr.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $140,000
Buyer: Morris Reid
Seller: Julie G. Foster
Date: 02/08/18

114 Norfolk St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $115,000
Buyer: Lynne M. Malone
Seller: Wayne F. Trahan
Date: 01/30/18

809 North Branch Pkwy.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $140,000
Buyer: Westvue NPL T. 2
Seller: Cheryl D. Figueroa
Date: 01/31/18

42 North Brook Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $127,000
Buyer: Donna J. Scibelli
Seller: Rita M. Smith
Date: 01/30/18

33 Oak Hollow Road
Springfield, MA 01128
Amount: $183,000
Buyer: Carol A. Ouellette
Seller: Michael P. Meunier
Date: 01/29/18

41 Olive St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $137,000
Buyer: Jose Olique-Ortiz
Seller: Brothers In Law Realty
Date: 01/29/18

31-33 Parkside St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Walkis Figueroa
Seller: William Raleigh
Date: 02/05/18

91 Pineywoods Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $212,000
Buyer: Jennifer E. Vose
Seller: Galen B. Young
Date: 01/31/18

1294 Plumtree Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $140,667
Buyer: Andrew W. Vivenzio
Seller: Mary F. Vivenzio
Date: 01/30/18

75 Pocantico Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $199,000
Buyer: Western Mass. Property Development
Seller: Ryan Lombardini
Date: 02/09/18

148 Spikenard Circle
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $176,900
Buyer: Coralynn M. Burr
Seller: Mark D. Rowe
Date: 02/02/18

17-19 Standish St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $201,000
Buyer: Jose M. Lopez
Seller: Joseph M. Santaniello
Date: 02/09/18

235 State St. #C15
Springfield, MA 01103
Amount: $143,000
Buyer: Fermin Reyes
Seller: Mark A. Pessolano
Date: 01/31/18

45 Steuben St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $115,000
Buyer: Mai Vo
Seller: Bernard A. Fish
Date: 01/31/18

1032 Sumner Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Jacob J. McBride
Seller: Filomena Dibenedetto
Date: 01/31/18

111 Talmadge Dr.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Maria S. Ramos
Seller: Joseph Bednarz
Date: 01/30/18

48 Thorndyke St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $156,000
Buyer: Home Equity Assets Realty
Seller: Home Equity Assets Realty
Date: 02/05/18

60 Tinkham Road
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $172,000
Buyer: Kelly S. Macneil
Seller: Christopher Robinson
Date: 02/01/18

62-64 Watling St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Hosea O. Holder
Seller: Roberto H. Valverde
Date: 01/29/18

22 Windemere St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: Jose M. Lopez
Seller: David A. Faita
Date: 02/08/18

250 Winton St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $172,000
Buyer: Margorie Perez
Seller: David C. Bush
Date: 01/31/18

WALES

13 Lake Shore Dr.
Wales, MA 01081
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: US Bank
Seller: Michael J. Graveline
Date: 01/30/18

WESTFIELD

10 Laurel Terrace
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $224,900
Buyer: Jennifer Kielbasa
Seller: Jean C. Girardin
Date: 02/09/18

26 Livingstone Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $151,000
Buyer: Anne V. Fisk
Seller: Nancy A. Fehling
Date: 02/06/18

94 Main St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $420,000
Buyer: Polish National Credit Union
Seller: Thomas F. Cusack
Date: 01/30/18

79 Notre Dame St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: JS Sampson Development
Seller: Charlene M. Sampson
Date: 01/30/18

15 Reed St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $225,900
Buyer: Vincent P. Nitri
Seller: Gina Berte
Date: 02/02/18

38 Ridgeway St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $192,000
Buyer: Ernest C. Puza
Seller: Janosik Realty LLC
Date: 02/05/18

82 Ridgeview Terrace
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Scott F. Schumann
Seller: Donna M. Edwards
Date: 01/30/18

3 Sibley Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $117,670
Buyer: Bank Of America
Seller: Marretta O. Dyer
Date: 02/05/18

5 Sibley Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $117,670
Buyer: Bank Of America
Seller: Marretta O. Dyer
Date: 02/05/18

29 Sunrise Terrace
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $224,100
Buyer: MTGLQ Investors LP
Seller: William S. Belfar
Date: 01/30/18

5 Sycamore St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $198,000
Buyer: Sofiya Panasyuk
Seller: Ivan Mokan
Date: 02/09/18

WILBRAHAM

23 Brooklawn Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Brian A. Jalonen
Seller: Stratton Renovation LLC
Date: 01/31/18

8 Brookmont Dr.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $349,900
Buyer: Amy C. Paquette
Seller: James R. Algie
Date: 01/30/18

8 Bruuer Ave.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Daniel T. Corthell
Seller: Matthew E. Blanchard
Date: 02/07/18

15 Old Boston Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $168,000
Buyer: Justin A. Melbourne
Seller: Kyung W. Kim
Date: 01/31/18

3 Sherwin Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $411,500
Buyer: Finlay Oguku
Seller: AC Homebuilding LLC
Date: 01/30/18

3 Russell Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Wilmington Savings
Seller: Michelle Patrick
Date: 02/05/18

237 Springfield St.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Epifanio Sanchez-Vega
Seller: Andrew J. Harrington
Date: 02/02/18

WEST SPRINGFIELD

22 Calvin Circle
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $158,000
Buyer: Heather M. Sliwa
Seller: Kathleen M. Sliwa
Date: 02/06/18

15 Cataumet Lane
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $356,654
Buyer: Ansar Mamedov
Seller: HSBC Bank
Date: 02/08/18

20 Churchill Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $261,000
Buyer: Virginia Dechristopher
Seller: MAA Property LLC
Date: 01/31/18

11 Dale St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $184,900
Buyer: Amber L. Rogers
Seller: Lisa A. Hraba
Date: 01/29/18

19 Heritage Lane
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $251,000
Buyer: William D. Berte
Seller: Thomas J. McNamara
Date: 02/02/18

44 Hummingbird Lane
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $259,000
Buyer: Richard Wentzel
Seller: Michael D. Waldron
Date: 02/05/18

104 Kings Hwy.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $193,000
Buyer: Santonya Jackson
Seller: US Bank
Date: 01/30/18

161 Robinson Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Michael J. Hearn
Seller: Gentile, Mary J., (Estate)
Date: 02/02/18

177 West Autumn Road
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Essam AlRubaei
Seller: Francoise M. Godbout
Date: 01/30/18

1520 Westfield St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $163,236
Buyer: FNMA
Seller: Bernard St.Martin
Date: 01/29/18

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY

AMHERST

11 Ladyslipper Circle
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $638,821
Buyer: US Bank
Seller: Felicity Mbanefo
Date: 02/07/18

BELCHERTOWN

144 North Washington St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $267,000
Buyer: Chanya Sae-Eaw
Seller: Sherry E. Bellavance
Date: 02/07/18

35 Summit St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $264,900
Buyer: Deborah O’Neil
Seller: John H. Roberts
Date: 02/09/18

CUMMINGTON

10 Main St.
Cummington, MA 01026
Amount: $309,000
Buyer: Nicole C. Fellows
Seller: Taylor, John R., (Estate)
Date: 02/06/18

EASTHAMPTON

69 Clark St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: David A. Nadroski
Seller: Alfred J. Albano
Date: 02/09/18

GRANBY

407 Batchelor St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Steven M. Wick
Seller: Raymond J. Giroux
Date: 02/06/18

76-R Harris St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $182,500
Buyer: Anthony Kowal
Seller: Yoeuy Chhung
Date: 02/05/18

HADLEY

2 Comins Road
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $341,000
Buyer: Philip C. Ciccarelli
Seller: William E. O’Neil
Date: 02/09/18

152 Russell St.
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Valerie K. Hood
Seller: Vadas, Edward R., (Estate)
Date: 02/05/18

HUNTINGTON

18 Laurel Road
Huntington, MA 01050
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: FNMA
Seller: Peter Noga
Date: 02/05/18

163 Worthington Road
Huntington, MA 01050
Amount: $395,000
Buyer: Horton FT
Seller: James H. Moore
Date: 02/09/18

NORTHAMPTON

9 Crosby St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $285,000
Buyer: Christopher Karney
Seller: Frank E. Sadlowski
Date: 02/09/18

43 Finn St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $500,500
Buyer: Jaya R. Agrawal
Seller: McCutcheon Development
Date: 02/08/18

16 Winslow Ave.
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $127,000
Buyer: Flippin Good Home Buyers
Seller: Arthur W. Pontbriant
Date: 02/09/18

SOUTH HADLEY

515 Granby Road
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $449,900
Buyer: Brett A. Remillard
Seller: Polish American Citizens
Date: 02/09/18

35 Highland Ave.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $345,000
Buyer: Normand R. Girardin
Seller: Luis Builders Inc.
Date: 02/09/18

53 Searle Road
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $212,500
Buyer: Jessica Egan
Seller: Thomas E. Kelly
Date: 02/09/18

70 Washington Ave.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $179,900
Buyer: Valley Building Co. Inc.
Seller: Mark R. Plante
Date: 02/06/18

SOUTHAMPTON

4 Fomer Road
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $215,000
Buyer: Jacob E. Gold
Seller: Marc T. Jillson
Date: 02/09/18

4 Nicole Circle
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $332,000
Buyer: Marc T. Jillson
Seller: Mark R. Bonczek
Date: 02/09/18

WILLIAMSBURG

15 North Farms Road
Williamsburg, MA 01062
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: Joanna G. Vaughn
Seller: Julie E. Berube
Date: 01/31/18

Departments Incorporations

The following business incorporations were recorded in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties and are the latest available. They are listed by community.

Holyoke

Peoplesbank Charitable Foundation, Inc., 330 Whitney Ave., Suite 740, Holyoke, MA 01040. Thomas Senecal, same. Grants funding programs that benefit low and moderate income and under-served populations focused on the areas of academic excellence, community vibrancy and environmental sustainability.

Longmeadow

Patez Commercial Cleaning Contractors Inc., 187 Westmoreland Ave., Longmeadow, MA 01106. Andreia Patez, same. Cleaning, powerwashing, painting.

North Adams

Save Fort Massachusetts Memorial Inc., 1143 State Road, North Adams, MA 01247. Wendy M. Champney, same. To promote the preservation of the memorial located on Route 2 in North Adams marking the former site of Fort, Massachusetts.

Pittsfield

Scapin Builders Inc., 7 Lebanon Ave., Pittsfield, MA 01201. Jon Scapin, same. Service: remodel existing residential properties.

Springfield

Onecall Medstaff Corp., 736 Belmont Ave., Apt. 1R, Springfield, MA 01108. Steven B. Kee, same. Staffing services.

Sabella Hogan, P.C., 1350 Main St., Suite 214, Springfield, MA 01103. Edward V. Sabella, same. Law practice.

Puerto Rico Food Industries Inc., 61 Mansfield St., Springfield, MA 01108. Luis Feliciano, same. Wholesale of specialty food products.

Ware

Pablo D. Santiago Ministries, 35 West St., Ware, MA 01082. Pablo De Jesus Santiago, 8 Cherry St., Ware, MA 01082. The purpose of this corporation is to expand the Kingdom of God in humble service to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ through ministry, education, charitable service, contribution, outreach, fellowship and ordination.

West Springfield

Road Star Express Inc., 34 Tatham Hill Road, West Springfield, MA 01089. IlkhomAgayev, same. Long haul trucking company.

Westfield

Om Mobil Mart Inc., 162 Southampton Road, Westfield, MA 01085. Mehar Hamza, same. Gas station.

Wilbraham

Rice’s Fruit Farm Corporation, 757 Main St., Wilbraham, MA 01095. Anthony D. Maloni, same. Preparation and sale for consumption of food products, beverages and other goods to the general public.

Departments People on the Move
Christine Devin

Christine Devin

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. announced the promotion of Christine Devin, CPA, to manager in its Audit and Accounting department. In her new position, Devin will be responsible for the management of audit and review engagements for the firm’s not-for-profit, commercial, and pension clients. In addition, she will assist with the management of the not-for-profit niche, which encompasses the supervision and training of staff, client relations, firm protocol, and regulatory updates. She rejoined MBK in 2015 as a senior associate. With nine years of experience as a controller of a closely held business and more than eight years of public accounting experience, Devin combines a deep understanding of the operations, financial reporting, and regulatory requirements of the private sector with the technical expertise of a CPA. Devin received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Elms College. She is a member of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

•••••

Katie Longley

Katie Longley

Elms College appointed accomplished higher-education finance executive Katie Longley the college’s new vice president of Finance and Administration. Reporting to the president, Longley, who will join Elms on March 26, will be responsible for the strategic oversight and management of the college’s financial resources and operations. She comes to Elms from Abilene Christian University in Texas, where she currently serves as associate vice president of Finance. She held successive positions as controller, tax director, payroll manager, and senior accountant during her tenure with ACU. Prior to her work in higher education, Longley was in public accounting, working as an associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, and then becoming a senior auditor for Davis, Kinard & Co. She holds a master’s degree in accountancy and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, both from Abilene Christian University. Longley fills the position vacated by Brian Doherty, who retired from the college earlier this year.

•••••

Marcie Zimmerman

Marcie Zimmerman

Greenfield Savings Bank (GSB) promoted Marcie Zimmerman to Human Resources officer. In this role, she is responsible for the day-to-day management of HR, including benefits administration, employee relations, payroll, affirmative-action plan, recruiting, orientation, performance management, policy implementation, and employment-law compliance. Zimmerman joined GSB in 2009 and has worked in the field of human resources for more than 12 years. She holds a number of HR certifications, including Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP), and Certified Compensation Analyst (CCA).

•••••

Jeanne Kosakowski

Jeanne Kosakowski

The Dowd Insurance Agencies announced that Jeanne Kosakowski has been hired as claims director. In this role, she handles some of the personal-lines claims, all of the commercial-lines claims, and oversees all claims. “Jeanne joins us with over three decades of insurance experience and demonstrated customer relations that will benefit our customers,” said John E. Dowd Jr., president and CEO. Kosakowski came to the Dowd Agencies from Hanover Insurance, where she was a commercial-lines product analyst. She received her bachelor’s degree from Russell Sage College in New York, where she was a Kellas Scholar. She is an Associate in Claims (AIC), a Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR), and a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), and is currently working on her Certified Risk Manager (CRM) designation. Kosakowski, who was named an “outstanding instructor” for the Worcester County Insurance Institute, will be based in the Dowd Agencies’ home office in Holyoke.

•••••

Elizabeth Dineen

Elizabeth Dineen

The board of trustees at Elms College appointed Elizabeth Dineen, executive director of the YWCA of Western Mass. in Springfield, as a new board member. Dineen has had a long career of community service, first serving as an assistant district attorney for 25 years prosecuting child sexual abuse and rape cases, then entering an academic career as the director of the Criminal Justice program at Bay Path University, and now at the YWCA, whose mission — “eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all” — is consistent with that of Elms College. Her legal career focused on helping the most vulnerable in the community, especially women and children who were the victims of sexually based and personal violence, and that focus has carried over into her work at the YWCA, which serves women and families at critical times in their lives. Dineen has served on the board of directors of Square One of Springfield, which provides early-education programs for children, since 2013. She previously served on the board of Mont Marie Child Care Center in Holyoke, and on the appropriations committee in East Longmeadow. Honors Dineen has earned throughout her career include the Governor’s Award for Service to the Commonwealth, the YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, Top Women of Law from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, the first Justice Kent B. Smith Award from the Hampden County Bar Assoc., the City of Holyoke Mayor’s Certificate of Recognition, the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. Access to Justice Award as Prosecutor of the Year, and the Elms College Alumni Assoc. Distinguished Alumni Award.

•••••

Nicholas D’Agostino

Nicholas D’Agostino

Holyoke Community College recently welcomed Nicholas D’Agostino as its new Affirmative Action officer and Title IX coordinator. D’Agostino comes to HCC after working for nearly 12 years as an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Affirmative Action professional in Connecticut, most recently as the associate in Diversity and Equity at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) and before that as an EEO specialist with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. He started at HCC on Jan. 29. A longtime advocate for equity and social justice with a focus on LGBTQ issues, D’Agostino has been an Anti-Defamation League anti-bullying trainer for more than 10 years and has a long association with True Colors, a support and advocacy group in Hartford for LGBTQ youth, which he has served as board president. He has either led or participated in hundreds of affirmative-action and discrimination investigations during his career. At CCSU, D’Agostino conducted awareness and advocacy programs, promoted social-justice initiatives, engaged the college community in sexual-harassment and assault prevention, and led training sessions on diversity, Title IX compliance, anti-racism, and LGBTQ awareness. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in federally funded education programs. D’Agostino holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Quinnipiac University and a master’s degree in counselor education with a specialization in student development in higher education from CCSU.

•••••

Elizabeth Oleksak-Sposito

Elizabeth Oleksak-Sposito

Jeffrey Sattler

Jeffrey Sattler

The Springfield Technical Community College board of trustees recently welcomed two new members. Gov. Charlie Baker appointed Elizabeth Oleksak-Sposito and Jeffrey Sattler to serve on the board, an 11-member body that governs STCC. Oleksak-Sposito worked as a clinical care manager at Boston Medical Center Health Plan from 2012 until her retirement in 2016. She provided holistic medical-care-management services for plan members with chronic conditions and complex care needs. Prior to joining Boston Medical Center Health Plan, she worked as a medical case manager for Broadspire, a division of Crawford & Co. and provider of claims-management solutions to the risk-management and insurance industry. She previously worked as a sales specialist and account manager at Hill-Rom Home Care in Charleston, S.C. A certified case manager prior to her retirement, Oleksak-Sposito holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from American International College in Springfield and a diploma in nursing from the Cooley Dickinson Hospital School of Nursing in Northampton. Her term ends March 1, 2022. Sattler is senior vice president, Commercial Lending, at Savings Institute Bank & Trust. He is responsible for managing and growing the bank’s commercial-banking business, including lending, leasing, and deposit accounts throughout the Greater Springfield and Enfield, Conn. areas. He has more than 35 years of experience in commercial banking at various institutions in the region. Prior to joining Savings Institute Bank & Trust, Sattler served as president of NUVO Bank & Trust Co. (now known as Community Bank N.A.) He serves on the board of directors of Mason Wright Senior Living Community, Rotary Club of Chicopee, and the Western Massachusetts Boy Scouts of America. He is an associate member of the National Tool & Die Assoc. Sattler graduated from Springfield College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and history, with a minor in business administration. He also graduated from the ABA Commercial Lending Banking School at the University of New Hampshire. His term ends March 1, 2021.

•••••

William Sharp

William Sharp

Freedom Credit Union (FCU), headquartered on Main Street in Springfield and serving members throughout Western Mass. through nine additional branches, announced the recent appointment of William Sharp as the new branch officer in Chicopee. Sharp has worked with financial institutions for 40 years, having held management positions within the banking industry prior to joining Freedom Credit Union in 2013. He is active within his community and has received several recognitions. He currently serves as board chair for the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee, which awarded him the Dr. Edward Ryan Award for board service in 2016. That same year, the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce, which he had served as treasurer, named him Ambassador of the Year. He also has served as board chair for the Franklin Hampshire Regional Employment Board and, in 2003, was named Volunteer of the Year by the Chicopee Chamber of Commerce.

•••••

Mary Russell

Mary Russell

The Dowd Agencies, LLC announced that Mary Russell has been hired as commercial lines account manager. “With nearly a decade of insurance experience, Mary’s expertise and commitment to customer service will benefit our customers,” said John E. Dowd Jr., president and CEO. As commercial lines account manager, Russell manages a roster of insurance clients and supports producers with a variety of initiatives. She came to the Dowd Agencies from a local agency, where she was a personal lines account manager. She received her associate degree in psychology from Holyoke Community College.

•••••

Margaret (Meg) Beturne

Margaret (Meg) Beturne

Ruben Arroyo

Ruben Arroyo

The Gray House recently inducted two new board members to a three-year term. They were welcomed at the January board meeting by the president and officers of the board. The new board members are Margaret (Meg) Beturne and Ruben Arroyo. Remaining board officers are Kathleen Lingenberg, president; Susan Mastroianni, vice president; Janet Rodriguez Denney, clerk; and Candace Pereira, treasurer. Beturne is a professional nurse with extensive experience in perianesthesia, surgical, ambulatory and critical-care nursing and is the assistant nurse manager at the Baystate Orthopedic Surgery Center in Springfield. Previous positions include Nursing Clinical Operations manager of the Post Anesthesia Care Unit and staff nurse in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. She has served on several boards of directors, including the Children’s Study Home, the Ronald McDonald House of Springfield, the Elms College board of trustees, and the American Society of Perianesthesia Nurses. Arroyo is the Code Enforcement inspector for the Holyoke Board of Health and president of Arroyo Inc., an HVAC and home-improvement business. He is a deacon at his church, Iglesia Casa de Misericordia, and also involved with Iglesia Apostolica Cristiana Betzaida and the Christian radio broadcast station La Hora Zero 1490 AM.

•••••

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

LUSO Federal Credit Union announced the appointment of Jennifer Lopez as its new Marketing manager. She will oversee the credit union’s Marketing Department staff and daily operations, including brand and product promotions, advertising, online activity, and other marketing efforts. Lopez is a seasoned marketing professional with more than 10 years of experience in media and marketing management in Western Mass. Most recently, she spearheaded the marketing and communications initiatives at Pope Francis High School in Chicopee. Prior to that, she was a reporter and editor for Turley Publications in Palmer, and worked as a content writer for Market Mentors in West Springfield. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Western New England University.

•••••

Country Bank President and CEO Paul Scully announced the promotions of Mark Phillips, Andrew Sullivan, Sarah Yurkunas, and Christine Witz. Phillips has been appointed to first vice president of Internal Audit. He has been with the bank for 23 years and is a certified internal auditor and certified bank auditor. He has more than 40 years in the financial-services industry in various positions, most recently director of Internal Audit. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from Nichols College, and is also a graduate of the National School of Banking. He and his wife, Lisa, actively support the Epilepsy Foundation and the Worcester County Food Bank. Sullivan has been promoted to small-business lending officer and has been with the bank for four years. He began his career as a staff auditor at Wolf & Co. in Springfield, where he worked for two years before joining Country Bank as a credit analyst. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business management along with an MBA with a concentration in accounting from Elms College. In 2015, he started a charity golf tournament, Andrew Sullivan’s Swing for a Cure, to bring awareness to cystic fibrosis. Over the past three years, this event has raised more than $30,000. Sullivan is also a member of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield and was recently selected to receive the Best in Bank award from Country Bank. Yurkunas has been promoted to commercial portfolio manager and has been with the bank for 11 years. She began her career at Country Bank in the loan-servicing area and then moved to a loan coordinator position, which inspired her to pursue her career in the commercial-lending area. Yurkunas has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Bay Path University. She has also taken classes from the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. and received a certification in Fundamentals of Credit Analysis: Intro to Commercial Lending. She volunteers many hours of her personal time to support the bank’s community programs and enjoys giving back to her community. Witz has been promoted to retail lending officer. She has been with the bank for seven years, most recently as the assistant branch manager in the Charlton office. She serves on the Buy Ware Committee.

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