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A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts / March 2019

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Vivid Vocal Visionary

The Women’s Fund of Western Mass. (WFWM) paid tribute to four of its pioneers at an event it called Vivid Vocal Visionary on March 18 at the Tower Square Hotel in Springfield. The event honored the group’s three founders, Dianne Fuller Doherty, the late Sally Livingston, and Martha Richards, as well as its founding executive director, Kristi Nelson.

From left, Donna Haghighat, CEO of the WFWM, Doherty, Richards, Nelson, Mimi Ginsberg (accepting for Sally Livingston’s family), and Haydee Lamberty-Rodriguez, board chair of the WFMA)

From left, Donna Haghighat, CEO of the WFWM, Doherty, Richards, Nelson, Mimi Ginsberg (accepting for Sally Livingston’s family), and Haydee Lamberty-Rodriguez, board chair of the WFMA)


Former board members Jane Sapp, left, and Brenda Lopez

Former board members Jane Sapp, left, and Brenda Lopez


From left, Eugenie Sills, Eleanor Lord, Shirley Edgerton (all former board members), Abbie von Schlegell, and Barbara Viniar

From left, Eugenie Sills, Eleanor Lord, Shirley Edgerton (all former board members), Abbie von Schlegell, and Barbara Viniar


Haghighat (left) with featured speaker Teresa Younger, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women

Haghighat (left) with featured speaker Teresa Younger, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women



New Name, Same Mission

Girls Inc. of Holyoke officially changed its name to Girls Inc. of the Valley last month to reflect its broader reach — it now serves girls in several communities across the region — and deeper impact. The name change was announced at a press conference at WGBY’s headquarters in Springfield that featured a number of speakers talking about the agency’s critical mission within the region.

From left, Luis Soria, principal of the Marcella R. Kelly School in Holyoke; Safiatu Sam, mother of a Girls Inc. Eureka scholar who lives in Chicopee; Suzanne Parker, executive director of Girls Inc. of the Valley; Roxanne Atterbury, a teacher at Rebecca Johnson Elementary School in Springfield; and Melyssa Brown-Porter, chair of the board for Girls Inc. of the Valley.

From left, Luis Soria, principal of the Marcella R. Kelly School in Holyoke; Safiatu Sam, mother of a Girls Inc. Eureka scholar who lives in Chicopee; Suzanne Parker, executive director of Girls Inc. of the Valley; Roxanne Atterbury, a teacher at Rebecca Johnson Elementary School in Springfield; and Melyssa Brown-Porter, chair of the board for Girls Inc. of the Valley.


A New Chapter

The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation announced late last month that the Springfield City Library will assume management of the Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative launched by the foundation in 2009 and managed by Sally Fuller until her retirement last year. The new chapter for the initiative was announced at a press conference at the Mason Square branch of the library attended by a host of area civic and business leaders as well as third-graders from nearby DeBerry Elementary School.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno meets with several of those students.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno meets with several of those students.

Students from DeBerry pose with the book bags, filled with books, that they received

Students from DeBerry pose with the book bags, filled with books, that they received

From left, Sarno, state Rep. Bud Williamson, and Mary Walachy, executive director of the Davis Foundation

From left, Sarno, state Rep. Bud Williamson, and Mary Walachy, executive director of the Davis Foundation


Hometown Heroes

The Western Mass. Chapter of the American Red Cross staged its annual Hometown Heroes Breakfast on March 21 at MGM Springfield. The event recognized 10 heroes from across the region.

Columbia Gas was the presenting sponsor

Columbia Gas was the presenting sponsor for Matthew Turgeon and Michael Croteau of the Chicopee Fire Department (center), who saved a toddler and her father while ice fishing off duty

Brad Campbell, board chair of the Western Mass. chapter, and Holly Grant, regional CEO of Massachusetts

Brad Campbell, board chair of the Western Mass. chapter, and Holly Grant, regional CEO of Massachusetts

From left, Sheila Doiron, director of Communications & Community Relations for Columbia Gas, Hometown Hero Holly Holden, and Beverly Tangvik, president of the Arbella Insurance Charitable Foundation

From left, Sheila Doiron, director of Communications & Community Relations for Columbia Gas, Hometown Hero Holly Holden, and Beverly Tangvik, president of the Arbella Insurance Charitable Foundation

Picture This

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Smile for the Camera

Sandra Costello, owner of Sandra Costello Photography, cuts the ribbon to the opening of her new photography studio in the Eastworks Building in Easthampton on Feb. 17. Surrounded by family, friends, and clients, Costello celebrated her new space for capturing portraits of women, families, high-school seniors, and professionals. (Photo by Ryan Williams)

Sandra Costello, owner of Sandra Costello Photography, cuts the ribbon to the opening of her new photography studio in the Eastworks Building in Easthampton on Feb. 17. Surrounded by family, friends, and clients, Costello celebrated her new space for capturing portraits of women, families, high-school seniors, and professionals. (Photo by Ryan Williams)



Image Conscious

Michael’s Party Rentals recently received a national accolade at the 2019 American Rental Assoc. (ARA) annual convention and trade show in Anaheim, Calif.  The company was acknowledged with a Presidents Image Award, given to a business facility or store celebrating its commitment to improving the rental-industry image through a remodeling, rebuilding, or renovation project. The award was in response to Michael’s Party Rentals’ new showroom, which opened in July 2016. Pictured: Melissa Sullivan (left) and Michael Linton accept the award.

Michael’s Party Rentals recently received a national accolade at the 2019 American Rental Assoc. (ARA) annual convention and trade show in Anaheim, Calif. The company was acknowledged with a Presidents Image Award, given to a business facility or store celebrating its commitment to improving the rental-industry image through a remodeling, rebuilding, or renovation project. The award was in response to Michael’s Party Rentals’ new showroom, which opened in July 2016. Pictured: Melissa Sullivan (left) and Michael Linton accept the award.


Supporting Seniors

Polish National Credit Union (PNCU) recently pledged to donate $25,000 to the Friends of River Mills Senior Center in Chicopee. The donation will be spread over the course of five years in $5,000 installments. The check was presented during the Financial Elder Abuse Workshop sponsored by the credit union on Feb. 7. This donation will be used for the addition of programs and activities for the seniors. Pictured, from left: Alfred Picard, president of Friends of River Mills Senior Center; Jim Kelly, President and CEO of PNCU; Sherry Manyak, executive director of Friends of River Mills Senior Center; Michael Sugrue, executive vice president of PNCU; and Kevin Kober, director of Retail at PNCU.

Polish National Credit Union (PNCU) recently pledged to donate $25,000 to the Friends of River Mills Senior Center in Chicopee. The donation will be spread over the course of five years in $5,000 installments. The check was presented during the Financial Elder Abuse Workshop sponsored by the credit union on Feb. 7. This donation will be used for the addition of programs and activities for the seniors. Pictured, from left: Alfred Picard, president of Friends of River Mills Senior Center; Jim Kelly, President and CEO of PNCU; Sherry Manyak, executive director of Friends of River Mills Senior Center; Michael Sugrue, executive vice president of PNCU; and Kevin Kober, director of Retail at PNCU.

Picture This

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Black Tie Gala

The Assoc. of Black Business and Professionals (ABBP) hosted its third annual Black Tie Gala on Jan. 19 at the Aria Ballroom at the MGM hotel in Springfield. During the gala, the association recognized 10 businesses and professionals were that have contributed significantly to the growth and development of the local black business community. The keynote speaker was Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to the U.S.

Attorney Alesia Days serves as master of ceremonies

Adjei-Barwuah addresses the crowd

Adjei-Barwuah addresses the crowd

Adjei-Barwuah (left) with Jasmine Green, ABBP executive board member

Adjei-Barwuah (left) with Jasmine Green, ABBP executive board member

From left, Jimmy and Toni Hendrix of Smokey Joe’s Cigar Lounge, Lamont Clemens of S-Cel-O Painting, Stefan Davis of I Found Light Against All Odds, Rosemary Tracy Woods of Art for the Soul Gallery, Justin Haynes of Jus10h, Vanessa Hall of Beaute Within, Clarence Thomas of Final Touch Barbershop, and Mychal Connoly of Stinky Cakes

From left, Clemons, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, mayoral aide and ABBP executive board member Darryl Moss, and Lordi Smith of Micro Scalp Clinic.

Open for Business

Florence Bank recently cut the ribbon on its second Hampden County branch, at 1444 Allen St. in Springfield. Bank staff, board members, and corporators were on hand at the ceremony, along with civic leaders.

In the front row, are, from left, Springfield City Councilor Michael Fenton, State Rep. Angelo Puppolo, Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Florence Bank President and CEO John Heaps, Vice President and Branch Manager Nikki Gleason, board member Mansour Ghalibaf, Area Manager/Vice President Elissa Langevin, corporator Tania Barber, Vice President/Director of Facilities Mark Cavanaugh, and Joanne Gould of the Outerbelt Service Assoc

The branch’s staff: from left, Carolyn Ware, community relations director; Candice Somar, assistant branch manager; Mario Nascimento, customer service representative/senior teller; Nikki Gleason, vice president/branch manager; Magdalis (Maggie) Sierra, customer service representative/senior teller; and Bianca Hyde, customer service representative/teller operations manager

 Sarno (left) greeting Heaps and welcoming Florence Bank into the city.

Sarno (left) greeting Heaps and welcoming Florence Bank into the city.

Model Congress at AIC

The 79th annual Model Congress at American International College, the longest-running continuous model congress of its type in the nation and one of the college’s oldest campus traditions, convened at AIC during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Eleven high schools throughout the Northeast came to campus to write, debate, and pass legislation in a weekend-long simulated congress.

The Best Delegation award was presented to (pictured, from left) Alexandria Barnard-Davignon, Rose McCaffrey, Bridget Bushy, and Michael Scoville from SABIS International Charter School. The Best Bill award was given to Chinaly Chanvong and Jada Ficarra, also from SABIS. McCaffrey was named this year’s top delegate, and will receive the Kathryn Mauke Scholarship, a full four-year tuition scholarship to AIC. Second- and third-place delegates were Althea Brennan and Pamela Mountain, respectively, from Chatham High School in New York, who receive a $10,000 and a $5,000 four-year scholarship to AIC.

Picture This

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Asnuntuck Community College

Going Digital

In an effort to provide students with relevant skills for the workplace, Asnuntuck Community College has adopted eLABJournal, a software solution from Bio-ITech, a division of Eppendorf. eLABJournal is an intuitive and user-friendly application that is designed for laboratories in academic teaching and research labs as well as in commercial settings. Students using this platform in the classroom will gain valuable experience in electronic notebook and inventory/data management, which will better prepare them for their careers. Here, Asnuntuck student Samantha Fox is photographed in one of the college’s labs working with eLabJournal. Asnuntuck Community College’s Foundation provided the funding, through a mini-grant, for this software.





The West of the River Chamber of Commerce

Open for Business

The West of the River Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed Box Paper Scissors to the Agawam community. The store, which opened in late December and is owned by Bryant Whitsett, offers a wide variety of products and services, including key cutting, notary, DVD transfer, office supplies, conference-room rental, space to sell and promote local products and services, shipping, mailbox services, faxing, and more. A grand-opening celebration was staged Jan. 17. Here, Whitsett is seen with employee Delaney Tanzer.





North Brookfield Savings Bank

Meeting a Need

North Brookfield Savings Bank (NBSB) recently thanked the community for the overwhelming success of its annual toy drive, during which the bank accepted thousands of donations of new and unwrapped toys and collected monetary donations in jars at its branch locations. Pictured are the Cindy Fountain (left) and Patty Ostrout of NBSB with officers from the North Brookfield Police Department, whose Toys for Joy program was one of many partnering organizations in the drive.





Officials from Holyoke Community College and Westfield State University

Nursing Degree Partnership

Officials from Holyoke Community College and Westfield State University signed a dual-admission agreement that streamlines the process for students who want to continue their nursing educations at Westfield after earning an associate degree in nursing at HCC. The RN-to-BSN completion program partnership was announced during a ceremony at HCC’s Center for Health Education on Jarvis Avenue, home to the college’s RN (registered nurse) and LPN (licensed practical nursing) programs and medical simulation center. From left: Diane Prusank, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Westfield State University; Ramon Torrecilha, president of Westfield State University; Christina Royal, president of Holyoke Community College; and Monica Perez, vice president of Academic Affairs at Holyoke Community College.

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A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts December 25, 2018

Cutting the Ribbon

Hundreds of dignitaries, including Gov. Charlie Baker, joined Springfield Technical Community College administrators, faculty, students, and trustees (past and present) for a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the Ira H. Rubenzahl Student Learning Commons, otherwise known as Building 19 when it was part of the Springfield Armory complex. Actually, several speakers who took the podium joked that the $50 million facility should simply be called ‘the Ira’ for short. The renovated historic building will now serve as a one-stop hub for student services and activities.

Rubenzahl, president of the school from 2004 to 2016 and visionary for the Building 19 project, cuts the ribbon

Rubenzahl, president of the school from 2004 to 2016 and visionary for the Building 19 project, cuts the ribbon

Baker, right, with current STCC President John Cook

Baker, right, with current STCC President John Cook

Rubenzahl chats with students Karolyn Burgos-Toribio and Mohammed Gabriel

Rubenzahl chats with students Karolyn Burgos-Toribio and Mohammed Gabriel

Building 19 opened in the mid 1800s, and has served the college in a number of ways over the years

Building 19 opened in the mid 1800s, and has served the college in a number of ways over the years

Rubenzahl addresses those gathered for the ceremonies, with Cook and Baker to his right

Rubenzahl addresses those gathered for the ceremonies, with Cook and Baker to his right

 

Banking on Worthy Causes

The Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. (MBA) announced that the MBA Charitable Foundation set a new record in its annual year-end community grant season. The 45 grants in 2018 total $163,000. The foundation has now provided gifts totaling approximately $2.5 million over its 22-year history. Among the awards is $5,000 to United Way of Pioneer Valley’s Thrive Financial Success Program (below), $5,000 to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts (middle), and $5,000 to Girls Inc. of Holyoke (bottom).

 

‘Your Friends Are My Friends’

More than 200 women recently attended WillPower Foundation’s “Your Friends Are My Friends” holiday brunch at Hadley Meeting House. The annual fundraiser raised more than $12,000 for grants for families with loved ones with different abilities throughout Western Mass. An art auction with pieces created by supporters of WillPower was the highlight of the event.

Sharon Dufour of LUSO Federal Credit Union and Kim Anderson with art they won at the auction.

Sharon Dufour of LUSO Federal Credit Union and Kim Anderson with art they won at the auction.

 

Food for Thought

Arrha Credit Union President Michael Ostrowski (pictured at far left) recently recognized Ludlow High School honor students for collecting $7,159.50 in non-perishable food items and donations for Springfield Open Pantry. Arrha sponsors the School Challenge, through which area students raised $22,982.91 this year. To show appreciation, Arrha donated $1,000 to Ludlow High School community efforts. The Springfield Open Pantry is an emergency food kitchen that serves more than 30,000 people each year.

Picture This

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A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts November 2018

AIC Unveils Colaccino Center

American International College (AIC) celebrated the grand opening of the new Colaccino Center for Health Sciences

American International College (AIC) celebrated the grand opening of the new Colaccino Center for Health Sciences on Oct. 24. Located at 1020 State St., the center offers spacious classrooms and hands-on labs in exercise science, nursing, physical therapy, public health, and occupational therapy. The 20,000-square-foot facility includes simulation, rehabilitation, and human-performance laboratories, as well as smart classrooms, study areas, faculty offices, and conference space. Athletic training programs will be introduced beginning in 2021. Pictured at top: cutting the ribbon are, from left, state Sen. James Welch, state Rep. Thomas Petrolati; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, AIC President Vince Maniaci, AIC board of trustees chair Frank Colaccino, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, AIC School of Health Sciences interim Dean Karen Rousseau, state Sen. Eric Lesser, and Springfield City Council President Orlando Ramos

Critical Links

Thanks to Big Y, Link to Libraries has recently made significant donations of books in the Berkshires. Pictured top: from left, Denise Dubreuil and Mike Messer of Big Y in Pittsfield; Laurie Flynn, president and CEO of Link to Libraries; and representatives from Silvio Conte Community School, Morningside Community School, and Crosby Elementary School in Pittsfield. Bottom: from left, Carolyn Wallace, principal of Brayton Elementary School in North Adams; Flynn; Becky Prenguber of Big Y in North Adams; Barbara Malkas, superintendent of North Adams Public Schools; and representatives from Brayton Elementary School, Greylock Elementary School, and Colegrove Park Elementary School in North Adams.

Super 60

On Oct. 26, the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Super 60 gala celebrated 60 area companies for their success in one of two categories — total revenue and revenue growth — and the wide range of honorees brought into focus the breadth and depth of the region’s business community. Lelaneia Dubay, founder of Hartford Flavor Co., distiller of Wild Moon liqueurs, was the keynote speaker for this year’s event at Chez Josef in Agawam. Pictured above: Dubay with representatives from presenting sponsor Health New England, from left, Brendaliz Torres, Maura Girouard, Tim Chrystal, Sandra Ruiz, Keith Jones, Peggy Garand, Eric Harlow, Christine Wershoven, Mike Wolnecki (Webber & Grinnell), Ashley Allen, and Glenda DeBarge. (Michael Epaul Photography)

HCC Opens Center for Life Sciences

Holyoke Community College (HCC) marked the official opening of its new Center for Life Sciences on Oct. 24 with a ribbon-cutting celebration featuring lab demonstrations and tours of the 13,000-square-foot, $4.55 million, state-of-the-art facility. The center, which opened for classes in September, features a suite of new science labs and classrooms and the only ISO-certified cleanroom at any community college in Massachusetts. Pictured at top: HCC president Christina Royal and state Secretary of Education Jim Peyser cut the ceremonial ribbon. Also pictured, from left to right, are state Rep. Angelo Puppolo; state Rep. Aaron Vega; Martha Waldron, vice president of Marketing & Communications for the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center; U.S. Rep. Richard Neal; Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse; and several HCC students. Bottom: HCC Biology Professor James Knapp gives a microbiology demonstration to students and visitors during the grand opening celebration.

Changing Lives

Asnuntuck Community College’s November episode of Changing Lives focuses on recent growth at the college

Asnuntuck Community College’s November episode of Changing Lives focuses on recent growth at the college. James Lombella (left), president of Asnuntuck and Tunxis Community Colleges, hosted the show. His guests were Tim St. James, interim dean of Student Services, and Jennifer Brown, director of Workforce Development and Non-credit Programs. Produced by volunteers, the Changing Lives program airs on PATV 15 on Thursdays at 8 p.m. and Fridays at 11 a.m. (Photo by Ben Durant)

Picture This

A Pictorial Essay

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Continuing the Fight

The 25th Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer drew about 25,000 people to Forest Park in Springfield on Oct. 21 to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, as well as supporting survivors and remembering loved ones they’ve lost. The program, launched in 1994 by Lucy Giuggio Carvalho has raised almost $15 million over its history for research, treatment, equipment, breast-health programs, outreach, and education — all of it local — as well as providing grants to various community programs throughout Western Mass.

‘Pink Day’

LUSO Federal Credit Union in Ludlow and Wilbraham celebrated a “Pink Day” recently to raise awareness for breast cancer. The local, nonprofit community credit union is raising money to benefit Rays of Hope and the Pink W.A.Y. through calendar raffles for the months of November and December. Suggested donation is $10 (for one) or $15 (for two). To learn more, visit www.lusofederal.com.

Bowl-a-thon Donation

Joe Phillips, right, president of Phillips Insurance Agency Inc., presents a $5,000 check to John Freedman, president of Joseph Freedman Company, for the seventh annual Joseph Freedman Bowl-a-thon being held Nov. 7 at AMF lanes in Chicopee. The proceeds go to Camphill Village, a community for adults with developmental disabilities who live together and work together caring for each other.

Getting College Experience

Brian Candido, professor and program chair for Springfield Technical Community College’s Computer Information Technologies program, leads a class involving students from Springfield’s Commerce High School. The college welcomed more than 40 students from Commerce this fall as part of a program, created in collaboration with the Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership, to enable high-school students to take college-level classes. Students attending STCC can choose between courses in mobile app programming, computer basics, and airbrushing techniques.

Picture This

A photo essay of recent business events in Western Massachusetts / October 1, 2018

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Cutting-edge Experiences

Kristen Boyle, a senior psychology and neuroscience major works in the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility at IALS.

This summer, the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) at UMass Amherst launched its first summer-intern program through its core facilities. This program creates hands-on experiences that prepare students for successful careers. Interns worked on tasks like 3D printing and laser cutting; human physiological, biomechanical, and behavioral studies; and cell testing. Many of the students are continuing on with their work throughout the current academic year. Pictured: Kristen Boyle, a senior psychology and neuroscience major works in the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance facility at IALS.

Day of Caring

The United Way’s Day of Caring brought together more than 1,000 people on Sept. 14

The United Way’s Day of Caring brought together more than 1,000 people on Sept. 14 to complete community-service work throughout the region. Many area companies use this day of service as an opportunity to engage employees in team-building and morale-boosting activities. The United Way connects local volunteers to nonprofit organizations and schools to complete tasks such as landscaping, painting, gardening, and other tasks. Pictured, top to bottom: a team from Collins Pipe volunteer at Birthday Wishes, representatives from Springfield College Americorps and BusinessWest volunteer at Gardening the Community, and employees from Belt Technologies spend the day working at the Chicopee Child Development Center.

Beyond the 9-to-5

Square One announced it is expanding access to child care to all hours of the day, to support working parents with second-shift, third-shift, and weekend jobs

Square One announced it is expanding access to child care to all hours of the day, to support working parents with second-shift, third-shift, and weekend jobs. Strategic funding partners include MGM Springfield, Baystate Health, Smith & Wesson, the Center for Human Development (CHD), FOCUS, and LENOX. Funds from these employers were matched by philanthropist Lyman Wood of Hampden. Collectively, more than $100,000 was raised to launch Square One: Next Level. “Square One has a long-standing reputation for strategically responding to the evolving needs of our community,” said Joan Kagan, Square One president and CEO. “We heard from our business leaders and from parents in our community that the lack of child care during evenings and weekends was making it difficult for employees to be successful in their careers and employers to be successful in running their businesses.” Pictured, from left: Lori Nesci of CHD; Annamarie Golden of Baystate Health; Wood; Kagan; Alex Dixon of MGM Springfield; Hannah Butler of LENOX; and Dan McDonough of Smith & Wesson.

Seeding the Future

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded two separate grants to Springfield Technical Community College

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded two separate grants to Springfield Technical Community College to enhance education in cutting-edge internet technology and advanced photonics, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal announced. The college received $599,388 to develop the Internet of Things Education Project and $551,202 to develop a program called Problem-Based Learning in Advanced Photonics Manufacturing Education. Both grants are designed to support three-year projects that will prepare and inspire students to enter careers in growing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. STCC has degree and certificate programs that prepare students for these careers. Pictured at the announcement, from left: Gary Mullett, co-chair of the Electronic Systems Engineering Technology Department at STCC; Neal; and Nicholas Massa, department chair for Optics and Photonics Technology at STCC.

Helping Kids Overcome

Springfield will be home to the first Educare early-education school in Massachusetts

Springfield will be home to the first Educare early-education school in Massachusetts. The groundbreaking for the $14 million school took place on Sept. 17 on Hickory Street, adjacent to Brookings School, on land provided by Springfield College. Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito was joined by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; Educare officials; Janis Santos, executive director of Holyoke Chicopee Springfield Head Start; local leaders in philanthropy and project funders; representatives of Springfield College and the Old Hill Neighborhood Council; elected officials; and other community members for the ceremony. The center is expected to open in late 2019, offering an early-education model designed to help narrow the achievement gap for children living in poverty. Funding for the project comes from a variety of local, state, and national sources. Pictured at top: state, local, and elected officials, as well as representatives of Educare, Head Start, the Davis Foundation, O’Connell Development Group, and others break ground on Educare Springfield. At above: Polito holds up signs made by Head Start children.

Linking the Community

Link to Libraries recently held an event at Mercedes-Benz of Springfield to recognize its Business Book Link sponsors

Link to Libraries recently held an event at Mercedes-Benz of Springfield to recognize its Business Book Link sponsors. Pictured top: From left, Michael Matty, president and director of St. Germain Investment Management, Peter Wirth, co-owner of Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, and William Trudeau, president and CEO of the Insurance Center of New England. Above: Amy Rediker and Andrew Anderlonis of Rediker Software, and Laurie Flynn, president and CEO of Link to Libraries. (Photos by Sarah Gallagher)

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Running for the Kids

More than 200 runners and walkers gathered in downtown Northampton on Aug. 26 for the Gándara Center’s fourth annual Frozen Yogurt 5K Run/Walk. The event raised more than $20,000 to build a universally accessible playground at Gándara’s Mooreland residential group home for children up to age 12. “This playground will provide the youngest individuals we serve with some joy during an incredibly stressful time in their lives,” said Lisa Brecher, director of Communications and Development at the Gándara Center. “Giving these children a safe and fun outlet in their backyard will help provide a positive light to their stay.” Pictured above are some of the top finishers. This year’s first-place winners by category included: men 13-54, Michael Giles (19:03); women 13-54, Laura Christof (20:35); boys 12 and under, Teddy Cyr (21:32); girls 12 and under, Sabrina Hopkins (28:17); men 55 and over, Alan Hunt (25:15); and women 55 and over, Candace Curran (27:48).

 


 


 

 

Shot of Support

Goodwin House, a CHD program offering substance-use treatment services for males between ages 13 and 17, recently commissioned a new outdoor basketball court. Pictured above: the facility’s namesake, Jim Goodwin, CEO of CHD. Below, Big Y Foods was among the donors who made the court possible. Pictured, from left, are Ben Craft, vice president, Community Engagement, CHD; Stacy Bissonette, aftercare coordinator, Goodwin House; Chantal Silloway, program director, Goodwin House; and Michael Matyszewski, store director, Chicopee Big Y. Other contributors to the new basketball court included Russell and Day Degenza, Mike Gram, Hathaway Construction Corp., HD Supply White Cap – A.H. Harris, Home Depot of Chicopee, JRT Landscaping, Marcelino Mendez, Pioneer Valley Concrete Service, Scott Santor, Craig Sypek, and Vermont Woods Studios.


 

Successful Start

Officials from Head Start, MGM Springfield, and the city of Springfield recently gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new MGM Head Start Child and Family Center on Union Street in the city’s South End. The $4 million, 10,000-square-foot preschool center features classroom space for 88 children under age 5. Pictured, from left: Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno; U.S. Rep. Richard Neal; Janis Santos, director, HCS Head Start Inc.; Alex Dixon, general manager, MGM Springfield; Marikate Murren, vice president, Human Resources, MGM Springfield; state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez; and Janet Steigmeyer, director, Human Resources, Facilities, and Maintenance, HCS Head Start Inc. (Photo by Ed Cohen)

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Investing in People

MHA’s Leadership Series

MHA’s Leadership Series, which is open to all members of management in the mental-health agency, delivers a leadership curriculum specialized for human-services professionals. The comprehensive training is designed to support supervisors and directors within their roles. Twenty-six supervisors recently graduated from MHA’s Leadership Series 2018. A second Leadership Series is scheduled for the winter of 2019. “Employee training is essential to the success of any organization. Supervisor training and development can have a profound effect on employee retention, as well as recruitment,” said Cheryl Fasano, MHA president and CEO. “The investment MHA has made in our Leadership Series will benefit the organization for the long run. Investing in our most important resources, our human resources, is a priority.”