Home Posts tagged Sept. 30
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Michele Feinstein

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

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

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Tim Armstrong

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

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

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Joanne Marqusee

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

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Michael Dias

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

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

Company Notebook

UMass Amherst Ranks 24th in U.S. News Rankings

AMHERST — UMass Amherst has climbed into the top 25 of the nation’s premier public universities, coming in 24th among the approximately 130 public institutions ranked in the “Best Colleges 2020” guide published by U.S. News & World Report. The Commonwealth’s flagship campus moved up two slots this year. With student success, graduation rates, and other key metrics on the rise, the university continued its ascent as one of the fastest-rising, top-tier public-research universities in the country, advancing from 52nd in 2010 to 24th in 2020. For six years running, UMass Amherst has been ranked in the top 30 public universities. UMass Amherst also ranks 64th in the U.S. News & World Report Best National Universities category, moving up six places from last year’s rankings among 312 public and private institutions rated by U.S. News. The U.S. News rankings are based on a variety of weighted factors: graduation rate, undergraduate academic reputation, faculty resources, graduation and retention rates, social mobility, alumni giving, financial resources, student selectivity, and high-school counselor ratings.

 

UMassFive Voted Best Credit Union in Poll

HADLEY — UMassFive College Federal Credit Union has once again been honored with the title of Best Credit Union in the Valley Advocate’s annual reader voting poll, extending its streak in the number-one position to 13 years in a row. The credit union was also favored in multiple categories in the Hampshire Gazette’s Reader’s Choice poll, where it took home the titles of Best Credit Union for the sixth year in a row, the Best Place to Get an Auto Loan, and Best Financial Planning. Jon Reske, vice president of Marketing, attributes UMassFive’s success in the polls to a company culture centered on personalized experience that has created a loyal community of members.

Hampshire College to Reinvent Its Academic Program This Fall

AMHERST — Hampshire College announced a major effort to reinvent its pioneering academic program, engaging its campus community and 12,000 alumni in ongoing meetings this fall and promising to publish a plan by November. The initiative, called Hampshire Launch, marks the college’s 50th anniversary next year and the launch of its second half-century. The effort is led by President Ed Wingenbach and supported by a campus planning group, who are facilitating weekly meetings with students, faculty, and staff, as well as virtual meetings with alumni. The intensive community discussions will lead to board of trustees action on a plan in October. The college is exploring new academic and financial models as it creates a vision and roadmap for its future, an effort critical to its admissions recruiting and fundraising. The goal is to produce an inspiring, realistic plan, which also exemplifies its identity and reputation as an experimenting college and presents a model for others in higher education. The academic plan will be accompanied by a sustainable financial plan.

Third Delaney’s Market Opens in Wilbraham

WILBRAHAM — The third Delaney’s Market store opened on Tuesday at 2030 Boston Road, Wilbraham. Delaney’s Market is a retail store that features chef-inspired meals that are fresh and ready to serve with little effort. It also features a selection of wine and craft beers. Delaney’s Market strives to assist the busy individual or family that wants to eat a quality lunch or dinner at their home or office without the hassle of long prep times and/or high costs. The first Delaney’s Markey store opened in 2016 at the Longmeadow Shops in Longmeadow. The Springfield location opened just two months ago downtown on Main Street. One more store will open later this year in Westfield.

Elms College Ranks Highly in Northern Region, Social Mobility

CHICOPEE — Elms College ranks in the top half of schools in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 list of Best Regional Universities (North). Elms College improved significantly in the 2020 rankings, moving to 86th among regional universities in the northern U.S. region, up from 99th in 2019. Elms College also was named in the top 20% (37th) among Regional Universities (North) in a new category, Top Performers on Social Mobility, which ranks schools for enrolling and graduating large proportions of students who have received federal Pell Grants. U.S. News ranks Elms College as a university because of changes to the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education’s basic classification system and the number of graduate programs Elms offers. The Carnegie categories are the accepted standard in U.S. higher education.

Springfield College Earns Top-20 Ranking from U.S. News

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College has advanced into the top 20 in its category in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings. In the Best Regional Universities – North category, Springfield College is ranked 19th. This year’s position represents a continuing rise in the rankings for Springfield College over the last 10 years. The college’s overall Best Colleges score has increased each year since the 2011 rankings. Also, Springfield College has moved up in the rankings in nine of the last 10 years, including jumping up nine spots from last year. The college has moved up 48 spots from its ranking in 2011. The college’s constant ranking in the top tier in its category is spurred by improved graduation rates and improved retention of first-year students. The ratings are based on such variables as peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, student selectivity, class size, alumni giving, and student-faculty ratio. Springfield College was also ranked 15th in its category of the U.S. News Best Values rankings that showcase colleges with high quality and a lower cost, up four spots from last year. This is the fourth consecutive year that Springfield College has been listed in the Best Values category, which takes into account a college’s academic quality and net cost of attendance. Springfield College was also ranked once again in the U.S. News A+ Schools for B Students category. Colleges in this category have strong ratings and accept a significant number of students with non-stratospheric transcripts.

Country Bank Recognized for Charitable Giving

WARE — Each year, the Boston Business Journal celebrates Massachusetts corporations and nonprofits for their contributions in giving back to communities in Massachusetts. During this year’s celebration held on Sept. 5, Country Bank was recognized as one of the Top Charitable Contributors in 2019 and received a Corporate Citizenship Award. A total of 105 companies were recognized during the evening; Country Bank ranked 62nd with total donations of $1 million to various nonprofits within the region. Country Bank employs 235 staff members within Hampden, Hampshire, and Worcester counties. In 2018, staff members actively promoted the bank’s mission of giving back to the communities they serve by volunteering more than 1,100 hours in community service.

UMass Amherst Startup a Winner in Technology Transfer Contest

AMHERST — Ernest Pharmaceuticals, a startup venture based at UMass Amherst’s Institute of Applied Life Sciences (IALS), is one of four companies to win $2,500 from the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC) in a business-pitch poster competition in Boston. This recognizes the groundbreaking young biotech firm as it brings its research on programmed bacteria that deliver anti-cancer treatment to tumors from lab to market. Ernest Pharmaceuticals CEO and bioengineer Nele Van Dessel presented the poster at MTTC’s 12th annual Massachusetts Life Sciences Innovation Day; the company was one among 30 vying for four prizes. She said she and co-founder Neil Forbes, a professor of Chemical Engineering at UMass Amherst, believe the company’s association with IALS has been a crucial factor in its steady success. Van Dessel, who earned a Ph.D. in bioengineering at home in Belgium, came to UMass Amherst looking specifically for Forbes after she read all his published papers on what she calls his unconventional but effective use of Salmonella bacteria to deliver cancer-busting compounds to kill metastatic breast cancer tumors from inside. Forbes named the company after his grandfather Ernest, who died of prostate cancer. Since co-founding Ernest Pharmaceuticals with Forbes, Van Dessel has talked with a large number of oncologists to learn where the greatest need is in cancer treatment today, in particular which metastatic diseases are the hardest to treat. In this way, she and Forbes identified an urgent need for new tools to treat metastatic liver, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. Also benefiting from the UMass Amherst – IALS Business Innovation Fellows program, Ernest and three other campus startups received Small Business Innovation Research phase I grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health in 2018, bringing them into this year with significant funding.

United Way of Pioneer Valley Announces Thrive To Go!

SPRINGFIELD — The United Way of Pioneer Valley announced the expansion of its successful Thrive Financial Success Centers with Thrive to Go!, a mobile version of the same one-on-one financial coaching that has been available in Holyoke, Westfield, and Springfield. This free program served 585 low- to moderate-income residents of Hampden County last year and, with Thrive to Go!, aims to reach even more residents in a wider area within the United Way service footprint. At Thrive, the client works one-on-one with a financial coach, who offers assistance with setting financial goals, opening bank accounts, budgeting, building credit and credit repair, reviewing credit reports, debt reduction, building assets, referrals to social services, and assistance with income-support applications. Thrive provides services in a bundled, sequential manner so that clients can build on their knowledge for their future successes and goal completion.

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