Page 48 - BusinessWest March 17, 2021
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the GSB PPP loan task force. Royal will manage the maintenance of existing information systems and develop and implement the information-technology roadmap for the organization, as well as coordinat- ing with other departments to understand business goals and challenges and implementing technol- ogy solutions to help the organization meet goals efficiently. She will also develop training programs for upgrades and system changes, ensure compli- ance with regulatory requirements, and participate in the hiring and training of the IT team. Smith is responsible for gathering various documents and the information necessary for the underwriting and approval of commercial-loan transactions, as well as preparing commercial-loan documents, including commitment letters. She was a member of the first- round PPP loan task force, helping prepare custom- ers’ documents. She has also been a participant of GSB shred fests, helping customers and the public prevent identity theft by shredding documents con- taining personal information.
Country Bank announced that Seth Arvanites has joined its Commercial Lending division. Arvanites, who has been in the commercial-lending industry for 22 years, came to Country Bank from People’s United Bank and earned a bachelor’s degree in both political sci- ence and geography from
Syracuse University. “The best part of this role is get- ting to meet, learn about, and serve the people and businesses in the community,” he said. “The great people I’ve worked with over the years instilled in me the value of kindness, responsiveness, flexibil- ity, and teamwork. I’m excited for the opportunity, and I look forward to getting to know my clients and teammates.”
Stephen Duval, CFP, a private wealth advisor with Ameri- prise Financial in South Had- ley, was named to the list of “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” published by Forbes magazine. The list recognizes financial advisors who have demon- strated high levels of ethical standards, professionalism,
and success in the business. Duval was chosen based on assets under management, industry experience, compliance record, and best practices, as well as his approach to working with clients. He is part of Sum- mit House Wealth Partners, a private wealth-advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. Duval graduated from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst with a degree in business admin- istration. As a private wealth advisor practice, Sum- mit House Wealth Partners provides financial advice that is anchored in a solid understanding of client needs and expectations, while fostering one-on-one relationships with clients. Duval has 29 years of expe- rience with Ameriprise Financial.
A Springfield Technical Com- munity College (STCC) pro- fessor of Optics and Photon- ics Technology has joined 16 recipients from institutions worldwide in receiving awards and medals from the Optical Society (OSA). The 2021 OSA prizes include the Esther Hoff- man Beller Medal, which went
to Nicholas Massa, who has taught at STCC since
1986, and has led the Optics and Photonics program since 1990. The Optics and Photonics Technology program at STCC serves as a pathway into posi- tions at high-tech companies throughout the region, including Coherent/Nufern, which makes optical fibers for telecommunications and high power fiber lasers used in industry and defense technology. Massa’s award, the Esther Hoffman Beller Medal, was established in 1993 and is presented for outstand- ing contributions to education in optical science and engineering. Consideration is given to outstanding teaching, original work, or both in optics education that enhances the understanding of optics.
Michael Weekes was celebrated as a 2021 Black Excellence on the Hill honoree at a virtual ceremony hosted by the Mas- sachusetts Black & Latino Legislative Caucus (MBLLC)
in celebration of Black History Month. Weekes, who serves as president and CEO of the Pro- viders’ Council, was nominated
by state Sen. Eric Lesser as a black leader, trailblazer, and changemaker who contributes to his local com- munity. As president and CEO, Weekes is responsible for the overall management of the Providers’ Coun- cil and its related foundation, the Human Services Providers Charitable Foundation Inc. His continued work with the Providers Council allows him to pro- mote the wider community of families and individu- als impacted by human services that support and improve the quality of life for many people across the Commonwealth.
Finck & Perras Insurance Agency announced that Jen- nifer Ewers has joined its team as a business development specialist working primarily out of the agency’s Florence location. In this position, she will provide personal-lines insurance services for custom- ers looking for homeowners,
automobile, umbrella, and other coverages. Ewers has more than 17 years of experience working in the Pioneer Valley with customers on their insurance needs. She will also continue her role working with several local nonprofit agencies, including her seat on the board of directors for the Cancer Connection and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County.
Vince Jackson, executive director of the Greater
Northampton Chamber of Commerce, was recog- nized last week with the Black Excellence Award, given by the Massachusetts Legislature’s Black and Latino Legislative Caucus. Jackson was nominated by state Sen. Jo Comerford to receive the award as part of the third annual Black Excellence on the Hill event. As executive director of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce and the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council, Jackson brings nearly two decades of experience in business, including as the founder, president, and CEO of Marketing Moves Inc., as well as a successful career at PepsiCo, Kraft, and Procter & Gamble. His background also includes an appointment as lecturer of marketing courses at the Isenberg School of Management at UMass. Jack- son has an MBA in marketing and finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in information systems and accounting from Grambling State University.
Holyoke Community College (HCC) student Miren
Neyra Alcántara is the recipient of a Newman Civic
Fellowship, which recognizes college leaders who demon- strate a commitment to finding solutions to challenges facing communities locally, nationally, and internationally. Alcántara will join 212 college students from 39 states, Washington, D.C., and Mexico to form the
2021 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows, a program administered by Campus Compact, a Boston-based nonprofit working to advance the public purposes
of higher education. The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program for students from Campus Compact member institutions. Alcántara — who was a finalist earlier this year for BusinessWest’s People’s Choice Young Woman of Impact Award — is a Latinx studies major at HCC and president of the college’s Latinx Empowerment Assoc. She is also a member
of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the col- lege’s Student Advisory Board, and works as a peer tutor and volunteers with community organizations including Climate Change Theater Action, Common Share Food Co-op, and SPARK Reproductive Justice Now. She also teaches English to Central Ameri-
can immigrants through a program called Planting Literacy, an HCC collaboration with Head Start in Springfield.
Dress for Success Western Massachusetts
announced the addition of four new members to
its board of directors. Nikki Burnett brings more than 20 years of program coordination, board man- agement, and volunteer engagement to the Dress
for Success board of directors. She is currently the executive director of Educare in Springfield and has also worked at the American Heart Assoc. and Bay- state Medical Center. Mariangeliz Fines-Delbrey is a previous client of Dress for Success and has worked for the last 13 years in patient care in the Springfield area, and is also a one-on-one special-education paraprofessional. She has been an advocate for patients and their families and has completed many trainings and certifications to further her education and ability to provide outreach to the community. Jenary Merced is also a previous client of Dress for Success and brings a wealth of community work and volunteer experience to the board. She has worked in higher education for the last five years, most recently as a community outreach and admissions counselor at Springfield Technical Community College. Myra Quick brings many years of experience in employee development and volunteer recruitment and is cur- rently the CEO and president of Fast Forward Learn- ing and Development. She holds certifications from the Society of Human Resources Management and the Assoc. for Training and Development, among others.
Tony Worden, president and chief operating officer at Greenfield Cooperative Bank (GCB), announced that Jay Seyler has joined the bank
as the new vice president of Commercial Lending. He will be based primarily in the King Street, Northampton office and aid the efforts of GCB’s Com-
mercial Lending department, reporting directly to Michael Buckmaster, senior vice president of Com- mercial Lending. With close to 35 years of commer- cial-banking experience, Seyler joins the GCB team from PeoplesBank in Holyoke, having previously
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