Home Search results for habitat for humanity
Home Improvement Special Coverage

Serving Those Who Have Served

Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Build

Habitat for Humanity’s Veterans Build initiative has helped many veterans stay in their homes through repair and renovation projects.

Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) homeowner and local veteran Max needed help. The colonial home he purchased in the McKnight neighborhood in 2002 had become a hindrance.

Max suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and rheumatoid arthritis, which makes climbing stairs to the second-floor bedrooms challenging. He expressed his concerns to Habitat, and together, they discovered a solution. Habitat, through its Veterans Build Home Preservation program, is building a downstairs bedroom and bathroom for the veteran and his wife, Gloria.

Veterans Build is a national Habitat for Humanity initiative that provides housing solutions and volunteer and employment opportunities for U.S. veterans, military service members, and their families. The program serves limited-income homeowners who are affected by age, disability, or family circumstances and struggle to maintain the condition and utility of their homes.

The home-preservation program provides affordable micro-loans to qualifying homeowners who need help with accessibility modifications, home weatherization, general home repairs, yard cleanup, and landscaping. GSHFH works alongside volunteers and homeowners to make repairs.

“Massachusetts has some of the oldest housing stock in the country, and many aging homeowners are unable to make needed repairs on their own,” said Aimee Giroux, GSHFH’s executive director. “We are happy to be able to help them through the repair process so they can continue to stay in their homes.”

Max, a former Marines corporal, qualified for the Veterans Build Home Preservation program and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program. The pilot project gives competitive grants to nonprofits that serve veterans or low-income individuals. The grants can be used to rehabilitate eligible veterans’ primary residences. Purple Heart Homes is donating $15,000 while raising additional funds toward the project. Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit charity, provides housing solutions for former military members who are disabled and/or have decided to age in place.

“Massachusetts has some of the oldest housing stock in the country, and many aging homeowners are unable to make needed repairs on their own. We are happy to be able to help them through the repair process so they can continue to stay in their homes.”

“Every act of generosity toward our veterans echoes a resounding commitment to honor their service and sacrifice. With deep gratitude, Purple Heart Homes is proud to contribute $15,000 to the Greater Springfield Habitat Humanity home-preservation project, ensuring veteran Maxwell finds solace and security in a place he can call home,” said John Gallina, CEO and co-founder of PHH. “Our mission extends beyond this gift, as we embark on a dedicated fundraising campaign to reach a goal of an additional $10,000. We believe we’re better together. In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, we hope to build a legacy of compassion and support for those who have bravely defended our freedom.”

GSHFH is dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering low-income families to change their lives and the lives of future generations through home ownership and home-preservation opportunities. Since 1987, Greater Springfield Habitat has built or repaired 120 homes in 23 towns. This project represents the first home to utilize ICFs, which will further reduce long-term costs for the future homeowners.

 

Helping Other Veterans

Last month, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity, in association with Window World Military Initiative, Home Depot Repair Corps, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program, performed exterior work for former Army Specialist fourth grade Roland and his wife Jo-Ann.

The pilot project gives competitive grants to nonprofits that serve veterans or low-income individuals. Grants can be used to rehabilitate eligible veterans’ primary residences. 

The one-story Monson house, which the couple purchased in 1992, had fallen into disrepair, and Roland said his insurance company didn’t want to insure it because of the state of the siding. He knew of Habitat for Humanity from reading articles about well-known volunteer and former President Jimmy Carter and thought there might be an affiliate in Springfield. When he reached out, Giroux visited his home to help the couple complete the application process.

Window World Military Initiative donated the siding, replacement windows, a new sliding door, and gutters, while also providing volunteer support to help with installation.

“Our family is blessed and honored to live in a country that provides the freedoms that we all enjoy, and as a small family business, we are the example of the American dream,” said Grace Drost, owner of Window World of Western Massachusetts. “With that, we can’t forget that those freedoms and the American dream aren’t free, and we feel this is an opportunity to thank our veterans for the sacrifices they make so our dreams can come true. One of the core values of our company is rooted in changing lives, and this is a chance for our whole team to give back to those who make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.”

Habitat also replaced the deck and repaired the shed roof and cleaned up the yard.

“Habitat is excellent,” Roland said. “I’m very pleased.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) and future Habitat homeowners will work alongside Lowe’s volunteers and all-female construction crews for Habitat for Humanity’s 10th annual National Women Build Week, May 6-14. Habitat’s National Women Build Week invites women to help make a difference and devote at least one day to help build decent and affordable housing in their local communities.

More than 17,000 women, including Lowe’s Heroes volunteers, are expected to volunteer at construction sites across the country as part of Habitat’s 2017 National Women Build Week.

In the Upper Hill neighborhood of Springfield, volunteers will work to frame the exterior walls on the first floor of the house as well as tackle interior walls and prep to start the second floor. “Unskilled volunteers often arrive feeling timid about stepping onto a construction site and being expected to frame, but with encouragement and a little guidance they end up loving the experience and accomplishing a lot,” said GSHFH Construction Manager Kris McKelvie.

This year, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity will be kicking off its next new construction in Springfield as part of National Women Build Week. In support of Women Build Week and Mother’s Day, the annual fundraising event, Men Can Cook, will be held on May 9, where several men, including local business owners, Habitat board members, and others, volunteer as chefs and waiters to put on an unforgettable evening of food and fun to honor the women in their lives. Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield, who has been a local celebrity waiter in the past, will be in attendance again this year to celebrate National Women Build Week as well as State Representative Carlos Gonzales.

Lowe’s helped launch National Women Build Week in 2008 to empower women to advocate for affordable housing and spotlight the homeownership challenges faced by many. Each year, Lowe’s provides the support of their employee volunteers, Lowe’s Heroes, and conducts how-to clinics at stores to teach volunteers construction skills so they can feel equipped to take part in the builds. Lowe’s Heroes will be among more than 70 volunteers joining to help build decent, affordable housing in the Springfield area as part of National Women Build Week.

“Through our partnership with Habitat and support of National Women Build Week, Lowe’s empowers women to get involved in their communities, learn construction skills and make a meaningful impact,” said James Frison, Lowe’s director of community relations. “We’re grateful to all the women in the Springfield area who will volunteer this week to help build and repair decent and affordable housing.”

Lowe’s donated nearly $2 million to this year’s National Women Build Week, including a $5,000 store gift card to Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity. Since 2003, Lowe’s has committed more than $63 million to Habitat’s mission and helped more than 6,500 families improve their living conditions.

Habitat’s first Women Build event was held in 1998. Since then, all-women construction crews have helped build more than 2,500 homes in partnership with families.

For more information on Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build program and to learn about Women Build events in communities across the U.S. year-round, visit Habitat.org/wb.

Daily News

FLORENCE — Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity (PVHH) announced that Megan McDonough has accepted the position of executive director for the organization.

McDonough has been working for Habitat for more than a year and has demonstrated skilled leadership and vision since the previous director left in April, said Mike Simolo, PVHH’s board president. “I am pleased to report that the hiring committee made an enthusiastic recommendation to the board to hire our own Megan McDonough as PVHH’s next executive director,” he added. “The board members present unanimously accepted that recommendation, and we all look forward to working with her in her new role.”

McDonough holds a master’s degree in regional planning from UMass Amherst, and is an alumna of the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton. She has seven years of experience working with green builders during her time at the Center for EcoTechnology, and seven years of experience working with the Valley Community Land Trust, an affordable-housing nonprofit based in Franklin County. Her experience in housing, paired with her past leadership experience at the UMass Graduate Employee Organization, makes her an ideal fit for furthering Habitat’s mission, Simolo said.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue to work alongside the many kind and generous Habitat volunteers I’ve met in the past year,” said McDonough. “The board, the office volunteers, the committees, the building volunteers, and our many donors are what make it possible for Habitat to be a catalyst for change — not just for the families we house, but for the whole community that is enriched by the experience of helping build hope.”

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity (PVHH) serves Hampshire and Franklin counties, seeking to eliminate homelessness and substandard housing by making decent, affordable shelter a matter of conscience and action for all people. PVHH builds homes with volunteer labor and donations of material, supplies, land, and services. PVHH then sells each home with a no-interest mortgage to a low-income family. The family becomes an active Habitat partner, contributing many hours of sweat equity during the construction of their home. Since 1989, nearly three dozen families have become homeowners in the Valley through Habitat’s work.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) received a $39,000 charitable grant from KeyBank Foundation, the charitable foundation of KeyBank, during the bank’s Volunteer Build Day held on Chestnut Street in Holyoke.

The donation will assist Habitat’s environmental-stewardship program, which strives to build homes utilizing a variety of environmentally friendly building practices to have a positive impact on the environment while providing homeowners with energy-efficient homes.

“We appreciate KeyBank’s donation to our environmental stewardship campaign, which will allow us to incorporate more green-building and energy-efficient products into our home designs and helping us to provide our partner families with more environmentally friendly homes and lower utility costs,” said Aimee Giroux, executive director of GSHFH.

Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity builds safe, decent, and affordable homes that allow families to build stronger foundations that create a more stable future for themselves and their families. Through construction utilizing community volunteers, the organization provides low-income families with the opportunity of affordable homeownership or needed repairs on a home they already own.

Habitat for Humanity also educates families about financial-asset building, the value of good credit, and budgeting by requiring families to complete first-time-homebuyer and financial-literacy education. They then work with the family, community volunteers, and workforce-development partners to construct and/or repair the homes incorporating green-building practices that provide energy cost savings for homeowners.

“At KeyBank, supporting affordable housing solutions is core to our community investment strategy and how we help our communities thrive,” said Ramon (Tito) Albizu, branch manager of KeyBank’s Holyoke branch. “We are pleased to support Habitat for Humanity’s mission philanthropically, and as members of the Holyoke community, we are particularly proud to volunteer our time to help make the dream of homeownership a reality for a Holyoke family.”

KeyBank has seven branches serving Greater Springfield. This foundation grant is part of its philanthropic support aimed at creating safe, healthy, affordable, and inclusive communities throughout its service area.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) homeowner and local veteran Max needed help. The colonial home he purchased in the McKnight neighborhood in 2002 had become a hindrance. Max suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and rheumatoid arthritis, which makes climbing stairs to the second-floor bedrooms challenging. He expressed his concerns to Habitat, and together, they discovered a solution. Habitat, through its Veterans Build Home Preservation program, is building a downstairs bedroom and bathroom for the veteran and his wife, Gloria.

Veterans Build is a national Habitat for Humanity initiative that provides housing solutions and volunteer and employment opportunities for U.S. veterans, military service members, and their families. The program serves limited-income homeowners who are affected by age, disability, or family circumstances and struggle to maintain the condition and utility of their homes.

The home-preservation program provides affordable micro-loans to qualifying homeowners who need help with accessibility modifications, home weatherization, general home repairs, yard cleanup, and landscaping. GSHFH works alongside volunteers and homeowners to make repairs.

“Massachusetts has some of the oldest housing stock in the country, and many aging homeowners are unable to make needed repairs on their own,” said Aimee Giroux, GSHFH’s executive director. “We are happy to be able to help them through the repair process so they can continue to stay in their homes.”

Max, a former Marines corporal, qualified for the Veterans Build Home Preservation program and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program. The pilot project gives competitive grants to nonprofits that serve veterans or low-income individuals. The grants can be used to rehabilitate eligible veterans’ primary residences. Purple Heart Homes is donating $15,000 while raising additional funds toward the project. Purple Heart Homes, a nonprofit charity, provides housing solutions for former military members who are disabled and/or have decided to age in place.

“Every act of generosity toward our veterans echoes a resounding commitment to honor their service and sacrifice. With deep gratitude, Purple Heart Homes is proud to contribute $15,000 to the Greater Springfield Habitat Humanity home-preservation project, ensuring veteran Maxwell finds solace and security in a place he can call home,” said John Gallina, CEO and co-founder of PHH. “Our mission extends beyond this gift, as we embark on a dedicated fundraising campaign to reach a goal of an additional $10,000. We believe we’re better together. In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, we hope to build a legacy of compassion and support for those who have bravely defended our freedom.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Jeffrey LaValley was recently appointed community outreach manager at Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity.

LaValley’s primary responsibility is the development and execution of strategies to increase awareness and financial support of the affiliate’s mission. LaValley will play a pivotal role in implanting the organization’s capacity-building efforts, specifically the 30 in 3 campaign, the affiliate’s vision to serve 30 families in three years. He also will oversee Habitat’s annual resource-development plan, including outreach efforts to foster a positive identity for the affiliate in the community.

Most recently, LaValley served as executive director and director of sales and marketing for Shaker Farm Farms Country Club in Westfield. Previously, he served as associate director of donor relations for Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield. Prior to that, he was the community-development coordinator at Noble Hospital in Westfield and director of alumni and parent relations at Keene State College in New Hampshire.

LaValley received a bachelor’s degree in journalism/public affairs and a master of education in curriculum and instruction from Keene State College. He also earned a certificate in fund-raising from UMass Amherst. With nearly 20 years of experience working in higher education and healthcare settings, LaValley brings a great depth of experience to Habitat for Humanity, including a background in public relations, marketing, event and program management, as well as knowledge of annual fund and major-gift strategies, volunteer management and board development, and strategic planning.

Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity is a housing ministry dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering low-income families to change their lives and the lives of future generations through home ownership and home-preservation opportunities. This is accomplished by working in partnership with diverse people, from all walks of life, to build and repair simple, decent, affordable housing. Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity has helped 58 local families (54 with home ownership and four with home preservation), as well as over 90 international families, realize their dream of home ownership over the past 27 years.

Daily News

WESTFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) and its ReStore in Westfield recently received a donation of lighting products from Luminance USA, headquartered in Commerce, Calif. The product will be used in GSHFH’s construction projects as well as sold at its ReStore retail outlet.

Products received include chandeliers, bathroom vanity lights, lightbulbs, wall sconces, ceiling-fan replacement parts, and table lamps, and are available for purchase at the Habitat ReStore located at 301 East Main St. in Westfield, with prices from 30% to 50% off regular retail prices.

“Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity and our ReStore in Westfield rely on the generous support of our partners such as Luminance to provide strength, stability, and self-reliance to our partner families through our home-ownership and home-preservation programs. We have made an investment in ourselves with the opening of our ReStore, and with the support of partners such as Luminance, we know it was worth it,” said Jennifer Schimmel, executive director of Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity.

GSHFH’s ReStore opened last April. Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home-improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Springfield’s Sinai Temple and the Jerome S. Gurland Human Relations Award Committee recently selected Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) as the 2021 award recipient. GSHFH Executive Director Aimee Giroux met with Rabbi Jeremy Master on May 26 to accept the honor.

Award namesake Rabbi Gurland of Longmeadow, who passed away on May 20, had been a beloved member of the community and an advocate for community service and interfaith relations.

“Our committee was most impressed with your proposal for the affordable home-ownership project on Bay Street in Springfield. We are very pleased with your partnership with Putnam Vocational High School. By partnering with your organization, students will be able to help someone within their own community,” Master said on behalf of the committee. “Sinai Temple’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity a few years ago reminds us of the pride we felt working with you.”

Added Giroux, “we are honored to have been selected to receive this award. The funds will be used to promote community involvement, primarily with youth volunteers through construction on our Bay Street project. We want to create a lasting tribute to the rabbi’s memory, and we want to honor our donors and volunteers. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to reach our mission.”

GSHFH is a housing ministry dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering low-income families to change their lives and the lives of future generations through home ownership and home-repair opportunities. This is accomplished by working in partnership with diverse people, from all walks of life, to build and repair simple, decent, affordable housing. GSHFH has helped roughly 100 local families realize their dream of home ownership over the last 34 years.

Class of 2011 Difference Makers

Retired Partner/Consultant, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.

Robert Perry

Robert Perry

Robert Perry admits that he’s not much of a handyman.

So he makes no apologies for the fact that, over the course of more than a decade’s work with Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity, he’s probably spent three or four days “working,” at least by his estimation.

And while others would disagree with that math — they say Perry enjoys getting his hands dirty and is always ready, willing, and able to pitch in — they usually don’t quibble with his numbers, or his leadership, for that matter.

That’s because Perry’s contributions usually haven’t been with a hammer, shovel, or level, but rather with a telephone, gavel, and calculator. A quasi-retired CPA — ‘retired partner/consultant’ with Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. in Holyoke, to be more exact — Perry spent an unheard-of seven years as president of the organization’s board (“I wasn’t smart enough to find a replacement”) while also serving as treasurer.

He said that, instead of framing, tiling, or putting up sheetrock, his main contributions to Habitat’s mission have come in the form of leadership, organization, fund-raising, finding and cultivating sponsors, and keeping track of the financial details.

Those who have worked with him over the years would say that he and his wife (Bob and Bobbi to those who know them) have provided something else — hefty amounts of inspiration. A large dose of it came in late 2008 when, in conjunction with their 35th wedding anniversary, they donated and raised $35,000 each toward the construction of a Habitat home in Monson.

Perry said there was a was good deal of serendipity, or symmetry, to that project — it was the 35th house built by the Greater Springfield Habitat group, and it was dedicated on Valentine’s Day in 2010. And, overall, it was an appropriate way for he and his wife to give back and celebrate all they’ve been able to enjoy together. “We’ve had a lot of good things happen in our lives.”

Meanwhile, the overall experience with Habitat has been perhaps the best example of how, through more than 30 years of work within the community — here and elsewhere — he’s sought out opportunities where the results are visible and significant. It was this way with his work at Big Brothers Big Sisters in Framingham much earlier in his professional career, and also with his recent efforts mentoring students at Putnam Vocational-Technical High School in Springfield.

“The connection I made between being a big brother and being in Habitat is being able to see the results of your efforts every day,” he explained. “When I was working as a big brother with a kid, you could see his progress — you could see his self-esteem growing, you could see him learning things that you were imparting. In Habitat, when we raised some money or when we found a family, you could see the change immediately — you could see the cause and effect of your relationship.

“That’s the essence of Habitat for me,” he continued. “We all know we’re doing good when we donate to cancer or when we take part in the breast-cancer walk, or take part in Rotary, but it’s a little more difficult to connect the dots. And that’s one of the big benefits of work with Habitat; you truly get to see that every day.”

Recapping his professional career and work in the community, Perry said they’ve dovetailed nicely. He told BusinessWest that he was always drawn to accounting work, and, after graduating from Northeastern, he went to work for Alexander Grant in Boston. After a stint as a CFO for a textile manufacturer in the late ’70s, he went to Greenberg Rosenblatt in Worcester, and later, when that firm bought an accounting practice in Springfield, he was transferred here to run that operation. After a few years as a self-employed consultant, he went to work for Meyers Brothers, which merged with the Kalicka firm in 2003.

Today, Perry is what one colleague, also semi-retired, calls a “partner emeritus.” He says he spends about 500 hours a year as a consultant — 250 during the three crunch months of tax season, and the balance spread out over the remainder of the year. The rest of his time is devoted to a few passions, but especially golf and community service.

He and Bobbi are members at Wilbraham Country Club (he’s a 16 handicapper and she’s a 20), and they play together frequently. As for the community-service piece, it’s been a career-long constant, inspired in part by Bobbi’s work with deaf children and their families.

Perry spent several years as a member of the Exchange Club that serves Longmeadow, East Longmeadow, and Wilbraham, but found he wanted to be more on what he called the “front lines” of community work. He looked for ways to address this desire, and found one when friend York Mayo, then-volunteer president of Habitat for Humanity, recruited him to look at the group’s finances.

Little did he know that he would soon work his way up to president and spend seven years in that seat, helping the organization “get to the next level” organizationally, as he put it, while also building three or four houses a year.

As for the house he and Bobbi helped sponsor for their 35th anniversary, Perry said, “sometimes, things just come together in a natural sort of way. “This was the 35th house. We saw it coming, looked at it, saw an opportunity to give back, and worked with some church groups to make it happen.”

He’s been making things happen with other organizations as well, especially the Greater Springfield YMCA, which he’s served on the corporate and finance boards, as chair of the audit board, and as co-chair of the Scantic golf tournament. He also involved with Springfield School Volunteers, and is currently in his second year of mentoring students at Putnam.

“I have a sophomore student who’s on point,” he said. “He’s a little shy; I think he’s looking for some self-confidence, and he’s looking for someone outside his family to be a role model. It’s a mini-version of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and I find it very rewarding.”

Mayo, summing up Perry’s contributions to Habitat and other groups, had this to say: “Bob has compassion for others. He converts his beliefs into action through hard work and relentless dedication. When he makes the decision to support an organization, he is the first to roll up his sleeves and get involved. He is persistent and never gives up.

“He is a critical thinker, learns quickly, and is a great listener,” Mayo continued. “His contribution to Habitat for Humanity is immeasurable. But Habitat is not the only recipient of Bob’s many talents. A partial list includes ReStore Home Improvement, the Red Cross, the YMCA, the Roger L. Putnam Technical Fund, and the Millbrook Scholars Fund for homeless high-school students.”

As for what he considers a lack of handyman skills, “I think it’s funny that I would get involved in a volunteer construction organization,” Perry joked, adding quickly that he believes he’s more than made up for that deficiency with organizational and leadership abilities.

And no one would argue with that point.

— George O’Brien

Features
Businesses Pitch in to Help Habitat for Humanity
Steve ·Dusty· Hoyt

Steve ·Dusty· Hoyt, left, and Steve Gelling,say the upcoming Habitat project takes the involvement of the business community to a higher level.

Steve ‘Dusty’ Hoyt says his company endured a good deal of hardship over the years on the way to its current robust health.

A distributor of Marvin windows and doors, Enfield-based A.W. Hastings was hard hit by the long recession of the early ’90s and its profound impact on the housing market. It also weathered other economic ups and downs, shifts in product lines, assimilation into the Greater Springfield market, and mounting competition.

“A lot of people stood by us and helped us through those tough times,” said Hoyt, listing banks, long-time customers, suppliers, and devoted employees as those who enabled the company to endure and recently reach a rare milestone — 150 years in business. (Actually, it’s 158, as determined by some recent research).

Being on the receiving end of such generosity has helped spark a strong sense of giving back throughout the company, Hoyt told BusinessWest. He cited creation of the program TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More), which has involved employees in a number of community activities, as the greatest manifestation of that spirit.

Until recently.
Indeed, while searching for a meaningful way to celebrate the 150th birthday, Hoyt and his brother, Jonathan, Hastings’ treasurer, wondered if the company could take its participation with the Greater Springfield chapter of Habitat for Humanity to a higher level.

Hastings had frequently made at-cost contributions of windows and doors for Habitat homes, and several employees had volunteered to install such products, said Dusty Hoyt. “I was thinking about the various talents of the different people we have within our company — from architectural drawing ability to hands-on skills, and it struck me, ‘why can’t we build one of these houses all by ourselves?’”

He put that question to his employees early this year, and the response was overwhelming, thus providing one of the pieces to what will be a landmark Habitat project, scheduled to commence later this month.

Stephen R. Gelling, executive director of the Greater Springfield chapter of Habitat, said this will mark the first time that private companies will provide the land, labor, and materials for a home. A parcel at the corner of Bartlett and Carew Streets in Springfield, across from the entrance to Mercy Medical Center, has been donated for the project by Thomas Henshon, owner of West Springfield-based Pearson Systems, said Gelling, adding that Hastings employees will provide the bulk of the labor for the project and also purchase the materials — families in line for future Habitat homes will also contribute sweat equity. “We’ve had other companies sponsor homes in the past,” said Gelling, using that word to describe the act of covering the cost of materials and specialized labor not handled by volunteers. “But they (A.W. Hastings) want to utilize their specific skills and go in and make this a total hands-on effort. For our chapter, this is something totally unique.”

And also something he hopes will prove inspirational to other businesses in the area. “This build project will provide a family with a home,” he said, “but it will also create a lot of excitement within this company and a tremendous sense of accomplishment; we’d love to see other businesses experience those same things.”

BusinessWest looks this issue at how this most recent Habitat project came together, and also at how the local business community continually steps up its contributions to the organization that makes the dream of home ownership a reality.

Hammering Home the Point

Hoyt and Gelling both told BusinessWest they weren’t sure what to expect for a response when they scheduled an after-hours meeting at A.W. Hastings this past spring to formally present the company’s Habitat plans and gauge response.
“I was expecting maybe a handful of people,” said Gelling. “Instead, the room was full of people who wanted to know what they could do; there was a lot of energy in that room.”

The home to be built at the corner of Carew and Bartlett Streets, one of three to be started by the local chapter by the end of this year, represents a new, higher level of involvement for the business community in Habitat, said Gelling. He noted that individual companies and groups have made contributions ranging from full sponsorship to donations of materials to volunteering in the construction of many of the 22 homes the local chapter has built in the past five years.

Members of the business community have taken part in the chapter’s ‘women-build’ initiative, he said, referring to one home built, as the name, suggests, entirely by women. They have also taken part in some of the so-called “blitz build” projects in which homes are put in 10 days, and in various ways for more-traditional projects, which take six to nine months.

Meanwhile, the latest Habitat project is also the most ambitious act of ‘giving back’ for A.W. Hastings employees, said Hoyt, noting that it melds community activism with the company’s experience in home-building.

“This made sense for us on a number of levels,” he explained. “First, we’re affiliated with the home-building business as a window distributor, and we also recognize how important a home is to a family and understand the inspiration that can ensue when someone has a vision like that to look at.”

As Hoyt mentioned, the company’s ‘giving-back’ philosophy stems in part from the generosity extended in its direction throughout its history, and particularly over the past 30 years. In 1976, the company, founded in Boston, lost its primary window supplier, and, as a result, about 40% of its business. It found a new supplier in Marvin, but needed strategies to replace the lost volume.

One of those strategies was to expand territorially, a decision that brought Hoyt, grandson of Ivan Hoyt, a manager who purchased the company from the Hastings family in 1945, out to Springfield to cultivate a new market.

Over the next few decades, the company consolidated both its operations (into its current facility in Enfield) and its product lines — focusing on Marvin and its windows and doors — while also weathering several downturns in the economy.

“What brought us out here was a crisis — we were really on the ropes,” he said. “We’ve been through a few of those on my watch — hopefully not because of my watch — and there are a lot of people who helped us along the way.”

Today, the company, like most in the home-building and renovations sectors is enjoying profound growth at a time of extensive new building and remodeling in many regions, including the Pioneer Valley and Northern Connecticut.

“The past decade has been our longest period of sustained growth,” he said, adding that while the tough times are becoming an increasingly distant memory, they haven’t been forgotten.

“We know what it’s like to need help,” he explained. “And I think it’s because of where we are now and the experiences we’ve been through over all those years that we feel that since we’ve achieved some element of success that we have an inherent responsibility to give back to our community.”

This mindset helped drive the creation of TEAM, said Hoyt, noting that the program solicits small weekly donations from employees as well as time and energy for various charitable efforts, ranging from the “adoption” of a local Enfield elementary school to staging a bike race to benefit an employee’s with mitochondrial disease.
And it also created a great deal of enthusiasm for the Habitat project.

Indeed, as he talked about the enormous task ahead for A.W. Hastings — building the 1,200-square-foot, six-room home, raising the money to pay for the materials, and organizing every aspect of both initiatives — Hoyt said he expects each of his 140 employees to “touch” the undertaking in some way.

“One of my goals is to get everyone involved in this — be it with fund-raising or banging nails,” he said. “There’s certainly plenty of work to do.”

The level of organization needed for the project can be seen in a flow chart that delineates the various aspects of the initiative and those who will lead them. Hoyt is acting as project leader, and has three teams reporting to him — one focusing on processes and volunteer-coordination, another on marketing and finance, including fund-raising, and a third, much larger group dedicated to the broad construction effort.

Within the construction team are more than 20 leaders of specific tasks, from excavation to gutters, permits and inspections to landscaping, interior trim to the front porch.

The Habitat project has captured the imagination of the company’s employees, said Hoyt, adding that many have enthusiastically found ways to trim time and cost from the initiative by soliciting donations of materials and expertise.

“We had someone step up and say ‘my cousin does excavation, and he says he’ll do the excavation work for this and only charge us for the asphalt,’” said Hoyt. “We have an electrician who said he’d do that work for no charge; we’re seeing people come forward and do things like that. It’s exciting.”

Foundation Work

Reflecting on the creation of TEAM and this latest manifestation of its purpose, Hoyt said A.W. Hastings has created a culture grounded in the philosophy that, by working together, its employees and managers can do more than make their company successful.

“We can make an impact in our community,” he explained, adding that the “Hastings home,” as its being called, will hopefully inspire other businesses to be part of Habitat’s efforts and encourage more families to pursue their dreams of home ownership.

In that sense, the company is opening doors of opportunity — literally and figuratively. v

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

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) announced that Bob Perry — a donor, volunteer, partner, and friend who has supported the organization for more than 15 years — will join the team as the new volunteer donor relations manager.

“Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity is thrilled to be able to welcome back Bob Perry as our new volunteer donor relations manager,” said Jennifer Schimmel, the organization’s executive director. “Even with his new title, he’ll still be known by many as Habitat’s chief hugging officer!”

Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity is a housing ministry dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering low-income families to change their lives and the lives of future generations through home ownership and home-preservation opportunities. This is accomplished by working in partnership with diverse people, from all walks of life, to build and repair simple, decent, affordable housing. GSHFH has helped 70 local families (58 through home ownership and 12 through home preservation), as well as 90 international families, over the past 27 years.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity’s (GSHFH) 16th annual Fall Feastival on Nov. 3 raised more than $50,000 to support the organization’s work.

The event was hosted at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. Hundreds from the community gathered alongside more than 30 sponsors, making it one of the most successful events in Habitat’s history. Eventgoers enjoyed food from a dozen local restaurants, raffles, silent and live auctions, and a touching speech from a long-time Habitat family.

“We’re thrilled with the turnout and participation by so many members of our community,” said Jennifer Schimmel, executive director. “This is a testimony to how much our community cares about meeting needs right here at home. We want to extend a sincere and heartfelt ‘thank you’ to everyone who participated.”

Since its founding in 1987, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity has helped more than 60 local families, and 90 international families, realize their dream of safe, decent, and affordable home ownership.

“Every one of our partnering organizations and community friends who work tirelessly to keep our communities vital and strong are truly appreciated,” Schimmel said.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — In the wake of a record number of new homes being built, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) recently welcomed new staff to assist with furthering the agency’s mission.

Jason Montgomery joins GSHFH as its Donor Relations manager. He comes to GSHFH with more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit/human-services work and has strong ties in the local community. He has previously served with Habitat for Humanity in Hartford and locally with Way Finders.

Also joining the team, Sarah Tanner is now on board for a short term as interim executive director. Tanner is a principal with Financial Development Agency and brings more than 20 years of local nonprofit experience to the affiliate.

GSHFH also announced internal promotions and realignments to maximize the agency’s resources. In response to a capacity grant received by Habitat for Humanity International, Jeff Lomma has been named Marketing & Communications manager, with an emphasis on promoting the value of Habitat programming throughout the community. Meanwhile, Mary Olmsted has transitioned from serving as an Americorps volunteer to full-time staff as Volunteer Services coordinator.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank and NESN have announced that Berkshire Bank Foundation again will be donating to New England Habitat for Humanity chapters during NESN’s coverage of the Boston Bruins’ 2014-15 season through its Hockey 4 Housing initiative.

This donation is connected to the team’s level of play during the regular season, and will directly benefit 12 regional Habitat for Humanity chapters. Berkshire Bank Foundation will donate $200 for each successful Boston Bruins penalty kill during NESN televised games. A penalty kill is the moment during a hockey game when one team, which has fewer players on the ice due to a penalty, prevents the opposing team from scoring. Last season, the team had 176 penalty kills, and Berkshire Bank Foundation evenly split its $44,000 donation among New England Habitat for Humanity chapters.

In addition to the financial support, Bank employees will help build Habitat for Humanity homes in communities across New England where Berkshire has a presence through the company’s X-TEAM, its award-winning employee volunteer program. Hockey 4 Housing highlights the bank’s support for housing initiatives and its commitment to making a difference in the community.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Rocky’s Ace Hardware, one of the country’s largest family-owned Ace Hardware dealers with 38 locations in eight states, will host a round-up fundraising campaign in eight of its Western Mass. stores, with 100% of money raised going to benefit local Habitat for Humanity chapters. Customers can round up their totals to the next dollar the week of Feb. 18-25 at the Island Pond Road and Liberty Street stores in Springfield, and the Agawam, East Longmeadow, Westfield, Ludlow, Palmer, and South Hadley stores.

“Habitat for Humanity continues to do amazing things in the community,” Rocky’s Ace Hardware President Rocco Falcone said. “Everyone deserves a warm, safe place to live. Habitat is working to make that happen for families in our region and beyond. We are proud this round-up will support their efforts building and renovating homes for deserving families.”

Habitat for Humanity helps qualifying families obtain a home of their own with an affordable mortgage, partnering with people in the community to help them build or improve a place they can call home. To donate through this campaign, simply make a purchase at one of the participating Rocky’s Ace Hardware locations and round up the total.

Daily News

WARE — Country Bank staff recently volunteered their time to assist the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity build a home for a local Springfield family.

“Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity is blessed to have wonderful community partners like Country Bank who contribute the time, talent, and treasure needed to help families build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter,” said Jennifer Schimmel, executive director for Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity.

Added Jodie Gerulaitis, vice president, Community Relations at Country Bank, “when asked to support such a meaningful cause, the staff at Country Bank was eager to help with this project. The staff was truly grateful to be a part of making the dream of home ownership a reality for Joseph and Lakery and their family.”

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The law firm of Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan and Blakesley made a financial contribution and donated staff man hours to help with the construction of a new home in Holyoke by the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity.

“As a firm, we are committed each day to help make the lives for residents of our state better,” said Charlie Casartello, the firm’s managing partner.  “To be able to literally construct a building to help a family in need is something very special indeed.”

Michael Cardaropoli, PSRB attorney and vice president of the Habitat for Humanity board of directors, agreed. “This is the second build project the firm has been involved with for Habitat for Humanity. We are always happy to roll up our sleeves and dig into another project for this amazing organization,” “Making a financial contribution is critical, but having the firm help with sweat equity is a labor of love for our whole team.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The Habitat for Humanity Women Build Week event, sponsored by Lowe’s, is an opportunity to spread the positive and powerful message of “women helping women” and facilitate in building stronger and safer communities.

During the weeklong event, which began March 8, women from all walks of life and skill levels have come together to work on a job site. Under the guidance of construction professionals, the group learns new skills and/or adds to their repertoire.

At Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH), the event has been a staple for several years teaming up with Lowe’s. This year, GSHFH has partnered with Western Mass. Tradeswomen to empower and encourage women volunteers to become involved on the build site.

“This is an awesome opportunity to showcase the skills of women and prove gender shouldn’t dictate capability,” said Brandice O’Brien, Marketing and Communications manager at GSHFH. “Whether the women on these build sites are construction workers or volunteers, they are simply ‘women helping women.’ The house they are working on is for a single mother.”

Western Mass. Tradeswomen is a network of female construction workers in Western Mass., Northern Conn., and Worcester. The majority of the women are in unions. They meet regularly to support one another, build their labor movement, and promote union construction careers for girls and women. The group began several years ago on the construction site of what is now MGM Springfield, where, because of a project labor agreement, workforce-diversity goals were consistently met by contractors.

“It has been a joy to get to work on a project with my sisters this week. We are skilled professionals, we love what we do, and it has been really fun to get to share that together,” said Amy Calandrella of Western Mass. Tradeswomen, who organized the tradeswomen volunteers for this year’s Women Build Week. She is a journeyman operating engineer with International Union of Operating Engineers Local 98 and serves on the board of the Western Massachusetts Area Labor Federation.

During Women Build 2021, GSHFH construction crew and volunteers are working on a two-story, four-bedroom house in Springfield for single mother Ana and her children. Volunteers help with inside finish work, painting, installing cabinets and countertops, building the front-porch rails, and putting in the walkway.

GSHFH is a housing ministry dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering low-income families to change their lives and the lives of future generations through homeownership and home-repair opportunities. This is accomplished by working in partnership with diverse people, from all walks of life, to build and repair simple, decent, affordable housing. Habitat’s mission to provide homeownership opportunities to low-income families is unique as it requires partner families to work alongside the community that is reaching out to help them. GSHFH has helped roughly 100 local families realize their dream of homeownership over the last 33 years.

Daily News

NORTH ADAMS — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and its Department of Business Administration will once again partner with Habitat for Humanity to offer free tax-preparation services to local residents in need through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Habitat for Humanity administers VITA, a program of the IRS, to assist taxpayers with disabilities or limited English-speaking skills, those 60 years of age or older, and individuals who make $57,000 or less per year. MCLA students will be available to complete both basic and advanced returns, including those with itemized deductions.

The students who participate in this program undergo a rigorous training, become IRS-certified, and will work under the supervision of MCLA Professor of Accounting Tara Barboza, an enrolled agent with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and a certified public accountant (CPA).

In addition to meeting a significant need in Northern Berkshire County, Barboza said, “participating in the VITA program is a unique opportunity that will provide students with valuable, hands-on preparation experience.” They will earn college credit, and accounting students can use this credit toward the requirements for the CPA exam.

Interested individuals should call Habitat for Humanity offices at (413) 442-0002 or (413) 442-3181 to find out if they qualify and schedule an appointment. MCLA students will begin to see clients on Monday, Feb. 7. Hours will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. in Murdock Hall on the MCLA campus in North Adams. The program will continue through April 13.

Daily News

EASTHAMPTON — Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of Easthampton Savings Bank, announced that the bank has become a keystone sponsor for the first Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity home in Easthampton. The bank contributed $10,000 to the East Street Habitat home. The money will go toward the costs of planning, construction, volunteer recruitment, and training. A 15-volunteer committee is already in place to plan the building of the East Street Home. “This particular build is significant because we are building two homes at once, and it is our first Women Build Initiative, which is a project designed to proactively welcome women leadership and women volunteers,” said Peter Jessop, interim executive director of the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity. “Three of our steering committee members are from Easthampton Savings Bank, so ESB is providing more than just financial support — they are also providing leadership and volunteer capacity. This is the true spirit of the Habitat model, and we hope ESB’s commitment will inspire others to get involved.” Added Sosik, “the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity is about building communities. Being a sponsor gives us the unique opportunity to become involved in a family’s journey towards home ownership in our community. Plus, the Women Build Initiative is a great way to empower women to get involved in the construction of a home and help a family who wouldn’t be able to build a home otherwise.” Easthampton Savings Bank has supported Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity since 2004 with contributions totaling over $31,000, while ESB employees sit on the organization’s board of directors, finance committee, and the Women Build steering committee.

Daily News

LONGMEADOW — Tickets are now available for one of the area’s most taste-ful events of the season: the 18th annual Fall Feastival, benefiting Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH). The event takes place on Thursday, Nov. 1 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Twin Hills Country Club, 700 Wolf Swamp Road, Longmeadow.

The evening will feature networking, cocktails, and food from local restaurants, including Nadim’s Mediterranean Restaurant and Grill, The Log Cabin and the Delaney House, Elegant Affairs, Tekoa Country Club, the Magic Spoon, Twin Hills Country Club, Center Square Grill, and Holyoke Hummus. Evening festivities also include live and silent auctions, featuring items such as four VIP tickets to the Dropkick Murphys on St. Patrick’s Day weekend at the House of Blues in Boston, five Red Sox-Yankees tickets at Yankee Stadium in the Jim Beam Suite, and much more. Habitat will also auction off a week-long Napa Valley getaway.

Platinum sponsors include Bank of America and iHeartRadio. Gold sponsors include Excel Dryer and PeoplesBank. Silver sponsors include Berkshire Bank, the Home Builders & Remodelers Assoc. of Western Mass., Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., Mortgage Network, the Perry Family, and Reminder Publications.

Tickets are $75 per person and available online at www.habitatspringfield.org or by calling (413) 739-5503. A limited number of tickets are available, and, as with previous years, the event is expected to sell out.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Springfield has built 65 houses for partner families in Hampden County since it was founded in 1987. GSHFH’s retail and donation center, ReStore, opened in Westfield in 2015, is designed to collect and resell new and gently used home and construction goods for a fraction of the retail price. All proceeds from the store support the mission of serving families. Fall Feastival is an event to celebrate all the work that has been done through the organization as well as a chance to share the stories of homeowners that have benefitted from Habitat.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) announced an upcoming Circle of Faith build on 479 Allen St. in Springfield. This project is a partnership between GSHFH and 11 local faith communities who have come together to raise the funds for a Habitat home, and who will also contribute volunteers, in-kind materials, and amenities for the project. As an intentionally interfaith project, this build incorporates Christian, Islamic, and Jewish communities.

These 11 faith communities include First Church of Christ in Longmeadow, Sinai Temple in Springfield, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in East Longmeadow, St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Longmeadow, the Islamic Society of Western Mass. in West Springfield, Christ the King Lutheran Church in Wilbraham, East Longmeadow United Methodist Church, Mercy Medical Center and the Sisters of Providence Health System in Springfield, St. Cecilia’s Parish in Wilbraham, and Foster Memorial Church in Springfield.

Ellen Tougias, the point person for First Church of Christ in Longmeadow, says her church is “proud to be a part of the Circle of Faith Build for Habitat. We have committed to this project as part of our 30th-year celebration. It is one way that we have chosen to give back to our community in honor of this special year.”

Mohammad Bajwa of the Islamic Society of Western Mass. referenced a piece of Scripture in relation to the project: “cooperate with one another, for doing good deeds and righteousness … surely God’s mercy is upon the good doers.”

To kick off this partnership, the Circle of Faith communities and GSHFH are hosting a “House Wrapped in Love” event at the Islamic Society of Western Mass. on June 1 at 6:30 p.m. This event is family-friendly and invites kids to paint what home, family, and love means to them on sheets of plywood that will then be used to build the walls of the new habitat house at 479 Allen St. Following this event will be several days of building on the job site, where the exterior walls of the home will start to take shape.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Liberty Bank recently selected Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) to receive one of its community grants. The foundation aims to help low- and moderate-income families improve their economic situation and quality of life.

“We are very grateful to have been selected to receive this grant. It will help us to continue to provide home-ownership and home-repair services in Hampden County,” GSHFH Executive Director Aimee Giroux said.

Tony Liberopoulos, Liberty Bank’s market president for Massachusetts, added that “the work that Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity does fits so well with Liberty Bank’s philosophy of ‘be commmunity kind.’ We look forward to continuing our relationship and seeing the grant dollars help out in our community.”

Through Liberty Bank Foundation, Liberty Bank supports nonprofit organizations that its neighbors depend on to build strong families and communities. Grant making is focused on organizations that serve people within Liberty Bank’s market area.

GSHFH is a housing ministry dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering low-income families to change their lives and the lives of future generations through home-ownership and home-repair opportunities. This is accomplished by working in partnership with diverse people, from all walks of life, to build and repair simple, decent, affordable housing.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) is now accepting applications for a home in Hampden County. The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 30.

“We are excited to offer this opportunity, helping to make the dream of homeownership a reality for a deserving family in Hampden County,” GSHFH Executive Director Aimee Giroux said.

GSHFH is a housing ministry dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering low-income families to change their lives and the lives of future generations through homeownership and home-repair opportunities. This is accomplished by working in partnership with diverse people, from all walks of life, to build and repair simple, decent, affordable housing. Habitat’s mission to provide homeownership opportunities to low-income families is unique as it requires partner families to work alongside the community that is reaching out to help them. GSHFH has helped roughly 100 local families realize their dream of homeownership over the past 35 years.

For more information, contact Brandy O’Brien, Marketing and Communications manager, at [email protected] or (413) 739-5503, ext. 1003.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) is now accepting applications for a new, three-bedroom home in Holyoke. Construction will begin this year. The deadline to apply is June 10. For more information, including an application, visit habitatspringfield.org.

“My hope is that every lower-income family that wants to own their own home knows about the GSHFH home-ownership program,” said Deborah O’Mara, GSHFH Family Services manager. “With all kinds of support from staff and volunteers, these selected partner families successfully work toward closing, and after, they live many happy years in their own homes.”

GSHFH is a housing ministry dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering low-income families to change their lives and the lives of future generations through home ownership and home-repair opportunities. This is accomplished by working in partnership with diverse people, from all walks of life, to build and repair simple, decent, affordable housing. Habitat’s mission to provide homeownership opportunities to low-income families is unique as it requires partner families to work alongside the community that is reaching out to help them. GSHFH has helped roughly 100 local families realize their dream of homeownership over the last 34 years.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — State Rep. Aaron Vega and state Sen. Jim Welch will square off in a bartending competition to benefit Homework House and Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity on Thursday Aug. 9 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Irish House Restaurant and Trinity Pub, located at the Irish Cultural Center at 429 Morgan Road in West Springfield.

Vega will be mixing, pouring, and donating his tips to benefit Homework House. HCC President Christina Royal, Holyoke School Committee member Devin Sheehan, and Tessa Murphy-Romboletti, SPARK coordinator, will join Vega behind the bar for Team Homework House. Welch will donate his tips to Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity. The event is free and open to all age 21 and older. Dinner reservations may be made by calling the Trinity Pub directly at (413) 342-4358.

Company Notebook Departments

ECS Acquires Assets of Pangean-CMD
AGAWAM — Environmental Compliance Services Inc. (ECS) announced the completion of the acquisition of the corporate assets and human talent of Pangean-CMD Associates Inc. (PCMD) of Woodstock, Ga. This acquisition, the largest in ECS’s 32-year history, will drive its evolution by expanding the market areas the company serves into Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, and Utah. In addition, it will also expand the existing company capabilities in the Carolinas, Florida, and Ohio. “This acquisition now means that ECS has a national presence that combines senior think-tank engineering with self-performed field services throughout the petroleum, building-sciences, and due-diligence market sectors,” said Mark Hellstein, ECS founder and CEO. “With the addition of the passionate team from Pangean-CMD, we are better-positioned to service the upstream petroleum market.” Kevin Sheehan, ECS COO, added that “this acquisition will also provide professional growth and opportunity to employees as well as an effective tool to recruit new, talented staff.” ECS is now one of the only firms in the petroleum market that offers environmental services, compliance services, remediation, and cost recovery with in-house staff on a national basis. This strategic acquisition enables ECS to simplify the compliance and remediation process for petroleum customers while reducing their costs, essentially becoming a one-stop shop for clients. The expanded staff will also allow for boots-on-the-ground support for ECS’s existing web-based compliance-management programs. “The success of Pangean-CMD has evolved solely from our passion, our commitment to our customers, and our reputation for good, solid work,” said Darren Moore, president of Pangean-CMD. “Combining our assets will allow us to build relationships, share knowledge, and draw on the collective expertise of our co-workers to do what we have always done best: provide the best customer service and work environment possible.” Established in 1982 and headquartered in Agawam, ECS has grown to more than 20 office locations nationwide.

Lioness Magazine Aims to Raise $10K in 60 Days
SPRINGFIELD — Lioness magazine is looking to raise $10,000 in seed funding on indiegogo.com, a popular crowd-funding website. “Mainstream entrepreneur magazines are geared toward men, from their style to their content. Their publishers admit that more than 60% of their readers are males. Even though female entrepreneurship is rapidly on the rise and even though in 2013 female-owned companies generated more than $1.3 trillion, there was still no mainstream magazine for these women, until now,” explained Lioness founder Natasha Clark. Lioness launched in August 2011 and since then has been read by more than 3,000 people worldwide. Seventy-nine percent of the readers are women between the ages of 25 and 45. With the launch of the new lionessmagazine.com, the news site is able to provide daily content in addition their regular monthly magazine. “Western Mass. is a great place to live and do business, and my hope is to grow Lioness and keep it headquartered right here,” Clark said. From June 2 to Aug. 1, she is shooting to raise $10,000 in seed money to keep the magazine afloat through 2014. She has primarily been funding the company herself. Working as a program manager at the nonprofit Springfield School Volunteers, Clark — one of BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty honorees in 2010 — works on the all-female staff to bring volunteers into the school district as mentors, academic tutors, and participants in the popular Read Aloud program. When the campaign closes, Clark will transition to running the startup full-time. She thought crowd funding would be an ideal way to raise funds and educate the public about Lioness’ mission at the same time. “I love that platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter give entrepreneurs like me a fighting chance to raise some capital to get our startups to the next level,” she said. “I just want to do something really awesome for women entrepreneurs around the globe, and I want to be able to do it in my hometown.” To learn more about Lioness and its Indiegogo campaign, visit igg.me/at/lionessmagazine.

Kathleen Doe Launches Creative Design Venture
NORTHAMPTON
— Kathleen Doe has announced the launch of Kathleen Doe Creative Design, putting more than a decade of industry experience to work in founding her own business. The Northampton-based venture specializes in print and package design, marketing communication, and brand development, providing a complete range of creative services from concept to execution. Previously, Doe was the senior graphic designer and studio director at Stevens 470 in Westfield. She graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in the school’s renowned Electronic Media, Arts and Communication program. She is a member of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, the Northampton Area Young Professionals, and is on the Board of Directors of the Irish Cultural Center at Elms College.

Leadership Pioneer Valley Graduates Class of 2014
NORTHAMPTON — The 2014 class of Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) graduated on June 5 in ceremonies at the Smith College Conference Center. Prior to getting their certificates, the 35 participants in the 10-month program presented their accomplishments from working in six teams on issues facing the region. Each project was submitted by a local nonprofit or past LPV team. Three of the projects were continuations from prior years, and the nonprofit partners included Peace Jam of New England, STCC’s Latino Success Project, and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Project topics included increasing access to higher education, attracting and retaining young professionals, publicizing regional history, engaging young people in leadership, and connecting local colleges and universities to the regional food bank. Each team offered expertise and energy to make a difference on community challenges from throughout the region. Each team project afforded experiential-learning opportunities and the chance to further community trusteeship while making a real impact in the region. Teams also had to collaborate with their partners to reach their own goals and meet the expectations of the nonprofit partners. Each participant participated in day-long monthly sessions from October until May, featuring seminar-style leadership-development sessions and hands-on field experiences in communities throughout the Pioneer Valley. Through the program, they refined their leadership skills, gained connections, and developed a greater commitment to community trusteeship and cultural competency. The culturally diverse class of 35 men and women represent nonprofit, private, educational, and public organizations throughout Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. The 2014 graduates are: Sherill Acevedo, Baystate Medical Practices; Jasmine Amegan, Westfield State University; Kerri Bohonowicz, Community Health Center of Franklin County; Amy Britt, Tapestry Health; Ronda Carter, Health New England; Christina Casiello, MassMutual; Jenny Catuogno, Gaudreau Insurance; Tammy-Lynn Chace, Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce; Eliza Crescintini, Children’s Study Home; Geoffrey Croteau, MassMutual Charter Oak Insurance & Financial Services; Nasheika Durham, YMCA of Greater Springfield; Andrew Fletcher, Holyoke Community College; Kelsey Flynn, MassMutual; Valerie Francis, Health New England; Meghan Godorov, Mount Holyoke College; Cynthia Gonzalez, Greenfield Cooperative Bank; Richard Griffin, City of Springfield’s Economic Development Department; Rachel Jones, Springfield Technical Community College; Kevin Jourdain, Sisters of Providence Health System; Diane LeBeau, Westfield State University; Yamilette Madho, Big Y Foods Inc.; Matthew Kullberg, WGBY; Rosemarie Marks-Paige, Health New England; Josiah Neiderbach, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission; Lizzy Ortiz, City of Springfield’s Office of Housing; Beena Pandit, MassMutual; Lee Pouliot, City of Chicopee; Jennifer Sanchez, Springfield Technical Community College; Isabel Serrazina, Springfield Housing Authority; Nicole Skelly, United Bank; Kyle Sullivan, John M. Glover Insurance; Colin Tansey, Specialty Bolt & Screw; Todd Weir, First Churches of Northampton; Christopher Whelan, Florence Savings Bank; and Jonencia Wood, Baystate Health.

ESB Teams Up with Pioneer Valley Habitat for Easthampton Build
EASTHAMPTON — Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of Easthampton Savings Bank, announced that the bank has become a keystone sponsor for the first Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity home in Easthampton. The bank contributed $10,000 to the East Street Habitat home. The money will go toward the costs of planning, construction, volunteer recruitment, and training. A 15-volunteer committee is already in place to plan the building of the East Street Home. “This particular build is significant because we are building two homes at once, and it is our first Women Build Initiative, which is a project designed to proactively welcome women leadership and women volunteers,” said Peter Jessop, interim executive director of the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity. “Three of our steering committee members are from Easthampton Savings Bank, so ESB is providing more than just financial support — they are also providing leadership and volunteer capacity. This is the true spirit of the Habitat model, and we hope ESB’s commitment will inspire others to get involved.” Added Sosik, “the Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity is about building communities. Being a sponsor gives us the unique opportunity to become involved in a family’s journey towards home ownership in our community. Plus, the Women Build Initiative is a great way to empower women to get involved in the construction of a home and help a family who wouldn’t be able to build a home otherwise.” Easthampton Savings Bank has supported Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity since 2004 with contributions totaling over $31,000, while ESB employees sit on the organization’s board of directors, finance committee, and the Women Build steering committee.

Wellness Center Becomes Accredited Program for Diabetes Education
SPRINGFIELD — The Western New England University and Big Y Foods Inc. Consultation and Wellness Center was recently named an accredited diabetes-education program by the American Assoc. of Diabetes Educators (AADE). This accomplishment represents yet another step in the implementation of the ‘pharmacist as educator’ philosophy that is central to the vision of the university’s College of Pharmacy. Diabetes education is a collaborative process through which people with or at risk for diabetes gain the knowledge and skills needed to modify behavior and successfully self-manage the disease and its related conditions. These are provided by diabetes educators. “Trends show that diabetes education is moving out of the hospital and into the community, so AADE’s accreditation program was created, in part, to encourage diabetes education where the patient is seeking care,” said Leslie Kolb, program director for the AADE’s Diabetes Education Accreditation Program. “The Western New England University and Big Y Foods Inc. Consultation and Wellness Center is exactly the type of program we envisioned when we set up our accreditation program in 2009.” Kam Capoccia, associate professor and director of the Consultation and Wellness Center at 300 Cooley St. in Springfield, noted that it is one of 13 AADE-accredited programs in the Commonwealth. “This is a pharmacist-run diabetes center, and we are proud and honored to serve the community.” Added Nicole D’Amour Schneider, senior manager of Pharmacy Operations for Big Y, “the Western New England University and Big Y Foods Inc. Consultation and Wellness Center has been providing our community with excellent, patient-centered care and disease-state-management education for nearly four years. Our congratulations go out to our partners at the Western New England University College of Pharmacy for achieving this impressive accomplishment.”

Q Restaurant Opens on State Street in Springfield
SPRINGFIELD — Mayor Dominic Sarno joined other public officials and neighborhood business leaders on June 2 for a ribbon cutting to mark the grand opening of the Q Restaurant, the latest example of renewed reinvestment and revitalization along the State Street corridor. Advertised as serving “real southern barbecue,” the restaurant opened for lunch on May 19 and started serving lunch and dinner on May 26. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. “This is another example of the city’s continuing ability to attract new investment that revitalizes neighborhoods,” said Sarno. “Not too long ago, this building was seized by the city. Now, it is back on the tax rolls, it is looking better than ever, and I’m hoping it will be an asset to the neighborhood for years to come.” Located at 890 State St., the property was purchased from the city in 2013 by Craig and Chris Spagnoli, a father-and-son team that had previously worked with the city on revitalizing foreclosed properties in the Forest Park neighborhood. The Spagnolis have invested more than $500,000 in starting the restaurant and are also planning to rehabilitate the upper floors into 15 units of rental housing. “My son Chris’s wife, Sarah, is from the South, and since we’ve been working in Springfield, we’ve always talked about how we thought a good southern barbecue restaurant would go over well,” said Craig Spagnoli. “We’re hoping Q will be a popular place for the neighborhood, for the colleges nearby, and for commuters wanting to pick up takeout on their way home.” The restaurant is located in Mason Square on the edge of the campus of American International College and a few blocks from Springfield College. It is across the street from the former Indian Motorcycle factory, and the restaurant boasts several Indian models as a tribute to the neighborhood’s manufacturing legacy.

Events

Lists of the previous seven 40 Under Forty classes

Class of 2013

Timothy Allen, South End Middle School
Meaghan Arena, Westfield State University
Adrian Bailey Dion, Harold Grinspoon Foundation
Jason Barroso, Tighe & Bond
Elizabeth Beaudry, NUVO Bank & Trust Co.
Melyssa Brown, Meyers Bothers Kalicka, P.C.
Kam Capoccia, Western New England University College of Pharmacy
Jeremy Casey, Westfield Bank
Tommy Cosenzi, TommyCar Auto Group
Erin Couture, Florence Savings Bank
Geoffrey Croteau, MassMutual Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services
William Davila, The Gandara Center
Ralph DiVito Jr., Yankee Candle Co.
Shaun Dwyer, PeoplesBank
Erin Fontaine Brunelle, Century 21 Hometown Associates
William Gagnon, Excel Dryer Inc.
Allison Garriss, Clinical & Support Options Inc.
Annamarie Golden, Baystate Health
L. Alexandra Hogan, Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C.
Samalid Hogan , City of Springfield
Xiaolei Hua, PeoplesBank
Mark Jardim, CMD Technologies
Danny Kates, Wealth New England and MassMutual Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services
Jeremy Leap, Country Bank
Danielle Letourneau-Therrien, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County
Isaac Mass, Law Office of Isaac J. Mass
Kelvin Molina, HAPHousing
Brenna Murphy McGee, Commonwealth of Massachusetts/City of Holyoke
Vanessa Pabon, WGBY-TV
John Pantera, Fitness Together Franchise Corp./Elements Therapeutic Massage
Justin Pelis, North Country Landscapes & Garden Center
Shonda Pettiford, Commonwealth Honors College, UMass Amherst
Shannon Reichelt, S. Reichelt & Co., LLC.
N. Andrew Robb, Burgess, Schultz & Robb, P.C.
Stacy Robison, CommunicateHealth Inc.
Rachel Romano, Veritas Preparatory Charter School
Jennifer Root, Center for Human Development,Terri Thomas Girls Program
Jonathan Stolpinski, Westfield Electroplating Co.
Walter Tomala Jr., TNT General Contracting Inc.
Mark Zatyrka, American Homecare Federation Inc.

Class of 2012

Allison Biggs, Graphic Designer
Christopher Connelly, Foley/Connelly Financial Partners
Scott Conrad, Center for Human Development
Erin Corriveau, Reliable Temps Inc.
Carla Cosenzi, Tommy Car Corp.
Ben Craft, Baystate Medical Center
Jessica Crevier, AIDS Foundation of Western Mass.
Michele Crochetiere, YWCA of Western Mass.
Christopher DiStefano, DiStefano Financial Group
Keshawn Dodds, 4King Edward Enterprises Inc.
Ben Einstein, Brainstream Design
Michael Fenton, Shatz, Schwartz, and Fentin, P.C.
Tim Fisk, The Alliance to Develop Power
Elizabeth Ginter, Ellis Title Co.
Eric Hall, Westfield Police Department
Brendon Hutchins, St. Germain Investment Management
Kevin Jennings, Jennings Real Estate
Kristen Kellner, Kellner Consulting, LLC
Dr. Ronald Laprise, Laprise Chiropractic & Wellness
Danielle Lord, O’Connell Care at Home & Staffing Services
Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, Westfield State University
Trecia Marchand, Pioneer Valley Federal Credit Union
Ryan McCollum, RMC Strategies
Sheila Moreau, MindWing Concepts Inc.
Kelli Ann Nielsen, Springfield Academy Middle School
Neil Nordstrom, Pediatric Services of Springfield
Edward Nuñez, Freedom Credit Union
Adam Ondrick, Ondrick Natural Earth
Gladys Oyola, City of Springfield
Shardool Parmar, Pioneer Valley Hotel Group
Vincent Petrangelo, Raymond James
Terry Powe, Elias Brookings Museum Magnet School
Jennifer Reynolds, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
Dan Rukakoski, Tighe & Bond
Dr. Nate Somers, Center for Human Development
Joshua Spooner, Western New England University College of Pharmacy
Jaclyn Stevenson, Winstanley Partners
Jason Tsitso, R & R Windows Contractors
Sen. James Welch, State Senator, First Hampden District
Karen Woods, Yankee Candle Co.

Class of 2011

Kelly Albrecht , left-click Corp.
Gianna Allentuck , Springfield Public Schools
Briony Angus , Tighe & Bond
Delania Barbee , ACCESS Springfield Promise Program
Monica Borgatti , Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity
Nancy Buffone , University of Massachusetts
Michelle Cayo , Country Bank
Nicole Contois , Springfield Housing Authority
Christin Deremian , Human Resources Unlimited/Pyramid Project
Peter Ellis , DIF Design
Scott Foster , Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP
Stephen Freyman , Longmeadow High School
Benjamin Garvey , Insurance Center of New England
Mathew Geffin , Webber and Grinnell
Nick Gelfand , NRG Real Estate Inc.
Mark Germain , Gomes, DaCruz and Tracy, P.C.
Elizabeth Gosselin , Commonwealth Packaging
Kathryn Grandonico , Lincoln Real Estate
Jaimye Hebert , Monson Savings Bank
Sean Hemingway , Center for Human Development
Kelly Koch , Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP
Jason Mark , Gravity Switch
Joan Maylor , Stop and Shop Supermarkets
Todd McGee , MassMutual Financial Group
Donald Mitchell , Western Mass. Development Collaborative
David Pakman , Vivid Edge Media Group/The David Pakman Show
Timothy Plante, City of Springfield/Springfield Public Schools
Maurice Powe , The Law Offices of Brooks and Powe
Jeremy Procon , Interstate Towing Inc.
Kristen Pueschel , PeoplesBank
Meghan Rothschild , SurvivingSkin.org
Jennifer Schimmel , Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity
Amy Scott , Wild Apple Design Group
Alexander Simon , LogicTrail, LLC
Lauren Tabin , PeoplesBank
Lisa Totz , ITT Power Solutions
Jeffrey Trant , Human Resources Unlimited
Timothy Van Epps , Sandri Companies
Michael Vedovelli , Mass. Office of Business Development
Beth Vettori , Rockridge Retirement Community

Class of 2010

Nancy Bazanchuk , Disability Resource Program, Center for Human Development
Raymond Berry , United Way of Pioneer Valley
David Beturne , Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County
Maegan Brooks , The Law Office of Maegan Brooks
Karen Buell , PeoplesBank
Shanna Burke , Nonotuck Resource Associates
Damon Cartelli , Fathers & Sons
Brady Chianciola , PeoplesBank
Natasha Clark , Springfield School Volunteers
Julie Cowan , TD Bank
Karen Curran , Thomson Financial Management Inc.
Adam Epstein , Dielectrics Inc.
Mary Fallon , Garvey Communication Associates
Daniel Finn , Pioneer Valley Local First
Owen Freeman-Daniels , Foley-Connelly Financial Partners and Foley Insurance Group
Lorenzo Gaines , ACCESS Springfield Promise Program
Thomas Galanis , Westfield State College
Anthony Gleason II , Roger Sitterly & Son Inc. and Gleason Landscaping
Allen Harris , Berkshire Money Management Inc.
Meghan Hibner , Westfield Bank
Amanda Huston , Junior Achievement of Western Mass. Inc.
Kimberly Klimczuk , Royal, LLP
James Krupienski , Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
David Kutcher , Confluent Forms, LLC
James Leahy , City of Holyoke and Alcon Laboratories
Kristin Leutz , Community Foundation of Western Mass.
Meghan Lynch , Six-Point Creative Works
Susan Mielnikowski , Cooley, Shrair, P.C.
Jill Monson , Adam Quenneville Roofing & Siding Inc. and Inspired Marketing & Promotions
Kevin Perrier , Five Star Building Corp.
Lindsay Porter , Big Y Foods
Brandon Reed , Fitness Together
Boris Revsin , CampusLIVE Inc.
Aaron Vega , Vega Yoga & Movement Arts
Ian Vukovich , Florence Savings Bank
Thomas Walsh , City of Springfield
Sean Wandrei , Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
Byron White , Pazzo Ristorante
Chester Wojcik , Design Construction Group
Peter Zurlino , Atlantico Designs and Springfield Public Schools

Class of 2009

Marco Alvan, Team Link Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Gina Barry, Bacon Wilson, P.C.
Maggie Bergin, The Art of Politics
Daniel Bessette, Get Set Marketing
Brandon Braxton, NewAlliance Bank
Dena Calvanese, Gray House
Edward Cassell, Park Square Realty
Karen Chadwell, Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy, P.C.
Kate Ciriello, MassMutual Financial Group
Kamari Collins, Springfield Technical Community College
Mychal Connolly Sr., Stinky Cakes
Todd Demers, Family Wireless
Kate Glynn, A Child’s Garden and Impish
Andrew Jensen, Jx2 Productions, LLC
Kathy LeMay, Raising Change
Ned Leutz, Webber & Grinnell Insurance Agency
Scott MacKenzie, MacKenzie Vault Inc.
Tony Maroulis, Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce
Seth Mias, Seth Mias Catering
Marjory Moore, Chicopee Public Schools
Corey Murphy, First American Insurance Agency Inc.
Mark Hugo Nasjleti, Go Voice for Choice
Joshua Pendrick, Royal Touch Painting
Christopher Prouty, Studio99Creative
Adam Quenneville, Adam Quenneville Roofing
Michael Ravosa, Morgan Stanley
Kristi Reale, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
Amy Royal, Royal & Klimczuk, LLC
Michelle Sade, United Personnel
Scott Sadowsky, Williams Distributing Corp.
Gregory Schmidt, Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C.
Gretchen Siegchrist, Media Shower Productions
Erik Skar, MassMutual Financial Services
Paul Stallman, Alias Solutions
Renee Stolar, J. Stolar Insurance Co.
Tara Tetreault, Jackson and Connor
Chris Thompson, Springfield Falcons Hockey Team
Karl Tur, Ink & Toner Solutions, LLC
Michael Weber, Minuteman Press
Brenda Wishart, Aspen Square Management

Class of 2008

Michelle Abdow, Market Mentors
Matthew Andrews, Best Buddies of Western Mass.
Rob Anthony, WMAS
Shane Bajnoci, Cowls Land & Lumber Co.
Steve Bandarra, Atlas TC
Dr. Jonathan Bayuk, Hampden County Physician Associates
Delcie Bean IV, Valley Computer Works (Paragus Strategic IT)
Brendan Ciecko, Ten Minute Media
Todd Cieplinski, Universal Mind Inc.
William Collins, Spoleto Restaurant Group
Michael Corduff, Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House
Amy Davis, New City Scenic & Display
Dave DelVecchio, Innovative Business Systems Inc.
Tyler Fairbank, EOS Ventures
Timothy Farrell, F.W. Farrell Insurance
Jeffrey Fialky, Bacon Wilson, P.C.
Dennis Francis, America’s Box Choice
Kelly Galanis, Westfield State College
Jennifer Glockner, Winstanley Associates
Andrea Hill-Cataldo, Johnson & Hill Staffing Services
Steven Huntley, Valley Opportunity Council
Alexander Jarrett, Pedal People Cooperative
Kevin Jourdain, City of Holyoke
Craig Kaylor, Hampden Bank / Hampden Bancorp Inc.
Stanley Kowalski III, FloDesign Inc.
Marco Liquori, NetLogix Inc.
Azell Murphy Cavaan, City of Springfield
Michael Presnal, The Federal Restaurant
Melissa Shea, Sullivan, Hayes & Quinn
Sheryl Shinn, Hampden Bank
Ja’Net Smith, Center for Human Development
Diana Sorrentini-Velez, Cooley, Shrair, P.C.
Meghan Sullivan, Sullivan, Hayes & Quinn
Michael Sweet, Doherty Wallace Pillsbury & Murphy
Heidi Thomson, Girls Inc.
Hector Toledo, Hampden Bank
William Trudeau Jr., Insurance Center of New England
David Vermette, MassMutual Financial Services
Lauren Way, Bay Path College
Paul Yacovone, Brain Powered Concepts

Class of 2007

William Bither III, Atalasoft
Kimberlynn Cartelli, Fathers & Sons
Amy Caruso, MassMutual Financial Group
Denise Cogman, Springfield School Volunteers
Richard Corder, Cooley Dickinson Hospital
Katherine Pacella Costello, Egan, Flanagan & Cohen, P.C.
A. Rima Dael, Berkshire Bank Foundation of Pioneer Valley
Nino Del Padre, Del Padre Visual Productions
Antonio Dos Santos, Robinson Donovan, P.C.
Jake Giessman, Academy Hill School
Jillian Gould, Eastfield Mall
Michael Gove, Lyon & Fitzpatrick, LLP
Dena Hall, United Bank
James Harrington, Our Town Variety & Liquors
Christy Hedgpeth, Spalding Sports
Francis Hoey III, Tighe & Bond
Amy Jamrog, The Jamrog Group, Northwestern Mutual
Cinda Jones, Cowls Land & Lumber Co.
Paul Kozub, V-1 Vodka
Bob Lowry, Bueno y Sano
G.E. Patrick Leary, Moriarty & Primack, P.C.
Todd Lever, Noble Hospital
Audrey Manring, The Women’s Times
Daniel Morrill, Wolf & Company
Joseph Pacella, Egan, Flanagan & Cohen, P.C.
Arlene Rodriquez, Springfield Technical Community College
Craig Swimm, WMAS 94.7
Sarah Tanner, United Way of Pioneer Valley
Mark Tanner, Bacon Wilson, P.C.
Michelle Theroux, Child & Family Services of Pioneer Valley Inc.
Tad Tokarz, Western MA Sports Journal
Dan Touhey, Spalding Sports
Sarah Leete Tsitso, Fred Astaire Dance
Michael Vann, The Vann Group
Ryan Voiland, Red Fire Farm
Erica Walch, Speak Easy Accent Modification
Catherine West, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
Michael Zaskey, Zasco Productions, LLC
Edward Zemba, Robert Charles Photography
Carin Zinter, The Princeton Review

Daily News

WARE — A group of 14 Country Bank employees recently joined forces with Habitat for Humanity Metro West/Greater Worcester in a team-building exercise that ended with a local veteran family receiving a unique gift: a custom playhouse.

Habitat’s Operation Playhouse is a program designed to allow groups to come together to create and complete a custom playhouse in one day. The opportunity to work together and collaborate on design and construction of the house is wrapped up with the reward of seeing it turned over to a local veteran and their children.

“Working with the Habitat staff was seamless, and the day couldn’t have been more rewarding,” said Deb Gagnon, Corporate Relations officer, Country Bank. “Completing the playhouse gave us all a sense of accomplishment, and when the family arrived to receive their gift, there wasn’t a dry eye around.”

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Fall Feastival, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity’s (GSHFH) biggest fundraiser of the year, will take place on Thursday, Nov. 4 starting at 5:30 p.m. at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. At $50 a ticket — a $25 savings from previous years — the evening promises hours of fun and networking opportunities.

This year marks the event’s 20th year. Attendees can enjoy sweet and savory samplings from local restaurants, including Nadim’s Downtown Mediterranean Grill, Elegant Affairs, Twin Hills, and Mamma Mia’s, and bid on live and silent auctions to win featured prizes such as four tickets to see the Boston Bruins play the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 11 with four passes to Legends — the private, members-only restaurant at TD Garden — and an overnight stay at Red Lion Inn in the Berkshires.

“We are so thrilled to have this event in person once again and look forward to a great evening of fun, food, and live and silent auction items. A huge thank you to our many generous event sponsors, including Dietz & Company Architects,” said John O’Farrell, GSHFH fundraising and volunteer coordinator. “The collective support of our donors, community partners, and volunteers truly make our building projects possible throughout Hampden County. We hope to see everyone at Twin Hills on Thursday, Nov. 4.”

People on the Move

Narayan Sampath

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Narayan Sampath as its vice president of Administration and Finance. He will serve as the college’s chief fiscal officer, managing the college budget and supervising the Business Office, Human Resources, Campus Police, Facilities, and Dining Services. He started Jan. 2. Among his previous roles, Sampath was administrative director of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS) at UMass Amherst, where he managed all day-to-day operations, including administrative, human resource, and fiscal affairs. He was also responsible for the execution of the $95 million capital grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center that led to the creation of IALS, now home to three centers with more than 250 college faculty members. From 2013 to 2015, he managed the Center for Emergent Behavior of Integrated Cellular Systems at MIT, funded by the National Science Foundation, and before that served as MIT’s financial administrator. From 2009 to 2011, he worked as grants administrator at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Originally from India, Sampath holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Mumbai. He earned an MBA from the International Business School at Brandeis University in Waltham. He has lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Nigeria, and Kenya.

•••••

Katherine Wilson

Steven Winn

Katherine Wilson, longtime president and CEO of Behavioral Health Network (BHN), announced she will retire on June 30. George Marion, BHN board chair, said the organization has named Steven Winn, BHN’s current chief operating officer, as Wilson’s successor. Wilson was instrumental in the formation of Behavioral Health Network in 1992 when four nonprofit mental-health organizations — the Child Guidance Clinic, the Agawam Counseling Center, Community Care Mental Health Center, and the Hampden District Mental Health Clinic — formed the new entity and appointed Wilson CEO. Since BHN’s founding, Wilson has built the organization from a $1 million annual enterprise into a leading behavioral-health agency in the region. Under her leadership, BHN has grown dramatically and now serves more than 40,000 individuals in the four Western Mass. counties, employs over 2,300 people, and has an annual budget of more than $115 million. Most recently, she was named a Healthcare Hero for Lifetime Achievement by HCN and BusinessWest and was celebrated in the book Power of Women published by the Republican. Under Wilson’s direction, BHN transformed an abandoned factory complex on Liberty Street in Springfield into a sprawling campus that includes BHN’s corporate headquarters, the innovative Living Room drop-in center, Cole’s Place recovery program for men, the 24/7 Crisis Center, an adult outpatient clinic, and its care coordination and outreach services. She also implemented the acquisitions of the Carson Center in Westfield and its affiliate, Valley Human Services in Ware. Winn joined BHN in 1995 as vice president and director of the Child Guidance Clinic. He was later promoted to senior vice president and since 2017 has served BHN as chief operating officer. He has extensive experience in the behavioral-health field and received a master’s degree in developmental psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology, both from UMass Amherst. He went on to complete his fellowship at Yale University’s Child Study Center. After Yale, he became a staff psychologist at the University of New Mexico Children’s Psychiatric Hospital, where he also taught in the Department of Psychiatry as an assistant professor of Psychiatry. He is a licensed clinical psychologist in Massachusetts.

•••••

John Heaps Jr

Florence Bank announced that President and CEO John Heaps Jr. will retire on May 1, 25 years to the day after he took the top job, making him the bank’s longest-serving CEO. Heaps has grown the bank in terms of staff, the number of branches, the geographic regions it serves, and capital and assets. Florence Bank is a top-performing bank in the industry in the state, with record results over the past five years, according to both the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Depositors Insurance Fund. Heaps will be succeeded from within as president and CEO by Kevin Day, Florence Bank’s executive vice president. Day joined the bank 11 years ago as its chief financial officer. During Heaps’ tenure, Florence Bank’s capital has grown from $24 million to $161 million, and assets have grown from $283 million to $1.4 billion. The bank grew from four branches in 1995 to 11 now — and soon to be 12. The staff has doubled from 112 full-time employees to 221 now. Heaps grew up in Springfield and began his banking career in 1971 in marketing at Valley Bank, later Bay Bank, in Springfield. In 1987, he was first named a bank president for Bank of Boston, also in Springfield. In addition to serving on many nonprofit boards, he has also sat on many boards in the banking industry, including the Connecticut On-Line Computer Center Inc. (COCC), which provides core data processing to banks, including Florence Bank.

•••••

Christina Royal

Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal has been selected for a national fellowship for first-time college presidents administered by Washington, D.C.-based Aspen Institute. The Aspen New Presidents Fellowship is a new initiative designed to support community-college presidents in the early years of their tenure to accelerate transformational change on behalf of students. Royal and Luis Pedraja, president of Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, were the only two community-college presidents chosen from Massachusetts. They are part of the inaugural group of 25 Aspen fellows selected from more than 100 applicants nationwide. The leaders, all of whom are in their first five years as a college president, will engage in a seven-month fellowship beginning in June 2020. The fellows were selected for their commitment to student success and equity, willingness to take risks to improve outcomes, understanding of the importance of community partnerships, and ability to lead change. JPMorgan Chase is funding the Aspen New Presidents Fellowship as part of New Skills at Work, a five-year, $350 million investment to support community colleges and other pathways to careers and economic mobility.

•••••

Jamina Scippio-McFadden, a senior program manager at UMass Center at Springfield, has been named director of the center by UMass Amherst. She has served as interim director for the past year. Scippio-McFadden’s wide-ranging community involvement includes serving on the executive committee of the Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts board of directors and the board of directors for the Hampden County Community Impact Foundation and Community Enrichment Inc. She is a member of the Springfield Museums African Hall Subcommittee and an organizing and charter member of the Western Mass. chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. She joined the UMass Center in 2014 as the director of Marketing and Community Relations, Student Services, and Academic Support. She was appointed program manager for business and community development in the center’s Office of Economic Development in August 2018. She was named interim director of the center in January 2019. Previously, Scippio-McFadden taught communications at American International College and served as a college administrator and faculty member at institutions in Florida and Georgia. She has 20 years of experience in the media industry, including television news, radio, newspapers, and public relations. She received her bachelor’s degree in communications from Bethune-Cookman College, where she graduated magna cum laude. She earned a master’s degree in communications from the University of Florida and is currently a doctoral candidate in education at UMass Amherst.

•••••

Bay Path University announced three new members of its faculty across the undergraduate and graduate divisions. Xiaoxia Liu, director, Applied Data Science, is a seasoned data scientist with years of experience across different industries, including healthcare, business solutions, and insurance. She has extensive experience in handling various data problems through teaching, statistical collaboration research, and advanced analytic/predictive modeling. Liu has authored more than 35 peer-reviewed journal articles, which have appeared in JAMA, Pain, Circulation, and other leading medical journals. She holds a master’s degree in mathematics and statistics from Georgia State University and a master’s degree in communication from SUNY Albany. Joshua Hamilton, program director and professor, is a fellow of the American Assoc. of Nurse Practitioners and is in private practice in Las Vegas, Nev. He has held a variety of faculty and administrative positions in the U.S. and abroad, and is an internationally recognized speaker at conferences and professional meetings. He holds a doctor of nursing practice degree from Rush University and is in the process of completing his juris doctor through Northwestern California University. Nisé Guzmán Nekheba, coordinator and associate professor, Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies, comes to Bay Path with more than 30 years of experience in both professional and academic settings. As a published author and a seasoned presenter, Nekheba is highly experienced in the areas of real property, family law, race and the law, immigration, Native Americans and the law, and law and religion. She is an award-winning academic professional and a member of the American Bar Assoc., the Assoc. of American Law Schools, and the Assoc. for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora. Nekheba simultaneously completed her juris doctor and master of divinity degrees at Harvard University, where she was the recipient of the Harvard University Baccalaureate Speaker Award.

•••••

Andrea Momnie O’Connor, a principal with the law firm Hendel, Collins & O’Connor, P.C., has been appointed to the panel of Chapter 7 Trustees for the District of Connecticut by the U.S. Trustee Program. O’Connor previously clerked for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts. She graduated magna cum laude from Western New England University Law School, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Western New England Law Review, and cum laude from the University of Connecticut. She is an adjunct professor at Elms College, where she teaches legal research and writing. She was named a 2019 Rising Star in the area of bankruptcy law by Super Lawyers. Her practice focuses on bankruptcy, insolvency, and financial restructuring for business and consumer clients.

•••••

As part of its planned expansion of commercial banking talent and resources across the Northeast, KeyBank announced that Matthew Hummel has joined the bank in the newly created position of Commercial Banking team leader, reporting to market president James Barger. In his new role, Hummel will lead and expand the team of commercial bankers serving middle-market clients in Connecticut and Western Mass. and help drive KeyBank’s commercial business growth throughout the market. Hummel brings more than 30 years of commercial-banking experience to KeyBank, primarily from Bank of America’s Global Commercial Banking group, where he strategically aligned banking resources to the needs of middle-market companies requiring complex debt, capital markets, currency, treasury, and other financial solutions. He holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Hartford, and a bachelor’s degree from Colby College. He has strong ties to the local community and has volunteered at a number of nonprofit organizations, including Smilow Cancer Center’s Closer to Free bike tour, Literacy Volunteers of America, and Habitat for Humanity. He has served as a Glastonbury Basketball Assoc. board member and boys travel basketball commissioner since 2005.

•••••

Christopher Smith

Comcast announced the appointment of Christopher Smith as vice president of Human Resources for the company’s Western New England region, which includes more than 300 communities in Connecticut, Western Mass., Western New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. In this role, Smith and his team will support more than 1,600 employees and oversee all of the region’s human-resources functions, including talent management, recruiting, payroll, benefits, and training through Comcast University, the company’s internal training and leadership-development program. Prior to joining Comcast, Smith served for the past decade as HR vice president of NiSource, an 8,000-employee utility company based in Indiana that provides natural-gas and electric power to 4 million customers in seven states. Before that, he spent four years with the Pepsi Bottling Group, first as HR manager in Las Vegas and later as HR director in Newport News, Va., where he was responsible for 1,500 employees in 13 locations. In addition, he held various human-resources roles over the course of four years for Mead Johnson Nutritionals, a former division of the pharmaceutical manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza School of Business, where he recently served as an adjunct professor of Strategic Human Resources.

•••••

Dodie Carpentier

Dodie Carpentier, vice president of Human Resources at Monson Savings Bank, was recently elected president-elect of River East School to Career (RESTC). Carpentier joined RESTC as a board member in 2014, has previously held positions as clerk and treasurer, and is a member of the scholarship committee for this local nonprofit organization. Working under the umbrella of MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, RESTC promotes K-16 career education and assists in preparing youth for the demands of the 21st-century workplace. In addition to volunteering for RESTC, Carpentier also serves as chairperson for the Monson Substance Abuse Community Partnership, is a member of the steering committee for Rays of Hope, is a read-aloud volunteer for Link to Libraries, and is a guitarist and vocalist for the Folk Group at St. Thomas Church in Palmer. She has worked at Monson Savings Bank since 2006 and has earned certificates in human resources management and supervision from the Center for Financial Training.

•••••

Allison Vorderstrasse, a faculty member and Ph.D. program director at New York University, has been named the dean of the College of Nursing at UMass Amherst. She will begin her appointment on July 1. Vorderstrasse currently serves as a faculty member and director of the Florence S. Downs Ph.D. Program in Nursing Research and Theory Development at New York University (NYU) Rory Meyers College of Nursing. An adult nurse practitioner with clinical experience, Vorderstrasse received her doctorate and master’s degrees in nursing at the Yale University School of Nursing, with specialties in chronic illness self-management research and diabetes. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, she was an associate professor of Nursing and faculty lead for Precision Health Research at the Duke University School of Nursing. She taught at Duke University School of Nursing from 2009 to 2014. In 2014, she received the Duke University School of Nursing Distinguished Teaching Award. She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2015, and in 2017 received the International Society of Nurses in Genetics Founders Award for Excellence in Genomic Nursing Research.

•••••

Kiyota Garcia

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) announced the appointment of Kiyota Garcia as coordinator of the Academic Advising and Transfer Center, effective Jan. 27. In 2010, Garcia started working in the Academic Advising and Transfer Center, which provides continuous support to strengthen, nurture, empower, and educate students in making informed decisions that will guide their educational experience. Garcia holds a doctorate of education in educational psychology from American International College, a master’s degree in clinical psychology from American International College, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bay Path University. She will continue to work on advising initiatives that support the success of STCC students with a focus on retention and completion.

•••••

Angel Coriano

Homework House announced the hire of Angel Coriano as its new director of Programs. He will be responsible for the supervision of day-to-day program operations, including the tutoring and learning process, and will also work closely with local schools, student assessment and evaluation, along with curriculum development. Coriano is a lifelong resident of Holyoke and a graduate of Holyoke Public Schools. An alumnus of the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, he has spent the last 10-plus years in the field of education.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — A limited number of tickets are available for the 14th annual Fall Feastival benefiting Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity. The event takes place Thursday, Nov. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Springfield Country Club, 1375 Elm St., West Springfield. Courtesy valet parking is available.

The evening features a lavish menu provided by 12 of the area’s most popular restaurants, including Chez Josef, the Country Club of Wilbraham, Elegant Affairs, Heartfelt Fine Gifts, Lattitude, theLog Cabin/Delaney House, Nadim’s Mediterranean Restaurant and Grill, Pintu’s Indian Palace, Springfield Country Club, Tekoa Country Club, the Latin Gourmet, and the Magic Spoon.

Guests will have an opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items, including a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame dinner for six prepared by Steve Jackson, former chef for the Chicago Bulls; a one-week Florida escape with four Disney one-day park-hopper passes; Red Sox/Yankees tickets in the Jim Beam Suite at Yankee Stadium; four VIP tickets and backstage passes to the Dropkick Murphys’ St. Patrick’s weekend concert at the House of Blues in Boston; a Napa getaway for two with luxury timeshare condo accommodations; and a backyard barbeque package catered by Log Rolling (Log Cabin/Delaney House) with musical entertainment provided by Pridefalls.

The event’s Gold Sponsor is Babson Capital Management, LLC, while the Silver Sponsor is PeoplesBank. Bronze Sponsors include Consigli Construction; Freedom Credit Union; the Home Builders and Remodelers Assoc. of Western Mass.; Hastings; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Nicholas LaPier CPA, P.C.; TD Bank; and TNG General Contracting. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available by contacting Jeff LaValley at (413) 739-5503, or [email protected].

Tickets cost $75 per person and are available by registering securely online using a credit card at www.habitatspringfield.org, or by calling (413) 739-5503.

In recognition of the 14th annual Fall Feastival, and of 27 years serving the community and aiding 58 families through home ownership and home-preservation opportunities, Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno has proclaimed Nov. 6 Greater Springfield for Humanity Day.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — On Monday, July 18, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) will host a double in-person dedication ceremony (that will also air on Facebook Live) for two Holyoke homes and two families.

Since construction began in summer 2021, roughly 150 volunteers from local companies and school groups helped complete this project. They include the Holyoke Department of Community Development; the Holyoke Housing Authority; the Holyoke Community Preservation Act Committee; Sunbelt Rentals; PeoplesBank; OMG; Anna Maria College; Meyers Brothers Kalicka; Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan & Blakesley; Citizens Bank; and Restoration Worship Center.

“We are very grateful for the opportunity and partnerships created allowing us to provide more affordable housing in the city of Holyoke. We hope that this is the start of more to come,” said Aimee Giroux, GSHFH executive director.

Single mother Jennifer and her three teenage boys will move into a three-bedroom Greater Springfield Habitat home currently under construction. Since divorcing her abusive husband, Jennifer has strived for a safe and decent affordable home. In her current apartment, her two youngest sons share a bedroom and bed, and the neighborhood they live in is dangerous.

“I see so much better for my children, and I want to be able to provide them a forever home — a place where we will feel safe, stable, happy, and accomplished,” Jennifer said. “We want a place to create beautiful memories for many years to come.”

Ireydiza and her husband, Juan, will soon purchase the other three-bedroom GSHFH home in Holyoke. The couple has two young children. Just four years ago, the family was happy, healthy, and dreaming of buying their first home. Then tragedy struck. A workplace injury disabled Juan and Ireydiza left school to be the sole breadwinner. The family is eager to move forward and out of the apartment, which in the winter is cold in the living room and master bedroom.

“We’ve been trying to leave for a while. This neighborhood has a bad reputation,” Juan said. “We want something different for our kids. We want them to be able to have something where they come home and say, ‘this is our home.’”

GSHFH is a housing ministry dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering low-income families to change their lives and the lives of future generations through homeownership and home repair opportunities. This is accomplished by working in partnership with diverse people, from all walks of life, to build and repair simple, decent, affordable housing. GSHFH has helped more than 100 local families realize their dream of homeownership over the last 35 years.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — This week, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GHSFH) will celebrate the end of its 30th anniversary, in partnership with the Home Builder’s Blitz program, by building a house to honor the visionary leadership of GSHFH’s past 30 years, including York Mayo, Bob Perry, Bruce and Ruth Pierce, George Burtch, Pastor Led Baxter, First Church in Ludlow, Ellen Freyman, Bill Mazeine, Neil Swinton, Walt Tomala, Jennifer Schimmel, Jason Tsitso, Karen Carlson, and Steve Gelling.

The house, located at 963 Sumner Ave. in Springfield, will be constructed in one week — specifically, exterior complete with interior drywall finished. This build is made possible with the help of habitat partner families, local construction companies, and hundreds of volunteers from the local community, as well as Guatemala. Funding was made possible, in part, through the Beveridge Family Foundation, the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, the Perry family, the Mayo family, the Lyons family, TNT General Contracting, and many more partners (for a full listing, visit www.habitatspringfield.org).

The Legacy Build Week activities at 963 Sumner Ave. kicked off on July 14 with the wall raising. The build will continue throughout the week from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, July 21 at 4 p.m., a celebration will take place, kicking off the 31st year with a proclamation from City Councilor Kateri Walsh, along with the blessing of three Springfield homes and their families, including 37 Bristol St., 1512 Dwight St., and 963 Sumner Ave. An ice-cream social and a tour of 963 Sumner Ave. will conclude the ceremony.

40 Under 40

It’s an event, says Kate Campiti, that’s long overdue.

“I’ve had conversations with many 40 Under Forty honorees who’ve said they wish there were a way they could get together with other winners for a networking opportunity,” said Campiti, associate publisher of BusinessWest, adding that many of these individuals value their standing in what has become a highly desirable club throughout Western Mass.

“They include their status as a 40 Under Forty winner on résumés, in e-mail signatures, and when talking with clients and potential clients,” she noted. “Not only does this honor open doors for them, but they also give other honorees a preference on business relationships over other individuals and companies without a 40 Under Forty title.”

Given that reality, a reunion event was only a matter of time.

“After having these conversations and realizing the fraternity that has been made of 40 Under Forty honorees, we decided to give them what they asked for with a reunion exclusively for the 40 Under Forty winners,” Campiti said.

That event will take place the evening of Feb. 7 at the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House in Holyoke, which has hosted several 40 Under Forty events. This high-energy networking event is exclusively for the 40 Under Forty winners from the classes of 2006 through 2012, as well as judges and sponsors. The evening will include hors d’oeuvres and entertainment, as well as a high-profile speaker, Health New England CEO Peter Straley. Overall, said Campiti, this will be an ideal venue for the 240 past honorees to meet each other and build relationships.

Jaimye Hebert, a 2011 honoree who served as a judge for the class of 2012 (see story, page 13), plans on attending, adding that she’s grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the 40 Under Forty legacy.

“It’s such a great event,” said Hebert, vice president at Monson Savings Bank, of the annual June gathering celebrating the year’s winners. “I call it the best networking event of the year for the region.”

Campiti said the Feb. 7 reunion, which is being sponsored by Bacon Wilson, Fathers & Sons, Moriarty & Primack, Northwestern Mutual, and Paragus Strategic IT, will take that annual opportunity to make connections to the next level by assembling an elite who’s who of Western Mass. professionals.

“We’ve said this before,” she noted, “but the 40 Under Forty program has become a status symbol and level of achievement that many of the young professionals in our region aspire to. Each year, we’ve seen an increase in the number of nominations we receive, and those nominations span every sector and industry.”

With the support of groups like the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield and Northampton Area Young Professionals, which have both encouraged nominations from their ranks and seen many members achieve the award, the 40 Under Forty program has even created a competition of sorts for young up-and-comers.

“We’ve heard directly from previous winners and those vying for the honor who said they had increased — or are increasing — their volunteerism on various nonprofit boards, as well as their business skills, by taking courses and working with mentors, in an effort to be worthy of a 40 Under Forty award,” Campiti said. “This healthy competition only helps our region by strengthening our young professionals and future leaders.”

The reunion also coincides with nomination season for the class of 2013. Nomination forms may be found on page 17 of this issue or at businesswest.com, and entries will be accepted through Feb. 15.

“Each year, not only does the number of nominations increase,” Campiti said, “but so do the breadth and depth of the nominees, their skill sets, the industries they work in, their volunteerism, and their commitment to the health and vitality of our region. I think we’re all a little surprised, and pleasantly so, that the nominations we’ve seen come in show no sign of dwindling in quantity or, more importantly, quality.” n

 

Class of 2007

William Bither III Atalasoft

Kimberlynn Cartelli Fathers & Sons

Amy Caruso MassMutual Financial Group

Denise Cogman Springfield School Volunteers

Richard Corder Cooley Dickinson Hospital

Katherine Pacella Costello Egan, Flanagan & Cohen, P.C.

A. Rima Dael Berkshire Bank Foundation of Pioneer Valley

Nino Del Padre Del Padre Visual Productions

Antonio Dos Santos Robinson Donovan, P.C.

Jake Giessman Academy Hill School

Jillian Gould Eastfield Mall

Michael Gove Lyon & Fitzpatrick, LLP

Dena Hall United Bank

James Harrington Our Town Variety & Liquors

Christy Hedgpeth Spalding Sports

Francis Hoey III Tighe & Bond

Amy Jamrog The Jamrog Group, Northwestern Mutual

Cinda Jones Cowls Land & Lumber Co.

Paul Kozub V-1 Vodka

Bob Lowry Bueno y Sano

G.E. Patrick Leary Moriarty & Primack, P.C.

Todd Lever Noble Hospital

Audrey Manring The Women’s Times

Daniel Morrill Wolf & Company

Joseph Pacella Egan, Flanagan & Cohen, P.C.

Arlene Rodriquez Springfield Technical Community College

Craig Swimm WMAS 94.7

Sarah Tanner United Way of Pioneer Valley

Mark Tanner Bacon Wilson, P.C.

Michelle Theroux Child & Family Services of Pioneer Valley Inc.

Tad Tokarz Western MA Sports Journal

Dan Touhey Spalding Sports

Sarah Leete Tsitso Fred Astaire Dance

Michael Vann The Vann Group

Ryan Voiland Red Fire Farm

Erica Walch Speak Easy Accent Modification

Catherine West Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.

Michael Zaskey Zasco Productions, LLC

Edward Zemba Robert Charles Photography

Carin Zinter The Princeton Review

Class of 2008

Michelle Abdow Market Mentors

Matthew Andrews Best Buddies of Western Mass.

Rob Anthony WMAS

Shane Bajnoci Cowls Land & Lumber Co.

Steve Bandarra Atlas TC

Dr. Jonathan Bayuk Hampden County Physician Associates

Delcie Bean IV Valley Computer Works (Paragus Strategic IT)

Brendan Ciecko Ten Minute Media

Todd Cieplinski Universal Mind Inc.

William Collins Spoleto Restaurant Group

Michael Corduff Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House

Amy Davis New City Scenic & Display

Dave DelVecchio Innovative Business Systems Inc.

Tyler Fairbank EOS Ventures

Timothy Farrell F.W. Farrell Insurance

Jeffrey Fialky Bacon Wilson, P.C.

Dennis Francis America’s Box Choice

Kelly Galanis Westfield State College

Jennifer Glockner Winstanley Associates

Andrea Hill-Cataldo Johnson & Hill Staffing Services

Steven Huntley Valley Opportunity Council

Alexander Jarrett Pedal People Cooperative

Kevin Jourdain City of Holyoke

Craig Kaylor Hampden Bank / Hampden Bancorp Inc.

Stanley Kowalski III FloDesign Inc.

Marco Liquori NetLogix Inc.

Azell Murphy Cavaan City of Springfield

Michael Presnal The Federal Restaurant

Melissa Shea Sullivan, Hayes & Quinn

Sheryl Shinn Hampden Bank

Ja’Net Smith Center for Human Development

Diana Sorrentini-Velez Cooley, Shrair, P.C.

Meghan Sullivan Sullivan, Hayes & Quinn

Michael Sweet Doherty Wallace Pillsbury & Murphy

Heidi Thomson Girls Inc.

Hector Toledo Hampden Bank

William Trudeau Jr. Insurance Center of New England

David Vermette MassMutual Financial Services

Lauren Way Bay Path College

Paul Yacovone Brain Powered Concepts

Class of 2009

Marco Alvan Team Link Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Gina Barry Bacon Wilson, P.C.

Maggie Bergin The Art of Politics

Daniel Bessette Get Set Marketing

Brandon Braxton NewAlliance Bank

Dena Calvanese Gray House

Edward Cassell Park Square Realty

Karen Chadwell Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy, P.C.

Kate Ciriello MassMutual Financial Group

Kamari Collins Springfield Technical Community College

Mychal Connolly Sr. Stinky Cakes

Todd Demers Family Wireless

Kate Glynn A Child’s Garden and Impish

Andrew Jensen Jx2 Productions, LLC

Kathy LeMay Raising Change

Ned Leutz Webber & Grinnell Insurance Agency

Scott MacKenzie MacKenzie Vault Inc.

Tony Maroulis Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce

Seth Mias Seth Mias Catering

Marjory Moore Chicopee Public Schools

Corey Murphy First American Insurance Agency Inc.

Mark Hugo Nasjleti Go Voice for Choice

Joshua Pendrick Royal Touch Painting

Christopher Prouty Studio99Creative

Adam Quenneville Adam Quenneville Roofing

Michael Ravosa Morgan Stanley

Kristi Reale Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.

Amy Royal Royal & Klimczuk, LLC

Michelle Sade United Personnel

Scott Sadowsky Williams Distributing Corp.

Gregory Schmidt Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C.

Gretchen Siegchrist Media Shower Productions

Erik Skar MassMutual Financial Services

Paul Stallman Alias Solutions

Renee Stolar J. Stolar Insurance Co.

Tara Tetreault Jackson and Connor

Chris Thompson Springfield Falcons Hockey Team

Karl Tur Ink & Toner Solutions, LLC

Michael Weber Minuteman Press

Brenda Wishart Aspen Square Management

Class of 2010

 

Nancy Bazanchuk Disability Resource Program,

Center for Human Development

Raymond Berry United Way of Pioneer Valley

David Beturne Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County

Maegan Brooks The Law Office of Maegan Brooks

Karen Buell PeoplesBank

Shanna Burke Nonotuck Resource Associates

Damon Cartelli Fathers & Sons

Brady Chianciola PeoplesBank

Natasha Clark Springfield School Volunteers

Julie Cowan TD Bank

Karen Curran Thomson Financial Management Inc.

Adam Epstein Dielectrics Inc.

Mary Fallon Garvey Communication Associates

Daniel Finn Pioneer Valley Local First

Owen Freeman-Daniels Foley-Connelly Financial Partners and

Foley Insurance Group

Lorenzo Gaines ACCESS Springfield Promise Program

Thomas Galanis Westfield State College

Anthony Gleason II Roger Sitterly & Son Inc. and

Gleason Landscaping

Allen Harris Berkshire Money Management Inc.

Meghan Hibner Westfield Bank

Amanda Huston Junior Achievement of Western Mass. Inc.

Kimberly Klimczuk Royal, LLP

James Krupienski Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.

David Kutcher Confluent Forms, LLC

James Leahy City of Holyoke and Alcon Laboratories

Kristin Leutz Community Foundation of Western Mass.

Meghan Lynch Six-Point Creative Works

Susan Mielnikowski Cooley, Shrair, P.C.

Jill Monson Adam Quenneville Roofing & Siding Inc.

and Inspired Marketing & Promotions

Kevin Perrier Five Star Building Corp.

Lindsay Porter Big Y Foods

Brandon Reed Fitness Together

Boris Revsin CampusLIVE Inc.

Aaron Vega Vega Yoga & Movement Arts

Ian Vukovich Florence Savings Bank

Thomas Walsh City of Springfield

Sean Wandrei Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.

Byron White Pazzo Ristorante

Chester Wojcik Design Construction Group

Peter Zurlino Atlantico Designs and Springfield Public Schools

Class of 2011

 

Kelly Albrecht left-click Corp.

Gianna Allentuck Springfield Public Schools

Briony Angus Tighe & Bond

Delania Barbee ACCESS Springfield Promise Program

Monica Borgatti Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity

Nancy Buffone University of Massachusetts

Michelle Cayo Country Bank

Nicole Contois Springfield Housing Authority

Christin Deremian Human Resources Unlimited/Pyramid Project

Peter Ellis DIF Design

Scott Foster Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP

Stephen Freyman Longmeadow High School

Benjamin Garvey Insurance Center of New England

Mathew Geffin Webber and Grinnell

Nick Gelfand NRG Real Estate Inc.

Mark Germain Gomes, DaCruz and Tracy, P.C.

Elizabeth Gosselin Commonwealth Packaging

Kathryn Grandonico Lincoln Real Estate

Jaimye Hebert Monson Savings Bank

Sean Hemingway Center for Human Development

Kelly Koch Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP

Jason Mark Gravity Switch

Joan Maylor Stop and Shop Supermarkets

Todd McGee MassMutual Financial Group

Donald Mitchell Western Mass. Development Collaborative

David Pakman Vivid Edge Media Group/The David Pakman Show

Timothy Plante City of Springfield/Springfield Public Schools

Maurice Powe The Law Offices of Brooks and Powe

Jeremy Procon Interstate Towing Inc.

Kristen Pueschel PeoplesBank

Meghan Rothschild SurvivingSkin.org

Jennifer Schimmel Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity

Amy Scott Wild Apple Design Group

Alexander Simon LogicTrail, LLC

Lauren Tabin PeoplesBank

Lisa Totz ITT Power Solutions

Jeffrey Trant Human Resources Unlimited

Timothy Van Epps Sandri Companies

Michael Vedovelli Mass. Office of Business Development

Beth Vettori Rockridge Retirement Community

Class of 2012

Allison Biggs Graphic Designer

Christopher Connelly Foley/Connelly Financial Partners

Scott Conrad Center for Human Development

Erin Corriveau Reliable Temps Inc.

Carla Cosenzi Tommy Car Corp.

Ben Craft Baystate Medical Center

Michele Crochetiere YWCA of Western Mass.

Christopher DiStefano DiStefano Financial Group

Keshawn Dodds 4King Edward Enterprises Inc.

Ben Einstein Brainstream Design

Michael Fenton Shatz, Schwartz, and Fentin, P.C.

Tim Fisk The Alliance to Develop Power

Elizabeth Ginter Ellis Title Co.

Eric Hall Westfield Police Department

Brendon Hutchins St. Germain Investment Management

Kevin Jennings Jennings Real Estate

Kristen Kellner Kellner Consulting, LLC

Dr. Ronald Laprise Laprise Chiropractic & Wellness

Danielle Lord O’Connell Care at Home & Staffing Services

Waleska Lugo-DeJesus Westfield State University

Trecia Marchand Pioneer Valley Federal Credit Union

Ryan McCollum RMC Strategies

Sheila Moreau MindWing Concepts Inc.

Kelli Ann Nielsen Springfield Academy Middle School

Neil Nordstrom Pediatric Services of Springfield

Edward Nuñez Freedom Credit Union

Adam Ondrick Ondrick Natural Earth

Gladys Oyola City of Springfield

Shardool Parmar Pioneer Valley Hotel Group

Vincent Petrangelo Raymond James

Terry Powe Elias Brookings Museum Magnet School

Jennifer Reynolds Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.

Jessica Roncarati-Howe  AIDS Foundation of Western Mass.

Dan Rukakoski Tighe & Bond

Dr. Nate Somers Center for Human Development

Joshua Spooner Western New England University

College of Pharmacy

Jaclyn Stevenson Winstanley Partners

Jason Tsitso R & R Windows Contractors

Sen. James Welch State Senator, First Hampden District

Karen Woods Yankee Candle Co.

Agenda Departments

Stroke Assoc. Forum for Survivors, Caregivers

May 3: May is National Stroke Awareness Month, and the American Stroke Assoc., a division of the American Heart Assoc., will once again host a forum open to stroke survivors and their caregivers. The 2017 Pioneer Valley Stroke Survivors and Caregivers Forum, “The Future Belongs to Those Who Dream,” will take place at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the day will include exhibitors, local healthcare providers, and stroke survivors who will educate and share information. The forum will once again be hosted by Boston comedian and American Stroke Assoc. supporter Chris Tabb, whose family has been personally touched by stroke. The Pioneer Valley Stroke Forum is open to the public, and admission is $5, which will include a light breakfast and heart-healthy lunch. For tickets, call the American Heart Assoc. local office at (203) 303-3373.

Kentucky Derby Fund-raiser for Square One

May 6: The Colony Club in Springfield will the setting for hats, horses and hors d’oeuvres to celebrate the 143nd annual Kentucky Derby. Presented by the Gaudreau Group and Northeast IT, with sponsorship support from Nuvo Bank, American International College (AIC), the Colony Club and others, the event, starting at 4:30 p.m., will raise much-needed funds for Square One’s programs and services. Tickets cost $45 in advance and $50 at the door. The event will include big-screen monitors to enjoy the race, hearty hors d’oeuvres, and a complimentary mint julep. Prizes will be awarded for the best Derby attire. Tickets may be purchased via Eventbrite or by calling Heather at Inspired Marketing at (413) 303-0101.

Women Build Week

May 6-14: Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) and future Habitat homeowners will work alongside Lowe’s volunteers and all-female construction crews for Habitat for Humanity’s 10th annual National Women Build Week. The event invites women to help make a difference and devote at least one day to help build decent and affordable housing in their local communities. More than 17,000 women, including Lowe’s Heroes volunteers, are expected to volunteer at construction sites across the country as part of Habitat’s 2017 National Women Build Week. In the Upper Hill neighborhood of Springfield, volunteers will work to frame the exterior walls on the first floor of the house as well as tackle interior walls and prep to start the second floor. This year, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity will be kicking off its new construction in Springfield as part of National Women Build Week. In support of Women Build Week and Mother’s Day, an annual fund-raising event, Men Can Cook, will be held on May 9, and several men, including local business owners, Habitat board members, and others, will volunteer as chefs and waiters to put on an evening of food and fun to honor the women in their lives.

‘Big Data … Your Strategic Advantage’

May 10: As part of the ongoing BusinessWest and HCN Lecture Series, Comcast Business will host an informative program titled “Big Data … Your Strategic Advantage. The event is part of a series of lectures, panel discussions, and presentations that address timely and important business information. This is an opportunity to meet industry leaders and network with area business professionals. “Big Data … Your Strategic Advantage” will be presented by Dennis Perlot, vice President, Enterprise Architecture at CleanSlate Centers, and former ‘technology evangelist’ at Microsoft and BI specialist master at Deloitte. It will take place at La Quinta Inn & Suites, 100 Congress St., Springfield. Perlot will address how other organizations are using their data to provide them with a competitive advantage. Attendees will learn how data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves. On-site parking is available. Registration is scheduled for 7:15 to 7:30 a.m., followed by breakfast and Perlot’s presentation from 7:30 to 9 p.m. RSVP by Tuesday, May 2 HERE.

Lunch ‘n’ Learn on the ‘Trump Effect’

May 10: Skoler, Abbott & Presser will present a talk on how Trump administration mandates could potentially affect employers at the Springfield Regional Chamber Lunch ‘n’ Learn from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lattitude restaurant, 1338 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Attorney Amelia Holstrom will discuss recent developments and her predictions about what may happen at both the state and federal levels under the new administration and what it could mean for employers. Holstrom will talk about what is happening with the Affordable Care Act and steps Massachusetts may be taking while the issue is sorted out at the federal level, the potential for paid family leave both at the state and federal levels, and her predictions regarding trends in the enforcement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requirements, including the new EEO-1 requirements. She will also address what employers should be watching for relative to medical marijuana and what an employer’s current legal rights are, and her predictions for labor-relations developments under the new National Labor Relations Board. Reservations for the Lunch ‘n’ Learn are $25 for members ($30 at the door) and $35 for general admission ($40 at the door). Reservations may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by e-mailing Jessica Hill at [email protected].

Film and Media Exchange

May 12: Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative (BFMC) will partner with Vitec Videocom to bring their nationally touring ‘Roadshow’ to the Sheraton Springfield from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. This will be BFMC’s 4th Film and Media Exchange — a “Day 2 Play” — with workshops and an exhibit hall showcasing the latest in production equipment. The event will focus on cost-effective production techniques designed for anyone in broadcasting, filmmaking, photography, communications, and marketing. The exchange also includes lunch, a keynote speech, and networking opportunities with others in the industry. For more info on programs and tickets, contact BFMC at berkshirefilm.org or (413) 528-4223.

Continued Excellence Award Nomination Deadline

May 12: There’s still time to nominate someone for the Continued Excellence Award, as BusinessWest will accept nominations through Friday, May 12. The winner of the award will be unveiled at the magazine’s 40 Under Forty gala on June 22. Two years ago, BusinessWest inaugurated the award to recognize past 40 Under Forty honorees who had significantly built on their achievements since they were honored. The first two winners were Delcie Bean, president of Paragus Strategic IT, and Dr. Jonathan Bayuk, president of Allergy and Immunology Associates of Western Mass. and chief of Allergy and Immunology at Baystate Medical Center. Candidates must hail from 40 Under Forty classes 2007 to 2016 and will be judged on qualities including outstanding leadership, dedicated community involvement, professional achievement, and ability to inspire. The award’s presenting sponsor is Northwestern Mutual. The nomination form is available HERE. For your convenience, a list of the past nine 40 Under Forty classes may be found HERE.

40 Under Forty

June 22: The 11th annual 40 Under Forty award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke, honoring 40 of the region’s rising stars under 40 years old. An independent panel of judges has chosen the winners, and their stories are told in the April 17 issue and at businesswest.com. The event is sponsored by Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Moriarty & Primack, Health New England, the Gaudreau Group, the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Six-Point Creative Works, Renew.Calm, and the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield. Tickets cost $75. A limited number of tables are available, and some individual and standing-room-only tickets are also available, but are expected to sell out quickly. To purchase tickets, call (413) 781-8600.

Company Notebook

Pride Stores Sold to ArcLight Capital Partners

SPRINGFIELD — Eight months after announcing plans to sell the chain, Pride Stores CEO Bob Bolduc announced a sale to ArcLight Capital Partners. The 31 stores — with several more in development — will keep the Pride name, and the company’s customers and 525 employees will see little change in day-to-day operations, Bolduc told local news outlets, which is one of the reasons ArcLight won out over several other interested parties. In 1976, Bolduc bought a self-serve gas station in Indian Orchard and gradually expanded his business over the years, creating the chain of stores known today as Pride. He also developed a reputation as an industry innovator by marrying the self-service station with another emerging phenomenon, the convenience store. Other innovations would follow; Pride would eventually become the first chain in Western Mass. to put a Dunkin’ Donuts in the stores, and the first to incorporate a Subway. But where the company has really made a name, in recent years, is with its own fresh-food production, supported by the Pride Kitchen, located at the company’s headquarters on Cottage Street in Springfield.

 

TD Bank Center Sold to New Real-estate Partnership

SPRINGFIELD — The 240,000-square-foot, class-A office complex located at 1441 Main St. in Springfield, known as the TD Bank Center, has been sold. The property, located at the corner of Main Street and Harrison Avenue, was sold by an affiliate of TD Bank to a limited-liability company comprised of the principals of Colebrook Realty Services and a company controlled by Jeb Balise, CEO of Balise Auto Group. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed. Originally known as Center Square, the property was developed in the early 1980s by a subsidiary of SIS Bank in a project led by Colebrook CEO Jack Dill. Colebrook has managed and leased the building since its opening in January 1982. Most recently, Colebrook partners Mitch Bolotin and Kevin Morin have had responsibility for leasing and managing TD Bank Center. Balise and Colebrook have worked together for nearly two decades on Balise real-estate projects, represented by Bolotin.

 

 

Western New England University Cited Among Top Online Programs

SPRINGFIELD — In newly released rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Western New England University (WNE) was again recognized among the 2022 Best Online Programs. Among online MBA Programs, WNE made significant gains, jumping 71 places and ranking 153rd (up from 224th in 2021); among Online Graduate Business Programs (Non-MBA), the university ranked 110th (up from 129th in 2021); and among Online Master’s in Engineering Programs, it ranked 79th, up from 104th. The rankings place Western New England University in the top 10 in Massachusetts for accredited online MBA and graduate business programs and in the top three in Massachusetts for accredited master’s in engineering programs. For the 2022 edition, U.S. News & World Report assessed 1,728 online degree programs and ranked 1,646, both all-time highs. Best Online Programs rankings credit schools for long-term investments in designing and scaling their student services, technologies, curricula, and instructor training toward distance learners. The Western New England University College of Engineering continues to be top-ranked in the Online Master’s in Engineering Programs category. For the 2022 Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs rankings, U.S. News ranked ABET-accredited schools using five categories: engagement, faculty credentials, and training; expert opinion, services, and technologies; and student excellence. The College of Engineering offers several full master’s programs online: MS in industrial engineering, MS in engineering management, and MS in electrical engineering. The colleges of Engineering and Business offer a dual-degree master of science in engineering management and an MBA that can be completed entirely online.

 

Holyoke Community College to Introduce Free Child-watch Service

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) will soon introduce a free, drop-in child-watch program for parents who need safe and affordable supervision for their children while they tend to their college studies. When the Itsy Bitsy Child Watch opens in March, HCC will be just the second community college in the state — and the only one in Western Mass. — to offer a child-watch service for its students. The Itsy Bitsy Child Watch will offer free, short-term care to children 6 weeks to 12 years old, provided their parents sign up in advance and remain inside on the Homestead Avenue campus. Parents will be given a restaurant-style pager to alert them to return if necessary. The pilot phase is being funded through a $100,000 allocation in the 2022 Massachusetts budget secured by state Sen. John Velis. HCC is in the process of hiring an interim director to get the child-watch program up and running. Many of the details still need to be worked out, such as days and hours of operation.

 

Forest Park Zoo Again Honored for Education Programming

SPRINGFIELD — For the second time in six months, the Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center is being recognized for its innovative education programming. Most recently, the zoo received the 2021 Educational Award of Excellence, presented by the Zoological Assoc. of America for its Kids Go Wild programming. Kids Go Wild provides a fun, interactive way for school-aged children to learn about various animal species while exploring diets, habitats, adaptations, daily zoo life, and more through cross-hatched science, literacy, and art lessons. Each lesson also meets state education standards set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in at least one or more of the aforementioned disciplines. These lessons were created, developed, and ultimately implemented by the zoo’s director of education, Caroline Cay Adams. The one-on-one, hands-on interactions offered as part of Kids Go Wild bring the typical textbook science lessons right off the page. Kids Go Wild goes beyond single-program learning objectives by encouraging groups to book multiple programs that are implemented over a longer period of time. This ensures that the educator can scaffold lessons to incorporate themes, vocabulary, and topics from previous lesson plans, as well as offer plenty of opportunities for participants to engage with ambassador animals. Examples of lessons include Animal Adaptations; the Food Web; Living Dinosaurs; and Herbivores, Carnivores, and Omnivores. In August 2021, Adams also received the Janet McCoy Excellence in Public Education Award from the American Assoc. of Zookeepers for her work on Kids Go Wild.

 

Berkshire Bank Earns Top Marks in Corporate Equality Index

BOSTON — Berkshire Bank announced that it received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2022 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. Berkshire joins the ranks of more than 840 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year. “We are honored to be recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation,” said Gary Levante, senior vice president, Corporate Responsibility. “Our goal at Berkshire is always to be a shining example of how a purpose-driven organization can be successful while lifting up everyone in our community. Our Pride Employee Resource Group has been steadfast in their work to create a more equitable workplace, and this honor is a testament to their tireless efforts. We hope that this recognition and our culture will inspire more members of our LGBTQIA+ family to join the Berkshire team as customers and employees.”

 

MCLA, Habitat for Humanity Partner to Offer Free Tax Assistance

NORTH ADAMS — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and its Department of Business Administration will once again partner with Habitat for Humanity to offer free tax-preparation services to local residents in need through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Habitat for Humanity administers VITA, a program of the IRS, to assist taxpayers with disabilities or limited English-speaking skills, those 60 years of age or older, and individuals who make $57,000 or less per year. MCLA students will be available to complete both basic and advanced returns, including those with itemized deductions. The students who participate in this program undergo a rigorous training, become IRS-certified, and will work under the supervision of MCLA Professor of Accounting Tara Barboza, an enrolled agent with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and a certified public accountant (CPA). In addition to meeting a significant need in Northern Berkshire County, participating in the VITA program is an opportunity for students to gain valuable, hands-on preparation experience. They will earn college credit, and accounting students can use this credit toward the requirements for the CPA exam. Interested individuals should call Habitat for Humanity offices at (413) 442-0002 or (413) 442-3181 to find out if they qualify and schedule an appointment. Hours will be Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 8 p.m. in Murdock Hall on the MCLA campus in North Adams. The program will continue through April 13.

 

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity will present its 15th annual Fall Feastival tonight, Nov. 5, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Springfield Country Club, 1375 Elm St., West Springfield.

The event will feature food selections from area restaurants, including the Log Cabin – Delaney House, Nadim’s Mediterranean Restaurant & Grill, and more. Live and silent auction items will be available, including theater tickers, golf foursomes, and family-fun activities.

The event is supported by platinum sponsors BusinessWest and Babson Capital; gold sponsor PeoplesBank; silver sponsors Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. and Columbia Gas of Massachusetts; and bronze sponsors Chicopee Savings Charitable Foundation and Monson Savings Bank.

Tickets cost $75. To RSVP and purchase tickets, call (413) 739-5503 or visit habitatspringfield.org.

Company Notebook

Thornes Shops Cedar Chest, Stay Golden Change Hands

NORTHAMPTON — Two longtime downtown businesspeople, Lauren Gunther and Alex Feinstein, have together purchased two stores in Thornes Marketplace: Cedar Chest, which is in its 75th year, and Stay Golden, a new business on the first floor. Gunther, previously the merchandise manager for both businesses, and Feinstein, the former owner of GoBerry in Northampton and Amherst, purchased the stores in mid-April from Rich Madowitz, who is also a co-owner of Thornes. Gunther and Feinstein are both natives of Hampshire County. Feinstein closed his Amherst shop early in the pandemic, and the GoBerry in Northampton closed in January 2022. He has been doing pandemic-related financial consulting in the region and had been actively looking for his next challenge when Madowitz connected the two new co-owners late last year because he thought their skillsets were a great fit for joint ownership. Gunther has been with Cedar Chest for 13 years. Feinstein came into the mix in early December 2022 in a consultant role. Cedar Chest, an eclectic gift store, carries everything from home décor to stationery, loungewear, bath and body products, and holiday items. Its new sister store, Stay Golden, which opened in October 2022, offers primarily casual and business clothing for women along with jewelry and other accessories. About 30 associates work at the shops, with a half-dozen dedicated to Stay Golden. Gunther and Feinstein said they do not have plans to make changes to merchandise in the stores, but they will be looking at creating efficiencies that will allow them to make their staff team stronger.

 

Florence Bank Awards $150,000 in Customers’ Choice Grants

FLORENCE — In its 21st year, Florence Bank’s Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program awarded $150,000 to 46 area nonprofits in honor of the bank’s 150th anniversary. Thirteen organizations received $5,000 grants: Dakin Humane Society, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Amherst Survival Center, Friends of the Williamsburg Library, Northampton Survival Center, Goshen Firefighter’s Assoc. Inc., Cancer Connection, Manna Soup Kitchen, It Takes a Village, Friends of Forbes Library, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Our Lady of the Hills Parish, and Friends of Lilly Library. These 23 organizations also received an award: Williamsburg Firefighter Assoc., $4,701; Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition Inc., $4,652; Easthampton Community Center, $4,309; Friends of M.N. Spear Memorial Library, $4,064; Northampton Neighbors, $4,064; Springfield Shriners Hospitals for Children, $3,917; Grow Food Northampton Inc., $3,819; Amherst Neighbors, $3,721; Smith Vocational High School PTO, $3,721; Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School, $3,624; Performing Arts Charter School, $3,575; Therapeutic Equestrian Center, $3,575; Kestrel Land Trust, $3,427; Edward Hopkins Educational Foundation, $3,330; Northampton Community Music Center, $3,232; Safe Passage, $3,134; Empty Arms Bereavement Support, $2,987; New Hingham Elementary School PTO, $2,987; R.K. Finn Ryan Road School, $2,889; Whole Children, $2,693; Belchertown K-9, $2,595; Northampton Football League, $2,545; and Tapestry, $2,448.

Voting takes place all year long, online at www.florencebank.com/vote and in bank branches, and each customer has only one vote. To qualify for a community grant, organizations must receive at least 50 votes. In 2022, roughly 7,000 votes were cast, making 36 nonprofits eligible for a grant; the other 10 funded organizations were invited to attend the event and were surprised with their $500 award. They are: the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hampshire County, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity, Lorraine’s Soup Kitchen & Pantry, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, Gray House, Holyoke Community College Foundation, Mental Health Assoc. Inc., Springfield Rescue Mission, the Parish Cupboard, and Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control & Adoption Center. Over the past 21 years, Florence Bank has donated a total of $1.5 million to 165 organizations.

 

Delaney’s Market Store Opens in South Hadley

SOUTH HADLEY — The fourth Delaney’s Market store, located at 459 Granby Road, South Hadley, opened with a ribbon-cutting celebration on May 25. Delaney’s Market is a retail store that features chef-inspired, ready-made meals that are fresh and ready to serve with no real effort. 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 or high costs. The South Hadley location is unique because it is the new home of Delaney Market’s production kitchen. The first Delaney’s Market store, located at the Longmeadow Shops in Longmeadow, has been open since 2016. The Wilbraham and Westfield locations have been open since 2019.

 

Keiter Corp. Spins Off Site-work Division into Wholly Owned Subsidiary

FLORENCE — Keiter Corp. has formally spun off its excavation and site-work division, Hatfield Construction Inc., into a wholly owned subsidiary in a move that President Scott Keiter said poises the new organization for growth. Historically, the division served only Keiter clients, but it will now scale up to serve many other clients in the industry. Key leaders in the firm will be Bill Moynihan, director of Operations, in charge of project management and field operations; and Dylan Courtney, director of Pre-construction, who will oversee project development, estimating, and sales. Hatfield Construction offers services including trucking and hauling, excavation, demolition, sewer and water, septic systems, land clearing, stormwater systems and trenching for underground utilities. Keiter said the business also works closely with solar companies, assisting them with trenching and ground-mount systems. Hatfield Construction has approximately 20 employees in roles ranging from equipment operator and laborer to site foreman and management.

 

HCC Lands $1.28M Grant to Create Free Program

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) has landed a $1.28 million grant to launch a new, free certificate and internship program intended to help address a shortage of workers in the human-services industry. The grant, from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health & Human Services, will cover the full cost of tuition, fees, books, and supplies for students who want to earn a certificate in human services coupled with a paid internship at one of four local social-service agencies. Partnering with HCC on the grant are Gándara Center, ServiceNet, Mental Health Assoc., and Jewish Family Services. The two-semester Social Service Internship Program will begin in the 2023-24 academic year, with up to 30 students starting this fall and another 30 next spring. Recruiting for those two classes is now underway. The human-services industry presents a wide variety of career options for people who are interested in providing care to children, seniors, adolescents, the homeless, or individuals dealing with substance abuse or mental-health issues. The total savings on attendance is estimated to be $5,384 per semester for full-time students. During their second-semester internship, students will receive a stipend of $2,500, which equates to roughly $20 per hour for 10 hours per week. Additionally, the grant provides for the creation of two new full-time positions: a human-services certificate coordinator to focus on recruiting, planning, and academic support; and a social-services coordinator to coordinate the internships and help students with any non-academic issues that might interfere with their education. The 24-credit human-services certificate students earn can also be ‘stacked’ or applied toward an associate degree in human services, which could then lead to a bachelor’s degree in social work. For more information or to complete a general-interest form, visit hcc.edu/hsv-grant.

 

Yiddish Book Center Receives $100,000 Capital Grant

AMHERST — The Yiddish Book Center announced it has been awarded a capital grant in the amount of $100,000 from MassDevelopment and Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund. This grant will support the center’s crucial infrastructure project to replace its aging boilers and heating system. Founded in 1980, the Yiddish Book Center has been preserving and promoting Yiddish language and culture for more than four decades. Located on a picturesque, 10-acre apple orchard adjacent to the Hampshire College campus in Amherst, the center opened its current facility in 1997. The replacement of the original boilers, which have been in service since 1996, is essential to ensure the ongoing safety and functioning of the facility. The project will involve installing high-condensing, low-fire, energy-efficient boilers; updating piping, valves, and controls; and integrating the system with the existing geothermal HVAC controls. Additionally, the project will include the replacement of circulating pumps and pneumatic control systems with more efficient Ecocirc pumps, as well as the elimination of the compressor, reducing the need for regular service and inspections. The replacement of the boilers will significantly enhance energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions, and support the center’s ongoing efforts to maintain an environmentally responsible facility. Funded annually through the governor’s capital spending plan, this round of cultural facilities grants is supported by a $10 million capital bond appropriation approved in 2022. The Healey-Driscoll administration has also proposed a $10 million appropriation in its second supplemental budget to support an additional round of the program.

 

 

Greenfield Cooperative Bank Supports RiverCulture Events

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Cooperative Bank announced its sponsorship of the 2023 Summer Event Series organized by RiverCulture, the creative-economy program of the town of Montague. The series features a variety of cultural events happening in the five villages of Montague and the Turners Falls Cultural District, including live music, outdoor movies, theater, family activities, and festivals. The series aims to showcase the rich and diverse cultural offerings of the region and to foster community engagement and enjoyment. As a community bank, Greenfield Cooperative Bank is committed to supporting local arts and culture and to enhancing quality of life for its customers and neighbors. Paper copies of the calendar of events are available at local retail stores and restaurants, or can be downloaded at www.riverculture.org.

 

LightHouse Signs Agreement for Possible New Home

HOLYOKE — LightHouse Personalized Education for Teens in Holyoke announced it has signed a purchase-and-sale agreement for the historic Congregation of the Sons of Zion building at 378 Maple St. in downtown Holyoke. The agreement establishes a 120-day inspection and planning period to determine the viability of the move. LightHouse is a personalized, competency-based middle and high school now in its eighth year in its current location in the STEAM Building at 208 Race Street in Holyoke. LightHouse’s tagline is “changing what school can be.” Current renovation estimates are being drawn up and are expected to run well into the millions of dollars, so LightHouse is in the beginning stages of applying for grants and preparing for a capital campaign to fund all the work that needs to be done. LightHouse has grown strategically during its eight years, from a program serving 36 students in its first year, 2015, to its current enrollment of 75 students. Students come from towns and cities across the Pioneer Valley, including Holyoke, and as far away as New Haven, Conn. Almost half of the student body are Holyoke public-school students who attend LightHouse full-time through a public-private partnership, a model for innovation for school districts everywhere.

 

Food Bank Honored with Lauren Arms Ledwith Award

BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll administration announced that the Lauren Arms Ledwith Award for 2023 has been awarded to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and its outstanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach team. The Food Bank was awarded this honor at the Department of Transitional Assistance’s (DTA) annual meeting with more than 100 local SNAP community-outreach partners. The award was presented to Christina Maxwell, Beth Ziemba, Megan Schuck, Stephanie Gibbs, and Luis Perez Jr. for continuously demonstrating a commitment to creating a better tomorrow for their communities by helping to eliminate hunger. At the meeting, acting DTA Commissioner Mary Sheehan recognized the outstanding work done during the past year to connect residents with SNAP. Currently, almost 656,000 households receive SNAP benefits, a 45% increase from pre-pandemic levels. Since 1982, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has been a pioneer in the community by providing food to individuals and families located in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties. It has addressed food insecurity by meeting people where they are, conducting outreach at food pantries, meal sites, shelters, colleges, senior centers, correctional facilities, libraries, and veteran-serving agencies.

Departments

A Day of Caring

The United Way of the Pioneer Valley staged its 14th annual Day of Caring on Sept. 7. Hosted by Peter and Melissa Picknelly, the event included more than 1,700 employees, representing 48 companies, who completed 209 projects in several area communities.


As part of a project for the Margaret Ells Elementary School in Springfield, volunteers from Baystate Health System participated in landscaping of the school grounds and painted a map on the playground.



Volunteers from MassMutual Financial Group, Baystate Health, and Hamilton Sundstrand participated in a project to benefit Child and Family Services. Activities included maintaining and repairing adaptive sports equipment (Hamilton volunteers) and cleaning a storage unit (Mass Mutual and Baystate Health).



Volunteers from Sisters of Providence Health System, The Junior League of Greater Springfield Inc., Westfield Bank, Mass Mutual Financial Group, and Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. participated in activities to benefit Springfield Day Nursery, such as spending time with and reading to the children, cleaning the closets and playgrounds of the nursery, painting, and washing the nursery’s vehicles.



As part of a project for the Whispering Hose Therapeutic Riding Center in East Longmeadow, volunteers from Health New England, and Monarch Life Insurance Co. participated in projects such as painting a barn and fences, and cleaning their pasture.

Habitat Happenings

Employees of the Springfield-based law firm Cooley Shrair, P.C. volunteered their time recently to assist in the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home on the corner of Chester and Central streets in Springfield. “Cooley Shrair was proud to join the efforts of Habitat for Humanity,” said David Shrair, managing partner of the firm. “It’s part of our ongoing commitment to invest in and help revitalize the city.” The local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity is currently working on three homes, with five planned for completion in 2008.


Left to right, attorneys Dawn McDonald, Peter Shrair, David Shrair, and Candace Goodreau, and Denise Bryan-Dukette of Sovereign Bank work with Habitat for Humanity construction manager Dave Letellier.



Heather Hammon, Dawn McDonald, and Ryanne Nixon of Cooley Shrair work with Walter Valentine of Kleer Lumber of Westfield and Dave Letellier of Habitat.



David Shrair pulls nails with Walter Valentine of Kleer Lumber.



Attorneys Diana Sorrentini-Velez and Ryanne Nixon complete a project together.