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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.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Every $20 donation made to Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) by the end of Tuesday, Feb. 13, will be entered for a chance to win a Spa Renewal Day gift card for two people at Canyon Ranch in Lenox.

The winner will be drawn at Habitat’s Valentine’s Day dedication, celebrating the completion of its newest home in Holyoke. Participants don’t have to be present to win.

“We are very appreciative of Canyon Ranch for partnering with us on this fundraiser. Stable affordable housing plays a key role in a family’s well-being, and Canyon Ranch wants our donors to have a chance at increasing their well-being by supporting our programs,” said Aimee Giroux, GSHFH executive director. “What a fantastic way for us to celebrate the completion of a home on Chestnut Street in Holyoke that will be dedicated and sold to the Santos family on Valentine’s Day.”

The Hearts and Homes challenge came about when a volunteer asked the resort, which focuses on prioritizing its clients’ well-being, if it would be interested in supporting Greater Springfield Habitat through a fundraiser. The donation committee complied and donated a gift card worth $700.

To donate, visit habitatspringfield.org/donate or bit.ly/3lq36gO, or text BUILD413 to 44-321 and follow the prompts.

40 Under 40 The Class of 2011

Executive Director, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity

Jennifer Schimmel

Jennifer Schimmel

The plot of Jennifer Schimmel’s life has taken some unexpected twists.
“I actually had a degree in fine and performing arts, and I always envisioned I’d spend most of my life on stage,” she said. But when she took a job with Lenox-based Shakespeare and Co. in a fund-raising capacity, she found she had a knack for raising money.
That took her to similar positions at Hartford Seminary, an interfaith graduate school, and then the Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity, two faith-based organizations whose missions spoke to her own values.
She eventually accepted the position of executive director at the Greater Springfield Habitat, where she has used her fund-raising and event-planning background to oversee a 113% increase in unrestricted donations to support the mission of providing home-ownership opportunities to low-income families, as well as a 127% jump in special-event support and a 30% increase in volunteer participation.
Those are impressive results, but Schimmel insists she’s the one who is inspired.
“I love getting to know the families, knowing that our families work hard for what they achieve,” she said. “The motto at Habitat is ‘a hand up, not a handout,’ and I love being here; we’re cheerleaders, a support system, educators — but the families do it all for themselves. We guide them, but they really take control of the process.”
Schimmel is committed to supporting Habitat’s efforts internationally as well. She’s certified with the organization’s Global Village Program and will lead a group of 11 people to Guatemala this fall to work with a family in need of affordable shelter — her second such trip. “It’s a life-changing experience,” she said.
Overall, Schimmel simply wants to make a difference, and she was frank with board members of Greater Springfield Habitat when she interviewed for the job.
“I said, ‘if I’m not right for the position, that’s OK — I’d rather go and be a waitress and pay my bills that way and spend my free time devoted to community service if that’s the right thing to do,’” she said. “This job is not about making a paycheck; it’s about making a difference.”
— Joseph Bednar

Briefcase Departments

FutureCity 2026 Presents Development Strategy

SPRINGFIELD — An executive summary of the FutureCity 2026 economic-development strategy was presented to about 120 business and community leaders and stakeholders at CityStage last week. FutureCity is a joint initiative by DevelopSpringfield, the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the city of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development. Its purpose is to build on the strategies identified in earlier studies such at the Urban Land Institute study of 2006 and the Rebuild Springfield Plan of 2012 — both of which identified tangible goals that continue to be the focus of public and private economic-development strategy in Springfield. Both plans recommended the importance of developing a long-term strategy for economic growth in the city that would ultimately benefit the entire region. “The goal of this project was to pinpoint and leverage the city’s attributes, including geographic location, infrastructure, workforce, and industries, and align these existing characteristics, assets, and conditions with pillars of realistic current and prospective market opportunities,” said Jeff Fialky, an attorney with Bacon Wilson and co-chair of the FutureCity initiative. “The objective was to develop an approach based upon realistic market opportunities that is obtainable rather than merely aspirational.” The FutureCity strategy was prepared by the nationally recognized real-estate and economic-development consulting firm Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, guided by a steering committee representing a broad spectrum of businesses and organizations over the course of a nine-month period. The consultants were charged with an ambitious scope of work which took place over nine months to include the following: assess existing conditions, analyze target industries, assess logistics and supply-chain capabilities, assess talent-development strategies, develop a list of recruitment opportunities for target industries, and identify strategic initiatives and an implementation plan with measurable deliverables. Newmark conducted over 100 interviews, which included city and state leaders, economic-development agencies, large employers, young professionals, elected officials, nonprofits, workforce-development organizations, real-estate and creative-economy experts, and more, in addition to deep dives into relevant data, peer-city comparisons, and several site visits to Springfield. Major themes emerging from the study include site and space readiness, centralization of small-business resources, development of a multi-generational workforce plan, development of a unified marketing and messaging plan, fostering collaboration and connectivity, strategically unifying economic-development efforts, collaboration, and a focus on Springfield’s unique strengths. “This was a very pragmatic exercise that shows there are many more pros than cons as we continue to market Springfield,” said Mayor Domenic Sarno. “As we have done with the Urban Land Institute and our Rebuild Springfield plans, we will follow through with this one, too. Now is our time. We will continue to capitalize on the synergy of our public and private collaborations and keep the momentum going as the ‘can-do city.’” Added Jay Minkarah, DevelopSpringfield president and CEO and co-chair of the FutureCity initiative, “the FutureCity economic-development strategy is designed to be a guide to action, not simply a plan to sit on a shelf. The plan includes over 170 specific recommendations along with metrics for measuring success, estimated costs, potential impact, and priorities, and identifies the parties responsible for implementation.” Funding was provided by the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the U.S. Economic Development Agency, the Springfield Regional Chamber, Smith and Wesson, and DevelopSpringfield. A link to the presentation can be found at www.developspringfield.com. Over the next few weeks, an executive summary and detailed report will be made available through DevelopSpringfield, the Springfield Regional Chamber, and the city of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development.

Springfield, Pittsfield Each Given $475,000 in Working Cities Challenge

BOSTON — The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston announced that Springfield, Pittsfield, Haverhill, Lowell, and Worcester will each receive $475,000 in the second round of the Working Cities Challenge, a competition for smaller cities in New England focused on building collaborative leadership, which is shown to be a critical element in economic growth for struggling post-industrial cities. The five communities put forward initiatives focused on neighborhood revitalization, workforce development, and improving access to economic opportunity. The cities will work on these initiatives over a three-year period, accompanied by technical assistance and a learning community for best-practice sharing. “I want to congratulate the winners of the Working Cities Challenge. Collaborative leadership is at the heart of this competition, and these five cities demonstrated significant capacity to reach across sectors and advance efforts on behalf of low-income residents in their communities,” said Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren. “I look forward to following the progress in the communities in the coming months and years.” Added Gov. Charlie Baker, “together with our partners in the private, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors, we are proud to leverage greater resources to support and prepare communities for success. The Working Cities Challenge elevates local leadership, amplifying solutions from the community level to increase cross-sector collaboration and improve economic outcomes for low-income residents.” Last fall, 10 Massachusetts communities were each awarded $15,000 design grants through the Working Cities Challenge to strengthen their bids to the competition. The five winning cities were selected after a six-month design-grant period, which saw the cities refining proposals and adding partners from across their community. The Springfield Works Initiative will advance the city’s economy by enhancing and strengthening the connectivity between employers who need qualified workers and low- income Springfield residents who need meaningful employment. It aims to achieve this goal through an innovative collaboration between employers, educational institutions, service providers, community leaders, community-based organizations, government, and residents. The Springfield Works Initiative core team includes the Western Mass. Economic Development Council, the Springfield Office of Planning and Economic Development, the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, MGM Springfield, Partners for Community Action, HAPHousing, Springfield Technical Community College, Western MA National Machine and Tooling Assoc., the Community Foundation of Western Mass., Tech Foundry, United Personnel Services, United Way of Pioneer Valley, and DevelopSpringfield. The Pittsfield Bridges: Transformative Movement (PBTM) initiative will support the journey from poverty to sustainability by collaboratively building community resources and removing barriers. The effort’s vision is for all people in Pittsfield to experience a just, thriving, and safe community. The PBTM’s goal is to improve individual, institutional, and social fairness and respect in the community and thus support individuals moving out of poverty. The PBTM’s core team includes Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, the city of Pittsfield, the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Berkshire Community College, BerkshireWorks Career Center, Berkshire United Way, Goodwill Industries, Berkshire Children and Families, Berkshire Health Systems, Berkshire Community Action Council, Downtown Pittsfield Inc., Pittsfield public schools, the local NAACP chapter, Pittsfield Community Connection, West Side Neighborhood Initiative, First United Methodist Church, Heart 2 Heart Ministry, Manos Unidas, Brien Center for Mental Health, Multi-Cultural Bridge, and Girls Inc. For more information on the Working Cities Challenge, visit www.bostonfed.org/workingcities.

Celia Grace Wins $50,000 at VVM Accelerator Awards

SPRINGFIELD — Twelve area startups won a total of $252,000 at the Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) Accelerator Awards on May 26, led by Celia Grace, whose founder, Marcelia Muehlke, calls her company a fair-trade, ethical wedding-dress seller that gives back and empowers women around the world. Muehlke, who won $50,000 at the ceremony at the MassMutual Center, launched the company several years ago after searching, fruitlessly, for a maker of fair-trade wedding dresses. Sensing both a need and an opportunity, she set about creating such a company. She traveled to Asia and set up a supply chain that could create high-quality garments that she and her clients could feel good about. She then began working with a group of women in a sewing group in Cambodia, contracted with a designer in New York, and got her business — and her dream — up and running. Today, Celia Grace sells dresses across the country and in Europe. The VVM award is just one in a long line of accolades, including a Grinspoon Entrepreneurial Success Spirit Award in 2011, a finish in the money at the UMass Pitch Competition in 2012, and a second-place finish at Valley Venture Mentors’ pitch contest during the Western Mass. Business Expo in 2012. About 500 people attended the May 26 ceremony. The other 11 winners of VVM Accelerator Awards, and their prize money, include:
• Homebody Holistics ($45,000), a maker of all-natural, hand-crafted, herbal cleaning solutions using no harsh chemicals or additives;
• Scout Curated Wears ($32,000), a designer, curator, and producer of thoughtful women’s accessories;
• DaVinci Arms ($21,000), a designer and manufacturer of firearms suppressors and accessories for mission-critical applications;
• Treaty ($21,000), a nanotechnology company whose flagship product is FogKicker, a biodegradable anti-fog solution made from nanocellulose;
• Prophit Insight ($19,000), a software company that helps healthcare providers identify and acquire unique sources of physician referrals;
• Livingua ($18,000), an app that connects travelers to locals who know the language and culture wherever and whenever they want;
• Name Net Worth ($15,000), a connective platform that leverages trusted relationships to measure and strengthen a user’s personal and professional networks;
• iRollie ($9,000), a niche-market phone-case manufacturer and online retailer featuring the rolling tray phone case;
• Need/Done Inc. ($9,000), instant help for kids at home from people their parents trust;
• Sumu ($7,000), which works with property managers and landlords to post fee-free apartments to help users find their next home; and
• AnyCafé ($6,000), a developer of hot beverage solutions for the future, including the Travel Brewer.

Legislation Filed to Cap Sick-time Accrual

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito recently introduced “An Act to Reform Sick Time,” aimed at limiting sick-time accruals that have led to exorbitant payouts upon retirement from state government. The legislation would cap accrual of sick time for state employees in the Executive Department at no more than 1,000 hours, equivalent to six months of work. The bill grandfathers in approximately 5,800 current state employees who already have more than 1,000 hours accrued. Those employees would be capped at their current earned amount as of the date of enactment. Once the legislation is passed, the policy will take effect immediately. “Sick leave is a benefit designed to offer employees a way to deal with health and family issues, not a retirement bonus,” Baker said. “Bringing the Commonwealth’s sick-leave-accrual policy in line with other private- and public-sector employers just makes sense and is the fiscally responsible thing to do.” Added Polito, “this legislation ensures the use of sick time remains consistent with its intended purpose. Benefits for Executive Department employees will remain competitive while we implement an accrual policy that is fair to Massachusetts taxpayers.” Under current law, employees can accrue a maximum of 15 sick days per year, and those employees who retire are permitted to cash out 20% of unused sick time. In FY 2015, 378 employees had an accrual of more than 1,000 hours upon retirement. While this represents only about one-third the number of retiring employees, the cashouts for these employees accounted for nearly 80% of the total cashout cost. Based on the last three fiscal years, if fully implemented, a 1,000-hour cap on accruals would have saved an average of $3.5 million in cashouts per year. “Sick days serve an important purpose, but they must be used in an appropriate and accountable way for our compensation system to have the integrity and transparency taxpayers deserve,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr. Added House Minority Leader Bradley Jones Jr., “recent media reports highlighting excessive sick-leave payouts in the public higher-education system clearly demonstrate the need to crack down on these types of abuses. The reforms proposed by the Baker-Polito administration will help to provide greater transparency and accountability to the state’s taxpayers.”

Habitat for Humanity Partners with Faith Organizations

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 hosted a “House Wrapped in Love” event at the Islamic Society of Western Mass. on June 1. The family-friendly event invited 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.

Unemployment Drops Across State in April

BOSTON — Local unemployment rates dropped in all labor market areas in the state during the month of April, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported. All 15 areas added jobs over the month, with the largest gains in the Springfield, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Barnstable, Worcester, and Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford areas. From April 2015 to April 2016, 14 areas added jobs, with the largest percentage gains in the Haverhill-Newburyport-Amesbury, Brockton-Bridgewater-Easton, Taunton-Middleborough-Norton, and Barnstable areas. In order to compare the statewide rate to local unemployment rates, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the statewide unadjusted unemployment rate for April is 3.9%, down 0.7% from the March rate. Last week, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported the statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.2% for the month of April. The unemployment rate is down 0.8% over the year. The statewide seasonally adjusted jobs estimate showed a 13,900-job gain in April and an over-the-year gain of 73,500 jobs. The unadjusted unemployment rates and job estimates for the labor market areas reflect seasonal fluctuations and therefore may show different levels and trends than the statewide seasonally adjusted estimates. The estimates for labor force, unemployment rates, and jobs for Massachusetts are based on different statistical methodology specified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Leadership Pioneer Valley, Women’s Fund Partner on Alumni Discount

SPRINGFIELD — Effective immediately, Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) and the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts will begin offering alumni of their programs a mutual 20% discount — just one part of a new effort between these organizations to strengthen and coordinate learning opportunities for emerging leaders in the region. Both LPV’s core program and the Women’s Fund’s Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) program seek to empower up-and-coming leaders and, ultimately, strengthen the region as a whole. However, each program has unique content and perspectives that, if taken subsequently, provide a comprehensive leadership experience. Graduates of the LPV program can apply for LIPPI at womensfund.net; graduates of LIPPI can apply for LPV at leadershippv.org. “The Women’s Fund is thrilled to participate in this collaborative effort with Leadership Pioneer Valley,” said Elizabeth Barajas-Román, CEO of the Women’s Fund. “We think this is a natural partnership for our organizations, as we both invest in creating strong communities through leadership development. Together, our participants will become the civic and business leaders of tomorrow who will help the region thrive.” Added Lora Wondolowski, executive director of Leadership Pioneer Valley, “this partnership makes so much sense as we feel our curriculums are complementary. Together, we are building a cadre of leaders who are making a difference in their careers and communities.” LPV is a nonprofit that works to identify, develop, and connect diverse leaders to strengthen the region. LPV’s core program challenges and engages emerging leaders from all sectors of the community from throughout the region. The curriculum consists of both classroom and hands-on, experiential learning that builds leadership skills, enhances regional understanding, and creates broader networks. The Women’s Fund is a public foundation that connects donors with the lives of local women and girls through strategic grant making and leadership development. Its signature, non-partisan program, LIPPI, is designed to address the need to provide women with the tools, mentors, and confidence they need to become powerful and effective civic leaders and elected officials. Further information on each program can be found at leadershippv.org and womensfund.net.

Local Farmers Receive Awards Totaling $117,500

AGAWAM — Recognizing that farming is essential to the region, the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation and Big Y awarded 47 local farmers from the Berkshires to the Pioneer Valley $2,500 each to make physical infrastructure improvements to their farms. Along with the support of sponsors Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and MGM Springfield, farmers have already put to use the awards for farm-improvement projects. This represents a 42% increase in awards from the 2015 inaugural year. With the collaboration of local agriculture advocacy organizations Berkshire Grown and CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture), the applications selected for the Local Farmer Awards were announced in December. More than 120 farmers submitted applications describing their improvement projects. The award recipients are diverse: 32% have been farming for more than 20 years, and 23% for five years or fewer; and more than 40% of the farms have sales of more than $100,000, while another 30% recorded sales of less than $49,000. A winner from 2015 and 2016, Julia Coffey of Mycoterra Farm in Westhampton said, “we are thrilled to be a Local Farmer Award recipient. The projects that these awards have helped fund are making our farm more viable.” This year, Coffey is purchasing equipment required for outfitting a commercial kitchen that will allow the farm to begin manufacturing value-added food products with unsold fresh mushrooms. Jennifer Salinetti, owner of Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham, will install a permanent vegetable wash station which will directly impact the farm’s productivity. Gideon Porth of Atlas Farm in Deerfield will install a pump system for a new well to increase the supply of potable water for the farm’s packing house and greenhouses, which will double its current watering abilities. Harold Grinspoon, founder of the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation, who launched the Local Farmer Awards in 2015, noted that “farmers don’t typically ask for help. They are genuinely appreciative of these awards and use the money in creative ways for projects to help their businesses.” Charlie D’Amour, president & COO of Big Y, added, “through our partnership with the Grinspoon Foundation, we are providing one more way to help local growers thrive in our community.” The goal of the Local Farmer Awards is to strengthen farmers’ ability to compete in the marketplace so the region benefits from the environmental, health, and economic advantages of local farming. A farmer appreciation event is held yearly for all applicants and awardees to honor and recognize farmers and promote the importance of local farming.

Features
Nominations for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2012 Are Due Feb. 17

When BusinessWest launched its 40 Under Forty program in 2007, it did so with the expectation that the honor would soon become coveted and that the program would cast a bright light on the young talent in the four counties of Western Mass. To say that all this has happened would be a huge understatement. The program continues to grow in terms of both relevance and popularity, as evidenced by a new high-water mark for nominations in 2011 and record attendance at the June gala. And now, it’s time to nominate the class of 2012.

Eric Gouvin said being one of the judges for last year’s crop of 40 Under Forty nominees was a more difficult task than he thought it would be. But he said the experience was also enlightening — and encouraging, when he thinks about the future of the Western Mass. business community.
“It was hard,” said Gouvin, professor of Law and director of the Law and Business Center for Advancing Entrepreneurship at Western New England University. “There are a lot of talented people who participate, and to try to narrow that down to 40 was challenging. But I found it to be a real shot in the arm, for sure, to reassure me that we’re not running out of talented, smart people.”
Indeed, in its fifth incarnation, last winter’s nomination process brought forth a record number of applicants, demonstrating that, if anything, the program is only gaining steam.
“There’s so much enthusiasm,” said Pam Thornton, business development coordinator at United Personnel in Springfield, and current president of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS), which has consistently mined its membership for 40 Under Forty honorees on an annual basis.
“If you think about it, the program has created a kind of precedent already, which is amazing,” she continued. “People really look forward to the opportunity to get their name out there, to get an opportunity to get in front of people, and that’s just an awesome thing for our group, and for our age group.”
Now entering its sixth year with a call for nominations, BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty has captured the respect of the region’s business community and continues to demonstrate that Western Mass. is home to a creative, motivated, and successful group of young business leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators — people who are redefining what it means to build successful businesses and serve their communities with whatever spare time they have left over.
There are clear benefits in recognizing local professionals under age 40, said Kate Campiti, BusinessWest’s associate publisher. But initially, there were some concerns as to whether a strong-enough crop could emerge year after year. Clearly, that worry has long been put to rest.
“I’m amazed at the number of strong nominations we’re getting every year,” Campiti said. “It really speaks to the depth of the young talent here in the region.”

Click here for a nomination form!

Shine a Light
The 40 Under Forty program was launched in 2007 as a way to spotlight the accomplishments of younger professionals throughout Western Mass. — not only their on-the-job achievements, but their often-extensive volunteer work with organizations that benefit their communities.
Over the years, the program has highlighted individuals from an impressive range of businesses and industries, including education, law, finance, media, medicine, creative arts, nonprofits, government, retail, restaurants, green business, and many others. And last year presented a first — a 16-year-old high-school student (Stephen Freyman) was among the winners.
In addition, a healthy number of honorees each year hail from the ranks of entrepreneurs, developing their own business plans and building companies that in turn create jobs.
Judges score nominees on a combination of their accomplishments (be they in business, government, or the nonprofit realm), leadership qualities, and work within the community.
The effort has also helped boost the image of groups like YPS and Northampton Area Young Professionals, which share a common goal with 40 Under Forty — specifically, demonstrating the economic and cultural vibrancy of this region and generating enthusiasm among talented professionals to set down roots in Western Mass.
“I would absolutely say that it’s raised our profile, without a doubt,” Thornton said, noting that YPS typically brings a strong contingent to the annual June gala. “Everyone looks forward to it, and it’s such a great event.”
One theme that past winners have touched upon repeatedly is the networking benefits generated by being chosen to the 40 Under Forty.
“The experience of being an honoree brought together 40 great business people with collegial networking and partnerships that wouldn’t have been made otherwise,” said Beth Vettori, executive director of Rockridge Retirement Community in Northampton, one of the 2011 honorees.
“Between the friendships formed and the business opportunities, the 40 Under Forty really provided a bridge to some successful affiliations,” she added. “These people I’ve been able to network with — they’re very charismatic, very intelligent, and it’s just great to see that the youth in this area really have depth.”
Vettori said those connections have given her a viable resource — plenty of new colleagues with strong business acumen.
“You’re able to have conversations that give you greater insight into your own business,” she said. “The networking has allowed me a greater understanding of my own operation. It’s helpful to get different perspectives, different ideas; other people may work in different fields, but it’s still business, and it allows you to expand your own thinking.”
As with the past five installments of 40 Under Forty, this year’s winners — chosen by a panel of judges comprised of area business leaders and previous honorees — will be profiled in a spring issue of BusinessWest (always a must-read issue) and toasted at the annual gala reception, which drew a record crowd last June, providing further evidence of the 40 Under Forty’s momentum.

Healthy Crop
Gouvin said the growing popularity of the program is due in part to the sheer impressiveness of the honorees.
“Lots of these folks are professionally accomplished and very engaged in our community; they’re giving back, too,” he told BusinessWest. “That’s very encouraging. We want to make this city the best it can be, but we all have to contribute, not just in our jobs, but in our free time, too. I really do feel like they’re making it better.”
The nomination form can be found on page 20 of this issue. It will be reprinted in upcoming issues as well, and may also be printed from businesswest.com. The deadline for entries is Feb. 17.
Thornton sees the 40 Under Forty, and the role of YPS in it, as a collaborative effort.
“It’s people doing great work together, and I feel like the YPS organization helps to feed the program,” she said. “It’s a way for our people to celebrate what they’ve done, who they are, and how they’ve gotten where they are. And it’s something we should continue if we want to keep the momentum going.”


Past Honorees

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
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
MauricePowe — 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

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Attorney Michael Cardaropoli, a partner in the law firm of Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan and Blakesley, has been appointed to serve on the board of directors of Springfield Habitat for Humanity.

“I’m proud of the opportunity to serve on the board of this incredible organization,” said Cardaropoli.  “We have a rich history as a firm of charitable connections to the community.  I had first-hand experience with the Habitat for Humanity team as we worked on the SGT Sullivan house, and I am so pleased to now be a part of their ongoing efforts,” he added.

Twelve staff members from Pellegrini Seeley, Ryan and Blakesley donated a total of nearly 100 man hours to kick off the Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan project on the first build day in 2018. The firm also contributed $2,500 to the effort.
“As a firm we are committed each day to help make the lives better for the residents of Springfield,” said Cardaropoli.

Daily News

WEST SPRINGFIELD — On Tuesday, April 16, Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) will host a free financial seminar for the community.

Sue Zielenski of Bank of America will present the topic “Keep It Safe” at Bank of America Financial Center, 1724 Boston Road, Springfield. The class will start at 6 p.m. and end at 7:30 p.m. There is no cost to attend, but participants are required to sign up. Click here to register.

“With how prevalent financial and identity theft scams are today, it’s important to know how to protect yourself against them,” said Olga Callirgos, GSHFH Homeowner Programs coordinator.

GSHFH hosts free financial-literacy seminars monthly. At the April 16 presentation, Zielenski will provide information on how people can protect their finances and identities from thieves. To keep up to date about future seminars, visit habitatspringfield.org/financial-seminar.

Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity is dedicated to strengthening communities by empowering low-income families to change their lives and the lives of future generations through homeownership and home-preservation opportunities. Since 1987, the organization has built or repaired 129 homes in Hampden County.

People on the Move

Jeff Daley

Westmass Area Development Corp. named Jeff Daley CEO of the private, nonprofit development entity. Daley, who was chosen as the result of a search process conducted by the Westmass board, has more than 15 years of experience in the real-estate development arena. Daley is the former executive director of the Westfield Redevelopment Authority and most recently served as the principal of CJC Development Advisors LLC, which he founded in 2016. Daley’s portfolio includes overseeing $60 million in commercial and industrial development and managing $34 million in public development projects. As CEO, Daley will be responsible for management of Westmass, including negotiating corporate acquisitions, land sales, leases, and incentive proposals; grant applications; and marketing resources and development services to organizations and businesses considering investment in the region. Daley will also enhance Westmass offerings regarding development services to communities throughout the region to assist with economic development and real-estate development opportunities. Daley will also evaluate opportunities for new industrial-park development and land acquisition and coordinate federal, state, and local economic-development grants and resources. Daley replaces interim CEO Bryan Nicholas, who served after the sudden passing of former CEO Eric Nelson, who was appointed in 2016.

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Sheila Stamm

Sheila Stamm has joined American International College (AIC) as dean of the School of Education. Stamm is the president of S. Wright & Associates, providing consulting support to academic leaders and faculty in higher education and community sectors. She has an extensive background in higher education, including serving as dean of the School of Education for Cambridge College and Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn. Stamm previously served as commissioner of Higher Education for the state of Minnesota. Prior to transitioning to administrative roles in higher education, Stamm was a tenured professor at Hamline University and an associate professor at Saint Xavier University in Chicago. Throughout her career, Stamm has been dedicated to community service, with affiliations including the Ramsey County Blue Ribbon Commission on Economic Disparities, the Minnesota Chicano Latino Affairs Council Committee on Educational Disparities, the education workgroup of the African American Leadership Forum, the West Suburban College of Nursing board of trustees, the leadership council of Chicago-Area Deans, and the Urban Teacher Education Program, among numerous other affiliations. Stamm has served on dozens of committees at the colleges where she was a member of the administration or faculty and has extensive publications and presentations to her credit, with a focus on higher education, diversity, inclusion, hiring, teaching, innovation, leadership, and learning.

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Patrick Fortunato

Azaya Inc. named Patrick Fortunato its Business Development manager. In this role, he will lead the sales of IT managed-services support, digital and VoIP business telephone systems, and future security surveillance technologies to serve businesses, the government sector, as well as educational institutions within the state of Massachusetts. Fortunato has more than 20 years of executive management leadership experience, while developing strategic business units in financial services and digital-imaging solutions, for mid-size to large enterprise companies and organizations. He served as national Sales manager for Sharp USA and vice president of Sales while working at Konica Minolta, with U.S. national responsibilities and oversight. Fortunato most recently served as managing director for Global Financial NetworX, LLC with the task of increasing customer acquisition for the company’s lending, insurance, annuities, and investment portfolios.

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Rebecca Mercieri Rivaux

Bacon Wilson announced that attorney Rebecca Mercieri Rivaux has joined the firm. Mercieri Rivaux is an associate and a member of Bacon Wilson’s bankruptcy and business/corporate practice groups. Prior to joining Bacon Wilson, Mercieri Rivaux attended Western New England University School of Law, graduating magna cum laude in 2019. She also obtained her bachelor’s degree from Western New England University, graduating summa cum laude in 2015.

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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.

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Adrienne Smith

Holyoke Community College (HCC) recently welcomed Adrienne Smith as interim dean of its division of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Smith brings 13 years of community-college experience to HCC, most recently as the dean of the School of Engineering, Technologies, and Mathematics at Springfield Technical Community College. Prior to that, she served as associate professor and coordinator of Electronics Technology at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester. Her professional accomplishments span many areas of academic program development and enhancement, enrollment management and retention, diversity responsiveness, and regional and community partnership coordination. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in science, engineering, and math from Western New England University, where she was the first African-American woman to graduate with a degree in engineering, and she earned a doctorate in education from UMass Amherst with competencies in community-college leadership, educational polices, and administration. A graduate of Springfield Technical High School, Smith started her professional life as an electrical engineer (and the first female engineer) at Digital Equipment Corp. in Springfield.

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Alyssa Arnell

Alyssa Arnell, chair of the History Department at Greenfield Community College (GCC), was awarded the African American Female Professor Award by the African American Female Professor Award Assoc. (AAFPAA) in a ceremony at Bay Path University on Sept. 26. Formerly a history teacher at Dillard University and educational-outreach coordinator and historical interpreter for the National Park Service, Arnell joined the faculty at GCC in 2017. In just two years, she has modernized GCC’s history curriculum, infusing it with a social-justice focus and adding courses such as “The Legal History of American Civil Rights” and “North American Indigenous History.” For many of Arnell’s classes, she has integrated a public history component that brings her classes out of the classroom and to the lobby of the main building, where her students give presentations on their projects throughout the day — a way to let other faculty, staff, and students see the kinds of work her students are engaged in, and see the kinds of research that can happen in a history course. In addition to teaching, Arnell has created programming that reaches beyond the classroom with talks on the removal of confederate statues, a lecture on the life Frederick Douglass, a panel discussion with students about the movie Black Panther, and a conversation on immigrant rights. She also adapted a format of Facilitated Dialogues used by the National Park Service to launch a series of conversations about race and ethnicity at GCC. Arnell is also a core member of Greenfield Community College’s Racial Equity and Justice Institute Team, a part of the Leading for Change Higher Education Diversity Consortium. As part of the Racial Equity and Justice Team, she has worked to learn best practices to support students of color, helped the college identify specific areas where achievement gaps exist, and will continue in the coming year to work to identify specific action steps to try to address those achievement gaps.

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Amy Royal

Amy Royal, owner of Royal, P.C., has been selected as a Super Lawyer for 2019. Providing legal representation in Massachusetts for a variety of different issues, Royal was also selected to Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations. Royal represents employers with employment and labor issues. Additional legal issues represented include employment litigation: defense, cannabis law, and alternative dispute resolution.

Departments People on the Move
Michael Houff

Michael Houff

Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center, announced the appointment of Michael Houff as director of Physician Services for HMC Specialty Practices as well as Western Massachusetts Physician Associates. Houff brings more than 20 years of extensive healthcare leadership experience in executive-level physician-group management, project consulting, revenue-cycle management, hospital outpatient operations, managed-care payer and provider operations, and IT implementations. He most recently served Meridian Medical Management in Windsor, Conn. as director of operations and, previously, Hampden County Physician Associates, LLC in Springfield as chief operating officer, vice president of operations, and director of operations. “Mike brings the leadership necessary to help Holyoke Medical Center and Western Mass Physician Associates provide the highest levels of patient care and satisfaction,” said Hatiras. “His experience in managing physician services will be an asset to ensuring that our providers and office staff continue to deliver high-quality and compassionate care to our patients.” Houff graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and received a master’s degree in general administration health care management from the University of Maryland in 1996. From 1988 to 1992, he served as active duty combat arms officer in the U.S. Army and then worked for Kaiser Permanente in Rocky Hill, Conn., Tulane University Hospital and Clinic in New Orleans, and GE Healthcare. “I really wanted to get back to the patient-care-delivery side of the business of healthcare,” said Houff of choosing to work at HMC. “It’s a much more meaningful mission to know that what you’re doing every day in outpatient operations has a real impact on people’s lives — helping people who are going through very difficult times with their health issues and being able to help them have one good day among many bad ones is a really good motivation.”

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The Hampshire Mall management team recently welcomed Lynn Gray as general manager. Gray has extensive knowledge of the shopping-center industry. She is a graduate of Holyoke Community College with an associate degree in business administration. She returns to Hampshire Mall after holding the positions of marketing assistant, assistant marketing director, and marketing director within Pyramid Management Group from 1995 to 2005. Prior to her return, she held various roles within General Growth Management over the past 10 years, most recently as director of field marketing for the East Region. During her time there, she received the MAXI Award for innovative contributions made to Natick Mall. She is a lifelong resident of the Western Mass. area and actively involved with several community and nonprofit organizations, including Alex Scafuri’s Benefit Fund, Harper Yucka Benefit Fund, Chicopee Youth Football Assoc., and CHERUBS. “We are pleased to have Lynn return to Pyramid Management Group,” said Joe Castaldo, Pyramid Management Group’s director of Shopping Center Management. “With her vast experience in the shopping-center industry, she will be a tremendous asset in the development of Hampshire Mall.”

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Melissa Provost

Melissa Provost

HUB International New England, a division of HUB International Limited, announced that Melissa Provost has joined HUB International New England as a personal lines account manager, responsible for assisting clients with their home, auto, and personal-liability umbrella coverages. She will be based in the South Hadley office. Provost joins HUB International with several years of customer service experience in the insurance industry, and has held previous positions with Liberty Mutual Insurance, most recently as a senior customer service representative. At HUB International, her role includes assisting in the day-to-day needs of clients, handling client requests, preparing quotes, reviewing and updating policies and certificates, maintaining existing client relationships, generating new business, and keeping abreast of the changing market. “Over the past few months, we have hired several talented individuals as we continue to expand into one of the largest agencies throughout New England,” said Timm Marini, president of HUB International New England. “Melissa is a perfect fit for our agency as she is clearly a ‘people person’ who will focus on providing extraordinary customer service.”

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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, as well as 90 international families, over the past 27 years.

People on the Move

Paul Scully, president and CEO of Country Bank, announced eight recent staff promotions.

Mary McGovern

Mary McGovern

Mary McGovern was promoted to executive vice president, chief financial and operating officer. She joined Country Bank in 2011 as the executive vice president and chief financial officer. She oversees the bank’s finance, operations, electronic delivery, information technology, retail banking, retail lending, facilities, and security. She holds an MBA in accounting and finance from Babson College and recently served on the board of the Baystate Health Foundation.

Miriam Siegel

Miriam Siegel

Miriam Siegel was promoted to first senior vice president, chief Culture and Development officer. She will continue to lead the human-resources and learning and development functions, and serves as the bank’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer. Joining Country Bank in 2018, she brought 26 years of professional experience as the senior vice president of Human Resources for United Bank. She serves on the board of Behavioral Health Network, the Baystate Wing Hospital board, and the Wilbraham Personnel Advisory Board.

Jennifer Bujnevicie

Jennifer Bujnevicie

Laura Dennis

Laura Dennis

Jennifer Bujnevicie and Laura Dennis, of the Retail Banking division, were promoted to vice presidents. Collectively, they contribute 36 years of experience at Country Bank; each began her professional banking career as a teller and has grown within the organization to oversee the Retail Banking division. Together, they bring a wealth of experience to the banking centers and are focused on providing the bank’s customers with exceptional customer service throughout its network. Both hold associate degrees in business administration and management from the New England College of Business and have attended the New England School for Financial Studies.

Alyson Weeks

Alyson Weeks

Alyson Weeks was promoted to vice president of Human Resources and Professional Development. She has been with Country Bank for 13 years, starting as a teller and working in various other roles in the Retail Banking division, including teller supervisor, Branch Operations manager, and Retail Operations manager, before joining the Human Resources team six years ago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Worcester State University and a master’s degree in education from American International College.

Erin Skoczylas

Erin Skoczylas, assistant controller, was promoted to assistant vice president, assistant controller. She began her career at Country Bank 25 years ago as a part-time Operations clerk. Before transitioning to Accounting in 2008, she worked in various positions throughout the Operations department. She holds an associate degree in business administration from Springfield Technical Community College and a bachelor of business administration degree from Western New England University. She is also a 2017 graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies.

Tracey Wrzesien

Tracey Wrzesien of Retail Banking, Wilbraham Banking Center was promoted to assistant vice president. She has been with Country Bank for 27 years and previously served as a Retail Banking officer. She is the vice president of the Wilbraham-Hampden Rotary Club and will take over as president in July. She is a graduate of the New England College of Business and holds an associate degree in science and business administration with a concentration in finance and is also a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies.

Dianna Lussier

Dianna Lussier

Dianna Lussier has been promoted to assistant vice president of Risk Management. She has been with Country Bank for 18 years and previously served as the Risk Management officer. During her tenure with Country Bank, she has worked in various roles, including accounting representative and financial-reporting analyst. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in finance and accounting from Worcester State College and has attended the New England School for Financial Studies. She is currently attending the Graduate School of Banking and Wharton Leadership Program. She was also the recipient of the President’s Platinum Award in 2021.

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Springfield Museums announced that Jenny Powers has been named director of the Springfield Science Museum. A science educator for 20 years and the family engagement coordinator for the Springfield Museums for six years, Powers is ready to take her knowledge of playful learning to the Science Museum in the form of interactive, immersive additions to the museum. She also takes inspiration from the last woman who directed the Science Museum, Grace Pettis Johnson, who led the way from 1910 to 1949. Powers’ dynamic programing has filled the Museums on family-engagement days with exciting features such as bubble parties, high-fives with the Cat in the Hat, and Mount Crumpit derbies during Grinchmas. She has also been a regular guest on WWLP’s Mass Appeal, sharing hands-on science that families could explore together at home.

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Alissa Fuller

Alissa Fuller

Florence Bank is announced that Alissa Fuller joined the bank as assistant vice president, Compliance and CRA manager. She has more than 20 years of experience in retail banking, consumer lending, and compliance. Prior to joining Florence Bank, she was a compliance specialist at a local community bank. Her duties included ensuring that the organization’s operations complied with relevant laws, regulations, and policies. In her new role at Florence Bank, Fuller’s primary responsibilities will include the oversight of programs to ensure compliance with all federal and state laws that govern the bank’s operations. In addition, she will play a vital role in the encouragement and development of the bank’s Community Reinvestment efforts. She graduated from the New England College of Business and Finance in 2016 with an associate degree in business administration with a concentration in management.

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Bulkley Richardson recently welcomed Jeffrey Roberts to the firm as counsel in the Trusts & Estates and Business practices. Roberts has handled many sophisticated estate-planning matters and complex business transactions throughout his career. His practice will continue to focus on estate planning, trusts and estates, taxation, and estate administration, as well as corporate work and business transactions primarily for closely held companies. He also has extensive experience with advice to family-owned companies with respect to business-succession planning and representation of the owner with respect to the sale of a closely held business. Roberts has practiced law at Robinson Donovan P.C. since graduating from Georgetown Law in 1974 and served as the firm’s managing partner for many of those years.

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Chris McMasters

Phillips Insurance Agency Inc. announced the promotion of Chris McMasters to the role of vice president. He is an accredited adviser in insurance and has been with Phillips Insurance for more than eight years. He is a graduate of Springfield College. “Chris has developed a strong clientele within the construction, hospitality, and manufacturing industries throughout New England,” said Joseph Phillips, president of Phillips Insurance. “His strong work ethic and creativity in developing risk-management strategies has set him apart.”

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The Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden Agricultural Society, the nonprofit organization that manages Northampton’s Three County Fair and fairgrounds, has elected two new members to its board of directors, Jessica Dizek of Mapleline Farm in Hadley and Thomas Giles, former owner of Hadley Garden Center. Dizek and Giles join the society’s board, consisting of 21 other members who make up the fair’s agricultural leadership. Dizek is the fifth generation on her family’s farm. Mapleline Farm milks about 125 Jerseys and bottles their milk on the farm premises, while running a distribution business, wholesaling fluid milk products to the local area and Boston market. Prior to her taking over operating the farm full-time in 2018, Dizek held full-time employment off the farm for 20 years, most recently at UMass Amherst. She started at the university working for cooperative extension programs and eventually working in alumni major gifts. During this time, she also earned her MBA from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. She currently serves as treasurer for the New England Jersey Breeders Assoc. and as a director for the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board, and is a member of the Massachusetts Dairy Advisory Board for the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center. Giles is a graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, having majored in landscape operations, and first worked for the Hadley Garden Center in the spring of 1973. In January 1988, Giles and his wife, Janine, purchased the center and ran it for 33 years until selling it to Gardeners Supply Co. of Vermont in January 2020. Giles is an active member of the First Congregational Church of Hadley and is on the board of directors for Easthampton Savings Bank and has also served on the horticulture/forestry advisory committee at Smith Vocational High School.

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Heather Gawron

Annie Celdran

Annie Celdran

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) announced it has hired Development and Grants Associate Heather Gawron and Audience Development Manager Annie Celdran. Gawron has focused the past 10 years of her career on fundraising for community nonprofits in Western Mass. Most recently, she served as senior director of Development at New England Public Media (NEPM), where she focused on overseeing the nonprofit media organization’s fundraising efforts, including grants, on-air fundraising campaigns, and its planned and major giving programs, contributing to the organization’s overall budget of $10 million. Prior to NEPM, Gawron spent years at American International College as executive director of Institutional Advancement. During her tenure at AIC, Gawron was an engine for growth, strengthening and expanding the college’s alumni-engagement program on a national scale. Her stewardship work with alumni yielded remarkable growth in engagement of the alumni base and landed one of the largest-ever single donations made to AIC. She also worked closely in supporting the grant director to secure Title III funding and developed scholarship funds to help AIC students continue their education. Before AIC, Gawron worked for Alstom University, headquartered in Paris, and helped launch five international corporate university campuses across Europe and Asia. Prior to joining SSO, Celdran most recently worked for New England Public Media as the New Voices Campaign manager. She communicated regularly with donors, visitors, and volunteers and worked closely with the president, chief operating officer, and Marketing and Development personnel on ambitious fundraising campaigns. A Western Mass. native, Celdran spent some of her career in San Francisco, utilizing her client-services skills at Hanson Bridgett, LLP, a Bay Area law firm with a reputation for community engagement. At the firm, she managed the Client Concierge and Office Services departments, also bringing her creativity to various fundraising campaigns such as the firm’s annual Food From the Bar campaign in support of the SF-Marin Food Bank.

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Beth Cohen, professor in Western New England University (WNE) School of Law and former WNE Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, has been named interim dean of the School of Law by Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Maria Toyoda. Cohen will provide interim leadership following the departure of current Dean Sudha Setty, who will begin her new role as dean of the City University of New York School of Law on July 1. A School of Law professor since 1990, Cohen has also served as director of the Legal Research and Writing Program since 1999. She was the associate dean for Academic Affairs from 2009 to 2020 and the director of the Academic Support Program from 1994 to 2008. She teaches Lawyering Skills, Externship Seminar, Professional Responsibility, and Mindfulness in Law Practice, and has written a number of articles in the areas of legal education, legal writing, civic education, and name-change law. Cohen graduated cum laude from Suffolk University Law School and earned a diploma in Advanced International Legal Studies in Salzburg, Austria, from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge Law School. She also co-founded and co-directed the popular civic-education Mini-Law School Program at WNE. A search committee will be appointed to conduct a national search for a new School of Law dean. Cohen will hold her position until a new dean is appointed.

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Carolyn Martinez

Carolyn Martinez

Shannon Mumblo, executive director of Christina’s House, announced that Carolyn Martinez has joined the organization as program manager. In her new role, Martinez will work closely with Christina’s House human-services professionals and direct service staff to ensure that mothers and their children who were homeless or near-homeless are developing vital life skills and are steadily working through the program with the goal of transitioning to stable housing and self-sufficiency. Martinez brings first-hand experience to Christina’s House as a graduate of the program. She has worked in community healthcare settings for the past several years and has completed certificate programs in child behavioral health and community health. She is currently a student at Cambridge College working toward a bachelor’s degree in human services.

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Milford Federal Bank announced that Jeremy Leap has joined the Bank as senior vice president, Commercial Lending. He will lead a growing team of commercial bankers, joining Anna Case, associate vice president, Commercial Credit officer, and Operations manager; Anita Carroll, Commercial Portfolio manager; and Stephanie Saraidarian, Commercial Credit representative. Leap has 16 years of experience as a commercial lender, including in the Western Mass. region at Country Bank in Ware and People’s United Bank in Springfield, and most recently at Savers Bank in Southbridge. He is involved with the United Way and Habitat for Humanity.

People on the Move
Briana Wales

Briana Wales

Emma Mesa-Melendez

Emma Mesa-Melendez

Keith McKittrick

Keith McKittrick

Ullapi Shrestha

Ullapi Shrestha

The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) announced the appointments of Briana Wales as vice president for People and Culture, Emma Mesa-Melendez as director of Communications, Keith McKittrick as Development coordinator, and Ullapi Shrestha as program assistant. These appointments are the latest example of CFWM’s ongoing commitment to expand its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts internally and within the nonprofit sector. Wales will focus on a wide scope of DEI initiatives to guide both the foundation’s external and internal DEI work, training, and development of best practices. She has an extensive career in workforce development for youth and adults and has provided leadership in both nonprofit and quasi-public settings. In her efforts to serve communities, she has fostered partnerships and programming to increase equity and access for underrepresented or marginalized groups. She received her bachelor’s degree in social justice education from UMass Amherst and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mount Holyoke College. Mesa-Melendez will be responsible for CFWM’s communications strategy and will assist with DEI initiatives. In recent work, she has consulted in marketing and graphic design, and previously served as vice president for Community Relations, Human Resources, and Marketing Management for New Valley Bank & Trust. She received her MBA from Southern New Hampshire University and her bachelor’s degree in critical social thought from Mount Holyoke College. She has worked with several nonprofits as both a board member and volunteer, including the Minority Inclusion Project, Farmington Valley YMCA, Vet Air, and the Performance Project. McKittrick comes to the foundation with 25 years of experience in philanthropy. He has held positions at UMass Amherst, Western New England University, and Holyoke Community College, where he has worked with donors to establish scholarships and fundraise for educational initiatives. He received his master’s degree in public administration from Framingham State University and his bachelor’s degree in political science from Westfield State University. Shrestha has worked as an interpreter at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and as an intern at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. She has volunteered with the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity. She received her master’s degree in management from Saint Joseph College and her bachelor’s degree in business marketing from the Institute of Technology in Carlow, Ireland.

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Marianna Roy

Marianna Roy

Jodi Giustina

Jodi Giustina

OMG Roofing Products has hired Marianna Roy as a customer service representative and Jodi Giustina as a sales and marketing assistant. Roy is responsible for assisting customers in placing orders and in funneling customer inquiries to the organization. She is initially responsible for handling the Firestone account, the company’s Northeast Region, and a portion of the Mid-Atlantic Region. She began her career at OMG Roofing Products as a temporary customer service representative in July 2020. Prior to joining OMG, she was with the Law Offices of John E. Miller. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Westfield State University. Giustina is responsible for a wide assortment of administrative duties to support the company’s sales and marketing team, customer service department, as well as key account managers. She joined OMG Roofing Products from PNC Business Credit, where she was a senior business development associate. Earlier, she held several positions with BKM, most recently as a project coordinator. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Simmons College in Boston.

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The Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce has named Jordan Hart its new executive director. Hart will replace Andréa Marion, who recently announced her departure to pursue other opportunities. Hart has served in a variety of roles in the past eight years at the chamber, most recently as program coordinator. She is a board member at Enchanted Circle Theater and was a leader of the “Have a Ball in Holyoke” public art effort through Leadership Holyoke. She holds an associate degree from Holyoke Community College and is currently taking courses at Greenfield Community College. Among the top priorities for the 131-year-old chamber moving forward are re-establishing a solid suite of programming and seminars to support local businesses in their success, continuing to serve as a cheerleader for economic development and job growth in the city, and working with leaders throughout the area to bolster civic pride and quality of life in Holyoke and surrounding communities. Key to Hart’s responsibilities will be collaborating closely with partners throughout the region, including leaders at City Hall.

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Michele Snizek

Michele Snizek

River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC) named Michele Snizek its senior program director. Snizek will oversee RVCC’s school-based health centers and HIV/AIDS Project to ensure that these grant-funded programs are responsive to funder terms and conditions and compliant with grant rules and regulations. Snizek received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Elms College and a master’s degree in public administration from Westfield State University. She has extensive experience managing federal and state grants in the Greater Holyoke community, development and writing of grant proposals, managing grant compliance, and reporting and budget management for both federal and state applications. She is also a licensed social worker. Prior to joining RVCC, Snizek was the director of Retention at Holyoke Community College. A key focus of her work was closing HCC’s equity gaps, which were further widened during remote operations this year. This put a spotlight on the need for enhanced mental-health services for students. She started her career at HCC as a Title III activity director, managing a five-year, $1.8 million Department of Education grant focused on first-year students. For more than 20 years, she held two different positions, director of Planning and Development and director of Program Operations, at Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield Head Start Inc.

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Michelle Baity

Michelle Baity

BFAIR announced the promotion of Michelle Baity to the position of senior vice president of Human Resources. Baity joined BFAIR’s senior-management team three years ago and brought with her numerous years of experience in human resources as well as the human-services field. Since joining the team, she has formed a strong Human Resources department that has been invaluable with assisting the agency to manage the enormous challenges it has faced over the past year. According to Ethel Altiery, BFAIR’s executive director, “Michelle has been with BFAIR for three years, and working closely with her has been a wonderful experience for me. She has brought my level of knowledge and experience in the world of human resources to a new level. I look forward to working with Michelle for many more years to come.” Baity is directly responsible for crafting employee-benefit offerings and developing an educational-assistance policy to support skill development in pursuit of an organization focused on creating opportunities for advancement.

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Melissa Blissett

Melissa Blissett

Square One announced the promotion of Melissa Blissett to vice president of Family Support Services. A native of Springfield, Blissett joined Square One in 2014 as a Springfield College School of Social Work intern. Upon graduation in 2015, she joined the agency’s Healthy Families and Supervised Visitation programs. In 2017, she went to work as a Child and Family Law Division social worker for the Committee for Public Council Services in Springfield. In 2018, she returned to Square One as assistant vice president of Family Services. Blissett graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a degree in psychology and developmental disabilities. She earned her master of social work degree from Springfield College, where she currently serves as an adjunct professor. She is a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and actively volunteers for the Reading Success by 4th Grade initiative.

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Thomas Hull, associate professor of Mathematics at Western New England University (WNEU), recently published his latest book, Origametry: Mathematical Methods in Paper Folding. In his book, Hull takes a deep dive into the math behind origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding. His research uses graph theory, combinatorics, geometry, and other areas of math, with applications in engineering, materials science, art, and education. He is a leading expert on the mathematics of origami, having given talks on this topic all over the world. Hull has been practicing origami since he was 8 years old and studying the mathematics behind origami for the past 30 years. He holds both a PhD and a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Rhode Island and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Hampshire College. Several of the origami models he has invented are well-known among origami artists, including his ‘five intersecting tetrahedra’ model, a star-like structure, featured on the cover of his new book, which the British Origami Society voted as being one of the top 10 origami models of all time.

Company Notebook

Gaming at MGM Springfield Generates $9.45M in August
SPRINGFIELD — The Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported that MGM Springfield generated $9,456,976.90 in gross gaming revenue between Aug. 23 and Aug. 31, its first week of operation. Slot machines generated $7,347,491.15 in revenues, while table games generated $2,109,485.75. Of that, or $2,364,244.23, will go to the state in taxes. MGM Springfield is taxed by the state on 25% of its gross gaming revenue. Under its host-community agreement, MGM pays the city of Springfield $17.6 million annually in lieu of taxes.

USI Insurance Services Acquires Gaudreau Group
WILBRAHAM — USI Insurance Services (USI), a world leader in insurance brokerage and risk management, announced the acquisition of the Gaudreau Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1921, the Gaudreau Group is a commercial-insurance, employee-benefits, personal-risk, and financial-services firm insuring more than 6,000 businesses and families across 14 states. Jules Gaudreau, company president, represents the third generation of the Gaudreau family to lead the company. He will join USI’s New England regional management team as president of the company’s Springfield office.

Baystate Wing Opens New Emergency Department
PALMER — On Sept. 18, Baystate Wing Hospital opened its new, $17.2 million Emergency Department to patients. The new facility includes separate ambulance and public entryways and features 20 patient rooms, including critical care, behavioral health, and other dedicated specialty-care areas. Private rooms have replaced curtained bays to enhance patient privacy, along with dedicated space for behavioral-health patients. The new 17,800-square-foot facility will include sophisticated medical technology, including CT scan and radiology (X-ray) services. The Baystate Wing Emergency Department campaign has raised over $2.9 million to date. The overall cost of building and equipping the new emergency department at Baystate Wing Hospital is $17.2 million, with Baystate Health committing funding through capital investment and bonds. 

Polish National Credit Union Wins CFS/SPF Impact Award
CHICOPEE — Polish National Credit Union (PCNU) was recently awarded the Bronze CFS/SPF 2017 Impact Award at annual conference of CUSO Financial Services, LP and Sorrento Pacific Financial, LLC in San Diego. The conference is an opportunity for businesses to come together to share and discuss best practices as well as hear from industry experts. This award is given to a financial institution that demonstrates an excellent job of building awareness through branch marketing efforts. “As the investment industry becomes more competitive, financial institutions must be increasingly creative and resourceful when it comes to the promotion of their investment-services program,” said James Kelly, president and CEO of Polish National Credit Union. “Not only is our team receptive to our ideas, they are eager to participate and shed light on all the fantastic options there are for our members to reach their financial goals through PNCU Financial Services.”

Elms College Wins Grant for Project to Spark Girls’ Interest in STEM Fields
CHICOPEE — Elms College announced that its Computer Science department has been awarded more than $188,000 through a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to fund a project designed to spark interest in computer science and related fields among middle-school girls in Holyoke. The project — which will include participants from UMass Amherst, Holyoke Codes, Girls Inc. of Holyoke, and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke — will combine robotics, coding, and a simulated natural-disaster situation. The project, titled Girls Involved in Robotics Learning Simulations (GIRLS), was born after Beryl Hoffman, associate professor of Computer Science at Elms College, met Florence Sullivan, professor at UMass Amherst College of Education, at Holyoke Codes, an organization that provides opportunities for kids to get involved in coding, robotics, and technology. Hoffman and Sullivan aim to learn more about the role of immersive simulation scenarios in encouraging girls to take interest in and learn about computer science and robotics. In year one of the project, the team will finalize all materials and curricula, and test them in single-day workshops. In year two, the educational program will be implemented in partnership with Girls Inc. of Holyoke and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke, with 40 to 60 female students expected to participate. In year three, the team will open the program to middle-school-aged boys, too, and analyze the outcomes of coed learning. As part of the grant project, Elms will offer three paid internships, one per year, to junior or senior computer science or CITS (computer information technology and security) majors.

Baystate Health, VertitechIT Partner to Launch baytechIT
HOLYOKE — Baystate Health and VertitechIT announced the formation of a new company to meet the increasingly complex IT needs of medical practices, clinics, and healthcare social-service organizations in the Western Mass. and Northern Conn. regions. BaytechIT is a first-of-its-kind independent joint venture, providing monitoring and management of information-technology networks, telephony, clinical engineering support, and other IT-related consulting and engineering expertise previously unaffordable to the local healthcare community. Already serving Baystate Health, its operating medical practices, and several large and mid-sized offices and clinics, baytechIT currently has 150 clients and manages/monitors more than 16,000 endpoint devices. BaytechIT will be headquartered in Holyoke with additional offices throughout Western Mass.

TWO Helps Enhance Skills of Medical Assistants
SPRINGFIELD — When Holyoke Medical Center and Western Mass Physician Associates (WMPA) needed help enhancing the skills of their medical assistants, they partnered with Training & Workforce Options (TWO), which developed a curriculum and taught a 10-week class to 15 medical assistants from WMPA. The training was designed to prepare the workers for a national credentialing exam. The TWO course at Holyoke Community College (HCC) was a hybrid of classroom work and online learning taught by a medical assistant. An additional 25 medical assistants from Holyoke Medical Center Specialty Practices enrolled in a second round of training. TWO, a collaboration between HCC and Springfield Technical Community College, is designed to deliver high-quality, custom training solutions to the business community to boost bottom-line performance and productivity. In addition to classroom learning, Holyoke Medical Center and Western Mass Physician Associates developed and staffed a full-scale skills day for all trainees. The session included 10 hands-on stations covering clinical and administrative tasks such as checking vital signs, administering injections and medication, taking EKG measurements, and other competency tests.

Tighe & Bond Climbs in National Ranking of Environmental Firms
WESTFIELD — Tighe & Bond climbed six spots this year to 148th on Engineering News Record’s (ENR) 2018 Top 200 Environmental Firms ranking. ENR ranks its list of top 200 environmental firms nationally based on the percentage of their 2017 gross revenue from environmental services. Earlier this year, Tighe & Bond moved up 19 spots to 241st on ENR’s 2018 Top 500 Design Firms ranking, up 34 spots in the past two years. ENR ranks its list of top 500 design firms nationally based on design-specific revenue from the previous year.

Country Bank Sponsors Habitat for Humanity Build
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.”

HMC Physician Affiliate Changes Name
HOLYOKE — The Holyoke Medical Center provider affiliate, Western Mass Physician Associates, announced it is changing the name to Holyoke Medical Group as of Oct. 1. Four years after launching a new organization-wide logo and rebranding campaign, the Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems leadership recognize the disconnect still perceived by patients between Holyoke Medical Center and Western Mass Physician Associates. “The name change will allow for the organization to have stronger brand awareness in the community,” said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems. “The new name also releases the belief that all clinicians are doctors. The future success of healthcare relies not only on our excellent physicians, but on the growing number of mid-level providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, expertly qualified to care for our community.” Holyoke Medical Group consists of two primary-care provider offices, a family medicine office, a pediatric office, and three women’s services offices with ob/gyn and certified nurse midwife care. Each office location is accepting new patients.

Company Notebook Departments

HCC Awarded $127,741 for EMT Training Program

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) has been awarded a $127,741 Workforce Skills Capital Grant to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for its EMT Training Program. The grant, announced this week by the governor’s office, will allow HCC to expand the number of students served in its non-credit EMT classes and offer new training equipment and materials at the college’s new Center for Health Education, adjacent to the main campus on Jarvis Avenue. HCC was one of seven community colleges, vocational high schools, and educational collaboratives chosen to share in a total funding package worth $2.6 million. “This was a great opportunity for us to get some needed funding to replace outdated materials and equipment, which, because of the cost, is difficult to keep up to date,” said Ken White, dean of HCC Community Services. The grant will allow HCC to expand the number of students served in the non-credit certificate EMT classes, which are geared for firefighters and other emergency workers who need certification or continuing education, individuals interested in beginning careers as EMTs, and nurses or other heath professionals. “Students at all levels will have access to state-of-the-art technologies, including simulators that respond to student actions,” White said. Instructors for the enhanced program will be supplied by Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), White said. Together, HCC and STCC, through Training and Workforce Options, their collaborative workforce program, will work with area employers to provide customized EMT training opportunies at HCC’s Center for Health Education. “The goal of these grants is to expand the capacity of programs that build skills for Massachusetts residents,” said Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. “We already see the impact these grants are having at educational programs around the state, and we know these investments will strengthen the state’s economy for all residents.”

Springfield Museums Named Smithsonian Affiliate

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums have been formally accepted as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term, high-quality partnerships with museums and educational organizations in order to share collections, exhibitions, learning opportunities, and research expertise. The partnership  has been made possible through the support of the MassMutual Foundation, which is providing a three-year, $145,000-plus grant to bring a wealth of resources and programming to Springfield. “For us to continue to develop a culturally rich community, it is important that all of us — especially our children — have access to some of the world’s most treasured art collections, artifacts, and perspectives of the most renowned experts in the country,” said Roger Crandall, chairman, president, and CEO of MassMutual.  “The MassMutual Foundation’s support of the partnership between the Springfield Museums and the Smithsonian helps strengthen the cultural fabric of our community, and we are proud to do our share to provide opportunities that inspire people to never stop learning and growing.” Joining Crandall at an announcement ceremony hosted by the museums was Harold Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations; Springfield Museums President Kay Simpson; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; U.S. Rep. Richard Neal; and state Sen. Eric Lesser. The day also included a presentation titled “Driving Around Mars” by planetary scientist John Grant from the National Air and Space Museum. There are currently more than 200 institutions nationwide that have been selected to be Smithsonian affiliates. In identifying possible candidates for affiliation, the Smithsonian seeks out organizations that share a common mission, a commitment to education and public service, and the capability of bringing Smithsonian artifacts, exhibits, and programs to their venues. Candidates are subject to a rigorous application process involving all aspects of their organization, from their leadership and financial structure to a review of their collections-management and programming protocols. Those selected to be affiliates enjoy a range of benefits, from facilitated object and exhibit loans and discounted Smithsonian memberships for their patrons to custom-developed education, performing-arts, and public programs. Staff at the Smithsonian and the Springfield Museums have already commenced discussions of potential collaborative projects for the first three years of the affiliation, including object loans and additional visits from Smithsonian experts.

Johnson & Hill Launches Accounting, Finance Division

SPRINGFIELD — Johnson & Hill Staffing Services Inc. recently enhanced its service offerings to include a specialized Accounting & Finance Division. While Johnson & Hill has always placed accounting and finance professionals, this move signals an increased commitment to this area of expertise. The agency sees a growing demand for this skill set and an opportunity to assist clients more proactively. Tiffany Appleton has been appointed director, Accounting & Finance Division. Boasting more than a decade of recruiting experience in accounting and finance, she will provide direct-hire, contract-to-hire, and contract staffing, assisting clients in filling critical accounting and finance needs within their organizations. Roles range from clerk level up to CFO with a concentration on middle-management positions, including senior accountant, accounting manager, controller, financial analyst, manager of FP&A, internal audit, and public audit and tax. Her staffing experience crosses many industry sectors, spanning manufacturing, technology, nonprofit, professional service, and life science, with companies ranging from startup to publicly traded. Appleton will focus on developing and nurturing long-term relationships with both clients and job seekers, which are built on mutual trust, sincerity, and confidentiality. She is sought after by clients for her progressive ideas on acquiring talent and consistent ability to deliver quality candidates. Job seekers appreciate her willingness to provide career coaching, interview preparation, and résumé assistance. Prior to Johnson & Hill, her professional career included serving as client relations director for a large, regional CPA firm and principal and talent advisor for a boutique staffing firm specializing in accounting and finance placement. Johnson & Hill is an independent, regional, woman-owned staffing service offering temporary, temp-to-hire, and direct-hire employment opportunities, serving Western Mass. and Northern Conn. Johnson & Hill specializes in administrative, accounting, legal, and professional staffing services.

Springfield College Rises Again in U.S. News Rankings

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield College has again moved up the list of highest-ranked colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s latest edition of “Best Colleges.” In the 2017 report, Springfield College is ranked 27th in the first tier in the category of Best Regional Universities – North. This marks the sixth consecutive year that Springfield College has moved up in the U.S. News rankings. This year’s ranking of the college is up two spots from 2016 and 40 spots from 2011. “I am extremely proud that Springfield College is being recognized for our outstanding academic offerings and a rich co-curricular life outside of the classroom,” said President Mary-Beth Cooper. “The rise in our ranking over the past six years demonstrates that the value proposition for a school like Springfield College, grounded in the Humanics philosophy, is well-regarded.” The college also ranked 12th in Best Value Schools for Regional Universities – North, the first year it has been listed in the Best Values category, which takes into account a college’s academic quality and net cost of attendance. According to U.S. News, the higher the quality of the program and the lower the cost, the better the deal. Springfield College’s rise in the rankings is spurred by improved graduation rates and improved retention of first-year students. The college’s traditional, undergraduate enrollment for the fall of 2016 remained steady, with 550 first-year students enrolling again this year. The ratings are based on such variables as peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, student selectivity, class size, alumni giving, and student-faculty ratio. The college was ranked in a third category by U.S. News for 2017. It is ranked 14th in the North region in Best Colleges for Veterans.

CARF Accredits West Central Family and Counseling

WEST SPRINGFIELD — CARF International announced that West Central Family and Counseling has been accredited for a period of three years for its Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Adults) and Outpatient Treatment: Mental Health (Children and Adolescents) programs. This is the first accreditation CARF has awarded to West Central Family and Counseling. This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. An organization receiving a three-year accreditation has put itself through a rigorous peer-review process. It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality. West Central Family and Counseling has been providing outpatient mental-health programs in the Greater Springfield area since 2008. CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served.

Berkshire Bank Named One of  Top Charitable Contributors

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Bank announced it was named by Boston Business Journal as one of Massachusetts’ Most Charitable Companies at the publication’s annual Corporate Citizenship Summit in Boston on Sept. 8. The Boston Business Journal is one of the leading sources for business news, research, and events in the Greater Boston area. Each year it honors a select list of companies for their charitable work in the community. Berkshire Bank ranked 42nd for total financial contributions, with more than $1.27 million donated in Massachusetts alone and more than $2 million donated overall. Massachusetts-based bank employees also donated more than 27,000 hours of volunteer service. Berkshire Bank joined a select list of statewide, national, and international companies honored at the summit. The award recognized Berkshire Bank and Berkshire Bank Foundation’s philanthropic investments in the community through their charitable grants, corporate giving, scholarships, in-kind donations, and employee volunteerism.

Country Bank Participates in Habitat’s Operation Playhouse

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 that brings groups together to create 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, the bank’s Corporate Relations officer. “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

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Cooperative Bank (GCB) announced a $10,000 sponsorship of Habitat for Humanity’s Victoria Bismark Farm project. This initiative will see the construction of three single-family homes on Burts Pit Road in Northampton, which will be built by hundreds of community volunteers alongside three future homebuyers with low income.

“At Greenfield Cooperative Bank, we believe in the power of homeownership to build strong communities,” said Tony Worden, president and CEO of GCB. “The Victoria Bismark Farm project embodies this principle perfectly, offering families a chance to achieve stability, prosperity, and a sense of belonging within the Northampton community.”

Jane Wolfe, executive vice president of Residential Lending, added that “we are honored to contribute to this impactful project and look forward to witnessing the positive transformation it will bring to these families and the neighborhood.”

The Victoria Bismark Farm project aligns with GCB’s core values of community engagement and financial empowerment. By sponsoring this project, GCB hopes to make a lasting difference in the lives of local families while demonstrating its dedication to building a brighter future for Western Mass.

“The housing crisis is real and happening now. Habitat’s response can only succeed with the help of strong community partners,” said Megan McDonough, executive director of Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity. “We are grateful to Greenfield and Northampton Cooperative Bank for joining us in creating three opportunities for affordable homeownership for local families with low incomes who are ready to make their dreams of owning a home a reality.”

Company Notebook Departments

Blue Sox to Host 2018 NECBL All-Star Game

HOLYOKE — The Valley Blue Sox announced they will play host to the 2018 New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) All-Star Game this summer on Sunday, July 29 at Mackenzie Stadium in Holyoke. The league’s showcase event will be the third major NECBL event hosted by the Blue Sox in the past five years. The team last hosted the NECBL All-Star Game in 2014 and hosted the NECBL Championship Series this past August, winning their its NECBL championship in franchise history. The Blue Sox finished first in the NECBL in attendance for the second consecutive season and ranked ninth among all summer collegiate teams, outdrawing 204 affiliated minor-league and independent teams. The event will be sponsored by Trinity Health Of New England and Mercy Medical Center.

MGM Springfield Adds More Than 1,000 Jobs to Employment Website

SPRINGFIELD — MGM Springfield recently announced it added 75 new postings representing more than 1,000 jobs to the resort’s website. There are about 2,400 open positions for hire today at MGM Springfield. This is the largest employment posting by the new resort, and one of the single largest hiring efforts in Springfield history. MGM Springfield will employ 3,000 employees when the $960 million luxury resort opens later this year in downtown Springfield. The expanded list includes job descriptions for new career opportunities not previously posted by the resort. Most of the new opportunities are in the food and beverage area, including cooks and servers. The entire list now includes a diverse array of jobs, including locksmiths, electronics technicians, carpenters, and painters. Many postings represent positions not traditionally associated with the casino industry, ranging from human resources and retail management to conference services. A full list of jobs and detailed descriptions is available at www.mgmspringfield.com/careers. The majority of jobs will be full-time positions with benefits. MGM Springfield established a goal to hire 35% of its workforce from the city of Springfield and 90% from a combination of Springfield and the region. For additional information about the available career opportunities at MGM Springfield, go online or visit MGM Springfield’s Career Center located at 1259 East Columbus Ave., third floor. The Career Center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and 1 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. During those hours, an MGM representative may be reached at (413) 273-5052.

PV Squared Joins Effort to Create Affordable Net-zero-energy Homes

GREENFIELD — PV Squared employees and students from Franklin County Technical School recently worked together to install a solar system on a Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity home in Greenfield. This hands-on experience is essential for Franklin County Technical School students enrolled in the electrician program. With installers and licensed electricians from PV Squared acting as mentors, this project was both a learning experience for the students and an opportunity to create high-quality housing for a low-income family. PV Squared has been partnering with Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity since 2010 to help make solar energy more accessible to lower-income households in the community. To date, it has worked with Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity on eight projects in Franklin and Hampshire counties, specifically in the towns of Easthampton, Turners Falls, Amherst, Northampton, and Greenfield. All these solar PV projects have been completed through grant funding or through the donation of products and services by PV Squared at no cost to the homeowner. Each system was designed with net-zero-energy potential, which means that, depending on the energy use of the household, each homeowner could be meeting all of their energy needs with the solar array.

Pioneer Valley Credit Union Donates $25,000 to Elder-care Unit

SPRINGFIELD — Pioneer Valley Credit Union (PVCU), a not-for-profit financial institution, recently donated $25,000 to the new Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. Seniors are the fastest-growing group in the U.S. population, and their health is declining. The elderly are three times likely to be hospitalized from chronic diseases. Many hospitals across the country haven’t prepared to treat the number of growing elderly patients nearing end of life. With that in mind, Baystate Medical Center created an acute-care unit specifically for treating the growing number of elderly patients. Since 2014, the program has cared for more than 500 senior patients.

Be Vital Wellness Opens Second Clinic in Wilbraham

WILBRAHAM — Stephanie Nascimento and Jeanette Wilburn, owners of Be Vital Wellness, LLC, recently expanded their weight-loss practice opening a second clinic in Wilbraham. Located at 2121 Boston Road, Unit N, in Wilbraham, the team specializes in medically derived weight-loss programs, weight-loss coaching, detox and cleansing, as well as various wellness services. In October 2011, Nascimento, a registered nurse, and Wilburn, a doctor of chiropractic, partnered in search of a business that promoted overall wellness and weight loss. After much research, they selected the Ideal Protein Protocol, a medically derived weight-loss method developed and refined for more than 20 years. They tested the program themselves and successfully lost a combined 30 pounds. Their weight loss inspired them to open their first clinic in Amherst; that clinic is now located in Hadley.

Briefcase Departments

Valley Gives Opens Registration to Nonprofits
WESTERN MASS. — Valley Gives, the highly successful fund-raising event launched in 2012, has opened registration to nonprofits in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties. Set for Dec. 10, Valley Gives is a 24-hour e-philanthropy program that encourages supporters of nonprofits based in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties to log on and contribute via www.valleygivesday.org — a centralized, web-enabled, mobile giving platform. The initiative is organized and hosted by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Joining the effort as partners are eight of the leading funding organizations in Western Mass., including the Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts, the Jewish Endowment Foundation, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, United Way of Hampshire County, United Way of Franklin County, United Way of Pioneer Valley, the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, and the Beveridge Family Foundation. In its first two years, Valley Gives has raised more than $3 million from more than 15,000 donors. “This year’s goal is to encourage as many people as possible to donate to their favorite group or groups. Our survey last year indicated that an overwhelming 99% of participants that completed our survey want to donate again this year,” said Kristin Leutz, vice president of Philanthropic Services for the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. “Could we get to 20,000 participants this year? We think this is a realistic and exciting goal.” Nonprofits that participate this year will find some changes with the way the event is organized. Based on suggestions of past participants, nonprofits will find a more flexible sign-up period with easier registration, a new prize-pool structure making it easier for nonprofits of all sizes to win, and even more training opportunities that will be provided on an expanded schedule both in person and online. Nonprofit organizations that serve Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties have until Nov. 14 to register to participate. Interested nonprofits may register at www.valleygivesday.org. Nonprofits that register by Sept. 1 will be eligible to win one of three randomly selected $500 awards donated by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.

UMass President Announces Science and Technology Awards

BOSTON — UMass President Robert Caret announced $865,000 in grants to faculty members from the President’s Science and Technology Initiatives Fund to support several promising research projects. They range from using big-data analytics in climatology and healthcare to developing radar-like laser technology known as LIDAR to study wind energy and ocean and forested environments. The initiatives showcase a range of innovative research being undertaken by UMass faculty members that contribute to the growth of the Commonwealth’s economy, especially in the science and technology areas, and extend the boundaries of human knowledge. The grants help accelerate research activity across all five campuses and position researchers to attract larger investments from external sources to expand the scope of their projects. “With the level of the federal government’s support of R&D still in question, we must do all we can to support the university’s role in the state’s innovation economy,” Caret said. “We are committed to strengthening our economic engagement in strategic areas such as clean energy, the environment, life sciences, and big data, and these grants are another step in that direction.” This is the 11th year of awards from the President’s Science and Technology Initiatives Fund, one of three funds that Caret supports to help advance the work of UMass faculty members. The other two are the Creative Economy Initiatives Fund and the Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property Technology Development Fund. Since 2004, the Science and Technology fund has provided $10 million to UMass researchers, which in turn has helped to generate $240 million in funding from federal and private sources. These science and technology investments have been one of the factors in helping the university grow its research and development budget to nearly $600 million. The investments have helped to establish some of the most important R&D centers across the state, including the Center for Hierarchical Nanomanufacturing at UMass Amherst; the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy at UMass Boston; the Center for Scientific Computing and Data Visualization Research at UMass Dartmouth; the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center and New England Robotics and Validation & Experimentation Center at UMass Lowell; and the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science at UMass Worcester. Nearly 80 projects representing the breadth of academic inquiry at UMass have been funded to date. This year’s projects receiving grants from the Science and Technology Initiatives Fund include:
• UMass Cancer Avatar Institute, Dale Greiner and Giles Whalen, UMass Medical School: a proposed multi-campus institute that would provide mice engineered as ‘avatars’ of individual human patient tumors, enabling technology developed for diabetes research to be used to integrate biomarker identification platform for multiple cancer types. The initiative has three components: establishment of a tumor bank, which has already begun via internal funds; clinical pathology evaluation of tumors in these specialized mice; and a new ‘humanized mouse core’ to link the tumor bank to individual investigators in multiple cancer-research fields. Award: $125,000 (not including an additional $25,000 matching grant provided by the medical school, for a total of $150,000 in funding to the research team).
• Center for Computational Climatology & Paleoclimatology, Robert DeConto and Raymond Bradley, UMass Amherst: an effort that brings together academic scientists and engineers, industrial researchers, and users of high-performance computing resources to the issue of climate change. The grant will help develop a center for climate-related computation and numerical modeling of value to the Commonwealth, and contribute to the field of climate science by applying big-data computational analysis, modeling, data mining, and visualization to climate-change research. Award: $104,000.
• Center for MicroBiome Research, Beth McCormick, UMass Medical School: a project that proposes to develop a center of research and education for the ‘microbiome,’ the term used to describe the ecosystem of the 100 trillion bacteria in the human body, in collaboration with UMass Amherst’s new Life Sciences Laboratories and the UMass Dartmouth Center for Scientific Computing and Data Visualization Research. The exploration of the microbiome — and its role in health, development, and disease — is a vast, mostly untapped area of biomedical research and therapeutic potential. The center proposes to use big-data analysis (advanced computational and bioinformatics) to research microbiome-related genomic and clinical data, and involves multiple industry partners. Award: $125,000 (not including an additional $25,000 matching grant provided by the medical school, for a total of $150,000 in funding to the research team).
• Mass. BioFoundry, Center for Discovery & Synthesis of Bioactive Molecules, Elizabeth Vierling and Susan Roberts, UMass Amherst: an initiative establishing a ‘biofoundry’ with the goal of discovering valuable molecules from unique plant and microbial species and developing processes, either biological or chemical, by which they can be produced in quantities sufficient for medical or industrial applications. This research center will include a natural-products library (3,500 plant species) donated by an industry partner, along with related research equipment, valued at more than $1 million. The team will work with the medical school’s Small-Molecule Screening Facility and Northeastern University’s Antimicrobial Discovery Center. Award: $150,000.
 
Developer Sought for Tornado-damaged Elias Brookings School
SPRINGFIELD — The city of Springfield has released a request for proposals seeking a developer for the former Elias Brookings School building located on Hancock Street in the Six Corners neighborhood. “We’re very excited about the potential of this property and bringing new life back to a former school building,” said Mayor Domenic Sarno. “There has been significant interest in this opportunity, and we expect that will translate into strong competition for the property.” The former Elias Brookings School site is an important part of the overall revitalization of the Six Corners and Old Hill neighborhoods. The building is located in the midst of significant infrastructure investments planned for the next two years, which include roadway improvements, upgraded streetscapes and lighting, a new middle school, a renovated park, and new, single-family homes along Central Street. The city has already committed $13 million in Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds for several projects in the neighborhood. Construction of the new Elias Brookings School has already begun, and the school is scheduled to open in 2015. Further, infrastructure-improvement projects such as the realignment of Central Street and installation of streetscape improvements are anticipated to begin in the next construction season. The RFP is available in the Office of Procurement, Springfield City Hall, 36 Court St., Room 307. Proposals are due on Sept. 12 by 2 p.m.

Community Foundation Awards Team Jessica $25,000 for Playground
BELCHERTOWN — Team Jessica Inc. has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Credit Data Services Inc. Fund and the Edwin P. and Wilbur O. Lepper Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts. Team Jessica will use these funds to support the building of Jessica’s Boundless Playground (JBP), an effort that has been ongoing for the past four years. JBP will be the only 100% all-inclusive playground in the area. It is designed to be a multi-generational activity structure that engages people of all ages and abilities. JBP will also allow wounded veterans in long-term rehab to experience the healing power and simple joy of playing with their own children. The playground equipment and poured-in-place rubber surfacing will cost approximately $405,000. Team Jessica has hosted several fund-raising events over the past four years, and the effort has raised more than $300,000, including three Community Preservation Act grants from the town of Belchertown totaling $140,000, and a $40,000 grant from the Beveridge Family Foundation. This $25,000 Community Foundation grant will bring the fund-raising total to $325,000. “We’re in the last phase of fund-raising, working very hard every day,” said Vicky Martins Auffrey, Team Jessica president and mother of the playground’s namesake. “We plan to order the equipment on Aug. 1 and start the community build Sept. 13. Being awarded this grant is such an honor and makes all our plans closer to reality.” Added Patti Thornton, Team Jessica’s grant writer, “these final weeks before ordering the playground equipment are crucial in regard to fund-raising. We are waiting to hear back from a few key players, so getting the letter from the Community Foundation was something we needed. It is helping us keep the momentum into the home stretch.” To learn more, visit www.teamjessicaonline.com, www.facebook.com/teamjessicainc, and www.twitter.com/teamjessicainc.

State Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.5% in June
BOSTON — The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, citing preliminary estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported that Massachusetts added 3,700 jobs in June for a total of 3,409,500 jobs, and the total unemployment rate edged down one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.5% from the May rate. The rate is the lowest since August 2008. Since June 2013, Massachusetts has added a net of 48,900 jobs, with 49,400 jobs added in the private sector and 500 jobs lost in the public sector. The total unemployment rate in June was down 1.6% from the June 2013 rate of 7.1%.

State Announces Grants for Water Protection, Habitat Restoration
BOSTON — Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary (EEA) Maeve Vallely Bartlett announced $429,239 in grants from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) for projects to protect and restore rivers, watersheds, and wildlife across the Commonwealth, including two awards in Western Mass. “The Massachusetts Environmental Trust has been a critical conservation leader in protecting the vital waterways of Massachusetts for over 20 years,” said Bartlett. “By communities and conservation partners collaborating and working together with the Commonwealth, we can develop important projects for maintaining and protecting our clean waters for generations to come.” Ranging from $15,000 to $50,000, the grants will help support 13 projects in Amherst, Great Barrington, Ipswich, Lee, Lincoln, Methuen, Newton, Plymouth, Provincetown, Taunton, Wareham, Weston, and Westport. The local projects include:
• Town of Amherst, $36,100 to study the contamination of Fearing Brook, and to develop and begin to implement remedial strategies to improve the water quality of the brook.
• Town of Great Barrington, $30,000 to study water quality in Lake Mansfield.
• Housatonic Valley Assoc. in Lee, $15,911 to design and install stormwater vegetative buffers to reduce roadway runoff into Churchill Brook in Pittsfield.
Since it was founded in 1988 as part of the Boston Harbor cleanup, MET has awarded more than $19 million in grants to organizations statewide that provide a wide array of environmental services, from supporting water projects in communities to protecting coastal habitats.

UMass President Awards $270,000 for Creative-economy Initiatives
BOSTON — President Robert Caret announced $270,000 in grants from the President’s Creative Economy Initiatives Fund to support eight projects by UMass faculty members in the arts, humanities, and social sciences that will bring new creative resources to Massachusetts communities. The initiatives include supporting an LGBT community archives and education center in Northampton, developing a marketing toolkit to help nonprofit arts and cultural organizations involved in the creative economy in the Fall River-New Bedford area, and collaborating with the Peace Institute in the Dorchester section of Boston to assist victims of violence. “The Creative Economy Initiatives Fund provides us with a unique opportunity to contribute the talent and resources of the University of Massachusetts to communities and organizations across the state that are helping to enrich the quality of life in the Commonwealth,” said Caret. “These projects — and the partnerships with nonprofits and creative industries that stem from them — are foundational to our role as an institution that is committed to making a difference wherever and whenever we can.” The fund was created in 2007 to complement the President’s Science and Technology Initiatives Fund. In its eight years of operation, the Creative Economy Initiatives Fund has made 73 awards totaling more than $2 million. It has supported preservation of the W.E.B. Du Bois boyhood home in Great Barrington and established both the Lowell Youth Orchestra and a permanent Jack Kerouac education and tourism site in Lowell. It has brought UMass Dartmouth students together with Durfee High School students to create a photographic history of Fall River’s neighborhoods, helped establish a women artisans’ cooperative in New Bedford, developed a workers’ upholstery co-op in Springfield, and sponsored numerous music, dance, and theatre performances in Boston, Amherst, and Lowell. This year, the Creative Economy Initiatives Fund will provide $270,000 in grants to the following local initiatives and faculty members:
• Judyie Al-Bilali, Gilbert McCauley, and Priscilla Page, Theatre Department, UMass Amherst: “Art, Legacy & Community.” Project staff will work with community groups in the Greater Springfield area to produce an original theater production and develop Du Bois Performance Workshops for education in multicultural theater, with both activities to take place in Springfield. Amount awarded: $32,000.
• Mitch Boucher, University Without Walls; Julio Capo Jr., History Department and Commonwealth Honors College; and Jessica Johnson, History Department, all at UMass Amherst: “A LGBTQI Community Archives and Education Center.” This project will support the Sexual Minorities Archives (SMA) in Northampton, helping SMA preserve, build, and provide wider access to its resources; develop regional walking tours and other interactive programs; and establish greater national and international community links for these unique and valuable historical materials. Amount awarded: $29,334.

Construction Industry Adds 6,000 Jobs in June
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. construction industry added 6,000 jobs in June, according to the July 3 report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, non-residential construction added only 700 of those jobs, and the heavy and civil engineering sector lost 700 jobs. “Although non-residential construction’s performance is somewhat disappointing, the general tenor of today’s employment report is upbeat. It is worth noting that non-residential construction tends to lag that of the overall economy,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “Today’s jobs numbers are largely a reflection of the softer growth recorded by the U.S. economy for much of last year and during the initial months of 2014. Given that the economy added over 200,000 jobs for the fifth consecutive month in June, there is some optimism about improvement in the second quarter; however, the lack of monthly construction employment growth, particularly in the non-residential sector, is troubling.” Although the national construction unemployment rate stands at 8.2% on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, there are parts of the nation in which unemployment is far lower, Basu added. “In fact, there are emerging shortages of industrial construction workers in growing segments of the south, which will trigger large increases in wages and per diems during the year ahead. By contrast, there are communities in which construction unemployment remains well above the 8.2% average, suggesting that wage inflation will be meaningfully experienced only in certain communities.” According to the BLS household survey, the national unemployment rate fell to 6.1% in June, reaching its lowest level since September 2008. The civilian labor force expanded by 81,000 in June. Individual sectors saw the following changes:
• Non-residential building construction employment increased by 2,100 jobs for the month, but is up by 22,200 jobs, or 3.3%, since June 2013.
• Residential building construction employment rose by 4,500 jobs in June and is up by 50,600 jobs, or 8.3%, on an annual basis.
• Non-residential specialty trade contractors lost 1,400 jobs for the month, but employment in that category is up by 29,500 jobs, or 1.4%, from the same time last year.
• Residential specialty trade contractors gained 2,100 jobs in June and have added 55,700 jobs, or 3.6%, since June 2013.
• The heavy and civil engineering construction segment lost 700 jobs in June, but job totals are up by 28,300, or 3.2%, on a year-over-year basis.

Home Prices Up,but Sales Slower
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. home prices rose 8.8% in May compared with a year earlier, but the pace of gains has slowed as more homes have come onto the market, data provider CoreLogic reported this week. On a month-to-month basis, prices rose 1.2% from April to May, but CoreLogic’s monthly figures aren’t adjusted for seasonal patterns, such as warmer weather, which can affect sales. Prices increased the most in western states, including Hawaii, California, and Nevada.

People on the Move
Kimberly Howarth

Kimberly Howarth

Jenna Roux

Jenna Roux

The certified public accounting firm Burkhart, Pizzanelli, P.C. announced two recent additions to its professional team. Kimberly Howarth, CPA received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryant University in 2005 and a master’s degree in accounting from Western New England University in 2007. Her prior experience includes the position of senior accountant specializing in tax preparation. She has vast experience in preparing and reviewing tax returns. In addition to working with small and mid-sized businesses to fulfill their accounting, payroll, and tax-preparation needs, she has significant experience preparing individual and trust returns, as well as probate accounting. Jenna Roux, CPA received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Connecticut State University in 2012 and her master of taxation degree from University of Hartford in 2015. Her previous experience includes the position of senior accountant focusing on multi-state corporate, partnership, individual, and nonprofit income-tax returns. In addition, she has expertise in real-estate accounting practices, as well as functioning as an ‘outsourced CFO’ providing strategic consulting and support of daily financial activities.

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Frank Colaccino

Frank Colaccino

Samalid Hogan

The Springfield Rotary Club presented Frank Colaccino and Samalid Hogan with Paul Harris Awards on Jan. 25 at the Student Prince Restaurant in Springfield. Colaccino, founder and president of the Colvest Group, earned a Paul Harris Award in recognition of years of outstanding service to the Springfield community and to the Rotary Club. In addition to his service and contributions to JGS Lifecare and American International College, for over 13 years Colaccino has chaired the Service Above Self Luncheon at the Basketball Hall of Fame. This event brings together more than 300 attendees from the Greater Springfield business community for a luncheon on Center Court at the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Service Above Self luncheon recognizes the charitable work of local and national honorees. Through Colaccino’s leadership, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised for the Basketball Hall of Fame and for Rotary grants that have been awarded to local charities. Hogan, CEO and principal consultant at Greylock Management Consulting, is the immediate past president of Springfield Rotary and its first Latina president. Under her leadership, Springfield Rotary started a corporate membership program, collaborated with Dress for Success to develop a long-term investment program for women entering the workforce, and created a Service Day with Habitat for Humanity. Her dynamic and cheerful leadership made her presidency a banner year for Springfield Rotary. Hogan’s service to her community includes board participation on the Governor’s Latino Empowerment Council, Tech Foundry, and the board of trustees of Springfield Technical Community College.

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MP CPAs recently announced the promotion of Amanda LaBonte and Jack LaBranche to senior associates at the firm. LaBonte has experience managing tax filings for high-net-worth individuals, partnerships, limited-liability companies, corporations, trusts, and estates. She also maintains the firm’s social-media presence and website maintenance. She joined the firm in August 2020. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and marketing and a master’s degree in accounting from Elms College. She sits on the Chicopee High School advisory board and works as a mentor and accounting advocate in the Springfield and Chicopee areas. She has also worked as a panelist on the business accounting panel at Elms College, where she answered questions from students and provided valuable industry insights. She belongs to the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield and frequently attends networking events in the area. LaBranche provides consulting and tax solutions to a diverse group of clients, including individuals, partnerships, limited-liability companies, corporations, and trusts. He specializes in working with high-net-worth clients and with private equity firms and their owners. He joined the firm in 2020 as an intern and transitioned to full-time upon his graduation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Western New England University. He is active in the community as a part-time coach for West Springfield sports teams and a volunteer at a local soup kitchen, and was a past chairperson of the social action committee at MP CPAs, helping raise money for various local charities.

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Brooke Williams

Brooke Williams

Matt Baran

MP CPAs also announced the promotions of Brooke Williams to audit manager and Matt Baran to tax manager. Williams manages audits, reviews, and compilations for small to medium-sized businesses. She also manages audits of Massachusetts charter schools (governmental entities), nonprofit organizations (including yellow book and single audits), and employee benefit plans. She joined the firm in 2019 and has more than five years of experience in public accounting. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics and a master’s degree in accounting from Westfield State University. She is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She takes an active role in the local community by participating in various community fundraising and networking events. Baran provides consulting and tax solutions to a diverse group of clients, including individuals, partnerships, corporations, and trusts. He specializes in working with high-net-worth clients and with private-equity firms and their owners. He joined the firm in 2018 as an intern and started full-time later that year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in accounting and taxation from UMass Amherst. He remains involved in recruiting and mentorship efforts with the university.

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Bulkley Richardson announced that Stephen Holstrom and Lauren Ostberg were promoted to partner, effective Jan. 1. Holstrom is a general practice litigator with a focus on medical-malpractice defense. In addition to medical-malpractice cases, he has litigated complex tort actions, commercial disputes, insurance cases, complex class actions, and education cases. Ostberg, a key member of Bulkley Richardson’s intellectual property and technology and cybersecurity practice groups, also maintains a diverse commercial-litigation practice.

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Natalia Blank

Natalia Blank

Bay Path University announced that Natalia Blank has been elected to serve as vice president for Academic Affairs, which was effective Jan. 2. Blank will serve on the executive leadership team and work across all divisions at the university. In her role, she will articulate a clear and compelling vision for the academic enterprise that builds on Bay Path’s innovative approach to higher education, marshals the collective talents of faculty and staff in an environment of collegiality and cooperation, and use data-driven decision making and strategic thinking to optimize the student experience, from access through successful completion, as well as the academic operations of the university. After a national search, Blank comes to Bay Path from D’Youville University in Buffalo, N.Y., where she served as vice president for Academic Affairs. She joins the leadership team with nearly 20 years working in university administrative roles, including associate provost for Academic Affairs and Assessment at Norwich University in Vermont. For more than 20 years, Blank has served in various roles on both the faculty and administrative side in education. As a teacher-scholar, she has been the author of numerous publications, earned several awards and honors for teaching excellence, and has received multiple grants in support of student and faculty research. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Nizhegorod State University in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, and went on to receive her doctorate in organic/organometallic chemistry from Dartmouth College.

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Gabrielle Gould, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District (BID) and the Downtown Amherst Foundation (DAF), announced she will be stepping down from her position at the BID to form a consulting business. She will continue in a leadership capacity for the DAF and its management of the Drake, the live performance venue in downtown Amherst. Her final day at the BID will be Feb. 22. Appointed executive director in August 2019, Gould’s four-plus years at the helm of the organization have been filled with notable successes, including strengthening the BID’s relationship with town government and institutional partners, teaming with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce on COVID relief for small businesses, producing signature downtown events like the Sip & Shop Stroll and Makers Market holiday event and Fire & Ice, and conceiving and launching the Drake, the downtown’s first-ever live performance venue. In recognition of their efforts, Gould and Claudia Pazmany, the chamber’s executive director, were named Difference Makers by BusinessWest in 2023. A search for Gould’s successor will commence in the coming weeks.

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Devin Kindred

Devin Kindred

American International College (AIC) announced the appointment of Devin Kindred as director of Residence Life and Student Conduct. This appointment reflects the college’s recognition of Kindred’s commitment to delivering an exceptional student experience. In this new role, he will oversee residence education, student conduct, and housing operations at AIC. Serving as the chief housing officer for the college, he will manage the daily functions of the residence halls, supervise the professional live-in hall staff, and administer the student-conduct process. His responsibilities encompass providing support to professional and paraprofessional staff to foster a supportive living environment and maintaining a code of conduct that prioritizes the well-being and success of all students. Before assuming his new position, Kindred served as AIC’s assistant director for Residential and Commuter Student Living, managing housing operations and commuter-student relations. In addition to this role, he facilitated the Safe Zone – LGBTQ+ education series presented to more than 50 faculty and staff on campus. Before joining AIC, Kindred held positions as a residence-hall director at Sacred Heart University and residence director at Stonehill College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in human resource management from Western New England University, and later attained his master of education in higher education leadership from Endicott College.

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Country Bank announced the recent promotions of five key team members who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and expertise in their respective roles. These promotions reflect the bank’s commitment to recognizing and developing talent within the organization. Shane Elder has been promoted to first vice president, Business Banking team lead. With more than 11 years of experience in commercial lending and eight years in commercial-lending management, he has proven himself as a valuable asset to the Business Banking department. In addition to his role as team leader, he also oversees the Cash Management Sales department. Brett LoCicero has been promoted to first vice president, Facilities and Security. With seven years of service to the bank, his expertise in managing facilities and security operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nichols College and is pursuing his PMP (project management professional) certification. Justin Calheno has been promoted to vice president, Retail Lending Business Development officer. With 20 years of lending experience, including the last seven years with Country Bank, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his role. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University and is currently attending the American Banker Assoc. Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Antonio Palano has been promoted to vice president, Retail Lending. His 15-year tenure at Country Bank showcases his commitment and dedication to the organization. Having progressed through various roles, he currently manages the Retail Lending Servicing and Operations departments. He holds an associate degree in business administration from Springfield Technical Community College and is a 2023 graduate of New England School of Financial Studies. Cuc Nguyen has been promoted to Retail Banking officer of the Paxton Banking Center. With more than 16 years of banking experience, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her new role. Her previous experience at Commerce Bank, Berkshire Bank, and DCU has equipped her with a deep understanding of front-line management and customer satisfaction. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Southern New Hampshire University.

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Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan

Shawn Thamert

Shawn Thamert

Health New England announced the recent appointment of two vice presidents: Sarah Morgan, vice president of Human Resources, and Shawn Thamert, vice president of Sales and chief growth officer. Morgan has been promoted from within the organization, where she had been serving as director of Human Resources since 2021. In her new role as vice president of Human Resources, she leads and oversees Health New England’s human-capital and organizational-development operations, ensuring that business strategies, plans, and initiatives are developed and implemented in compliance with governing regulations, internal policies, and procedures. She is also responsible for identifying and implementing long-range strategic talent management goals. Morgan joined Health New England in 2019 as assistant general counsel. She was previously a litigation associate at Bulkley Richardson in Springfield. Morgan is a graduate of UMass Amherst and earned her juris doctor degree from the Western New England University School of Law. She is currently a master’s-degree candidate in diversity, equity, inclusion & justice leadership at Tufts University. As vice president, Thamert is responsible for the strategic direction, leadership, and oversight for all sales, product-development, and marketing programs, including the Medicare line of business. He is also responsible for Health New England’s partnerships with brokers, employer groups, and community nonprofit organizations. Thamert joined Health New England as interim vice president, Sales and Marketing, in February 2023. Since then, he has focused on strategic membership growth across all lines of business. He has nearly 25 years of healthcare leadership experience, including as vice president, Market Development for Commonwealth Care Alliance, as well as senior sales positions with MultiPlan, Geisinger Health System, Jackson Health System, Humana, Highmark, and Coventry. He received his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University.

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Victor Rodriguez Sr

Victor Rodriguez Sr

Greenfield Cooperative Bank (GCB) announced the appointment of Victor Rodriguez Sr. as assistant vice president, mortgage loan officer. In this role, he intends to leverage his extensive experience and expertise to guide borrowers through the homeownership journey with personalized care and local market knowledge. He will be based at the bank’s South Hadley branch. Rodriguez brings more than 20 years of banking experience. Throughout his career, he has earned accolades such as the 2022 Realtor Affiliate of the Year from the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. Rodriguez’s passion for mortgage lending extends beyond client transactions, as evidenced by his recent role as a guest speaker at the NEFMA fall conference, where he presented on the topic “Opportunities Await: Developing a Diverse Mortgage Customer Source.”

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Peter Ruffini was installed as the 2024 president of the Realtor Assooc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV), a nonprofit trade association with more than 1,800 members. The 108th annual installation of officers and directors was held on Jan. 11 at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. A Realtor since 1996, Ruffini is the broker/owner of RE/MAX Connections and has made a long-term commitment to RAPV and the Realtor family. Since 2021, he has served on the local board of directors at RAPV, including as secretary in 2022 and treasurer in 2023. He is involved in several committees at the association, including the government affairs, mediator & ombudsman, professional standards, bylaws & policy task force, and finance. The RAPV named him Realtor of the Year in 2015 and 2021. Ruffini served as president of the Massachusetts Assoc. of Realtors (MAR) in 2014. In addition to serving in leadership, he has been a member of the MAR board of directors since 2006. He received the MAR Private Property Rights Award in 2019 and the MAR Milton H. Shaw Distinguished Service Award in 2020. He also currently serves as chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons and holds 11 professional designations and certifications.

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Ashley Swett

Ashley Swett

Florence Bank recently announced that Ashley Swett has been named manager of the bank’s Customer Service Center at the main office in Florence. In her new role, she will oversee the staff responsible for assisting Florence Bank customers who contact the bank via telephone or email. Swett has 16 years of industry experience and is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies. She holds a certificate in supervision from the Center for Financial Training. Active in the community, Swett is currently a member of the Holiday Flair in Ware, where she enjoys the annual festival and parade.

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Braman Termite & Pest Elimination announced the promotion of John McCarthy from account manager to sales director. In his new role, McCarthy is directly responsible for leading and developing Braman’s sales team while cultivating customer relationships for long-term customer satisfaction and growth. This includes developing long-range sales goals and objectives, as well as sales plans and tactics to meet and exceed those goals. McCarthy joined the Braman team in 2022 with 22 years of experience in a variety of leadership roles within the pest-control industry, including sales and service manager, branch manager, and district manager. He is a member of the National Pest Management Assoc.

Briefcase Departments

Nonprofits Work Together to Beautify Zoo Grounds

SPRINGFIELD — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) and the Zoo in Forest Park & Education Center joined together recently to improve the public grounds at the zoo during a volunteer event titled “Habitat Goes to the Zoo!” “Our primary mission is to provide decent, affordable housing to families, usually human families,” said Jennifer Schimmel, executive director of GSHFH. “Although this project falls outside of our typical mission, we are Springfield neighbors with the zoo, and the animals that live there need a little help with their housing as well. GSHFH is very adept at mobilizing and managing volunteers, and we are glad to be leveraging that talent on behalf of the zoo.” John Lewis, executive director of the Zoo in Forest Park, added, “we have spent much of this season recovering from big property damage from the storms of last year. We are so grateful that we were able to connect with Greater Springfield Habitat to put the finishing touches on many of our exhibits.” Habitat volunteers focused on painting 14 wooden buildings and animal sheds, he noted.

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield Awards $75,000 in Grants

BOSTON — To recognize Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ (BCBSMA) 75th anniversary, four not-for-profits each received a $75,000 grant to promote nutrition education and access to healthy foods. The BCBSMA 75th Anniversary Grants were awarded to the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council, the Urban Food Initiative, Project Bread in partnership with Lynn Economic Opportunity Inc., and Boston Natural Areas Network. “For 75 years, Blue Cross has maintained a deep commitment to improving health outcomes and the quality of life for residents of the Commonwealth,” said Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of BCBSMA. “Many families continue to face financial hardship as a result of the economic downturn. With growing demand and shrinking resources, the safety-net services they turn to are severely strained. The BCBSMA 75th Anniversary Grants will help advance critical programs in the communities at greatest risk.” The four not-for-profit organizations were selected after a competitive process challenging them to develop programs to improve the lives of struggling families with children school-aged or younger in Massachusetts. Each organization takes a unique approach to advancing the health and nutrition of families facing economic hardship throughout the state. Locally, the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council will implement a comprehensive nutrition education program geared towards influencing the eating habits of nearly 200 kindergarten students and their families located in three critical need elementary schools in Holyoke. The program provides education about eating and growing fresh produce, and includes field trips to local area farms. “Blue Cross’ support makes the Holyoke Kindergarten Initiative possible,” said Anne Cody, Kindergarten Initiative coordinator for the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council. “Here in Holyoke, there is a large Latino population with strong preferences for culturally familiar produce. Thanks to Blue Cross, we can tie the students’ cultural backgrounds to local farming and healthy eating, which is an excellent approach to real and meaningful dietary preferences. We can’t thank Blue Cross enough for making the Holyoke Kindergarten Initiative a full, delicious adventure in local food and farming. Kids learn better when they eat better.”

 

Berkshire Money Management Named

Lead Sponsor of Artswalk

PITTSFIELD — First Fridays Artswalk, which began as the idea of local businesswoman Mary McGinnis and local artist Leo Mazzeo earlier this year, will become the first year-round monthly collaborative arts event in the Berkshires, thanks to a new lead sponsor. The local investment firm Berkshire Money Management has stepped up to the plate to support First Fridays Artswalk, enabling the initiative to continue into the winter and 2013. Berkshire Money Management President and Chief Investment Officer Allen Harris was impressed with the success of First Fridays Artswalk and saw an opportunity to help. “As a business owner, I see the incredible value of the arts and culture for the local economy and for our quality of life,” he said. “When I looked at the early success of the Artswalk and its positive impact for downtown businesses, it was clear to me that this needs to continue throughout the year.” He encouraged other local companies to also step up to the plate and support the event. Ferrin Gallery, who hosted the press conference announcing the new sponsor, was inspired by Harris to donate 15% of any sales made that day to First Fridays Artswalk. The events are held the first Friday of every month from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown Pittsfield, featuring art shows in more than two dozen galleries, shops, and restaurants, often featuring artist receptions, artist talks, and other special events. McGinnis, owner of Gallery 25 and Mary’s Carrot Cake, has been measuring the direct economic impact in just the first four months of Artswalks. So far, she has documented more than $40,000 in sales of artwork and other items, and she’s not finished contacting businesses. Berkshire Money Management joins other major sponsors of First Fridays Artswalk, including Gallery 25, the Massachusetts Cultural Council/Cultural Pittsfield, and the Berkshire Art Assoc., along with the Berkshire Bank Foundation, Berkshire Heath Systems, Berkshire Theatre Group, and Downtown Pittsfield Inc. Downtown Artswalk partners include Empty Set Projects, Miller Supply, Berkshire Museum, Crowne Plaza, Brix Wine Bar, Marketplace Café, Downtown Pittsfield Inc., the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, Pateez Boutique, Brenda & Co., Bagels Too, Berkshire Carousel Gallery, Steven Valenti Clothing for Men, Berkshire Community College Intermodal Gallery, Paul Rich  Sons, Spice Dragon, Alchemy Initiative, Art.On.No, Treehouse, Gallery 25, Mad Macs, BINGO!, Wild Sage, Aerus Electrolux, Y Bar, Ferrin Gallery, Circa, the Lantern, West Side Clock Shop, and Berkshire Medical Center. For more information, visit www.firstfridaysartwalk.com.

 

Construction Unemployment Falls

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The nation’s construction industry added 1,000 jobs in August, lowering the unemployment rate in the sector from 12.3% in July to 11.3% last month, according to the Sept. 7 employment report by the U.S. Labor Department. Year over year, the construction industry added 17,000 jobs, or 0.3%, rendering it among America’s slowest-expanding industries. The non-residential building-construction sector lost 2,400 jobs for the month and 4,900 jobs, or 0.7%, compared to one year ago. August employment in the sector stood at 653,200 jobs. Employment in the residential building-construction sector slipped by 1,100 jobs in August, but increased by 5,200 jobs, or 0.9%, during the past 12 months. Residential building-construction employment in August stood at 564,000 jobs. Non-residential specialty-trade contractor employment declined by 6,400 jobs in August and is down by 18,900 jobs, or 0.9%, from same time last year. In contrast, residential specialty-trade contractors added 8,200 jobs for the month and gained 18,700 jobs, or 1.3%, from one year ago. The heavy and civil-engineering construction sector gained 2,800 jobs in August and added 17,400 jobs, or 2.1%, since August 2011. Across all industries, the nation added 96,000 jobs as the private sector expanded by 103,000 jobs and the public sector shrank by 7,000 jobs. Year over year, the nation added 1,808,000 jobs, or 1.4%. The nation’s unemployment rate in August fell to 8.1%, down from 8.3% in July. “The fact that the construction-industry unemployment rate in August declined to 11.3% — the lowest level since October 2008 — seemed to be a pleasant surprise,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “But under further examination, this is largely due to former construction workers moving to other industries or leaving the workforce altogether. On a national level, the Labor Department reports a record-high 88,921,000 Americans are not in the civilian workforce. What is more discouraging, 368,000 people simply dropped out of the labor force last month and did not even look for a job. In the non-residential construction category, the news is similar. The sector lost additional employment in August, is down on a year-over-year basis, and posted negative job growth in six of the past seven months.” Basu noted that investors remain concerned by rising energy prices, America’s ‘fiscal cliff’ regarding year-end tax-cut expirations, the November elections, and impending policy decisions regarding interest rates and money supply. “Until at least some of this uncertainty is resolved, the non-residential construction labor market will continue to underperform.”

 

Business Confidence Index Continues to Rebound

BOSTON — The Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) Business Confidence Index added three points in August to 55.2, continuing its recuperation from an 8.5-point plunge in June to 48.3. “What we have seen in the past few months encapsulates the overall course of this economic recovery,” said Raymond Torto, global chief economist at CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. and chair of AIM’s Board of Economic Advisors. “We are beset by persistent uncertainties — the June survey took place at a time of disturbing news from Europe, and of course there are domestic concerns as well — while, at the same time, the recovery is consolidating and prevailing business conditions are generally positive.” Torto noted that midyear drops in both 2010 and 2011 lasted longer than this year’s single month of decline. “We’re already most of the way back to May’s level. The Index is up six points from last August and 7.5 over two years. For the AIM Index as for the economy, progress since mid-2010 has been slow and bumpy, but the overall trend is upward.” The AIM Index, which has appeared since July 1991, is calculated on a 100-point scale, with 50 as neutral; a reading above 50 is positive, while below 50 is negative. The Index reached its historic high of 68.5 on two occasions in 1997-98, and its all-time low of 33.3 in February 2009.

Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

 

Two Key Donations

 

The KeyBank Foundation recently awarded the Springfield Boys & Girls Club (SBGC) a $10,000 grant to support the club’s Brain Gain program, an after-school program designed to bolster grade-level reading skills for inner-city, at-risk youth. .

 

Pictured at top, from left: SBGC board member Aleana Laster; KeyBank Corporate Responsibility Officer Analisha Michanczyk, KeyBank Branch Manager Vanity Bryant, SBGC Director of Development Karen Natsios, KeyBank Area Retail Leader Sarah Germini, and SBGC Executive Director Vinnie Borello with students in the Brain Gain program

Pictured at top, from left: SBGC board member Aleana Laster; KeyBank Corporate Responsibility Officer Analisha Michanczyk, KeyBank Branch Manager Vanity Bryant, SBGC Director of Development Karen Natsios, KeyBank Area Retail Leader Sarah Germini, and SBGC Executive Director Vinnie Borello with students in the Brain Gain program

KeyBank also recently awarded Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) a $39,000 charitable grant during the bank’s Volunteer Build Day on Chestnut Street in Holyoke. The donation will assist Habitat’s environmental-stewardship program.

Pictured above, from left: KeyBank employees Janis Deynes, Sharia Coley, Josh Flores, Norbert Grant III, Priya Tater, Tom Morace, Jeff Guyott,  Kendle Taylor, and Tito Ramon with Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Aimee Giroux.

 

Honoring Social Responsibility

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union received the first-place Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award for 2023 in Massachusetts. This annual award is given out by the Cooperative Credit Union Assoc. and the Credit Union National Assoc. to honor a credit union for its social-responsibility projects within the community. UMassFive earned this award in recognition of its participation and fundraising for the UMass Cancer Walk and Run and Will Bike 4 Food.

Pictured, from left: UMassFive’s Ruth Yanka, Craig Boivin, Taylor Robbins, CEO Rich Kump, Cait Murray, Lauren Duffy, Sarissa Markowitz, Jacqui Watrous, and Robert Harrison.

Pictured, from left: UMassFive’s Ruth Yanka, Craig Boivin, Taylor Robbins, CEO Rich Kump, Cait Murray, Lauren Duffy, Sarissa Markowitz, Jacqui Watrous, and Robert Harrison.

 

 

Supporting the Community

Monson Savings Bank recently donated $1,750 to Friends of Wilbraham Recreation as part of the bank’s annual Community Giving Initiative. The community organization received this donation by obtaining enough votes by community members to place in the top 10 vote recipients of the Community Giving Initiative. The donation will support work to improve and maintain the Spec Pond recreational area and the town’s sports programs.

Pictured, from left: Mark Manolakis, Friends of Wilbraham Recreation president; Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO; and Bryan Litz, Wilbraham Parks & Recreation director.

Pictured, from left: Mark Manolakis, Friends of Wilbraham Recreation president; Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president and CEO; and Bryan Litz, Wilbraham Parks & Recreation director.

Banking and Financial Services

On the Way Up

PeoplesBank joined Google, Facebook, BMW, Southwest Airlines, and more top companies on the 2019 WayUp Top 100 Internship Programs list. WayUp is a professional networking application that connects college students and recent graduates to career opportunities with reputable employers.

According to WayUp, the bank was selected because “PeoplesBank interns not only get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to operate a bank, they also get hands-on experience to work on passion projects like Habitat for Humanity’s Build Days.” The list is determined by a panel of industry experts who consider everything from public votes to internship-program highlights. More than 1,000 employers participated in this year’s assessment.

“Our internship program instills that we can learn just as much from our interns as they can learn from us.”

“PeoplesBank interns make an immediate and direct impact on the organization and the communities that the bank serves,” said Danielle St. Jean, HR Coordinator and Training Specialist. “Each intern is also assigned to a home department at the bank. In addition to day-to-day assignments and value-add projects completed within that department, the group of interns are involved in several hands-on activities.”

PeoplesBank interns participated in on-site professional development, a Habitat for Humanity Build Day, employee-engagement planning, banking-topic webinars, and job shadowing. They also were able to discuss their career paths with senior leadership in the bank’s finance, human resources, information technology, marketing, and retail operations. After spending the summer at PeoplesBank, the interns have returned to study at colleges throughout Massachusetts as well as Connecticut and Colorado.

“Our internship program instills that we can learn just as much from our interns as they can learn from us,” St. Jean said. “We ask for lots of feedback from our group of interns, and even have a private ‘PeoplesBank Internship Alumni’ group on LinkedIn so that we keep in touch with them at the conclusion of the program.”

Recruitment for the next PeoplesBank summer internship program kicks off during the winter. Interested students are encouraged to complete an application on the bank’s career page, www.bankatpeoples.com/careers.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — PeoplesBank joined Google, Facebook, BMW, Southwest Airlines, and more top companies on the 2019 WayUp Top 100 Internship Programs list. WayUp is a professional networking application that connects college students and recent graduates to career opportunities with reputable employers.

According to WayUp, the bank was selected because “PeoplesBank interns not only get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to operate a bank, they also get hands-on experience to work on passion projects like Habitat for Humanity’s Build Days.” The list is determined by a panel of industry experts who consider everything from public votes to internship-program highlights. More than 1,000 employers participated in this year’s assessment.

“PeoplesBank interns make an immediate and direct impact on the organization and the communities that the bank serves,” said Danielle St. Jean, HR Coordinator and Training Specialist. “Each intern is also assigned to a home department at the bank. In addition to day-to-day assignments and value-add projects completed within that department, the group of interns are involved in several hands-on activities.”

PeoplesBank interns participated in on-site professional development, a Habitat for Humanity Build Day, employee-engagement planning, banking-topic webinars, and job shadowing. They also were able to discuss their career paths with senior leadership in the bank’s finance, human resources, information technology, marketing, and retail operations. After spending the summer at PeoplesBank, the interns have returned to study at colleges throughout Massachusetts as well as Connecticut and Colorado.

“Our internship program instills that we can learn just as much from our interns as they can learn from us,” St. Jean said. “We ask for lots of feedback from our group of interns, and even have a private ‘PeoplesBank Internship Alumni’ group on LinkedIn so that we keep in touch with them at the conclusion of the program.”

Recruitment for the next PeoplesBank summer internship program kicks off during the winter. Interested students are encouraged to complete an application on the bank’s career page, www.bankatpeoples.com/careers.

Daily News

GREENFIELD — PV Squared employees and students from Franklin County Technical School worked together to install a solar system on a Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity home in Greenfield last week.

This hands-on experience is essential for Franklin County Technical School students enrolled in the electrician program. With installers and licensed electricians from PV Squared acting as mentors, this project was both a learning experience for the students and an opportunity to create high-quality housing for a low-income family.

PV Squared has been partnering with Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity since 2010 to help make solar energy more accessible to lower-income households in the community. To date, it has worked with Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity on eight projects in Franklin and Hampshire counties, specifically in the towns of Easthampton, Turners Falls, Amherst, Northampton, and Greenfield.

All these solar PV projects have been completed through grant funding or through the donation of products and services by PV Squared at no cost to the homeowner. Each system was designed with net-zero-energy potential, which means that, depending on the energy use of the household, each homeowner could be meeting all of their energy needs with the solar array.

PV Squared provides renewable-energy solutions to a wide range of clients, including business owners, commercial property owners, academic institutions, and homeowners in Western Mass. and surrounding regions.

Departments

HNE Achieves High Rating on Customer Service

SPRINGFIELD — Health New England (HNE) recently achieved the highest rating in customer service among 160 commercial HMO/POS health plans surveyed in the U.S., according to a report released by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). In the Quality Compass 2008 report, HNE achieved the highest ratings in the country in the ‘customer service’ composite measure. HNE scored 93.46, acknowledging that 93.46% of the respondents answered ‘always’ or ‘usually’ to questions including, “in the past 12 months, how often did your health plan’s customer service give you the information or help you needed?” HNE is a managed-care organization with a service area covering Franklin, Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, and parts of Worcester counties. NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality, and publicly reports comparative results of health plans regionally and nationally in its annual Quality Compass report.

United Bank Opens Express Branch in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON — United Financial Bancorp Inc., the holding company for United Bank, has opened its Express Branch, its second Northampton location and the 16th banking office in the network. Located near Interstate 91, the Express Branch offers both walk-in and drive-up banking with a drive-up ATM, drive-up teller window, and a night depository, as well as lobby teller service for account opening and routine banking transactions. The downtown office opened in June 2006.

Aucella & Associates Wins National Award

WESTFIELD — Aucella & Associates has won an American Graphic Design Award for its 2008 Pilgrim Candle catalog from Graphic Design USA. The catalog was recognized for meeting a difficult design challenge, according to Phil Aucella, president. Aucella noted that he found a “visually interesting way” to differentiate Pilgrim from its competition. Overall design elements encourage the reader to learn more about the products while featuring each item in a manner that highlights the entire line, he added. For more information on the catalog, visit www.aucellainc.com.

Renz Marks 30 Years in Region

AGAWAM — On the heels of Renz’s 100th anniversary in Germany, Renz America celebrated its 30th anniversary locally on Sept. 26 with a tour of its facility in the Industrial Park. Company President Peter Renz opened the 48,000-square-foot facility for tours to local dignitaries, customers, and vendors. Renz America, which employs 27 in town and more than 200 worldwide, manufactures punching and binding equipment for Ring-Wire wire-comb binding, plastic-spiral or ‘coil’ binding, and plastic-comb binding. The company also produces Ring-Wire and plastic-spiral-binding supplies. Additionally, covers are made in a variety of styles, materials, and textures. For more information on the company, visit www.renz.com.

BMC’s Cardiac Care Work Recognized

SPRINGFIELD — Masspro has recognized Baystate Medical Center for leadership in the areas of acute myocardial infarction, heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical care. Masspro monitors and promotes health care quality in Massachusetts on behalf of the federal government. The award acknowledges Baystate’s work as part of a federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services project to set benchmarks for high-quality health care in hospitals. In participating in the project and sharing best practices, Baystate has helped establish applicable standards for excellence in patient safety and the overall quality of care in the state and around the country. Baystate was also cited by Masspro for its frequent mentorship of Massachusetts hospitals in caring for heart attacks and heart failure, and for surgical care. Baystate is one of only two hospitals in the state to be recognized in that area.

Cartelli Named President of Fathers & Sons

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Damon S. Cartelli, son of former Fathers & Sons Inc. president and founder Robert T. Cartelli, assumed full ownership of the dealership last month. Since 1974, Fathers & Sons has grown into a multi-franchise dealership representing six car manufacturers at three locations in town — Porsche, Audi, Volvo, and Saab at Fathers & Sons Collection, 989 Memorial Ave.; Volkswagen at Fathers & Sons Volkswagen, 434 Memorial Ave.; and Kia at Kia of West Springfield, 468 Memorial Ave. Cartelli began working for his father when he was 14, performing a variety of duties ranging from managing the lot to washing cars and working in the service department. After graduating from Boston College in 1994, he joined his father selling cars and honing his skills to be the successor in the family business. He received a diploma from the National Automobile Dealers Assoc. (NADA) Dealer Candidate Academy in 1998, and was named general manager in 2001, overseeing 120 employees. Cartelli is a member of several business and trade organizations including NADA.

Big Y Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

SPRINGFIELD — Big Y Supermarkets are raising awareness and funds for breast cancer in October by donating proceeds from its produce department as well as select products to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundations in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Last year, the chain raised more than $85,000 and hopes to top that amount with this fall’s campaign. The program is called “Partners of Hope” to reflect the partnership, commitment, and support of breast-cancer awareness and research. In addition to partnering with many manufacturers to procure pink-labeled products with funding toward breast-cancer research and awareness, Big Y will be selling pink T-shirts, pink-frosted cupcakes, pink travel mugs, water bottles, and more. Pink paper ribbons will also be available for a $1 donation and will be posted in each supermarket. For information on additional programs, visit www.bigy.com.

River Valley Market Celebrates in Style

NORTHAMPTON — More than 10 years of effort to build a green grocery in the Valley was marked by a grand opening party on Oct. 1 which was attended by more than 750 member-owners and staff of the River Valley Market on North King Street. The community-based market specializes in fresh, local, and organically grown foods with an emphasis on supporting regional farmers in their quest to care for the land and supply foods that the community can trust. Throughout October, there will be a host of free activities, cooking tests, specials, door prizes, and food demonstrations to celebrate the grand opening. River Valley Market is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. For events and specials, visit www.rivervalleymarket.com.

Coldwell Banker Employees Donate $25,000

SPRINGFIELD — Through the efforts of sales associates and employees of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices, the fund-raising arm of the firm recently donated $25,000 to benefit the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity. The funds raised will enable the organization to complete the 171 Cabot St. project this fall. Offices participating in the efforts included those in Belchertown, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, and Westfield. Additionally, employees have been supporting the local Habitat for Humanity through a variety of fund-raising initiatives and volunteering, according to Mary Leahey, regional vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. Leahey noted that the foundation of the business is providing homes, so the partnership with Habitat for Humanity “emphasizes our sincere dedication to all families and achieving their homeownership dreams.”

Cooley Dickinson to Join New Alliance

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Health Care Corp. recently announced it will join New England Alliance for Health (NEAH), a health care alliance that will be formed to include hospitals in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont on Jan. 1, 2009. This change is coming as the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Alliance (DHA) plans a restructuring that includes dissolving the current DHA on Dec. 31, 2008. Craig Melin, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson, noted that ,through membership in DHA, the hospital realized savings through the coordination of equipment, supplies, pharmaceuticals, and insurance-coverage purchases. Melin added that the alliance also provided for improved productivity and efficiencies in contract management and information systems. Melin noted that he expects Cooley Dickinson to achieve similar benefits through NEAH.

SPHS Capital Campaign Gets $400,000 Boost

SPRINGFIELD — The Sisters of Providence Health System’s capital campaign has received contributions totaling $400,000 from two prominent businesses — Big Y World Class Markets and the MassMutual Financial Group. The Hope and Healing Capital Campaign supports Mercy Medical Center’s construction of the new Mary E. Davis Intensive Care Unit and renovation of the Ambulatory Surgical Center. Big Y World Class Markets contributed $250,000 to the campaign, and MassMutual Financial Group has donated $150,000 to the campaign. Officials from both businesses were recognized at a special reception at Mercy Medical Center on Sept. 16. Additionally, health system employee donors have contributed almost $500,000 to the fund-raising effort over the past two years. The capital campaign is on track to raise $6 million by the end of the year, according to Mercy officials..

People on the Move
Matthew Nash

Matthew Nash

Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. (MBK) announced the promotion of Matthew Nash, CPA to partner. Since joining the firm in 2011, he has been an integral part of the team, focusing on audit, review, and compilation engagements and playing a pivotal role in the commercial, not-for-profit audit, and pension engagement teams. Nash earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Nichols College and an MBA from Elms College, and is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. In his time at MBK, he has advanced from an intern to a senior manager and now to a partner. Beyond his professional achievements, Nash is deeply involved in community service. He serves as a board member and treasurer for Springfield School Volunteers and is a committee member of the Ronald McDonald House Golf Tournament.

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The board of directors of AdLib Inc., a community-based, cross-disability, nonprofit organization, announced Sally English as the new executive director. English, who holds a master of social work degree from Boston College, was eager to join the team and return to the independent-living movement. English most recently advanced in leadership at Viability Inc., supporting its Clubhouse and MOMs programs through several leadership, programmatic, and pandemic-related changes. Prior to Viability, she worked at the Boston Center for Independent Living as the director of Services. English was included in the BusinessWest 40 Under Forty class of 2019. AdLib Inc., founded in 1983, provides information and referral, advocacy, skills training, peer support, transition, representative payee, and personal-care-attendant services to people with disabilities of all ages throughout Berkshire County. As a center for independent living, it was important to the AdLib board of directors to find a leader able to embrace the philosophy of independent living, which focuses on ensuring that people with disabilities are able to live in the community with control over their own services and lives. English, who began her tenure in June, has spent the first six months with AdLib creating relationships with staff and external stakeholders, as well as improving internal systems and processes to ensure staff are supported in providing quality services to consumers. An open house will be planned for 2024.

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The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts announced the appointment of new officers to its board of directors, effective Jan. 1. Dr. Charlotte Boney, who has assumed the role of president, chairs the Department of Pediatrics at Baystate Health. The first vice president, Willette Yarbrough Johnson, is a retired educator from Springfield Public Schools, having served 38 years in a variety of capacities. She continues exploring her love of education as a member of the Coalition of Experienced Black Educators, an educational consultant group. The second vice president is Omar Irizarry, director of Cross Agency Initiatives at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. William Harju, treasurer, is chief financial officer at USA Hauling & Recycling, and the clerk is Shannon Yaremchak, director of Grants and Latino Economic Development Opportunities at Partners for Community, and director of Mission Advancement at New England Farm Workers’ Council. In their new capacities, the new officers will lead the Food Bank to implement innovative strategies, expand partnerships, and elevate the organization’s impact. Two new board members also began their tenure: Joesiah González, chief Philanthropy & Communications officer at Home City Development Inc., and Xiaolei Hua, first vice president of Commercial Lending at PeoplesBank.

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David Lavenburg

Bacon Wilson, P.C. announced that David Lavenburg, one of the firm’s attorneys, has been promoted to shareholder. Since joining the firm in November 2020, he has been an integral part of the firm, focusing on loan recovery, loan workouts, collection matters, restructuring, debt repayments, and bankruptcy. Lavenburg received his bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University and his juris doctorate from Capital University of Law School in Columbus, Ohio. With more than 32 years of litigation experience, he chairs the creditor’s rights, collections, and bankruptcy practice group at Bacon Wilson. He is admitted to practice in both the Massachusetts and Connecticut state courts, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. In the firm’s probate department, Lavenburg supports litigation needs in cases involving contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, lack of capacity, and undue influence claims. In the commercial and corporate department, he represents the firm’s clients in partnership disputes, commercial litigation, general business litigation, and commercial lease disputes. He has also been chairman of the Longmeadow Zoning Board of Appeals since 2006.

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MGM Resorts International announced the appointment of Louie Theros as president and chief operating officer of MGM Springfield, where he will oversee the resort’s daily operations and strategic direction, focused on continued employee engagement and community relations. He succeeds Chris Kelley, who recently announced his decision to pursue a new opportunity closer to family on the West Coast. Theros has been with MGM Resorts since 2015, most recently serving as vice president, legal counsel, and assistant secretary at MGM Grand Detroit. Prior to joining the company, Theros worked in legal private practice, serving as vice president of Detroit-based law firm Butzel Long, following more than 20 years as a lawyer at Dickenson Wright. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan.

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Stephanie Vincelette

Stephanie Vincelette

Erica Gomes

bankESB recently promoted Stephanie Vincelette to assistant vice president, Human Resources Operations, and Erica Gomes to assistant vice president, Customer Care. Vincelette has 11 years of banking experience. She was previously Human Resources Operations officer and, before that, Payroll manager, and began her career in banking as a Payroll specialist. Before joining bankESB in 2012, she had five years of previous payroll and human-resources experience. With this promotion, she will continue to oversee payroll operations; will now oversee benefits operations; and will expand her responsibilities in salary administration, compensation planning, and policy management. Vincelette has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England University. She holds a senior professional human resources certification. Gomes has 24 years of banking experience. She joined the Hometown Financial Group family of banks at bankHometown in 2013 as branch manager of the Killingly, Conn. office after spending more than 14 years in retail banking with Citizens Bank. She was promoted to Customer Care officer at Hometown Financial’s bankESB in 2016. In her new role, she will manage the Customer Care call center. Gomes completed coursework in accounting at the Community College of Rhode Island. She has been a volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Junior Achievement, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and local homeless shelters, and previously served as treasurer of the Killingly Business Assoc.

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Kim Collins

Kim Collins

Caitlin Meyer

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) announced the recent hiring of two new staff members: Kim Collins, Audience Development and Community Engagement manager; and Caitlin Meyer, Education director. Collins will work to create community connections for the SSO and engage new audiences, while Meyer will be responsible for bringing back the hosting of SSO educational performances for public-school students as well as creating new educational programming for the organization. Collins joined the SSO in October. She most recently served as director of Member Services with the Connecticut River Valley Chamber of Commerce. In that role, she was the first point of contact for all member relations, led the ambassador team, and revised and refreshed member benefits, onboarding, and retention. She also facilitated networking and member-orientation events, as well as ribbon cuttings, and planned large events for the chamber. Collins has also been a performing artist and educator her entire life. As a flutist, she has performed with the SSO for more than 25 years and also served as the SSO’s orchestra librarian for several years. Meyer is an educational leader, music educator, and professional musician who has taught in China, Tanzania, Israel, and Australia. Before joining the SSO, she served as director of Programs for a charter school in Bridgeport, Conn., where she worked closely with the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants to build out arts-integrative, culturally responsive programs for newcomer students. Meyer also founded the Qingdao Visual and Performing Arts Educators Assoc., which has allowed students of every background in China to participate in district-wide arts initiatives as well as international travel opportunities. Prior to her work in Qingdao, Meyer was the music director at Saint Bernard School in Uncasville, Conn. for seven years.

•••••

Luke Goodridge has joined the law firm of Bulkley Richardson as a partner. His practice will continue to focus on estate planning, trust administration, and general business-law matters. Goodridge was previously a named partner at the law firm of Curtiss, Carey, Gates & Goodridge, LLP, based in Greenfield. He will continue to maintain an office in Greenfield. He earned a bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from UMass Amherst; a juris doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and is currently a candidate for an LLM (master of laws) degree in taxation at Boston University School of Law.

•••••

Ashley Swett

Ashley Swett

Florence Bank recently announced that Ashley Swett has been named manager of the bank’s Customer Service Center at the main office in Florence. In her new role, she will oversee the staff responsible for assisting Florence Bank customers who contact the bank via telephone or email. Swett has 16 years of industry experience and is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies. She holds a certificate in supervision from the Center for Financial Training. Active in the community, Swett is currently a member of the Holiday Flair in Ware, where she enjoys the annual festival and parade.

•••••

The Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV) announced its annual award winners at the association’s holiday luncheon on Dec. 14 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The Realtor of the Year Award was given to Vincent Walsh of Coldwell Banker Realty, while the Affiliate of the Year Award was given to Christine Webster, attorney at Begley & Webster LLC. A Realtor since 1992, Walsh served as president of the RAPV board of directors in 2011. He has also served on the grievance, government affairs, professional standards, and YPN committees. He continues to serve on the RAPV board of directors. Walsh has given back to the community through his involvement by being nominated for and approved by the Springfield City Council and holding the Realtor seat on the Springfield Historical Commission for nearly 12 years. He is a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the USO. He is a supporter of the VFW, Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, American Heart Assoc., and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. A member of RAPV since 2005, Webster has served on the affiliate-realtor and professional development committees. Webster has demonstrated significant support to the association and community outreach and volunteered in RAPV’s seminars held by the affiliate-realtor committee and the professional development committee’s “If the Realtor Had Only Known” sessions. She also provides guidance to all Realtors who seek assistance in transactions and legal questions. Her community activities include being a Westfield Zoning Board of Appeal member and serving on the finance committee at St. Mary’s Parish of Westfield. She also volunteers preparing meals for the homeless and has been involved in fundraising for schools and the parish.

Real Estate

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

FRANKLIN COUNTY

ASHFIELD

Barnes Road
Ashfield, MA 01330
Amount: $680,000
Buyer: Franklin Land Trust Inc.
Seller: June L. Heideman
Date: 11/15/23

Phillips Road
Ashfield, MA 01330
Amount: $680,000
Buyer: Franklin Land Trust Inc.
Seller: June L. Heideman
Date: 11/15/23

BUCKLAND

97 Elm St.
Buckland, MA 01370
Amount: $405,600
Buyer: Zachary R. Mazzone
Seller: Grandison Int.
Date: 11/15/23

COLRAIN

78 East Colrain Road
Colrain, MA 01340
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Aaron Thompson
Seller: North N. Nartowicz NT
Date: 11/21/23

141 Franklin Hill Road
Colrain, MA 01340
Amount: $895,000
Buyer: Leslie Frazier
Seller: Allen Dewing Jr. TR
Date: 11/17/23

60 Jurek Road
Colrain, MA 01340
Amount: $125,000
Buyer: Kaitlyn R. Williams
Seller: Jean M. Baczek
Date: 11/16/23

DEERFIELD

638 Greenfield Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
Amount: $650,000
Buyer: Marc Weller
Seller: Christopher Mason
Date: 11/13/23

5 Hillside Road
Deerfield, MA 01373
Amount: $450,000
Buyer: Michael R. Gretzinger
Seller: Susan Brandts RET
Date: 11/15/23

18 Keets Road
Deerfield, MA 01342
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Vladimir Agapov
Seller: Komosa, Kevin C., (Estate)
Date: 11/21/23

GREENFIELD

17 Chestnut Hill
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $650,000
Buyer: Thomas Bledsoe
Seller: Jesse R. Duquette
Date: 11/17/23

127 Franklin St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Christopher Lemay
Seller: John F. Merrigan
Date: 11/15/23

28 High St.
Greenfield, MA 01376
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: Newlife LLC
Seller: 28 High Street LLC
Date: 11/15/23

23 Laurel St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Raymond Cusson
Seller: Arpc LLC
Date: 11/13/23

141 Leyden Road
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Benjamin Stafford
Seller: Douglas S. Creighton
Date: 11/17/23

35 Lillian St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $360,000
Buyer: Joan McWilliams Int.
Seller: Powell IRT
Date: 11/16/23

157-159 Wells St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Amount: $242,000
Buyer: Jorge A. Quintanilla
Seller: Judith B. Stein RET
Date: 11/14/23

LEYDEN

19 Brattleboro Road
Leyden, MA 01301
Amount: $524,900
Buyer: Adam Cormier
Seller: Neville Int.
Date: 11/15/23

MONROE

146 Main Road
Monroe, MA 01247
Amount: $165,000
Buyer: Layla M. Rougeau
Seller: Nathan H. Cote
Date: 11/22/23

MONTAGUE

149-151 3rd St.
Montague, MA 01376
Amount: $405,000
Buyer: Third Place Garage LLC
Seller: David J. Larue
Date: 11/15/23

345 Federal St.
Montague, MA 01351
Amount: $415,000
Buyer: Justin D. Killeen
Seller: Thomas J. Mitchell
Date: 11/21/23

76 Montague St.
Montague, MA 01376
Amount: $352,500
Buyer: Neville Int.
Seller: Lorraine B. Mauran
Date: 11/15/23

114 Montague St.
Montague, MA 01376
Amount: $127,000
Buyer: EDS Enterprises LLC
Seller: Seth D. Recore
Date: 11/22/23

NORTHFIELD

33 Lower Farms Road
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: Cheryl Fragione
Seller: Donna L. Mercer
Date: 11/22/23

1026 Millers Falls Road
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $177,500
Buyer: David L. Dresser
Seller: Indymac Imsc Mortgage Loan TR
Date: 11/21/23

50 South Mountain Road
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $1,095,000
Buyer: John Loranger
Seller: Nancy H. Ames
Date: 11/17/23

50-C South Mountain Road
Northfield, MA 01360
Amount: $299,000
Buyer: Benjamin Paly
Seller: Nancy H. Ames
Date: 11/17/23

ORANGE

95 Adams St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $380,000
Buyer: Scott Parkinson
Seller: Elaine J. Inman
Date: 11/13/23

414 East River St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $302,000
Buyer: Jaqueline C. Davis
Seller: Moses S. Ajunwa
Date: 11/14/23

241 Hayden St.
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $314,000
Buyer: Shamus P. Gorman
Seller: Jay M. Guilmette
Date: 11/14/23

193 Royalston Road
Orange, MA 01364
Amount: $410,000
Buyer: Kelly Zweben-Kelley
Seller: Emma Ellsworth
Date: 11/16/23

SHUTESBURY

33 Wendell Road
Shutesbury, MA 01072
Amount: $505,700
Buyer: Brian A. Kolb
Seller: Hoyack, Constance M., (Estate)
Date: 11/17/23

WARWICK

11 Wheeler Road
Warwick, MA 01378
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Stephen L. Orbe
Seller: Astrella FT
Date: 11/20/23

WHATELY

196 Christian Lane
Whately, MA 01373
Amount: $459,900
Buyer: Joseph Strzegowski
Seller: Patricia A. Jablonski
Date: 11/15/23

207 River Road
Whately, MA 01373
Amount: $1,415,000
Buyer: J. Bysiewski Farm LLC
Seller: Pasiecnik, James M., (Estate)
Date: 11/16/23

HAMPDEN COUNTY

AGAWAM

39 Barn Road
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $355,000
Buyer: Chad M. Richburg
Seller: Poulos FT
Date: 11/17/23

31 Bradford Dr.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Andrew Rice
Seller: Debra G. Ritchie
Date: 11/20/23

80 Broz Ter.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Stanislav Petrov
Seller: Seth E. Bertone-Gross
Date: 11/15/23

44 Colonial Ave.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Plata O. Plomo Inc.
Seller: Timothy J. Dobek
Date: 11/17/23

56 Coronet Circle
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $345,000
Buyer: Peter Harand
Seller: Kristin A. Letendre
Date: 11/17/23

43 Federal St. Ext.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $435,000
Buyer: William J. Leblanc
Seller: Frederick Vollrath
Date: 11/17/23

60 Howard St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $135,000
Buyer: Max S. Berg
Seller: Joyce A. Berg
Date: 11/21/23

32 Leonard St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $400,000
Buyer: Seth E. Bertone-Gross
Seller: Max W. Hallmark
Date: 11/15/23

49 Logan Place
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $580,000
Buyer: Olga M. Toskaj
Seller: Pavel Yusenko
Date: 11/13/23

78 North Westfield St.
Agawam, MA 01030
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Avery A. Greene
Seller: Deanna M. Leblanc
Date: 11/17/23

304 Silver St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $303,000
Buyer: Ahmet Gunay
Seller: 716 Spring Valley LLC
Date: 11/16/23

65 South Park Ter.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Jordyn L. Michaelson
Seller: Patnaude, Mary E., (Estate)
Date: 11/09/23

616 Suffield St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $340,000
Buyer: Kristina Wegryn-Timmons
Seller: Timothy A. Bates
Date: 11/21/23

64 Sunnyslope Ave.
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $293,000
Buyer: Scott Main
Seller: Raymond M. Pronovost
Date: 11/09/23

73 Zacks Way
Agawam, MA 01001
Amount: $625,000
Buyer: Douglas J. Dichard
Seller: Rena M. Geoffroy
Date: 11/17/23

BLANDFORD

50 Chester Road
Blandford, MA 01008
Amount: $145,000
Buyer: Ryta Gavrilyuk
Seller: PHH Mortgage Corp.
Date: 11/20/23

49 North St.
Blandford, MA 01008
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Kelsey M. McGinley
Seller: Aaron J. Labrecque
Date: 11/09/23

55 Russell Stage Road
Blandford, MA 01008
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Stone Mitchell
Seller: Amanda R. Rudzik
Date: 11/09/23

BRIMFIELD

297 Brookfield Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $860,000
Buyer: David A. Lepzelter
Seller: Robert W. Olson
Date: 11/16/23

1477 Dunhamtown Brimfield Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $186,550
Buyer: Resi Asset Mortgage Pro
Seller: Nickolas J. Digrregorio
Date: 11/17/23

265 Dunhamtown Palmer Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $210,500
Buyer: Billy J. Krukowski
Seller: Secretary Of Veterans Affairs
Date: 11/20/23

121 Haynes Hill Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $399,000
Buyer: Adam Gorzynski
Seller: Krystine A. O’Connor
Date: 11/20/23

56 Tower Hill Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $675,000
Buyer: Adam Blais
Seller: Andrew T. Truax
Date: 11/21/23

152 Warren Road
Brimfield, MA 01010
Amount: $470,000
Buyer: Danielle Lussier
Seller: Mark A. Lacombe
Date: 11/17/23

CHESTER

70 Ingell Road
Chester, MA 01011
Amount: $410,000
Buyer: Dale M. Weaver
Seller: Kurt E. Showalter
Date: 11/14/23

CHICOPEE

106 Academy St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $274,900
Buyer: Scarlett R. Gianei
Seller: Rozanski, Waclaw, (Estate)
Date: 11/21/23

50 Barre Circle
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Pavlo Nesterchuk
Seller: Viktor Bondar
Date: 11/16/23

14 Blanchwood Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: CAC Marketing LLC
Seller: Evelyn H. Kennedy
Date: 11/13/23

356 Chicopee St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $345,000
Buyer: Richard P. Beaulieu
Seller: Jisa Properties LLC
Date: 11/21/23

4 Daniel Dr.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Marcos Santiago
Seller: Luis Sumba
Date: 11/22/23

238 East Main St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: 21 Shawmut Avenue LLC
Seller: Courageous Lion LLC
Date: 11/20/23

75 Fairview Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $285,000
Buyer: Skyspec Holdings LLC
Seller: Jennifer W. Yergeau
Date: 11/22/23

40 Francis St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $318,500
Buyer: Joanne M. Kellogg
Seller: Antionio R. Morgado
Date: 11/22/23

12 Greenpoint Circle
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Marta Sudol
Seller: Donald M. Howell
Date: 11/21/23

20 Hawthorn St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $285,500
Buyer: Zackary Auman
Seller: Carol J. Cisek
Date: 11/15/23

8 Highland Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Merrill V. Champlin
Seller: Andrew J. Rice
Date: 11/17/23

61 Kimball St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $360,000
Buyer: Orlando S. Gonzalez-Santos
Seller: Joejoe Properties LLC
Date: 11/09/23

735 McKinstry Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $355,000
Buyer: Jacqueline F. Vazquez
Seller: Pah Properties LLC
Date: 11/20/23

129 Moreau Dr.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $272,500
Buyer: Jerome T. Weldon
Seller: Regina M. Nowak
Date: 11/21/23

106 Muzzy St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $345,000
Buyer: Muneer A. Alkhayyat
Seller: Yomaris Ramos
Date: 11/21/23

179 Narragansett Blvd.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $283,000
Buyer: Raphael J. Rivera
Seller: John J. Mango
Date: 11/14/23

30 Nash St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $291,000
Buyer: Rebecca L. Kelly
Seller: Mathew Post
Date: 11/14/23

25 Ruth Ave.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Juan D. Rodriguez
Seller: Michael T. Beecher
Date: 11/14/23

224 School St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Luis Capellan
Seller: Pah Properties LLC
Date: 11/09/23

67 Searles St.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: George Hall
Seller: Roger H. Roy
Date: 11/17/23

166 Shepherd St.
Chicopee, MA 01013
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: Maritza Baez
Seller: Tavernier Investments LLC
Date: 11/17/23

6 Tolpa Court
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $405,000
Buyer: Ronald A. Heroux RET
Seller: Lohnes, Muriel, (Estate)
Date: 11/14/23

16 Woodcrest Dr.
Chicopee, MA 01020
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Pedro Sanchez
Seller: Elaine Bourgeois
Date: 11/10/23

EAST LONGMEADOW

243 Allen St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Shane R. Hope
Seller: William R. Gorman
Date: 11/16/23

61 Devonshire Ter.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $169,000
Buyer: David Vikhovoy
Seller: William A. Brown
Date: 11/17/23

131 Dwight Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $285,000
Buyer: Casey B. Hallowell
Seller: Suzette Cruz
Date: 11/17/23

167 Dwight Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $5,100,000
Buyer: 167 171 & 175 Dwight LLC
Seller: Workers Credit Union
Date: 11/17/23

171 Dwight Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01108
Amount: $5,100,000
Buyer: 167 171 & 175 Dwight LLC
Seller: Workers Credit Union
Date: 11/17/23

175 Dwight Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01108
Amount: $5,100,000
Buyer: 167 171 & 175 Dwight LLC
Seller: Workers Credit Union
Date: 11/17/23

Maple St. (rear)
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $5,100,000
Buyer: 167 171 & 175 Dwight LLC
Seller: Workers Credit Union
Date: 11/17/23

138 Prospect St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Christopher Bruno
Seller: Rosalind Lader
Date: 11/15/23

240 Prospect St.
East Longmeadow, MA 01028
Amount: $228,000
Buyer: Alexander Buendo
Seller: David C. Hardy 2014 RET
Date: 11/17/23

HOLLAND

117 May Brook Road
Holland, MA 01521
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Kyle Guillet
Seller: Maybrook Cottage LLC
Date: 11/17/23

4 Vinton Way
Holland, MA 01521
Amount: $385,000
Buyer: Dennis & Sheryl Hutton LT
Seller: Sczurek Family Funding TR
Date: 11/13/23

HOLYOKE

9 Charles St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $268,000
Buyer: Naishka Rivera
Seller: B&B Realty Partners LLC
Date: 11/20/23

88 Columbus Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $282,000
Buyer: Kate Nadel
Seller: Justin D. Hollinger
Date: 11/14/23

24 Fairfield Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $360,000
Buyer: Gallagher Capital Group LLC
Seller: Weiss Family LLC
Date: 11/22/23

364-366 Hillside Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $365,000
Buyer: Brian Jarrett
Seller: Woodlawn Construction LLC
Date: 11/17/23

82 Knollwood Circle
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $232,500
Buyer: Corbin H. Chicoine
Seller: Bachand FT
Date: 11/22/23

14 Longwood Ave.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $177,000
Buyer: RM Blerman LLC
Seller: Craig J. Boutin
Date: 11/15/23

77 Meadow St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $352,500
Buyer: Red Branch Real Estate LLC
Seller: Donald L. Kooken
Date: 11/20/23

125 Mountain View Dr.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: Adam A. Lamee
Seller: Cathy J. Thomas
Date: 11/14/23

1222 Northampton St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $471,500
Buyer: Susan Fritz
Seller: Donoghue, Stephen, (Estate)
Date: 11/10/23

1784 Northampton St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: 20 Gregory Farm LLC
Seller: Congregation Rodphey Shol
Date: 11/13/23

216 West Franklin St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $227,971
Buyer: Federal National Mortgage Assn.
Seller: Ruth E. Willemain
Date: 11/13/23

246 West Franklin St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $278,000
Buyer: Meghan Carroll
Seller: Miguel Colon
Date: 11/09/23

274 West Franklin St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Rosa D. Garcia
Seller: Murphy, Eileen, (Estate)
Date: 11/14/23

2 Willow St.
Holyoke, MA 01040
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Michael Sanchez
Seller: Maria Rivera
Date: 11/10/23

LONGMEADOW

10 Caravelle Dr.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $161,763
Buyer: Andrew Stackhouse
Seller: Catherine Demetros
Date: 11/13/23

70 Dover Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $666,000
Buyer: Talal Dahhan
Seller: Robert J. Castellanos
Date: 11/20/23

827 Frank Smith Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $512,500
Buyer: Shou C. Ni
Seller: Hillary S. Shivers
Date: 11/15/23

125 Hillcrest Ave.
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $583,000
Buyer: Maksym Kutsevol
Seller: Susan Arnet
Date: 11/22/23

86 Lincoln Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $365,000
Buyer: Jennifer B. Creelman
Seller: Colee Curtis
Date: 11/21/23

77 Osceola Lane
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $550,000
Buyer: K. K. Stillwell-McHugh
Seller: Richard A. Joseph
Date: 11/13/23

17 Park Dr., South
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $788,000
Buyer: Jazlinda M. Navarro
Seller: Patrick J. McHugh
Date: 11/13/23

158 Wenonah Road
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Amount: $440,000
Buyer: Christopher Kempf
Seller: Steven Creelman
Date: 11/20/23

LUDLOW

Balsam Hill Road, Lot 69
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Hemlock Ridge LLC
Seller: Whitetail Wreks LLC
Date: 11/17/23

260 Colonial Dr.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $435,000
Buyer: Todd C. Rodrigo
Seller: Ramiro D. Rodrigo
Date: 11/17/23

840 East St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $208,000
Buyer: Justin Enriquez
Seller: Danielle Clark
Date: 11/14/23

46 Guertin Ave.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Justin Dabsky
Seller: Antonio D. Quiterio
Date: 11/22/23

32-34 Joy St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $505,000
Buyer: Selpan Holdings LLC
Seller: Francisco Maria
Date: 11/15/23

63 King St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $245,000
Buyer: Lawrence Ochs
Seller: Judith A. Rice
Date: 11/21/23

35 McKinley Ave.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $190,000
Buyer: S. & C. Investors LLC
Seller: Cannamela, Audrey J., (Estate)
Date: 11/20/23

64-66 Oak St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $374,000
Buyer: Joel Mata
Seller: Mario G. Carneiro
Date: 11/09/23

17 Oakridge St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $450,000
Buyer: Justin B. Sepulveda
Seller: Joejoe Properties LLC
Date: 11/14/23

7 Parker Lane
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $533,000
Buyer: Anthony Ortega
Seller: James C. Wyllie
Date: 11/13/23

Turning Leaf Road, Lot 86
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $154,900
Buyer: Dans Construction Service Inc.
Seller: Whitetail Wreks LLC
Date: 11/21/23

Turning Leaf Road, Lot 87
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $154,900
Buyer: Dans Construction Service Inc
Seller: Whitetail Wreks LLC
Date: 11/21/23

Ventura St., Lot 106
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Hemlock Ridge LLC
Seller: Whitetail Wreks LLC
Date: 11/17/23

52 West Belmont St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $214,000
Buyer: Natalie A. Colapietro
Seller: Emilio Santos
Date: 11/09/23

83 Winsor St.
Ludlow, MA 01056
Amount: $763,700
Buyer: Mass Postal Holdings LLC
Seller: H. P. Rum LLC
Date: 11/15/23

MONSON

17 Country Club Heights
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Jennifer Degnan
Seller: Bonita M. Miller
Date: 11/17/23

4 Upper Palmer Road
Monson, MA 01057
Amount: $649,900
Buyer: Brad Goodier
Seller: Bretta Construction LLC
Date: 11/15/23

MONTGOMERY

22 Pomeroy Road
Montgomery, MA 01085
Amount: $417,500
Buyer: Dale M. Weaver
Seller: Jane R. Thielen
Date: 11/16/23

PALMER

9 George St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Michael W. Marcinowski
Seller: April Kubaska
Date: 11/20/23

120 Longview St.
Palmer, MA 01069
Amount: $282,800
Buyer: David Dubreuil
Seller: Castledine, Sylvia W., (Estate)
Date: 11/21/23

RUSSELL

70 Fairview Ave.
Russell, MA 01085
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Anthony C. Diaz
Seller: Decoteau 3rd, Robert S., (Estate)
Date: 11/10/23

70 Overlook Dr.
Russell, MA 01071
Amount: $361,000
Buyer: Laura S. Oconnor
Seller: Aleksander A. Solokhin
Date: 11/16/23

SPRINGFIELD

11 Aberdeen Road
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Marcos G. Sevilla
Seller: Nres LLC
Date: 11/17/23

1318 Allen St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Logan Crowell
Seller: TM Properties Inc.
Date: 11/15/23

41 Alwin Place
Springfield, MA 01128
Amount: $490,000
Buyer: Travis D. Taylor
Seller: Chantal Ayotte
Date: 11/21/23

203 Arthur St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Jaime Casiano
Seller: Gail T. Cutler
Date: 11/09/23

99 Bacon Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Carole Pose
Seller: Lussier, Sally A., (Estate)
Date: 11/17/23

3 Balboa Dr.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Kirsyann Segarra
Seller: Bretta Construction LLC
Date: 11/17/23

3 Beacon St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $210,000
Buyer: JHN Investments LLC
Seller: Amat Victoria Curam LLC
Date: 11/14/23

55 Beaufort Circle
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Dustin R. Rhodes
Seller: Lukasz M. Jacek
Date: 11/09/23

131 Berkshire Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Cathryn E. Boucher
Seller: 73 Warren St. LLC
Date: 11/22/23

20-22 Berkshire St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $423,000
Buyer: Ana M. Paulino
Seller: Berkshire RT
Date: 11/16/23

68 Birchland Ave.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Ramon L. Morales
Seller: Debra A. Gomes
Date: 11/16/23

4 Birnie Ave.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $800,000
Buyer: New North Citizens Council
Seller: Hann Realty Berkshire LLC
Date: 11/21/23

73 Bremen St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $292,000
Buyer: Dylan Sliech
Seller: Elizabeth Imelio
Date: 11/10/23

35 Bronson Ter.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $310,500
Buyer: Clive Anderson
Seller: A-O-K RT
Date: 11/22/23

19 Brookline Ave.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $270,000
Buyer: Nancy E. Figuereo
Seller: Scott Balfour
Date: 11/14/23

26-28 Calhoun St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $177,500
Buyer: Rehab Home Buyers LLC
Seller: Brvsa Associates LLC
Date: 11/22/23

14 Cherryvale Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Denise E. Moccia
Seller: John M. Miller
Date: 11/14/23

43 Chesterfield Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $316,000
Buyer: Christine Landry
Seller: Patrice L. Housey
Date: 11/16/23

86-88 Chestnut St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $195,000
Buyer: Revampit LLC
Seller: Robert W. Rzeszutek
Date: 11/15/23

28 Chilson St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $177,000
Buyer: Patriot Living Properties LLC
Seller: Walter R. Kubacki
Date: 11/10/23

63 Clifton Ave.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Marcus E. Rivera
Seller: Angel Villar
Date: 11/13/23

38 Collins St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Nicholas Avery
Seller: 38 Collins LLC
Date: 11/10/23

67 Colonial Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Christofer Diaz
Seller: Urquhart, Alice M., (Estate)
Date: 11/16/23

187 Connecticut Ave.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Jose A. Rivera
Seller: Nereida Rivera
Date: 11/09/23

202 Dunmoreland St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $267,000
Buyer: Alexander Gonzalez
Seller: Jazmin Montes
Date: 11/17/23

28 Dutton St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Alicia G. Nieves
Seller: Patricia A. Heathcote
Date: 11/14/23

26 East Alvord St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: Handyflippers Inc.
Seller: Joseph V. Ferrero
Date: 11/17/23

71 Edgeland St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Munir Khawaja
Seller: Kristopher C. Richards
Date: 11/21/23

76 Embury St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $274,000
Buyer: Dorothy M. Stovall
Seller: Sunni McCoy
Date: 11/22/23

38 Hadley St.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $198,000
Buyer: Timothy Callahan
Seller: Donna M. Toupin
Date: 11/17/23

164 Hampden St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: Katherine Ramos
Seller: Ruby V. Jones
Date: 11/09/23

269 Harkness Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: Jjj17 LLC
Seller: Corfou LLC
Date: 11/16/23

16 Ivan St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $400,000
Buyer: Nassar Cheema
Seller: Bretta Construction LLC
Date: 11/17/23

50 Joan St.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $240,000
Buyer: Bryan J. Carney
Seller: Justin B. Dabsky
Date: 11/22/23

65 Joan St.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $271,000
Buyer: Carleigh Kuhn
Seller: Francis A. Drost
Date: 11/17/23

97 Kane St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $170,000
Buyer: Vicky J. Ortiz
Seller: Yolanda Delacruz-Perez
Date: 11/14/23

80 Keddy St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: Rosalinda Hernandez
Seller: Lor V. Yang
Date: 11/09/23

61 Kimberly Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Sebastian O. Garcia
Seller: Long River Realty LLC
Date: 11/09/23

38 Kittrell St.
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $280,000
Buyer: Michael Kiely
Seller: Laura E. Taylor
Date: 11/21/23

19 Knollwood St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $287,000
Buyer: Abigail Theberge
Seller: Andrea Mastrofillippo
Date: 11/20/23

21 Lang St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $145,000
Buyer: Extremely Clean 2 LLC
Seller: Courageous Lion LLC
Date: 11/14/23

82 Lebanon St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $172,500
Buyer: Jonathan Flores
Seller: Maximino Navarro
Date: 11/13/23

172 Mallowhill Road
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Taylor T. Tran
Seller: Paula J. Scherpa
Date: 11/20/23

73 Massachusetts Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Family & Developments LLC
Seller: Wicked Deals LLC
Date: 11/24/23

52 Mattoon St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: SASA LLC
Seller: Jordan Edwards
Date: 11/16/23

63 Merrimac Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Alicia Diaz
Seller: Robert Gauthier
Date: 11/17/23

488-490 Newbury St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Yordalicia L. Florian
Seller: Angelo A. Gomez
Date: 11/14/23

727 Newbury St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $290,000
Buyer: Ramon M. Fernandez
Seller: Michael Jolicoeur
Date: 11/21/23

94 Newhall St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Taneisha Gasque
Seller: Brenda Sanchez
Date: 11/17/23

65 Newland St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $220,000
Buyer: More Than Conquerors Mini
Seller: Greater Love Church Of God
Date: 11/21/23

3 Ogden St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $242,000
Buyer: Ashley Preston
Seller: Robert L. Preston
Date: 11/20/23

322 Old Farm Road
Springfield, MA 01119
Amount: $286,500
Buyer: James A. Moore
Seller: Rhae A. Kennedy
Date: 11/14/23

208 Osborne Ter.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $131,000
Buyer: Wicked Deals LLC
Seller: Paul G. Bernardes
Date: 11/24/23

52 Osgood St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $155,000
Buyer: Gabriel Martinez
Seller: Daniel Rivera
Date: 11/14/23

784 Page Blvd.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $495,000
Buyer: H&F Properties Inc.
Seller: CCM Property Management Inc.
Date: 11/22/23

788 Page Blvd.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $495,000
Buyer: H&F Properties Inc.
Seller: CCM Property Management Inc.
Date: 11/22/23

75 Parker St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Alliha Malcolm
Seller: Anthony F. Lefemine
Date: 11/17/23

123 Patricia Circle
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $293,000
Buyer: Yndy J. Laurent
Seller: MA NH Home Buyers LLC
Date: 11/17/23

169 Penrose St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $230,000
Buyer: Robin L. Youmans
Seller: Kennedy Acquisitions LLC
Date: 11/09/23

258 Pine St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $235,000
Buyer: Alisha White
Seller: Marvin White
Date: 11/17/23

109 Pinecrest Dr.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Isaac D. Cruz
Seller: Arthur Acerra
Date: 11/17/23

601-603 Plainfield St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Auris E. Done
Seller: Jacqueline Martinez
Date: 11/09/23

156 Powell Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $289,868
Buyer: Michael T. Beecher
Seller: Jessica Sepulveda
Date: 11/15/23

21 Princeton St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $140,000
Buyer: LKN Realty Investments LLC
Seller: Watson James
Date: 11/20/23

10 Rollins St.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $195,000
Buyer: Roberto Rivera-Negron
Seller: Secretary Of Housing & Urban Development
Date: 11/22/23

1225 Saint James Ave.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Rose Cash
Seller: Fab Holdings LLC
Date: 11/09/23

68 Savoy Ave.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $248,500
Buyer: Neil T. Cote
Seller: Janet Matos
Date: 11/13/23

51 Stocker St.
Springfield, MA 01129
Amount: $242,000
Buyer: Lisa M. Malone
Seller: Keith N. Walsh
Date: 11/21/23

461-469 Sumner Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $750,000
Buyer: Chois Property Management LLC
Seller: NRL RT
Date: 11/17/23

73 Sunapee St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $246,000
Buyer: Jouly T. Yang
Seller: Florence N. Fay
Date: 11/09/23

33 Tacoma St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Brandon W. Natal
Seller: Stephen F. Powell
Date: 11/21/23

44-46 Talcott St.
Springfield, MA 01107
Amount: $318,000
Buyer: Juan Rivera
Seller: Luis Maldonado
Date: 11/17/23

56 Temple St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Marjahan Begum
Seller: J. Norbert Properties LLC
Date: 11/21/23

64 Temple St.
Springfield, MA 01105
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Hope Rt
Seller: Remianna Hearns
Date: 11/17/23

95 Upton St.
Springfield, MA 01104
Amount: $145,000
Buyer: Extremely Clean 2 LLC
Seller: Courageous Lion LLC
Date: 11/14/23

138 W. Crystal Brook Dr.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $550,000
Buyer: Jose E. Caminero
Seller: Grahams Construction Inc.
Date: 11/13/23

37-39 Warriner Ave.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $330,000
Buyer: Giovany Diaz
Seller: Hsiu-Li Kelly
Date: 11/22/23

123-125 Westford Ave.
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $277,000
Buyer: Jennifer Clarke
Seller: Miriam L. Wilkins
Date: 11/21/23

197-199 White St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $300,000
Buyer: Milagros A. Medina
Seller: Ajn Rentals LLC
Date: 11/22/23

556 White St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $405,000
Buyer: Leanny Puello
Seller: Thomas F. Rivers
Date: 11/10/23

800 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01109
Amount: $175,000
Buyer: Jobmtc LLC
Seller: Ianello, Joanne E., (Estate)
Date: 11/20/23

28 Wildwood Ave.
Springfield, MA 01118
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Joseph F. White
Seller: Constance L. Gale
Date: 11/14/23

21 Woodlawn St.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: Hazardville Realty Group LLC
Seller: Charlotte Provost
Date: 11/20/23

23 Woodside Ter.
Springfield, MA 01108
Amount: $225,000
Buyer: NMG Realty LLC
Seller: Richard R. Righetti
Date: 11/17/23

989 Worcester St.
Springfield, MA 01151
Amount: $249,000
Buyer: Deven Massarone
Seller: Riley Pontz
Date: 11/15/23

SOUTHWICK

2 Falcon Crest
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $670,000
Buyer: Mark Plasse
Seller: Jason Rocca
Date: 11/20/23

27 Feeding Hills Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Bethany A. Dirocco
Seller: Brown, Susan L., (Estate)
Date: 11/22/23

18 Meadow Lane
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $775,000
Buyer: Vincent Petrangelo
Seller: Craig S. Miller
Date: 11/10/23

16 Shore Road
Southwick, MA 01077
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Robert Z. Dunn
Seller: Deborah Dunn-Fields
Date: 11/16/23

TOLLAND

84 Lakeview Lane
Tolland, MA 01034
Amount: $549,000
Buyer: Howard S. Hoffman
Seller: Spidal NT
Date: 11/10/23

219 Owls Nest Lane
Tolland, MA 01034
Amount: $445,000
Buyer: Federica Piccioni
Seller: Dl Homes LLC
Date: 11/17/23

WALES

12 Sichols Colony Road
Wales, MA 01081
Amount: $255,000
Buyer: David M. Miller
Seller: Adam Blais
Date: 11/21/23

WEST SPRINGFIELD

130 Allston Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $343,000
Buyer: V&K Realty LLC
Seller: Gama RT
Date: 11/16/23

76 Armstrong St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $260,000
Buyer: Neera Ghaley
Seller: Jorge R. Vellon
Date: 11/22/23

34 Belle Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $281,000
Buyer: Nickolas R. Rodriguez
Seller: Skyspec LLC
Date: 11/10/23

366 Ely Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $392,500
Buyer: Mark Lussier
Seller: Carl W. Peterson
Date: 11/20/23

132 Grandview Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $317,000
Buyer: Arpana Rai
Seller: Jahjan LLC
Date: 11/09/23

103 Hillside Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $322,000
Buyer: Felipe Torres
Seller: Viktor Stelmakh
Date: 11/20/23

64 Homestead Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01090
Amount: $275,000
Buyer: Viktor Y. Tishchenko
Seller: Carmen R. Rosa
Date: 11/22/23

126 Lancaster Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $205,000
Buyer: Sareen Properties LLC
Seller: Ruta, Frederick J., (Estate)
Date: 11/16/23

286 Lancaster Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $395,000
Buyer: Prem Rai
Seller: Larkspur LLC
Date: 11/14/23

93 Lewis Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $265,000
Buyer: Mula Chery
Seller: Rossmeisl Jr., George A., (Estate)
Date: 11/17/23

55 Lyman St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $351,000
Buyer: Dustin K. Russo
Seller: Lee Johnson
Date: 11/20/23

326 Morton St.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Benjamin M. Ward
Seller: Tiberiu Poshtaru
Date: 11/09/23

154 Pease Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $309,000
Buyer: Beau D. Salamon-Davis
Seller: James P. Galica
Date: 11/10/23

774 Prospect Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: Ddmns Realty LLC
Seller: Mary A. Ventulett
Date: 11/17/23

136 Queen Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $156,000
Buyer: ML Saleh Holdings Inc.
Seller: Citigroup Mortgage Trust
Date: 11/16/23

139 Upper Beverly Hills
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $310,000
Buyer: Derek J. Murray
Seller: Casondra A. Johnson
Date: 11/16/23

185 Virginia Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $395,000
Buyer: Ram B. Rai
Seller: Oleksandr Demyanchuk
Date: 11/22/23

29 Webster Ave.
West Springfield, MA 01089
Amount: $285,000
Buyer: Arianna R. Polazzi
Seller: Bret Biram
Date: 11/17/23

WESTFIELD

32 Atwater St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $340,000
Buyer: Ryan M. Roberts
Seller: Noris Cuevas-Nova
Date: 11/17/23

184 Birch Bluffs Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Seth T. Philipp
Seller: Holden Canty
Date: 11/09/23

29 Cedar Lane
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $224,500
Buyer: Mass. Home Buyers LLC
Seller: Residential Asset Mortgage
Date: 11/21/23

55 Crown St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Jorge Vellon
Seller: Beatrice J. Szenda
Date: 11/24/23

57 Day Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Andrey St Ours
Seller: Michael D. Moran
Date: 11/14/23

67 Elm St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $315,000
Buyer: Morizio Brothers Mgmt. LLC
Seller: Anne K. Woodson
Date: 11/17/23

27 Furrowtown Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $470,000
Buyer: Gabriel Lopez
Seller: Steven J. Sheldon
Date: 11/10/23

2 Grant St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Aurora Holdings LLC
Seller: Lucy B. Campbell
Date: 11/15/23

194 Holyoke Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $160,000
Buyer: EDC Real Estate LLC
Seller: Kenneth J. Hall
Date: 11/22/23

125 Joseph Ave.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $306,500
Buyer: Noah D. Hennessey
Seller: Stephen C. Connors
Date: 11/14/23

111 Main St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Patidar Developers LLC
Seller: Sico Sr., Fred A., (Estate)
Date: 11/21/23

Montgomery St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Fitzgerald Home Solutions LLC
Seller: Bilodeau, Lydia, (Estate)
Date: 11/17/23

65 Montgomery St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $305,175
Buyer: Salvatore J. Depalma
Seller: Fitzgerald Home Solutions LLC
Date: 11/17/23

175 North Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $1,025,000
Buyer: David L. Baron
Seller: Mildred J. Carignan
Date: 11/13/23

73 Northridge Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $335,000
Buyer: Indra Shankar
Seller: Amy M. Varner
Date: 11/22/23

Notre Dame St.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $185,000
Buyer: Fitzgerald Home Solutions LLC
Seller: Bilodeau, Lydia, (Estate)
Date: 11/17/23

100 Park Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $410,000
Buyer: Caitlyn N. Champagne
Seller: Archie F. Hogue
Date: 11/09/23

80 Putnam Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $327,000
Buyer: Roman Protsun
Seller: Stephen E. Dowd
Date: 11/22/23

519 Southampton Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Japan LLC
Seller: Richard K. Adams
Date: 11/13/23

918 Southampton Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $600,000
Buyer: Manhan River Enterprise LLC
Seller: T. & M. Morin Properties LLC
Date: 11/21/23

259 Steiger Dr.
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $410,000
Buyer: Michael Wheeler
Seller: Kathryn L. Buttrick RET
Date: 11/09/23

5 Stephanie Lane
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $499,999
Buyer: Mathew W. Post
Seller: Matthew P. Thompson
Date: 11/14/23

5 Whispering Wind Road
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $625,000
Buyer: Cynthia McDonald
Seller: Trevor B. Eckhart
Date: 11/17/23

61 Yankee Circle
Westfield, MA 01085
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: Michael Latour
Seller: Jeffrey Trant
Date: 11/20/23

WILBRAHAM

9 Brookside Circle
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $475,000
Buyer: Joseph Hutchison
Seller: Thomas J. Courtney
Date: 11/20/23

24 Carla Lane
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $677,500
Buyer: Przemyslaw Szura
Seller: Jonathan S. Weibel
Date: 11/22/23

37 Dalton St.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $295,000
Buyer: Jonathan A. Hernandez
Seller: Deborah A. Burnham
Date: 11/16/23

5 East Colonial Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Wade R. Jackson
Seller: Brian P. Blakesley
Date: 11/14/23

5 Hemlock Circle
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $627,000
Buyer: Jonathan A. Wietecha
Seller: Curt L. Hamakawa
Date: 11/17/23

3 Hickory Hill Dr.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $307,000
Buyer: Custom Home Development Group LLC
Seller: Cynthia J. Vickers
Date: 11/14/23

12 Iroquois Lane
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $500,000
Buyer: That Matters LLC
Seller: Indymac Index Mortgage TR
Date: 11/17/23

21 Jewell Lane
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $405,000
Buyer: Trevor J. Ziomek
Seller: Gregory A. Coutu
Date: 11/09/23

243 Manchonis Road. Ext.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $231,000
Buyer: Judy Bergdoll
Seller: Francine M. Simonoko
Date: 11/17/23

1 Nicola Way
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $329,900
Buyer: Kathy Murphy
Seller: HRD Holdings LLC
Date: 11/17/23

3 Pleasant View Road
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $385,000
Buyer: Karin J. Lauria
Seller: Gail M. Harris 2019 FT
Date: 11/17/23

7 Rice Dr.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $435,000
Buyer: Matthew A. Gay
Seller: Teresa M. Strandberg
Date: 11/09/23

10 Ruth Dr.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $483,000
Buyer: Sunni B. McCoy
Seller: Joan C. George
Date: 11/22/23

27 Stonegate Circle
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $711,000
Buyer: Christopher M. Knowles
Seller: Joseph Bottone
Date: 11/17/23

36 Stonegate Circle
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $580,000
Buyer: Rebecca M. Householder
Seller: Thomas A. Salomone
Date: 11/13/23

3 Valley View Dr.
Wilbraham, MA 01095
Amount: $867,000
Buyer: Kristina M. Kort
Seller: Eric H. Wietsma
Date: 11/22/23

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY

AMHERST

850 Belchertown Road
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $360,000
Buyer: 80 Acres
Seller: Steve A. Ozcelik
Date: 11/15/23

94 Lessey St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $1,075,000
Buyer: Brian Murphy
Seller: Roses Supposes Magical NT
Date: 11/20/23

180 North Whitney St.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $420,000
Buyer: 180 North Whitney LLC
Seller: Francis R. Fox
Date: 11/17/23

161 Pondview Dr.
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $425,000
Buyer: Erika P. Yunga
Seller: Mark C. Luce
Date: 11/21/23

424 Potwine Lane
Amherst, MA 01002
Amount: $263,500
Buyer: Gazit C. Nkosi
Seller: Scott Tundermann
Date: 11/13/23

BELCHERTOWN

166 Bardwell St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $725,000
Buyer: Geisha I. Uroza
Seller: Robert A. Dufresne
Date: 11/15/23

63 Gold St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $395,000
Buyer: Richard R. Gibbs
Seller: Wendy A. Iozzo
Date: 11/17/23

148 Metacomet St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $305,000
Buyer: Shelly A. Galloway
Seller: Nichole L. O’Hearn
Date: 11/15/23

329 Mill Valley Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $363,000
Buyer: Connor Doran
Seller: Janine M. Connor
Date: 11/20/23

257 Old Enfield Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $255,500
Buyer: David Lesiege
Seller: Groux, Wilfred A., (Estate)
Date: 11/13/23

421-A South Washington St.
Belchertown, MA 01007
Amount: $200,000
Buyer: Marsia M. Nogueira
Seller: Simon K. Joseph
Date: 11/17/23

CHESTERFIELD

87 Cummington Road
Chesterfield, MA 01084
Amount: $375,000
Buyer: Collin Stevenson
Seller: Shane M. Wickland
Date: 11/20/23

EASTHAMPTON

4 East Green St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $162,500
Buyer: Alexander W. Kwolek
Seller: Kessler, Phillip M., (Estate)
Date: 11/14/23

13 Everett St.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $435,000
Buyer: Robin Haueter
Seller: Nancy A. Hicks IRT
Date: 11/13/23

37 Hannum Brook Dr.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $430,000
Buyer: Joseph M. Greenberg
Seller: James & Donna Britton RET
Date: 11/15/23

1 Sandra Road
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $387,000
Buyer: Bertram W. Gardner
Seller: James M. Dean
Date: 11/16/23

15 Steplar Xing Lot 15
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $610,000
Buyer: Peter Albero
Seller: Loudville Condominiums LLC
Date: 11/17/23

17 Steplar Xing, Lot 17
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $576,550
Buyer: Daniel D. Johnson
Seller: Loudville Condominiums LLC
Date: 11/17/23

18 Steplar Xing, Lot 18
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $597,400
Buyer: Robert Dufresne
Seller: Loudville Condominiums LLC
Date: 11/17/23

34 Ward Ave.
Easthampton, MA 01027
Amount: $363,000
Buyer: David Terkanian
Seller: Sarah A. Sullivan
Date: 11/14/23

GRANBY

418 Miller St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $289,000
Buyer: Jessica L. Bean
Seller: Jonathan Mastalerz
Date: 11/17/23

54 North St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $535,000
Buyer: Tobias E. Wilson
Seller: Ronald J. Pete
Date: 11/14/23

17 Smith Ave.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $302,000
Buyer: Eve B. Jenkins
Seller: Nicholas E. Lacasse
Date: 11/20/23

47 Taylor St.
Granby, MA 01033
Amount: $250,000
Buyer: Connor Z. McClaflin
Seller: George R. Bissel RET
Date: 11/17/23

HADLEY

6 Adare Place
Hadley, MA 01035
Amount: $855,000
Buyer: Balbir Singh
Seller: W. Marek Inc.
Date: 11/16/23

HATFIELD

26 Chestnut St.
Hatfield, MA 01038
Amount: $222,000
Buyer: David Zononi
Seller: David Zononi
Date: 11/20/23

HUNTINGTON

15 East Main St.
Huntington, MA 01050
Amount: $259,300
Buyer: Joshua D. Munson
Seller: David J. Prats
Date: 11/16/23

24 Worthington Road
Huntington, MA 01050
Amount: $221,600
Buyer: Daniel A. Delisle
Seller: Adam J. Cormier
Date: 11/15/23

NORTHAMPTON

25 Birch Lane
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $525,500
Buyer: Heather A. Bell
Seller: R. A. Ryan
Date: 11/13/23

781 Burts Pit Road
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $170,000
Buyer: Zachariah G. Clayton
Seller: Pioneer Valley Habitat For Humanity
Date: 11/17/23

785 Burts Pit Road
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: Patrick P. Samok
Seller: Pioneer Valley Habitat For Humanity
Date: 11/17/23

789 Burts Pit Road
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $150,000
Buyer: Joseph H. Weddell
Seller: Pioneer Valley Habitat For Humanity
Date: 11/17/23

187 Emerson Way
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $180,000
Buyer: Diane Stock
Seller: Sovereign Builders Inc.
Date: 11/21/23

17 Glenwood Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $370,000
Buyer: Eds Enterprises LLC
Seller: Bear Stearns Alt-A TR
Date: 11/20/23

574 Haydenville Road
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $700,000
Buyer: Sixth Studio LLC
Seller: Haydenville Road LLC
Date: 11/15/23

50 Hubbard Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $490,000
Buyer: Gail E. Murray
Seller: Thomas A. Sayre
Date: 11/16/23

640 Kennedy Road
Northampton, MA 01053
Amount: $830,000
Buyer: Stanley A. Hunter
Seller: Carly Everhart
Date: 11/17/23

61 Kensington Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $535,333
Buyer: Kate Smith
Seller: Katherine Jenkins
Date: 11/21/23

12 Lawn Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $975,000
Buyer: Cole Archambault
Seller: Joseph Curran
Date: 11/20/23

36 Lyman Road
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $780,000
Buyer: Brendan Ciecko
Seller: Elizabeth C. W. O’Connor RET
Date: 11/16/23

459 Pleasant St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $1,100,000
Buyer: Alloy LLC
Seller: Robert P. Kalish
Date: 11/17/23

16 Spruce Lane
Northampton, MA 01062
Amount: $510,000
Buyer: Laura M. Registrato
Seller: Sloan, Inge B., (Estate)
Date: 11/21/23

11 Valley St.
Northampton, MA 01060
Amount: $366,000
Buyer: Equity Trust Co.
Seller: Jonathan Lander
Date: 11/17/23

SOUTH HADLEY

19 Charon Ter.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $615,000
Buyer: Iraz Medhi
Seller: Justin W. Hansen
Date: 11/15/23

124 Ferry St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $415,000
Buyer: Five Sticks LLC
Seller: MF Properties LLC
Date: 11/17/23

168 Granby Road
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $263,000
Buyer: Sara Benson
Seller: Stephen Sergeiko-Marcotte
Date: 11/21/23

304 Hadley St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $1,250,000
Buyer: Nicole V. Carter
Seller: James M. Niedbala
Date: 11/15/23

475 Hadley St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $151,144
Buyer: Jason T. Novak
Seller: James D. Bothwell
Date: 11/20/23

33 Lyon Green
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: J. N. Duquette & Son Construction
Seller: Mountain Brook LLC
Date: 11/13/23

37 Lyon Green
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $120,000
Buyer: J. N. Duquette & Son Construction
Seller: Mountain Brook LLC
Date: 11/13/23

376 Newton St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $325,000
Buyer: Natalia Klymenko
Seller: Kmak LLC
Date: 11/17/23

70 Pittroff Ave.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $350,000
Buyer: Kathryn Brawn
Seller: Dwyer Jr., Arthur J., (Estate)
Date: 11/16/23

8 Scott Hollow Dr.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $600,000
Buyer: Sarah Showalter
Seller: Alice E. Shevlin LT
Date: 11/20/23

75 Silver St.
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $550,000
Buyer: Justin B. Solomon
Seller: Gaulin, J. Guy, (Estate)
Date: 11/16/23

34 Upper River Road
South Hadley, MA 01075
Amount: $470,000
Buyer: Eva M. Dion
Seller: Sourdiffe, Estelle T., (Estate)
Date: 11/14/23

SOUTHAMPTON

120 East St.
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $130,000
Buyer: Berkshire County Arc Inc.
Seller: Kristine P. Canton
Date: 11/16/23

6 Kingsberry Lane
Southampton, MA 01073
Amount: $364,500
Buyer: Amanda Womeldorf
Seller: Janice L. Sparko-Frey
Date: 11/20/23

WARE

98 Greenwich Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $410,000
Buyer: Jonathan Ruggiero
Seller: Shonn K. Monday
Date: 11/22/23

55 Highland St.
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $340,000
Buyer: Lindsey Stasiowski
Seller: Mackenzie L. Godbout
Date: 11/17/23

30 Horseshoe Circle
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $489,500
Buyer: Gustave Romano
Seller: Lisa Yeisley
Date: 11/13/23

Lower Cove Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $489,500
Buyer: Gustave Romano
Seller: Lisa Yeisley
Date: 11/13/23

30 Meadow Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $385,000
Buyer: Greggory B. Cooper
Seller: Herbert A. Hamborg
Date: 11/13/23

8 Oakridge Circle
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $355,000
Buyer: Laurence Levesque
Seller: John M. Skutnik
Date: 11/15/23

229 Osborne Road
Ware, MA 01082
Amount: $225,800
Buyer: Aaron W. Epstein
Seller: Edward J. Perrot
Date: 11/15/23

WORTHINGTON

110 Capen St.
Worthington, MA 01098
Amount: $155,000
Buyer: Joshua Flanagan
Seller: Luke D. Ratcliffe
Date: 11/17/23

 

 

Departments People on the Move

The Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce announced the hiring of its new Executive Director, Maureen Belliveau. She joins the chamber after two years as executive director of the Westfield Business Improvement District. Prior to that, she spent more than five years as co-owner of Optimum Health Therapeutic Massage, a small business also located in Westfield. “I am delighted to partner with the board of directors in raising the Greater Easthampton Chamber to the next level,” said Belliveau. “I am eager to get out and about within our communities and meet our members.”
•••••
UMass Amherst has hired veteran biopharmaceutical executive and researcher Peter Reinhart to be the Founding Director of the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS). The institute was created in 2013 with $150 million in capital funding from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) and additional contributions from the university to accelerate life-science research and advance collaboration with industry. Reinhart comes to the university from Alzehon, a Lexington, Mass. company where he most recently was the head of corporate development and new products for the firm, which is focused on brain health, memory, and aging and development of treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Prior to that, he was chief scientific officer and then president at Proteostasis Therapeutics, and head of Neurodegeneration at Wyeth/Pfizer. He has also been an adjunct associate professor of Neuroscience at the Duke University Medical Center for the past decade and was a tenured professor at the center for nearly 13 years prior to that. Michael Malone, UMass Amherst’s vice chancellor for Research and Engagement, said hiring Reinhart is a significant milestone in developing the IALS. “His extensive experience in both academic and industrial biomedical research and training, and his passion for advancing life sciences, is the perfect background for leading the growth of the three IALS Centers.” Kumble Subbaswamy, UMass Amherst chancellor, noted that IALS is a critical part of the university’s strategy for innovation and impact in the life-sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts and beyond. “As founding director, Peter Reinhart will play a critical role in shaping and expanding our collaborations on campus with industry and with colleagues at other UMass campuses.” Reinhart said this is a position that is well-suited to his experience and skills. “Having spent significant time in large pharma, biotechnology companies, as well as in academia allows me to understand the strengths and needs of each of these organizations. This experience will be useful both in advancing alliances across the UMass campuses to combine assets and capabilities, and in utilizing such assets to develop industry partnerships.” The MLSC funding, a capital grant of $95 million, is the largest economic-development grant in the history of the UMass system and the largest grant the MLSC has awarded as part of the Commonwealth’s $1 billion, 10-year, life-sciences economic-development initiative.
•••••
Westfield State University President Elizabeth Preston announced that Madeline Landrau and Linda Slakey have been named the newest members of the WSU board of trustees. Their appointments complete the full, 11-member board.

Madeline Landrau

Madeline Landrau

• Landrau has worked at MassMutual for nearly 20 years, most recently in the office of Community Responsibility and as Marketing Director for multicultural market development, where she is responsible for leading the development and execution of marketing and recruiting strategies to help the company reach the U.S. Hispanic and Latino markets. Landrau’s community-service efforts include past and current roles as a board member of Habitat for Humanity and vice chair at ALMMA, MassMutual’s employee resource group. Previous roles include serving as board chair of the city of Springfield’s Personnel Department, commissioner of Springfield Libraries, and member of MassMutual’s Women Business Advisory Board. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human services at Springfield College. Landrau is the first non-student Latina to serve on Westfield State’s board of trustees.
Linda Slakey

Linda Slakey

• Slakey serves as Senior Advisor for the Assoc. of American Universities STEM Initiative and as Senior Fellow for Project Kaleidoscope for the Assoc. of American Colleges & Universities. Her career in higher education and research began when she was appointed to the faculty of the Department of Biochemistry at UMass Amherst in 1973. Her scientific work focused on lipid metabolism and vascular biology, and was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Assoc., and the National Science Foundation. During her time there, she served as head of the Department of Biochemistry (1986-1991) and dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (1993-2000) and of the Commonwealth College (2000-2006). As dean of NSM and of Commonwealth College, she was active in supporting teaching and learning initiatives throughout the university. Slakey served at the National Science Foundation from 2006 through 2011 as the director of the Division of Undergraduate Education, and as a senior staff associate in the office of the assistant director for Education and Human Resources. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Siena Heights College and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Michigan.
•••••
Tracey Gaylord

Tracey Gaylord

Easthampton Savings Bank announced that Tracey Gaylord has joined the bank as Vice President, Commercial Lending. Gaylord has more than 25 years of banking experience, primarily in commercial lending. Most recently, she was the regional vice president and commercial loan officer for Union Bank in St. Johnsbury, Vt. Gaylord obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in Burlington. She is a graduate of the Northern New England School of Banking, the New England School of Banking, the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and the ABA Graduate Commercial Lending School. While living in Vermont, Gaylord had extensive affiliations with local nonprofits, including the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium, where she continues to serve as a trustee, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Northeast Kingdom Human Services, and the St. Johnsbury Chamber of Commerce.
•••••
Holly Lawson Kresiak

Holly Lawson Kresiak

Berkshire Bank announced that Holly Lawson Kresiak has been hired as Vice President, Wealth Advisor, joining its Wealth Management team. In this position, Kresiak will be responsible for developing and maintaining personalized client relationships, irrevocable and revocable trust administration, and estate planning in Berkshire County and the Pioneer Valley. In addition, she will work with clients by providing investment management, trust administration, and asset-allocation services to help them achieve their long-term investment goals. She has 17 years of financial-management experience. Her areas of specialization are trust administration, estate planning, and client relations. Kresiak will be working out of Berkshire Wealth Management’s Berkshire County and Pioneer Valley offices located at 25 Main St., Lenox, and 1259 East Columbus Ave., Springfield, respectively. Prior to Berkshire Bank, Kresiak worked for TD Wealth Private Client Group, a division of TD Bank where she was vice president, trust advisor. She graduated cum laude from Bay Path College with a bachelor’s degree. She is also a graduate of the Cannon Financial Institute’s Trust School and holds a certificate from the American Banking Institute of Southern New England.
•••••
Lawrence Johnson

Lawrence Johnson

Lawrence Johnson has been named Director of Non-discrimination and University Compliance at Westfield State University. He officially joins the university on Monday, Oct. 20. “Using existing funds for a position that we have chosen not to fill, we have created this new position to assure that we are doing everything we must and can do to meet state and federal requirements and provide a safe environment for everyone in our campus community,” said Elizabeth Preston, president of Westfield State University. “Our recent audit by the Mass. Office of the Comptroller suggests that a better coordinated approach to risk management through a dedicated position will build on what is already in place and will ensure we are adhering to the highest ethical standards.” The position will focus on prevention and will include identifying any risks the university may face from internal policies or changes in local, state, or federal laws, as well as designing and implementing controls to minimize those risks and reporting the effectiveness of the controls. Johnson will also provide education and training, and is responsible for developing, implementing, and evaluating the university’s Equal Opportunity, Diversity, and Affirmative Action Plan and initiatives to promote an inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. A lawyer, Johnson currently holds joint positions as associate dean of students at Rider University in New Jersey, and dean of students for Rider’s Westminster Choir (Music) College. He is responsible for upholding many legal areas, including Title IX, risk management, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, disability services, substance-abuse prevention, and multi-cultural affairs and community service. Johnson has worked closely with human resources to provide sexual-harassment training to all corners of the university and assisted in the development of Rider’s Title IX policy in compliance with the Office of Civil Rights’ 2010 “Dear Colleague” letter and Violence Against Women Act. In addition to his role as dean, Johnson is an adjunct professor of American Studies, where he has taught the course “Law and Ethics in Higher Education.” He has been honored as an Omicron Delta Kappa inductee and academic advisor, was the recipient of the Angel on My Shoulder award from the Black Student Union, and was on the Law School Honor Code Committee at Franklin Pierce Law Center. Johnson’s professional affiliations include memberships in the National Assoc. of College Student Personnel Administrators, the Delaware Valley Student Affairs Administration Assoc., the Delaware Valley Student Affairs Administrators Assoc., and the Assoc. of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey. He holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Saint Michael’s College, a master’s degree in higher education administration from Michigan State University, and a juris doctor from the University of New Hampshire Law School.

People on the Move
Russ Fontaine

Russ Fontaine

Country Bank announced that Russ Fontaine has been promoted to senior vice president, Customer Experience. He is a seasoned banking professional with 30 years of experience in key management and leadership roles in consumer sales and service. Fontaine previously held the position of first vice president, Sales and Market Management with Country Bank, where he oversaw sales and service. One example of a new program introduced by the bank, as a result of Fontaine’s recommendation, was the deployment of a “Voice of the Customer” program that enables the bank to measure and better understand the overall customer experience through various survey metrics. In his newly created role, Fontaine is tasked with leading a bankwide collaborative effort to view things from the customer’s perspective; this applies to both the bank’s external customer and its internal customer. Fontaine is active within the community, serving on the board of directors for the Central/Western Massachusetts March of Dimes and as a 2021 co-chair for the March for Babies fundraising event in Massachusetts. He has also served on the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity board of directors, including holding the chair role for the organization’s Restore committee. Additionally, he has been an avid supporter of the United Way and the Western Massachusetts Special Olympics.

•••••

Anita Sedlak

Florence Bank promoted Anita Sedlak to the position of vice president, branch manager of the Easthampton office. Sedlak brings extensive knowledge and skill to her new role. Prior to her recent promotion, she was the senior assistant branch manager at the Easthampton office. During her tenure at the bank, she has been the recipient of the Florence Bank Community Support Award, which is granted to employees who demonstrate superior levels of involvement in the community. She is a graduate of the New England School of Financial Studies. She serves her community as treasurer of Easthampton Dollars for Scholars, finance committee member for the Easthampton Helping Hand Society and a board member of the Florence Bank Easthampton Branch Charitable Foundation.

•••••

The Western Mass Business Show, the WHMP radio program showcasing business leaders of the Pioneer Valley, will have a new host, Tara Brewster, beginning May 1. The show explores the experiences and perspectives of entrepreneurs, delving into their aspirations, strategies, and evolution in friendly but probing conversations. It is intended to be both entertaining and instructive, whether the listener runs a company or not. The show airs on WHMP on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Brewster is vice president for Business Development at Greenfield Savings Bank (GSB). It is her mission to form many trusted relationships with business and organizational leaders and help guide them toward how GSB can be a resource and solution for what ails them. She serves on the boards of several nonprofits, including Double Edge Theater, the Downtown Northampton Assoc., the David Ruggles Center, Hampshire Regional YMCA, MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board, and North Star Self-Directed Learning for Teens. The Smith College alumna is also the co-founder and former co-owner of Jackson & Connor, the upscale menswear store in Thornes, in downtown Northampton. Brewster takes the microphone from Ira Bryck, who started the show in 2014. Bryck ran the Family Business Center for 25 years and now consults with the leadership-coaching firm Giombetti Associates. Interested prospective guests can reach out to Brewster at [email protected].

•••••

Annalise Eak

Annalise Eak

The Westfield Starfires announced the addition of Annalise Eak to the staff as coordinator of Group Sales & Fan Experiences. Eak, a Westfield native and graduate of Westfield State University, is pursuing a graduate degree at Bay Path University. For the last seven years, she has served as a marketing supervisor at Six Flags New England. She was a Starfires Game Day Operations volunteer at Bullens Field in both 2019 and 2020. She is vice president of the Westfield Babe Ruth board of directors and served on the World Series executive committee in 2019. She is a Westfield Centennial Lions Club member and Westfield Technical Academy sports volunteer. The Westfield Starfires are part of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, which offers collegiate summer baseball to fans in seven New England cities. The Starfires joined the league as an expansion franchise for the summer of 2019 and play in historic Billy Bullens Field in Westfield. The 2021 schedule will be released in the coming weeks.

•••••

Comcast announced the appointment of Colleen Cone as vice president of Human Resources for the company’s Western New England region, which is headquartered in Berlin, Conn. and includes more than 300 communities in Connecticut, Western Mass., New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. Cone will oversee the region’s human-resource functions, including talent management, career development, and training; benefits, with a focus on employee wellness; and employee engagement and recognition. Prior to joining the Western New England region, Cone was the senior director of Human Resources for Comcast’s Greater Boston region, where she was responsible for employee engagement and other initiatives that addressed compliance and supported a strong and healthy workplace culture. She also previously served as vice president of Talent and Culture for Skillsoft, where she was the senior leader responsible for employee engagement, internal communications, U.S. talent acquisition, and performance-management processes and recognition for a global workforce. Cone holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. and a juris doctor degree from Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law. Named by New Hampshire magazine to its 2016 list of Exceptional Women in Business, she also serves on the board of directors of New Hampshire Tech Alliance and Families in Transition.

•••••

Ann-Marie Simao

Ann-Marie Simao

Joshua Carreiro

Joshua Carreiro

Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) honored two faculty members as this year’s 2021 Endowed Chairs, awards named for two of the college’s founders. In a video sent to the STCC campus community, President John Cook congratulated this year’s recipients, Professors Ann-Marie Simao and Joshua Carreiro. Carreiro received the Anthony M. Scibelli Endowed Chair, and Simao received the Joseph J. Deliso Sr. Endowed Chair. They received a monetary award — $3,000 each — and wooden chairs with plaques inscribed with their names. They can apply $1,500 to professional development and $1,500 to their academic department. In announcing the Deliso recipient, Barbara Washburn, interim dean of the School of STEM, said Simao, a mathematics professor, is known for her early adoption of open education resources (OER), which allows students to access textbooks and other resources for free. She uses OER for all of her math courses. Simao earned a master’s degree in education from Fitchburg State University and in math from Central Connecticut State University. She received a bachelor’s degree from Providence College. Richard Greco, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, said Carreiro, who has been teaching at STCC since 2012 and serves as chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences, has shown strong leadership in online education, and has helped faculty transition to online teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic. Carreiro earned his PhD in sociology from UMass Amherst. He started his college pathway at Manchester Community College in Connecticut, where he earned an associate degree. He then transferred to University of Connecticut in Storrs, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and philosophy.

•••••

Maria Toyoda, currently the dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and professor of Political Science & Legal Studies at Boston’s Suffolk University, has been appointed senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost at Western New England University, effective July 12. President Robert Johnson announced the appointment, citing Toyoda’s successes in cross-disciplinary collaboration, commitment to student success, procurement of grant funding, modernization of processes, and mobilization of faculty as partners in the recruitment process at her prior institution. Toyoda will be the university’s chief academic officer and oversee the academic integrity of all colleges, schools, and institutes on campus. The position is responsible for working with the deans and faculty to maintain the quality of current programs, develop new programs, and oversee the academic-appointment process. In her current role at Suffolk University, Toyoda oversees 18 departments with 200 full-time faculty and staff with responsibility for an undergraduate population of 5,000 students. On March 30, she was honored as one of Get Konnected’s 50 Most Influential People of Color in Higher Education. She received her PhD and master’s degree in government at Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University with honors in values, technology, science, and society. Toyoda succeeds interim Provost Curt Hamakawa, who will return to his previous position as professor of Sport Management. Hamakawa is also the director of the Business Study Abroad program, the Business Honors program, and the Center for International Sport Business in the university’s College of Business.

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The Connecticut Bar Assoc. (CBA) announced that Jennifer Levi, professor of Law at Western New England University (WNEU) School of Law, is the 2021 Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award winner. The award is presented to legal educators who have made significant contributions to the cause of legal education over a period of years and have distinguished themselves as legal educators of the highest quality. Levi has dedicated her career to fighting for the rights of women, children, the poor, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered clients, and was a founder of the law school’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Studies, which is now part of the School of Law’s Center for Social Justice. In addition, she is a nationally recognized expert on transgender legal issues and the director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project litigating precedent-setting cases establishing basic rights for LGBTQ people. Established in 2012, the Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award is presented to a member of the Connecticut Bar Assoc. who is a member of the faculty, a clinical instructor, or an adjunct instructor at UConn, Quinnipiac, Yale, or Western New England University law schools, or a member of the CBA who has contributed greatly to the legal education of his or her colleagues. The recipient must have demonstrated sustained commitment and made significant contributions to the cause of legal education in the state and have distinguished himself or herself as a legal educator of the highest quality as a teacher, scholarly writer, or both.

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Dan Dodge

Dan Dodge

Associated Builders Inc. of South Hadley recently welcomed Dan Dodge, whose role will encompass business development, pre-construction planning and logistics, and project coordination. Dodge’s career spans more than 30 years of demonstrated achievements in commercial real-estate development and construction for major retailers and Fortune 500 companies. Previously, he served in progressive roles as manager of Land Planning, construction project manager, and director of Development at Berkshire Development LLC, followed by the role of managing director of Development at NAI Plotkin. He has evaluated and conducted due diligence on more than 200 real-estate development projects, ranging from a 50,000-square-foot single tenant property valued at $5 million to a 300,000-square-foot, multi-tenant property valued at $40 million. His experience includes project coordination for national brand anchor stores including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Kohl’s, HHGregg Electronics, Staples, and Bed Bath & Beyond. Dodge holds an unrestricted Massachusetts construction supervisor license, a certificate in construction project management and contracting, a certificate in AutoCAD, an OSHA 30-hour certificate, and a certificate in architectural and civil drafting and design. He is a Massachusetts-licensed real-estate salesperson and an FAA-certified drone pilot. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and a former South Hadley Planning Board member.

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Janice Beetle, a longtime writer and editor from Western Mass., has released her second book, Willful Evolution: Because Healing the Heart Takes Strength, through her own publishing imprint, Janice Beetle Books LLC. In 2010, Beetle was laid off from her full-time job in the Valley, and her late husband, Ed Godleski, died four days later. Beetle tells the story of her grief journey in her first memoir, Divine Renovations, published in 2011. Her new book, Willful Evolution, is a sequel that tells the story of the past decade and how Beetle reinvented herself; revitalized her PR and communications business, Beetle Press; and also created Janice Beetle Books in 2019. On more personal notes, the book shows how traveling, family, a series of adventures and bad turns, and exercise helped Beetle gain physical and emotional strength and survive online dating. She compares her book to Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle, and Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. Through Janice Beetle Books, Beetle also helps authors of all skill levels — as well as non-writers — carry a book idea through to publication. She also offers writing coaching services. Beetle’s books are available at janicebeetlebooks.com, www.levellerspress.com/off-the-common-books, and on Amazon.

Departments People on the Move
Christopher Casale

Christopher Casale

Chicopee Savings Bank recently welcomed Christopher Casale to its Financial Services Center as an investment services sales associate. Casale has been advising clients on investments and insurance as a registered representative for more than 30 years. In 1982, he started his career with E.F. Hutton & Co. and most recently worked at United Bank, where he served as a personal banker and assistant vice president of investments. Casale has earned his Series 7, 63, and Investment Advisor Representative designation through LPL Financial as well as his license in life, accident, and health insurance. He graduated in 1982 from American International College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

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John O’Rourke III has been appointed to the position of controller at Bay Path University. O’Rourke will work closely with Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services Michael Giampietro and the staff of the university’s Business Office to account for and manage its financial assets. His responsibilities include overseeing payroll, accounting, receivables and payables, grant accounting and compliance, and the Bursar’s Office. “John O’Rourke is highly skilled in financial analysis, auditing, and strategic planning,” Giampietro said. “We are excited to have him join the university staff.” O’Rourke brings to the university more than 15 years of experience in finance and accounting. Prior to joining the Bay Path staff, he served as comptroller for Holyoke Community College, and has additional experience as an investment accountant for MassMutual Financial Group and staff accountant for Lester Halpern & Co. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from UMass Amherst.

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The Gray House recently inducted five new board members to three-year terms.
• Jan Rodriguez Denney is director of Elder Affairs for the city of Springfield. She holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from UMass and a master’s degree in human resources development from American International College. She serves on the board of Partners for a Healthier Community, Springfield Food Policy Council, Regional Employment Board, YWCA, Incorporated Emerson Wright Foundation, Greater Senior Services Inc., and Springfield College Board.
• Sean Ditto is a project executive with Consigli Construction Co. in Hartford, Conn. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Norwich University.
• Karen Garcia is a family specialist with the New England Farm Workers Council. She works with the homeless to help them address their issues so they are able to sustain affordable housing.
• Sr. Catherine Homrok is one of the founders of the Gray House. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1959 after graduation from St. Jerome High School in Holyoke. She received her bachelor’s degree from Elms College and her master’s degree from Emerson College. Currently, she serves the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield as its director of Pastoral Ministries.
• Tina-Marie Quagliato is director of disaster recovery and compliance for the city of Springfield. She has been employed by the city for almost 11 years, with varying roles in housing, community development, and neighborhood stabilization. She is on the board of trustees for the Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence in Springfield and the board of directors for the United Way of Pioneer Valley, Emergency Food and Shelter Program. She has volunteered with Keep Springfield Beautiful, Habitat for Humanity, Open Pantry, and the Mattoon Street Arts Festival.
The Gray House is a small, neighborhood human-service agency located at 22 Sheldon St. in the North End of Springfield. Its mission is to help neighbors facing hardships to meet their immediate and transitional needs by providing food, clothing, and educational services in a safe, positive environment. For more information, visit www.grayhouse.org.

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Corina Belle-Isle has joined Gage-Wiley & Co. Inc. in a dual role, serving as a financial advisor and also holding a new position the investment firm recently created: director of business development. In her leadership position, Belle-Isle will work with President Christopher Milne to set firm and wide objectives and identify methods to reach these goals. She also will have a responsibility to develop, coordinate, and implement plans designed to increase existing business and capture new opportunities. “Creating this new leadership position represents one more incremental step in our long-term goal of advancing Gage-Wiley as a comprehensive boutique wealth-management firm mand ensuring we are well-positioned to support the growing and complex needs of our clients,” Milne said. Belle-Isle’s varied background includes experience in financial services, real estate, corporate sales and marketing, small-business ownership, and nonprofit development. Rounding out her business knowledge and experience are her creative pursuits; last year, she served as the principal and curator of the Quinn Marin Gallery Project in Rockport. “The common thread among all her experiences is a demonstrated success in business development and building strong relationships,” Milne said.

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Berkshire Bank announced that Kathryn Dube has joined the bank as first vice president and wealth business development leader. Dube brings more than 30 years of banking and financial-management experience to her new role. She has held progressively responsible positions in retail banking and wealth management in the Western Mass. and Connecticut markets. Prior to joining Berkshire Bank, she served as senior vice president of private banking at TD Bank, where she was responsible for sales of wealth products and services and generating new assets. She served as senior vice president, regional retail market manager for TD Bank as well, managing a network of 35 stores and $2 billion in deposits. Dube holds Series 7 and 66 FINRA licenses. She attended the University of Connecticut, New England College of Finance, and Bryant College. Involved in numerous community endeavors, she is the current chair of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council in the Pioneer Valley, a member of the organization’s board of directors, and co-chair of the Endowment Committee for the United Way. Having previously served as chair and vice chair for the United Way of Pioneer Valley, she was selected as the organization’s Volunteer of the Year in 2014.

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Phillips Insurance Agency Inc. announced that account executive Sam Fortsch has earned the prestigious accredited adviser in insurance (AAI) designation. This degree was earned after he successfully completed the Liberty Mutual Commercial Lines Producers School, an intensive, six-month training program that included multiple classes and nine exams. Fortsch joined Phillips Insurance in July 2014 after four years of active-duty service in the U.S. Army. He left the Army as a captain after two tours of duty in Afghanistan with the 101st Airborne. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UMass. Fortsch has developed a strong expertise in the energy, automotive, technology, and craft-brewing industries in a short time, said Joseph Phillips, president of Phillips Insurance. “The same level of commitment that he brought to serving his country, he has brought to serving his clients.” Fortsch is servicing existing clients and cultivating new business opportunities throughout New England. Phillips Insurance Agency, established in 1953, is a full-service risk-management firm with a staff of 23 professionals. The agency handles the personal and commercial insurance needs for thousands of individuals and businesses throughout New England.

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Richard Venne, president and CEO of Community Enterprises Inc., announced the appointment of Gary Daniele as director of Greenfield Community Employment and Training Programs. He is responsible for the effective management of all aspects of employment and training services in Greenfield, and will implement the organization’s mission and values by supporting individuals to make positive changes in their lives. Daniele was previously employed by the state of Oregon as a branch manager for vocational rehabilitation. He has more than 25 years of experience in employment, vocational, and residential supports for individuals with disabilities, and was awarded the Department of Human Services Director’s Excellence Award in 2014. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Roger Williams University. Community Enterprises is a human-service organization that provides employment, education, housing supports, and day supports for people with disabilities. Headquartered in Northampton, it maintains 27 service locations throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Kentucky. The Massachusetts offices include Springfield, Holyoke, Pittsfield, Greenfield, Worcester, Salem, Gloucester, and Somerville. The nonprofit organization, which started as a small program at Northampton State Hospital, has grown to a $22.5 million business.

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Yvonne Diaz

Yvonne Diaz

Ramon Financial Services announced that Yvonne Diaz is joining the company as a benefits consultant. She will design and service employee-benefit programs for new and existing clients. Diaz brings 16 years of industry experience, including 10 years as an account executive at Health New England. She received her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Bay Path College and is currently a member of Leadership Pioneer Valley’s Class of 2016.

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AFC Doctors Express announced the appointment of Dr. Vincent Meoli as regional medical director. With 10 years of experience, Meoli will be responsible for developing clinical guidelines for treatment of patients, assisting in recruitment of new medical staff, coordinating patient care with administrators and medical assistants, and developing ongoing teaching programs for all medical staff. “I am thrilled to join AFC Doctors Express as the new regional medical director,” Meoli said. “I have seen the company develop over the past few years as a leading healthcare resource, and I am excited to bring my passion for patient-oriented healthcare to this emerging source of collaborative medicine.” Meoli completed his emergency-medicine residency program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 2006 and received his doctor of medicine degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 2002. He is an active member in the American College of Emergency Physicians, an organization that works to promote high-quality emergency care and continuing-education opportunities. Meoli is also involved in the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, a program that promotes access to superior emergency care by emergency-care specialists. “Our mission is to deliver high-quality healthcare and provide an exceptional experience for patients who are sick, injured, or who just need to see a doctor,” said Rick Crews, president of Medvest, LLC. “After a long search, we have found the best candidate that not only shares in our dedication to patients, but is also talented.”

Departments Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

Operation Playhouse

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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.”

 

Community Focus

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Eighty-five Massachusetts companies were honored at the Boston Business Journal’s 11th annual Corporate Citizenship Summit on Sept. 8 at the EpiCenter at Artists for Humanity in Boston. For the ninth time, PeoplesBank was among the companies included, this year finishing 48th on the statewide list and third for companies headquartered in Western Mass. Matthew Bannister, vice president, Corporate Responsibility at PeoplesBank (pictured at left, with Thomas Senecal, president and CEO), accepted the award at the summit on behalf of the bank’s associates. “Our mutual charter supports everything we do and why we are succeeding as a community bank,” he said. “Because of our mutual charter and related values, we have a unique ability to help the communities we serve through volunteer efforts and millions of dollars in donations to charitable and civic causes.”

 

Wheeling for Healing

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On Aug. 21, 180 bicyclists, runners, and walkers gathered for the ninth annual Wheeling for Healing ride, walk, and run event in Greenfield to support cancer care and services at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. “Thanks to the wonderful fund-raising efforts from our community and support from our sponsors, we were able to raise over $46,500 this year, bringing our total funds raised for Baystate Franklin Medical Center Oncology to over $286,000,” said Kathy Tobin, director, Annual Giving & Events, Baystate Health Foundation. Proceeds from Wheeling for Healing events are used to purchase medical equipment and comfort items for patients undergoing chemotherapy at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. Proceeds have also assisted patients with extraordinary expenses associated with their illness, including medicines not covered by their insurance.

 

Celebrating STCC’s Founders

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Springfield Technical Community College kicked off its year-long 50th-anniversary celebration with a Founders Day Convocation on Sept. 9. The event honored the four founders — Edmond Garvey, the school’s first president; then-Springfield Mayor Charlie Ryan; state Rep. Anthony Scibelli; and industrialist Joseph Deliso — and briefly traced the history of the college through today. Ryan and family members representing the other three founders (all deceased) were presented with commemorative plaques in the form of photo montages of their careers and contributions to the college. Top to bottom: from left, retired STCC President Ira Rubenzahl, Mayor Ryan, retired STCC President Andrew Scibelli (Anthony’s nephew), current Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and current STCC President John Cook; members of the Garvey family, from left, Sandra Garvey, her husband, James Garvey (Edmond’s son), Pauline Kimball (Edmond Garvey’s niece), and her son, Robert Kimball; Andrew Scibelli with the plaque commemorating his uncle’s contributions; and, representing the Deliso family, back row, Clem Deliso (Joe’s son), Jean Deliso (Joe’s granddaughter), right, and Lisa Doherty, and in front, Joe’s great-grandsons, Spence Doherty Deliso, left, and Clement Joseph Doherty Deliso.

Springfield Technical Community College kicked off its year-long 50th-anniversary celebration with a Founders Day Convocation on Sept. 9. The event honored the four founders — Edmond Garvey, the school’s first president; then-Springfield Mayor Charlie Ryan; state Rep. Anthony Scibelli; and industrialist Joseph Deliso — and briefly traced the history of the college through today. Ryan and family members representing the other three founders (all deceased) were presented with commemorative plaques in the form of photo montages of their careers and contributions to the college. Top to bottom: from left, retired STCC President Ira Rubenzahl, Mayor Ryan, retired STCC President Andrew Scibelli (Anthony’s nephew), current Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, and current STCC President John Cook; members of the Garvey family, from left, Sandra Garvey, her husband, James Garvey (Edmond’s son), Pauline Kimball (Edmond Garvey’s niece), and her son, Robert Kimball; Andrew Scibelli with the plaque commemorating his uncle’s contributions; and, representing the Deliso family, back row, Clem Deliso (Joe’s son), Jean Deliso (Joe’s granddaughter), right, and Lisa Doherty, and in front, Joe’s great-grandsons, Spence Doherty Deliso, left, and Clement Joseph Doherty Deliso.

Education Sections
Springfield College Enhances Its Image with New Logo, Branding

SpringfieldCollegeMasterLogo0515Springfield College’s basic role hasn’t changed since the institution was established in 1885.
“Our mission has always been to educate young people in mind, body, and spirit for leadership in service to others,” said Stephen Roulier, the school’s executive director of Marketing and Communications, adding that this includes engaging in community service while enrolled at the school.
Indeed, the percentage of students who volunteer time and energy to a wide variety of local and national nonprofit organizations is a hallmark of the college that sets it apart from its competitors.
“Market research that was done by the branding and marketing agency Ologie a year ago showed that this is the tie that binds us,” Roulier told BusinessWest. The research, conducted in conjunction with the college, included roundtables, online surveys, and phone interviews with faculty, staff members, students, graduates, prospective students and their parents, and local business partners.
That research helped officials at the school conclude that this ‘tie’ is not effectively communicated in the college’s marketing and branding efforts, a shortcoming that might have historically hindered efforts to attract students with similar mindsets.
The school’s official seal has doubled as a logo and been used on everything from stationary to paychecks to promotional materials. But components on it, such as the lamp of knowledge, are used by other schools.
In addition, many people view Springfield College primarily as a place to get a sports-related education, due to its renowned reputation in that area, which means that many students interested in fields such as business or psychology may not consider it.
The combination of these factors led Roulier, who previously helped Western New England College rebrand itself as it became a university, to approach President Mary-Beth Cooper with the idea of creating an official logo and consistent branding message.
“I told her we needed to put out the right message so we could become more recognizable and broaden our recruitment reach,” he recalled. She was in agreement, and the work that has been done to develop new branding included the recent study by Ologie.
Since that time, a new logo has been created — a simple inverted triangle, without the words and outer circle that are part of the seal. “We retained the image as it speaks to balance in mind, spirit, and body,” Roulier said.
For this issue and its focus on education, BusinessWest takes an in-depth look at this rebranding effort and what it might mean for this venerable institution.

Altruism in Action
The college’s new branding will focus in part on the volunteer work done by students, who learn to live balanced lives long before they graduate.
“We want each department to showcase their strengths, but also align them with our greater mission,” Roulier said. “We’re all about teamwork, which is very important to the Springfield College student or graduate.”
He told BusinessWest that a large number of students participate in the college’s Humanics in Action Day, held each year during the fall semester. Classes are cancelled, and students sign up to volunteer at a wide variety of nonprofits. “It’s not mandatory, but close to 100% participate,” Roulier said, “and it’s a great experience for everyone because they work alongside staff members and coaches.”
Last year, noted Shannon Langone, program director for Americorps, students and staff worked on more than 100 projects during the day, which included reading to schoolchildren, removing graffiti from buildings, and cleaning the yards of more than 60 elderly residents as well as a number of vacant lots.
“What’s great about this is that the students are working with the community and its diverse population, and by utilizing their skills, they are much more prepared to go out in the world, get a job, and contribute to their neighborhood,” Langone said.

Steve Roulier

Steve Roulier says the new logo and unified branding message reflect Springfield College’s mission.

Last year, 49% of freshmen in undeclared majors chose to register for “First Year Seminar,” a one-credit, half-semester course in which they learn about the importance of community service while they decide what their focus of study will be. During the class, they visit a nonprofit with their professor, gain knowledge about it, and then engage in a service project.
Spring break is another time when students are given the opportunity to work with charitable groups such as Habitat for Humanity or the college’s Americorps program. “Some return year after year,” Roulier said. In addition, many academic departments incorporate experiential learning into the curriculum beginning in freshman year.
Langone said Springfield College boasts more than 3,000 students who perform some type of community service every year, which accounts for more than 97,000 hours of unpaid time. Another 400,000 hours are donated through unpaid internships and field hours.
As strong as this track record is, and as much as it is synonymous with the school, it is not accurately reflected in the college’s look and marketing efforts.
“There is a misconception about Springfield College. Some people believe if you are not interested in sports, you would not fit in here socially or academically. We are well-known for our physical education programs, but our struggle has been to let prospective students and parents know that we offer a wide variety of majors,” Roulier said, adding that, in addition to its main campus, the school has nine satellite campuses across the country. In the past, they offered only majors in human services, but beginning July 1, the program offerings will be expanded.
Meanwhile, he noted that past marketing efforts have used mixed messaging to promote the college.
“Some recruiters have touted Springfield as the birthplace of basketball or used that as a tagline,” Roulier said, citing an example. “But the study showed that students and staff members who come here really care about humanity, which identifies more about who we are than the majors we offer. I was really amazed when I took this job to find that students really live the mission; they not only know it, but live and breathe it.”
Roulier believes the school’s new look will convey that message and is hopeful that it will resonate in the same way that other corporate images do.
“Some people claim they smell french fries when they see the Golden Arches,” he explained, “and the Apple symbol is associated with high-quality technology.”

Brand New
Roulier expects it will take a year to create a consistent, unified branding message, which includes redesigning the college website to reflect it.
“But it will help admissions counselors recruit new students. In the past, they used different methods to promote the college, but now, everyone will be on the same page, although different departments will take different approaches,” he told BusinessWest.
Overall, the process of rebranding the school appropriately has been an eye-opening process. “We needed to discover what really makes our institution unique,” he noted.
The school’s leaders have done exactly that, and their hope is to become known, as Roulier said, as “a college community that cares deeply about its humanics philosophy: the importance of mind, body, and spirit and service to others.”

Departments

Breakfast of Champions

State legislators and early-education advocates joined with Mass. Department of Early Education Acting Commissioner Amy Kershaw in celebrating the state’s recent passage of ‘An Act Relative to Early Care and Education’ on Sept. 26 at the Springfield YMCA. Pictured with local preschoolers is leading early-education advocate Margaret Blood, founder and president of Strategies for Children Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Boston. Breakfast cereal boxes featuring legislators who supported the early-education law — Champions for Early Childhood — were distributed at the event. Other participants included representatives of Cherish Every Child, the Pioneer Valley Plan for Progress Pre-K and Early Education Strategy Team, and the Western Mass. early-childhood community. A representative of Gov. Deval Patrick’s office also attended. The new law formally establishes the universal pre-K program in the Commonwealth and supports strategies encouraging the early-education workforce to further their education. The act will also overhaul regulations of early-education programs and sites setting health, safety, and quality standards. Cherish Every Child is an initiative of the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation and is working to realize the goal for every child entering kindergarten to be ready for school, healthy, and fully prepared for learning success.


Capitol Ideas

Last month, 45 area business owners and managers, elected officials and economic-development leaders attended a three-day symposium in Washington, D.C. coordinated by the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield and hosted by U.S. Rep. Richard E. Neal. Attendees heard from several speakers, including U.S. Rep. Barney Frank; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee; and nationally known columnist and commentator Mark Shields.


A Big Check, on the House

Through the efforts of sales associates and employees of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices in Belchertown, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, and Westfield, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares, the fundraising arm of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, donated $25,000 to benefit Habitat for Humanity. The funds enabled the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity to complete the 171 Cabot St. project. Additionally, the brokerage offices have been supporting the Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity through a variety of fundraising initiatives and volunteering. Last year, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Cares donated nearly $67,000 to the organization.


Celebrating Entrepreneurship

Springfield Technical Community College staged its 9th annual Western Mass. Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame induction banquet on Oct. 2 at the Log Cabin, and announced the launch of the Web site www.eshiphall.org. The event celebrated entrepreneurship in many ways, from videos about the inductees to presentation of the Hall of Fame’s County Achievement Awards, to BusinessWest’s formal presentation of its Top Entrepreneur Award. Above, members of the Class of 2008 pose with the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame awards: from left, Mark Tolosky, president and CEO of Baystate Health; Esther and Art Jacobson of OMG Inc.; the Samble family of Belmont Laundry; the Sherff family of the Student Prince Restaurant; and the Young family of W.F. Young Co. Below left, BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien, left, presents the BusinessWest Top Entrepreneur Award to John Maybury, president of Maybury Material Handling Company. Below right, County Achievement Award recipients, from left, are William Kristensen Sr. of Hi-Tech Mold and Tool (Berkshire County), Martha Borawski of Pioneer Valley Travel (Hampshire County), Dean Cycon of Dean’s Beans (Franklin County), and Steven Richter of Microtest Labs (Hampden County).

Company Notebook

Country Bank, WooSox Announce Community Giving Campaign

WARE — Country Bank and the Worcester Red Sox have announced a community giving campaign to support nonprofit leaders throughout the region. To kick off the campaign, dubbed “WooStars,” Country Bank recognized 11 local nonprofits at Polar Park, including Springfield-based organizations Friends of the Homeless, Ronald McDonald House, Christina’s House, and Habitat for Humanity, along with Worcester-based organizations the United Way, Why Me, Sherry’s House, Provision Ministry, St. John’s Food Pantry for the Poor, the Boys and Girls Club, and Habitat for Humanity. Each nonprofit was presented with a $5,000 check from Paul Scully, president and CEO of Country Bank. Representatives of the nonprofits also participated in a television commercial to support the campaign. Country Bank and the Worcester Red Sox Foundation will select nine additional nonprofit leaders who have stepped up to the plate to serve their community. The deadline for nominations is Aug. 15. Each winner will receive a $5,000 donation to their nonprofit and will be recognized at a presentation in Polar Park on Sept. 9. In addition, the bank has also launched a Most Valuable Teacher (MVT) campaign that recognizes the outstanding work teachers do every day to educate and support students. The public is invited to nominate a WooStar at www.countrybank.com/about-us/woostars or a Most Valuable Teacher at www.countrybank.com/personal/youth-accounts/most-valuable-teacher.

 

Fontaine Brothers to Tackle Court Square Project

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield-based Fontaine Brothers has been named the general contractor for the long-awaited rehabilitation of 31 Elm St. in Court Square in Springfield into a 74-unit apartment complex. Construction work on the $50 million project is expected to begin in the fourth quarter and take roughly two years to complete. The project represents a partnership between OPAL Development, WinnDevelopment, MGM Springfield, and MassMutual, with funding coming from a variety of sources, including $11.3 million in state and federal historic tax credits. In addition to the housing units, plans call for retail space and a restaurant on the ground level. The project is expected to employ 100 to 120 union construction workers.

 

Lee Bank Foundation Announces $64,500 in Community Funding

LEE — Lee Bank Foundation awarded $64,500 to eight Berkshire-area organizations in its second round of 2021 community grant awards. Recipients were awarded grants ranging from $2,000 to $12,500 to support their local programming. Organizations receiving funding include Berkshire Bounty, Berkshire County Historical Society, Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Elizabeth Freeman Center Inc., Flying Cloud Institute, Music in Common, New Stage Performing Arts Center Inc., and Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires. To be considered for grant awards, applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on funding organizations that work to bridge income and opportunity gaps in the region. The next application deadline is Sept. 1. Funding requests should reflect one or more of Lee Bank Foundation’s primary focus areas, which include education and literacy; food security and nutrition; economic growth and development; health and human services; mentorship, internship, and school-to-work initiatives; and arts and culture. Applicants may submit only one application in a 12-month period. Online applications and information can be found at www.leebank.com/community-impact/donations-sponsorships.html.

 

Market Mentors Receives Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Certification

SPRINGFIELD — Market Mentors, the region’s largest marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, announced it has received certification from the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women-owned businesses thrive and grow. WBENC certification provides Market Mentors with access to a vast network of support, including targeted business opportunities and increased visibility in corporate and government supply chains, education, and development programs. It is also an approved third-party certifier for the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business federal contracting program. WBENC certification validates that a business is at least 51% owned, controlled, operated, and managed by a woman or women. One or more women must have unrestricted control of the business, a demonstrated management of day-to-day operations, and a proportionate investment of capital or expertise. To become certified, business owners undergo a thorough vetting process, including review of business documentation and a site visit. After working in media for more than a decade, Abdow founded Market Mentors in her home in 2003. Over the past 18 years, it has grown into a team of more than 20 professionals with multiple areas of expertise and breadth of experience across a range of industries.

 

WSU Receives $1.5M Grant to Increase Healthcare Access

WESTFIELD — Westfield State University’s (WSU) Department of Social Work received a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for its Integrative Behavioral Health (IBH) Equity Project. The project builds a specialized workforce within rural, medically underserved areas as well as among diverse and historically marginalized populations to address barriers identified by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in social determinants of health. This HRSA award will be distributed over the next four years and will train 92 Westfield State graduate students in the master of social work (MSW) program in the following integrative behavioral-health specialties: child, youth, and family; health social work; substance use and addictions; and Latinx community health. These students will receive $920,000 in training stipends over the next four years. Westfield State President Linda Thompson, whose background is in nursing, health sciences, and public policy, noted that the IBH project continues the university’s growth in building important healthcare programs that meet the needs of the Commonwealth. The Field Education Team in Westfield State’s Department of Social Work established IBH/Integrated Primary Care and interprofessional training partnerships across Western and Central Mass. to train students to gain proficiency as they provide in-person and telehealth services to children, youth, and families as well as individuals living with addiction and mental-health issues. It is broadening to include organizations that serve the Spanish-speaking Latinx population. The IBH Equity Project will also increase linguistic and cultural access to social-work education by offering classes in Spanish to impact the structural health inequities that affect students and clients throughout the Pioneer Valley. WSU is the first institution in the area to offer social work courses in Spanish. The project advances the university’s progress toward an institutional goal of gaining the federal Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) designation. Achieving the designation is part of a larger commitment by Westfield State to address systemic racism and inequities on the campus, such as in its policies and practices.

 

Professional Drywall Construction Expands into New York State

SPRINGFIELD — Professional Drywall Construction Inc. (PDC), a commercial drywall company headquartered in Springfield, is expanding its footprint into New York State, having recently opened a new office in Malta on July 1. Leading the expansion is Randall Berkebile, who will serve as project executive and New York regional manager at the new branch. “We have been looking into expanding into New York for quite some time, and Malta is a great, centralized location to set up our new shop,” said Ron Perry, owner of PDC. “We brought Randall in to help establish our company in the capital district and beyond. His years of experience and deep contacts in the region will assist in us creating a strong foothold in the community.” Berkebile, a resident of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is a graduate of Ball State University. He has almost a decade of experience in construction-management roles and will be responsible for overseeing projects and growing the New York branch. PDC also has a branch office in Norwalk, Conn.

 

Public Art to Be Installed in Springfield’s Pynchon Plaza

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Museums and Springfield Cultural Partnership announced the artists chosen to augment the newly renovated Pynchon Plaza. The SPark! Igniting Our Community call resulted in many quality applications. The chosen artists include Roberly Bell (Pelham), artful seating; Lauren Celini (Springfield), utility art; Michelle Falcón Fontánez (Boston) and Alvilda Sophia Anaya-Alegría (Springfield), mosaic art; RT Woods (Springfield), fencing art; Beth Crawford Haydenville), 3D sculptural art; Jeffrey Lara (Springfield), 3D sculptural art; Make-It Springfield, library box; and Outdoor Musical Instruments (United Kingdom), sound sculpture (to be embellished by a local artist). The call was open to all artists, and special consideration was given to installations that include Springfield artists, artists of color, LGBTQA+ artists, and female artists. Funding of these eight projects comes from a combination of public and private monies, including a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Program Grant and a City of Springfield Community Development Block Grant. The project is designed to engage city artists, residents, community stakeholders, and cultural institutions to actively participate to reimagine public art that celebrates Springfield’s citizens, culture, and historical legacies. Competitive proposals will be inspired by aspects of Springfield itself, including its historic and/or present-day people, cultures, places and landscapes, architecture, etc., and can be literal or creative, interpretive representations. The SPark! Art Committee included representation from the Springfield Cultural Council, Springfield Parks, the Apremont Quadrangle Civic Assoc., Skyview Downtown, and the Springfield Technical Community College Carberry Fine Arts Gallery.

 

40 Under 40 The Class of 2014
Attorney, Robinson Donovan, P.C., age 37

Michael-Simolo-01Mike Simolo admits he’s not the handiest person in the world, and has developed a decent sense of humor about that subject, especially regarding his work with Habitat for Humanity.

“You don’t want me on the build site,” he said. “If I do show up there, they say, ‘go paint in the corner over there, and we’ll paint over it after you leave.’”

Such remarks, real or imagined, don’t bother him, because there are many ways to contribute to Habitat without wielding a paintbrush, and he’s found them — everything from fund-raising to serving on the committee that hired the current director; from strategic planning to rewriting policies and procedures.

“It’s a great board and incredibly rewarding work,” he said of Habitat. “It’s an incredible difference you’re making in someone’s life; you’re taking some of these families from very poor living conditions and providing them with a home that they can afford. It’s a step up, not a handout, and that’s very appealing to me.”

Comments like those make it clear that Simolo, an attorney with Springfield-based law firm Robinson Donovan, chooses his work within the community carefully. “It has to be something I’m passionate about,” he said, adding that this description certainly applies to his latest assignment serving on the board of Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society; he has two miniature schnauzers, Obi and Hobbes, and is a serious dog lover.

Finding time for community work is somewhat challenging, but Simolo makes the time, while spending the most of what’s left building a law practice that specializes in estate planning, administration, and business. A graduate of Hobart College and Cornell Law School, he started with a small firm in Amherst called Brown, Hart & Kaplan, and eventually became a partner there. His move to Robinson Donovan has him doing more complex work and positions him to grow his client list. Overall, he believes he’s in the right place at the right time, and in the right specialty — estate planning.

“It’s an interesting time to be in estate planning,” he said. “If you look at the statistics about how much money is going to be passed from one generation to the next, it’s a staggering number, and it all has to be done right.”

— George O’Brien

Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

 

Building Community

Greenfield Cooperative Bank (GCB) announced a $10,000 sponsorship of Habitat for Humanity’s Victoria Bismark Farm project, which will include the construction of three single-family homes on Burts Pit Road in Northampton, to be built by hundreds of community volunteers alongside three future homebuyers with low income.

Pictured, from left: GCB President and CEO Tony Worden, GCB Executive Vice President of Residential Lending Jane Wolfe, and Megan McDonough, executive director of Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity.

 

Welcoming Committee

With a cutting of the ribbon, the Saremi Center for Career Development officially opened at American International College (AIC) on Feb. 5.  

Pictured, from left: Frank Colaccino, AIC board of trustees chair; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; K. Kevin Saremi, AIC board of trustees vice chair and the center’s namesake; Tyler Saremi; and AIC President Hubert Benitez. K. Kevin Saremi and his wife, Deborah, have been longtime financial supporters of AIC.

Pictured, from left: Frank Colaccino, AIC board of trustees chair; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno; K. Kevin Saremi, AIC board of trustees vice chair and the center’s namesake; Tyler Saremi; and AIC President Hubert Benitez. K. Kevin Saremi and his wife, Deborah, have been longtime financial supporters of AIC.

 

Clothing Drive

Through the collaborative efforts of Berkshire United Way, Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Lenox parent Brianne Lamke, and Lenox teacher Heather McNeice, a community clothing drive was held on Jan. 13. Thousands of donations of adult and children’s clothing and shoes were dropped off and sorted, and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the community was invited to shop for free.

Community clothing drive was held on Jan. 13

 

Realizing a Dream

Holyoke Chicopee Springfield (HCS) Head Start named Mayra Felix (center), a teacher director with the organization, the recipient of its Janis Santos Scholarship. This $2,000 scholarship will allow Felix the chance to realize her dream of completing her bachelor’s degree. Pictured with Felix are Nicole Blais (left), CEO of HCS Head Start, and Janis Santos, former HCS Head Start CEO and scholarship namesake.

Mayra Felix (center), Nicole Blais (left), CEO of HCS Head Start, and Janis Santos, former HCS Head Start CEO and scholarship namesake.

40 Under 40 The Class of 2011
Resource Development Director, Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity

Monica Borgatti

Monica Borgatti

On her climb to the top, Monica Borgatti said she was left gasping for breath. That is, as a volunteer for the American Lung Assoc. (ALA) Fight for Air climb held in the stairwells at Monarch Place, where she has been a fund-raising tour de force in the last three years.
Since earning a bachelor’s degree from Bay Path, Borgatti has worn many hats — she has licenses in auctioneering and real estate, and worked for a heating and cooling company. “I’ve even worked in a hotel and coffee shop,” she said.
But, she added, “none of those things were calling out to me, telling me what I needed to be doing. It was always working for someone else, making money for someone else, and it never felt amazing.
“I’ve got a pretty loud voice, and I’m fairly outgoing. I have strong opinions, and I’m not afraid to fight for what I think is right,” she continued. To channel that voice in the working world meant a return to her alma mater, where she finished a master’s degree in nonprofit management and philanthropy in 2010.
In the months since then, she has quickly proven herself an invaluable asset to the regional chapter of Habitat for Humanity. “When people ask me what I do for work,” she said, “often I see them recoil — like they’re thinking, ‘you ask people for money?’
“But it’s more an opportunity to have people give their philanthropic dollars in a meaningful way for them,” she explained. “At Habitat, we can offer those people a hand up to achieve something better for themselves. We all share this community, and we need to do the best we can to make it welcoming and healthy, to make it a good place for everyone.”
And with her team at the ALA, the Little Engines, Borgatti has been helping to raise awareness and funds for lung cancer. With her team of no more than four other volunteers and 24 flights, they have raised more per capita in the last two years than any of their fellow climbers — one step at a time.
— Dan Chase

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts’ (CFWM) Innovation Grant Program has awarded a total of $341,000 to three change-making nonprofit organizations to continue creating innovative solutions around critical issues facing the region. CFWM’s Innovation Grant Program was launched in 2016 to encourage nonprofits to develop and execute novel ideas in partnership with other entities, as well as allow organizations to construct inventive solutions with measurable impact.

In January 2018, CFWM awarded first-year funding to Five Colleges Inc., the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity to implement innovative projects that were refined and tested during a planning period in 2017. Now entering their third year of funding, these grantees are seeing the tangible impact of their work. Twenty paraprofessionals of color are making their way toward receiving their licensure to become a full-fledged teachers, food-insecure patients are being identified and referred to healthy-food opportunities, and small homes have been built and are being occupied by first-time homebuyers.

Five Colleges Inc. will continue to develop its “Paradigm Shift” initiative and bring in new partners. This initiative is focused on creating a more diverse teacher workforce in Western Mass. by helping para-educators of color overcome obstacles to obtaining licensure to become teachers in area schools. More than 25 member organizations that make up the Paradigm Shift Coalition have laid the groundwork for breaking down barriers that para-educators face, including identifying the steps involved in obtaining licensure and the types of individualized support participants need, helping enroll para-educators in courses in local colleges, and providing mentoring and tutoring for MTEL tests. The coalition has also been able to offset costs associated with these steps to help make it affordable through its partnership with local colleges.

A key success in 2019 was Paradigm Shift’s convening of 113 district and school administrators from Holyoke and Springfield for a day-long professional-development opportunity to gain knowledge and skills for building a diverse teacher workforce, such as recruitment and hiring practices. Paradigm Shift currently has 33 participants enrolled in the program, and it is on target for graduating at least 20 by the end of 2020, and the remaining 13 in 2021.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts will spend its third year expanding and analyzing the impact of its Food Insecurity Screening and Referral Initiative that conducts and tracks food insecurity screening and social-service referrals at the Holyoke Health Center and its Chicopee location. Additionally, it will partner with WestMass ElderCare and Springfield Senior Services to address the food needs of patients who screen positive for food insecurity and have a specific medical condition.

With a simple in-person questionnaire, the initiative screens for food insecurity at adult and pediatric practices, and then connects patients with food-assistance resources — and, equally important, referrals to additional resources that patients may need, such as housing, employment, and education. These referrals are tracked in a database which allows for follow-up with patients to identify any changes in behavior and additional needs.

Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity will continue with a third year of its “Big Enough: the Small Home Revolution in Western Mass.” initiative, which aims to launch more individuals and families into the middle class by empowering them to become first-time owners of small, simple, affordable, energy-efficient homes. The organization’s work brings together partners such as local banks to conceive creative financing, cities to implement new zoning regulations, and builders to design small, innovative, energy-efficient housing concepts, as well as to pilot modular construction and alternative land use models.

The first two years of funding allowed for three low-income families to become homeowners in Hampshire County, a dream that likely wouldn’t have been possible within the current housing market. Over this third year, two more sites will be developed in Northampton and Pelham, and Habitat will share what it has learned so other areas can look at adopting these innovative strategies.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire United Way (BUW) announced renewal funding of $1,029,500 for 40 programs across 24 community partner organizations, providing a much-needed additional year of support.

This funding will be for a one-year period, from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, and will continue to stabilize BUW’s three main community-impact areas: early childhood development, positive youth development, and economic prosperity. Visit www.berkshireunitedway.org/our-impact to learn more about the 40 programs.

“Through BUW’s relationships with currently funded partners, we understand how critical the timing of this funding is as the ripple effect of the pandemic still lingers. I am proud of our commitment to these organizations who have endured many challenges and continue to serve our community in innovative and creative ways,” said Laurie Gallagher, board member and chair of the community impact committee.

BUW’s investments in these programs support family well-being and address gaps in services in the community. Programs generate a whole-family, integrated approach focusing on educational advancement and economic mobility. This assistance helps to fund programs such as Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity’s Community Navigator Program, which is designed to assist marginalized residents with connections to resources that will enable them to remain economically resilient.

“The funds support staffing for the Community Navigator Program. We appreciate that Berkshire United Way values the impact of the Community Navigator model,” said Carolyn Valli, CEO of Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.

A new round of funding requests will be announced in early 2023. To donate to BUW’s fundraising campaign, visit www.berkshireunitedway.org/donate.

Uncategorized

In 1999, the state Supreme Judicial Court codified the legal industry institution known as pro bono work — providing services to individuals or groups free of charge. Most lawyers didn’t need the so-called ‘aspirational’ rule, which recommends 25 hours of pro bono work per year, to inspire them to give back to the community — they’d already found many important, imaginative ways to do so.

In Hampden County Housing Court, Thursday is ‘Eviction Day.’

Hundreds of cases involving claims made by landlords and tenants are heard, and many of them end with an individual lacking a roof over their head.

In many instances, that result comes about because the individual was indigent and simply could not afford legal representation, said Dorothy Varon, an attorney with the Springfield firm Robinson Donovan, who was one of architects of a program designed to change that equation.

Called the Hampden County Housing Court Pro Bono Project, the initiative has put together a volunteer corps of area lawyers, each of whom report for duty a handful of Thursdays a year and represent both landlords and tenants who would otherwise be representing themselves.

The project has succeeded in producing many positive outcomes that would be unlikely, if not impossible, if the litigants were handling matters pro se, said Varon, noting that the Thursdays spent in Housing Court bring rewards for the volunteer lawyers as well.

“This is something you can really wrap your arms around,” she said, referring to the personal satisfaction she takes from helping someone involved in such important matters. “When you’re in court and housing is the issue, the stakes don’t get much higher than that.”

The Housing Court initiative is just one example of the pro bono work undertaken by area lawyers — meaning legal services provided free of charge or at substantially reduced rates for groups and individuals in need. Such work takes a number of forms, from helping a young writer by reviewing a publishing contract to assisting a non-profit group by drafting a set of bylaws to representing underprivileged individuals in civil rights cases.

Pro bono work is encouraged by virtually all firms and professional organizations, and it is also legislated — sort of.

Rule 3:07 of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct and Comments Public Service, as written by the Mass. Supreme Judicial Court and put into effect in early 1999, states: “A lawyer should provide annually at least 25 hours of pro bono publico legal services for the benefit of persons of limited means.”

This ‘aspirational’ rule, as it’s called, further stipulates that such services should be provided without compensation or expectation of same to persons or to charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental, and educational organizations “in matters that are designed primarily to address the needs of persons of limited means.” It also states that in lieu of such pro bono work, lawyers should contribute from $250 to 1% of their annual taxable professional income to one or more of the organizations described above.

Most lawyers don’t need the SJC to tell them to donate time and energy to worthy groups and causes, said Archer Battista, a partner with the Holyoke firm Lyon & Fitzpatrick, LLP and current president of the Hampden County Bar Assoc., who noted that Rule 3:07 met with considerable controversy when it was adopted.

“The great majority of lawyers who recognize the responsibility to provide pro bono work recognized it long before the SJC codified it,” he said, adding quickly, however, that the aspirational rule may well raise individual and collective consciousness among those who didn’t feel the need to donate some of their time.

Battista told BusinessWest that most area lawyers contribute far more than 25 hours of their time per year, and have a lengthy list of groups they support.

Such is the case for A. Craig Brown, a partner with the Springfield firm Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury, and Murphy, who lists education, workforce development, and the sport of lacrosse among his passions and, thus, beneficiaries of his pro bono work

He has donated time and considerable energy to groups ranging from Springfield School Volunteers to the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County to the Urban League of Greater Springfield. Meanwhile, he officiated hundreds of high school and college lacrosse games during a lengthy career carrying a whistle (cranky knees eventually forced him to stop) and is currently chairman of U.S. Lacrosse, a group committed to advancing the sport.

“I was a lacrosse official for 18 years, and was very active at both the high school and college levels — and that means that probably four days a week I would leave the office early to go officiate games,” said Brown, who told BusinessWest that the key for him — and most lawyers — is finding pro bono work that will have an impact in the community and bring deep personal satisfaction.

“You find time for what you need to find time for and what you want to find time for,” he said, speaking for many in his profession.

At Home with the Idea

Donna Wexler remembers her traditional holiday season vacation in 2004, spent in upstate New York with family.

It was similar to others, except for a logistical bump in the middle — a quick trip back to Springfield to handle a real estate closing, in this case a home being acquired through the regional Habitat for Humanity program.

Wexler could easily have handed off the assignment to another lawyer at Bacon & Wilson, the Springfield-based firm for which she has been a partner since 2001, but she thoroughly enjoys being part of the process of placing Habitat families in homes.

“I get such a charge out of doing it … these people are so thrilled to be getting into a home,” she told BusinessWest, noting that the closings — she’s handled several over the past few years — comprise only a small portion of the part of the pro bono work she performs.

Working through the Volunteer Lawyers Service, a program of the Mass. Justice Project, Wexler has provided pro bono services to qualified individuals (usually low-income women) in areas including divorce, child support, paternity, and others. It is rewarding work, she said, and continues a tradition of community service at the firm.

“It’s really part of our culture here … the partners are all great role models when it comes to pro bono work,” she explained, adding that lawyers at the firm are encouraged to meld their particular specialties within the law with their specific interests within the community to make a positive impact.

Work with Habitat for Humanity is a natural fit, she continued, because it enables her to take her skills in residential real estate and apply them to a program that has helped dozens of area families achieve the American dream.

Meanwhile, her work with the Volunteer Lawyers Service addresses the fundamental mission of all pro bono work, she explained — making the justice system more accessible to all people, no matter their income level.

This was the motivation behind the Housing Court project, said Varon, noting that judges serving on that court, Hank Abrashkin and Dina Fein, and staff recognized a critical need to provide legal representation for those who find themselves at the court on Thursday.

“The court had identified a terrible, terrible need because the stakes are so high,” said Varon, adding that in her capacity with the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Women’s Bar Assoc., she and others started an initiative to address that need.

“There was great interest in helping, because when the court identifies an issue, you want to pitch in,” she explained. “There was so much pro se representation because a significant portion of that population simply cannot afford a lawyer, and it is a very technical area of the law.”

Elaborating, she said many tenants facing eviction due to non-payment are not aware of all their rights and possible counterclaims with regard to habitability. Meanwhile, many landlords are not sufficiently legally literate to prevail over what Varon called “nightmare tenants.”

After soliciting dozens of volunteers from area firms and solo practices, the Pro Bono Subcommittee of the Women’s Bar Foundation enlisted the Springfield firm of Heisler, Feldman, McCormack & Garrow (experts in this speciality) and specifically partner Suzzanne Garrow to provide training to those volunteer lawyers.

The program will celebrate its first year of service later this month with a pizza party, said Varon, noting that it has succeeded in placing volunteer lawyers in Housing Court almost every Thursday, and their presence has been felt by litigants and court personnel alike.

“It’s definitely having an impact — we’re getting a great response from the attorneys and the court,” she said, adding that in most, if not all, of the specific cases she has been involved in, the result would have been different if a lawyer was not involved.

Case in Point

This difference-making quality is what attracts most lawyers to pro bono work, said Battista, adding that the majority of those in the legal profession provide assistance that far exceeds the SJC-recommended levels.

That’s because there is great demand for such legal assistance, he explained, as well as a desire on the part of the local legal community, including local bar associations, to help lawyers meet their pro bono responsibilities.

In Hampden County, for example, there is a wide array of pro bono programs, similar to the Housing Court initiative, that target constituencies ranging from troubled youths to the elderly, from the homeless to AIDS patients.

And the work is not always done in the courtroom or behind a desk, said Battista, noting that lawyers have volunteered time to local soup kitchens by serving food, not drafting contracts.

“We have a number of programs that enable lawyers to find pro bono work,” he explained, listing as just one example an initiative within the bar association’s new lawyers section that helps match such individuals — those with less than 10 years in the profession — with volunteer opportunities.

Brown told BusinessWest that he has never had to look for pro bono work — it has often found him. That was the case with his lacrosse officiating and also with his work with several groups like the Urban League, REB, and the Springfield school system.

He said the work often takes two forms — specific legal services, such as helping to draft contracts or bylaws, and service on a board or commission. Brown has spent the past several years on the Urban League board, for example, and makes that agency’s annual presentation before the United Way.

Brown, like Battista, said lawyers bring more than just legal expertise to a board. Their training in the law, solid public speaking skills, and ability to problem-solve often facilitate debate and move agendas forward.

“Lawyers can help organize board decision-making and also help move things along,” he explained. “They can bring issues into focus and really make solid contributions to the work those boards do.”

Like Wexler, Brown said he has worked in a culture that greatly encourages pro bono work — he is only the latest lawyer at Doherty Wallace to win the Community Service Award presented by the Mass. Bar Assoc. — and that support system has enabled him to contribute in so many areas.

However, one challenge for lawyers is to find the right types of pro bono and an adequate volume, he explained, noting that some find it hard to say ‘no.’

“There are some times when I feel I have too much going on, but you get through those periods,” he said. “Squeezing everything in is hard, and it makes for a busy career — but it also makes for a rewarding career.”

Final Arguments

Reflecting back on her career in law, Varon, whose next scheduled Thursday in Housing Court comes later this month, said her pro bono work has taken a number of forms — from helping young artists with contracts to assisting seniors with health insurance issues, such as understanding coverage and maximizing benefits.
The common denominator was a simple desire to take the skills she acquired and use them in ways that would benefit individuals and the community as a whole, she said, noting that most area lawyers have similarly lengthy lists of benefactors.

“Sometimes you get a call from someone, and you know they don’t have the ability to pay you, but they have a compelling story,” she said. “You want to help, because you’re supposed to and because you can. It makes being a lawyer very satisfying when you’re in a position to help someone who needs your help.”

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

Those interested in participating in the Hampden Court Housing Court pro bono project can call Suzanne Garrow at (413) 788-7988, or E-mail;[email protected]

Business Management Sections

Getting to Know You

Ross Giombetti

Ross Giombetti, president of Giombetti Associates

Thirty years ago, Rick Giombetti developed a concept, called Performance Dynamics, that links personality with business productivity and potential. His Hampden-based company, Giombetti Associates, has grown significantly since then, helping hundreds of companies succeed by understanding personalities and building better leaders. His son, Ross, recently took the reins of the firm, but doesn’t expect much to change — least of all the passion he and his father share for making a difference in clients’ lives.

It’s not always easy, Ross Giombetti says, to be a client of his business-consulting firm, Giombetti Associates.

“We want to build the relationship and build the trust so clients know we care about the demands of their business, then deliver feedback that is true, real, and honest — tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. And sometimes it stings,” said Giombetti, who recently succeeded his father, Rick — who co-founded the Hampden-based firm 30 years ago — in the president’s chair.

“I’ve certainly been called ‘direct’ before,” Ross went on, “but you’ll also find we back that up with support and compassion, so when we have to deliver a message you’re not going to like, you walk away trusting it, and knowing it’s what you needed to hear to make you and your organization better.”

That message varies wildly from client to client, as it always has; Giombetti Associates deals in leadership development and training, team-building, talent acquisition and recruitment, pre-employment assessment, and strategic executive coaching, among other roles.

“But the foundation of it all is building high-performance, world-class companies through people,” he explained — an idea he would return to several times during his talk with BusinessWest.

“There’s one constant in every business, regardless of size or industry — people, who have character traits that drive their behavior, and can cause issues and conflict,” he explained. “Our clients come to us to help them solve challenges related to personality and leadership. It could be they have a team that doesn’t get along really well or isn’t maximizing their potential or their results. There could be a talent gap in the organization that they want us to help solve, or it could be them wanting us to protect their business from making bad hiring decisions.”

The heart of Giombetti Associates is a concept called Performance Dynamics — a means of assessing personality and understanding how it affects behavior in the workplace — created in 1986 by Ross’s father, Rick, and his business partner, Paul Alves. At the time, the pair — former human-resources professionals who had struck out on their own — had virtually no money, and even scraping up enough to fly to Washington to visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was a challenge.

But their idea paid off, and today, the company boasts hundreds of business clients worldwide — from mom-and-pop operations to Fortune 500 companies — helping them make hiring decisions, train executives, build leadership skills, handle office conflict, and perform a host of other interpersonal tasks.

Simply put, Performance Dynamics explores personality and applies it to leadership in business. Before quitting his job to become a consultant 30 years ago, Rick Giombetti used his human-resources experience and psychology education to develop personality-assessment exercises that companies could use to understand and manage their hiring and personnel issues. These assessment tools measure factors ranging from personality traits and mental maturity to overall understanding of leadership and how people cope with conflict.

“They’re validated and defined by major psychological think tanks,” Ross said. “We put them together in a trademarked process. My father and Paul Alves, they were well beyond their time, extremely progressive as it related to personality and leadership. That’s how it all started — with a dream and a philosophy.”

With clients boasting anywhere from five employees to 100,000, in industries ranging from landscape design to advanced manufacturing; from medical facilities to banking and insurance, the one common denominator is people, he went on. “That’s one reason why we work in all those different industries. You can change the function, change the geography, but people exist in every single one of them.”

Let’s Talk

When a company hires Giombetti, it should be ready to talk.

“Our work is a combination of things and involves a lot of fact finding, a lot of exploration, a lot of open-ended conversations in an attempt to get to know a person, a team, an organization, or an entire culture. That’s where we start,” he said.

That said, “we don’t take on new business without knowing what we’re walking into. They have to believe philosophically same things we believe. If they don’t, we’re not afraid to walk away from business. We’re not afraid to fire a customer.

“Once we know what we’re looking at,” he explained, “to really help develop an individual, a team, or a culture, we have a series of personality instruments we use that go really deep, identify the ‘why’ behind the ‘what.’ It’s not hypothetical, not conceptual; it’s concrete and real.”

A few of the team members

A few of the team members at Giombetti Associates, from left: Miklos Ats, Ross Giombetti, and Amanda Collins.

As one example, he cited a client in the Midwest founded on the core belief of purpose-driven products. “They don’t really care as much about the money they make or the success they have; they want their employees to wake up with purpose. So they’re founded on the right philosophy.”

However, Giombetti went on, the company’s leader was simply too nice and struggled with making difficult decisions, and that held his organization back.

“I’d like to think that, after working more than five years with them, his own leadership and the culture as a whole have gotten much stronger and better,” he said. “They now blend family and balance of life with accountability.”

After all, he continued, bosses can care deeply about their employees’ family time, work-life balance, and having fun at work, but at the end of the day, there has to be accountability and a focus on growing the business. Now, he said, “their organization is an example of an organization we would all want to work for.”

Another client — a local firm, Notch Mechanical Constructors in Chicopee — had a much different issue. It’s a company run by five siblings who balance their input well. “They maintain boundaries and keep each other accountable and grounded, and they make good business decisions,” Giombetti said. But they struggled with finding a strong financial leader.

“We have close to a 20-year relationship with this family, and we wanted to make sure they hire the right person. We went through a lot of due diligence, and it took us longer than we or they would like, but the story has a happy ending. We found somebody who is a great cultural fit — the same philosophy, grounded, humble, but tough and smart. They’re pretty happy with the decision we made. Sometimes making the right decision takes longer.”

In both cases — a company leader who had to change his way of thinking, and bringing in the right person from the outside for a key role — it all came down to the importance of people, he stressed.

“Great organizations believe that building a strong team with great people is largely what makes you successful. You can have a great product, you can have great service, you can have a great business model, but without the people, you won’t capitalize on your opportunities. You’ll have nothing.”

Smart Growth

Giombetti currently employs six people and is actively looking for a couple more to meet the needs of an expanding client base nationwide.

“But we’re careful about the business we take on,” he said. “We don’t take on business just for the sake of growing. That philosophy will never change as long as I’m tied to the organization. I learned that from my father, that bigger is not always better; better is better. I want to do it the right way, to continue to treat our clients like their business was ours, and I don’t want to lose touch with the close relationships we have with most of them. So we’re really careful about how we run our business.”

In part, that means running the business like that client in the Midwest who prioritizes his workers’ lives away from the office, saying he wants to do the same for team members like Miklos Ats, senior associate; Amanda Collins, office manager (who’s being groomed for a larger, human-resources generalist role), and Monica Childers, who doesn’t have a title beyond ‘protector’ and ‘boss of all of us,’ Giombetti joked.

“When I’m not working, I’d rather be spending time with my wife and three kids and a million hobbies,” he said. “I’d rather see Mik spend time with his lovely wife and go eat at more great restaurants. I’d like to see Amanda spend more time honing her trivia skills, and see Monica spend more time with her awesome husband, who recently learned how to make sushi, and their fantastic two boys. We believe in ‘work hard, play hard.’”

At the same time, he wants the firm to continue giving back to the community, through its efforts with Habitat for Humanity and other local organizations. Meanwhile, Giombetti coaches youth sports and launched a mentorship program at Minnechaug Regional High School in 2012 — efforts that, along with his business success, contributed to his selection to BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty class of 2016.

“We’re passionate about developing young people,” he said. “Most students don’t know who they are or what they want to do, but if we can help them better understand who they are, they’ll have a lot less stress and anxiety in their young life and career.”

These efforts are just one more way Giombetti is committed to the Western Mass. region. “The Pioneer Valley will always be our home. I don’t have visions about moving our office into a big city to be closer to bigger business and more opportunities. I’m happy being where we’re at, doing what we do, supporting awesome clients and individuals.

“Philosophically, we treat our clients’ businesses like our own, and we’re going to protect that,” he went on. “Our clients trust us to know their people, know their culture, know their business, and protect it like it was our own.”

As for Ross’ father, Rick Giombetti may have relinquished his president’s title this year, but he remains active in some project work as a strategic advisor, which Ross appreciates. “His legacy will live on forever here. He’s a fantastic leader.”

One who has long been committed to building up the leadership potential of others, a passion he certainly passed along to his son.

“It sounds cliché, but I wake up every morning truly being motivated to inspire people and make a difference,” Ross said. “When students are coming out of college, when they’re asked the question, ‘what do you want to do?’ a majority say, ‘make a difference,’ but they don’t know what that means — and don’t know how.

“That is the passion I live every day,” he went on. “When I see somebody grow, develop, and become a better person, become a better husband or wife, become a better teammate or leader, that keeps me coming back for more.”

Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]

People on the Move
Dr. Lynnette Watkins

Dr. Lynnette Watkins

Dr. Lynnette Watkins, an ophthalmologist and healthcare administrator and leader, has been named president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care. Currently the group chief medical officer for the Baptist Health System/Tenet Healthcare – Texas Group, she will begin her new role at Cooley Dickinson on Sept. 27. Since joining Baptist Health System/Tenet Healthcare in 2017, she has been a member of a team that has provided executive oversight for the multi-hospital system that stretches across the state, with more than 3,600 beds and $3.45 billion in patient revenue. She also has significant leadership experience in community-hospital settings. In addition, Watkins has ties to Massachusetts and the Mass General Brigham system, having completed her residency at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, where she began her clinical career in ophthalmology and oculoplastic surgery and served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. Before joining the Baptist Health System, Watkins held the position of chief medical officer and chief operating officer at Paris Regional Medical Center in Paris, Texas. She has also served as chief medical officer in Tenet’s Abrazo Community Health Network in Arizona. Her career as a healthcare executive began in Mishawaka, Ind., where she was vice president and chief medical officer for the Saint Joseph Health System/Trinity Health. Watkins earned her undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and completed her internship in internal medicine at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City before coming to Boston in 1995 as a resident in ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. After residency, she completed a fellowship in oculoplastic surgery at the University of Iowa, then returned to Massachusetts Eye and Ear, where from 1999 to 2004 she directed the emergency ophthalmology service and walk-in clinic and was an attending physician in the Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery Service.

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Brian Rucki

Brian Rucki

Amanda Carpe

Amanda Carpe

Bacon Wilson announced that Brian Rucki and Amanda Carpe have joined the firm as associate attorneys. Rucki is a member of the real-estate team, and Carpe has joined the probate and estate-planning department. Prior to joining Bacon Wilson, Rucki spent five years practicing law in Westfield, where he worked on all aspects of real-estate transactions including purchases, sales, refinances, and title work, as well as estate-planning matters. Previously, he also served as a clerk in the solicitor’s office for the town of Agawam, where his work focused on municipal law. He attended Western New England University School of Law, earning his juris doctor laude in 2016. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst in 2013. Carpe comes to Bacon Wilson with five years of experience in estate planning, estate administration, guardianship, conservatorship, and residential real estate. She previously practiced in Ludlow and Worcester. In addition to her work in estates and probate, she clerked for the Hampden County Juvenile Court and interned with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, where her work focused on juvenile and child-welfare law. She earned her juris doctor in 2016 from Western New England University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree from Wilkes University in 2013.

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Joseph Deady

Joseph Deady

Kaitlyn Malin

North Brookfield Savings Bank announced the promotions of Joseph Deady and Kaitlyn Malin within the Operations department. Deady has been promoted to Digital Services manager/fraud analyst. He will be responsible for ensuring the bank is using all possible digital products to align with its strategic goals and the needs of our customers, while overseeing account fraud. He joined the bank as a teller in 2011 and has held various roles, including supervisor and management roles and finally fraud analyst in the Operations department in 2015. Most recently, he held the title of Operations specialist and fraud analyst, handling debit-card fraud claims and account compromises and processing and reviewing international wires. Deady has more than 10 years of professional banking experience and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He is also ACH-certified. He supports his local communities by volunteering his time and attending fundraising events for local, community-focused organizations like Camp Putnam in New Braintree. Malin has been promoted to Operations specialist. She holds an associate degree from Mount Wachusett Community College. She previously held the position of Operations customer service representative, where she was tasked with answering customer calls and connecting customers and non-customers with appropriate staff to assist them. She also was responsible for reviewing all daily Operations reports. Before coming to the bank in November 2020, she worked as a teller at Athol Savings Bank. In her three years, there she assisted customers with transactions, concerns, and other inquiries. In her new role, Malin will be responsible for reviewing reports to mitigate fraud and risk for both the bank and customers as well as servicing customers’ online banking needs and completing account modifications such as travel notifications.

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J. Williar Dunleavy, chairman of Berkshire Bank and its parent company, will retire in September, the bank announced. He will be succeeded on the board of both the bank and Berkshire Hills Bancorp by David Brunelle, currently vice chairman. Brunelle is co-founder of Northe Pointe Wealth Management in Worcester. He has been on the board since 2017. Dunleavy took over as chair of the board in late 2019, when Bill Ryan, formerly the chief exective of Banknorth, gave up the position for health reasons.

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Joseph DaSilva

Joseph DaSilva

Richard Glejzer

Richard Glejzer

Jeannette Smith

Jeannette Smith

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) recently welcomed three new vice presidents to its executive team: Joseph DaSilva, vice president of Administration and Finance; Richard Glejzer, vice president of Academic Affairs; and Jeannette Smith, vice president of Student Affairs. DaSilva has worked in public higher education for more than 28 years, the last 21 at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC). During his tenure as vice president of Administration and chief financial officer, he provided executive-level vision, leadership, planning, and direction, and managed all aspects of fiscal operations, facilities management, Campus Police, Information Technology, Student Financial Services, and Human Resources/Employee Benefits and Operations Center. Glejzer was most recently the interim dean of Graduate Studies at Muhlenberg College, and previously served as provost and dean of Faculty at Marlboro College for 10 years. Prior to joining Marlboro, he served as professor and chair of English at North Central College and as chair of the college’s academic programs and policy committee. Among his other institutional duties, he served on the college’s steering committee and the dean’s academic advisory committee. He was a faculty liaison to the board of trustees. Earlier in his career at North Central, Glejzer revised the composition program as the director of Writing. Smith is a scholar-practitioner with 16 years of work experience in higher education, having worked most recently as the associate dean of Student Affairs and Engagement at Evergreen State College. She was previously employed at Truckee Meadows Community College, the University of Nevada Reno, and Elmhurst College. Her practice areas of experience include student unions, residence life and dining, academic advising, financial aid, shared governance, and student employment. Her scholarship areas of interests include policy, equity, financial aid, and student development.

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Sam Einzig

Sam Einzig

UMassFive College Federal Credit Union recently introduced Sam Einzig as the newest member of UMassFive’s Retirement Planning and Investments team available through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. He supports the credit union’s team of CFS financial advisors by scheduling appointments, sending appointment reminders, and helping with advisor administrative duties and service work. As an advisor assistant, he is also now the primary contact for current and prospective clients looking to work with the credit union’s trio of financial advisors. Einzig has worked at UMassFive as a member service specialist since September 2018, prior to taking on his latest role with the Retirement Planning and Investments team. He is licensed as a producer of life insurance and accident and health or sickness insurance in Massachusetts, and is currently pursuing his FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities licenses. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston, where course studies in music business and taxation in the music industry kindled his interest in the financial world, as well as helping people.

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Country Bank announced several recent staff promotions. Julie Yi has been promoted to senior vice president, controller and Operations. She has extensive experience in finance and operations and serves on Country Bank’s senior management team. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and is a certified public accountant. Justin Calheno has been promoted to assistant vice president, Retail Lending. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Westfield State University and is a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies. He serves as a board member for the Ludlow Boys and Girls Club. Lisa Saletnik has been promoted to assistant vice president, Business Systems. She holds an associate degree in health science from Bay Path University and is a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies. Mackenna Hogan has been promoted to Commercial Banking Administration officer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from UMass Amherst. Antonio Palano has been promoted to assistant vice president, Retail Lending. He holds an associate degree in business administration from Springfield Technical Community College. Newly appointed officers include Sam Pursey, Erin Skoczylas, Ashley Swett, and Sarah Yurkunas. Pursey has been promoted to Relationship Management officer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from UMass Amherst. Skoczylas has been promoted to assistant controller. Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western New England University, an associate degree in business administration from Springfield Technical Community College, and is a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies. Swett has been promoted to Customer Care Center officer. She is a graduate of the New England School for Financial Studies. Yurkunas has been promoted to Relationship Management officer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Bay Path University, a certificate from the Massachusetts Bankers Assoc. in Fundamentals of Credit Analysis: Intro to Commercial Lending, and is currently enrolled in the New England School for Financial Studies.

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Mary Cate Mannion

Mary Cate Mannion

Garvey Communication Associates Inc. (GCAi) announced that veteran ABC News affiliate reporter and anchor Mary Cate Mannion has joined the team as a digital PR analyst and will be responsible for planning, producing, and editing video content; photo supervision; and writing posts for digital dissemination on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and the Google Ads Display Network, but not Tik Tok, as well as working directly with media publications. She is working in GCAi’s Springfield edit suite with award-winning video producer Darcy Young and planning digital campaigns with award-winning digital marketer James Garvey, who is based in GCAi’s Marina del Rey, Calif. office. Mannion is an award winner in her own right, receiving a Broadcasters Award and two Emmy nominations during her tenure as an anchor and energy-news reporter with NBC News affiliate KFYR-TV. Her reporting was also used in an investigative segment by John Oliver on HBO’s Last Week Tonight, and she has served as a correspondent for Headline News. She earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College. She crossed paths with Young during her time at Western Mass News, when she emceed the Springfield Colleen Contest, for which Young is a long-time volunteer. Mannion also her singing skills during an American Idol audition in Boston and was successful for six rounds. Mannion has also achieved considerable success as a competitive Irish dancer, something she is still enthusiastic about today as a member of Springfield’s Claddagh School.

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Mercedes Maskalik, formerly the director of Marketing at CUE Inc., a membership and professional-development nonprofit organization, has been appointed assistant vice president for Marketing and Communication at Western New England University. In her new role, Maskalik will oversee the university’s Division of Marketing and External Affairs, whose mission and purpose is to broadly and creatively share the story of Western New England University regionally, nationally, and internationally. In her previous position as director of Marketing at CUE, Maskalik was responsible for the development, coordination, and management of all marketing and communications efforts to promote the CUE brand, the professional learning community, and the professional learning events. She received her master’s degree in organizational communications from Central Connecticut State University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University. An active member of a number of international associations, Maskalik’s professional affiliations include the American Marketing Assoc., the Public Relations Society of America, and the European Assoc. of Communications Directors. She is the co-author of Social Marketing Environmental Issues, a theoretically grounded text on social-marketing strategies for influencing environmental behaviors.

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Bryan Czajkowski

Bryan Czajkowski

Market Mentors, a marketing, advertising, and public-relations agency, announced the addition of Bryan Czajkowski as director of Production and Technology. He brings more than 25 years of experience to the newly created position, in which he oversees the agency’s web, design, video, and production operations. Czajkowski most recently served as chief technology officer for Rebel Interactive Group in Southington, Conn. Through this and previous positions, he has gained extensive experience working with international and national organizations across diverse industries, from finance and insurance to automotive and aerospace. The opportunity to integrate his various professional skills and interests is something that drew Czajkowski to the Market Mentors position.

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Bulkley Richardson announced that Mike Sweet has joined the firm as a partner in the Business and Finance department. Sweet started his career at a Wall Street-based law firm and has been practicing in Springfield for the past 25 years. His practice focuses on representing businesses and the people that own and manage those businesses through all stages of their business cycle, as well as in their personal lives. “This is an exciting development for the firm and furthers our goals for continued growth and talent acquisition,” said Dan Finnegan, managing partner. “Mike has established longtime relationships with his clients and continues to achieve successful results for them. He has earned the reputation of a great lawyer, and we feel honored to have him on our team.”

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Vanessa Smith

Vanessa Smith

Vanessa Smith, senior vice president and chief legal officer for Baystate Health, has been appointed to the Holyoke Community College (HCC) board of trustees by Gov. Charlie Baker. The term will run until March 1, 2025. “I am passionate about education and its ability to empower, inspire, break down barriers, and create pathways to opportunity,” Smith said. “I am honored to begin my service as trustee during Holyoke Community College’s celebration of its 75th anniversary, and I look forward to helping shape its bright future.” Smith has worked for Baystate Health since 2016 as associate general counsel, vice president, chief general counsel, and now senior vice president and chief legal officer. Prior to that, she was a partner in the law firm Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP in Springfield. She has also worked as an assistant attorney general in the New York Attorney General’s Office in Syracuse and as a court attorney for the New York State Court of Appeals. She holds a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in French from Wells College.

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Bulkley Richardson partners Michael Burke and Mark Cress were named 2022 Lawyer of the Year in their respective practice areas by Best Lawyers in partnership with U.S. News Media Group. Burke was recognized for his work in personal-injury litigation, and Cress was recognized for his work in corporate law. Burke and Cress have been named by Best Lawyers since 2001 and 2003, respectively. Lawyer of the Year rankings are awarded to one lawyer per practice area in each region, making it a distinguished accolade. Honorees receive this award based on their extremely high overall peer feedback within specific practice areas and metropolitan regions.

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Michael Cardaropoli

Michael Cardaropoli

Attorney Michael Cardaropoli, a partner in the law firm Pellegrini, Seeley, Ryan and Blakesley, has been appointed to serve on the board of directors of Springfield Habitat for Humanity. “I’m proud of the opportunity to serve on the board of this incredible organization,” he said. “We have a rich history as a firm of charitable connections to the community. I had first-hand experience with the Habitat for Humanity team as we worked on the SGT Sullivan house, and I am so pleased to now be a part of their ongoing efforts.” Twelve staff members from Pellegrini Seeley, Ryan and Blakesley donated a total of nearly 100 man hours to kick off the Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan project on the first build day in 2018. The firm also contributed $2,500 to the effort. “As a firm, we are committed each day to help make the lives better for the residents of Springfield,” Cardaropoli said.

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Bacon Wilson announced that eight of the firm’s attorneys have been named to Best Lawyers in America 2022. Kenneth Albano, the firm’s managing partner, was recognized in Best Lawyers for business organizations, including LLCs and partnerships; Michael Katz for bankruptcy and reorganization; Stephen Krevalin for family law; Hyman Darling for elder law; Gary Breton for banking/finance law and business organizations; Gina Barry for elder law; Mark Tanner for real-estate litigation; and Peter MacConnell for real-estate law. In addition, MacConnell was named 2022 Lawyer of the Year for real-estate law in Springfield, a designation presented to a single outstanding lawyer in each practice area for each region. Bacon Wilson, P.C. is one of the largest Pioneer Valley firms, with 43 attorneys and approximately 80 paralegals, administrative assistants, and support staff. The firm has five locations, in Springfield, Amherst, Hadley, Northampton, and Westfield. First published in 1983, Best Lawyers is regarded as one of the definitive guides to legal excellence. There is no opportunity to pay for a listing; rather, lists are based entirely on peer review.