January 28, 2022

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The Recorder – Business Briefs: Dec. 24, 2021

PeoplesBank donates to BHN’s Staff Excellence Fund

SPRINGFIELD — Behavioral Health Network (BHN) has received a $25,000 donation from PeoplesBank to benefit the Katherine B. Wilson Staff Excellence Fund. This marks the first installment of a $125,000 commitment over the next five years.

According to a BHN press release, the agency established the Katherine B. Wilson Staff Excellence Fund to support the career and professional development of its workforce and assist in achieving social justice objectives. The fund will support scholarships and forgivable loans for staff to further their education at local colleges, along with licensure support.

“BHN made a compelling case that the engagement/skillset of their workforce has an enormous impact on their ‘end users’ — something we know to be true, even in a seemingly different industry such as banking,” Matthew Bannister, senior vice president of marketing and corporate responsibility at PeoplesBank, said in a press release. “It is the ‘hand-up, and not hand-out’ to these vulnerable populations that hews most closely to our giving philosophy, so we are comfortable that this program will produce those desired results.”

“We are deeply grateful to PeoplesBank for their generosity and partnership,” said Steve Winn, president and CEO of BHN. “Through this commitment, PeoplesBank demonstrates understanding of the importance of ensuring high-quality behavioral health services to the Western Massachusetts community. Supporting BHN’s essential workforce accomplishes that goal.”

Headquartered in Springfield, BHN has been providing behavioral health services to children and families throughout Western Massachusetts since 1938. It includes the Northern Hope Center and Franklin Recovery Center on Federal Street on the former Lunt Silversmith property in Greenfield. In partnership with the Community Health Center of Franklin County, BHN also opened a rural methadone clinic earlier this month at 119 New Athol Road in Orange.

Comcast names new senior VP of Western New England Region

Comcast has named Carolyne Hannan as senior vice president of the company’s Western New England Region, leading a team serving more than 300 communities across Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York.

In this role, Hannan is the top executive responsible for all aspects of the business, including customer experience, sales, marketing, operations and financial performance, a Comcast press release states.

“I am excited to welcome Carolyne back to our Western New England Region where she started her Comcast career,” said Kevin Casey, president of Comcast’s Northeast Division, which includes 14 states from Maine through Virginia and the District of Columbia. “Her strong leadership, commitment to our customers and proven track record of delivering our innovative products and services makes her a natural choice to lead the region.”

Hannan, who has held a series of senior management positions at Comcast over the past 17 years, returns to the Western New England Region where she previously served as vice president of sales and marketing from 2008 to 2010, according to the release. In her most recent role, Hannan was vice president of sales and marketing for Comcast’s Freedom region, which serves customers in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware.

“I’m thrilled to have been asked to lead Comcast’s Western New England Region and to deliver outstanding service and innovative products that enhance the lives of our valued customers,” Hannan said.

She will be based in the region’s headquarters located in Berlin, Conn.

Stoneleigh-Burnham announces new hires

GREENFIELD — Stoneleigh-Burnham School recently appointed Mara G. Kohls as director of enrollment management and Charles “Chuck” Lavant Greene II as director of marketing and communications.

Both come to the independent boarding and day school with experience in higher education, according to a Stoneleigh-Burnham press release. Kohls worked in alumni engagement at Carnegie Mellon University and Virginia Tech, and Lavant Greene worked in external communications at Mount Holyoke College. He also has independent secondary school experience, having worked at St. Mark’s School in Southborough.

Kohls, who joined Stoneleigh-Burnham in August, said she is thrilled to work with middle and high school students and their families, and hopes to build “a vibrant, diverse and amazing student community of thinkers and doers.”

“Being at Stoneleigh-Burnham creates ‘wow’ moments for me every day,” she said in the release. “This school’s values align with my personal values and I am honored to work here.”

Head of School Stephanie Luebbers said, “We are very excited to have Mara on the SBS team as she brings tremendous professional experience and a strategic mindset to her work with schools. She is a collaborative and innovative leader.”

Lavant Greene, who joined Stoneleigh-Burnham in October, said he is inspired by the school’s culture and values, particularly its position on gender inclusivity and developing the voices of students.

“Stoneleigh-Burnham is a special place and I am really excited to be building the brand of such a vital and engaged academic community,” he said in the release.

Luebbers said she is confident that “Chuck’s deep and broad experience in independent schools and in a historically women’s college are a strong fit for SBS. He will have a vital role in sharing the power of an SBS education both locally, nationally and internationally as he becomes our thoughtful lead storyteller.”

Amtrak announces testing alternative to vaccine mandate for employees

In light of the near-universal COVID-19 vaccine adoption among its employees, and a recent decision by a federal district court halting enforcement of an executive order mandating vaccines for federal contractors, Amtrak will allow employees to opt-in to a COVID-19 testing program on an interim basis.

Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn stated in a press release that the railroad believes these changes will allow the company to avoid any system-wide service impacts in January.

“For hundreds of communities across the U.S., Amtrak is a critical transportation connection,” Rail Passengers President Jim Mathews said in the release. “We’re pleased that Amtrak leadership has shown flexibility in light of new developments, and grateful to Amtrak workers for performing the essential tasks that keep America’s passengers moving. We continue to support the goal of universal vaccination — for both workers and passengers — as the surest way to keep everyone onboard safe.”

According to Amtrak, 97.3% of its employees have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with fewer than 500 active Amtrak employees subject to the testing regime.

Bank names VP of retail distribution network

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Savings Bank has hired Claremont, N.H. resident Kevin M. DeRosa as vice president for the retail distribution network.

According to a Greenfield Savings Bank press release, DeRosa will be responsible for overseeing the retail operations of all the bank’s offices and its contact center, which includes teller and customer service in the lobbies, the call center and the teller services offered through the bank’s Teller Connect ATMs. Teller Connect ATMs provide teller service via video.

“Kevin has joined GSB with more than 11 years of experience in the banking industry,” John H. Howland, president and CEO of Greenfield Savings Bank, said in a press release. “Kevin’s experience in managing bank retail operations and customer contact centers, as well as his commitment to excellent customer service, mirror our bank’s core values.”

DeRosa earned a bachelor’s degree in business finance and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of New Hampshire. According to the release, he has graduated from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Management School as a certified credit union executive and has also earned the designation of credit union compliance expert.