Company Notebook

Posted on 03 January 2012. Written by: BusinessWest

Hampden Bank Donates $150,000 to Develop Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — The Hampden Bank Charitable Foundation recently granted $150,000 to support the plans and objectives of DevelopSpringfield. “We not only see this as an opportunity to help build a better, more vibrant community, but, as a corporate citizen and a purpose-driven organization headquartered in Springfield since 1852, we also consider this is a major responsibility,” said Thomas Burton, president and CEO of the bank. “We are proud to be part of this significant effort to move Springfield forward.” DevelopSpringfield is a private Massachusetts nonprofit 501(c)(3) formed in 2008 to advance development and redevelopment of commercial real-estate projects, stimulate and support economic growth, and expedite the revitalization process within the City of Springfield. In recent months, Mayor Domenic Sarno requested that DevelopSpringfield, in partnership with the Springfield Redevelopment Authority, expand its role to lead the city’s multi-year planning and redevelopment activities for areas impacted by the tornado of June 1. “Throughout the years, and regardless of the challenges facing our community, we have always been able to count on Hampden Bank to support important community needs in Springfield,” said Nicholas Fyntrilakis of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., and chair of DevelopSpringfield’s 14-member board. “Supporting DevelopSpringfield is the latest example of their commitment to our community.”

United Bank Named Top SBA Lender to Women

WEST SPRINGFIELD — United Bank was recently named the state’s #1 Lender to Women in fiscal 2011 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). United Bank approved the highest percentage of total loans to women of all participating SBA lenders. Joanne Sheedy, RCA portfolio manager, accepted the award on behalf of United Bank at a recent meeting of SBA participating lenders in Boston. Robert Nelson, Massachusetts district director, applauded lenders for supporting SBA loan programs, which he called a “tremendous benefit to our businesses and economic recovery in Massachusetts.”

WMECo Completes Largest Solar Facility in Region

SPRINGFIELD — Western Massachusetts Electric Co. (WMECo) celebrated the completion of its second large-scale solar-energy facility on Dec. 21 in the Indian Orchard section of the city. The facility features 8,200 solar panels and produces 2.3 megawatts (MW) of electricity. WMECo representatives joined local and state officials in celebrating the transformation of the former foundry site into a clean, renewable energy facility. The Indian Orchard facility joins WMECo’s Silver Lake Solar facility in Pittsfield as one of the largest in the Northeast region, and is the largest in New England. The project brought nearly $12 million of new construction to the region and will contribute $400,000 of annual property tax revenue to the City of Homes. Springfield is one of the two Gateway Communities in WMECo’s service territory, and is home to approximately 65,000 WMECo customers. The Commonwealth has a goal to install 250 MW of solar generation by 2017. Under the landmark Green Communities Act, each Massachusetts electric utility may own up to 50 MW of solar, subject to approval by the Department of Public Utilities.

Bay Path Receives
$25,000 Award

LONGMEADOWBay Path College recently received a $25,000 scholarship award from the Petit Family Foundation during its first Evening Honoring Women in Science event at the Connecticut Science Center. The award will be used to provide financial support for students who are pursuing careers in the sciences. Bay Path currently offers undergraduate majors in biology, biotechnology, and forensic science, and will be introducing programs in biochemistry and neuroscience in the fall of 2012. The Petit Family Foundation honors the memories of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, Hayley Elizabeth Petit, and Michaela Rose Petit by continuing the kindness, idealism, and activism that defined their lives. The foundation’s funds are given to foster the education of young people, especially women in the sciences, to improve the lives of those affected by chronic illnesses, and to support efforts to protect and help those affected by violence. “On behalf of the college, I wish to express my profound gratitude to the Petit Family Foundation,” said Bay Path President Carol Leary. “With this scholarship award, our students will have the opportunity to study and excel in the sciences, pursuing meaningful and rewarding careers.”