Area business briefs




Monday, January 09, 2017
Webber & Grinnell employees achieve

NORTHAMPTON —  Adina Edgett and Bailey Eastman of the commercial insurance division at Webber and Grinnell Insurance Agency have both passed their Massachusetts Property and Casualty licensing examinations given by the MA Division of Insurance — bringing the agency’s total number of licensed employees up to 23.

Jenna Rodrigue has earned CISR Elite status after her successful completion of nine courses covering all areas of insurance risks and exposures, followed by extensive examinations.

The program includes an annual continuing education requirement, which ensures that those who earn the certifications stay current on policy changes and trends within the industry. Five successful courses are required to achieve the CISR designation; passing all nine confers CISR Elite status.

Promotions at PeoplesBank

HOLYOKE — PeoplesBank has announced the promotions of the following Hampshire County residents.

Matthew Bannister, of Hadley, was promoted to first vice president marketing and innovation. He previously served as vice president of corporate responsibility. He possesses more than 30 years of brand management and corporate social responsibility experience.

Bannister holds a bachelor of arts in communications from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He serves on the boards of directors for Revitalize CDC, the National Conference for Community and Justice, and the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce.

Robert Raynor was promoted to assistant vice president compliance, risk oversight. He previously served as internal audit officer.

The Northampton resident has eight years of banking experience. He holds a bachelor of science in business management from Springfield College. He serves as treasurer of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holyoke and is a member of Northampton Area Young Professionals and Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield.

Cassandra Pierce was promoted to assistant vice president business intelligence manager. She formerly served as business intelligence manager.

A resident of Northampton, she holds a bachelor of science in business management from Westfield State University and a master of science in communication and information management from Bay Path University.

UMass facultyleading scientists

AMHERST — Seven University of Massachusetts Amherst faculty members are among “the world’s leading scientific minds,” whose publications are among the most influential in their fields, according to a survey by leading multinational media and information firm Thomson Reuters.

Thomson Reuters compilers who set out to identify “some of the best and brightest scientific minds of our time” recently recognized UMass Amherst food scientists Eric Decker and David Julian McClements, polymer scientist Thomas Russell, soil chemist Baoshan Xing of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, biostatistician and epidemiologist Susan Hankinson of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, microbiologist Derek Lovley and astronomer Mauro Giavaliso.

Thomson Reuters says, “The 2016 list focuses on contemporary research achievement: only Highly Cited Papers in science and social sciences journals indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection during the 11-year period 2004-14 were surveyed.”

These papers are defined as those that rank in the top 1 percent by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science.

Gerstl-Pepin deanat College of Ed

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts Amherst has appointed Cynthia I. Gerstl-Pepin of the University of Vermont to be the new dean of its College of Education, effective July 1.

Gerstl-Pepin, who is currently associate dean of UVM’s College of Education and Social Services, will succeed Robert Feldman, the deputy chancellor who has served as interim dean of the college since last February.

She brings extensive leadership experience at CESS, including an appointment as interim dean of the college in 2015-16. As associate dean for academic affairs and research since 2011, Gerstl-Pepin has provided leadership for curriculum, research, accreditation, communications and strategic initiatives while also serving as founding director of the doctorate program in educational leadership and policy studies.

Gerstl-Pepin previously chaired the department of education at UVM, overseeing one of the largest departments in the university with more than 70 full- and part-time faculty serving more than 400 undergraduates and 300 graduate students.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in art history and studio art at Bates College in 1989, Gerstl-Pepin received a doctorate in educational organizations and policy studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She was named a Fulbright Scholar in 2011 for study at Beijing Normal University. Gerstl-Pepin is internationally recognized as a leading academic authority on educational politics and ethical leadership. Poverty, with its connection to inequitable educational outcomes, has been a compelling theme in her work.