Making News in Business, Jan. 5

Published: 01-04-2023 11:48 AM

PeoplesBank set $2.3M record for 2022 donations

HOLYOKE — For a second year in a row, PeoplesBank set a new annual record for donations to civic and charitable causes. The bank tallied $2.3 million for donations for 2022, which is $1 million more than last year’s record. Since 2011, the bank has donated well over $13 million to area causes.

More information on PeoplesBank corporate responsibility and how to apply for a donation can be found at


New assistant VP
at UMassFive

HADLEY — Megan Lagoy has been promoted to assistant vice president of loan operations at UMassFive College Federal Credit Union. Lagoy began her career at UMassFive in 2012 as a call center representative before taking on other various contact center roles, eventually becoming assistant vice president of the Contact Center and Interactive Teller Machine Department.

More recently, Lagoy held direct oversight of UMassFive’s flagship Hadley branch in the position of assistant vice president of retail services.

Czelusniak named to board of state funeral association

NORTHAMPTON — Jay Czelusniak of the Czelusniak Funeral Home in Northampton, was recently installed as a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association at the organization’s annual funeral service appreciation night.

Czelusniak is the fourth-generation owner and licensed funeral director at Czelusniak Funeral Home. He graduated from Northampton High School and Northfield Mt. Hermon School, received a bachelor’s degree from University of Vermont and an associate of mortuary science from Lynn University. In addition to the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association, he is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, founder of the Western MA Independent Funeral Directors Association, a member and past PER of the Order of Elks Lodge #997 and a member of the Lions.

STCC opens nursing assistant laboratory

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SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Technical Community College launched a new laboratory last month that it says will increase the training capacity of its Certified Nurse Assistant Plus program and help fill a demand for health care jobs in the region.

The Workforce Development CNA laboratory includes state-of-the-art equipment, including six high-tech patient simulators for students to use for hands-on training. Students also train through clinical rotations at long-term care facilities.

The total cost of the project, including funds for construction, design, equipment, materials and training, is about $2 million. Free-of-cost training is available to qualifying participants thanks to money from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s Training Resources and Internship Networks (TRAIN) Program and the High Demand Workforce Training Grant.

The program is designed to help students achieve a Certified Nurse Assistant Certificate, CPR Certification, Home Health Aide (HHA) Training Certificate, and Alzheimer’s & Neurological Disorders Training, which will expand participant placement opportunities.

Realtors earn top honors from Valley association


Arlene Castellano of Acuna Real Estate was named 2022 Realtor of the Year by the Realtor Association of the Pioneer Valley at an annual awards event last month.

Additionally, the association honored Victor Rodriguez Sr., of PeoplesBank, as its Affiliate of the Year.

The Realtor of the Year Award is the highest form of recognition the association can bestow on a realtor member. It is given to a member based on association activity, community activity outside the association and business activity.

A realtor since 2015, Castellano on the association’s board of directors since 2020. She has also served on various other committees, including Community Service, Finance, Government Affairs, Member Engagement and Professional Standards.

The Affiliate of the Year Award is the highest form of recognition the association can bestow on an affiliate member. It is given based on affiliate membership activities related to the association, community service in activities outside the association, and business activity.

A member of RAPV since 2015, Rodriguez is the mortgage consultant at PeoplesBank and has served on the Affiliate-Realtor and Community Service Committees.

Cooley Dickinson receives urgent care accreditation

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital has received the Urgent Care Association Accreditation designation, the highest level of distinction for an urgent care center.

The criteria includes meeting standards for governance, human resources, patient care processes, quality improvement, physical environment, health record management, as well as patient privacy, rights and responsibilities. Accreditation is awarded on a three-year basis.

Urgent care is a convenient and efficient option for urgent, but not emergency, medical conditions. Such conditions include unexpected cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures that do not require a visit to the emergency room but cannot wait for a primary care visit. Cooley Dickinson accepts unscheduled, walk-in patients and is equipped with x-ray, laboratory services, and licensed providers available to perform minor procedures such as casting and suturing.