Making News in Business, July 15


  • Matthew S. Sosik

Published: 7/14/2021 4:59:17 PM
Big E Job Fair set for July 20

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Eastern States Exposition will hold a 2021 Big E Job Fair on Tuesday, July 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the cafe area of the Eastern States Farmers Market located near the Mallary Complex.

The event is open to the public and is free of charge. Job seekers will have the opportunity to network with many different Eastern States departments. This is a rare opportunity for many hours of work in a short period of time as The Big E is open for 17 straight days. Additionally, once workers experience a Big E job, they tend to return year after year.

Eastern States will recruit for positions in the following areas: Wine Barn Staff — beverage service prep, waitstaff; Retail Staff, Storrowton Village & Farmers Market; Security Staff, gate, roving, supervisors; Parking Attendants & Shuttle Drivers; Custodial, Bathroom Attendants, Trash Collection; ESE Foundation Representatives; Guest Information/ Admin Support; Vendor Information Staff; Creative Arts Assistants; and Stage hands.

To join The Big E team, apply ahead of time (if possible) by visiting

To get to the job fair, enter Gate 1 at the Big E and take an immediate left, driving past the Avenue of States, Coliseum, Farm-a-Rama and Young Buildings to the Farmers Market, a red building in front of the Mallary Complex dome.

HCC hires 1st dean of student development, engagement, inclusion

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College welcomes Harmony Cross as its first dean of Student Development, Engagement and Inclusion.

This new position combines the responsibilities of two previous jobs at the college — dean of students and director of retention and student success — with an increased emphasis on education equity.

Cross began her new role July 6.

Before coming to HCC, Cross served as director of the New York State Education Department’s Higher Education Opportunity Program at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, where she managed and developed holistic services and high-impact practices for students who might not have considered attending college because of their academic and economic backgrounds.

Prior to that, Cross worked as program director for the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx and area coordinator for 15 co-ed residential facilities at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. She has also taught college-level, first-year transition courses and leadership classes and coached students on conflict resolution and mediation techniques.

Easthampton dance apparel, supply store relocating

EASTHAMPTON — Mary Ann’s Dance and More, a dance apparel store, has relocated to make room for a pre-professional conservatory in its current location. Mary Ann’s new location is at 163B Northampton St. in Easthampton.

Opened since 2007, Mary Ann’s Dance and More offers customers dance supplies, including apparel and accessories, as well as novelty and gift items that all customers can enjoy.

Sosik elected to Mass. Bankers Association board

EASTHAMPTON — Matthew S. Sosik was elected to the 20-member board of directors of the Massachusetts Bankers Association at its annual meeting in June. Founded in 1905, the MBA is the only association representing FDIC-insured community, regional, and nationwide banks serving consumer and business clients across the commonwealth.

Sosik is the chief executive officer of Hometown Financial Group, Inc., a $3.4 billion mutual multi-bank holding company based in Easthampton. He also serves as president and CEO of bankESB, a subsidiary of Hometown Financial Group.

Sosik joined Hometown Bank, now bankHometown, in 1996 after five years as a bank examiner with the FDIC. In 2013, he became the president and CEO at bankESB and began to build Hometown Financial Group through a combination of organic growth strategies and merger and acquisition transactions.

Sosik is also a board member for The Massachusetts Housing Partnership, whose mission is to work with communities to create innovative policy and financing solutions that provide affordable homes and better lives for the people of Massachusetts. He also serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council.

Valley Community Development, ED part ways

NORTHAMPTON — Valley Community Development has parted ways with Executive Director Jane Loechler, and its board of directors has hired Peter Jessop to serve on an interim basis as it searches for a new leader.

As a longtime member of Valley’s board of directors and a three-term board president, Jessop has been maintaining the stability and continuity of the organization, ensuring that its housing development projects are on track; helping business owners access Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act grants; and overseeing new home buyer and small business counseling and workshops, said Madeline Blanchette, Valley’s board president, in an announcement to supportors that

Jessop is the founder and former president of Integrity Development and Construction, Inc., and over his three-decade-long career, he was involved in the development and construction of over 400 units of affordable housing in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Arizona, along with the development of market-rate housing.

Big Brothers Big Sisters wins award

AMHERST — CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County has been recognized as a 2020 Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) Quality Award Winner.

Every year, the BBBSA Nationwide Leadership Council, made up of local Big Brothers Big Sisters agency leaders and board members, select agencies for excellence in the one-to-one mentoring program, which ignites the power and promise of youth. Despite the challenges of the past year, including the pandemic, social unrest, and economic uncertainty, 49 out of the 236 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country received top honors in quality.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is based on in-person connections, but social distancing due to the pandemic prompted agencies to find innovative ways for volunteer mentors (‘Bigs’) to stay connected with their mentees (called ‘Littles’). Throughout the pandemic, the staff in Hampshire County provided support and coaching using a virtual model; they also found ways to connect Bigs, Littles and their families with additional resources. Innovative approaches included monthly deliveries of groceries by BBBS staff through a partnership with the Amherst Survival Center, and an initiative with local toy stores, providing Hampshire County Littles with new games and at-home educational activities purchased by BBBS donors at the Amherst Toy Box and A-Z Science and Learning Store in Northampton.

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