Making News in Business, March 10

  • Alicia Austin

  • Tracey K. Howell

  • Evelyn Rivera-Riffenburg

  • Tricia Canavan

Published: 3/9/2022 1:28:15 PM
Modified: 3/9/2022 1:27:42 PM
Regional food bank lands $500K grant

NORTHAMPTON — A new partnership between Cooley Dickinson Hospital, a member of Mass General Brigham, and The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts will benefit patients who experience food insecurity. The Food Bank will receive $500,000 from Mass General Brigham over four years to launch the partnership, which is expected to start this spring.

Patients screened for food insecurity, as well as other social determinants of health, including housing and transportation, will be referred to the new program, if inadequate access to food surfaces as a need.

Since 2018, The Food Bank has collaborated with local health care providers to address food insecurity through The Food Bank’s Food Insecurity Screening and Referral Initiative (FISRI).

With the funding from Mass General Brigham, The Food Bank will be able to expand the screening and referral program to more patients who are food insecure and hire a dedicated food assistance referral coordinator. The coordinator will be able to serve 200 patients annually for a total of 800 participants over the four-year partnership.

bankESB promotes 2 at Belchertown branch

EASTHAMPTON — bankESB has promoted Tracey K. Howell to branch officer and Alicia Austin to assistant branch manager of its State Street, Belchertown, office.

Howell joined bankESB in 2007 as a part-time teller and since then has been promoted to senior teller, assistant branch manager, and now branch officer. She has more than 25 years of banking experience, having previously served as assistant branch manager of Charter One Bank. She studied marketing, economics, accounting, and management at the American Institute of Banking and volunteers at the Lathrop Home in Northampton. Howell and her family live in Belchertown.

Austin joined bankESB in 2018 as a teller and was most recently a teller supervisor before being named assistant branch manager. She attended both UMass Amherst’s Stockbridge School of Agriculture as well as Holyoke Community College. Austin and her family live in Belchertown.

Leadership Pioneer
Valley’s leader
to step down

SPRINGFIELD — Lora Wondolowski, the founding executive director of Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV), and the organization’s leader since 2011, will leave her post on April 1.

Wondolowski’s leadership has been integral to all aspects of LPV’s operations with notable successes including the growth of the core LEAP program, Leaders on Board initiative, building strategic partnerships, and improving and stabilizing operations and organizational processes. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the first graduating class.

Upon Wondolowski’s departure, the board plans to appoint an interim executive director until finding a permanent executive director.

Leadership Pioneer Valley’s mission is to is to identify, develop, and connect diverse leaders to strengthen the Pioneer Valley.

Rivera-Riffenburg joins HCC as human resources director

HOLYOKE — Evelyn Rivera-Riffenburg of Holyoke is the new executive director of human resources at Holyoke Community College.

Rivera-Riffenburg has worked in human resources for more than 25 years. She started her career as a personnel assistant and has most recently worked as director of human resources for Chicopee Public Schools. Her previous employment featured positions in human resources for the town of Amherst, Medtronic (formerly Covidien), Hot Mama’s Foods, C & S Wholesale Grocers, and Coca-Cola. She is also an adjunct professor at Bay Path University and Western New England University.

She started her position at HCC in January.

Rivera-Riffenburg began her undergraduate education at HCC before transferring to Baker College, where she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in human resource’s management. She holds master’s degrees in communications and information management from Bay Path University and in organizational leadership from Southern New Hampshire University.

Canavan appointed CEO of Tech Foundry

SPRINGFIELD — Tricia Canavan has been named CEO of Tech Foundry, effective March 21. She will succeed Bruce Dixon, who has resigned to pursue new opportunities.

The Tech Foundry is a nonprofit whose mission it is to support the region’s growing need for a qualified technology workforce and elevate underrepresented groups into sustainable careers in information technology.

Founded in 2014, the Tech Foundry has offered internships, networking opportunities and instruction to traditionally low-income, underserved populations, preparing graduates for entry-level IT work in the Pioneer Valley. These programs are offered free of charge to participants through donations from area businesses and members of the local community.

With a background in nonprofit and business management, workforce development and adult education, Canavan currently serves as executive vice president of corporate relations and advocacy for Masis Staffing Solutions. Previously, she served as CEO of United Personnel, which was acquired by Masis in May of 2021.

Canavan is chair of the Economic Development Council of Western MA, co-chair of Springfield Business Leaders for Education and also serves on the boards of the Associated Industries of MA, MassHire Hampden County and the Springfield Public Forum.


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