Making News in Business, Nov. 4


  • Elena Valenzuela-Stookey

  • Lucie Bodnar

  • Robyn Lee Miller

Published: 11/3/2021 1:52:05 PM
Ward joins Greenfield Savings Bank Wealth Management and Trust

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Savings Bank Wealth Management and Trust Services has named Janice E. Ward first vice president and trust officer.

Ward has more than 19 years of experience in the industry. She will assist clients with financial planning, estate settlement, and trust administration services throughout the western Massachusetts area, including the Berkshires.

Ward graduated from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with a BSBA. She then received a juris doctor degree at Western New England University and has been a licensed attorney in both Massachusetts and New York since 2005. In 2012, she earned the designation of certified financial planner.

She is the co-founder of the Berkshire County Estate Planning Council and after serving as president for five years, she is currently a director. She has many active professional connections with certified public accountants, attorneys, investment and insurance professionals and financial planners throughout Franklin, Hampshire, Hamden and Berkshires counties.

Born in Cheshire, Ward lives in Pittsfield. She has two adult children and three granddaughters.

Wright Builders donates $7,500 to River Valley Co-op

Wright Builders, Inc. has donated $7,500 to River Valley Co-op’s Low Income Owner Assistance Program to support co-op ownership participation of all income levels. The donation was made to celebrate the opening of the Easthampton River Valley Co-op.

The contribution has been matched by gifts from many of the co-op’s current co-op owners for a total of $15,000 in new funds, which will support 200 new low-income co-op ownerships.

River Valley Co-op is a cooperative retail grocery store specializing in fresh local and organically grown foods. River Valley Co-op stores in Northampton and Easthampton are open to the public. Nearly 13,500 area community members cooperatively own it.

Co-op owners invest in an equity share of $150 each (this can be paid with monthly installments of $25). This is a one-time equity share investment, it is not an annual fee, and it is refundable if you move from the area or otherwise no longer wish to participate as a co-op owner.

With funding from the Low-Income Assistance Program, low-income co-op shoppers are eligible to become co-op owners with a total investment of just $75. The other $75 for the total equity share is funded through donations to the fund from other co-op owners. With this program, low-income co-op owners can fulfill their equity share purchase with $5 monthly installments to complete their co-op owner equity share investment. Co-op membership is co-op ownership.

HCC to celebrate opening of campus convenience store

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College will welcome elected officials and representatives from the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Thursday, as the college celebrates the grand opening of Homestead Market, a campus convenience store that will be the first at any community college in the state to accept federal SNAP benefits.

The store, two years in the making, is a collaboration between the college, Aramark Dining Services, and the HCC Thrive Student Resource Center, which operates the college’s food pantry and also helps students apply for food subsidies through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The market, which also accepts other forms of payment, is open to all HCC students, faculty and staff, as well as people in the greater community.

HCC’s Homestead Market is the college’s latest step toward addressing food insecurity among its students, providing fresh produce, grab-and-go meals, food pantry essentials, and other household items.

New board members at Ad Club of Western Massachusetts

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts, an organization for marketing and communications professionals in western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut, has three new board members — Elena Valenzuela-Stookey of Amherst, Lucie Bodnar of Browsville, Vermont, and Robyn Lee Miller of Longmeadow.

Valenzuela-Stookey is an account manager at Brigade. Over the past two years, she’s worn multiple hats including managing their resourcing, coordinating marketing efforts, supporting new business development, and managing social media accounts.

Bodnar has been an account coordinator at Brigade since July 2021. She has worked at several marketing and public relations firms since graduating from Smith College in 2016.

Miller founded MorningBird Media in 2018 as a means to combine her experience in social media, strategic development, photography and graphic design under one roof. Previously working for corporate digital media teams and various marketing positions, Miller now utilizes her strengths in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs tell their stories in the digital space.

AT&T boosts network speeds

AT&T and FirstNet subscribers in Amherst and Turners Falls got a boost in wireless connectivity recently with the installation of a new cell site in each community. The new service is designed to enhance the area’s 4G LTE coverage and help give residents and first responders faster, more reliable wireless service.

The Amherst site will cover portions along Route 63, Pine Street, Henry Street, Bridge Street, E Pleasant Street, Factory Hollow Pond and surrounding neighborhoods and businesses. The Turners Falls site will cover portions along Montague City Road, Turnpike Road, Turnpike Falls Road and surrounding neighborhoods & businesses.

FirstNet is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. It is built with AT&T in public-private partnership with the federal government. These advanced capabilities help fire departments, EMS and law enforcement save lives and protect communities. 

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