Making News in Business, Oct. 6


  • Kristina Hamel

Published: 10/5/2022 4:45:48 PM
Winston named president of bar association

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton attorney James B. Winston was recently named as the president of the Hampshire County Bar Association.

The association, established in 1878, has over 250 attorneys as members who provide many legal services for the public, including the Lawyer for the Day and Conciliation programs, both in the Hampshire Probate & Family Court.  

The Hampshire County Bar Association also provides services for the Domestic Relations Program for Children, the Hampshire Elder Legal Program and a Lawyers Referral Service program.

UMassFive introduces VP of human resources

HADLEY — UMassFive College Federal Credit Union has hired Kristina Hamel as vice president of human resources.

Hamel comes to UMassFive from Shriners Hospitals for Children in Springfield, where she worked for the past 20-plus years, overseeing up to 250 employees, and more than 150 volunteers. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Bay Path University and has earned her senior professional human resource certification.

At UMassFive, Hamel will oversee all employee hiring, training, recognition and diversity program efforts.

Country Bank earmarks $10M to support affordable housing

Country Bank has introduced a new affordable housing program featuring no down payment for first-time home buyers. A first-of-its-kind program will assist low- to moderate-income families in purchasing a home. Country Bank has pledged $10 million to the program.

The program is designed to help those who need it most by offering 100% financing for single-family homes or condominiums and 95% financing for two-family properties. In addition, the bank will cover 100% of the private mortgage insurance that traditionally adds to the monthly payment and will save the borrower hundreds of dollars each month. This feature also gives the borrower more purchasing power by not having to pay the cost of mortgage insurance. Certain restrictions and locations apply for this program.

The program is available until the $10 million commitment has been allocated. Visit, a banking center, or call the customer care center at 800-322-8233 to learn more.

FunHub Action open at
Hampshire Mall

HADLEY — FunHub Action Park opened last month in the Hampshire Mall.

The 33,000-square-foot indoor entertainment facility features a variety of indoor attractions for all ages to jump, dodge, bump, and play. Activities include trampolines, dodgeball, basketball, bumper cars, climbing walls, a ninja warrior course, arcade games, virtual reality arena, dedicated toddler play area, and more.

Staff achievements for Dress For Success Western Massachusetts

SPRINGFIELD — Dress for Success Western Massachusetts is proud to announce achievements made by all three of its staff members.

Executive Director Margaret Tantillo is one of only 16 executive directors from around the world invited to join the inaugural Dress for Success Worldwide Affiliate Advisory Council. Representing the Northeastern United States, Tantillo will give input to determine how Dress for Success will move forward and provide support throughout the affiliate network.

In addition to its signature interview suiting, the western Massachusetts chapter has graduated 11 cohorts from its Foot in the Door workforce development program in under six years, and is currently launching the 12th class.

In less than three years, the Margaret Fitzgerald Mentorship Program has quadrupled the number of mentees paired with professional women in the community. It has established a Professional Women’s Group to support participants looking to advance their careers and gain leadership skills. And, in response to the needs of local women during COVID, it has established a digital literacy coaching program that has provided over 400 hours of one-on-one learning.

Overseeing this advancement is Jess Roncarati-Howe, who has been promoted to director of programs and operations. Having been hired in January of 2020 as a part-time program coordinator, Roncarati-Howe quickly advanced, expanding programming, fostering community relationships and responding to the needs of local women seeking gainful employment during and post-pandemic.

Volunteer Engagement Manager Diane Jacobs oversees over 100 active volunteers. Having joined the staff in September of 2019, Jacobs has established structure, enthusiasm and a culture of gratitude that ensure an ever-growing roster of committed volunteers. Most recently, she has led the Volunteer Engagement Committee to the completion of a volunteer handbook that has been recognized as a resource by Dress for Success affiliates across the globe. For more information about Dress for Success Western Massachusetts, visit

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