Briefs: First-time homebuyer series, moms in business, and more








Published: 5/13/2018 5:53:29 PM
First-time homebuyer series

FLORENCE — Valley Community Development and Florence Bank will hold a first-time homebuyer series on Wednesdays during June from 6 to 9 p.m. at Florence Bank, 85 Main St.

Participants are eligible to apply for competitive first-time homebuyer mortgages, learn about and receive access to down payment and closing cost grants, and hear presentations from home buying professionals including attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, home inspectors, insurance agents, credit experts and more.

Contact Fern Selesnick,, or 586-5855, ext.160.

Moms in business group formed

EASTHAMPTON — Business Among Moms has a new chapter in western Massachusetts. Founding businesses include Mary Ann’s Dance and More of Easthampton.

The group welcomes women business owners, direct sales representatives and female entrepreneurs from all walks of life. Meetings run about 90 minutes in length and host a friendly, casual atmosphere.

Business Among Moms Western Massachusetts is an inclusive community — members gain business education, network and support one another to build lasting relationships and successful businesses. They belong to the national Business Among Mom’s organization.

To learn more about member benefits and upcoming events, visit

Attorney Ostranderpromotes financial fitness in program 

NORTHAMPTON — Bankruptcy attorney David W. Ostrander recently participated in the M. Ellen Carpenter Financial Literacy Program in a simulated bankruptcy meeting conducted at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Springfield.

Students from Northampton High School traveled to Springfield for the event.

Ostrander acted as bankruptcy trustee and questioned the debtor about her financial circumstances. A question-and-answer session with the students was conducted after the mock meeting.

The Financial Literacy Program has various modules designed to provide high school students with information to help them make good financial decisions now and in the future.

Ostrander has practiced bankruptcy law in Northampton since 1994, and has been a bankruptcy trustee since 1997.

New dean of social sciences at HCC 

HOLYOKE — Easthampton resident Moira Maguire is the new dean of social sciences at Holyoke Community College. She most recently served as dean of liberal arts at Schenectady County Community College in New York. 

She holds a doctorate in history from American University, a master’s degree in history from Northeastern University and a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from George Washington University.

As a teacher and scholar specializing in 20th century Irish history, Maguire spent more than 10 years at the University of Ireland Maynooth, where her research on infanticide and the Irish government’s care of unwed mothers and their children led to many articles and a book, “Cherished Equally? Precarious Childhood in Independent Ireland.” She has also worked as a consultant for the BBC on documentaries related to her research. 

As dean of social science, she will oversee six academic departments: education, criminal justice, human services, critical cultural studies,  psychology, and sociology/anthropology.

Jarrett joins
Florence Bank

FLORENCE — Lori Jarrett, of Southampton, has joined Florence Bank as assistant controller in the finance department in the main office in Florence.  

Jarrett holds a master’s degree in accounting from Western New England University. She volunteers for area nonprofits, including Riverside Industries, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County, and Safe Passage, and she runs in the Apple-A-Day 5K, which benefits the elementary schools of Easthampton.

CISA taps 3 new board members

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Three new board members — Insiyah Mohammad Bergeron, Shawn Robinson and Catherine Sands — have joined Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture. They voted in during CISA’s annual meeting, held April 12 in Northampton.

Mohammad Bergeron completed her master’s degree in city planning in May 2017 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She blogs for CoLab Radio, an online outlet that highlights stories of people seeking to effect social change in their communities.

Robinson is the director of vocational services at ServiceNet. His responsibilities include overseeing Prospect Meadow Farm, which employs 70 people with developmental disabilities, autism, or brain injuries who raise chickens, sell eggs, manage a large log-grown shiitake-mushroom operation, sell wood products, and operate catering and community landscaping services.

Sands is the director of Fertile Ground, working with organizations and foundations to maximize strategies that promote healthy and empowered families and communities.

Bedard returns to Laplante Realty 

SOUTH HADLEY — Kate Bedard, a longtime resident of the Pioneer Valley, is a 10-year veteran of the real estate industry. After briefly leaving ERA M. Connie Laplante Real Estate she has returned to the South Hadley office. Bedard has a background in marketing and advertising and her interests include house renovations, gardening and exploring area biking trails.


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