Making News in business








Published: 2/3/2020 2:47:18 PM
Downtown shop to launch new name   

NORTHAMPTON — The Don Muller Gallery, at 40 Main St., a staple in Northampton for more than 40 years, will launch a new name for the store in February. The award-winning store will continue to offer handmade jewelry, hand-blown glass, gifts and home goods, as well as services including jewelry repairs and custom design.

The store is celebrating its rebranding during Northampton Arts Night Out, from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 14. A logo reveal will be held at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

Free refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be available, along with goodie bags for the first 50 attendees. Store owner Maya MacLachlan will be in attendance, along with Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz and representatives from the Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce and The Amherst Area Young Professionals Group.

West promotedat bankESB 

AMHERST — Jessica West has been promoted to assistant vice president and branch officer of bankESB’s new Amherst location at 253 Triangle St. West will be responsible for all of the functions of the branch office, leading a team of tellers and customer service representatives.

West joined bankESB as senior teller in 2002 before being promoted to assistant branch manager and then branch officer of the bank’s 241 Northampton St. location in Easthampton.

West received an associate degree from Springfield Technical Community College and is active in the community, teaching banking classes at The International Language Institute of Massachusetts as well as volunteering on the Hopkins Academy’s Start Time Task Force and its 6th Grade Celebration committee. She also leads the bank’s annual United Way corporate fundraising campaign and diaper drive.

Edwards, Turati join Hooker Law

NORTHAMPTON — Attorneys Jeremy Edwards and Jodi Turati have joined the elder law firm of attorney Michael Hooker.

Edwards is a graduate of Western New England College law school and has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts. He will specialize in estate and Medicaid planning, guardianships, conservatorships and mental health law.

Turati has an accounting degree from Western New England College and has managed the business office of a local nursing home for many years. Her primary focuses at the firm will be as office manager, fiduciary specialist and probate administration specialist.

Nature-based family child care program now in Amherst

AMHERST — The Maple Hill Play Garden, a home-based, licensed family child care program led by Amanda M. Lugo, has relocated to Amherst and offers children ages 14 months to 3 years the opportunity to experience the benefits of outdoor independent play.

An open house for the 2020-2021 school year will be Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the new location, 52 Jeffrey Lane, Amherst. For more information, visit, or email Amanda at

Florence Bankpromotes Shouse

FLORENCE — Florence Bank has promoted Kurt Shouse of West Springfield to the position of vice president, information and cybersecurity officer.

Previously he was the assistant vice president, information and cybersecurity officer. Shouse received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and master’s degree in cyber operations and computer forensics from Utica College, Utica, New York. He has his certification from the SANS Institute Global Security Essentials. 

Shouse serves as a board member of Northampton’s Dollars for Scholars.

Ortiz joinsWebber & Grinnell

NORTHAMPTON — Pamela Ortiz has joined Webber & Grinnell as a business development specialist working out of its Holyoke branch, Ross, Webber & Grinnell.

Ortiz, of Ludlow, will be responsible for business development of home and auto business in Hampden County. Most recently, she was a licensed sales producer at Allstate and a customer service representative at Farm Family Insurance. She is licensed in property and casualty, life and medical in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Ortiz was born and raised in Springfield.

Polachek receives new accreditations

NORTHAMPTON — Daniel W. Polachek, a certified public accountant and financial planner with a tax and financial services agency at 335 South St., has passed the Registered Social Security Analyst test administered by the National Association of Registered Social Security Analysts.

The test covers five areas on Social Security, Medicare and related laws.

Polachek’ s accounting and business advisory firm provides services including bookkeeping, accounting and financial statements, tax preparation and planning, estate planning and preparation, business valuations, payroll preparation and reports and business strategic planning.

A graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in accounting, Polachek earned his master’s degree in business administration from Western New England University is Springfield. He also completed the professional financial planning certificate program at Bay Path University in Longmeadow.

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