Making news in business, May 16

Pictured, left to right, are Randy Krotowski, president of The Parlor Room Collective board of directors; Chris Freeman, executive director of  The Parlor Room Collective; and Matt Garrity, president and CEO of Florence Bank, which has made a $100,000 to the new Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton.

Pictured, left to right, are Randy Krotowski, president of The Parlor Room Collective board of directors; Chris Freeman, executive director of The Parlor Room Collective; and Matt Garrity, president and CEO of Florence Bank, which has made a $100,000 to the new Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton. Jim Gipe/PIVOT MEDIA

Peter Courtney

Peter Courtney

Carol Constant

Carol Constant

Published: 05-15-2024 1:16 PM

Florence Bank donates $100K to the Iron Horse

FLORENCE — Florence Bank donated $100,000 to the Iron Horse Music Hall, supporting a $750,000 capital campaign for renovations and updates to the music venue in downtown Northampton that opened Wednesday.

Chris Freeman, executive director of the Parlor Room Collective in Northampton, which purchased the Iron Horse last fall and has been updating it since, said the bank’s gift will help fund ongoing work to the venue at 20 Center St.

He added that, when the Parlor Room became a nonprofit, it received funds from Florence Bank to start an open mic series, a program that has since become self-sustainable.

The Parlor Room is a small listening room in Northampton, founded 11 years ago as a facet of the Signature Sounds record label. Freeman was a musician in a band that recorded on the Signature Sounds label in those days, becoming more involved with the Parlor Room after the pandemic. In 2022, the Parlor Room became a nonprofit and is now known as the Parlor Room Collective.

Florence Bank President and CEO Matt Garrity said the Iron Horse has been at the core of the local music scene since its founding in 1979, and the bank is proud to support the Parlor Room Collective’s revival of the venue.

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Working Fields fills key role in WMass office

Working Fields, a mission-based staffing agency headquartered in Vermont with a unique peer support model, welcomes Joe Vadnais as a business development manager at its western Massachusetts office.

Vadnais, who has over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and management, was hired in March. In this position, Vadnais will foster relationships and more opportunities for fair chance employment throughout Massachusetts. Vadnais will also lead Working Fields’ expansion into Hampden and Hampshire counties.

Prior to joining Working Fields, Vadnais was a founding member and program manager of My Father’s House, a men’s transitional living home offering direct care, support, and counseling to individuals who are displaced or without housing and seeking life change.

For more information, visit

The Loomis to honor Carol Constant, resident

SOUTH HADLEY — Loomis Communities, a provider of senior living in the Pioneer Valley, will hold its annual Spring Reception on Wednesday, May 22, at 4:30 p.m. at Loomis Village, 20 Bayon Drive, South Hadley.

Proceeds from this year’s event will directly benefit and impact the development of The Loomis Communities’ new OpenView dementia care program across all three campuses in the Pioneer Valley.

More information and links to register can be found at Over 150 people are expected to attend this annual celebration and fundraising event, during which Carol Constant will be honored with the Elvira Whiting Ball Award for Outstanding Service to Older Adults. Constant is a former and longtime director of development and community engagement for Loomis.

Additionally, Peter Courtney, a longtime Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing resident, will be honored with The Loomis Communities’ Award for Inspirational Aging. Courtney has lived at Loomis Lakeside since 2016 and spearheaded the rehabbing of the woodworking shop on the retirement community campus in 2018, which continues to be a passion of his that he shares with other residents.

County residents land Howdy Awards for service

SPRINGFIELD — The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB), promoting the region as Explore Western Mass, recently honored 10 individuals from the hospitality industry during the 27th Annual Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence.

The awards, produced by the GSCVB, recognize front-line employees in the hospitality industry who go above and beyond in the performance of their duties and provide outstanding service to their guests and customers.

The winners were chosen from among 73 finalists. The finalists were selected by the Howdy Awards Committee from more than 997 nominations among nine categories. The Committee also selected Berkshire East Mountain Resort to receive the Spotlight Award, which recognizes individuals or organizations for their dedication and outstanding contribution to the region’s hospitality industry.

Each Howdy award winner received a decorative glass Hospitality Excellence Award, a framed certificate of achievement, a Howdy Winner lapel pin, a custom Yankee Candle gift basket and a gift bag filled with gift certificates and other items from the region’s top tourism establishments.

Area winners include:

■In the Banquet & Meetings category, Brenda Lee Glanville of Summit View Banquets in Holyoke.

■In the Food-Tableside category, Cathy West of McCarthy’s Pub in Belchertown.

Elliot Castellano of Amedeo’s in Holyoke was honored as a 2024 People’s Choice Winner.