Business Briefs: Nov. 3, 2023



Published: 11/2/2023 2:25:00 PM
Modified: 11/2/2023 2:24:28 PM
First-time homebuyer webinar series starts Nov. 8

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Cooperative Bank and Valley Community Development are partnering to offer a three-part webinar series for first-time homebuyers. The webinars will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 8, Thursday, Nov. 9, and Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 6 to 9 p.m. via Zoom.

The webinars will cover a variety of topics, including the home buying process, financing options, credit tips, home inspections and homeowners insurance.

“We are excited to partner with Valley Community Development to offer this webinar series to first-time homebuyers in our community,” Jane Wolfe, executive vice president of residential lending at Greenfield Cooperative Bank, said in a statement. “Buying a home is a major life decision, and we want to make sure that first-time homebuyers have the information and resources they need to make the process as smooth as possible.”

The cost of the webinar series is $50 for two adults in the same household. Registration is non-refundable and attendance is required at all three sessions.

To learn more about the webinar series, visit

Fenton honored as ‘Go To Lawyer’

SPRINGFIELD — Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin P.C., a multidisciplinary law firm serving Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, has announced that shareholder Michael A. Fenton has been named a “Go To Lawyer” in the area of commercial real estate law by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

A resident of Springfield, Fenton joined the firm in 2012 and focuses his practice in the areas of commercial real estate, business planning, commercial finance and estate planning. He represents principals in business formation and succession planning, businesses in the purchase and sale of enterprises, lenders and borrowers in commercial financing transactions, developers in the acquisition and permitting of projects, and individuals in establishing comprehensive estate plans.

Debuted by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2020, Massachusetts Go To Lawyers showcases leaders in the legal community by practice area. Go To Lawyers are nominated by their colleagues and selected by a panel from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

Garden Cinemas to screen 1926 silent film version of ‘The Scarlet Letter’

GREENFIELD — The Garden Cinemas will screen the 1926 silent film version of “The Scarlet Letter,” starring Lillian Gish as Hester Prynne, on Monday, Nov. 6, at 6:30 p.m.

The show will feature live accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based composer who specializes in creating music for silent films.

In screening “The Scarlet Letter,” adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel, the Garden Cinemas aims to recreate all essential elements of silent film experience: high-quality prints shown on a large screen, with live music and an audience.

“These films caused people to fall in love with the movies for a very good reason,” Rapsis said in a statement. “They were unique experiences, and if you can recreate the conditions under which they were shown, they have a great deal of life in them.

“Though they’re the ancestors of today’s movies, silent film is a very different art form than what you see at the multiplex today, so it’s worth checking out as something totally different,” Rapsis added.

The Garden Cinemas’ silent film schedule features vintage Hollywood dramas, thrillers and adventure flicks, all with live music. Upcoming shows include:

■Monday, Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m. — “Robin Hood” (1922).

■Monday, Jan. 1, 6:30 p.m. — “The Gold Rush” (1925).

■Monday, Feb. 5, 6:30 p.m. — “Flesh and the Devil” (1926).

■Monday, March 4, 6:30 p.m. — “The Passion of Joan of Arc” (1928).

■Monday, April 1, 6:30 p.m. — “Safety Last” (1923).

Admission is $10.50 adults and $8:50 for children, seniors and students. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Pink Day raises $4K for Baystate Health Foundation

SPRINGFIELD — As part of its 20th anniversary recognition, Market Mentors LLC, a fully integrated marketing, advertising and public relations agency, brought back its annual Pink Day campaign to raise money for the Baystate Health Foundation to support breast cancer research and services. Selling Market Mentors Pink Day T-shirts, the agency raised a total of $4,000.

“We had previously held this event for several years, and with our milestone anniversary this year, we knew it was time to bring it back,” Michelle Abdow, president and CEO of Market Mentors, said in a statement. “We reached out to our clients, vendors and media partners, and were thrilled with the response. They all purchased and proudly wore their pink tees on Thursday, Oct. 26, the day we deemed MM Pink Day 2023.”

Franklin County CDC welcomes new program manager

GREENFIELD — The Franklin County Community Development Corporation, which has been supporting local businesses throughout western Massachusetts since 1979, has brought on a new employee who will lead two programs that work to strengthen the local food system and increase access to healthy food in low-income, low-grocery communities.

Hannah Sobel, the new program manager, will work with farms and retail food businesses to secure funding and technical assistance to strengthen local agricultural economies and improve the nutrition access of low-income communities. Among its many programs, the Franklin County CDC administers the PVGrows Investment Fund — where community members invest in local farm and food retail businesses — and the Massachusetts Food Trust Program — a statewide initiative that provides financing to food retailers in low-income, low-grocery areas. Sobel will lead these programs.

Before joining the Franklin County CDC, Sobel worked throughout the food system, from farming and urban agriculture to municipal food truck policy and nonprofit meals programs. She has a master’s degree in urban and environmental policy and planning, as well as a master’s degree in food policy and applied nutrition from Tufts University.

“The Franklin County Community Development Corporation is pleased to have Hannah join our team so we can continue offering support to farmers and food entrepreneurs who make our regional food system equitable and vibrant,” Executive Director John Waite said in a statement.

CSO earns recognition as ‘top workplace’

NORTHAMPTON — Behavioral health agency Clinical & Support Options was recently named to the list of Top Workplaces in the Health Industry in 2023. The agency earned the gold-level award based on the results of an independent survey conducted among CSO staff.

The Top Workplaces program is based upon a researched-backed employee engagement survey created and administered by research firm Energage. The workplace survey was sent via email to 561 CSO employees with 396 (70%) responding. Questions were asked to gauge employee sentiments in the areas of culture, compensation, flexibility, engagement, training, etc. Answers were then measured against industry-wide averages compiled and analyzed over previous years.

CSO scored 13 points beyond the industry average in the area of benefits compensation. Respondents also indicated their concerns were cared about and that training was adequately provided.

“CSO has the best benefits package available. We knew that,” Clinical & Support Options President and CEO Karin Jeffers said in a statement. “But it was reassuring to see that staff knew it, too. Equally important — if not more important — were the high scores we measured in the areas of company culture. Staff feels included. They say their input is considered, and their expertise is valued. To me, that’s very important in the behavioral health field.”


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