Business Briefs: Sept. 1, 2023



  • The Garden Cinemas at 361 Main St. in Greenfield will screen “Our Hospitality” (1923), a silent comedy starring Buster Keaton, on Monday, Sept. 4, at 6:30 p.m. The screening will feature live accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based composer who specializes in creating music for silent films. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Published: 8/31/2023 6:43:23 PM
Modified: 8/31/2023 6:42:48 PM
Garden Cinemas screening silent film ‘Our Hospitality’ with live music

GREENFIELD — The Garden Cinemas at 361 Main St. will screen “Our Hospitality” (1923), a silent comedy starring Buster Keaton, on Monday, Sept. 4, at 6:30 p.m. The screening will feature live accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based composer who specializes in creating music for silent films.

Admission is $10.50 for adults and $8.50 for children, seniors and students. Tickets are available online at or at the door.

Set in the 1830s, “Our Hospitality” tells the tale of a young man who was raised in New York City but is unknowingly at the center of a long-running backwoods family feud. Resolving to return and claim his family homestead, he sets in motion a perilous cat-and-mouse game in which every move could be his last.

“Our Hospitality” is part of the Garden Cinema’s silent film series, which aims to show early movies in high-quality prints, on a large screen, with live music and with an audience.

“All those elements are important parts of the silent film experience,” said Rapsis, who will improvise a musical score for “Our Hospitality.” “Recreate those conditions, and the classics of early Hollywood leap back to life.”

Upcoming shows in the Garden Cinemas’ silent film schedule include:

■Monday, Oct. 2, 6:30 p.m. — “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” (1920). John Barrymore plays both title characters in this spooky adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale.

■Monday, Nov. 6, 6:30 p.m. — “The Scarlet Letter” (1926). Lillian Gish stars in this adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book set in Massachusetts during the Puritan era.

■Monday, Dec. 4, 6:30 p.m. — “Robin Hood” (1922). Douglas Fairbanks Sr. stars in the original big-screen adaptation of “Robin Hood.”

Rapsis will create musical scores for each film live during the screenings, in the manner of organists during silent cinema’s peak years in the 1920s.

“For most silent films, there was never any sheet music and no official score,” Rapsis explained. “So creating original music on the spot to help the film’s impact is all part of the experience.”

For more information about the music, visit

Franklin First awards five scholarships

GREENFIELD — Franklin First Federal Credit Union has awarded five $1,000 scholarships to high school graduates. The funds will be used to help pay for upcoming college expenses for each student.

The scholarship recipients are: Michelle DeAngelo (Ari Brown-Weeks Scholarship), Victoria Weagle, Abigail Sanders, Kaitlyn Phillips and Andrew Bostrom.

“Supporting our local youth is always important to Franklin First,” Michelle Dwyer, president and CEO, said in a statement. “We congratulate all scholarship winners and wish them much success as they continue down their respective paths.”

Conway attorney named Lawyer of the Year

SPRINGFIELD — Conway resident Gary S. Fentin, founder and shareholder of the Springfield-based law firm Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin P.C. that serves Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York, has been chosen by his peers as Lawyer of the Year in the fields of banking, financial law and commercial transactions/Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) law in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Fentin has concentrated his practice in the areas of commercial and real estate finance and development, industrial revenue bonds, affordable housing, business law and business foreclosures. Within these practice areas, he also oversees the firm’s tax-exempt bond practice, and has served as the firm’s bond and/or purchaser’s counsel for more than 35 years.

Fentin is a graduate of Boston College Law School, where he was inducted into the Order of the Coif honor society and served as an editor of the Law Review. He obtained a master’s degree in taxation at Boston University Law School, and completed an Intensive Mediation Workshop at Harvard Law School.

Having long maintained memberships in the Hampden County and Massachusetts bar associations, as well as the National Association of Bond Lawyers, Fentin holds the distinction of being the only attorney west of Worcester with approval from the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency to serve as bond counsel. He has been named repeatedly to both The Best Lawyers in America and the Massachusetts Super Lawyers lists, and has received the highest possible peer rating in the Martindale-Hubbell directory.

Retired police officer joins real estate agency

GREENFIELD — Joseph Burge, who retired in 2020 following a 28-year career with the Greenfield Police Department, recently joined Cohn & Company Real Estate as a real estate agent.

“While at the Greenfield Police Department, he earned a reputation for being honest, hardworking and having a strong desire to help people — traits that will be beneficial to his real estate clients,” a Cohn & Company statement reads.

To contact Burge about buying or selling a home, call 413-772-0105 or email

GCC appoints new vice president of IT

GREENFIELD — Greenfield Community College’s Information Technology Department has new leadership with the addition of Vice President Antoine Harrison.

Harrison, who joined GCC in July, brings more than 25 years of IT experience to the campus, including more than 14 years leading IT efforts within education.

Harrison joins GCC at a critical time for the college. Numerous large projects are either underway or soon will be to improve student and employee experience, including upgrading the college’s enterprise systems, strengthening GCC’s cybersecurity and instituting an identity management system.

“A love for learning, a passion for innovation and a commitment to integrity are the foundation for why I chose Greenfield Community College,” Harrison said in a statement. “I learned from some of the most innovative people in the industry that higher education should be founded upon a continuous pursuit of knowledge, innovative thinking that exceeds conventional boundaries and a desire to be the best at being better.”

“We are so grateful to have Antoine join our GCC team,” President Michelle Schutt said in a statement. “With his experience and creativity, we are confident that Antoine will continue to bring GCC into the digital future.”

Harrison came most recently from Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he was the institution’s deputy chief information officer. Previously, Harrison contributed to infrastructure and technology projects in a variety of disciplines, including higher education, K-12 education, government and private industry.

Eversource recognized for energy efficiency

SPRINGFIELD — For the third time in a row, Eversource was named the top energy efficiency provider in the country for its programs in Massachusetts according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which every three years ranks the 53 largest energy providers.

The energy company also topped the ACEEE list for its efforts in advancing energy equity — an area included in the scorecards for the first time this year.

“We consider it a privilege to be tasked with driving decarbonization of buildings, one of the largest sources of emissions in our region,” Eversource Vice President for Energy Efficiency and Electric Mobility Tilak Subrahmanian said in a statement. “Energy efficiency is the best way for our customers to get started on that journey, and we appreciate the support from our regulators in setting the framework and funding for this. We take our role seriously in educating our customers about the benefits, technology, rebates and resources available, and we look forward to connecting as many of our customers as possible with energy efficiency solutions.”

The ACEEE Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard is broken down into three main categories focused on program offerings, the performance of programs and enabling mechanisms focused on equity. The total score awarded reflects both the utility itself and the legislative and regulatory environment where the company operates.

In addition to taking the No. 1 spot for its energy efficiency programs in Massachusetts, Eversource was also recognized for its Connecticut programs, which ranked eighth among the ACEEE scorecards — up two spots from the last list in 2020.


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