Business briefs, July 27, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017
Orloski top loan originator in region

HOLYOKE — Beverly Orloski, vice president and mortgage consultant at PeoplesBank, was named by the Warren Group as the top loan originator by volume in western Massachusetts for the third year in a row.

Orloski said she enjoys working with people.

“You get a certain satisfaction because you take them all the way through the process — from the time they first sit with you through their closing,” she said in a press release. “That can be typically 30-60 days, and you’re interacting with them the whole time.”

Orloski, of South Deerfield, has more than 30 years of financial and banking experience holds a Bachelor of Arts from Elms College. Orloski is also a member of the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

Hearing held on tourism, cultural funding resources

BOSTON — An informational hearing on the funding of tourism and culture in the Commonwealth at the State House in Boston earlier this week..

“This informational hearing was an opportunity to listen to and learn from key stakeholders in the tourism and arts community on how we as a state invest in the cultural underpinnings of our economy” said state Sen. Adam G. Hinds, D-Pittsfield, the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. “My district hosts dozens of celebrated cultural attractions — Tanglewood, MoCA, The Clark, Norman Rockwell Museum, Barrington Stage, Berkshire Museum, Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Mount, Shakespeare & Company and Jacob’s Pillow — and so many more. Downtown Pittsfield, the City of North Adams and the wider region are direct evidence of how quality museums, galleries, theaters, concert venues and other attractions can revitalize a region and infuse the local economy with new dollars. They also illustrate how critical it is to market those attractions to visitors, both in and out-of-state. As chairman of the Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development Committee, when it comes to securing public funding for these key cultural institutions and marketing campaigns, I want to make sure we get it right.”

New director hired

AMHERST — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County has hired Jessie Cooley as its new director.

Cooley has worked for 12 years with the organization, first in Boston and then in Franklin County, where she grew up. Most recently she worked as the district director for state Rep. Paul Mark. She earned her master’s degree in education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and secondary education from Northeastern University.

She is a 2013 graduate of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts’ Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact.

Café closes, but another will open

FLORENCE — Cup and Top Cafe closed on July 20 after 11 years in operation, but the doors won’t stay shut for long. A new restaurant, Freckled Fox Cafe, is to open in the same space sometime toward the end of summer.

Cup and Top’s owner, Helen Kahn, said she’s selling the restaurant not because of financial troubles but because she feels worn out. She thinks a new cafe will revitalize the space and make it more valuable for the community.

New chief medical officer at Holyoke Medical Center

HOLYOKE — Dr. Jennifer Mark has been promoted to Chief Medical Officer at Holyoke Medical Center.

“Dr. Mark is a highly skilled physician with a proven track record and expertise in leading a team to success. Her focus on patient satisfaction, in conjunction with high quality care and open communication style, will continue to be an asset to HMC as she enters this new role,” said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems.

Electronic tolling
wins recognition

BOSTON — The transition to all-electronic tolling (AET) from manual toll collections on I-90, (the Massachusetts Turnpike), has been recognized by associations of transportation professionals and two nonprofits because of the AET’s success in making transportation more efficient, reducing traffic congestion and improving highway safety for drivers.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was named the winner of “Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Medium Project” category of America’s Transportation Awards, a joint project by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, MassDOT has been notified by the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) that the AET project is one of six award winners in the nation for “revolutionizing mobility for drivers,” and that MassDOT and other winning entities will be presented later this year.