Business briefs: UMass food specialist gets grant

Published: 12-25-2016 5:43 PM

Greenfield Savings promotes three

GREENFIELD – Kelly Gagnon has been promoted to trust officer in the Trust and Investment Management Group at Greenfield Savings Bank. Gagnon joined the bank in 2010, and has worked in the financial services industry for more than 18 years. She is a graduate of Greenfield Community College, a trust graduate of the Cannon Financial Institution, and earned the designation of certified trust and financial advisor from the Institute of Certified Bankers in 2015. 

Michael Cherry has been promoted to the position of office sales manager in the Northampton office. Cherry joined the bank in 2015 with eight years of experience in the banking industry and will be concentrating on new business and account development. He is a director of the Amherst Boys and Girls Club.

Anna Zadworny has been promoted to office sales manager at the bank’s South Deerfield office. Anna has been in banking for 26 years, and at Greenfield Savings Bank since 2012. Anna completed the finance program at Babson College with honors, and holds an associate’s degree in business management from Holyoke Community College. She is active in the community as a volunteer for Northampton Education Foundation, the Salvation Army, the United Way, and the Northampton School Systems. 

UMass teaches food safety rules

AMHERST — Lisa McKeag, a UMass Extension vegetable education specialist, has received a two-year, $144,617 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Food Safety Outreach Program to promote food safety education, training and technical assistance for owners and operators of small- to mid-sized farms, farmers’ markets and others who must deal with recent new federal food safety guidelines.

NIFA’s $4.7 million national program intends to also help beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors and small fresh fruit and vegetable wholesalers to meet challenges that may come with new guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration under the Food Safety Modernization Act.

McKeag will adapt current UMass training materials to address requirements for FSMA’s produce rule, which specifically deals with safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding fruits and vegetables. She will work with agriculture organizations across Massachusetts to provide training, research-based on-the-farm workshops and other outreach to respond to and meet produce growers’ needs.

To learn about upcoming training opportunities or with questions about farm food safety and FSMA, contact McKeag at 577-3976 or

Diverse boutique/gallery opens 

NORTHAMPTON — Samsara, located at 26 Strong Ave., is the creation of business partners Keith Harmon Snow and Marilyn Burke.

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The store’s display includes artistic industrial assemblages created out of old tools, engine parts, electric insulators or other archaic hardware, and it is alive with succulents, air plants and unusual perennials. Burke promises an extended warranty period for all plants sold. 

Everything in the store is unique, with nothing purchased from catalogs. 

On the lower level is a gallery space where Snow and Burke plan to run workshops on terrarium design, or host book signings or poetry readings, and also hang exhibits of the works of locally and nationally known artists.

Jocson named research chair

AMHERST — Korina Jocson, associate professor in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been named by the Canada-U.S. Fulbright Program as Visiting Research Chair of Human Rights and Social Justice at the University of Ottawa for 2016-17.

The research chair is housed at the University of Ottawa’s Human Rights Research and Education Centre, which strives to bring together educators, researchers and students from various disciplines with an eye to approaching issues regarding human rights from a multidisciplinary perspective, including the arts, law, political science and sociology.

Jocson’s proposed project focuses on “Youth Media Making, Learning Opportunities and Social Justice in the Arts.”

Jocson teaches in the department of student development in the College of Education and is a cross-disciplinary scholar in social justice education. She is the author of “Youth Poets: Empowering Literacies In and Out of Schools” and editor of “Cultural Transformations: Youth and Pedagogies of Possibility.” She received a Ph.D. in education in the area of language, literacy and culture at the University of California, Berkeley, and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Stanford University School of Education.