Making news in business, Dec. 7

Christian P. D’Amour

Christian P. D’Amour

Michael Lalak

Michael Lalak



Published: 12-06-2023 11:17 AM

Florence resident joins Conval as sales engineer

ENFIELD — Conval, a global manufacturer of high-performance severe service valves, recently announced the appointment of Mike Mikaelian as inside sales engineer.

A resident of Florence, Mikaelian holds a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Western New England University in Springfield and earned a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification from Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

He previously served as design engineer at Judd Wire in Turners Falls, senior sales engineer and production manager at Dipwell Techware in Northampton, route service representative at Quest Diagnostics in Marlborough, and in various engineering and sales positions at BETE Fog Nozzle in Greenfield.

ServiceNet names two to new senior leadership positions

NORTHAMPTON — ServiceNet, a nonprofit mental health and human services agency based in Northampton, announces the promotion of two accomplished leaders in its Developmental and Brain Injury Services (DBIS) division.

Shawn Robinson, formerly director of vocational services and of Prospect Meadow Farm in Hatfield, has been appointed vice president of vocational services and day programs. Robinson, who has worked with ServiceNet since 2011, was recognized in 2023 as the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Person of the Year and he also received a Black Excellence on the Hill Award from the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus.

Mike Lalak, a former senior director of operations in the DBIS division, has been appointed vice president of DBIS residential services. Lalak came to ServiceNet in 2012 as a program director and quickly rose through the ranks. He currently oversees 58 of ServiceNet’s residential programs across western Massachusetts.

D’Amour named district director at Big Y

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SPRINGFIELD — The board of directors of Big Y Foods Inc. has announced the appointment of Christian P. D’Amour as district director for 16 markets throughout Connecticut. His responsibilities include staffing, training and development, operational execution, sales strategies and results.

D’Amour began his career at Big Y at the age of 14 as a part-time service clerk. After college, he was a sales and marketing representative for an insurance company based in Providence, Rhode Island. He rejoined Big Y as a store director trainee in 2014. One year later, he was appointed assistant store director in its Wilbraham store. In 2016, he was promoted to store director in Southampton. He next went on to manage their Wilbraham market before being tapped as store manager at Table & Vine’s flagship location in West Springfield.

In 2019, Christian was appointed a district sales and merchandising mentor for Big Y’s supermarket 15 store district throughout western Massachusetts. In this role, he was responsible for all sales, merchandising and store team development across all departments. He also continued to oversee the operations of the company’s Table & Vine flagship. He most recently directed the company’s e-Commerce platform.

Conn. insurance agency merges with Smith Brothers Insurance

NORTHAMPTON — The Quintal Agency, an independent insurance agency led by Lynne Quintal-Hill and located in Plainfield, Connecticut, has merged its operations with Smith Brothers Insurance, with an office in Northampton.

Lynne Quintal-Hill will be fully engaged in client service and business development, and will continue to serve clients as she and her team members join Smith Brothers.

IT’SUGAR now open at Holyoke Mall

HOLYOKE — IT’SUGAR, one of the largest specialty candy retailers in the U.S., has opened a 2,400-square-foot candy store inside Holyoke Mall at Ingleside.

The Holyoke Mall location epitomizes what the brand is known for: hundreds of varieties of sweets, humorous products, and immersive candy experiences from America’s beloved brands, including Sour Patch Kids, OREO, Nerds, Skittles, Reese’s, and Starburst. It also includes shops devoted to retro and international candy, TikTok-trending treats, and much more, providing endless playful entertainment for sugar enthusiasts of all ages.

IT’SUGAR’s new store is located on the upper level in Center Court, next to H&M.


WOBURN — In a continued effort to expand access to behavioral health care options for members, UniCare recently welcomed four new behavioral health practices in western Massachusetts to its provider network, including Clinical Support Options in Northampton and Multicultural Clinical Services Inc. in Amherst.

UniCare administers health benefits for more than 200,000 Massachusetts state and municipal employees, retirees, and their families.

The following behavioral health practices in western Mass. are now part of UniCare’s provider network:

■ Clinical Support Options, a certified community behavioral health clinic that provides a full range of behavioral health and substance use disorder services through a network of six licensed outpatient sites.

Four sites — Northampton, Greenfield, Athol, and Gardner — are state-designated community behavioral health centers, providing open access to outpatient, urgent, and emergency behavioral healthcare. Services are provided both on-site and in homes, schools, and other community settings.

In addition to its outpatient services, CSO provides emergency and crisis stabilization services 24/7 for youth, families, and adults, as well as family support services such as intensive care coordination, in-home therapy, family support and training, and therapeutic mentoring.

■Multicultural Clinical Services offers a variety of therapy services including individual/group services, a youth mentor group, mental health counseling, trauma-informed therapy, cultural sensitive therapy, and LGBTQIA+ therapy clinical group for individuals ages 18 and up struggling with depression, anxiety, OCD, gender transitioning, and questioning.