Making news in business, May 9

Dan Ordorica

Dan Ordorica



Anita Panlilio

Anita Panlilio

Published: 05-08-2024 3:44 PM

Heisler, Feldman, & Ordorica announce new shareholder

SPRINGFIELD — Heisler, Feldman, & Ordorica, P.C., a Springfield-based public interest law firm, has promoted attorney Dan Ordorica of Amherst to shareholder.

This new partnership, effective Jan. 1, 2024, recognizes Ordorica’s dedication to advancing justice for the low- and moderate-income clients served by the firm.

Ordorica, a magna cum laude graduate of Boston University School of Law (J.D. 2019), joined the firm in 2019. Since then, he has become an integral part of its mission to expand access to legal services for traditionally underrepresented groups. He has led initiatives to identify new communities in need, while also fostering strong relationships with local community organizing groups.

Throughout his time at the firm, he has successfully represented clients in various housing and employment matters before the Massachusetts Housing and District Courts, U.S. District Court, and in agency adjudications before rent control boards and the Department of Unemployment Assistance.

Mount Holyoke professor Mara Benjamin named Guggenheim Fellow

SOUTH HADLEY — Mara Benjamin, Irene Kaplan Leiwant Professor of Jewish Studies at Mount Holyoke College, has been named as part of the class of 2024 Guggenheim Fellows. Benjamin is one of 188 distinguished and diverse fellows of culture creators named, working across 52 disciplines.

This year’s Guggenheim Fellows were tapped on the basis of prior career achievement and exceptional promise. They were chosen through a rigorous application and peer review process from a pool of almost 3,000 applicants.

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Benjamin says the award will allow her to finish writing a book, “Terrestrial: Jewish Thought and a World Disrupted,” which analyzes how ecological crisis challenges core elements of Jewish theology and proposes constructive possible paths for reconstructing it.

As established in 1925 by founder Sen. Simon Guggenheim, each fellow receives a monetary stipend to pursue independent work at the highest level under “the freest possible conditions.” A total of 19,000 fellows have been honored since the fellowship’s establishment, including artists, scholars, poets, historians, choreographers, environmentalists and data scientists.

Hatfield resident awarded CPA scholarship

HATFIELD — The Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants (MassCPAs) announced that Anita Panlilio of West Hatfield was awarded the MassCPAs Alliance-Silver Scholarship by the MassCPAs Educational Foundation’s 2024 Scholarship Program.

Panlilio, a student at UMass Amherst, was one of 51 students selected to receive a scholarship. The students will be honored for their awards at MassCPAs’ annual, member-wide networking event, Connect 2024, on May 8.

Scholarships are funded 100% through donations to the MassCPAs Educational Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to inspire and support the next generation of CPAs in Massachusetts, and since the program’s inception in 2006, the Foundation has awarded over 400 scholarships to aspiring CPAs, ranging from $2,500-$10,000 and totaling more than $1.9 million.

ED of Peace Development Fund retires

AMHERST — Paul Haible, executive director of the Peace Development Fund for the last 20 years, has officially retired as of April 30.

Under Haible’s leadership, PDF amplified its focus to include a broad range of social justice issues and movements, expanded its footprint to include a regional office in San Francisco, where he was based, and increased its international scope to include funding to Haiti, Mexico, and the Middle East.

Haible collaborated with the board to launch several special initiatives engaging a range of issue constituencies including: a national environmental justice initiative that spanned a decade, a cross border initiative, and helped launch the now-vibrant national criminal justice reform movement. He was instrumental in creating PDF’s capacity-building program to fiscally sponsor more than 40 organizations. Building on his decades of work with the Indigenous community, he led PDF’s recent Indigenous Land Back work.

Founded, and still based in Amherst, The Peace Development Fund is a leading donor-supported national social justice funder that has been resourcing grassroots movements for peace and human rights since 1981. It provides grants, training, donor services, and capacity building resources to organizations around the country and around the world.

The board has appointed Lora Wondolowski, PDF’s director of advancement and communications, as the interim executive director until a permanent executive director is found.