Making news in business, Feb. 22

Laurel Carpenter

Laurel Carpenter

Andre Motulski

Andre Motulski

Dan Thies

Dan Thies

Christina Reynolds

Christina Reynolds

Tara Ann Hughes

Tara Ann Hughes

Katie Lawton

Katie Lawton

Emilee Proulx

Emilee Proulx

Sofia Serrazina

Sofia Serrazina

Matt Eddy

Matt Eddy

Published: 02-21-2024 9:45 AM

HCC environmental science professor awarded national fellowship

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College’s Laurel Carpenter of South Hadley, an associate professor of environmental science, received a national fellowship focusing on STEM education at community colleges.

The fellowship was awarded by the Community College Presidents’ Initiative in STEM (CCPI-STEM). Carpenter is part of a seven-member team of fellows for 2024-2025, and the only one from a college in the Northeast.

The fellowship is intended for community college faculty and administrators pursuing graduate degrees and conducting research related to STEM education and workforce development. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

Fellows are selected from a national pool of applicants, who are evaluated based on their education, STEM experience, leadership potential, community engagement, and research.

A 2012 graduate of HCC, Carpenter is a wildlife biologist, chair of the HCC Environmental Studies Department, co-coordinator of the HCC STEM Scholars program, and a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is pursuing a doctorate in education.

Florence Bank promotes Motulski to VP controller

FLORENCE — Florence Bank has promoted Andre Motulski of Broad Brook, Connecticut, to vice president controller.

In this new position, Motulski will be responsible for managing financial records, ensuring regulatory compliance and assessing risks associated with lending and investment activities.

Motulski joined the bank’s team as assistant vice president/controller in September 2019. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Connecticut State University and is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation commissioned risk management examiner.

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Motulski is involved in the community, serving on the Finance Committee for Hampshire Regional YMCA in Northampton.

Big Brothers Big Sisters adds chief growth officer

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western Massachusetts has hired Chris Thompson as its chief growth officer. In this position, Thompson will be responsible for strengthening the newly merged agency’s relationship with the communities of Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampden counties.

Big Brothers Big Sisters creates connections between children (Littles) with qualified and vetted mentors (Bigs) to create fulfilling relationships empowering youth and building community.

A native of Western Mass, Thompson is on the board of Arrha Credit Union and is a former commissioner for the Western Massachusetts Sports Commission and West Springfield’s Parks and Recreation Commission. As co-founder and owner of the Westfield Starfires of the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, Thompson brings experience to the new role in the areas of advocacy, community outreach, business development and external relations.

Thompson will lead nonprofit’s growth efforts in Berkshire and Franklin counties.

UMassFive promotes seven

HADLEY — UMassFive College Federal Credit Union recently announced seven management promotions.

They include:

Katie Lawton to assistant vice president of the Contact Center from her previous role as manager. Lawton began her career at UMassFive seven years ago, starting as a Contact Center representative, then a lead Contact Center representative, and most recently the Contact Center manager.

In her new position, she will continue to lead the Contact Center team in delivering member service with a focus on providing members with solutions to improve their financial lives, as well as being responsible for the phone system administration, improving operational efficiencies, and implementing modernized member service options.

Sofia Serrazina has advanced to take on the position of Contact Center manager. Serrazina was formally the lead member service specialist.

Serrazina started her tenure with UMassFive in August 2021 as a Contact Center member service specialist. In her new role, she’ll be responsible for the day-to-day management of Contact Center representatives and video teller agents.

Matt Eddy has been promoted to remote services manager from his former position as the branch manager of Northampton VA’s Medical Center. Eddy’s career at UMassFive started five years ago as a member service specialist at the Northampton branch.

He will now be responsible for improving and making all remote and virtual aspects of the Contact Center more efficient.

Emilee Proulx has been promoted to the Northampton VA Medical Center branch manager. Proulx started with UMassFive in 2022 as a member service specialist in the Northampton branch.

In this new role, some of her newly acquired responsibilities include the training of team members, cultivating fresh connections with VA-affiliated sponsor groups, and elevating branch productivity.

Dan Thies is now the commercial portfolio manager. His career at UMassFive began in 2016 as a teller and, more recently, he’s been working within the Commercial Services department for the past five years.

In his new position, Thies will help shape and implement strategies to optimize the credit risk management processes supporting commercial loan, deposit, and service products.

Christina Reynolds has been promoted to digital and payment services manager from her former position as the card services manager. Reynolds began her career at UMassFive 12 years ago as a part-time online banking specialist in the Contact Center, eventually taking on other branch assignments.

In her new role, she’ll oversee the digital and payment team which includes, wires, ACH, checks, and all digital processes.

Tara Ann Hughes has been promoted to account services manager. Hughes has been with UMassFive since 2018, and she has since gained experience in BSA, compliance, and risk.

In her position, she’ll oversee fraud, including fraud monitoring services for debit and credit cards and digital banking channels. She will work closely with her fraud team to ensure that debit card rules are reviewed frequently, and proactively reduce overall fraud.