Florence Bank Promotes Kristen Lemoi of Southampton to Vice President, Marketing Manager

Florence Bank has promoted Kristen Lemoi of Southampton, MA to the position of Vice President, Marketing Manager.

 Lemoi joined Florence Bank in June 2011. Prior to her recent promotion at Florence Bank, Lemoi had served as the Assistant Vice President, Digital and Merchandising Manager for Florence Bank and played an integral part in the 2014 launch of the Bank’s new brand. In her new role, Lemoi will help steer the strategic marketing decisions for the Bank.  Lemoi received her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She is currently on the board of the Cancer Connection, and holds the title of Certified Financial Marketing Professional from the ABA Institute of Certified Bankers.

 Kristen Lemoi Florence Bank

Florence Bank President and Chief Executive Officer John F. Heaps, Jr., said, “We are very pleased to announce Kristen’s promotion. Kristen has proven that she is a visionary within the marketing space and we are delighted to continue to watch her create new, innovative ways to connect with our customers as well as the communities we serve.”



Dear Pioneer Valley friends and colleagues,
I am proud to be on the board of Clinical & Support Options, a behavioral health organization that has been helping families and children throughout Western Mass for over 60 years.
CSO runs many life saving programs such as Friends of the Homeless, Crisis and Respite Services, Center for Community Resilience after Trauma, clubhouses for psychiatric rehabilitation, treatment for substance abuse, STOPLIFT (alternative to prosecution), and several others.
I am also proud to volunteer with one of their programs, the Bridge Family Resource Center, which provides many kinds of support, again, to children and families in need. Each year the Bridge has a Kids’ Week program (Aug 21-25), and a day of celebration (Aug 25), just before the beginning of school.

of food to serve through the week (from area restaurants and food businesses) and donations of money; and also items that would go in gift bags, i.e. school supplies, and toiletries:
shampoo, soap, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste.
We are also seeking a volunteer musician/ band to perform at the celebration. If this is you, please get in touch! If you know of anyone, please refer, recommend, pass on this info.
Please get in touch with Jilena Cicho Jcichon@csoinc.org or me to arrange drop off or pick up of your donation, or for more info, or with any questions.
Like many of us, I am fortunate to be fortunate. I am also happy to be able to help those with less opportunity, who’ve suffered hardship, who’ve had trauma, or who’ve been dealt a hand not as lucky as yours or mine. Life is hard, and we need to help each other. And life is good, and we need to help each other.
Many thanks!


 * C&SO is a 501(c)3 non profit, so donations are tax-deductible
  * Mail check (write The Bridge in memo) CSO, Development Office,  8 Atwood Drive, Northampton, MA 01060
    * Donate online here:  https://www.classy.org/checkout/donation?eid=140067 HOMELESS PEOPLE PIC


Pantone LLC, an X-Rite company and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, today announced the PANTONE® Fashion Color Report Fall 2017 edition, a comprehensive overview of fashion designers’ use of color in their seasonal collections.The PANTONE® Fashion Color Report Fall 2017 is one of two semi-annual reports published for the fashion industry by the color experts at the Pantone Color Institute, highlighting the top colors for men’s and women’s fashion for the upcoming fall season for New York and, for the first time, London.“There is a commonality between the colors we are seeing on the runway in New York and London.” says Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “However, individuality is evident and we are seeing a distinct difference between the shows in the two cities in the way these same colors are being combined.”Color Palette for New York“Bookended by a dynamic Grenadine red and a tawny Autumn Maple, the color palette for Fall 2017 leans more to warmth, “ says Eiseman. “While comforting, enveloping colors and ease are crucial to the seasonal feeling, standout shades including a pale pink Ballet Slipper, a refreshing Golden Lime and a bright Marina blue. These hues add a striking touch when paired with the classic autumnal shades of Navy Peony, Neutral Gray, Butterrum and Tawny Port.”fALL FASHION PIC 2fALLFASHION PIC 1

Square One Children and Families have PRIDE in their Work

Pride Donation Photo -- July 2017
Pictured in the photo are: Bob Bolduc, Founder, Pride Stores; Kristine Allard, Chief Development & Communications Officer, Square One; Joan Kagan, President & CEO, Square One; Marsha DelMonte, President, Pride
When Pride Stores approached Square One about a fundraising campaign they wanted to engage in for Square One, both organizations were excited about an opportunity to raise funds and awareness of the work Square One is doing throughout the community.
The locally owned chain of gas stations and convenience stores launched a campaign where customers were encouraged to purchase a “square” for one dollar, in support of the work that Square One does with children and families throughout the region. The paper squares were placed on display at stores throughout the region.
Funds raised from the community totaled $7,300 and were matched by an additional $2,700 from Pride to bring the total contribution to $10,000.
“We are proud to be supporting the programs and services that Square One offers to ensure that children and families have the tools they need to be successful,” says Pride’s Bob Bolduc. “Selling squares and displaying them in our stores was a visible and productive way to help raise funds for the organization and create greater awareness of the work they are doing. I want to thank all of the customers who helped make this campaign a success.”
“We are so grateful to the Pride staff and customers for their very generous support of our work,” says Kristine Allard, Chief Development & Communications Officer for Square One. “Many of our children are living in homeless shelters, struggling with food insecurity, have a parent who is in addiction recovery or post-incarcerated, or are in custody of an appointed legal guardian or foster parent. Support from Pride and other businesses is critical to our ability to continue to serve these families.”
“Whether we are teaching children to read and write, inspiring an appreciation of fine arts, providing a nourishing meal, or developing a healthy love of play, everything we do is driven by our vision of a bright future for all children, despite the daunting challenges they face at home,” adds Allard.
Since 1883, Square One has been providing a wide range of education and support services to families in the greater Springfield region. From early learning and school-age programs for children, to case management, workforce development, and recovery programs for families, Square One is the region’s foremost provider of services to at-risk children and families. For more information, visit http://www.startatsquareone.org or call
(413) 732-5183.

“A Dream Comes True!”

STCC celebrates graduates who passed their high school equivalency exam

Wearing his cap and gown, Sophear Chhoun stood at a podium at Springfield Technical Community College and told fellow graduates: “I dreamed this day would come.”

Chhoun, who left high school 12 years ago, had just earned his HiSET (high school equivalency test) certificate, which will help pave the way to a better future.

One of the 61 students who passed the test this summer, Chhoun was the student speaker at the 2017 HiSET Celebration at STCC on July 26. In April 2016, he enrolled in free classes through the Springfield Adult Learning Center (SALC) at STCC, which offers Adult Basic Education Services. He’s now looking forward to studying criminal justice at STCC in the fall.

“You guys can do whatever you want as long as you put your mind to it,” Chhoun told his classmates.

“He’s proven himself to be a determined and dedicated student,” said Barbara Bradbury, who along with Ana Sanchez is one of the Adult Basic Education coordinators at STCC. “He always knows how to make his classmates smile.”

The Adult Learning Center at STCC prepares students to take the HiSET, which is actually five tests: social studies, reading, writing, math and science.

“It’s about 12 years of combined knowledge,” said Alexis Greenblatt, a SALC instructor. “You don’t just take a test for one class – you don’t just take a biology test – you’re tested on chemistry, biology and physics. And you don’t just take one little math test. You don’t just take algebra. You have to know adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. You have to know algebra, geometry, proportions and ratios and statistics and probability. It’s everything you learned from the time you were a kid up until you graduated. It’s so much.” Greenblatt said adults who enroll in classes to prepare for HiSET likely faced an obstacle that prevented them from earning a high school diploma when they were younger: a learning disability, an unexpected pregnancy, a difficult home life or bullying, to name a few hardships.

“If you’re going to school and you’re hungry or you’re not safe or you have a struggle or something that gets in the way, you don’t get to finish,” Greenblatt told the graduates. “And I don’t think there’s a person who said, ‘That’s going to be great to not finish.’”

Dr. Arlene Rodriguez, vice president of Academic Affairs at STCC, congratulated the graduates for passing the HiSET exam and thanked their families for supporting them.

“You passed an even harder test the minute you walked in the door,” Rodriguez said. “That is the hardest test. It’s not an easy thing to do, to interrupt your life, to say, ‘Stop, I’m going to do this for me and I need this.’ So you passed an amazing test of character already.”

For more information about enrolling in free classes to prepare for the HiSET, contact the Adult Learning Center at STCC. Call (413) 755-4300.

Sophear_Chhoun (2).jpg Stcc GRADHiSET_Grads (2).jpg stcc

Urban League partners with STCC to expose students to STEM

STCC pic 2017
For three days each week this summer and throughout the 2017-2018 academic school year, 20 Springfield area high school students are stepping onto the campus of Springfield Technical Community College and getting a taste of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The students recently toured the STCC Data Center where the college’s servers are housed. They participated in workshops with Brian Candido, professor and chair of STCC’s Computer Information Technologies program, and learned about cyber security. They took part in activities around password hacking, various types of computer viruses and protecting personal identification information.

I enjoy learning about the different topics we’re going to be doing each week,” said Sophia Abril, 16, of Springfield, one of the students participating in the Urban League of Springfield’s program, which is called The Big Three STEM Pipeline Initiative.

The Urban League is working with HSI STEM at STCC, the University of Massachusetts, The Springfield School Department, Smith College, Bay Path University, Becker College, Baystate Medical Center, the MassMutual Financial Group and more on the initiative. The students participating in this program come from schools in both the Springfield, Mass., and Northern Connecticut areas.

As a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), STCC last year received a federal grant to support Hispanic and low-income students in STEM fields of study. The Big Three STEM Pipeline Initiative received grants from both the MassMutual Financial Group and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America to fund its program.

The Urban League’s Big Three STEM Pipeline program focuses on raising awareness about STEM academic programs and career paths in computer game science, cyber security and health (the Big Three STEM).

All three of these areas are fast-paced and growing fields that current high school students will be entering upon graduation from college in the upcoming years, so why not begin to start preparing them now?” said Dinah Moore, project director for the Big 3 STEM Pipeline Initiative.

Felicia D. Griffin-Fennell, HSI STEM activity director, praised the program as a fun and interesting way to expose young people to the STEM fields and careers connected to the subjects.

For example, she said the high schoolers will learn about programs such as laser electro-optics technology and biotechnology with STCC faculty and students. They may never have heard about these programs, but might discover these majors could provide them with skills to land good jobs.

It’s an opportunity for us to expand their understanding and to break a few myths that they might have,” she said. “We hope to get them thinking about possible avenues that they might never consider.”



Free of charge to the students, the program is held three days each week through Aug. 16 at STCC, but will continue to run during the 2017-2018 academic school year by offering tutoring, additional field trips and workshop activities in the three targeted STEM fields.

Examples of summer field trips and activities have included patient care workshops where the students took turns working with patient simulators and using stethoscopes and various other pieces of UMass equipment and technology, tours of the ambulances at American Medical Response, CPR workshops, password hacking activities and game board creations to learn the thought process behind computer game animation and design.

Moore said the program not only exposes students to the STEM fields, but helps them start preparing for college and careers.

They will hear about financial aid options for college and take part in mock job interview sessions,” she said.

One element of the program is to help the students understand the importance of “soft skills” – working with others, doing presentations, and learning how to effectively communicate.

While not every student may pursue a STEM career, Moore said, “The goal of the program is to offer them the hands-on and application-based experience and exposure to help them make an informed decision when that time comes.”

The Urban League of Springfield has been sending high school students to STCC during the school year since 2014. This year marks the first summer program.