March 19, 2021

Making News in Business

Florence Bank to open 3rd Hampden County branch  CHICOPEE — Florence Bank will open its third…

Florence Bank to open 3rd Hampden County branch 

CHICOPEE — Florence Bank will open its third Hampden County branch at 705 Memorial Drive in Chicopee on March 22, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated for May 5.

A small number of bank employees, board members and corporators will be present for the in-person, socially distanced, ribbon cutting, along with Chicopee Mayor John L. Vieau.

The Chicopee branch has an open floor plan with two teller pods and innovative technology for quick cash handling. The location will also feature a drive-up ATM with SMART technology for easy depositing.

Kimberly Downing of Wilbraham will serve as assistant vice president/branch manager for the new location. Downing attended Holyoke Community College and has 35 years of banking experience. She will manage the daily operations and growth of the branch.

Other employees who will staff the new location are Diane Afonso, assistant branch manager; Tracy Keefe, customer service representative and senior teller; Kiara Sonoda, teller operations manager; and Karen Willemain, senior teller.

In August 2017, Florence Bank opened its first branch in Hampden County at 1010 Union St. in West Springfield, and in December 2018, the bank opened its second location near the southern Massachusetts border, on Allen Street in Springfield.

Florence Bank has nearly 5,000 customers living in Hampden County, including 750 business customers, and Day said the bank looks forward to deepening its impact in the region and working with neighboring businesses.

bankESB donates $15K to nonprofits

EASTHAMPTON — In lieu of its annual customer appreciation holiday event, bankESB recently donated a total of $15,000 to six western Massachusetts community organizations.

The bank donated $2,500 each to Girls Inc. of the Valley, Children’s Advocacy Center of Hampshire County, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Baystate Health, Easthampton Community Center Food Pantry, and Kate’s Kitchen.

The organizations were selected based on the breadth of the missions they support within the communities they serve, including engaging youth, caring for the sick, and feeding the hungry.

Women to Watch to hold luncheon

The Western Mass Chapter of Women to Watch USA will be holding its first live, in-person luncheon for the new year on Thursday, March 25.

Guests are asked to wear masks and all COVID protocols will be in place. The luncheon will be held at the 141 Main St Restaurant in Agawam, formerly the Main St. Deli.

The luncheon is open to members and the public and will begin at 11:30 and the cost is $25 per person. Guest speaker will be Yajayra Santana, a western Massachusetts native, a community leader and social worker who will talk about being successful in the job amid a crisis like the pandemic. To attend, register at

Seyler joins Greenfield Cooperative Bank

NORTHAMPTON — Jay Seyler has joined Greenfield Cooperative Bank as the new vice president of commercial lending. He will be based primarily in the Northampton King Street office and aid the efforts of GCB’s Commercial Lending department.

With close to 35 years of commercial banking experience, Seyler joins the GCB team from PeoplesBank in Holyoke, having previously worked at NUVO, and as a team leader at Westfield Bank for 11 years.

Seyler is also an active member of the community as a volunteer and former board member for the Drama Studio in Springfield, as well as a board member and past President of the East Longmeadow Rotary Club.

He lives with his wife Tami in East Longmeadow.

Hampshire Power names Condon to leadership post

EASTHAMPTON — Easthampton-based Hampshire Power, an energy service corporation serving building owners throughout the Northeast, recently appointed Stephen Condon to the position of director of community energy.

In this role, Condon, who has 12 years of experience, will be in charge of the solar, hydro, anaerobic, and biomass programs.

He will implement Hampshire Power’s strategic Community Energy rollout, bridging the gap between renewable energy owners and commercial and industrial customers.

honors Patel

Northampton resident Sarita Patel has her eye on achieving the Triple-Triple-Triple Crown this year from the Speakeasy Toastmasters Club in Hadley and Mohawk Trail Toastmasters Club in Greenfield.

Speakeasy, which has been in the greater Northampton-Amherst region for 35 years, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing effective communication and leadership skills.

Participants can earn a “Triple Crown” by completing education level awards that involve giving multiple speeches. Patel has earned two Triple Crowns and is close to a third. She has the most education level awards this year in District 53, which serves parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York and has around 2,250 members.

Patel has been a member of Toastmasters since May 2019. She is the current vice president of education at Speakeasy.

Guests are always welcome at the Toastmasters Club meetings, which take place from 6:15-8:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of the month online using Zoom, and Mohawk Trail Toastmasters meetings are every Monday from 6:20-7:45 p.m. To learn more, visit