January 20, 2018

Inbox [Jan. 20-27]: News and notes from WCAC, St. Peter-Marian, Primetals, Worcester Roots Project + more

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Photo Courtesy UniBank

UniBank recently donated $20,000 to Worcester Community Action Council’s (WCAC) Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. (Pictured from left) Matthew Wally, vice president of Government and Community Affairs, UniBank; Mary Knittle, director of Energy Resources, WCAC; Dianne Schiavone, LIHEAP coordinator, WCAC; Jill Dagilis, executive director, WCAC; and Sam S. Pepper, Jr., president and CEO, UniBank.

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UniBank, Cornerstone banks donate to WCAC for home heating program

UniBank recently donated $20,000 to Worcester Community Action Council’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly known as the Emergency Fuel Fund.

Also, Cornerstone Bank has given $40,000 to the WCAC, the bank’s Charitable Donations Committee has announced.

These contributions will help local residents with home heating costs this winter.

“We are committed to helping those in need in the areas we serve. No one should spend the winter without heat, especially during the cold weather conditions characteristic of New England,” Cornerstone Bank President and Treasurer Todd M. Tallman said in a statement. “We are proud to make this donation to such a worthwhile organization and to be able to support our local community where they need it most.”

“These much-needed services provided by Worcester Community Action Council have a tremendous impact on residents that are in need in our local communities,” UniBank President and CEO Sam S. Pepper Jr. said in a statement. “We are proud to play a part in keeping residents in our neighborhoods warm throughout the cold winter months with this donation.”

WCAC’s Fuel Assistance Program serves eligible residents in greater Worcester, including many of the towns where UniBank has a presence. In addition, WCAC provides energy efficiency reviews for eligible households to help reduce costs and improve efficiencies to stretch energy dollars.

The Worcester Community Action Council was established in 1965 as the locally designated “community action” agency for the Economic Opportunity Act. Today, WCAC serves as an umbrella agency offering a variety of education, employment and social service programs.

St. Peter-Marian hosts winter open house Jan. 25

St. Peter-Marian Junior-Senior High School (SPM) welcomes prospective students and families to tour the school and meet current students, parents, faculty, staff and coaches from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25.

“Our approach at St. Peter Marian is very unique,” SPM President Christopher J. Cummings said in a statement. “Our vigorous college preparatory curriculum includes advanced placement and dual enrollment with prestigious higher education institutions ensuring academic excellence and the opportunity for students to reach their fullest potential. Our programs flourish through a strong commitment to faith inculcation and Catholic teaching, focusing on our students’ spiritual growth through all learning activities.”

Visiting families will have the opportunity to see demonstrations in the school’s Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) lab, visit the school’s 21st Century Study Center, and learn about numerous performing arts opportunities and the extensive range of student run-clubs and organizations.

Coaches from SPM’s MIAA Division 1 varsity, junior varsity and junior high level athletic programs, including the new girls hockey program, will be available to speak with prospective students and families.

The school, at 781 Grove St., Worcester, serves students in Grades 7-12 from 42 area cities and towns, as well international students.

Families are encouraged to preregister for the Winter Open House by calling 508-852-5555, Ext. 114; or online at http://spmguardians.org/wp/pre-register/. Walk-ins are also welcome.

Primetals names new president and CEO

Yoshiharu Ikeda has been named president and CEO of Primetals Technologies USA LLC, a regional company of Primetals Technologies Ltd. He previously served as head of strategy and communication in the company’s London headquarters since its founding in 2015.

Ikeda’s predecessor, Satoru Iijima, has relocated back to Japan since accepting a new assignment at the Primetals Technologies regional company headquartered in Hiroshima.

Primetals Technologies is a joint venture of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Siemens.

Mitsubishi-Hitachi Metals Machinery (MHMM) – an MHI consolidated group company with equity participation by Hitachi Ltd. and the IHI Corporation – holds a 51 percent stake and Siemens a 49 percent stake in the joint venture.

With strengths in mechanical engineering, electrics and automation, manufacturing, project management and service, Primetals Technologies USA LLC employs approximately 1,100 employees in 14 locations.

Ikeda began his career with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 1985 in accounting at the Hiroshima Works. From 1989 to 2000, he held sales and commercial project management positions in both Hiroshima and the company’s headquarters in Tokyo. He joined MHMM in 2000 with similar responsibilities and was involved in numerous North American projects in this capacity. From 2011 to 2015, Yoshiharu led the MHMM strategy team in Hiroshima and Tokyo before joining Primetals Technologies. He subsequently served as the company’s global head of strategy and communication in the London headquarters until his move to the United States to lead Primetals Technologies USA LLC. A native of Tokyo, he holds a bachelor’s degree in commercial science from Keio University in Tokyo.

Roots, Social Venture Collaborative host 2nd New Economy Summit

The Worcester Roots Project and the Social Venture Collaborative will host their second annual New Economy Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 26, at Worcester State University.

The event will convene social entrepreneurs, social change practitioners, educational institutions, students, the business community, and others who share the goal of creating a just, equitable and sustainable world.

The event offers a chance to make and strengthen connections, as well as build ongoing collaboration. Participants will engage in interactive activities designed to strengthen a regional ecosystem and support transformation related to social enterprise, social business, cooperatives, and enterprise-oriented nonprofit organizations. Attendees will identify common challenges faced by local startups, and brainstorm opportunities and next steps to resolve these and other challenges.

Keynote speakers, workshops, musicians, panelists and participants from across New England will inspire and motivate people to remain active and connected beyond the Summit. Graduates from Root’s Co-op Academy will receive their certificates and many will pitch their business ideas.

Registration and more info is at http://www.socialventurecollab.org/.

Auburn Mall hosts ‘Dancing with the Stars’ fundraiser

Area residents are invited to watch local dignitaries and business leaders twirl, two-step, dip and more as they cut the rug in support of Auburn Youth and Family Services at its annual “Dancing with the Stars” fundraiser, hosted for the first time this year by Auburn Mall.

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27.

Local VIPs partner with professional dance instructors to delight and entertain the audience with their moves, and a local judging panel also weighs in on who danced best. This year’s theme is Road Trip USA, so dances will feature songs from 10 states, chosen by the dancers.

Dancers this year include Auburn High School English teacher James Adams, Auburn Selectman Dan Carpenter, Director of Operations at Midstate Auto Group Brett Epstein, Auburn Firefighter Nick Fairbanks, Everybody’s Fitness coach Heidi Gambaccini, Auburn High band teacher Nick LaPete, Auburn police dispatcher Michael Monfreda, President and co-owner of The Management Solution Andy Paquette, Civil Engineer for the town of Auburn Joanna Paquin, and President of Dovetail Internet Technologies Mike Villa. They will be paired with trained dancers from event sponsors Poise, Style and Motion and Sally McDermott Dance Centers.

There will be cocktails, refreshments, raffles and entertainment. All proceeds support AYFS, which provides family and individual counseling, after-school and summer programs, a food pantry and clothing closet. In 2017, AYFS served over 2,400 people.

Tickets are available for $25 per person or $100 per VIP table, which is high-top premium seating that accommodates 10 people. Tickets are available at www.ayfs.org, by calling 508-832-5707 Ext. 10, by emailing admin@ayfs.org, or in person at AYFS at 21 Pheasant Court, Auburn, during business hours.

Baker proclaims Jan. 21-27 ‘Massachusetts School Choice Week’

Jan. 21-27 is School Choice Week in Massachusetts, according to a proclamation from Gov. Charlie Baker. He joins dozens of other governors and hundreds of city and county leaders in proclaiming the week.

More than 32,000 School Choice Week events and activities will take place across the country, including nearly 400 in Massachusetts. Events include rallies, roundtable discussions, coffeehouse meetups, festivals, school fairs and more.

Held every January, National School Choice Week is an independent, nonpartisan, nonpolitical public awareness effort designed to shine a spotlight on effective education options for every child. Through thousands of independently planned events across the country, National School Choice Week raises public awareness of all types of educational choices available to children.

These options include traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, online learning, private schools and homeschooling.

Mass. Bankers Associations awards WCAC $5K

Worcester Community Action Council Inc. was among 43 recipients of grants recently awarded by the Massachusetts Bankers Association. WCAC received a grant of $5,000, which will support financial literacy initiatives at the agency.

“Financial literacy is at the very heart of all of our self-sufficiency programs and services,” WCAC Executive Director Jill Dagilis said. “We are most grateful for this support and know these dollars will go a long way in helping us help others achieve economic self-sufficiency, particularly through our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and BankOn Worcester County programs.”

The foundation, supported by 150 member banks throughout Massachusetts and New England, distributed the grants over eight geographic regions in Massachusetts. MBA awarded 43 grants in 2017, totaling $167,000. The Foundation has now provided gifts totaling $2.3 million over its 21-year history.

Shrewsbury Cultural Council announces 2018 grants

The Shrewsbury Cultural Council has announced the award of 22 grants, totaling $7,800, to help support a variety of cultural programs to be offered in the area in 2018.

Grant recipients are: Carol Tasker: Drumlin Farm trip; Regatta Players: 2018 Season; Assabet Valley Mastersingers: Mozart Requiem concert; David Neill: Campaign Music of Our Presidents: Sing-along; Gregory Maichack: Monet’s Magic — Pastel Paint, Monet’s Wondrous Water Lilies; Spring Street School PTO: Author Visits by April Jones Prince; Margaret Corazzini: Teaching Spanish Language and Culture Through Authentic Mexican Folk Art! Worcester Chamber Music Society: Peter and the Wolf: A Free Family Concert; Centre Stage Productions: production TBA; Roger Tincknell: From Ireland to America; Roger Bruno: A Celebration of Song: The Great American Songbook and Beyond; Shrewsbury Montessori School: The Science of Sound; Melissa Johnson: Bringing STEM and Literacy Together; Floral Street School PTO: Literacy Night; Janet Schwartz: Release Your Inner Artist; Gary Poplawski: 2018 Summer Concert Folk Music Review; Chamber Music MetroWest: Luna’s Magic Flute/All Around the World; Julie Stepanek: Ukulele with Julie; Women of Note: Women of Note, 2017-2018 Concert Season; ArtReach: The Painted Word; Shrewsbury Council on Aging: Victorian Christmas Traditions; and ArtReach: Darcy Schwartz: Full STEAM Ahead.

The Shrewsbury Cultural Council is one of 329 cultural councils in Massachusetts. It functions under the authority of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Each year, local councils award more than $3 million in grants to more than 5,000 cultural programs statewide.

RTN Federal Credit Union earns top marks

RTN Federal Credit Union, which has a branch at 530 Grafton St., Worcester, once again has earned BauerFinancial’s 5-Star Superior rating for financial strength and security. RTN has retained this top ranking for 90 consecutive quarters, putting it in an even more prominent position as an “Exceptional Performance Credit Union.” This designation is reserved for financial institutions that have maintained the 5-Star rating for at least 10 straight years.

“Because credit unions focus on their specific field of membership, they are perfectly positioned to provide the specialized support that is unique to them,” BauerFinancial President Karen L. Dorway said in a statement. “Credit Unions, like RTN Federal Credit Union, promote the financial needs of their members by investing back into that same member pool. By fostering these relationships, they achieve two goals: They are highly capitalized and they are accountable to their members.”

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