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Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2013 12:05 am

LAWRENCE — More than 225 guests and residents of American Training’s workforce development, rehabilitative day programs and residential homes celebrated personal milestones this year at American Training’s “Celebrate Good Times Gala” on May 10, at the Indian Ridge Country Club in Andover. The Mardi Gras themed celebration was in recognition of the dedication these individuals have shown throughout years of program attendance and their unique contributions to the local community. Guests attend American Training in order to enrich their present lives as well as better their future through life skills education and guided employment. The gala event was American Training’s way of marking yet another year of fulfilling meaningful days for their guests. Individuals that come to American Training, Inc. do so through the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and local school districts to utilize unique support programs and specialized housing options. Some of those who were honored at this event have been part of the American Training family for over 30 years and attend programs in Lawrence, Lowell, or Wakefield locations. These people work in local businesses, volunteer their time at many community organizations and lend their talents to the manufacturing community through an on-site work center. Day Services is the branch of American Training that addresses the therapeutic, medical, clinical, and social needs of their guests to create a meaningful day. Guests are presented with activities that are goal-specific and designed to be both meaningful and functional to the developmental needs of each individual guest while being engaging, challenging, and fun. Residents of American Training’s residential programs call one of the 13 group residences in Andover, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover, or Newburyport, home in every sense of the word. Each specialized residential support service is geared toward affirming the dignity of its residents and advocating for their right to participate in their communities. American Training, Inc. programs support unemployed workers in need of technical training; young parents and youth in need of direction; and people with disabilities or mental illnesses who want to more fully participate in their community, or need a place to live. For more information, call 978-258-2815 or visit

LAWRENCE — Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union has had so many people from around the Merrimack Valley opening accounts with free checking and loans with low interest rates that it has now grown to a half-billion in assets, making it one of the largest credit union in Massachusetts. The Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union is a $505 million asset not-for-profit community credit union serving anyone who lives, works or worships in the Merrimack Valley region with branch locations in Haverhill, Lawrence, Methuen, and North Andover, and Plaistow.

SALEM — The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2013 Academic Scholarships Recipients and Interview Challenge Winners. Each year the Chamber’s Scholarship Committee awards three scholarships, based on academic achievement, community activity, and an essay submission, to students affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce. This year’s scholarship winners are: Meghan Cole and Daniel Cannone, both of Windham, and Kate Ward of Hampstead. Cannone, as the highest scoring high school student, was recognized with the Ray Landry Memorial Scholarship and Ward, as a continuing college student, received the Nancy M. Carney College Scholarship. The Interview Challenge program, run by the Chamber’s Business Education Collaborative, allows for area high school students to practice their interview and presentation skills as they compete in three rounds of interviews. This year’s winners are: Rasheed Adigun of Salem (first place), James Klaassens of Windham (second place), and Benjamin Bedard of Pelham (third place). The winners were honored at a special Student Recognition Reception, held at the Black Water Grill on May 9. They were also recognized at the 16th Annual Taste of Greater Salem Restaurant Expo, which helps fund the programs, on May 15, held at the Atkinson Resort and Country Club. The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce is a partnership of business and professional individuals working together to build a healthy economy and improve the community’s quality of life. The Chamber is organized to represent the concerns of business people, foster an environment to promote business relationships, and support community involvement in the region. For more information, visit or call 603-893-3177.

Pictured from left to right are student award winners: Benjamin Bedard, James Klaassens, Meghan Cole, Daniel Cannone, Kate Ward, and Rasheed Adigun.

NORTH ANDOVER — Jenn Pollina knows the value of a comfortable pair of shoes. That’s because she has been introducing herself to the residents in North Andover. Pollina is a new financial advisor for the financial services firm Edward Jones, and her neighborhood visits demonstrate the Edward Jones way of doing business -- face to face. Pollina also had to complete one of the most rigorous training programs in the financial services industry. And although she is well-versed in the technical aspects of investments, the training isn’t over. Edward Jones places a lot of emphasis on continuing education, and its financial advisors train throughout their careers. Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 12,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals -- from college savings to retirement -- and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today. In January 2013, for the 14th year, Edward Jones was named one of the best companies to work for by FORTUNE Magazine in its annual listing. The firm ranked No. 8 overall. These 14 FORTUNE rankings include 10 top-10 finishes, consecutive No. 1 rankings in 2002 and 2003, and consecutive No. 2 rankings in 2009 and 2010. For more information, visit

HAVERHILL — Cherise Gosselin, a kindergarten teacher at Tilton Innovation School, is a Crystal Apple Award winner. Horace Mann agent Ray Rudolph and Horace Mann Educator Services agent Ana Maria Edwards awarded Gosselin the crystal apple after she was recognized by her peers. Gosselin was recognized for her continuous dedication to the education of her students, outstanding performance as an educator, and as a valued team member of the Tilton Community. Tilton Innovation School, located in Haverhill, is one of 12 elementary schools in the Haverhill School District. It is a public school that serves 625 students in grades K-4. It is a Title 1, High Poverty School that strives to go above and beyond the set standards of curriculum. Friendly and encouraging, the teachers and staff demonstrate a real desire in helping the children grow. The Crystal Apple is sponsored by Rudolph, owner of Verity Insurance.

NORTH ANDOVER — Pazzo Gelato Café was initiated into the North Andover business community on June 20. The Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce recognized Pazzo with a ribbon cutting ceremony inviting the public to join in and taste the delicious flavors of Pazzo gelato, sandwiches and coffee. Pictured from left to right are: Wil Carpenter, vice president of Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce; Michelle Grant, health inspector; Curt Bellavance, economic development director; Joe Bevilacqua, president/CEO of Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce; Jim Demotses, owner of Pazzo; Ed Lomasney, vice president of Business Banking at Eastern Bank; and Marilyn Desimone, assistant vice president branch manager at Eastern Bank.

ATKINSON — Hundreds gathered at the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce’s 16th annual “Taste of Greater Salem.” Attendees sampled a wide variety of culinary delights provided by area restaurants. A portion of the proceeds was dedicated to the Chamber Scholarship Fund and to the Business Education Collaborative Committee. The following Chamber members participated in the event: Atkinson Country Club, Balducci’s Brick Oven Pizza, Chief Wok, Common Man, Culinary Capers, Gourmet Bites, Greystone Farm, Hawksie’s Ice Cream, Lobster Q, Michael’s Market, Salemhaven, Salem Farmer’s Market, T-Bones, Tuscan Kitchen, Who You Callin’ Cupcake? and Zorvino Vineyards.

SALEM, N.H. — The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce welcomed Who You Callin’ Cupcake? to their new location, at 154 Main St., with a Ribbon Cutting and enjoyed a cupcake tasting. Some of their unique flavors include: the award-winning Sweet Potato cupcake, the Margarita cupcake (complete with the salt), and many other tempting varieties to choose from. Owners (and sisters), Michelle and Christine Beshara, are pleased with the great visibility provided by their new location. Cupcakes are available to go, or may be enjoyed in their charming shoppe full of interesting collectables.

HAVERHILL — SeniorCare announces the appointment of Jessica Henzie as a Protective Services Case Worker. A graduate of the Social Work program at Salem State University, Henzie previously volunteered with Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC). SeniorCare Inc. is a consumer-centered regional aging and disability agency for nine communities on Cape Ann and the North Shore. Henzie will be working with elders who may have suffered abuse, exploitation, or neglect. Born in Arizona, Henzie grew up on Cape Cod, and now lives in Haverhill with her partner and two dogs, Dudley and Porter. For more information, visit or

NORTH ANDOVER — Windrush Farm was proud to honor Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Perkins School for the Blind on May 9, at a reception at the Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarborough, LLC offices at One Post Office Square in Boston. Nearly 40 guests attended the event which included hors d’oeuvres and beverages and an award presentation to Spaulding Rehabilitation and Perkins School for the Blind in honor of their partnership with the farm. Windrush Farm board member, Amy Mandragouras and her firm, Nelson Mullins, sponsored the event with wine provided by Kappy’s Liquors. The Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, started at Windrush Farm in 2011 as part of their adaptive sports program, giving patients a chance to get out of the hospital, socialize with each other, learn new things, and experience the healing power of horses. Perkins School for the Blind provides education and services for children and adults around the world who are blind, deaf-blind or visually impaired. The Perkins School for the Blind Lower school program has had a partnership with Windrush Farm for 29 years.

MANCHESTER & WOBURN — The law firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton Professional Association is pleased to announce that former Attorney General of New Hampshire, Michael A. Delaney, has joined the firm as a Director in the Litigation Practice Group. Delaney served for the past four years as Attorney General of New Hampshire, having been unanimously confirmed by the Executive Council. Prior to his government experience, Delaney worked for five years in private practice, focusing on complex business litigation cases. In addition to serving New Hampshire as Attorney General, Delaney has served on the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Ethics Committee, the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Committee on Character and Fitness and on the Board of Directors of the Council of State Government’s Justice Center. In 2012, he received a Hands of Hope leadership award from the Granite State Children’s Alliance, and earlier this year, he received the Honorable William D. Paine II Award from the Governor’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. For the past four years, Delaney has served on the Board of Directors of The Webster House, a private, nonprofit home for children in Manchester. He has coached softball and baseball in Manchester for the past seven years. A member of the New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bar Associations, Delaney will serve McLane’s clients from the Manchester, N.H., and Woburn offices.

LOWELL — LowellBank, headquartered in Lowell, announces its intention to officially change its name to Sage Bank. The bank has filed the necessary applications to facilitate and finalize the name change. As the bank moves through the process of legally changing its name, the bank’s customers will be kept informed and will see no effect on their services. It is anticipated that the process will take several months to complete and the bank’s use of the name will happen in various stages throughout the remainder of the year. For more information, visit

CHELSEA — SNL Financial, a leading provider of financial information on more than 6,500 public companies and 50,000 private companies in the business sectors critical to the global economy, recently ranked the nation’s credit unions, putting Metro Credit Union among the top ten best performing credit unions in the nation. It is the first time Metro CU has been recognized on this prestigious national ranking. Metro CU is the only New England-based credit union to make the “Top 50 Best-Performing Credit Unions” list.

ANDOVER — Lazarus House Ministries helps head of households and individuals living in poverty become self-sufficient members of the community by offering emergency shelter, food and clothing to people in crisis and then providing transitional housing, advocacy, health services, education and work preparation to permanently break the cycle of poverty. More than $4.5 million of their $5 million goal has been raised for the “Campaign for Dignity: Helping the People Serviced by Lazarus House Ministries.” New Balance will match every new pledge by up to $150,000. UNICO Merrimack Valley has pledged $25,000 to their cause, paying out $10,000 in 2013 and a commitment of $5,000 over the next three years. Therefore, Lazarus House will ultimately receive a $50,000 benefit through the efforts. UNICO of Merrimack Valley, celebrating its 24th year as a Chapter of UNICO National, recently announced that it has raised and distributed over $500,000 to local charities and scholarships to worthy children of Italian decent. UNICO National is the largest Italian-American Service Organization in the United States.

METHUEN — Citizens Bank has named Joel Gianninoto as the branch manager of the Citizens Bank, located at 90 Pleasant Valley St. As the branch’s chief customer officer, Gianninoto is responsible for consumer and small business lending, business development, managing branch colleagues and overseeing day-to-day operations at the branch, serving customers throughout Methuen.

LOWELL — Richard P. Viau, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union, announces the election of a new member to the Board of Directors. Dorcas Grigg-Saito, Chief Executive Officer of the Lowell Community Health Center, accepted her seat on the Board in May 2013. She earned a graduate degree in health policy and management from the Harvard School of Public Health and an undergraduate degree in physical therapy from the University of North Carolina. Earlier this year, Grigg-Saito was selected by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as one of the Commonwealth’s Unsung Heroines of 2013. She received the Paul Tsongas Award for Exemplary Community Service in 2012 and was selected as the Community Health Center Leader of the Year by the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers in 2004.

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Society of CPAs (MSCPA) appointed North Andover resident Mark W. Nichols, CPA, MST, MBA, to its board of directors for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Nichols is president of Mark W. Nichols CPA PC in Andover. The board members were sworn in at the MSCPA’s Annual Meeting and Recognition Reception in May.

SALEM, N.H. — The Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce joined executives from Haverhill Bank to celebrate the ground breaking ceremony for the bank’s future location at 180 Main St., in Salem, N.H. This state-of-the-art facility will be conveniently located at the intersection of Main and Hampstead streets, previously home to the Green Barn Restaurant. Plans for the Grand Opening in the fall are still being finalized and the Chamber will update the progress on their website at Haverhill Bank’s main office is located at 180 Merrimack St., in Haverhill.

Pictured are Donna Morris, executive director of the Greater Salem Chamber and Tom Mortimer, president and CEO of Haverhill Bank.

BOSTON/TEWKSBURY/SALEM, N.H. — Sullivan Bille, P.C., a regional accounting firm with offices in Tewksbury, Boston and Salem, N.H., announces that Charbel Dahbour has been promoted to supervisor. Dahbour has been a member of the firm’s audit staff for nine years. Dahbour holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Bentley University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

LOWELL — Karen Stone of Fred C. Church Insurance has been promoted to marketing executive in the agency’s Lowell headquarters. Stone joined the agency in October 1995, and has been the Commercial Service & Support Team Leader since 2006. She is a licensed Property & Casualty Insurance Producer and holds the CPCU and AIC designations.

LOWELL — Fred C. Church, Inc. effectively acquired the Gleason Insurance Agency of Tewksbury on May 1. The Gleason Insurance Agency was established in 1949. As agency owner, Paul Gleason, approached retirement, he decided to merge his agency with Fred C. Church Insurance. The Gleason Insurance Agency staff of Ann Gleason, Paula Ramsey, Susan McDonald and Shasta Roberts will join Fred C. Church and continue to provide the same high level of service at the same location at 1764 Main St., in Tewksbury.

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY — Hometown Business Alliance announces that Carolyn Travers is the new Rockingham County Coordinator. Travers will be helping business owners grow by providing networking opportunities in their Rockingham County business area. For more information, contact her at or at 603-661-7690.

ANDOVER — Wright-Pierce was selected for the 2013 Circle of Excellence by PSMJ Resources, Inc., the premier management consulting firm for the A/E/C (architectural/engineering/construction) industries. Wright-Pierce has been recognized as a “Top Performing” firm by PSMJ since 2006. The PSMJ Circle of Excellence is determined by weighing firms’ rankings in the overall 2013 PSMJ A/E Financial Performance Benchmark Report with respect to 13 performance indicators in various aspects of business and management.

LAWRENCE — Thirteen members of the Aktion Club of Kiwanis of Greater Lawrence will receive their service pins on Aug. 29, noon to 1:30 p.m. Kiwanis Lt. Gov. Dan Bennett, Div. 10 and 11, will preside and present the honors to CLASS individuals with disabilities, all volunteers who work on projects to benefit their community and live in the Merrimack Valley. The ceremony, a first for Kiwanis of Greater Lawrence, will follow a luncheon in their honor, attended by Kiwanis members and CLASS staff. Aktion Club’s president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and members will receive their service pins. A member of Aktion Club International, CLASS Aktion Club was formed in 2012 for CLASS by the Kiwanis Club of Greater Lawrence. Kiwanis members include Al Deluca and Michael Deluca of Deluca Chevrolet, Jeep & Cadillac; Deedee O’Brien, executive director of Ironstone Farm and Neil Fater, marketing director; Charlie Breen, director of John Breen Memorial Funeral Home; Maria Consoli, branch manager of The Savings Bank; and Colleen Coco, development officer at Lawrence General Hospital.

ANDOVER — Karen Postal, Ph.D., ABPP-CN, an Andover neuropsychologist, was elected president of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology recently. Dr. Postal is a board certified neuropsychologist with a private practice in Andover. She is the immediate past president of the Massachusetts Neuropsychological Society, and a past president of the Massachusetts Psychological Association. Dr. Postal is a lecturer at Harvard Medical school where she teaches postdoctoral fellows in neuropsychology. She recently published a book with Oxford University Press, “Feedback That Sticks: The Art of Effectively Communicating Neuropsychological Assessment Results.” Her practice is dedicated to helping people think better in school, at work, and throughout later life.

ANDOVER — Wright-Pierce, an Andover engineering company, has earned a spot on Engineering News Records (ENR) “Top 200” list of the most successful environmental engineering companies in the country. ENR, a trade publication for the AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) industry worldwide, compiles and publishes rankings of the largest engineering and construction firms annually, measured by gross revenues. Wright-Pierce was also selected earlier in 2013 by ENR as one of the “Top 500 Design Firms” in the country. This is the fourth consecutive year that Wright-Pierce has been recognized for performing above industry average, with higher rankings each year.

METHUEN — Comfort Home Care has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for accreditation by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in home care. The accreditation award recognizes Comfort Home Care’s dedication to continuous compliance with The Joint Commission’s state of the art standards. Comfort Home Care underwent a rigorous unannounced on-site survey in May 2013. A team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated Comfort Home Care for compliance with standards of care specific to the needs of patients, including infection prevention and control, leadership and medication management. Established in 1988, The Joint Commission’s Home Care Accreditation Program accredits more than 5,600 organizations. The Joint Commission’s standards address the home care organization’s performance in specific areas, and specify requirements to ensure that patient care and services are provided in a safe manner. The Joint Commission develops its standards in consultation with health care experts, providers and researchers, as well as measurement experts, purchasers and consumers.

Comfort Home Care is a visiting nursing agency that specializes in dealing with caring for those adults with acute and chronic mental health issues, as well as offering traditional elder care services. Comfort Home Care is located at 147 Pelham St., in Methuen. For more information, call 978-685-4700 or visit

CONCORD, N.H. — The Concord Group Insurance Companies announces that Richard Welch Jr. has joined the company’s executive team in the role of Vice President - Corporate Planning. Welch has over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry, serving many years in leadership roles for a large national carrier and, most recently, as principal and founder of his own insurance consulting firm. Welch’s experience includes Personal Lines product and pricing, strategic planning, financial planning, and Usage Based Insurance/Telematics.

NORTH ANDOVER — Off-Season Sports and Physical Therapy in North Andover announces the addition of three new colleagues to their team of sports medicine practitioners. Kathleen Searles, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, Alexa Shea, DC, CCSP, and Judy Bousquin, BA, Reiki Master are all pleased to join one of the largest multidisciplinary sports rehabilitation clinics in Massachusetts. Searles, a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics works with athletes and active people who are looking for improved performance with better nutrition and hydration. As a Registered Dietitian, she provides individualized nutrition counseling for health related concerns. Dr. Shea, a board certified chiropractic sports physician licensed in the state of Massachusetts, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions through evidence based orthopedic care. Bousquin has practiced Reiki for seven years. Throughout her life and various careers, her love of healthy living and passion for natural approaches to health care and wellbeing was a constant. Many years of community involvement and enthusiasm for connecting with people also form Bousquin’s Reiki practice. To schedule an appointment, call 978-688-6181 or visit

LOWELL — Debora Kobelenz has joined the staff of Fred C. Church, Inc. Kobelenz has been hired as a Commercial Account Manager in the agency’s Lowell headquarters. She has over 30 years of insurance experience, is a licensed Insurance Producer and holds the CIC and AAI designations. She resides in Hudson.

METHUEN — Tommy Vee of Salem, N.H., was the recipient of the President’s Award during the National Guild of Hypnotists’ Annual Convention at the Royal Plaza Hotel in Marlboro. Presented by Dr. Dwight Damon, president of the NGH, this award is given for invaluable contributions to the success of the NGH. Vee is a Certified Instructor with the NGH and locally operates Valley Hypnosis in Methuen with founder Jerry Valley. Clients come to Valley Hypnosis in order to make positive changes in their lives such as lose weight, stop smoking, pass exams and more.

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