Making Business News, March 9th


New President, Vice-President Northampton Chamber

NORTHAMPTON – The board of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce has voted Meghan McCormick to serve as President, and Lindsay Barron Labonte to serve as Vice President.

The newly elected leaders bring extensive business experience and community leadership skills, as well as a long history with the Chamber and a deep commitment to its mission.

Both McCormick and Labonte have served on the chamber’s Ambassadors Committee, the Annual Assembly Committee, and the Connect 2022 campaign, of which Labonte also served as co-chair.

McCormick is from Northampton. Before becoming a real estate agent, he studied with an Olympic rider in Vermont for several years and later managed horse farms, competed in equestrian events, and trained horses and riders in Vermont, Massachusetts and Alabama.

McCormick was previously president of the Lions Club and a board member of the Northampton Youth Football League and Hamp Crew. She lives in Northampton and has two children; one is a student at Northampton High School and the other is a student at Wheaton College.

Labonte has over 15 years of Applied Mortgage industry experience and was ranked as the Best Lender by Number of Units for 2019, 2020 and 2021 for a mortgage company in western Massachusetts (Hampshire, Franklin, Hampden and Berkshire counties).

A core part of Applied Mortgage’s stated mission is to support the community by giving back through their time, talent and treasures to over 30 local non-profit organizations.

Tractor Supply completes the transformation of its Southampton store

SOUTHAMPTON – Tractor Supply has transformed its Southampton store with an improved layout for convenient and accessible shopping, as well as a new customer service center with enhanced digital tools to help customers find what they need.

Additionally, customers can now shop from an expanded range of apparel, tools, hardware, pet food, pet food and more.

With these improvements, Southampton Tractor Supply continues to meet the needs of homeowners, livestock and pet owners, gardeners, hobby farmers, ranchers, tradesmen and others.

Southampton Tractor Supply is located at 2 College Highway and is open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 8pm and Sunday from 9am to 7pm.

bankESB announces new hires, promotions

EASTHAMPTON — bankESB has hired David Gadouas as associate vice president, branch manager of the bank’s State Street office in Belchertown.

Chicopee’s Gadouas has over 15 years of banking experience. Before joining bankESB, he was employed by Bank of America, where he served as vice president and head of the financial center. Gadouas holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Westfield State University.

In addition, the bank recently promoted two of its employees.

Heather Dameworth, of South Hadley, has been promoted to Officer Cash Management and Government Banking Administrator. Dameworth joined bankESB in 2021 as Cash Management-Government Banking Administrator. She has over 18 years of banking experience, including positions in accounting, call centers and retail. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Lora Thaler of Westfield has been promoted to Commercial Loan Administrator Officer. Thayer joined bankESB in 2003 as a teller and was promoted to Credit Services Specialist in 2006. In 2017, she joined the commercial team as a commercial loan officer and was promoted to senior commercial loan officer in 2021.

Thayer is also a member of Hometown Financial Group’s acquisition checking team.

Fundamentals of Fundraising Course on Tap

Anyone new to or interested in fundraising, development, philanthropy or nonprofit management has the opportunity this spring to learn from seasoned local professionals.

The Western Massachusetts Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals is offering a hybrid fundraising fundamentals course on Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31, both days from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Bay Path University in Longmeadow. The course is also available via Zoom and includes time to network with faculty, fellow attendees, and board members from AFP Western Massachusetts.

Participants will have the opportunity to gain valuable educational experience on a wide range of fundraising topics and to build their networks with other local fundraising professionals.

This 16-hour program provides an overview of skills, techniques, and program components for individuals with 0-4 years of fundraising experience.

Modules offered include Fundraising Overview, Developing an Integrated Fundraising Program, Marketing for Continued Success, Building and Maintaining Relationships, Securing the Gift, Volunteers – Partners in Fundraising, and Management and Accountability.

Registration for the course is available at

The cost for AFP members is $350 before March 13th and $390 after March 13th, and for non-members it is $450 before March 13th and $490 after March 13th.

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