Tommy Car Auto Group donates gift to nurses

NORTHAMPTON — For the fifth consecutive year, Tommy Car Auto Group donated appreciation gifts to more than 500 Cooley Dickinson Hospital nurses for National Nurses Day on Monday, May 6.

Chief Nursing Officer Cynthia Marlin gathered a group of nurses to accept the donation. Carla Cosenzi, owner of Tommy Car Auto Group, said she made the donation to extend the company’s gratitude to all the nurses who work tirelessly to keep local residents healthy and safe.

Gagne Wealth Management Group expanding

GREENFIELD — Gagne Wealth Management Group is expanding its footprint with the addition of two financial advisors, three employees and an expansion that will double its 238 Main St. office location. The advising firm, which offers comprehensive estate and income planning, retirement solutions and investment services, has served Franklin County since 2006.

The expansion will broaden the reach of Gagne Wealth Management, an affiliate of Northwestern Mutual, and comes after Forbes Magazine named Gagne Wealth Management to the “Best-In-State Wealth Advisors” list for the third consecutive year.

“Our commitment to all of our clients and local communities has never been stronger. I feel very fortunate to be able to provide solid local jobs and positively impact Franklin County,” Merrill Gagne, founder of Gagne Wealth Management and a wealth management advisor, said in a statement.

Dave Bonomi, Tad Malek, Sam Smith, Jenn Hoffman and Lane Simmons have joined Gagne Wealth Management’s team, nearly doubling its size. Gagne said the expansion will not only allow the firm to continue to grow in supporting its clients but will also provide significant local revenue to continue its support of local commerce and nonprofits.

Local chamber director participates in business roundtable

WORCESTER — Gov. Maura Healey and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll led a roundtable discussion on May 8 with business leaders from across the state, including Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jessye Deane.

Executive Office of Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao and Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities Secretary Ed Augustus joined the discussion hosted by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce at Worcester’s Top of the Tower event space. The group addressed the challenges businesses face in continuing to attract and retain a talented workforce at a time when Massachusetts residents are spending more of their incomes on housing costs.

“Lt. Gov. Driscoll and I hear from business leaders across the state that housing is the No. 1 challenge their businesses are facing,” Healey said in a statement. “We are working to address our housing challenges so that our talented workforce can afford to live in Massachusetts and that our employers have skilled talent to meet their needs. Our administration is proud to have a strong relationship with business leaders from across the state who are working with us to identify creative solutions to lowering the cost of housing. This is an economic imperative.”

“What keeps me up at night is the population loss projections. Over the next 20 years, Franklin County’s population is estimated to decline by over 10%. That’s catastrophic for a community of 70,000 with a tax base that’s 75% residential,” Deane said. “Unless we successfully attract larger, higher-paying employers and younger workers to the area, the regional economy and the health of our municipalities is at significant risk. Our workforce and population growth is primarily restricted by aging infrastructure and a lack of housing.”

Deane noted that housing development is further restricted by the lack of sewer and water infrastructure. She also advocated that the state compensate for decades of disinvestment by prioritizing rural communities, creating an incentive program for rural housing developments, increasing subsidy awards for softer markets, expanding funding applications to include smaller projects, and investing in supporting infrastructure to maintain and improve Franklin County’s existing housing stock.

The meeting was part of the administration’s statewide housing campaign to call attention to the urgent need to lower housing costs and the ways in which the high cost of housing impacts businesses. The group also discussed the importance of housing development statewide to sustain and grow a vibrant, competitive economy.

“Housing is fundamental to economic growth. It’s crucial to address this challenge head-on by increasing housing production, providing our workforce the opportunity to lay roots in our state,” Hao said in a statement.

The Healey-Driscoll administration’s Affordable Homes Act, filed with the Legislature last fall, is part of the administration’s overall housing strategy and authorizes $4 billion in spending to jumpstart housing production while implementing 28 policy changes to help communities create the housing they need. The Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities is also holding 14 listening sessions as it works to develop the state’s first five-year housing plan.

Cusson promoted to VP treasury management officer

GREENFIELD — Casey Cusson has been promoted to vice president treasury management officer at Greenfield Cooperative Bank.

Cusson will work closely with Jim Alexander, vice president of government banking and treasury management, on the bank’s municipal and government lending activities to ensure a cohesive approach to serving clients’ financial needs.

“We are excited to promote Casey to vice president treasury management officer,” Tony Worden, president and CEO of Greenfield Cooperative Bank, said in a statement. “His understanding of our clients’ needs and commitment to providing exceptional service will be invaluable in leading our team to continued growth.”

Cusson is a banking professional with seven years of experience in the industry. He joined Greenfield Cooperative Bank in 2017, and previously held the title of vice president and manager of the Shelburne Falls branch.

Turners Falls High School grad named credit union’s CFO

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Chartway Credit Union has hired Sander Casino, a graduate of Turners Falls High School and son of Barbara Ann Carson of Greenfield and James P. Casino of Wendell, as chief financial officer.

Casino has more than 26 years of experience in financial institutions, most recently as senior vice president of finance for Local Government Federal Credit Union and its affiliate Civic Credit Union. In that role, he significantly impacted investments, funding, capital management, financial forecasting and asset-liability management. As Chartway’s top financial expert, Casino will leverage his experience to collaborate with the executive team and work closely with Chartway’s CEO to build the credit union’s financial strength to meet members’ financial needs.

“Sander’s resume speaks for itself, but the distinction between who he is and what he does is evident,” Brian Schools, Chartway Credit Union president and CEO, said in a statement. “We’re happy to have him on board, excited to see him in action, and look forward to the many ways he’ll help our organization advance, grow and thrive.”

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to help advance the credit union by supporting Chartway’s purpose and values and collaboratively advancing the positive impact of what we do for our members, team members and communities,” Casino said in a statement. “I’m so glad to be a part of this forward-thinking, strategic team.”

Casino’s prior experience includes roles at RBC Bank, where he was the director of treasury. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration in finance from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management, a graduate certificate in financial markets from Boston University, and an advanced certificate in management, innovation and technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Business.

Chartway, a $2.9 billion credit union, serves more than 230,000 members with branches in Utah, Texas and Virginia. For more information about Chartway, visit