Wall, Bullard receive SBA honors

first_imgNews Release span.heading4{ text-align: left}p{ margin-top: 0px; margin-bottom: 1px}body{ font-family: “Times New Roman”, serif; font-size: 12pt; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal}Wall, Bullard receive SBA honorsJohn Wall, President, Wall/Goldfinger, Inc, Northfield, Vermont, has been named theU.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2006 Vermont Small Business Person ofthe Year. Nominated by Richard Angney, Executive Vice President, Central VermontEconomic Development Corporation, Wall was selected for outstanding leadership relatedto his company’s staying power, employee growth, increase in sales, innovative ingenuity,response to adversity and contributions to the community.Wall/Goldfinger designs and manufactures high-end board and conference room furniturefor Fortune 500 corporations and leading financial and academic institutions including theFederal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the New York StockExchange, CBS, Bank of America and Pfizer. Many of the important decisions of our timeare made around Wall/Goldfinger boardroom tables equipped with state-of-the-artcommunication technology.John Wall’s leadership is a model of innovation, integrity and sustainability,” said KennethA. Silvia, SBA Vermont District Director. “When his company came to a virtual standstillduring the aftermath of September 11, John managed to retain his employees and,working with them as a team, made an outstanding come-back during the recoveryperiod.”Wall/Goldfinger began with four employees in 1976 and by 2006, the number had grown to40. The original shop, a rudimentary 2,000 square ft. facility, had expanded into a 52,000sq. foot factory accommodating state-of-the-art finish applications, computer-controlledrouting and sophisticated wood machining and sanding systems. With the help of an SBA-guaranteed loan through Northfield Savings Bank, John Wall purchased MichaelGoldfinger’s share of the company in 1993 and led the company to nearly $7 million insales in 2005. Since its inception in 1976, the company’s resilience has been tested a number of timesbut never to the degree produced by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.Immediately following the attacks, corporate business in Manhattan and Washington, DCcame to a standstill. In 2002, U.S. contract furniture industry sales dropped from $12billion to $8 billion. While much of the business world gradually returned to normal, thecustom furniture industry suffered a second and even more dramatic setback. Theplanning cycle for new business had been seriously disrupted by the 9/11 attacks. With anaverage gestation period of two years for new projects, an even more dire business “hole”emerged in 2003. Wall/Goldfinger found itself at a critical crossroads. The company faced huge losses thatcould be mitigated by a reduction in manpower. However, Wall and the management teamconsidered the company’s skilled work force its only trump card. Losing employees wouldhave provided instant relief, but at what cost to the company’s long-range success? Walland the management team decided to retain the work force as long as financially possible.In many cases, employees were put on non-revenue producing tasks. Sales dropped 8%in 2001, rebounded 35% in 2002, and dropped again by 26% in 2003. The cost was greatto Wall/Goldfinger’s bottom line, capital resources and Wall’s personal net worth. However, the company concentrated on product development and marketing anddeveloped an interactive relationship with their top 100 architectural clients. The gambleproved successful as the market turned around in early 2004. With an experienced workforce in place, the company was well-positioned to seize new opportunities, and seizethem it did. Wall/Goldfinger experienced record sales in 2004 (up 43%) and by 2005,sales topped out at nearly $7 million. Wall/Goldfinger, Inc. offers numerous employee benefits including matching 401kcontributions, payment of over 95% of the total health insurance premiums, one-on-oneconsultations with a financial planner and continued development of employee skillsthrough the Vermont Training Program. The company has made cash donations to morethan 80 local organizations and, over the last six years, donated over 10% of its profitsback to the community. Environmental responsibility is another Wall/Goldfinger strength. For their work inredesigning a new finishing facility, the company received the Vermont Governor’s Awardfor Pollution Prevention in 2001. Later in 2006, the company invested in a recyclingsystem that reduces both pollution and the cost of heating fuel. The system pulls dust andwood shavings away from employees and stores the waste outdoors to be recycled into areturning stream of clean, heated air. As Vermont’s Small Business Person of the Year, John Wall will compete for the nationaltitle at National Small Business Week ceremonies in Washington, D.C., April 12-13. Mr.Wall will be locally honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) at aceremony presented by Vermont Business Magazine, June 7th at Burlington’s WaterfrontPark, 4:00-7:00 p.m. SBA also salutes winners of the 2006 Vermont Small Business Champion Awards,including National Winner Janet Bullard, Vermont Commission on Women: Janet BullardVermont Commission on Women, MontpelierState, New England Regional and National Women in Business ChampionJim KeyesCitizens Bank, BurlingtonFinancial Services Champion of the YearRobert JohnsonOmega Optical, Inc., BrattleboroSmall Business Exporter of the YearMark JohnsonWDEV Radio, WaterburySmall Business Journalist of the YearLaurie HammondTriple Loop Skate and Dance, ColchesterVermont Microenterprise AwardJohn B.Durfee and Lang DurfeeBethel Mills, BethelFamily-Owned Business of the YearMargaret FergusonMicro Business Development Program,Central VT Community Action Council, BarreHome-Based Business Champion of the YearSteve BrochuVermont Department of Labor, St. JohnsburyVeteran Small Business Champion of the Year# # #last_img read more

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Freeman French Freeman Wins Interior Design Award

first_imgThe American Institute of Architectures Vermont chapter honored Freeman French Freeman (FFF) with an Interior Architecture award for the Burlington International Airport expansion project. This award was one of eight given by the local AIA chapter and is the firms third consecutive award for its work at the airport.The jury, a panel of architects from the Connecticut chapter of AIA, was impressed by the interesting use of modernist materials and also praised the bringing of art to architecture in a place where people spend a lot of time.Michael Hoffman, Professor of Architecture at Norwich University, said the jury was taken by the interiors sense of whimsy. Four circular skylights with conical wells penetrate through a deep ceiling cavity to direct and frame glimpses of passing clouds, birds, and aircraft, said designer Alex Halpern of FFF. The skylight composition punctuates the entire space with dynamic fields of light and shadow projecting onto walls and floor below.last_img read more

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John Springer-Miller Inducted into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame

first_imgWith the creation of SMS | Host, a property management system that integrates guest services, John Springer-Miller changed the face of hospitality technology by creating a guest-centric approach to software. For his contributions to the hospitality industry, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP?) inducted Springer-Miller into the International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame at the 2007 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC?. Opening Session on Tuesday, June 26 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.”The Hall of Fame is, perhaps, the greatest honor one can receive in this industry,” said Springer-Miller. “I am honored to be recognized on the same level as the previous Hall of Fame inductees.”Springer-Miller is CEO of PAR Springer-Miller Systems (SMS), which he founded in 1984. Springer-Miller saw a void in property management systems in the hospitality industry and felt a need to fill it by providing software that is customer oriented and allows properties to collect detailed information to enhance the guest experience. This software, SMS | Host, was created in 1986 and was nationally launched in 1989.Thanks to SMS | Host software, hotels are able to save customer preference information for future visits and increase time management by providing a one-stop shop. Guests can call the hotel, and with a single point of contact, make hotel reservations, set a spa appointment, reserve a golf tee time, book a dinner reservation, inform the hotel about any special needs and more.”Being the founder and continuing leading light of a highly successful, international hospitality property management system vendor for over 20 years is worthy in itself,” said Jon Inge, CHTP, ISHC, president of Jon Inge & Associates and 2006 Hall of Fame inductee. “However, his impact has been the more significant for his focus on producing a highly-integrated product focused on the resort market.””Another visionary concept that Springer-Miller brought to our industry was the users group. Most software companies have a users group, however, he felt that the users group should be owned and operated by the users’ not the software company. Springer-Miller helped organize the Hosts User Group which is owned, operated and managed by the users and welcomes this group’s voice in steering the direction of the software,” said Terry Price, CHAE, CHTP, CPA, executive IT manager at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa and secretary of the HFTP international board. “The success of this venture is self-evident in that many companies are trying to replicate this model.”In 2004, SMS was acquired by Par Technology Corporation to become PAR Springer-Miller Systems. Currently there are five offices around the world in Stowe, Vt., Las Vegas, Nev., London, Toronto and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.The International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame is HFTP’s highest level of recognition in the area of technology. Since its inception in 1989, 28 individuals have received this award as a reflection of their contributions to the hospitality industry. Hall of Fame members have been selected by their peers as representing the best in innovation and application and as leaders in their profession.About PAR Springer-Miller Systems:PAR Springer-Miller Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of hospitality management solutions that meet the technology needs of all types of hospitality enterprises including city-center hotels, destination spa and golf properties, timeshare properties and casino resorts worldwide, setting the pace as a pioneer in the hospitality industry. SMS|Host Hospitality Management System is distinguished from other property management systems with its truly integrated design and unique approach to guest service. The SMS|Host product suite, including more than 20 seamlessly integrated, guest-centric application modules, provides hotel/resort staff with the tools they need to personalize service, exceed guest expectations, and increase revenue. For more information on PAR Springer-Miller Systems, visit our website at www.springermiller.com(link is external).About PAR Technology Corporation:PAR Technology Corporation is a leading provider of professional services and enterprise business intelligence software and hardware to the hospitality industry. PAR develops, markets and supports hardware and software products that improve the ability of hospitality business professionals to make timely, fact-based business decisions. The Company is a premier provider of I/T management solutions to hotel and restaurant companies, with over 40,000 installations worldwide in 100 countries. PAR is a leader in providing computer-based system design and engineering services to the Department of Defense and Federal Government Agencies. PAR Technology Corporation’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PTC. For more information visit the Company’s website at www.partech.com(link is external).About HFTP:HFTP: Austin, Texas, and Maastricht, The Netherlands, founded in 1952, is the global professional association for financial and technology personnel working in hotels, clubs and other hospitality-related businesses. HFTP provides first class educational opportunities, research, and publications to more than 4,600 members globally including, the premiere hospitality technology conference HITEC–founded in 1972. HFTP also awards the only hospitality specific certifications for accounting and technology —the Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive (CHAE) and the Certified Hospitality Technology Professional (CHTP) designations. HFTP was founded in the USA as the National Association of Hotel Accountants. For more information, visit www.hftp.org(link is external).last_img read more

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Governor to sign five bills into law today

first_imgGovernor Douglas will sign into law five pieces of legislation today at venues across the state:? S.26 An Act Relating to Recovery of Profits from Crime, the Disposition of Property Upon Death, Transfer of Interest in Vehicle Upon Death, Homestead Exemption, Unclaimed Property, Credit Card Fee Disputes, and Patient s Privilege; S.125 An Act Relating to Expanding the Sex Offender Registry; H.222 An Act Relating to Senior Protection and Financial Services; H.313 The Vermont Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; and S.51 An Act Relating to Vermont s Motor Vehicle Franchise Laws.? The details for the bill signings are below.S. 26 and S.125S. 125 helps Vermont take another important step forward in protecting Vermonters, our children and our communities expanding Vermont s sex offender registry in several significant ways.? The bill also contains many provisions important to law enforcement in Vermont.? It allows law enforcement access to sealed records in appropriate cases, allows them access to corrections records that may be helpful in an investigation, it extends the statute of limitation on certain sex crimes, and makes it easier to investigate and prosecute cases where an offender fails to comply with sex offender registry requirements.S.26 includes a number of different provisions, but most importantly expands victim protection by not allowing the perpetrator of a crime to profit from a crime without paying money damages he or she may owe to a victim of their crime or reimbursing the State for the cost of prosecution or incarceration.DATE: Monday, June 1, 2009TIME: 9:30 a.m.LOCATION:?Rutland Police Department?108 Wales Street?Rutland, VermontH.222H. 222, An Act Relating to Senior Protection and Financial Services, contains several provisions to protect older Vermonters who purchase certain types of lending and insurance products. Governor Douglas noted, Vermont seniors are among our savviest citizens.? But they are also among our most vulnerable populations and can become targets for financial exploitation.? This bill helps protect the financial resources of older Vermonters by prohibiting opportunistic and unscrupulous practices that take advantage of seniors financial fears and circumstances.DATE: Monday, June 1, 2009TIME: 12:30 p.m.LOCATION:?Waterbury Area Senior Center?14 Stowe Street?Waterbury, VermontH.313H. 313 is a wide-ranging economic development bill.? At the signing ceremony, Governor Douglas will discuss aspects of the bill that will encourage job creation and help Vermont emerge from the recession.? He will also highlight other proposals to help small businesses and working Vermonters by making the state more competitive in attracting quality jobs for the 21st century.DATE: Monday, June 1, 2009TIME: 1:30 p.m.LOCATION: Governor s Ceremonial Office?State House?Montpelier, VermontS.51S. 51 is an important economic development bill for Vermont s new motor vehicle, motor home and motorcycle dealers, along with their estimated 3,000 employees.? It includes several important provisions that will provide assistance to dealers during this difficult economic time.DATE: Monday, June 1, 2009TIME: 2:30 p.m.LOCATION:?Mid-State Dodge Hyundai?1365 Route 302 (Barre-Montpelier Road)?Berlin, VermontSource: Governor’s Officelast_img read more

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Berkshire Hills reports 25 percent Q1 core earnings growth

first_imgBerkshire Bank,Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: BHLB) reported a 25% increase in first quarter core earnings to?$4.2 million?in 2011, compared to?$3.3 million?in 2010. ?First quarter core earnings per share also increased by 25% to?$0.30?in 2011, compared to?$0.24in 2010. ?Core earnings growth continued to reflect the benefit of positive operating leverage, primarily resulting from 7% revenue growth.First quarter GAAP net income was?$2.8 million?in 2011 ($0.20?per share), compared to?$3.3 million?in 2010 ($0.24?per share). ?GAAP net income reflected?$1.4 million?in after-tax non-core merger related expenses. ?Berkshire completed the acquisition of Rome Bancorp, Inc. on?April 1, 2011?and is planning to complete the acquisition of Legacy Bancorp, Inc. in the third quarter of 2011.FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS?(revenue and expense comparisons are to the prior year first quarter, unless otherwise noted)10% increase in net interest income15% annualized growth in asset based and commercial real estate loans7% annualized growth in total deposits3.30% net interest margin, unchanged from the prior quarter0.54% non-performing assets/total assets, down from 0.59% in the prior quarter0.30% annualized net loan charge-offs/average loans, down from 0.37% in the prior quarter1.49% allowance for loan losses/total loans, unchanged from the prior quarter Michael P. Daly, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We had a strong start to the year, with solid revenue growth driving a 25% improvement in core earnings results. ? We continue to build market share in targeted areas of loan and deposit growth. ?Our asset quality remains favorable, with ongoing improvement in non-performing assets and loan charge-off metrics from already low levels. ?We recently opened a new office in?Rotterdam, New York, following the opening of two other?New York?branch offices in the latter part of 2010. ? All of our business lines are working together towards our objective of increasing core earnings per share by 40% or more in 2011.”Mr. Daly continued, “We are proceeding well with the integration of Rome Bancorp and are confident that we will achieve the financial benefits that we originally targeted for this acquisition. ?Once we have completed the Legacy Bancorp acquisition, we expect to have more than?$4 billion?in assets, more than 60 branches, and a market capitalization exceeding?$450 million?based on our recent stock price. ?These mergers position us well to continue to grow as the leading locally headquartered regional bank serving our New England and?New York?markets.”DIVIDEND DECLAREDThe Board of Directors maintained the cash dividend on?Berkshire’s common stock, declaring a dividend of$0.16?per share to stockholders of record at the close of business on?May 12, 2011?and payable on?May 26, 2011. ?This dividend equates to a 2.92% annualized yield based on the average closing price ofBerkshire’s common stock in the first quarter of 2011.FINANCIAL CONDITIONTotal assets remained steady at?$2.9 billion?in the most recent quarter. ?Total asset based and commercial real estate loans grew at a 15% annualized rate, reflecting ongoing growth in these areas and the continuing strong momentum of the asset based lending group which was recruited at the beginning of 2010. ?Total loans increased slightly, as the above increases were partially offset by lower construction balances and a decrease in other consumer loans due to residual planned runoff in automobile loans. ?Key asset quality metrics remained favorable in the most recent quarter. ?Non-performing assets decreased to 0.54% of total assets, and annualized net loan charge-offs decreased to 0.30% of average loans. ?Accruing delinquent loans also remained favorable, increasing modestly to 0.70% of total loans.Total deposits increased at a 7% annualized rate in the first quarter of 2011, primarily due to ongoing growth of money market accounts and expansion in the?New York?region. ?The cost of deposits continued to decrease, falling by an additional 0.11% in the most recent quarter, compared to the prior quarter. ?Deposit growth was primarily used to pay down overnight Federal Home Loan Bank advances. ?The loan/deposit ratio continued to improve, measuring 96% at quarter-end, demonstrating the Bank’s strong liquidity. ?The ratio of tangible equity/tangible assets increased to 8.04% during the quarter, with total equity/assets increasing to 13.52%. ?Tangible book value per share increased to?$15.44?at quarter-end, while total book value per share increased to?$27.63.RESULTS OF OPERATIONSCore earnings have improved sequentially in each of the last five quarters, primarily reflecting the benefit of positive operating leverage resulting from revenue growth and disciplined expense management. ?First quarter year-to-year revenue growth was 7%, including 10% growth in net interest income. ?Net interest income has grown sequentially in the last seven quarters. ?In the most recent quarter, this growth resulted primarily from 12% annualized average loan growth due to the strong momentum coming into the year. ?The net interest margin remained stable at 3.30% compared to the prior quarter. This reflects disciplined pricing of loans and deposits to mitigate pressures in the continuing low market rate environment. ? ?First quarter non-interest income increased slightly in 2011 compared to 2010. ?Insurance fee revenues increased by?$0.3 million?(7%); insurance income is seasonal in the first half of the year due to contingency income. ?Deposit related fee income was up 3% including the benefit of account growth. ?This growth partially offset a decrease in loan related fee income for commercial loan interest rate swaps.The first quarter loan loss provision decreased by?$0.7 million to $1.6 million?in 2011 compared to 2010. ?The loan loss allowance remained flat at?$31.9 million?during the quarter, measuring a strong 1.49% of total loans and 240% of non-accruing loans at quarter-end.First quarter core non-interest expense increased by?$1.3 million?(6%) in 2011 compared to 2010. ?This included a?$0.6 million?increase in the expense of other real estate owned primarily due to the write-down of foreclosed properties to facilitate pending sales. ?Excluding this expense, core non-interest expense increased by 4%, including the costs of new de novo branches and business line expansion over the last year. ?Compensation expense growth was limited to 1% for these periods. ?Total non-interest expense included?$1.7 million?in non-core charges for merger related expenses, consisting primarily of investment banking and legal fees and severance costs. ?The first quarter effective income tax rate increased to 27% in 2011 from 22% in 2010.UNAUDITED SELECTED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS OF ROME BANCORPIncluded in the financial exhibits to this news release are unaudited selected first quarter financial highlights of Rome Bancorp. ?This information does not include all items which may affect the final financial statements of?Rome?as of?March 31, 2011?and it does not include non-core charges related to the merger of?Rome?into?Berkshire. ?Additional financial information about Rome Bancorp will be provided in the notes to the financial statements of?Berkshire?as of?June 30, 2010, which will reflect the acquisition of?Rome?as of?April 1, 2011.CONFERENCE CALLBerkshire?will conduct a conference call/webcast at?10:00 a.m. eastern time?on?Wednesday, April 27, 2011?to discuss the results for the quarter and guidance about expected future results. ?Information about the conference call follows:Dial-in:877-317-6789 A telephone replay of the call will be available through?May 6, 2011?by calling 877-344-7529 and entering conference number: 449628.??The webcast and a podcast will be available at?Berkshire’s website above for an extended period of time. ?BACKGROUNDBerkshire Hills Bancorp is the parent of Berkshire Bank –?America’s Most Exciting Bank(SM). ?The Company has?$3.2 billion?in assets and 48 full service branch offices in?Massachusetts,?New York, andVermont. ?The Company provides personal and business banking, insurance, and wealth management services. ?Berkshire Bank provides 100% deposit insurance protection for all deposit accounts, regardless of amount, based on a combination of FDIC insurance and the?Depositors Insurance Fund?(DIF). The Company completed the acquisition of Rome Bancorp on?April 1, 2011?and currently has a pending agreement to acquire Legacy Bancorp. For more information, visit?www.berkshirebank.com(link is external)?or call 800-773-5601. ?FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTSCertain statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (referred to as the Securities Act), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (referred to as the Securities Exchange Act), and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. ?You can identify these statements from the use of the words “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “plan,” “potential,” “estimate,” “project,” “believe,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “expect,” “target” and similar expressions.These forward-looking statements are subject to significant risks, assumptions and uncertainties. ?Factors that could cause actual results to differ from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: local, regional, national and international economic conditions and the impact they may have on us and our customers and our assessment of that impact, changes in the level of non-performing assets and charge-offs; changes in estimates of future reserve requirements based upon the periodic review thereof under relevant regulatory and accounting requirements; the effects of and changes in trade and monetary and fiscal policies and laws, including the interest rate policies of the Federal Reserve Board; inflation, interest rate, securities market and monetary fluctuations; political instability; acts of war or terrorism; the timely development and acceptance of new products and services and perceived overall value of these products and services by users; changes in consumer spending, borrowings and savings habits; changes in the financial performance and/or condition of our borrowers; technological changes; acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses; the ability to increase market share and control expenses; changes in the competitive environment among financial holding companies and other financial service providers; the quality and composition of our loan or investment portfolio; the effect of changes in laws and regulations (including laws and regulations concerning taxes, banking, securities and insurance) with which we and our subsidiaries must comply; the effect of changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted by the regulatory agencies, as well as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and other accounting standard setters; changes in our organization, compensation and benefit plans; the costs and effects of legal and regulatory developments, including the resolution of legal proceedings or regulatory or other governmental inquiries and the results of regulatory examinations or reviews; greater than expected costs or difficulties related to the opening of new branch offices or the integration of new products and lines of business, or both; and/or our success at managing the risk involved in the foregoing items.Additional factors that could cause the results of?Berkshire?to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the filings made by?Berkshire?with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Berkshire Hills Bancorp Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended?December 31, 2010?and the Berkshire Hills Bancorp Registration Statement on Form S-4 for the registration of common stock to be issuable upon the planned completion of the merger of Legacy Bancorp, Inc. ?Berkshire’s actual results, performance or achievements, or industry results, may be materially different from the results indicated by these forward-looking statements. In addition,?Berkshire’s past results of operations do not necessarily indicate future results. You should not place undue reliance on any of the forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates on which they were made.Berkshire?is not undertaking an obligation to update these forward-looking statements, even though its situation may change in the future, except as required under federal securities law. ?Berkshire qualifies all of its forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements.Certain statements contained in this news release that are not statements of historical fact constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”), notwithstanding that such statements are not specifically identified as such. In addition, certain statements may be contained in our future filings with the SEC, in press releases, and in oral and written statements made by us or with our approval that are not statements of historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Act. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i)?projections of revenues, expenses, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, the payment or nonpayment of dividends, capital structure and other financial items; (ii)?statements of our plans, objectives and expectations or those of our management or Board of Directors, including those relating to products or services; (iii)?statements of future economic performance; and (iv) statements of assumptions underlying such statements. Words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “targeted,” “continue,” “remain,” “will,” “should,” “may” and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements.ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR STOCKHOLDERSThe proposed transaction with Legacy Bancorp, Inc. will be submitted to their stockholders for their approval and to?Berkshire’s stockholders for their approval. ?In connection with the proposed Legacy merger,?Berkshire?has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) a preliminary Registration Statement on Form S-4. ?When it becomes final and effective, it will include a Proxy Statement of Legacy Bancorp and a Proxy Statement/Prospectus of?Berkshire, as well as other relevant documents concerning the proposed transaction. ?Stockholders are urged to read these documents as they become available and any other relevant documents filed with the SEC, as well as any amendments or supplements to those documents, because they will contain important information. ?A free copy of the Proxy Statement/Prospectus as well as other filings containing information about Berkshire Hills and Legacy may be obtained at the SEC’s Internet site (http://www.sec.gov(link is external)). ?You will also be able to obtain these documents, free of charge, from Berkshire Hills Bancorp at?www.berkshirebank.com(link is external)?under the tab “Investor Relations” or from Legacy Bancorp by accessing Legacy Bancorp’s website at?www.legacy-banks.com(link is external)?under the tab “Investor Relations.”Berkshire?and Legacy and certain of their directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the stockholders of Legacy Bancorp in connection with the proposed merger. ?Information about the directors and executive officers of Berkshire Hills Bancorp is set forth in the proxy statement for Berkshire Hills Bancorp’s 2011 annual meeting of stockholders, as filed with the SEC on a Schedule 14A on?March 24, 2011. ?Information about the directors and executive officers of Legacy Bancorp is set forth in the proxy statement for Legacy Bancorp’s 2010 annual meeting of stockholders, as filed with the SEC on a Schedule 14A on?March 25, 2010. ?Additional information regarding the interests of those participants and other persons who may be deemed participants in the transaction may be obtained by reading the Proxy Statement/Prospectus documents regarding the proposed mergers as they become available. ?Free copies of these documents may be obtained as described in the preceding paragraph.NON-GAAP FINANCIAL MEASURESThis document contains certain non-GAAP financial measures in addition to results presented in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”). ?These non-GAAP measures provide supplemental perspectives on operating results, performance trends, and financial condition. ?They are not a substitute for GAAP measures; they should be read and used in conjunction with the Company’s GAAP financial information. ?A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures to GAAP measures is included in the accompanying financial tables. ?In all cases, it should be understood that non-GAAP per share measures do not depict amounts that accrue directly to the benefit of shareholders. ?The Company utilizes the non-GAAP measure of core earnings in evaluating operating trends, including components for core revenue and expense. ?These measures exclude amounts which the Company views as unrelated to its normalized operations, including merger costs and restructuring costs. ?Similarly, the efficiency ratio is also adjusted for these non-core items. ?Additionally, the Company adjusts core income to exclude amortization of intangibles to arrive at a measure of the underlying operating cash return for the benefit of shareholders. ?The Company also adjusts certain equity related measures to exclude intangible assets due to the importance of these measures to the investment community. ?Non-GAAP adjustments in 2010 and 2011 are primarily related to expense charges related to the?Rome?and Legacy mergers. PITTSFIELD, Mass., April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Webcast:www.berkshirebank.com(link is external) (investor relations link)last_img read more

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A ‘Dramatically Smaller’ Market for Coal

first_imgA ‘Dramatically Smaller’ Market for Coal FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Christina Nunez for National Geographic:Market trends for coal “have turned markedly negative over recent months, contrary to many still optimistic forecasts,” says Tim Buckley of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a research group that supports sustainable energy.Peabody, based in St. Louis, joins other American coal companies that have recently declared bankruptcy, including Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources. Peabody produces roughly 170 million metric tons of coal a year—close to a fifth of the U.S. supply. (The world’s largest producer, Coal India, puts out about twice as much.)Demand for its product is going down: The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts natural gas will overtake coal as the leading fuel for the nation’s electricity in 2016. Last year, 80 percent of the power supply that was shut down came from coal.The wobbly outlook extends beyond the United States. China, the world’s top polluter, says its coal consumption dropped over the past two years, and it recently halted construction on new coal-fired plants in 15 regions.The changed market seems to have caught U.S. companies off guard. “Everybody thought they would be exporting lots of coal into China,” energy consultant Katherine Hamilton commented on a recent Energy Gang podcast, “and that’s just not going to happen.”India’s coal imports are also down, and though the country is boosting domestic coal output, it’s also making a huge push to expand solar energy, with plans to install a hundred gigawatts of capacity over the next six years.Indeed, Buckley says India has invested so massively in solar that it’s now cheaper there compared to power from a new plant running on imported coal: “No one in the coal industry, no one in the [International Energy Agency], no one at Peabody saw that coming.”Efforts to make coal power “clean,” or at least clean enough to pass regulatory muster, by capturing carbon at the smokestack remain expensive and not quite proven—Canada’s $1.1 billion Boundary Dam project is facing political heat for its so far underwhelming results.Meanwhile, cleaner energy options, bolstered by the Paris agreement and a growing awareness of coal’s social and health costs, have galloped ahead as prices continue to fall. (See the surprising countries where solar and wind are booming.)Still, coal is far from disappearing. China and India both have approved hundreds of new coal-fired power plants, and the fuel’s use remains robust in countries from Australia to Turkey. And where coal is swapped out for natural gas, the transition away from all fossil fuels remains further off than many climate advocates would hope.Peabody’s bankruptcy, however, symbolizes an incontrovertible trend, according to Buckley, who says the industry has refused to confront the fact that it is in decline not just because of new climate rules but pure economics.“There’s no suggestion that demand is going to go back up for coal,” he says, adding that if Peabody emerges from Chapter 11, it will face a coal market that “is going to be dramatically smaller.”Full Article: The Western World’s Largest Coal Company Declares Bankruptcylast_img read more

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More wind helps Texas grid weather heat wave

first_imgMore wind helps Texas grid weather heat wave FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享KUT:Take a rapidly growing state, add a scorching heat wave, and you have a recipe for historically high electricity use. So it was that Texas broke the record for power demand three times in the last week. Through it all, the state’s electric grid operated without major disruption. That success nevertheless revealed some interesting things about the ways we generate and consume electricity.The shuttering of three Texas coal power plants earlier this year made some people worry about the grid’s thinning generation-reserve margin. That’s basically a backup power supply we can rely on if something goes wrong with other power plants.Rolling blackouts during the heat wave could have given the coal industry ammunition as it argues for subsidies to stay afloat. But, the grid did just fine without the plants.With a smaller-than-ideal reserve margin and a massive demand for power, many industry analysts expected electricity prices to be high through much of the heat wave. But they weren’t.The reasons for those low prices are cheap natural gas and abundant wind power – and wind came on strong during the heat wave.The percentage of power that comes from wind has been steadily increasing for years, [according to Joshua Rhodes, a research fellow at the Energy Institute at UT Austin], but at some times during the last week wind was “outperforming its own forecast.” That means cheaper power for consumers, he says. “The grid just isn’t as stressed, because there’s just so much wind.”More: The AC stayed on: 3 takeaways from Texas’ scorching heat wavelast_img read more

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Iowa co-op announces plans for state’s largest solar project

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Radio Iowa:Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) has announced plans to develop what would be the largest solar project in Iowa. CIPCO is partnering with Clenera of Boise, Idaho to develop the project.Jared McKee is Clenera’s director of business development. “It will be 100 megawatts AC. So that’s actually the amount of power that will be delivered to the transmission system. And it’s estimated to be roughly 200 megawatt hours annually,” McKee explains. The solar facility will be built on 800 acres of land in Louisa County near Wapello.McKee says they are still working on the details and won’t start putting up panels for at least the end of the coming year. He says construction is slated for the end of 2019 and the start of 2020. McKee says they are looking at the best types of solar panels to use at the facility.McKee says more solar is being built in Iowa as the costs continue to drop. “Technology is getting better, the efficiency is getting greater. We’re moving with our suppliers to have better technology and better processes to really drive down rates,” McKee says. This is the second major solar project announced by CIPCO and goes along with the 60-megawatt project to repower the Summit Lake Generating Station in Creston. The project includes demolition of its 70-year old steam plant and installation of efficient natural gas-fired reciprocating engines by late 2022.CIPCO says the increased use of solar power will help offset the nuclear power being lost by the closing of the Duane Arnold Energy Center (DAEC) in Palo in 2020. CIPCO is 20 percent owner of the nuclear plant and receives 20 percent of its generating capacity from that plant.More: Solar power project proposed for Louisa County Iowa co-op announces plans for state’s largest solar projectlast_img read more

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Ohio power generator reaches agreement to emerge from bankruptcy

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Toledo Blade:FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. said Wednesday it has struck a tentative deal with its creditors to keep its Davis-Besse nuclear power plant and its other power-generating facilities in Ohio and Pennsylvania online at least through their previously announced shutdown dates.Davis-Besse — Ottawa County’s largest employer and one of Ohio’s largest sources of tax revenue — is scheduled to shut down no later than May 31, 2020. Other nuclear facilities — the Perry nuclear plant east of Cleveland and the twin-reactor Beaver Valley complex west of Pittsburgh — are scheduled to be phased out before the end of 2021 while the remaining FES coal-fired power plants are still destined to be permanently shut down by mid-2022.The proposed agreement will form the basis of a reorganization plan that is subject to approval by Judge Alan M. Koschik of U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Akron. The plan is expected to be filed by Feb. 8, the company said.“This is an important step in ensuring the value of the FES estate is maximized for the benefit of all of our stakeholders,” Donald Schneider, FES president, said in a prepared statement. “It is important to note that nothing in this agreement provides for the company to continue operating its fossil or nuclear generation assets beyond their currently contemplated deactivation dates. Without legislative support and market reforms, operating beyond those dates will be a significant challenge.”During a conference call with The Blade following the announcement, David Griffing, FirstEnergy Solutions vice president of governmental affairs, said company officials are “working like crazy trying to extend the lives of those plants” but continue to get little response to its calls for legislative relief on the state or federal levels.No signs of a buyer or bailout have emerged yet. FES and its parent, FirstEnergy Corp., have lobbied for relief from record-low natural gas prices for years.More: Deal could keep Davis-Besse online until at least May 31, 2020 Ohio power generator reaches agreement to emerge from bankruptcylast_img read more

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Google announces deals for 1.6GW of new wind and solar generation

first_imgGoogle announces deals for 1.6GW of new wind and solar generation FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Google announced a package of renewables deals on Thursday totaling 1,600 megawatts, which the tech behemoth says is the largest corporate renewables purchase in history.Made up of 18 deals, Google’s projects will be built across the U.S., Europe and in Chile. The company said the purchases will increase its total wind and solar agreements by more than 40 percent.Amazon joined Google in dropping a big commitment on Thursday, announcing plans to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 and net-zero carbon by 2040. In a statement, CEO Jeff Bezos said Amazon was “done being in the middle of the herd on this issue.”Even when companies lock in 100 percent renewables commitments, it can be tricky to quantify their environmental impact. A company’s demand for renewables doesn’t necessarily shut down fossil fuel plants and encourage building new wind or solar in their place.“We’re not buying power from existing wind and solar farms, but instead are making long-term purchase commitments that result in the development of new projects,” wrote CEO Sundar Pichai of Google’s 1,600-megawatt announcement in a note published Thursday.?More than half of the new Google projects are solar, following on a trend of corporate renewables purchasers turning toward offsite solar as a low-cost option. Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables forecasts solar will overtake wind in the mid-2020s as the go-to choice for offsite corporate renewables purchases. In the U.S., all of Google’s new projects will be solar, with 75 megawatts in South Carolina and 490 megawatts in Texas.More: ‘Largest ever’: Google announces 1.6GW of renewables purchaseslast_img read more

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