Business Monday ETC: Sept. 19, 2022 –

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Dowd acquires Ludlow firm
The Dowd Agencies, headquartered in Holyoke for more than a century, recently acquired Ideal Insurance, merging their operations, including Ideal’s Ludlow and Chicopee offices.
Ideal, a 33-year-old insurance agency, will continue to serve individuals, families and businesses throughout Western Massachusetts and Connecticut from its two locations, according to a press release announcing the transaction.
“We are excited that Ideal Insurance has joined us, and we have great respect for the business that Joe and Tony and their team built from scratch,” said John E. Dowd Jr., president and CEO of the Dowd Agencies. “Their team values helping families and small businesses thrive with affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage, just like us. With a small-town feel providing big city service, we know everyone at Ideal will fit in very well with the Dowd Agencies family.”
Ideal Insurance was founded in 1989 by Joseph Chaves and Antonio Goncalves and has grown over the years into a full-service insurance agency. They currently serve about 2,500 individuals and families and 500 businesses in the area.
“Just like at Dowd, one of the primary objectives at Ideal Insurance has been to offer old-fashioned service with a commitment to excellence,” added David W. Griffin Jr., vice president of the Dowd Agencies. “They treat each client’s needs as if they were their own; a distinction that will be carried on.”
Comcast earns kudos
Global network intelligence and connectivity insights company Ookla has named Xfinity the fastest Internet provider in Massachusetts.
The recently published Speedtest Global Index rankings, based upon consumer testing of internet services in the United States in the second quarter of this year through Ookla’s speed test website, showed Xfinity coming out on top in 12 states across the country, more than any other provider by a wide margin.
Xfinity’s median consumer-tested download speeds of 183.62 megabits per second (Mbps) across Massachusetts were faster than competitor’s consumer speeds. Ookla’s report provides a real-time view into the Internet speeds that consumers are actually experiencing based on the service tiers they select.
“Consumers are using more connected devices in their homes than ever before,” said Carolyne Hannan, senior vice president of Comcast’s western New England region, which includes Western Massachusetts. “We’ve invested billions into our network to deliver our fastest speeds throughout Massachusetts and across the country. We are committed to delivering the best possible connectivity experience and will continue to exceed our customers’ growing demand for fast, reliable, and secure internet connections.”
Recently, Comcast began rolling out its Supersonic Gateway, capable of delivering speeds faster than a Gig and three times more capacity to connect hundreds of devices simultaneously, according to a press released issued by the company.
“Faster speeds will be just one of the consumer benefits made possible through Comcast’s continued efforts to evolve its entire network to 10G,” the press release stated.
BankESB helps Girls Inc.
Matthew S. Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, announced the bank has pledged $30,000 over three years to Girls Inc. of the Valley.
The money will be used to help support the organization’s Her Future, Our Future $5 million capital campaign. Girls Inc. hopes to triple the number of elementary and teen girls served, reaching more than 1,000 girls annually. Efforts include renovating its Holyoke headquarters into a state-of-the-art program center and expanding geographic reach in public schools in Springfield, Chicopee, and beyond.
“This incredible gift from bankESB to support the Her Future, Our Future campaign shows their impactful commitment to community,” said Suzanne Parker, executive director at Girls Inc. of the Valley. “We are proud to have bankESB’s support as we aim to deliver our research-based, engaging programs to more youth across the Valley – and in our new headquarters.”
The donation was made as part of the bank’s charitable giving program, The Giving Tree.
“Children are our future, and Girls Inc. of the Valley is helping to build that future for young girls with innovative, supportive, and life-changing programs that inspire them to be strong, smart, and bold,” said Sosik. “BankESB is pleased to do its part in supporting Girls Inc. and its efforts to provide a high-quality environment and programs that help elementary school-age and teenage girls unlock their full potential.”
Dollar General aids literacy effort
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation announced the award of $6,500 in youth literacy grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations, libraries and schools. The funds are part of more than $3 million recently awarded across the country.
In Springfield, the Literacy Lab will receive a $4,000 grant.
“The Dollar General Literacy Foundation’s work to help individuals pursue their dreams and educational goals stands at the forefront of the Foundation’s philanthropic passions, and we are proud to extend our ongoing commitment to support youth education through today’s grant announcement,” said Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s chief executive officer and Dollar General Literacy Foundation chairman. “We understand the challenges educators and literacy programs may face and are proud to invest in local literacy and education initiatives to further demonstrate our mission of Serving Others.”
Applications for the 2023 Dollar General Literacy Foundation grant cycle supporting youth, family, summer and adult literacy programs will be available at the website,, in January.
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