People in Business: Sept. 27, 2015
Hanover residents Richard Couch, co-founder and chairman of the board of Hypertherm, and Barbara Couch, former Hypertherm vice president, will receive Lifetime Achievement awards from the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association at the organization’s 102nd annual dinner and awards celebration on Oct. 28 at the Radisson in Manchester. Richard Couch co-founded Hypertherm in 1968. He was a founding member of Ledyard National Bank and has served on its board of directors since 1991. He also served on the National Electrical Manufacturers Association board of governors until 2010. Barbara Couch was with Hypertherm for 30 years and was responsible for developing the company programs that focus on the development and well-being of its associates, which is an integral piece of the company’s mission statement. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes business leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership in their professions, communities and New Hampshire, the BIA said in a news release. John Olson, president of Charlestown-based Whelen Engineering, was among last year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.
Mark Pitkin, of Newport, president and CEO of Sugar River Bank, was elected secretary of the New Hampshire Bankers Association Executive Committee at the association’s annual meeting earlier this month. Pitkin, a 1987 graduate of Newport High School, joined the bank in 1995 as a commercial loan officer and credit manager. Before that, he served as a bank examiner for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. He has been Sugar River’s president and CEO since 2009 and was named Community Banker of the Year by the association in 2012. The association also thanked Kathryn G. Underwood, of Hanover, president and CEO of Ledyard National Bank, for her years of service on the board.
Michael Cryans, of Hanover, was re-appointed by New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan to the state’s College Tuition Savings Plan Commission, which overseas the state’s 529 savings plan designed to encourage saving for future college costs. Known as the Unique College Investing Plan, it is managed by Fidelity Investments and is the fourth-largest 529 plan in the country with more than $14.6 billion in assets. Cryans was first appointed to the 12-member commission in 1997 by Gov. Jeanne Shaheen. Cryans is serving his 10th term as a Grafton County commissioner.
Rob Connolly, of Sharon, has been named executive chef at Murphy’s of Hanover. Connolly is a native of Vermont and craft beer expert who worked most recently as the chef at Worthy Burger in South Royalton.
The Valley News recognizes the achievements of members of the local business community in the Sunday Business section. Submissions, including photographs, may be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Photographs should be attached in .jpg format. You may also send your items by regular mail to: People in Business, c/o Sunday Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, Vt. 05001. (Photographs cannot be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope.) All items are subject to editing for clarity or space.