Mike Hopsicker Acquires Ray Murray, Inc.

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LEE, Mass. — Ray Murray Inc. (RMI) announced that effective Jan. 7, 2021, Mike Hopsicker has acquired 100 percent ownership of RMI.  

The partnership between Hopsicker and the Murray family started in 2005 when they began working together on a planned transition of ownership. Prior to RMI, Hopsicker was CEO of Agway Inc., and spent 8 years as the CEO of Agway Energy Products, one of the largest retail marketers of propane and fuel oil in the US.
 
Over the last several years, RMI was able expand its geographic reach through a combination of four acquisitions. It has grown to be one of the largest two-step distributors in both the propane and hearth and grill industries.
 
"The Murray's and I are both very excited to have completed the successful transition of ownership. While it has been in process for 15 plus years, it is also bittersweet. I am sure that the Murray's have mixed feelings regarding the final sale of the family business that they have lived and loved for so long" Mike Hopsicker, who has been the majority owner since 2014 said. "But in the process we formed a very good partnership, and a great friendship. They are a wonderful family, and I hope they can look back with pride on all that they and their family has accomplished.  I am extremely thankful for all they have done to help me over these past years."
 
"This is a momentous occasion for our families, and the entire team at RMI. We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Mike on the transition. His family has become our family," Ray Murray said.
 
"Although it is a little bittersweet, our gratitude to Mike and the entire Ray Murray Inc. team for all that has been accomplished far outweighs those feelings," Jim Murray  said. "We are indeed a family."
 
Ray, Jim and John will remain a  part of the RMI management team as advisors to the business, and will continue to assume their current management roles for several years to come.  
 
"The final ownership transfer was the last piece in a long transition, but with the Murray's continued involvement, the management of the business is not effectively any different than when I assumed the majority shareholder role several years ago," Hopsicker said.
 
 "Words cannot express what a privilege it has been to be part of this organization since we opened the doors back in 1973," Ray Murray said. "We will be eternally grateful for this opportunity."  
 
 "I am so proud of what has been accomplished getting to this point," John Murray said. "Mike has assembled an outstanding team, and I am looking forward to continuing to work with him and the entire team to help RMI reach even greater heights."
 
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LitNet Launches Monthly Cable TV Show

LEE, Mass. — Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) announced the launch of its new monthly cable TV show titled "Literacy Network of South Berkshire Presents…"

Co-hosted by LitNet's Executive Director Leigh Doherty and LitNet board member and local educator Dr. Roselle Chartock, each episode will delve into LitNet's past, present, and future by featuring learners, tutors, individuals significant to the organization's history and development, community leaders, educational professionals, and more.

"There are so many wonderful people and wonderful relationships within the LitNet community," Doherty said. "They are inspiring people stories, so even if one is not available or interested in being a tutor or does not need a tutor the stories are human and will be worthy of one's time regardless." 

The show's goal is to spread awareness of the work the organization does, to delve into topics surrounding adult- and ESOL-education, and to inform the community of how they might become involved with LitNet. In the show's first episode, "Tutor Talk," Doherty speaks with four LitNet tutors—two seasoned, two new—about why they became involved in LitNet, what their journeys with their learners have been like, and their advice to prospective tutors. 

Chartock said she is excited about the show for two reasons: "First, because the word will get out to folks who are looking for assistance with their English language skills. And now they will know where they can find that service for free. And second, the word about LitNet's services will reach those who might be interested in becoming tutors and/or supporters. It's wonderful to have CTSB and other public access groups contributing to such a worthy mission." 

"Tutor Talk" will air on Jan. 24, 2021 at 1:30 PM and 6:00 PM. Episodes air each Sunday at 1:30 PM and 6:00 PM, Wednesday at 5:30 PM, and Saturday at 1:30 PM and 6:00 PM. Episodes will re-air at each time throughout the month. Show duration is 30 minutes. Viewers can watch on Spectrum Cable Channel 1302 and on the CTSB website, www.ctsbtv.com, or check in at www.litnetsb.org for other ways to watch. 

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