Understanding Gender Identity in the Workplace

March 22: HRMA of Western New England will present a half-day symposium event on understanding gender identity and supporting transgender and gender non-binary individuals in the workplace. This important topic is impacting local employers across the region. This program will help attendees understand the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation, learn ways to foster respectful work environments for all employees, and gain an understanding of the legal protections for the transgender community. Speakers will include Dr. Eunice Aviles, gender specialist and clinical psychologist; Erica Tabias, public speaker, transgender advocate, and life coach; and Jonathan Miller, chief of the Public Protection & Advocacy Bureau for the state Attorney General’s Office. The event runs from noon to 4 p.m., with a buffet lunch included. Tickets are $75. For more information, contact Allison Ebner at (413) 789-6400 or, or visit

Mini Medical School

March 23 to May 11: Itching to get out of the house as the winter draws to an end? Consider signing up for a little dose of continuing education as part of Baystate Medical Center’s Mini Medical School, where you can broaden your knowledge of the field of medicine with professors from the teaching hospital. Mini Medical School, which begins its spring session on Thursday, March 23, offers area residents an inside look at the expanding field of medicine, minus the tests, homework, interviews, and admission formalities. The program continues through May 11. Baystate’s Mini Medical School program is an eight-week health-education series featuring a different aspect of medicine each week. Classes this spring will include sessions on various medical topics such as surgery, deep-brain stimulation, emergency medicine, dementia, pathology, and several others. For a full list of topics and instructors, visit While it is not difficult to be accepted into the program, slots are limited, and early registration is recommended. Many of the students, who often range in age from 20 to 70, participate due to a general interest in medicine and later find that many of the things they learned over the semester are relevant to their own lives. The goal of the program, offered in the hospital’s Chestnut Conference Center, is to help members of the public make more informed decisions about their healthcare while receiving insight on what it might be like to be a medical student. Baystate Medical Center is the region’s only teaching hospital, and each course is taught by medical center faculty, who explain the science of medicine without resorting to complex terms. All classes are held Thursday nights starting at 6 p.m. and run until 8 or 9 p.m., depending on the night’s topic. No basic science knowledge is needed to participate. Each participant is required to attend a minimum of six out of eight classes in order to receive a certificate of completion. Tuition costs $95 per person and $80 for Senior Class and Spirit of Women members. To register, call (413) 794-7630 or visit

Cultivate & Nest Open House

March 25: Cultivate & Nest, a collaborative workspace for businesspeople with children, will host Bloom, its annual open house, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in its Hadley office center. Terra Missildine, founder and owner of Cultivate & Nest, said the event will offer talks on the topic of entrepreneurship and parenting. A highlight of the day will be a flower-hat-making craft and a hat parade around the grounds. Face painting, puzzles, and other activities will also be offered. Tours of the workspace will be offered to parents hourly, while children will enjoy story time. In addition, a drawing will be held for a one-month Cultivate & Nest membership, valued at $99. All Pioneer Valley families are invited to take part in the event and bring their children. Registration is not required, and the event is free. Cultivate & Nest is the first membership-based collaborative workspace in the Valley to incorporate a childcare component. Located on the first floor in the Hadley Crossing business park, Cultivate & Nest offers roughly 3,400 square feet of work and community space. Members of Cultivate & Nest pay in cost tiers that range from $100 to $600 per month, depending on amenities and level of office access. Event and workshop space is also available for members and the community at large to host family friendly events. To learn more about Cultivate & Nest, visit or call Missildine at (413) 345-2400.

Mass. Restaurant Day for No Kid Hungry

March 27: Eight Massachusetts Restaurant Assoc. restaurants across the state will participate in Massachusetts Restaurant Day for No Kid Hungry. Inspired by Chef Andy Husbands of Tremont 647, who has hosted a dinner for this cause for the past 20 years, the MRA announced the program’s expansion across Massachusetts. Last year, participating Boston restaurants raised more than $60,000 to end childhood hunger in Massachusetts. This year, Hotel Northampton is hosting the Western Mass. branch of the event, a multi-course meal with wine pairings. The hotel’s culinary team is working alongside and co-sponsoring with four well-known restaurants in town, including Sierra Grille, Spoleto’s, Packard’s, and Union Station. Attendance at this event will not only help to curb childhood hunger in Massachusetts, but will also help local programs that feed children of all ages at school and in the home. The goal is to ensure all children get the healthy food they need, every day. To purchase tickets or provide sponsorship for the event, visit

Regional Career Fair

March 29: The College Career Centers of Western Massachusetts will hold a career fair from noon to 3 p.m. in the Alumni Healthful Living Center on the campus of Western New England University. Nearly 100 companies will be recruiting college students for paid and unpaid internships, as well as full-time and part-time employment opportunities. This annual event is a unique opportunity for employers and graduate-school representatives to connect with motivated students and alumni who are looking to launch and advance their careers. The College Career Centers of Western Massachusetts is a consortium of career-center professionals representing the eight colleges in Hampden County, including American International College, Bay Path University, Elms College, Holyoke Community College, Springfield College, Springfield Technical Community College, Western New England University, and Westfield State University. These eight institutions of higher education enroll more than 27,000 students from diverse backgrounds, and graduate approximately 5,000 students each year with a wide range of academic degrees.

‘Stay in the Game’

March 29: The community is invited to join staff from the Baystate Wing Hospital Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation team for an education session about staying active and injury-free. The program, “Stay in the Game,” will be held in the Snow Conference Room from 6 to 7 p.m. Participants will learn about the most effective types of stretching, nutrition, and hydration that will help to avoid injury when working out. Physical therapist Dena Plante and physical therapist assistant Karen Kiernan will be on hand to answer questions and offer educational materials. The program is open to student athletes and adults interested in staying active and exercising without injury. The Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation team at Baystate Wing Hospital provides a full range of rehabilitation services to help patients regain function and achieve recovery. For more information or to register, call (413) 370-5254.

Difference Makers

March 30: The ninth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The winners, profiled in the Jan. 23 issue and at, are the Community Colleges of Western Mass. (Berkshire Community College, Greenfield Community College, Holyoke Community College, and
Springfield Technical Community College); Friends of the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round; Denis Gagnon Sr., president and CEO of Excel Dryer Inc.; Junior Achievement of Western Mass.; and Joan Kagan, president and CEO of Square One. Tickets to the event, which is nearly sold out, cost $65 per person. To order, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Sponsors include First American Insurance; Health New England; JGS Lifecare; Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Northwestern Mutual; O’Connell Care at Home; Royal, P.C.; and Sunshine Village.

Education Fair & Expo

April 4: Jared James, a national real-estate speaker and trainer, will be the featured speaker at the 24th annual Education Fair & Expo taking place at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The event is sponsored by the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley. The program features a day of educational presentations including two breakout sessions from James, three continuing-education classes, and two technology classes. A sellout trade show with more than 50 vendors is anticipated. Anyone who is interested in attending as a trade-show vendor should contact Kim Harrison, membership and meetings coordinator at the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley, at (413) 785-1328 or

Art Show Reception

April 5: The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Western Massachusetts (NAMI Western Mass.) will hold an opening reception for its sixth annual art show featuring the work of artists living with mental illness from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Chicopee Public Library, 449 Front St. The reception and parking adjacent to the library are free. The exhibit runs through the end of April. The art show, originated by Karen West, an artist and art teacher at Westfield High School, will feature works for sale to the public, with proceeds going to the artists. Complimentary refreshments will be served and the public is welcome. Headquartered in Agawam, NAMI Western Mass. is an affiliate of the nation’s largest grass-roots mental-health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans who are affected by mental illness.

EANE Management Conference

April 6: The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE) announced its 13th annual Management Conference will be held at the Springfield Marriott. With a focus on the power of passion in leadership, the full-day conference will address how managers and supervisors can motivate themselves and their teams to create a culture of high performance. The program will feature keynote speakers Rick Barrera and Bruce Christopher. Barrera, the head of faculty for the Center for Heart Led Leadership, works with Fortune 500 CEOs, world-class mountain climbers, astronauts, professional actors, and SEAL Team Six leaders teaching them how to build high-performance teams. Christopher, a psychologist and humorist, offers cutting-edge content with a mix of comedy, showing audiences how to embrace change and giving them practical skills to apply for success. The cost for the program is $350 per person with discounts for three or more. Register at or by calling (877) 662-6444. It will offer 6.25 credits from the HR Certification Institute and SHRM. Sponsoring the program are Johnson & Hill Staffing Services and the HR Certification Institute.

‘Mini Golf in the Library’

April 7-8: Friends of the Holyoke Public Library will host its second annual “Mini Golf in the Library” fund-raiser on the weekend of April 7-8. Hole sponsors and event sponsors are now being recruited. At last spring’s event, more than 250 players putted their way through five levels of the Holyoke Public Library building, laughing and enjoying unique obstacles added by enterprising hole sponsors. Funds raised help the Friends of the Library support library programs and resources, especially those for children and youth. Sponsors will be publicized and thanked in local media, social media, and the library’s website in connection with this event. Logos of sponsors will be printed on the scorecard given to each player. Names of sponsors will be displayed in the library, ranked by level of sponsorship. Sponsors will be invited as guests to the Friday-evening cocktail party, with the opportunity to preview (and play through) the course. In addition to event sponsors and hole sponsors, the event planning committee, chaired by Sandy Ward, is seeking donors of in-kind services and items for a silent auction to be held during the Friday cocktail party. Hole sponsorships start at $250. Those who wish to sponsor (and decorate) one of the 18 holes are encouraged to act quickly, as holes are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Event sponsorships are available at five levels ranging from $250 to $1,000. An exclusive title sponsorship is possible at $2,500. For more information, visit or e-mail Sandy Ward at

Walk of Champions

May 7: The 12th annual Walk of Champions to benefit the Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center in Ware will step off at the Quabbin Reservoir. Since 2006, the Walk of Champions, founded by field-hockey coach John O’Neill of Quaboag Regional Middle High School, has served as a tribute to the compassionate care his mother received at the Baystate Regional Cancer Program in Ware during her cancer journey. Over the years, the walk has grown into a collection of teams and individuals, each walking for their own reason. There are friends and family members celebrating victory over cancer. Others are encouraging their loved ones in their personal fight over cancer, while others walk in memory of those who have lost their battle with cancer. The Baystate Regional Cancer Program at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center provides the majority of outpatient cancer services in the Baystate Health Eastern Region, which includes Ware, Palmer, and surrounding communities. Since its inception, the Walk of Champions has raised more than $740,000 to assist, support, and instill hope in those facing cancer. All funds raised remain local to support those cared for in the Baystate Health Eastern Region at the Baystate Regional Cancer Program located at Baystate Mary Lane Outpatient Center in Ware. The route offers a one-mile loop that allows walkers to choose the number of miles they walk among the comfortable walking terrain of the Goodnough Dike. Along the way, walkers will enjoy entertainment and refreshments. Pledge forms, fund-raising resources, giving opportunities, and more are now available at for businesses, community organizations, and individuals who wish to participate.

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