Agenda

Labor & Employment Law Symposium

Oct. 5: Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. will hold a Labor & Employment Law Symposium from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. “The past year has brought significant changes in labor and employment law, and employers need to be aware of these changes; not knowing the law is no excuse for not following it,” said attorney Timothy Murphy, a partner at Skoler Abbott. “We are offering this symposium to provide local and regional HR professionals and employers with the latest developments, and to help them prepare for what’s coming next.” The symposium is geared toward human-resources professionals and business owners. Topics will include “Labor Law Update: Change Is Coming,” “Massachusetts’ New Pay Equity Law and the Effects of Implicit Bias in the Workplace,” “Top Ten Wage & Hour Mistakes Made by Employers,” “Insurance Coverage in Employment Litigation: Limiting Your Risk & Knowing Your Rights,” “After Barbuto: Strategies for Addressing Drugs in the Workplace,” and “How You Should (and Shouldn’t) Conduct a Workplace Investigation.” Attendees will be able to select three of six breakout sessions, and the symposium will close with an overall question-and-answer session. The symposium has been pre-approved by the HR Certification Institute for five hours of general recertification credit toward PHR and SPHR recertification. The cost to attend is $99 per person and includes continental breakfast and lunch. Registration is available at skoler-abbott.com/trainingprograms.

Holyoke Medical Center ACE Awards

Oct. 7: Holyoke Medical Center announced that Esmat Ezzat and Tom Hazen will each be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for their outstanding dedication and hard work on behalf of Holyoke Medical Center and the Holyoke community. Valley Health Systems, which includes Holyoke Medical Center, Holyoke VNA Hospice Life Care, River Valley Counseling Center, and Western Mass. Physician Associates, will also recognize select members of the VHS team who exemplify exceptional care. Award recipients will be honored at this year’s ACE Awards event at UMass Amherst.

“The dedication and continued support provided to Holyoke Medical Center and the entire Pioneer Valley from both Mrs. Ezzat and Mr. Hazen make them true assets to our community. We are honored to recognize them for a lifetime of service,” said Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center and Valley Health Systems Inc. Ezzat retired as the director of Speech and Hearing at Holyoke Medical Center in 2007, after a 40-year-long career with the hospital as a speech pathologist. She developed many innovative programs and built a reputation for the center as a regional leader in speech and language therapy. She credits the success of her career and of the center to the support she received from the community and her staff. “The support we have received from the community over the years has been tremendous,” said Ezzat. “When we needed something, the community gave it to us.” Hazen is a past partner in his family’s Holyoke-based Hazen Paper Co. and served on the board of directors for Holyoke Medical Center for 11 years. He continues to be involved with the hospital and currently serves on the investment committee. He has also been an active member in the community, serving in volunteer leadership roles for many local and regional organizations, including the Holyoke Public Library, the Holyoke mayor’s Industrial Development Advisory Committee, the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, the Holyoke Taxpayers Assoc., Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “I’ve had a long kinship with the Holyoke community,” Hazen said. “The people I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years are a distinguished group. I have many fond memories of citizens and friends who are dedicated to both the hospital and the Holyoke community, and contribute readily to the long-term well-being of both.” ACE Awards will also be given in the categories of Best Physician, Best Caregiver, Best Supporting Employee, and Best Leader. Tickets to the event, which is open to the public, are available by contacting Denise Rebmann at (413) 534-2579 or rebmann_denise@holyokehealth.com.

Homework House 10-year Celebration

Oct. 19: Homework House is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year, and it will mark the occasion with a 10th Anniversary Celebration and Fund-raising Breakfast from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke to share its story and inspire the financial resources Homework House needs to sustain its programs for the next 10 years and beyond. The anniversary breakfast’s theme is “A Decade of Inspiring Children, Supporting Families, and Transforming Community,” which reflects the broad ripple effect that occurs as a result of children’s participation in Homework House’s academic after-school and summer programming. Founded by retired educators Sr. Maureen Broughan and Sr. Jane Morrissey, Homework House promotes educational success through free, individualized tutoring and mentoring for children. Featuring a program that will highlight the stories of Homework House alumni, parents, and stakeholders, the breakfast will reflect on the powerful work of the past 10 years while looking forward to Homework House’s continued growth. The breakfast is free for guests and will feature a focused ask for donations at its culmination. Community members interested in attending the event or taking a leadership role as a table captain can register by visiting www.homeworkhousetenth.com.

Healthcare Heroes

Oct. 19:  BusinessWest and the Healthcare News will present the inaugural Healthcare Heroes Awards at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden. This new recognition program was created by the twin publications to recognize outstanding achievement across the region’s broad and diverse healthcare sector. From a pool of 70 nominations, panel of judges chose eight winners in seven categories, who were profiled in the Sept. 4 issue of  BusinessWest, the September issue of HCN, and at  BusinessWest.com. American International College and Trinity Health Of New England are the presenting sponsors of Healthcare Heroes. Partner sponsors are Achieve TMS East, HUB International New England and Health New England. Supporting sponsors are Bay Path University, Baystate Health, Cooley Dickinson Health CareElms College, and Renew.Calm. Tickets to the event are sold out.

Super 60

Oct. 27: Ralph Crowley Jr., president and CEO of Polar Beverages, will serve as the keynote speaker at the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Super 60 event. Now in its 28th year, the program celebrates the success of the fastest-growing and privately-owned businesses in the region which continue to make significant contributions to the strength of the regional economy. Worcester-based Polar Beverages was founded by Crowley’s great-grandfather, Dennis Crowley, in 1882, primarily as a wholesale and retail liquor business. However, prohibition put a stop to the family’s liquor sales, forcing them to focus on bubbly waters and bottled water instead. Under the entrepreneurial and visionary leadership of fourth-generation Ralph Crowley Jr., Polar Beverages has grown to be the largest privately owned soft-drink bottler in the U.S., having completed more than 30 acquisitions, including proprietary brands Adirondack, Waist Watcher, Clear ‘n’ Natural, and national brands 7Up, A&W, Sunkist, Seagram’s, Royal Crown, and Diet Rite, along with new-age brands Snapple, AriZona, Fiji Water, O Water, HyDrive, and Nantucket Nectars. Polar also bottles home and office water. In September 2001, Polar Beverages formed a joint venture with Cott Corp. that produces and distributes most of the retailer-branded beverages in the Northeast. At one time, Polar Beverages maintained a warehouse in Springfield. “Polar Beverages is an example of a regional, family-owned business that has remained true to its roots, while at the same time growing its brand by smart acquisitions and innovative, entrepreneurial thinking,” said Springfield Regional Chamber President Nancy Creed. The Super 60 Celebration event honoring this year’s class will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Chez Josef, 176 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam. Reservations are required. The cost is $60 for members, $75 for general admission. Reservations may be made for tables of eight or 10. The deadline for reservations is Oct. 18. No cancellations will be accepted after that date, and no walk-ins will be allowed. Reservations may be made online at www.springfieldregionalchamber.com or by e-mail to events@springfieldregionalchamber.com. The Super 60 event is presented by Health New England and sponsored by Farmington Bank. The event is also sponsored by the Republican, the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, and Zasco Productions.

Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass.

Nov. 2: Comcast Business will present the Business & Innovation Expo of Western Mass. at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by  BusinessWest and the Healthcare News. The seventh annual business-to-business show will feature more than 150 exhibitor booths, educational seminars, breakfast and lunch programs, and a day-capping Expo Social. Current sponsors include Comcast Business (presenting sponsor), Johnson & Hill Staffing Services and Wild Apple Design Group (executive sponsors), Inspired Marketing (show partner), MGM Springfield (corporate sponsor), Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst (education sponsor), Xfinity (social sponsor), Elms College (information booth sponsor), Smith & Wesson (Workforce Support Center sponsor), Savage Arms (JoinedForces parking and workforce development sponsor), and the Better Business Bureau (contributing sponsor). Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Exhibitor spaces are also available; booth prices start at $800. For more information on sponsorships or booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

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