Agenda

Speed-networking Event
Nov. 5: Back by popular demand, the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield’s (ACCGS) Business@Breakfast will feature a speed-networking concept at the Carriage House at Storrowton Tavern in West Springfield. The breakfast will take a wide departure from the salutes-and-speakers format of the traditional breakfasts and will provide attendees with a quick and entertaining opportunity to introduce themselves and pitch their company to the other attendees. The core concept to speed networking is the ‘elevator speech,’ a short summary of an individual, business, organization, product, or service — a summary that a person could deliver in the time span of a short elevator ride. Attendees will be divided into groups A and B. Members of each group will be seated across from each other. Each member of Group A will have 60 seconds to give his or her elevator speech to a member of Group B. A bell will ring, signaling the 60-second time is up, and each member of Group B will then get a chance to speak. The facilitator will signal when the 60 seconds are up again, and members of Group A will then move one seat to the right, and the process will begin again with a new partner. The round-robin format of networking will continue until the breakfast is over. The event will begin with networking and breakfast at 7:15 a.m. To accommodate the speed-networking portion, breakfast will not be served after 7:45 a.m., and no admittance will be allowed after 7:55 a.m. Reservations are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and only members of the ACCGS or the Springfield or East of the River Five Town chamber of commerce are eligible to participate. Reservations may be made online in advance at www.myonlinechamber.com or by contacting Sarah Mazzaferro at mazzaferro@myonlinechamber.com.

One-year Birthday Party at Heartfelt Fine Gifts
Nov. 5: Heartfelt Fine Gifts, which carries the work of local artisans, is celebrating its one-year anniversary in Tower Square with a birthday party from noon to 6 p.m. The event will include a free gift for the first 200 people to stop by. Last November, Mischa Epstein and Jackie Griswold got together and decided to open a pop-up shop for the holiday season, intended to showcase their art, as well as the work of other artists. Soon after, Elaine Shepard joined the pair, and Heartfelt Fine Gifts became a full-fledged, year-round business. “It has been so wonderful to be able to share the talents of local artists with the rest of the community,” Griswold said. “The downtown Springfield community has been so supportive throughout our first year, and we are very excited to continue being a part of downtown.” Heartfelt Fine Gifts carries the work of 50 (and counting) local artisans, including jewelry, pottery, painted glassware, hand-dipped chocolates, bath luxuries, upcycled furniture, floral arrangements, and more. One area of expertise is corporate gift giving, and the store offers customizable options on most products.

GradNation Summit
Nov. 6: United Way of Pioneer Valley and Stay in School, a community initiative launched by United Way designed to increase student attendance in Springfield schools, will host the Springfield GradNation Community Summit 2014, a conference for youth, parents, and members of the community, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. in the Judd Gymnasia at Springfield College, 263 Alden St., Springfield. The summit’s focus is “middle school success = pathway to graduation.” Educators say better school attendance and engagement in middle school leads to higher high-school graduation rates. Summit leaders will share what they have learned from youth, parents, educators, and the community, with a call to action to become part of the solution to increase the graduation rate in Springfield. Youth and community panels will take part in the conference. The event will be preceded by a pre-summit luncheon for Springfield community and business leaders. Michael Smith, former director of the Social Innovation Fund for the Corp. for National & Community Service and senior director of Cabinet Affairs for the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, will be the keynote speaker. Smith is a Springfield native. The Stay in School campaign was launched in 2013 in partnership with the Springfield Public Schools to increase school attendance, which is a key ingredient to academic success and graduation from high school. Those interested in attending the summit should RSVP to Shyreshia Perry at sperry@uwpv.org or (413) 737-2691, ext. 200. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required to attend the conference.

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