Agenda Departments


Celebration of Heroes
May 25: Smith & Wesson Corp. announced it will present its second annual Celebration of Heroes. The company invites the community to join it in honoring those who have served their country by attending the event from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the grounds of Smith & Wesson, 2100 Roosevelt Ave., Springfield. At 11:45 a.m., Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, along with James Debney, president and CEO of Smith & Wesson, will preside over a program to honor local heroes and our country. Eight-year-old Shea Braceland of Westfield will deliver the national anthem. Following the program, the Celebration of Heroes will commence. There is no admission fee, and proceeds from the sale of food and items at the event will benefit the Friends of Ward 8 and the Friends of the Springfield Vet Center, two local veterans’ organizations supported by Smith & Wesson. Activities will include live stage performances by local bands including Lower Level, Maxxtone, and more. A kids’ tent will feature interactive musical performances by Rachel Hiller of Music Together, a photo booth, activities run by the YMCA of Greater Springfield, and other free activities. Bottled water will be provided free of charge by Big Y. In 2014, Smith & Wesson was honored to restore Springfield’s Veterans War Monument, which had been destroyed by the impact of weather and time. On Memorial Day 2014, a rededication ceremony and the first annual Celebration of Heroes was held to reveal the restored monument and to honor local veterans, active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and military families. Proceeds benefited the Friends of the Springfield Vet Center, which offers social, recreational, and educational programs to combat veterans and their families, as well as the Friends of Ward 8, a nonprofit organization that supports the Veterans of Ward 8 at the VA Medical Center in Leeds. Ward 8 veterans suffer from combat PTSD and benefit from a six week in-treatment program to learn how to better cope with the condition.  During the 2015 Celebration of Heroes, funds will be raised for these two deserving organizations through ticket sales for fare from area food trucks and a beer and sangria tent courtesy of Commercial Distributing and Log Rolling. Event T-shirts will be available for a minimal fee. Military personnel (with military ID) will receive a free event shirt. For more information, visit, call Elaine Stellato at (413) 747-3371, or e-mail [email protected]

Springfield Police Year in Review
May 26: Since taking his post last June, Springfield Police Commissioner John Barbieri has focused his efforts on a collaborative, community-oriented approach to public safety through five priority objectives. He will present an update on his first year as commissioner at the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield’s Pastries, Politics and Policy event from 8 to 9 a.m. at the TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main St., Springfield. When he first was sworn in, Barbieri said he would strive to “re-engineer police services to positively impact crime, quality of life, and fear-of-crime issues, and improve quality of service and stakeholder satisfaction” through becoming more proactive, improving response times, increasing levels of service, building relationships with stakeholders, and developing and measuring feedback processes. He has launched an expanded Counter Criminal Continuum (C-3) policing model to the North End, the Hollywood section of the South End, the area around Mason Square, and the Belmont Avenue/Oakland Street section of Forest Park; introduced an innovative, web-based neighborhood-watch program; and continues to conduct successful law-enforcement sweeps across the city, concentrating on quality-of-life issues. The cost of the May 26 event are $15 for members, $25 for general admission, and includes continental breakfast. Reservations may be made online at or by e-mailing Sarah Mazzaferro at [email protected]

‘Women Lead Change’
May 28: The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts (WFWM) will host “Women Lead Change: A Celebration of the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI) Class of 2015” at the Log Cabin in Holyoke from 6 to 8 p.m. More than 200 participants are expected to attend, including local and state elected officials. The keynote speaker is Attorney General Maura Healey, who began her term in January. She has led groundbreaking cases for civil rights, fair lending and housing, and litigation supporting access to reproductive health care for women. The Women’s Fund will honor her achievements with a “She Changes the World” award at the event. Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse will welcome guests, and Emily McLaughlin, deputy director of the Massachusetts Treasury’s department on Economic Empowerment, will also give remarks. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online until Sunday, May 24 at “We are thrilled to host our distinguished speakers as we welcome 38 highly qualified women into our LIPPI ranks,” said WFWM CEO Elizabeth Barajas-Román. “Our LIPPI program has trained more than 200 women in Western Massachusetts to run for elected office, 20% of whom have run their first race, with a 60% success rate. We know LIPPI women run, and LIPPI women win.” LIPPI is a 10-month program, the only one of its kind in Massachusetts, designed to respond to the shortage of women stepping into leadership at all levels. Focusing on areas such as public speaking, community organizing, the legislative process and policy making, fund-raising and campaigning, collaborative and cooperative working models, and board service, LIPPI gives women the tools and confidence they need to become more involved as civic leaders in their communities and to impact policy on the local, state, and national levels. Representing 40% women of color, LIPPI graduates comprise a wide spectrum of backgrounds, ethnic groups, and ages. They also represent all four Western Mass. counties, and their achievements range from running for office to managing campaigns; from fund-raising for female candidates to entering the Yale Women’s Campaign School. Two graduates are currently running for mayor in Pittsfield and Greenfield. Together, graduates form a strong cohort of like-minded women who support each other when they run for office, meet with policy makers, form coalitions, and conduct get-out-the-vote efforts. The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts is a public foundation that invests in local women and girls through strategic grant making and leadership development. Since 1997, the Women’s Fund has awarded more than $2 million in grants to nearly 100 organizations in Western Mass.

40 Under Forty
June 18:The ninth annual 40 Under Forty award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House the evening of June 18. The event honors the region’s most accomplished and civic-minded professionals under age 40, and this year’s class was profiled in the April 20 issue. This year’s winners represent virtually every sector of the economy — from financial services to manufacturing; retail to healthcare; technology to nonprofit management; education to law. They also show the seemingly innumerable ways people can give back to the community. This year’s event will feature a new award — the Continued Excellence Award, presented to the previous honoree who has most impressively built upon their track record of excellence. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, May 22 at 5 p.m. The nomination form can be found at HERE. Always one of the most anticipated events and best networking opportunities on the calendar, the gala will feature lavish food stations, entertainment, and the introduction of this year’s class. Tickets cost $65 each, with a limited number of standing-room-only tickets still available. Tickets can be ordered by calling (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or by visiting HERE. The 40 Under Forty program and gala are sponsored this year by Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), Paragus Strategic IT (presenting sponsor), Fathers & Sons, the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Moriarty & Primack, and United Bank.

Valley Fest
Aug. 29: White Lion Brewing Co. announced that it will host its inaugural beer festival, called Valley Fest, at Court Square in downtown Springfield. MGM Springfield will be the presenting sponsor. The festival is poised to be White Lion’s signature annual event, introducing the young brand to craft-beer enthusiasts throughout New England and beyond. White Lion Brewing Co., the city of Springfield’s only brewery, launched in October 2014. Founder Ray Berry and brewmaster Mike Yates have released three selections under the White Lion brand and have been busy promoting their efforts in venues all over Massachusetts and other New England states. Berry anticipates that more than 50 breweries and many local food vendors will converge on Court Square for two sessions. Enthusiasts will have an opportunity to sample more than 100 varieties of beer and hard cider alongside pairing selections by local chefs. A number of sponsors have already committed to the event, including MassMutual Financial Group, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, the Dennis Group, Springfield Sheraton Monarch Place, Paragus Strategic IT, Williams Distributing, and the Springfield Business Improvement District (BID). “We are honored to sponsor Valley Fest and look forward to it being an annual event that shares in the facilitation of growth within the downtown community,” said Chris Russell, executive director of the Springfield BID. Visit for event details, ongoing updates, and sponsorship opportunities. A portion of Valley Fest proceeds will support several local charities.

Western Mass. Business Expo
Nov. 4: Comcast Business will present the fifth annual Western Mass. Business Expo at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield, produced by BusinessWest and the Healthcare News in partnership with Go Graphix and Rider Productions. The business-to-business show will feature more than 100 booths, seminars and Show Floor Theater presentations, breakfast and lunch programs, and a day-capping Expo Social. Details about specific events, programs, and featured speakers will be printed in future issues of BusinessWest. Current sponsors include MGM Springfield, Expo Social Sponsor; the Isenberg School of Business at UMass Amherst, Education Sponsor; Johnson & Hill Staffing, Silver Sponsor; DIF Design, Director Level Sponsor; and 94.7 WMAS, Media Sponsor. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Exhibitor spaces are also available; booths prices start at $750. For more information on sponsorships or booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

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