Workshop on Retirement Planning, Social Security
June 16: Monson Savings Bank is holding a complimentary workshop titled “Social Security: The Choice of a Lifetime.” It will be presented by Kevin Flynn, regional vice president of Nationwide Financial, and an expert on retirement planning and helping people to understand Social Security and how to optimize their benefits. The event is designed to give people a comprehensive understanding of the rules and details regarding when and how to file for Social Security. It will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Hampden Senior Center at 104 Allen St. in Hampden. The free event is open to the public. “This workshop is back by popular demand,” said Steven Lowell, president of Monson Savings Bank. “Knowing when and how to file for Social Security can have a big impact on retirement income. We have offered this workshop before, and those who attended were very appreciative of the information.” Those interested in attending should call Anna Driscoll at (413) 267-1221 or e-mail [email protected] Seating is limited. Refreshments will be served.
June 17: The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast in Agawam will host a workshop, “Six Secrets for Promoting Products and Services with Confidence,” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This program, presented by Lyn Murphy, will provide participants with proven strategies and practical tools to feel more comfortable and ultimately become more effective at suggestive selling. It is targeted toward business owners, consultants, lawyers, accountants, architects, and customer-service representatives whose positions include sales goals. Attendees will learn how to enhance their personal presence and build rapport with current and potential clients, discover tools to avoid feeling pushy or rejected when promoting products and services, use tools to identify and adapt to prospects with different communication and behavioral styles, and learn strategies to positively influence sales outcomes. The $285 fee includes the electronic DiSC Sales Assessment. To register, visit www.eane.org/six-secrets-for-promoting-products-and-services-with-confidence.
ERC5 Annual Meeting
June 17: The East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Blake Commons Dining Hall, Bay Path University, Longmeadow. The keynote speaker will be talk-show host and bestselling author Howie Carr, discussing politics, crime, and entertainment. A member of the Radio Hall of Fame, Carr’s evening drive show can heard on more than 20 stations throughout New England. He is also a columnist for the Boston Herald and a contributor to Breitbart.com. Carr’s bestselling books include The Brothers Bulger and Hitman. Crime boss Whitey Bulger was so infuriated by Carr’s groundbreaking reporting that he once put out a murder contract on Carr, a story detailed on 60 Minutes. At his 2013 trial on murder and racketeering charges, Bulger tried to have Carr banned from the courtroom by calling him as a defense witness. Now imprisoned for life in Arizona, the crime czar still says his greatest regret was not murdering Carr when he had the chance. Bulger’s story will be featured in the upcoming film Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp. To register, visit www.erc5.com or contact Amanda Brodkin at the chamber. The cost is $45 for chamber members, $55 for non-members.
Clinical Notes Concert
June 18: Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s Clinical Notes, a hospital-based women’s a cappella chorus, will perform a free summer concert, “Good Ole — and New — a Cappella,” from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the hospital’s Conference Rooms B and C. Under the direction of Kathryn Aubrey-McAvoy, the group will perform a variety of selections, including classical, jazz, traditional, and rock. Individual members of the group will be featured as soloists. Hospital staff, patients, visitors, and the public are invited to attend. Guests should feel free to come and stay for the whole concert or for a short time, as time allows. Clinical Notes was formed in 2003 by Phyllis Stone and Annginette Anderson, who shared a love of a cappella singing. Though members have come and gone over the 12 years, most of the singers have been in the group since its inception. The group performs two formal concerts yearly (during the holidays and at the beginning of summer), and sings at various hospital-related functions, such as the annual Valentine’s Day Chocolate Festival, Nurses’ Week, and other celebrations. They have also performed during the Relay for Life Sacred Gathering, the Hospice of Franklin County Tree Lighting, and the United Way A Cappella Festival. For more information, contact Stone at (413) 773-2573 or [email protected]
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 (see nominees HERE). Always one of the most anticipated events and best networking opportunities on the calendar, the gala, which is sold out, will feature lavish food stations, entertainment, and the introduction of this year’s class. 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.
June 19: Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) School of Business & Information Technologies will host a free Leadership Conference from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Scibelli Hall (Building 2) Theater at STCC. This one-day event will feature a variety of guest speakers, including Rebecca Corbin, president and CEO of the National Assoc. of Community Colleges for Entrepreneurship; Alden Davis; Robert Hensley, president of Robert Hensley & Associates, LLC; Nicole Murdoch, small-business owner; Gail Ward Olmsted, STCC professor and department chair in the School of Business and Information Technology; Rob Parslow, Accounting director at American Express; Ira Rubenzahl, STCC President; Diane Sabato, STCC professor of Business Administration; Kirk Smith, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Springfield; and Paul Thornton, STCC professor of Business Administration. The event will include interactive group discussions and opportunities for networking. Lunch will be provided. For more information or to register, call (413) 755-4008 or e-mail [email protected]
ACCGS Panel on Health-plan Changes
June 23: The Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield (ACCGS), in collaboration with the Greater Chicopee, Easthampton, Holyoke, and Westfield chambers of commerce, will present a panel discussion on health-plan changes associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from 3 to 4 p.m. at the UMass Center at Springfield, 1500 Main St., Springfield. Sponsored by the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, Massachusetts Assoc. of Health Plans (MAHP) President and CEO Lora Pellegrino and Senior Vice President Eric Linzer will present “The State of the Massachusetts Marketplace.” Despite the Commonwealth’s 2006 Health Care Reform Law serving as the model for the ACA, according to MAHP, Massachusetts faces significant challenges five years after its passage. Massachusetts employers, particularly small and mid-size companies, will need to confront significant changes to the marketplace, which, MAHP says, will have a substantial impact on health-care costs, including the expansion of the small-group market to include companies with up to 100 employers and the elimination of the state’s rating factors. Pellegrino and Linzer will discuss the current state of the health-plan market, what the ACA changes mean for employers, how employees can address the impact of the ACA changes, how mandated benefits and other changes at the state level may exacerbate the challenges employers face, and what employers can do to get involved. The cost is $10 for members of the participating chambers and $15 for general admission. To register, visit one of the chambers online or e-mail Kara Cavanaugh at [email protected]
Berkshire Region MITS Summer Institute
July 6-10: Berkshire Museum will host the Berkshire Region Museum Institute for Teaching Science (MITS) summer session for middle- and high-school teachers. This year’s theme is “Going with the Flow: Using Inquiry Methods to Teach Watershed Science.” The Berkshire Museum is the lead educational partner for MITS in the Berkshires. The program is presented with instructing partners Housatonic Valley Assoc., Flying Cloud Institute, and American Rivers. This exciting professional-development program will focus on the ecology and history of local rivers and watersheds. Participants will learn from experts about what is affecting water quality in the rivers that flow through area communities and how scientists effectively measure watershed health using principles of ecology, engineering, and robotics. The week-long institute includes outside exploration of local rivers and time indoors at the museum for hands-on, inquiry-based projects. Institute participants will build and use a SeaPerch underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and then take it back to their classrooms. The SeaPerch ROV is used to take videos of underwater ecosystems and collect water samples. SeaPerch curriculum serves as an introduction to basics in engineering, ship and submarine design, and an exploration of ways that engineers have been able to explore places that are too dangerous or unreachable for humans to visit. The educators will explore a variety of methods to test water quality. They also will build miniature urban landscapes to prototype methods for remediating runoff in an exploration of low-impact-development solutions to non-point source pollution. Participants will learn from experts about the science and politics of dam removal that have been affecting New England rivers, and they will hear the story of PCB pollution and removal in the Housatonic River watershed and examine issues surrounding urban and agricultural runoff into rivers and aquifers. Throughout the course, participating educators will try out, develop, and implement inquiry-based approaches and project ideas for use in the classroom that amplify the concepts covered in the course and that will encourage students to become critical, inquisitive thinkers. Throughout the institute, the educators will be working with proven methods of assessing student learning. Educators who complete the institute earn professional development points and/or graduate credits from either Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts or Cambridge College, based on a teacher’s chosen level of participation. All activities will be linked to Massachusetts Common Core state standards and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) initiatives. All teachers from grades 5 to 12 are welcome to attend. Online registration for the institute is available at www.mits.org. There will be an orientation on June 20 before the July 6-10 session. The deadline to guarantee a spot is June 1; late sign-ups will be accepted based on space availability. The registration fee, which includes the cost of the SeaPerch kit, is $400 for individual participants and $375 for two or more participants from same school district. Meghan Bone, Berkshire Museum’s School and Teacher Program specialist, can answer questions about the program; she can be reached at (413) 443-7171, ext. 332, or [email protected]
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. “Valley Fest will have the best of the best local, regional, and national beer and hard cider brands,” Berry said. “Even in our inaugural year, Valley Fest will be the largest one-day beer festival in Western Massachusetts. We expect to draw up to 2,000 enthusiasts from throughout New England. We are very excited to showcase the fourth-largest city in New England and all of its amenities.” 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 www.valleybrewfest.com 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 tevents, programs, and featured speakers will be printed in future issues of BusinessWest. Sponsors include MGM Springfield, presidential and Expo Social sponsor; the Isenberg School of Business at UMass Amherst, education sponsor; Johnson & Hill and Health New England, director level sponsors; and 94.7 WMAS, media sponsor. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Exhibitor spaces are also available; booth prices start at $750. For more information on sponsorships or booth purchase, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.