Agenda Departments


Business Plan Basics
March 3: The Mass. Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network will host a training session titled “Business Plan Basics” from 10 a.m. to noon at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, 395 Main St., Greenfield. Allen Kronick, MSBDC, will present the workshop that focuses on management fundamentals from start-up considerations through business-plan development. Topics include financing, marketing, and business planning. The fee is $35. For more information, call (413) 737-6712, e-mail [email protected], or visit

Dance Your Way to Wellness
March 4: The Chicopee and Greater Holyoke chambers of commerce will stage a fun night out called “Dance Your Way to Wellness” at the Castle of Knights on Memorial Drive in Chicopee, beginning at 6 p.m. The event will feature open dancing — as well as a dance production featuring award-winning dancers and student chamber members — all to the music of After All. Tickets are $40 per person for dinner and the dance production, and $20 for the production and open dancing (after 8 p.m.). For more information or to purchase tickets, call (413) 594-2101.

Transformational Leadership Forum
March 4: Randy Dobbs, author and protégé of General Electric’s legendary CEO Jack Welch, will be the keynote speaker for a forum titled “Transformational Leadership: a Blueprint for Organizational and Individual Success,” at the Western New England College (WNEC) Law and Business Center for Advancing Entrepreneurship in Springfield. Hosted by WNEC and Springfield-based, the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. event will offer insights on how individuals, organizations, and businesses can drive significant business improvement by adapting to change. Dobbs will share many tested concepts from his book, Transformational Leadership. Also, a panel of thought leaders will offer perspectives on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, marketplace, and community. Registration is required to attend the forum, which includes a copy of Dobbs’ book and lunch. To register, call (413) 221-7931 or e-mail [email protected]

National College Fair
March 6-7: The Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield is the setting for the Springfield National College Fair, slated from 1 to 4 p.m. on March 6 and from 9 a.m. to noon on March 7. Sponsored by the National Assoc. for College Admission Counseling, and hosted by the New England Assoc. for College Admission Counseling, the event is free and open to the public. The fair allows students and parents to meet one-on-one with admissions representatives from a wide range of national and international, public and private, two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Participants will learn about admission requirements, financial aid, course offerings, and campus environment, as well as other information pertinent to the college-selection process. Students can register at prior to attending the event to receive a printed, bar-coded confirmation to use on-site at the fair as an electronic ID.

Forum on Sales
March 9: The Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal St., Springfield, will be the setting for a program titled “Prospecting, Cold Calls, and Sales, Oh My!” from 9 to 11 a.m. The program, sponsored by the Mass. Small Business Development Center (MSBDC) Network, will be presented by Sheldon Snodgrass of Snodgrass will discuss ways to approach, qualify, and close prospects, as well as how to keep one’s ego and integrity intact. Additionally, Snodgrass will explain how to distinguish between a high- and low-probability prospect, how to get appointments with decision makers, and how to present who you are and what you do. A complete workbook is included. Fee is $40. For more information, call (413) 737-6712, e-mail [email protected], or visit

The Vision Project
March 10: The Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield will present “The Vision Project,” an event featuring Richard Freeland, Massachusetts commissioner of Higher Education, who will detail a new public higher-education agenda that has taken that name. The talk is slated for noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Springfield Sheraton. A box lunch will be provided. The master plan unites the work of the state’s community colleges, state universities, and the UMass system, while stressing accountability and aspirations for higher-education leadership. Freeland will detail why he believes Massachusetts needs “the best-educated citizenry and workforce in the nation,” and how the state can aspire to improve educational outcomes even in tough economic times. Tickets are $20 for ACCGS members and $30 for non-members. For more information or to order tickets, call (413) 755-1313 or visit

Be the Authority Lecture
March 16: Claudia Gere of Claudia Gere & Co. will present a lecture titled “Be the Authority and Attract More Customers” from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Scibelli Enterprise Center, 1 Federal St., Springfield. The lecture is hosted by the Mass. Small Business Development Center (MSBDC). Gere will explain how to create written content to demonstrate your expertise, establish yourself as an authority, and create trust. Templates, formulas, and how-tos will be provided. The fee is $40. For more information, call (413) 737-6712, e-mail [email protected], or visit

U.S. Navy Band
Salutes City
March 18: The U.S. Navy Band will treat Springfield to an early birthday gift — a birthday concert — at 7 p.m. at Springfield Symphony Hall. The City of Springfield turns 375 years in May, and the band concert is just one of several events planned to mark the milestone. As the premier wind ensemble of the U.S. Navy, the band will perform a wide range of marches, patriotic selections, orchestral transcriptions, and modern wind ensemble repertoire. Tickets are free and can be obtained by sending a stamped, self-addressed envelope to the Spirit of Springfield/U.S. Navy Band, 101 State St., Suite 220, Springfield, MA 01103.

Difference Makers
March 24: BusinessWest will salute its Difference Makers Class of 2011 at a gala slated to begin at 5 p.m. at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. Initiated in 2009, the Difference Makers program recognizes individuals and groups making outstanding contributions to the Western Mass. community. The 2011 winners — Tim Brennan, Lucia Giuggio Carvalho, Don Kozera, Robert Perry, and Anthony Scott — were profiled in the magazine’s Feb. 14 issue. For more information on the event or to order tickets ($50 per person, with tables of 10 available), call (413) 781-8600, ext. 10; or visit

Lecture on Independent Contractor Statute
March 25: Attorney Susan Fentin of Skoler, Abbott & Presser will discuss the amendment to the Mass. Independent Contractor statute in 2004, and how misclassification has caught the attention of the Department of Labor. Fentin will cover the amendment, how it applies to individuals in the workforce, and the steps an employer needs to ensure compliance. The fee is $10. For more information, call (413) 737-6712, e-mail [email protected], or visit

Not Just Business as Usual
April 26: Al Verrecchia, retired CEO and chairman of the board of Hasbro Inc., will be the keynote speaker for a program titled “Not Just Business as Usual,” presented by the Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) Foundation. The STCC Foundation will capture the energy and excitement of the college’s past, present, and future at the unique affair that will be staged at the Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House in Holyoke. In addition, two past Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame inductees, Balise Motor Sales and Smith & Wesson, will be honored for their continued success and contributions to the local community. A cocktail and networking reception is planned from 5:30 to 7 p.m., followed by a dinner program from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $175 each or $1,500 for a table of 10. Proceeds raised from the event will benefit STCC. For more information on the event, visit

Western Mass.
Business Expo
May 4: Businesses from throughout Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties will come together for the premier trade show in the region, the Western Mass. Business Expo. Formerly known as the Market Show, the event, produced by BusinessWest, and staged at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, has been revamped and improved to provide exposure and business opportunities for area companies. The cost for a 10-by-10 booth is $700 for members of all area chambers and $750 for non-members; corner booths are $750 for all chamber members and $800 for non-members; and a 10-by-20 booth is $1,200 for all chamber members and $1,250 for non-members. For more information, log onto, or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 10.

Springfield 375th Parade
May 14: The Spirit of Springfield is seeking community involvement for the city’s 375th birthday celebration, which will include a parade that represents all that Springfield has to offer, its roots, and its future. If you have a business or group that would like to get involved in the festivities, call (413) 733-3800 or e-mail a message to [email protected]

May 17-19: EASTEC, the East Coast’s largest annual manufacturing event, will once again be staged at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. For exhibition or registration information, call (866) 635-4692 or visit

40 Under Forty Gala
June 23: BusinessWest will present its 40 Under Forty class of 2011 at a not-to-be-missed gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, beginning at 5 p.m. The 40 Under Forty program, initiated in 2007, has become an early-summer tradition in the region. A team of five judges is currently scoring more than 100 nominations, and the winners will be announced in April. For more information on the event or to order tickets ($60 per person, with tables of 10 available), call (413) 781-8600, ext. 10; or visit

Summer Business Summit
June 27-28: The Resort and Conference Center of Hyannis will be the setting for the Summer Business Summit, hosted by the Mass. Chamber of Business and Industry of Boston. Nominations are being accepted for the Massachusetts Chamber, Business of the Year, and Employer of Choice awards. The two-day conference will feature educational speakers, presentations by lawmakers, VIP receptions, and more. For more information, visit

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