Agenda Departments


Women’s Leadership Conference

April 6: Lena Waithe, the actor, producer, and writer who, in 2017, became the first African-American woman to win an Emmy Award for comedy writing, will be interviewed during Bay Path University’s 23rd annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC). The one-day event has become the region’s prime women’s leadership event for professional networking and enrichment. Waithe first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise in the critically acclaimed Netflix series Master of None. She co-wrote the “Thanksgiving” episode, for which she won the Emmy for Best Writing in a Comedy Series. As a writer, she is the creator and executive producer of The Chi, a coming-of-age story that follows six interrelated characters in Chicago’s South Side. As a producer, her credits include the upcoming film Step Sisters. She was also a producer on the Sundance darling Dear White People and Tiffany Johnson’s short film Ladylike, which can be found on YouTube. Delivering the WLC’s morning keynote address will be noted social psychologist Amy Cuddy, who teaches at Harvard Business School and is a New York Times bestselling author. Focusing on the power of nonverbal behavior, prejudice, and stereotyping and how people can affect their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, Cuddy teaches thousands of people how to become more present, influential, and satisfied in their professional and personal lives. Keynote speakers will share their perspectives on this year’s conference theme, “Be Curious,” motivating and inspiring attendees to engage curiosity in their daily lives. Nancy Shendell-Falik, Lisa Tanzer, and Kirk Arnold, regional leaders in the fields of healthcare, retail, and technology, will discuss the obstacles they’ve overcome during a lunchtime panel with a moderator and an opportunity for audience questions. Additionally, breakout sessions will be led by Stephen Brand, executive director of Global Learning & Development, Strategic Alliances at Bay Path; Cy Wakeman, president and founder of Reality-Based Leadership; Dr. Tasha Eurich, organizational psychologist, blogger, and New York Times bestselling author; and Linda Galindo, renowned speaker, author, and educator on organizational and individual accountability. Bay Path University’s Women’s Leadership Conference has garnered more than 22,000 attendees and featured more than 150 prominent speakers throughout its history. For further information on the conference and to register, visit

Alzheimer’s Benefit Gala

April 7: The Pioneer Valley Friends of Alzheimer’s Assoc. will hold its fourth annual Alzheimer’s Benefit Gala at the Log Cabin in Holyoke starting at 5:30 p.m. The festivities will include live entertainment, food, and raffles. Entertainment will include the Blend, Richie Mitnick and Friends, and Now’s the Time Jazz Sextet. Ashley Kohl will serve as the evening’s host. The event will feature the sale of artwork created by residents of assisted-living and skilled-nursing communities located throughout Western Mass. This part of the program — “Painting the Face on Alzheimer’s” — will include art that was created using the ‘memories method,’ which focuses on the process of creating by encouraging self-expression through art among those facing dementia. This year, Seymour Frankel will receive the Distinguished Fundraiser Award for his fundraising efforts for the last 23 years in support of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. For many years, he has been the largest donor to support the walk. The evening’s proceeds will fund various educational programs for the local Alzheimer’s Assoc. chapter, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and referral services for families who have loved ones with the disease. Tickets are $50 per person or $475 for a table of 10. For online ticket orders, visit www. Tickets may also be purchased by contacting Claudette Smart at (413) 636-5462 or [email protected]. Make checks payable to PVFAA (Pioneer Valley Friends of Alzheimer’s Assoc.) at P.O. Box 164, Agawam, MA 01001.

Valley Community Development Celebrates 30 Years

April 12: In honor of its 30-year anniversary, Valley Community Development will hold a celebration at Hadley Farms Meeting House, and Executive Director Joanne Campbell announced that the organization’s $400,000 anniversary fundraising goal has been met, including $32,000 raised from first-time donors to the nonprofit. Campbell said the celebration is one new way to educate community members about the nonprofit’s mission to empower people with low and moderate incomes to manage and improve the quality of their lives through the development of affordable housing, economic opportunity, and small-business development. The event is open to the public and will kick off with a cocktail reception from 6 to 7 p.m. Dinner and the keynote speaker, Charles Blow, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times, will follow from 7 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $125 and are available online by visiting Blow writes about politics, public opinion, and social justice. He is a CNN commentator and was a Presidential Visiting Professor at Yale University last year. He is also the author of the best-selling memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which tells his story of growing up in the Deep South with a fiercely driven mother and four brothers, and his escape after a trauma. At the celebratory event, Blow will speak on the general theme of social justice. “It will be very timely and appropriate for the work we’re doing right now,” said Campbell. “Valley Community Development is involved in navigating the crisis in housing and serving people with very low incomes. We collaborate with regional and local organizations to work on these local issues.”

‘Protecting Your Assets’

April 18: Springfield Partners for Community Action Inc. will host “Protecting Your Assets Part III” starting at 6 p.m. at Springfield Central Library, 220 State St. The event is in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month and is free and open to the public. Call (413) 263-6500 to reserve a seat. This year’s panelists include Julius Lewis of the Metrocom Group and the Lewis and Marrow Financial Hour, which airs Wednesdays on STCC radio; and attorney Sara Miller, who specializes in elder law and estate planning. New this year is attorney Martin O’Connor, an authority on tax issues and who helps low-income, non-English-speaking taxpayers understand their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers. “I am sure there will be something for everyone, along with great information sharing,” said Paul Bailey, executive director at Springfield Partners.

Caritas Gala

April 21: Plans are underway for Mercy Medical Center’s second annual Caritas Gala at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The gala, with its Motown-inspired theme “Reach Out,” will raise funds to support Mercy Behavioral Health Care and the Mercy Emergency Department’s Opioid Community Outreach for education, intervention, and treatment. Dr. Mohamed and Kimberly Hamdani, along with Paul and Anna Mancinone, are honorary chairpersons for the Caritas Gala. Longtime supporters of Mercy Medical Center, Dr. Hamdani has served as chairman of Surgery, chairman of Credentials, and president of the medical staff at Mercy, and Paul Mancinone serves on the board for Trinity Health Of New England. The Caritas Gala will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception, live entertainment from the band Motor City Magic, and a silent auction. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m., following by a live auction and dancing until midnight with music from the band Radiance. Preregistration is required by Friday, March 23. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Caritas Gala, visit

Mayors’ Economic Forum

April 26: “Mayors Meet Millennials” is the title of the 2018 New England Knowledge Corridor Mayors’ Economic Forum at Goodwin College in East Hartford, Conn. The program begins with coffee and conversation from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., followed by the conference program from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Participating mayors include Domenic Sarno (Springfield), Richard Kos (Chicopee), Marcia Leclerc (East Hartford), Erin Stewart (New Britain), and Luke Bronin (Hartford). Registration options and more information will be available soon.

Excel Skill Training

May 14-18: Tech Foundry will offer a four-day Excel skill training the week of May 14-18 (every day but May 16) from 9 a.m. to noon at 1391 Main St., ninth floor, Springfield. Because its first Excel class offered to area companies and their employees was such a success, Tech Foundry is eager to meet the Excel needs of more area employers and their employees. Hundreds of workers in the Pioneer Valley alone use Excel on a daily basis, yet only a small fraction have the training and skill needed to maximize job success and productivity. The class will cover advanced formulas; tables and formatting; conditional formatting; advanced charting; pivot tables and pivot reporting; VBA and macros; using Excel productively; data tables, simulations, and Solver; Excel integration; and optimizing Excel. The cost per student is $750. To register, e-mail [email protected] Employers with fewer than 100 employees are eligible for a 50% tuition reimbursement from Commonwealth Corp.

40 Under Forty Gala

June 21: BusinessWest’s 12th annual 40 Under Forty Gala is a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to be held starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, will feature butlered hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and entertainment — and, of course, the presentation of the class of 2018, which will be unveiled in the April 30 issue of BusinessWest. Also, the fourth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. The 40 Under Forty sponsors include PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), Northwestern Mutual (presenting sponsor), Isenberg School of Management, Health New England, the MP Group, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Renew.Calm, and partner YPS of Greater Springfield. Tickets will go on sale soon at $75 per person (tables of 10 available), and the event always sells out quickly. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected].

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