Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways Statewide Conference

July 28: The Friends of Northampton Trails and Greenways will host a statewide conference of community rail-trail advocates and government policymakers at Union Station in Northampton. The keynote speaker will be Kurt Gaertner, director of Land Policy and Planning for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), who is responsible for statewide land-use and land-conservation policies as well as sustainable development. Gaertner also serves as the Massachusetts secretary of state’s designee on the Massachusetts Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board, and he represents the EEA on the Governor’s Trails Team. He is an adjunct faculty member at Boston University in its City Planning and Urban Affairs Program, where he has taught since 2009. Gaertner will deliver the lunchtime address at the sixth Golden Spike 2018 Conference to be held over the past 16 years. Before lunch, in two separate one-hour sessions, a series of speakers will discuss updates and news along the path of the Mass Central Rail Trail from Boston to Northampton, and then from Northampton to New Haven, Conn. These talks will be highlighted by aerial maps via a live Google Maps feed. The event is open to residents of Massachusetts and Connecticut. The program begins at 8 a.m. with registration, breakfast, and networking. At 9:15 a.m., an update on the Massachusetts Central Rail Trail from Boston to Northampton will be offered, and Gaertner’s plenary session will begin at 12:30 p.m. The plenary costs $35 and includes lunch. The goal of the conference is to update participants on new developments and the various uncompleted sections of the rail trail that stretches from New Haven to Northampton and across Massachusetts from Northampton to Boston. As part of the conference, eight bicycle and walking tours of varying lengths, featuring topics from local history to flora and fauna along the rail trail, will be offered on Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28 at 2:30 p.m. The cost is $15 per tour. To register for the conference or a tour, visit

Future Tense Lecture

Sept. 20: The second installment of the BusinessWest lecture series Future Tense, titled “Change Considerations: An Examination of Lean Process, Market Disruption, and the Future of Your Business,” will take place on Thursday, Sept. 20 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Tech Foundry, 1391 Main St., ninth floor, Springfield. The lecture, open exclusively to CEOs and business owners, will be delivered by Mark Borsari, president of Sanderson MacLeod. The cost is a $25 donation to Tech Foundry. Event sponsors include Paragus IT, the Jamrog Group, and Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C. With increasingly automated business processes, AI, and machine manufacturing, lean concepts are becoming more important than ever in terms of staying competitive.  Borsari will discuss change and innovation through lean concepts and focus on resulting cultural considerations. The presentation will also address already-active market disrupters that will affect business processes in various industries. Metered street parking is available near the venue, and there are several parking-garage options nearby as well. To register, visit

Healthcare Heroes

Oct. 25: The second annual class of Healthcare Heroes will be honored at the Starting Gate at GreatHorse in Hampden. Healthcare Heroes, a recognition program involving the Western Mass. healthcare sector, was launched last spring by HCN and BusinessWest. The program was created to shed a bright light on the outstanding work being done across the broad spectrum of health and wellness services, and the institutions and people providing that care. Individuals and organizations were nominated in categories including ‘Lifetime Achievement,’ ‘Emerging Leader,’ ‘Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider,’ ‘Innovation in Health/Wellness,’ ‘Health/Wellness Administrator,’ and ‘Collaboration in Healthcare.’ They will be profiled in both magazines in September and feted at the Oct. 25 gala. Healthcare Heroes sponsors include American International College (presenting sponsor), National Grid (partner), Renew.Calm (supporting sponsor), the Elms College MBA program (supporting sponsor), and Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health Of New England (supporting sponsor).

‘Trauma-sensitive Schools’

Nov. 1-2: The Education Division at Elms College has postponed its conference titled “Trauma-sensitive Schools: Meeting the Needs of Traumatized Students and Their Teachers,” which was originally scheduled to be held in July. The conference is now rescheduled for Thursday and Friday, Nov. 1-2, and will be held in the Chicopee Public Library. More details will be released at a later date.