‘How Will Marijuana Affect the Workplace’

May 14: MassHire Holyoke Career Center will host a workshop titled “How Will Marijuana Affect the Workplace In Massachusetts” with attorney Erica Flores from Skoler, Abbott & Presser. This free event will take place from 8 to 10 a.m. Flores will the current state of the law regarding marijuana use by employees for both medical and recreational purposes, including employers’ obligations to accommodate marijuana use by disabled employees; proposed legislation that would prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who use recreational marijuana and how this rule would affect employers’ current rights in the workplace; and the importance of reasonable-suspicion testing in this new legal climate and strategies for implementing and enforcing such testing programs.

‘Turn Up The You and Quiet The Critic’

May 15: Baystate Health’s Every Woman program will hold a special evening titled “Turn Up the You and Quiet the Critic” at 5:30 p.m. at 121 Club at Eastworks, 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton. Keynote speaker Pam Victor, president of Happier Valley Comedy, will discuss “Five Techniques for Quieting Your Inner Critic,” and there will be live music, food, women’s health information, and shopping with local vendors. Victor is a professional improviser, facilitator, teacher, and the founder and president of Happier Valley Comedy, the first improv theater and training center in Western Mass. She directs the three branches of the company: the comedy-training center, regular shows, and the Through Laughter program for professional and personal development. The event cost is $15. To register, visit For more information, call (413) 794-5200.

Maifest Block Party

May 17-18: Maifest is a colorful, joyous tradition in Germany. It celebrates the arrival of spring, when food is plentiful and spirits flow freely. The tradition will unfold in Springfield with the Maifest Block Party, a two-day community event, presented by the Student Prince & the Fort, set to take place outdoors on Fort Street and inside the restaurant. Live bands will fill the air with music while guests sip beer and head inside for a Maifest menu filled with spring delights. This year, a generous portion of the proceeds will benefit Rays of Hope to bring the organization closer to its mission of finding a cure for breast cancer. The festivities will be emceed by radio personality Lopez from WMAS. The tapping of the ceremonial keg will be headed by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Denise Jordan, chair of the Rays of Hope campaign, who is also executive director of the Springfield Housing Authority. Sgt. Brian Elliott of the Springfield Police Department will host the ceremonial cheer. Rudi Scherff of the Student Prince will give a brief talk about the Maifest tradition.

Labor and Employment Law Conference

May 21: Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. will hold a Labor and Employment Law Conference from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Springfield. “The conference will deliver an in-depth review of some of the most challenging employment-law issues organizations, human-resources personnel, and management have faced over the past year, and will provide cutting-edge insights needed for surviving challenges on the horizon,” said Partner Marylou Fabbo. Breakout sessions will include “Paid Family and Medical Leave: Change Is Coming” “Wage and Hour Mistakes,” “Harassment, Discrimination, and Why Employers Get Sued,” “Labor and Employment Law Update,” “How to Handle Requests for Reasonable Accommodations,” and “How to Conduct an Internal Investigation.” Speakers and panel-discussion participants will include Skoler Abbott attorneys and other leaders in human resources and employment law. A continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and luncheon are included with the conference, as well as time for networking and questions following the presentations. See the full agenda and register online at or call (413) 737-4753.

Social Work Conference

May 22: More than 350 professionals from throughout Western Mass. will gather on the campus of Western New England University from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the 37th annual Social Work Conference. The keynote speaker will be Jen Falcone, director of Businesses Against Human Trafficking. A survivor of child sexual abuse and trafficking as an adolescent, she will discuss her experiences and how utter devastation kick-started the healing that drives her life choices and professional work. Falcone will focus on launching a movement within the Springfield-area business community to address human trafficking. Frank Sacco will be honored with the Jim Quinn Human Service Award at the conference. In addition to a celebrated career nationally and internationally in the fields of social work and psychotherapy, Sacco has spent his life researching and authoring books and articles on bullying, teacher bullying, and building a successful anti-bullying structure within a school. He consulted for the FBI after the 1999 Columbine shooting as well as internet sexual exploitation and domestic violence. The day-long conference, sponsored by Western New England University’s Bachelor of Social Work Program, the Social Work Advisory Council, and the Office of Enrollment Management, will also feature more than 30 exhibitors from throughout the region. The conference fee is $165 and includes registration, luncheon, and six credit hours for full (100%) attendance. Lower student rates are also available. To register online, visit, or call (413) 796-2173.

JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair

May 28: Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM), now celebrating its centennial anniversary, will host the JA Inspire Career Exploration Fair from 8 a.m. to noon at the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. “We will host more than 500 students from seventh through 11th grades, who will have the opportunity to explore diverse career options at interactive booths featuring colleges, universities, trade schools, apprenticeship programs, companies, local law enforcement, and public-safety organizations from throughout Western Massachusetts,” said Jennifer Connolly, president of JAWM. The JA Inspire program provides students with the opportunity to learn about careers from industry representatives in time to begin planning for high-school coursework and better prepare themselves for life after graduation. The program consists of four in-class lessons, plus the career exploration fair, all designed to engage students and help them explore education and career pathways, showcase careers in Western Mass. with a focus on high-wage and high-demand industries, and connect students with industry representatives who can share career advice and offer interactive exhibits during the career fair. Exhibitor space is still available at no charge. Exhibitors will present interactive and engaging career stations, while providing volunteer mentors to staff the career stations throughout the event. To reserve a career station, contact Connolly at (413) 747-7670 or [email protected]. To learn more about the event, visit or call (413) 747-7670.

Community Action Awards

June 13: Springfield Partners for Community Action will present a night of celebrating those in action within the community. The Community Action Awards will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Springfield Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. It will be a night of speakers, awards, handing out scholarships to Community Scholarship winners, and a silent auction for guests to participate in. Ticket purchase is available at Springfield Partners for Community Action is the federally designated community action agency of Springfield whose mission is to provide resources that assist those in need to obtain economic stability and ultimately create a better way of life. For more information on the event, contact Natalia Arocho at (413) 263-6500, ext. 6516, or [email protected].

40 Under Forty Gala

June 20: BusinessWest will present its 13th annual 40 Under Forty Gala, a celebration of 40 young business and civic leaders in Western Mass. The lavish cocktail party, to begin 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 2019, which is profiled in the April 29 issue of BusinessWest and at Also, the fifth Continued Excellence Award honoree will be announced. Tickets cost $75 per person; only standing-room tickets remain. For more information, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or e-mail [email protected]. PeoplesBank is the presenting sponsor, Health New England is the Continued Excellence Award sponsor, and WWLP-22 News is the media sponsor. Other sponsors include Baystate Health. the Isenberg School of Management, MP CPAs, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, Live Nation, MGM Springfield, Comcast Business, and YPS of Greater Springfield (partner).

‘Thrive After 55’ Wellness Fair

June 21: State Sen. Eric Lesser announced that he will host the third annual “Thrive After 55” Wellness Fair in partnership with Health New England, Springfield College, and the Center for Human Development (CHD). This year’s fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Field House on the campus of Springfield College, 263 Alden St., Springfield. The fair is free and open to the public. With more than 70 local organizations ranging from health and fitness to nutrition and elder law, the annual fair will connect residents of the Greater Springfield area with information and resources to help them thrive. The event will feature several educational seminars which will highlight areas of interest for attendees, including estate planning and elder law, scam avoidance, and diet and nutrition. Heart Song Yoga Center of East Longmeadow will return for a third year with an interactive demonstration of chair yoga and movement. The program includes a boxed lunch, hundreds of raffle prizes, and access to information and experts. To RSVP, call Lesser’s office at (413) 526-6501 or visit