Cannabis Career Fair

Nov. 10: Holyoke Community College (HCC) will host a cannabis career fair at the HCC Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development, where individuals interested in working in the cannabis industry will have the opportunity to talk about job openings in person with representatives from area cannabis companies. The fair, titled “Cultivating an Industry,” will run from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the PeoplesBank Conference Room on the third floor of the Kittredge Center on the main HCC campus, 303 Homestead Ave. It is sponsored by the Cannabis Education Center — a partnership between HCC and Elevate Northeast — and MCR Labs, a marijuana testing facility in Framingham. The fair is free and open to anyone looking for a job in the burgeoning cannabis industry, which had surpassed $1 billion in sales in Massachusetts by October 2020, after its first four years. Attendees will be granted access to a new virtual job board specific to the cannabis industry. Note that masks are required in all HCC buildings regardless of vaccination status. To maintain social distancing, only 50 people will be allowed in the conference room at a time, so pre-registration is strongly encouraged. To register for the fair, visit


City of Bright Nights Ball

Nov. 13: It will be “Cherry Blossoms Under the Moonlight” for the 2021 City of Bright Nights Ball, when the event returns to MGM Springfield for the third time, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt announced. Eastman is the gala’s sponsor, and Shawn Pace, Eastman’s Indian Orchard site manager, is the chair. Additional support for the City of Bright Nights Ball is provided by MassMutual, which was the lead sponsor of the 2019 gala and will serve as this year’s Chairman’s Reception Sponsor. Golden Circle Sponsors include American Medical Response, Baystate Health, the Colvest Group, Comcast, Country Bank, FR Investment Group, Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Health New England, MGM Springfield, MP CPAs, New England Business Machine, Sheraton Springfield, and the Springfield Business Improvement District. The décor and dinner will be themed with cherry blossoms. Andrew Jensen from JX2 Productions and Dan Stezko with his team at Flowers, Flowers! have been hard at work designing the look in flowing pinks and flowers. The culinary team at MGM Springfield, led by Executive Chef Chris Smigel, will serve a dinner featuring braised short ribs, pan-seared diver scallops, seared trumpet mushroom ‘scallops,’ and a dessert complete with a touch of cherry cotton candy. For information about being a sponsor of the City of Bright Nights Ball or purchasing tickets, contact the Spirit of Springfield at (413) 733-3800 or [email protected].


The Wealth Transition Collective Second Annual Food Drive

Nov. 15-19: The Wealth Transition Collective, a financial-planning firm in Holyoke, will host its second annual week-long food drive to benefit Margaret’s Pantry in Holyoke in honor of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Last year, the firm collected more than 1,300 pounds of food and more than $3,000 in monetary donations. Individuals can drop off non-perishable and canned foods during office business hours (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at 1632 Northampton St. in Holyoke. Weather permitting, there will be a drop-off table outside the front door for easy accessibility. Some of the most-needed items at the pantry during this time of year are stuffing mixes, gravy, soups, stews, baking mixes, frosting, syrup, salad dressing, condiments, Jell-O, and kids’ snack items. Margaret’s Pantry, a division of Providence Ministries for the Needy, is a full-service food pantry that has provided food to residents of Greater Holyoke for more than 30 years. Presently, the pantry provides food to more than 180 families each month, and approximately 72,000 meals a year are distributed to the needy in the community. The number of people served continues to grow, with 1,870,426 pounds of food given out in 2020 alone.


YPS Leadership Luncheon

Nov. 16: The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) will present a Leadership Luncheon at Venture X Holyoke, sponsored by Elms College. The featured speaker will be Matt Bannister, senior vice president of Marketing & Corporate Responsibility for PeoplesBank. He will discuss his career, share his advice for young professionals, and offer an opportunity for questions from the audience. He will also highlight the importance of community involvement and how it can increase brand awareness, establish a positive reputation, and help grow a business. A light lunch will be included. Please indicate if you have any food allergies or prefer a vegetarian option. The cost is free for YPS members and $10 for non-members. Parking is free. Pre-registration is required. Visit!event/2021/11/16/yps-leadership-luncheon-with-matt-bannister to register.



Women of Impact

Dec. 9: BusinessWest will honor its fourth annual class of Women of Impact at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. This year’s class, like the first three, demonstrates the sheer diversity of the ways women leaders in our region are making an impact on the worlds of business, nonprofits, health, and the community. Profiled the Oct. 27 issue of BusinessWest, they are: Jessica Collins, executive director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts; Elizabeth Dineen, CEO of the YWCA of Western Masachusetts; Charlene Elvers, director of the Center for Service and Leadership at Springfield College; Karin Jeffers, president and CEO of Clinical and Support Options; Elizabeth Keen, owner of Indian Line Farm; Madeline Landrau, Program Engagement manager at MassMutual; Shannon Mumblo, executive director of Christina’s House; and Tracye Whitfield, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer for the town of West Springfield and Springfield city councilor. The event is sponsored by Country Bank and TommyCar Auto Group (presenting sponsors) and Comcast Business and Health New England (supporting sponsors). Tickets cost $65 per person (tables of 10 are available). For more information, go HERE or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.


Difference Makers Nominations

Through Dec. 9: Do you know someone who is truly making a difference in the Western Mass. region? BusinessWest invites you to nominate an individual or group for its 14th annual Difference Makers program. Nominations for the class of 2022 must be received by the end of the business day (5 p.m.) on Thursday, Dec. 9. Difference Makers was launched in 2009 as a way to recognize the contributions of agencies and individuals who are contributing to quality of life in this region. Past honorees have come from dozens of business and nonprofit sectors, proving there’s no limit to the ways people can impact their communities. So, let us know who you think deserves to be recognized as a Difference Maker in our upcoming class by visiting to complete the nomination form. Honorees will be profiled in an upcoming issue of BusinessWest and celebrated at a gala in the spring.