40 Under Forty Nominations

Through Feb. 17: BusinessWest is currently accepting nominations for the 40 Under Forty class of 2023. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Feb. 17. Launched in 2007, the program recognizes rising stars in the four counties of Western Mass. Nominations, which should be as detailed and thorough as possible, should list an individual’s accomplishments within their profession as well as their work within the community. Nominations can be completed online at Nominations will be weighed by a panel of judges, and the selected individuals will be announced and profiled in the May 1 issue of BusinessWest and honored at the 40 Under Forty Gala on June 15. Event sponsorship opportunities are available.


Westfield River Brewing Co.Winter Concert Series

Through April: Sergio Bonavita, owner of Westfield River Brewing Co. (WRBCo), located at 707 College Highway, Southwick, is working with brewery co-owner and JJK Productions founder Josh Kelleher to bring a unique wintertime music series to Western Mass. Notable acts include tributes to Jimmy Buffett, Sublime, the Eagles, Dave Matthews, Nirvana, and Johnny Cash. Attendees will be able to catch ’80s and country cover bands, as well as the 413’s own Dr. Westchesterson. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and showtimes vary by artist. For a full schedule and to purchase tickets, visit


HCC Pickleball Clinics

Through May: Holyoke Community College (HCC) has launched a series of Saturday pickleball clinics for beginners and those who want to improve their game all the way up to tournament-level play. The group classes are led by pickleball coach and racquet sports instructor Kelly Canniff, who has 25 years of experience educating children, adolescents, and adults. All sessions run on Saturdays from 8 to 9:30 a.m. on the new indoor pickleball courts at Bartley Center for Athletics and Recreation on the main HCC campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The cost for each three-session series is $75. The “Beginner Pickleball” clinic already began on Feb. 11 and will continue on Feb. 18 and 25, covering the rules of play, court layout, equipment, basic game play, and strategy. “Advanced Beginner Pickleball” will run March 4, 18, and April 1, and is designed for players who have taken the beginner classes or already have some familiarity and experience with the game and want to advance their play by improving their groundstrokes, overhead shots, volleys, and serves, as well as adding direction, control, and accuracy. “Intermediate Pickleball” runs April 8, 15, and 22 and will help players better understand court positioning; sustain longer rallies; improve strokes, volley, and drop shots; and focus on moving to the NVZ line, which marks the ‘non-volley zone,’ also known as the ‘kitchen.’ “Advanced Pickleball,” on May 13, 20, and 27, is designed to prepare players for tournament-level play, with practice to help them improve shot variety and accuracy and develop better strategies for playing doubles. To register, visit


Junior Achievement Bowl-a-Thon

Feb. 17: Junior Achievement of Western Massachusetts (JAWM) will hold its Bowl-a-Thon from 6 to 9 p.m. at Shaker Bowl in East Longmeadow. Registration fees will support Junior Achievement programs and events for youth throughout the region. In keeping with the Music Legend Night theme, prizes will be awarded for the best group, male, and female music-legend costumes. There are three levels of participation for bowling teams of four to five people: Perfect Game ($400), which includes T-shirts, three strings with shoe rental, a special JA gift per team, two large pizzas, soda, popcorn, and one alcoholic drink per adult player; Strike ($300), which includes T-shirts, three strings with shoe rental, a special JA gift per team, one large pizza, soda, and popcorn; and Spare ($200), which includes T-shirts, three strings with shoe rental, and a special JA gift per team. For more information or to register, visit


MOSSO Concert Series at Westfield Athenaeum

Feb. 23, March 23, April 20: The Westfield Athenaeum will present a three-concert chamber-music series with MOSSO (Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra) performing. This is the second year of this partnership. Guy McLain, executive director of the Westfield Athenaeum, will offer a pre-performance talk at 6 p.m., which is free to ticket holders. The Westfield Athenaeum series opens with MOSSO and Friends on Feb. 23. Violinist Beth Welty, horn player Sarah Sutherland, and pianist Elizabeth Skavish will perform horn trios of Frédéric Duvernoy, Trygve Madsen, and Johannes Brahms. Welty, chair of MOSSO, is acting principal second violin of MOSSO and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO). Sutherland, MOSSO and SSO horn player, is also MOSSO’s finance director. The series continues on Thursday, March 23 with a performance by the Vermont-based Champlain Trio, which includes MOSSO and SSO principal cello Emily Taubl. The Champlain Trio will perform “Brilliant Colors,” a program that features music by Tchaikovsky, Erik Neilsen (“Trio No. 2” written for the ensemble), Jennifer Higdon, Amy Beach, and Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.” The series concludes on Thursday, April 20 with MOSSO and SSO horn player Robert Hoyle’s quintet, the Connecticut-based Harmonia V. The quintet will celebrate April in Paris with an all-French program, featuring pieces by Barthe, Fauré, Ravel, Poulenc, Debussy, Pierné, and Lefebvre. Tickets for the concerts, $25 per person, must be purchased in advance at the Westfield Athenaeum during business hours, or online at


Springfield Thunderbirds Sensory-friendly Game

Feb. 26: The Springfield Thunderbirds, in conjunction with the Center for Human Development (CHD) and Springfield College’s Department of Occupational Therapy, will host their third annual sensory-friendly game at 3:05 p.m., when the Thunderbirds host the Charlotte Checkers. The game presentation will feature decreased stimulation, including no goal horn or noise meters, decreased microphone and music volume, no strobing lights, and consistent lighting throughout the game and pregame, as well as two ‘cool-down stations,’ quiet areas on the concourse and main entry level of the MassMutual Center, away from the seating bowl, and a ‘sensory story’ booklet and other supportive items for guests. Fans with questions regarding the sensory-friendly game can direct them to the Thunderbirds front office at (413) 739- 4625 or by visiting


Difference Makers Gala

April 27: The 15th annual Difference Makers Gala will be held at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Since 2009, BusinessWest has been recognizing the work of individuals, groups, businesses, and institutions through this recognition program. The 2023 Difference Makers are announced, and their stories told, in this issue of BusinessWest and at Tickets cost $85 each, and tables of 10-12 are available. To purchase tickets, visit Partner sponsors for this year’s program include Burkhart Pizzanelli, the Royal Law Firm, TommyCar Auto Group, and Westfield Bank.