Ubora, Ahadi Award Nominations

Through March 31: The Springfield Museums is seeking nominations for the annual Ubora Award and Ahadi Youth Award. These prestigious awards — conferred by the African Hall Subcommittee — are awarded to African-American people from Greater Springfield who have demonstrated commitment, above and beyond, to fields of community service, education, science, humanities and/or the arts. The nomination deadline for both awards is March 31. True to the Swahili word that comprises its name, the Ubora Award recognizes an adult of African heritage who exemplifies excellence in their commitment to creating a better community through service. In 2022, the Ubora Award was given to Dr. Gerald “Bruce” Cutting and Carol Moore Cutting. Named for the Swahili word for promise, the Ahadi Youth Award is presented to a young African-American who excels in academics and performs admirable service to the Greater Springfield community. Eligible candidates must be age 19 or younger, live in or have strong ties to the Greater Springfield area, and be currently enrolled in grades 10, 11, or 12. In 2022, the Ahadi Award was given to Kayla Staley. The Ubora and Ahadi awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Springfield Museums in the fall. Nomination forms are available at In addition to the electronic form, nominations may be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to African Hall Subcommittee, Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield, MA 01103.


Pynchon Award Nominations

Through March 31: The Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts is seeking nominations from throughout Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties for the Pynchon Award, which recognizes citizens of this region who have rendered outstanding commitment to the community. The Order of William Pynchon was established by the Advertising Club in 1915 to recognize and encourage individuals whose lives and achievements typify the ideals of promoting citizenship and the building of a better community in Western Mass. Past recipients include community volunteers, social activists, teachers, journalists, public servants, business leaders, philanthropists, historians, physicians, and war heroes — a diverse group united by their passion for our region. To nominate an individual, submit a letter explaining why the nominee should be considered. Be sure to include biographical information, outstanding accomplishments, examples of service to the community, organizations he or she is or has been active in, and the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least three people who can further attest to the nominee’s eligibility for induction into the Order of William Pynchon. The Pynchon trustees reserve the right to eliminate nominations from consideration due to insufficient information. Nominations must be submitted by March 31 to William Pynchon Trustees, Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts, P.O. Box 1022, West Springfield, MA 01090-1022, or by email to [email protected]. The 2023 recipients will be announced in June, with an awards ceremony tentatively scheduled for the fall.


‘Economics of Climate Change’

March 1: Matthew Gibson, associate professor of Economics at Williams College, will give a talk titled “Economics of Climate Change” at 5:30 p.m. at the MCLA Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, Room 121. This event is free and open to the public as part of MCLA’s Green Living Seminar series. Gibson is a research affiliate at the Institute of Labor Economics who works in environmental and labor economics, particularly time use, wage determination, air pollution, and flood risk. He received his PhD from the University of California San Diego. MCLA’s annual Green Living Seminar Series continues through April 19, presenting a series of lectures on the theme of “Capitalism and the Environment.” Every semester, the Green Living Seminar Series centers around a different topic that’s timely and relevant to current sustainability issues. The 2023 series is a presentation of the MCLA Environmental Studies Department. Podcasts will be posted online following each presentation at


Celebrity Bartender Fundraiser

March 8: I Found Light Against All Odds announced its first annual Celebrity Bartender fundraising event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at Plan B Restaurant in Springfield. The event will help the nonprofit continue to support at-risk youth and families in need and assist with the purchase of a home for homeless teen girls. A silent donor has pledged to match up to $100,000 to help with the purchase of the home. Michelle Brooks-Thompson will be performing at the event. She is an award-winning recording artist, a finalist on the third season of The Voice, a vocal coach, a motivational speaker, and CEO of MBT Music Inc. She has performed at many professional sporting events, singing the national anthem. She will perform “Never Give Up” at the I Found Light Against All Odds fundraiser. Celebrity bartenders for the evening include Kristine Puglisi Allard (Square One), Raymond Berry Jr. (White Lion Brewing Co.), Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, Dawn Creighton (Community Connector), state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez, Springfield City Councilor Justin Hurst, Nadim Kashouh (Nadim’s Mediterranean Restaurant), Springfield City Council President Jesse Lederman, Waleska Lugo (Inclusive Strategies, LLC), Dan Moriarty (Monson Savings Bank), state Sen. Jake Oliveira, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Payton Shubrick (6 Brick’s), Alethea Stevenson (Center School After School Program), and Jeff Sullivan (New Valley Bank & Trust).


Outlook 2023

March 10: Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey will keynote the Springfield Regional Chamber’s premier legislative and economic forecasting event of the year from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Taking place in Exhibition Hall at the MassMutual Center, Outlook brings together business leaders and local, state, and federal policymakers to discuss this year’s economic outlook. This will be the first in-person Outlook event since 2020. Along with Healey, Outlook will feature a diverse lineup of speakers, with more presenters being announced within the coming weeks. Tickets for Outlook 2023 cost $75 for Springfield Regional Chamber members and $100 for general admission. The registration deadline is March 6. Reserved tables of 10 are available. Visit to register. For additional information, email [email protected] or call (413) 755-1309.



EANE Leadership Summit

March 29: The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast will host its annual Leadership Summit at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. With a focus on navigating the new workforce, the summit will showcase tangible ways leaders can adapt to workplace dynamics that have significantly shifted in the three years since the onset of COVID-19. The program will feature an opening keynote from U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Famer Chris Waddell. A Western Mass. native, Waddell’s keynote will share his insights and experience as the first nearly unassisted paraplegic to summit Mr. Kilimanjaro. The closing keynote will be presented by Mohammad Anwar and Frank Danna, bestselling co-authors of Love as a Business Strategy. Attendees will also have access to 10 breakout sessions with topics including coaching and development, unlocking one’s potential, mastering time management, engaging multiple generations, avoiding legal landmines, mitigating conflict, leading with empathy, and more. Register and learn more at


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 was announced, and their stories told, in the Feb. 20 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 P.C., the Royal Law Firm, TommyCar Auto Group, and Westfield Bank.


Pioneer Valley Conference for Women

May 4: The Pioneer Valley Conference for Women will host its first in-person event at the Marriott in downtown Springfield. The theme of the conference is “Let Go.” Leading the speaker lineup are Paulette Piñero, social entrepreneur, writer, and leadership coach, and Yvonne Williams, author of Tested Faith and It’s All About the Shoes. Each will provide a keynote address to an expected audience of more than 300 attendees. The conference highlights topics that were chosen by the women of Western Mass., based on current trends and interests. Alison Maloni, owner of Alison May Public Relations, news anchor for a national network, and bestselling author of Breaking in the News: Build Buzz for Your Brand, will emcee the conference. Local comedian Jess Miller will entertain attendees during a VIP Comedy Kick-off the evening before the conference; tickets cost $35. The cost to attend the Pioneer Valley Conference is $52, which includes breakfast, lunch, a swag bag, and an afternoon celebration with a female DJ and complementary wine and hors d’oeuvres following the full-day conference. Keeping with the goal of accessibility, the conference will also be available virtually for those who are more comfortable watching through a screen. Sessions will be taped for future viewing. For more information on keynote speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, and panelists, visit