First-time Homebuyer Webinar Series

March 15, 16, 23: Greenfield Cooperative Bank is participating with Valley Community Development on a webinar series for first-time homebuyers. In this Zoom webinar, attendees will get the facts from real-estate professionals, including attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, home inspectors, and housing counselors; learn tips about how to improve their credit; and be able to ask questions to help them proceed and protect their own interests as they approach this life decision. Missy Tetreault, AVP and senior mortgage originator, and Kim Gates, mortgage originator, will be panelists at this event. The cost is $50 for two adults in the same household. Registration is non-refundable, and attendance is required at all three sessions. Each session will be hosted via a unique Zoom webinar link from 6 to 9 p.m. Participants will receive the Zoom links on the day of each session. Learn more at Register online at


Free Line-cook Training

March 20 to April 21: Holyoke Community College (HCC) will run a new round of free line-cook training classes at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. The five-week program runs Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program is designed for those already in the restaurant industry who want to upgrade their skills as well as unemployed or underemployed individuals interested in starting new careers. The program, which is free to qualifiying applicants, is taught both online and in person at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute at 164 Race St., Holyoke. Participants will learn all the essential competencies they need to become successful line cooks: knife skills; how to prepare stocks, soups, sauces, desserts, poultry, fish, and meat; culinary math and measurements; moist- and dry-heat cooking methods; as well as workplace soft skills, such as building a résumé and searching for jobs. For more information, contact Laura Smith, HCC job-placement assistant and career-development counselor, at [email protected] or (413) 552-2833, or fill out the inquiry form at


World Affairs Council Talk on American Journalists in China

March 21: The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts will present former CNN Beijing Bureau Chief and Northampton native Mike Chinoy on his new book, Assignment China: An Oral History of American Journalists in the People’s Republic, at a luncheon at noon at the Student Prince in downtown Springfield. The event is open to the public, and the cost is $45, including a buffet lunch. To reserve a space, call (413) 733-0110. The book tells the story of how American journalists have covered China — from the civil war of the 1940s through the COVID-19 pandemic — in their own words. They share behind-the-scenes stories of reporting on historic moments such as Richard Nixon’s groundbreaking visit in 1972, China’s opening up to the outside world and its emergence as a global superpower, and the crackdowns in Tiananmen Square and Xinjiang. Chinoy is a non-resident senior fellow at the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California. He spent 24 years as a foreign correspondent for CNN, serving as the network’s first Beijing bureau chief and senior Asia correspondent. Before joining CNN, he worked for CBS News and NBC News. He won Emmy, Dupont, and Peabody awards for his coverage of China.


EANE Leadership Summit

March 29: The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast (EANE) will host its annual Leadership Summit on Wednesday, March 29 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. Faced with myriad workforce challenges — hybrid work, shifting market dynamics, and new attitudes toward work in general, to name a few — leaders in the Northeast may be struggling to keep up with change. In fact, a 2023 Deloitte survey found that only 24% of C-suite executives and board members feel their organizations are ready to make the changes needed to navigate the new workforce. 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. Waddell’s inspiring presentation will challenge attendees to bring integrity to their leadership responsibilities, even when times get tough. The closing keynote will be presented by Mohammad Anwar and Frank Danna, Wall Street Journal bestselling co-authors of Love as a Business Strategy. Through compelling storytelling, Anwar and Danna will provide attendees with a new, people-first framework for achieving any business outcome. They help leaders achieve better results by transforming behaviors and providing tactics to build high-performing, reliable teams that inspire a feeling of belonging that is led with love. 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. Organizations that register six or more participants get 10% off each registration, reserved seating, a personalized post-summit debrief with a member of EANE staff, and more. Grant funding is available to Massachusetts attendees through the Express Program and Rhode Island attendees through the Incumbent Worker Grant. The program will offer credits for HR Certification Institute and SHRM. 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. The lunch sponsor is M&T Bank. The panel sponsor is Westfield Bank. The network sponsors are Smith Executive Education and USI Insurance. The small-business sponsors are Lovelace Design and Rooted Flowers. 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



June 23-25: Registration for Hooplandia, a 3×3 basketball tournament and festival, is now open at and includes levels of play for all ages and divisions. The tournament, presented by the Eastern States Exposition (ESE) and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, will take place on the grounds of ESE in West Springfield June 23-25, with special games at the Hall of Fame in Springfield. The event is expected to attract thousands of fans and players as hundreds of games take place across more than 70 courts. Divisions of play have been created to provide an all-inclusive environment for players of all ages and playing abilities. With brackets that include veterans, first responders, youth, wheelchair athletes, college elites, and many more, there’s a spot on the court for everyone. Players are invited to build teams of four, create their own unique team name and uniforms, and register at Team fees range from $75 to $190, with children under 8 and participants in the Special Olympics category being free of charge. Hooplandia has teamed up with Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the region as its designated philanthropic partner, providing $10 from every team registration to support the mission and programs of the clubs. Partnership opportunities for Hooplandia are available at a variety of levels to help underwrite all areas of play, including Boys & Girls Club youth, active military, veterans divisions, and more. Anyone interested should email [email protected] Hooplandia welcomes participation from youth team referees, scorekeepers, Fan Village contest facilitators, and volunteers for myriad duties to help make this inaugural year a success. Those interested in participating in this groundbreaking event can fill out the volunteer form at

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