Difference Makers Nominations

Through Dec. 8: 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 16th annual Difference Makers program. Nominations for the class of 2024 must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 8. 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. 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.


Community Giving Initiative

Through Dec. 31: Monson Savings Bank (MSB) is inviting the public to submit their votes for the bank’s 2024 Community Giving Initiative. For more than a decade, MSB has sought the help of community members to plan the bank’s community giving activities. Each year, the bank encourages the public to vote for the nonprofit charitable organizations they would like the bank to support during the coming year. Everyone is welcome to cast their vote online at Voters may provide the names of up to three organizations they would like MSB to donate to in 2024. The only requirements are that a nominee is designated a nonprofit and provides services within the bank’s geography. Monson Savings Bank pledges to support the 10 organizations that receive the highest number of votes. The top 10 vote recipients will be announced by mid-January. Visitors to the voting page can also view a compiled list of organizations that the bank has supported in years past, as well as previously nominated organizations.


Women of Impact

Dec. 7: BusinessWest will honor its sixth annual Women of Impact at Sheraton Springfield. Tickets cost $95 per person, and tables of 10 are available. To purchase tickets, visit The class of 2023, profiled in the Oct. 16 issue of BusinessWest and at, are: Fredrika Ballard, president, Aero Design Aircraft Services and Fly Lugu Flight Training; Carla Cosenzi, president, TommyCar Auto Group; Arlyana Dalce-Bowie, CEO, Moms in Power; Sandra Doran, president, Bay Path University; Dr. Khama Ennis, founder, Faces of Medicine and Intentional Health, LLC; Dawn Forbes DiStefano, president and CEO, Square One; Amy Jamrog, CEO, the Jamrog Group; Michelle Theroux, CEO, Berkshire Hills Music Academy; and Lisa Zarcone, author, speaker, and child and mental-health advocate. The event is sponsored by Country Bank and TommyCar Auto Group (presenting sponsors) and Comcast Business (partner sponsor).


Eat, Drink, & Be Holyoke

Dec. 7: The Holyoke Rotary Club announced the return of Eat, Drink, & Be Holyoke, its premier tasting fundraiser and silent auction. The event will take place at the Holyoke City Hall Ballroom at 5:30 p.m. following the sealing of the Holyoke 150th-anniversary time capsule. Eat, Drink, & Be Holyoke will feature food prepared by 110 Grill, Amedeo’s, Crave, Fame, Hamel’s Summit View, Iona’s Kitchen, Kate’s Kitchen, Pics Pub, Rusty’s Place, the White Hut, and Woodstone Tavern. Additionally, Brennan’s Place will provide various alcohol tastings from local and regional breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Tickets cost $50 and can be purchased online at Proceeds will go toward supporting Rotary projects.