40 Under Forty Nominations

Through Feb. 16: BusinessWest is currently accepting nominations for the 40 Under Forty class of 2023. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Feb. 16. 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 April 29 issue of BusinessWest and honored at the 40 Under Forty Gala in June. Event sponsorship opportunities are available.


Employment-law Breakfast

Feb. 15: Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C. will host a breakfast briefing from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel in Springfield. Attorneys from the firm will discuss strategies for defending and avoiding costly wage-and-hour lawsuits. The briefing, titled “Wage and Hour Law Update: Navigating 2024 and Beyond,” will highlight recent significant state and federal cases involving wage-and-hour issues; the proposed salary increase to the ‘white-collar’ overtime exemption minimum salary threshold and the impact of the proposed changes; common mistakes by employers; and suggested action steps for businesses, including the use of arbitration agreements. The cost for the briefing is $35 per person, which includes a continental breakfast and parking. For more information or to register, email [email protected] with the attendee’s name and company.


Western Mass Runners Hall of Fame Induction

March 8: The Western Mass Runners Hall of Fame (WMRHoF) board of directors announced the inductees of the third class. Since its inception, the WMRHoF has celebrated outstanding contributors to the running community, with its first class inducted in 2020 and the second in 2022. The third class inductees are Ric Bourie, Mary Cobb, Howard Drew, Sue Haryasz, Rich Larsen, Nicole McGilpin, Bob Neil, Bill Romito, Ed Sandifer, and John Stifler. In addition to these distinguished individuals, the charity organization Griffin’s Friends, which has supported children with cancer and their families for decades in the Springfield area by running and raising funds, will be inducted. Also, Neal Lamberton, a runner who has volunteered his time to the running community for years, will receive the Brian Goddu Volunteer of the Year Award, founded in memory of Goddu, a founding board member of the Western Mass Runners Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. at the Holyoke Elks Lodge. The guest speaker will be Bob Hodge, third-place finisher in the 1979 Boston Marathon, multiple Mount Washington Road Race champion, 40-year course record holder on the DH Jones/Amherst 10 Mile Course, and author of Tale of the Times. Tickets for the dinner and ceremony are priced at $20 and are available for purchase at For those unable to attend but wishing to support the WMRHoF mission, donations are welcome via the RunReg website.


Women’s Leadership Conference

April 4: Bay Path University announced that real-estate legend, investor, best-selling author, entrepreneur, producer, and Shark Tank shark Barbara Corcoran will be the keynote speaker at the 27th Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC), taking place at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield. Corcoran has been an investor/shark on ABC’s four-time Emmy award-winning show Shark Tank for 10 seasons, investing in more than 80 businesses to date. She chronicled her rise from waiting tables in a New York diner to heading a $5 billion real-estate company in her bestselling book, Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business! She’ll bring her personal brand of no-nonsense wisdom and supportive advice to the more than 1,600 attendees who are expected to attend this year’s WLC. The WLC will also feature lunchtime speaker Amy Purdy, a three-time Paralympic medalist in snowboarding for Team USA. Throughout her life, Purdy has taken on obstacles and broken through, making her way into the upper echelons of athletics, onto the dance floor of Dancing with the Stars, and onto the New York Times bestseller list as the author of On My Own Two Feet: From Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life. She co-founded Adaptive Action Sports for athletes with disabilities and is the host of the critically acclaimed podcast Bouncing Forward! Her work has led her to be labeled a “hero” by Oprah Winfrey and has made her one of the most in-demand motivational and corporate speakers on the globe. This year’s conference will also feature breakout sessions led by business experts and authors, including Yvonne Camus, the former COO of SPINCO, Canada’s largest indoor cycling brand and the only female to outperform the Navy Seals in the multi-terrain adventure race known as Eco-Challenge. In addition, the WLC will welcome Sylvia Baffour, an author, podcast host, and emotional-intelligence coach recently ranked by HubSpot among the top 15 female motivational speakers. Additional keynote and breakout session speakers will be announced soon. For further information on the 2024 conference, sponsorship information, and ticket sales, visit


Difference Makers 

April 10: The 16th 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 2024 Difference Makers will be profiled in the Feb. 19 issue of BusinessWest and at Tickets go on sale Feb. 15. Burkhart, Pizzanelli, P.C., the Royal Law Firm, and TommyCar Auto Group are partner sponsors of Difference Makers this year.