Agenda Departments


Building Your Future

Jan. 8: MassMutual and Western New England University are teaming up to present the MassMutual Building Your Future Conference from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at WNEU. More than 400 Springfield public- and private-school students in grades 10 through 12 are scheduled to attend.

The free conference is designed to give students the tools and knowledge to construct a blueprint for their education and careers. Workshops will touch on college and career planning, problem solving, and time- and money-management skills. MassMutual Academic Achievers earn an invitation to the conference by maintaining a B average or better for four consecutive marking periods during grades 10 through 12.

“Choosing the right career path is imperative to a successful future, but many of our young people aren’t aware of local career opportunities,” said Nick Fyntrilakis, vice president for Community Responsibility at MassMutual, adding that the conference “exposes students to career opportunities that are available in financial services at MassMutual and beyond. Our programs encourage students to excel academically and gain valuable exposure to rewarding careers.”

This year’s conference will offer students a variety of hands-on activities in various fields, including financial services, business, information technology, broadcast communications, criminal justice, medicine, and the sciences. Workshops will also address the college admissions process, paying for college, making a good first impression, and preparing for life’s curveballs. The keynote speaker will be Terrell Hill, principal at High School Inc., a four-year, college-preparatory school for students in grades 9 through 12 who are interested in pursuing careers in the insurance and financial-services industries. Other highlights of the conference include a video contest and a raffle featuring a laptop computer, flatscreen televisions, iPods, and other prizes. The snow date for the conference is Jan. 11. To register, visit


Essence Editor to Speak

Feb. 5: Susan Taylor of Essence magazine will speak at Springfield Technical Community College at 11 a.m. in the Scibelli Hall gym as part of the STCC Diversity Council Event Series. The presentation, which coincides with Black History Month, is free and open to the public. Taylor’s name is synonymous with Essence magazine, the brand she built as the magazine’s fashion and beauty editor, editor in chief, and editorial director. For nearly three decades, Taylor has been the driving force behind one of the most celebrated black-owned businesses of our time and a legend in the magazine-publishing world. For 27 years, Taylor authored one of the magazine’s most popular columns, “In the Spirit.” She is the only African-American woman to be recognized by the Magazine Publishers of America with the Henry Johnson Fisher Award, the industry’s highest honor, and the first to be inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. Taylor also is the recipient of the NAACP President’s Award for visionary leadership and has honorary degrees from more than a dozen colleges and universities.
A fourth-generation entrepreneur and the author of four books, she supports a host of organizations dedicated to moving the black community forward, but her passion and focus today is with the National Cares Mentoring Movement, a call to action which she founded in 2006 as Essence Cares. The National Cares Mentoring Movement ( is a massive campaign to recruit 1 million able adults to help secure children who are in peril and losing ground. Taylor’s presentation is sponsored by PeoplesBank, Hampden Bank, the STCC Diversity Council, the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services, Baystate Health, Health New England, MassMutual, and the United Way of Pioneer Valley.


40 Under Forty Reunion

Feb. 7: BusinessWest will stage a reunion featuring the first six classes of its 40 Under Forty program at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The event, open only to 40 Under Forty winners, event judges, and sponsors, will begin at 5:30 p.m. and feature a talk from Peter Straley, president of Health New England, about leadership and community involvement. For more information on the event, call (413) 781-8600 or e-mail [email protected].


Charlotte’s Web Exhibit

Through April 22: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst is offering a rare opportunity for guests to see selections from the 20th-century classic Charlotte’s Web, written by E.B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams. “Some Book! Some Art! Selected Drawings by Garth Williams for Charlotte’s Web” will be on exhibit through April 22, and celebrates Williams’s 100th birthday and the 60th anniversary of the book. For more information, visit, www.carle


Difference Makers 2013

March 21: The annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, starting at 5 p.m. Details on the event will be published in upcoming issues of the magazine. Difference Makers is a program, launched in 2009, that recognizes groups and individuals that are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. Several dozen nominations for the award have been received, and are now being reviewed. The winners will be announced in the magazine’s Feb. 11 issue. For more information, call (413) 781-8600.