Agenda Departments


Affiliated Chambers’ [email protected]
Jan. 7: The entrepreneurial spirit of the region will take center stage at the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield’s [email protected] on Jan. 7, from 7:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Ludlow Country Club, One Tony Lema Dr., Ludlow. Paul Silva, executive director of Valley Venture Mentors (VVM), will discuss “Putting the PIONEER Back in Pioneer Valley.” He will be joined by Natasha Clark, founder of, a Western Mass.-based, all-digital magazine for the female entrepreneur. VVM is a nonprofit based in Springfield that provides key support to the entrepreneurial ecosystem through its mentorship and accelerator programs. Silva is the manager of the River Valley Investors angel-investor network and co-founder of the Valley Venture Mentors entrepreneurship-mentoring program and All in Play, a company creating software that helps the blind socialize with their fully sighted friends and families as equals. He is the former president of the co-working space and incubator Click Workspace. The breakfast will also honor Dr. Mark Keroack on his new role as CEO of Baystate Health, and recognize Andrew Associates on its 30th anniversary in business. Reservations are $20 for ACCGS members in advance ($25 for members at the door) and $30 for general admission. Reservations are suggested and can be made online at

WNEU Mini-Law School
Feb. 10 to March 10: Western New England University School of Law will open its doors to the community with a five-week program focused on demystifying the law. Starting on Feb. 10, the Mini-Law School will be held on Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Blake Law Center, Room D, 1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield. “Individuals interested in becoming better-informed and engaging in stimulating dialogue will find this program rewarding,” said Pat Newcombe, associate dean for Library and Information Resources. “No legal knowledge is necessary, just a curious mind.” Mini-Law School offers non-lawyers an understanding of legal topics that impact their lives. Each class is taught by School of Law faculty and moderated by the Hon. Kenneth Neiman, magistrate judge, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts. Blending theory and practice, classes will focus on family law, health law, constitutional law, and environmental law. They include:
• Feb. 10: “Welcome to Mini-Law School: An Inside View of Law School and the Courts,” presented by Neiman and School of Law Dean Eric Gouvin;
• Feb. 17: “Family Law: What Defines a Family?” presented by 
Professor of Law Jennifer Levi and Neiman;
• Feb. 24: “Health Law: End-of-Life Choices,” presented by 
Professor of Law Barbara Noah and Neiman;
• March 3: “Constitutional Law: Real Law or Just Another Kind of Politics?” presented by Professor of Law Bruce Miller and Neiman; and
• March 10: “Environmental Law: Legal Solutions to Pollution Challenges,” presented by 
Professor of Law Julie Steiner and Neiman.
“After five weeks, you won’t be a lawyer,” said Western New England University Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Beth Cohen, “but you will be able to better understand laws that have an effect on your life, and, unlike traditional law school, there are no tests or homework.” Tuition is $35 for all five sessions, or $10 for each individual session. The program is free of charge for any high-school, college, or graduate student with a valid student ID. To register by phone or for more information, call Newcombe at (413) 782-1616. Registration will continue through Jan. 19. Learn more at

Difference Makers
March 19:
The sixth annual Difference Makers award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. 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. The magazine’s editor and publishers are currently reviewing nominations, and this year’s class will be profiled in the Feb. 9 issue.

Origami-inspired Art Exhibit
Through April 26: “Origami Interpretations,” an exhibit of 25 vibrant paintings, sculptures, and prints by New York artist Gloria Garfinkel, will be on view at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum through April 26. The works, produced in the late 20th century, feature bold color, energetic patterns, and abstract compositions inspired by Japanese designs and origami forms. The exhibit will also serve to complement the extensive collection of Japanese decorative art from the 18th and 19th centuries on view on the second floor of the museum, and masterpieces of Japanese arms and armor in the gallery at the south end of the building.

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