Agenda Departments


‘Creating and Leveraging Networks for Success’
March 25: Leadership Pioneer Valley (LPV) will present “Creating and Leveraging Networks for Success” from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke. The program will feature Gibran Rivera, senior associate at the Interaction Institute for Social Change in Boston. He will provide a crash course on strategic networking and educate attendees on how to thrive in a networked world, strategize as a networked professional, and overcome networking obstacles. Rivera moved from Puerto Rico to Westfield at age 12 and says the experience of “becoming a minority” has come to define his life’s work. He is the originator of Start & Thrive Studio and maintains a long-time affiliation with the Interaction Institute for Social Change, where he works on the development of leaders, organizations, and networks, and uses coaching, training, process design, and facilitation in service of those who are committed to social transformation. The program is being sponsored by Griffin Staffing Network. The cost is $45 for LPV members and $60 for non-members. For more information or to register, call (413) 737-3876.

Spaghetti Supper
March 25: The Gray House will hold its 24th annual Spaghetti Supper from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Greek Cultural Center, 22 St. George St., Springfield. This special event is a crucial fund-raiser for the Gray House, typically attracting about 400 attendees. Tickets for the event are $5 for adults and $3 for children, and may be purchased at the door. In addition to the supper, there will be a raffle and a silent auction. This year, first prize at the raffle is a foursome to the Ranch Golf Club in Southwick, valued at $400. The East Longmeadow Knights of Columbus Council #9960 will once again be cooking the meal for the spaghetti supper. All proceeds will help the Gray House provide food, clothing, and educational services to neighbors in need. This year, the Gray House will honor Bay Path University (BPU) for its overall support. “We’re excited to honor Bay Path and acknowledge their assistant director of Student Activities, Michelle Mirti, and Dr. Kathryn Wiezbicki-Stevens from the Psychology Department,” said Dena Calvanese, executive director of the Gray House. “These two women have introduced many fantastic Bay Path students to the Gray House, and some of those students have become dedicated, compassionate, and very active volunteers. The Gray House relies on volunteers, and the Bay Path community truly makes a difference for the Gray House and, more importantly, to the people we serve.” The Gray House is a small, neighborhood agency located in and serving the North End of Springfield, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods and one of the poorest in the state, where than 50% of residents live in poverty and struggle to meet their daily needs. The Gray House assists by providing food, clothing, adult education, and after-school and summer programming for children, and has been providing such support for 30 years and assisted nearly 11,000 people in 2014. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (413) 734-6696, e-mail [email protected], or visit

EANE Management Conference
March 26: The Employers Association of the NorthEast (EANE) announced that its 11th annual Management Conference will be held at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, with a focus on employee engagement. The full-day conference will address how managers and supervisors can create a culture of engagement, alignment, and loyalty to improve organizational performance. “Statistics show that only 29% of the workforce is engaged, while 45% is not engaged and, most alarming, 26% is disengaged,” said Meredith Wise, EANE president. “The benefits of high employee engagement are clear.” The program will feature Kevin Kruse, an expert on the power of leadership and employee engagement, and leadership columnist for Forbes. He is a New York Times bestselling author of Employee Engagement 2.0 and Employee Engagement for Everyone. The conference also includes a peer panel discussion on engagement, breakout sessions, and a special presentation on “Creating a POP! Culture of Engagement” with Rich Trombetta of Innovation Is Easy. The cost for the program is $325 per person, with discounts for three or more. Register at or by calling (877) 662-6444. The program will offer 6.25 credits from the HR Certification Institute. Sponsoring the program are United Personnel and the CPA firm Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.

Red Cross Open House
March 26: The American Red Cross of Western Massachusetts will host a recruitment event and open house 2 to 7 p.m. at its new location at 150 Brookdale Dr., Springfield. The goal of the event is to showcase all of the volunteer opportunities available in community. Prospective volunteers will be able to visit table displays representing the programs and services of the Red Cross. Attendees can speak with active volunteers who can answer questions about what is involved. Opportunities exist to respond to local disasters and provide relief to victims, including sheltering and feeding on larger events, working as a liaison with Red Cross partners, assisting with registration at blood drives, or staffing the reception desk. There are also openings to teach CPR, first aid, and preparedness education or help with various office-related tasks. “The Red Cross provides the training and resources to enable our volunteers to truly make a difference in our community,” said Mary Nathan, disaster program manager. The Red Cross asks that people consider sharing their time and talent to make a difference in the community, and visit the open house. Tours will be offered to all who attend. For more information, e-mail [email protected]

Home & Garden Show
March 26-29: The original Western Massachusetts Home & Garden Show will take place at the Eastern States Exposition, in the Better Living Center and the Young Building, showcasing the latest trends from local home-improvement businesses, including Boilard Lumber, Baystate Rug & Flooring, Hampden Zimmerman Lighting Design Showroom, Ondrick Natural Earth, Serv-U Locksmiths, and Yankee Mattress Factory. The Home & Garden Show is the region’s premier show for preparing consumers and construction professionals for the upcoming building season. From first-time homeowners and weekend-warrior renovation enthusiasts to lawn and garden experts and contractors, the Home & Garden Show offers home-improvement and commercial-building solutions for a wide audience. The days and hours are Thursday, March 26, 2 to 9 p.m.; Friday, March 27, 1 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, March 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission is $10 per person. Children under 12 are free. Active military and veterans get free admission on Thursday with valid ID. Visit the Home & Garden Show website,, for reduced-admission coupons.
Legends of Music
March 29: A rock and roll tribute to the legends of American music will help to raise funds for the local USO of Pioneer Valley. The show will take place at Chez Josef in Agawam, with cocktails at 4 p.m., seating at 5 p.m., and the show beginning at 6 p.m. Local tribute artists include Ray Guillemette Jr. as Elvis Presley, Rick Larimore as Rod Stewart, Ben Ashley as Buddy Holly, Charlie Lask as Neil Diamond, Atoa Ripley with a tribute to Lou Rawls and Tom Jones, Brian McCullough with a tribute to Roy Orbison, Erving Lewis as Lionel Ritchie, Patrick Tobin with a tribute to Frank Sinatra, Nicky Fuller as Lady Gaga, Gregorio Malante as Tina Turner, and Vicki Rose with a tribute to Celine Dion. All will be backed up by Joe Perreira’s Western Mass All Stars. Tickets cost $20 and are available at Chez Josef. Call the Chez Josef box office at (413) 355-5394 to reserve a seat.

Transitioning Business Ownership
March 31: One of the largest challenges facing business owners today is how to solve the question, “how do I get out of my business?” If you are like 2.7 million American business owners over the age of 55, the answer carries a greater significance. The country is embarking on the largest transition of business ownership in history, yet three out of four owners haven’t taken a single step to prepare for what will be the most competitive sellers’ market ever. The good news is, it’s not too late to start planning. Kevin and Michael Vann of the Vann Group are providing a primer on what you need to know about the succession/transition planning process from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Colony Club in Springfield. Topics to be discussed include the current transition/succession landscape, establishing transition expectations and objectives, business valuation facts and realities, family and partner dynamics, exit options and structure considerations, preparing the company for transition, and your advisors and the value they create. Breakfast will be served, and each attendee will receive a free, customized Business Exit/Transition Readiness Analysis ($1,000 value). To register, contact Michael Wright at (413) 543-2776 or [email protected], or register online.

ACCGS [email protected]

April 1: The Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield (ACCGS) April [email protected] will feature a Mayors’ Forum as the highlight of the event from 7:15 to 9 a.m. at the Delaney House, 3 Country Club Road, Holyoke, sponsored by United Personnel Services. Dave Madsen, managing editor and primary anchor for abc40, will moderate an informal discussion with West Springfield Mayor Edward Sullivan, Westfield Mayor Daniel Knapik, and Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The discussion will provide attendees with an inside look at the personal and professional lives of these elected officials. Sullivan is halfway through his first term as mayor. Knapik has served as mayor of Westfield since 2010 and announced this year that he is seeking out new challenges and will not be running for another term. Sarno has announced his candidacy for a fourth term in office. If elected and he completes the entire term, it would make him the longest-standing mayor in Springfield’s history. [email protected] is a monthly series that pays tribute to individuals, businesses, and organizations for major contributions to civic and economic growth and for actions that bring honor to the region. Tickets are $20 for ACCGS members and $30 for general admission. Reservations are suggested and can be made online at or by contacting Member Services Director Sarah Mazzaferro at [email protected]. Sponsorship opportunities are also available; contact Mazzaferro at (413) 755-1313 for information.

Employment-law Seminar
April 9: Due to the high volume of interest, Royal LLP will present an encore of its seminar pertaining to three major changes in employment law that every employer needs to be aware of for 2015. The seminar will take place from 8 to 9 a.m. at the company’s offices at 270 Pleasant St., Northampton. At this roundtable, the company will focus on sick leave, domestic-violence leave, and paternity leave, and will also flag an issue with respect to the Affordable Care Act relating to healthcare reimbursement, as well as minimum wage. The seminar will be led by principal Amy Royal. Cost is $30 per person; payments may be mailed to Royal LLP, 270 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060. Advance registration is required, and seating will be limited. Contact Ann-Marie Marcil at [email protected] to register.

Not Just Business as Usual
April 30: The Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) Foundation’s Not Just Business as Usual (NJBAU) event is one of the premiere networking events for business leaders in Western Mass. This annual celebration, in its sixth year, is a celebration of innovative thinking which gives participants the opportunity to learn from business experts while raising significant funding for the STCC WORKS scholarship program. The event will be held at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. A cocktail and networking reception will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m., with dinner and the keynote speaker, Google Engineering Director Steve Vinter, to follow from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Vinter has overseen the growth of Google’s Cambridge site from 15 software engineers in 2007 to more than 900 today. He is responsible for developing digital-publishing products such as Google eBooks, Google Play Newsstand, and Play for Education, and has over 20 years of industry experience working in the Boston area, focusing on building products and services for hundreds of millions of users of mobile and cloud computing. He also is the co-founder of MassCAN, a partnership of organizations which collaborate to inspire and educate students in Massachusetts to learn computing and prepare them to lead and innovate the future economy, which will be driven by computer technology. This year, NJBAU will feature interactive workstations featuring the STCC Mobile SIM and Engineering program. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are now available. Tickets are $100 each, and sponsorships begin at $1,500. For additional information or to become a sponsor, contact Christina Tuohey, STCC director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, at (413) 755-4475 or [email protected] To purchase tickets online, visit

May 12-14: With manufacturing a driving force of economic growth in the Northeast, as well as across the U.S., more than 12,000 business owners, engineers, designers, production managers, and purchasing executives will gather at EASTEC, the East Coast’s premier manufacturing event. Produced by SME, the biennial event takes place at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield and features more than 650 exhibitors and three days of complimentary educational sessions. In its 34th year, the event showcases the latest manufacturing technologies from additive manufacturing/3D printing to waterjet cutting, and provides access to industry experts sharing insights on how to foster innovation, increase productivity, and improve profits. This year, attendees will also get to see more than 300 new products being highlighted at the show. At EASTEC, attendees will have the opportunity to connect with resources, research and purchase the latest technologies, and discover ways to improve productivity and increase profits. Meanwhile, the complimentary educational sessions will address trending topics such as automation innovations and Lean creativity, along with other major advancements in manufacturing. New features in 2015 will include keynote presentations from Carl Palme, applications product manager, Rethink Robotics; and Jason Prater, vice president of Development, Plex Systems, that will help with solving complex issues that U.S. manufacturers face today. EASTEC also will highlight the Bright Minds Program, designed to educate the next-generation workforce on the advancements in manufacturing that make it an exciting and rewarding career path. Winners of the Bright Minds Dream It! Do It! Student Challenge will be recognized at a special program during the three-day event. EASTEC is recommended for professionals in industries such as aerospace, defense, medical, automotive, commercial machinery, electronics, fabricating, and plastics. The event is nearly sold out, so SME encourages companies to reserve exhibit space before it’s too late. To learn more about EASTEC, view full conference and exhibit details, or register, visit

40 Under Forty
June 18: The ninth annual 40 Under Forty award program, staged by BusinessWest, will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. Details on the event, which honors the region’s most accomplished and civic-minded professionals under age 40, will be published in upcoming issues. The class of 2015 will be revealed and profiled in the April 20 issue.

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