Agenda Departments


‘Victorian Opulence’ Exhibit
Through April 2016: On April 7, the Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History unveiled a new exhibit titled “Victorian Opulence: Springfield’s Industrial Elite.” The exhibit, which runs through April 10, 2016, features a representative selection of the kinds of luxury and everyday items that would be found in the typical upper-class Victorian homes, while also exploring the lives and values of many of these prominent families. Using beautifully ornate objects from the Springfield Museums’ own collections, this exhibit provides a window into the lives of America’s privileged classes both at home and at play during the Victorian era. Some of the fine clothing and personal items, like elegant men’s pocket watches and ladies’ jewelry and hair combs, will be familiar to fans of Downton Abbey. Objects like grandfather clocks and gentleman’s ceremonial items exhibit a level of craftsmanship no longer evident today. The items on view tell many stories about their owners, the time and place in which they lived, and the level of wealth that allowed them to possess such luxury items. The exhibit covers the period between 1840 and 1900, a time when Springfield was a powerhouse of innovation and industry. Wealthy industrialists like Everett Barney, the inventor of the clamp-on ice skate, and railroad president and Congressman Chester Chapin displayed their success through their philanthropic pursuits and by making their homes into showpieces for their newfound wealth. The spirit of philanthropy shown by individuals like James Rumrill and George Walter Vincent Smith helped create some of Springfield’s most venerable institutions, including Forest Park and the Springfield Museums themselves.

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.

Remembrance Service
April 19: Families who have experienced the death of a child over the past year are invited to attend the annual Service of Remembrance held by Baystate Children’s Hospital. All family members and friends are invited to attend the event, which will be held at 1 p.m. at Baystate Medical Center’s Chestnut Conference Center at 759 Chestnut St., Springfield. It is also open to families with losses prior to 2014. Baystate Children’s Hospital staff will be in attendance at the event to remember and pay tribute to the children and families who were under their care. Families are asked to respond by April 13 with the number of adults and children planning to attend the event, as well as their child’s name, if they would like it printed in the memorial-service program. Families with earlier losses are simply asked to call and register. To respond, call Marge Bloom (413) 794-5559. “We hope that the Service of Remembrance and the reception that follows will provide a unique opportunity for a special group of families to come together to remember and honor their children,” said Bloom. The service will include readings, music, and a ceremony of light. Families can share a photograph or other memento of their child on a ‘table of memories’ at the event. They may also choose to have their child’s name printed in the program and read aloud during the service, regardless of whether they can attend. As part of the service, families will be given a piece of fabric which they can personalize in memory of their child before it is added, along with others, to create a memory quilt. The quilt will be displayed this September, along with other quilts created in past years, at Baystate’s annual Memorial Quilt Exhibit. For more information on Baystate Children’s Hospital, visit

Restaurant Week
April 23 to May 2: The Springfield City Council’s young professionals subcommittee, partnered with the Springfield Business Improvement District (BID), will serve up mouth-watering meals during Springfield Restaurant Week 2015. Many downtown and riverfront restaurants are featured in this event, including Chef Wayne’s Big Mamou, Currents (Marriott), Champions (Marriott), Luxe Burger Bar, Nadim’s Mediterranean, Panjabi Tadka, PICKS/MVP (Sheraton), Plan B Burger, the Fort/Student Prince, Theodore’s, Pizzeria Uno, Adolfo’s, McCaffrey’s Public House, Blackjack Steakhouse, and Shakago. Each restaurant will offer a special two- or three-course dinner menu for a set price of $20.15 per person. Further details and menus will be posted on City Councilor Justin Hurst, who chairs the young professionals subcommittee, noted that the event “is an opportunity for not only young professionals, but families and the community at large to experience the unique spread the city has to offer.” Added BID Assistant Director Morgan Drewniany, “we’re proud to forge a partnership with the YP subcommittee to promote a vibrant downtown through supporting Springfield restaurants.” Event sponsors include Baystate Health, Williams Distributing, White Lion Brewing Co., Garten, LLC Landscaping and Services, Farmington Bank, MassLive, and Inspired Marketing Inc.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake
April 25: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County will host Bowl for Kids’ Sake, the mentoring organization’s biggest annual fund-raiser, at the French King Entertainment Center in Erving from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The 45 year-old, donor-funded organization challenges everyone — mentors and mentees, their friends and families, business people, community leaders, and others who may not have time to mentor, but still support Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission — to join Bowl for Kids’ Sake help change the life of a child forever. For more than 40 years, Bowl for Kids’ Sake has supported Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across the country, becoming its premiere fund-raising event and raising $20 million nationwide each year. People interested in forming a team should contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County directly, via [email protected] or (413) 772-0915. Once a team is formed, each team member should starting soliciting donations from friends, colleagues, or family members. The minimum total pledge amount, per team member, is $75. In addition, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County is still accepting corporate sponsors for this event. Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2015 challenges bowlers to dress like a superhero. Prizes will be awarded to teams and individuals for creativity and team unity. In addition, all bowlers can qualify for gift certificates to area restaurants by raising $100 or more; all bowlers who raise $75 or more automatically receive a free T-shirt. The day will also include 50/50 raffles, a photo booth provided by Base Camp Photo, music, food, drink, and more.

Military Ball & Gala
April 25: The Pioneer Valley USO announced that the fifth annual Military Ball & Gala Honoring Our Troops will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Presenting sponsors include Steve Lewis Subaru and 1812 Auto Body, and the Purple Heart sponsor is Bay Path University. Music will be provided by the Bronx Wanderers. Tickets are available by calling the USO office in Chicopee at (413) 557-3290. The Military Ball & Gala is the largest fund-raising effort of the year and funds many of the Pioneer Valley USO’s programs and services. It was designed in keeping with the long-standing traditions of formal military balls while allowing the public to attend and participate in a gala evening. Military formal and business dress is required. The Pioneer Valley USO serves the needs of active military and their families through the efforts of volunteers, the board of directors, and the public.

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

VVM Awards Ceremony
April 30: Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) will host its inaugural Accelerator Awards event at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The event will honor recent graduates of its new Accelerator Program, which is currently grooming 29 startup teams from across the Pioneer Valley for success by imparting meaningful business knowledge, structure, and tools. During the awards ceremony, the organization will award grants of up to $50,000 each to startup teams selected as finalists. The event runs from 5 to 8:30 p.m. and will include a lively networking reception as well as a dinner and awards program, featuring startup teams and an address by John Harthorne, founder and CEO of MassChallenge. This year’s Accelerator Program is funded by MassMutual, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, with the mission to support an entrepreneurial renaissance in Springfield and the Pioneer Valley. According to VVM founder Paul Silva, “this event is the ideal opportunity to see firsthand the excitement that VVM and the Accelerator Program are generating, so we hope everyone who is interested in learning about VVM’s work will join us for an inspiring evening.” During the four-month Accelerator Program, each team is assigned to a peer-supported group, introduced to VVM advisors, and provided free co-working space in downtown Springfield. The teams engage in investment-readiness boot camps with hands-on training, expert-led lectures, peer collaboration, advisor meetings, and practice judging rounds. Teams also participate in VVM’s ongoing weekly workshops that cover strategy, innovation, marketing, sales, team building/dynamics, best practices, fund-raising, and introductions to term-sheet and valuation processes. “VVM takes a lovingly critical approach to training its startups,” Silva said. “We put the entrepreneur first in every endeavor.” The positive, rigorous training program is structured around the Lean LaunchPad curriculum, which emphasizes achieving the highest possible investment-readiness level and overcoming the three main causes of startup death: failing to achieve product-market fit, premature scaling, and team-member dynamics. “We provide comprehensive, effective resources for our teams,” Silva added. “Our real aim is to provide our groups with preparation beyond the presentation. We want them to build their businesses for the long term.”

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. 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.

Valley Fest
Aug. 29: White Lion Brewing Co. announced that it will host its inaugural beer festival, called Valley Fest, at Court Square in downtown Springfield. MGM Springfield will be the presenting sponsor. The festival is poised to be White Lion’s signature annual event, introducing the young brand to craft-beer enthusiasts throughout New England and beyond. White Lion Brewing Co., the city of Springfield’s only brewery, launched in October 2014. Founder Ray Berry and brewmaster Mike Yates have released three selections under the White Lion brand and have been busy promoting their efforts in venues all over Massachusetts and other New England states. “Valley Fest will have the best of the best local, regional, and national beer and hard cider brands,” Berry said. “Even in our inaugural year, Valley Fest will be the largest one-day beer festival in Western Massachusetts. We expect to draw up to 2,000 enthusiasts from throughout New England. We are very excited to showcase the fourth-largest city in New England and all of its amenities.” Berry anticipates that more than 50 breweries and many local food vendors will converge on Court Square for two sessions. Enthusiasts will have an opportunity to sample more than 100 varieties of beer and hard cider alongside pairing selections by local chefs. Michael Mathis, MGM Springfield president, said “the local entrepreneurial spirit of White Lion Brewing, coupled with the historic Court Square setting, is a winning combination to start a new Springfield tradition.” A number of sponsors have already committed to the event, including MassMutual Financial Group, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, the Dennis Group, Springfield Sheraton Monarch Place, Paragus Strategic IT, Williams Distributing, and the Springfield Business Improvement District (BID). “We are honored to sponsor Valley Fest and look forward to it being an annual event that shares in the facilitation of growth within the downtown community,” said Chris Russell, executive director of the Springfield BID. Visit for event details, ongoing updates, and sponsorship opportunities.

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