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Daily News

AGAWAM — The Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast announced that Mark Snow has joined EANE as the new director of Learning & Development.

Snow describes his passion for learning and development as going beyond training, where performance is a process to measurable behavior or productivity changes. He has been a frequent speaker at major conferences and events on innovative subjects that embrace leadership-building, culture-enhancing, and engagement-measuring topics.

His workplace credentials include serving as a board member of the Institute of Management Consultants, where he was deeply involved in setting the course of national trainings. He spent 11 years at HRD Press, where he led a group of international management and HR consultants, working with organizations to optimize their workforce-development practices. He designed and delivered leading-edge business training for companies that included Wells Fargo, Aetna Insurance, Whole Foods, and other national organizations.

Snow earned a bachelor’s degree in English from UMass in 1998.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — Come visit eight gardens on display for the 2016 Northampton Garden Tour, a fund-raiser for Friends of Forbes Library Inc. The event will be held Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine.

The Garden Tour aims to inspire and educate everyday gardeners with plantings in a variety of appealing and unique landscaping styles and creative use of hardscape. In contrast to the 2015 tour that was localized in the center of Northampton, this year’s tour takes participants on a scenic and varied 18-mile route to the outer reaches of the community.

Tickets come with directions to this self-guided tour of gardens within easy driving distance of the library. There is no obvious, easiest route, but suggestions will be available to make the tour both safe and expedient. At each garden, there are descriptions of the plantings, and garden guides will be on hand to answer questions. The terrain of this year’s tour broadly circles Northampton, making gardens accessible by car or a bicycle ride for the recreational peddler comfortable with 20-plus miles.

Tickets for the tour are $15 in advance at Forbes Library, Bay State Perennial Farm, Cooper’s Corner, Hadley Garden Center, North Country Landscapes, and State Street Fruit Store. The cost is $20 on the day of the tour at the library only.

The Garden Tour also includes a raffle to win organic compost, gift certificates, garden supplies, a landscape consultation, and more. Raffle tickets are available at Forbes Library through the day before the tour as well as at one of the gardens on the day of the tour.

All event proceeds benefit Friends of Forbes Library to support programs, events, and projects for the library that could not otherwise be funded. For details: on the organization, visit www.forbeslibrary.org. For more information about the Garden Tour, call Lyn Heady at (413) 584-7041.

Daily News

BOSTON — The Small Business Administration (SBA) named Peter Rice of Berkshire Bank the 2016 Financial Services Champion of the Year for Massachusetts.

“Berkshire Bank consistently ranks top 5 in the state for productivity,” said Robert Nelson, SBA Massachusetts District director. “Peter’s commitment in developing strong partnerships with SBA and its partners while supporting underresourced communities serves as a prime formula for success in community lending.”

Added Sean Gray, chief operating officer at Berkshire Bank, “Peter exemplifies the best of Massachusetts partners that help small businesses succeed. It’s an honor to highlight his hard work and dedication. We look forward to continuing to leverage his experience and resources to provide an exceptional SBA lending platform that supports the SBA’s mission on a larger scale.”

Over the past three years, Berkshire Bank has been able to provide more than 150 million dollars in financing to local businesses, with 183 individual SBA loans approved.

The Financial Services Champion of the Year award is presented annually to an economic-development practitioner who exceeds expectations and requirements for advocating for changes to assist small businesses.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — On May 22, June 5, and June 26, Wistariahurst will host artist Tammy Denease in a series of historical storytelling performances. At each of the Sunday sessions, Denease will bring to life a woman from the past.

The women featured in the series are Clo Pratt, born into slavery but self-employed after being freed; local hero Elizabeth “Mum Bett” Freeman, who successfully sued Col. Ashley for her freedom in 1781; and Bessie Coleman, “First Negro Aviatrix.” The family-friendly performances will take place in the Belle Skinner Music room at 3 p.m. on each of the days, and are free and open to the public of all ages.

This series is supported in part by a grant from the Holyoke Local Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies. Educational programming at Wistariahurst is supported by Historic Holyoke at Wistariahurst.

Daily News

EASTHAMPTON — On Friday, May 20, Innovative Business Systems will explore the ways IT can return more value to organizations. The lunch-and-learn session will take place at 163 Northampton St., Easthampton, from noon to 2 p.m.

Ideally, every IT dollar spent should provide a return by helping to increase revenues, decrease costs, or improve efficiencies. Over lunch, participants will learn many value-driven best practices, while demonstrating how IBS best adds value through its client engagements.

Topics will include how the use of automation can reduce support costs due to economies of scale, how providing streamlined access to support can improve efficiencies, what skills are required and how to staff the IT function within an organization, and disciplined project selection, management, and budgeting best practices.

An open-discussion IT roundtable will be faciliated by IBS immediately following the lunch-and-learn session. To register online, visit www.for-ibs.com/news/simple-registration-form.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Central Cultural District (SCCD) and Springfield Business Improvement District will jointly present a “Plug Into the Creative Valley” networking event on Tuesday, May 10 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The event will feature music by renowned jazz pianist Jim Argiro in the lobby/gallery of 1350 Main Street. He will be joined by a bassist for the event. Evan Plotkin of City Mosaic will give a few sneak-peek details about the upcoming Jazz and Roots Festival, to be officially announced on May 17.

Artists, creatives, businesspeople, and others are invited to attend this event to connect in a unique and relaxed setting. Food and drink will be provided, and admission is free. The organizers believe providing a welcoming environment for networking is necessary to support the local creative economy.

“This event is important for us to host because it offers an outlet for those often left out of networking events, folks who are working on their own out of their homes or studios, and helps them make connections to other local artists and business people,” said SCCD Director Morgan Drewniany. “If nothing else, the music will be spectacular.”

The Springfield Central Cultural District encompasses an area of the metro center of Springfield, and is membership-based, involving many of the downtown arts institutions. Its mission is to create and sustain a vibrant cultural environment in Springfield.

More details on the May 10 event can be found at facebook.com/springfieldculture. Any questions can be directed to Drewniany at [email protected] or (413) 781-1592.

Daily News

NORTHAMPTON — The state Legislature’s Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development continues its 2016 listening tours across the state in Hampshire County on Monday, May 9, beginning with a public hearing at 10 a.m. at the UMass Fine Art Center Concert Hall.

This listening tour is part of a statewide series headed by state Sen. Eric Lesser and State Rep. Cory Atkins, committee co-chairs. Legislators from the committee and representatives from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, and the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Committee will join community members, artists, and local business owners to discuss the economic impact the arts, culture, and tourism have on Hampshire County.

“We’re very excited to welcome members of the committee to Hampshire County again,” said Suzanne Beck, executive director of the Northampton Chamber of Commerce and director of the Hampshire County Regional Tourism Council. The committee visited Hampshire County in April 2014. “This is a great opportunity for our industry members to speak directly to their representatives about the good work they’re doing and thank them for the critical financial support we’ve received from the Legislature.”

Tourism is the third-largest revenue-producing industry in the Commonwealth. In 2014, domestic and international visitors spent $19.5 billion in the state. Statewide, the tourism industry employs 132,000 people. Visitors — defined as people who travel from more than 50 miles away — spent nearly $146 million in Hampshire County alone and support 870 jobs. An additional 3,300 jobs are dependent on tourism spending. More than 60% of these jobs come from independent artists and promoters, agents, performing-arts venues, and museums. The tourism industry has grown 20% in the last decade.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELD — Ad agencies, design firms, marketing departments, and other members of the Western Mass. and Northern Conn. creative community have submitted work for the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts’ Creative Awards, the club’s annual recognition of creative excellence. Each year, they come together to celebrate the region’s best creative work with a festive evening of camaraderie. This year’s event — titled “Make. Believe.” — will be held on Thursday, May 19 at Open Square in Holyoke.

The judges for this year’s Creative Awards include Kevin Grady, global head of design and communication for brand strategy firm Siegel + Gale, and Nikita Prokhorov, a freelance designer, author, and professor based in Brooklyn, N.Y. “We were really fortunate to get two judges who are at the top of their field,” said Lynn Saunders, co-chair of the Ad Club’s Creative Awards. “They held the work to a very high standard.”

On May 19, the region’s creatives and guests will convene to find out which works Grady and Prokhorov deemed worthy, and to set the bar for the upcoming year of local advertising and communications. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, live music, a champagne toast to the local creative community, and the opportunity to rub shoulders with, and celebrate with, colleagues whose creative work will be on display.

“Our region has long been home to outstanding creative talent, and the Creative Awards continue to affirm the great work being produced here” said David Cecchi, Ad Club president.

Tickets are $35 for members, $50 for non-members, and $20 for students. For more information about the 2016 Creative Awards or to purchase tickets, go to adclubwm.org or call (413) 736- 2582.

This year’s Creative Awards sponsors include Andrew Associates, Cecco – the Design Office of David Cecchi, Common Media, 423 Motion Inc., Marcus Printing, Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C., Milltown Productions, Six-Point Creative Works Inc., Stephanie Craig Photography, TSM Design, and WWLP-22News.

Daily News

HOLYOKE — Each year, the Human Service Forum trustees sift through nominations, submitted by member agencies, to choose its annual award honorees. The organization congratulates its 2016 award winners:

• Luz Rivera, Clara Temple Leonard Direct Care Award (nominated by HAPHousing);

• Facilities Team, Springfield (Edwin Rodriguez, Matthew Asia, Christopher Brown, Charlie Gonzalez, Angel Rivera, Jose Rosario, Angel Ruiz, and Christian Velazquez), Exceptional Team Award (nominated by Children’s Study Home);

• Colleen Brosnan, Robert J. Van Wart Manager Award (nominated by Sunshine Village);

• Pride Stores, Business Award (nominated by Center for Human Development); and

• Tom Campbell, Board Member Award (nominated by the United Arc).

The awards presentation, set for May 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Log Cabin, is a celebration of the work of human-service organizations who dedicate themselves to working toward the well-being of everyone in their communities. The public is welcome. The cost is $38 and includes dinner. Tickets are available online at www.humanserviceforum.org or by calling Kathleen at (413) 693-0214.

Daily News

CHICOPEE — The Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce will host its second annual Champions of Chicopee 5K Road Race and 2 Mile Walk on Saturday, June 18.

The race will begin at 9:30 a.m. with registration beginning at 7:45 a.m. at the Portuguese American Club, 149 Exchange St., Chicopee. Walkers or runners can register online at www.accu-specracing.com for $25, or $15 for kids 12 and under. Individuals may also call the chamber office at (413) 594-2101 to sign up or if they have additional questions.

The price includes the race fee with timed chip bib, T-shirt, lunch at the Munich Haus Biergarten after the race, and goodie bag. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee summer camps.

Last year, the event drew more than 100 participants, and the chamber hopes to grow that number each year. “This was such a fun event last year, and one of my favorites” said Lynn Morrissette, events coordinator for the Chicopee Chamber. “It is a great way for people to gather downtown in an organized and lighthearted atmosphere. It helps not only the chamber, but also a great cause like the Boys & Girls Club of Chicopee summer-camp program.”

Sponsors for the event include Munich Haus, Chicopee Savings Bank, Polish National Credit Union, PeoplesBank, Holyoke Medical Center, First American Insurance Agency Inc., Insurance Center of New England, and Spherion Staffing.