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Difference Makers Nominations Due by Nov. 20

WESTERN MASS. — Do you know someone who is truly making a difference in the Western Mass. region?

BusinessWest invites you to nominate an individual or group for its eighth annual Difference Makers program. Nominations for the class of 2016 must be received by the end of the business day (5 p.m.) on Friday, Nov. 20. Nominations can be completed online by visiting www.businesswest.com and clicking ‘Our Events.’

Difference Makers was launched in 2009 as a way to recognize the contributions of agencies and individuals who are contributing to quality of life in this region. Previous honorees include:

2015:

  • Katelynn’s Ride;
  • Judy Matt, president of Spirit of Springfield;
  • MassMutual Financial Group;
  • The ownership group of the Student Prince and the Fort; and
  • Valley Venture Mentors

2014:

  • The Gray House;
  • Colleen Loveless, executive director of the Springfield chapter of Rebuilding Together;
  • The Melha Shriners;
  • Paula Moore, founder of YSET Academy and a teacher at Roger L. Putnam Vocational Training Academy; and
  • Michael Moriarty, attorney, director of Olde Holyoke Development Corp., and supporter of childhood literacy programs

2013:

  • Michael Cutone, John Barbieri, and Thomas Sarrouf, organizers of Springfield’s C3 Policing program;
  • John Downing, president of Soldier On;
  • Bruce Landon, president and general manager of the Springfield Falcons;
  • The Sisters of Providence; and
  • Jim Vinick, senior vice president of investments at Moors & Cabot Inc.

2012:

  • Charlie and Donald D’Amour, president/COO and chairman/CEO of Big Y Foods;
  • William Messner, president of Holyoke Community College;
  • Majors Tom and Linda-Jo Perks, officers of the Springfield Corps of the Salvation Army;
  • Bob Schwarz, executive vice president of Peter Pan Bus Lines; and
  • The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts

2011:

  • Tim Brennan, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission;
  • Lucia Giuggio Carvalho, founder of Rays of Hope;
  • Don Kozera, president of Human Resources Unlimited;
  • Robert Perry, retired partner/consultant at Meyers Brothers Kalicka; and
  • Anthony Scott, Holyoke police chief

2010:

  • The Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation;
  • Ellen Freyman, attorney and shareholder at Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C.;
  • James Goodwin, president and CEO of the Center for Human Development;
  • Carol Katz, CEO of the Loomis Communities; and
  • UMass Amherst and its chancellor, Robert Holub

2009:

  • Doug Bowen, president and CEO of PeoplesBank;
  • Kate Kane, managing director of the Springfield office of Northwestern Mutual Financial/the Zuzolo Group;
  • Susan Jaye-Kaplan, founder of GoFIT and co-founder of Link to Libraries;
  • William Ward, executive director of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County; and
  • The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield

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