Do You Know a Difference Maker?

Nominations Sought for BusinessWest’s Recognition Program

BizDiffMakrsLOGO2011Looking back at the five Difference Makers recognized by BusinessWest earlier this year, Kate Campiti, the magazine’s associate publisher, said the class of 2013 epitomizes what the five-year-old program is all about.
“We had five individuals or groups who showed that there really are many ways in which people can make a difference,” she noted, referencing a class that included the Sisters of Providence; Bruce Landon, general manager of the Springfield Falcons and the individual credited with keeping hockey in Springfield; John Downing, the driving force behind Soldier On; Jim Vinick, a supporter of a number of area nonprofits, especially the Basketball Hall of Fame; and state and local police involved in a unique effort to curb crime in Springfield’s North End. “This was a group that clearly demonstrated that are countless factors that go into the phrase ‘quality of life,’ and so many ways that it can be improved.”
But there are many more stories of difference making still to be told, she went on, and as 2013 moves toward an end, it is time for BusinessWest to again seek nominations for what has become a coveted honor.
The nomination form here explains how this process works, said BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien, who noted that the phrase ‘Difference Maker,’ as the class of 2013 proved, is a truly subjective phrase with a number of meanings.
“Since Difference Makers was launched in 2009, we’ve recognized college presidents, nonprofit managers, a crusading police chief, a woman who founded a program to fill the shelves of school libraries, and another who started a walk to raise money to fight breast cancer,” he explained. “All these stories are different, but there is a common denominator — people stepping forward, and stepping up, to change lives in a very positive way.
“There are many more individuals and groups who are changing lives in similar ways,” he went on. “This program was created to provide a forum for telling these stories, and we want our readers to help us with this assignment.”
As with another BusinessWest recognition, 40 Under Forty, Difference Makers is a nomination-driven process, Campiti said, urging those who propose an individual or group for consideration to be thorough with their nomination and, in simple terms, effectively answer the question, ‘why is this nominee a Difference Maker?’
Nominations, which can also be completed online, are due at the end of the business day (5 p.m.) on Dec. 20. The winners, as chosen by a review panel comprised of BusinessWest writers and editors, will be profiled in the magazine’s Feb. 10 edition and saluted at the annual Difference Makers gala, to take place in late March.
Questions about the program and the nomination process can be forwarded to [email protected], or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 102.

Previous Difference Makers:

• 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

• 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

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

• Charlie and Donald D’Amour, president/COO and chairman/CEO, 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

• 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.

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