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The Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau honored 11 individuals from the region’s hospitality sector on May 16 at the 21st annual Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence. They are, in alphabetical order: Monique Ball, desk clerk, Hampton Inn & Suites, Greenfield (category of accommodations); Silvana Cardaropoli, server, Palazzo Café, Springfield (food – casual); Andrew Demers, server, Bertucci’s, West Springfield (food – tableside); Michael Gabis, merchandise manager, Springfield Falcons (attractions); Carmine Manzi, bartender, Villa Napoletana, East Longmeadow (People’s Choice winner); Alicia Ralph, Visitors Center associate, Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce (public service); James Saul, motorcoach operator, Peter Pan Bus Lines, Springfield (transportation); Tom Savage, sales associate, Yankee Candle Village, South Deerfield (business/retail); the Springfield Armory National Historic Site (Spotlight winner); Gina Stevens, bartender, Atlas Pub, Chicopee (beverage); and Rebecca Whiteford, event planner, the Log Cabin, Holyoke (banquet and meetings).
Appreciating the Military
In conjunction with National Military Appreciation Month in May, Lee Premium Outlets unveiled two reserved veteran/military parking spaces with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 20. Front row, from left: State Rep. William Pignatelli, VFW Post #448 Commander Arnie Perras, American Legion Post #68 Commander Bernie LaFramboise, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Pierce, and Lee Premium Outlets General Manager Carolyn Edwards.
“Make. Believe.” was the theme of the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts’ Creative Awards, the club’s annual recognition of creative excellence. The event was held May 19 at Open Square in Holyoke, and the judges included 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. Among the winners was Wild Apple Design Group, which won a bronze award for designing and building the website for the 2015 Western Mass. Business Expo, the annual event presented by BusinessWest.
Walk This Way
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito visited the ongoing Ludlow Mills development on May 24 to announce a $429,500 MassWorks grant to the Ludlow Mills Riverwalk project, located behind the mill complex. The funding will boost pedestrian safety and education on the 3,500-foot trail along the Chicopee River, including lighting, benches, signage educating walkers about the history of Ludlow’s mills, and other improvements. The Riverwalk — funded initially with $600,000 from HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital and Westmass Area Development Corp. — opened up a previously inaccessible area of the riverfront with a paved walkway. Westmass bought the 170-acre Ludlow Mills complex five years ago with the intention of developing a mixed-use complex in the old mills, including Mill 8 with its iconic clock tower (pictured). It has since attracted $75 million in public and private investment, including the $26 million HealthSouth facility and a $24.5 million, 75-unit senior housing project by WinnDevelopment. Ludlow Selectman William Rooney (pictured bottom, with Polito and State Rep. Thomas Petrolati) praised the partnerships forged between the town, state agencies, and private interests in building momentum at Ludlow Mills. “Because of these partnerships, the future of Ludlow, especially the downtown area, are bright.”
Up for the Challenge
The BusinessWest News Challenge is a program designed to engage students in the world of business, communication, journalism, and media. It was created by Westfield State University (WSU) Professor Janine Fondon and judged by BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien, who recently visited Fondon’s “Writing for the Media” class to announce the winners as well as lecture on the topic of journalism and news writing. Pictured, from left, are Fondon, Tom Lyon (honorable mention), Ian Flannery (third place), Meaghan Jablonski (second place), and Nate Barnes (first place).