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Difference Makers Nominations

Through Dec. 8: 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 16th annual Difference Makers program. Nominations for the class of 2024 must be received by the end of the business day (5 p.m.) on Friday, Dec. 8. 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. Past honorees have come from dozens of business and nonprofit sectors, proving there’s no limit to the ways people can impact their communities. So let us know whom you think deserves to be recognized as a Difference Maker in our upcoming class by visiting businesswest.com/difference-makers-nomination-form to complete the nomination form. Honorees will be profiled in an upcoming issue of BusinessWest and celebrated at a gala in the spring.


Forest Park Zoo Wine Safari

Oct. 5: The Zoo in Forest Park invites guests on a trip around the world at Wine Safari from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The fundraiser, which supports the care of the 225-plus animals that live at the zoo, pairs wines from around the world with animals from the same region, allowing guests to ‘travel’ from country to country, sampling the wine and meeting the animals that hail from that area. Guests must be age 21 or older to attend. The $50 ticket includes wine samples from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (while supplies last), hors d’oeuvres, and coffee; animal encounters; and keeper talks from members of the zoo’s animal care and education teams. There will also be a raffle with prizes from the Boston Bruins, Spirit of Springfield, Max Hospitality, and other local businesses and organizations. Advance tickets are required to attend, and IDs will be checked at the door. Tickets are limited and are on sale at www.forestparkzoo.org/winesafari.


‘Transforming Stress’

Oct. 11: Berkshire-based stress expert Julie Haagenson will lead a virtual Dulye Leadership Experience wellness workshop called “Transforming Stress: An Interactive Workshop for Improving Your Well-being and Mental Fitness.” This one-hour, interactive session, which begins at 5:15 p.m., will deliver valuable insights into the physiological and psychological aspects of stress. Haagenson has more than two decades of experience as a counselor, facilitator, educator, consultant, and coach. As the founder of New Pathways Coaching & Consulting, she will provide tools and strategies to increase well-being and improve performance. Through the underwriting of the Dulye & Co. management consultancy, there is no fee to attend. Advance registration is required. To ensure an intimate and interactive learning experience, only 45 spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit www.dle.dulye.com/upcoming-events to reserve a virtual seat.


Healthcare Heroes

Oct. 26: BusinessWest and the Healthcare News will honor nine individuals as 2023 Healthcare Heroes at a celebration dinner at Marriott Springfield Downtown. The Healthcare Heroes class of 2023 was announced and profiled in the Sept. 18 issue of BusinessWest and at businesswest.com. They include Jody O’Brien of the Urology Group of Western New England (Lifetime Achievement), Cindy Senk of Movement for All (Community Health), Ashley LeBlanc of Mercy Medical Center (Emerging Leader), Ellen Ingraham-Shaw of Baystate Medical Center (Emerging Leader), Dr. Mark Kenton of Mercy Medical Center (Healthcare Administration), Kristina Hallett of Bay Path University (Health Education), Gabriel Mokwuah and Joel Brito of Holyoke Medical Center (Innovation in Healthcare), and Julie Lefer Quick of the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System (Healthcare Provider). Tickets will be on sale beginning Friday, Sept. 15. Tickets cost $90 per person, and reserved tables of 10 are available. Current event sponsors include presenting sponsors Elms College and Baystate Health/Health New England, and partner sponsors Holyoke Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health, and the Elaine Marieb Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation and the Institute for Applied Life Sciences at UMass Amherst. Congratulatory advertisements and additional event sponsorships are available.  For more information, call (413) 781-8600 or visit businesswest.com/healthcareheroes.


Super 60

Nov. 9: Ashley Kohl, owner of Ohana School of Performing Arts and an entrepreneur with an inspiring story to tell, will be the keynote speaker at the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Super 60 lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MassMutual Center in downtown Springfield. The Super 60, a program that traces its roots back to the late ’80s, when it was the Fabulous 50 before being expanded, is being revamped for 2023. In addition to the two traditional categories — Total Revenue and Revenue Growth — there will be three new categories recognizing nonprofits, startups, and giving back to the community. There will be 12 winners in each category. Tickets will be available for purchase at the chamber’s website, springfieldregionalchamber.com. For more information on Super 60, call (413) 787-1555.