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Agenda

Real-estate Licensing Course

Sept. 7 to Oct. 6: The Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley will host a 40-hour, 14-class sales licensing course to help individuals prepare for the Massachusetts real-estate salesperson license exam. Tuition is $400 and includes the book and materials. For an application, call the Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley at (413) 785-1328 or visit www.rapv.com.

 

Sip & Slide FUNd-raiser

Sept. 8: In support of the Eastern States Exposition’s (ESE) youth agriculture programs, the ESE Foundation Sip & Slide FUNd-raiser will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Giant Slide. Attendees can ride down the slide and enjoy craft beer, wine, hors d’oeuvres, live music, raffles, and more. Partners Restaurant and Catering will provide a range of appetizers such as pulled-pork, veggie, and grilled-chicken sliders; potato-skin bites; assorted kabobs; and more. Live music will be provided by Ric & Amy Acoustic. Guests will receive welcome bags stuffed with three event drink tickets, Big E swag, a cream- puff voucher to be used during the Big E (Sept. 16 through Oct. 2), and other surprises. Presented by PeoplesBank, Sip & Slide tickets are available for purchase at thebige.com/sipandslide. Tickets cost $50 per person if purchased in advance and $60 at the door. You must be 21 or over to attend this event.

 

Free Shred Event

Sept. 10: The Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley (RAPV) announced that its community service committee will host a shred event at the association’s parking lot, located at 221 Industry Ave., Springfield, from 9 a.m. to noon. The event is free and open to the public. The limit of shredding is five boxes per household, and shredding services will be provided on-site by Proshred.

 

Annual HCC Golf Benefit

Sept. 12: Registration is now open for the Holyoke Community College (HCC) Foundation’s 35th annual golf tournament at Springfield Country Club in West Springfield. Money raised from this year’s tournament will support student scholarships managed by the HCC Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising arm of Holyoke Community College. The golf outing begins with an 11 a.m. buffet lunch followed by a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. After golf, participants can enjoy cocktails on the clubhouse porch with scenic views of the Pioneer Valley, followed by dinner. Participants can arrange their own foursomes or sign up as singles. The $185 individual fee includes greens fees, golf cart, lunch, dinner, and refreshments on the course. The cost per foursome is $740. Dinner only is $40 per person. Sponsorships are also available in various increments from $100 to $10,000. To register or sponsor the golf tournament, visit www.hcc.edu/golf.

 

Second Installation of ‘Voices of Resilience’ Exhibit

Sept. 18 to Oct. 15: With a team of collaborators and scholars, the second installation of “Voices of Resilience: The Intersection of Women on the Move” will be presented by South Hadley’s Center Church. The opening event will be held Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. Taking an inclusive look at local and national women’s history while exploring the pursuit of a more complete narrative of American history, the exhibition celebrates the intersecting lives of women — and women of color — in Massachusetts and beyond who changed the course of history. The exhibit launched at the Springfield Museums during the pandemic. The new installation will open at Center Church and reflect on local history and political shifts in our culture. The exhibit is free and open to the public Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Wednesdays 4 to 7 p.m. Group visits at other times are available by appointment. “Voices of Resilience” showcases a range of voices from early Black feminists such as Barbara Smith to longtime columnist Barbara Bernard. The exhibit celebrates both spiritual and lay leaders, artists, musicians, and educators such as Amy Hughes, formerly of the MacDuffie School, as well as Lucie Lewis, who traces her story to the Salem witch trials. Many voices from Springfield, South Hadley, Amherst, and beyond are featured. To learn more about the exhibit, visit centerchurchsouthhadley.org/voices. For questions or to schedule a tour, call (413) 532-2262 or email [email protected].

 

HCC Women’s Leadership Series

Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 16, Dec. 21: Holyoke Community College (HCC) will begin its fall 2022 Women’s Leadership Series on Wednesday, Sept. 21 with presenter Trayce Whitfield, executive director of the Coalition for an Equitable Economy, leading a discussion titled “Leaning Into the Positive.” Whitfield will be followed in subsequent months by Michelle Lemoi, chief operating officer of Zora Builders in Newton (“How Claiming ‘I Don’t Know’ Opens Up Opportunities to Bolster Confidence”); Christina Royal, president of HCC (“Growth Mindset”); and Suzanne Blake, a career coach and consultant based in Medfield (“Ask for It and Get It”). All sessions run from noon to 1 p.m. on the last Wednesday of the month over Zoom. During each session, participants will join prominent women leaders for discussions on relevant topics and ideas to help their leadership development. They will also have the opportunity to form a supportive network to help navigate their own careers. The cost of each session is $25. The full four-session series can be purchased for $75. Email Lanre Ajayi, HCC’s executive director of Education & Corporate Learning, at [email protected] if pricing is an issue. Registration will open soon at hcc.edu/womens-leadership. Space is limited, so advance registration is required.

 

United Way Day of Caring

Sept. 23: United Way of Pioneer Valley announced the 2022 Day of Caring. Anyone interested in local volunteer opportunities can visit volunteer.uwpv.org to register as a volunteer. Day of Caring opportunities will be posted as the details are finalized, and other opportunities year-round are hosted on this site as well. Agencies who are interested in hosting a Day of Caring location, or corporations interested in sponsorships and/or bringing a group of volunteers, can contact Jennifer Kinsman, director of Community Impact, at [email protected] or (413) 693-0212.

 

Cruise for Critters

Sept. 24: Cruise for Critters returns to Westview Farms Creamery for the 10th annual car show to benefit pets in need at Second Chance Animal Services. The fundraiser, sponsored by Service Connection of Monson, has been helping Massachusetts pets since 2012. This year’s event will have fall fun for everyone, including a vendor fair and the popular Halloween Barktacular kids’ games. Second Chance volunteers are excited to break out the Halloween Barktacular kids’ games. After COVID forced the nonprofit to cancel both the 2020 and 2021 Halloween Barktacular, a group of volunteers brought a few of the games to last year’s Cruise for Critters. This year, volunteers are planning even more fun for kids. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will also feature all the fall fun that Westview Farms Creamery has to offer, including pumpkin picking and a corn maze. Spare Parts will be on hand to provide entertainment, and visitors can take a chance to win some raffle prizes. Event organizers are appealing to local businesses and vendors to join the fight for pets in need. For more information on sponsorships or to become a vendor, visit secondchanceanimals.org/events/cruise. The event will be free to spectators, and there’s a $20 car-show entry fee, with every dollar supporting pets in need. In case of bad weather, the rain date is Saturday, Oct. 1.

 

World Affairs Council Talk on Indo-Pacific Developments

Sept. 28: The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts will present its first Instant Issues brown bag lunchtime discussion of the 2022-23 program year at noon at 1350 Main St. in downtown Springfield. Dennis Yasutomo, Esther Cloudman Dunn professor emeritus of Government at Smith College, will speak on “Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific: Evolution of a Eurasian Century?” A longtime member and friend of the Council, Yasutomo’s field of research is contemporary Japanese foreign policy, and he is the author of numerous books and articles on Japanese politics and diplomacy. He will look at the impact of the crisis in Ukraine on the emerging Euro-Asian geopolitical dynamics involving China, the U.S., Japan, Australia, and Europe’s enhanced involvement in the Indo-Pacific region. Advance registration is required at www.eventbrite.com/e/instant-issues-ukraine-and-the-indo-pacific-tickets-399638689077. No walk-ins will be allowed. Admission to the event is $5 for council members without a lunch provided, $20 with a box lunch. Non-members’ admission cost is $10 without a lunch and $25 with lunch.

 

Healthcare Heroes

Oct. 27: BusinessWest Magazine and its sister publication, the Healthcare News, will honor the Healthcare Heroes for 2022 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House. The Heroes, which cover several categories, from Administration to Lifetime Achievement, have been identified by a panel of judges, and they will be profiled in the Sept. 19 issue of BusinessWest and the September/October issue of HCN. Tickets to the Healthcare Heroes are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting https://businesswest.com/healthcare-heroes/healthcare-heroes-tickets/ The 2022 Healthcare Heroes program is being sponsored by presenting sponsors Elms College and Baystate Health/Health New England, and by partner sponsors American International College and Trinity Health of New England/Mercy Medical Center.

 

Hooplandia

June 23-25, 2023: After nearly three years of pandemic-era scheduling hurdles, Springfield and West Springfield will host Hooplandia, the largest 3×3 basketball competition and celebration on the East Coast, next spring. The event, which will be hosted by the Eastern States Exposition and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, will feature hundreds of games for thousands of players of all ages and playing abilities, with divisions for young girls, boys, women, men, high-school elite, college elite, pro-am, OGs, wheelchair, Wounded Warrior, Special Olympians, veterans, first responders, and more. The event will feature more than 70 outdoor blacktop courts placed throughout the roadway and parking-lot network of the Eastern States Exposition fairgrounds in West Springfield; slam-dunk, three-point, free-throw, dribble-course, vertical-jump, and full-court-shot skills competitions; themed state courts for all six New England states; featured ‘showcase games’ held on new court surfaces in the historic Eastern States Coliseum and on the Court of Dreams, the center court of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; and a festival environment throughout the weekend with food, music, entertainment, and family activities. A year-long community-outreach effort will begin immediately. Registration will open on March 1, 2023.

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Sharing the Wealth

Berkshire Bank recently presented a total of $205,000 in funding last month to Springfield nonprofit organizations, including $75,000 to the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, $25,000 to Revitalize CDC, $5,000 to Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School of Excellence, and $100,000 to Common Capital, a subsidiary of Way Finders (pictured).

Berkshire Bank

From left: Jason Niles, My Banker team lead at Berkshire Bank; Nitin Mhatre, CEO of Berkshire Bank; Raymond Lanza-Weil, president of Common Capital; Callie Niezgoda, vice president of Lending at Common Capital; Keith Fairey, CEO of Way Finders; and Ellen Stenfield and Rosemary Morin of Berkshire Bank.
Photo courtesy of Berkshire Bank.


 

Community Support

Florence Bank announced that it recently donated $50,000 to the Easthampton Community Center through its Florence Savings Easthampton Branch Charitable Foundation Inc.

Florence Savings

Pictured, from left: Robin Bialecki, executive director of the Easthampton Community Center; Nancy LaBombard, Florence Savings Easthampton Branch Charitable Foundation board member; Anita Sedlak, vice president and branch manager of Florence Bank’s Easthampton office and a foundation board member; and Virginia Smith, also a board member.

 


 

Preserving a Moment in Time

 

As part of an ongoing commemoration of Monson Bank’s 150th anniversary, employees joined together to bury a time capsule that will be excavated and opened in 25 years at the bank’s 175th anniversary in 2047. Some of the items included were photos, business cards, brochures, a piggy bank, letters, deposit slips, 150th-anniversary articles, and, of course, Monson Savings branded masks and hand sanitizer.

Monson Savings Bank

Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank (pictured), led the crew to the time capsule burial location for a brief ceremony.

 


 

Agenda

Healthcare Heroes Nominations

Through July 30: In the spring of 2017, the Healthcare News and its sister publication, BusinessWest, created a new and exciting recognition program called Healthcare Heroes. It was launched with the theory that there are heroes working all across this region’s wide, deep, and all-important healthcare sector, and that there was no shortage of fascinating stories to tell and individuals and groups to honor. That theory has certainly been validated. Nominations for the class of 2022 are due July 30, and we encourage you to get involved and help recognize someone you consider to be a hero in Western Mass. in one (or more) of seven categories. For details on each category and information on how to nominate someone, visit businesswest.com/healthcare-heroes/nominations.

 

Hoophall Hangouts

All Summer: The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame has announced the return of Hoophall Hangouts, which will replace “60 Days of Summer,” the museum’s annual summer program featuring family-oriented fun. Running through Aug. 31, the Hall of Fame will host various appearances from basketball players, personalities, and Hall of Famers. On Aug. 12, Bob Hurley Sr. (Hall of Fame class of 2010) will accompany his son, Dan Hurley, head coach of UConn’s men’s basketball team, for a special father/son appearance. Throughout the summer, museumgoers will also have the opportunity to hear from class of 2022 inductees Tim Hardaway, Bob Huggins, and George Karl, as well as Hall of Famers Grant Hill from the class of 2018 and Jay Wright from the class of 2021. Head coach Frank Martin from UMass will also be making an appearance. Hoophall Hangouts appearances are free of charge to museum guests; however, some appearances will have select VIP opportunities. Hoophall Hangouts will be scheduled throughout the summer and will occur at 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.hoophall.com/hoophallhangouts or follow @hoophall on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

 

MOSSO Celebrates John Williams

July 21: MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, will celebrate the film music of John Williams at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield Symphony Hall. Under the direction of Maestro Kevin Rhodes, MOSSO will perform excerpts from Williams’ scores to ET, Schindler’s List, Superman, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, and more. Some popular classics, including Rossini’s “Overture to The Barber of Seville,” Massenet’s “Meditation from Thaïs,” and Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite” will open the program. Rhodes was music director and conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for 20 seasons before the pandemic. He returned to Springfield to conduct his musicians last October in front of a packed house at Symphony Hall, featuring many musical highlights from his tenure as their music director. Tickets for the concert, a MOSSO benefit, are priced at $60, $45, $25, and $10, and are on sale at springfieldsymphonymusicians.com. MOSSO sponsors include BusinessWest and the Healthcare News, the Republican/MassLive, WWLP-22News and the CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, New England Public Media, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation. MOSSO is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which is not a subsidiary of nor affiliated with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra Inc.

 

Friday Night Summer Concerts

July 22 to Aug. 12: The Amherst Business Improvement District announced the lineup for the second annual Friday Night Summer Concert Series on the South Common. The series is sponsored by Encharter Insurance. On July 22, the BID presents local artists Dawn Lepere and Jeff Starns opening for blues singer-songwriter Eric Lee. On July 29, UMass will return to the Common for the second year of Jazz in July in downtown Amherst, an event featuring UMass staff, students, and a couple of ‘ringers.’ On Aug. 5, Grammy-winning children’s performer Mister G will take the stage before the Soul Magnets appear. Wrapping up the series on Aug. 12 will be the classic country act the Rosie Porter Trio, followed by the pop-rock Maxxtones. These events will be free for all, starting at 6 p.m. These evenings will also host local brewery White Lion Brewing, local cider maker Artifact, and wine from Black Birch Vineyard for over-21 guests. CremeBru.LA will be joining the fun, and there will be a charcuterie station as well.

 

New Year’s Eve Party (Take 2!)

Aug. 5: The pandemic may have canceled its planned New Year’s Eve celebration last year, but local comedians are having the last laugh. Happier Valley Comedy is throwing a New Year’s Eve Party (Take 2!) and annual fundraiser where people are invited to come ring in the improvised New Year. Tickets include entry to the party, two tickets to the raffle, finger food, and something fizzy to toast. The festivities take place at Happier Valley Comedy’s Next Door Lounge in Hadley, where partygoers can choose from a curated selection of mostly local alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Ginger Love Cafe Food Truck will be on site, and raffle prizes include goodies from Bueno Y Sano, Animal Alliance Dog Training School, Ecstatic Rabbit Tarot, the Ekus Group, Home Depot, Trader Joe’s, and more. To purchase tickets to the event and raffle, visit www.happiervalley.com.

 

Brew at the Zoo

Aug. 6: After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Zoo in Forest Park is bringing back its popular Brew at the Zoo, presented by PDC Inc., from 1 to 5 p.m. The 21+ event features beer samples from local craft breweries, a home-brew competition, food trucks, live music, games, a raffle, and animal interactions. Attendees can choose from four ticket types: VIP, VIP Designated Driver, General Admission, and Designated Driver. Attendees with a VIP ticket will enjoy an extra hour of sampling beginning at noon, the opportunity to participate in up-close animal encounters, and grain to feed the animals. All attendees must be age 21 or over. The current list of breweries attending the event include Loophole Brewing, One Way Brewing, Vanished Valley Brewing Co., Broad Brook Brewing Co., Connecticut Valley Brewing Co., Berkshire Brewing Co., Rustic Brewing Co., Iron Duke Brewing, Two Weeks Notice Brewing Co., Brew Practitioners, and New City Brewery, in addition to nine home brewers. The zoo will be closed to the public on Aug. 6. Advanced tickets are required to attend this event, and IDs will be checked at the door. Tickets are limited and on sale at www.forestparkzoo.org/brew.

 

Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival

Aug. 12-13: The Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival will be staged over two days this year with a broad mix of music; arts activities; talks on arts, culture, and social justice; and local pop-up crafts, food, and beverages. The internationally heralded festival features national stars and local talent playing jazz, blues, funk, Latin, and African music. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. This year’s full musical lineup can be found at springfieldjazzfest.com. The festival will also offer a sneak peek (or an unveiling, depending on its progress) of the iconic Worthington Street mural project celebrating Springfield history. The mural is being painstakingly restored by Springfield artist John Simpson, who has studied old photographs of the building’s wall in an effort to accurately recreate as much of the original mural as possible. Musical performances on Aug. 12 feature soul and R&B legend Shor’ty Billups, valley legends FAT with Peter Newland and special guest Scott Murawski from Max Creek, Valley blues/rock icon Mitch Chakour and friends, popular Valley blues rockers the Buddy McEarns Band, and soulful blues belter Janet Ryan and her band. The festivities on Aug. 13 commence at 12:30 p.m. with a parade led by New Orleans ensemble the New Breed Brass Band starting from the Wood Museum of Springfield History, where attendees will have free access to the “Horn Man: The Life and Musical Legacy of Charles Neville” exhibit. The parade will end at the stage for the kickoff performance of the Saturday shows. In addition to the musical performances, the multi-faceted festival will feature various arts activities and presentations and workshops. Puerto Rican jazz trombonist William Cepeda will lead a workshop about traditional Afro-Puerto Rican music on Aug. 12 at 5 p.m. at the Hispanic American Library. Cuban jazz vocalist Dayme Arocena, will lead a workshop about traditional Afro-Cuban music on Aug. 13. Attendees can also participate in a mural paint party (a separate mural project from the one on Friday) and a presentation by Puerto Rican mural artist Betsy Casanas, and conversations connecting arts with food and climate justice.

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Marking the Spot

To memorialize its 150th anniversary, Monson Savings Bank Bank recently unveiled a historical marker at the original location of the bank in Monson. The event took place on June 1, a day chosen since it was the first day Monson Savings Bank accepted deposits in 1872. Guests gathered nearby the Monson Town Offices, where the original granite building stood that housed Monson Savings Bank at its incorporation in 1872. A granite block from the original building reading “BANK” was expertly placed at the base of the historical bronze plaque marker located on a pole. Surrounding the display was a new landscaped area.

Seen with the plaque are Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of MSB, left, and Michael Rouette, executive vice president and COO.

Seen with the plaque are Dan Moriarty, president and CEO of MSB, left, and Michael Rouette, executive vice president and COO.

 


United Way Awards

Berkshire United Way (BUW) recently presented Jewish Family Service of Western Mass. with the Robert K. Agar Jr. Volunteerism Award and Shirley Edgerton with the Daniel C. Dillon Helping Hands, Caring Heart Award during its LIVE UNITED Community Celebration at Berkshire Money Management in Dalton.

Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts CEO Maxine Stein

Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts CEO Maxine Stein, second from left, and Gabriela Sheehan, Berkshires Resettlement Coordinator, with Mike Stoddard, BUW Board Chair, left, and BUW President and CEO Tom Bernard.

 

Stoddard and Bernard with Edgerton

Stoddard and Bernard with Edgerton

 


Sign of the Times

American International College president Hubert Benitez and Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal sign an articulation agreement formally establishing a close academic relationship between the two-year college and the four-year institution. The accord between AIC and HCC aligns academic programs that enhance the seamless transition of HCC graduates and qualified candidates from HCC, and promotes a smooth, successful transfer to AIC.

American International College president Hubert Benitez and Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal

American International College president Hubert Benitez and Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal

 

 


 

 

Agenda

Woodstock Tribute Band

July 9: The Rotary Club of West Springfield will stage a concert appearance by Back to the Garden 1969, a Woodstock tribute band at the Morgan Road Pavilion.

Doors open at 4 p.m. at the pavilion, located behind the Irish Cultural Center, 429 Morgan Road, West Springfield. Opening band Great Acoustics will appear from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by Back to the Garden 1969 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The playlist will include as many of the original tracks as time allows. Food and drink will be sold. Outside beverages or food may not be brought into the venue; ’60s inspired attire is highly encouraged. RotaryRocks is a rain or shine event. Seating is available under the pavilion, or guests may bring folding chairs for the lawn. There are only 350 tickets available for this show and patrons are encouraged to order theirs early through www.WestSpringfieldRotaryClub.com. RotaryRocks is the club’s main fundraiser. All Rotary Club fundraising proceeds fund scholarships, community grants and other local projects for the betterment of the community.

 

Celebrity Bartending Fundraiser

July 14: The Hampden County Bar Association Legal Clinic will stage its Celebrity Bartending Tip-Off event at Kaptain Jimmy’s restaurant. The event will start at 4 p.m. and will include celebrity bartenders, a DJ, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the event go toward the agency’s legal clinic programs. The legal clinic is still seeking sponsorships for the event from local businesses. Sponsors will be recognized as supporting the mission of providing legal services to people who cannot afford an attorney. For further information, contact the Hampden County Bar Association Legal Clinic at (413) 733-6500.

 

Juneteenth Heritage Walking Tour

Ongoing: Starting with the recent Juneteenth weekend, a new walking tour of local historic homes and museums will showcase the unique history and contributions of generations of Black families in Amherst that ranged from music to manufacturing. Ancestral Bridges, a local nonprofit organization, collaborated with the Amherst Historical Society & Museum, local organizations, and the descendants of local Black families to produce the Juneteenth Heritage Walking Tour, a 1.5-mile story-filled tour that invites visitors to immerse themselves in the day-to-day experiences of Black Amherst residents from 200 years ago to more modern times. “There is so much important Black history in Amherst that has been hidden from view for too many years,” said Anika Lopes, founder of Ancestral Bridges. “With this walking tour, we are pulling back the curtain, highlighting the way that my family and other Black and indigenous historic residents of Amherst lived and worked, what they hoped and fought for, so that Black youth and others can understand this part of our history and use it to grow.” The Juneteenth Heritage Walking Tour is the first descendant-led and curated walking tour of its kind in the area. A family-friendly event on June 18 will serve as a kick-off of the walking tour and encourage local residents and visitors to explore exhibits featuring historic photographs, artifacts, and millinery that bring to life the essence of Black neighborhoods in Amherst. The tour begins at the historic West Cemetery to honor the lives and contributions of the all-Black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the famed 5th Cavalry, the soldiers who alerted Texas residents that the Civil War and slavery had ended. This event is the origin of the holiday celebrated as Juneteenth. Additional tour stops include special exhibits at the Amherst History Museum with artwork and images from the mid-18th century and on; The Emily Dickinson Museum, where stories of Charles Thompson and other Black residents familiar with the Dickinson Family are featured; Hope Church, the first Black church in Amherst; and Goodwin Memorial AME Zion Church. The event to be emceed by descendant William Harris, Jr., president and CEO of Space Center Houston. Neighborhoods featured on the tour include the Westside District (Hazel Avenue, Baker Street, Snell Street, Northampton Road), which was designated a National Historic District in 2000 thanks to the efforts of Dudley J. Bridges, Sr.; and the neighborhood of McCellan, Beston, and Paige Streets. Also featured on the walking tour will be a special art installation by local artist Dr. Shirley Jackson Whitaker that will highlight the Tote2Vote campaign, launched recently to raise awareness of voter suppression. Learn more at ancestral-bridges.org.

 

Art with Heart

July 20: Community members are invited to attend a free art exhibit and reception for the debut of Art with Heart, a collaboration between local grieving youth and caregivers and area artists. The exhibit will run the month of July with the reception on July 20 at 6 p.m. at the BOMBYX Center for Arts and Equity. Art with Heart, the vision of Shelly Bathe Lenn, program coordinator at The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens, paired local grieving youth and caregivers with artists to create art as an expression of grief. Children ages 5 to 17 participated in workshops that were held in May. “We believe in reinforcing the connection between the head, heart, and hand to help one express their feelings around grief that may have previously been unspoken,” Lenn said. “Grieving youth can use art to help them further understand their experience and gain a sense of mastery and confidence while serving as a ‘container’ for the intense feelings associated with grief.” Artists Barbara Neulinger, Christine Southworth, Frankie Borrero, and Omarthan Clarke each worked with one of four small groups of grieving youth and caregivers. In each of the groups, the participants learned the artist’s medium and made an art piece. The art piece that was created was designed to help participants express their feelings and/or remember those in their life who have died. The artwork will be on display throughout the Pioneer Valley each month through June 2023 and a culminating event will be timed with the 25th anniversary of The Garden in 2023. To learn more about the Art with Heart program, contact Shelly Bathe Lenn at (413) 727-5749.

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Customers’ Choice Grants

Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program gala

Jim Gipe / Pivot Media

Florence Bank recently celebrated its 20th annual Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program gala, awarding $100,000 to 45 nonprofits across the Valley. At the close of the event, president and CEO Kevin Day drew cheers from the audience of nonprofit leaders, announcing that giving will increase to $125,000. Here, Day raises a glass to celebrate the program with nonprofit leaders.

 


 

Sign of the Times

American International College President Hubert Benitez, left, and Springfield Technical Community College President John Cook

American International College President Hubert Benitez, left, and Springfield Technical Community College President John Cook sign an articulation agreement formally establishing a close academic relationship between the two-year college and the four-year institution. The accord between AIC and STCC aligns academic programs that enhance the seamless transition of STCC graduates and qualified candidates from STCC, and promote a smooth, successful transfer to AIC. The articulation agreement offers time and cost savings for students by recognizing the coursework pursued at the community college and demonstrates the ongoing commitment of both AIC and STCC to the community and its students, by ensuring that educational pathways are created for all those who wish to consider a degree in higher education.

 


 

To a Higher Gear

Monson Savings Bank team members deliver bicycles to the YWCA of Western Massachusetts

Monson Savings Bank team members deliver bicycles to the YWCA of Western Massachusetts as a part of its 150 Build-a-Bike Campaign, a component of the bank’s 150th birthday celebration. From left: Diana Guzman, YWCA director of Human Resources; Asia Bradford, YWCA director of Adult Residential Programs; Dalila Cardona, YWCA clinical director; Rob Chateauneuf, Monson Savings Bank senior vice president and senior commercial loan officer; Michael Rouette, Monson Savings Bank executive vice presisdent & COO;  Dan Moriarty, Monson Savings Bank president & CEO;  Elizabeth Dineen, YWCA of Western Massachusetts executive director; Ray Plouffe, Family Bike Shop owner; Monika Konopko, YWCA chief financial officer; Yhissa Ocasio, YWCA director of Youth, HIV, and Court Support Programs; Terri Fox, Monson Savings Bank senior vice president and chief retail officer; and Corinne Sawyer, Monson Savings Bank vice president and director of Business & Municipal Banking.

 


 

Donation to CDH

Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB

Matthew Sosik, president and CEO of bankESB, recently announced that the bank has made a $500,000 challenge grant to support the Emergency Department at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. The funds will be used to support Transforming Emergency Care: Campaign for the Cooley Dickinson Emergency Department, a $19.76 million expansion, reconfiguration, and renovation effort to allow Cooley Dickinson to meet the ever-evolving emergency medicine needs of all members of the community, from infants to older adults. From left: Nancy Lapointe, bankESB senior vice president, retail banking; Dr. Lynnette Watkins, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Hospital; Sosik; and Karen Craig, assistant vice president, branch officer for bankESB’s King St., Northampton office

 


 

Agenda

Benefit Bike Ride

June 11: Area residents are invited to pedal for a great cause and help raise donations for Cancer House of Hope. A ride is scheduled on the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail (rain date is June 12). In addition to a small registration fee, ride participants are asked to raise donations from family, friends, and colleagues, with an individual fundraising goal of $100, and a family fundraising goal of $150. The ride encourages and welcomes riders of all ages and skill levels. Participants can bike five, 10, or 20 miles. Support stations will be available at all turn-around points and the start/finish location — the Stop & Shop at 57 Main St. in Westfield. To register, visit chd.org/chainofhope. For more information, call Margaret Toomey, (413) 733-1858.

 

Summer Kick-Off Festival

June 11: BFAIR (Berkshire Family and Individual Resources) will stage its Summer Kick-Off Festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Paterson Field House at Berkshire Community College. This event is bringing back a popular BFAIR event in the mini-golf tournament, the BFAIR-Way, alongside live music, games, activities, raffles, prizes, food trucks and more. Funds raised from the festival support the BFAIR mission of providing quality services to individuals with developmental disabilities, autism, and acquired brain injury while kicking off the summer with some fun. The festival is sponsored by Beat the Heat sponsor Greylock Federal Credit Union and Fun in the Sun sponsor MountainOne Bank. To register for the event visit: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/2022bfairsummerfest/ If you have any questions, please reach out to Tara Jacobsen, Fundraising and Grants Manager, at [email protected]

 

Chamber Annual Meeting

June 15: The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce has named Evan Plotkin, president, and owner of NAI Samuel D. Plotkin and Associates, as its 2022 Richard J. Moriarty Citizen of the Year. The award, established in 2007, is given annually to honor the memory of Richard J. Moriarty, a long-time active participant in the Chamber and individual who gave his time, talent, and personal and professional resources to the local community. Plotkin will be honored at the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Celebration on June 15, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Springfield Sheraton. In addition to honoring Plotkin, the chamber will recognize the graduates of its 2022 Leadership Institute, commemorate outgoing President Nancy Creed, and welcome incoming Chamber President Diana Szynal. Longtime advocate and champion of Springfield, Plotkin has made it his mission to make the city a more attractive place to live and work, both literally and figuratively. A Springfield native, he is one of the lead organizers of the Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival and is the force behind Art & Soles, the project that saw sculptures of colorful sneakers placed around the city. Additionally, Plotkin, named a Difference Maker by BusinessWest spearheaded the City Mosaic project, overseeing the conversion of the ninth floor of 1350 Main St. into what’s known as Studio 9, a community gathering space. By also using the front lobby of 1350 Main St. as a gallery space, he forged a partnership with artist James Kitchen to bring many of his metal sculptures to the downtown area. Plotkin was also a catalyst behind bringing art to life on Court House Walk, one of the city’s most charming landmarks that was restored by the Junior League of Greater Springfield in 1979. The walk brought giant murals into fruition on the Court Square property with images of iconic celebrities such as Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, and others. Plotkin’s involvement with the community has given him the opportunity to serve as a member of the board of directors for many organizations throughout the years, including as the chairman of The Center for Human Development, and as a board member for various civic organizations including Holyoke Community College and Springfield Business Improvement District. Additionally, Plotkin served six years on the SRC’s board and was a longstanding active board member of the former Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Plotkin was an instrumental part of the group that launched the SRC’s economic development tools in 2021, helping businesses and developers recognize and understand key indicators that encourage informed business decisions. When he’s not beautifying or enhancing Springfield through his artistic endeavors and volunteer initiatives, he’s assisting in its revitalization through his company, NAI Plotkin, which services commercial real estate in areas such as property management, consulting, construction management, condo/HOA management, and brokerage services. Plotkin’s portfolio includes the management of more than 6 million square feet of commercial and retail space and approximately two million square feet of residential units with clients ranging from institutional to regional in scope and include such entities as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Office Building, the U.S. Postal Service, and Staples Inc. Through his role as president, Plotkin serves on the NAI Asset Services Council along with 30 other esteemed members globally, encouraging a collective wealth of knowledge, including best practices and new technology for effective property management. Reservations for the Annual Meeting and Celebration are $75 for members in advance, and $85 for general admission. Reservations may be made online at the Annual Meeting webpage or by contacting Nancy Creed at [email protected].

 

40 Under Forty

June 16: BusinessWest will host the annual 40 Under Forty Gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House starting at 4:30. One of the most anticipated events of the year, the gala will celebrate the Class of 2022, which was announced in the May 2 issue of BusinessWest. The gala will feature a VIP hour for the honorees and sponsors, networking, the presentation of the Alumni Achievement Award, and introduction of members of the Class of 2022. For more information, visit BusinessWest.com. Forty Under 40 is sponsored this year by: Presenting Sponsor PeoplesBank; Alumni Achievement Award Presenting Sponsor Health New England; and supporting sponsors Comcast Business, Live Nation, Mercedes Benz of Springfield, The Mill District, Stand Out Truck, and the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Business. The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) is an event partner.

 

MOSSO Concerts

June 23/July 21: MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, have announced details of their upcoming summer concerts at Symphony Hall. MOSSO will celebrate the music of Stephen Sondheim and John Williams. These concerts mark the first time in almost 20 years that the musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra have performed summer concerts in Springfield. On June 23, MOSSO celebrates the music of the late, legendary Broadway composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, who penned the words and music to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods. Conductor Tim Stella will lead the program, joined by Broadway stars Hugh Panaro and Lisa Vroman. Also appearing are Ray Hardman and Kathleen Callahan-Hardman. Stella conducted The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and before that, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Hello Dolly!, and Legs Diamond. He served as vocal coach to Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, who portrayed Christine and the Phantom respectively, in the movie version of Phantom. Stella is former resident music director of Goodspeed Musicals, and a conductor at Radio City Music Hall. Panaro is best known for having played the role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times. On July 21, Maestro Kevin Rhodes returns to Springfield to conduct a MOSSO benefit concert, with a program of light classics and music of renowned composer John Williams, whose works include Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler’s List. Rhodes will be joined by guest soloist, violinist Yevgeny Kutik, whose two prior solo appearances in Springfield were met with great acclaim. Rhodes served as music director and conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for 20 seasons, until the SSO paused performances in 2020.

He continues to serve as music director and conductor of the Traverse Symphony in Michigan, and as principal conductor of Boston’s Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. In March 2021, Maestro Rhodes made his debut with the Orchestra of the Rome Opera in Italy, recording a live radio broadcast of Maurice Jarre’s score to Roland Petit’s ballet, Notre Dame de Paris. He will conduct productions of Giselle and La Bayadère for their 2022-23 season. Kutik, a native of Minsk, Belarus, immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five, with the help of the Jewish Federations of North America. His 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), features music he found in his family’s suitcase after immigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1990. In 2021, Kutik launched Finding Home: Music from the Suitcase in Concert. Kutik’s additional releases on Marquis include his most recent album, The Death of Juliet and Other Tales. Tickets for both concerts, priced $60, $45, $25, and $10, will go on sale on May 9. For details, visit: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com. MOSSO sponsors (to date) include: The Republican/MassLive, BusinessWest and Healthcare News, WWLP-22News & The CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, New England Public Media, the Musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation.

Picture This

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Square One Derby Party

The Annual Square One Derby Party made a triumphant return on May 7 at The Armory at MGM Springfield after being on placed on pause for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 200 guests who attended, all dressed in classically exuberant and colorful Kentucky Derby attire, enjoyed drinks and hors d’oeuvres while watching the heartwarming win of dark-horse (pun intended) Rich Strike unfold in an exhilarating race played out on giant screens at the Armory. Square One raised nearly $50,000 to help the children and families served by the agency from ticket sales and the generosity of event sponsors: PeoplesBank, Alekman Ditusa LLC, and USI Insurance Services.

attendees cheer on their favorite as the horses head for the finish line

Attendees cheer on their favorite as the horses head for the finish line

 

Dawn DiStefano, president and CEO of Square One

Dawn DiStefano, president and CEO of Square One, addresses those gathered for the party

 

Tammy Bordeaux, regional manager and vice president

Tammy Bordeaux, regional manager and vice president of PeoplesBank, offers remarks

 

get together before the race

From left, Andrea Hickson-Martin, chair of the Square One board of directors, Robyn Newhouse, vice president of The Republican, and Crystal Neuhauser, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Bay Path University, get together before the race

 

Brenda Cuoco & Associates Real Estate Brokerage

The Brenda Cuoco & Associates Real Estate Brokerage team poses for a photo

 


 

Celebrating 75 Years

Holyoke Community College celebrated its 75th anniversary on May 5 with a range of lively festivities. The food was prepared by HCC Culinary Arts students and chefs from MGM Springfield, and beverages were provided by White Lion Brewing and Arcpoint Brewing. Live music was performed by HCC music students and faculty, which led to dancing and contributed to the fun party atmosphere. Open houses and tours were held so visitors could explore the Commonwealth’s oldest community college and see the types of work students have been accomplishing this year. Panel discussions were also held over Zoom to include virtual options for this otherwise in-person event. The festivities concluded with a community reception at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. The celebration was free and open to the public.

Clockwise, from top left, HCC President Christina Royal offers remarks; HCC Culinary Arts students prepare hors d’oeuvres; attendees of the early education open house pose for a photo; from left, David Bartley, former HCC president and Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Royal, and Will Puello, Holyoke city councilor, pose for a photo after HCC was presented with an official resolution from the City Council.

HCC President Christina Royal offers remarks

HCC President Christina Royal offers remarks

 

HCC Culinary Arts students prepare hors d’oeuvres

HCC Culinary Arts students prepare hors d’oeuvres

 

early education open house

Attendees of the early education open house pose for a photo

 

HCC was presented with an official resolution from the City Council

From left, David Bartley, former HCC president and Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, Royal, and Will Puello, Holyoke city councilor, pose for a photo after HCC was presented with an official resolution from the City Council

Agenda

UMass Commencement

May 13: U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, who represents the 2ndDistrict of Massachusetts, will be the featured speaker at theUMass Amherst undergraduate commencement ceremony at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.The congressman will address an anticipated crowd of about 20,000 family members, friends and other guests as approximately 7,000 undergraduates receive their bachelor’s degrees at the Commonwealth’s flagship campus. The graduation ceremony for the undergraduate Class of 2022 is the 152ndUMass Amherst Commencement. Approximately 7,000 graduates are expected to receive their degrees at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on the UMass Amherst campus. The ceremony will be held rain or shine beginning at 4:30 p.m. and is scheduled to conclude at approximately 6:30 p.m. The ceremony is free and tickets are not required.Stadium gates open at 2 p.m. Guests should plan to arrive on campus by that time and will be directed to free campus parking and to shuttle buses that will take them from parking lots to the stadium. Services are available for guests with limited mobility and other disabilities.

 

Jack’s Walk

May 14: Jack’s Walk, a fundraiser to benefit the Jack Jonah Foundation, will take place at the Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke. The foundation has a stated mission to “encourage, foster, teach, engage, and provide opportunities, specifically in the areas of drug awareness.” The foundation also provides assistance (financial or otherwise) at the local, state, and/or national level in the promotion of drug awareness and education. The foundation is named in honor of Jack Jonah, who died of a heroin overdose. Jack’s Walk features a full schedule of activities. The day begins with a pre-walk tie-dye party and check-in beginning at 9 a.m. There will then be several guest speakers, including West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt, Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, and Jack Jonah Foundation Founder Kirk Jonah for closing comments and a moment of silence. The walk begins at 11, and there will be a post-walk reception at the Elks from noon to 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults. Youths 18 and under are admitted free. To register online, visit Jackjonahfoundation.org.

 

Meet and Greet

May 20: Mercedes Benz of Springfield will host a gathering of the 2022 40 Under Forty honorees as well as the members of the first 15 classes of rising stars. The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a meet-and-greet for members of the Class of 2022, who are profiled in this edition. From 6-8, there will be a networking event for all of the 16 classes of 40 Under Forty honorees. Food will be provided by Log Rolling Catering. Forty Under 40 is sponsored this year by: Presenting Sponsor PeoplesBank; Alumni Achievement Award Sponsor Health New England; and supporting sponsors Comcast Business, Live Nation, Mercedes Benz of Springfield, The Mill District, Stand Out Truck, and the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Business.

 

Maifest Block Party

May 20, 21: Maifest is a colorful, joyous tradition in Germany. It celebrates the arrival of spring where food is plentiful and spirits flow freely. The tradition unfolds in Springfield with the Maifest Block Party.The Student Prince & The Fort Restaurant’s Maifest Block Party is an event for the community supported by Liberty Bank. This two-day event will take place outdoors on Fort Street. Live bands will fill the air with music while guests sip beer and dine on delicious Maifest spring delights. The festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. on May 20,with the ceremonial keg tapping headed by Peter Picknelly, Edison Yee, and more special guests.

 

Annual Golf Tournament

June 3: The Hospice of the Fisher Home will present its sixth annual par 3 event at Amherst Golf Club’s nine-hole course at 1 p.m. Beer tastings and seafood slider samples will be available on the course as well as a chance to win a pair of Putnam Club seats on the 45-yard-line to a New England Patriots game. This prize has been donated by Manny’s Appliance of Hadley. Participants can get a free swing analysis, a chance at winning a new Ford Bronco, and other raffle items. They will also be invited to stop by and drop off unwanted, lightly used housewares and clothing to donate to the Fisher Home’s thrift shop. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit Hospice of the Fisher Home. Hospice staff are grateful to the contributors of this event, including donors, sponsors, and friends at the Amherst Golf Club. They make it possible to provide compassionate, comprehensive, and supportive end-of-life care to patients and their loved ones in their own homes or in the hospice residence. Visit https://www.fisherhome.org/2022-golf-tournament learn more, donate, sponsor, and register. For more information, contact Ashleigh Towse: [email protected], (413) 992-2544.

 

40 Under Forty:

June 16: BusinessWest will host the annual 40 Under Forty Gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House starting at 4:30. One of the most anticipated events of the year, the gala will celebrate the Class of 2022, which was announced in the May 2 issue of BusinessWest. The gala will feature a VIP hour for the honorees and sponsors, networking, the presentation of the Alumni Achievement Award, and introduction of members of the Class of 2022. For more information or to purchase tickets ($85 each with tables of 12 available), visit BusinessWest.com. Forty Under 40 is sponsored this year by: Presenting Sponsor PeoplesBank; Alumni Achievement Award Sponsor Health New England; and supporting sponsors Comcast Business, Live Nation, Mercedes Benz of Springfield, The Mill District, Stand Out Truck, and the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Business. The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield is an event partner.

 

MOSSO Concerts

June 23 and July 21: MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, have announced details of their upcoming summer concerts at Symphony Hall. MOSSO will celebrate the music of Stephen Sondheim and John Williams. These concerts mark the first time in almost 20 years that the musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra have performed summer concerts in Springfield. On June 23, MOSSO celebrates the music of the late, legendary Broadway composer and lyricist, Stephen Sondheim, who penned the words and music to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and Into the Woods. Conductor Tim Stella will lead the program, joined by Broadway stars Hugh Panaro and Lisa Vroman. Also appearing are Ray Hardman and Kathleen Callahan-Hardman. Stella conducted The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and before that, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Hello Dolly!, and Legs Diamond. He served as vocal coach to Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, who portrayed Christine and the Phantom respectively, in the movie version of Phantom. Stella is former resident music director of Goodspeed Musicals, and a conductor at Radio City Music Hall. Panaro is best known for having played the role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera more than 2,000 times. On July 21, Maestro Kevin Rhodes returns to Springfield to conduct a MOSSO benefit concert, with a program of light classics and music of renowned composer John Williams, whose works include Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler’s List. Rhodes will be joined by guest soloist, violinist Yevgeny Kutik, whose two prior solo appearances in Springfield were met with great acclaim. Rhodes served as music director and conductor of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for 20 seasons, until the SSO paused performances in 2020.

He continues to serve as music director and conductor of the Traverse Symphony in Michigan, and as principal conductor of Boston’s Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. In March 2021, Maestro Rhodes made his debut with the Orchestra of the Rome Opera in Italy, recording a live radio broadcast of Maurice Jarre’s score to Roland Petit’s ballet, Notre Dame de Paris. He will conduct productions of Giselle and La Bayadère for their 2022-23 season. Kutik, a native of Minsk, Belarus, immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five, with the help of the Jewish Federations of North America. His 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), features music he found in his family’s suitcase after immigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1990. In 2021, Kutik launched Finding Home: Music from the Suitcase in Concert. Kutik’s additional releases on Marquis include his most recent album, The Death of Juliet and Other Tales. Tickets for both concerts, priced $60, $45, $25, and $10, will go on sale on May 9. For details, visit: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com. MOSSO sponsors (to date) include: The Republican/MassLive, BusinessWest and Healthcare News, WWLP-22News & The CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, New England Public Media, the Musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation.

Agenda

Get Hired Job Fair

May 5: Holyoke Mall will host an in-person job fair from 3 to 6 p.m. on the lower level near Macy’s. Sponsored by Valley Opportunity Council, the Get Hired Job Fair is a convenient opportunity for Western Mass. employers to interview and hire workers, and to help job seekers connect with businesses who need their skills. Employers from a variety of industries will be in attendance looking for candidates at all skill levels. Several stores and venues at Holyoke Mall will also be in attendance to fill open positions. The event is free to attend for all job seekers. Employers that have already signed up to staff a table include MGM Springfield, Holyoke Medical Center, Springfield College, Trinity Senior Communities, and Valley Opportunity Council. Employers interested in participating in the upcoming job fair should contact Jim Geraghty, advertising representative for Holyoke Mall, at (617) 840-2998 or [email protected] For full details regarding the job fair, visit www.holyokemall.com/event/get-hired-job-fair.

 

Annual Shred Day

May 7: The Wealth Transition Collective of Holyoke is partnering with Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice for their annual shred day. Anyone who has financial or sensitive documents that need shredding may bring them to the VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson, 168 Industrial Dr., Northampton from 9 to 11 a.m. A donation of $5 per paper box will directly benefit the VNA & Hospice. Shredding will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis until the truck is full or 11 a.m., whichever comes first. Only paper items will be accepted. For more information, visit www.twealthtc.com.

 

Jack’s Walk

May 14: Jack’s Walk, a fundraiser to benefit the Jack Jonah Foundation, will take place at the Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke. The foundation has a stated mission to “encourage, foster, teach, engage, and provide opportunities, specifically in the areas of drug awareness.” The foundation also provides assistance (financial or otherwise) at the local, state, and/or national level in the promotion of drug awareness and education. The foundation is named in honor of Jack Jonah, who died of a heroin overdose. Jack’s Walk features a full schedule of activities. The day begins with a pre-walk tie-dye party and check-in beginning at 9 a.m. There will then be several guest speakers, including West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt, Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni, and Jack Jonah Foundation Founder Kirk Jonah for closing comments and a moment of silence. The walk begins at 11, and there will be a post-walk reception at the Elks from noon to 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults. Youths 18 and under are admitted free. To register online, visit Jackjonahfoundation.org.

 

sheLEADS Conference

May 20: The Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce will host sheLEADS, a woman’s conference aimed at building a bold, brave community of women in the 413 with an eye on professional development and beyond. The day begins at the Boylston Room in Easthampton at noon and ends with networking at Abandoned Building Brewery. In between, attendees can look forward to “Activating Your Leadership Strengths,” facilitated by Colleen DelVecchio of Colleen DelVecchio Consultants; “The Language of Leadership,” a panel discussion featuring Pia Kumar, chief strategy officer at Universal Plastics, Lynnette Watkins, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care, and Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, CEO of Inclusive Strategies; and “Be Great Where Your Feet Are,” featuring keynote speaker Robyn Glaser Sr., vice president, Business Affairs for the Kraft Group. For tickets and details, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org.

 

40U40 Meet & Greet

May 20: Mercedes Benz of Springfield will host a gathering of the 2022 40 Under Forty honorees as well as the members of the first 15 classes of rising stars. The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a meet-and-greet for members of the Class of 2022, who are profiled in this edition. From 6-8, there will be a networking event for all of the 16 classes of 40 Under Forty honorees. Food will be provided by Log Rolling Catering. Forty Under 40 is sponsored this year by: Presenting Sponsor PeoplesBank; Alumni Achievement Award Sponsor Health New England; and supporting sponsors Comcast Business, Live Nation, Mercedes Benz of Springfield, The Mill District, Stand Out Truck, and the UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Business.

 

MOSSO Summer Concert Series

June 23, July 21, Aug. 13: MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, announced a summer concert series of three programs, two in Springfield Symphony Hall and the third, an outdoor brass quintet program, in Forest Park in Springfield. On Thursday, June 23, MOSSO will celebrate the music of the late, legendary Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who penned the words and music to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and others. Broadway conductor Tim Stella (of The Phantom of the Opera and Hello, Dolly!) will lead the program, joined by some major Broadway stars. The program will be announced later this month. On Thursday, July 21, Maestro Kevin Rhodes will return to Springfield to conduct a program of light classics and music of renowned composer John Williams, whose works include Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler’s List. Rhodes will be joined by a guest soloist. This will be a benefit concert for MOSSO, so that the nonprofit organization can continue to deliver professional symphonic music to Greater Springfield and Western Mass. The program will be announced later this month.Tickets for both Symphony Hall concerts will go on sale on May 9. To get on the mailing list for information on these programs, visit springfieldsymphonymusicians.com. On Saturday, Aug. 13 (rain date: Sunday, Aug. 14), a MOSSO brass quintet will perform a free concert at Camp Star Angelina on Trafton Road in Forest Park. This concert will be produced for MOSSO by Bing Productions. No tickets are required.

 

 

Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]

 


 

Winning Team

Florence Bank recently completed a five-year, $100,000 donation to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to support its multi-phase, multi-year renovation. In addition, Florence Bank customers using their debit card will get 50% admission discounts to the Hall during school vacation week, April 18-22. The collaboration between the bank and museum began roughly a decade ago and has grown to support programming of all kinds. Pictured: Florence Bank President and CEO Kevin Day and John Doleva, president and CEO of the Hall of Fame.

 


 

Long-distance Partnership

Representatives from Elms College and Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) allowing qualified students at Yarmouk to complete their master’s degree in biotechnology via Elms College’s online learning platform. Pictured, from left: Elms College President Harry Dumay; Sudad Saman, assistant professor of biology at Elms College; Almuthanna Khalaf Ahmad Alkaraki, head of the Biological Sciences department at Yarmouk University, and Khalid Al-Batayneh, dean of the College of Sciences at Yarmouk University, both on screen via Zoom; Janet Williams, professor of Biology at Elms College; and Walter Breau, vice president of Academic Affairs at Elms College.

 


 

Gyro-ic Return

Le Greque celebrated a grand reopening at Tower Square on March 25, the date the Greek restaurant opened 40 years ago. Husband-and-wife team Kyriakos ‘Kyri’ and Diana Varypatakis started dishing up gyros and other Greek specialties for the first time in two years since closing at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured: Diana Varypatakis with the framed cash from the eatery’s first sale on March 25, 1982.

 

Agenda

Free Community Shred Day

April 16: Monson Savings Bank’s Monson branch will host a free Community Shred Day from 9 a.m. to noon. As in past years, Monson Savings Bank is partnering with PROSHRED of Wilbraham for this event. The bank will welcome the public to safely and securely dispose of their private documents on site. Storing documents that contain personal information in the home can pose a serious security risk. Monson Savings Bank is encouraging local residents to shred any documents they no longer need, especially those that contain private information. The bank’s free Community Shred Day is a chance to do some spring cleaning and properly discard unwanted documents, such as tax returns, bank or credit-card statements, bills, medical records, and more. Prepackaged refreshments and giveaways will be available at the event, while supplies last.

 

Eggstravaganza at the Zoo in Forest Park

April 16: The Zoo in Forest Park will host its annual Eggstravaganza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include grab-and-go stations for children with take-and-make activities, prize-filled Easter eggs, books, and candy while supplies last. There will also be animal encounters and enrichment to allow guests an up-close look at some of the animals, as well as free face painting and visits from Felix the Fox and Andy the Armadillo. Pre-registration is required to attend. No additional tickets will be sold at the door. Registration closes April 11 or when all tickets are sold. To purchase tickets, visit www.forestparkzoo.org/eggs.

 

Program on Building Resilience for Self-care and Caregivers

April 18: From 11:45 to 12:45 p.m., Jewish Family Service of Western Massachusetts will present mindfulness educator and trauma-informed coach Reina Goldberg, who will discuss simple and enjoyable ways to shift habituated patterns of holding stress in one’s body while also practicing tuning into one’s innate body wisdom. Attendees of the virtual session will engage in a fluid unfolding of body-based practices to allow for deeper unwinding and integration. Some practices include mindful body scans, body-led movement, gentle-release practices, brain and body balancing and strengthening exercises, Qigong, and tapping to boost the immune system. Attendees will learn new patterns of resilience, rejuvenation, and relaxation while walking away with new practices and perspectives. All ages are welcome, and all exercises can be done seated or standing. The program is free and open to the public and will be held on Zoom. Registration is required. RSVP online at www.jfswm.org or call (413) 737-2601.

 

Springfield Symphony Orchestra Spring Concerts

April 22, May 13: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Board announced two spring concerts will be hosted at Springfield Symphony Hall with former SSO Music Director Mark Russell Smith serving as guest conductor. Smith is music director and conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. He previously served as music director for the SSO from 1995 through 2000. He has worked as director of New Music Projects for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and artistic director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Minnesota, and has also served as music director for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. Details about the concerts, program, and availability of tickets will be forthcoming and available at springfieldsymphony.org.

 

Social Justice Awards

April 23: Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS) announced that this year’s Social Justice Awards will honor the organization’s former President and CEO Ronn Johnson, who passed away in January. The organization also announced that the Justice Resource Institute has stepped forward as the first event sponsor. The 2022 Social Justice Awards will continue to be a virtual event this year and will begin at 11 a.m. Michael Weeks, president and CEO of the Providers Council, will be the keynote speaker. This year’s honorees are Barbara Gresham (education), Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr. (lifetime achievement), Bishop Talbert Swan II (race relations), CMSS and Eileen McCaffery (arts and culture), Doris Harris (health advocacy), First Church of Christ in Longmeadow UCC (faith-based initiative), MassHire Springfield and Kevin Lynn (economic development), and Thomas Morrow and Julius Lewis (entrepreneurship). Individuals and organizations interested in supporting Johnson’s work at MLKFS through sponsorship or a donation should contact Lenise Williams at (413) 736-3655 or [email protected], or visit mlkjrfamilyservices.org/donate.

 

Great Golf Escape

April 25: The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) will host its annual Great Golf Escape tournament at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. YPS aims to engage the younger demographic in career development, networking, community involvement, recreational and social activities, and more. The cost for this event is $125 for YPS members, $500 for a YPS member foursome team captain, $135 for non-members, and $540 for a non-member foursome team captain. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. There will be prizes and a poker challenge throughout the event. The first-place team will also be able to select a charitable organization to receive a donation from YPS. Registration includes lunch, post-golf dinner, and giveaways. Members can register for the event at www.springfieldyps.com/events. This event is open to the public. However, YPS members will receive a free mulligan, entry into the door-prize raffle, and more. They’ll be offering golfers on-course hospitality, including ice-cream samples from Batch Ice Cream, sponsored by LiftTruck Parts & Service, and craft beer samples from Leadfoot Brewing. Foursomes and sponsorships are still available by visiting springfieldyps.com/golf or e-mailing [email protected].

 

‘Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement’

April 27: Holyoke Community College (HCC) will present a three-hour, in-person workshop focusing on life after retirement. “Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement” will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The workshop will be facilitated by former career counselor Barbara Foster. The workshop will offer a series of exercises and self-assessments, as well as time to reflect, brainstorm with others, and develop goals and a vision for this new chapter of life. Participants will also leave with an extensive list of resources to explore. Space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/rewire, or call (413) 552-2500 for more information. The cost is $39. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for all workshop participants, and masks must be worn in all HCC campus buildings.

 

Homework House Adult Spelling Bee

April 28: Homework House announced that its annual Adult Spelling Bee is back in person this year. Teams of three will gather at Open Square at 5:30 p.m. to demonstrate their spelling aptitude in this entertaining, and often comical, community event. Former state Rep. Aaron Vega will once again emcee the evening’s activities. Homework House, a not-for-profit, after-school program, offers free tutoring and mentoring services to children in kindergarten through grade 6. Homework House sites are located in Holyoke’s most economically challenged neighborhoods, and more than 98% of its budget comes from charitable contributions. Popular radio announcer Monte Belmonte will once again serve as the word reader. Virginia Dillon, executive director of Homework House, announced that this year’s judges will include Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia and City Councilor Tessa Murphy-Romboletti. Team registrations can be completed online. Tickets to the event cost $25 in advance and $30 at the door and can be purchased online or from any board member or staff member of Homework House. For more information, to register a team, or to purchase tickets, visit www.homeworkhousebee.com.

Get Hired Job Fair

May 5: Holyoke Mall will host an in-person job fair from 3 to 6 p.m. on the lower level near Macy’s. Sponsored by Valley Opportunity Council, the Get Hired Job Fair is a convenient opportunity for Western Mass. employers to interview and hire workers, and to help job seekers connect with businesses who need their skills. Employers from a variety of industries will be in attendance looking for candidates at all skill levels. Several stores and venues at Holyoke Mall will also be in attendance to fill open positions. The event is free to attend for all job seekers. Employers that have already signed up to staff a table include MGM Springfield, Holyoke Medical Center, Springfield College, Trinity Senior Communities, and Valley Opportunity Council. Employers interested in participating in the upcoming job fair should contact Jim Geraghty, advertising representative for Holyoke Mall, at (617) 840-2998 or [email protected]. For full details regarding the job fair, visit www.holyokemall.com/event/get-hired-job-fair.

Annual Shred Day

May 7: The Wealth Transition Collective of Holyoke is partnering with Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice for their annual shred day. Anyone who has financial or sensitive documents that need shredding may bring them to the VNA & Hospice of Cooley Dickinson, 168 Industrial Dr., Northampton from 9 to 11 a.m. A donation of $5 per paper box will directly benefit the VNA & Hospice. Shredding will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis until the truck is full or 11 a.m., whichever comes first. Only paper items will be accepted. For more information, visit www.twealthtc.com.

sheLEADS Conference

May 20: The Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce will host sheLEADS, a woman’s conference aimed at building a bold, brave community of women in the 413 with an eye on professional development and beyond. The day begins at the Boylston Room in Easthampton at noon and ends with networking at Abandoned Building Brewery. In between, attendees can look forward to “Activating Your Leadership Strengths,” facilitated by Colleen DelVecchio of Colleen DelVecchio Consultants; “The Language of Leadership,” a panel discussion featuring Pia Kumar, chief strategy officer at Universal Plastics, Lynnette Watkins, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care, and Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, CEO of Inclusive Strategies; and “Be Great Where Your Feet Are,” featuring keynote speaker Robyn Glaser Sr., vice president, Business Affairs for the Kraft Group. For tickets and details, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org.

 

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Messages of Solidarity

Messages of Solidarity

The day Russia invaded Ukraine, the College Radio Foundation issued a call for solidarity for Ukraine’s students. Over the next 24 hours, about 50 college stations on three continents responded, and the foundation compiled the audio clips into a 37-minute file that was sent to the National University of Ostroh Academy in Ostroh, Ukraine, then posted on SoundCloud and distributed to universities around Ukraine. Stevie Converse, an adjunct professor of communications at Holyoke Community College and adviser to the HCC Radio Club (pictured), recorded HCC’s contribution. “We are the students from 103.5 WCCH in Holyoke, a city in Western Massachusetts in the USA,” he said. “We stand with you in Ostroh and all across Ukraine. Please know we are in solidarity with the the Ukrainian people, and we wish you safety, unity, and eventual peace for you and your homeland.”

 


 

Supporting Mental Health

Supporting Mental Health

A $15,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, will help the Mental Health Assoc. (MHA) expand programming and resources for its Grow, Reimagine, Inspire, Transform (GRIT) program that provides residential rehabilitation for individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ in recovery with substance-use and mental-health disorders. Services offered at GRIT include recovery-based group therapy, how to cope mindfully with traumatic stress, and 24/7 individual support.

 


 

Hit the Road

Hit the Road

Senator Velis Presents $75,000 in ARPA funding to the Agawam Senior Center State Sen. John Velis recently presented earmark funding of $75,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to the Agawam Senior Center, to assist the center in acquiring a new van, which will increase mobility for local seniors by making transportation more accessible. Velis (center) was joined by Agawam Mayor William Sapelli (left), Agawam Senior Center Executive Director Michael Squindo (right), and members of the community.

 


 

Agenda

Cannabis-Industry Training Classes

Starting April 2: The Cannabis Education Center (CEC) at Holyoke Community College (HCC) will be running three cannabis-industry training programs. The CEC’s 12-hour, introductory Cannabis Core course will be held April 2-3 from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. each day over Zoom. The Cannabis Core program provides an overview of the cannabis industry in Massachusetts and is geared for people looking for general knowledge as they consider a cannabis career. During four three-hour sessions, students will interact with cannabis experts and guest speakers in reviews of the plant, various cannabis products, the endocannabinoid system, laws and prohibition, growing and plant care, labeling, packaging, testing, employment considerations, and more. The Cannabis Core program is a foundational course and a prerequisite for career track courses. Cannabis Extraction Technician training also begins April 2 and runs through April 23. The course meets weekly on Wednesdays over Zoom from 10 to 11 a.m., supplemented by self-paced online instruction. In this course, students will learn the basic fundamentals needed to work in a cannabis extraction laboratory: how to extract useful molecular components from cannabis and hemp using various techniques, including both solvent and solventless methods. Topics covered include good lab practices, health and safety metrics, extraction techniques, winterization, and dewaxing. Cannabis Culinary Assistant training begins April 19. Classes will meet in person on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through May 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race St., Holyoke. Cannabis culinary assistants are responsible for cooking, baking, and infusing cannabis- or hemp-based products with extracts. The program is a 20-hour introductory course that provides an overview of cooking and baking techniques used to create edibles. The course reviews tools, equipment, food safety, standard recipes, and dosing, and provides discussions on infused oils, sauces, chocolates, ice cream, and more. Cannabis is not used in this program. Participants will be introduced to industry professionals, prepare for employment opportunities, and have the opportunity to earn SERV Safe certification. The cost of the Cannabis Core training is $599. Industry-specific course training is $799. Scholarships may be available to those who qualify. To register, visit hcc.edu/cannabis-core.

 

UMass 5K Dash and Dine

April 9: After a two-year hiatus, UMass Dining Services will host its 11th annual UMass 5K Dash and Dine on campus starting at 9 a.m. The goal of the event is to promote health and wellness at the university while raising funds for the Amherst Survival Center. In total, UMass dining has been able to raise more than $50,000 for the Amherst Survival Center. The 5K features a USA Track and Field certified course to runners, walkers, and wheelchair participants. When race participants are finished, all are welcomed to have lunch at the award-winning dining commons on campus. The race fee is $10 for all UMass and Five College students, $15 for UMass Amherst faculty and staff, and $20 for the general public. Children age 8 and under may participate for free. This race fee includes registration and the complimentary meal. Online registration ends at midnight on Wednesday, April 6. Walk-up registration is available on race day. To register for the event or make a donation, visit runumass.com.

 

MOSSO Chamber Music Series

April 14: The Westfield Athenaeum continues its three-concert chamber music series at 7 p.m., with musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, known as MOSSO, providing the music. A woodwind quintet of MOSSO musicians will be showcased, and Guy McLain, executive director of the Westfield Athenaeum, will offer a pre-performance talk at 6 p.m., which is free to ticket holders. Ann Bobo, principal flute, and Nancy Dimock, principal oboe, will be joined by their colleagues Ian Greitzer, clarinetist, Ron Haroutunian, bassoonist, and horn player Robert Marlatt. The MOSSO season at the Westfield Athenaeum opened on March 10, and will conclude with a concert on May 19, with a program to be announced soon. Tickets for the concert cost $20 and must be purchased in advance at the Westfield Athenaeum during business hours, or online at www.westath.org. Audience members will be required to wear masks.

 

Eggstravaganza at the Zoo in Forest Park

April 16: The Zoo in Forest Park will host its annual Eggstravaganza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will include grab-and-go stations for children with take-and-make activities, prize-filled Easter eggs, books, and candy while supplies last. There will also be animal encounters and enrichment to allow guests an up-close look at some of the animals, as well as free face painting and visits from Felix the Fox and Andy the Armadillo. Pre-registration is required to attend. No additional tickets will be sold at the door. Registration closes April 11 or when all tickets are sold. To purchase tickets, visit www.forestparkzoo.org/eggs.

 

Springfield Symphony Orchestra Spring Concerts

April 22, May 13: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Board announced two spring concerts will be hosted at Springfield Symphony Hall with former SSO Music Director Mark Russell Smith serving as guest conductor. Smith is music director and conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. He previously served as music director for the SSO from 1995 through 2000. He has worked as director of New Music Projects for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and artistic director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Minnesota, and has also served as music director for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. Details about the concerts, program, and availability of tickets will be forthcoming and available at springfieldsymphony.org.

 

Social Justice Awards

April 23: Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services (MLKFS) announced that this year’s Social Justice Awards will honor the organization’s former President and CEO Ronn Johnson, who passed away in January. The organization also announced that the Justice Resource Institute has stepped forward as the first event sponsor. The 2022 Social Justice Awards will continue to be a virtual event this year and will begin at 11 a.m. Michael Weeks, president and CEO of the Providers Council, will be the keynote speaker. This year’s honorees are Barbara Gresham (education), Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr. (lifetime achievement), Bishop Talbert Swan II (race relations), CMSS and Eileen McCaffery (arts and culture), Doris Harris (health advocacy), First Church of Christ in Longmeadow UCC (faith-based initiative), MassHire Springfield and Kevin Lynn (economic development), and Thomas Morrow and Julius Lewis (entrepreneurship). Individuals and organizations interested in supporting Johnson’s work at MLKFS through sponsorship or a donation should contact Lenise Williams at (413) 736-3655 or [email protected], or visit mlkjrfamilyservices.org/donate.

 

Great Golf Escape

April 25: The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) will host its annual Great Golf Escape tournament at Twin Hills Country Club in Longmeadow. YPS aims to engage the younger demographic in career development, networking, community involvement, recreational and social activities, and more. The cost for this event is $125 for YPS members, $500 for a YPS member foursome team captain, $135 for non-members, and $540 for a non-member foursome team captain. Check-in begins at 9 a.m. There will be prizes and a poker challenge throughout the event. The first-place team will also be able to select a charitable organization to receive a donation from YPS. Registration includes lunch, post-golf dinner, and giveaways. Members can register for the event at www.springfieldyps.com/events. This event is open to the public. However, YPS members will receive a free mulligan, entry into the door-prize raffle, and more. They’ll be offering golfers on-course hospitality, including ice-cream samples from Batch Ice Cream, sponsored by LiftTruck Parts & Service, and craft beer samples from Leadfoot Brewing. Major sponsors for this event include PeoplesBank (presenting sponsor), F45 Riverdale, Marcotte Ford, and the John Glover Insurance Agency. Foursomes and sponsorships are still available by visiting springfieldyps.com/golf or e-mailing [email protected].

 

‘Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement’

April 27: Holyoke Community College (HCC) will present a three-hour, in-person workshop focusing on life after retirement. “Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement” will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The workshop will be facilitated by former career counselor Barbara Foster. “Retirement is a major life transition, not unlike a major career change” Foster said. “People often fail to consider how they will find purpose and fulfillment in retirement. The average 65-year-old will remain active for 20 years or more after leaving a full-time job. The workshop will assist both pre-retirees and recently retired people to consider how they will spend the 2,000 hours a year they formerly spent at work. This could be volunteering, starting a new business, developing hobbies, seeking part-time work, or new learning experiences.” The workshop will offer a series of exercises and self-assessments, as well as time to reflect, brainstorm with others, and develop goals and a vision for this new chapter of life. Participants will also leave with an extensive list of resources to explore. Space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/rewire, or call (413) 552-2500 for more information. The cost is $39. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for all workshop participants, and masks must be worn in all HCC campus buildings.

 

Get Hired Job Fair

May 5: Holyoke Mall will host an in-person job fair from 3 to 6 p.m. on the lower level near Macy’s. Sponsored by Valley Opportunity Council, the Get Hired Job Fair is a convenient opportunity for Western Mass. employers to interview and hire workers, and to help job seekers connect with businesses who need their skills. Employers from a variety of industries will be in attendance looking for candidates at all skill levels. Several stores and venues at Holyoke Mall will also be in attendance to fill open positions. The event is free to attend for all job seekers. Employers that have already signed up to staff a table include MGM Springfield, Holyoke Medical Center, Springfield College, Trinity Senior Communities, and Valley Opportunity Council. Employers interested in participating in the upcoming job fair should contact Jim Geraghty, advertising representative for Holyoke Mall, at (617) 840-2998 or [email protected]. For full details regarding the job fair, visit www.holyokemall.com/event/get-hired-job-fair.

 

sheLEADS Conference

May 20: The Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce will host sheLEADS, a woman’s conference aimed at building a bold, brave community of women in the 413 with an eye on professional development and beyond. “This is a high-energy day filled with professional development, relationship- and leadership-building opportunities. Our focus is on providing attendees tools and connections that they didn’t have when they walked in,” said Moe Belliveau, the chamber’s executive director. The day begins at the Boylston Room in Easthampton at noon and ends with networking at Abandoned Building Brewery. In between, attendees can look forward to “Activating Your Leadership Strengths,” facilitated by Colleen DelVecchio of Colleen DelVecchio Consultants; “The Language of Leadership,” a panel discussion featuring Pia Kumar, chief strategy officer at Universal Plastics, Lynnette Watkins, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson Health Care, and Waleska Lugo-DeJesus, CEO of Inclusive Strategies; and “Be Great Where Your Feet Are,” featuring keynote speaker Robyn Glaser Sr., vice president, Business Affairs for the Kraft Group. For tickets and details, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org.

 

 

 

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Meeting a Critical Need

Baystate Health and Kindred Behavioral Health, a division of LifePoint Health, broke ground on March 8 in Holyoke on a new, state-of-the-art behavioral-health hospital. Baystate Behavioral Health Hospital will be located on 45 Lower Westfield Road and will feature 120 semi-private rooms and 30 private rooms for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. The 23,230-square-foot, four-story facility will feature a wide range of programs to meet patients’ varying treatment needs, as well as large activity and therapy rooms, a gym for therapy services, multiple courtyards, and outdoor recreation spaces where patients can interact with each other and their family members. The $72 million project is estimated to take 16 months to complete, with an expected opening in August 2023.

 


 

Grand Opening

Amherst welcomed the newest player in cannabis retail with a grand opening and ribbon cutting at Pleasantrees, located at 422 Amity St., on March 5. Pictured, from left: Paul Bockelman, Amherst town administrator; Zach Wilson, director of Retail at Pleasantrees; Koby Gardner-Levine from U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern’s office; Pleasantrees employees Nasya Dobbins and Kimmy Burlak; and Claudia Pazmany, executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

 


 

Campus Tour

State legislators visited Greenfield Community College on Feb. 28, to tour the campus and learn how support from lawmakers can help GCC continue to provide quality, affordable education and workforce development. Visiting lawmakers included state Sens. Jo Comerford and Adam Hinds and state Reps. Lindsay Sabadosa, Natalie Blais, Susannah Whipps, Mindy Domb, and Paul Mark. The contingent explored the GCC campus, discussing the evolution of the college during the COVID-19 pandemic and changes the college is making to better prepare students for the workforce.

 


 

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211 Day

 

The United Way of Pioneer Valley hosted the grand opening of its new Springfield Community Service Center, sponsored by Balise Auto Group, on Feb. 11, a day declared as ‘211 Day’ in the Commonwealth. Municipal and business leaders gathered at ceremonies at 1441 Main St., the location of the new center, for a ribbon cutting that followed comments from several speakers on the services provided by Mass211 and the importance of this program to the region. Ceremonies were held simultaneously in Framingham and the Mass211 headquarters there. Among those speaking were Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito; Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno (pictured at the podium); Paul Mina, president and CEO of the United Way of Pioneer Valley; and many others.

 


 

Recognizing Support for Community Colleges

 

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal was awarded the 2022 National Education Service Award during the Assoc. of Community College Trustees’ (ACCT) Community College National Legislative Summit. Holyoke Community College President Christina Royal was on hand to make the presentation. Pictured, from left: Richard Rhodes, American Assoc. of Community Colleges board chair; Neal; Royal; James Cooksey, ACCT board chair; and Jee Hang Lee, ACCT president and CEO.

 


 

Home Sweeter Home

 

In September, Purple Heart Homes (PHH), a veterans-services agency that focuses on housing solutions, and Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity collaborated on a home-preservation project for Peter, a retired Army National Guard staff sergeant, and his wife, Beth. They purchased a duplex in Monson three years ago and live in one unit, while Beth’s daughter and young son live in the other residence. The project fixed a moss-spotted roof, a broken water heater in the daughter’s unit, and damaged exterior doors at both dwellings.

 

 


 

Agenda

Howdy Awards Nominations

Through March 1: After a two-year delay caused by the pandemic, the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau (GSCVB) announced that the 2022 Howdy Awards for Hospitality Excellence will be held on Monday, May 16 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. The Howdy Awards were first celebrated in 1996, designed to acknowledge the essential role that superior customer service plays in creating positive visitor encounters, and encouraging return trips, glowing online reviews, and positive word of mouth. Thus, Wydra pointed out, the 2020 event would have formally marked the prestigious program’s 25th anniversary. Anyone can nominate a candidate who’s demonstrated outstanding customer service in the categories of Accommodations, Beverage, Attractions, Banquet, Food Casual, Food Tableside, Public Service, Retail, and Transportation. Nominations must be received by Tuesday, March 1. Enter online at www.explorewesternmass.com/howdy-awards.

 

Nominations for 2022 Ubora and Ahadi Awards

Through March 31: The Springfield Museums announced a call for nominations for the 31th annual Ubora Award and the 12th annual Ahadi Youth Award. These prestigious awards, conferred by the African Hall Subcommittee, honor African-American people from Greater Springfield who have — above and beyond — demonstrated commitment to the fields of community service, education, science, humanities, and/or the arts. The African Hall Subcommittee is a volunteer group comprised of educators, business people, and community leaders from the African-American community. The nomination deadline for both awards is Thursday, March 31. True to the Swahili word that comprises its name, the Ubora Award recognizes an adult of African heritage who exemplifies excellence in their commitment to creating a better community through service. In 2021, the Ubora Award was given to Robert “Cee” Jackson as an exemplary philanthropist and humanitarian. Named for the Swahili word for promise, the Ahadi Youth Award is presented to a young African-American who excels in academics and performs admirable service to the Greater Springfield community. Eligible candidates must be age 19 or younger, live in or have strong ties to the Greater Springfield area, and be currently enrolled in grades 10, 11, or 12. In 2021, the Ahadi Award honored Tigist Dawit Terefe for her remarkable civic-minded volunteerism and outstanding academic record. The Ubora and Ahadi awards will be presented at a ceremony at the Springfield Museums in September. Nominations forms can be downloaded by visiting springfieldmuseums.org/ubora. Nominations may be e-mailed to [email protected] or mailed to African Hall Subcommittee, c/o Karen Fisk, Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield, MA 01103.

 

Black Experience Summit

Feb. 17: In celebration of Black History Month, Elms College will hold its fifth annual Black Experience Summit from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. The event is hosted by the Elms College President’s Office and Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Due to COVID-19 protocols, this event will be held virtually via Zoom. This year’s theme is “Stories of Our Becoming: the Shoulders on Which We Stand,” and the event will feature two keynote speeches. The opening keynote address, “Freefalling and Finding Self: Meditations on Blackness and Rasanblaj,” will be given by Gina Athena Ulysse, a Haitian-American feminist and artist-anthropologist. The closing keynote address, “Witness and Withnessing: the Archive of Black Freedom Struggles,” will be given by Treva Lindsey, a black feminist historian and co-founder of the Black Feminist Night School at Zora’s House in Columbus, Ohio. Two interactive panels are also part of this year’s summit. “The Art of Storytelling” will examine why the stories about black history are so central to black experiences. The second panel, “Lifting as We Climb,” involves a discussion on the career paths of three presidents from colleges and universities in New England. The free event is open to the public. For a full schedule, information about the speakers and panelists, and to register, visit www.elms.edu/events/bes. A Zoom link will be sent to all attendees prior to the summit.

 

YPS Third Thursday

Feb. 17: The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) will host its signature Third Thursday event series at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in West Springfield from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Presented by event sponsor Canna Provisions, the networking event will support and encourage young professionals to become more involved and invested in their local communities. February’s Third Thursday event will include a 30-minute ballroom-dance lesson, networking with fellow young professionals, complimentary snacks, samples from Hardwick Vineyard & Winery, and more. Guests do not need a partner or take a lesson to attend. Fred Astaire Dance Studio is located at 54 Wayside Ave. in West Springfield. Pre-registration is not required, but highly recommended. Registration is free for members and $10 for non-members. Visit www.springfieldyps.com/events to register.

 

Healing Racism Institute Sessions

Feb. 23-24: The Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley (HRIPV) has slots open for its February two-day in-person session. To register, visit www.healingracismpv.org/seminars. The two-day seminar is held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days at STCC Technology Park in the Corridan Center Conference Room, 1 Federal St. in Springfield. HRIPV also has openings for its five-part virtual series. For more information and to register, visit www.healingracismpv.org/seminars. Scholarships are available to those with financial need. E-mail Vanessa Otero at [email protected] for more information. The Healing Racism Institute of Pioneer Valley was formed in 2012; since then, more than 1,000 people from Western Mass. and throughout the Commonwealth have participated in its signature two-day Healing Racism program.

 

Game Month and Hunter’s Dinners

Feb. 24: Wild-game dinners started decades ago at the Student Prince and the Fort as a treat for the regulars. Former owner Rupprecht Scherff heard the call of the wild from his customers and started game-night dinners to please local hunters and anyone with a curious palate. The tradition continues in 2022 as the Student Prince and the Fort present Game Month throughout February. The second of two Hunter’s Dinner Nights will take place on Thursday, Feb. 24. A special Game Month menu (in addition to the house menu) will be available all month and feature appetizers such as deep-fried frog legs. Entrées include a game wurst trio with pheasant, rabbit, and venison; bison; buffalo ribeye; and the locally famous student Prince veal shank. Hunter’s Dinner menus include an assortment of table appetizers and a six-course dinner. Courses include deep-fried frogs legs, pheasant and venison sausage, duck legs, poussin, and buffalo ribeye, followed by a flaming dessert. Reservations are recommended and can be made online at www.studentprince.com or by calling (413) 734-7475.

 

MOSSO Chamber Music Series

March 10, April 14, May 12: The Westfield Athenaeum will present a three-concert chamber music series beginning Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m., with Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MOSSO) providing the music. MOSSO violinist Beth Welty is bringing her ensemble, the Aryaloka Quartet, to the Athenaeum to kick off the series. Guy McLain, executive director of the Westfield Athenaeum, will offer a pre-performance talk at 6 p.m., which is free to ticket holders. Violinists Mark Latham and Beth Welty, violist Noralee Walker, and cellist Sandi-Jo Malmon will perform William Grant Still’s Lyric String Quartet, Charles Ives’ String Quartet #1 Op. 57 “From the Salvation Army: A Revival Service,” Beethoven’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59 #3; and an additional piece to be announced at the performance. Tickets for the concert cost $20 and must be purchased in advance at the Westfield Athenaeum during business hours, or online at www.westath.org. Audience members will be required to wear masks. Two additional concerts are planned for Thursday, April 14 and Thursday, May 12.

 

Difference Makers

March 24: Since 2009, BusinessWest has been recognizing the work of individuals, groups, businesses, and institutions through a program called Difference Makers. The 2022 Difference Makers include Tara Brewster, vice president of Business Development at Greenfield Savings Bank; the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts; Heriberto Flores, president of the New England Farm Workers’ Council; John Greaney, retired State Supreme Court justice and senior counsel at Bulkley Richardson; Ruth Griggs, president of the Northampton Jazz Festival and principal at RC Communications; Ted Hebert, owner of Teddy Bear Pools and Spas; I Found Light Against All Odds and Its Founder and CEO, Stefan Davis; and Roca Holyoke and Springfield. Their stories are told in this issue of BusinessWest. The 14th annual Difference Makers celebration will be held at the Log Cabin in Holyoke from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $75 and can be ordered at businesswest.com. The sponsors for this year’s program are Burkhart Pizzanelli, the New England Farm Workers’ Council, the Royal Law Firm, TommyCar Auto Group, and Westfield Bank.

 

Springfield Symphony Orchestra Spring Concerts

April 22, May 13: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Board announced two spring concerts will be hosted at Springfield Symphony Hall with former SSO Music Director Mark Russell Smith serving as guest conductor. Smith is music director and conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. He previously served as music director for the SSO from 1995 through 2000. He has worked as director of New Music Projects for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and artistic director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Minnesota, and has also served as music director for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. Details about the concerts, program, and availability of tickets will be forthcoming and available at springfieldsymphony.org.

 

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Investing in the Future

Pictured, from left: Mandy Pappas, care coordinator at BHN; Kathleen Cordier, family partner at BHN; Steve Winn, BHN president and CEO; and Jodie Gerulaitis, vice president of Community Relations at Country Bank.

Behavioral Health Network Inc. (BHN) recently received a $25,000 donation from Country Bank to benefit the Katherine B. Wilson Staff Excellence Fund. BHN established the fund to support the career and professional development of the organization’s workforce and assist in achieving social-justice objectives.

 


 

Taking Pride in Supporting Families

Pictured, from left: Pride’s Tara Lashway; Geoffrey Hoyt, chief Development officer at Mercy Medical Center; Pride Stores CEO Bob Bolduc; Pride’s Jeremy Skiba; Dr. Edna Rodriguez, director of Behavioral Health at Mercy Medical Center; Pride’s Shannon Cooley; and Pride Stores President Marsha Medina.

For 41 years, the Brightside Angel Campaign has directly benefited those served by the programs and services of Brightside for Families and Children. As in years past, the Brightside paper angels were available in all 31 Pride Stores throughout the local area, and that effort raised $7,500.

 


 

Answering the Call

Pictured: Second Chance Medical Director Dr. Ashley Raymond examines a dog during a Homebound to the Rescue visit to the Holyoke Senior Center.

Second Chance Animal Services is thanking the 900 supporters who made more than $30,000 in gifts in honor of the late Betty White, a noted animal advocate. All donations to Second Chance made through the Betty White Challenge will help keep pets and people together through the nonprofit’s Homebound to the Rescue program that brings veterinary services directly to low-income senior communities at no cost.

 


 

Agenda

40 Under Forty Nominations

Through Feb. 11: BusinessWest is currently accepting nominations for the 40 Under Forty class of 2022. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Feb. 11. Launched in 2007, the program recognizes rising stars in the four counties of Western Mass. Nominations, which should be as detailed and thorough as possible, should list an individual’s accomplishments within their profession as well as their work within the community. Nominations can be completed online at businesswest.com/40-under-forty-nomination-form. Nominations will be weighed by a panel of judges, and the selected individuals will be profiled in BusinessWest in April and honored at the 40 Under Forty Gala in late June. Sponsored by PeoplesBank. Other event sponsorship opportunities are available.

 

Supervisory Skills Certificate Series

Starting Feb. 3: The Human Service Forum (HSF), a nonprofit dedicated to empowering Massachusetts public-service leaders, will offer “Supervisory Skills Certificate Series,” an eight-week online training program for public-service professionals who are new to supervising staff. The series, which will be offered virtually, will cover a wide range of supervisory competencies, from multicultural sensitivity to legal issues, cybersecurity, and more. The training is open to all HSF members as well as the general public. To register, visit www.humanserviceforum.org/event/winter-2022-virtual-supervisory-skills-certificate-series/2022-02-03.

 

Heart & Vascular Health Lecture Series

Feb. 6, 13, 20: Baystate Health will hold its free, virtual Heart & Vascular Health Lecture Series during the month of February beginning with a look at the “Heart and Soul of Heart Disease” on Sunday, Feb. 6. The Virtual Heart & Vascular Health Lecture Series, presented by the Baystate Heart & Vascular Program as part of American Heart Month, will focus on the latest advances in heart and vascular care. Baystate cardiologist Dr. Adam Stern and Rabbi Ken Hahn of Baystate Spiritual Services will lead the first lecture, which begins at noon. Stern will discuss the latest research for prevention, including diet, exercise, stress reduction, blood pressure, and more. The conversation will continue with Hahn about the power of spirituality in healing and mindfulness to de-stress the heart. The free lectures will continue with “Today’s Open Heart Surgery” on Sunday, Feb. 13, presented by Baystate cardiac surgeon Dr. Daniel Engelman and nurse coordinator Cheryl Crisafi, who will discuss the use of technology to improve the patient experience surrounding open heart surgery. The series will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 20 with “Women and Heart Disease,” presented by Baystate cardiologist Dr. Sabeen Chaudry. She will discuss the misconceptions about heart disease and heart-attack symptoms in women, the impact of stress, and the many ways for women to stay heart healthy. All lectures will begin at noon and be followed by a question-and-answer session. Registration is required for each session by visiting baystatehealth.org/heart.

 

Color of Law Roundtable Discussion Series

Feb. 7: Western New England University (WNE) School of Law will host attorney Justin Hurst as part of the school’s Color of Law Roundtable Discussion Series. Hurst will discuss his career path at noon. Registration for this virtual event is at bit.ly/3fgN3ipColorofLaw. The event is free and open to the public. Hurst was born and raised in the city of Springfield. He is the son of attorneys Frederick Hurst and Marjorie Hurst, who are the founders and publishers of An African American Point of View newspaper. Attorney Hurst is a graduate of Springfield public schools and received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Virginia. Hurst began his service in the Springfield public school district as a secondary English teacher, and assumed the role of coordinator of Implementation for the Striving Readers Adolescent Literacy Initiative. Later, he was appointed director of Implementation for the Striving Readers Adolescent Literacy Initiative. He received his juris doctor degree from Western New England College School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. in 2004. He currently serves as manager for London Realty, LLC. In 2013, he was elected as a Springfield city councilor. In 2019 and 2020, he was unanimously voted by his colleagues to serve as president of that body. The Color of Law series is designed to expose Western New England University law students to attorneys, professionals, and judges of color. The series provides students a chance to network with people of color from the legal community and learn about various career paths.

 

MOSSO Chamber Music Series

March 10, April 14, May 12: The Westfield Athenaeum will present a three-concert chamber music series beginning Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m., with Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MOSSO) providing the music. MOSSO violinist Beth Welty is bringing her ensemble, the Aryaloka Quartet, to the Athenaeum to kick off the series. Guy McLain, executive director of the Westfield Athenaeum, will offer a pre-performance talk at 6 p.m., which is free to ticket holders. Violinists Mark Latham and Beth Welty, violist Noralee Walker, and cellist Sandi-Jo Malmon will perform William Grant Still’s Lyric String Quartet, Charles Ives’ String Quartet #1 Op. 57 “From the Salvation Army: A Revival Service,” Beethoven’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59 #3; and an additional piece to be announced at the performance. Tickets for the concert cost $20 and must be purchased in advance at the Westfield Athenaeum during business hours, or online at www.westath.org. Audience members will be required to wear masks. Two additional concerts are planned for Thursday, April 14 and Thursday, May 12.

 

Springfield Symphony Orchestra Spring Concerts

April 22, May 13: The Springfield Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Board announced two spring concerts will be hosted at Springfield Symphony Hall with former SSO Music Director Mark Russell Smith serving as guest conductor. Smith is music director and conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. He previously served as music director for the SSO from 1995 through 2000. He has worked as director of New Music Projects for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and artistic director of Orchestral Studies at the University of Minnesota, and has also served as music director for the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra. Details about the concerts, program, and availability of tickets will be forthcoming and available at springfieldsymphony.org.

Agenda

Wintersession Classes at HCC

Jan. 3-14: Registration is open for Wintersession classes at Holyoke Community College (HCC), offering new and returning students — as well as students from other colleges home on holiday break — the opportunity to earn a semester’s worth of credits for one class in just 10 days. Students can earn up to four credits by taking Wintersession classes in a wide variety of academic areas: anthropology, communication, criminal justice, economics, engineering, environmental science, geography, law, management, marketing, mathematics, radiology, social science, and sociology. Courses are being offered both on campus and online. Starting Jan. 3, students must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend classes on campus. Students must submit proof of their vaccination status before being allowed to register for on-campus classes. Students who plan to register only for online or remote classes do not have to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination. To enroll for a Wintersession class, visit hcc.edu/wintersession. The registration deadline is Dec. 31.

 

ArtsHub Virtual Summit

Jan. 10-14: The ArtsHub Virtual Summit: “How to Recover and Thrive” welcomes emerging and established artists, performers, arts managers, and those in creative fields to join in a week-long series of virtual interactive workshops, training, and networking sessions. The summit, designed to provide tools to help those working in creative fields recover from the disruption created by the pandemic and learn how to position their business to thrive as the economy recovers, will present daily sessions with guest speakers at 10 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. A full schedule of events, session descriptions, presenter bios, and links to register can be found at www.umass.edu/aes/artshub. The fee for the ArtsHub Virtual Summit is $35 for the early-bird registration (before Jan. 4), and $55 thereafter. The fee provides access to all sessions and online access through January. The ArtsHub was made possible by an initial grant from the Massachusetts Office of Business Development and additional support from the Community Foundation of Western Mass.

 

‘Addressing Conflict in Schools Using Non-violent Strategies’

Jan. 17: Western New England University (WNE) School of Law’s Center for Social Justice will present “Addressing Conflict in Schools Using Non-violent Strategies” in conjunction with the Greater Springfield Campaign at 7 p.m. Executive Director of Nonviolent Schools RI Robin Wildman will lead this discussion. Visit bit.ly/WNEMLKDAY2021 to register for this virtual Zoom event. Wildman has been a senior-level Kingian Nonviolence practitioner and teacher for 20 years and a public-school teacher for 28 years (recently retired). Her current role with Nonviolent Schools RI is a result of her desire to train those who work in the field of education in Kingian Nonviolence so that they can work towards institutionalizing the philosophy and conflict-reconciliation strategies, thus transforming the climate and culture of their schools. She has conducted workshops, given lectures, and trained hundreds of adults and children in methods to address and reconcile conflict used by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is the author of a Kingian Nonviolence curriculum used nationally and internationally, as well as a post-training reflection journal. Wildman has worked closely for 20 years with her mentor and the honorary board chair of Nonviolent Schools RI, noted civil-rights leader Bernard LaFayette Jr., who worked with King. She believes giving students and school staff the tools to understand and address conflict will significantly reduce school violence in all its forms and lead to a more just environment in which students can thrive and achieve their full potential.

 

YPS, Ad Club Mix & Mingle

Jan. 20: The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) and the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts will host an annual Mix & Mingle membership event to support young professionals and encourage them to become more involved and invested in their local communities. The Mix & Mingle membership event will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Paper City Bar & Grill, 241 Whiting Farms Road, Holyoke. The Springfield YPS is an organization built to exchange ideas, share common interests, and cultivate its membership to serve as the Pioneer Valley’s leaders of tomorrow. YPS aims to engage the younger demographic in distinct areas such as business and career development, networking, cultural involvement, community involvement, educational opportunities, volunteerism, recreational and social activities, and more. The Ad Club of Western Massachusetts is the premier organization for all marketing and communications professionals in Western Mass. and Northern Connecticut. The club offers its members the ability to advance and enrich the advertising community by acting as a catalyst for idea exchange, professional development, and creative energy. Members can register for the event at www.eventbrite.com/e/mix-mingle-registration-219246591457.

Picture This

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Joining the Fight Against Cancer

Employees of UMassFive College Federal Credit Union raised more than $16,000 for the UMass Cancer Center through participation in the 23rd annual UMass Cancer Walk and Run at Polar Park in Worcester. UMassFive employees join together annually as Team UMassFive to raise funds for the cause, both personally and in branch locations. In 2021, fundraising efforts included the Hadley branch hosting its annual Crafting for a Cure Boutique. Other branch efforts included raffle baskets, bake sales, candy sales, and jewelry sales.

 


Supporting Care for Children

A three-state fundraising effort and matching company contribution by City Tire and Auto Centers recently netted Baystate Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield donations of $10,000 each. The company raised the funds through contributions on specific auto services for the past six months. Pictured at the Shriners check presentation, from left: Peter Greenberg and Daniel Greenberg, president and vice president, respectively, of City Tire; and Stacey Perlmutter and Lee Kirk, the hospital’s director of Development and administrator, respectively.

 


Tackling Food Insecurity

State Sen. Eric Lesser was recently joined by state Rep. Bud Williams and Jodi Manning, manager of the Farmers’ Market at Forest Park, to announce $75,000 in funding secured to support staffing, website development, outreach, and education for the Farmers’ Market. Lesser acted as lead sponsor in the Senate, securing this state funding in the ARPA spending bill signed into law last month.

 

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Delivering Holiday Cheer

American Eagle Financial Credit Union celebrated the season of giving by delivering baskets of holiday cheer to Hampden County families with loved ones who faced challenges from the pandemic or illness this past year. AEFCU representatives presented baskets filled with holiday treats, gifts, and Bright Nights tickets to special-education teachers at West Springfield High School, families staying at Ronald McDonald House of Springfield, and patient-care staff at Baystate Children’s Hospital. In addition, Bright Nights tickets and gift cards were delivered by Springfield radio stations on the credit union’s behalf to Shriners Children’s New England and the Boys & Girls Club of Springfield.

AEFCU representatives

AEFCU representatives presented baskets filled with holiday treats, gifts, and Bright Nights tickets to special-education teachers at West Springfield High School

 

Families staying at Ronald McDonald House of Springfield

Families staying at Ronald McDonald House of Springfield

 

Patient-care staff at Baystate Children’s Hospital

Patient-care staff at Baystate Children’s Hospital

 


 

Touring Small Businesses

On Dec. 12, state Sen. Eric Lesser hosted a small-business holiday tour with Grace Barone, executive director of East of the River Five Town Chamber of Commerce (ERC5), visiting several member businesses of ERC5. The pair, joined by state Reps. Brian Ashe and Jacob Oliveira, visited Pete’s Sweets in East Longmeadow, the Scented Garden Gift Shoppe in Wilbraham, Vanished Valley Brewing in Ludlow, Rosewood Home & Gifts in Hampden, Center Square Grill in East Longmeadow, and the Longmeadow Shops.

 

Pete’s Sweets in East Longmeadow

Pete’s Sweets in East Longmeadow

 

Scented Garden Gift Shoppe in Wilbraham

Scented Garden Gift Shoppe in Wilbraham

 

 

 


 

Picture This

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Open for Business

Officials cut a ceremonial ribbon on Nov. 30 at Town Common, the mixed-use facility created at the former United Bank building in the center of West Springfield. The property is now at nearly full occupancy, with a tenants that include Tandem Bagel Co., Future Health, Seven Hills Foundation, Kindred Healthcare, and many others. Doing the honors are, from left, state Rep. Michael Flynn; Tyler Saremi, president of Saremi LLP; West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt; and Kevin Saremi, a partner in the project.

 


 

Every Dollar Counts

Carr Hardware recently donated $5,272.12 to the Berkshire Humane Society, first by donating the sales of more than 300 buckets to the Humane Society, and then offering customers the option to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar for the first two weeks of November. Pictured: Carr Hardware President Bart Raser (left), Berkshire Humane Society Executive Director John Perreault, and Bowser.

 


 

Recognizing Successes

State Rep. Mindy Domb (left) recently attended the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual legislative breakfast to recognize the work of chamber Executive Director Claudia Pazmany (second from left) and Gabrielle Gould, executive director of the Amherst Business Improvement District (right). Together, Domb noted, these community leaders have been largely responsible for bringing in more than $2.1 million in state grants to small businesses in Amherst, scheduling vaccination clinics for restaurant workers, developing a microgrant program for small businesses, and implementing an innovative program of  purchasing hundreds of meals from local restaurants last winter and distributing them to families facing food insecurity. Also pictured: John Page, former marketing and membership manager at the chamber.

Agenda

Cannabis Career Fair

Nov. 10: Holyoke Community College (HCC) will host a cannabis career fair at the HCC Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development, where individuals interested in working in the cannabis industry will have the opportunity to talk about job openings in person with representatives from area cannabis companies. The fair, titled “Cultivating an Industry,” will run from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the PeoplesBank Conference Room on the third floor of the Kittredge Center on the main HCC campus, 303 Homestead Ave. It is sponsored by the Cannabis Education Center — a partnership between HCC and Elevate Northeast — and MCR Labs, a marijuana testing facility in Framingham. The fair is free and open to anyone looking for a job in the burgeoning cannabis industry, which had surpassed $1 billion in sales in Massachusetts by October 2020, after its first four years. Attendees will be granted access to a new virtual job board specific to the cannabis industry. Note that masks are required in all HCC buildings regardless of vaccination status. To maintain social distancing, only 50 people will be allowed in the conference room at a time, so pre-registration is strongly encouraged. To register for the fair, visit hcc.edu/canna-fair.

 

City of Bright Nights Ball

Nov. 13: It will be “Cherry Blossoms Under the Moonlight” for the 2021 City of Bright Nights Ball, when the event returns to MGM Springfield for the third time, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt announced. Eastman is the gala’s sponsor, and Shawn Pace, Eastman’s Indian Orchard site manager, is the chair. Additional support for the City of Bright Nights Ball is provided by MassMutual, which was the lead sponsor of the 2019 gala and will serve as this year’s Chairman’s Reception Sponsor. Golden Circle Sponsors include American Medical Response, Baystate Health, the Colvest Group, Comcast, Country Bank, FR Investment Group, Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Health New England, MGM Springfield, MP CPAs, New England Business Machine, Sheraton Springfield, and the Springfield Business Improvement District. The décor and dinner will be themed with cherry blossoms. Andrew Jensen from JX2 Productions and Dan Stezko with his team at Flowers, Flowers! have been hard at work designing the look in flowing pinks and flowers. The culinary team at MGM Springfield, led by Executive Chef Chris Smigel, will serve a dinner featuring braised short ribs, pan-seared diver scallops, seared trumpet mushroom ‘scallops,’ and a dessert complete with a touch of cherry cotton candy. For information about being a sponsor of the City of Bright Nights Ball or purchasing tickets, contact the Spirit of Springfield at (413) 733-3800 or [email protected].

 

The Wealth Transition Collective Second Annual Food Drive

Nov. 15-19: The Wealth Transition Collective, a financial-planning firm in Holyoke, will host its second annual week-long food drive to benefit Margaret’s Pantry in Holyoke in honor of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Last year, the firm collected more than 1,300 pounds of food and more than $3,000 in monetary donations. Individuals can drop off non-perishable and canned foods during office business hours (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at 1632 Northampton St. in Holyoke. Weather permitting, there will be a drop-off table outside the front door for easy accessibility. Some of the most-needed items at the pantry during this time of year are stuffing mixes, gravy, soups, stews, baking mixes, frosting, syrup, salad dressing, condiments, Jell-O, and kids’ snack items. Margaret’s Pantry, a division of Providence Ministries for the Needy, is a full-service food pantry that has provided food to residents of Greater Holyoke for more than 30 years. Presently, the pantry provides food to more than 180 families each month, and approximately 72,000 meals a year are distributed to the needy in the community. The number of people served continues to grow, with 1,870,426 pounds of food given out in 2020 alone.

 

YPS Leadership Luncheon

Nov. 16: The Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS) will present a Leadership Luncheon at Venture X Holyoke, sponsored by Elms College. The featured speaker will be Matt Bannister, senior vice president of Marketing & Corporate Responsibility for PeoplesBank. He will discuss his career, share his advice for young professionals, and offer an opportunity for questions from the audience. He will also highlight the importance of community involvement and how it can increase brand awareness, establish a positive reputation, and help grow a business. A light lunch will be included. Please indicate if you have any food allergies or prefer a vegetarian option. The cost is free for YPS members and $10 for non-members. Parking is free. Pre-registration is required. Visit springfieldyps.com/calendar/#!event/2021/11/16/yps-leadership-luncheon-with-matt-bannister to register.

 

 

Women of Impact

Dec. 9: BusinessWest will honor its fourth annual class of Women of Impact at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. This year’s class, like the first three, demonstrates the sheer diversity of the ways women leaders in our region are making an impact on the worlds of business, nonprofits, health, and the community. Profiled the Oct. 27 issue of BusinessWest, they are: Jessica Collins, executive director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts; Elizabeth Dineen, CEO of the YWCA of Western Masachusetts; Charlene Elvers, director of the Center for Service and Leadership at Springfield College; Karin Jeffers, president and CEO of Clinical and Support Options; Elizabeth Keen, owner of Indian Line Farm; Madeline Landrau, Program Engagement manager at MassMutual; Shannon Mumblo, executive director of Christina’s House; and Tracye Whitfield, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer for the town of West Springfield and Springfield city councilor. The event is sponsored by Country Bank and TommyCar Auto Group (presenting sponsors) and Comcast Business and Health New England (supporting sponsors). Tickets cost $65 per person (tables of 10 are available). For more information, go HERE or call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100.

 

Difference Makers Nominations

Through Dec. 9: 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 14th annual Difference Makers program. Nominations for the class of 2022 must be received by the end of the business day (5 p.m.) on Thursday, Dec. 9. 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 who 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.

 

 

Agenda

‘Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement’

Nov. 3: Due to popular demand, Holyoke Community College (HCC) has added a second date this fall for its three-hour workshop focusing on life after retirement. “Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement” will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus at 303 Homestead Ave. Many pre-retirees focus solely on their 401(k) and pension when deciding when to retire but neglect to consider how they will find purpose and fulfillment in the next chapter of their lives. A person who retires at age 65 will be active for 20 years or more after leaving their full-time job. The workshop will explore ways retirees can fill those hours they have previously devoted to their careers. It will offer a series of exercises and self-assessments, as well as time to reflect, brainstorm with others, and develop goals and a vision for this new chapter of life. Participants will also leave with an extensive list of resources to explore. To maintain safe social distancing, space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/rewire, or call (413) 552-2500 for more information. The cost is $39. Masks are required in all HCC campus buildings regardless of vaccination status.

 

City of Bright Nights Ball

Nov. 13: It will be “Cherry Blossoms Under the Moonlight” for the 2021 City of Bright Nights Ball, when the event returns to MGM Springfield for the third time, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt announced. Eastman is the gala’s sponsor, and Shawn Pace, Eastman’s Indian Orchard site manager, is the chair. Additional support for the City of Bright Nights Ball is provided by MassMutual, which was the lead sponsor of the 2019 gala and will serve as this year’s Chairman’s Reception Sponsor. Golden Circle Sponsors include American Medical Response, Baystate Health, the Colvest Group, Comcast, Country Bank, FR Investment Group, Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Health New England, MGM Springfield, MP CPAs, New England Business Machine, Sheraton Springfield, and the Springfield Business Improvement District. The décor and dinner will be themed with cherry blossoms. Andrew Jensen from JX2 Productions and Dan Stezko with his team at Flowers, Flowers! have been hard at work designing the look in flowing pinks and flowers. The culinary team at MGM Springfield, led by Executive Chef Chris Smigel, will serve a dinner featuring braised short ribs, pan-seared diver scallops, seared trumpet mushroom ‘scallops,’ and a dessert complete with a touch of cherry cotton candy. For information about being a sponsor of the City of Bright Nights Ball or purchasing tickets, contact the Spirit of Springfield at (413) 733-3800 or [email protected].

 

Women of Impact

Dec. 9: BusinessWest will honor its fourth annual class of Women of Impact at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel. This year’s class, like the first three, demonstrates the sheer diversity of the ways women leaders in our region are making an impact on the worlds of business, nonprofits, health, and the community. Profiled this issue of BusinessWest, they are Jessica Collins, executive director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts; Elizabeth Dineen, CEO of the YWCA of Western Masachusetts; Charlene Elvers, director of the Center for Service and Leadership at Springfield College; Karin Jeffers, president and CEO of Clinical and Support Options; Elizabeth Keen, owner of Indian Line Farm; Madeline Landrau, Program Engagement manager at MassMutual; Shannon Mumblo, executive director of Christina’s House; and Tracye Whitfield, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer for the town of West Springfield and Springfield city councilor. The event is sponsored by Country Bank and TommyCar Auto Group (presenting sponsors) and Comcast Business and Health New England (supporting sponsors). See page 30 for more information on the event.

Agenda

‘Elder Law and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know’

Oct. 18, 25: Attorney Karen Jackson, an elder-law and estate-planning attorney at Jackson Law, will teach a two-part class highlighting the latest developments in elder law and estate planning at Holyoke Community College (HCC). The four-hour course, called “Elder Law and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know,” will be presented in a pair of two-hour sessions, from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $99. In the first session, Jackson will explain each document in the core estate plan — the will, power of attorney, healthcare proxy, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release, and advance directive. She will discuss the problems that can occur when proper documents are not prepared before a loss of mental capacity or physical health or before sudden loss of life. In the first session, she will also cover the different types of trusts — the revocable trust, irrevocable trust, and special-needs trust — and the reasons for creating each kind of trust. During the second session, Jackson will explain the various tools and techniques to save the home and other assets from the nursing home bill: gifting, the Medicaid qualified annuity, pooled trusts, caregiver child exception, and Medicaid qualified trusts. For participants who may be able to attend only one session, the full course fee is still required. To register, call HCC at (413) 552-2500 or register online at www.hcc.edu/bce.

 

Healthcare Heroes

Oct. 21: BusinessWest and HCN will honor the Healthcare Heroes class of 2021 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. The Healthcare Heroes, profiled in this issue, include James Goodwin, president and CEO of the Center for Human Development (Lifetime Achievement); Dr. Sarah Haessler, hospital epidemiologist at Baystate Medical Center and vice chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine at Baystate Health (Emerging Leader); Beth Cardillo, executive director of Armbrook Village (Community Health); Richard Johnson, Counseling and Testing Prevention and Education Program director at New North Citizens Council Inc. (Community Health); Dr. Louis J. DeCaro, podiatrist and owner of DeCaro Total Foot Care Center (Provider); Dr. Alicia Ross, medical director of Holyoke VNA Hospice Life Care (Administrator); J. Aleah Nesteby, former director of LGBTQ Services at Cooley Dickinson Hospital (Innovation); and Doorway to an Accessible, Safe and Healthy Home (Collaboration). A very limited number of tickets are available. For information, call Gina Lovotti at (413) 781-8600, ext. 100. The Healthcare Heroes program is being sponsored by presenting sponsors Elms College and Baystate Health/Health New England, and partner sponsor Trinity Health Of New England/Mercy Medical Center.

 

‘Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement’

Oct. 27: Many pre-retirees focus solely on their 401(k) and pension when deciding when to retire, but neglect to consider how they will find purpose and fulfillment in the next chapter of their lives. A person who retires at age 65 will be active for 20 years or more after leaving their full-time job. How will they fill those 2,000-plus hours they have previously devoted to their career? Holyoke Community College (HCC) is offering a workshop that will address this major life transition. “Rewire: Finding Purpose and Fulfillment After Retirement” will meet in person from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development on HCC’s main campus, 303 Homestead Ave. The workshop will be facilitated by former career counselor Barbara Foster. The workshop will offer a series of exercises and self-assessments, as well as time to reflect, brainstorm with others, and develop goals and a vision for this new chapter of life. Participants will also leave with an extensive list of resources to explore. To maintain safe social distancing, space is limited, so advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/rewire, or call (413) 552-2500 for more information. Masks are required in all HCC campus buildings regardless of vaccination status.

 

City of Bright Nights Ball

Nov. 13: It will be “Cherry Blossoms Under the Moonlight” for the 2021 City of Bright Nights Ball, when the event returns to MGM Springfield for the third time, Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt announced. Eastman is the gala’s sponsor, and Shawn Pace, Eastman’s Indian Orchard site manager, is the chair. Additional support for the City of Bright Nights Ball is provided by MassMutual, which was the lead sponsor of the 2019 gala and will serve as this year’s Chairman’s Reception Sponsor. Golden Circle Sponsors include American Medical Response, Baystate Health, the Colvest Group, Comcast, Country Bank, FR Investment Group, Gleason Johndrow Landscaping, Health New England, MGM Springfield, MP CPAs, New England Business Machine, Sheraton Springfield, and the Springfield Business Improvement District. The décor and dinner will be themed with cherry blossoms. Andrew Jensen from JX2 Productions and Dan Stezko with his team at Flowers, Flowers! have been hard at work designing the look in flowing pinks and flowers. The culinary team at MGM Springfield, led by Executive Chef Chris Smigel, will serve a dinner featuring braised short ribs, pan-seared diver scallops, seared trumpet mushroom ‘scallops,’ and a dessert complete with a touch of cherry cotton candy. For information about being a sponsor of the City of Bright Nights Ball or purchasing tickets, contact the Spirit of Springfield at (413) 733-3800 or [email protected].

 

Agenda

Venture X Grand Opening

Sept. 9: Venture X, a membership-based workspace community, will celebrate the opening of its newest location in Holyoke. The 16,000-square-foot co-working space is located at 98 Lower Westfield Road. Venture X Holyoke invites the community to stop by from 4 to 7 p.m. to tour the business center and connect with other professionals. Venture X Holyoke provides flexible workspace solutions, IT security, and amenities. The space was built out during the pandemic, so special attention was given to the installation of a high-tech air filtration system, touchless bathrooms, and keyless door-entry systems. The facility features 65 private offices ranging from one-person spaces up to 10-person offices with dedicated desks and shared desks. The location also offers a community space, where members may mingle and network in the lounge area or around the coffee bar café. Members will have access to high-tech conference rooms, mailboxes, a copy center, a shredding service, and other business-related amenities. The facility offers ample free parking. Venture X is a brand of the United Franchise Group.

 

RVCC Golf Tournament

Sept. 10: River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC), a multi-faceted mental-health agency, will hold its sixth annual golf tournament fundraiser at East Mountain Country Club in Westfield. The event is presented by Action Ambulance Service Inc. Funds raised will support the programs RVCC provides to children and teens in the community, in schools, and through local partnerships. The cost per golfer is $100 and includes greens fees, a golf cart, a gift bag, lunch, and dinner. Golfers will also be able to participate in course contests and a raffle. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. with a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit rvccinc.org/golf for more information and to register or sponsor online.

 

HCC Foundation Golf Classic

Sept. 13: Registration is open for the Holyoke Community College (HCC) Foundation’s annual fundraising golf tournament at Springfield Country Club in West Springfield. Last year’s golf tournament, the 33rd, was cancelled due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s tournament will recognize the 75th anniversary of Holyoke Community College. Proceeds will go toward student scholarships managed by the HCC Foundation, the college’s nonprofit fundraising arm. The golf outing begins with an 11 a.m. buffet lunch followed by a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. After golf, participants can enjoy cocktails on the clubhouse porch, followed by a dinner and celebration recognizing the 75th anniversary of Holyoke Community College. Participants can arrange their own foursomes or sign up as singles. The $185 individual fee includes greens fees, golf cart, lunch, dinner, and refreshments on the course. The cost is $740 per foursome. To register or sponsor the golf tournament, visit www.hcc.edu/golf.

 

‘Managing Healthcare Costs in Retirement’

Sept. 14: American Eagle Investment Services invites the public to explore their options for healthcare in retirement during a free virtual seminar from 6 to 7 p.m. Understanding healthcare costs is essential to retirement planning. While medical advances allow people to enjoy longer life expectancies, the challenge is how to pay for the rising costs of one’s physical well-being. Attendees of this free seminar will learn about the financial options of healthcare at age 65 and beyond. “Managing Healthcare Costs in Retirement” will feature an industry expert from Prudential Insurance, who will discuss and take questions on financial options related to healthcare for those age 65 and older. Discussion topics will include Medicare (Part A, B, C, and D), Medigap, long-term care, and health savings accounts. American Eagle Financial Credit Union members and non-members who are looking ahead to retirement, already retired, or helping a loved one with their retirement planning are encouraged to attend. Registration is open at americaneagle.org/seminar.

 

MHA Wellness Classic Golf Tournament

Sept. 17: MHA will hold its Wellness Classic golf benefit at Wilbraham Country Club for what will be the 23th year. “This year by far is the most successful golf tournament in MHA’s history. We raised over $100,000, and Real Living Realty Professionals as the title sponsor is a very real part of that,” said Kimberley Lee, MHA’s vice president of Resource Development and Branding. “As a first-time corporate donor, Real Living Realty Professionals did not make just one donation, but two significant expressions of their belief in the value of MHA’s work. Community support like this greatly enhances MHA’s ability to directly serve the individuals in our care, helping them to achieve their individuals goals.” For more details and to register, visit www.mhainc.org/wellness-classic.

 

Community Shred Day

Sept. 18: Freedom Credit Union will once again to offer the opportunity for Western Mass. residents to securely purge unwanted paperwork. In cooperation with PROSHRED Springfield, Freedom is offering a free community shred day at two of its branches in Springfield and West Springfield. The event is slated for 9 to 10 a.m. at 296 Cooley St. in Springfield, and 11 a.m. to noon at 58 Union St. in West Springfield. The public is invited to bring old bills, bank statements, tax returns, and other sensitive documents for free, quick, and secure on-site shredding. Members and non-members alike may bring up to five file boxes or paper bags (per vehicle) to the events. Masks are not required for those who are vaccinated.

 

YMCA of Greater Springfield Golf Tournament

Sept. 21: The YMCA of Greater Springfield announced it will hold a golf tournament at the Longmeadow Country Club. The funds raised will support youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through access to the YMCA. In addition to a round of golf, golfers will enjoy a grilled lunch at 11 a.m. and a dinner following the tournament. To learn more about registration and sponsorship opportunities, e-mail Donna Sittard, Development director at the YMCA, at [email protected], call (413) 739-6951, ext. 3110, or visit www.springfieldy.org.

 

40 Under Forty Gala

Sept. 23: BusinessWest’s 15th annual 40 Under Forty gala will take place at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The class of 2021 was introduced to the region in the magazine’s May 12 issue, and the profiles may be read online at BusinessWest.com. Tickets cost $80 per person. An extremely limited number of tickets are still available. To reserve a spot, call (413) 781-8600, or e-mail [email protected]

 

Leadership Training Program

Sept. 28-30: Giombetti Associates, a leadership institute providing behaviorally based talent-development and acquisition services, will host the second of three three-day leadership training programs for 2021 at the Delaney House in Holyoke. This intensive course covers the power of Performance Dynamics and how it can help participants know themselves better; different leadership styles and what makes them effective or ineffective; the importance of being vulnerable and transparent; how to build interpersonal relationships; what effective onboarding is and how it will help participants’ organizations and employees; how to be an efficient communicator; the best way to deliver developmental feedback; building teamwork and the value of team building; and trust, integrity, and more. Prior to training, each participant goes through Performance Dynamics, an assessment that consists of three personality inventories designed to identify 17 different traits that drive personality and behavior. Then, in an interactive, one-on-one feedback session, the participant develops a newfound self-awareness of their behavioral strengths, learns how to manage their personality more effectively, and gains an understanding of how their personality impacts others. Throughout the three-day training, the participant is encouraged to constantly refer to and link their personality to the leadership issue being discussed. All the subject matter is wrapped around individual personality and how it affects behavior in different situations, yielding a unique experience of self-exploration. To learn more about the three-day leadership program, which has an additional session scheduled in November, visit giombettiassoc.com/three-day-leadership-training-program. Registration is now open for both sessions.

 

HCC Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series

Sept. 29, Oct. 27, Nov. 24: Holyoke Community College (HCC) will continue its monthly Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series this fall. During each session, participants will join prominent women leaders for discussions on relevant topics and ideas to help their leadership development. They will also have the opportunity to form a supportive network to help navigate their own careers. The fall dates and topics are:

• Sept. 29: “Do Something Every Day that Scares You” with Pattie Hallberg, CEO of Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts;

• Oct. 27: “Just Go for It,” with Helen Gomez Andrews, co-founder and CEO of the High End; and

• Nov. 24: “Journey to and from Exit Zero,” with Sharale Mathis, vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at HCC.

The cost of each session is $25, with the exception of the three-part Vision Board class with Turner, which costs $99. The cost for the full, six-session series is $120. Cost, however, will not be a barrier to participation. If pricing is an issue, contact Michele Cabral, HCC’s executive director of Business, Corporate and Professional Development, at [email protected] Space is limited, and advance registration is required. To register, visit hcc.edu/womens-leadership.

 

Agenda

RVCC Golf Tournament

Sept. 10: River Valley Counseling Center (RVCC), a multi-faceted mental-health agency, will hold its sixth annual golf tournament fundraiser at East Mountain Country Club in Westfield. The event is presented by Action Ambulance Service Inc. Funds raised will support the programs RVCC provides to children and teens in the community, in schools, and through local partnerships. The cost per golfer is $100 and includes greens fees, a golf cart, a gift bag, lunch, and dinner. Golfers will also be able to participate in course contests and a raffle. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. with a 10:30 a.m. shotgun start. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Visit rvccinc.org/golf for more information and to register or sponsor online.

 

HCC Foundation Golf Classic

Sept. 13: Registration is open for the Holyoke Community College (HCC) Foundation’s annual fundraising golf tournament at Springfield Country Club in West Springfield. Last year’s golf tournament, the 33rd, was cancelled due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s tournament will recognize the 75th anniversary of Holyoke Community College. Proceeds will go toward student scholarships managed by the HCC Foundation, the college’s nonprofit fundraising arm. The golf outing begins with an 11 a.m. buffet lunch followed by a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. After golf, participants can enjoy cocktails on the clubhouse porch, followed by a dinner and celebration recognizing the 75th anniversary of Holyoke Community College. Participants can arrange their own foursomes or sign up as singles. The $185 individual fee includes greens fees, golf cart, lunch, dinner, and refreshments on the course. The cost is $740 per foursome. To register or sponsor the golf tournament, visit www.hcc.edu/golf.

 

YMCA of Greater Springfield Golf Tournament

Sept. 21: The YMCA of Greater Springfield announced it will hold a golf tournament at the Longmeadow Country Club. The funds raised will support youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through access to the YMCA. In addition to a round of golf, golfers will enjoy a grilled lunch at 11 a.m. and a dinner following the tournament. To learn more about registration and sponsorship opportunities, e-mail Donna Sittard, Development director at the YMCA, at [email protected], call (413) 739-6951, ext. 3110, or visit www.springfieldy.org.

 

40 Under Forty Gala

Sept. 23: BusinessWest’s 15th annual 40 Under Forty gala will take place at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The class of 2021 was introduced to the region in the magazine’s May 12 issue, and the profiles may be read online at businesswest.com. Tickets cost $80 per person. An extremely limited number of tickets are still available. To reserve a spot, call (413) 781-8600, or e-mail [email protected].

 

Leadership Training Program

Sept. 28-30: Giombetti Associates, a leadership institute providing behaviorally based talent-development and acquisition services, will host the second of three three-day leadership training programs for 2021 at the Delaney House in Holyoke. This intensive course covers the power of Performance Dynamics and how it can help participants know themselves better; different leadership styles and what makes them effective or ineffective; the importance of being vulnerable and transparent; how to build interpersonal relationships; what effective onboarding is and how it will help participants’ organizations and employees; how to be an efficient communicator; the best way to deliver developmental feedback; building teamwork and the value of team building; and trust, integrity, and more. Prior to training, each participant goes through Performance Dynamics, an assessment that consists of three personality inventories designed to identify 17 different traits that drive personality and behavior. Then, in an interactive, one-on-one feedback session, the participant develops a newfound self-awareness of their behavioral strengths, learns how to manage their personality more effectively, and gains an understanding of how their personality impacts others. Throughout the three-day training, the participant is encouraged to constantly refer to and link their personality to the leadership issue being discussed. All the subject matter is wrapped around individual personality and how it affects behavior in different situations, yielding a unique experience of self-exploration. To learn more about the three-day leadership program, which has an additional session scheduled in November, visit giombettiassoc.com/three-day-leadership-training-program. Registration is now open for both sessions.

 

Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]


 

 

Brewing Up Business

 

 

 

 

 

One Way Brewing opened its doors at 807 Maple Road in Longmeadow on May 22, marking the launch of Longmeadow’s first brewery. One Way Brewing released a flagship beer, Kickstarter, a New England IPA. Pictured at top: two of the many customers who showed up at the event, which featured lines stretched around the building for much of the day. Above, Jason Tsitso, partner and head brewer, loads up six-packs of beer for sale at the kickoff event

 

 


 

 

Honoring a Legacy

Springfield’s Sinai Temple and the Jerome S. Gurland Human Relations Award Committee recently selected Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity (GSHFH) as the 2021 award recipient. GSHFH Executive Director Aimee Giroux (pictured, right) met with Rabbi Jeremy Master (left) on May 26 to accept the honor. Award namesake Rabbi Gurland of Longmeadow, who passed away on May 20, had been an advocate for community service and interfaith relations. Giroux said the funds will be used to promote community involvement, primarily with youth volunteers through construction on its Bay Street project.

 


 

 

Customers’ Choice Community Grants

During a May 18 celebration at Look Park, Florence Bank awarded $100,500 to 32 community organizations through its 19th annual Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program. Each year, Florence Bank customers are invited to vote for their favorite local nonprofit; to qualify for a community grant, organizations must receive at least 50 votes. In 2020, almost 7,000 votes were cast. Pictured: Monica Curhan, senior vice president and Marketing director, joins President and CEO Kevin Day in leading the awards presentation.

 


 

Agenda

Free Music Fridays

June 4 to Sept. 3: Live music will returns to MGM Springfield with the new Free Music Fridays Concert Series. Every Friday, some of the area’s most popular rock bands will perform on the Plaza at MGM Springfield starting at 7:30 p.m., weather permitting. Kicking off the 2021 series is FAT featuring Peter Newland. Additional local favorites such as Trailer Trash, Darik and the Funbags, and Michelle Brooks-Thompson, among others, are scheduled to perform throughout the summer. The Plaza Bar will reopen for Free Music Fridays, offering summer cocktails, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages, among other options. Guests also can enjoy MGM Springfield’s diverse food and beverage offerings before or after the concerts, with options including the Chandler Steakhouse, Tap Sports Bar, and Southend Market venues including Bill’s Diner, Jack’s Lobster Shack, Wicked Noodle, and Hearth Grill. For additional details on the Free Music Fridays Concert Series, including lineup updates, visit mgmspringfield.com.

 

Asnuntuck Foundation Golf Tournament

June 15: Asnuntuck Community College’s foundation and Aerospace Components Manufacturers will host a golf tournament fundraiser — the program’s 13th annual tournament and the first year the fundraiser will be held at Tunxis Country Club in Farmington, Conn. Proceeds from the event will benefit to the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center at Asnuntuck, which features leading-edge technology and has educated more than 9,000 students since 1998. Additional sponsors committed to the tournament include Air Industries Group/Sterling Engineering, Aerospace Alloys Inc., Aeroswiss, Advance Welding, Pilot Precision Products, Kaman Precision Products, Willington Nameplate, Accu-Rite Tool and Manufacturing Co. Inc., and Jarvis Surgical Inc. Golfers will pay $150 for 18 holes of golf. The entry fee also includes a cart, goody bags, and two drink tickets. The day will also include a barbecue lunch and fountain drink, along with dinner and an ice cream sundae bar. Golfers will have a chance at door prizes, and awards will be presented to top golfers during the dinner portion of the evening. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with tee-off at 1 p.m. Golfers will play with a ‘shamble,’ which is a modified scramble. This format has each golfer hit their tee shot, and the group picks the best one and plays their own ball from there. Visit birdease.com/amtgolf to register and learn about sponsorship opportunities. For more information, contact event coordinator Joshua Ware at [email protected] or (203) 228-2768.

 

‘Cook Your Way to Hormone Health’

June 17, 24: Bella Foodie LLC announced 2021 dates for its “Cook Your Way to Hormone Health” virtual cooking workshop with Renae Taply of Tap into Wellness. This event will help women in the community learn how to optimize their hormone health through foods and balancing the plate. The workshop will be held 100% virtually, but attendees will still feel the excitement of an in-person event. During the event, participants will be guided through creating meals utilizing phase-specific foods that naturally support hormone balance. The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on both dates. Tickets to the event cost $45 upon registration. After registration, participants will receive an ingredient list for the cook-along portion with Ashley Tresoline, owner of Bella Foodie. During the two-part workshop, participants will learn how food can affect the hormones; learn seasonal recipes for every phase of one’s hormone life; and engage in a talk about hormone health and wellness. The sessions will include Q&A time, a cook-along portion and demonstration, and handouts on hormones, recipes, and meal guidance. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/cook-your-way-to-hormone-health-tickets-154772991183.

 

AIC President’s Cup Golf Outing

June 18: American International College (AIC) will host its 13th annual President’s Cup Golf Outing at Wintonbury Hills Golf Club in Bloomfield, Conn. Proceeds from registrations and sponsorships directly benefit AIC scholarship programs, which are essential in the college’s support of students and future alumni. Since the President’s Cup Golf Outing began in 2007, the tournament has raised more than $500,000 toward scholarships for deserving students. Many sponsorship opportunities are available in addition to foursome and individual golfer registrations. The event’s gold sponsor is C&W Services. Given recent modifications to some COVID-19 restrictions, the tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m., with check-in and continental breakfast available in advance. A BBQ lunch will be served, and an awards dinner at the conclusion of the tournament will round out the day. For more information about the President’s Cup, including sponsorship support, foursomes, and individual golfer participation, or to donate items for the raffle, call (413) 205-3520 or e-mail [email protected]. Registration is available online at www.aic.edu/presidentscup. The registration deadline is Friday, June 11.

 

Dress for Success Tag Sale

June 18-24: Dress for Success Western Massachusetts will host another of its popular clothing tag sales — this time outside under a huge tent in the parking lot of the Eastfield Mall. Hundreds of women have refreshed their wardrobes at past tag sales, while at the same time supporting Dress for Success’ mission to empower women to achieve economic independence. Women can choose from an extensive array of clothing, shoes, accessories, and more. These new and gently used items include selections from name-brand fashion houses such as Anne Klein, Evan Picone, Ellen Tracy, and many more. Customers can fill a shopping bag for only $25. Individuals with clothing they would like to donate can call (413) 732-8179 to make an appointment. Because the tag sale is outside, there will not be rooms to try on clothes. If anyone buys something that doesn’t fit, they can pass it on to friends or others in need. For everyone’s safety, shoppers are asked to wear a mask while inside the tent. Volunteers are needed on June 14-17 to set up, June 18-24 to staff the tent, and June 25 to break down the event. Anyone interested should e-mail [email protected].

 

Healthcare Heroes Nominations

Through June 24: In the spring of 2017, the Healthcare News and its sister publication, BusinessWest, created a new and exciting recognition program called Healthcare Heroes. It was launched with the theory that there are heroes working all across this region’s wide, deep, and all-important healthcare sector, and that there was no shortage of fascinating stories to tell and individuals and groups to honor. That theory has certainly been validated. But there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of heroes whose stories we still need to tell, especially in these times, when the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many types of heroes to the forefront. Nominations will be accepted in seven different categories: Patient/Resident/Client Care Provider, Health/Wellness Administrator/Administration, Emerging Leader, Community Health, Innovation in Health/Wellness, Collaboration in Health/Wellness, and Lifetime Achievement. The Healthcare Heroes event is presented by Elms College. Nominations can be submitted at businesswest.com/healthcare-heroes/nominations. For more information, call (413) 781-8600.

 

Blue Sox Youth Baseball Clinics

June 28 to July 1; July 5-8; July 12-15: The Valley Blue Sox of the New England Collegiate Baseball League, in coordination with presenting sponsor Holyoke Medical Group, announced three youth baseball clinic dates. At these clinics, to be held in three different locations around Western Mass., participants will hone their hitting, pitching, and fielding skills with instruction from Blue Sox players and coaches. The dates and locations are as follows: June 28 to July 1, 9 a.m. to noon, Hadley Elementary School fields (rain date July 2); July 5-8, 9 a.m. to noon, Mackenzie Stadium, Holyoke (rain date July 9); and July 12-15, 9 a.m. to noon, Spec Pond Recreation Area, Wilbraham (rain date July 16). The registration cost for each clinic is $120. The clinics are open to children ages 6-13. Every child who participates in the youth clinic will receive two tickets to the Blue Sox Clinic Night on Wednesday, July 21. This night is a way to commemorate the work put in during the clinics, and every child will have the opportunity to take the field with the Blue Sox during the pregame ceremonies. To register for these youth clinics, click www.bluesoxcamps.com for the Hadley or Holyoke clinic, or www.wilbrahamrec.com for the Wilbraham clinic. For more information, visit www.valleybluesox.com and select ‘Youth Clinics’ from the drop-down menu.

 

40 Under Forty Gala

Sept. 23: BusinessWest’s 15th annual 40 Under Forty gala will take place at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. The class of 2021 was introduced to the region in the magazine’s May 12 issue, and the profiles may be read online at businesswest.com. Tickets cost $80 and will go on sale on June 7. This is expected to be a sellout event, and tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a spot, call (413) 781-8600, or e-mail [email protected].

 

Company Notebook

BETE Fog Nozzle Earns MassHire Workforce Leader Award

GREENFIELD — The MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board awarded BETE Fog Nozzle its 2021 Workforce Leader Award, honoring the company’s contributions to workforce well-being, workplace, and public safety during the pandemic. BETE now employs more than 180 people at its Greenfield facility, designing, casting, and machining spray nozzles. The company garnered headlines earlier in the year for developing an innovative machine for quickly disinfecting school buses after each use with a touchless process employing BETE’s trademark fog nozzles. Working with local bus company F.M. Kuzmeskus Inc., BETE engineers designed a button-sized fogger installed in rows along each school-bus ceiling, out of reach of children. The series of spray foggers are linked and connected to a port on the outside of the bus where a mobile compressor machine mixes air and disinfectant that is pumped through a tube to the spray nozzles on the bus interior, sending an aerosol disinfectant mist throughout each bus before rolling to the next one. When the pandemic lockdown shuttered businesses in March 2020, BETE provided paid furloughs to all its employees, and the company offers regular profit-sharing bonuses. BETE is also a founding supporter of the seven-year-old Manufacturing Skills Initiative (MSI) training partnership between Greenfield Community College, the Workforce Board, Career Center, Franklin County Technical School, and area manufacturers. BETE has hired more than a dozen graduates from MSI’s 12-week CNC Operator training program, giving them a solid start toward building a rewarding, high-skill career in precision machining. Company President Tom Fitch is chairman of the GCC Future Work Advisory Council, which brings local chambers, business, employment agencies, and the college together to develop curriculum to provide training that brings additional employment and advancement opportunities to area residents.

 

Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. Announces Acquisition

SPRINGFIELD — Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin, P.C. has added the Northampton law firm Etheredge & Steuer to its regional law practice. Attorneys Edward Etheredge and Shelley Steuer bring a wealth of talent, knowledge, and expertise to Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin’s business, real estate, land-use planning, permitting, estate planning, and estate administration practice areas. Both firms have deep roots in Western Mass. and similar approaches to providing service to clients. Etheredge, whose practice is principally in real estate, land use, planning, and development, began practicing law in Northampton in 1976. He is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar and admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Steuer, whose practice focuses on estate planning and estate and trust administration, has practiced in Northampton since 1990. She is a member of the Pioneer Valley Estate Planning Council, the Hampshire County Bar Assoc., and the Massachusetts Bar Assoc. She is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, New York, and California, as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Steuer and Etheredge will be joined by members of the Shatz, Schwartz and Fentin team at 64 Gothic St., Northampton. The firm will continue to provide services to clients at 1441 Main St., Springfield.

 

Eversource ConnectedSolutions Earns Program Pacesetter Award

SPRINGFIELD — In recognition of its efforts to help customers reduce energy use and save money through demand response programs, Eversource’s ConnectedSolutions demand-management program received the 2021 Program Pacesetter Award from the Peak Load Management Alliance (PLMA). The energy company was recognized for surpassing enrollment goals and setting a high bar for energy-demand-management programs. Eversource’s ConnectedSolutions program provides incentives to customers to reduce their energy use at times of peak demand, which helps reduce strain on the electric grid and lowers carbon emissions by avoiding additional power generation of dirtier fossil fuels like coal that still come online in New England when demand is high. Customer enrollment in 2020 across Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire surpassed goals by more than 60 MW, reaching a total of 170 MW approved for targeted use during days with the highest energy demand and an additional 6.3 MW of storage capacity approved for daily demand reductions. ConnectedSolutions is significant not only for the large demand reductions that can be achieved, but also for the diversity of customers and devices enrolled, including more than 600 business customers using a range of demand-reduction strategies and more than 33,000 residential devices including Wi-Fi thermostats, electric-vehicle chargers, residential battery storage, and Wi-Fi-connected A/C units.

 

House Earmarks $50,000 for New Manufacturing Program at HCC

HOLYOKE — State Rep. Patricia Duffy announced that $50,000 has been earmarked in the House fiscal-year 2022 budget to seed the development and implementation of a new Manufacturing Training Program at Holyoke Community College (HCC). According to labor and workforce data, 9.7% of jobs in Holyoke are in manufacturing, compared to 6.7% statewide. Meanwhile, at 9.9%, the unemployment rate in Holyoke is the second-highest in Western Mass. after Springfield’s 11.2%, compared to a statewide rate of 6.6% for March 2021. The Manufacturing Training Program will join a robust stable of workforce-development programs at HCC. The program will serve up to 45 individuals in three cohorts by providing approximately 150 hours of remote and in-person, hands-on training combined with workplace experiential learning, and includes skills assessments and pre-training focused on workplace readiness in English and basic math, followed by core training in entry-level manufacturing. The manufacturing component will include modules in communication, teamwork, customer service, digital literacy, general manufacturing processes and principles, blueprints, dimensions, tolerances, instrumentation and measuring; manufacturing workplace math, lean manufacturing, problem solving, quality control, and workplace safety. Regional employers will be invited to participate in curriculum design and delivery as guest speakers, as well as in hosting tours of their facilities when possible. Participants will be connected to area employers and receive job-placement assistance through HCC and MassHire Holyoke.

 

Girls Inc. of the Valley Event Raises More Than $67,000

HOLYOKE — Girls Inc. of the Valley has raised more than $67,000 to date from its Spirit of Girls 2021 event, which will help support ongoing program needs. The virtual event was held on May 6 and was attended by notable women such as U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, Mount Holyoke College leadership fellow and political figure Carmen Yulín Cruz, actress Tequilla Whitfield, WWLP weeknight anchor Ciara Speller, and Girls Inc. President and CEO Stephanie Hull. Girls Inc. of the Valley has had to opt for safer, virtual options, which is why this year’s Spirit of Girls event was held 100% virtually. Attendees heard directly from girls, staff, and notable celebrities regarding the importance of celebrating their place at the table. Girls Inc. of the Valley will be posting a link to a video of the event on its YouTube channel, where it will still accept monetary gifts as well. Girls Inc. of the Valley aims to inspire all girls to see themselves as leaders with the skills and capabilities to improve and influence their local communities.

 

Springfield Museums Offer Sensory Friendly Saturdays

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield Museums will present Sensory Friendly Saturdays on the second Saturday of each month from 9 to 11 a.m., starting May 8. Sensory Friendly Saturdays provide less noise, dimmer light, and cool-down spaces for those who have sensory sensitivity. The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and the Springfield Science Museum will open early, with some exhibits modified to provide an opportunity for people with a range of differing abilities to experience what the museums have to offer. Trained staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and, if necessary, direct visitors to a quiet space that provides a chance to cool down and take a break. Sensory-friendly crafts for all ages will be available in the Cat’s Corner. Parents and caregivers must stay with their children at all times. The modifications are enabled until 11 a.m. Preview guides are available for those who would like to explore what to expect before arriving at the museums. If visitors find the Museums too overwhelming and need to leave before 10 a.m., the Welcome Center staff will give the family a voucher to try again on another Sensory Friendly Saturday. The Springfield Museums became universal-participation-designated two years ago as part of a Massachusetts Cultural Council program to help museums, theaters, and other cultural organizations pay particular attention to ensuring their programming is accessible to all people. The staff created preview guides for families to read together before visiting the museums and made decisions about which exhibits they could modify to be more friendly to visitors with sensitivity to noise, lights, and movement.

 

WNEU School of Law Adds Race-related Coursework Requirement for Graduation

SPRINGFIELD — In an effort to incorporate antiracism education and training into the student experience, Western New England University (WNEU) School of Law has added a new Antiracism and Cultural Competency (ARCC) graduation requirement beginning with incoming students in the fall of 2022. This requirement offers students more than a dozen options from substantive courses relating to legal history, structural inequality, intersectionality, discrimination, civil rights, and theories of subordination, focusing on cultural context and cultural competency. The list of eligible courses includes “Race, Racism, & the Law,” “Business Law from an Antiracist Perspective,” “Gender & the Law,” “Diversity & Inclusion in the Legal Profession,” and many others. “Western New England University School of Law has a long and proud history of incorporating social justice and antiracism into the education we offer,” said School of Law Dean Sudha Setty. “A cornerstone of our mission is the belief that the study of law must embrace the notion that different beliefs, backgrounds, and opinions are critical components of a well-rounded learning environment.” WNEU School of Law currently offers a wide range of elective courses, experiential learning opportunities, engagement opportunities through its Center for Social Justice, pro bono opportunities, student organizations, and vibrant speaker series that serve to broaden students’ knowledge on legal issues related to racial justice, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

 

Springfield Thunderbirds, Mass Lottery Wrap ‘Feed the Frontline’ Campaign

SPRINGFIELD — Each week during the month of April, the Springfield Thunderbirds and the Massachusetts State Lottery teamed up for the “Feed the Frontline” campaign, to thank individuals in the healthcare and service industries. The Thunderbirds worked with several of their food partners to provide lunch to some deserving individuals throughout the Pioneer Valley. Members of the Thunderbirds front office and mascot Boomer visited staff at Mercy Medical Center, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, USA Hauling, the Springfield Police Department, and the Springfield Fire Department. The Thunderbirds and the Mass Lottery will be collaborating on several initiatives throughout the spring and summer to recognize several individuals within the Western Mass. community. Meals were provided by a number of local food partners, including Nadim’s Mediterranean Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, 99 Restaurant, Uno Chicago Grill, and Theodores’. The Mass Lottery and the Thunderbirds will continue to promote the outstanding work of those in the community throughout the summer when the Hometown Salute campaign launches in May. Individuals who are currently or have served in the military, or those working in the healthcare or public-service industries, may be nominated to be recognized by the Thunderbirds each week.

 

Visiting Angels West Springfield Receives Home-care Accreditation

WEST SPRINGFIELD — Visiting Angels, a private-pay home-care agency based in West Springfield, is among a select group of agencies to earn accreditation from the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts. The alliance, which represents 180 home-health and eldercare agencies across Massachusetts, has created an accreditation protocol to promote quality services, ethical business standards, and superior employment practices in an industry that lacks meaningful licensure in Massachusetts even as it grows in popularity. The Home Care Alliance launched this accreditation program for private-pay agencies (agencies that are not paid by Medicare or Medicaid) in 2010. Agencies seeking accreditation are required to submit documentation to show that they meet standards established by the organization. The standards were developed over several months in consultation with an advisory task force representing agencies throughout the Commonwealth. Training requirements, administrative protocols, and business practices are among the categories the Home Care Alliance reviews for accreditation.

 

Riley Home Realty Launches Full-service Agency

CHICOPEE — Riley Home Realty announced the launch of its Chicopee-based, full-service real-estate agency. This family-owned and -operated agency will offer residents in the surrounding Western Mass. communities a comprehensive suite of services delivered with expert guidance from a team of dedicated agents. Riley Home Realty services include listing homes for sale, working with home buyers, managing rental properties and listing rental properties, and property management. It was a dream of members of the Riley family to work together to help others realize home and real-estate ownership, the company noted. “Our family-owned and -operated agency is built on the values we as a family embody. We are with each other every step of the way. Our clients get that same dedication and commitment when they work with us. When you work with Riley Home Realty, you’re family.”

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Serving Up Grants

The Greenfield Business Assoc. (GBA) recently awarded eight Greenfield businesses funding from the COVID-19 Business Reopening Outdoor Equipment Micro-Grant through MassDevelopment’s Commonwealth Places: Resurgent Places grant program. First-round grant awards were received by Brad’s Place, Denny’s Pantry, Hangar Pub and Grill, Hope & Olive, Main Street Bar and Grille, Mesa Verde, Terrazza, and the new Adam’s Donuts. Each of the eight recipients received grants of up to $1,200, and the GBA’s goal is to help at least eight more businesses with the remaining funds. Pictured: Mik Muller (right), GBA board president and owner of Montague WebWorks, hands a check to Michael Stone, manager of Hangar Pub and Grill.

 


 

 

Special Delivery

In anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday and with more families in need amid the pandemic than usual, MBK rallied to deliver Thanksgiving food items to the Gray House. Led by team leaders Chelsea Cox and Sarah Rose Stack, the team collected donations and money before making the dropoff. The team went shopping for turkeys, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all the traditional Thanksgiving fixings, and was able to fill four bins with food and make an additional monetary donation. The Gray House expected to feed between 800 and 1,000 families on Thanksgiving.

 


 

 

A Tasty Return

Seven culinary-arts students at Holyoke Community College have been on a slow simmer since March, when their first-semester schedules were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They had just completed their seven-week introductory cooking course, but it’s tough to cook over Zoom, so their first semesters were put on hold until the fall. But the teaching kitchens at HCC’s Culinary Arts Institute reopened this fall, and the students were back at their stations, progressing through a series of accelerated, back-to-back classes designed to catch them up before the spring semester begins on Jan. 25.

 


 

Agenda

Virtual Open House for Elms Graduate Education Programs

Dec. 1: The Elms College Graduate Admission Office will hold a virtual open house from 5 to 6:30 p.m. to share information about graduate programs in education (MED/MAT). This sessions will allow prospective students to meet with program directors, alumni, and graduate admission counselors. Another virtual open house will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 from 6 to 7 p.m. to share information about all Elms College graduate programs. Elms has 30 graduate, post-graduate, and certificate programs offered in a variety of models, including hybrid, online, and on campus. To register for either session, visit www.elms.edu/graduate-studies/visit.

 

Spay/Neuter Voucher Day

Dec. 1: Second Chance Animal Services announced it will host its first Spay/Neuter Voucher Day at its Springfield Community Veterinary Hospital. The program, made possible in conjunction with the Mass Animal Fund and local animal-control officers, provides free spay/neuter services to cats and dogs owned by low-income Massachusetts residents. For those who don’t qualify for the state voucher program, Second Chance’s low-cost spay/neuter program is available to everyone. Complete information on both programs can be found at secondchanceanimals.org. The Second Chance Springfield hospital also offers full-service veterinary care for all, with subsidized rates for qualifying households, plus a weekly vaccine clinic by pre-registration offering rabies and distemper vaccines for $12, microchips for $20, and nail trims for $12. Those interested in registering for the voucher day can visit the website and check out the Spay/Neuter Information section of the registration form.

 

MCLA Virtual Information Session

Dec. 2: The Division of Graduate and Continuing Education (DGCE) at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will hold a virtual information session at 4 p.m. This information session will offer details about MCLA’s bachelor’s degree completion program; master of business administration, master of education, and teacher licensure programs; and the MCLA Leadership Academy. Members of the community interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree, advancing in their education careers, or completing their undergraduate degree are encouraged to attend. Representatives from each postgraduate program will present information and answer questions about degree paths, enrollment, balancing responsibilities while pursuing a degree, and more. For more information or to register, visit mcla.edu/infosession.

 

Bright Nights at Forest Park

Through Jan. 3: Bright Nights at Forest Park will take place this year. Spirit of Springfield and the city of Springfield have developed protocols to provide a safe and festive event that has been a holiday tradition since 1995. They will be instituted during setup, breakdown, and during the event, and include masks, regular cleaning, online ticketing, and more. Restrooms will be for emergency use only, and the usual bustling gift shop, amusement rides, horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides, and visits and supper with Santa will not be available. This will help keep all visitors safe and socially distanced in their vehicles during the experience. Bright Nights at Forest Park is three miles of a unique holiday experience featuring more than 675,000 lights and iconic displays like Seuss Land, Everett Barney Mansion, Toy Land, Happy Holidays, Springfield, and so many more. It generates $15 million in economic impact annually and has created a lifetime of family memories in its 25-year history. It also promises to be one of the safest events, with families contained in their cars. Admission will be $23 per car weeknights, weekdays, and holidays. Discounted tickets will be available at participating Big Y World Class Markets for $16.50. Due to bus-capacity limitations in Massachusetts, admission for buses has been reduced to $100 for buses with capacity of more than 30 people. Vehicles with seating from 17 to 30 people will be charged $50 for admission.

Agenda

Unify Against Bullying Annual Fashion Show

Oct. 26: High-school students of all shapes, sizes, styles, ethnicity, and physical abilities from schools in Western Mass. and Northern Conn. will strut their stuff at a fashion show celebrating true diversity. In this unprecedented time, the Unify Against Bullying team has decided to stream the event free on Facebook Live for all to enjoy. One addition this year is an online auction where individuals can bid on prizes from the comfort of their home. The organization will also accept donations during the event to support their mission and the youth they serve. Delaney’s Market is offering a Unify meal package to order, pay for, and pick up curbside at one of four locations to make the event a party with family and friends. For information on streaming, sponsorship, and program advertising, visit www.unifyagainstbullying.org or call (413) 304-0668.

 

‘Caring for an Aging Loved One in Time of COVID-19’

Oct. 28-30: Linda Manor Assisted Living will sponsor a free seminar, “Caring for an Aging Loved One in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond.” Sessions will be held as outdoor, socially distanced events under a tent on Wednesday, Oct. 28 and Thursday, Oct. 29 at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each day. For those who prefer to participate from the comfort of their home, a session will be held Friday, Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. as an online webinar. Each session will be 60 to 90 minutes in length. The sessions will be presented by Joan Roche, a board-certified clinical nurse specialist in gerontological nursing. She has 40 years of professional experience serving and advocating for older adults. She has been a gerontological clinical nurse specialist for a major healthcare system, an associate professor at the UMass College of Nursing, a healthcare consultant, and family caregiver her entire adult life. As some experts believe that we may be living with the COVID-19 pandemic well into next year, Roche will provide straightforward information and helpful advice on how best to manage the many challenges that can come with caring for an aging loved one during this time. Topics include how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, seasonal flu, pneumonia, and the common cold this winter; the latest advances in the development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine; understanding the difference between assisted living, memory care, and a nursing home; how to recognize the signs of deteriorating health or frailty in a loved one; how to help a loved one deal with isolation or anxiety; practical tips for dementia caregivers; and little-known ways to help pay for senior housing, including benefits for veterans and veterans’ survivors. Linda Manor Assisted Living is located at 345 Haydenville Road, Leeds. To register for one of the seminars, visit www.rsvplindamanor.org, or call (413) 588-3316. Reservations are required. Space is limited for the in-person events to allow for proper social distancing. All in-person attendees will receive a complete, reheatable meal to take home.

 

‘What Is the Black Agenda in America Today?’

Oct. 29: Western New England University (WNEU) School of Law will present a virtual discussion titled “What is the Black Agenda in America Today?” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. as part of the Wellen Davison Speaker Series. Entrepreneur, activist, and author Elaine Brown will be discussing recent events involving policing brutality and the deaths of unarmed black citizens. Western New England University President Robert Johnson will provide the welcome address, and Professor of Law Bridgette Baldwin will serve as moderator. Brown is executive director for the Michael Lewis Legal Defense Committee, the former minister of information and chairman of the Black Panther Party, and author of A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story and the Condemnation of Little B. She is also the CEO of Oakland & the World Enterprises, a nonprofit organization dedicated to launching and sustaining for-profit businesses for ownership by formerly incarcerated and other people facing extreme barriers to economic survival. Brown attended Temple University, UCLA, Mills College, and Southwestern University School of Law and has lectured at colleges and universities around the world. This 90-minute event is free and open to the public. For more information, click ‘Learn More’ under ‘Center for Social Justice’ at wne.edu.

 

‘The Human Side of Innovation’

Oct. 29: Bay Path University announced the launch of a monthly webinar series bringing the concept of ‘leading-edge thinking’ to a deep examination of the future of higher education. The series will open Thursday, Oct. 29 with a presentation titled “The Human Side of Innovation: Finding Joy and Meaning in Everyday Life and Work.” Presented by Elaine Dundon, bestselling author and founder of the Global Meaning Institute, it will explore the search for meaning in the context of widespread change and discuss how innovation can bring us forward as we embark upon a new normal for post-pandemic life. The webinar series was developed by Bay Path’s Center for Higher Education Leadership and Innovative Practices (CHELIP) to further the discourse and confront the challenges surrounding the upheaval of traditional higher education. The series is open to all. Each webinar is an hour long, with future presentations looking at topics such as student-retention challenges, racial injustice, and transforming the learning process. For more information, visit baypath.edu.

 

Boo Bash

Oct. 31: In cooperation with the office of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and Colebrook Realty Services Inc., United Way of Pioneer Valley will host Boo Bash, a drive-thru, socially distant trick-or-treating event between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the TD Bank parking lot in downtown Springfield. Families with children 12 and under, accompanied by an adult, are welcome to attend, and 3,000 bags of candy, toys, and information on community resources will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Everyone must remain in their vehicles to ensure safety. More information is available at uwpv.org/boo-bash, and donations can be made at uwpv.org/donate.

 

Real-estate Licensing Course

Nov. 2 to Dec. 10: The Realtor Assoc. of Pioneer Valley will sponsor a 40-hour, 14-class, sales licensing course to help individuals prepare for the Massachusetts real-estate salesperson license exam. Tuition is $400 and includes the book and materials. For an application, call (413) 785-1328 or visit rapv.com. The association has taken all necessary COVID-19 sanitary precautions in accordance with the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines to ensure the safety of its students. Classes are limited to 18 students.

 

A+ Awards Show

Nov. 12: The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce 2020 A+ Awards Show will be held virtually and broadcast live from Hadley Farms Meeting House, with PeoplesBank serving as presenting sponsor. Each year, the chamber gives A+ Awards to individuals and organizations that enrich the life of the community through their work in education, business, and civic engagement in Amherst, Belchertown, Hadley, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury, Sunderland, and the Pioneer Valley as a whole. This year’s honorees include Betsey McInnis (Lifetime Achievement Award), Phoenix Fruit Farm of Belchertown (Leader in Innovation Award), Kestrel Land Trust of Amherst (Leader in Sustainability Award), Ash Crawford, director of Operations at Amherst Coffee (Young Professional Award), Mercedes-Benz of Springfield (Community Service Award), and Lisa Eugin of Encharter Insurance (Chamber MVP). New this year is the COVID Hero, a nonprofit or individual who provided essential support services, went above and beyond, and took initiative to put others before self to benefit the greater good. Live voting will take place to choose a winner from the following organizations and individuals: Amherst Survival Center, Arizona Pizza, Bistro 63, Mary Beth Ogulewicz of the Amherst Senior Center, Rebekah Demling of ARPS PGO, and Wheelhouse Catering. Also new this year, David Jeffway, owner of Sharper Vision, will create video tributes for each awardee. A virtual access pass to the view the live awards show costs $20, or a $50 VIP package includes the virtual access pass, a $25 Amherst-area gift certificate, a hard copy of the 2020 A+ Awards Journal, and sponsor gifts. Registration is open, and A+ Award dinner sponsorships and ads are still available for the virtual extravaganza; for more information, visit amherstarea.com. E-mail Pazmany at [email protected] with any inquiries.

 

Bright Nights at Forest Park

Nov. 25 to Jan. 3: Bright Nights at Forest Park will take place this year. Spirit of Springfield and the city of Springfield have developed protocols to provide a safe and festive event that has been a holiday tradition since 1995. They will be instituted during setup, breakdown, and during the event, and include masks, regular cleaning, online ticketing, and more. Restrooms will be for emergency use only, and the usual bustling gift shop, amusement rides, horse-drawn wagon and carriage rides, and visits and supper with Santa will not be available. This will help keep all visitors safe and socially distanced in their vehicles during the experience. Bright Nights at Forest Park is three miles of a unique holiday experience featuring more than 675,000 lights and iconic displays like Seuss Land, Everett Barney Mansion, Toy Land, Happy Holidays, Springfield, and so many more. It generates $15 million in economic impact annually and has created a lifetime of family memories in its 25-year history. It also promises to be one of the safest events, with families contained in their cars. Admission will be $23 per car weeknights, weekdays, and holidays. Discounted tickets will be available at participating Big Y World Class Markets for $16.50. Due to bus-capacity limitations in Massachusetts, admission for buses has been reduced to $100 for buses with capacity of more than 30 people. Vehicles with seating from 17 to 30 people will be charged $50 for admission.

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A Visit from the First Lady

On Feb. 21, Massachusetts First Lady Lauren Baker paid a visit to Square One’s Tommie Johnson Child & Family Center, where she spent the afternoon learning about Square One’s work with children and families in the region. She was greeted by Square One educators, therapists, and children, who welcomed her with songs and gifts for the children Baker engages with in her work with the Wonderfund of Massachusetts.

 


Advocating for Community Colleges

James Lombella (left), North-West regional president of Connecticut Community Colleges, and Eileen Peltier (right), dean of Workforce Development and Continuing Education for Asnuntuck, Northwestern Connecticut, and Tunxis community colleges, traveled to Hartford in February to represent the 12 Connecticut community colleges as part of a 2020 Skills Summit organized by the National Skills Coalition. Lombella and Peltier met with staff from the office of state Sen. Richard Blumenthal and state Rep. Joe Courtney (center) to provide updates on the community colleges and seek support for Pell grants for students in non-credit programs that provide industry licensure and credentials.


Grand Opening

Brenda Cuoco & Associates Real Estate Brokerage celebrated its grand-opening ceremony on Feb. 8. The office opened for business in Wilbraham in November. State Rep. Angelo Puppolo presented Cuoco, who has been a real-estate agent for 15 years, with a House of Representatives citation.

The brokerage team, from left, Amy Beaulieu, MaryKate Caron, Paula Lynch, Alyssa Stout, Brenda Cuoco, Tammy Sandomierski, Kathleen Brenner, Paige Belcastro, and Cori Bessette

 

From left: Puppolo, David Cuoco, Brenda Cuoco, Marco Cuoco, and Antonio Cuoco

 


Giving Back to the Community

Community Bank N.A. announced that its annual charitable giving reached more than $2.6 million in 2019 through sponsorships, donations, and grants, with its branches across Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont donating to more than 2,500 local organizations. In Massachusetts, it supported a variety of organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club of Springfield, the YMCA of Greater Springfield, Springfield Rescue Mission, Open Pantry Community Services, Way Finders, Gardening the Community, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County, and (pictured) the Western Regional Office of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center (MSBDC).

From left: Community Bank N.A. Springfield Branch Manager Gilbert Nieves, Commercial Banking Team Leader Keith Nesbitt, MSBDC Regional Director Samalid Hogan, MSBDC Client Services Coordinator and Office Manager Lynn Shedd, and MSBDC Senior Business Advisor Anita Elisaon.

 

 


Art History

Tower Square unveiled a James Kitchen sculpture in its Center Court on Feb. 26. The 11-foot-high sculpture, titled “Tower Squares,” is comprised of intricate, stacked blocks, a la Dr. Seuss, filled with parts and pieces recycled from Springfield’s past. Visitors will discover a 1940s Indian motorcycle seat, pipe wrenches invented by Solymon Merrick in 1835, a clip-on ice skate patented by Everett Barney in the 1800s, a basketball hoop, ice tongs, hammers, gears that turn, doorbells that ring, faucets, and much more. The entire installation is interactive, inviting children and adults to explore its components. The statue will be a permanent feature of the building.

 

 


 

Agenda

On the Move Forum

March 4: In honor of Women’s History Month, Bay Path University, Springfield Museums, and the Springfield Women’s Commission will present the fourth annual On the Move Forum from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Springfield Museums, 21 Edwards St., Springfield.cThis year’s theme, “Generation Equality: Stand Up, Stand Out, RISE,” offers attendees an inter-generational, cross-cultural, gender-inclusive conversation focused on women’s rights, civic engagement, career opportunities, and wealth. Now in its fourth year, the forum explores women’s history and the advancement of women. The On the Move Forum will engage attendees in an interactive conversation about the gaps, gains, and opportunities to advance women, empower young professionals, and inspire students. Kamilah A’vant, director of Diversity Programs for Color magazine, will be the event’s keynote speaker. The forum will also include a panel discussion, where attendees will have the opportunity to have their questions addressed by community, business, and academic leaders. This event is free and open to the public, and is hosted in collaboration with the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, Girls Inc. of the Valley, Arise for Social Justice, the African American Female Professors Assoc., NAMIC New England, the Rhode Island Black Film Festival, and others. Registration is required. For more information and to register, visit onthemoveforum2020.eventbrite.com.

Florence Bank Customers’ Choice Community Grants

March 10: Florence Bank will present awards to 57 area nonprofits at its annual Customers’ Choice Community Grants Program, to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Garden House at Look Park in Northampton. The program is an annual offering founded in 2002, through which Florence Bank customers are invited to vote for their favorite local nonprofit in hopes it will receive a share of grant funding. To qualify for a community grant, organizations must receive at least 50 votes. In the 18 years of the program, the bank has given away more than $1.2 million. At this year’s event, 10 organizations that received between 40 and 49 votes are also invited to attend to be in a drawing for one additional $500 award.

Difference Makers Gala

March 19: The 12th annual Difference Makers gala will take place at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. BusinessWest launched its Difference Makers program in 2009 to celebrate individuals, groups, organizations, and families that are positively impacting the Pioneer Valley and are, as the name suggests, making a difference in this region. The class of 2020 will be revealed in the Feb. 3 issue of BusinessWest. Tickets cost $75. To reserve spot, e-mail [email protected] or HERE. Difference Makers is sponsored by Burkhart Pizzanelli, Royal, P.C., Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health Of New England, and TommyCar Auto Group, and the Tom Cosenzi Driving for the Cure Charity Golf Tournement, MHA, and United Way of Pioneer Valley are partners. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.

Women’s Leadership Conference

March 27: Bay Path University’s division of Strategic Alliances announced that producer, author, entrepreneur, educator, and, of course, top model Tyra Banks will bring her bold attitude, unique style, and well-honed business acumen to Springfield as the keynote speaker at the 25th annual Women’s Leadership Conference (WLC). This year’s theme, “Own Your Now,” will encourage conference guests to examine the forces that have shaped their careers, relationships, and aspirations; recognize what drives them and what holds them back; and empower them to confidently move forward. Suzy Batiz, who will deliver the morning address to open the conference, earned a place on Forbes’ list of most successful self-made women — and an estimated net worth of $260 million — by creating of a suite of eco-minded household products, including Poo-Pourri, a toilet spray she developed to combat bathroom odors. Patrice Banks (no relation to Tyra) will address the audience at lunchtime. She is the owner of the Girls Auto Clinic and Clutch Beauty Bar, an auto mechanic shop and beauty bar staffed by women. She is also the founder of the SheCANics movement, which looks to demystify car repair and engage more women in the automotive industry. Breakout sessions — focused on navigating the complicated relationships, personalities, and dynamics of the workplace and the impact those have on our careers and opportunities — will be led by four bestselling authors and researchers. For further information on the conference and to register, visit www.baypathconference.com.

Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series

March 27, April 10, May 8, June 19: Women leaders of prominent area institutions will be the featured presenters at the spring 2020 Women’s Leadership Luncheon Series hosted by Holyoke Community College and the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute. During the four-part, monthly “Leadership in Your Future 2020” series, each of four presenters will sit at a different table each week and speak on a subject of their choosing. Over the course of the four-session series, they will rotate among the tables so guests have the opportunity to hear all the presentations. The four presenters are Theresa Cooper-Gordon, commissioner, Holyoke Housing Authority (“Self-Determination”); Priscilla Kane Hellweg, executive/artistic director, Enchanted Circle Theater (“In it for the Long Haul”); Jody Kasper, chief of Police, city of Northampton (“Rising to the Top”); and Christina Royal, president, Holyoke Community College (“Leading Through Change”). The luncheons run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute, 164 Race St. Lunch will be prepared and served by students in the HCC Culinary Arts program. The series will provide an opportunity to learn from women leaders of area institutions and a chance for participants to network with their peers and gain insights on building their own careers. The cost is $150 for all four sessions. Seating is limited. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Valentyna Semyrog at (413) 552-2123 or [email protected].

Unify Against Bullying Cut-a-Thon

April 4: Hair-salon owners and their teams are being asked to make a difference in the fight against bullying. Unify Against Bullying is looking for local and regional salons to participate in a one-day Cut-a-Thon, donating proceeds from haircuts, blowouts, and styling to the anti-bullying organization. Some salons will also offer temporary pink hair color — the signature color of Unify Against Bullying. In addition, each salon will add its own fun activities and promotions for the event. Although the main event is being held on April 4, some salon owners can choose the option to hold the fundraiser for the whole month to make it easier on their team. This year, Basia Belz, a Unify Against Bullying board member and owner of Vivid Hair Salon, located at 99 Elm St., Westfield, will chair the event. Salon owners who wish to participate can contact Belz at (413) 564-0062 or [email protected].

Elms College Executive Leadership Breakfast

April 9: Elms College will host its third annual Executive Leadership Breakfast for the region’s business executives, state and local legislators, and community leaders. The keynote speaker for the event is U.S. Rep. Richard Neal. His talk, “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” will examine how our congressional delegation is providing leadership on issues that could impact the economy of the Western Mass. region. Neal was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988. He currently serves as chair of the powerful tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. This annual event features talks by the region’s leaders on topics of relevance that impact all sectors of business and the economy in Western Mass. Corporate sponsorships are available for this event, and an invitation is required to attend. For more information on the various sponsorship opportunities or to request an invitation, call the Elms College Office of Institutional Advancement at (413) 265-2448.

Knights of Columbus Golf Tournament

May 22: The Greenfield Knights of Columbus, Council #133, will host its seventh annual charity golf tournament at the Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston. This year, the Greenfield Council #133 recognizes the United Arc as its tournament partner. The event will be an 18-hole, four-person scramble with tee advantages for senior golfers. The entry fee of $125 per person includes greens fees, carts, lunch and dinner, and prizes for the winners. Those less inclined to tee off and who would rather enjoy the views of the 18th green while supporting a good cause can take in a meal at Zeke’s Grill. Dinner-only tickets are available for $30. Raffles and a silent auction will feature lottery tickets, gift cards, a three-day Cape Cod vacation, Crumpin-Fox and Hopyard golf certificates, a mystery box, and more. There will also be a hole-in-one contest for a chance to win a new car. The United Arc supports people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities in achieving the universal goals of inclusion, choice, and independence. Every year the organization provides services to individuals and their families in Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and Worcester counties. In addition to the United Arc, proceeds from the event will be used to fund a number of Council #133’s worthy causes in Greenfield and Franklin County, including the Pan Mass Challenge, Baystate Hospital Wheeling for Healing, Farren Hospital Gift of Light, the Greenfield Homeless Shelter, monthly community meals, honoring veterans by placing flags on graves for Memorial Day and Wreaths Across America wreaths placed on graves at Christmas, several youth sports programs, and more. To sign up or to get more information, call Lou Grader at (413) 774-2848, Dan Arsenault at (413) 774-5258, Bob Wanczyk at (413) 774-2465, Paul Doran at (413) 774-2801, or Joe Ruscio at (413) 768-9876.

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A Home for Innovation

On Jan. 23, DevelopSpringfield celebrated the completion of the Springfield Innovation Center at 276 Bridge St., a $7.1 million project funded through state and federal tax credits, grants, foundation money, and private financing. U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (left, with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno), who helped secure more than $1 million in federal tax credits to finance the project, noted that innovation is a key part of the country’s — and the region’s — story, and needs to continue to be. State Sens. Eric Lesser and James Welch and state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez were also on hand for the ceremony.

 


 

Scoring a Milestone

The Tom Cosenzi Driving for the Cure Charity Golf Tournament celebrated an important milestone in 2019, pushing past the $1 million mark in donations to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The tournament hosted its 11th annual tournament on Aug. 19 at Twin Hills Country Club and Elmcrest Country Club, where attendees heard from Dr. Patrick Wen from the Neuro-Oncology Department at Dana-Farber (pictured, left, with Carla Cozenzi and Tommy Consenzi of TommyCar Auto Group) about the impact of the tournament on brain-cancer research. In its 11 years, the tournament has raised $1,086,487.50 for Dana-Farber.

 


Car Wash for a Good Cause

 

Balise Motor Sales helped make a difference this holiday season by raising $13,341.51 for Square One. Balise donated the first month’s payment from each unlimited monthly car-wash plan purchased in December at two Western Mass. locations. Balise is a longtime supporter of Square One, donating $5,000 in 2018 to support its Adopt-a-Classroom program, $10,000 in 2017 to help build a new indoor playspace, and $10,000 in 2016 to support the organization’s new fitness program, LAUNCH. Pictured, from left: Joan Kagan and Kristine Allard from Square One, Alexandra Balise from Balise Motor Sales, and Dawn DiStefano from Square One.


Toward a New Home

Florence Bank has pledged $7,500 to the Harmony House of Chicopee to help fund a renovation and expansion that will allow the nonprofit to improve services and care for more terminally ill individuals who live alone or lack a capable caregiver. Harmony House is currently fundraising to cover the cost of the $600,000 home renovation. It recently broke ground on a permanent and much larger home in the Aldenville section of Chicopee. Pictured, from left: Ger Ronan, president, Yankee Home; Maureen Buxton, West Springfield branch manager, Florence Bank; Ruth Willemain, Harmony House founder; Amy Corcoran, president, Harmony House board of directors; and Pamela Quirk, RN, house operations and volunteer committee chair, Harmony House.


Forging Connections

State Sen. Eric Lesser and state Rep. Brian Ashe toured Toner Plastics in East Longmeadow recently with members of the FORGE Manufacturing Initiative, which builds and fosters connections between regional suppliers and innovative startups across the Commonwealth. They were also joined by QUIKCORD, a regional startup that has worked with Toner Plastics to develop a life-saving utility case for military paracord. Pictured, from left: Lesser and Ashe take in the tour with Toner Plastics President Jack Warren.


MassHire Grand Opening

On Jan. 14, MassHire Springfield Career Center held a grand-opening celebration at its new facility on the third floor of 95 Liberty Street. About 125 people attended the event, which included guided tours of the 13,200-square-foot facility. Pictured, from left: state Rep. Carlos Gonzalez; Rosalin Acosta, state secretary of Labor & Workforce Development; Kevin Lynn, executive director of MassHire Springfield Career Center; Shayvonne Plummer, Springfield Office of Planning & Economic Development; Talia Gee, Springfield chief Diversity & Inclusion officer; and Gary MacDonald, vice president of AIM HR Solutions.

 


Cannabis Conference

The Springfield Regional Chamber hosted the region’s first-ever cannabis conference on Wed., Jan. 28: “The Buzz About Cannabis: Marijuana in the Marketplace and the Workplace.” Employers and employees from all over Western Mass. attended the conference to get some help navigating the brand new complex world of marijuana in Massachusetts.

Theory Wellness, soon to open a new location in Chicopee, presents at the exhibitor marketplace

Scott Foster, attorney at Bulkley Richardson, and Tina Sbrega, CEO of GFA Credit Union, present “Business Structure and Banking in the Cannabis Industry”

Daniel Fogarty and Mikayla Bell from NETA show their products at the exhibitor marketplace

Joanne Berwald, vice president of HR at Mestek, Erica Flores, attorney at Skoler Abbott, and Pam Thornton, director of Strategic HR Services at the Employers Assoc. of the NorthEast, answer questions about cannabis in the workplace

 


 

Picture This

Email ‘Picture This’ photos with a caption and contact information to [email protected]


 

President’s Gala

An evening of elegance and passion, the Springfield College President’s Gala raised more than $500,000 for Springfield College student scholarships. More than 300 gathered on Saturday, October 26 at the MGM Springfield Aria Ballroom. All proceeds will go toward need and merit-based scholarships. The gala was also an opportunity to celebrate the Springfield College Humanics philosophy and its 50-year commitment of having an active member of the current student body serve as a voting member of the board of trustees. Pictured, clockwise from top left: Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper with sport management major Shamar Martin; Kristian Rhim, a communications/sports journalism major from Philadelphia who serves as the student trustee-elect this academic year and will continue on as the 50th student trustee starting in June 2020, is introduced at the gala; Alexandra Goslin, a math and secondary education major from South Windsor, Conn., who is serving as the 49th student trustee this academic year, welcomes visitors to the gala.

Springfield College President Mary-Beth Cooper with sport management major Shamar Martin

 

Kristian Rhim, a communications/sports journalism major from Philadelphia who serves as the student trustee-elect this academic year and will continue on as the 50th student trustee starting in June 2020, is introduced at the gala

 

Alexandra Goslin, a math and secondary education major from South Windsor, Conn., who is serving as the 49th student trustee this academic year, welcomes visitors to the gala

 


 

Children’s Study Home Art Show

On Sept. 19, the Children’s Study Home held a child and youth art show and auction at the Carriage House at the Barney Estate in Forest Park. More than 30 pieces of artwork from all mediums, including acrylic, watercolor, colored pencil, chalk, and sculptures, were shown from the students of the Children’s Study Home’s Mill Pond School and Curtis Blake Day School, as well as artwork from the children of the Children’s Study Home’s residential programs. Local area artisans participated and donated art pieces to the event. The art was displayed for the evening and sold to raise money for the Children’s Study Home’s art and culturing programs.

 


 

Uplifting Women

More than 130 people attended the COMMversations 2019 event at the Springfield Museums. This Bay Path University student-directed event, in partnership with community collaborators, honored and recognized the voices of historic women of the past, pacesetters of the present, and those who are working in ‘brave’ spaces today to define a future for all. Featured speakers were Bay Path President Carol Leary, who was recognized for her 25 years of leadership at Bay Path, and Freedom Rider Jean Denton Thompson, who courageously fought for justice on the front lines of the civil-rights movement.

Allison Zacynski (left) and Tabitha Shustock were two of many Bay Path students who participated in COMMversations 2019

 

From left, state Rep. Brian Ashe, Leary, state Sen. Eric Lesser, Denton Thompson, Bay Path Professor Janine Fondon, and Marvena Shubrick, representing state Rep. Jose Tosado.


 

Harvest of Creativity

On Oct. 25, students and staff from DiGrigoli School of Cosmetology in West Springfield delivered creepy, cute, and festive Halloween pumpkins to the young patients of Shriners Hospitals for Children – Springfield and Baystate Children’s Hospital. A yearly tradition at DiGrigoli School, the students spent weeks painting, gluing, and designing their pumpkins. Paul DiGrigoli, owner of DiGrigoli School and DiGrigoli Salon, purchases 60 pumpkins every year to increase creativity among the students and teach them the importance of giving back. Once the pumpkins are designed and completed, they are judged by staff members, and prizes are awarded. A selection of the best are then hand-delivered to the child patients of the two Springfield hospitals.

 


Note-able Family

The Ja’Duke Theater announced a father/daughter duo as winners of the Valley Voice competition, which took place Oct. 26. The winner of the Valley Voice Kids & Teen division is 10-year-old Natalie Duff of Wilbraham. She competed in three rounds of performances to win the top spot, a cash prize of $500, and a one-hour recording session at Next Level Records. This division is designated for singers in grades 1 to 12. Natalie’s father, Jared Duff, was named the winner of the Valley Voice adult division. He also competed in three rounds of performances and won a cash prize of $1,000 and a one-hour recording session at Next Level Records.

 


 

Super 60

Now in its 30th year, the Springfield Regional Chamber’s Super 60 program celebrates the success of the fastest-growing privately-owned businesses in the region. Businesses on the Total Revenue and Revenue Growth categories for 2019 represent myriad sectors of the economy, including nonprofits, transportation, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, retail, and hospitality. They were feted on Oct. 25 at Chez Josef in Agawam.

Pictured at right: Michael Mancuso (left) of event sponsor People’s United Bank presents a plaque to Nate Costa, president of the Springfield Thunderbirds, honored in the Revenue Growth category.

 

 


Passing the Torch

The Family Business Center of Pioneer Valley (FBC) celebrated its 25 years of success and first leadership transition with a Legacy and Soul event on Oct. 23 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Founding Director Ira Bryck officially passed the torch to the new Executive Director Jessi Kirley (pictured belwo). FBC members, sponsors, friends, and family shared stories about Bryck and gave a show of support for Kirley. The night finished with dancing to local reggae band (and family business) ReBelle.

 


 

Keep the Ball Rolling

Joe Phillips (right), president of Phillips Insurance Agency Inc., recently delivered a $5,000 check to John Freedman (center) and state Rep. Brian Ashe for the eighth annual Joseph D. Freedman Bowl-a-Thon. John is the founder of the event, and Ashe will serve as master of ceremonies. The event is being held Saturday, Nov. 16 at AMF Lanes in Chicopee. All proceeds will benefit Camphill Village, a community for adults with developmental disabilities who live and work together, caring for each other. Last year, hundreds of bowlers enjoyed the bowling, face painting, and other activities.

Joe Phillips (right), president of Phillips Insurance Agency Inc., recently delivered a $5,000 check to John Freedman (center) and state Rep. Brian Ashe for the eighth annual Joseph D. Freedman Bowl-a-Thon

Agenda

Aeron Chair Hockey Tournament

Oct. 2: In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Lexington Group will host an Aeron chair hockey tournament from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at its showroom located at 380 Union St., West Springfield. For this first-of-its-kind event in New England, Lexington Group has invited players, and their administrative staff, from elite area hockey teams — American International College and UMass Amherst — to battle it out in a friendly competition on the ‘ice.’ The winning team from the first round will play against members of the Springfield Thunderbirds. The tournament will be incorporated into an After 5 networking event, with about 300 business and community professionals expected to attend. West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt will serve as referee of the tournament. Pat Kelley of Lazer 99.3 will emcee and provide entertainment. Complimentary refreshments will be provided by Log Rolling. The event will help raise funds and awareness for the Foundation for TJO Animals. Admission to the event is complimentary, but registration is required and can be made at lexington-aeronhockey.eventbrite.com. Donations to the Foundation for TJO Animals are appreciated and can be made in advance directly through the foundation’s website, www.tjofoundation.org, or may be made at the event. The event is currently sponsored by MP CPAs, St. Germaine Investments, Sitterly Movers, and Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel (cup sponsors); bankESB, Behavioral Health Network, Complete Payroll Solutions, Dietz & Co. Architects, Fire Service Group, HUB International New England, Massachusetts Fire Technologies, Mercier Carpet, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, and New England Promotional Marketing (chair sponsors); AIS, Baystate Ob/Gyn, Contract Sources, Excel Dryer, Lexington Group, KI, Paragus IT, People’s United Bank, the Republican, and Westfield Bank (rink sponsors); Go Graphix and Herman Miller (goods sponsors), and BusinessWest, ERC5, and West of the River Chamber of Commerce (event partners).

Jazz Brunch

Oct. 6: Tickets are now on sale for the 2019 Northampton Jazz Festival Brunch, a fundraiser to benefit the Jazz Artists in the Schools Program at John F. Kennedy Middle School, which exposes Northampton’s student musicians to the valuable mentorship of professional jazz artists. The DeChamplain Quartet, based out of Hartford, Conn., will perform their gypsy-style music from noon to 2 p.m. with Atla DeChamplain on vocals, Matt DeChamplain on piano, Chris Morrison on guitar, and Matt Dwonszyk on bass. Thanks to donations from the Davis Financial Group of Hadley, the program has been able to offer unique workshops with professional jazz artists to the jazz-band students at JFK and Northampton High School. The jazz brunch will be held at the Delaney House, 3 Country Club Road in Holyoke, starting at 11 a.m. Tickets to the brunch cost $40, and $10 from each purchase will benefit the Davis Financial Group Jazz Artists in the Schools Program at JFK Middle School for the 2019-20 school year. The brunch will wrap up the 2019 Northampton Jazz Festival, set for Friday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 6. The event features three days of live music at various venues in downtown Northampton, including the main-stage act, the Kurt Elling Quintet, which will perform on Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Music. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to donate to the Jazz Artists in the Schools Program, visit northamptonjazzfest.org.

EforAll Berkshire County Caravan, Pitch Contest

Oct. 7, 23: Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) Berkshire County is officially launching on Monday, Oct. 7 with a Berkshire County Caravan, bringing community leaders, volunteers, and would-be entrepreneurs together for free introductory events all day, starting at 8:30 a.m. in Great Barrington, 11:30 a.m. in Pittsfield, and 5 p.m. in North Adams. Details and registration for the caravan are available on the EforAll website, eforall.org/ma/berkshire-county. It all leads up to bringing the All Ideas Pitch Contest to the Pittsfield area for the first time ever on Tuesday, Oct. 22. The program will be held at the Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield, from 6 to 8 p.m. Sometimes described as ‘Shark Tank without the teeth,’ the friendly, free event features seven pre-selected contestants and an eighth that will be added by audience vote on the night of the event. Each participant is given two and a half minutes to pitch a business or nonprofit idea to a panel of judges and the audience. At the end of it, EforAll will give away $2,750 in seed money to help launch these ideas. The first place finisher wins $1,000, second place $750, third place $500, and audience favorite $500. The event is an example of EforAll’s mission of using innovative means to foster entrepreneurial growth throughout Berkshire County. Applications and audience registration are both available online at eforall.org/ma/berkshire-county.

Series on Elder Law, Estate Planning

Oct. 7, 21, 28: Attorney Karen Jackson of Jackson Law, an elder-law and estate-planning firm, will teach a series of classes at Holyoke Community College highlighting the latest developments in elder law and estate planning. The six-hour course, called “Elder Law and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know,” will be presented in three two-hour sessions from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $99. In the first session, Jackson will explain each document in the core estate plan and discuss the problems that can occur when proper documents are not prepared before a loss of mental capacity or physical health or before sudden loss of life. The second session will address trusts, the probate-court process, Medicare hot topics, and options for community care and home care. Jackson will provide pertinent information and details about each to assist attendees in their planning now. In the third and final session, Jackson will introduce the various Medicaid programs that provide long-term skilled nursing-home care in Massachusetts and the financial assistance associated with each. While participants may attend as many sessions as they choose, they must still pay the full course cost of $99. To register, call (413) 552-2500 or visit www.hcc.edu/bce.

Healthcare Heroes Gala

Oct. 17: The third annual class of Healthcare Heroes will be honored at the Sheraton Springfield from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Healthcare Heroes, a recognition program involving the Western Mass. healthcare sector, was launched in 2017 by HCN and BusinessWest. The program was created to shed a bright light on the outstanding work being done across the broad spectrum of health and wellness services, and the institutions and people providing that care. The class of 2019 was profiled in the Sept. 2 issue of BusinessWest and on businesswest.com. Tickets cost $90 or $900 for a table of 10. To reserve a spot, visit www.businesswest.com/healthcare-heroes-2 or e-mail [email protected] Healthcare Heroes is sponsored by American International College and Baystate Health/Health New England (presenting sponsors), Behavioral Health Network, Comcast Business, and Development Associates (partner sponsors), and Bulkley Richardson, Design to Finish, Elms College, Keiter Builders, Loomis Communities, and Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health (supporting sponsors).

Unify Against Bullying Awards, Fashion Show

Oct. 21: Unify Against Bullying announced it will award $21,000 in microgrants to 22 recipients at its combination grant awards ceremony and all-inclusive fashion show. The event, which coincides with National Bullying Prevention Month, will be held at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Those who attend will have an opportunity to meet all 22 grant recipients and talk with each of them about the work they are doing to combat the pervasive bullying issue. To purchase tickets, visit www.unifyagainstbullying.org and go to the events page and click on ‘tickets.’

Business Woman of the Year Celebration

Oct. 24: The Women’s Business Owners Alliance of the Pioneer Valley (WBOA) will hold its 2019 Business Woman of the Year Celebration at 5:30 p.m. at the Delaney House in Holyoke. Patricia Banas, owner and president of Latka Printing in Westfield, will be named the 2019 Business Woman of the Year, an honor given to a member who has contributed to WBOA in a significant way and is a role model who inspires other women to be successful. Also during this event, the WBOA will recognize its 2019 Outstanding New Members: Lori Novis, owner of Mango Fish Art in Easthampton, and Andrea Kennedy of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicopee. The celebration will carry a Roaring Twenties theme and will include live entertainment provided by Steve and Roxann Bailey. The Baileys will offer a dance demonstration and a dance lesson for attendees to learn about styles from the period. A portion of the event proceeds will benefit the WBOA Cheryl Reed Loan Fund, which offers low-interest loans to members for seed money, expansion, or other worthy business purposes. For more information or tickets, visit www.wboa.org or contact Carleen Fischer Hoffman, event chair, at (413) 525-7345 or [email protected]

Women of Impact Luncheon

Dec. 4: The keynote speaker for the 2019 Women of Impact luncheon will be Lisa Tanzer, president of Life Is Good. Tanzer has more than 25 years of consumer brand experience. Prior to becoming president, she served as the company’s head of Marketing after spending more than 20 years on the board of directors of the Life is Good Kids Foundation. She’s held executive positions in the entertainment, e-commerce, and education sectors. Earlier in her career, she held marketing and strategy roles at Hasbro, Staples, Gillette, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The 2019 Women of Impact honorees will be announced in the Oct. 14 issue of BusinessWest and feted at a celebration on Dec. 4 from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at Sheraton Springfield. Tickets cost $65 per person, or $650 for a table of 10. To purchase tickets, visit www.businesswest.com/women-of-impact or e-mail [email protected] The Women of Impact program is sponsored by Country Bank and TommyCar Auto Group (presenting sponsors), Comcast Business (supporting sponsor), New Valley Bank & Trust (speaker sponsor), and WWLP 22 News/CW Springfield (media sponsor).

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