Home Posts tagged chambers
Chamber Corners

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.amherstarea.com

(413) 253-0700

• Jan. 22: Annual Member Meeting & Luncheon, 12-2 p.m., hosted by the Red Barn at Hampshire College. Executive Director Claudia Pazmany will present our 2019 impact statement and unveil our 2020 vision for the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. We will salute outgoing board members and ambassadors and welcome new ones. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit amherstarea.com.

• Jan. 31: Hadley Dental Care Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening, 5-7 p.m. Learn all about the state-of-the-art technology and client-centric care offered by Dr. Tapan Pujara and Dr. Chaitalee Ganatra and celebrate the grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Hadley Dental Care with an after-party, including a champagne toast, next door at the Taproom. Free and open to the public. For learn more and to register, visit amherstarea.com.

• Feb. 6: Amherst Pitch Night with Valley Venture Mentors, 5-7 p.m., hosted by AmherstWorks. A collaboration with Valley Venture Mentors, the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship at UMass Amherst, Hampshire College, the Amherst Economic Development Department, and AmherstWorks, this will be an opportunity to network, meet new and upcoming businesses, and possibly win some cash prizes. Cost: $5 and optional donation to best pitch prize pool. For more information and to register, visit amherstarea.com.

• Feb. 12: Going Green & Saving Green Luncheon, 12-2 p.m., hosted by Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Panel discussion and lunch featuring local experts in sustainability sharing strategies to implement sustainable practices that will save organizations dollars and protect the planet. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit amherstarea.com.

BRADLEY REGIONAL CHAMBER

bradleyregionalchamber.org

(860) 653-3833

• Jan. 29: Legislative Breakfast, 7:30-9:30 a.m., hosted by Doubletree by Hilton Hartford-Bradley Airport, 16 Ella Grasso Turnpike, Windsor Locks. State representatives and senators will hear what’s on your mind regarding regional business issues. Cost: free for members, $10 for non-members.

• Feb. 11: TVCA Business After Hours, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Luppoleto Brewing Co., 20 Main St., Windsor Locks. Networking with six chambers, beer or soda drink ticket, appetizers, raffle prizes, and cash bar. Spotlight your business with a sponsorship. Cost: free for members, $20 for non-members.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.easthamptonchamber.org

(413) 527-9414

• Jan. 30: Celebrate Success, 5-8 p.m., hosted by Northampton Country Club, 135 Main St., Leeds. Join us as we celebrate the past year, what we’ve learned, and where we are headed. We will honor Liz Paquette, Businessperson of the Year; Glendale Ridge Vineyard, Business of the Year; Casey Douglas, Community Service Person of the Year; and Chris Gallivan, Ambassador of the Year. Cost: $45 per person. Pre-registration and dinner selection are required, and space is limited. There will be no at-the-door registration. Deadline for refunds is Jan. 25. Unpaid no-shows will be invoiced. To learn more and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• Feb. 13: In the Know, 8:30-10 a.m., hosted by the Inn on Boltwood, 30 Boltwood Ave., Amherst. Continuing the popular series begun last year, In the Know will feature panelists Jeff Bujak, Prodigy; Michelle Zimora, Z Wraps; and Dan LiBissionnault, Dan’s Power Plant, Fauxmaggio Cheese. They will share what keeps them up at night, how they deal with those issues, and how they handle their quick success. A light breakfast and coffee will be served. Cost: $15 for members, $30 for future members. Pre-registration is required; there will be no at-the-door registration. To learn more and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• Feb. 20: Books & Joe with Moe, 8:30-10 a.m., hosted by the chamber office, 33 Union St., Easthampton. This will be the second in a series of four meetings. Join like-minded individuals for an intellectual discussion sparked by reading books. Sponsored by Richard’s Fuel & Heating Co. and Freedom Credit Union. Cost: $99 per person for the entire series. Coffee and a light breakfast will be served. Participants are required to obtain their own copy of the book explored. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.explorenorthampton.com

(413) 584-1900

• Feb. 5: [email protected], 5-7 p.m., hosted by Artifact Cider Project. Monthly networking and connection presented by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. Come when you can, stay as long as you can. Featuring libations and flatbreads from Artifact Cider Project in its new taproom in Florence. Cost: $10 for members, $14 for non-members. RSVP at www.northamptonchamber.com/chamber-events/arrive5.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org

(413) 568-1618

• Jan. 28: Block Party, 4-6 p.m., hosted by Westwood Restaurant and Pub, 94 North Elm St., Westfield. Join us for an open house and meet Westwood and chamber businesses for drinks, appetizers, networking, and more. Chamber members are welcome. Marketing tables are available. For more information and to register, e-mail [email protected] or call (413) 568-1618.

• Feb. 10: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Pottery Cellar, the Mill at Crane Pond, 77 Mill St., Westfield. Refreshments will be served. A 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Chamber members and non-members are free. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• Feb. 10: PWC Headline Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. Featuring Karla Medina, retired Hartford police sergeant and owner and founder of Sudor Taino Fitness. Cost: $35 for PWC members, $40 general admission, $25 for students. To make a reservation, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• Jan. 28: “The Buzz About Cannabis: Marijuana in the Marketplace and the Workplace,” 12:30-5 p.m., hosted by Sheraton Springfield, One Monarch Place, Springfield. Featuring leading business, legal, and medical professionals, distributors, and entrepreneurs. Cost: $60 for early-bird registration until Jan. 14, $75 after Jan. 14. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

• Feb. 5: “The 2020 Elections: Fasten Your Seatbelts — From Massachusetts to the Beltway, It’s All on the Line” Rise & Shine Business Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. Featuring political consultant Tony Cignoli. Cost: $25 for members in advance ($30 at the door), $35 general admission in advance ($40 at the door). To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

• Feb. 20: Third annual Fire & Ice Craft Cocktail Competition, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Springfield Country Club, 1375 Elm St., West Springfield. Cost: $50 for members in advance ($60 at the door), $60 general admission in advance ($70 at the door). To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ourwrc.com

(413) 426-3880

• Feb. 5: Wicked Wednesday, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, West Springfield. Wicked Wednesdays are monthly social events, hosted by various businesses and restaurants, that bring members and non-members together to network in a laid-back atmosphere. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880, or register at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD

springfieldyps.com

• Feb. 20: YPS Third Thursday Networking Night, 5-7 p.m., hosted by BarKaya! Enjoy complimentary, handcrafted appetizers and a cash bar. Cost: free for YPS members, $10 for non-members. Register at springfieldyps.com.

Chamber Corners

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org

(413) 568-1618

• Jan. 6: Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m., hosted by Andrea York Photography, 16 Unio• Ave., Westfield. Joi• us for coffee with Westfield Mayor-elect Donald Humason. The event is free and ope• to the public. Pre-registratio• is requested so we may give our host a proper head count. For more informatio• and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Jan. 13: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Unio• Crossing Realty, LLC, 420 Unio• St., Westfield. Refreshments will be served. A 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Chamber members and non-members are free. For more informatio• and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Jan. 28: Block Party, 4-6 p.m., hosted by Westwood Restaurant and Pub, 94 North Elm St., Westfield. Joi• us for a• ope• house and meet Westwood and chamber businesses for drinks, appetizers, networking, and more. Chamber members are welcome. Marketing tables are available. For more informatio• and to register, e-mail [email protected] or call (413) 568-1618.

• Feb. 10: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Pottery Cellar, the Mill at Crane Pond, 77 Mill St., Westfield. Refreshments will be served. A 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Chamber members and non-members are free. For more informatio• and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• Jan. 16: PWC Headline Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Storrowto• Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield, with Karla Medina, retired Hartford police sergeant and owner and founder of Sudor Taino Fitness. Cost: $35 for PWC members, $40 general admission, and $25 for students. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• Jan. 28: “The Buzz About Cannabis: Marijuana i• the Marketplace and the Workplace,” 12:30-5 p.m., hosted by Sherato• Springfield, One Monarch Place, Springfield. The region’s most comprehensive cannabis event, featuring leading business, legal, and medical professionals, distributors, and entrepreneurs. Cost: $60 for early-bird registratio• until Jan. 14, $75 after Jan. 14. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

• Feb. 5: “The 2020 Elections: Faste• Your Seatbelts — From Massachusetts to the Beltway, It’s All o• the Line” Rise & Shine Business Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by MassMutual Center, 1277 Mai• St., Springfield. Featuring political consultant Tony Cignoli. Cost: $25 for members i• advance ($30 at the door), $35 general admissio• i• advance ($40 at the door). To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

• Feb. 20: Third annual Fire & Ice Craft Cocktail Competition, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Springfield Country Club, 1375 Elm St., West Springfield. Cost: $50 for members i• advance ($60 at the door), $60 general admissio• i• advance ($70 at the door). To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

• Feb. 27: Leadership Institute professional development program kickoff, 1-4:30 p.m., hosted by TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Mai• St., Springfield. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ourwrc.com

(413) 426-3880

• Jan. 16: Networking Lunch, noo• to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Crestview Country Club, Agawam. Enjoy a sit-dow• lunch while networking with fellow chamber members. Each attendee will get a chance to offer a brief introductio• and company overview. You must be a member or guest of a member to attend. The only cost to attend for members is the cost of lunch. Non-members pay $10 plus lunch. Attendees will order off the menu and pay separately that day. Please note, we cannot invoice you for these events. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

Chamber Corners

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org
(413) 568-1618

• Jan. 6: Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m., hosted by Andrea York Photography, 16 Union Ave., Westfield. Join us for coffee with Westfield Mayor-elect Donald Humason. The event is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is requested so we may give our host a proper head count. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Jan. 13: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Union Crossing Realty, LLC, 420 Union St., Westfield. Refreshments will be served. A 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Chamber members and non-members are free. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Jan. 28: Block Party, 4-6 p.m., hosted by Westwood Restaurant and Pub, 94 North Elm St., Westfield. Join us for an open house and meet Westwood and chamber businesses for drinks, appetizers, networking, and more. Chamber members are welcome. Marketing tables are available. For more information and to register, e-mail [email protected] or call (413) 568-1618.

• Feb. 10: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Pottery Cellar, the Mill at Crane Pond, 77 Mill St., Westfield. Refreshments will be served. A 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Chamber members and non-members are free. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• Jan. 16: PWC Headline Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield, with Karla Medina, retired Hartford police sergeant and owner and founder of Sudor Taino Fitness. Cost: $35 for PWC members, $40 general admission, and $25 for students. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• Feb. 5: “The 2020 Elections: Fasten Your Seatbelts — From Massachusetts to the Beltway, It’s All on the Line” Rise & Shine Business Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. Featuring political consultant Tony Cignoli. Cost: $25 for members in advance ($30 at the door), $35 general admission in advance ($40 at the door). To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

• Feb. 20: Third annual Fire & Ice Craft Cocktail Competition, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Springfield Country Club, 1375 Elm St., West Springfield. Cost: $50 for members in advance ($60 at the door), $60 general admission in advance ($70 at the door). To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

• Feb. 27: Leadership Institute professional development program kickoff, 1-4:30 p.m., hosted by TD Bank Conference Center, 1441 Main St., Springfield. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ourwrc.com

(413) 426-3880

• Jan. 16: Networking Lunch, noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Crestview Country Club, Agawam. Enjoy a sit-down lunch while networking with fellow chamber members. Each attendee will get a chance to offer a brief introduction and company overview. You must be a member or guest of a member to attend. The only cost to attend for members is the cost of lunch. Non-members pay $10 plus lunch. Attendees will order off the menu and pay separately that day. Please note, we cannot invoice you for these events. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

Chamber Corners

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.amherstarea.com
(413) 253-0700

• Through Dec. 11: First annual Red Ticket Month in Downtown Amherst. For every $25 spent at participating downtown businesses, receive a red ticket. Come to Kendrick Park on Dec. 21 to celebrate winter’s arrival with music, carriage rides, a hot-cocoa stroll, and a ticket drawing for $250 or $1,000. For more details, visit amherstdowntown.com.

• Dec. 11: Annual Chamber Holiday Party, 5-7 p.m., hosted by AmherstWorks, 11 Amity St., Amherst. An evening of merriment to celebrate the year. Reflections, networking, and an opportunity to deepen relationships with each other. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. For tickets and more information, visit amherstarea.com.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.westfieldbiz.org
(413) 568-1618

• Dec. 13: December Holiday Breakfast, hosted by East Mountain Country Club, 1458 East Mountain Road, Westfield. Featuring the Westfield High School Show Choir. Join us in celebrating the holidays and support the chamber’s 2019 holiday spirit beneficiary. Attendees are encouraged to bring a donation for the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes ANG, Airman & Family Readiness Program. Event Sponsor: Staples; silver sponsor: Easthampton Savings Bank; bronze sponsor: Shortstop Bar & Grill; coffee bar sponsor: Westfield Starfires. Tickets: $28 for members, $43 for non-members. For more information, to become a sponsor, or to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Dec. 16: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Arbors, 40 Court St., Westfield. Refreshments will be served, and a 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Free for both chamber members and non-members. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

SOUTH HADLEY & GRANBY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.shgchamber.com
(413) 532-6451

• Dec. 11: Business After 5 with the Holyoke Chamber of Commerce, 5 p.m., hosted by Summitview Banquet House, Holyoke. We will be collecting donations and toys for Toys for Tots. Summitview will be providing dinner and a cash bar. Cost: $15 with a new, unwrapped gift; $25 without gift (donation of $10 to be made to Toys for Tots in advance). Tickets and registration are available at shgchamber.com.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.ourwrc.com
(413) 426-3880

• Jan. 16: Networking Lunch, noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Crestview Country Club, Agawam. Enjoy a sit-down lunch while networking with fellow chamber members. Each attendee will get a chance to offer a brief introduction and company overview. You must be a member or guest of a member to attend. The only cost to attend for members is the cost of lunch. Non-members pay $10 plus lunch. Attendees will order off the menu and pay separately that day. Please note, we cannot invoice you for these events. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

Chamber Corners

1BERKSHIRE
www.1berkshire.com
(413) 499-1600
 
• Nov. 13: Chamber Nite, 5-7 p.m. 1Berkshire’s monthly networking opportunity continues in November with an event to be held at Wohrle’s Foods in Pittsfield. Cost: free for members. To register, visit 1berkshire.com.
 
AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.amherstarea.com
(413) 253-0700

• Nov. 13: Working Across Generations Workshop, 5-6:30 p.m., hosted by Look Park Garden House. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com.

• Nov. 15: Launching Women Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., hosted by Courtyard by Marriott. Cost: $25 for members, $45 for non-members.

• Nov. 18: Talk on Housing and Employment, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Amherst Survival Center. Cost: free.

• Nov. 21: Diversity and Inclusion Workshop, 8 a.m. to noon, hosted by Hadley Farms Meeting House. Cost: $25 for members, $45 for non-members.

BRADLEY REGIONAL CHAMBER
www.bradleyregionalchamber.org
(860) 653-3833

• Nov. 12: Business After Hours, 5:30 p.m., hosted by Bradley International Airport. Tour new updates of the terminals and hear Kevin Dillon, Connecticut Airport Authority chief, speak.

• Nov. 14: E-Circle Marketing Lunch & Learn, noon. “A Fresh Approach to Marketing and Sales That Will Drive Business Growth. Registration required.

• Nov. 14: USA Mechanical grand reopening ribbon cutting, 4 p.m. USA Mechanical & Energy Services, LLC is doubling its footprint. With the growth of the company in both construction and HVAC service and maintenance, it has added employees, sheet-metal fabrication and warehouse space, offices, and a conference room and training center.

• Nov. 20: Ambassador Luncheon, noon, hosted by DoubleTree Hotel/Shade Bar & Grill.

All events are free for Bradley Regional Chamber members, and there is small fee for non-members. The Ambassador Luncheon is a ‘pay your way’ event. Visit www.bradleyregionalchamber.org for more information and to register.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.easthamptonchamber.org
(413) 527-9414

• Nov. 19: Speed Networking, 8-10 a.m., hosted by Inn on Boltwood, 30 Boltwood Dr., Amherst. Start your morning off at this high-energy, fast-paced, fun new way to network. Have some coffee, enjoy breakfast, and then do some speed networking. Cost: free for members only. Pre-registration required. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.westfieldbiz.org
(413) 568-1618

• Nov. 14: Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner, 5:30-8:30 p.m., hosted by Shaker Farms Country Club, 866 Shaker Road, Westfield. Join us as we roll out the red carpet and honor our 2019 ‘Of the Year’ Award winners: Business of the Year: Westfield Gas & Electric/Whip City Fiber; Nonprofit of the Year: Westfield 350th Committee; Lifetime Achievement: Sister Elizabeth Oleksak of Genesis Spiritual Life & Conference Center. Cost: $59. Members and non-members are invited to attend. For more information, to become a sponsor, and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Nov. 26: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Rosewood Home & Gifts, 34 Elm St., Westfield. Refreshments will be served, and a 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber’s scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Cost: free for members and non-members. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Nov. 29-30: Westfield #ShopSmall. The Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with many local businesses throughout Westfield, will support Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29-30. Forty businesses are featured on a game board. Event sponsor, Staples, will provide a posterboard of the game board for the 40 businesses to display in their window. Another event sponsor, the Pennysaver, will include the game board in its Nov. 21 issue. Shoppers can visit a minimum of 10 participating merchants to be eligible for cash prizes of $500, $300, and $150. For more information, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER
www.springfieldregionalchamber.com
(413) 787-1555

• Nov. 21: Government Reception, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Carriage House, Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield. To make a reservation, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.
 
YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD
springfieldyps.com

• Nov. 21: November YPS Third Thursday. 5-7 p.m., hosted by Worthington Street Pub, 211 Worthington St., Springfield. Join YPS for complimentary handcrafted appetizers and a cash bar with more than 50 craft beers and barrel-aged cocktails. Cost: free for members, $10 for non-members. Register at springfieldyps.com.

Chamber Corners

1BERKSHIRE

www.1berkshire.com

(413) 499-1600

 

• Oct. 30: Good News Business Salute: Women in Business, 5-7:30 p.m. In recognition of Women in Business Month, we pay tribute to the good work that women do here in the Berkshires. Celebrate at the newly renovated Williams Inn in Williamstown, as 1Berkshire honors four successful area businesses both owned and run by women: Barrington Stage Co., Lenox Fit Inc., North Adams Yoga, and Your Color Connection. Cost: $35 for members, $50 for non-members. To register, visit 1berkshire.com.

• Nov. 13: Chamber Nite, 5-7 p.m. 1Berkshire’s monthly networking opportunity continues in November with an event to be held at Wohrle’s Foods in Pittsfield. Cost: free for members. To register, visit 1berkshire.com.

 

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.amherstarea.com
(413) 253-0700

• Oct. 30: Supplier Diversity Programs Community Day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., hosted by the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce.

• Nov. 5: 50th Anniversary Celebration, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Amherst Insurance Agency. Cost: free.

• Nov. 6: Startup Night at AmherstWorks, 5-7 p.m., presented by Valley Venture Mentors. Cost: free.

• Nov. 7: “Marijuana: Opportunities & Challenges,” 4-6 p.m., hosted by Jones Library. Cost: free.

• Nov. 13: Working Across Generations Workshop, 5-6:30 p.m., hosted by Look Park Garden House. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com.

• Nov. 15: Launching Women Luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., hosted by Courtyard by Marriott. Cost: $25 for members, $45 for non-members.

• Nov. 18: Talk on Housing and Employment, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Amherst Survival Center. Cost: free.

• Nov. 21: Diversity and Inclusion Workshop, 8 a.m. to noon, hosted by Hadley Farms Meeting House. Cost: $25 for members, $45 for non-members.

BRADLEY REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.bradleyregionalchamber.org

(860) 653-3833

• Nov 1: First Friday, 7:30 a.m., hosted by Bobby V’s Restaurant.

• Nov 7: Business After Hours, 5:30 p.m. East Street Shops, East Granby, Conn., hosts a free, fully catered cocktail party during an expanded Business After Hours to support Friend to Friend Food Pantry. This event includes not only the Bradley Regional Chamber but also surrounding chambers and community members. The newly renovated center is located at 10 East St. next to Planet Fitness. Come and mingle with members of other area organizations while enjoying open bar and hors d’oeuvres. For those who would like to give, we will be accepting voluntary monetary donations to benefit Friend to Friend Food Pantry. Bring a friend. Registration required.

• Nov 12: Business After Hours, 5:30 p.m., hosted by Bradley International Airport. Tour new updates of the terminals and hear Kevin Dillon, Connecticut Airport Authority chief, speak.

• Nov 14: E-Circle Marketing Lunch & Learn, noon. “A Fresh Approach to Marketing and Sales That Will Drive Business Growth. Registration required.

• Nov 14: USA Mechanical grand reopening ribbon cutting, 4 p.m. USA Mechanical & Energy Services, LLC is doubling its footprint. With the growth of the company in both construction and HVAC service and maintenance, it has added employees, sheet-metal fabrication and warehouse space, offices, and a conference room and training center.

• Nov 20: Ambassador Luncheon, noon, hosted by DoubleTree Hotel/Shade Bar & Grill.

All events are free for Bradley Regional Chamber members, and there is small fee for non-members. The Ambassador Luncheon is a ‘pay your way’ event. Visit www.bradleyregionalchamber.org for more information and to register.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.easthamptonchamber.org

(413) 527-9414

• Nov. 7: Networking by Night, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Cooley Dickinson Urgent Care, located in the Southampton Shopping Center at 10 College Highway in Southampton. Refreshments will be served, and door prizes from Go with the Float will be awarded. Attendees will also have a chance at one of four $25 chamber gift cards courtesy of Michael Markiewicz, financial advisor. Cost: free for members, $20 for non-members. Pre-registration required. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• Nov. 19: Speed Networking, 8-10 a.m., hosted by Inn on Boltwood, 30 Boltwood Dr., Amherst. Start your morning off at this high-energy, fast-paced, fun new way to network. Have some coffee, enjoy breakfast, and then do some speed networking. Cost: free for members only. Pre-registration required. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.northamptonchamber.com

(413) 584-1900

• Oct. 28: “Nonprofit Resource Roundtable with Jenny Ladd: Fundraising as Program, Program as Fundraising,” noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by the Garden House at Look Memorial Park. How can our fundraising be a form of our programming, and how can programming be part of fundraising? All too often, the person, people, or department doing fundraising are off in a corner separate from the programmatic workings of a nonprofit. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 29: “Health Connector for Small Business,” noon to 1 p.m., hosted by Greater Northampton Chamber, 33 Hawley St., Northampton. Join us for an informative session with Rich Cahillane of American Benefits Group and Chaitra Sanders, account manager for the Health Connector for Business Distribution Channel. This event is part of the Greater Northampton Chamber 2019 Connect Campaign Event Series. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org

(413) 568-1618

• Nov. 4: Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m., hosted by Amelia Park Arena, 21 South Broad St., Westfield. Join us for coffee with Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan. Cost: free and open to the public. Pre-registration is requested so we may give our host a proper head count.

• Nov. 14: Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner, 5:30-8:30 p.m., hosted by Shaker Farms Country Club, 866 Shaker Road, Westfield. Join us as we roll out the red carpet and honor our 2019 ‘Of the Year’ Award winners: Business of the Year: Westfield Gas & Electric/Whip City Fiber; Nonprofit of the Year: Westfield 350th Committee; Lifetime Achievement: Sister Elizabeth Oleksak of Genesis Spiritual Life & Conference Center. Cost: $59. Members and non-members are invited to attend. For more information, to become a sponsor, and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Nov. 26: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Rosewood Home & Gifts, 34 Elm St., Westfield. Refreshments will be served, and a 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber’s scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Cost: free for members and non-members. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Nov. 29-30: Westfield #ShopSmall. The Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with many local businesses throughout Westfield, will support Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29-30. Forty businesses are featured on a game board. Event sponsor, Staples, will provide a posterboard of the game board for the 40 businesses to display in their window. Another event sponsor, the Pennysaver, will include the game board in its Nov. 21 issue. Shoppers can visit a minimum of 10 participating merchants to be eligible for cash prizes of $500, $300, and $150. For more information, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• Nov. 6: Rise & Shine Business Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by Springfield Country Club, 1375 Elm St., West Springfield. Featuring Roseann Sdoia Materia, author, motivational speaker, and Boston Marathon bombing survivor.

• Nov. 21: Government Reception, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Carriage House, Storrowton Tavern, 1305 Memorial Ave., West Springfield.

Reservations for all chamber events may be made by visiting www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mailing [email protected], or calling (413) 755-1310.

 

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ourwrc.com

(413) 426-3880

• Nov. 7: Food Fest West, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Springfield Country Club, West Springfield. Local restaurants and eateries show off their cuisine at this well-attended event. Vote for your favorite restaurant. A DJ, raffle, and entertainment will round out this event. Proceeds raised by Food Fest West will go toward the Partnership for Education and the WRC Educational Fund, which provides grants to businesses for on-the-job training and continuing-education needs. Tickets may be purchased online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880 or [email protected]

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD

springfieldyps.com

• Nov. 21: November YPS Third Thursday. 5-7 p.m., hosted by Worthington Street Pub, 211 Worthington St., Springfield. Join YPS for complimentary handcrafted appetizers and a cash bar with more than 50 craft beers and barrel-aged cocktails. Cost: free for members, $10 for non-members. Register at springfieldyps.com.

Chamber Corners

EAST OF THE RIVER FIVE TOWN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.erc5.com

(413) 575-7230

• Oct. 2: Inaugural Lexington Group Aeron Chair Hockey Tournament, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Lexington Group, 380 Union St., West Springfield. Co-hosted by BusinessWest, ERC5, and the West of the River Chamber of Commerce. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Lexington Group is hosting this tournament benefiting the Foundation for TJO Animals. This will be an after-5 anniversary celebration and networking event. Players and administrative staff from area elite hockey teams, American International College and UMass Amherst, will battle it out in a friendly competition on the rink. The winning team of the battle round will play against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Cost: free, but registration is required. Register at lexington-aeronhockey.eventbrite.com.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.easthamptonchamber.org

(413) 527-9414

• Oct. 8: Networking In the Know Panel Series, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Abandoned Building Brewery, 142 Pleasant St., Unit 103A, Easthampton. We will go deep into what and your business needs to be diligent about and why. Topics include the latest on banking and credit-card scamming, business e-mail compromise, check ACH fraud, and direct deposit of payroll e-mail scam technology. A panel of experts — Linda Schwartz, of Westfield Bank, Martha Rickson of Polish National Credit Union, and William Judd of bankESB — will explain how to protect yourself and your business from these types of scams. Refreshments will be served courtesy of Hamel’s Creative Catering. Cost: $15 for members, $30 for non-members. Pre-registration is required, and no tickets will be available at the door. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• Oct. 23: Cybersecurity Chamber Breakfast, 8:30-10 a.m., hosted by the Greater Easthampton Chamber of Commerce, 33 Union St., Easthampton. Suite 3 President Dave DelVecchio will guide attendees through a security-awareness training review in three easy steps: identify the cybersecurity problem, create a security framework, and define what you as a user can do to help. This session is loaded with content and many actionable takeaways to improve the security awareness level within the attendee’s organization. Cost: $15, which includes a light breakfast. Pre-registration is required, and no tickets will be sold at the door. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.northamptonchamber.com

(413) 584-1900

• Oct. 2: Schmoozapalooza, 5-7:30 p.m., hosted by Greater Northampton Chamber, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. An annual networking party bringing business and community together, featuring food, wine, and cold brews donated by local restaurants. Sponsored by Florence Bank, CopyCat Ink, Pioneer Training, and Christopher Heights of Northampton. Cost: $10/ for members. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 8: “Digital Marketing Demystified” with Rhyme Digital, noon to 2:30 p.m., hosted by Coldwell Banker Training Center, 112 Main St., Northampton. Join us for the first workshop in the Greater Northampton Chamber 2019 Connect Campaign Event Series. Presentation by Blair Winans of Rhyme Digital in Easthampton. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 22: “Sync Up with the Chamber and the Downtown Northampton Assoc. – A Conversation with Health, Wellness, and Beauty Businesses,” 8-9:30 a.m., 33 Hawley St., Northampton. Join us for a conversation among professionals and business owners within the health, wellness, and beauty sector. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 22: “Social Media in the Workplace” with Daniel Carr of Royal, P.C., 8:30-9:30 a.m., hosted by Greater Northampton Chamber, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 24: “Marketing and Advertising: What Works and What Doesn’t?” 8-9 a.m., hosted by Greater Northampton Chamber, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Join Joe O’Rourke of Northampton Radio Group for an informative talk on what works and what doesn’t in marketing and advertising. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 28: “Nonprofit Resource Roundtable with Jenny Ladd: Fundraising as Program, Program as Fundraising,” noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by the Garden House at Look Memorial Park. How can our fundraising be a form of our programming, and how can programming be part of fundraising? All too often, the person, people, or department doing fundraising are off in a corner separate from the programmatic workings of a nonprofit. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

• Oct. 29: “Health Connector for Small Business,” noon to 1 p.m., hosted by Greater Northampton Chamber, 33 Hawley St., Northampton. Join us for an informative session with Rich Cahillane of American Benefits Group and Chaitra Sanders, account manager for the Health Connector for Business Distribution Channel. Cost: free. RSVP at northamptonchamber.com/connect-campaign-2019.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.westfieldbiz.org

(413) 568-1618

• Oct. 7: Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m., hosted by Western Massachusetts Hospital, 91 East Mountain Road, Westfield. Join us for coffee with Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan. The event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is requested so we may give our host a proper head count. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Oct. 9: Lunch & Learn: “Talk Saves Lives: A Community Introduction to Suicide Prevention,” 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Western Massachusetts Hospital, 91 East Mountain Road, Westfield. Presented by Heather White, area director, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Massachusetts and Vermont Chapter. This workshop will discuss the shockingly large scope of suicide, current research on prevention, suicide risk and warning signs, and how, together, we can help prevent it. Box lunch provided by Peppermill Catering. Cost: free for members, $40 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Oct. 17: Lunch & Learn: Hemp CBD Educational Seminar, 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Western Massachusetts Hospital, 91 East Mountain Road, Westfield. Presented by Kathleen Angco-Vieweg of Rehab Resolutions. This workshop is for everyone interested in learning basic information regarding CBD oil, the difference between hemp and marijuana, benefits of CBD oil, and what CBD oil can help with. Lunch provided by Peppermill Catering. Cost: free for members, $40 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

• Oct. 21: After 5 Connections, 5-7 p.m., hosted by East Mountain Country Club, 1458 East Mountain Road, Westfield. The event will include a cash bar, refreshments, and a 50/50 raffle to benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Bring your business cards and make connections. Cost: free for members. For more information and to register, visit westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618.

PROFESSIONAL WOMEN’S CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• Oct. 17: Renaissance of Springfield Leadership Forum, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by Springfield Museums. Panelists will include female leaders in Springfield who will share their visions and contributions to the current Springfield renaissance. Kay Simpson, president of Springfield Museums, will moderate the panel. Cost: $35 for members, $40 for non-members. To register, e-mail [email protected]

SOUTH HADLEY & GRANBY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.shgchamber.com

(413) 532-6451

• Oct. 17: Business After 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by TD Bank, Newton Street, South Hadley. Network with area businesses and business people. The event will include cider tastings, a cash bar, and light refreshments. Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Register online at shgchamber.com.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER

www.springfieldregionalchamber.com

(413) 787-1555

• Oct. 2: “Rise and Shine: Differentiate Yourself – It’s YOU They Buy,” 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by Crestview Country Club, 281 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam. Cost: $25 for members ($30 at the door), $35 general admission ($40 at the door). To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

• Oct. 25: Super 60, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Chez Josef, 176 Shoemaker Lane, Agawam. Cost: $60 for members, $75 general admission. To register, visit www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mail [email protected], or call (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

www.ourwrc.com

(413) 426-3880

• Oct. 2: Inaugural Lexington Group Aeron Chair Hockey Tournament, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Lexington Group, 380 Union St., West Springfield. Co-hosted by BusinessWest, ERC5, and the West of the River Chamber of Commerce. In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Lexington Group is hosting this tournament benefiting the Foundation for TJO Animals. This will be an after-5 anniversary celebration and networking event. Players and administrative staff from area elite hockey teams, American International College and UMass Amherst, will battle it out in a friendly competition on the rink. The winning team of the battle round will play against the Springfield Thunderbirds. Cost: free, but registration is required. Register at lexington-aeronhockey.eventbrite.com.

• Oct. 14: Annual Scholarship/Business Grant Golf Tournament, hosted by Springfield Country Club, West Springfield. Registration at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon, shotgun start at 1 p.m. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com. For more information or tickets, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880 or [email protected]

• Oct. 23: Mingle with the Mayors VIP Luncheon, noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, West Springfield. Join us for an update from the mayors of Agawam and West Springfield over lunch, and mingle with the mayors afterward during this private, VIP event. Seating is limited. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880 or [email protected]

• Nov. 7: Food Fest West, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Springfield Country Club, West Springfield. Local restaurants and eateries show off their cuisine at this well-attended event. Vote for your favorite restaurant. A DJ, raffle, and entertainment will round out this event. Proceeds raised by Food Fest West will go toward the Partnership for Education and the WRC Educational Fund, which provides grants to businesses for on-the-job training and continuing-education needs. Tickets may be purchased online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com. For more information, contact the chamber office at (413) 426-3880 or [email protected].

Features

A Different Time

Jessica Roncariti-Howe, here displaying one of her own paintings

Jessica Roncariti-Howe, here displaying one of her own paintings, says efforts to shine a spotlight on the arts and culture is just one of the ways the Greater Chicopee Chamber is working to build a stronger community.

Years ago, joining the local chamber of commerce was a knee-jerk reaction for a new business or a venture moving to a new community. Today, it’s far less a given, especially with the budgetary and time constraints facing all business members. To attract and properly serve members — and their communities — chambers must focus on creativity and collaboration, as we learned from several chamber leaders relatively new to their roles.

They call it ‘Run the Runway.’

Because that’s what you do.

Indeed, participants in this reincarnated version of the Greater Chicopee Chamber’s fundraising 5K road race actually run down the runway at Westover Air Reserve Base on part of the course. They traverse roughly three-quarters of the main runway’s length, turn off along one of the aprons, pass under the wing of one of the giant C-5s, and then back again.

The second edition of the event will be staged June 8, and while the inaugural run was hugely successful, this year’s version will raise the bar much higher — and probably raise considerably more money. That’s because organizers have added a large ampersand to the event logo, as well as the words ‘Festival’ and ‘Car Show.’

“This used to be a minor fundraiser, but now it’s probably our biggest,” said Jessica Roncariti-Howe, president of the Greater Chicopee Chamber of Commerce. “And having our major fundraiser be an event that is signature to Chicopee and highlights some things are very unique to our city is really heartening to us; it’s very exciting.”

“We try very hard to stay away from the ‘mingle around the bar with a glass of wine’ model; our goal is to bring some fun to everything we do.”

Thus, Run the Runway is in many ways a solid example of changing times for area chambers of commerce and the need to adapt to these changes. In this climate, chambers are being more creative, finding ways to bring more value to members and the communities they serve, and doing far more partnering and collaborating — with other chambers, different business- and economic-development-related agencies, and civic groups.

In the case of Run the Runway, these partnerships are with Westover itself, Westover Metropolitan Airport, and the Galaxy Community Council, said Roncariti-Howe, who is one of several area chamber leaders relatively new to their assignment — she’s been at the helm for roughly two years.

For this issue, BusinessWest talked to several of the region’s new chamber leaders about their work, how it is changing in many ways, and what chambers must do to remain relevant and maintain strong membership at a time when joining such an organization is far from the given it was a generation ago.

Claudia Pazmany is another of these new chamber leaders. She took the helm at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce roughly a year ago, at a critical time in the history of the agency.

Indeed, the Amherst chamber had gone through several directors over the previous decade and had become a volunteer organization for a short time before the board handed the reins to Pazmany, a veteran development strategist and consultant — she’s worked for agencies ranging from Providence Ministries for the Needy to CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County — with the goal of putting the chamber on far more solid footing.

She told BusinessWest her basic strategy has been to raise the chamber’s profile, inject some energy, and establish the chamber as a valuable resource for members, and she believes she’s achieving results. Those efforts are summed up nicely in the name she chose for the newsletter she distributes weekly: “In Your Corner.”

Claudia Pazmany

Claudia Pazmany says signing on with a chamber is the easy part for a business. Leveraging membership and getting the most of it takes some work.

“I’ve been reintroducing the chamber to people and sending a consistent message — we’ve really upped our game with our e-contacts and e-newsletter,” she said, describing these efforts as ‘Marketing 101,’ but something that wasn’t being done at the chamber.

She added quickly that there are many challenges facing chambers today, and, more than ever, these agencies must be focused on those three letters so well-known to everyone who sells a product or service: ROI.

Diana Szynal, executive director of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce (FCCC) since late last fall, agreed.

Szynal was looking for a challenge — and a job, really — after coming up short in her bid to succeed the late Peter Kocut, the state representative she served for many years as district representative.

She said the chamber job is in many ways a natural for her because she can easily find a number of similarities between serving constituents and serving business owners — and the communities of Franklin County.

“This was a natural progression, to trade constituents for businesses. In both cases, there’s a lot of listening and responding to what you hear,” said Szynal, adding that the FCCC will be celebrating its centennial this year, a milestone that will be marked in a number of ways.

As it looks toward the next hundred years — or even the next few years — the goal will be to continuously find new and different ways to make membership not a cost, but an investment — a challenge shared by all the area chambers.

Mission Statements

As Roncariti-Howe talked with BusinessWest in the Greater Chicopee Chamber’s conference room, the office was noticeably quiet.

She was the only one in that moment — and in a few weeks, she noted, that would be the situation for some time to come.

Her two staff members are both leaving the agency (one is going to work in the mayor’s office), leaving Roncariti-Howe alone — and also with a chance to take a hard look at the organization and perhaps do some restructuring and reorganizing.

Again.

Indeed, she went through this same scenario roughly a year ago, she noted, adding quickly that finding, retaining, and ultimately replacing talent is just one of the challenges she’s taken on since coming to the chamber after several years spent in nonprofit management, most recently with the AIDS Foundation. And she acknowledged that she’s certainly not alone.

“I tell people I’m in their corner. I want people to know that we’re reliable, we’re consistent, and our marketing is here to support them; we’re here to highlight our members.”

Other challenges include membership — numbers are way down from years ago, when chambers were able to include health insurance to members as part of their package, and maintaining current levels is always a struggle — as well as finding new and creative ways to engage members and bring value to their participation.

Roncariti-Howe explained her work this way: “Working for a nonprofit, I always served one mission. This job gave me the opportunity to serve 300 — to figure out what helped the local business community, what made all these individual organizations tick, and how to build relationships among them and bring them together.”

To explain how she goes about all that, she summoned two words that provide some alliteration — ‘creativity’ and ‘collaboration’ — and offered a quick explanation.

“Creativity manifests in the form of creating events that are either in unique or attractive venues or have some sort of draw that’s different than what other people would typically get,” she said. “We try very hard to stay away from the ‘mingle around the bar with a glass of wine’ model; our goal is to bring some fun to everything we do.”

Diana Szynal

Diana Szynal, who recently took the helm at the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, says collaboration is the key to getting things done in that rural region.

A few decades ago, chamber leaders didn’t have to worry much about providing fun — or about membership in general. Pazmany, like the others we spoke with, noted that, in the past, chamber membership was in many ways a knee-jerk reaction for new business ventures or those moving into a community. Today, it is anything but, especially with the time and budget constraints facing small-business owners today.

So the chamber has to make membership worth the time and expense, said those we spoke with, adding that this is being done in a number of ways, from offering resources to providing valuable content in newsletters, and creating networking opportunities that, as Roncariti-Howe noted, go well beyond a glass of wine at the bar.

“I tell people I’m in their corner,” said Pazmany, adding that her chamber lives up to the name on its publication. “I want people to know that we’re reliable, we’re consistent, and our marketing is here to support them; we’re here to highlight our members.”

Working with graduate research students at UMass Amherst, the Amherst Area Chamber, which also represents Hadley, Pelham, and other communities, has worked to fill holes on its website and update Google Analytics to provide optimal exposure for members on that website.

“Some people’s member listings are coming up higher than their own,” said Pazmany, with a large dose of pride in her voice, adding that this is one of the ways the chamber is providing value and ROI. “We want to remind people that a chamber membership can be part of their marketing plan, and if they do it well — meaning they’re networking, they’re showing up at events, they’re sponsoring an event or speaking at an event — they can really benefit.

“But they need to take full advantage of it — it’s a partnership,” she said of chamber membership. “Signing on is the easy part; it’s how you show up. You get out what you put in.”

Concepts That Are Taking Off

That’s especially true with the FCCC, which, as that acronym denotes, represents not a city or a few communities but an entire county, one populated by small and very small communities, some with fewer than 100 residents.

“We try to focus on things that can help county-wide,” said Szynal. “We focus on supporting businesses and social-service agencies — we have many of them in this region — but we also focus on tourism and especially outdoor recreation, and in doing that, we’re able to help communities across the entire county. We’re unique — most chambers are much more focused in terms of the number of communities they serve — and we have our hands full, but we’re doing it.”

And doing it largely through a focus on collaborative efforts with other agencies — because that’s how things get done in such a rural setting, she went on.

“I’ve learned there’s a huge amount of collaboration up here, more so than I’ve ever witnessed anywhere,” she explained. “Businesses and organizations really want to work together to grow the economy in Franklin County and make this a place that’s great to live and work in, and it’s very encouraging to see that; by working together, we can do so much more than we could by ourselves.”

Those sentiments bring us back to Run the Runway.

Only a few years ago, the chamber was hosting a 5K run as one of many annual fundraisers, said Roncariti-Howe, adding that, by collaborating with the Galaxy Council and other entities, it has become a much larger community event.

As noted earlier, the run is a particularly poignant example of what all chambers must do today to effectively carry out their missions — collaborate, be creative, and focus on ways to not only serve members, but strengthen the communities they serve.

The Greater Chicopee Chamber is doing that in a number of ways, said Roncariti-Howe, who had only to gesture around the conference room to get that point across.

“They need to take full advantage of it — it’s a partnership. Signing on is the easy part; it’s how you show up. You get out what you put in.”

Indeed, that room — and the outside rooms as well — were crowded with works of art as part of the Lights on Art and Culture program, which, as the name suggests, puts a spotlight on the arts by engaging local businesses, and the chamber, in displaying the works of local artists, a constituency that now includes Roncariti-Howe, who showed off one of her paintings.

“We do this quarterly, and we do something different each time,” she said, adding that the most recent offering featured live music, tours of new living units in redeveloped mills, food trucks, and more. “It’s a collaboration among the chamber, Cultural Council, city, and downtown businesses, and it’s one of the ways we support our local businesses and our community, which is an important part of our mission.”

Szynal agreed, noting again that, with the FCCC, ‘community’ means one city (Greenfield) and 25 small towns with a total population of roughly 70,000 people.

“There are differences among the communities and what their focus points are,” she said. “But they’re all unique, and they all contribute to the rich fabric here in Franklin County in their own special way, and we work to support each one of them.”

Bottom Line

Pazmany told BusinessWest that some of her members had remarked that there weren’t enough pictures of her in “In Your Corner.”

“I told them that it’s not about me, it’s about them,” she said with a laugh. “It’s all about our members.”

It always has been, but today, that mantra is even more important than at any time in the past. And as these chamber leaders noted, it’s not about getting members, it’s about providing value to them, retaining them, and working with them to improve their community.

That’s why you can now run the runway — and many people are.

George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]

Chamber Corners

1BERKSHIRE
www.1berkshire.com
(413) 499-1600

• March 12: 1Berkshire Education Session: “Digital Marketing for Community Organizations,” 3-5 p.m., hosted by Lee Bank, 40 Pittsfield Lenox Road, Lenox. Join 1Berkshire, HYFN Local, and WWLP Media as guest presenter Mitch West discusses digital advertising, incorporating video and social media. Free to 1Berkshire members.

• March 12: 1Berkshire Chamber Nite, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Lee Bank, 40 Pittsfield Lenox Road, Lenox. Join us for the March Chamber Nite in partnership with the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires. Members of either organization get in for free, and we’ll highlight the theme of community impact.

• March 13: 1Berkshire Education Session: “Digital Marketing for Small, Medium, and Large Companies,” 8-11 a.m., hosted by 1Berkshire, 66 Allen St., Pittsfield. Join 1Berkshire, HYFN Local, and WWLP Media as guest presenter Mitch West discusses incorporating video into digital advertising strategies (8 a.m.), social media (9 a.m.), and navigating digital advertising (10 a.m.). Free to 1Berkshire members.

• March 13: 1Berkshire Education Session: “Digital Marketing for Creative Economy, Culturals, Hospitality, and Tourism,” 2-4 p.m, hosted by Red Lion Inn, 30 Main St., Stockbridge. Join 1Berkshire, HYFN Local, and WWLP Media as guest presenter Mitch West discusses digital advertising, incorporating video and social media. Free to 1Berkshire members.

AMHERST AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.amherstarea.com
(413) 253-0700

• March 6: Business Leadership Discussion Group, 4:30-7:30 p.m., hosted by Jake’s at the Mill, Amherst. Presented by Family Planning Business Center and Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce. Register at www.amherstarea.com.

• March 28: Margarita Madness, 5:30-8:30 p.m., hosted by Insterskate 91 at Hampshire Mall. Presented by TommyCar Auto Group. Enjoy an evening of margaritas and vote for your favorite. There will also be dishes from participating restaurants and dozens of raffle prizes. Trumpy of the Valley’s Hits 94.3 will emcee the event. Cost: $30 in advance, $40 at the door. Buy tickets at www.amherstarea.com. Margarita tables are sold out.

GREATER CHICOPEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.chicopeechamber.org
(413) 594-2101

• March 5: CEO Power Hour Luncheon featuring Gina Kos of Sunshine Village, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by the Collegian Court. A quarterly luncheon series where CEOs tell how they rose to their positions. Series sponsored by Polish National Credit Union. Cost: $30 for members, $35 for non-members. Sign up online at www.chicopeechamber.org/events or call (413) 594-2101.

• March 8: Big Honkin’ Business After Hours, 4:30-6:30 p.m., a multi-chamber event hosted by Marcotte Ford. A celebration of Marcotte’s new, state-of-the-art dealership. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members.

• March 20: Salute Breakfast, 7:15-9 a.m., hosted by the Delaney House. Chief greeter: Karen Hansmann, Chicopee Cultural Council/chamber board. Keynote: Happier Valley Comedy, “5 Tips for Quieting Your Voice of Unhelpful Judgement.” Series sponsored by Westfield Bank, Holyoke Medical Center, N. Riley Construction Inc., Polish National Credit Union, USI Insurance Services, Spherion Staffing Services, and PeoplesBank. Cost: $23 for members, $28 for non-members. Sign up online at chicopeechamber.org/events. Sponsor tables still available; call (413) 594-2101, ext. 102.

GREATER EASTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.easthamptonchamber.org
(413) 527-9414

• March 7: Networking by Night, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Puzzled Escape Games, Eastworks, 116 Pleasant St., Unit 141. An evening of intrigue and networking. See if you have the skills needed to escape. Cost: free for members, $15 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

• March 15: St. Patrick’s Day Lunch, noon to 2:30 p.m., hosted by Northampton Country Club, 135 Main St., Leeds. Enjoy a corned beef and cabbage luncheon and salute the St. Patrick’s Day committee award winners, Michael Callini, Steve Zsavisa, and Mr. & Mrs. Florek. Newly elected state Rep. Dan Kelly will be the keynote speaker. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for future members. Reservations are required, as space is limited. For more information and to register, visit www.easthamptonchamber.org or call the chamber at (413) 527-9414.

GREATER HOLYOKE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.holyokechamber.com
(413) 534-3376

• March 6: Coffee Buzz, 7:30 a.m., hosted by Holyoke Hummus Café. Did you know Holyoke Hummus now serves breakfast? Join the Greater Holyoke business community as we indulge in fine vegetarian cuisine over a warm beverage. There will be plenty of coffee and connections to be had as Holyoke Hummus Café celebrates its second birthday. Cost: free.

• March 13: Annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, 7:15 a.m., hosted by the Log Cabin, Holyoke. Presented by PeoplesBank. Sponsored by the Republican; Holyoke Gas and Electric; Resnic, Beaureguard, Waite and Driscoll; Holyoke Medical Center; and Marcotte Ford. Join us for our annual St. Patrick’s weekend kickoff as we feature live Irish music, Holyoke tartan for sale, a full Irish breakfast, and plenty of laughs and connections. Rumor has it there will be a special guest speaker. As always, there will be plenty of Irish cheer. Cost: $35 for members, $50 for non-members, $250 for tables of eight for members. Shamrock sponsorship for $550 (e-mail [email protected]).

• March 20: Big Honkin’ Business After Hours at Marcotte Ford, 4:30 p.m. This event is a collaboration with the Greater Westfield and Greater Chicopee chambers, featuring food stations, beer and wine, marketing opportunities, door prizes, and more. Cost: $10 for members, $25 for non-members.

GREATER NORTHAMPTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.northamptonchamber.com
(413) 584-1900

• March 6: March Arrive @ 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Forget Me Not Florist, 114 Main St., Northampton. A networking event sponsored by the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Complete Payroll, and PeoplesBank. Cost: $10 for members.

• March 26: Workshop: “Excel Tips & Tricks, Part 1,” 9-11 a.m., hosted by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Presented by Pioneer Training. This workshop contains a variety of quick tips and tricks in Microsoft Excel that will save users hours of time. Learn how to add buttons to the quick-access toolbar, so the commands you want are at your fingertips. Learn how to view all the formulas in a worksheet and how to freeze rows and columns for easier viewing and navigation. Practice time-saving shortcuts for selecting, moving, and copying cells, and learn how to use autofill to create a series of numbers or dates or to copy formulas. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members.

• April 2: Workshop: “Excel Tips & Tricks, Part 2,” 9-11 a.m., hosted by Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Presented by Pioneer Training. This class will present a series of tips and shortcuts that will help attendees work more efficiently and complete more complex tasks with Microsoft Excel. Learn how to assign range names to groups of cells and how to use range names in formulas and functions. Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members.

• April 3: April Arrive @ 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Danco, 10 West St., West Hatfield. A networking event sponsored by Northeast Solar, NEPR, Health New England, and MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board. Cost: $10 for members.

• April 23: Workshop: CyberSafe, 9 a.m. to noon, hosted by Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce, 99 Pleasant St., Northampton. Presented by Pioneer Training. CyberSafe is a three-hour workshop for non-technical users that focuses on using technology without compromising personal or organizational security. Students will learn the skills they need to protect digital data on computers, networks, mobile devices, and the internet. They will learn how to identify many of the common risks involved in using technology, such as phishing, spoofing, malware, and social engineering, and then learn how to protect themselves and their organizations from those risks. Cost: $50 for members, $60 for non-members.

GREATER WESTFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.westfieldbiz.org
(413) 568-1618

• March 4: March Mayor’s Coffee Hour, 8-9 a.m., hosted by Westfield Gas & Electric at the Operations Center, 40 Turnpike Industrial Road, Westfield. Join us for coffee with Westfield Mayor Brian Sullivan. The event is free and open to the public. To register, visit www.westfieldbiz.org/events or call (413) 568-1618 so we may give our host a proper head count.

• March 15: St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast, 7-9 a.m., hosted by Westfield State University, Scanlon Hall, 577 Western Ave., Westfield. Platinum sponsor: Westfield State University; small business sponsor: Puffer Printing; in-kind sponsor: Flowers by Webster. Join us for our annual St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast as we honor our 2019 Sons of Erin Colleen, Hannah Elizabeth Jury, and her court; Irishwoman of the Year Terri Broderick Hathaway; Irishman of the Year Jim Rood, and Parade Marshal Bo Sullivan. Cost: $25 for members, $40 for non-members. For more information and to register, visit www.westfieldbiz.org/events or contact the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

• March 20: Big Honkin’ Business After Hours, 4:30-7 p.m., a three-chamber event with the Greater Westfield, Greater Chicopee, and Greater Holyoke chambers, hosted by Marcotte Ford, 1025 Main St., Holyoke. Hearty appetizers, food stations, beer, and wine provided. Live jazz music and valet parking. Bring business cards to make connections and enter to win raffle prizes. A 50/50 raffle will benefit the chamber scholarship fund. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. Pre-registration is recommended at www.westfieldbiz.org/events or by calling the chamber at (413) 568-1618.

SOUTH HADLEY & GRANBY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.shgchamber.com
(413) 532-6451

• March 14: Business After 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by: Johnny’s Tap Room, South Hadley. Located in South Hadley’s Village Commons, across the street from Mount Holyoke College, Johnny’s Bar & Grille has been serving up food and drinks since 2006. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. To RSVP or for more information, e-mail [email protected], and mail a check, payable to the South Hadley & Granby Chamber of Commerce, to 2 Lyman St., South Hadley, MA 01075.

• April 6: Mohegan Sun Bus Trip, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Hop on King Ward’s 40-person bus for a day of fun at one of the world’s finest casinos. Pickup and dropoff at the Chicopee Home Depot parking lot at 9 a.m. Cost: $50 per person, which includes bus fare, $15 food voucher, and $15 gambling voucher. Call Steven Laplante at (413) 246-4911 for more information, or e-mail [email protected] to reserve seating.

• April 17: Business After 5, 5-7 p.m., hosted by the Thirsty Mind, located in South Hadley’s Village Commons, across the street from Mount Holyoke College. Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members. RSVP and direct questions to [email protected], and mail a check, payable to the South Hadley & Granby Chamber of Commerce, to 2 Lyman St., South Hadley, MA 01075.

SPRINGFIELD REGIONAL CHAMBER
www.springfieldregionalchamber.com
(413) 787-1555

• March 4: Outlook 2019, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted by the MassMutual Center, 1277 Main St., Springfield. Presented by Health New England. Featuring national columnist Margaret Carlson as keynote speaker, plus U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Cost: $60 for members in advance, $80 general admission in advance, $100 at the door.

• March 14: Fire & Ice Craft Cocktail Competition and Fundraiser, 5:30-8 p.m., hosted by Springfield Country Club, 1375 Elm St., West Springfield. Sponsored by Florence Bank.

• March 19: “A New Wave,” 4-6 p.m., hosted by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 1000 Hall of Fame Ave., Springfield. A presentation by the city of Springfield Office of Economic Development in partnership with the Springfield Regional Chamber, highlighting new economic-development projects and updates on larger economic-development projects in the works. Includes reception with cash bar following. Admission is complimentary, but reservations are required.

Reservations for all Springfield Regional Chamber events may be made by visiting www.springfieldregionalchamber.com, e-mailing [email protected], or calling (413) 755-1310.

WEST OF THE RIVER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
www.ourwrc.com
(413) 426-3880

• March 21: Networking Lunch, noon to 1:30 p.m., hosted by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, West Springfield. Enjoy lunch while networking with fellow chamber members and guests of members. Each attendee will get a chance to offer a brief intro and company overview. You must be a member or guest of a member to attend. Cost: free for members; $10 for non-members. Register online at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

• April 3: Wicked Wednesday, 5-7 p.m., hosted by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, West Springfield. Wicked Wednesdays are monthly social events, hosted by various businesses and restaurants, that bring members and non-members together to network in a laid-back atmosphere. For more information about this event, call the chamber office at (413) 426-3880, or register at www.westoftheriverchamber.com.

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF GREATER SPRINGFIELD
springfieldyps.com

• March 21: YPS Third Thursday, 5-7 p.m., hosted by MGM Springfield Lobby Bar. Join us for our March Third Thursday. Cost: free for members, $10 for non-members. Afterward, we will enjoy the show at ROAR comedy club. For an exclusive discount on tickets to the show, visit springfieldyps.com.

In these times, many people will be working remotely. In addition to accessing BusinessWest online, readers may wish to add their home address. To do this, e-mail [email protected], visit  https://businesswest.com/contact-us/subscribe/, or call 413.781.8600.